What is a Tremor of Truth?

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My courage is faith—faith in the eternal resilience of me—that joy’ll come back, and hope and spontaneity. —F. Scott Fitzgerald

At this writing, I can bench press 150 pounds. It wasn’t easy. I put everything I had into it. My personal trainer kept saying, “Let me see your tremor of truth.” Raising an eyebrow at her, I grunted and trembled and sweated before reaching the goal, but I got there. She explained later that the phrase “tremor of truth” is used in physical fitness circles when we push ourselves to the max. Lifting weights, we grimace as a tremor of unease shoots through the body. Our arm muscles quiver during pushups. Our legs tremble with exhaustion running a marathon. The brain says we can’t do it, but just as grass grows through concrete, we persevere, discovering mental and physical reserves we didn’t know we had. And just before giving up, we push through the challenge.

So what does working out have to do with writing? Some literary agents say the number one key to writing success—even more important than good writing—is resilience, dogged determination in the face of disappointment. Tremor of truth builds muscles on the physical plane and a growth mindset on the psychological plane. Meteoric writing obstacles often seem too great, as if we’re pushing through relentless steel, a vein of encased ore: an impossible deadline, a heartbreaking rejection, impassible writer’s block, a lousy review, sounds of crickets at book signings, or the rumble of our own self-doubt. Sometimes the setbacks make it too hard to bounce back. The hole feels too deep, too dark, the disillusionment too wide and overwhelming.

Over time rejections and disappointments nibble away at us like torture from half a million cuts. It starts to feel as if we’re bleeding to death and can’t tolerate one more slash. Statistics say more of us have the stamina to continue to take safety risks after a car crash than to continue after a series of psychological defeats. After repeated failure, many writers throw in the towel to avoid more disappointment. Attempts to bring quick relief to the misery of defeat rob us of knowing what missed opportunities lay beyond the barrier. This impulsive reaction—scientists call it the what-the-hell effect—is a way out: permission to give up. Adding insult to injury, we seek comfort in the very thing we’re trying to conquer: writing failure.

Although growth as a writer is painful, it can be even more painful to remain tight in a secure little nest. Craft alone won’t carry us through the massive writing hurdles. When we’re knocked down in the writing arena, the heartbreak slams the wind out of us. Our faces marred by dust and sweat and blood, we push ourselves up on our scabby knees stagger to our feet, and summon the courage to try again. Just when we’re ready to give up, one more tremor unearths a second wind and a vein of resilience that we didn’t know we had. A sudden jolt sizzles through us, and we’re fueled with pit-bull determination. One extra push and we plough through the smackdown moments that had brought us to our knees, moving over the finish line.

You can build a growth mindset by waiting for your reserves to kick in and learning how much more you’re capable of. If you give up too soon, you’ll never know if you had it in you to pull it off. And that’s a tough unknown to live with. In the heat of the moment, ask if you’re pushing hard and far enough through the gray mist of uncertainty. Or do you need to amp up your efforts? And how far do you stretch before reaching your breaking point? Most of us can go farther than we think we can. The term “springback” refers to a process when metal returns to its original shape after undergoing compression and tension (stretching). We, too, have an elastic limit to which we can stretch to a certain point before returning to our original shape. Springback moments happen after failure, mistakes, or hopelessness over seemingly impossible odds, preventing us from giving up on our writing dreams, no matter how improbable they seem.

Here are ways your “tremor of truth” can mine the hidden reserves you didn’t know you had—golden opportunities to cultivate a growth mindset and push through veins of writing hardships:

1. Grow thick skin and expect writing rejections and setbacks. Commit yourself in advance to facing the many smackdowns you will encounter like all successful writers before you.
2. Ditch the desire for comfort and step into writing’s growth pains. Be willing to go to the edge of your emotional pain so you can be fully present with what lays beyond the barrier.
3. Cultivate creative sustainability. Think of yourself as an elastic band that bends and stretches to a certain point before you spring back higher than you fall.
4. Turn roadblocks into steppingstones. Pinpoint opportunity contained in difficulty. Make it a goal to use negative writing challenges—no matter how painful, frustrating, big or small—as lessons from which to learn. Ask, “What can I manage or overcome here?” or “How can I turn this matter around to my advantage?”
5. Refer to previous experience. Reflect on past writing obstacles you’ve overcome. Point to lessons learned and underscore ways you have grown stronger through writing’s hard knocks.
6. Take risks. Find that one place in your writing where you’ve been hiding, then stick your neck out from your comfort zone. Ask what edge you can go to in your writing. Seek out risky writing experiences that help you bloom instead of low-risk situations that keep you safe in a bud.
7. Identify self-doubts that have cramped your writing style or crippled you from growing fully as a writer. Harness them—instead of running from them—and channel them into useful writing so they don’t paralyze you.
8. Stay off the roller coaster. Manage the ups-and-downs of your writing practice by treating highs and lows equally. Celebrate the highs but don’t take them anymore seriously than the lows, and don’t take downturns anymore seriously than upswings.
9. Eschew the what-the-hell effect. This attitude only adds insult to injury. Face writing letdowns by taking the towel you want to throw in and use it to wipe the sweat off your face then hop back into your writing saddle.
10. Stop throwing the book at yourself and catch yourself when you fall. After a setback or discouraging situation, we bounce back to our writing quicker when we support ourselves with loving-kindness. Instead of kicking yourself when you’re down, be on your own side, wish yourself well, and be your best advocate as you progress on your writing journey.

