Unique tips to win at life

Life is a lot like a war. But instead of fighting each other with guns and other forms of ammunition, we’re all in our own unique self-directed battlefields.

To win, we have to use unique strategies to outsmart other people and get ahead.

In the case of your life, your strategy should be to work on discovering your unique traits, qualities, experiences, and skills. These are your sources of personal competitive advantage.

We use these to get ahead of our peers or competitors.

Remind yourself. Nobody built like you, you design yourself. – Jay Z

I’ll dive right in and give you a list of 7 sources of personal advantage that you can use from today to keep you ahead of the game.

1. Delayed gratification

Millennials are often referred to as the ‘microwave generation’ due to their lack of patience when it comes to achieving their goals.

Successful people know that it takes time, dedication and sometimes a little pain to achieve greatness.

As it’s often said, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ so don’t expect to get rich, get fit, get to the CEO level in a flash. That’s not how life works. In any case, the easier it is to get anything, the easier it is to lose it. We value what we work hard for. 

I started this blog in November 2016. I still haven’t achieved the number of articles and the number of readers I thought I would have by now.

Most people would have given up and taken up a new project. But, I’m still here. Learning, relearning, unlearning and most important, starting over when I fail.

At some point in the near future, I will achieve my dream.

You should adopt the same attitude by putting in the work consistently and waiting for your efforts to bear fruits. An apple tree takes between 6 to 10 years to bear the succulent and healthy apples that you enjoy. Give yourself time! 😉

Unique tips to win at life

The harder it was to get, the more you want to keep it. – Jay Mark Mateo Balms

2. Ability to suffer

Life often feels like an uphill task without a chance of ever getting to the peak.

Well, if you want to make it to the top, you have to learn and master the art of suffering. Suffering, in this case, means being able to live through difficult times.

Do you have a test coming up and you feel like you won’t make the cut? Are you working on an important project that has so many activities going on that you feel overwhelmed? Do you want to start a blog or business? Been looking for a job for the longest time?

Challenge yourself to put in the work to succeed in the task that you’re faced with. Learn to suffer through putting in long hours, writing more than one draft, trying multiple times, testing different ideas.

I wrote a great article on how you can get started on building your resilience as it’s the most important trait you will ever need to have a competitive advantage over everyone else.

Unique tips to win at life

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” Margaret Thatcher

3. Ability to change your mind

Your mind is not a mountain that cannot be moved.

You need to change your mind  OFTEN about a lot of things as you grow up.

Have you changed your mind about something of late? Is there a belief in your childhood that you stopped believing in? Is there a stereotype about people that you’ve changed your mind about?

I honestly hope you said yes to the three questions. To get ahead, you need to change your mind. We live in a dynamic world and if you don’t change your mind fast enough especially about ideas, you’ll be left behind.

I recently attended a self-development training program and the trainer asked us to write down what we were taught about money while growing up. Surprisingly, a lot of people had very limiting beliefs about their ability to earn, manage and even give money.

At the end of the training, I left with the belief that I have the ability to earn more and most importantly, that I can control my money.

Have you had such a life-changing experience that led to a change in a core belief? Tell us in the comment section.

Unique tips to win at life

If you can change your mind, you can change your life. – William James

4. Ability to learn, relearn, and unlearn

The same way you’d hit the gym to train your body in order to gain some muscle or lose weight is the same approach you should take when it comes to teaching your brain new things.

Your brain can be changed by cultivating a habit of learning every day. There are various ways you can achieve this such as through reading, listening to podcasts, or talking to wise people.

The world is changing fast and only those people who are willing to learn and adapt to these changes will succeed.

For example, as soon as I got my first job, I realize that most (if not all ) of what I learned in uni was useless.

I had to adapt to this rude shock and new environment and started learning new skills fast.

Not that having a college degree is useless, but you’ll soon realize that it’s far from enough. You have to keep evolving in order to win at life.

Unique tips to win at life

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. – Henry Ford

5. Focus

Do you have some quotes that have completely refused to live your mind?

I recently came across this quote by Carl Newport ‘the ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it’s becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their work-life, will thrive.’

Wow! With all the big and crazy problems we have in the world today that need solutions, it’s crazy to think that more and more people are unable to perform excellent work.

Your inability to focus is stealing your dreams and life goals.

Are you unable to sit still and work for an hour or more without getting distracted by your phone? If no, just like most people, you might be addicted to social media. Social media addiction is the number one thief of your focus.

The time you spend on your phone daily is costing you your chance to win at life. 

Unique tips to win at life

Stay focused, ignore distractions, and you will accomplish your goals much faster. – Joel Osteen

6. Ability to look stupid

The best advice I received last year was ‘enjoy making a fool of yourself.’

Nobody knows everything. The most successful people in the world take risks and read every day because they know there’s a lot they don’t know.

Well, if you want to win at life, you need to adopt the same habits.

You need to be okay with making a fool of yourself through starting that business, blog, enrolling in that course, applying for that new job and allowing yourself to fail. Make a fool of yourself while at it.

That’s how the greatest life learnings are acquired. Sometimes, people are going to laugh and ridicule you, but how else will you know that they’re listening and that you’re a threat?

Before starting this blog, I procrastinated on my writing for years. I was scared that people wouldn’t think my writing is not good enough.

I thought they’d think I’m stupid. When I finally decided to start, I was scared as hell but still, I did it.

As much as I still haven’t achieved my goal of having thousands of readers and earning from it, I’m still here, making a fool of myself by publishing regularly.

I can’t even begin to explain all the cool stuff I have learned and all the skills I have acquired.

Unique tips to win at life

Go ahead and start that project. Make a fool of yourself. Laugh at yourself out loud when you make a mistake. Trust me, you’ll end up learning more than you ever did/do in school.

7. Ability to say NO

Being young means you have the most important competitive advantage-TIME!

That being said, it’s not guaranteed that you will be successful just because you have all the time in the world especially if you keep saying yes to the wrong things.

To win at life, you have to master the art of saying no to things that are not a priority.

You also have to say no to people who don’t add value to your life. People who waste your precious gift of time.

My favourite quote by Waren Buffet is ‘the difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.’  

Learn to value your time by eliminating all activities and people who rob you of your time.

These tips will not only put you ahead by helping you to stay focused on your goals and habits but they also help you discover the powerful potential in you that you never even imagined existed.

