Unstoppable You – How To Tap Into Your Awesome Learning Power

You’re reading Unstoppable You – How To Tap Into Your Awesome Learning Power, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Learning is like breathing.

Something we do because we are alive. Something we usually take for granted. But should we?

We were primed for learning in the womb – every hour our brains added 250,000 neurons so that we could process the world when we arrived.

Then, as a child, our default programming (let’s call it Learning 1.0) shaped the basic structure and wiring of our brains as we learned through trial and error and imitation.

We upgraded our learning capability again when, through experiences in school we upgraded to Learning 2.0 – internalizing society’s knowledge and more structured learning approaches (e.g., how to study). Once on our own, we cobbled together our own way of dealing with life’s challenges at work, at home, as a citizen.

We crafted a personalized approach – enter the next version of our internal learning software — Learning 3.0.

But Learning 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 are not good enough today.

This world is changing very rapidly and presenting us with many complex conditions and challenges that require a new learning paradigm.Of course, there is an increasing array of support we can access – in apps, online courses, blogs, or by cruising Google, Cable TV, social media (caveat: beware of biases!), and more.

We truly live in an accelerating and often confusing knowledge era. And it will only get more complex and diverse as information expands and technology provides new tools for learning, outsourcing our memories, and connecting with others in novel ways.

It’s a new learning landscape, and we need a new way of thinking about and approaching learning. I call this new way, Learning 4.0.

It’s 21st Century learning that you do on your own and with others. It’s a framework to use when you help others learn – your children, people you lead, people who want you to share your expertise for any reason.

And, Learning 4.0 is a framework to guide your learning in the moment (out of curiosity or opportunism), extracting learning from past experience (think of the learning locked up in those experiences you regret or remember with pride), and when you have a learning goal that may take some time to reach.

Learning 4.0 builds on the strengths of 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. But there is a lot more. Think about yourself as a 4.0 Learner. For example, with Learning 4.0 you use and expand your imaginative capabilities – your ability to dream, create a virtual reality future, and then to draw on the energy of that imagined reality to help you move into a desirable future (Here’s a simple tip: before you dive into any learning experience do a 3-minute trip into your future. See and feel yourself with a new competency in a situation that matters to you. Make this vision as visceral – physical and mental – as you can. It will then act like a magnet, pulling you toward the future you desire).

Learning 4.0 also engages your whole brain/body – reflecting new insights from neuroscience, enlisting your conscious and unconscious learning processes, and tuning your body to support you with positive learning chemicals, brain waves, and optimal neural activity as you learn.

A third way Learning 4.0 works is by equipping you for the increasingly manipulative information world. Everybody wants your attention, information and money. But with Learning 4.0, you approach information in a smart way – detecting bias and manipulation and deciding what to accept and reject or ignore.

Another quality that defines you as a 4.0 learner is resource versatility.

As a 4.0 learner, you aren’t fazed by the variety of resource and learning formats out there. You know how to get the information you need from reading, listening, online apps and courses, meetings and conversations, even games and simulations… and more.

There are other important qualities in 4.0 Learning. And learners can tap into these super-learning qualities by developing skills in seven important 4.0 Learning practice areas:

  1. Hear the Call. 4.0 learners detect learning opportunities long before others. They are tuned to learn, so they hear calls to learn from the world around and inside them before these calls become crises and problems.
  2. Create Future Pull. 4.0 learners imagine compelling futures that then pull them in the direction of their goals. Think about it: when you have an image of where you want to be, it seems the world is filled with help to get there. Some call this the law of attraction, others call it serendipity. It is actually imagination and your unconscious learning processes at work.
  3. Search Far and Wide. You can’t deal with the crowded information world alone. You need help in the form of search engines and other scanners to find what you need. 4.0 learners know how to access services and people who can help find what they need.
  4. Connect the Dots. It may not be possible to develop fixed learning plans, but 4.0 learners know how to chart a learning path and equip themselves for the journey — balancing a commitment to the vision with new insights that might alter the course.
  5. Mine for Gold. 4.0 learners find the gold in any learning resource – knowing that learning is a partnership with the learning tools they use and that, as the learner in charge, they determine what to pay attention to and ultimately use.\
  6. Learn to Last. 4.0 learners know how to turn ideas and short term memories into lasting knowledge, skills, new ways of thinking, and even creative ideas.
  7. Transfer to Life. 4.0 learners take powerful steps to change their own habits (i.e., they go beyond New Year’s resolutions) and to influence the environment around them so that they can bring learning to life at home and at work.

It’s time for a new consciousness about learning – for a new mindset and practices. 21st Century challenges demand and invite us into a new learning framework. Fortunately, new knowledge about how we learn — plus a plethora of new tools to help us learn – make it possible to launch a new version of our internal learning software: to upgrade to Learning 4.0.

Learning is no longer a process to take for granted.

———————————————————————————————————-
Pat McLagan
is a global leader in the learning and development field with top awards from major adult learning associations. Her new book, Unstoppable You: Adopt the New Learning 4.0 Mindset and Change Your Life is available on Amazon. You can test your 4.0 capabilities at http://ift.tt/2s57ZiH. And you can build your 4.0 capabilities little by little every day with the iTunes app, Brighter Every Day. 

You’ve read Unstoppable You – How To Tap Into Your Awesome Learning Power, 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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How to Build Your Side Business While Working Full Time

You’re reading How to Build Your Side Business While Working Full Time, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Building a business is hard.

What about building a business on the side while working full time?

I built a freelancing business while studying dentistry, and I’m just 20 years old.

And I forgot to mention that my GPA was 3.92 during my first 2 years.

It seems impossible to a lot of people, but I did it.

And the secret is rather simple. I know what I need to do, and I do it. But there’s a bit more to it than that.