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6 Things Successful People Refuse To Do

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I like to think that there is a meaning to life, in the sense that finding purpose and striving to reach that level of fulfillment becomes part of daily routine. Living just for the sake of it, without wanting to reach greatness will lead to regret later in life when you realize that so much time has passed without doing nothing.

When thinking about successful people, it doesn’t necessarily translate to “industry big-shots”. People that have discovered their life purpose and stick to it are already walking “the road of success”. I would like to point out the I have purposefully used “of” instead of “to” in order to point out that success is not a destination, but rather a path. Something that sticks with us.

Indeed, successful people constantly enrich their lives, but there’s more to that: knowing what to include, when to exclude and how to control their inner voice. Let’s see a few examples of situations in which saying no is beneficial.

They don’t allow other people to drag them down

You won’t get far surrounded with the wrong people. When choosing to make a change, some people in your life can be a hinderance and distract you from reaching your goals.

Colleagues, friends and even family can negatively impact your motivation when you express your dreams and aspirations. They may say things like “You can’t do it” or “Others have tried and failed”. Being surrounded with people that don’t believe in you will ultimately lead to you not believing in yourself, which will sabotage your endeavors. That doesn’t mean that you must cut them out. Simply drawing a line between them and “the road” will do.

On the other hand, having around positive people that share your vision and support your ambitions is great and will make your life happier.

They don’t allow other people to dictate their path

As long as you don’t have a purpose or a dream to follow, you’ll surely be part of other people’s plans. Successful people follow their own road and aren’t caught up in activities that have nothing to do with their own purpose.

The main reason for not getting caught up in activities that aren’t worth it is quite simple. It’s because time is our most valuable resource and, unfortunately, is quite limited.

They don’t give up on their dreams, even when faced with failure

Oftentimes, the fear of failure can make lots of people give up what they’re doing.

Unfortunately, most of us are programmed by school and society to feel ashamed whenever we fail. Thus, the fear of failure dictates our choices and reduces our willingness to face the risks that come with embarking on the road of success.

Failure is, in fact, the natural way of growing. Successful people are aware of this and view failure as a stepping stone.

They refuse to limit their dreams

Setting high expectations will give you a vision regarding how your life will look like if you take the right steps. This trait is obvious in many people that have excelled and achieved truly great feats in life. Freddie Mercury knew that he won’t be merely a rock star, “I will be a legend”, as he famously stated. Steve Jobs knew the power of high expectations and used this idea to craft one of the most famous ads that reflect Apple’s mission, famously stating that “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

They refuse to get caught up in insignificant tasks

Successful people know what’s important for them and don’t work just for the sake of it. This can be tricky because it’s easy to lose sight and get caught up in repetitive tasks. Successful people prefer finding ways to boost productivity or delegate when things get too crowded.

They never stop learning

Successful people are aware that knowledge is power. Your level of expertise regarding a topic is very important if you are to achieve something truly great. Also, being knowledgeable regarding a wide range of topics will boost your chances of


Michael Schoeff is an entrepreneur involved in a significant number of projects. Writing about success helps him be in tune with his purpose.

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Scientific Studies Show How Nutrition Influences Our Creativity

You’re reading Scientific Studies Show How Nutrition Influences Our Creativity, 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 widely known that eating a healthy diet benefits our physical health. But less is acknowledged about the psychological benefits. We have all tried exotic ingredients or foods that make us feel happy. But, how is our mood actually affected by what we eat? And, how can it end up influencing our creative thinking?

Pay attention to your body and your mind right now. Are you working at your maximum potential? Now recall what you had for lunch or breakfast and how it may be affecting your productivity. Now put this into perspective. Because this is something that is happening over an extended period of time and not instantly.

The role of glucose as our brain’s fuel

The award-winning psychologist, Ron Friedman, explains in one of his articles for Harvard Business Review how “food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon.”

And this happens because “about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert. When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This explains why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach”.

The problem is that our body does not handle all foods at the same rate. Renée Leonard-Stainton, qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist, and Western Medical Herbalist, explains how our body processes glucose and how to eat for mental energy. “Eating foods with a low glycemic index (meaning that they release glucose more gradually into the bloodstream) may help you avoid the lag in energy that typically occurs after eating quickly-absorbed sugars or refined starches.”

Turning fruits and vegetables into well-being

Research conducted by the University of Otago in New Zealand recruited 400 people aged between 17 and 25 years old, to try to define the association between fruit, veg and well-being. For 13 days, participants reported their consumption levels of fruit, vegetables, sweets, and chips, as well as their well-being, curiosity, and creativity. Researchers discovered a correlation between higher fruit and vegetable intake and higher average well-being, curiosity, and creativity levels among the participants. But what is more interesting, is that their fruit and vegetable consumption on one day, didn’t improve their well-being the following day. This therefore emphasizes the need to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet consistently.

Foods that boost creativity

The studies mentioned before, prove that foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals promote well-being, curiosity, and creativity. But what specific foods should we consume to improve our productivity and consequently our creative thinking?

Vitamin C is an essential factor in the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that underlies motivation and promotes engagement. Foods with vitamin C are not only oranges but also strawberries, pineapple, mango, kiwis, papayas, brussel sprouts, bell peppers, and broccoli.

