Category Archives: Current Events

How to be Anxiety-Free: Top 10 Techniques

This is a guest post by Ryan Rivera of www.calmclinic.com

Oh my god! It is almost 12 noon and I am still stuck with this report. What will I do? I must make haste! Will I make it? Working in this pace is going to make me lose my job. I’m running out of time! Me? Fired? Oh, no! Rent’s due this Friday. What am I going to do?”

If this is the beat constantly playing in your work life, then I guess it is only a matter of time until this tune will beat the goodness out of you. This melody of anxiety can be quite disgruntling. The stress of trying to finish work before the deadline, the pressure of improving your work performance and the strain of meeting obligations and other responsibilities can cause extreme problems to your nerves.

Mind you. Your nerves can only handle too much. When they get smashed and thrashed all over the place with all the adrenaline and relentless worrying that you do, they will lose their functionality. This, unfortunately, will lead to the development of anxiety disorders.

If you wish to avoid this fate, here are some of the best techniques to help you cope with all the stress and anxiety surrounding you.

1. Calm down

At the first sign of anxiety, keep yourself calm. Your heart may beat so fast. Your breathing may turn difficult. Your muscles may grow tense. Your head may spin around. But never ever lose your composure. Get hold of yourself and try not to panic. The more you fret, the more you worry and the greater and more extreme the feelings of anxiety will become.

2. Take a deep breath

Deep breathing exercises are the easiest and fastest way of keeping yourself calm. When things go out of hand and time seems to be running out, pause for a while and do deep breathing. This simple exercise of filling up your lungs with air will help solve the oxygen-carbon dioxide imbalance that may cause the symptoms of anxiety.

3. Light a scented candle

Certain fragrances from your favorite scents such as lavender, chamomile, and jasmine trigger a relaxation response. Their calming whiff helps to lift your emotions. Hence, when you are feeling a little blue or tensed, light up a scented candle and fill your home with their aroma.

4. Listen to a happy song

Songs as they say are “food for the soul.” They sate the pains, sorrows, anxieties, and worries that lie beneath the core. If you are feeling tensed, putting on your favorite cd and listening to the tunes being played will help soothe your aches and pains. You can try to play songs with lively or positive beat. But it is up to you. What is important is that you enjoy the music.

5. Stretch your limbs

Strained muscles often need a little bit of stretching to loosen them up. Being slumped in work for hours can cause pressure in your back and muscles. This piled up tension can be annoying and painful at times. Practising some toe touches before you hit the sack for at least 5 minutes will help relieve those soreness and muscle cramps.

6. De-clutter

The mess and chaos of your surroundings greatly add to the anxiety you are experiencing. To trim them down, clearing the clutter from your home can essentially help to de-clutter your mind as well.

7. Ditch the coffee

This step can be a tough one. But taking this can do wonders to alleviate your anxiety. As delicious as coffee can be, you have to ditch this addiction because the caffeine it contains makes your nerves jolt, leaving you anxious from morning till noon. So, wean yourself from coffee soon. Try drinking green tea instead.

8. Visualize greenery

Your imagination is a strong tool that can help you achieve clarity and relaxation. Closing your eyes when anxiety hits and picturing a serene setting where you can escape to and become completely immersed in are effective means of leaving your anxiety out of the picture.

9. Get a massage

A good body massage does not only promote relaxation but also healthy blood circulation. With every inch of your body receiving adequate supply of oxygenated blood, your cells and nerves will be in good working condition. When they are working properly, bouts of anxieties will be prevented. Moreover, massage therapy is proven to enhance EEG pattern of alertness and math computations. So, pamper yourself. Go to a spa and get your needed massage.

10. Munch on chocolate

Chocolate acts like an amphetamine in the body. It helps to increase your mood leading to feelings of happiness, alertness and excitement.
Just take it in moderation. Eating more than enough is no longer good for the body.

To be anxiety-free takes dedication. You need to commit so that the process will be successful. You can follow these simple techniques to get started. They are proven to help resolve the worries and fears you are experiencing. Take your pick and see what works for you. The changes won’t be overnight though, but you’re on your way.

 Photos by MCCchurch and Jim Linwood on Flickr

Steve Jobs Living Each Day

The theme of this post is don’t wait for a life changing event to kick start you into action. Apart from self confidence, living each day more deliberately can can infuse your life with more meaning and focus.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc?rel=0]

Steve Jobs  Stanford University in 2005

This “commencement address” is now well known. I want to focus near the end; At 9:10  Steve says:-

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

steve jobs – never forgotten

Steve, of course, has now had his last day at the age of 56.  When I started to write this post the papers and internet are full of stories about the death, at 48 , of Whitney Houston. This final part of Steve’s speech hammers home the fact that we are all mortal; You need to have the confidence to live the life you want – not what someone else wants:-

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice… Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”

Peak Moments Revisited

Reading, and responding to, comments is one of the joys of blogging. And I do now try to say thanks to genuine comments!