In this post, you will discover the 3-tier planning method I use to know what I need to do and how I carry out focused actions to get more done in less time.

The result? You can build your business even if you don’t have a lot of spare time.

The “3-Tier Planning” Method

Your time is limited. That’s why planning is very important.

Because planning can be complicated and because of specific problems I’ve faced from time to time, I’ve developed a simple process to help me plan things out and keep moving in the right direction. I call it the “3-tier planning” method.

The 3-tiers are:

  • The 100,000-foot view
  • The 10,000-foot view
  • The 100-foot view

Let’s go into more detail about each of these.

Note: I have created a simple checklist to help you apply this planning method, so make sure to grab your checklist, then continue reading this post.

The 100,000-foot view

Here you look at the big picture. I like to make it for every quarter or every 100 days.

So you set a goal that you want to achieve in the next quarter and write out a detailed plan about how you want to achieve it.

Let’s take an example:

Goal: Create a product and start selling it in 90 days

Steps:

  1. Brainstorm product ideas
  2. Validate the idea by interacting with people on a FB group
  3. Outline the course
  4. Record every module
  5. Setup a membership site
  6. Setup an order form
  7. Create a sales page
  8. Offer a discount for my email list and get the first 10 customers

Now, we have the100,000-foot view. This will give you a clear big picture and ensure that you’re going to finish on time.

The 10,000-foot view

After you have the big picture, you need to know what tasks you need to accomplish in the next 2 weeks. I like this time frame because it’s not so long as to cause you to lose focus yet it leaves enough time for you to iterate as you go.

So you set the tasks you need to accomplish in the next 2 weeks so that you’re not overwhelmed by the big picture plan.

Continuing the example above, here is a simple 10,000-foot view plan

  1. Brainstorm product ideas
  2. Validate the idea
  3. Have a simple outline for the first 2 modules

The reason I added this tier is that it ensures that you don’t take too much time doing the first tasks, which would result in a situation where the deadline would be approaching yet you would still be a long way from your main goal, causing you to take a lot more time to achieve that goal.

The 100-foot view

Now you set your daily tasks. You see what you need to do from the 10,000-foot view and plan your day around it.

For the example above:

  1. Brainstorm product ideas
  2. Start interacting with a group to know what they want

Now, you know what you need to accomplish by the end of the day.

So when you returns from your job, you know the tasks you need to accomplish. Your job now is to do them.

You’ve seen what the planning method consists of, now I’d like to share a tip about how to actually finish your daily tasks. This is how I get more done in less time:

The “Up Pomodoro” Technique to Get More Done

Now, after you know the exact tasks you need to work on, your job now is to actually do them.

The Pomodoro technique is a great way to help you get more done in less time with greater focus.

If you’re not familiar with the Pomodoro technique, it’s a technique where you spend 25 minutes focusing on a task and then take a 5 minute rest and then repeat this cycle 4 times and then take a bigger rest.

This enables you to eliminate distraction, which is the most important element to getting more done.

But what does the “Up” in “Up Pomodoro” mean?

The people at the Muse discovered something they call the rule of 52 and 17.

They found out that the people who work for 52 minutes and take a break of 17 minutes are the most productive people.

So I started applying it and the results are astonishing. For simplicity’s sake I now work for 50 minutes and take a break for 10-15 minutes. The thing is that you combine 2 cycles of the Pomodoro technique.

By using the 3-tier planning process and the Up Pomodoro technique, I’ve able to know what I need to do and work on it without getting distracted. This is the simple process that helped me build my business while studying dentistry.

And to help you accomplish the same results, I’ve create a simple checklist for you to help you apply the techniques I’ve shared in today’s post and to increase your productivity by 300%. Grab your checklist here.

You’ve read How to Build Your Side Business While Working Full Time, 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 Best Night Routine for a Productive Day

You’re reading The Best Night Routine for a Productive Day, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a productive person, you still have some type of morning routine to kick off the workday. If it’s a daily mad sprint to the train stop with coffee in one hand and a breakfast burrito in the other, there’s probably still at least some forethought (breakfast burritos don’t just happen).

But a bedtime routine? If yours consists of just falling asleep during The Daily Show with a cocktail, you’re doing it wrong. A productive tomorrow begins tonight, and a nighttime checklist can help establish sleep-positive habits that will carry you through the day, as opposed to dragging yourself to five o’clock.

According to Hilary Thompson, a sleep expert for Mattress.com, you’ll also be healthier: “Trouble falling, and staying, asleep can lead to chronic fatigue, mood and memory issues, a slower metabolism, and decreased immune-system functioning,” she says. “A routine can help you get the most out of your night and, ultimately, your day.”

Before you plan on going to sleep, try implementing some (or all) of these steps to set yourself up for a better, more productive morning.

