Here’s the audio version if you prefer to listen: PODCAST
Do you ever feel empty? Have you asked yourself “What am I doing this all for?” No? Good. Maybe you already have a higher goal and found your life’s purpose.
Perhaps you think not knowing your life’s purpose is a problem that doesn’t apply to people like you. Because you’re young – or old. Because you’re successful. Because you found your place in life. Because it’s something for weed-smoking new-age punks.
You would be surprised how many people haven’t found their life’s purpose yet. You find them on all walks of life. Many people hunt weak goals, like “making money” and when they achieve it, they realize it doesn’t make them happy. Achieving shallow goals doesn’t fulfill us. It provides a short-lived feeling of triumph.
We can try to ignore the feeling of being lost and quickly set another shallow goal. We can run faster. Until we can’t. Until we hit a wall.
A silly slogan that resonated with me when I was still living without purpose is: “With the right car, you can always drive faster than sorrow.”
Without purpose, life can feel meaningless and empty. Just like a black hole in our stomach that we try to fill somehow. Some try to fill it with drugs. Others with promiscuity. That might be fun in the short-term but it’s not a sustainable long-term solution.
Five Reasons Why You Should Find Your Life’s Purpose
Life is short
The precious gift of life is finite and goes by like a flash. It can be over any second. Or you might live until a very high age and look back at a meaningless life with regrets.
Purpose gives live meaning
Once you find a higher goal, a worthy goal and once you figure out your purpose, you will live a life full of meaning. No matter how tired and exhausted you are, you will never feel empty again. You’ll never ask yourself “what’s the point” ever again.
Instead, you’ll feel confident in the knowledge that your life makes a difference. That gives you an immense push of motivation and energy.
With purpose you can accomplish anything
Many people don’t achieve their goals because their goals aren’t strong enough. Once the initial motivation fades off, they don’t have enough drive to see things through until the end.
With purpose, you will feel passionate and determined, no matter how many obstacles life or others throw in your way. Nothing can stand in your way. You will feel indomitable.
You have gifts to share with the world
At the core, people are givers. We are supportive creatures by nature but we often chose – or are forced to – life an unnatural life.
Your purpose will inevitably be tied in with your unique gifts. There are people in desperate need of what you have to offer and they will benefit greatly from what you have to give. Give it to them!
If you currently are a taker and not a giver – try being a giver. It’s an incredible feeling and you will love the sense of fulfillment and positive energy.
It’s what makes life worthwhile.
Purpose provides clarity
If you have a higher goal and know your purpose in life, you will have a vision. That vision will bring about clarity. If you’re driven by your passion and a desire to make a positive difference, each of your actions will have a clear motivation behind it and will give way to a crystal-clear sense of what you need to do in that very moment.
Social autism and increasing selfishness are one of the reasons why more and more people fall into depression.
People need togetherness and connectedness. Hunting tiny, seflish goals strips you of that. As I mentioned, people by nature are supportive creatures. Living an unnatural life comes at a price. Magic always has a price.
Having a purpose is like having a tune-up. It gets you back in sync with life how it’s suppossed to be lived. You will feel energized, fulfilled and alive.
People who hunt tiny, selfish goals often feel depressed and empty. They waste a lot of their life because inside they know that what their pursuing (or maybe they’re not pursuing any goal at all) isn’t worth it.
With a purpose, with a higher goal you won’t waste any more time. Because you know every second counts. Also, your purpose provides you with so much energy that it’s easy to carry on.
“What’s the point” and other hopeless questions won’t be on your mind ever again. The saddest question you might ask yourself from time to time when you’re tired is “will I ever get there?” However, because you have a worthy goal and you’re on an important mission to making a positive impact in this world, you’ll answer: I don’t have time for this. I’m on a mission much bigger than my self-doubts.
On a semi-related topic: Here’s something I read a few years ago. It’s about powerful magic.
There was a small tribe of warriors somewhere in Africa. Their leader was a powerful witch doctor. He knew a powerful ritual that made it rain every time. The ritual is a dance.
Why it worked every single time? Because they never stopped dancing until it rained.
Living with purpose provides you with the power to dance until it rains.
A reader named Joseph sent in a valid and important comment I would like to share with you:
Excellent guidance well articulated. Thank you. But why stop at one “life’s purpose?” I discovered my first in my 20s, and it’s still a priority 50 years later. The second, which also influenced my professions, began percolating in my early 30s, then came to a full boil in my late 30s. 40 years later, that mission also still comprises a major portion of my life.
Fear is paralyzing. The fear of rejection. Fear of change. Fear of success and fear of failure. We're afraid of clowns. Ok, scratch that.
Fear is a necessary survival instinct. It leads our decisions and helps us survive. We depend on our ability to recognize danger.
But 15 - 20% of people develop a phobia that limits the quality of their life and the results they are getting at least once in their life. This amazingly high number does not include all the "undiagnosed" cases of fear that limit our success, keep us from achieving our potential, and spoil our relationships.
Fear also keeps us from being seen, seeing, growing, and from touching other people.
Most of the time, what we are afraid of is only in our heads. It's not real. What we're afraid of is not happening and if it is happening, it's not half as bad as we imagined.
If we're able to turn fear around, it turns from a barrier into a compass.
A simple trick to fight fear
A very simple trick to fight fear that works well for me and clients, is owed to ancient stoics. It's about visualizing the worst-case scenario. The point isn't to fantasize about hell on earth but to look at things in a pragmatic and realistic way.
What happens if everything goes wrong? What will it look like?
Fear is in your brain. Often, there is no real danger. The fear is fictional.
We expect and demand certain results from ourselves. Fear shows us what happens when we fail our expectations.
I adapted the wisdom of ancient stoics as follows:
I recommend starting a conversation with your brain. If I am afraid to start a new project, a conversation might look similar like this:
You: Ok, brain, why do you say I should not do it.Brain: It's too dangerous
You: Dangerous how?Brain: You'll fail
You: But you don't know if I will fail before I even started. Brain: You failed last time
You: Yes, last time I failed. But that does not mean I will fail this time. Brain: But you could
You: That's true. I could fail. Or I could succeed. Why would it be such a problem to fail?Brain: Remember how it hurt last time? It will hurt
You: What exactly hurts about it?Brain: People will speak ill about you
... and so on. You will find that at the end of nearly every conversation, you are less afraid. By rationalizing fear and identifying the parts that are pure fiction or not worth letting go of an opportunity.
Interestingly enough, a common source of stagnation and hesitation is the fear of judgement by others. At the end of a "brain talk", you will find that
a) You cannot be sure that the same people will not judge you either way
b) The factual risk (minus the fiction) is worth taking for the potential win
c) People who are mischievous might not deserve the influence you voluntarily offer
Depending on your temperament, you might feel safer when you also think through how you can recover/repair as soon as possible should the worst-case happen.
Why it's important to face your demons
We're typically most afraid of the things we most urgently need to do. But they limit our life satisfaction or career success.
The brain, the very organ in control of your hormones, thoughts, physical sensations and even emotions, decides which parts of reality it will present us with. We can control that with our thoughts.
For that, we need to be self-aware and try to remove fictional, irrational fear as much as humanly possible.
It's all around us at all times. People who support us and indifferent people. Chances and hurdles. Problems and solutions. Red lights and green lights. Was there ever a bird on your balcony that woke you up on a Saturday morning? Perhaps you know the phenomena: As soon as you realize that the bird is annoying you, the noise takes up nearly all the room in your brain. The loudness of the noise didn't change. Just your perception.
Our brain is superb at creating self-fulfilling prophecies. It doesn't matter if your fearful negative thoughts are fiction or real. Your thoughts decide how your brain sets the filter. And which parts of the plethora of things around you it will show you.
Have a look at this picture.
It will probably move when you first look at it. Reading this article reminded you of times when you've been afraid - or the current fiction in your brain.
While you look at the picture, calm your mind. Breathe slowly and deep and empty your brain. The picture is not moving anymore.
It's semi-related but a great showcase. We don't see things how they are. Depending on our state of mind, we perceive things differently and we see different things. Especially when we are paralyzed by fear.
When will you have the first conversation and turn your fear into your compass?
The audio below contains brainwave-stimulating sounds. It's soothing and calming and might help when you are paralyzed by fear. Please read the disclaimer first (do not use when driving, operating machinery or if you have any form of brain disease.)
Some people's brains take a few times to get used to the stimulation comparable to a workout, others feel the impact right away. The effect grows stronger with continued use.
Watch it and if you like it, you can download this and other sessions in my store. The code is "enjoy"
Other resources:Letting go of anger and fear with the Sedona methodFear of Chance - 5 Life HacksThe neuroscience of fearThe little guyContinue reading
Emotional Intelligence is my favorite topic because it's the set of skills and traits that helps anyone to get better results in their professional and personal lives.
I love to speak about and teach skills that help people to more business success and life satisfaction!