…pulled the trigger – click!

Quite often I have received comments that give a totally new angle on what I had originally written. Occasionally people share personal experiences related to the topic I have started.

But let me quote Bruce Blair commenting on People are Awesome :-

“I agree people are amazing and peak moments are something to contemplate. I was in a position once where a man pointed a pistol at me and pulled the trigger – click! A second click! He ran. I have had trouble getting excited about much ever since. I still had to function and found out I could with a clear head. Been in ER medicine ever since. My peak moment.”

Its not unusual when people have peak moments that are also death defying, such as Bruce’s, for them to be life changing events. You hear that when people survive car crashes or other accidents or incidents that could have turned out very differently.

As in the original post I’m going to quote again from the excellent Chris Guillebeau’s Art of Non-Conformity

“Instead of responding to trauma, therefore, it’s better if you can avoid a wake-up call like that to create change in your life. You don’t have to wait for a 9/11, a car crash, another near brush with death to think about what really matters. You can do so right now, today, no matter what else is happening in your life.”

Chris was reflecting on two books he had read which dealt with how people lived their lives when told of terminal illness and in effect given a date around which they would die. That can be even more of a wake-up call than surviving a near death experience.

In such circumstances many took the route of living each day more deliberately, making definite plans and choosing projects to do that were most important to them. The sad thing is waiting till we have such a jolt before switching from living each day passively, as if we had an infinite number.

Live Each Day as if Your Last

I wrote a recent post around the regrets of the dying. I’m not generally morbid and this will be the last on this theme (for now!).  But it does appear that death – either when we are reminded that we could go at any-time, or when its imminent – focusses the mind. Although Steve Jobs says he read and was affected by the quote above at the age of 17, I’m sure it was his first brush with cancer that inspired that speech.

So why does it have to happen this way? Do we need a life changing event to kick start us into action? And like Bruce, has something dramatic sparked your life?  Do share your experiences and thoughts.

photos by blakespot and vectorportal.com on flickr

Use Questions to Change Your Mindset – Part 1

One of the major differences between people and their outlook on life is the questions that they consistently ask themselves. If this seems like a strange observation, it may be that you have been underestimating the power of questions to change your mindset.

Questions have the ability to change our focus in an instant. Asking the right questions can change our mindset from a limiting one to an empowering one. Our personal view of reality hinges on what we focus on and questions are one of the fastest ways to shift to a more empowering and resourceful mindset.

Incentive, direction and focus

We are all in the habit of asking ourselves questions every day, most of the time were not even aware of their effect. Our minds love it when we ask ourselves questions. Questions provide the mind with incentive, direction and focus. As soon as we ask a question, our mind immediately begins searching for an answer. If we don’t like the answers that we are getting, it probably has a lot to do with the questions we are asking.

Questions have a dramatic effect on everything we do in life. They determine our abilities, the quality of our relationships and our income. By asking the right questions we can shift to a more empowering mindset and find the answers needed to change any aspect of our life.

So what are the right questions for a mindset shift?

Questions that cause us to focus on possibilities and solutions are the ones that empower us by shifting our mindset. The problem is, we can easily slip into the habit of asking ourselves questions that are limiting, or even mentally and emotionally disabling.

Whatever we focus on the most will eventually become our reality. By training ourselves to consciously ask empowering questions, regardless of our circumstances, we will direct our mindset to continually focus on new possibilities and solutions. This is exactly the kind of focus that enhances our personal growth and development.

Choosing to ask empowering questions

Now let’s look at a couple of situations that could arise and notice how asking different types of questions can radically alter our mental disposition and mindset.

Let’s say it’s Wednesday morning and the alarm just went off, what’s the first question you ask yourself? If you say, “Why do I have to go to work today?” how is that going to affect your attitude? If you say “Why do I feel so tired and run down?” how is that going to affect your energy levels? With those two simple questions you have set yourself up for a disappointing day. Why? Because now your mind is focused on finding reasons why you’re tired and have to do something you don’t want to do like go to work.

What if the first two questions you asked yourself were, “What do I have to look forward to today, and what am I most grateful for right now?” Even if you don’t have the immediate answers to those questions, this positive mindset will focus your attention on finding the answers. Ask yourself those questions a few times and notice how the answers make you feel. All of a sudden you have something to look forward to and something to be grateful for. How will that kind of mindset affect your day?

