However, regardless of your genetic makeup, there are fairly simple ways to ease your body into being a morning body. Here are some tips. We’ve all heard the statistics about how the most successful CEOs tend to wake up around 5 a.m. If you’re already a morning person, congratulations, I am so jealous. If you aren’t a natural born morning person, you might consider morning people to be smug overachievers. After all, by the time you hit snooze on your alarm for the seventh time, the morning person has probably exercised, read for an hour, made a delicious (balanced) breakfast and arrived to work early. According to studies conducted by 23andMe, there’s evidence that morning people have different genetic makeup than “evening people”, or those of us who tend to stay up late at night. However, regardless of your genetic makeup, there are fairly simple ways to ease your body into being a morning body. Since women are already more likely to be early risers, we’re halfway there.Keep a regulated sleep schedule The first tip is likely the hardest one to keep up—because the first step to becoming a morning person is to go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time. Everyday. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. Choose a bedtime where you normally feel tired. If you don’t normally feel tired until well after 12 a.m., take a look at your food and caffeine consumption. Note that caffeine can cause sleep deprivation up to twelve hours after consumption. Remember that 3 p.m. coffee you couldn’t live without? Unless you have young children acting as your alarm clock, you might have the urge to sleep in on a Saturday. Don’t do it! By switching up your sleep schedule, you are throwing your internal sleep clock off-kilter. By maintaining a sleep schedule, you are doing your body a huge favor. When your body gets used to waking and sleeping at specific times, your alarm clock becomes (almost) superfluous.Let the light wake you. We know you love your blackout curtains when you’re Netflixing late into the night. But these same curtains are disrupting your body’s natural circadian rhythm into basically thinking it’s night, all the time. Stuck in the middle of a dark winter and need to rise before the lazy sun? Consider investing in a light-up alarm clock. No, it’s not going to blast you with a flashlight beam to your dome at exactly 6:05 a.m. Instead, it will gradually mimic the light of a sunrise. In addition, most light-up alarm clocks will also beep (first softly, then louder) to wake you with the combination of light and sound. Pretty cool.Exercise in the morning This is advice I need to take into account myself. Whoops! Chances are, you have exercised in the morning at some time in your life. It is kind of the greatest feeling ever. After your morning workout, you are invincible, filled with energy and ready to take anything head-on. However, it can be extremely difficult to make this happen, especially in the dark winter months. Lay out your workout clothes the night before. Book a class at a local gym and don’t allow enough time to talk yourself out of it. Get up and go! Just like any other routine, starting a morning exercise ritual will teach your body to crave it. In addition, your morning workouts are harder to interrupt. Evening exercise plans are more likely to be interrupted by unexpectedly long work days, dinner plans, or (let’s face it) Netflix.Eat protein for breakfast Americans get plenty of protein in their diets. But most of that protein intake takes place at dinner time. Eating protein in the morning has been proven to keep you fuller, longer. Protein-heavy meals help to improve the levels of your appetite-regulating hormones. As a result, you’ll experience fewer cravings throughout the day, and you are less likely to overeat at dinner and cause stomach discomfort throughout the night.Eat a hearty lunch Once you are hungry again, eat a good lunch. While dinner is often touted as the “big meal” of the day, it’s better for good sleep to have a bigger lunch and a lighter dinner. By re-assigning lunch as your big meal, you’re giving your body ample time to digest and avoid bedtime heartburn or stomach problems. Go ahead, have that big lunchtime burrito.Don’t take a nap Dang, that lunch was good. So good, in fact, that we should follow it up with a nice nap… No! I know that you’re tired and that naps are awesome, but try not to nap. If you find yourself nodding off, try to substitute a nap with a walk or a few jumping jacks. If you’re at work and you find yourself nodding off, refer to this list of productive work to keep you busy. Save your sleepiness for a few hours from now, at which point you can have good, restful sleep.Avoid that afternoon coffee Caffeine will stay in your system up to twelve (!) hours after ingestion. If you crave a hot cup in the afternoon, try a glass of hot water with some lemon as an alternative. If you have to get through a slew of afternoon meetings and you “need” caffeine, consider a cup of tea instead.Starting your evening routine Nighttime activities are crucial for the morning person. What you do the night before will drastically affect your morning routine. There is a huge difference between curling up with a good book at 8 p.m. and drinking sugary margaritas until 12 a.m. when you have to wake up at 7 a.m. either way. Be smart with your evening routine to make a better morning. Future you will love you for it.Replace screen time with