  1. Step Away from the Spreadsheet. Shut off your brain and stop working. The tasks will still be there tomorrow—plus some more, because work. They can, and should, wait.
  2. Look Back, Look Ahead. Review what you accomplished today, then make a to-do list for tomorrow. But don’t feel that you must list everything for tomorrow—the top three biggies will suffice. And don’t make these lists too close to bedtime, as per the shut-off-brain/stop-working directive above.
  3. Cool It. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for shut-eye is around 65 degrees. The cooler you are, the sleepier you become, so turn down the thermostat.
  4. Cut Off the Alcohol (and Snacks). At least two hours before bedtime, cut off the booze, food, and—you’d be surprised how non-self-explanatory this is—stimulants (not just coffee and soda, but also sugary desserts and even fruits). “Digestion and sleep don’t mix well,” says Hilary Thompson.
  5. Clean It Up. Waking up to a messy household isn’t the way to start the day. Tidy up the kitchen, your bedroom, your workspace, and everything else within eyesight before you hit the sack for a clearer path in the morning.
  6. Dress for No Stress. It worked when you were a kid, so why not now? Plan and lay out tomorrow’s clothing ensemble tonight, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about. “And, if your first outfit of the day is gym clothes for a morning workout, even better,” adds Thompson.
  7. Relax with a Book. Get in some light reading before bedtime—but not that kind of light. Good old-fashioned print is preferable to an iPad or Kindle. “The light from the screen of your tablet or phone is blue-spectrum light … it tells the brain to stop secreting melatonin [a natural sleep-inducing biochemical],” says Lisa Medalie, PsyD, a University of Chicago behavioral sleep-medicine specialist. “Even a few minutes of exposure signals your brain to stay awake.”
  8. Fade to Black. Again, it’s a melatonin thing—the darker the room, the better the slumber. Ever notice how much sounder you sleep in a hotel room? Consider investing in some blackout blinds, or at least an eye mask.
  9. Nix the Netflix. As per the above, shut down all screens an hour or two before bedtime, including TVs and computers. If you absolutely must squeeze in one more episode of Iron Fist, try some blue-light-blocking sunglasses.
  10. Pause the Paws. Sorry, pet lovers, but letting dogs and/or cats on your bed isn’t helping your sleep—when they toss and turn so do you. Keep your four-legged friends out of the bedroom, or, if you can’t bear to be apart, set them up with their own bed across the room.
  11. Block the Clock. Yes, even the LED light from your bedside clock can mess with your sleep—especially if you’re up all night staring at it, so turn it to the wall. “Even a small amount of exposure to the clock’s display can interrupt melatonin flow,” Thompson says. “As long as you can hear the alarm in the morning, there’s no need to see it.”

And, when morning comes …

  1. Snooze (Button), You Lose. “The worst thing you can do is stay up late then hit snooze in the morning,” success author Laura Vanderkam tells Business Insider. “Humans have a limited amount of willpower. Why waste that willpower arguing with yourself over when to get up, and sleeping in miserable nine-minute increments?”

Try out a few of these tips tonight, and you’ll thank yourself when you have a productive tomorrow. Happy sleeping!

You’ve read The Best Night Routine for a Productive Day, 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/2r1UTCu

The Best Night Routine for a Productive Day

You’re reading The Best Night Routine for a Productive Day, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a productive person, you still have some type of morning routine to kick off the workday. If it’s a daily mad sprint to the train stop with coffee in one hand and a breakfast burrito in the other, there’s probably still at least some forethought (breakfast burritos don’t just happen).

But a bedtime routine? If yours consists of just falling asleep during The Daily Show with a cocktail, you’re doing it wrong. A productive tomorrow begins tonight, and a nighttime checklist can help establish sleep-positive habits that will carry you through the day, as opposed to dragging yourself to five o’clock.

According to Hilary Thompson, a sleep expert for Mattress.com, you’ll also be healthier: “Trouble falling, and staying, asleep can lead to chronic fatigue, mood and memory issues, a slower metabolism, and decreased immune-system functioning,” she says. “A routine can help you get the most out of your night and, ultimately, your day.”

Before you plan on going to sleep, try implementing some (or all) of these steps to set yourself up for a better, more productive morning.

  1. Step Away from the Spreadsheet. Shut off your brain and stop working. The tasks will still be there tomorrow—plus some more, because work. They can, and should, wait.
  2. Look Back, Look Ahead. Review what you accomplished today, then make a to-do list for tomorrow. But don’t feel that you must list everything for tomorrow—the top three biggies will suffice. And don’t make these lists too close to bedtime, as per the shut-off-brain/stop-working directive above.
  3. Cool It. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for shut-eye is around 65 degrees. The cooler you are, the sleepier you become, so turn down the thermostat.
  4. Cut Off the Alcohol (and Snacks). At least two hours before bedtime, cut off the booze, food, and—you’d be surprised how non-self-explanatory this is—stimulants (not just coffee and soda, but also sugary desserts and even fruits). “Digestion and sleep don’t mix well,” says Hilary Thompson.
  5. Clean It Up. Waking up to a messy household isn’t the way to start the day. Tidy up the kitchen, your bedroom, your workspace, and everything else within eyesight before you hit the sack for a clearer path in the morning.
  6. Dress for No Stress. It worked when you were a kid, so why not now? Plan and lay out tomorrow’s clothing ensemble tonight, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about. “And, if your first outfit of the day is gym clothes for a morning workout, even better,” adds Thompson.
  7. Relax with a Book. Get in some light reading before bedtime—but not that kind of light. Good old-fashioned print is preferable to an iPad or Kindle. “The light from the screen of your tablet or phone is blue-spectrum light … it tells the brain to stop secreting melatonin [a natural sleep-inducing biochemical],” says Lisa Medalie, PsyD, a University of Chicago behavioral sleep-medicine specialist. “Even a few minutes of exposure signals your brain to stay awake.”
  8. Fade to Black. Again, it’s a melatonin thing—the darker the room, the better the slumber. Ever notice how much sounder you sleep in a hotel room? Consider investing in some blackout blinds, or at least an eye mask.
  9. Nix the Netflix. As per the above, shut down all screens an hour or two before bedtime, including TVs and computers. If you absolutely must squeeze in one more episode of Iron Fist, try some blue-light-blocking sunglasses.
  10. Pause the Paws. Sorry, pet lovers, but letting dogs and/or cats on your bed isn’t helping your sleep—when they toss and turn so do you. Keep your four-legged friends out of the bedroom, or, if you can’t bear to be apart, set them up with their own bed across the room.
  11. Block the Clock. Yes, even the LED light from your bedside clock can mess with your sleep—especially if you’re up all night staring at it, so turn it to the wall. “Even a small amount of exposure to the clock’s display can interrupt melatonin flow,” Thompson says. “As long as you can hear the alarm in the morning, there’s no need to see it.”