B vitamins influence feelings of vitality and engagement. You will find a source of vitamin B in tuna, Swiss and cottage cheese, shrimp, sardines, mussels, oysters, clams, salmon, crab, trout, herring, beef, chicken, turkey, whole-grain oats, and milk.

Antioxidants such as vitamins E help reduce bodily inflammation, improve memory, enhance mood, and may help prevent depression. Ingredients with vitamins E include almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, butternut squash and olive oil, among others.

Finally, spices are such an important part of our daily diet. Cinnamon, for instance, makes your neurons stronger for a longer period of time. Research from the University of California at Santa Barbara shows that a sprinkle of cinnamon in your meal can help blood flow and stabilize proteins in the brain, improving blood glucose.

In conclusion, our creative thinking is affected by a number of external elements, but the food we eat is such an important part of it. Choosing a diet with ingredients that are gradually processed by our body are crucial to staying productive. At the same time, our diet will also affect mental energy and positivity, and the combination of these factors will determine our levels of creativity.

 

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Your Life, Your Rules – Why Happiness Shouldn’t Feel Like Hard Work

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Fool Me Once, Shame On You

The biggest lie I was told growing up was that I had to work extremely hard to be happy and get what I want. That I needed to make sacrifices such as sleeping less to do more and minimizing my leisure time, sometimes doing things I didn’t want to do and ultimately following the rules I was given regardless of how I felt about them… because that’s just life, right? The dream had been disguised as a job that paid well with great benefits, that would ensure stability and security (even if I didn’t like it).

Do I Have a Say In This?

But whatever happened to how I feel? Did anyone ask me what I thought about this whole ordeal? Absolutely not. We are molded to think this is the only way but it’s not.

Reality Bites

What really made me challenge this mindset was seeing myself and those around me driving ourselves to the ground, working 50, 60, 70 hours a week. Dealing with ego’s in toxic environments that contradict our own being. Forcing it all for a paycheck that will “set us free” in the end. The illusion here is that there is an end. A happy ending at that. The truth is, if you are not happy now what makes you think that happiness is around the corner?

I’m not saying this is everyone’s case but I’ve lived it and I still know people living through it. This is very real. So real that some people think it is normal.

My Life, My Rules

But what is normal anyway? What really matters is how you feel and how you choose to live. Here’s what I’ve learned through reflecting over the past ten years of my life and the three rules I now choose to live by.

1. I need my sleep.
2. Don’t mess with my leisure time.
3. It has to feel good, it has to feel right.

And this is why…

1. Sleep Is Essential To Your Health and Well Being

Lack of sleep is strongly associated with depression and mental illness. It impacts our attention span and cognitive abilities which slows us down. On the flip side, getting a good nights sleep (7-9 hours) can help boost your energy levels, concentration and awareness. It is as essential as exercising and eating right. The point here is you can be more efficient and productive in 6 hours with proper rest, nutrition and exercise than 12 hours of hacking away restlessly at the same task. Think about it. Getting just as much done in half the time while most likely enjoying the process because you just feel better.

2. Leisure Time Is Necessary To Reset

Having a past time allows a positive flow of energy into our lives through recreational activities. Entertaining our interests when we are not working helps keep our work/life balance and mental stability. I believe we all need variety in our lives and an outlet to express ourselves through art or recreation. This is another key to happiness that many people skip out on because they just don’t have enough “time”. Nobody has time. We make time. Everything we ever do is because we made time for it. Remember that.

3. If It Doesn’t Feel Right, Don’t Do It

Doing things that don’t feel good is torture. It changes your mood and it effects those around you. There is so much resistance going against this current that it can have a domino effect in your life if you do it enough. Not to say there won’t be things in life that you have to do that you don’t want to do, but keep it to a minimum. And if you don’t like doing them, get someone else to do it. Or just don’t put yourself in situations like that again. Learn. The point is – you’re not feeling that way for no reason, something inside of you is telling you that something’s not right. Listen to that feeling. Do what feels right, do what feels good. Slowly but surely, you’ll get there one decision at a time.

The idea here is to follow your own rules. We all have our own values and way of living. Stay true to those, because that’s what makes you who you are. Once you begin to bend those rules and allow other to reshape them you lose the spirit of who you really are. No matter what job or business you are in – keep this at your core.

Coming Full Circle

These are the things I choose not to compromise, and these are my standards… my rules. You might resonate with some of them, you might not. You might have your own set of standards and that’s the point. Play by your own playbook and live on your own terms, not anyone else’s.

It is now easier to see how following the “societal norm” can lead to an unfavorable place. In the moment it’s hard to see the impact it’s having on you. However, over time you can look back and see it clearly. Don’t wait until it’s too late. If nothing changes, nothing changes. The power is in your hands, there’s always a choice, and the choice is yours. What rules will you live by?

 


Raised in New York where I spent most of my life. At the age of 33 I dropped everything, got in my car and drove to Austin, Texas where I now live. I have a passion for design, photography, writing and basically anything that inspires me to unleash my creativity. I am an entrepreneur with a design & marketing business, Little House Big Idea (lhbidea.com). My life philosophy revolves around being a good human, staying true to myself, being grateful and satisfied with what is, yet still being eager for more.

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What Happens When Productivity Meets Mental Illness?