You can increase your emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is inherently different from intellect. You IQ (intellectual quotient) is the ability to learn, and it never changes throughout your life span.
EQ is a flexible set of skills that can be learned, acquired, honed and improved. While some people naturally have a high level of emotional intelligence, it can be developed in anyone.
Book smarts and street smarts can only take you so far, emotional smarts are often overlooked while being a critical aspect of the overall health and wellness of every individual.
Everyone can benefit from a high level of Emotional Intelligence, from CEO’s of top companies, to the homemaker down the street, it is the key to professional, social and personal success and your overall wellbeing and contentment in life.
The science behind Emotional Intelligence
There are a vast amount of studies showing the many great benefits of high emotional intelligence, here are some notable entries.
“Studies show that people with higher emotional intelligence testing scores are more socially competent and enjoy higher quality relationships” (Brackett, Warner, &Bosco, 2005; Brackett et al., 2006a; Lopes, Salovey, Cote, & Beers, 2005; Lopes et al., 2003, 2004)
One study found a positive relationship between self-esteem and emotional intelligence. (Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Self Esteem among Pakistani University Students, Bibi, et al., 2016)
TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence in the workplace alongside 33 other critical skills needed at work, and they found that emotional intelligence to be "the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs."
The international search firm Egon Zehnder International studied 515 senior executives and found those who had the highest emotional intelligence levels were more likely to succeed as compared to those with very high IQs or even those with a lot of job experience.
According to a report published by Yale University researchers, "the most common complaints that lead people to psychotherapy are anxiety and depression. The skills associated with emotional intelligence, therefore, should help individuals to deal effectively with unpleasant emotions and to promote pleasant emotions in order to promote both personal growth and wellbeing.”
A study by KRW International, found that “CEOs whose employees gave them high marks for character had an average return on assets of 9.35% over a two-year period.” This rating is five times higher than those who were marked with low character ratings. (https://hbr.org/2015/04/measuring-the-return-on-character)
30 reasons to invest in Emotional Intelligence Training
While there are tests available, it’s difficult to truly measure emotional intelligence. However, you don’t need to measure it with a score to see the benefits of having a high level of emotional intelligence. So, you don’t need to take a test to determine whether you display the typical behaviors of someone who has a high EQ.
There are a variety of benefits that are associated with high EQ. You may find that some of these are present in your life, and it could be because you have a high EQ. We all have some level of emotional intelligence, it’s just that some of us have a higher level of it.
According to a report published by Yale University researchers, "the most common complaints that lead people to psychotherapy are anxiety and depression. The skills associated with emotional intelligence, therefore, should help individuals to deal effectively with unpleasant emotions and to promote pleasant emotions in order to promote both personal growth and well being."
Yale University reports that “Indeed, people with higher MSCEIT scores tend to be more socially competent, to have better quality relationships, and to be viewed as more interpersonally sensitive than those with lower MSCEIT scores (Brackett, Warner, &Bosco, 2005; Brackett et al., 2006a; Lopes, Salovey, Cote, & Beers, 2005; Lopes et al.,2003, 2004).”
Another study found that EI influences how well employees interact with their colleagues, how they manage stress, conflict and their general job performance (Ashkanasy & Daus, 2005; Lopes, Cote, & Salovey, 2006a).
Your EQ influences how you socialize, network, and how you manage your behavior. It’s what helps you make the decisions that will bring the best results. Besides the very impressive benefit of improved job performance, there are many other very real benefits.
Let’s take a look at the biggest benefits of having high emotional intelligence.
You Can Learn It
Before we can go any further, we have to talk about the most important thing about emotional intelligence. While some people may seem more naturally emotionally intelligent, it’s something that you can learn. That is absolutely a benefit, as other traits are genetic. This isn’t. You can develop it with practice.
Reduction In Bullying
It makes sense that when someone is able to understand their emotions and those of others, there is a reduction in bullying. We are able to control emotions and react appropriately to the emotions of others. This helps us prevent harm against others as a result of how we feel internally. The natural result of this is that we have a more compassionate environment.
A Better Social Life
People can be thoroughly exhausting, but for people with a high EQ, it’s easier to relate to others. This ability allows them to build closer relationships, as well as attracting people to their social circle. It helps create a deeper level of perception, which benefits everyone around you.
Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of acting against our best interests. Luckily, a high level of emotional intelligence is one of the best ways to overcome this behavior. You’re less likely to engage in behaviors believed to be self-destructive.
When compared to the general population, high EQ people are less likely to binge drink, smoke, take drugs, and commit violent acts. This, according to the University of California, Berkeley (http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/281019).
It’s much easier to make decisions based on emotions. A series of logical decisions requires an evaluation of each scenario. However, emotions always play a role. When you have a high EQ, it’s much easier to analyze situations to come to a clear decision quickly.
There is a lot of talk about transferable skills. For example, if you have a skill for typing that isn’t going to translate into every industry. However, a high level of emotional intelligence is applicable to every industry. It’s truly transcendent, as you can apply it in any and every situation.
People often speak of perfectionism as though it’s a good thing. It isn’t, it can be debilitating. It causes procrastination and makes progress almost impossible. Luckily, high EQ people don’t need to worry about falling into the trap of perfectionism. They know that there is no such thing, which means they can easily push forward. A mistake isn’t the worst thing that can happen, it’s simply something that requires adjustment.
A Healthy Balance
One of the most important aspects of life and self-care is striking a healthy balance between work and play. If you spend all of your time at work, eat junk food, fuel your life with caffeine and ignore your health… well, that’s just no use to anyone.
High EQ people understand that work and play are required for a full and healthy life. For example, you may turn off your electronics and take a weekend out. Or, it might just be a few hours of stress-free relaxation. Whatever helps them manage stress.
Change Is Good
A lot of people struggle with change. It can be terrifying. However, high EQ people welcome change because they understand that it’s a natural part of life. Change doesn’t mean a hindrance to success. It just means adapting to those changes and creating a plan that will help them succeed. So, with great EQ comes adaptability.
We mentioned how perfectionism can lead to perfectionism. Well, a lack of EQ can lead to someone being easily distracted. You know that one person in your office who is impossible to distract? They are super focused and able to resist their phone, random thoughts, and surroundings as they work? That’s the person with high EQ.
According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, there are five main components to EQ. One of those is empathy (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/are-you-emotionally-intel_n_4371920.html). The ability to show compassion, to show empathy to others, and to relate to and be curious about strangers are all key. They are the people at your party who ask questions when they sit down with someone they never met. They’re naturally curious about others.
Weaknesses & Strengths
High EQ people don’t just know what they’re great at. They are equally as aware of what they’re not good at. It isn’t just about accepting that your weaknesses exist. It’s accepting those weaknesses and learning how to make the most of your strengths to strike a healthy balance.
This is also something that helps leaders determine what they should delegate. They know they are better at certain things, thus having others pick up the slack. It isn’t just good for them, it’s good for others, and for business.
People with a high EQ don’t need a reward to motivate themselves to achieve their goals. They are naturally goal oriented and will go out and make it happen.
Living in the Present
We all have regrets, well… except for high EQ individuals. Why? They’re far too busy living in the present and working to the future to worry about what happened in the past. They understand that their past mistakes will consume them. This will just result in additional stress and it will impact your mental health.
High EQ people don’t get caught up in the negatives of life. Instead, they are devoted to putting their energy into solutions. They can find the positive in any situation and will always be the ones coming up with new ideas. If you know someone who constantly complains, well, they’re the low EQ individual in your life. High EQ people seek out other positive people and surround themselves with positivity.
The picture we are painting may suggest to you that high EQ people are pushovers. The truth is, they’re not. Their compassion and positivity don’t make them a target. Instead, they are able to set healthy boundaries. They aren’t afraid to say no because they are invested in their self-care.
A Strong Emotional Vocabulary
We know that everyone experiences emotions. However, only some of us can identify them accurately when we experience them. Naturally, this is problematic. How can you process emotions if you are incapable of labeling them? It’s this misunderstanding of our emotions that results in counterproductive behavior and an inability to make sound decisions.
Luckily, high EQ people are able to label and process their emotions. They’re aware of when they feel frustrated or irritable, they can tell the difference between those emotions and anxiety. This means they can determine what is causing it and what action they should take to deal with it.
A Curiosity About Others
You may be reading many of these points thinking you will never attain this as you’re an introvert. Introverts can be emotionally intelligent, as anyone can be empathetic. With empathy comes curiosity. So, if you care about others and you are interested in what they are going through then you are curious about others.
A high EQ supports social awareness. It’s an ability to read others, understand who they are, what they’re about, and what they’re going through. All of this improves your ability to judge character. While some people see others as a mystery, high EQ people really get people. They see through the act.
