Tag: Life Hacks

8 Important Reasons To Let Go Of People Who No Longer Play An Important Part In Your Life

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There comes a point in every person’s life when he or she parts ways with someone: ex, friend and anyone in between.

Upon first meeting this person, there’s a sweet beginning, but once you come to really know each other and grow comfortable, you suddenly realize that the relationship no longer brings any particular value to your life and is perhaps, even detrimental.

Sometimes, we hold on to people purely based on how long we have known them. Time can tie people together, but if you feel as though there’s nothing substantial keeping you connected, time is not a strong enough reason to hold on to something that’s simply no longer worth holding onto.

We grow complacent with people once we’re comfortable with them. But, hanging onto someone for the pure sake of it and because you don’t know anything else isn’t a good enough reason.

Fear is another reason why we can’t move on. There’s the fear of being alone and not being able to find someone else; fear of someone using our deepest and darkest secrets as blackmail; fear of the hate and tension that will ensue; fear of regret once someone is gone.

Sometimes, things are better left as mere memories. You can try to change things back to how they were or try to create things to be the way you want them, but you’ll never be truly happy because it’ll never be anything like how things once were.

If anything, there’s now too much pressure and expectation in the air to recreate what you both once had. Instead, hold on to and cherish the memories, but move forward. Be thankful for what a friendship or relationship brought you and taught you.

Beyond that, friendships and relationships — whilst they do have their downfalls and can require fixing — should essentially come naturally.

If a person isn’t bringing something significant to your life, not treating you how you’d like or isn’t the type of person you want him or her to be, it’s a clear sign that you need distance.

While it would be selfish of you to not accept a person for whom he or she is, it would be unfair for you to have to endure a friendship or relationship that isn’t cultivating a better you.

Now that we have come to ascertain why you may be holding on, let’s make it clear why you need to let go:

1. Let go because things are not the same anymore.

People simply grow a part, which is perfectly normal. You realize you want different things, no longer share the same interests, no longer understand and no longer connect.

Sometimes, it’s a matter of accepting that it takes time to let go, rather than holding on to something that just can’t be brought back, was lost a long time ago or perhaps, was never really there at all.

It’s difficult to hold on to people in life, but remember that you’re destined to meet different people along your journey who will bring you happiness, sorrow, pain and joy.


2. Let go because the trust and loyalty isn’t there.

If you know in your heart that you can’t trust this person and he or she cannot be loyal, then you need to ask yourself why this person is in your life. Trust and loyalty are the foundation of any friendship and relationship.

If they’re not present, it may only lead to paranoia, frustration, tension and anger that you’re better off without feeling.

Find someone with whom you can share your deepest darkest secrets and you know that after walking away, his or her lips will remain tightly sealed. Find someone whose faithfulness to you will be unquestionable because his or her actions, rather than empty promises, bring you a peace of mind.


3. Let go because you are unclear of where things stand.

Engaging in an undefined friendship or relationship is confusing because you don’t know what you mean to the person, if anything at all. If the person can’t make you feel as though you’re significant, reflect on why you’re allowing someone to treat this way.

Be in the company of someone who is proud to have you in his or her life and will make that known to you and the rest of the world. Be in the company of someone who won’t gamble with your heart and mind simply because he or she knows you’re not going anywhere.


4. Let go if the friendship or relationship is damaging to you.

If the friendship/relationship is making you unhappy or miserable, it’s time to bid the person farewell. We must not allow ourselves to feel trapped and used to being treated far less well than we deserve.

If someone is putting you down, competing with you, not paying attention to you, not caring about you, abusing you, embarrassing you in front of others, making you question yourself, belittling you or simply just not caring about you, remove the negativity from your life as soon as possible. Respect yourself enough to be able to walk away.


5. Let go if you simply don’t see eye to eye.

It is hard to make a relationship work if you can’t ever agree or see each other’s points of view. If the one thing you can agree on is that neither of you can agree, it might be time to walk away.

In many friendships and relationships, people come together through unlikely chances, through their differences and lack of similarities. Therefore, it can work, but if you find that it’s a significant source of many of your disputes and tensions, get out now.


6. Let go if you’re the one fighting to make it work.

If your relationship makes you feel as though you’re the only one putting in effort, time and love, reflect on whether or not it’s worth it. If someone truly loves you, cares for you or wants and needs you, the person will never allow you to invest disproportionate effort.

Find someone who makes you feel worthwhile and worthy. Find someone who fights to have you in his or her life. Find someone who knows how lucky he or she is to have you.

Find someone who acknowledges everything you have done and will do. Don’t waste your time on anything less.


7. Let go if he or she doesn’t encourage you or believe in you.

If you find that your relationship isn’t providing you with support, reflect on what the person is providing. You deserve someone who will be there to encourage you throughout your journey and believe in you maybe even more than you believe in yourself.


8. Let go if the relationship isn’t bringing you what you want and need.

Ask yourself whether you can do without the relationship or whether it’s something you unquestionably want and deserve. Sometimes, there’s this belief that we can be “too fussy” with what we want from others in life, but then again, why should we settle for anything less than happiness?

Don’t ever allow someone to make you feel needy for wanting someone who will love, care and support you, someone who will listen and give you insightful advice, someone who wants the same things, someone you can trust and will be loyal to you, someone who believes so strongly in you and your capabilities. Just someone who makes you feel like you’re someone.

 

Author: Alyssa Ho

Source: Elite Daily

7 Tips To Stop Feeling Insecure About Your Relationship

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“I’m driving him away, I just know I am,” she sniffed. “It’s just that I love him so much and I can’t bear the thought of losing him!” Emma had been badly hurt before by her former cheating fiancé. Once bitten, twice shy. Part of her knew that her new man was decent, caring, and honest, but the emotional bit of Emma felt that it was “just a matter of time” before things went wrong.

“If he’s quiet I actually start panicking! I’m thinking: What’s he planning? Is he going to finish with me? Has he met someone else? If I don’t know exactly where he is I get suspicious. He constantly has to reassure me. What can I do?”

Insecurity spoils relationships. Insecurity drives people to become too ‘clingy’ or needy and this creates problems.

Feeling insecure in a relationship is natural up to a point, at least until the relationship “settles”. Let’s look at this in more depth:

Relationships: A security issue

When we enter an intimate relationship we can feel very emotionally vulnerable; especially if we have felt let down or hurt in previous relationships.

  • Will they reject me?
  • Have I done something to upset them?
  • This is just too good to last!

These are the typical thoughts and feelings of the chronically insecure partner. Being insecure is a whole lot of hard work. So what does it involve?

Seeing problems where none exist

When we become anxious about anything, we start looking for signs of things ‘going wrong’ (nervous flyers look out for signs that the aircraft is in trouble). And, of course, we usually find what we’re looking for, even if it isn’t really there at all.

We perform constant monitoring: “Do they look fed up? Why did they say that? Who’s this other person they’ve mentioned? Should I feel threatened? Are they less attentive? Why did they pause after I suggested we meet up?” All this is exhausting.

Emma said she had often felt inadequate and “not good enough” to be with her current partner. She couldn’t possibly understand what he could see in her.

