Three Ways Successful Women Get Ahead in Business

You’re reading Three Ways Successful Women Get Ahead in Business, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

We’re all well aware of the infamous pay gap – you know the one – where women get paid only seventy-nine cents for every dollar that men earn to do the exact same job? This gap only grows for women of color as well as they tend to earn only about sixty-three cents for every dollar a white non-Hispanic man earns.Successful women have certainly changed this fact and are leading by example.

For women, this can put them at an extreme disadvantage – making it harder for them to pay back student loans, purchase a home, and even start a family. Briana Fabbri, a personal finance adviser, writes that women with high student debts are more likely to delay marriage and children – a troubling observation for many women who are struggling to get ahead in business and bridge the divide between the job they have and the job they want.

Thankfully, there are a few tricks that women can use to get ahead in their careers and climb the corporate ladder faster and easier.

Get to the point!

Born leaders never feel the need to soften their opinions with pleasantries. They also don’t apologize for their advice, or orders. They just give them and let others feel how they’re going to feel about it.

If you want to play hard ball you’re going to have to get hard. Don’t mince words; say what you mean and mean what you say. Make your point quickly and efficiently. Be sure to tell people exactly how you feel.

This doesn’t mean you have to be abusive in your language or actions, just be sure to be honest and sincere in your thoughts, recommendations, and opinions. By all means get out there and make some suggestions – no one ever moved ahead in business by trying to blend into the wallpaper. You’ll have to make an impression to get noticed. That means taking professional risks in order to earn some respect. When you do more and apologize less you send the message that you are smart, savvy, and have leadership potential.

Dress to Impress

You may have heard the old adage that you need to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. This is doubly true with women – who are often heavily scrutinized on their grooming and clothing choices in the corporate sector. Where upper management may be able to overlook certain grooming and dressing habits in many of the men they promote. As a woman, you’ll have to hit just the right balance between elegant and professional to look the part.

It’s no easy feat, and one that takes a fair amount of planning and coordination.

You’re best to opt for business elegant ensembles. Look to congresswomen and other females in upper management for inspiration. Depending on how casual your workplace is, you may have to do a few adjustments. But it’s always better to be overdressed than under. No manager is going to promote you to a senior-level role if you don’t look the part.

One other concerning issue it that many women are learning that they sometimes need to dress down to get ahead as well – it really depends on your environment and how sexist it is. However, when in doubt, avoid overly feminine, frilly, embellished, or revealing clothes. Opt for clean lines and simple crisp styles. You can absolutely never go wrong with a classic fitted blazer over a simple blouse. Throw on some statement jewelry and kitten heels (or elegant flats) and you’re good to go!

Find a mentor

One of the best ways to get ahead is to open the door to personalized coaching (either on a volunteer or paid basis) from other women who have walked the same path. Search through LinkedIn Groups in your industry, attend conferences, and start connecting with other influencers on social media. You may also want to join your local chamber of commerce. Search for a mentor through SCORE and other not-for-profit organizations.

One of the best ways to get ahead is to learn the tricks the easy way – by letting someone guide you to the best practices instead of spending years of trial and error trying to figure it out yourself.

There are many paths to success, including entrepreneurship in business and social enterprises. The tips above are just a few things that shows like Designing Women taught me about women in business. The most important thing to remember is that you set your standards and you have the right to uphold them. Oh, and don’t let the names get to you. Most of the time people are just envious and jealous of your confidence and cool head under pressure. Now get climbing!

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You’ve read Three Ways Successful Women Get Ahead in Business, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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These Amazing Websites Will Teach You a Great New Skill (Even If You’re Busy)

You’re reading These Amazing Websites Will Teach You a Great New Skill (Even If You’re Busy), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Today, there’s no excuse not to be able to learn new skills.

While decades ago, we were limited to the confinements of a library or a classroom, we face no restrictions now. We can learn from the same device that we carry throughout the day, at anytime of the day, and anywhere we are.

Whether your goal is to get advice from today’s experts, learn a foreign language, or start a business, we’ve got 37 amazing (and curated) websites to learn new skills. Best of all, you can do it on your own time.

Enjoy!

Broaden your general knowledge

edX – Watch online lectures from the world’s top Universities

Coursera – Online courses curated by top educational institutions

CreativeLIVE – Watch live online classes from premium instructors

Skillshare – Bite-sized courses focusing on real-life skills

Udemy – A platform where anyone can learn anything taught by anyone

Lynda – Be taught by industry experts online

Khan Academy – Detailed tutorials taught by Sal Khan and hand-curated instructors on mathematics, science, business, and more

Think bigger

TED – Watch presentations from the world’s most innovative thinkers and leaders

Big Think – Read and watch big ideas discussed online

The Big Know – Free online courses from the world’s top brands

Speak a foreign language

Rype – Private language lessons with handpicked professional teachers for a flat monthly subscription

Duolingo – Learn basic vocabulary and grammar skills in a gamified approach

Memrise – Memorize vocabulary and other language skills using interactive flashcards

Learn a Language Challenge – Learn the most common 1,000 words in any language in 100 days