books Part of becoming a morning person is in actually getting good sleep. Instead of falling asleep to your requisite television show, consider picking up a trusty old book or one of those New Yorkers from the giant pile accumulating on your desk. Staring at screens before bed has been known to sabotage your sleep. Since most electronic screens emit a blue light, they actually disrupt your internal clock and circadian rhythm. This blue light tends to make the body more alert at night, making it harder to fall asleep and get good rest throughout the night. Put your screens away two hours before bed if possible. If you cannot live that long without your trusty phone (but, seriously, you can), make sure to set your phone to night mode on both your iOS and Android phones. If you’re like me and you’re addicted to ASMR videos, like cake frosting videos or soap-cutting videos, it’s probably best to distance yourself from your phone hours before bedtime. But seriously, read books before bedtime. Fuel your dreams with adventures and imagination. There are far more interesting (and less stressful) things happening at Hogwarts than on Facebook any night of the week.Prep your morning needs at night What are you wearing to work tomorrow? What do you want for lunch? By prepping these aspects of your day the evening before, you free up your mind for the morning. Allow yourself to wake up ready to go by prepping whatever you can the night before. Check the weather and lay out your outfit. Know where your car keys are before you drift off to sleep. Having everything ready makes the morning effortless, freeing you up to do other things like exercise or make some fresh-squeezed orange juice. Lean into being a great morning person by taking care of business the night before. Sleep comfortably Your phone is safely out of reach and all glowing screens have been turned off hours ago. Your lunch is packed, and your car keys are on the kitchen table next to your gym bag. All that’s left to do is sleep. Make sure your bedroom is comfy and cozy so that you can doze off and wake up with, or before, your good pal sunshine. Goodnight (and good morning!)
This article was originally published on CareerContessa.
Discover how you can feel amazing with a meditation program designed for today
How are you piloting your life? What feedback are you receiving to correct your course?How often do you check your guidance system?
Despite turbulence and other conditions keeping airplanes off-course 90 percent of flight time, most flights arrive in the correct destination at the intended time. The reason for this phenomenon is quite simple — through air traffic control and the inertial guidance system, pilots are constantly course correcting. When immediately addressed, these course corrections are not hard to manage. When these course corrections don’t regularly happen, catastrophe can result. For example, in 1979, a passenger jet with 257 people on board left New Zealand for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica and back. However, the pilots were unaware that someone had altered the flight coordinates by a measly two degrees, putting them 28 miles east of where they assumed to be.
Approaching Antarctica, the pilots descended to give the passengers a view of the brilliant landscapes. Sadly, the incorrect coordinates had placed them directly in the path of the active volcano, Mount Erebus. The snow on the volcano blended with the clouds above, deceiving the pilots into thinking they were flying above flat ground. When the instruments sounded a warning of the quickly rising ground, it was too late. The plane crashed into the volcano killing everyone on board. An error of only a few degrees brought about an enormous tragedy.
Small things — if not corrected — become big things, always.
This flight is an analogy of our lives. Even seemingly inconsequential aspects of our lives can create ripples and waves of consequence — for better or worse.
How are you piloting your life?
What feedback are you receiving to correct your course?
How often do you check your guidance system? Do you even have a guidance system?
Where is your destination?
When are you going to get there?
Are you currently off-course? How long have you been off-course?
How would you know if you are on the right course?
How can you minimize the turbulence and other conditions distracting your path?
Organizing Your LifeI don’t think I’m alone in being slightly scattered and sloppy about certain areas of my life.
Life is busy.
It’s hard to keep everything organized and tidy. And maybe you don’t want to have an organized life. But moving forward will require far less energy if you remove the excess baggage and tension. Everything in your life is energy. If you’re carrying too much — physical or emotional — your progress will be hampered. In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explains that some things are important, and some things are urgent. Most people spend their life prioritizing urgent and “shallow” activity (e.g., answering emails, putting out proverbial fires, and just day-to-day stuff). Very few people have organized their lives to prioritize almost exclusively important and “deep” activity (e.g., learning, health, relationships, travel, and goals). No one cares about your success more than you do. If you’re not a meticulous accountant about the important details of your life than you aren’t responsible enough to have what you say you want.
