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.
Get the cheat sheet here!
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?
“Bread isn’t the baddie it’s made out to be.”
Bread has long been a foundational part of the human diet, but a revolt against it has been building for years—and seems to be reaching a crescendo. Today, many regard bread as a dietary archvillain—the cause of bigger waistlines and the possible origin of more insidious health concerns. Popular books and health gurus claim that bread and the proteins it harbors can cause or contribute to foggy thinking, fatigue, depression, and diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to cancer.
But go digging through the published, peer-reviewed evidence on bread and human health, and most of what you’ll find suggests that bread is either benign or, in the case of whole-grain types, quite beneficial.
“We have conducted several meta-analyses on whole-grain consumption and health outcomes like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature mortality,” says Dagfinn Aune, a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Public Health at Imperial College London. “When looking at specific sources of grains, whole-grain bread, whole-grain breakfast cereals, brown rice, and wheat bran were all associated with reduced risks.”
Asked if bread should be considered a “junk” food, Aune says the opposite is true. “Whole-grain breads are healthy, and a high intake of whole grains is associated with a large range of health benefits,” he says, citing links to lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and mortality. In fact, hisresearch has found that eating the equivalent of 7.5 slices of whole-grain bread per day is linked with “optimal” health outcomes.
While Aune doesn’t see “much benefit” in eating white bread, he says the evidence tying it to increased weight gain or other negative health outcomes is much less robust than the data on whole-grain bread’s positive effects.
Among people who study bread and whole grains, Aune is not an outlier.
“Bread itself is not the culprit,” says Nicola McKeown, a scientist with Tufts University’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. While McKeown says refined-grain (white) bread is “nutrient-weak,” she also says that weight gain cannot usually be attributed to a single food. She also points out that most Americans consume less than a single daily serving of whole grains, and 90% don’t eat enough fiber. Eating more whole-grain bread is a good way to make up these deficits.
Others agree. “If you look at these large diet studies on people who live the longest with the least disease, fiber and whole grains are always major components,” says Joanne Slavin, PhD, a professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota. Slavin says the fiber in whole-grain foods and breads slows the small intestine’s absorption of fat and carbohydrates in ways that improve fullness and limit spikes in blood sugar. Farther down the digestive tract, these whole-grain fibers feed healthy gut bacteria and improve colon health.
While she doesn’t advocate for the unchecked consumption of white bread, Slavin points out that it and other starchy carbs—white rice, pasta, potatoes—form the foundation of most diets worldwide and aren’t an obvious issue if you’re watching your total caloric intake.
Of course, bread presents serious problems for people who have celiac disease or nonceliac gluten sensitivity. While some consider the latter of these two conditions controversial, and its symptoms remain hard to pin down, roughly 6% of adults may suffer from one or the other of these gluten-related disorders, says Alessio Fasano, MD, director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital.
But for the other 94% of us, bread isn’t the baddie it’s made out to be.
While olive oil and fatty fish get most of the positive press, bread (and not just the whole-grain types) is considered a “major” component of Mediterranean-style diets, which have repeatedly been linked to health and longevity. Studies that have specifically looked at bread in the context of these diets have found that people who eat the most whole-grain breads—six slices or more a day—are the least likely to be overweight or obese.
Even when it comes to white bread, the evidence tying it to obesity and health problems is patchy. Research has associated refined carbohydrates—a group that includes white bread, but also cookies, cakes, and soda—with an elevated risk for Type 2 diabetes and obesity. But studies that have assessed the health effects of white bread and refined grains independent of sugary snacks and drinks have turned up both positive and negative results.
A comprehensive review on bread and obesity that appeared in the British Journal of Nutrition found that white bread consumption may “possibly” lead to increased abdominal fat. But more research is needed, the authors of that review say. The vast majority of the evidence supports the latest US Dietary Guidelines, which state that a “healthy” 1,800-to-2,000-calorie diet could include six slices of bread a day—including up to three slices of “refined-grain” white bread.
If you’re wondering how to shop for whole-grain breads, a 2015 studyfrom the Harvard School of Public Health found that the “most healthful” products can be identified by their total carbohydrate-to-fiber ratio. You’re looking for breads with a carb-to-fiber ratio lower than 10:1, the Harvard study says. (So, if a bread has 15 grams of total carbs per slice or per serving, you’d want it to have more than 1.5 grams of dietary fiber.)