And, when morning comes …

  1. Snooze (Button), You Lose. “The worst thing you can do is stay up late then hit snooze in the morning,” success author Laura Vanderkam tells Business Insider. “Humans have a limited amount of willpower. Why waste that willpower arguing with yourself over when to get up, and sleeping in miserable nine-minute increments?”

Try out a few of these tips tonight, and you’ll thank yourself when you have a productive tomorrow. Happy sleeping!

You’ve read The Best Night Routine for a Productive Day, 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/2r1UTCu

Tidy Home, Tidy Mind – How Your Surroundings Can Affect Your Mental Health

You’re reading Tidy Home, Tidy Mind – How Your Surroundings Can Affect Your Mental Health, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

They say a tidy home equals a tidy mind, but if only it was as simple as that! Whilst a clean environment won’t necessarily solve all of your problems, it can actually have a great impact on your day-to-day outlook and mental health. Whether you’re suffering with stress, feeling overwhelmed or struggling to find motivation, your surroundings can have a dramatic effect on your mood. You may not notice this straight away and you may shrug it off as a non-issue but it is definitely something that’s worth thinking about. We all have those days, where we come home from work tired and all we want to do is collapse on the sofa or crawl into bed. After a long and stressful day the last thing you want to do is see to the pile of dishes, the stack of unopened mail or pile of internet shopping you’re still yet to open.

Waking up and having to deal with a messy house every day can severely impact your motivation, concentration and it’s simply not a great way to start your day. It’s wise to clear a little bit of time to organize the chaos, and then reap the benefits of a calm and tidy home.

Clear the Clutter

The first step to a tidy home is getting rid of the clutter, a time consuming yet worthy task. You’ll need to dedicate a weekend to sorting through all of your items – think minimalist! You don’t have to get rid of all of your worldly possessions but think about what you do and don’t use. You’ll be much happier living in a home that isn’t crammed with unnecessary objects. It will give you space to breathe and a much more organized mind. This is especially important if you ever work from home, after all how much can you really get done in a messy and uninspiring environment?

Sort through the Paperwork

Bills, bills, bills! Those annoying weekly reminders that you owe money on your credit card can soon mount up and before you know it you’ve got piles of unopened mail all over the place. Buy a cheap shredder and spend an afternoon shredding all of your documents and sending them off for recycling. You’ll feel a weight off your shoulders and hopefully you will finally be able to see extra space on your kitchen worktop! Be sure that any sensitive information is destroyed and say goodbye to the mess. Give your important documents a new, organized home so that you can easily access them, without having to trawl through 100s of unopened letters.

Give the walls a fresh lick of paint

Did you know certain colors can affect a rooms Feng shui? Create the perfect ambience with an intimate, peaceful setting using all the right shades. Opt for calming colors such as a soft neutral green, lavender and grey. Avoid harsh colors such as red, magenta and violet as these will have the opposite effect and can also make rooms appear smaller and more cramped.  Try and ensure your rooms are letting in as much natural light as possible too, as this is much more calming than fluorescent lighting. Bright open spaces are much more satisfying than dark, cluttered rooms which can leave you feeling depressed.

Add a touch of green

Did you know plants are great mood boosters? Good Feng Shui plants are the top air purifying plants, these are ones that provide clean, good quality air! Make sure you opt for an areca palm, bamboo palm, English ivy, rubber plant or lady palm for a gracious flow of energy in your home. Plants to avoid include cacti for their spiky energy! Not only will these plants provide you with zen, they’ll also add a beautiful touch to your home.

Following these simple steps, de-cluttering your life and organizing your belongings will make you feel hugely motivated. An untidy home can feel hugely overwhelming, don’t stress yourself out trying to transform it into a minimalist haven overnight, it will take time but will be so worth it in the long run. Once you declutter you will be able to think more clearly, feel more positive and enable you to enjoy a more welcoming and comfortable living area to appreciate. For expert advice regarding a tidier way of living, be sure to check out Marie Kondo’s bestselling book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up’ it will change your life forever!

Happy de-cluttering!


Matilda is a firm believer in self-development, spirituality and a tidy home! She is a freelance marketing manager for interiors boutique Homeward Bound Interiors and enjoys nothing more than travelling the world in search of inspiration in all aspects of her life!

 

You’ve read Tidy Home, Tidy Mind – How Your Surroundings Can Affect Your Mental Health, 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/2rWE37u

Tidy Home, Tidy Mind – How Your Surroundings Can Affect Your Mental Health

You’re reading Tidy Home, Tidy Mind – How Your Surroundings Can Affect Your Mental Health, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

They say a tidy home equals a tidy mind, but if only it was as simple as that! Whilst a clean environment won’t necessarily solve all of your problems, it can actually have a great impact on your day-to-day outlook and mental health. Whether you’re suffering with stress, feeling overwhelmed or struggling to find motivation, your surroundings can have a dramatic effect on your mood. You may not notice this straight away and you may shrug it off as a non-issue but it is definitely something that’s worth thinking about. We all have those days, where we come home from work tired and all we want to do is collapse on the sofa or crawl into bed. After a long and stressful day the last thing you want to do is see to the pile of dishes, the stack of unopened mail or pile of internet shopping you’re still yet to open.

Waking up and having to deal with a messy house every day can severely impact your motivation, concentration and it’s simply not a great way to start your day. It’s wise to clear a little bit of time to organize the chaos, and then reap the benefits of a calm and tidy home.