So how do you organize your life?
1. Organize Your EnvironmentIs your living space cluttered and messy or simple and neat?
Do you keep stuff (like clothes) you no longer use?
If you have a car, is it clean or just another place to keep your clutter and garbage?
Does your environment facilitate the emotions you consistently want to experience?
Does your environment drain or improve your energy?
Call to Action:
Do you know how many dollars you spend each month?
Do you know how many dollars you make each month?
Are you making as much money as you’d like to be?
What’s holding you back from creating more value in other people’s lives?
Most people don’t track their expenses. But if they did, they’d be shocked how much money they waste on stuff like eating out.
I wasn’t able to become financially successful until I made finances a priority in my life. If something isn’t happening in your life, it’s because you haven’t made it a priority.
So how do you make finances a priority?
Call to Action:
Do you spend enough time nurturing the relationships that really matter?
Do you maintain toxic relationships that no longer serve you?
Are you authentic and honest in your relationships?
Like money, most people’s relationships are not organized in a conscious manner. But with something so critical, we should take better stock of our relationships.
When it comes to our romantic partner, we should be incredibly thoughtful about this relationship. Yet, as with most relationships, the moment the “honeymoon phase” is over, then we get lazy. We take the relationship for granted. We stop investing in it.
We stop imagining how incredible it could be.
We get sloppy.
We stop creating magical moments and memories.
We stop playing by our own rules and we start slowly becoming average.
Don’t do this with your relationships.
An amazing quote from Thomas Monson is, “Choose your love, then love your choice.” Find the person that magnetically pulls you in. Do everything you can to serve and create a deeply beautiful relationship and vision with that person. Then never stop investing in that person’s joy and never stop creating a bigger and more powerful vision.
Don’t get disorganized in your key relationships. Track them.
Know where they are. Know where they’re going. Know exactly how you’re improving and investing in those relationships this week. Have a vision that is driving your daily behavior, mindset, and service you’re giving.
If it’s not on your calendar, it’s not a priority. If you don’t have goals for it, you’re probably not thinking about it. If you’re not thinking about it, then it’s probably falling apart.
Call To Action:
Last week, an opportunity came up to see one of those mentors. He had a full-day layover in Miami. I live 3.5 hours away in Orlando.
Two years ago, I would have driven across the country just to have lunch with this man. But now, at this point, our relationship is very established. Also, I just had twins less than three weeks ago, and our lives are hectic and busy. Not to mention the holidays and end of year busyness.
It would have been very easy for me to just say, “I’m going to be seeing him next month anyways” (which I am for a business meeting).
But instead, the idea came to me: I need to invest in the relationship. I need to treat it like I would 2 years ago when I only knew this person through their books and podcasts. Back when I was humbler and hungrier.
So I immediately jumped in my car and made the drive.
I made the decision and shot him a text message: I’m coming down man! Super excited to see you.
I then called my wife and told her I needed to have a beginner’s mind. And that I needed to nurture and serve this relationship. She totally got it and supported my decision.
It was a no-brainer.
But it’s crazy what happens when you begin investing in your relationships. It’s crazy when you make the relationship about THEM and their success. It’s crazy when you “transformational” and not “transactional.”
Beautiful and rare opportunities come up. Deep connections are created.
In both romance and business, invest in your relationships. Be a creator and not a consumer. Have a vision and goals. Be thoughtful and helpful. Invest. Be transformed.
4. Become Extremely Healthy And Fit (and have compelling reasons for doing so)Do you eat with the end in mind?
Are you conscious of and in control of the foods you put in your body?
Does the food you eat improve or worsen the other areas of your life?
Does your body reflect your highest ideals?
Is your body as strong and fit as you want it to be?
Are you healthier now than you were three months ago?
Are you excitedly getting in better and better shape, not only for yourself but primarily to please your lover?
Does your health motivate and inspire those around you, or does it cause them to question how you’re handling the other fundamental areas of your life?
How you do anything is how you do everything. If your health isn’t a priority, then what the heck is?
If your health doesn’t translate to more creative and powerful work in your business, then your business is doing enormously less than it could be.