What other tips do you use to stay ahead of the game? We’ll be happy to read them in the comment section 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpiFVl1Pq1I

5 best ways to grow your career (for beginners)

 

Adulthood can sometimes feel like a roller coaster of responsibilities that you didn’t sign up for and can’t avoid.

You often feel like you’re juggling so many bits and pieces while at the same time trying your level best to remain sane and smile.

One minute you’re young, cool and hippy and the next minute you have to start building a successful career.

It’s not easy. But just like every successful person out here, all you need is to accumulate and make use of good career advice. In a few years,  you’ll be running all the way to the bank!

How to be successful in your career as a beginner

1. Choose a good boss

A good boss is like a compass, they will point you in the right direction.

When you’re a beginner, learning the right work ethics is key. It will be useful throughout your career. A good boss will teach you how to do things the right way. He/she will be like a mentor or someone you would want to emulate.

When you get to the interview stage of the job application process, remember that as the panel is interviewing you, you’re also interviewing your potential boss.

Remember that 80% of the time, “people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses” so you want to make sure you end up working for a go-getter.

You want to end up with a boss who;

  • Is a mentor which means he/she also wants you to succeed.
  • Challenges you. Being in a comfort zone feels like dying a slow death. A good boss will challenge you to be better and to do better.
  • Makes you feel involved. It’s a terrible experience to work in an environment where everybody seems to be in the know except you.
  • Makes you feel appreciated. A good boss will know your sharpest skills and talents, make use of them and make you feel appreciated for it.
  • Will make you feel valued. You’re contributing your skills and talents towards the company’s mission and vision. A good boss will make you feel valued for being part of it.
  • Trusts and is confident about your abilities. Nothing feels worse than a boss who openly shows you that they don’t trust you. When you feel trusted, you perform better at work. It’s often said that ‘people live up to the expectations that you set for them.’

5 best ways to grow your career (for beginners)

When you’re 20 to 30 years old, find a good boss. A good boss is better than a good company. – Jack Ma

2. Choose a career of courage and impact.

Our world is full of problems and not enough people who are courageous enough to be part of solving them.

Some of these problems include; climate change, inequality, poverty, religious conflicts, and corruption.

You can start by volunteering in an organization that deals with any of the problems or any other global or local challenge that you care about.

Reading about it is also a great first start as you’ll get a deeper understanding of the origin and magnitude of the problem.

It’s scary at first to think that you can be part of these big challenges, but if we have enough people doing little good deeds to make a change, we will definitely change our world.

Most of the people who have changed the world started by being daring and being insane enough to think that they can actually change the world. You can be that person too.

Nobody was born an expert in any field. All you have to do is begin.

Whichever career you opt for, make sure that your aim is to make the world a better place 🙂

5 best ways to grow your career (for beginners)

I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized that I was somebody.  Lily Tomlin

3. Learn how to focus and pay attention

The most valuable currency of the 21st Century is attention. Yes, it’s not the dollar or the pound!

If you want to make it big in any career, then you need to master how to avoid distractions and be super productive.

For most of us, as soon as we hit a roadblock when working on a project, we seek a moment of pleasure.  

And learning how to avoid these momentary pleasures is what separates the most successful people from the less successful ones.

The world is full is so many distractions, the biggest one being social media addiction.

Paying enough attention to be able to produce quality work has become as rare as mining diamonds!

This is one valuable skill that most employers that are looking for. The good news is, it doesn’t take much to be a master at it.

You can start practicing now by making sure that every time you decide to work on something, stay still and do it until you finish without succumbing to distraction.

It will hurt yes, but that’s what it takes to move from being average and to be successful.

5 best ways to grow your career (for beginners)

The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it’s becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive. – Cal Newport

4. Don’t be a jack of all trades

If you aspire to be a writer, be a writer. Focus all of your energy and resources in this one passion or talent.

This applies to every field; science, art, music, agriculture. When you take on too many careers, you’ll end up being average in all of them.

Don’t be the kind of person who jumps onto every career opportunity that they come across. Always ask yourself ‘is this in line with the career that I am trying to build?’ If it’s not, then let it go.

Stay focused on your chosen career path, read and find mentors to guide you through the very top.

Aspire to be a top thinker and leader in your chosen field. Aspire to shape people’s opinions by being so knowledgable that people can’t wait to hear you speak.  

5 best ways to grow your career (for beginners)

The jack of all trades is seldom good at any. Concentrate all of your efforts on one definite chief aim. – Napoleon Hill

5. Work smarter, not harder

The average American works 47 hours a week, which is known to be one of the highest in the world.

Most countries, especially in Europe, consider this to be ‘ineffiecient.’ No wonder burnout at work is a major problem in the United States!

You don’t want to use most of your time working and end up having to check in to a hospital due to extreme fatigue, do you? I guess not.

As early as now, start investing in working smarter, not harder.

How do you work smarter instead of harder?

  • Get rid of unnecessary things from your life. A lot of us take up too much stuff in our lives that we end up feeling overwhelmed. When you feel overwhelmed you tend to procrastinate more. You also look for reasons as to why other people are succeeding and why you are not. We end up concluding that they are talented and we’re not. This is not true. Simply pick a few priorities and focus on how to be extremely good at them.
  • Focus. Pay Attention! As discussed in tip 3 above, train your mind to focus on one priority or task and don’t stop until you are successful. The results will be beautiful and you’ll appreciate yourself more.

Don’t waste your time by half-assing everything and never succeeding in anything. It’s a terrible way to invest your energy, of which as humans, we have limited amounts.

5 best ways to grow your career (for beginners)

The pain is a kind of challenge your mind presents-will you learn how to focus and move past boredom, or like a child will you succumb to the need for immediate pleasure and distraction?  Robert Greene

Conclusion

The most successful people in the world accumulate vasts amounts of wisdom and use it to their advantage. The rest of the world is letting other people control their destinies.

Choose to be in the uber-successful group, take charge. You can do it! As always, see you on top of the success ladder! While you’re at it, leave a comment on your best career tips 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H7wruBJM58

10 life hacks to beat laziness

If you have been feeling stuck when it comes to making progress in your work or life in general, read on for some fresh and genius ways to battle laziness…

  1. Stick around friends and family who have high expectations of you.

One of the most profound people management skills Warren Buffett uses is praise. He often writes letters to his managers detailing positive praises for them. Being one of the most successful people, he has mastered the art of building others up.