Lang-8 – Meet, interact, and connect with fellow language learners

Become a coding guru

Codeacademy – Learn how to code by building your own projects

Treehouse – Top online courses to help you learn how to coe

Dash – Gain access to tutorials on building awesome websites

OneMonth – Learn the basics of coding in one month

Liveedu.tv – Watch live streaming of professional coders

Platzi – Develop your skills through interactive and live courses

Get advice from the best

Quora – The world’s most trusted Q & A platform

Clarity.fm – Gain 1-on-1 access to professionals in business and more

Coach.me – Free tool to track your habits in a community

Whale – Ask interesting questions, and watch interesting answers

Wonder – Read answers to futuristic and bold questions

Start and grow your business

How to Start a Startup – A free online course on building a startup the right way by YCombinator

Startup Patterns – Bite-sized startup lessons

Digital Garage – Free digital tutorials from Google

Growth Hackers – Community and Q & A forum connecting the world’s best marketers

Inbound.org – Forum for online marketers

/r/startups – Reddit forum where entrepreneurs share unique startup stories and journeys

 

Level up your brain

Spreeder – Learn how to read faster

Lumosity – A free game to develop your mental agility

Calm – Get guided meditation on-demand

The Happiness Project – Daily lessons on how to become happier

 

Are there any websites we may have missed? Let us know and we’ll consider adding them into our list!

You’ve read These Amazing Websites Will Teach You a Great New Skill (Even If You’re Busy), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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Five Signs You Need to Change Your Job

You’re reading Five Signs You Need to Change Your Job, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

The Perils of a Career That Doesn’t Fit

Few things can be more unpleasant in this life than holding a job that’s just not suited to you. Jobs can monopolize so much of your time and energy. People spend so much time at work every day. If you have a job that’s simply not in line with your interests, passions and skills, that can make existence feel truly miserable. It can make waking up every morning feel practically unbearable as well. If you have a job that’s just not appropriate for your personality and goals, these signs may be a true wake-up call for you.

1. You’re Just Not a Natural at Your Job

If you don’t feel like a natural at your job, you should pay attention and reevaluate it. People who are holding jobs that are appropriate often can handle them with ease and confidence. If everything about your position seems awkward and difficult, that’s likely a warning sign. It probably means that you should be doing something better with your time. If a job is a good fit for you, you’ll probably be a natural at it. If everything seems forced and complicated all the time, you should look at other options.

2. You Regularly Receive Criticism

People who excel at their jobs tend to receive consistent praise. Others take notice when professionals shine. They also notice, however, when professionals regularly fail. If you constantly hear bad things about your work performance, it may be time to assess your situation. It may be time to admit to yourself that your current position just isn’t cutting it. If you keep a position that isn’t a good match for you, you sell yourself short. You also sell your company short. No one wins in these situations.

3. All You Care About is Your Paycheque

If your job is nothing more than a paycheque to you, that’s a clear sign that your heart isn’t in it. Your goal should be to find a calling in life. It should be about more than just survival and paying the bills. Maintaining a job that makes you feel bleak and unfulfilled is no way to live. You need to find a position that brings you joy. You need to find one that gives you a little spring in your step every morning. Otherwise you could be setting yourself up for an existence of monotony and lack of fulfilment.

4. You Dislike Discussing Your Job

People who are passionate their careers enjoy talking about them. People who aren’t, however, frequently dodge the topic entirely. If you cringe any time someone asks about your career, that generally means that something is wrong. People should do whatever they can to seek out careers that make them feel accomplished. They should strive to land jobs that make them feel good about themselves, too. If your job is nothing more than a source of shame for you, you should probably step away from it as soon as possible.

5. You Realize That You Can’t Grow

Goals can be great motivators for professionals. If you’re stuck working a job that offers seemingly zero growth potential, however, that can put a major damper on your enthusiasm. It can make you feel like you’re in a rut. It can make you feel like nothing good will ever happen to you in the career department. If your job seems like a total dead end in life, you should think in great detail about looking at other career paths. The great news is that there are plenty of them out there waiting for you.

 


Matthew Snider is a writer, a personal development junkie and a regular blogger at Self Development Secrets. Matt, with his one quarter Asian descent, did not start out as a writer, but he says, “the love for a subject is the most important aspect of writing. The readers want to read something written by someone who understands them.”

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You’ve read Five Signs You Need to Change Your Job, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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Five Signs You Need to Change Your Job

You’re reading Five Signs You Need to Change Your Job, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

The Perils of a Career That Doesn’t Fit

Few things can be more unpleasant in this life than holding a job that’s just not suited to you. Jobs can monopolize so much of your time and energy. People spend so much time at work every day. If you have a job that’s simply not in line with your interests, passions and skills, that can make existence feel truly miserable. It can make waking up every morning feel practically unbearable as well. If you have a job that’s just not appropriate for your personality and goals, these signs may be a true wake-up call for you.