Here’s another situation

If someone makes a thoughtless comment to you, what’s the first question you ask yourself? If you ask, “Why don’t they like me?” how will that make you feel? Probably pretty bad, because now your mindset is looking for reasons why people don’t like you and the answers aren’t likely to be very encouraging.

But what if your response was, “I wonder what I can do to help them feel better?” As your mind searches for the answers to that question you’re going to be focused on positive things, because you’re looking for a way to help someone else.

As you can plainly see, asking the right questions can quickly shift your mindset in a very positive direction. The challenge is that most of us are on automatic pilot. Most of the time we fail to take conscious control of the questions we ask ourselves. As a result, we can inadvertently adopt a less than empowering mindset.

In the next article we will look at some exercises we can do to train ourselves to consistently ask empowering questions. For now, try working with your morning questions and notice how it affects the rest of your day.

Do you think your questions have power?
Do you agree with the question-mindset connection?
Share your thoughts on facebook or google+

This is part 1 in a series of 3 articles about Using Questions to Change Your Mindset.
For the rest of the story visit…
Use questions to Change your Mindset – Part 2
Use questions to Change your Mindset – Part 3

If you enjoyed this article consider email updates!

The post Use Questions to Change Your Mindset – Part 1 appeared first on Advanced Life Skills.

Top 100 Personal Development Blogs 2018

Best Self-Help Websites

The official Top 100 Personal Development Blogs is back!

Damn, I love this time of year. It’s all about setting your year up for massive success and what better way of doing that then presenting you with the best personal development blogs for 2018. In fact, we bring you the Top 100!

This is the fifth year that we have compiled the Top 100 personal development blogs and every year we see more and more blogs adding great value to people all around the world.

I must say, because of all the awesome value that everyone is putting out there on the internet, it is getting harder and harder for personal development bloggers to make this list. So if you have made the list of the Top 100 personal development blogs this year then I, and everyone else, give you HUGE congratulations!

But firstly, I hope you had an absolutely fantastic night to bring in 2018. Sylvia and I had relatively quiet one with our two daughters.

Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to regain focus on what you truly want in life and ensure you have the strategies and support you need to be successful at it too. The turn of the New Year gives us a clear time to separate the past and move forward into the future.

That’s why I love this time of year. It’s the perfect time for creating new habits, setting your goals and making real change in your life.

Being a student of the personal development industry most of my life, I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest resources to not only implement into my own life but to also share with those around me. Since I’ve been running my own business I’ve fallen more and more into the well of personal development and self-improvement and I absolutely love it! With the internet now a common place for everyone and the ‘free economy’ being born, it’s amazing to know that what was once hidden from the majority of people and limited to a select few people paying $5,000 to access information at a weekend seminar, this information is now mostly widely available for free on the internet or at least at a much more affordable price.

The key to all this information is being able to pull what’s relevant for you and being able to apply that information in a systematic and successful way that will lead you towards your desired life.

The Best Personal Development Blogs for 2018

I feel honoured to know that over the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of the blog owners in this list and share some great experiences with them. But not only that, there are so many of you making an impact in this world through your personal development blogs I can certainly say that after sifting through each and every self-improvement blog, I’m highly impressed with everyone’s work!

It is somewhat tricky putting together a list of the Top 100 personal development blogs as it can be rather subjective in nature. To avoid this, I’ve removed any of my own opinions or judgements and let pure metrics do the talking.

As with previous years, what I have created is a list of personal development blogs that rank from the most trafficked (largest number of visitors) down to the least trafficked. This list will provide you with a clear indication of how large a website is and its relative importance in the personal development blogosphere. Keep in mind, even though the blogs towards the bottom are the ‘least trafficked’, they are still within the Top 100 out of hundreds and thousands of personal development blogs out there on the internet (if not more!).

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that a larger site (a site ranked towards the top) does not necessarily indicate that the site is of better quality. Generally speaking, you will find that the larger sites have been around for longer and have more blog posts and content being crawled by Google. Because of this, they are sure to have larger audiences. In saying that, however, the top sites have lasted the test of time and continue to have strong readership so they must be doing something right!

Also, we do have a number of new blogs now ranking in the Top 100 that only started a year or two ago… massive congrats to these high achievers!

One thing to add, it always makes me smile when I see other people creating Top Personal Development Blog lists… because they’re almost an exact copy of this list! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? This is the fifth year our official list has been compiled and we continue to make it more comprehensive each year.

[sociallocker id=”5127″]http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Top-100-Personal-Development-Blogs-2016.pdf [/sociallocker]

How to Use This List

This is YOUR LIST.