If your health doesn’t translate to more passionate, pleasure, and love in your romantic relationship, then your romantic relationship is probably not as inspiring as it could be.
Health is wealth. If you’re bedridden, who cares how organized the other areas of your life are? It’s so easy to put our health on the side, such as foregoing sleep, over consuming stimulants and making poor eating habits.
Little things become big things. And eventually, everything catches up. But when you get your health right, you’ll not only have greater confidence and clarity. You’ll also be more motivated and inspired in all areas of your life.
Making your health about yourself AND others is key. Becoming completely refined sugar-free was impossible for me until I had a compelling reason to do so — to get into the best shape I could as a way of deepening my relationship with my wife.
That WHY made all the difference. Now, avoiding stupid decisions is far easier. Every time I say no to something bad, I know my body and brain are improving — as is my clarity and motivation for the future.
Call To Action:
Have you come to terms with life and death in a way you resonate with?
How much power do you have in designing your future?
In reality, people are far more afraid of not having lived than they are by dying. Death isn’t scary for people who have a sense of peace and purpose in their lives. Death isn’t scary when you are living your daily life in alignment with what you feel your purpose and priorities are.
When you organize your spiritual life, you become clear on what your life is about. You become clear on what you stand for, and how you want to spend each day. You develop a conviction for what really matters to you, and what is a “distraction.”
Until you’ve developed a sense of spirituality and purpose, then you simply following the norms of your culture and society. Your checking boxes and trying to develop status and “success” in the world — but without a clear and deep reason as to why.
Mark Twain said, “The first half of my life I went to school, the second half of my life I got an education.”
The “second” half of life is when you stop trying to impress and please other people. It’s when you’ve begun asking bigger and deeper questions. It’s when you’ve committed fully to an inner journey of creation, discovery, and serving.
In the book, Finding Meaning In The Second Half Of Life, therapist Richard Rohn states:
“If the agenda of the first half of life is social — meeting the demands and expectations our [social environment] asks of us, then the questions of the second half of life are spiritual — addressing the larger issue of meaning. The psychology of the first half of life is driven by the fantasy of acquisition — acquiring a standing in the world, whether it be through property, relationship, or social function. But then the second half of life asks of us and ultimately demands relinquishment — relinquishment of property, roles, status, provisional identities and then to embrace inwardly confirmed values.”
It truly is fascinating watching this play out in the highly successful. As Andrew Carnegie, considered one of the richest people in history, said, “I spent the first half of my life making money and the second half of my life giving it away to do the most good and the least harm.”
The sooner you can make the shift from the first to the second half of life — where you focus goes from getting to giving — the sooner you’ll find joy (and success) in your life.
Call To Action:
Is your time being wasted on things you don’t intrinsically enjoy?
Are the activities you spend your time doing moving you toward your ideal future?
Are you spending most of your time furthering your own agenda or someone else’s?
What activities should you remove from your life?
How much time do you waste each day?
What would your ideal day look like?
What activities could you outsource or automate that take up your time?
Until you organize your time, it will disappear and move quickly. Before you know it, you’ll wonder where all the time went.
Once you organize your time, it will slow down. You’ll be able to live more presently. You’ll be able to experience time as you want to. You’ll control your time rather than the other way around.
In fact, you’ll actually become shocked by how much time you actually have. Yes, this life is short. But it’s also ridiculously long.
Let’s just say you live to be 80 years old. That is 29,200 days.
From age 20 to age 80 (60 years of being an “adult”), you have 21,900 days.
That’s a lot of days.
What would happen if you knew how to manage those days?
We all have 24 hours each day. If your days aren’t solid, your life won’t be solid. Once you master your days, success is inevitable.
How was your day, today?
Look back on all the things you did today. Did you act like the person you wish to become?
If you repeated today every day for the next year, realistically, where would you end up?
If you are to really accomplish your goals and dreams, how much differently would your regular day need to be than today was?
In order to achieve your dreams, what does a “normal” day look like?
One of the best ways to consciously design your ideal life is to start with your ideal day. What does that actually look like?
What activities must happen daily for you to live exactly how you want to be living? You may have several things in the way of your ideal day right now, but are you getting closer?
Your ideal day should be based on your own view of “the good life.” You are the only one who can define happiness and success for yourself.