1. You’re Just Not a Natural at Your Job

If you don’t feel like a natural at your job, you should pay attention and reevaluate it. People who are holding jobs that are appropriate often can handle them with ease and confidence. If everything about your position seems awkward and difficult, that’s likely a warning sign. It probably means that you should be doing something better with your time. If a job is a good fit for you, you’ll probably be a natural at it. If everything seems forced and complicated all the time, you should look at other options.

2. You Regularly Receive Criticism

People who excel at their jobs tend to receive consistent praise. Others take notice when professionals shine. They also notice, however, when professionals regularly fail. If you constantly hear bad things about your work performance, it may be time to assess your situation. It may be time to admit to yourself that your current position just isn’t cutting it. If you keep a position that isn’t a good match for you, you sell yourself short. You also sell your company short. No one wins in these situations.

3. All You Care About is Your Paycheque

If your job is nothing more than a paycheque to you, that’s a clear sign that your heart isn’t in it. Your goal should be to find a calling in life. It should be about more than just survival and paying the bills. Maintaining a job that makes you feel bleak and unfulfilled is no way to live. You need to find a position that brings you joy. You need to find one that gives you a little spring in your step every morning. Otherwise you could be setting yourself up for an existence of monotony and lack of fulfilment.

4. You Dislike Discussing Your Job

People who are passionate their careers enjoy talking about them. People who aren’t, however, frequently dodge the topic entirely. If you cringe any time someone asks about your career, that generally means that something is wrong. People should do whatever they can to seek out careers that make them feel accomplished. They should strive to land jobs that make them feel good about themselves, too. If your job is nothing more than a source of shame for you, you should probably step away from it as soon as possible.

5. You Realize That You Can’t Grow

Goals can be great motivators for professionals. If you’re stuck working a job that offers seemingly zero growth potential, however, that can put a major damper on your enthusiasm. It can make you feel like you’re in a rut. It can make you feel like nothing good will ever happen to you in the career department. If your job seems like a total dead end in life, you should think in great detail about looking at other career paths. The great news is that there are plenty of them out there waiting for you.

 


Matthew Snider is a writer, a personal development junkie and a regular blogger at Self Development Secrets. Matt, with his one quarter Asian descent, did not start out as a writer, but he says, “the love for a subject is the most important aspect of writing. The readers want to read something written by someone who understands them.”

http://ift.tt/2gxMgZX

You’ve read Five Signs You Need to Change Your Job, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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The Science of Behavioral Change: 3 Critical Steps to Make New Habits Stick for Years

You’re reading The Science of Behavioral Change: 3 Critical Steps to Make New Habits Stick for Years, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” – Warren Buffet

It’s incredibly frustrating, isn’t it?

You’ve invested time and energy into building this new habit. You’ve kept it up for weeks now, maybe even months. Slowly but surely, changes are beginning to happen in your life, and you start to wonder just how good things could get if you kept this up all year. What if you kept it up for five years? Or ten?

And then it happens again.

Life gets in the way. You skip a gym session, you eat a piece of chocolate, you forget to journal in the morning or do your Spanish homework. Either way, one slip turns into two, which turns into three, and suddenly…you’re back where you started.

Which reveals an uncomfortable truth, the kind of truth that most people don’t like to admit.

Habit change is hard, really hard. And most people are simply not going to keep up with our new habits for longer than a couple of months.

To be honest, that used to be the case with me all the time. I’d be great at starting new habits, but three months in I would let the ball slip. And this happened over, and over, and over again.

Fortunately, over the years I’ve learned a few tricks that allowed me to keep these new habits until they became unconscious and stuck. While I still slip up from time to time, I’m far more effective than I used to be. In fact, by keeping the following principles in mind, in 2016 I was able to both journal and meditate for 180 days straight.

So without further ado, here are 3 critical steps to make sure that your habits stick for years!

  1. Know when it’s appropriate to set unrealistic goals

When you are setting goals based on your new habits there are two things to keep in mind.

Make your short-term goals realistic. These need to be broken down into bite-sized chunks that are manageable every day. For example, don’t start off by attempting to meditate for an hour a day, you’ll just burn out – start with ten minutes and add 30 seconds a day till you reach an hour.

Make your long-term goals unrealistic. If your long-term goals aren’t big enough, they’re not going to motivate you. And even if you don’t get there, you’ll make huge improvements you can be proud of anyway.

  1. Make sure a relevant reminder is always available

You can’t rely on your memory to keep your habits going!

Let me say that again, so you remember it.

You can’t rely on your memory to keep your habits going!

If you have a reminder that is inconsistent or that is only available to you at certain times, it’s not going to be good enough. Use a digital calendar or ‘triggers’ to keep yourself on track every day.

  1. Ask the tough questions

Even if you’ve already started to implement a new behavior, it’s important to know why the habit hasn’t stuck in the past in the first place. If you don’t address the root cause, the issue can be lying in the background just waiting for you to be tired or hungry or jet lagged, and then it’ll pounce.

Go through a process of self-inquiry to get to the bottom of your behaviors.

Why don’t I exercise in the morning?

Because I’m tired.

Why are you tired?

Because I didn’t sleep enough the night before.

Why didn’t you sleep enough the night before?

Because I stayed up late and had a couple of glasses of wine.