By praising his managers, he noticed over time that they perform better at their job. Praising people also makes them know that you have high expectations of them which leads them to work even harder to live up to these expectations.

Praise gives you confidence. Can you recall the last time somebody gave you very positive feedback about yourself? How did you feel? Being praised gives us confidence and courage to work harder and pursue bigger dreams.

I have always wanted to learn ice skating. When I finally decided to learn, I asked one of my best friends to teach me because he’s good at it, and he’s also a very good teacher.

His way of teaching involves telling you that ‘you can do it, you got this, you’ve made great progress, you’re already doing it.’

These high expectations from him have always led to me doing more, pushing myself more, dedicating more hours to the lessons and also feeling happy and courageous.

You should have such people in your life too. People who don’t delight in putting you down but are happier when your candle is shining brighter.

Build relationships with people who inspire you, see the greatness within you and praise you for your positive character and actions. This will help you to beat laziness as you will be motivated to live up to their high expectations.

You will also find yourself working harder as these people will make you believe that you are smarter and that you deserve a better. Yes, you do.

10 life hacks to beat lazinessA candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. – James Keller

  1. Be gentle with yourself.

You will often read and listen to a lot of motivational content that condemns your current life situation.

Sometimes this content does more harm than good because you often end up feeling worthless, helpless and even demotivated.

Yes, you are responsible for your life but you’re human. When you’re on the journey to change an aspect of your life such as your financial habits, be gentle with yourself.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t give yourself negative messages.

When it comes to beating laziness, a lot of people start working on it through building productive habits.

Since it takes time to master these habits, if you skip a day or two of working on these habits, you end up beating yourself down and telling yourself negative stuff. That’s not how life works. We all fail and fall short of our goals. When that happens, pick up from where you left and keep going.

Remind yourself that you’re awesome for starting the journey in the first place. Consistently start over again and be kind to you!

Be softer with you. You are a breathing thing. A memory to someone. A home to life.  – Nayyirah Waheed.

  1. Take time to learn when you’re most productive.

A lot of books will recommend waking up at 5 am every day as a way to beat laziness.

A lot of studies, however, show that not everybody is productive in the early morning hours. According to Russell Foster, who is a neuroscientist, there’s no research that shows that waking up 5 am makes us more productive. Just in case you doubt this, remember that sleep has been quoted as one of the highest contributors to happiness.

Everybody has a biological clock that influences when we’re most productive. Some people are more productive late in the night. Instead of beating yourself down for not waking up at 5 am, find out when you’re most productive and work during those hours.

I don’t work in the morning. I wake up at 7 am because that’s when my internal clock is set. My main motivation for waking is doing fun stuff which gives me a lot of positivity throughout the day.

In the morning, I drink water, do a 30 mins run, prepare a perfect breakfast, read a chapter in a book and prepare to go to work. I absolutely enjoy all these activities.

Being a ‘night owl’ means I am very productive at night. I actually work on my most important projects at night and sleep past midnight. If you are like me, be proud of your individuality.

You don’t have to follow what everyone else is doing. The goal is to keep working on your dreams by finding the most suitable way for you!

10 life hacks to beat lazinessSleep is God. Go worship. – Jim Butcher.

  1. Declutter your email.

Having clutter in your space makes you feel stressed. Your mind feels clogged.

To make you feel more motivated to work, declutter your email. Take some time every week to archive or delete or the emails that you no longer need. Such emails include;

  • Emails that you have already responded to and therefore concluded the conversation.
  • Emails with tasks that you have already accomplished.
  • Emails that you have been cc’d but have nothing to do with your department.
  • Promotional emails.
  • Emails you don’t plan on working on or responding to.

Also, unsubscribe from all promotional emails that act as a distraction to your workday.

Having an inbox with 10 or fewer emails makes you feel at peace. It also motivates you to work on the pending stuff so that you can archive the emails and move on. This is a perfect way to beat laziness at work and also to measure your productivity progress.

Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fuelled by procrastination. – Christina Scalise

  1. Have a to-do list – but make it short.

A long and random to-do list makes you feel overwhelmed. When you feel overwhelmed, you end up procrastinating on all the tasks.

You feel like it’s impossible to accomplish anything or that doing just one thing won’t make a difference. Some other people end up doing the not-so-important tasks and leave the ones that should be prioritized.

A solution for this is to have only 2-3 high priority things on your to-do lists every day.

Before you sleep, have a list of things that you should accomplish. From that, pick on 2-3 that are a priority. Work on those the following day.

This habit will eventually make you feel more motivated to work on even more tasks with time since you will be happy with your productivity. With time, you will realize that you are less lazy.

10 life hacks to beat lazinessThe key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities. – Stephen Covey

  1. Enrol in an activity that requires discipline.

I recently enrolled in a Karate class at The Japanese Embassy. My main reason was to complement my fitness routine which mainly involved morning/evening runs.

Karate has a lot of rules. You have to start and end the routine in a particular manner, bow before you go in or out of the room, obey the instructor, and most important, show up on time. It’s also very physically intense.

Having such external rules and committing yourself to obey them enables you to acquire discipline. Without discipline, there’s very little you can achieve.

If you continuously take up such a class, you’ll realize with time that you are more energetic which helps you work on your other tasks. The discipline also trickles down to other aspects of your life.

Also, these external rules play the same role as an accountability partner would-ensuring that you get things done. Rules act as a helping hand in our journey of acquiring productive habits. Try enrolling in martial arts such as karate, a sporting event, yoga or dance class and enjoy the transformation.

You either suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret. Pick a side. – Anonymous

  1. Work next to a productive person.

Is there a super productive person in your office or school that you admire for how much stuff they accomplish in a day? Make them your friend and work next to them.

You know that rule about how you are an average of the five people you spend your time with? It applies here too.

If you struggle with laziness and procrastination, work next to a super productive person. You’ll get a lot more done as you’ll tend to copy this person’s work habits with time. You’ll also learn a great deal of work ethics, which is something that’s handy in a competitive work environment.

10 life hacks to beat lazinessA worker without genius is better than a genius who won’t work. – Leopold Clue

  1. Have loads of calendar reminders.

Free your mind of worry! Instead of being anxious about what you’re meant to do tomorrow, next week or even later in the day, use calendar reminders.