My ideal day includes the following activities:
One thing I have learned, from both positive and negative effects, is that how I wake up in the morning determines, in large measure, the remainder of my day. If I wake up with a purpose, and generally before 6AM, the rest of my day go enormously better. If I wake up reactive, it’s very difficult to recover.
I’m honestly not sure why. I could point to several research studies about how confidence is the product of previous performance. For me, it’s holistic. Waking up, priming yourself for success, pushing your body with intense fitness, engaging in self-directed learning, then getting to work simply has a powerful way of getting the day going.
One thing is for certain. We are all in complete control of how we spend our time. If we don’t believe we are, we have an external locus of control (i.e.,victim-mentality) and will remain so until we claim personal responsibility. Until we can honestly look in the mirror and admit we are the cause of everything happening in our lives, we won’t have the power to change our lives.
What does your ideal day look like?
How often do you live your ideal day?
If you were to consistently live your ideal day, where would you be in one year from now? Where would you be in five years?
Call To Action:
The fastest way to move forward in life is not doing more. It starts with stopping the behaviors holding you back.
If you want to get in shape, you’ll make more progress by stopping your negative behaviors than starting good ones. So, before you start exercising, purge the junk food from your diet. Until you stop the damage, you’ll always be taking one step forward and one step backward.
Before you focus on making more money, reduce your spending. Detach yourself from needing more and become content with what you have. Until you do this, it doesn’t matter how much money you make. You’ll always spend what you have (or more).
This is a matter of stewardship. Rather than wanting more, more, more, it’s key to take proper care of what you currently have. Organize yourself. Dial it in. Your life is a garden. What good is planting if you don’t prepare the soil and remove the weeds?
Why do most people stay stuck? They never organize. They just keep adding more, or being more productive, or taking a different approach. So before you “hustle,” get organized.
ConclusionIt’s really easy to get off course in life. Like airplanes, we constantly need to make course corrections.
But we can ensure we get where we want in life by organizing ourselves, planning for our future, tracking our progress, heightening our mindset, and hustling.
Do this long enough and you’ll be shocked.
Ready to upgrade?I’ve created a cheat sheet for putting yourself into a PEAK-STATE, immediately. You follow this daily, your life will change very quickly.
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This article was originally published on Medium.
Curious about kettlebells? Here are 14 great ways to use them. Kettlebells are a great tool for strength training. Yes, for many exercises they're totally interchangeable for dumbbells or other weights. But for some weighted moves, especially ones that require an explosive movement, kettlebells reign supreme. Why? The way they're shaped makes them much easier to swing around. You can also hold them by the handle or the bell (the round part of the weight), which allows you to get a different range of motion depending on the kettlebell exercise you're doing. Plus, the shape of a kettlebell lets you work your muscles a little differently than a traditional dumbbell, Jessica Sims, a NASM-certified personal trainer at the Fhitting Room in New York City, tells SELF. "The weight is distributed differently than a typical dumbbell so it works different muscles doing the same movement," she says. It also requires more wrist motion, so your wrists and forearms get a little extra work. When you take a class with kettlebells, or any other new type of equipment, it's normal to feel a little lost. The following kettlebell exercises will teach you how to grip and use kettlebells to do some basic—and really effective—exercises. Start with a light weight, like a 10- to 15-pound kettlebell (4 to 6 kilograms). Once you start to feel comfortable with the moves, you can progress to something heavier. Oh, and a quick lesson on the lingo: The "ball" refers to the heavy sphere at the bottom, and the handle is the part attached to it. The handle is also referred to as the "horns," and can be gripped at the top, on the sides, or near the base where it meets the ball. Some of the below kettlebell exercises are more beginner-friendly than others, Sims says, but even if you've swung a few kettlebells around before, the most basic ones are great to have in your repertoire, and are easy to advance by just opting for a heavier weight. Ready to reap the benefits of the mighty kettlebell? Master these kettlebell exercises—demonstrated by Sims herself—and add your favorites into your routine.
JEN KING, for Bergen Review Media
Technology companies have been pummelled by revelations about howpoorly they protect their customers' personal information, including an in-depth New York Times report detailing the ability of smartphone apps to track users' locations.