Why did you stay up late and drink wine?

Because I’m stressed from work and feel like I need to unwind.

For example, in this situation, you originally thought that you had an issue with motivation to exercise, but really your issue was with stress at work. This is where keystone habits come into place, as something like meditation may reduce workplace stress, which leads to more morning exercise!

As I said before, habit change is hard. However, small consistent changes almost always lead to huge results in the long run. Make sure that you keep these three tips in mind next time you try to adopt a new habit.

Attention Pick the Brain Readers!

Are you ready to ignite change in your own life?

If so then grab a copy of my free eBook:

MORNING MASTERY: The Simple 20-Minute Routine For Long Lasting Energy, Laser-Sharp Focus, and Stress-Free Living

Ben is a freelance writer, and the creator of Project Monkey Mind—a blog that delves deep into psychology, spirituality and the mind, and offers practical wisdom for the digital age.

You’ve read The Science of Behavioral Change: 3 Critical Steps to Make New Habits Stick for Years, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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Less Is More: 4 Things to Do When You Are Overwhelmed

You’re reading Less Is More: 4 Things to Do When You Are Overwhelmed, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Anxiety girl

Anxiety girl

Nearly everyone complains about having too much to do at work nowadays. The reasons may vary from ambitions and overcommitting to just being unable to say no to extra work. However, the result is always the same: you end up at risk of not managing to do everything you had planned.

Experts say that overworking is not sustainable in the long term for both the employer and the employee: its consequences range from simple tiredness to exhaustion and emotional burnout. So, what can be done if you feel overworked?

Talk to your boss about your overwork

Easier said than done: none of us want to be considered a “no” person or “not a team player”. That’s why talking to a boss and admitting that the workload is too heavy is difficult even for the most hard-working employees.

However, if you are overwhelmed, it’s best to let your manager know: it doesn’t mean that you are lazy or uncommitted. A reasonable manager would appreciate your honesty and ability to adequately assess your personal resources. Being honest and giving a heads-up as early as possible is essential for achieving the desired changes.

A good way to let your boss know that you have too much on your plate is to come to them with actual solutions. Suggesting ways to optimize the workflow or redistribute workload shows initiative and responsibility. Speaking up when you feel you’re not handling the workload well is not about being lazy and difficult to work with. It’s about preventing your team from missing important deadlines and goals.

Focus on small tasks

A thousand mile journey begins with a single step. If there’s no way to reduce the workload and you’re feeling anxious about it, it might be a good idea not to concentrate on the big picture. Instead, focus on what’s right in front of you, doing work in chunks of smaller tasks – and your anxiety will gradually fade.

When you’re not confident in your abilities, start anyway. Our negative thoughts are our worst enemy: they keep us from achieving more and contribute to our lack of confidence. Learn to ignore them and just get to work.

Learn to say no to extra work

No matter how hard-working we think we are, taking on every task available doesn’t mean being successful. Quite the opposite, in fact. And sometimes saying no is just as vital for the long-term progress of both your team and yourself. As questionable as it may sound, doing more does not always equal working better. Go ahead and ask yourself which one makes you feel better: accomplishing fewer tasks, but doing it really well, or wading through a massive list of assignments and ending up with below average results?

Don’t be a perfectionist. Many of us tend to judge ourselves too harshly, but perfectionism and our attempts to be as good as we “should” be only served to work against us, leading to negative thoughts, low self-esteem, and disappointment. You can be good enough without the extra work and being always busy.

And sure, sometimes overworking can feel rewarding. When we have a lot to do, we feel we’re needed, irreplaceable, in demand. However, the usual result is stress and exhaustion. To prevent this, we need to learn to evaluate our capacity and know exactly how much work we can handle.

Manage your tasks efficiently

When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed often, taking a look at what takes up most of your work time can be extremely valuable. One of the most efficient ways to do that is to visualize your tasks and record the time that you spend on them. And timesheet software can help you do that. See where your time goes, analyze the big picture, and see where you can (and should) improve.

Normally, a quick glance at the results of your time-track is enough to tell what work assignments consume most of your time. Think on the ways to increase your efficiency at work. Seek support from your team: think of delegating part of your work to your colleagues or redistributing it. Optimize your work process so that routine actions take less time, and set priorities so that the most important to-dos get done first.

Summary

Saying no to extra work and delegating part of your current responsibilities to your colleagues doesn’t paint you as not committed or unproductive. Remember: more input doesn’t necessarily mean more output. And if you do have a lot of work to do and it makes you feel anxious, just start anyway. Taking that first step will help you go the entire distance.

You’ve read Less Is More: 4 Things to Do When You Are Overwhelmed, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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Less Is More: 4 Things to Do When You Are Overwhelmed

You’re reading Less Is More: 4 Things to Do When You Are Overwhelmed, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Anxiety girl

Anxiety girl

Nearly everyone complains about having too much to do at work nowadays. The reasons may vary from ambitions and overcommitting to just being unable to say no to extra work. However, the result is always the same: you end up at risk of not managing to do everything you had planned.