You’re reading What Happens When Productivity Meets Mental Illness?, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

More and more people nowadays struggle with poor mental health. This is an unfortunate outcome of the stressful nature of modern life. And what many of us don’t realize is that, when you suffer from disorders of the mind, it might reflect negatively on the quality and quality of your work. But how and why does mental illness affect employee productivity? Let’s find out.

Motivation and Mental Illness

Several studies in the past have uncovered that employees who struggle with mental illnesses, and particularly with depression, take more sick days than those who aren’t in this situation. The underlying cause behind this is obvious. When you’re unwell, you feel less motivated to face your daily responsibilities and complete tasks.

This happens in the case of physical diseases as well, so when the one you’re struggling with affects your mind, the situation is even more serious. All in all, it’s hard to be productive when your psyche isn’t up for it. Needless to say, pressuring yourself into doing things regardless leads to burnouts and even mental breakdowns, so avoid that at all costs.

How to Improve Your Productivity

Instead, try to regain your willingness to do your job organically. Take it slow, one day at a time. This is completely possible when you’re being patient with yourself. Still, you will need a bit of a push in the right direction. Here are five actionable steps that will help you remain productive even when you’re struggling with mental illness.

1.      Choose a Field You Enjoy

There is a clear connection between the conditions in which an activity is sustained and both absenteeism and presenteeism rates among workers who struggle with poor mental health. How much you like or dislike your job is an important aspect of this. Naturally, you will be far more motivated to show up and perform your tasks if you enjoy doing them in the first place.

Therefore, choosing a field you are passionate about is crucial. If you’re unsure of how to proceed in this direction, volunteering for a while to try out several occupations is a good idea. Nevertheless, while this can be truly fulfilling in many ways, you need to remember that most of it will be unpaid. So, if you choose to go down this road, keep that in mind.

But realistically speaking, not everyone can afford not working until they find their true vocation. Thus, feeling financially pressured to keep doing something that doesn’t make you happy turns into an additional stressor which can impact your mental health negatively. When that is the case, the best thing you can do is focus on the advantages of your current profession.

2.      Set Realistic Goals for Yourself

A recent study has shown that setting goals is effective in the treatment of mental illness. Most of the participants in the study were able to aptly identify what needed to be done and attain that objective. Thus, you shouldn’t be afraid of wanting to accomplish certain things. Your disorder isn’t as limiting as you might make it out to be.

However, it’s important to keep these goals realistic. Expecting too much of yourself and not being able to achieve can impact your self-esteem, which is something most patients already struggle with as is. Be honest with yourself. What skills do you possess? How long would it take you to finalize a task using them? Answer these questions truthfully.

3.      Focus on the Tasks at Hand

Now that your objectives are clearly outlined, it’s time to get to work on them. To be able to do this, you will need to focus. Nevertheless, people who suffer from disorders of the mind often have trouble with that. Understand that you might not always be able to concentrate and avoid pressuring yourself into it. Instead, let your motivation flow naturally into the situation.

4.      Declutter Your Workspace

Clutter is one of the main distractors all of us are faced with daily. And when your mental illness is already making it hard to concentrate on something, it can be even more aggravating. This is why staying

organized is essential if you want to pay better attention to what you’re doing. Cleaning out your desk is a simple initial step you can take in this direction.

But even if your space is neat and tidy, the office as a whole might still be a mess. If you’re finding that improper desk and supply arrangements are damaging your ability to do your job, you will need to take it up with your employer. Provided they are a sensible, understanding person, and you explain the situation candidly to them, some changes might get made.

5.      Don’t Let Failure Bring You Down

Given your current situation, it’s important to know that failure is an option. If and when it does happen, try not to let it bring you down. Even the most successful people today have their own stories of decline. So, instead of allowing it to lower self-esteem and destroy your confidence, use it as an opportunity to learn an important lesson about growth.

Final Thoughts

Staying motivated and productive while you battle anxiety, depression, or even schizophrenia is an achievable prospect. If you take it one day at a time and are realistic about your professional expectations, you are bound to achieve success sooner or later. The essential thing is to never stop trying your best.

 

Alex Moore is a psychology blogger entranced by the word “productive”. When he’s not nagging those around him with stories of positivity, you’ll usually find him writing for www.schizlife.com

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3 Scientific Ways Drinking Water Makes You More Productive

You’re reading 3 Scientific Ways Drinking Water Makes You More Productive, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Drinking Water

We all know drinking water is essential to good health. It keeps us alive and helps our body function properly. But what if I told you staying hydrated is also a good way to become more productive too? This article will show you 3 scientifically backed reasons why drinking enough water each day will help you focus better and get more done.

Why Is Water So Important?

To put it simply, your body would stop working properly without a good amount of hydration. This makes sense when you consider that water makes up around 60% of your body weight. The human body has many important functions to perform and needs water to do most of them. For example, your blood carries oxygen to all the cells in your body but wouldn’t be able to do this without water.

Going on a journey of self-improvement and increased productivity is a lot easier if your body is at peak physical condition.

Below are 3 solid reasons why you should make sure you get enough hydration each day if your objective is higher levels of productivity.

1. Water Increases Your Physical Performance

All athletes know that failing to drink enough water means poor physical performance. This is because dehydration can have a noticeable effect on the way your body operates. Losing as little as 2% of your body’s water content can result in reduced motivation, increased fatigue, altered body temperature control and make everything more difficult in both mental and physical terms (1).