This is a resource that I encourage you to save and come back to on a regular basis. As we progress throughout the year we all face different challenges and often those challenges have already been faced by others elsewhere in the world. That’s when I suggest you return to this list and find the right blog to guide you.

Each personal development blog is unique and has its own style and purpose. You will also find that you will resonate strongly with some blog owners and their content and perhaps less so with others. For this reason, there is a wide variety of blogs on the list; including business, career and work, happiness, health, productivity and more. The one thing in common is that they all are themed around self-improvement.

My recommendation to you is to browse through each of the blogs below at least once and then pick out the two or three blogs that really resonate with you.

Think about the below questions as you sift through each blog:

  • Which blogs are most closely aligned to what you want to achieve in life?
  • Which author has accomplished something that you would like to accomplish?
  • Which blogs can help you right now in life and which ones might help you in the future?

Be sure to subscribe to their content and make personal development a key focus for you this year. It’s like having a free mentor or coach.

How The Top 100 Personal Development Blogs are Ranked

The Top 100 Personal Development Blogs are ranked in order from the most-trafficked (largest number of visitors) to the least-trafficked (although the smallest in this case is still a Top 100 Blog!)

There are two primary tools that have been used for determining this ranking.

Firstly, I have used the Alexa rank of the website as the primary ranking method. Alexa provides a relative ranking of each website based on the number of visitors it receives. A rank of 100,000 would mean that the site is the 100,000th most visited site on the internet. With the millions and millions of websites on the internet, such a ranking is classified as pretty good! Just so you know, Google’s rank is #1, Facebook is ranked #2 and YouTube is ranked #3.

Secondly, I have included Similar Web Rank. Similar Web is another online tool that was mentioned to me on a number of occasions as a more accurate tool for determining website traffic. Interestingly, I found that when compiling this list, the Alexa and Similar Web rankings were almost perfectly correlated.

This then led to the Average Rank. The Average Ranks is simply the average between the Alexa and Similar Web ranks.

People often question the validity of such tools, however, when comparing more generally the relative size of a website they are quite accurate and very useful indicators. Other tools might indicate that a lower-ranked blog in our Top 100 is infact larger than a higher-ranked blog, but generally speaking, the Top 10 websites will always be larger than those ranked 10-20, and those ranked 10-20 will always be larger than those ranked 20-30 etc. To sum it up, the larger and more trafficked sites will always tend to be ranked higher regardless of the tool being used.

Do you want to get really funky with the Top 100 blogs? I’m pleased to let you know that the Top 100 table is dynamic. This means that you can search for your favourite blog to see where it is ranked and sort by any column, such as page rank or alphabetical order. This is your list. Have fun with it!

 

The Winners

CONGRATULATIONS to every blogger that has made this Top 100 list! I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world.

If your blog is one of the Top 100, you have the honour of displaying the following badge on your site. This is the most comprehensive list of personal development blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! Simply use the code provided below to add it to your site.

best-personal-development-blog

Use the below code to display this badge proudly on your website. You deserve it!:

<a href=”http://www.startofhappiness.com/personal-development-blogs/”><img src=”http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/self-help-blog-badge.png”></img></a>

(you may need to replace the inverted commas – “” on your own site for the image to work).

[sociallocker id=”5127″]http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Top-100-Personal-Development-Blogs-2017.pdf [/sociallocker]