To sum it up, there aren’t many compelling reasons to single out bread as one of your dietary nemeses. Eating white bread all day isn’t a great way to stay slim. But if you’ve been shunning all bread—including the whole-grain types—out of the belief that it’s fattening and unhealthy, the existing evidence suggests you’re doing your health more harm than good.
This story was originally published on Medium.
If you think North Jersey is better than, well, the rest of Jersey, you've come to the right place.
You've got your suburban delights like Madison and Montclair -- with their quaint and charming downtowns. Or, if you're up for a more city-like feel, there's the slowly revitalizing Newark, with new, sleek eateries like Marcus Samuelsson's, Marcus B&P and the draw of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Prudential Center. As we announced in a previous story, we want to find the best downtown in New Jersey within these generally defined parameters: Fun sections of town where people like to spend time -- and that offer something special. Based on the sheer number of serious contenders here alone, the best downtown could very well be within the northern section of the Garden State. You can stroll down red-bricked sidewalks with a coffee in hand, peruse your locally-sourced vendors or hey, run into the set of the new Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix because future box-office hits only shoot in the most iconic places. For North Jersey, you have a chance to vote for the best downtown areas in Sussex, Passaic, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Union, Morris and Warren counties. Now is your chance for your voice to be heard. Below is a poll with the list of downtown areas in the five-county areas comprised by reader nominations, emails, and Facebook comments. Voting will remain open until Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 9 a.m. The winners will move on the "Terrific 10," then to the "Fantastic Five" and finally the designation of the being the best downtown in New Jersey. Just like March Madness, we know that some cities will be on the proverbial "bubble," there may be a Cinderella downtown or two, and there will be a lot of pride and cheering for your favorite downtown area to win this distinction. Good luck to all of the downtowns.
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announced that the county had become the first place in the nation to eradicate chronic homelessness. Bergen County has been certified as the first "community" in the nation to end chronic homelessness. The announcement was made by county and federal officials at the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center - which officials called integral in achieving the milestone. "By securing safe, permanent housing for individuals who were chronically homeless, we're providing these most vulnerable residents with the stability they need to address other challenges that have limited their ability to prosper in our communities." said County Executive James J. Tedesco. While the county is still tackling the issue of family and youth homelessness, they have eradicated homelessness among people with disabilities and other complex needs also known as chronic homelessness. In August, the county celebrated as they became the first community in the state to eliminate homelessness among veterans, certified by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. In January of 2015, the county counted 28 persons experiencing chronic homelessness. A year later that number was reduced to 10. Since May 1016, the county has counted less than three people that were chronically homeless. "This is a proof point for us in the federal government and across the nation,"Ann Oliva, HUD's deputy assistant secretary for special needs, said at the event. "It is the proof point to show that we can put an end to chronic homelessness." The county decided to tackle homelessness in 2009 with the $11 million Housing, Health and Human Services Center, a one-stop shop where homeless residents could spend the night, receive help with health and behavioral issues and get permanent housing assistance. Tedesco said the housing first approach saves taxpayers money by interrupting a costly cycle of emergency room, hospital, detox, and jail visits. "Bergen County's achievement helps demonstrate the strategies necessary for success, including coordinated and proactive outreach and engagement efforts and quick connections to housing," said Matthew Doherty, USICH's Executive Director. "These are strategies that we must be able to replicate and adapt at the scale necessary in communities of all sizes in order to end chronic homelessness everywhere in our country."
New Jersey Transit has one train that hugs the shore: the North Jersey Coast Line. Traveling to Long Branch and Bay Head, this journey offers sweeping views of the Atlantic, and crosses over a number of bridges to give riders a birds-eye view of the waters below, as well as tidal marshes.
A newly announced tenant at the American Dream mall at the Meadowlands will be ripped from the digital world. MUNCHIES, a youth-driven food and culture website, will take its words and videos about dining into another dimension when it launches a food hall at the retail and entertainment behemoth being built at the intersection of routes 3, 120 and the New Jersey Turnpike.
This isn't the food court of your mall rat days. At MUNCHIES, diners will be able to order a Beef Marrow Cheeseburger and Eggplant Tempura and wash it down with the Martinez cocktail, a precursor to the martini. The 38,000-square-foot space will include 18 vendors, demos from visiting chefs and other engaging events.
We asked John Martin, co-founder and publisher of MUNCHIES, to explain this new concept. Here's what he said:
Q. What is a food hall?
A. A food hall is a collection of [food and beverage] establishments grouped together in a specific location. There can also be more than food, there will be space for experiential components. It's the modernizing of the food court concept, and more high end that speaks to today's food-obsessed public.