The good news is that proper hydration can prevent all this from happening. Drinking enough water may even reduce oxidative stress. This form of stress happens when you take part in any physically demanding activity. None of this should come as a surprise when you consider that your muscles are around 80% water (2).

2. Hydration Impacts Brain Function

Your hydration status strongly influences your brain capacity and function. Studies now reveal that your brain function can even be affected by very mild dehydration (i.e. a loss of around 1-3% of body water weight).

For instance, a research study conducted on young women who had a fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise shows they suffered from an increased frequency of headaches as well as impaired concentration and mood (3).

While a similar research study was conducted on a group of young men who had a fluid loss of 1.59%. Despite this modest level of dehydration, the participants showed signs of increased feelings of fatigue, anxiety and a decrease in working memory (4).

Being productive is hard enough without feeling fatigue, anxious or suffering from poor memory. These studies show that even being a little bit dehydrated can decrease your capacity to keep on top of things. So drinking a glass of water before sitting down to focus on what you want can help give you the energy to achieve your goals.

3. Drinking Water May Help Treat and Prevent Headaches

Many people suffer from headaches because of dehydration. However, studies show that water is capable of not only relieving the symptoms of some headaches but also preventing them in the first place (5).

Headaches are not just physically upsetting, they also stop you from getting anything meaningful done. Some migraines are so bad that they can completely knock you out and render you incapacitated for a while. The last thing you want is to be completely wiped out by a headache. Especially a headache that is totally preventable by simply drinking more water.

The Bottom Line

The sad part about all of this is that the vast majority of people suffer from dehydration. Some reports claim there could be as many as 75% of US citizens suffering from dehydration that don’t know it (6). This is a huge issue when you consider how essential water is to our overall health, well being and the ability to function at full capacity.

If you’re worried about getting enough hydration, a good place to start is to work out how much water you should drink each day. Do this by using a daily water intake calculator to work out how much water you need to drink according to your body weight.

 

Scientific References

1. Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, Hydration and Health. Nutrition Reviews, 68(8), 439–458. http://ift.tt/2gDJIuh

2. Judelson, D.A., Maresh, C.M., Anderson, J.M. et al; Hydration and Muscular Performance, Sports Med (2007) 37: 907. http://ift.tt/2EnY1P0

3. Armstrong LE1, Ganio MS, Casa DJ, Lee EC, McDermott BP, Klau JF, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR; Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women. http://ift.tt/2alA5Pc

4. Ganio MS1, Armstrong LE, Casa DJ, McDermott BP, Lee EC, Yamamoto LM, Marzano S, Lopez RM, Jimenez L, Le Bellego L, Chevillotte E, Lieberman HR. Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood of men. http://ift.tt/2a6Dm8q

5. Price A, Burls A; Increased water intake to reduce headache: learning from a critical appraisal, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 21 June 2015, http://ift.tt/2EYpTu5

6. Dahlia Ghabour; UF Health Communications – UF Health Podcasts April 14th, 2015 http://ift.tt/28Qs6Ky

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6 Reasons Why an E-Commerce Website Needs a Blog

You’re reading 6 Reasons Why an E-Commerce Website Needs a Blog, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Increasing traffic to your site is the key to success! Blogging is one way of routing humungous traffic to your site. Unfortuitously, while all brands comprehend the viability of the first part, they gail to grasp the vitality of the second! They give in to the idea that engaging in direct sales is their secret to generating sales. Nurturing your Email list, handling inventory, and calling to acquire customers, will only take you up to a certain point. If you dedicate all your precious time struggling to convert customers,  you will soon start overlooking the reasons for customers to actually unearth your brand in the first place. This is where blogging comes in to play!

As for any web-based business, an e-commerce website is in dire need of a blog that could speak for their offerings online,. And in all the positive ways possible that paid advertising won’t be able to accomplish. We understand that running a full-term business is exhausting to say the least, and a blog must be the last thing on your mind. But did you know that 92% of E-commerce businesses with a successful running blog, acquire most of their customers through their blog? With the ubiquitousness of blog in this era, failing to include a blog on your e-commerce website is like choosing not to get it endorsed when there were opportunities up for grasp.

If you are still not persuaded enough to incorporate a blog to your e-commerce website, here are 6 reasons to change your mind:

Blogging builds credibility

Ever heard of a business that claims to have had dressed thousands in your vicinity but in reality, you never saw anyone wearing the brand? Same is the case with online businesses. Since a website is an intangible medium where you cannot find real people to glean reviews from, blogging saves the day for you by subsiding the fact that you do not have real people talking on your forum. Testimonials are an exception, since they also contribute to building credibility, but still cannot parallel the benefits of blogging. Through a blog, you not only build credibility for your eCommerce web development, but extend a value addition to your target market that can be done by purchasing your products online.

It helps in growing your market

Blogs are not meant for lead generation. They exist for lead nurturing. Blogs provide informational content to your users, and if the content happens to trigger their interest, they might as well provide a lead or subscribe to the blog to stay abreast of latest updates.

Blogging for e-commerce websites could also lead to building lasting relationships with your customers. When you write about the value that your products bring to your customers, you create an invisible connection. This spark works in myriad ways, and lets your e-commerce brand etch a lasting impression in the minds of your consumers.