  URL Owner’s Name Average Rank
1 Life Hack Leon Ho 2,711
2 Elite Daily Gerard Adams 5,537
3 Greatist Derek Flanzraich 7,533
4 The Art of Manliness Brett McKay 8,411
5 Mind Body Green Jason Wachob 9,139
6 Brain Pickings Maria Popova 13,634
7 Tiny Buddha Lori Deschene 19,733
8 Four Hour Work Week Tim Ferriss 20,349
9 Darren Daily Darren Hardy 26,838
10 Mark Manson Mark Manson 32,634
11 ZenHabits Leo Babauta 32,716
12 Nerd Fitness Steve Kamb 33,222
13 I Will Teach You to be Rich Ramit Sethi 35,668
14 Good Men Project Lisa Hickey 38,679
15 James Clear James Clear 38,891
16 Chris Kresser Chris Kresser 44,785
17 Brian Tracy Brian Tracy 46,741
18 The Positivity Blog Henrik Edberg 46,999
19 Michael Hyatt’s Intentional Leadership Michael Hyatt 51,190
20 Keep Inspiring Me Darcie Connell 54,724
21 Marc and Angel Hack Life Marc and Angel 57,256
22 Addicted 2 Success Joel Brown 62,653
23 Barking Up the Wrong Tree Eric Barker 63,529
24 Pick the Brain Erin Falconer 63,562
25 PsyBlog Jeremy Dean 63,651
26 Becoming Minimalist Joshua Becker 66,388
27 Personal Excellence Celestine Chua 71,088
28 Live Bold and Bloom Barrie Davenport 75,411
29 Steve Pavlina Steve Pavlina 76,832
30 Dumb Little Man Jay White 81,129
31 Marie Forleo Marie Forleo 81,511
32 Science of People Vanessa Van Edwards 86,010
33 Derek Sivers Derek Sivers 94,278
34 Scott H Young Scott Young 98,734
35 Robin Sharma Robin Sharma 105,027
36 Bold & Determined Victor Pride 109,823
37 Steven Aitchison Steven Aitchison 113,562
38 Actualized Leo Gura 118,510
39 No Meat Athelete Matt Frazier 120,725
40 Project Life Mastery Stefan Pylarinos 123,111
41 Daring to Live Fully Marelisa Fábrega 127,960
42 Success Concioscuness Remez Sasson 129,706
43 Asian Efficiency Aaron Lynn and Thanh Pam 144,968
44 The Charged Life Brendon Burchard 148,010
45 The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin 149,010
46 Planet of Success Steve Mueller 149,186
47 Penelope Trunk Penelope Trunk 154,381
48 Robb Wolf Robb Wolf 161,217
49 Be More With Less Courtney Carver 161,838
50 Write to Done Mary Jaksch 164,678
51 Jack Cranfield Jack Cranfield 174,067
52 Ryan Holiday Ryan Holiday 175,494
53 Motivation Grid Cris Nikolov 179,217
54 Skip Prichard Skip Prichard 182,262
55 Everday Power NA 182,510
56 Live Your Legend Chelsea Dinsmore 186,276
57 Develop Good Habits SJ Scott 188,505
58 Purpose Fairy Luminita D. Saviuc 193,698
59 Brain Blogger Shaheen Lakhan 219,615
60 Location Rebel Sean Ogle 222,510
61 The Change Blog Peter Clemens 223,890
62 A Life of Productivity Chris Bailey 229,010
63 Life Optimizer Donald Latumahina 241,956
64 chrisguillebeau.com Chris Guillebeau 246,361
65 Prolific Living Farnoosh Brock 264,661
66 Louise Hay Louise Hay 267,510
67 Raptitude David Cain 270,452
68 Inspiyr Dan Cassidy 288,581
69 Productivityist Mike Vardy 292,566
70 Time Management Ninja Craig Jarrow 294,576
71 Deepak Chopra Deepak Chopra 302,890
72 FinerMinds Andrea Vega 304,550
73 Wake Up Cloud Henri Junttila 306,517
74 The Urban Monk Pedram Shojai  311,049
75 Impossible HQ Joel Runyon 324,598
76 Bullet Proof Exec Dave Asprey 333,105
77 Start of Happiness Brendan Baker 337,916
78 Advanced Life Skills Jonathan Wells 341,905
79 Good Life Zen Mary Jaksch 344,124
80 Paid to Exist Jonathan Mead 355,338
81 Life Long Learner Scott Britton 358,581
82 Tynan Tynan 358,758
83 Aha-Now! Harleena Singh 360,949
84 Dr Wayne Dyer Dr Wayne Dyer 375,193
85 Think Simple Now Tina Su 376,587
86 The Emotion Machine Steven Handel 396,302
87 Productivity 501 Mark Shead 400,515
88 Just Be Real Theo Ellis 455,859
89 Jonathan Fields Jonathan Fields 456,994
90 Yoga Dork Jennilyn Carson 489,965
91 Sid Savara Sid Savara 499,024
92 Alden Tan Alden Tan 518,551
93 Run to the Finish Amanda Brooks 522,118
94 Your Life Your Way Tia Sparkles 534,462
95 Basic Growth Simon Somlai 544,038
96 Start Gaining Momentum Ludvig Sunstrom 581,294
97 Positive Writer Bryan Hutchinson 604,348
98 The Bridge Maker Alex Blackwell 628,018
99 Thoughts on Life and Love Mandy Kloppers 632,524
100 Deliberate Receiving Melody Fletcher 703,681

[sociallocker id=”5127″]http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Top-100-Personal-Development-Blogs-2017.pdf [/sociallocker]

Now What?

The tools, strategies and support you need to live your best year ever are all here waiting for you. Now, it’s in your power to start living out your most inspired and desired life.

Only you can make the difference in your life this year. I give you full permission to make this your best year ever and apply what you need to from these blogs into your life.