A lot of people use calendar reminders just for the big stuff such as a meeting with your boss or end of year reviews.

Schedule everything. Both the big and small stuff! When you schedule something, it means it’s important to you which makes the battle half won. Also, accomplishing just one of your reminders makes you excited to move on to the next activity.

Having activities that are repetitive on your calendar will also act as a reminder to you of what is important in your life, which is what you should be paying attention to.

I have a reminder to write an article every Monday which communicates to my subconscious mind that writing is my most important life goal; lest I get distracted by other activities!

Do not be fooled by the calendar. There are many days in a year as you make use of. – Charles Richards

  1. Have an accountability partner.

You don’t have to battle through adulthood alone!

Get one of your workmates or friends to regularly check in on your progress. This is especially useful for tasks that you absolutely hate doing.

It works better if you pick a friend who’s extremely productive since this will also act as an inspiration.

Also, pick someone you wouldn’t want to disappoint as this acts as an even bigger motivation to get the job done and beat laziness!

10 life hacks to beat lazinessIf you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly. – Dr Steve Maraboli

  1. Get a passion partner.

Want to save $1000 dollars by the end of the year? Write a book? Or you want to start an exercise routine? Get a buddy that shares the same goal. This buddy will share the struggles with you and make the journey fun and interesting.

Have a system to check in on your progress from time to time. While at it, don’t forget to remind each other why you started and what could happen if you accomplished your goals.

Accountability breeds response-ability. – Stephen Covey.

Conclusion.

Establish a system to make it easier for you to accomplish your goals in a faster and fun way. Use any of the above tips and tell us in the comment section about which works best!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozvGfGLhxi4

Forget your goals, work on your habits

‘’If you have a plan for your life and you consistently stick to it, life gets better. Unlike when you depend on luck.’’ I got this powerful advice from a friend a few months ago when I almost quit my job.

My plan was to quit and move abroad for 3 months to work for a different company for a project that had nothing to do with my passion and did not match my skill-set. I was starting to feel like my life was not moving fast enough towards a successful career and more money.

Have you been in such a situation before? Feeling stuck and almost giving up on your goals? If yes, here is a solution that works!

Forget your goals, work on your habits

First, forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit is persistence in practice. – Octavia Butler

Why forget your goals and build habits instead?

I know you’ve read many books, articles, watched several videos encouraging you to set goals for your life.

You’ve been told time and again that without having them, you will fail.

So you went ahead and wrote your goals down, or drew a vision board (like I did).

Some of us want to make millions of dollars, lose several pounds, be the CEO of a big company, become physically fit, or the most common one, achieve happiness.

As much as all these goals are great and inspirational, a study conducted by the University of Scranton shows that a whopping 92% of us don’t achieve these goals. The reason behind this huge number is simple; gigantic goals are intangible and vague which makes it almost impossible for 92% of the people to achieve.

A lot of people end up scared and uninspired to pursue these goals which lead to the failures.

The solution is simple; forget working towards your goals and work towards building productive habits. Habits are small and tangible which leads to success in the long run.

Forget your goals, work on your habits

First, we make our habits, then our habits make us. – Charles C. Nobel

Difference between habits and goals

If you want to avoid being part of this 92% statistic, do what the other 8% does.

Goal: Write a book.

Habit: Commit yourself to write 200 words every day.

 

Goal: Lose 50 pounds within a year

Habit: Commit to exercising for 30 minutes every day.

 

Goal: Learn a new language and be fluent within a year.

Habit: Commit to practice for 30 minutes every day. (Duolingo works perfectly for this.)

 

Goal: Read 52 books every year.

Habit: Commit to reading 25 pages every day.

            : Always carry a book with you everywhere-having the book with you will act as a cue.

 

Goal: Save enough money to last you 6 months in case you lose your job.

Habit: Commit/Automate saving 10% of your monthly income.

 

Notice my consistency in the use of the word commit?

Commitment to routines is what makes the 8% of the world population successful.

You will not be a successful person because you exercise once a month, read one book in a year or learn a few Spanish words. You will be successful only if you commit to doing these things consistently.  

Forget your goals, work on your habits

Routine, in an excellent man, is a sign of ambition. – W.H. Auden

Why goals suck

1. Goals have an end

A classic example of this is our education system. We set goals to work hard and get to college/university. As soon as we’re done, we stop learning and some people’s knowledge ends up being obsolete.

This leads to a lack of jobs among many graduates simply because they did not acquire an endless learning culture which is what is required to secure a job in the 21st Century. 

What the education system should have taught us is how to build a reading culture and how to develop our own self-development curriculum.

2. Goals make us have an illusion of success

Science has shown that some people confuse goal setting with achievement.

I am a perfect example when it comes to this. I used to tell people that I’m a writer way before I started writing. Since I repeated it so many times, my brain believed that I actually was a writer-in real sense, I wasn’t since I had only ever written and published one article!

This ultimately led to more procrastination on building my writing habit.

Do you have or know a similar story of someone who has told their ‘success’ story so many times they end up believing they’re successful yet they’re not?

3. Goals are hard to follow through

If you have a goal to save  5000 dollars, it’s harder for you to achieve it than if you have a simple habit of sending 10% of your earnings to your savings account.

With time, this small and easy commitment leads to having a lot in your savings account. Also taking the simple step of saving consistently for a few months gives you the motivation to keep going.

4. Sometimes, we do not have control over our goals

For example, we do not have control over inflation when it comes to our financial goals. This is one of those things that makes a lot of people to give up on their saving goals.

However, since saving 10% is easier and we have control over it as we already have the money at hand, habits beat goals every time!

5. Some goals are intangible

Some people have a goal to be happy. How do you know you are finally happy enough? How do you know you have finally achieved enough happiness?

If you want to be happy, form a habit of being kind to a random person every day. You will definitely be in a position to tell how many days you have consistently been kind to someone (this someone should include yourself as self-love is key to your happiness)

Forget your goals, work on your habits

Losers have goals. Winners have systems. – Scott Adams

Conclusion

Just like me, don’t allow your gigantic goals to make you feel like you are a loser in life. Not anymore!

Adopt productive habits and be consistent on them, and don’t forget to tell us in the comment section which habits have been the most transformative.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

As always, see you on the excellence ladder! 🙂

The golden loop of habit change

Psychology studies show that human beings are terrible at predicting their future behaviour. No, let me get that right. You are terrible at predicting your future behaviour.