Experts say that overworking is not sustainable in the long term for both the employer and the employee: its consequences range from simple tiredness to exhaustion and emotional burnout. So, what can be done if you feel overworked?

Talk to your boss about your overwork

Easier said than done: none of us want to be considered a “no” person or “not a team player”. That’s why talking to a boss and admitting that the workload is too heavy is difficult even for the most hard-working employees.

However, if you are overwhelmed, it’s best to let your manager know: it doesn’t mean that you are lazy or uncommitted. A reasonable manager would appreciate your honesty and ability to adequately assess your personal resources. Being honest and giving a heads-up as early as possible is essential for achieving the desired changes.

A good way to let your boss know that you have too much on your plate is to come to them with actual solutions. Suggesting ways to optimize the workflow or redistribute workload shows initiative and responsibility. Speaking up when you feel you’re not handling the workload well is not about being lazy and difficult to work with. It’s about preventing your team from missing important deadlines and goals.

Focus on small tasks

A thousand mile journey begins with a single step. If there’s no way to reduce the workload and you’re feeling anxious about it, it might be a good idea not to concentrate on the big picture. Instead, focus on what’s right in front of you, doing work in chunks of smaller tasks – and your anxiety will gradually fade.

When you’re not confident in your abilities, start anyway. Our negative thoughts are our worst enemy: they keep us from achieving more and contribute to our lack of confidence. Learn to ignore them and just get to work.

Learn to say no to extra work

No matter how hard-working we think we are, taking on every task available doesn’t mean being successful. Quite the opposite, in fact. And sometimes saying no is just as vital for the long-term progress of both your team and yourself. As questionable as it may sound, doing more does not always equal working better. Go ahead and ask yourself which one makes you feel better: accomplishing fewer tasks, but doing it really well, or wading through a massive list of assignments and ending up with below average results?

Don’t be a perfectionist. Many of us tend to judge ourselves too harshly, but perfectionism and our attempts to be as good as we “should” be only served to work against us, leading to negative thoughts, low self-esteem, and disappointment. You can be good enough without the extra work and being always busy.

And sure, sometimes overworking can feel rewarding. When we have a lot to do, we feel we’re needed, irreplaceable, in demand. However, the usual result is stress and exhaustion. To prevent this, we need to learn to evaluate our capacity and know exactly how much work we can handle.

Manage your tasks efficiently

When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed often, taking a look at what takes up most of your work time can be extremely valuable. One of the most efficient ways to do that is to visualize your tasks and record the time that you spend on them. And timesheet software can help you do that. See where your time goes, analyze the big picture, and see where you can (and should) improve.

Normally, a quick glance at the results of your time-track is enough to tell what work assignments consume most of your time. Think on the ways to increase your efficiency at work. Seek support from your team: think of delegating part of your work to your colleagues or redistributing it. Optimize your work process so that routine actions take less time, and set priorities so that the most important to-dos get done first.

Summary

Saying no to extra work and delegating part of your current responsibilities to your colleagues doesn’t paint you as not committed or unproductive. Remember: more input doesn’t necessarily mean more output. And if you do have a lot of work to do and it makes you feel anxious, just start anyway. Taking that first step will help you go the entire distance.

You’ve read Less Is More: 4 Things to Do When You Are Overwhelmed, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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Live. Love. Explore: The Way of the Traveler

You’re reading Live. Love. Explore: The Way of the Traveler, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better…The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

Theodore Roosevelt

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, “I’m living someone else’s life”? I have. The realization came as I watched The Motorcycle Diaries, a romanticized version of Che Guevera traveling across South America relying on the kindness of strangers. The movie touched a spark in my soul. It woke me up. At the time I was a broker in the city of London, severely depressed and ready to give up on everything.  Sounds melodramatic, I know.  But it also happens to be true.

I would stay in my house and when I wasn’t sleeping I was self-medicating. It was a profoundly unsustainable way to live. Despite being surrounded by millions of people I felt completely alone. I had lost all form of human connection and I desperately needed it back. The pain forced me into a decision that would change my life forever.

I quit my job and decided to live by a set of ideals I now call the Way of the Traveler. A set of ideals that first germinated on a hilltop in Nepal but came to life on the rain-slicked streets of London.

What is the Way of the Traveler you may ask? Well, it means something different to each person but for me, it meant giving up on my externally successful life and trying to escape the internal pain I was hiding from others.  It became a way of life. I left my house, and my life (including all the pain that came with it. I hoped). I decided I was going to travel the world trying to connect with others face to face. Human connection was going to be my fuel…

What the Way of the Traveler tries to do is to help you determine where your passion truly lies and how to take steps to achieve your dreams. It creates a jumpstart to help you find the courage to live ‘your’ life. The beautiful one waiting for each and every one of us…

Leaving your job and family isn’t the only way to take the first step toward your dreams. What I will say is taking small risks is often the only way to get started. If you want to become a writer you can’t just say, “I’m a writer” and hey presto you become Orwell overnight. You have to be willing to take that first very important step; it’s a risky one, though. It’s admitting you’re not happy with your life. For me acknowledging that I wasn’t happy didn’t change things right away. After many nights of self-pity, I found the courage needed to change.