Clear the Clutter

The first step to a tidy home is getting rid of the clutter, a time consuming yet worthy task. You’ll need to dedicate a weekend to sorting through all of your items – think minimalist! You don’t have to get rid of all of your worldly possessions but think about what you do and don’t use. You’ll be much happier living in a home that isn’t crammed with unnecessary objects. It will give you space to breathe and a much more organized mind. This is especially important if you ever work from home, after all how much can you really get done in a messy and uninspiring environment?

Sort through the Paperwork

Bills, bills, bills! Those annoying weekly reminders that you owe money on your credit card can soon mount up and before you know it you’ve got piles of unopened mail all over the place. Buy a cheap shredder and spend an afternoon shredding all of your documents and sending them off for recycling. You’ll feel a weight off your shoulders and hopefully you will finally be able to see extra space on your kitchen worktop! Be sure that any sensitive information is destroyed and say goodbye to the mess. Give your important documents a new, organized home so that you can easily access them, without having to trawl through 100s of unopened letters.

Give the walls a fresh lick of paint

Did you know certain colors can affect a rooms Feng shui? Create the perfect ambience with an intimate, peaceful setting using all the right shades. Opt for calming colors such as a soft neutral green, lavender and grey. Avoid harsh colors such as red, magenta and violet as these will have the opposite effect and can also make rooms appear smaller and more cramped.  Try and ensure your rooms are letting in as much natural light as possible too, as this is much more calming than fluorescent lighting. Bright open spaces are much more satisfying than dark, cluttered rooms which can leave you feeling depressed.

Add a touch of green

Did you know plants are great mood boosters? Good Feng Shui plants are the top air purifying plants, these are ones that provide clean, good quality air! Make sure you opt for an areca palm, bamboo palm, English ivy, rubber plant or lady palm for a gracious flow of energy in your home. Plants to avoid include cacti for their spiky energy! Not only will these plants provide you with zen, they’ll also add a beautiful touch to your home.

Following these simple steps, de-cluttering your life and organizing your belongings will make you feel hugely motivated. An untidy home can feel hugely overwhelming, don’t stress yourself out trying to transform it into a minimalist haven overnight, it will take time but will be so worth it in the long run. Once you declutter you will be able to think more clearly, feel more positive and enable you to enjoy a more welcoming and comfortable living area to appreciate. For expert advice regarding a tidier way of living, be sure to check out Marie Kondo’s bestselling book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up’ it will change your life forever!

Happy de-cluttering!


Matilda is a firm believer in self-development, spirituality and a tidy home! She is a freelance marketing manager for interiors boutique Homeward Bound Interiors and enjoys nothing more than travelling the world in search of inspiration in all aspects of her life!

 

You’ve read Tidy Home, Tidy Mind – How Your Surroundings Can Affect Your Mental Health, 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/2rWE37u

How to Succeed by Quitting

You’re reading How to Succeed by Quitting, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

“I just feel so trapped! We need the money.” I was terrified. I had spent ten years being a lawyer, and many years before that striving to be exactly where I was. Well, maybe not striving to be crying in my therapist’s office which is where I was at that moment, but striving to be an attorney. My therapist nodded empathetically and said, “but do you? Really? Does your daughter need money or a mom who isn’t having weekly anxiety attacks?”

The act of lawyering was a wonderful experience, when I got to do it.  But as a relatively junior attorney, I was just someone else’s briefcase, carrying all the knowledge but doing very little of the substantive work. Of course, the pressure and stress were none the less for my lack of authority.

It took returning to work after the birth of my first child to jolt me into action. Suddenly anxiety attacks and being a briefcase weren’t compelling enough reasons to leave my precious child in the care of another person 10 hours a day. But how could I let go of being a lawyer? I’d worked so hard to get there. It seemed like such a waste to walk away before I “made it.”

With the help of my supportive and tenacious therapist, and my husband, I finally quit. It was scary but I learned five crucial lessons that have delivered me from quitting a job I hated to a successful life.

1. Know That Experience is Never Wasted

Just as energy can never be destroyed, experience is never wasted. Instead it moves to support your next endeavour.

If I hadn’t worked all those years as an attorney on writing and research, my blog would be far less interesting. If I hadn’t learned the art of persuasion, my daughter would be eating cheetos for dinner. I may not be a practicing lawyer anymore but I am certainly using all of the tools I gained as an attorney.

2. You Are Not What You Do

You are not a lawyer, real estate agent, florist, cardiologist, mom, or wife. Don’t accept the easy label. And do not endure misery eight hours out of the day just to maintain that label.

You are a person living the most unique experience on the planet because it is yours alone. Make of it what you will.

3. Quitting is Not Failure

I was so concerned that quitting the law meant that I had failed at being a lawyer.

Then I realized that adjusting one’s actions due to external circumstances is not failure. It is pivoting and adapting to a changing landscape. Continuing on as if nothing had happened would be failure. Pretending my dream of lawyering aligned with reality despite all evidence to the contrary would be failure.

Quitting what doesn’t serve you anymore is growth, self-knowledge and wisdom. Own it for the positive action it is.

4. Your Family Needs YOU

Your children don’t need a label. They need you: engaged, happy, passionate, and present. Yes, you need to make enough income to live. No you don’t have to stay home with your kids to give them what they need (unless that’s what you want!). But it is amazing how much you can reduce your needed income when you start prioritizing happiness over money or fancy titles.

For instance, my husband and I moved out of our uber-expensive city suburb to a quiet town. He went back to school and I am exploring a profession that doesn’t cause panic attacks. Rent in our new town is half the price of rent where we used to live. Childcare, gym memberships, food and utilities are all far less expensive here as well.

Of course, you can bank small savings by canceling your cable programming. But sometimes you have to think bigger to live a life you love.