She also told me she had ended many previous relationships because of her insecurity. “It felt easier for me to end it before they did!” Walking away rather than risk the pain of feeling abandoned can seem the easiest thing to do. But we all need the comforts and support that intimacy can bring us. So what can you do if insecurity is blighting your relationships?

1) Stop confusing imagination with reality

Making stuff up and then believing it is a sure-fire way to self-torment.

The insecure flyer will hear the normal mechanism of the air conditioning and twist it within their imagination to signify impending doom via crash and burn. They’ll imagine the bored look on an air steward’s face to be barely concealed terror because, “He must know something we don’t!” The over-imaginative flyer may even fantasize the sound of the landing gear coming down is an engine falling from the plane. They scare themselves by assuming what they imagine represents reality.

There are normal ‘mechanisms’ to any relationship. There are ebbs and flows and mood changes, moments of intimacy and closeness and comfortable spaces. These ebbs and flows are normal. Wanting to be absolutely close and intimate all the time is like wanting an aeroplane to never make a sound or a movement.

Next time you feel insecure, ask yourself what it is you are imagining. Write it down on paper under, ‘Stuff I am making up in my head.’ Being able to distinguish between what you imagine and what is actually happening is a massive step toward self-assurance. Which neatly links to…

Emotional Insecurity
  
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2) Avoid the Certainty Trap

Overcoming relationship insecurity is partly about becoming less controlling. This may sound strange, but feeling that: “This relationship must be exactly as I think it should be!” is a form of over-control. A sign of insecurity in relationships is when the desire for certainty becomes too strong.

Having to know whether your partner really loves you, having to know this or having to know that puts a lot of unnecessary strain and tension into the relationship. The fact is, we all have to live with uncertainty. Insecure people can still feel insecure even when they are told they are loved. Wanting what is not possible (complete and utter certainty in all and everything forever) is not possible because imagination can still make up doubts. So stop looking for certainty where it doesn’t apply.

Self-assurance comes from starting to relax with uncertainty. Wanting to know for certain that someone will be with you forever prevents you enjoying the here and now. Nothing in life is certain.

3) Give the relationship room to breathe

When you plant a seed in the ground, you need to give it access to sunlight, water, and air; you need to give it space to develop. Your relationship needs room to breathe. Schedule in some ‘separate time’ and just see it for what it is. The developing flower needing space to grow isn’t a sign that it is heading for collapse.

4) Stop ‘mind reading’

Constantly wondering what your partner is thinking is a quick route to anxiety. If they say one thing don’t assume they mean another. If they say nothing don’t assume that their silence is significant, either.

Many men relax by not talking. Constantly wondering and asking what someone is thinking is a dead end because even if they do tell, will you believe them anyway?

‘Mind reading’ happens when we assume we know what someone is thinking when we don’t. When you stop doing it, you really begin to respect someone’s privacy because everyone deserves the right to have space to think their own thoughts. Constantly asking, “What are you thinking?” can make someone want to withdraw further.

5) Stop comparing current relationships to past ones

Have you ever taken an instant disliking/liking to someone merely because they reminded you of someone else who you disliked/liked? Some people do this with whole relationships. Because they were in a relationship with someone who was abusive, very critical or dishonest, or who left them, they respond to a new partner defensively or angrily when, in fact, the new partner is not really like the old one at all.

The extreme form of this ‘sloppy comparison’ can lead to destructive over-generalizations such as, “All men are lying bastards!” or “All women are promiscuous money grabbers!”

If you suspect you have been making faulty unfair comparisons between your current partner and a former one, then write a list of all the destructive traits of your former partner. Write next to this list all the ways your current partner is different and review this list regularly. This will help you to stop assuming that the future has to be like the past.

6) For security: Seek self-assurance

Rather than always looking to the other person to make you feel secure in your relationship, get into the habit of reassuring yourself. Start to challenge your own fears and imaginings rather than just accepting them. Ask yourself: “Hold on a second. What real evidence is there for this fear?” At the same time you can focus on the thought: “Okay, nothing in this life is certain and I can live with that. And even if this relationship did end, I’m strong enough to go through it and ride it and will have learnt things from it.” We all need to go with the flow in relationships. What we fear will be ‘the end of the world’ if it happens never really is.

Sit down, close your eyes, and strongly imagine feeling relaxed and secure around your partner. This will train your brain to feel that “whatever happens, I’ll be okay.

And finally…

7) Focus on the good

Relationships are meant to be fun (at least some of the time). Insecure people look for signs of what’s not working. I want you to look for signs of what is.

Doing this will get you and your partner feeling naturally more positive.

No meaningful relationship will always totally work all the time. Being too black or white about relationships spells trouble. There are always some difficulties, but keep focussing on what is good.

This doesn’t mean that you have to accept anyone who will accept you, even if they are obviously not right for you. But it does mean that if there are occasional problems, you don’t have to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ and become so destructive that the relationship ends or so clingy that your partner ends it for you.

Emma learned to relax and enjoy her relationship. She stopped feeling she had to control what her partner thought or did and her new laidback attitude made it easier for their love to genuinely blossom.

A good relationship is there for you to enjoy together, to share resources and develop together in healthy ways. If someone really does treat you badly or lies and cheats, then feeling insecure is a natural and justified response. However, if you’re actually in a generally good relationship, then follow these tips because what you have is precious.

But possibly not as precious as the knowledge that whatever happens, you can relax because you’ll be okay.

 Author:  Mark Tyrrell.

8 Ways to Take Responsibility for Yourself

Taking true responsibility for yourself gives you back the power to create exactly what you want in your life.

This means that you must take responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions.

Taking responsibility for yourself gives you true freedom. By taking responsibility for yourself, and only yourself, you become aware of the true connection between your inner and outer world.  You are the one and only creator of your life. There is no one else to blame for what your life is.  When we take responsibility, we take back control of our experience.  Taking responsible control means that you understand the basic truths of the Universe, and use your understanding of your inner world to create consciously and respectfully through your actions.

The Gift of Responsibility gives you freedom, because it grants you true awareness of your power as a creator.

“A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.”

~ James Allen

  1. Awareness is the first step to understanding that you create everything in your experience.  Every part of your life, good or bad, has a root somewhere within your mind.
  2. The truth can hurt sometimes, but by taking charge of the fact that you are creating your own experience, you can finally take control of what you are inviting into your experience.  Without the Gift of Responsibility, people do not realize that they are the creators of their own experience, and live their lives reacting to the things around them.
  3. To consciously create your life with responsibility, act, don’t react.  You may have heard that one of the definitions of insanity is performing the same action over and over yet expecting different results.  When someone reacts to what is happening around them without realizing that their attention to these things are just drawing more of the same to them, they see the same things, good or bad, repeat themselves over and over again in their lives.
  4. Using the Gift of Responsibility means that you may have to go through a period of change where you admit that you were causing negative or painful experiences to happen to you because of your thoughts and actions.  This can be hard, because we do not want to take responsibility for our lives.  We want to blame others for what is happening to us.  But nothing “just happens” to us, we create our own lives through our thoughts, words, actions and beliefs.
  5. The fear inside of us has been in control for too long.  Freedom is given to those who are aware of what the fear makes them do.  Fear is like a parasite inside of you, and it feels very threatened by the idea of freedom and of living with conscious awareness.  This internal parasite feeds off of drama, judgments, negative emotions and off of your fear of change.  If it can’t get these things out of you, it will have you “attack” other people with your thoughts, words, body language, and even with your physical body to get the energy it needs to survive.  Be aware of this fear parasite as you learn and grow in wisdom and experience.
  6. If you can become aware of how fear uses you to feed itself, you can overcome it by simply being aware. When you become aware of the choices that fear is trying to make for you, you have taken responsibility for yourself, and are one step closer to being completely free.
  7. The cause of our problems is not outside of us. We do not need to wait for anyone or anything to happen to change our lives. The beginning of change always lies within us.  By taking full and complete responsibility for both the roots and the fruits in our lives, we will change our lives for the better. To change the fruits you must change the roots. If you want your life to change and if you want less to complain about, you are going to need to change how you think.
  8. Awareness is the first step to creating change.