If you need some instant motivation and inspiration, then make sure you check out the Top 100 Motivational & Inspirational Quotes for 2017.

If you want to get some actionable tools that you can implement into your life right now, make sure you access our Free Toolkithttps://brendanbaker.leadpages.co/leadbox-953.js.

If you’re keen to make the Top 100 for next year, you might be interested in registering for my course: First 1000 Subscribers (currently open for enrollment but closing shortly).

Over to You!

Do you have a favourite blog on the list?

Which blogs do you find you get the most value from?

What other personal development resources do you use to live a better life?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Here’s to making 2018 your best year yet!

Brendan

P.S. Do you know of someone that would love to see this list? Please share this list using one of the buttons below. You’ll most likely make their day!

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The post Top 100 Personal Development Blogs 2018 appeared first on The Start of Happiness.

Use Questions to Change Your Mindset – Part 2

As human beings we all have certain built in limitations. For example, we can only effectively focus on a very limited number of things at any given time. I see this as a great advantage because it means that when we focus on empowering thoughts it becomes literally impossible to focus on limiting thoughts at the same time.

Can you be truly happy and extremely sad at the same time? Can you feel intense love and intense anger simultaneously? See what I mean?

We cannot intensely focus our attention in two opposing directions simultaneously. This means that when we focus on something positive, really focus on it, our mindset will automatically block out negative thoughts. That’s the nature of focus.

Questions can direct our mindset, focus, and feelings

Because questions have the ability to change our focus, we can use them to change our feelings and our mindset at the same time. When you ask yourself, “What do I feel really great about right now?” notice what happens next. Once your current mindset becomes occupied with answering that question there is no room for entertaining opposing thoughts. Your mind simply cannot search for reasons to feel great and reasons to feel lousy at the same time.

Some people are convinced that they can entertain opposing thoughts simultaneously, but trying to do that requires a huge mental and emotional compromise. To accomplish this kind of split focus we would have to apply a very limited degree of attention in two different directions. That’s not focus! Some synonyms for the verb focus are to concentrate, fixate and pinpoint our attention. Once we understand what focus is, we realize that it does not allow for divided attention.

Focus is not a one dimensional experience

Being truly focused involves more than just our mental acuity. It involves our emotions as well. This is especially true because the questions we are going to be asking ourselves are anchored in positive feelings and experiences. When we ask the right questions we are commanding our mind to give us answers that will support a positive mindset and move us toward affirmative action.

Emotions are the power plant of human motivation. We can use our minds to ask the questions that will harness that power, and focus it in the direction we want to go.

The right questions to help us accomplish this

When problems arise in life, as they will, what questions do we ask ourselves to create a positive mindset and motivate us toward possibility and solution? Here are a few examples…

1. How does this problem or challenge create a new opportunity? At first you may not see opportunity, so keep asking. This question is powerful because it is structured around the assumption that the problem has created an opportunity, now you just need to discover that opportunity. Your mind will recognize that assumption as fact and before long it will present you with a list of possible opportunities.

2. What action must I take to transform this situation? Notice the assumption built in to this question. There is a course of action that will transform this situation in a positive way. Now, all you need to do is to figure out what that action is and your mind will be eager to assist you. This puts you in a very positive and optimistic mindset which also makes you more resourceful.

3. What aspect of this challenge is exciting? Again the assumption, there is something here to get excited about. We just asked our mind to figure out what that is, and it will. Because of these three questions your mindset is now anchored in opportunity, transformation, and excitement.

What all of these questions have in common?

They all have a built-in assumption that moves our focus into a ore positive mindset. They all create a frame of mind that is empowering. And because we can focus in only one direction at a time, all of these questions prevent us from exploring the negative aspects of our situation, both mentally and emotionally.

Applying these three questions in challenging situations will require a conscious effort at first. It takes time to develop a pattern of asking empowering questions, especially when our resources are being stretched by ongoing problems. With practice however, we can condition ourselves to move into a more positive mindset and to respond resourcefully by asking the right questions.

In part three of “Use Questions to Change Your Mindset” we will explore additional exercises that we can do every day to further encourage the use of empowering questions.

Can you see how potentially empowering this skill is?
Are you already using questions to direct your focus?
Did asking those questions shift your mindset?
Share your thoughts on facebook or google+

This is part 2 in a series of 3 articles about Using Questions to Change Your Mindset.
For the rest of the story visit…
Use questions to Change your Mindset – Part 1
Use questions to Change your Mindset – Part 3

If you enjoyed this article consider email updates!

The post Use Questions to Change Your Mindset – Part 2 appeared first on Advanced Life Skills.