Q. What types of vendors do you envision?A. I see vendors from all across the spectrum, everything from authentic BBQ to killer Mexican to perfect ice cream. It's important to have strong operators who can handle the volume of visitors that American Dream is going to have. And the selection will come heavily from the MUNCHIES family - chefs, restaurants, people we've worked with, or done content about will have an opportunity to be involved.
Q. Why did MUNCHIES want to make a physical location?A. We've always been big into taking MUNCHIES from a digital only brand into the physical realm - events, merchandise, books, meal kits, our Test Kitchen, it only made sense to use our brand to curate an amazing selection of vendors for the public.
Q. Why is American Dream the right place for it?A. Brooklyn would have been too obvious. And 40 million visitors annually is something every brand would want to get in front of - it's as big as it gets. It's an audacious project, and MUNCHIES has never shied away from doing the unexpected and thinking big. Also, there's an indoor ski hill and we're basically at the base of that.
Q. How frequently will there be cooking presentations and other entertainment at MUNCHIES?
A. We're building out the programming now, but definitely big tentpoles every month, with smaller activations daily and weekly pending the schedule and other activities at American Dream.
Q. Why will people be drawn to this?A. The adventure of tasting new foods, prepared by some of the freshest culinary talent on the planet will be sure to engage all sorts of audiences. MUNCHIES will be promoting heavily across all our channels, and American Dream has a robust marketing program sure to surprise and delight everyone who visits.
Art dealer David Killen says he found this abandoned Willem de Kooning painting - one of many - stored away in Ho-Ho-Kus.
When a N.J. elementary school teacher offered David Killen a chance to buy 200 paintings she had in storage, the Manhattan art dealer thought they'd make great filler items at his next auction.
"I thought it was a bunch of junk," Killen said Monday. "I saw good, bad and ugly. Overall, I thought it was garbage, but I'm always looking for filler." He offered $75 a painting - a total of $15,000.
When he loaded the boxes of artwork onto his truck, he began to realize he'd stumbled onto an unbelievable find that could fetch millions. "The more I looked at them, the more I realized - these are real de Koonigs," he said.
What's going on? Ask Alexa what's happening around New Jersey Willem de Kooning was a Dutch abstract expressionist artist who died in 1997. His paintings have sold worldwide for tens of millions. Two experts say the paintings Killen has are authentic. Originally, the 200 pieces of art were gathered in New York City, in a world-famous art restoration studio run by conservator Orrin Riley. When Riley died in 1986, his girlfriend Susanne Schnitzer took possession of the paintings and held onto them for years, according to Killen.
In 2009, Schnitzer was hit by a car and died. Her trusted friends - a group from New Jersey serving as executors that included the teacher - took the paintings, along with many other of Schnitzer's possessions and stored them in Ho-Ho-Kus.
Morristown Medical Center bested Hackensack University Hospital for the top spot in New Jersey, followed by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, according to the report.
No New Jersey hospital earned a spot among the 20 named to the national "honor roll" for being the best of the best in numerous specialties. For the third consecutive year, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. claimed the top spot in America, followed by the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The list of the top 15 New Jersey hospitals includes a six-way tie for 10th place.
Here are New Jersey's top-performing hospitals as ranked by U.S. News & World Report:
10. (tie) Capital Health Regional Medical Center
The Trenton-based hospital earned high-performing status in the areas of nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, and for treating heart failure.
10. (tie) Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital SomersetPart of the RWJBarnabas Health chain, this hospital in Somerville was recognized for "high-performing" care in urology, as well as the treatment of heart failure and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
10. (tie) Penn Medicine Princeton Medical CenterThe rankings awarded "high-performing" status for hip and knee replacement surgery and treating heart failure at this Plainsboro hospital, which the University of Pennsylvania Health System acquired in January.
10. (tie) Hackensack Meridian Health Raritan Bay Medical Center
Located in Perth Amboy, Raritan Bay was recognized for its speciality care in diabetes/endocrinology and nephrology, and for its treatment of heart failure. Hackensack Meridian Health acquired the Raritan Bay hospitals in 2016.
10. (tie) St. Barnabas Medical CenterLocated in Livingston and one of the flagship hospitals of the RWJBarnabas chain, St. Barnabas excelled in the treatment of heart failure, colon cancer surgery and COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
10. (tie) Hunterdon Medical CenterThe hospital was noted for its expertise in geriatric and nephrology (kidney) care and for the treatment of heart failure.