Works for business generation

Adding a blog to your e-commerce website opens up paths towards incremental customer reach. You already know that a blog post builds the much needed credibility for your brand. In addition to allowing you to flaunt your product to a wider audience through your blog, a blog cultivates the effort by sharing it on your social profiles. By promoting your product offerings on your blog, you actually answer queries of your target market. This makes the entire sales process easier to complete.

Blog content will boost your SEO efforts

Blog content is a great way of supporting your SEO efforts. When you instill keywords in your SEO content, you actually lure the search engine crawler towards you. Thus, boosting your chances of visibility against industry-specific keywords. When your page starts showing against popular search terms, the chances of customers landing on your e-commerce website increases. This enhances your overall business generation.

A Blog is a multi-marketing channel in itself

A blog is not a place where you only talk about your products; your blog can work as a multi-marketing channel for you. It allows you to link its posts with social forums and on blogs that you post on other websites. This helps build the overall online credibility for your content. This diversely spread content will pave way for incremental traffic landing on your e-commerce website. This leads to better business generation in the long run.

It’s a way to scale your content marketing efforts

Through targeted blog posts, you can launch campaigns that help in streamlining your marketing efforts towards a certain event. For example, Christmas related blogs are put up on various e-commerce websites to allow customers to land on websites through targeted keyword searches. By reading the relevant content, they get a chance to make valuable purchasing decisions.

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Alternatively, there are eCommerce developers that exist to help you set up your blog. You can get in touch with them if you have a similar idea in your mind.

You’ve read 6 Reasons Why an E-Commerce Website Needs a Blog, 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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10 Ways to Get Through Difficult Times

You’re reading 10 Ways to Get Through Difficult Times, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_jp4tAo69w&t

 “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Victor Frankl

Life can throw things at us that catch us off guard, sometimes even multiple things at once.  And this can leave us feeling afraid, frustrated, confused, angry and sometimes even helpless.

And trust me I have been there before, its not a nice place to be in. But I am here to tell you that it’s not impossible to get through and a lot of the time isn’t as bad as you think it is. So today I am going to be sharing with you 10 ways you can get through the difficult times in your life.

1. Accept it

Remember no amount of worry, complaining or beating yourself up is going to change the obstacle before you. So you may as well accept it. “What you resist persists”. Just like in nature if you apply friction to anything it creates heat. So if you try to resist and push against your obstacle through worry or wishing it didn’t happen it is only going to make things worse. This isn’t to say that you can’t take a minute to think to yourself “well this sucks!” and even vent about it.

Just don’t stay in that mindset for too long because it will prevent you from moving forward.

2. Change your perspective

You see we choose the way we look at things. So it is important we ask ourselves if our perspective is truly giving us perspective or is it what is actually causing the problem. While we can’t change the obstacles themselves we do have control over how an obstacle appears to us.

You see problems in our lives are usually never as bad as we think or rather they are precisely as bad as we think. Or as the late Wayne Dyer once said:

 “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. 

  1. Take Action

When things come up in our lives, most of us simply pretend it doesn’t exist. Some people go out and party, others treat themselves, sleep in or worst of all wait, as if the problem will somehow unproblem itself.  But we know deep down that isn’t truly going to make it any better. Instead we have to act. As Robert Frost once said:

“The only way out is through”.

You see a lot of the time most of us know what our problems  are and may even know what to do about them.

But we fear taking action because we don’t want to have to go through that intial feeling of actually doing something about our problem or we feel that it will be too much work to do anything about it.

Both are false conceptions, you’ve got to start to go anywhere. And once you actually start you will find that it naturally builds momentum.

  1. Find the Opportunities in the Obstacles

We have already spoken on the importance of changing our perception towards an obstacle but this takes it a step further. It means seeing through our seemingly negative situation and finding it’s positive.  By changing our perception of our problem we can learn to see an opportunity or advantage in every problem. Transforming our problem into an education, a skill set, a fortune or a way to help others.

We all presented with obstacles in our lives from time to time, often times when we least expect them. But what matters most is not necessarily what our obstacles are but how we see them and how we react to them. Where one person sees crisis, another sees opportunity.

Seen properly everything that happens to us can be used as a way to move us forward. This means flipping the obstacles that life throws at us by improving not only in spite of them, but because of them. You see more often than not beneath the seemingly negative packaging of the problems in our lives, is something of real value. A gift of great benefit. We just have to know how to find it.

  1. Live in the Present Moment

Sometimes the best way to see through a problem and to see it more clearly is actually to allow your mind to relax. Some of the best methods for this include:

  • Running
  • Walking in nature i.e along a beach or in a park
  • Meditation

Each of these methods helps take us out of our thinking minds and instead bring our attention to what is happening in the present moment, namely our surroundings, our body or our breathe. And by doing this you will find that you mind will naturally start to feel more calm and you will most likely see things with a fresh and much clearer perspective.

6.    Tackle One Problem at a Time

In this way you simply do what you need to do right now. Complete it. And then move onto the next thing.  Don’t think about the end instead focus on the process. This means making it from one task to the next. One day at a time.

Once you do this you will find that even the hardest things become manageable.  Under its influence we needn’t panic. Because what once was a mammoth task is now just a series of component parts.

  1. Find Your Why

 “He who knows the why of his existence will be able to bear almost any how”.  Victor Frankl.