When you allow others to be responsible for themselves, you free yourself to work on you.  No need to worry about controlling others, their choices will always be theirs, no matter how much you try to scheme about how to make them do what you want.  There is more than one way to be on this Earth, and who are you to tell other people how to live their lives?

They are responsible, so let them live their own adventure, and you will become more free to live yours.

“I will not surrender responsibility for my life and my actions.”

~ John Enoch Powell

13 Statements Happy, Positive People Say All the Time (That You Should Say Too)

Happiness and success in your personal and professional life is about making yourself more positive so you can be motivated enough to do what needs to be done to achieve your goals. Super positive people know this and use the power of words to motivate themselves (and others) to reach their goals.

Happy, positive people are their own biggest cheerleaders. Even when things don’t look too good, positive people speak positively and remain hopeful that things will work out in the end. That helps them stay focused, steadfast and joyful on the oft turbulent path to success.

While talking to yourself may sound like an odd thing to do, it’s extremely effective. It can have an outsize effect on yourself and others. That is why we encourage you to speak these statements that super positive people say all the time. Be sincere; don’t just say what positive people say for the sake of saying it. Say what they say and truly mean it.

 

1. “I’m not perfect—and that’s OK.”

 

Sometimes we feel like we need to be perfect before we can take our next step in life, such as go into partnership or launch a business. At such times, super positive people remind themselves that they’re not perfect, and being imperfect is perfectly okay. Perfectionism holds many of us back from success. Take a second to admit that you’re not perfect, but that’s ok. Then go forth and start. Take the next step. You will be fine.

 

2. “I’m a little scared, but I will overcome this fear.”

 

Fear is responsible for many lost opportunities and foregone dreams. When super positive feel fear crippling their efforts, they admit they are scared but also tell themselves they can beat their fear. This simple act gives them the strength and courage they need to face their fears and overcome. Acknowledge fear can be crippling and make a choice to overcome it. Tell yourself you will prevail. Fear only has the power you give it.

 

3. “I can do this!”

 

Right before super positive people take a challenge or step into a difficult situation, they tell themselves they can do it. Because, as Confucius said, “Those who think they can, and those who think they can’t are both usually right.” When Steve Jobs ordered a special kind of glass for the first iPhone, manufacturers were aghast at the stringent request. “Don’t be afraid,” Jobs said. “You can do it. Get your mind around it. You can do it.” And they did it. If you believe you can, you are right. If you believe you can’t, you are also right!

 

4. “I’m good enough, right now, just like this.”

 

When super positive people are ready to push harder to reach a goal and/or improve, they steel themselves for the push with the reminder that they’re good enough, right now, today. Say it out loud: “I’m good enough, right now, just like this.” You will feel a sense of power, relief and even self-acceptance, which is good motivation.

 

5. “Look how far I’ve come!”

 

The importance of acknowledging your achievements is huge. Super positive people acknowledge their achievements all the time and that helps them face their challenges confidently. It reminds them that they have done it before and they can do it again. Speak these words out loud and acknowledge that your efforts have brought results before. Heck, throw a party if you want to celebrate your achievements. It’s extremely gratifying and empowering to know what your efforts can bring.

 

6. “You can count on me.”

 

Super positive people are aware of the importance of being there for people. They know that you cannot reach your peak by ignoring everyone else. As an African proverb says, “One finger cannot kill a louse.” You have to pull together to make a positive difference. And so they say to others, “You can count on me,” and they mean it. Say it and mean it. Be that person standing by to help. You’ll be stronger for it. Nobody achieve anything great all alone.

 

7. “I believe in you.”

 

People doubt themselves sometimes. You do, I do, we all do. Even the most confident among us sometimes needs a friend to remind them that they are good enough. Super positive people are these kinds of friends. They say to others, “I believe in you” and guide them to a better way. Say this to others and you will be an inspiration to them. You’ll comfort and foster gratitude and positivity all around you. That’s what life’s about.

 

8. “I trust you.”

 

We all need to be pushed at times, especially when we fall short. Super positive people have faith in people. They step up to push and be more of a coach or mentor to others. They trust in the abilities of others and tell them as much to inspire them to be better. Say to people, “I trust you.” It’s a powerful statement that brings out the best in people. As the late, great NFL coach Vince Lombardi rightly said: “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.”

 

9. “You really impress me.”

 

When others put a marked effort or demonstrate great skill or knowledge in something, super positive people are quick to recognize these things and commend them for it. People love and appreciate that guesture. If you want to see how effective such sentiments have, just read this short bit of dialogue from the 1997 movie As Good As It Gets in which Jack Nicholson’s character offers Helen Hunt’s character the ultimate compliment: “You make me want to be a better man.” Tell people they impress you sincerely. It shows you see people’s good side and you appreciate them. That is guaranteed to elicit positive responses.

 

10. “I’m sorry.”

 

Super positive people are not haughty as to refuse to apologize when they’ve clearly committed a fault or done something worthy of expressing regret. They are also not inconsiderate as to refuse to express their feelings of sympathy to someone who deserves it. They say, “I’m sorry” all the time when it is deserved. Say this too, and mean it. People appreciate these two little words greatly when said sincerely. However, they resent the same words and find them annoying when said insincerely.

 

11. “Let’s take some time off.”

 

Super positive people know that true happiness and success is a well-rounded approach. It’s an approach filled with laughter, family, friends, vacations and hours of downtime on the weekends. So when they (or someone else) seems like they could use some time off, and it’s appropriate, they say: “Let’s take some time off!” Workloads vary for everyone, but taking a break or vacation can be the best decision you make for yourself. It will allow you to rest and re-energized for true success and well-being.

 

12. “You’re welcome.”

 

Instead of a bland little, “Yep” or “No worries” or “No problem,” truly positive people say, “You are welcome” when people express their gratitude to them. Saying “You are welcome” doesn’t deflate another person’s gratitude, rather it dignifies it. It shows that you not only acknowledge the sentiments, but that you believe that person deserves your act(s) of kindness, help or recognition. Say “You are welcome” to people when they thank you for something positive, worthy or nice you did.

 

13. “Thank you.”

 

This is one of the most overlooked but impactful simple phrases in the English language. Super positive people do not underestimate its power. They say “Thank you” all the time when people do positive, kind things to them. Say thanks to people. These two little words pack a heck of a punch and spread a wave of positive energy all around.