8. (tie) Overlook Medical CenterPart of the Atlantic Health System chain, this hospital in Summit was recognized for its neurology and neurosurgery department, and for its expertise in performing colon cancer surgery and treating COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), and heart failure.
8. (tie) Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical CenterThis Red Bank hospital is a high performer in orthopedic care and ranks high in the treatment of heart failure and COPD, as well as performing hip replacement surgery.
6. (tie) Valley Hospital
Located in Ridgewood in competitive Bergen County, this hospital excelled in the treatment of heart failure, COPD, lung cancer, and for colon cancer and hip replacement surgeries.
6. (tie) Virtua Voorhees Hospital
Virtua in Voorhees excelled in five performance areas: treating heart failure and COPD, (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,) performing colon cancer surgery and hip and knee replacement surgery.
5. AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center
This Atlantic City hospital is a high-performer in the areas of orthopedics, endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, and in treating COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), heart failure and performing hip and knee replacement surgeries.
4. Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center
Jersey Shore in Neptune racked up accolades in the specialties of gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, nephrology, orthopedics, urology, and for performing aortic valve surgery, heart bypass surgery and treating heart failure.
3. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
RWJBarnabas Health's other flagship hospital, located in New Brunswick, excels in six specialties: cancer, cardiology and cardiac surgery, geriatrics, nephrology, orthopedics and urology. It's also a high performer in treating heart failure and COPD, and for performing aortic valve surgery, heart bypass surgery, colon cancer surgery and lung cancer surgery.
It also ranked third in last year's report.
2. Hackensack University Medical CenterHackensack University Medical Center, the flagship hospital for the largest hospital system in the state, ranked 44th best in the nation in orthopedics. Within New Jersey, it claimed eight specialties in the "high-performing" category: cancer, endocrinology, geriatrics, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology. In the treatment and surgical categories, Hackensack was a high performer in lung cancer surgery, hip and knee replacements, colon cancer surgery, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), heart failure, and abdominal aortic aneurism repair. Hackensack was the top rated hospital last year.
1. Morristown Medical CenterMorristown Medical Center is home to the nation's 20th best cardiology and cardiac surgery department and 48th best gastroenterology and GI surgery, the rankings said. The flagship hospital for Atlantic Health System also ranked as a high performer in the state for geriatrics, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics and pulmonology. U.S. News and World Report gave high marks to Morristown's track record with lung cancer surgery, hip and knee replacement surgery, colon cancer surgery, heart bypass surgery, abdominal aortic aneurism repair, aortic valve surgery, and for treating heart failure.
Across all 16 specialties, Morristown Medical Center and Hackensack University Medical Center were among 152 hospitals that performed well enough to be nationally ranked, the report said. Morristown ranked 20th best in the nation for its cardiology department and 48th best for its gastroenterology departments.
Hackensack's orthopedics department ranked 44th best in the country.
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation is ranked as fourth best rehabilitation hospital in the nation, the report said. This is the 26th consecutive year that Kessler Institute has been nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report.
Stand-outs in the regionThe magazine also analyzed data by region and created a ranking by metro areas, such as in New York and Philadelphia.
How New Jersey fared in the NY Metro region:
4. Morristown Medical Center
5. Hackensack University Medical Center
6. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital-New Brunswick
12. Jersey Shore University Medical Center
14. Valley Hospital
16 (tie) Riverview Medical Center; Overlook Hospital
20. (tie) Hunterdon Medical Center; St. Barnabas Medical Center; Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital-Somerset;
New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell was ranked first.
In the Philadelphia metro region:
10. Virtua Voorhees Hospital
Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian was number 1.
About the reportAlthough several report cards and consumer guides exist, U.S. News and World Report launched the model nearly 30 years ago. Hospitals compete for the coveted designation that they used in their advertising and promote with laminated plaques in their lobbies. The criteria include survival and readmission rates, patient experience and feedback, physician surveys, safety measures and quality of nursing care. The rankings favor high-volume hospitals. “For nearly three decades, U.S. News has strived to make hospital quality more transparent to healthcare consumers nationwide,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “By providing the most comprehensive data available on nearly every hospital across the United States, we give patients, families and physicians information to support their search for the best care across a range of procedures, conditions and specialties.”
Read the report here.
Content gathered & updated by the Bergen Review Media team.