A Thick Skin
People with a high EQ are confident in who they are, which means they are unflappable. It doesn’t matter how hard someone tries, it’s difficult to penetrate that thick skin. They’re fine with others poking fun at them and they can make a joke about themselves, too. They are adept at drawing a line in the mental sand between humiliation and laughs.
People with a high EQ don’t behave impulsively. They can delay gratification and display self-control. According to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, people who struggle to say no are more likely to burn out (https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2013/03/11/the-art-of-saying-no/#19d78bca4ca8).
Not just burn out, they are also more prone to depression. So, the ability to say no is bigger than just getting stuck with someone else’s shift or, staying late at work. It’s cumulative and it’s stressing you out. Luckily, a high EQ means that you can say no, whether it’s to others or yourself.
Let It Go
There is something to be said for the ability to put distance between you and your failures. You don’t need to forget they ever happened. In fact, what high EQ individuals are able to do is refer to those failures as a learning curve and move forward with that. There’s a difference between remembering mistakes and dwelling on them. Dwelling results in anxiety, while remembering allows you to avoid repetition.
You Can Give Without Receiving
The ability to present someone with a gift and not expect anything in return speaks to your compassion for others. High EQ people think about others often. So, when someone has a conversation on a particular subject and then follows up by providing them with a book on the topic, it shows they have a high EQ.
It isn’t about giving a gift, it’s not about giving something to get something back. Instead, it’s indicative of their ability to build strong and healthy relationships.
Some people pride themselves on their ability to hold onto a grudge. However, the negative emotions that are connected to that grudge cause you stress. It constantly invites your body into a fight or flight state.
Stress can wreak serious havoc on your overall health and wellness. It can result in high blood pressure and lead to heart disease (https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/stress-and-heart-health). High EQ people understand the importance of stress management and letting go of grudges is a big part of that.
Toxic Waste Management
In terms of managing people, the most exasperating part is handling difficult people. High EQ people, though, manage toxic people by managing their own emotions. They take a rational approach to confrontations and they don’t allow their own emotions to fuel the situation.
Another key component to managing toxic people is the ability to see things from their perspective. This facilitates the conversation and helps find solutions.
This isn’t the same as self-sabotage. So many of us fuel our lives with caffeine. We are exhausted and always in need of a pick me up. The problem is that it keeps us in a constant state of hyper-awareness.
This can allow your emotions to run rampant. High EQ people don’t chase caffeine to fuel them because they know how detrimental it can be. That doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy a cup, it means they don’t drink five of them before most people are awake.
Sleep is the key to managing stress and increasing EQ. it’s your brain’s chance to download memories and recharge your batteries. High EQ people understand that without sleep, their memory, focus, and self-control will suffer.
When you allow negative self-talk to continue you are giving it power and control over you. High EQ individuals deal with negative self-talk as soon as it appears. They do this by replacing these negative thoughts with positive affirmations. It’s natural for negative thoughts to crop up. It’s how your brain deals with a perceived threat. A high EQ person can sift through those negative thoughts and move them toward positivity.
If you derive your joy from others, then you are not the master of your happiness. That’s something that low EQ people do. When high EQ people feel great about an achievement they don’t let anyone get them down. You can’t turn off your natural reaction, but you can stop yourself from making comparisons. You can also learn to take opinions and reactions from others with a grain of salt. They don’t define your self-worth. You do.
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After a long day, I went to LinkedIn to look at my notifications. I read a few comments and replied to them. After a few minutes, I noticed that I felt exhausted and drained. From what? Responding to a few comments? I removed myself from the conversation. Then I realized that I have not shared tips how to deal with toxic people with you in at least two years.
Back in 1964, a court had to decide if the love-scene in a movie is pornography. The judge came to the following conclusion:
"I know pornography when I see it."
It's the same with toxic people. They are difficult to describe; they appear in too many shades and forms. But you recognize soon if you're dealing with an abusive person.
Below you find practical tips that help you deal with situations that are stressful and exhausting. But first let me ask:
Is there such a thing as a toxic person?
Is it judgemental, overly simplifying and morally acceptable to describe someone as toxic?
And isn't everyone the product of his circumstances, upbringing, culture and social environment? Should we hold people responsible for the way they make us feel and their actions? Doesn't every person deserve our respect and love?
Here is my take on this: Yes and no. Yes, we should respect and love everyone and try to help as many people as we can. And: No. Self-preservation is our responsibility. It's ok to call a bread a bread. If someone acts immoral, destructive, anti-social or harmful, we should be able to describe how that makes us feel.
Luckily, there are few people who are toxic. How can you tell if you met one?
What is a toxic person like?
I'm not able to describe that. I'd have to go with the judge: "You know one if you meet one." It's easier to describe how a toxic person makes you feel.
You might feel stained, drained, abused, exhausted as if someone sucked the energy out of you. Betrayed or taken advantage of. Yes, as if you have been exposed to toxins.
We all show behavior listed in the video. The difference is if we display the behavior occasionally or if it's our "normal."
Nice people can turn toxic too when they experience a traumatic situation. For instance, if they get dumped, fired or if a loved one dies.
Why is it so hard to avoid toxic people?
We already spoke about one problem. They are not always easy to detect. You can make someone feel horrible with kind (manipulative) words. "I'm sure you forgot to do this or that for me even though you know how much pain that causes me."
Sure, as soon as you realize that you are dealing with a toxic person, you can avoid them and remove them from your life.
Now let's talk about the real reason many people cannot distance themselves from toxic people.
It takes a healthy amount of self-confidence
If you have a low feeling of self-worth or are not self-confident, it will be hard for to get away from the toxicity.
Abusive people masterfully manipulate you into believing YOU are the problem and play your insecurities.
Toxic people you cannot avoid
Sometimes, removing toxic people is difficult or even impossible. It might be your boss, your mother-in-law or someone it's hard to get away from in the short term.
In that case: Don't take it personal.
I know, that's easier said than done. Try to keep your cool. Toxic people feed on your emotions and emotional reactions. They are like energy vampires that suck you dry if you allow it.
When someone attacks us, we often feel the need for revenge. But that will just escalate the situation to a real problem. It's one reason so many people end up in court.
Toxic people often fire with the big guns. The ammunition is emotion.
They might insult you, hurt you, wrongly accuse you... they are often masters of emotional blackmail.
It's not always someone you have a relationship with. Especially in the online world, they chose their hosts seemingly randomly - don't blame yourself. It's difficult, but try to relax and let it go unless it harms your relationships or business and you need to act. If you analyze what's being said, it's easier to distance yourself from the things that have only been said to hurt you.
It might feel unfair - but the sooner you starve them, the sooner will they switch their "host."
It's important to speak clearly and factually with toxic people. Leave your interpretations and emotions out. Tell the toxic person where you draw the line and what the consequences are if they cross it again.
Whatever emotions you feel, stick to just the facts and consequences.
Don't assume the toxic person want's a resolution
Don't think just because you like peace and harmony, the toxic person feel the same way.
Toxic people are often looking for fights and conflicts. If you assume that they are interesting in solving the problem, you are most often wrong and your misjudgement will make you act wrong.
Don't try to change the toxic person
It's a waste of your energy. The natural reaction is to think if only they understood how much they hurt you, they would change their behavior.
But they won't. They are not open to listen and don't care about your point of view or how they make you feel.
Don't even try to understand toxic people
Did they have a difficult childhood? Perhaps something bad happened to them? Before you know you'll make excuses for them. They are hurting you. They are attacking you. They ABUSE you.
I had a difficult childhood and an abusive father. So did many of my friends, acquaintances and clients. But they don't go around and hurt other people.
If you are a kind person, the mindset of a toxic person is too different from yours for you to understand. "Why is he doing this?" - questions like this only increase your suffering. And even if you found an explanation (I am not saying you will).... what difference does it make?
Perhaps they are just bored and want to distract themselves from their own misery.
Preserve your energy for protecting yourself.
Act, don't react
The nasty and frustrating part of it is that stalkers and toxic people can indeed force us to waste brain energy on them.
Often we just react. He does this; I call the police. He calls his lawyer; I call my lawyer.
We become very predictable when we're in the state of reacting. But that's the playground of manipulative people and a game we cannot win. They are better at that. It's who they are.
Try to become pro-active. And keep focusing your energy on removing yourself from the toxic person.
I know it's frustrating that you're forced to think about questions like
what will he do next?
how does he expect me to react?
which reaction is most helpful for my goal of removing the toxic person from my life
Keep your cool. You'll find mindfulness and meditation exercises on this site.
Whatever you do: Don't get emotional. Don't feed it.
Dealing with toxic people is horrible. It's exhausting, frustrating, feels highly unfair and often there seems no end in sight.
You might get furious if you lose health, money, friends, sleep and whatever other negative consequences abuse has.
As I mentioned before, toxic people are superb at gas-lighting. You might wonder if YOU are the problem. If it's you who's at fault and not your attacker.