 

Source:

The Truth About The Left Brain / Right Brain Relationship

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Sometimes ideas that originate in science seep out into the broader culture and take on a life of their own. It’s still common to hear people referred to as “anal,” a Freudian idea that no longer has much currency in contemporary psychology. Ideas like black holes and quantum leaps play a metaphorical role that’s only loosely tethered to their original scientific meanings.

What about the idea that some people are more right-brained and others more left-brained? Or that there’s a distinctive analytic and verbal style of thinking associated with the left hemisphere of the brain, and a more holistic, creative style associated with the right? Are these scientific facts or cultural fictions?

An infographic reproduced just last month at Lifehack.org, for example, promises to explain “why you act the way you do” by revealing “which side of your brain you tend to use more.” An article at Oprah.com explains “how to tap into right-brain thinking.” And decades of research using behavioral and neuro-scientific techniques do reveal fascinating and systematic differences across brain regions.

On the other hand, some recent headlines challenge the left brain / right brain dichotomy. One highly publicized paper, summarized at The Guardian, failed to find evidence that individuals tend to have stronger left- or right-sided brain networks. A new book by Stephen M. Kosslyn and G. Wayne Miller argues that the left / right brain divide is largely bogus, and should instead be replaced by a top brain / bottom brain distinction.

So while there’s something deeply compelling about the clear-cut, right-brain versus left-brain classification (or is that just my left hemisphere speaking?), we have good reasons for skepticism. The real story, as you might expect, is a bit more complicated — but arguably more interesting — than the infographics and popular headlines seem to suggest.

To get a clearer picture of what we do and don’t know about hemispheric brain differences in humans, I was fortunate to have an opportunity to interview a leading cognitive neuroscientist, Kara D. Federmeier, whose research focuses on language, memory and hemispheric asymmetries throughout the lifespan. Dr. Federmeier is a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she’s also affiliated with the Neurosciences Program and The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. (And, full disclosure, she was also one of my first scientific mentors and co-authors.)

One idea that’s often heard in popular discussions of psychology is that the left brain is the seat of language and more “logical,” while the right brain is more creative. Is there any truth to this idea?

One problem with answering this question is that we would first have to agree on what “logical” and “creative” even mean. So let’s consider a (relatively) more well-defined case: math skills, which are often taken to be part of what the “logical” left hemisphere would be good at.

There are different kinds of math skills, ranging from being able to estimate which of two sets of things has a greater number of items, to counting, to various types of calculations. Research shows that, overall, the abilities that make up math skills arise from processing that takes place in BOTH hemispheres (especially the brain area in each hemisphere that is known as the intraparietal sulcus) and that damage to either hemisphere can cause difficulties with math. A left hemisphere advantage for math is mostly seen for tasks like counting and reciting multiplication tables, which rely heavily on memorized verbal information (thus, not exactly what we think of as “logical”!). And there are right hemisphere advantages on some math-related tasks as well, especially estimating the quantity of a set of objects. This kind of pattern, in which both hemispheres of the brain make critical contributions, holds for most types of cognitive skills. It takes two hemispheres to be logical – or to be creative.

The claim that the left hemisphere is the seat of language, however, is a little different. That idea comes from observations that damage to the left hemisphere (for example, due to a stroke) is often associated with difficulties producing language, a problem known as aphasia. Similar damage to the right hemisphere is much less likely to cause aphasia. In fact, for most people, the left hemisphere does play a much more important role in the ability to speak than the right hemisphere does.

However, this does not mean that the right hemisphere is “nonverbal.” My laboratory studies the hemispheres’ ability to comprehend (rather than produce) language, and we, like others, have shown that both hemispheres can figure out the meaning of words and sentences – and that they have differing strengths and weaknesses when it comes to comprehending. So, like other complex skills, the ability to understand what we read or what someone is saying to us requires both hemispheres, working together and separately.

Early studies of hemispheric asymmetries often relied on “split-brain” patients who had the corpus callosum — the bundle of neural fibers that connects the two hemispheres — severed as a treatment for severe epilepsy. In such studies, information could be provided to a single hemisphere at a time by presenting people with input to one side of the visual field, since the right visual field is processed by the left hemisphere, and vice versa.

Your lab uses contemporary neuro-scientific techniques, such as measures of brain wave activity (EEG and ERP) to investigate hemispheric asymmetries, and typically does so in individuals with intact brains. How do you do so, and do your findings corroborate or challenge earlier inferences made from the behavior of split-brain patients?

We actually use the same basic technique, known as “visual half field presentation.”

As an aside, I should point out that many times people misunderstand and think that each EYE is connected to a different hemisphere. That’s not true. (It would make our studies so much easier if it were, since we could just ask people to close one eye!) Instead, half of the information coming into each eye goes to each of the hemispheres, with the result, as you point out, that if you are looking forward, things you see to the right of where you are looking are being picked up initially by your left hemisphere and things to the left by your right hemisphere.

To look at hemispheric differences, we ask our participants, who are usually either college students or retired adults, to look at the center of the screen. We then display words (or pictures, or other types of stimuli) fairly rapidly – so people can’t move their eyes fast enough to fixate them directly – to the left or the right side of a computer screen. By comparing how people respond (for example, whether they can accurately remember a word) when it was processed first by the left hemisphere versus by the right hemisphere, we can test ideas about what each hemisphere is capable of and whether one hemisphere has better, or different, abilities compared to the other.

Often, we also measure brain electrical activity in these experiments because that provides rich information about how processing is unfolding over time: we can track what happens as the eyes send information to visual processing areas in the brain, as people pay attention to a word, access its meaning from memory, and add this new information into their unfolding understanding of a sentence, and as people, in some cases, decide how to respond and then prepare to press a button to register their response. With electrophysiological measures we can thus find out not only THAT the two hemispheres do something different but WHEN and HOW.

In general, the kinds of hemispheric differences that were uncovered in split-brain patients have been replicated (and then extended) using these techniques in people with intact brains. This sometimes surprises people, including my fellow cognitive neuroscientists. The idea that the two hemispheres perceive things differently, attach different significance to things, obtain different meanings from stimuli, and, sometimes, make different decisions about what to do seems like it should be an exotic side effect of the split-brain condition. When the hemispheres are connected, don’t they just share all the information and operate in a unified fashion?

The answer is, no, they don’t.

They don’t, in part, because they can’t. Processing within each hemisphere relies on a rich, dense network of connections. The corpus callosum that connects the hemispheres is big for a fiber tract, but it is tiny compared to the network of connections within each hemisphere. Physically, then, it doesn’t seem feasible for the hemispheres to fully share information or to operate in a fully unified fashion. Moreover, in a lot of cases, keeping things separate is (literally!) the smarter way for the hemispheres to function. Dividing up tasks and allowing the hemispheres to work semi-independently and take different approaches to the same problem seems to be a good strategy for the brain … just as it often is in a partnerships between people.

It makes sense to have specialized brain regions, just as it makes sense to have divisions of labor in other areas of life. But why have specialized hemispheres? In other words, do you think there’s something general that can be said about the sorts of processing that occur in the left hemisphere versus the right hemisphere, or is each simply a constellation of somewhat distinct, specialized regions?