Some companies, most notably Apple, have begun promoting the fact that they sell products and services that safeguard consumer privacy.Smartphone users are never asked explicitly if they want to be tracked every moment of each day. But cellular companies, smartphone makers, app developers and social media companies all claim they have users' permission to conduct near-constant personal surveillance.
The underlying problem is that most people don't understand how tracking really works. The technology companies haven't helped teach their customers about it, either. In fact, they've intentionally obscured important details to build a multi-billion-dollar data economy based on an ethically questionable notion of informed consent.
How consumers are made to agree
Often, these policies will begin with a blanket statement like "your privacy is important to us." However, the actual terms describe a different reality. It's usually not too far-fetched to say that the company can basically do whatever it wants with your personal information, as long as it has informed you about it.
Theoretically, users might be able to vote with their feet and find similar services from a company with better data-privacy practices. But take-it-or-leave-it agreements for technologically advanced tools limit the power of competition across nearly the entire technology industry.
Data sold to third partiesThere are a few situations where mobile platform companies like Apple and Google have let people exercise some control over data collection.
For example, both companies' mobile operating systems let users turn off location services, such as GPS tracking. Ideally, this should prevent most apps from collecting your location – but it doesn't always. Further, it does nothing ifyour mobile provider resells your phone's location information to third parties.
App makers are also able to persuade users not to turn off location services, again with take-it-or-leave-it notifications. When managing privileges for iOS apps, users get to choose whether the app can access the phone's location "always," "while using the app" or "never."
But changing the setting can trigger a discouraging message: "We need your location information to improve your experience," says one app. Users are not asked other important questions, like whether they approve of the app selling their location history to other companies.
And many users don't know that even when their name and contact information is removed from location data, even a modest location history can reveal their home addresses and the places they visit most, offering clues to their identities, medical conditions and personal relationships.
Why people don't opt outWebsites and apps make it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for most people to say no to aggressive surveillance and data collection practices. In my role as a scholar of human-computer interaction, one issue I study is the power of defaults.
When companies set a default in a system, such as "location services set to on," people are unlikely to change it, especially if they are unaware there are other options they could choose.
Further, when it is inconvenient to change the location services, as is the case on both iOS and Android systems today, it's even less likely that people will opt out of location collection – even when they dislike it.
Companies' take-it-or-leave-it privacy policies and default choices for users' privacy settings have created an environment where people are unaware that their lives are being subjected to minute-by-minute surveillance.
They're also mostly not aware that information that could identify them individually is resold to create ever-more-targeted advertising. Yet the companies can legally, if not ethically, claim that everyone agreed to it.
Overcoming the power of defaultsPrivacy researchers know that people dislike these practices, and that many would stop using these services if they understood the extent of the data collection. If invasive surveillance is the price of using free services, many would rather pay or at least see companies held to stronger data collection regulations.
The companies know this too, which is why, I argue, they use a form of coercion to ensure participation.
Until the U.S. has regulations that, at a minimum, require companies to ask for explicit consent, individuals will need to know how to protect their privacy. Here are my three suggestions:
Jen King, Director of Consumer Privacy, Center for Internet and Society,Stanford University.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
by Travis Bradberry for Bergen Review Media
With proper guidance and hard work, anyone can gain more confidence. Embracing the following behaviors of truly confident people will help get you there.
Successful people often exude confidence—it’s obvious that they believe in themselves and what they’re doing. It isn’t their success that makes them confident, however. The confidence was there first.
Think about it:
Doubt breeds doubt. Why would anyone believe in you, your ideas, or your abilities if you didn’t believe in them yourself?It takes confidence to reach for new challenges. People who are fearful or insecure tend to stay within their comfort zones. But comfort zones rarely expand on their own. That’s why people who lack confidence get stuck in dead-end jobs and let valuable opportunities pass them by.
Unconfident people often feel at the mercy of external circumstances. Successful people aren’t deterred by obstacles, which is how they rise up in the first place.
No one is stopping you from what you want to accomplish but yourself. It’s time to remove any lingering self-doubt. With proper guidance and hard work, anyone can become more confident. Embracing the following behaviors of truly confident people will help get you there.
1. They Take an Honest Look at Themselves
Johnny Unitas said, “There is a difference between conceit and confidence. Conceit is bragging about yourself. Confidence means you believe you can get the job done.” In other words, confidence is earned through hard work, and confident people are self-aware. When your confidence exceeds your abilities, you’ve crossed the line into arrogance. You need to know the difference.