Seek the advice of "good" people. They can help to get you back in the zone of rationality and give you honest feedback on whether you are or are not "the problem."
If it's a fight that involves people (like children) or possessions, seek professional help as soon as possible. If you wait for too long, you might not be able to afford it anymore or be a mental wrack.
Also make sure you keep track and diary of anything that can serve as evidence if need be.
When dealing with toxic people, seek as much support as you can get and surround yourself with as many positive people as you can find.
Keep your guilt in check
You might feel sorry for the abusive person. Rightfully so as they are living a miserable live. And perhaps something bad happened to them.
It speaks for you if you are a kind, compassionate person. But you cannot afford this right now.
It's terrible to be a prisoner of your own negativity and the need to destruct. Toxic people are great at making excuses and explaining the unexplainable.
If you feel guilty for executing your right to self-preservation, you'll be wax in the hands of the abusive person. A toxic person will recognize that as weakness and take advantage.
Solve the problem first and remove the toxic person. You can feel sorry for them later.
To sum things up
Find as much support as you can. Involve authorities at the earliest possible point in time
Try to become pro-active
Don't try to understand the abuser. Understand that even if you would, it would not change the negative impact of his actions or justify hurting you
Don't explain yourself to the toxic person. He doesn't care. Accept it
Don't feel sorry for the abuser (yet.) They will use every trick in the book to make you feel sorry for them, afraid of them, lie to you, make up rumors - whatever seems to work
Don't try to change them. You cannot change people who do not listen with an open mind
Try not to take it personal. It's important to reflect on negative feedback and see if you can learn and grow, but that does not apply to abusers because
They will try to manipulate you into believing you are the problem. Don't believe that. Ask people who care about you if you are looking for truthful feedback
Keep your calm and stay rational
Set clear boundaries and lay out the consequences if the abuser oversteps them again
I am sharing an important message with you that Dr. Mark Goulston released to the press today. He has an active support community on Twitter. Please, if you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, refer them to https://twitter.com/MarkGoulston
The Surprising Reason People Die by Suicide (and the Seven Words You Can Use to Help Someone Who May Be at Risk)
Suicide is on the rise. But Dr. Mark Goulston says that, surprisingly, depression isn’t the main culprit. Here he delves into “des-pair” and reveals seven powerful words that can help people heal. Los Angeles, CA (September 2018)—After a recent string of high-profile suicides in America, death by suicide is a topic that’s on everybody’s mind. We all speculate about what could cause a person to take their own life (and since September is Suicide Prevention Month, this is a good time to seek understanding about these tragic experiences). Was it financial problems? Marital problems? Health problems? Depression? Bipolar depression? Alcoholism?
And of course, suicide doesn’t affect only the rich and famous. Most of us are likely to know or love somebody who has been affected by a suicide. So, it’s no wonder that these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently revealed the prevalence of this disturbing trend:
Nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2016.
Suicide rates went up more than 30 percent in half of states in the U.S. since 1999.
Suicide rates increased in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016.
More than half of the people who died by suicide (54 percent) did not have a known mental health condition.
“It’s a common misconception that depression is the culprit behind suicides,” says suicide and violence prevention expert Dr. Mark Goulston. “While depression is a contributor, it’s not the main reason people kill themselves. The real reason is des-pair.”
That’s right, des-pair—not despair. Goulston describes des-pair as feeling unpaired with the reasons a person wants to live:
Hopeless — unpaired with a future that is worth living because all efforts to lessen pain (medications, therapy, etc.) have not worked
Helpless — unpaired with the ability to pull themselves out of it
Powerless — more of #2 above
Useless — unpaired with any solution or treatment that works or alternatively feeling that you contribute nothing to anyone and are only a burden (even if those people protest the opposite)
Worthless — ahh yes, unpaired with one of the key reasons we exist
Purposeless — unpaired with a mission for you to focus on and that gives you a source of pride, without which one can feel aimless and ashamed, as in, “My life has no purpose.”
Meaningless — unpaired with what Viktor Frankl was able to discover in a concentration camp and what one can feel when they have no purpose
Pointless — unpaired with any reason to not pull the trigger, put the noose around your neck, jump from that building, take those pills, step onto those train tracks
“When you engage someone in any of the eight ‘-lesses,’ it can lead to a more dynamic, engaging, and expressive conversation,” says Goulston. “When that occurs, and the des-pairing person begins to express and describe what any of those words mean to them, they will begin to experience those feelings versus experiencing nothing and feel relief as they ‘pair’ with the empathic person who is listening to them.”
The Seven Words That Can Help Someone Who Is Suffering
If you believe a loved one is in an acute suicidal crisis, get help immediately by calling 911. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK or visiting https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. But if someone you love is struggling more and more with the “-lesses” mentioned above, Goulston says to reach out to them now. He recommends using interventional empathy to lessen their des-pair and prevent destructive behavior. The protocol helps you pair with that person and ease the unbearable pain and loneliness they feel.
Here’s how to practice interventional empathy and pair with your suffering loved one by using seven simple words:
STEP ONE: When someone you know is in a very dark place—or if it’s you, you can speak to someone about it or journal about it—and after you have been speaking to them enough to make a connection say, “Seven words.”
This causes them to stop and be temporarily confused—which will temporarily break their vice grip hold on feeling suicidal—and they will often respond with, “What?”
STEP TWO: Then say, “Seven words. Hurt, afraid, angry, ashamed, alone, lonely, tired. Pick one and start telling me about it.”
Presenting the seven words in such an “assertive” manner will often cause people to spontaneously begin expressing those feelings, feeling less alone, crying, feeling relief, and becoming more open to a conversation that may cause them to consider other options.
“In an age where suicide is becoming more and more commonplace, we have a chance to stop des-pair in its tracks before a person becomes suicidal,” concludes Goulston. “Say the seven words to someone who is in the depths of suffering, and give them the chance they need to feel less alone and reclaim the hope they have lost. Your empathy costs you nothing, but it could end up saving a life.”
# # # If you or someone you love needs help, call 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.About Dr. Mark Goulston:
Dr. Mark Goulston is a former UCLA professor of psychiatry, FBI hostage negotiation trainer, suicide and violence prevention expert, and one of the world’s foremost experts on listening. He is the author of “Just Listen”: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone. For more information, contact Dr. Goulston at: mgoulston at gmail dot com or visit his website at: www.markgoulston.com.
This post has originally been posted here: https://medium.com/@mgoulston/why-people-kill-themselves-its-not-depression-44113406ac79Continue reading
Are you healthy? Do you live a fulfilled life? Are your relationships healthy and respectful? And how about your job? Are you doing it out of love or out of fear? Have you ever thought about it?
In life, we make decisions all the time. Often we find it difficult and our head is spinning:
Should I quit or hang on?
Should I accept the job offer or not?
Should I start my own business or keep my boring but secure 9-5? Should I leave and get a divorce or stay and fight?
Is fear or love ruling your life?
I think that we make decisions in two very different ways and I have the question for you that might make the decision-making process much easier for you:
You can make decisions out of fear. An example: I stay in this partnership that makes me unhappy because I am afraid to be alone. Or: I will not quit my job because I am afraid I might not find a new one.And you can make decisions out of love: I want to find a new job that will allow me to do what I am passionate about. Or: I will stay in this marriage because my partner is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with even though we are currently going through a hard time.Do you feel the difference?What you could try when you have to make the next decision is asking yourself the following question:
If I go with the first option, will I do it out of fear or out of love? And if it's out of fear, what exactly am I afraid of? If it's out of love, what exactly do I love about it the most?If I chose option two, would I do it more out of fear or out of love?
Love or fear?
These two can hardly coexist. If you are full with love, there is no room for fear. And if you are full with fear, there is no room for love. One is always real while the other is an illusion.
Conditioned to be afraid
Sadly, we've been conditioned to be afraid. The conditioning starts when we are still children.
If we ask too many "stupid" questions in school, the other kids laugh at us. And if we gain too much weight, we will not be part of the popular girls group. We learn that we can't become a doctor if we do not pass a certain grade.
Negative self-talk and the rules of society further add to the problem.
Painful experience changes our brain
One of the reasons why training your emotional intelligence is of uttermost importance, is that negative experience - any form of pain - changes our brain.
If we have been fired once, every time our boss calls us into the office, our brain will remember the past situation and our behavior will subconsciously change. That applies to any kind of pain - physical or emotional.
Fear-based decisions = opportunities missed
If I look at my past, the decisions I made out fear were not very good. Especially, when the fear of losing something or what other people might think were the motivator. If I made compromises, my decisions didn't fully satisfy me.
My decision is love
When I made decisions out of love, mostly good and even great things came from it. For instance, my self-employment that allows me to serve you right now. I decided against my instinct and against my strong need for security.
Obviously, to make decisions out of passion or love has risks. You can make the wrong decision and fail.