Specifically how and why the hemispheres differ remains a mystery. They are actually remarkably similar physically, and this is one reason I think that studying hemispheric differences is critical for the field.

Over the past decade or so, a lot of effort has been put into “mapping” the human brain – that is, linking areas that differ anatomically (have different inputs, outputs, types or arrangements of neurons, and/or neuropharmacology) to different functions. From this, we hope we can learn something about how and why these anatomical differences matter. However, in doing this, the field has also uncovered a lot of hemispheric asymmetries – cases in which, for example, a left hemisphere brain area becomes active and its right hemisphere homologue (with the SAME basic inputs, outputs, etc.) is much less active (or vice versa). This should really surprise us: here are two brain areas that are essentially the same on all the dimensions the field is used to thinking about, yet they behave strikingly differently. There must be physical differences between them, of course – but then, this means that those “subtle” differences are much more critical for function than the field has appreciated.

My own view is that studies of hemispheric differences will help to move the field away from thinking in terms of mapping functions onto localized brain areas. I believe that cognitive functions arise from dynamically configured neural networks. On this view, the role played by any given brain area is different depending on the state of the network of which it is currently a part, and how activity unfolds over time often matters more than where it is in the brain.

Why do the hemispheres differ? I think it is because even small differences in something like the strength with which areas are connected can lead to very different dynamic patterns of activation over time – and thus different functions. For language comprehension in particular, my work has shown that left hemisphere processing is more influenced by what are sometimes called “top-down” connections, which means that the left hemisphere is more likely to predict what word might be coming up next and to have its processing affected by that prediction. The right hemisphere, instead, shows more “feedforward” processing: it is less influenced by predictions (which can make its processing less efficient) but then more able to later remember details about the words it encountered. Because of what is likely a difference (possibly small) in the efficacy of particular connections within each hemisphere, the same brain areas in the two interact differently, and this leads to measurable and important asymmetries in how words are perceived, linked to meaning, remembered, and responded to.

This is unlikely to be the only difference between the hemispheres, of course. But I think the answer to your question is that what we see across the pattern of asymmetries is neither a random collection of unrelated differences nor divisions based on one or even a small set of functional principles (e.g., the left hemisphere is “local” and the right hemisphere is “global” … another popular one). Rather, some of the underlying biology is skewed, and this has far reaching consequences for the kinds of patterns that can be set up over time in the two hemispheres, leading to sets of functional differences that we can hopefully eventually link systematically to these underlying biological causes, and thereby deepen our understanding of how the brain works.

What’s surprised you most about the hemispheric asymmetries you’ve found (or failed to find!) in your own research?

One of my favorite findings came from an experiment in which we used adjectives to change the meaning of the same noun. For example, the word “book” in “green book” refers to something concrete – that is, something for which it is easy to create a mental image. However, given “interesting book” people now usually think about the content of the book rather than its physical form, so the same word has become more “abstract” in meaning.

A lot of research shows that concrete and abstract words are processed differently in the brain. We wanted to see if those differences could be found for exactly the same word depending on what it was referring to, and whether the two hemispheres were similarly affected by concreteness. We found in this experiment, as we had previously in many others, that the left hemisphere is very sensitive to the predictability of word combinations. Fewer nouns can go with “green” than with “interesting,” and brain activity elicited in response to “book” reflected this when the words were presented initially to the left hemisphere.

However, to our surprise, it was the right hemisphere that elicited imagery-related brain activity to “green book” compared to “interesting book.” Thus, although the left hemisphere is clearly important for language processing, the right hemisphere may play a special role in creating the rich sensory experience that often accompanies language comprehension … and that makes reading such a pleasure.

Another popular idea is that some people are more “left brained” and others more “right brained.” Is there any evidence for individual differences in the extent to which people rely on one hemisphere versus another? More generally, what kinds of individual differences do you see in hemispheric specialization?

There are certainly individual differences in hemispheric specialization across people, but they are very difficult to reliably determine. Where this matters most is in medical contexts: when people are going to have brain surgery (e.g., for epilepsy or tumor resection), physicians would like to make sure that in removing certain brain tissue they are not going to disrupt critical functions like language.

As I mentioned already, most of the time the left hemisphere is more important for speaking, for example, but that isn’t true in absolutely everyone. In order to determine if a person’s left or right hemisphere is more important for their language production, physicians use things like the WADA test, in which a barbiturate is injected into one hemisphere to temporarily shut it down, allowing the physician to see what each hemisphere can do on its own. This is obviously a very invasive test (and not perfect at that). If it were possible to instead figure out whether someone relied more on their left or right hemisphere by having them look at a spinning figure or answer a few questions, that would obviously be preferable … but it doesn’t work.

There are, of course, differences in how people learn and think, what they like, and what they are like (although, since everyone’s brain is different, I think the similarities are actually more surprising than the differences). Some of these differences may arise because of individual differences in how the hemispheres are organized or which hemisphere tends to be used in particular circumstances. Given that the hemispheres do operate somewhat independently, the question of how their independent processing is eventually combined and/or which hemisphere gets to “take control” of processing for a particular task is one that we are only beginning to understand. (In some cases, split-brain patients’ hands – one controlled by each hemisphere – literally fought for control of a particular task; it is intriguing to imagine that kind of struggle routinely taking place internally for everyone else!)

However, it seems safe to say that for the most part we all use both sides of our brains almost all the time. We do know a few factors that influence how functions are lateralized and how much they are lateralized. For example, having a “reversed” laterality (with, for example, control of speech in the right rather than the left hemisphere) is more likely for left-handed than right-handed people (although it is important not to overgeneralize from this: the vast majority of left-handed people have the typical lateralization pattern). Moreover, differences have been seen among right-handed people depending on whether or not they have left-handed biological relatives; this is something my lab is beginning to explore. Again, small biological shifts, caused in part by (complex) genetic differences, can lead to different functional patterns, including whether a function tends to be very lateralized or accomplished by both hemispheres.

I will end with one last fact about hemispheric differences that many people may not be aware of, and that is that lateralization of function changes with normal aging. The kinds of lateralized patterns of brain activity I mentioned earlier when talking about brain mapping studies are more common in young adults. Across many types of tasks and many brain areas, these lateralized patterns tend to switch to bilateral patterns in healthy older adults.

Is this because older adults have better learned how to be both logical AND creative? Maybe :-). It is actually difficult to know when this kind of a shift is helpful – for example, bringing extra processing resources to bear on a task to compensate for age-related declines in function – versus when it might be a sign that the brain is simply less good at maintaining a healthy division of labor. Understanding hemispheric specialization is thus also important for discovering ways to help us all maintain better cognitive functioning with age. This is something my laboratory actively investigates, aided by support from the National Institute of Aging as well as the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

Finally, can you recommend any accessible resources for readers who want to learn more about hemispheric asymmetries?

My own interest in hemispheric differences was sparked, in part, by books like Left Brain, Right Brain by Sally Springer and Georg Deutsch and Hemispheric Asymmetry: What’s Right and What’s Left by Joseph Hellige. These are accessible books written by scientists and well-grounded in the research – although both books are now more than a decade old, so don’t reflect current developments in the field. Unfortunately, I don’t know of more recent books that are comparably reliable and accessible.