And you can too.

I fought through the fear and I left for my travels around the world. That trip would spark what would become my life’s goal of traveling while helping others feel empowered and feel seen; Viscerally seen by another human being until we find the strength to see ourselves.

So often we try to convince ourselves that we’re not good enough to dream, let alone work toward achieving our dreams. I’m here to tell you if this is what you think you are mistaken. If no one believes in you, know that this Englishman does. He may not know who you are, but he believes in your right to live magnificently. Truly magnificently.

But there is a cost to living fully. And that cost is that people may not like your choices. They may not like your newfound magnificence that shines as brightly as the brightest star. That’s the risk you take… Are you in? Or are you going to go back to the sadness and the boredom? The beauty of this life is that ultimately you get to choose.

The Way of the Traveler asks that you allow yourself to determine what your wildest dreams are. Do you want to become a doctor, an actor, or a world traveler? Nothing starts until you take that first leap into the unknown! It sounds cliché to say this but I’ve met so many people who once they move past the mental block of negativity that’s stopping them begin to soar. Magnificently.

What are 3 things big or small you could do today to start realizing your dreams? Maybe it’s going back to school, or writing one page of your screenplay a night. Whatever it is unless you embrace your ability to chase the impossible it will never happen. And then the magnificence that is waiting patiently to shine will be lost. Maybe forever.

Although the Way of the Traveler asks a lot of each of us, there’s no way to do this alone. This means we have to take a realistic look at those around us. When you tell people your wildest dreams, do they laugh and discourage you, or are they supportive and push you? If they don’t support you it may be difficult to completely take them out of your life. But what you can do is not let them get in your way and surround your self with likeminded people who support your dreams.

I call them accidental heroes! Find them. And keep them close.

When you find your accidental heroes; it will take energy and love to keep them around. If you’re there for each other and share the pain it takes to achieve your goals nothing can stop you. Do you have people like this in your life? Who are they?

Sometimes we will hit setbacks on our way toward happiness. For me, it was ending up right back where I fought so hard to escape, behind a desk (or my slab of wood as I like to call it…). It’s important that during these times we take the time to stop and see the magic. My moment was seeing a homeless chap holding up a sign that read, “Kindness is the best medicine”. This one moment catapulted my next travel adventure of driving a vintage yellow motorbike (with a sidecar) across the globe giving life-changing gifts to unsuspecting good Samaritans. Kindness is a two-way street. It’s not just about receiving kindness it’s also about profoundly giving it away. Like its confetti.

When we find ourselves disconnected from the things and people we value most we need to take a minute to see how far we’ve come. Don’t be deterred by failure. Failing is one of the best learning lessons we can experience. It gives us an opportunity to stop and reflect. The best way to move past failure is to turn it on its head, turn it into a success.

Remember the only reason we failed was because we had the courage to try in the first place.  Just ask Winston Churchill, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. about failure. Their lives were filled with roadblocks but more often than not it was their successes that shaped our world.  If you can change your perception of what failure is you can face any setback thrown at you.

Following your passion is not easy; you will have days where you want to give-up. Many days. On these days I say reward yourself for all the hard work you’re putting in toward living your greatest life. You deserve it! When I find myself in this state I turn my favorite song on really loud and I dance. I dance and I don’t stop dancing until I feel better. I believe you can tackle anything, just keep your head up and dance.

Grab life by the arm and never stop dancing.

Ready for more?

If you’re interested in learning more about The Way of the Traveler my book Live, Love, Explore: Discover the Way of the Traveler a Roadmap to the Life You Were Meant to Live, published by Readers Digest, is available online or at your local bookstore.

The Kindness Diaries a 13 part series that documents my worldwide sidecar adventure is now streaming on Netflix: http://ift.tt/2mdjLYP

About Leon Logothetis: 

Leon Logothetis is a global adventurer, motivational speaker, philanthropist, and author of the bestselling memoir The Kindness Diaries. He gave up his job as a broker and his home in London for a life on the road. Leon has now visited more than 90 countries and traveled to every continent. He is the host of the TV series Amazing Adventures Of A Nobody, which is broadcasted across the world by National Geographic. Leon has documented his travels for numerous media outlets including Good Morning America, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Outside, Good, Psychology Today, and The New York Times.

You’ve read Live. Love. Explore: The Way of the Traveler, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2mdaBvx

How to Learn Any Language On Your Own (Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re reading How to Learn Any Language On Your Own (Step-by-Step Guide), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Learning a language on your own is not easy. But it is possible with the right strategy.

While we suggest finding a teacher or partner that can help shorten your learning curve, we also understand that not everyone has the budget or time.

Over the past few years, we’ve heard from many of our student who have tried learning a language on their own. They’ve shared from their own experience what they wish they would’ve done differently.

Know how you best learn

This is the single biggest feedback we’ve gotten from people who’ve taken the solo learning path. It turns out that some people are designed to learn new things on their own, while some of us are the contrast.