Generally speaking, I think decisions out of passion and love are better. The decisions I made out of love made me happier. And even if I failed, I did not feel regret.
The big difference between fear and love decisions
If my motivation is fear, I am trapped in scarcity. I am looking for ways to avoid what I fear and I am not open to grow.
But if I make a decision out of love, I am not going the way of least resistance and I am opening myself up for opportunity.
Just think about it. What is your experience? How did fear-based and love-based decisions work out for you in the past?
We want to be in control and make free, independent decisions - guided by rationality and with a clear mind. It's not surprising that manipulation has a bad reputation. It calls on emotions and clouds the senses.
But sometimes manipulation can seduce us to a better life.
I recently came across a Pinterest account that specializes in old advertisements. Coca-Cola makes you strong like a horse, the right sewing machine makes your family love you more and cocaine... well, cocaine makes your migraine disappear in no time. Might involve jail time but that's a different topic. The level of sincerity in the presentation of their goods amazed me.
We all know how advertising works: It catches us beyond rational thinking. It's a success if we stand in the shop and buy the product steered by emotion; without knowing why and how.
A goal has been injected into our brain. We have been manipulated to feel a need we didn't have before and we acted on it. We were not even fully aware that we have been manipulated.
Marketers use a lot of techniques to manipulate our buying behavior. The kind of trickery you will never find on my page, offers and seminars.
Scarcity, for instance. Seth Godin (who's teachings I very much and regularly appreciate) masterfully presents an offer as rare and exclusive. ""Only a few handpicked students." We want rare and exclusive things. It's worth more in our perception if it's rare.
If we would think about it, we would know that we will end up in a group of as many students as buy the offer. But we don't have a chance to think if the manipulation is good.
Picture Credit: factsmyth.com
How does manipulation work?
It's not as obvious as the presenter on the home shopping network (even though these shopping channels move incredible amounts of product.) Shopping networks are "trying too hard" and that someone wants to persuade us to buy a product is painfully transparent.
The woman with the big white smile who tells us we are better mothers if we buy that overpriced, obscenely unhealthy desert for our children is more like a caricature than an influencer.
But it allows us to look at the mechanics of manipulation through a burning lens.
The scene portrays harmony, happiness, and recognition for the mother who serves the grossly red looking artificial desert. The product is connected to feel-well emotions. We want to feel acknowledged. We want to feel happy and, for once, have harmony at the dinner table.
That makes a buying decision much more likely and the product seems more attractive. You're not buying a nasty red desert - you're buying the feel-well emotion a marketer connected to it. You have been manipulated.
What's happening when someone manipulates us
If we analyze the manipulation, the emotional level is most interesting. Someone reminds us in a subtle way and suggestive how often we fight at the dinner table and how exhausting and frustrating it feels. Or how tired we are at work and how tasty a sugary mass melts on our tongues.
We can nearly feel how we relax at a harmonious dinner while everyone acknowledges our hard work and we can nearly smell the delicious desert and feel its consistency on our tongue.
From thinking, we're pushed into feeling and all of our cool and calculating rationality fades away.
Many people were shocked when they learned how others persuade and manipulate them during my emotional training. Manipulation confronts us with a loss of control by working outside of the spectrum of rationality.
Is manipulation always bad?
For centuries, the ability to make rational decisions was a metaphor for freedom and dignity. A large part of our society, the way we conduct business and our lives have been rationalized. They taught us to push our emotions back as if they make us unfree and animalistic.
Operating the emotional level of someone became a despicable action - everyone agreed on that.
That did not change that everyone and everything triggers our emotions in multiple ways. We constantly feel something. We react emotionally to sounds or a touch; to smell and when we see something that pleases our eye.
Storytelling is a form of influencing. Since ancient times we learn from stories. We like if someone makes it easy and interesting for us.
Manipulation also is a form of influence you find in sales, politics, and economy and interpersonal relationships.
The question if manipulation is good or bad cannot be answered with a yes or no. The answer and ethical diagnosis are: It depends.
Obviously, manipulating the young couple to buy a house they cannot afford is reprehensible. Here, the seller selfishly persuaded the young couple to an action that causes them harm. He used his expertise on the matter and persuasion skills to render the young couple a play ball, helping him to a big commission check.
When manipulation is good
If you are worried for your kid because it does not stop texting while driving and you use the power of story to paint a picture in its head that creates fears - is that a bad thing?
If you use emotion to capture someone's attention so you can teach them something important - is that bad?
When you're in love and you're trying to win the heart of your crush, you will not use rational arguments to convince your crush you're a great partner. Is that the same? Are we lost, powerless and unfree?
Manipulation can be positive if someone makes a suggestion, but they leave us with options and we have the free choice.
What if I could see you are in pain and I am able to show you how you can help yourself but I know you will not listen to scientific presentations about frontal and parietal lobes? What if I painted a picture instead of how you would feel if you went through that training?
Manipulation is not bad per se, it has a bad reputation because many misuse it.
What is better? Rational or emotional level?
If someone uses the emotional level to suggest something but we are still free to choose, the purpose of the manipulation is not negative and our psychic ecology stays in balance.
Rational control is not always better. When following the rules of ethics, manipulation can help us to a better life. It makes many things easier for us by showing us subconscious paths that simplify decision making.
Yes, we are vulnerable. Someone can use manipulation to seduce us to buy something we do not need or to do something that is harmful.
How to tell good from bad manipulation
The key is to understand that someone tries to manipulate us and why. As long as we can read their intentions and emotions, we're good.
Emotional intelligence allows us to understand someone's motives and their agenda.
With a high EQ, you cannot be rushed or pushed into making a decision you later regret. Because your rational and emotional levels are in balance and harmony.
You understand that it's the picture someone painted in your head that you desire. You know why he painted it and you can consider with your rational brain if the product can re-paint the picture in your life.
It all comes down to trust. Can I trust the person who is trying to manipulate me? People love to be careless, relax and connect on an emotional level.
As there are also a few abusive manipulators out there, raising your EQ is your best bet - whether you check how you will feel once you're able to tell one from the other or if you think about it rationally.
A complimentary video-series comprising of 10 "Quickies" for productivity, motivation and goal achievement is available HERE
I put together a comprehensive list of 101 tips to motivate yourself and achieve your goals together. They are sorted into five sections:
Tips to motivate yourself - Tip 1 - 20
Tips for Building Your Self-Discipline - Tip 21 - 41
Tips for Managing Your Time - Tip 42 - 60
Tips to Change Your Thinking - Tip 61 - 80
Tips for Reaching Your Goals - Tip 81 - 101
Quick tips can be great reminders (for instance, if you tried to changed something but fell back into old habits) and provide ideas. I also have included links (when you see a word underlined it's a hyperlink) to comprehensive articles if you want to dig in deeper.
A new infographic (How to develop a positive mindset) is available HERE
Tips to motivate yourself
Tip #1 – Make a Deal with Yourself
If you want to overcome procrastination and start getting things done, you need to make a deal with yourself. This deal can be either big or small. For example, you can tell yourself, “When I’m done with these reports, I can take a walk in the park and enjoy some ice cream.” Giving yourself something fun to do once you complete your task can keep you motivated to get things done.
Tip #2 – Leave Yourself Messages in the Morning
There may be mornings when you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see. This can quickly kill any motivation you have and quickly ruin your day. To avoid this issue, find a message that will inspire you to be your best, even if you don’t look or feel it. Using a dry erase marker, write the self-affirming message on your bathroom mirror. This will help build your self-image and help you start your day on a positive note.
Tip #3 – Don’t Hit the Snooze Button
One phrase that can quickly zap your motivation, "Just five more minutes." When you hit your snooze button, you're starting your day off by procrastinating the inevitable task of getting up and going. Having an extra five minutes in bed in the morning isn't going to do you any favors and will kill your motivation.
Tip #4 – Practice Positive Self Talk
If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, start practicing positive self-talk. When your alarm goes off in the morning, instead of grumbling and hitting the snooze button, tell yourself, “I can do this!” By affirming yourself in this way, it will make it easier for you to get out of bed and get going in the mornings.
Tip #5 – Stay on a Regular Schedule
Knowing what to expect can keep you motivated, which is why it’s important to know your daily schedule and stick with it as much as you possibly can. While things do happen that can interrupt a schedule, knowing that you have one planned and in place can make it much easier to keep on track and still stay productive during the day.
Tip #6 – Breakfast is Key
Eating a healthy and balanced breakfast is the key to starting your day out right. Food is energy, so by eating in the morning and choosing the right types of foods, you will remain focused on your daily tasks and goals. Even when you feel pressed for time, have a go-to meal that will give you the nutrition you need to start your day off right.
Tip #7 – Have a Morning Routine
Having a morning routine can help you gain motivation to propel you into the rest of your day. Knowing what to expect and knowing that once it’s done what comes next will help you make it through your day. Changes in your routine can make it difficult to think clearly and have a productive day. However, doing the same general activities in the same order can help you get going.