True confidence is firmly planted in reality. To grow your confidence, it’s important to do an honest and accurate self-assessment of your abilities. If there are weaknesses in your skill set, make plans for strengthening these skills and find ways to minimize their negative impact. Ignoring your weaknesses or pretending they’re strengths won’t make them go away. Likewise, having a clear understanding of your strengths enables you to shake off some of the more groundless feedback and criticism you can get in a busy, competitive work environment—and that builds confidence.
2. They Don’t Seek Attention
People are turned off by those who are desperate for attention. Confident people know that being yourself is much more effective than trying to prove that you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what, or how many, people you know. Confident people always seem to bring the right attitude.
Confident people are masters of attention diffusion. When they’re receiving attention for an accomplishment, they quickly shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help get them there. They don’t crave approval or praise because they draw their self-worth from within.
3. They Seek Out Small Victories
Confident people tend to challenge themselves and compete, even when their efforts yield small victories. Small victories build new androgen receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation. This increase in androgen receptors increases the influence of testosterone, which further increases your confidence and your eagerness to tackle future challenges. When you have a series of small victories, the boost in your confidence can last for months.
4. They Speak With Certainty
It’s rare to hear the truly confident utter phrases such as “Um,” “I’m not sure,” and “I think.” Confident people speak assertively because they know that it’s difficult to get people to listen to you if you can’t deliver your ideas with conviction.
5. They Exercise
A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more competent socially, academically, and athletically. They also rated their body image and self-esteem higher. Best of all, rather than the physical changes in their bodies being responsible for the uptick in confidence, it was the immediate, endorphin-fueled positivity from exercise that made all the difference. Schedule your exercise to make certain it happens, and your confidence will stay up.
6. They Dress for Success
Like it or not, how we dress has a huge effect on how people see us. Things like the color, cut, and style of the clothes we wear—and even our accessories—communicate loudly. But the way we dress also affects how we see ourselves. Studies have shown that people speak differently when they’re dressed up compared to when they’re dressed casually. To boost your confidence, dress well. Choose clothing that reflects who you are and the image you want to project, even if that means spending more time at the mall and more time getting ready in the morning.
7. They Are Assertive, Not Aggressive
Aggressiveness isn’t confidence; it’s bullying. And when you’re insecure, it’s easy to slip into aggressiveness without intending to. Practice asserting yourself without getting aggressive (and trampling over someone else in the process). You won’t be able to achieve this until you learn how to keep your insecurities at bay, and this will increase your confidence.
8. They Get Right with the Boss
A troubled relationship with the boss can destroy even the most talented person’s confidence. It’s hard to be confident when your boss is constantly criticizing you or undermining your contributions. Try to identify where the relationship went wrong and decide whether there’s anything you can do to get things back on track. If the relationship is truly unsalvageable, it may be time to move on to something else.
Bringing It All Together
Your confidence is your own to develop or undermine. It’s the steadfast knowledge that goes beyond simply “hoping for the best.” It ensures that you’ll get the job done—that’s the power of true confidence.
It’s time to say “Yes” to a life of productivity that will bring you a better health, wealth, and more inner satisfaction. Improving productivity has been a pursuit of the modern human being from the start of civilization.Somehow, we believe that productivity is something that became important after the industrial revolution. We assume that, because we live busy lives, we need to optimize our time — especially in the 21st century. That’s not true. Productivity has been a topic of discussion ever since ancient eastern and western philosophy started. It’s a universal theme. I believe it’s in our nature to make better use of our time. Because that’s what productivity means. On a deeper level, we all realize we have limited time. You and I both know that we’re not getting younger.
Time is ticking. It stops for no one. We need to use it. Etcetera, etcetera — we get the idea. And yet, without a clear productivity strategy, we squander our time like we have a limitless supply. We watch endless hours of mind-numbing TV shows and movies. We spend too much time on social media looking at the lives of people we don’t give a shit about. And when our lives and careers do not progress, we complain: “Why does my life suck and feel empty?” Because you’re wasting your damn time! That’s why!