5. Embrace Change

You are not trapped. Sometimes life pivots on you in a way that makes you feel cornered. You feel you have to keep doing what you’re doing because to do otherwise would be a waste, a failure, or too risky financially. So you keep doing it despite the consequences.

But life has a way of pushing you back into that corner until you either go mad or change. I’m here to suggest you choose change, sooner rather than later.

Ask yourself, what can I change to free myself? Why is this not working for me anymore?

If you’re feeling trapped, remember that quitting is not failure. It is instead proof that you have successfully read the signs and are following your path regardless of your previously held assumptions of what the path “should” be.


This is a guest post by Ashley Rupp who provides practical tips for personal growth on her blog Reining in Mom. She inspires moms to make themselves a priority and thrive with well-researched, compelling articles on habit formation, goal setting, clean living and simple parenting.

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16 Money Management Books To Achieve Financial Freedom

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money management books

Money. It’s a touchy subject for some people, and it’s just a game for others. I’ve been on both ends of that spectrum: totally broke and busted on one end — and total financial freedom on the other. The former is stressful beyond belief; while the latter is friggin’ awesome. Now, I’m no Warren Buffet by any means, but I do know what it feels like to pull myself out of the brink of bankruptcy and learn how to finally get finances together. And most of my money management education came from two places: 1) Failing miserably in the real-world (and eventually learning from those failures); and 2) Reading lots and lots of books. Today, I we’re going to talk about the latter… More specifically, I’ll be dropping a list of the 16 most powerful money management books I’ve ever read.

Some of them are old-school classics. Others are new-age money management books written to help us adapt to the evolving economic conditions of the modern world. But ALL of them will be useful towards helping you to not merely manage your money — but towards achieving total financial freedom.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

#1. Millennial Money by Patrick O’Shaughnessy

The money game isn’t anything like it use to be. And for us Millennials, it’s taken an unrecognizably different form than what our parents were used to. Millennial Money provides unconventional strategies that modern Millennials can actually put to use.

#2. Happy Money by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton

In Happy Money:The Science of Happier Spending, co-authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton explore how the way you spend your money can have more of an impact on your happiness than how much money you have or make. This is not a book about how to make more money, but a book that teaches us how to spend money in ways that will yield true happiness in both our personal and professional lives.

#3. Bold by Peter Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Bold is the modern money book we’ve all been waiting for. Learn about using exponential technologies, moonshot thinking, and crowd-powered tools to create extraordinary wealth while you make a meaningful difference on the world doing work that matters… Expect to learn new and unconventional methods to leveraging the web’s infinite tools to raise money, make money, and manage money.

#4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

This is the grandaddy of money management books… it’s been around for awhile, but that doesn’t mean we Millennials can’t learn a thing or two from it. If you’re looking to learn a balanced combination of money management techniques to help you pave your path to success and financial abundance — then this is your book. This classic is filled with stories, strategies, and inspiring insights to help you achieve the financial fitness you deserve.

#5.  Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This is a real book of wisdom that goes far beyond what its title entails. Originally published back in 1937, Think and Grow Rich tells us the principles, habits, and secrets of some history’s wealthiest people: Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and many more. Think & Grow Rich is more than just a money management book — it’s a money mind-set book.

#6.  I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Cheesy title. Great book. I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a practical money management book that’s based around is based around four simple pillars of personal finance: (1) banking, (2) saving, (3) budgeting, and (4) investing–and the wealth-building ideas of money management and financial success.

#7. Secrets of The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

This is a book about how to develop a successful psychology and mindset for money… which I believe is the most important aspect of — not just managing money — but building the abundance and financial freedom you deserve. The essential money management book for learning how to develop a millionaire mind.

#8. Flash Boys by Michael Lewis

I’m going to be straight with you: this money management book will piss you off. But that doesn’t mean it’s no good. It’s an incredibly compelling read. The reason it’ll get you angry is because it exposes the how Wall Street has been rigged for the benefit of the insiders — and only the insiders. Until now.

#9. How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life by Russ Roberts

What’s it really take to be happy? Money? Fame? Respect? The feeling that we’re doing something that matters with our lives? … What’s it really take? In How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, author Russ Roberts takes the old-school money management principles and applies them in a more modern context to better suit the world we live in today. More than just another money book, pick this best-seller up to lessons on life from one of history’s greatest thinkers about how happiness, virtue, fame, and fortune are all intertwined one another.

#10. The One-Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards

Let’s face it: Money Management can be a daunting topic. In The One-Page Financial Plan, author Carl Richards simplifies the complex money management concepts and distills them into actionable advice anyone can follow to get a handle on their finances.

#11. MONEY – Master The Game by Anthony Robbins

Based on extensive research and detailed interviews with over 50 of the world’s most legendary financial experts—from Carl Icahn and Warren Buffett, to Ray Dalio and Steve Forbes—Tony Robbins has condensed the incredibly complex concepts of investing and financial lingo into a simple 7-step money book that anyone can use for financial freedom, regardless of how much (or how little) you know about this subject. Money plays such a crucial role in our lives, so we might as well learn to “master the game”, right?

#12. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig

In The Intelligent Investor, you’ll learn money management lessons from the greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham. This gem of a money management book contains an updated approach on Graham’s original philosophies; allowing you to implement these time-tested principles in the modern market our economy presides in today. This is the perfect book for anyone who wants to combine old-school investing wisdom with the realities of today’s market.

#13. Get Rich Carefully by Jim Cramer

Get Rich Carefully is the battle-hardened how-to guide for effectively managing your personal finances. Author Jim Cramer teaches you his principles on turning your savings into real, lasting wealth in a practical and easy to follow format.

#14. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman

Learn the basic principles of money management from one of the world’s most trusted financial experts… In this money book, author Suze Orman covers all the fundamentals: credit card debt, student loans, credit scores, home-buying, insurance, and even how to handle the financial conundrums that come with your first real job (or business).