You still don’t believe me? Let’s break it down. How many times have you promised yourself that you’ll do something in two weeks and never did it? How many books did you promise you’d read in 2019 that you’re yet to start?

Didn’t your 2019 resolutions include adopting an exercise routine that you’re yet to start?

I know you get it. But hey, as always, I’m here to help you get closer to your dreams by teaching you one more life hack; the power of building positive habits.

This is the only sure way to get you to achieve the future behaviours that you have been procrastinating.

First, forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit is persistence in practice. – Octavia Butler

The golden loop of habit change

The psychology of habits

We all have habits. In fact, most of what you have been able to accomplish today is through your habits; not decisions.

What was the first thing you did when you woke up today? Did you check your phone? That’s due to a habit you have constantly natured.

There’s a structure or guide on how habits are formed. These are known as habit loops. Charles Duhigg wrote a great book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business which is a highly recommended read if you are a psychology junkie!

From the book, he states that habit loops are divided into 3 parts;

  1. Cue

This is the trigger from your environment that tells you(your brain rather) which of your habits to use.

  1. Routine

This is the activity, whether mental or physical, that you take up as soon as you are presented with the cue.

The golden loop of habit change

  1. Reward

What do you get from the habit? That’s the reward. It fulfils cravings in your brain.

If you constantly repeat the cue~routine~reward loop, the habit becomes automated in your brain. Repetition is the key thing in this loop. It communicates to our brains the importance of the habit which leads to the habit being wired into the brain.

You need to understand the above cycle in order for you to break out of bad habits and acquire new ones.

The habit loop in action

  • Finding your cue

It’s not often easy to identify the cues that trigger us to behave the way we do due to the overwhelming information and activities going on around us.

An easy way to identify your cues is to ask yourself ‘What triggers my habits?’ The following examples will make it easier to understand;

a. Location cue

Have you noticed that you tend to spend more money when you’re in certain locations such as malls? If you want to break the bad habit of living beyond your means which is brought about by overspending, avoid such locations.

b. Time cue

For example, every day at 6 am when I wake up, I used to crave coffee. Which would make brewing coffee my first activity of the day.

As much as this was not a bad habit, I needed to break it since it was becoming an addictive, time-consuming and expensive habit that was eating into my finances.

c. Company cue

Do you have friends who trigger your spending habits?This is most common among people who frequently consume alcohol. When you’re with them especially on a weekend, you can’t help but spend money.

Which of your friends leads you to indulge in certain habits? When you know, you are able to start taking control and saying no.

d. Emotional State cue

Do you spend more money when you’re sad?

Advertising has got has got us thinking that accumulating more stuff will make us happier. This is a common cue among people and also one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever accomplish if you break out of.

Paco Underhill wrote an excellent book titled Why We Buy which is an excellent book to read to help you break free from the spending addiction.

e. Immediately Preceding Action cue

The perfect example here is the sound from the ice cream cart. It’s almost impossible to resist this cue.

The golden loop of habit change

  1. Finding your routine

What behaviour do you want to break away from?

Common behaviours that people wish to change include biting nails, smoking, alcoholism, oversleeping. This category also includes behaviours that you want to reinforce such exercising often, avoiding the lift and taking the stairs, or in my case, drinking water when I wake up at 6 am instead of coffee.

  1. Finding your rewards

The reward increases the likelihood that you will repeat the same routine in future. This can be in form of chocolate, an hour of TV, an extra hour of sleep.

How to change habits

It’s often said that forbidden fruits taste sweetest, which also applies to habits.

Bad habits are like forbidden fruits, they’re tasty, and we find it harder to exercise self-control to avoid indulging in them. For example, sleeping for an extra hour in the morning sure feels better than taking a morning jog.

Buying junk food is easier than doing grocery shopping then taking the time to cook a proper nutritious meal.

However, if you want to accomplish your goals, you have to deliberately push yourself towards changing your bad habits into good ones.

  1. Identify the routine/behaviour you wish to change

The behaviour I wish to change is procrastinating on writing articles for this blog. My ideal routine is to publish an article every Monday, but I end up making excuses all week then spend my Saturday mornings writing instead of hanging out with family.

What routine do you want to change? Write these down as it’s the first step towards change.

The golden loop of habit change

  1. Experiment with rewards

This step is a bit time consuming as it takes several trials.

I do evening runs 6 days in a week. My long-term reward for this is a fit and energetic body which makes it easier for me to hike mountains. The fitness is obviously a reward that will take time for me to accomplish.

Each time I feel like skipping my evening run routine, I change my reward to something short term such as an extra hour of my favourite reality show on  Netflix.

When you feel like repeating your bad habits, try changing the reward. Keeping track of different rewards is also a good life hack as it enables you to get the most satisfying one.

  1. Deliberately isolate your cues

The examples of cues I gave above will come in handy in this case. When an urge or craving strikes, ask yourself questions about these types of cues. Examples;

Where are you?

Who are you with?

What time is it?

How are you feeling emotionally?

What preceding action triggered the craving?

You have to be very patient with yourself as you go through this process.

The golden loop of habit change

  1. Have a plan

To change my coffee at 6 am habit, I ensured that I had a bottle of water beside my bed. This makes it the first thing I see when I wake up-which makes it easier for me to drink the water instead of proceeding to the kitchen to brew coffee.

You should do the same for the habits that you wish to change.

Conclusion

Better habits lead to a better, more fulfilling life.

It also leads to consistency towards your goals.

Having goals is therefore not enough to ensure that you have a better future. Having productive habits is.

Take time and pay attention to your habit loops. It’s only by understanding what leads to your behaviours that you begin to work towards a more productive life.

As always, see you on the productive habits ladder :-)!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ajmuRg2o3Q

5 Characteristics of Resilient People

If your car’s fuel tank is empty, your car will not take you to your destination.

Just like your car, you have a destination (your life goals) that you need to get to.

Grit or resilience is the fuel for your life goals. It is the sole driver of achievement and success.

Grit is passion and perseverance for your long-term and meaningful goals. Grit helps you build resilience to go on when you feel like giving up.

Characteristics of resilient people

  1. Resilient people are courageous

As Anais Nin once said ‘your life shrinks or expands in direct proportion to your courage.’