It’s time to say “No” to wasting time on useless things that do not bring you anything but short-term pleasure. It’s time to say “Yes” to a life of productivity that will bring you a better health, wealth, and more inner satisfaction. Let’s start by learning the following 7 productivity lessons from the most well-known philosophers in history. These lessons have helped me a lot, and I hope they will do the same for you.
1. Don’t Try To Do More“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – SocratesWho else could give this monumental piece of advice other than Socrates? The founder of Western philosophy realized that it’s easy to fill your life with meaningless tasks. But what happens when you do that? The busyness leads to unproductiveness. You end up doing many things in a mediocre way. Instead, focus your time and energy on a few important things. Don’t take on more tasks and responsibilities. We often want to get more out of life. But that doesn’t mean you have to do more things. That’s why the most important productivity lesson is to understand that it’s not about doing more — it’s about doing the same in less time. We’ll get to HOW you do that later.
2. Complete 3-4 Important Tasks Each Day“Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.” – Plato Time is a paradoxical concept. Life is long. But our days are short. We can achieve a lot in a lifetime. We can achieve little in a day.Once you realize that, you won’t try to do the impossible on an average day. Take it easy. Make small progress every day. Do that by only setting 3-4 important tasks that will directly contribute to what you want to achieve in life. If you don’t have clear goals in your life, it’s not the end of the world. Aim for universal concepts like self-improvement, joyfulness, and having good relationships. Become the best version of yourself. But realize that your days are short—only set 3-4 tasks you want to complete.
3. Enjoy Doing The Work“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – AristotleSet goals. But don’t stare yourself blind on them. Instead, give your attention to the job itself. It’s easy to daydream about all the things we want to do in the future. But that puts us in the wrong state of mind. We risk sacrificing the present for the future. No matter how hard you work today, never see it as a sacrifice.You will end up resenting yourself. Instead, enjoy your work. Take pride in it. That will not only lead to better results, it will also give you fulfillment.
4. Eliminate Distractions“If you seek tranquility, do less. Or (more accurately) do what’s essential. Do less, better. Because most of what we do or say is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more tranquility.” – Marcus Aurelius Elimination is a key strategy for every productive person. You shouldn’t only eliminate non-essential tasks, but everything that distracts you. The more you eliminate, the more focus and tranquility you have. Look at yourself as a sculptor. You’ve been given a massive stone. Your task is to eliminate so much until you end up with a perfect piece of art.Is social media polluting your soul? Eliminate it. Are some people causing you hurt and drama? Eliminate them from your life. Continue eliminating everything else that has a negative impact on your sanity and productivity.
5. Keep Your Ego In Check“Neither blame or praise yourself.” – PlutarchAs the famous Roman biographer Plutarch realized, the ego loves praise, but also blame. In fact, your ego loves any type of attention.At all times, refuse to please your ego. All you have to do is to be aware that you have an ego. Most people live their lives without ever realizing their ego is hurting their work. When you excessively blame yourself for things that go wrong, you end up hating yourself—and ultimately, everyone else. And when you do the opposite, you end up loving yourself in an unhealthy way. That’s also called narcissism. A little never hurts.But when you overdo it, you sacrifice the quality of your work. Hence, don’t blame or praise yourself. Instead, celebrate the process, not the outcomes.
6. Keep Moving Forward“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – ConfuciusOne unproductive day can destroy your whole momentum. And that can set you back months. Never underestimate how difficult it is to live a productive life. And realize that most people in your environment will not understand you. “What does one more drink hurt?” Well, A LOT. Even when you’re resting, do something little that brings you closer to your goals. Read a book, go to the gym, write in your journal. No matter how small your effort, keep moving and stop for nothing.
7. Rely On A System“Great acts are made up of small deeds.” – Lao TzuWhether we realize it or not, everything we do is part of a system. The first thing you do when you wake up, what you do when you start working, how much you work, where you work, what you eat, whether you work out or not, and so forth. All your small actions combined, form your system for living. And that leads to the big outcomes in life: More happiness, fulfillment, and better health, wealth—it’s all a result of your system. So if you don’t have a productivity system, create one. Like Lao Tzu says, think about the small actions. Like everything in life, small things lead to big things. It’s up to you to decide WHAT big things you get. Will you get good or bad outcomes? The latter requires wasting your time, the fo mer requires productive action — every day. What will it be?
Content gathered & updated by the Bergen Review Media team.