For example, some of us learn best by listening, while others retain more information when reading something (check out the 7 major learning styles). You have to reflect on your previous experience to understand how you’ve best learnt new skills in the past.

Unfortunately, most of us have been forced to learn via a limited learning style because of the traditional education system we grew up with. In short, not everyone is designed to learn new skills on their own. And by being self-aware of your shortcomings upfront, you can save yourself a lot of time, stress, and hassle.

learning-styles

 

Know why you’re learning a language

If you have decided to learn a language on your own, the biggest obstacle for most people is persistency. In most cases, learning anything on your own will take much longer than getting professional help and guidance from someone who’s done it before.

This is why you need to have a strong inner purpose of why you’re learning a language. Maybe your family speaks another language, and you want to feel a deeper connection with them. Perhaps your spouse comes from a different culture, and you want to be able to communicate with his/her family.

Understanding why you’re learning a language is what’s going to inspire you to go through that lesson manual, attend those language exchanges, and to continue grinding it out when things inevitably gets tough.

If you’ve attended our free language masterclass, then you know we’ve discussed the cycles of the mastery curve. In case you missed it, the process of mastery is never a straight upward curve, no matter how talented you are. It’s a series of ups and downs, with many plateaus that come with it.

Have a firm end-goal in mind

Once you know why you’re learning a language, you must have a firm end-goal in mind. Otherwise, you don’t have a target that aligns with your purpose.

Is your end goal to reach conversation proficiency? Or perhaps you want to become a fluent speaker.

But that’s only the first step. We also have to know in what timeframe we want to achieve our goals. If you have an overseas trip coming up in July, you may want to aim to hit your goal by May or June. If you’re learning for fun, you can be a little more lenient, but you still want to have a specific deadline.

Why do we want to do this? Because of Parkinson’s Law, which states that the amount of time that one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task. This means that often when we give ourselves 12 months to learn something, we’ll subconsciously spend 12 months learning it. Versus if we gave ourselves only 7 months, we’ll force ourselves to learn within that timeframe.

Now that we have our prerequisites, we’ll share our step-by-step process on how to learn a language on your own.

 

1. Find the right language tools

If you wanted to become a musician, you’ll need an instrument. If you wanted to get in better shape, you need weights and equipment. Learning a language is no different.

Language learners today have a plethora of tools and resources that we can leverage to learn faster. From mobile apps to podcasts, your options are limitless.

Check out our list of recommended language tools to get new ideas.

 

2. Design your environment around your language

The second is to design your environment around your language. The reason why this is powerful is because there’s two main ways to learn something: actively and passively. While active learning is more impactful, we only have so much time in the day to actively learn a language.

Examples of passive learning includes:

  • Changing your electronic devices to your target language
  • Reading the news in your target language
  • Watching shows and movies on Netflix in your target language
  • Labeling items around your house in your target language

 

3. Track your progress

What doesn’t get measured, won’t get better. This applies to our health life, business life, and others.

The mistake that most learners make is to measure progress in large milestones that are too far to imagine or track. Instead, we should focus on weekly, if not daily goals.

Here are a few ideas we suggest:

  • Keep a daily journal (in your target language): this will allow you to see how your writing skills have improved
  • Record yourself speaking every week or two weeks
  • Schedule your learning times
    • If you’re not seeing the results you want, you can reflect to your schedule, and judge whether you should be putting in more time

 

4. Find accountability partners

Having the right tools and strategy is only half the battle. Staying persistent and accountable is just as important, because learning a language is a marathon. It’s easy to say now that you’ll be able to put in an hour everyday, but unexpected events and emotions will always come up unexpectedly.

Research by professors Robert Cialdini and Tim Church states that finding a buddy that keeps you accountable is one of the best ways to motivate change. It has even shown to be more effective than finding a mentor.

An accountability partner can be a friend who’s also learning a language, a teacher, or anyone that you trust and see often.

 

5. Leverage the shortcuts

When learning anything, there are shortcuts that you can leverage, including languages. There are polyglots, linguists, and researchers that have laid out multiple language hacks that you should use.

Here are some that we recommend:

 

6. Find time everyday to learn

Daily immersion has been proven to be powerful. It’s much more effective to learn 15 minutes a day, than to learn for 3 hours a week. And it’s much more powerful to learn 3 hours a week than 10 hours a month.

This is because consistency trumps quality, and small achievements accumulate over time. The way to do this is to find ‘hidden’ free times in your day, and schedule learning time. It can be as little as 30 minutes or even 15 minutes.

The reality is no matter how busy we think we are, there’s always empty 15-30 minute slots in our schedule. Here’s an article we wrote on how to find more time in your schedule to learn anything.

 

Follow up resources we recommend:

You’ve read How to Learn Any Language On Your Own (Step-by-Step Guide), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2myUiEH

How to Learn Any Language On Your Own (Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re reading How to Learn Any Language On Your Own (Step-by-Step Guide), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Learning a language on your own is not easy. But it is possible with the right strategy.

While we suggest finding a teacher or partner that can help shorten your learning curve, we also understand that not everyone has the budget or time.