#15. Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? by  Cary Siegel

The lack of basic information taught in our public schools on the topic of money management (and life, in general) is a total embarrassment. The very place we’d expect to be taught these critical skills are the last place any of us ever learned how to get a handle on it. This book breaks down what we should’ve learned about managing our money growing up.

#16. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

In this book, famed financial coach Dave Ramsey breaks down a battle-hardened playbook for building up your financial fitness. Here’s some of what’s covered in the book: The 10 most dangerous money myths; a sure-fire plan for paying off all your debt; and how to secure a huge money reserve for those unexpected moments that matter most.

That was right on the money.

Now that you’ve got this list of the 16 best money management books — there’s only one question left… Which one do you read first? Should you go out and get all of them immediately? Should you read them all at once? Or should you take a lifetime to read them? So many options. So little time. Ultimately, it’s totally your decision what you do with this list and how you apply it to your life and career. But if I may, here’s what I would suggest you consider as you get started:

  • Subscribe to a book summary site, like FlashBooks to get the key-takeaways from the books on this list.
  • If you’d prefer to read an entire book, I would highly suggest that you read just ONE book at a time. Sometimes, when we see something new and exciting, we have tendency to want to do/learn/read it all at once… and as we all know, this is nearly impossible to do without stressing ourselves out. So, choose a book. And then commit to reading it from start to finish.

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What a Year and a Half of Meditation Taught Me

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It was literally just a google search.

I remember sitting at the edge of my bed, frustrated and exhausted from the endless chatter in my head. So, I googled “How to not get overwhelmed by thoughts” (typing that sentence on google was tiring in itself), and, the app Headspace showed up as a search result.

Without even knowing what it was, I clicked on the link and started exploring their content. To be honest, it was the beautiful design that caught my attention, it made me want to stay there, as if, a combination of code seemed to get my frustration- it empathized with me.

One thing led to another and I started meditating every day for ten minutes.

It has been almost a year and a half now, and, the simple act of sitting idle for ten minutes has taught me more about myself and life than any textbook.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned:

#1 We are not our thoughts and feelings

The French Philosopher Rene Descartes is famous for his saying “We think therefore we are” which, roughly translates into equating identity with thinking. And, to some extent, we’re all pretty identified with the voice in our heads, that constant chatter that guides our lives. It tells us what to do, who we are and how to react to situations.

A similar story holds true for feelings.  Whenever we feel an emotion, we tend to become it.

Meditation taught me that, in reality, we’re not our thoughts or feelings. That, itsa sense of space can be created between the real “us” and our conscience.

Sitting idle for ten minutes is tougher than it sounds, our minds are going to wander and our feelings- erupt. The goal, then, is to not get lost in this and instead- be present. That is, whenever the mind wanders, recognize thit’sa thought and bring our attention back to the body, to the point of focus (breath in case of Mindfulness Meditation and Mantra in case of Transcendental Meditation).

The same holds true for getting space from feelings. A body scan helps us recognize the physiological changes happening in our bodies (that feeling of rush during rage or excitement, the “heaviness’ in our chest during depression) , helping us “see” our feelings instead of be it.

During times of stress, this space helps us make better decisions. It stops us from using our fists during that argument or believing that we suck just because that voice is a downer.

So, was Descartes wrong?  I’ll let Eckhart Tolle take over: 

“The philosopher Descartes believed that he had found the most fundamental truth when he made his famous statement: “I think, therefore I am.” He had, in fact, given expression to the most basic error: to equate thinking with Being and identity with thinking.”- Eckhart Tolle, Power Of Now

#2 Life is simple. It just.. is

We have many interpretations of what life is and isn’t; When things go wrong, these perceptions come into play and things get a bit more complicated than they actually are.

Despite knowing that life is in the present, it’s incredibly tough for us to stay there. We’re teased by things and people around us, so much so, that we spend most of our time living in the past or dreading/fantasizing about the future. Or worse- both.

Think about it- at this exact moment, as you read this, what else are you thinking about?

Now, I’m sure you know this. I’m certain you’ve read a hundred other articles that talk about our unfortunate inability to stay in the now. So, the question is- what can we do, if, our society today makes it harder for us to stay in the now?

Notice.

Meditation is not just about practicing the present moment in those ten minutes.It’s about extending that practice beyond those ten minutes- to the things we do everyday, to the tasks we engage in, the people we talk to; To life.

Meditation, then, taught me that no matter how wrong things go, the present moment is very simple. It just is- right there, without pain, without suffering. It’s our mind’s interpretation of the future and past that makes us worrisome.

The Stoic Philosopher Seneca once said- “We suffer more in imagination than in reality”. And, after year and a half of simply noticing and being curious of my thoughts and feelings, I can say that Seneca was right.

#3 Kindness is the way forward

Meditation helped me become kinder- to myself and to others. It taught me that we can only be charitable and kind to others if, in a very real sense, we’re attuned with our own madness.

It also made me ask a more important question- If we’re not our thoughts or feelings, why do we think what we think? Why do we feel what we feel?

Sadly, most of the factors that dictate this, to some extent, are out of our control- childhood experiences, genetics, etc.

We’ve all had different kinds of childhoods and have been brought up by people, who, themselves, have lived so many different stories. And then, after growing up, we’ve ourselves experienced and gone through so many different things.

Our past matters too because it shapes how we respond to life in the present. For instance, what do you do to fight stress? How do you stay sane when things go out of bounds? Do you stay sane when things go out of bounds?

Here’s Daniel Goleman in his book Emotional Intelligence- “Emotional Intelligence begins to develop in the earliest years. All the small exchanges children have with their parents, teachers, and with each other carry emotional messages.” 