If you’re not courageous enough to apply for that job, college degree, walk away from toxic people or start that business that you’re passionate about, your life will shrink.

The more courage you have, the more you build your resilience which makes your life expand exponentially.

In order to be courageous, you need to manage your fear of failure. There are valuable lessons in defeat.

Go ahead and dare to pursue your dreams, experience failure and see yourself come out of it stronger and courageous!

Characteristics of resilient people

  1. Resilient people are achievement-oriented and dependable.

How many times have you seen ‘pays attention to details’ as a key requirement on job descriptions when you’re out hunting for a job? I bet countless times! This is because the employer wants to know if you possess the resilience trait.

Resilient people are known to be careful and meticulous. Nobody wants to give you a job, pay you, and still waste their time supervising your every move.

Achievement oriented people work tirelessly to complete tasks and do a good job.

Dependable people are also more self-controlled-they do not give in to distractions. As a result, they realize their full potential. Achievement oriented people push themselves to develop more grit and achieve more success.

  1. They endure and follow through their long-term goals.

‘If you do not know where you are going, any road will lead you there.’ –  Lewis Caroll.

You do not want to live through life being swayed by other people’s dreams or being controlled by their calendars.

People who have no goals, schedules and productive habits are known to say Yes to every request. This will quickly deplete your resilience.

Having goals motivates you to work towards them and endure any challenges arising.

Goals provide context and framework in which you find meaning and value of your efforts. This cultivates grit over time.

Characteristics of resilient people

  1. Resilient people are overly optimistic, confident and creative.

As you work towards achieving your dreams, you will often encounter roadblocks.

Resilience gives you the strength to get up when you stumble along the way to achieving your goals.

This is through having a combination of optimism, creativity and confidence. Stay overly optimistic-always have space in your mind that’s ready for a miracle.

Stay creative-work on your creative confidence as you’ll need it every step of the way as you pursue your goals.

Resilience is believing that everything will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, then it’s definitely not the end.

  1. Resilient people are not perfect, they seek excellence.

Resilient people don’t seek perfection. They strive for excellence-excellence is an attitude, not an endgame.

Resilient people constantly seek excellence on a daily basis. They do the very best they can according to their abilities through their habits.

As Octavia Butler said ‘First, forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit is persistence in practice.’  That’s why super successful people keep working on their morning, work and evening habits and routines. They persevere to build the habits and stick to them-that is resilience in practice!

Excellence also allows for failure, disappointment and prioritizes progress. As a result, you develop resilience.

Characteristics of resilient people

Conclusion

I built my resilience by taking up a daily running exercise routine. I did it (and still do it) for 6 days per week. There are times when my legs felt too stiff and painful to run. Other times, I didn’t have the motivation to run. Other times, my brain kept telling me that I’m punishing myself and so I should quit.

Despite all those excuses my body gave me, I run. For 6 days per week. This exercise improved my resilience which has enabled me to push through my writing, work projects and even my other habits without quitting.

You can do the same too to build your resilience.

Pick an activity that is hard, requires you to move out of your comfort zone or one that you think you’re incapable of succeeding at. Do it consistently for 21 days or more without fail.

Then sit and see how transformational that will make your life. As always, see you on the resilience, successful ladder! 😊

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H14bBuluwB8&t=4s

10 tips to help you move on from your ex-faster!

Yes, it hurts to see someone move on without you.  But if there’s a general rule to life: it moves on! And so must you.

Here are some of the ways you can let go of an ex who has moved on…

1. Stop cyberstalking them

Visiting your ex’s social media pages to check what they’re up to is like taking poison and hoping that it will not kill you. It will kill you through stress and emotional frustrations. As it is often said, what you feed grows.

So if you constantly feed your mind with images of your ex and updates on their lives, you will be frustrated. Seriously, stop constantly visiting their social media pages and checking what they are up to.

Better still, block them.

A friend of mine uninstalled all their social media apps on their phone as a way of ensuring that they do not check it.

If you are really committed to moving on, you need to have some extreme social media changes.

2. Realize you did nothing wrong

People blame themselves for loving their exes after they break up. That might be true to some extent especially if you never took time to act on the negative personality trait signs as soon as you noticed them.

But then again, that’s the past! It already happened and you cannot undo that part of your life.

You should instead concentrate on reminding yourself that you did nothing wrong for choosing to love them. Choosing to love someone is an act of courage. You should appreciate yourself even more for loving them unconditionally.

letting go of your ex

3. Trust that you made the right decision

Trusting the decisions you make about any aspect of your life is a life hack you have to master. This applies to the decision to move on with your life after a break-up.

 You might have just dodged a bullet by deciding to move on. Maybe he/she was just not meant for you and as always, you are destined for better and bigger love.

So sit still, trust that you made the right decision and life will reward you with more glorious love.

4. Cut off communication

The best way to do this is giving yourself a target. Decide that you will not talk to this person for the next 30 days (or more).

To make it even more concrete and realistic use a calendar and tick off the days that you successfully live through without communicating with them.

If it happens that you communicate before the end of your target days, don’t give up on yourself. You should never give up on yourself anyway!

Start all over again and trust that you can hit your target. If you are truly determined you will do it. Doing this successfully will teach you that you can live without them.

letting go of your ex

5. Stop trying to make them feel bad  

Don’t stoop that low. You are a kind, beautiful, positive and awesome human.

Don’t make them feel bad for choosing to leave you. Making them feel bad will hurt you even more.

Choose instead to do things that make you feel happier and laugh. What makes you happy? Make a list of these things and go ahead and do them.

6. Create some space for yourself

Constantly seeing your ex will frustrate your efforts towards moving on.

It easier to move on if you don’t constantly see this person. Move to a different location if you may.

This will also give you a chance to experience a new life away from them and also allow you to meet new people.

Give yourself time to heal; yes, time heals even the deepest of wounds.

letting go of your ex

7. Talk about it with your best friends

Vulnerability is therapeutic. Talking about your life’s frustrations, stresses, and even worst breakups will leave you feeling better. You’ll feel like a heavy load has been lifted from your shoulders or offloaded a burden from your heart and mind.

While talking about it, you will realize that you will find answers within you that you need on how to move on.

Make sure you find a friend that is willing to listen. A lot of people have been through the same situation and your friend might be one of them; they might just give you awesome advice!