Tips to Plan Your Tasks in an Organized Way

Time is the most valuable asset we all hold! Neither we can stop it nor is it going to stop for us. Hence, in this fast-paced world, it is very important for us to learn time management. Learning to manage time efficiently is a necessity if you want to achieve your goals competently. There is […]

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The 3 Levels of Growth as a Social Being

Indubitably, we humans are social beings, with a long history of living in bands, tribes, villages, town and cities with other people, and with a variety of social needs. But as we live and move through the social world, our priorities can change. I would even say that we evolve socially.

Studying human nature and coaching people in improving their social confidence and social skills, I came to believe that there are 3 levels of growth for us as social beings. Not all people go through all of them; in fact few people do. But ideally, one should climb all these steps, as each step upward entails social and psychological maturation for the individual, and access to a more fulfilling life.

Here are the 3 levels of growth as a social being, from the lowest to the highest:

1. Seeking Approval and Acceptance

Wanting the approval and acceptance of others is a normal human trait. Nearly all psychologists recognize it as such. Psychologist Abraham Maslow put it in the middle of his famous hierarchy of needs, higher than the need for food and shelter, but lower than the need for self-actualization.

Unfortunately, for many people, the desire for approval becomes an all encompassing need in life. They get stuck at this level, and living life here is not very nice. Almost everything they do is to please others and avoid their disapproval. They feel anxious in social settings, they can’t allow themselves to be genuine, and social interactions are a chore for them.

The solution to move past this level consists in improving their self-image and their social confidence, which will get them to care less about approval, and graduate to the next level.

If you wanna learn how to improve your social confidence and self-image effectively, I highly recommend you check out this instructional video I created, in which I’ll show you my tried, tested and proven method.

2. Seeking Authentic Relationships

Once you’ve learned to care less what others think of you, you move to another level, where the priority becomes having authentic relationships with other people. At this stage, you’re mainly interested in finding people you can naturally connect with. Because you know such connections create the most lasting and fulfilling relationships.

In social situations, you don’t fret too much about approval. Instead, you allow yourself to be yourself (although basic social rules and etiquette still apply), you’re spontaneous and you express your opinions honestly. You seek to genuinely get to know others as well, so you can find natural matches.

It’s a good level to be at. But there is one even higher.

3. Seeking Social Impact

At this level, you’re happy to have authentic relationships, but you want something more. A desire to have an impact on the world, to make your contribution, begins to emerge and to flourish. And in order to have a meaningful impact on the world, you generally need to have a meaningful impact on other people.

Thus, at this stage, you care about helping and supporting others. But you’re also concerned with engaging people in crucial conversations and changing their views, in getting them to join various causes, in motivating them to take action. Persuasion and influence become key interests for you.

An ever higher degree of social confidence is required to graduate to this level. Because in order to have a real social impact, you need to speak up, to stand up for what you believe, to be willing to disagree, to be persistent and to not avoid constructive conflicts. So again, for help with this, I invite you to check out my presentation on the steps for improving your social confidence.

Also at this level, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about you, others and the world. You’re seeing the bigger picture clearer than ever. This is something that tends to happen naturally once the need for authentic, rewarding relationships at the previous stage have been fulfilled, and as your confidence that you can do something in this world goes up.

When you’re at the first level you are operating from a position of deficit. They’re kind of in a whole. At the second level, you’ve dug yourself out of that whole, and you’re actually trying to raise something stable above ground. At the third level, you’re building your own Eiffel Tower.

I’ve had the privilege of coaching and seeing many people go through these three stages. It’s a very fulfilling experience for them to grow like that, and for me to be able to offer my support. Growth is the one constant that should exist in every person’s life, and when it comes to growth as a social being, as you can see, your attitude and confidence make the biggest difference. With these tools, you can be on your journey.

For more advice from me on improving your confidence and your social success, please join my free newsletter right now.

10 Signs of Money Phobia

Could you be having a money phobia problem? When dealing with personal financial matters, do you approach them calmly or do you tend to avoid them? What’s it like for you when it comes to filing tax, for instance? Do you start to feel dizzy, sweat profusely or sick in the stomach?

It was not clear to me that I had huge money phobias, at first. It would even sound ridiculous since I had worked in a bank for many years previously. There was a stage when I had to handle lots of physical cash when serving high net-worth individuals. Later on, I realised that while I was able to advise others on what to do about their investment portfolio, it was different when it comes to handling personal money matters.

In the past, I would give tons of excuses on why “now is not a good time” and would often delegate money related matters to the last in my to-do list. By making them low in priority, it meant that I almost rarely had to deal with them! If I should ever get to them, I would feel anxious, stressed and low in energy. The result was that I neglected managing my funds properly and wisely.