What does this mean? It means making your dreams bigger than your problems. Why? Because when we have goals or something larger than ourselves to reach for everything we do from that point on becomes in the service of that dream, put simply it becomes purposeful. When we know what we are setting out too do, any obstacles that arise will just naturally seem smaller and more manageable.

Another way of getting through your problem or situation is to find a way that you can use it too benefit others. For instance you could use your situation and all that you learn from it to benefit, teach or inspire others  in the future who might one day find themselves in the same position as you.

  1. Find the Good in your situation

No matter what your situation is or how bad it may seem there is ALWAYS some good in it. No matter how bad a situation may be in. You can always find something to laugh about or be cheerful about.

Remember we don’t have a choice over what happens to us but we do have a choice over how we feel about it. So why choose anything other than feeling good?

  1. This Too Shall Pass

Remember all things come to pass and this situation you are now in. It will passRemember that all things come to pass.. And one day you will look back on it and you may even be grateful for it happening. Because it led you down a better path or helped you to become the person you were destined to be.

Remember that in spite of what we may be going through, none of us knows what the future holds for us. As the famous psychologist and holocaust survivor, Victor Frankl said

“Health, family happiness, professional abilities, fortune a position in society. All these were things that could still be achieved. Whatever we had gone through could still be used as an asset to us in the future”.

  1. Gratitude

Now gratitude is probably one of the most important ways, if not THE most important way of getting through problems in our lives. You see when we have problems come up in our lives we often allow ourselves to get trapped in a negative mindset, which makes us forget that we still have so much good in our lives.

No matter how bad things may seem we ALWAYS have things in our lives to be grateful for.

One of the best ways to practice gratitude (and something I do every night) is to get yourself a gratitude journal.  By taking time to write down the things you are grateful at the end of every day you are effectively changing your perception to focus on what you have instead of what you don’t. Which will instantly make you happier.

Well there you have it there are 10 ways that you can get through the difficult times in your life. Hopefully this article (and video) has been able to help you in some way.


Is a content creator on Youtube. He believes there are three words that all of us should aim to live by “Learn, Grow and Inspire”. He is also a Tai Chi and Qigong instructor. His passions include self development, health, nutritition, entrepreneurship and technology. You can visit Isaac’s Youtube channel here.

You’ve read 10 Ways to Get Through Difficult Times, 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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3 Deadly Myths You Need To Dismiss About Success

You’re reading 3 Deadly Myths You Need To Dismiss About Success, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

success myths

success myths

Success for most people is equivalent to money, cars, luxury, and hot chicks.

Is this definition universal?

Nope, but it’s widely accepted because the notions above are the most widely accessible set of ideas of a ‘successful’ life.

Indeed, success is beyond materialism, lust for authority, or the ability to have worldly pleasures at your will. You can shatter the notion, reprogram your brain, and personalize the meaning of the term.

How?

You’ve to dig beneath the surface and behold your inner voice. Find work that you genuinely enjoy and put effort into your craft to ensure you stay relevant.

Besides its definition, today I want to present three myths that hold you back from reaching your potential. Check out if you’re clenching onto any of the myths.

Myth 1: Hard work guarantees success in any field you choose to pursue

Hard work is under your control. It’s internal.

But the outcome of your efforts is a worldly event.

You can pray, send out positive vibes to the universe, say aloud positive affirmations, or whatever floats your boat. These might be efficacious in soothing your nerves, but the external factors that determine your success can’t be discounted.

Maybe the person next in line to you got lucky. Perhaps his natural talent surpasses your fruit of labor. Else, it’s also possible that your timing wasn’t right.

The truth is, nobody can predict your chances of succeeding despite you giving your best shot (unless you’re into occult sciences).

We all use tools — believing in “karma” or the presence of an external force that determines our fate.

It’s essential because taking the blame on yourself for all your failures/successes won’t lead you anywhere. The inner emotional turmoil you will have to go through as a result isn’t simply worth it.

So don’t doubt your skills and talents – push through your impostor syndrome.

Go for your dream — all guns blazing! But don’t remain hopeful to stand out as the winner. Do it for the sheer love of your craft. Trust the process.

Ryan Holiday put it precisely in his book Ego is the Enemy, “Instead of pretending that we are living some great story, we must remain focused on the execution—and on executing with excellence. We must shun the false crown and continue working on what got us here.”

If you adopt the stoic way, you’ll cultivate the mental resilience to jump back from minor setbacks. And create more space for extraordinary moments in your life.

Myth 2: It’s a level playing field, and you can ‘make it’ merely by working on your core skill set

Look around in these fields: Entertainment. Business. Sports. Politics. Art. Education.

Nepotism is real. The powerful and influential have it better. Money, coaches, and resources are all tools that will facilitate your success.

Now, you can choose to complain about the unethical violation and waste your time. Else, satisfice your emotional pain by taking the smarter route and working smartly.

Analyze and understand the weaknesses that make you inferior to the people that you feel have it easy.

Do you have the meta-knowledge of how your career works?

Put work to find out information that can give you a competitive advantage in your industry.

Is there a sub-skill that you lack? If yes, then how can you cultivate it?
How can you get access to the influential insider network of your industry that puts you on the radar for promising opportunities?

I am not saying you’ll get all the answers, but having a solution-oriented mindset is the best you can do as an outsider.

Besides working on your core skills, it’s impertinent that you make yourself more marketable. In the digital era, visibility of your work online can reward you with enriching career opportunities.