9. Get something to distract you

Find new activities to do that will distract you from the pain you’re going through. Focus your energy on something else that is will not remind you of the previous relationship.

Meet new people. Hit the gym. Do exercises. Learn a new skill. Hike through the woods with friends who support you. Join a club e.g. book club or something that will help you to stay busy.

This will help distract you and enable you to let go of that ex.

Journaling your progress is also known to work magic in this journey.

On a daily basis, ask yourself what progress you have made and write about it. Reward yourself for making substantial progress such as avoiding communication, not checking their social media and meeting new people.

letting go of your ex

9. Get rid of their stuff and anything that reminds you of them

Start by trashing everything that your ex left in your apartment. Why torture yourself by letting yourself see this stuff every day? Bin their stuff especially if they are unwilling to collect them.

A friend of mine threw everything out including gifts she had received from her ex. She then went ahead and avoided the places they had visited together for 60 days. By the time she was done, she had made so much progress.

You can do the same too!

10. Get up and every day and show up at work and school

Locking yourself up in your room forever will not change anything. You need to get up and go out there and conquer the world.

Moving on from a breakup is easier if you keep on doing your duties, attending school, showing up at work. It will communicate to your brain and emotions that life happens even after your ex lives. Life doesn’t stop, and you shouldn’t either!

Conclusion

Letting go of an ex is not an easy thing. It takes time, courage, effort, and requires getting out of a comfort zone; that zone that you were in when you loved someone.

You now have to do things in a different way to adjust to the fact they no longer exist. Sometimes life has to take a totally different lane in order for it to give you better and richer experiences.

Holding on is part of being human, but letting go of an ex is surely a necessity.

Tell us in the comment section about a different tip that you used to move on from your ex! As always, see you on the happiness lane!

 

 

How to let go of an ex and live your best life

Moving on from your broken relationship boils down to a simple concept; getting rid of the clutter in your life. Your ex falls under the same category as the broken shoe, torn pair of jeans, or damaged electronics that you’re still holding onto.

As you throw that in your trash bin, so should the memories of your ex, the numerous text messages, photos, filtered selfies, and all their stuff that they left in your apartment.

Why you should let go of your ex

What is the point of holding on to broken goods? You’re not a garbage bin.

The fact that one of you felt that the relationship wasn’t working means exactly that-it wasn’t working.

If you want to have tremendous amounts of peace in your life, constantly get rid of the clutter in your life. Throw away old receipts. Bin old notebooks that are occupying space on your shelf. Bin old makeup, spices and clothes that you no longer wear.

Not only does this leave you with more space to work with, it leaves you with a clear, fresh mind.

Same concept applies to your ex. Letting go of your ex will leave you with less worry, happier and with less dysfunctional people in your life which equals happiness!

Suffering

 

 

Still need more reasons to convince you to move on? I know you do because hey, at some point in your life, your ex was your world. Read on for more…

  1. To grieve

Having a deep romantic relationship almost feels like the two of you are living on a separate planet; just the two of you 😉

So when it comes to letting go of your ex, you need to give yourself time to grieve. However, you cannot grieve and move on if you’re still holding on to the relationship.

Take time to have conversations with yourself. You have accumulated so much wisdom from your parents, friends, siblings, networks and books that you have read.

Acknowledge the pain. Experience the hurt, but remember not to overstay in the situation. Remind yourself that you are stronger than the pain you’re going through.  There’s bigger, better and deeper love awaiting your glorious self!

  1. To emotionally reconnect with yourself

If you were in a relationship with your ex for long, you might have forgotten that at the end of the day, you belong to yourself. 

This experience might also have messed up your emotional resilience. You are going to live with yourself long after your ex is gone.

Taking time to get some emotional clarity will help you decide what to do next after a breakup. If you do not take time to emotionally reconnect with yourself, you will take longer to move on.

Take time to remind yourself of your values and also to appreciate yourself for being strong enough to have lived through a break-up.

Re-establish or create a deep relationship with yourself. You will need to rebuild your emotional resilience as you will need to always be strong for yourself as long as you live and love!

Boy & the Bench

  1. To avoid idolizing your ex or the relationship

The further you deep yourself into the mud, the harder and longer it’s going to take you to get out of it.

Often when you have not let go of your ex, you will find yourself idolizing the person or the relationship. You will exist in a relationship that isn’t there. You might start thinking of the good times that you had with your ex which might make you sadder and prevent your moving on efforts. So stop digging into these past memories and start working on the future.

  1. To create space for a new relationship

This might be with yourself or with a new lover.

There’s no shame in wanting to be loved and wanting to share your life with another person.

Even though most of us feel like we can’t love someone else after a breakup, it is important to keep reminding ourselves that the relationship didn’t work out for a reason.

Let loose and allow yourself to experience new love.

Letting go of an ex you still love will open up your eyes to better things, most probably better and happier relationships.

letting go of an ex

Why you should not be friends with your ex

Stopping yourself from texting or calling your ex a few weeks, months or even a year after a breakup is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do.

Love doesn’t really have to turn into hate. If you don’t want to keep ties with your ex, it’s okay.

They might have heartbroken you, killed your dream, messed up your life but at the end of the day this is someone who at some point meant the whole world to you. That feeling cannot just turn from love to hate overnight.

On the contrary, you should avoid being friends with your ex for the following reasons;

  1. It makes you cling to the false hope that you will get back together

Being friends with your ex will mislead you.

You may have made up your mind to move on but this situation will get you confused as any kind gesture will leave you confused. The wrong signals will make you have mixed feelings especially if you are still in love with them.

You might start getting hopeful that the love will flourish again and end up heartbroken even more.

Avoid being friends with your ex especially when you’re still in your journey towards getting over a heartbreak.

  1. You cannot be ‘just friends.’

Being friends with your ex will make your journey of letting go harder.

When you are friends with your ex, there are more expectations compared to a normal friendship you have with other people.

They might want to be treated the same way they were being treated when you were in a relationship. You have to make some limitations that won’t send wrong signals or make them feel jealous. Such things make the relationship hard to keep up with.

Let go of an ex and experience happiness.

  1. It leads to awkward situations when you’re with your mutual friends

Hanging out with your ex plus your mutual friends becomes a very tough situation if you choose to remain friends.

How should your mutual friends treat him/her? In fact, this might lead to your mutual friends avoiding the two of you all together! Let go.