Some readers may be interested to read journal articles on the topic. For example, I drew some of my information about math and the hemispheres from the article, “Arithmetic and the brain” by Stanislas Dehaene, Nicolas Molko, Laurent Cohen and Anna J Wilson in the journal Current Opinion in Neurobiology (2004; Volume 14, pages 218-224). For those interested in language, I (with coauthors Edward Wlotko and Aaron Meyer) have written a fairly accessible review called “What’s “right” in language comprehension: ERPs reveal right hemisphere language capabilities” published in Language and Linguistics Compass (2008;

Volume 2, pages 1-17).

6 Qualities Of People Who Never Quit – Thousand Thoughts

Never Guve Up

Have you ventured into a new business? Started on a dream? Worked your way up in a career?

If you’ve pursued a new venture and failed, you have two choices: quit or keep on going. To stay resilient in the face of defeat is a difficult task. Not everyone can hang in there when circumstances are challenging.

When I started blogging, I had difficulty getting traction. Not many people read my blog and not many sites accepted my guest posts. I would write content and find that not many people would share it on social media. I would reach out to more prominent bloggers and would never hear back. I wanted to quit every day on this journey of building up a blog that would help people.

While there’s still much more room to grow, my fledging blog is growing. I want to share with you some of the mindsets and attitudes I adopted to keep going on my blogging journey.

Here are 6 common qualities in people who never quit:

1. Never take “no” for an answer

No matter what others say, don’t listen to them. Do not let the gate-keepers stop you. Don’t let your success depend on other people or on an answer from someone else.

If someone says, “no,” use it as fuel to keep going. Use “no” as motivation to say “yes” to yourself by continuing to work on your dreams. A “no” from someone or from life is never permanent. Think of “no” as a test – it’s your chance to transform “no” to “yes.”

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” – Denis Waitley

2. See a setback as a setup

It sure feels like you’re going backward, but going backward helps you gain momentum to go forward. You may see that life is throwing you curveballs, but it’s only helping you become a better hitter. Once you study the pitcher and understand how he pitches, you become better at hitting the ball out of the park.

Think of setbacks as preparation for doing things the right way. Setbacks are lessons on how to improve. Your setback is your real-life education on how to get there. The people who see their setbacks as setups for greater success will never quit. They welcome setbacks on their journey to success.

 

3. See challenges as opportunities

While some see failure as a dead end, others never stop looking for the open window. They seek a new perspective, an opportunity, another way. They never accept a dead end as final and they look for ways to turn the dead end into something that benefits them.

They reframe the problem, ask different questions and try to come up with more creative solutions. What is the way out? Where is the opportunity to move forward? How can this work out in your favor?

 

4. Look to bounce back higher

People who don’t quit know that the further back they fall or the worse off they are, the higher up they’ll go. Again, the farther you fall back, the higher you’ll rise. When you fall behind or fail, you’ll gain intense learning and an understanding of what didn’t work. The more insight you gain from failure, the quicker and faster you’ll move forward.

 

5. Know that success comes after failure

The most successful people in the world are the people who have failed the most. The authors who were rejected became best-selling authors. The inventors who failed, created the most transformational inventions. 

The products that failed led to more creative and necessary products. A basketball player who found himself cut from his high school team became the greatest athlete of our generation. Failure is the breeding ground for success.

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch

6. Learn, improve and try again

People who don’t quit will learn from mistakes and get insights from failure. They move forward in life with the lessons they learned. They make changes and get better at what they do. Every time they try and fail, they learn and improve.

They don’t let temporary obstacles become permanent walls to success. They keep moving forward. They try one more time – wiser and with priceless experience under their belts.

Which quality do you need to improve? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Source: Addicted to Success

 

5 Important Reminders That Will Help With Your Transition At Midlife

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The statistics tell us that 80 percent of people in midlife are unhappy in their job.

They’re unhappy in their circumstances but they won’t do anything about it because of fear, old ways of thinking, being set in their ways, when the reality is they live their lives miserably.

According to the research by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, April 2008, only 6% of the people who are unhappy in their jobs and contemplated a career change, actually made that change. Why would someone stay in a job especially during this stage of life with this unhappiness?

The following 5 mind blowing reminders can be the game-changer that can lead to a more productive, happier and fulfilled life:

1. You are more prepared than you know

Many people at midlife think they don’t know enough and the very thought of getting more education keeps them stuck. It scares them.

This is understandable because of their age and when they do the math based upon the traditional college time-table, it becomes daunting. It’s scary. However, starting with what you know and your experience, this thought becomes less of a factor to make the transition.

“Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams.” – Donovan Bailey

2. You still have time

To think you are running out of time, can be stressful, scary and immobilizing. Time is one of the most important resources that a person at midlife has. It cannot be wasted.

With that in mind, thinking time is in short supply, and not taking action doesn’t change the passage of time. Five years will come and go no matter what you do.

Why not begin to take control of your life and decide how you’ll use that time? It’s going to come no matter what. The choice is you deciding how it’s spent or someone else does.

There are numerous amount of evidence to support the fact that many people made significant impact upon the world and became wildly successful, during the Midlife years.

Data from the Kauffman Foundation shows the highest rate of entrepreneurship in America has shifted with individuals between the ages of 54 and 64 representing 22.9% of the entrepreneurs who have launched businesses. This kind of data is one that is encouraging and hope giving.

 

3. You aren’t the only one

How often do we feel like we are the only ones who have to make decisions like these. We see this stage of life as unique, which it is, but at the same time present opportunities like any other stage of life.

It requires some risk but having had an enormous wealth of past experiences we are now equipped or better equipped to deal with what comes our way. We are mentally and emotionally conditioned having had our share of not so happy experiences.

Realizing you are not the only one, will help you to explore how others have done it and what you might be able to glean from them.

 

4. You don’t have to risk it all

Losing all your life’s savings or your only source of income and feeling more disposable because of your age, causes you to play it safe.

However, how safe is it when someone else is deciding your fate? You have a boss who could say to you, “I’m sorry but we are not longer in need of your service.” That could happen at anytime. To me that’s a very stressful way to live. Living that way is more risky.

However, you don’t have to transition in one day. You can lay the groundwork towards that by doing a little at a time. You could focus on personal development while you still work. You could tease out your idea of what it is you want to do to see if it is something that you’ll enjoy and if people are interested in what you have to offer.

You could volunteer in an environment that gives you a chance to do some of what it is you would like to do. It is taking little action steps towards your overall goal.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T. S. Eliot

5. You have more resources now than ever

The floodgates have been open. The guards no longer can keep you out. There was a time that getting access to people or other resources was an unsurmountable task. You had to wade through layers of people or procedures to get access to what you need. That’s no longer true.

Yes, there are still some “blockages” but these are not as significant as they once were to keep you from making things happen the way you want.

With the open access to the Internet and the incredible number of available tools to transact business and other ideas, it is so much more easier to connect with the “whole world.” This is why I believe with these 5 reminders makes transitioning at midlife a whole lot easier.

Which of these mind blowing reminders did you find helpful? What would you have added? Take a minute and leave your comment below.

 

Source.