Tip #8 – Participate in Morning Exercise
Take a morning walk or head to the gym first thing in the morning can increase your motivation for the rest of the day. Regular exercise can improve your blood flow and keep you from feeling sleepy or lethargic throughout your day. Even participating in a simple stretching routine in the morning can help to increase your blood flow and get you moving.
Tip #9 – Take One Step at a Time
Concentrate on one action at a time. If you think about everything you have to do, then your energy levels will feel even lower. Take your routine one step at a time and don't focus on what you have left to do. When you only focus on the immediate action, you won't mentally deplete what energy you have left.
Tip #10 – Keep Moving Forward
Once you get moving, keep moving. Energy isn’t something that lives in a bottle and can be taken on a whim. Sometimes you have to force yourself to keep going. Maintaining your momentum increases the chances that you will continue to be productive and finish what you started out to accomplish in the first place. Don’t fool yourself by telling yourself that you’ll be able to do it later. This is nothing more than procrastinating and will ultimately leave a lot of unwanted tasks sitting on the back burner.
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Tip #11 – Reward Yourself
When you are faced with a difficult task or situation, setting up a reward for when you complete it successfully can help you remain motivated. Rewarding yourself for completing difficult tasks can keep you motivated to keep going with the job and accomplish it in the time frame you've set.
Tip #12 – Leave Yourself Notes
Leaving yourself encouraging notes in places that you often look can make you feel better about yourself. Writing encouraging notes to yourself can help to remind you that you can do it and make it through whatever challenges that life throws in your direction.
Tip #13 – Track Your Progress
When your list of to-dos seems longer than what you have completed, take a moment and think of everything that you’ve accomplished during a certain period. While you may not be where you wanted to be at that moment, you need to remind yourself that you completed some of your tasks. Giving yourself that small pat on the back will help to keep you motivated and help you to continue with whatever tasks you still need to complete.
Tip #14 – Make Small Goals
It is extremely easy to feel overwhelmed when you set your standards and your goals too high. Setting small and attainable goals from the start will help you stay motivated when you reach them so that you can move on to the next step. When you set your goals too high, to begin with, you can become discouraged too easily and feel overwhelmed.
Tip #15 – Work on One Project at a Time
You may think that multitasking is a good idea until you realize you have unfinished projects on your list. Not only do you still have to complete each of the projects, but it makes you feel like you can't even achieve one. To keep your motivation, you need to focus completely on finishing one project at a time, seeing it through to the end before you begin the next one. Not only will this keep your motivation because you’ve achieved what you set out to do, but you will become more productive.
Tip #16 – Turn to Others
Those around you can be great resources when it comes to finding your motivation. Find some supportive friends and family who can help you achieve your overall goal and provide you with the motivation you need when the going gets tough.
Tip #17 – Clear Your Mind
When you start to feel completely overwhelmed, it's best to step away from the situation and take a deep breath. Allow your mind to relax and clear itself from the stress that it might be currently experiencing. Going into something with a clear mind will provide you with the fresh perspective that you need to help you stay motivated and productive.
Tip #18 – Think of Things the Energize You
If you lack energy, you can think about things that energize and motivate you to give you the necessary boost to get moving. Using whatever the thought is that will drive you, allow it to replay through your mind over and over again as you pursue the not so pleasant tasks that you might be facing when you're less than motivated and lack energy.
Tip #19 – Listen to Upbeat Music
Music has the uncanny ability to dictate your moods. Upbeat and positive music can help you get going when you have low motivation. Try finding upbeat music that you like to listen to and play them when you lack energy and motivation and see if they won’t have a positive effect on your motivation and energy.
Tip #20 – Find Your Mantra
A mantra doesn't have to be long; it just has to get you excited. When you lack energy and feel unmotivated, it’s those few words that remind you what matters to you and get you to take action toward achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Tips for Building Your Self-Discipline
People who are more self-disciplined tend to be more successful in their lives and are better able to accomplish whatever they put their minds to. Sometimes it can be tough to keep yourself in line. Everyone has their temptations and vices that can cause them to stray from their ultimate goals.
However, having self-discipline will help you to define your limits and know when you’re getting off track with your goals and expectations. So, if you find that you have no self-discipline, you need to try and find ways to build that discipline and keep it strong whenever you see an opportunity to stray.
Tip #21 – Plan a Routine
Developing a plan and sticking with it is a great way to keep yourself disciplined. Taking the time to have a set routine and sticking with it on a regular basis can help keep you in line and keep yourself motivated throughout the day. It will take some time to get a productive routine down, but once you have it, it’s a quick way for you to ensure that you are disciplined and able to stay motivated throughout the day.
Tip #22 – Keep to Your Routine
Unfortunately, life has a way of interrupting our plans, no matter how prepared we think we are. However, it's how you handle these distractions that will ensure you find success.
So, when you see that something is interrupting your routine, work on getting past it as soon as possible, so you can get back to your routine and carry on as if the interruption never happened. When you can stick with your routine, you are more likely to keep the momentum of your day in high gear.
Tip #23 – Have the Same Routine Daily
It can be incredibly confusing if you change your routine too often. Have one routine and work towards keeping it consistent from day to day. A routine can help you continue a steady flow throughout your day. It might take a bit to get your routine in place, but once you do, you will get the driving force that will help propel you through your day.
Tip #24 – Set Specific Goals
Goals are an important part of your motivation. If you don't know what you're aiming for, then you'll do nothing but walk around in circles. Having specific goals in place before you go for it will help you find your motivation so that you can reach those goals. By knowing what you want and what you can gain from the activity will give you the motivation to give it your all.
Tip #25 – Define Your Life to Fit Your Goals
Knowing what you want to accomplish is a good factor to motivate you to succeed in achieving it. Once you know exactly what you want and what goals you need to set out to achieve it, carefully structure your activities around those goals. This can be simply telling yourself that you want to be at this place at this specific time.
Tip #26 – Organize Your Day
Take a few minutes in the morning to organize your day. Organizing your day can help you stay productive and motivated throughout the day. There is nothing more discouraging than not being able to find what you need and having to waste valuable time looking for it. Taking a few minutes to plan ahead and organize how you want to spend your day can help to keep you on track.
Tip #27 – Utilize a Pinup Board
Hang a corkboard someplace where you'll see it daily and pin your goals to it. Looking at your goals on a regular basis can help to rekindle lost motivation and get you back on track to pursuing them. This is an inexpensive and quick way to visually motivate yourself and keep you working toward accomplishing your goals.
Tip #28 – Talk Through Your Motions
When you talk through what you’re doing, you tend to pay better attention to what you’re doing. This can save you a ton of time because you won’t wander around aimlessly and forget what you wanted to do in the first place. When we are more aware of what we are doing, we tend to make each movement count.
Tip #29 – Celebrate Small Victories
When you don't want to get moving and feel lethargic, praising yourself for the small things that you've accomplished will help motivate you and keep you on the right path to reaching your goals. While it might seem silly, it really can be a great motivator, especially when you're lacking the energy and drive to get through the day.
Tip #30 – Compete with Yourself
Competing with yourself can help you to get moving faster. Competing against yourself to do better than you did the day before can make you want to step up your game and push yourself to do better than before. There are many different ways that you can compete with yourself, so you can become better and improve your motivational goals.
Tip #31 – Challenge Yourself
Find motivation and self-discipline by challenging yourself to complete new tasks on a daily basis. Challenging yourself daily to complete new, more difficult tasks, can keep you excited and make you want to continue trying and can help you improve your habits.
Tip #32 – Allow Others to Challenge You
Competition with others will fuel your desire to continue on the journey to reaching your goals. Use those around you to help you become more self-disciplined and help you find motivation and success. A little competition can go a long way in helping you go further and accomplish more than you would under your own power.
Tip #33 – Filter Your Mind of Negative Thoughts
Before you can set your goals and be motivated to discipline yourself, you need to start filtering the negative thoughts out of your mind. This will allow you to begin to focus on what matters. Unless you cleanse your mind of poisonous thoughts, you will find it impossible to think clearly and believe in yourself.
Tip #34 – Talk Kindly to Yourself
To rid yourself of the negative thoughts that you nurture, you have to pay attention to your self-talk. In order for you to be able to move forward and reach your goals, you have to build a positive mindset. A positive mindset starts with talking kindly to yourself. It takes a lot of courage to be kind to yourself, but it is necessary if you want to find yourself in a better place.
Tip #35 – Develop a Can-Do Attitude
To effectively push yourself forward and embrace challenges, you have to develop a can-do attitude. Doing this requires a commitment to yourself that you will do whatever it takes to become more disciplined and that you will strive for what matters most to you despite all odds.