Over the past few years, we’ve heard from many of our student who have tried learning a language on their own. They’ve shared from their own experience what they wish they would’ve done differently.

Know how you best learn

This is the single biggest feedback we’ve gotten from people who’ve taken the solo learning path. It turns out that some people are designed to learn new things on their own, while some of us are the contrast.

For example, some of us learn best by listening, while others retain more information when reading something (check out the 7 major learning styles). You have to reflect on your previous experience to understand how you’ve best learnt new skills in the past.

Unfortunately, most of us have been forced to learn via a limited learning style because of the traditional education system we grew up with. In short, not everyone is designed to learn new skills on their own. And by being self-aware of your shortcomings upfront, you can save yourself a lot of time, stress, and hassle.

learning-styles

 

Know why you’re learning a language

If you have decided to learn a language on your own, the biggest obstacle for most people is persistency. In most cases, learning anything on your own will take much longer than getting professional help and guidance from someone who’s done it before.

This is why you need to have a strong inner purpose of why you’re learning a language. Maybe your family speaks another language, and you want to feel a deeper connection with them. Perhaps your spouse comes from a different culture, and you want to be able to communicate with his/her family.

Understanding why you’re learning a language is what’s going to inspire you to go through that lesson manual, attend those language exchanges, and to continue grinding it out when things inevitably gets tough.

If you’ve attended our free language masterclass, then you know we’ve discussed the cycles of the mastery curve. In case you missed it, the process of mastery is never a straight upward curve, no matter how talented you are. It’s a series of ups and downs, with many plateaus that come with it.

Have a firm end-goal in mind

Once you know why you’re learning a language, you must have a firm end-goal in mind. Otherwise, you don’t have a target that aligns with your purpose.

Is your end goal to reach conversation proficiency? Or perhaps you want to become a fluent speaker.

But that’s only the first step. We also have to know in what timeframe we want to achieve our goals. If you have an overseas trip coming up in July, you may want to aim to hit your goal by May or June. If you’re learning for fun, you can be a little more lenient, but you still want to have a specific deadline.

Why do we want to do this? Because of Parkinson’s Law, which states that the amount of time that one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task. This means that often when we give ourselves 12 months to learn something, we’ll subconsciously spend 12 months learning it. Versus if we gave ourselves only 7 months, we’ll force ourselves to learn within that timeframe.

Now that we have our prerequisites, we’ll share our step-by-step process on how to learn a language on your own.

 

1. Find the right language tools

If you wanted to become a musician, you’ll need an instrument. If you wanted to get in better shape, you need weights and equipment. Learning a language is no different.

Language learners today have a plethora of tools and resources that we can leverage to learn faster. From mobile apps to podcasts, your options are limitless.

Check out our list of recommended language tools to get new ideas.

 

2. Design your environment around your language

The second is to design your environment around your language. The reason why this is powerful is because there’s two main ways to learn something: actively and passively. While active learning is more impactful, we only have so much time in the day to actively learn a language.

Examples of passive learning includes:

  • Changing your electronic devices to your target language
  • Reading the news in your target language
  • Watching shows and movies on Netflix in your target language
  • Labeling items around your house in your target language

 

3. Track your progress

What doesn’t get measured, won’t get better. This applies to our health life, business life, and others.

The mistake that most learners make is to measure progress in large milestones that are too far to imagine or track. Instead, we should focus on weekly, if not daily goals.

Here are a few ideas we suggest:

  • Keep a daily journal (in your target language): this will allow you to see how your writing skills have improved
  • Record yourself speaking every week or two weeks
  • Schedule your learning times
    • If you’re not seeing the results you want, you can reflect to your schedule, and judge whether you should be putting in more time

 

4. Find accountability partners

Having the right tools and strategy is only half the battle. Staying persistent and accountable is just as important, because learning a language is a marathon. It’s easy to say now that you’ll be able to put in an hour everyday, but unexpected events and emotions will always come up unexpectedly.

Research by professors Robert Cialdini and Tim Church states that finding a buddy that keeps you accountable is one of the best ways to motivate change. It has even shown to be more effective than finding a mentor.

An accountability partner can be a friend who’s also learning a language, a teacher, or anyone that you trust and see often.

 

5. Leverage the shortcuts

When learning anything, there are shortcuts that you can leverage, including languages. There are polyglots, linguists, and researchers that have laid out multiple language hacks that you should use.

Here are some that we recommend:

 

6. Find time everyday to learn

Daily immersion has been proven to be powerful. It’s much more effective to learn 15 minutes a day, than to learn for 3 hours a week. And it’s much more powerful to learn 3 hours a week than 10 hours a month.

This is because consistency trumps quality, and small achievements accumulate over time. The way to do this is to find ‘hidden’ free times in your day, and schedule learning time. It can be as little as 30 minutes or even 15 minutes.

The reality is no matter how busy we think we are, there’s always empty 15-30 minute slots in our schedule. Here’s an article we wrote on how to find more time in your schedule to learn anything.

 

Follow up resources we recommend:

You’ve read How to Learn Any Language On Your Own (Step-by-Step Guide), originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

http://ift.tt/2myUiEH