6 Things to Remember When Your Self Belief Starts to Waver

6 Things to Remember When Your Self Belief Starts to Waver

Today I want to give you some strategies in case you ever have a little wobble within your business and start to wonder whether you are cut out for success. And when I say ‘you’ I am really speaking as much to myself as anyone. Tiredness, events not going quite the way we want them to, a lack of money or a dip in motivation can all lead to doubt, confusion and a creeping sensation that maybe we aren’t on the right path.

However if overall your business lights you up these are just testing times and we need to find ways of pushing through and getting to a more positive place. Therefore, I wanted to share with you the following six things to remember when your confidence evaporates.

1. You Deserve Success

Is that little voice of doubt speaking to you from the back of your head, you know the one – the one that says you don’t deserve success? Maybe it is telling you all the reasons why you aren’t good enough.

  • You are too young
  • Too old
  • Not thin enough
  • Not smart enough
  • Everything you have ever tried didn’t work out
  • Remember the time you messed up x, y or z – that’s only going to happen again you know

Don’t listen to that voice – you have totally got this and you do deserve to succeed, regardless of what you have said, done or failed to do in the past. I’m positive that a large percentage of people who have succeeded in all types of endeavours probably heard that voice all the way up to the point when things started to go their way. If you need help to conquer the negative voice in your head read Tara Mohr’s Playing Big (Amazon UK/USA).

2. Life is Short

If you don’t give this  (whatever this is for you – a business, a change in career, a dream of something or someone you have always wanted to be) your best shot now, then what is the alternative? Give up and try it again in 5 year’s time? As I wrote in this post what spurred me on to change my life was the realisation that life is so, so short. Of course, I’m not saying keep doing the same thing over and over if it’s not working, you might need to change tack or try a new angle or get some assistance, but don’t settle, there’s just not enough time for settling. One quote which means a great deal to me and which was said in this commencement address by Jim Carrey, is:

 “You can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on what you love”
Jim Carrey

3. Mistakes are Essential

It is only by the mistakes we make that we learn to grow and find a better way. A baby makes thousands of so called ‘mistakes’ before he or she has even reached their first birthday. They make mistakes trying to walk, trying to find their mouth (no it’s not up there on top of your head) and even trying to express themselves with their first words. But we don’t tell them they are losers or failures (like we sometimes tell ourselves) we give them love, we point them in the right direction and ultimately they always get it right. Our mistakes are just ways of helping us to get to our destination too – let’s be a little kinder to ourselves.

4. Action Is Your Friend

If you are agonising over how to do something in your business – waiting until it is totally perfect before you move ahead – then this can cause you problems. Better to take action – just do something, make the first move and your momentum will carry you through. It doesn’t matter if your sales page isn’t 100% perfect or if that blog post could do with some work – better to have something out there in the world than nothing. Then you can refine and with each and every step you take you will improve.

5. Not Everyone Lives in an Instagram Home

I have talked about this before but comparison can be a really bad thing. I am super guilty of this because I look around at everyone else and I think they have a great home, great life, great children, they are super slim and fit and mega talented. And people probably do have – or are – some of those things – but not all the time. They have their doubts too, their insecurities, their problems. Clutter still builds up on their hall table and their shower isn’t as sparkly as in the advertisements.

The only antidote I have found for this is to be super grateful for what I have now (and no, I am far from perfect at this) but if you really start to examine all the positives it takes away a little of the edge of the comparison you feel. Think about your health, your friends, your family, your pets, the super nice people you have met online…..see you feel better already ☺

6. Think About the Now

All we have is the present moment. Our fears can run away from us and tell us all the worst case scenarios, but those thoughts are just that – thoughts. Just as something terrible could happen, it’s equally likely that something wonderful might be on the horizon. The way we can influence that is by bringing ourselves back to the present moment.

Decide what we can we do today to move even one step closer to where we want to be – then go do it.

Oh and while you are doing it, remember point 1 – you rock and you totally deserve this. Rinse and repeat until suddenly your energy is back, you are filled with enthusiasm again and that little wobble is forgotten.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this post – please do leave a comment below. And if you liked it (even just a little bit) please could I ask you to do me a huge favour and click to share it on Twitter (it’s all set up and ready to go). Thanks muchly!

 

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Why Successful People Are Not Hippies When They Practice Meditation

The-Benefits-Of-Buddhist-Meditation

For many years, I believed that meditation was for hippies or people that practiced the Buddhist faith. I turned down multiple opportunities to understand just how powerful meditation was. It was only when apps such as “Calm” and “Headspace” came out that I truly understood the power of meditation.

For me, I chose to use the Calm app and have been a subscriber for a while now. Until I had someone guiding me, I never quite knew how to practice meditation even though I was able to read about it. The apps that taught meditation made it accessible to so many more people.

I then began to read blogs and listen to podcasts that all spoke so highly about meditation. It seemed that there wasn’t a lot of successful people who didn’t practice meditation. Then an even more bizarre thing happened to me; I added someone on LinkedIn who ran a business called “Mr. Meditate.”

He told me of his former job working closely with lawyers and how they were all suffering from the effects of anxiety and stress. He then asked me if I would give him a testimonial to talk about the benefits of meditation in my own life and to encourage large organisations to pay for staff meditation.

Before I knew it, I became a sort of pin-up boy for meditation, and I have now shared with lots of people why meditation is not for hippies, and how everyone should practice it.

Here are six benefits you will get from meditation:

 

1. You can deal with major fear

Fear can destroy our goals and hold us back from success. Whether it’s public speaking or flying on planes that have caused a degree of fear in me, I have always used meditation as a cure. Before you embark on a fearful task, you should try meditating beforehand.

What meditation does is calm your mind down and relax you. Meditation also teaches you how to breathe and just how powerful the breath can be. No matter how sick I feel, I know I can always calm myself down with long, slow, deep breaths.

Breathing is literally the antidote to so many challenges in life, and it’s the reason why when you are nervous, people tell you to breathe. It’s an age old saying that we all say to each other but meditation will help show you just why breathing is so important.

 

2. You can return to now

Mental disorders like depression and anxiety are caused by a mind that either lives too much in the future or too much in the past. One of meditations benefits is that it can bring your mind back to now. The healthiest place for your mind to think from is the here and now. When you return to now your mind begins to settle down and focus on what you can change in the present.

Thinking In The Present - Tim Denning Picture Quote
 

When we begin to be present and return to the present, we maximise our chances of getting our mind into a state of flow. From a state of flow, we can achieve almost anything that our mind can conceive. In a state of flow, we can achieve the impossible and challenge conventional thinking.

 

3. You’ll increase your energy levels

As I began to write this blog post I started to feel a bit sleepy. As someone who doesn’t like to waste time and wants to spend as many hours on my passion as possible, I pulled out the iPhone Calm app. With only ten minutes of meditation, my energy levels were restored. Without meditation, you may not have got to read this post.

Meditation is proven to give you a much better rest than sleep. The beauty of meditation is that you don’t need to do long sessions. 10-15 minutes can often be enough to completely rejuvenate you.

All you need to do is bring your mind back to the present for even a few moments, and the effect can be game changing. I love to add a cup of green tea at the end of my meditation to truly recharge my brain so try doing the same and see if it helps you too.