Tip #36 – Develop Positive Affirmations
One way to ensure that you follow through with your goals is to turn them into affirmations and repeat them daily. When you repeatedly say something to yourself with deep conviction, you affirm in your mind and compel it to accept that suggestion and to work toward fulfilling it. As soon as your mind accepts the suggestion as the absolute truth, it will focus its energy on it and make you take meaningful action to reach your goal.
Tip #37 – Break Your Bad Habits
If you want to become more disciplined so you can achieve your goals and become more productive, you need to get rid of all the bad habits that keep you from being the best version of yourself. Your habits shape your life, so if you want to build a good, meaningful life and accomplish all your goals, you need to eliminate the bad habits that keep you from fulfilling your mission.
Tip #38 – Make an Action Plan
Without an action plan, you won't be able to move toward your goals efficiently. A plan of action will provide you with a step-by-step guideline for moving toward each of your goals. With an action plan in hand, you can complete necessary tasks every day that are needed to achieve your goals. Break your big goal, into smaller, more manageable steps and work on them daily.
Tip #39 – Have the Bigger Picture in Mind
If you have difficulty starting tasks or you lose your motivation, stop what you’re doing and recall your end goal and think of the bigger picture. Recall why you’re pursuing the particular goal and reiterate to yourself the importance of having self-discipline for achieving your goals.
Tip #40 – Focus on the Present
If you want to make continuous progress, it is important that you learn how to live in the present. Thinking too much about the future can overwhelm you, making it extremely tough to work on the current task effectively. Likewise, when you live in the past and continue to remember the setbacks you've experienced, you're unable to take the meaningful action you need to continue to move forward.
Tip #41 – Learn from Your Experiences
Every experience that you go through, be it good or bad, should be seen as a learning experience. If you make a mistake, don’t regret the mistake and don’t feel bad about making it. Instead, focus on what you can do to improve. Accept each challenge and obstacle happily and wholeheartedly to stop yourself from fearing setbacks.
TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR TIME
Life is nothing more than one task to complete followed by another. Life is busy. However, how you deal with your business can make a world of difference when accomplishing what you hope to achieve and reaching your goals.
If you’re tired of not having the time to accomplish your tasks, you're not alone. A lot of people suffer from the inability to manage their time so that they can be more effective and productive throughout the day. However, the difference between them and you are that they aren't trying to change their behavior. With the right time management skills, there will always be time to do what you want and accomplish your goals.
Tip #42 – Take a Step Back
Many people tend to jump right into their day without thinking it through. They have a list of chores in their mind and are planning on when they can complete which chore. However, without fail, something gets forgotten.
To keep this from happening to you, take a deep breath when you first wake up and take a step back from your busy mind. Take the time to write down your tasks so you have an idea of how much time each one will take so you can more effectively plan how you will tackle the list.
Tip #43 – Have a Plan
One of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure your success is to have a plan for accomplishing your to-do list. This is the one step that often gets skipped. Take time to think about where your tasks fit into your day. By planning and breaking down larger tasks, you can accomplish the more important tasks before tackling those tasks that might not be essential.
Tip #44 – Stick to Your Plan
If you throw you plan out the window at the first opportunity, not only have you just wasted your time, but you run the risk of quickly veering off track. When you make a plan, stick to it as closely as you can. While things will happen to prevent your day from going exactly as you planned, you tried to make your plan work the way you intended it to. Learn to quickly deal with the other stuff that comes up and find your way back to your plan.
Tip #45 – Allow Time for Rest
If you’re busy, rest might be a foreign concept. Too often, people will push aside their personal needs in order to accomplish what it is they set out to do. To keep your motivation and reach your goals, you need to make a point of taking a break during your day. Depending on your circumstances, this can mean treating yourself to lunch, having a coffee date with a friend, or finding some time to read a few chapters of your book. Make it a point to have some time to rest so that you don’t burn out.
Tip #46 – Prioritize
Sometimes, it’s just impossible to accomplish everything on your list in a given day. There will be those days where everything wrong will happen, eating up your time. When you plan out your day, make sure to plan to complete your most important tasks first. Give yourself enough time to accomplish them. If you have time to work on other things after you’ve finished, that’s great.
Tip #47 – Write Your Tasks Down
In order to properly plan your day, you need to know what you’re going to need to do in that day. Take some time in the morning to write down your tasks. By seeing what you need to do, you’ll be more likely to get it done. When we get busy, we tend to forget the tasks we needed to accomplish.
Tip #48 – Schedule Your Day
Take the list of things you want to accomplish and make a schedule. Consider how much time each task should take to complete. With this information in mind, aim to complete certain tasks at certain times during the day. While it might not always work out the way you plan, at least you have some structure to your day.
Tip #49 – Take Other Schedules into Account
If you don’t live alone, you need to make sure that you’re aware of the schedules of others in your household. If you have children, their extracurricular activities can impact your schedule. Make sure that you know what the other members of your household are doing and when they are doing it, to save yourself frustration later.
Tip #50 - Plan for the Unexpected
You may have the best laid out plans, but it never fails that something will happen that ruins those plans. Make exceptions in your schedule for things that might come up that you hadn’t planned for.
Tip #51 – Carry a Schedule
Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, activities, and conversations for a week. Doing this will help you to understand better how much you can get done during the course of a day. You'll have the opportunity to see how much time is spent producing actual results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, actions, and conversations.
Tip #52 – Decide What Results You Want to Attain
Five minutes before you start a task, decide what results you want to attain. This will help you know what success looks like before you start. After completing each task, take five minutes to determine whether you achieved your desired results.
Tip #53 – Create Time Management Goals
Eliminate your personal time-wasters. The focus of time management isn't actually changing time but changing the behaviors that waste time. For one week, set a goal to not engage in your biggest time-wasting activity, and see how much time you can gain.
Tip #54 – Utilize Time Management Tools
Whether it’s a software program, phone app, or Day-Timer, the first step to effectively managing your time is knowing where it’s going and planning how you’re going to spend your time in the future. Time management tools allow you to easily schedule events and set reminders, making your time management efforts easier.
Tip #55 – Learn to Say No
Making a lot of time commitments can teach you how to juggle various engagements and manage your time. However, it can easily be taken too far. At some point, you need to learn to decline new opportunities. You should only be taking on those commitments that you know you have time for and that you truly care about.
Tip #56 – Don’t Multitask
Multitasking doesn’t work. Rather than splitting your focus to accomplish numerous tasks, devote your entire focus to the task at hand. Find a quiet place to work and cut out all distractions. Concentrate on one task at a time, only moving on when you’ve accomplished the task.
Tip #57 – Be Organized
Being organized will save you a ton of time. Create a filing system for documents and make sure every item has a place to be stored. Unsubscribe from email lists that you don’t want and streamline everything you can.
Tip #58 – Batch Related Tasks Together
Different tasks demand different kinds of thinking, so you should allow your mind to continue to flow with its current zone rather than unnecessarily switching to something that is going to require you to re-orient.
Tip #59 – Eliminate the Non-Essential
If you want to stay motivated and reach your goals, you need to identify the excess and remove it from your life. By removing the non-essential tasks and activities, you can become more and more in touch with what is significant and what deserves your time.
Tip #60 – Leave a Buffer-Time Between Tasks
Allow yourself downtime between tasks to breathe and clear your mind. When you rush from task to task, it can be difficult to appreciate what you're doing and to stay focused and motivated.
Tips to Change Your Thinking
Negative thoughts, doubts, and fears are quite pervasive. We all have doubts and are afraid. However, if you want to live a worthwhile life, you have to get some degree of control over negative emotions and thoughts. These tips will help you create a positive atmosphere, even when facing difficult challenges. With the right mindset, you’ll have the best shot at staying motivated and reaching your goals.
Tip #61 – It’s Not About You
It is important to remember that 99 percent of the time, how people behave is not about you; it’s about them. You will never truly change your mindset if you don’t realize that the behaviors of others have nothing to do with you.
Tip #62 – Don’t Take Things Personally
Don’t take things that happen personally, because everyone has underlying issues that are not apparent on the surface. Stop making baseless conclusions based on a tiny amount of information that you have of others.
Tip #63 – Try to Find the Good in Everything
Life is too short to live in misery and blame everything else on your problems. Never blame, complain or take things personally. Instead, focus on the more important things in your life, those things that you are grateful for.
Tip #64 – Collect References that Reinforce Your Positive Belief
Deliberately collecting references to reinforce your positive beliefs will help to weaken your limiting beliefs. Think about two or three positive beliefs that will benefit you the most and start to collect real-life evidence to support these selected beliefs.
Tip #65 – Practice Visualization
Visualization is an effective technique for changing your belief and reaching your goals. Your mind can’t differentiate between something vividly imagined and real life. Using visualization can provide your subconscious mind with manufactured pieces of evidence that will reinforce positive thinking in your mind.
Tip #66 – Avoid Negative People
The people you surround yourself with have a tremendous impact on your mind. If you spend most of your time around negative people who always put you and your abilities down, you would never feel confident.