So, most of our automatic patterns of thought have been constructed by such experiences.

Now, can we change ourselves?

Of course. But, isn’t it a little sad that much of this is outside of our control?

No wonder people judge us (and we judge them).

Meditation helped me to not make immediate assumptions about people; it made me realize that in reality, no one’s “bad”; we’re all just hurt in different ways. Further, it made me kinder towards myself, so, whenever I’m having a bad day, I remind myself that I’m not my thoughts or my feelings; they just are, for us to observe and learn from.

Because I’m kinder to myself (attuned to my own madness), being kinder to others is easier.

I guess Plato got it right on point when he said, “Be kind. For everyones fighting a hard battle.” 

#4 Productivity is simple

We’ve made productivity way too complex; there are hundreds of apps and add ons that will help you achieve “10X more” and “10X faster”. Unfortunately, when it comes to accomplishing things, /more/ is not the answer.  And, when we’re done with testing out new versions of apps, we think the “secret” lies in taking supplements.

In theory, however, productivity just requires two things- clarity and focus.

I wrote about how we can use Stoic Philosophy to gain some clarity before engaging in any task.

Just like Philosophy can help us gain clarity, Meditation can help us get in the flow state.

Sitting in silence for 10 minutes (or more) helps me train my mind to come back to the object of focus. So, no matter how distracted I am by thoughts and/or feelings, once I’m aware that I’m unaware, I’m not unaware anymore.

This practice (of coming back to the present, again and again), has made me quite productive. Now, I know that before I start engaging in any task, I need to snooze all my notifications so i don’t get distracted by external things. Similarly, to make sure my own thoughts and feelings don’t block my progress, I try to achieve stillness whilst doing the task by being conscious of my breaths. And, because I only do one task at a time, my working memory has information that is very specific to the task at hand.

Once the flow state kicks in, I’m out and if Meditating for a few minutes everyday can help us enter in this state, I think its worth trying.

Over To You

I can end this post by going on and on about how grateful I am for that google search, but, I think I’ll let Marcus Aurelius end it, hoping that it encourages you to practice sitting in silence.

People try to get away from it all- to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like. By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful- more free of interruption-than your own soul. An instant recollection and there it is: complete tranquility. So keep getting away from it all – like that. Renew Yourself. But keep it brief and basic. A quick visit should be enough to ward of all and send you back ready to face what awaits you. – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. 

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The 8 Laws Of Success

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David Essel’s 8 Laws of Success

The “Law of Attraction” excites Americans with dreams coming true, like imagining “checks in the mail “, so that we become millionaires or, by having a vision board, we will somehow magically attract our soulmate. It taps into the emotional side of many people who love to live in this realm of life. But it’s not very realistic. It’s more “wishful thinking” than anything else. Let’s think for a moment. If a program offers huge results, with little to no effort, isn’t it time to stop buying into the insanity? Millions of people have used this technique, yet few will ever find success from “wishful thinking or fantastical affirmations.”

So, where do we go from here? …

In my #1 best selling book, “Positive thinking will never change your life…But this book will! The myth of positive thinking, the reality of success,” I share that affirmations are a great way to start the day…But it doesn’t matter how much emotion someone puts behind them, they are never going to radically change anyone’s life, unless it’s a miracle. Enough of the nonsense!

The following information can be used by anyone to create the life they desire.

#1. The ability to be successful lies within everyone. Yes, you can create an incredible income, lose the weight you desire, create deep loving relationships, release addictions and find a pathway to your creator. You have THE RIGHT to be successful, as much anyone else on this earth.
#2. Unless it’s a miracle, your thoughts are not powerful enough to create success on their own. Your thoughts will not create “checks in the mail”, weight loss, nor will they attract the perfect lover. We’ve been fed nonsense, if we believe these success fallacies. This is crucial to not only understand, but to accept as true.
# 3. The number one block to success, are the beliefs held deep within the subconscious mind. The role of the subconscious, is to keep you exactly where you are, which is commonly referred to as the “comfort zone of life.” Now, this doesn’t mean that the “comfort zone”, or these subconscious thoughts are healthy. Wherever you are lacking success, we can guarantee that your subconscious thoughts are sabotaging the success you desire.
# 4. A thought, regardless of how positive it is, cannot change a negative behavior long term. Unless it’s a miracle. You cannot “think, or affirm”, your way out of an addiction, financial hardship or a terrible relationship.
# 5. The only way to turn the subconscious mind around, from a saboteur to an ally, is to repetitively, on a daily basis, do the action steps you would rather not do. Success demands that we all invest more time, effort and money into our biggest goals. Over time, you can create a subconscious mindset that will continue to push you forward on your path of success.
# 6. In 37 years of work in the field of personal growth, we have found on average that an individual who is struggling deeply with addiction, weight, finances or their love life… Will have to put approximately 12 months, or 365 days of doing the work they would rather not do, in the area of life they are struggling with, in order to turn the subconscious mind around.
#7. Through action steps into the uncomfortable for a 12- month period time, the uncomfortable just becomes who you are. Where in the beginning it was a struggle to lose 100 pounds, at the end of 12 months of changing your diet and exercise habits, the new habits simply become who you are. An effortless part of your
life. Success.
# 8. Affirmations, vision boards, and the like, will be important for only 20% of your success. Regardless of what you’ve been told, statements such as, “what you think about you bring about” are not true. Unless it’s a miracle. 80% of your success will come from your willingness to do the steps you would rather not do on a daily basis. This is the true “secret” of success.


David Essel, M.S. is the best selling author of 9 books, a counselor and master life coach and inspirational speaker whose work is endorsed by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy, Wayne Dyer, Kenny Loggins and Mark Victor Hansen.

www.talkdavid.com

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