 

4. You can have a break from self-talk

Self-talk can drive your mind crazy and take away a lot of your energy and time. Often my own self-talk is spent acting out how I would say something to someone or responding to a negative situation. When I get stuck in these thought patterns, I find that time passes really quickly.

Meditation will allow you to take a break from all the mind chatter and live with a head full of nothing for a bit. A head full of nothing can then begin to pull new ideas in because there is room for them without the self-talk.

Too much self-talk will not allow your positive thoughts to grow properly over time which will, in turn, limit your likelihood of success. Use meditation to change this paradigm and you will see just how beneficial a clear mind can be.

 

5. You’ll gain more control

It’s so easy for your life to become out of control. Control comes when you begin to be conscious of everything that is going on in your world. Meditation helps highlight all of your thoughts and just how out of control they can be.

It’s hilarious to me sometimes when I try and meditate, and I can’t focus for a minute without thoughts forcing their way into my head. This is normal when meditating and some days you will be in control, and other days your thoughts will dictate the entire session.

The more you practice meditation, the more in control you become of your life.

 

6. You’re calmer

I often associate the feeling of being calm with being in a tranquil spot of nature such as The Great Barrier Reef. What meditation does so well is calm you right now in the moment and bring you into a non-reactive state of thinking.

Many of us live our life just reacting to everything that is thrown in front of us and by meditating we can change this reality. When the mind is calm, our thoughts become more pure, and we can soak our thinking with an influx of positivity.

Living in a calm state of mind is a way of life for me now. If you have never got to live in a calm state, then I empower you to make this a must in your life. Meditating will start the process of being more calm, but it’s up to you to carry the feeling on through the way you choose to live your life.

Everything you do each day is a choice. Success is about making smarter choices and meditation is one of those choices. Try it, embrace it, and enjoy what it feels like to calm your mind / life right down.

 

***My meditation tips***

  • Try to practice meditation every single day for no less than ten minutes. If you only do it once in a while, you won’t get the growth that regular meditation can give you.
  • Use an app to guide you through the process. Apps often have good instructions and relaxing background sounds that help deepen the meditation experience.
  • If you’re really hopeless at meditation, then try getting a coach or attending a meditation class. Sometimes it’s your environment that is stopping you from practicing meditation correctly.
  • Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Lying down while meditating can make you fall asleep and you won’t be truly present.
  • As suggested before, drink a nice warm cup of green tea (or any tea) straight after your meditation session.
  • If you fly a lot like me, use the time on the plane to meditate. For long flights, try a whole hour of meditation. A longer session is an entirely different experience.
  • Share the benefits of meditation with other people you know and get the word out there.

Have you tried meditation? How has it helped you? Let me know in the comments section below

Source: Addicted To Success

7 Skills You Should Learn Before You Turn 50

Skills-before-you-turn-50

Your ability to acquire skills will determine your value in the market and the level of impact you can have in the world.

While learning any skill can be useful, some skills are more valuable than others. When it comes to deciding which skill to learn, you should focus on skills that are transferrable to other skills.

For example, you could learn how to knit but there’s not too many ways you can transfer those skills to your life. However, if you were to learn how to speak Spanish, these skills can help you improve your communication skills, career opportunities, and the ability to speak with people you never could have before.

Here are 7 skills you should learn before you turn 50:

1. Negotiating

Negotiating is one of the most important skills you can learn, and a skill you can apply in every aspect of your life. Whether you want to grow your business, make more money, or have more control over your life, learning to negotiate effectively can help you get there.

Developing your negotiation skills can also help you develop empathy, listening, and sales skills. The question is, how do you start developing negotiation skills?

Where to learn: The best way to start negotiating is to start small. While reading books can help you, you don’t want to get stuck in “learning mode”, and instead embrace the “learn as you go” mode. You could literally practice negotiating anywhere, from your local flea market to a street vendor, where negotiating is more acceptable.

“The best move you can make in negotiation is to think of an incentive the other person hasn’t even thought of – and then meet it.” – Eli Broad

2. Instrument

Learning to play an instrument can not only impress your friends (or your date), but it can help improve your cognitive skills. Playing an instrument has been shown to increase your concentration skills, which is an increasingly important skill in the distracting world we live in.

If you’re new to the music industry, you can check out this article to know which instrument you should play.

Where to learn: You can find a local teacher that can meet up with you in-person on craigslist or Kijiji, and have them come to you. Or if you’re a busy person, you can check out these list of websites to learn different instruments online.

 

3. Public speaking

Public speaking, according to Warren Buffett, is one of the most important skills you can learn to advance your career.

Being able to communicate effectively can positively impact nearly everything you do in your life, from your career, relationships, business — the list goes on. Not everyone is born a great communicator, and it’s a skill that can be learned and developed by anyone who’s committed.

Where to learn: Join a local Toastmasters organization in your city, and you can start to practice your speaking skills and receive constructive and immediate feedback from a supportive community.

 

4. Personal finance

This one is quite underestimated by most people, especially recent college graduates. No, it’s not a sexy topic to learn, but none of the dreams and goals you have will come true if you don’t master this skill.

Being able to manage your own finances is the first step to achieving freedom. Instead of ignoring the issue, we have to confront our fears or ignorance, and take control of our budget.

Where to learn: This is one topic where being educated is a great place to start. You can read books on personal finance, check out personal finance bloggers, and even go see your personal accountant.

 

5. Speed reading

Bill Gates has shared that if he had one superpower, it would be the ability to read faster.

Time is the most important and limited commodity that we have. Learning how to read faster can save you dozens of hours per year, even hundreds if you’re an avid reader.

Where to Learn: You can take a free speed reading course online, or you can use technology such as Spritz to increase your speed.

 

6. Networking

If you want more success, then you must surround yourself with people that have achieved what you want to achieve. This could be a mentor, coach, or advisor that can guide you to where you want to go and even see blind spots that you may miss.

In order to become a better networker, especially with high-profiled individuals, then you need to learn how to bring value first. The rule of thumb is, the bigger the person you’re targeting, the more value you need to deliver upfront before asking for anything.

Where to learn: The best way to learn how to network is to watch how other successful people network. In order to do this, you need to attend industry conferences, networking events, and get in front of these people in-person.

 

7. Learn a new language

As the world becomes more globalized, we’re quickly entering a multilingual era. Twenty years ago, you could get away with knowing just one language. But today, with businesses going global, traveling becoming more affordable, and countries becoming more multicultural, it’s not enough to know just English.

Learning a new language can help improve your career, grow your business (especially if you’re targeting non-English speakers), and even build your confidence. If you’ve went your entire life speaking only one language, then learning a popular language like French, Mandarin, or Spanish can open yourself up to a world of over 500M – 1 Billion people.

“Study a foreign language if you have opportunity to do so. You may never be called to a land where that language is spoken, but the study will have given you a better understanding of your own tongue or of another tongue you may be asked to acquire.”– Gordon B. Hinckley

Where to learn: You can take advantage of websites like Rype, offering unlimited one-on-one Spanish lessons online, or if you want to dip your feet into the pool, start off with free mobile apps like Duolingo to get started.

Which of these skills have you yet to learn? How will you learn these skills?We’d love to hear from you below.

Source: Addicted To Success