Luckily, all these have since changed for the better. I no longer have a bad brain fog that prevents me from addressing personal money matters. Nor do I allow any emotional discomfort to stop me from getting calculations done. What’s great is an increased ability to make difficult financial decisions in a way that is calm.

I have been finding out that I am not alone. Many women (more so than men, perhaps) tend to display money avoidance behaviour. They would find excuses or a way to dodge financial discussions.

Having dealt with a lot of my money phobia issues, I believe that releasing the disruptive energies is key in a better way forward. Recently, I have had the privilege of helping clients in this area. After working together, they reported to experiencing fewer headaches and stress-related symptoms when filing their income tax or reviewing credit card statements. Funny enough, that they were able to work through their personal financial blocks eventually translated to major breakthrough results for them, in terms of money. A truly empowering experience!

Ready to do this for yourself too? Let’s first address what a phobia is about.

What a Phobia Means

A phobia arises due to excessive fear. With a phobia, you are prone to react in a way that is not proportionate to the issue at hand. And usually, the fear is irrational. For instance, watching too many movies with sharks as dangerous harmful creatures can have a negative effect on you. You develop a fear of swimming even in safe waters altogether.

“Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.” German Proverb

feed the wolf fear

Having a money phobia problem is going to create negative consequences. Do realise that it’s virtually impossible not to have to handle money matters in this day and age. You can’t run away from them. For stress reduction, finding a better way forward is key!

Irrational Behaviour with Money Phobia

Money phobic women tend to have confused ideas about finance.

Mostly, they prefer to leave all the money talk to their spouse or partner. They react in ways that do not best serve their financial well-being. They may also show up with erratic behaviour; such as going through periods of raking up huge credit card bills and then periods whereby they hoard excessively. Their erratic behaviour is also contributed by having little awareness of how much they have in the bank and an inability to manage their emotions tied to finance.

The medical term for the fear of money is Chrometophobia. Symptoms can vary from person to person. In a phobia, you may experience the following symptoms: shortness of breath, nausea, stomach churning, irregular heartbeat and shaking. However, for most people, the signs are more subtle. Hence, you may not even know that you have a phobia until you start to pay attention to your relationship with money.

10 Signs of Money Phobia

Not sure if you have the signs of a money phobia? Here are possible tell-tale signs…

1. Procrastinate filing tax because you can’t bear to look at your personal financial statements.

2. Actively divert any serious talk about money and finances to shoes and shopping.

3. View any mention of large sums of money as unreal.

4. Find taking any form of financial planning or action a bore.

5. Experience anxiety whenever your credit card statement arrives.

6. Glazing your eyes over the finance section of the newspaper even though some knowledge of these can be beneficial for you.

7. Can’t keep a close watch on spending and a refusal to budget.

8. Do not know exactly how much you earn.

9. Leaves your spouse or partner to handle every financial aspect that affects you and turning a blind eye.

10. Experience a brain fog every time money matters are being discussed.

Consequences of Money Phobia

It is possible to be challenged by a dramatic life event that forces you to undertake financial responsibility.

This can happen in a divorce, death, loss of a job and so on.

Let’s take divorce. A few friends I know floundered in confusion after their marriages collapsed. Prior to the relationship breakdown, they had trusted their spouses to be take care of all financial matters for the family. However, after the collapse in the marriage, they had to learn money management – especially if there are kids involved – and understand all legal financial implications.

It was when they began to realise that avoidance had been the worst thing to do. One girlfriend managed to unearth secrets about money amounts that were siphoned away by her ex-husband. A sure wake up call!

Where there is money phobia, it pays to address fears quickly. Don’t procrastinate before your money phobia behaviour cost you dearly! There is nothing to lose. On the contrary, there is everything to gain.

Face Your Fears

Avoiding money matters is not helpful. Never wait for a catastrophic event to happen before taking charge. As billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, says, “the most important investment is in yourself”. And, the first step to investing is less about learning how to make more money but more about mastering your fears.

Understand that fears are not real. As it is often metaphorically alluded, refrain from making the “wolf” bigger than what it truly is. Ask yourself what your phobia is about. Did your fear come from a childhood event or belief? Do you have limiting beliefs that you are “too slow” or “stupid” to take charge of finances? If needed, seek appropriate assistance to address any money phobia.

 

Becoming mindful about your physical and emotional reactions help to let you know what your blocks are. When you put any money phobia out of the way, learning financial management becomes a whole lot easier. With clear thinking, you are able to make better and wise decisions about personal money matters.

Love and Abundance Always,

Evelyn Lim

Abundance Life Coach for Women

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