For instance, many creative entrepreneurs making a living through YouTube while practicing music, drama, and art.

3. Reverse engineering mega-successful people will provide the ‘simple steps’ you need to take

Listen, mate:

We’re wired differently. We’re unique creatures with different capacities and inclinations.

I won’t further it into a “you’re special” self-serving slant.

Simply put, the accomplishment of desired results isn’t always definable in a template. The world is fast-moving, and none of the industries we work in are composed of static parts.

Even legitimate “make money online” courses that provide a blueprint for starting a successful business don’t make a 100% promise. Rather, they offer a 30 days money back guarantee (if you aren’t satisfied).

The wisdom shared in such courses is extraordinary, but only you can find out if the course works for you.

How?

By taking action.

Once you implement the lessons in these courses, you’ll start seeing the practical limitations of time, resources, and skills.

A retrospective analysis of success paints an inspiring picture. And the adrenaline is what our brains desire. But media houses conveniently ignore the subtle details of advantages and failure that make the narrative uninspiring. It’s called as the survivorship bias.

Sure, research on the mega-successful and derive inspiration. But you need not beat yourself if a plan doesn’t work as expected.

Success is a combination of various moving components (including you). If you can’t get up at 5 am every morning that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t achieve desired results.

If you even fail to put hard work consistently, don’t lose heart. Get back to the drawing board and analyze what worked and didn’t work well for you. Then come back and get that combination right the next time.

The arguments I make in this article might sound negative and could shatter the conventional wisdom that exists regarding personal development. Trust me, though, if you accept them, you can overpower them by looking for solutions (a few of whom I shared in the article).

Which myth about success was holding you back? Let me know in the comments.

You’ve read 3 Deadly Myths You Need To Dismiss About Success, 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 Top Tips to Boost Your Child’s Confidence

You’re reading The Top Tips to Boost Your Child’s Confidence, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Tips to Boost Your Child’s Confidence

Tips to Boost Your Child’s Confidence

Confident people are always ready to take new challenges in life. They have a better self-image, positive outlook towards life, and a strong belief in their abilities that they can work as expected. Whether it is their job, academic career, or social relationships they always stand out from the rest. Confidence is indeed a key to a successful life and if children manage to master this trait, they can ensure a healthy and victorious future for themselves.

Being confident will not only improve their mental health but will help them deal with every situation and challenges such as stress, peer pressure, studies, emotions etc. Confident children can accomplish every goal with passion and perseverance. Parents can play a major role in encouraging their children and making them meet their true self. Since children trust their parents the most hence, they take their words seriously. If your child also lacks confidence sometimes and you don’t know how to encourage them to keep trying, here are some basic steps that you can follow:

 

Appreciation is the key

Acknowledging every little accomplishment of your children will not only make them feel happy but would light their desire to do better next time. Whether it is getting a good grade, completing the homework, or helping you at home, notice the little things that your children are doing on their own and appreciate them. You will soon see a sense of self-worth in them as they will feel confident about doing the tasks on their own. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to over-praise them. You must always provide a realistic feedback to your children. If they are not good at something then, do praise their efforts but not the results. Make them understand that nobody is perfect but, with continuous practice and efforts one can achieve anything in life.

 

Give them the required environment

Many times children lack confidence if they are not able to perform well in school and other co-curricular activities. Every child possesses different skills and learning power. Hence, parents must take the necessary steps so that children do well at school. If they ask for assignment help from you then, sit with them and help them do their homework. You can use different methods to teach them at home. Nowadays, one can find so many learning resources on the Internet which can help the children develop their skills and eventually their confidence.

 

Make them set some real goals

Whether it is a test, learning a new skill or playing a sport, explain your children the need to set goals, how they can achieve them, and also discuss what will happen if they do not. Keep them reminding their skills and talents. This will make them believe in themselves that they can achieve what they desire with their skills. You can also ask them to set their goals on their own. It may happen that the children will set some goals which are really big and unrealistic. At this time just show them the path to achieve such goals. You may also break such goals into some mini-goals as well.

Reward them

Constant motivation is required to achieve any goal. If there comes a situation where your child is lacking confidence then, motivate them by setting rewards like a cookie if they read a chapter, their favorite video game if they score well in the exams etc. This will encourage them to do the task with full enthusiasm.  Also once they will accomplish, they would find how easy the task was. Celebrate their every little success and see the difference in them.

Positive Affirmations

Affirmations can program our subconscious mind to success. They shape our mind with a positive outlook and build our self-esteem with which we can easily achieve our goals. So, parents can use this technique to boost their child’s self-esteem. Talk to your child and tell them the value of positive thinking. You can ask them to use affirmation phrases like “I can do it”, “every day is a new day with new opportunities” etc.

The power of ‘try’

The most important thing to incorporate into the minds of children is that failure and success are two sides of the same coin. If they are unable to accomplish something, show them how they have made the best of their efforts. Ask them to try again, teach them the ‘never give up attitude’, cheer them up and make them understand that setbacks are a part of life.

In the end, parents are the role models for their children. A child looks up to them in every situation and follows their lead as he/she grows. Hence, as a parent, it is your duty to portray everything suitably. As it is said, a candle has to burn itself to spread the light, similarly, parents need to work on themselves first, build their self-esteem, become stronger and confident and then only they will be able to build their child’s confidence.

You’ve read The Top Tips to Boost Your Child’s Confidence, 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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