Tip #67 – Avoid Instant Gratification
Avoid seeking instant gratification. The good feelings you get are only temporary and will disappear quickly. Instead, you need to follow your heart’s calling. Put your best effort into everything you do, and you will experience long-lasting, happiness and satisfaction.
Tip #68 – Live up to Your Values
This is one of the single biggest factors that determine your self-esteem. To raise and maintain high self-esteem and shift your mindset, it is important to take action and move toward living up to your values.
Tip #69 – Stop Comparing Yourself with Others
We are all unique, so stop comparing yourself with others. Instead, you need to learn to accept yourself completely, then find your purpose, your mission, and work on it with all your heart.
Tip #70 – Look for the Good in Other People
What you give out, you will receive back 100 fold. If you give out love and care to others, you will get affection and support back. If you give out anger and hatred, you will receive the same in return. When you treat others well, you feel good in return.
Tip #71 – Practice Meditation
The best way to become more present in your daily life and change your mindset is to practice regular meditation. Meditation trains your mind to be in the present moment.
Tip #72 – Completely Focus on Present Activities
Learn to be more aware of the environment around you when participating in your day to day activities. Really look at things, noticing small details like shape, colors, taste, weight, smell, etc. This will allow you to cultivate present moment awareness.
Tip #73 – Be Aware of Your Thoughts
Start paying attention to the thoughts that are going on in your brain. Don’t judge. Don’t label any thought as good or bad. Just observe them objectively. Stop taking ownership of your negative thoughts.
Tip #74 – Minimize Activities That Stop You from Being Present
One of the best ways to be more present and change your mindset is to minimize activities that make your brain dull and unable to focus on the present. Some activities make you present, and some don't. If you aim to become more present so you can accomplish your goals, then you have to remove activities that aren't helping you accomplish those goals.
Tip #75 – Face Your Fears
When you expose yourself repeatedly to your fears, it can begin to lower their intensity. It can help to take the sting out and make it more manageable for you.
Tip #76 – Have Faith in Yourself
One of the core pillars of strength against fear is faith in yourself, your vision and your ability to succeed. Believe in yourself and your vision and know that you have all the resources you need to become the person you want to be and reach your goals.
Tip #77 – Trust in Your Own Value
Don’t let any compliments boost your ego or any criticisms shake your confidence. Always do your personal best at the moment and continually look for ways to improve next time.
Tip #78 – Be Optimistic
Nothing is certain in life. When you expect the worst, you tend to fear the unknown. Instead, realize that you've been given a choice to create the future you want. In life, you get what you expect, so try and find the good in every situation and the people around you.
Tip #79 – Always Show Your Real Self
Always show your true personality. Never be afraid to fully express your thoughts and feelings. Let the world know who you are and what you stand for, and you'll come across as a genuine, confident person who inspires people to break out of their own shells.
Tip #80 – Always Speak Your Mind
If you don’t think that anybody understands you, then you need to speak up and be assertive. Let people know who you are and what you need. This is the only way they can clearly understand you.
TIPS FOR REACHING YOUR GOALS
Have you ever wondered how you could set attainable goals, so you can make your dreams happen? You're not the only one who has hopes and dreams, but your goals may be too lofty to happen.
The goals you currently have may be a great overall result of smaller goals that you've set for yourself, but as your goals currently sit, you are setting yourself up for frustration and failure. Here are the best ways that you can set attainable goals that will encourage you to work towards a greater end result.
Tip #81 – Have an End Result in Mind
Having a clear focus on where you want your efforts to end up is an important part of setting attainable goals. Having an ultimate goal will help you as you try to achieve the smaller goals you have made. Having a solid focus will help you achieve more.
Tip #82 – Break Down Larger Goals into Smaller Parts
Help yourself reach your end goal by breaking it down into smaller steps, rather than becoming stressed by trying to accomplish it all at once. When you take on too much at one time, you can become stressed, which might cause you to abandon your goal completely.
Tip #83 – Set Reasonable Time Frames
If you try to do something too slow or too quickly, it can throw you off focus. Give yourself an ample amount of time to complete each goal, to make sure that you get the results that you’re aiming for. Be reasonable and set time frames on your goals and your achievements.
Tip #84 – Stack Your Goals
Working on your goals in a stacked method, allows you to work toward a new goal while finishing out the goal you were already working on. This will help you to start the next step while finishing the previous step. This helps you keep the overall goal flowing.
Tip #85 – Move on to New Goals When You’ve Achieved Your Other Goal
Often times, once you complete a goal that you have set out to achieve, you might feel like you’re stuck in a rut. This can become frustrating because you feel like you’re no longer moving forward. Don’t let doubts hold you back. Begin to work on new goals as soon as you feel as though you have accomplished your previous goals.
Tip #86 – Have Benchmarks
Check in with yourself frequently. Creating a schedule to check on the progress of your goals will help you to understand better where you are and what you need to work on next. Set a regular time for you to check up on yourself and be honest about the progress you are making.
Tip #87 – Start with the Basics
Once you’ve set the goals that you'd like to pursue actively, you need to start at the beginning. Take the time to figure out where you need to begin and take the process in small steps.
Tip #88 – Start on Small Goals
When it comes to setting goals, you’ll find that some of them will be larger than others. Identify the goals that you can handle on a smaller level and work up from there. After you’ve learned to put some goals into action, you will figure out how you can tackle the larger goals to make them a reality.
Tip #89 – Prioritize Your Goals
Some of the goals that you set will be more pertinent to the place you are in your life and your career. Try placing importance on certain goals and set some aside until you feel you are ready to give them your full attention.
Tip #90 – Don’t Take on Too Much at Once
Often when you are busy, you tend to take on much more than what you can handle at once. The strain of taking on too much can cause you to become stressed and result in you losing focus on what is really important. Always be aware of what your limits are an act accordingly.
Tip #91 – Have Someone to Keep You Accountable
Another way to can continue to work toward your goals is by having someone who can help to keep you accountable. By having someone to ask you about your progress or about how you feel about the goal can help you keep your goals in the forefront of your mind, so you can continue to work toward reaching them.
Tip #92 – Don’t Become Discouraged by Obstacles
Life is full of obstacles and challenges. If you allow these things to stand in your way, you will never succeed in reaching your goals. When you face challenges in life, you have to find a way to face them head on and make it through the fire and to the other side.
Tip #93 – Look for People Who Share Similar Goals
Even if you already belong to an existing support group, there is always an opportunity to add to it and make it more diverse. They don’t have to be people you’ve known for a long time but can be people you’ve encountered throughout your life that can offer you solid advice to make your goal easier to accomplish.
Tip #94 – Use Your Family and Friends as Sounding Boards
Your family and friends are who know you best. They might be able to offer you advice that is extremely helpful and that you may never have thought about yourself. Their advice can help you to pursue your goals with more ease.
Tip #95 – Learn to Let Go of Negative Forces
There will always be at least one person who will do whatever they can to discourage you from your goals. Don’t let these people have a part in your life or your goals. Let them go and remove the negativity from your life.
Tip #96 – Talk to Your Support Group Regularly
Having a support group will help you make sure that you can talk about your worries and frustrations and get the advice you need to continue on your journey to making your goals into realities.
Tip #97 – Listen to Advice
Take the advice that is worth listening to and make it a part of your goal. Don’t think that you know everything. Allow yourself the vulnerability to know when you need to take advice or let the advice go.Tip #98 – Be Open to Change
Change can be difficult for everyone. However, the more open to change that you are, the easier the transition will be when you are ready to make changes in your life. There will come a point in your life where things will need to change in order for you to be successful. Don’t fight it, embrace it and continue moving forward.
Tip #99 – Set Your Sights High
It’s okay to dream. You can get more done and be more successful when you take the time to set your goals and ambitions higher. Don’t be afraid to set your dreams high.
Tip #100 – Think Beyond the Present
Having the ability to look past the present and set your sights on your future and your goals can make your current situation temporary. You can only go as far as you allow yourself to go.
Tip #101 – Don’t Settle When More Can be Done
Settling when you know you can do better, only cheats you out of what greatness your life can really hold. You can realize more success when you push yourself further.
Everyone has big dreams, and we tend to make even bigger plans to fulfill them. Unfortunately, as time passes, we tend to lose motivation and enthusiasm in working toward reaching our goals, leaving us stuck in the same place, toiling away at our 9 to 5 jobs, trying to earn just enough money to survive.
Each of us has a positivity inside that serves as the source of our great ideas and accomplishments in the world. In exerting more effort in finding our motivation, we can achieve our ultimate goals and find the passion in our lives.
Utilize these 101 Self Help Tips to kick out the negativity and eliminate the stress that has been controlling your life. Don’t wait, break the barriers that are keeping you from reaching your goals, break free from the cocoon, and finally win control over your life.