Don’t drag other people into the mess.

  1. The odds of finding new love are minimal if you still hanging out your ex

How do you tell your new-found love that you still hang out with your ex?  That’s a perfect way to end your new relationship. No one will want to see you hang out with an ex every weekend in the name of being friends.

The person in the new relationship will definitely be more insecure and this will either lead to more breakups and unsteady relationships. Leave baggage where it belongs; in the past.

  1. You can’t undo the past

There is no way you are going to ignore what happened between the two of you in the past.

Every time you see him/her you will have flashbacks; which makes it even harder for you to let go. Why choose to make yourself suffer twice?

Conclusion

Holding on to your past relationship does not add any value to your life.

Letting go of your ex is a necessity if you want to avoid repeated heartache and frustrations.

As you get rid of the clutter in your life today, include your ex in the garbage bag! Gift yourself a stress-free life.

While you’re at it, dance and sing along to Beyoncé’s jam Irreplaceable as you tell him/her ‘to the left, to the left…’

 

Maintaining happiness: 5 things to avoid

We had been running non-stop for about 45 minutes and I was starting to feel like my legs couldn’t carry me anymore. As I was about to stop, my friend told me;

‘If you don’t stop, you will finish faster.’

I didn’t stop. I couldn’t stop. His words made me run all the way to the finish line. I was super proud of myself.

Since we started this routine running at the beginning of the year, I always stopped halfway. For the first time, I ran all way without stopping.

This lesson can apply to anything in your life.

Doing something consistently till you get to the end will make you happy. You will feel more fulfilled.

What other practical things can you do today, to add to your level of happiness? Here are five awesome things you should avoid and you will surely get happier!

Maintaining happiness: 5 things to avoid

Happiness needs more on the inward disposition of mind than the outward circumstance. – Benjamin Franklin

1. Living above your means

Money mismanagement is one of the greatest causes of unhappiness in the world.

People everywhere are living a lie by borrowing money to buy items they do not need just to make an impression on the people around them.

What are the last 10 things that you purchased? Did you buy them because you needed them or because you wanted them? If you were shopping right now, would you still buy them?

A need is something you can’t live without while a want is something you can live without. Living above your means will cause you stress and anxiety especially if you borrowed the money to finance it.

If you earn a certain amount of money at your job, but every month you find yourself spending more than you earn, know that you are bringing unhappiness upon yourself.

People who do this also tell themselves the lie that when they change the job and earn more money, they will stop the debt habit. This is not true. For most people, the more you earn, the more your expenses grow to match your new salary.

If you haven’t taken the time to learn the discipline of money management when you earn a little, you will find yourself in bigger debt when you earn more.

Maintaining happiness: 5 things to avoid

What can you do if you are already caught up in this mess?

  • Create an excel document detailing the state of your finances as shown below;

 

DEBT AMOUNT MONTHLY EXPENSES AMOUNT DEBTORS AMOUNT SAVINGS AMOUNT PERSONAL NEEDS AMOUNT

 

Fill in all the details. Be very honest with yourself. This exercise helps you realize how well or badly you’re doing in your financial management. It also shows you how deep in debt you are.

1. Now that you know who and what you owe, be deliberate about paying your debts. When you receive your salary;

  • Your first action should be to pay your monthly expenses (these are things that you can’t live without such as rent and food)
  • Save 10% in your separate savings account
  • direct the rest of the money towards paying off your debts. Paying off your debts deliberately and consistently repairs relationships with the people you owe and also lessens your anxiety. It is also a sign of being a responsible adult.

 

2. Read financial books.

I would recommend starting with George S. Clason’s The Richest Man in Babylon and Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. The two books have a practical approach.

The tips given are easy to master and you can easily incorporate them into your daily life.

If you still haven’t gotten your head around reading, listen to the audiobooks. The two audiobooks are available on YouTube for free!

3. Before you buy something, ask yourself if it is a need or a want. If it is something you can live without and especially if you are still in debt, don’t buy it!

4. Educate yourself on the psychology behind consumerism. Why is it that the advertising industry is a billion dollar industry? Why can’t I stop myself from buying more stuff?

Clutter is contributing towards your unhappiness. Read Paco Underhill’s book ‘Why We Buy.’ It will teach you to make better purchasing choices. You will be proud of yourself for reading this one!

Maintaining happiness: 5 things to avoid

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.- Alfred D. Souza

2. Not doing your best

If you are going to get anywhere in life, you will need to learn to always do your best in everything you decide to do. Doing the very best makes you feel proud of yourself.

Psychologists have linked discipline with self-esteem. People who always do what they decide or plan to do, are always happier. You wonder why? Because they have no regrets!

Not doing what you set your mind to do will give you more regrets than doing it and failing.

Of course, your best will vary. When you are sick, you will not be at your best productivity level. This could also happen when you are tired. But even in these situations, you are your best judge and you know when you have not done your best at something.

As Maya Angelou said ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’

3. Avoiding suffering

Surprised huh? The reason why a lot of people haven’t explored their full potential by starting a business, losing weight, getting a job, starting a blog, learning a new language or learning a new skill is that they are avoiding the discomfort that comes with it. They are also afraid of it.

Do you have an athlete you admire for their prowess? That person got there through exercising on a cold rainy day, working out when they don’t feel like it and pushing themselves through obstacles.

A classic example of how most people avoid suffering is by not waking up early. Viral snoozers! 

You need to learn how to move out of your comfort zone and suffer through the process of creating something.

That is the only way to a beautiful, happy life. The beautiful thing about this concept is that the more you push yourself towards hard stuff, the easier it becomes. As it is often quoted, ‘nothing good in life comes easy.

Maintaining happiness: 5 things to avoid

4. Shying away from living your best life

Oprah Winfrey is the queen of this lesson which works like magic!

Yes, every day or every week if you may, ask yourself “I’m I living the life I want?’ If the answer is NO, then get off that couch and go and live the life you want.

Of course, this starts with thinking about what the life you want looks like. Do you want to start a business and travel the world? What is required for you to do it?

Find out, write it down and start the journey towards living that life. If you started yesterday, you’d be a step ahead today. Go. Do it.

5. Comparing your journey with others

Isn’t this the most popular reason for most people’s unhappiness? Looking at other people and thinking that your life journey should be the same.

But if that could happen, what would be unique about you?

You have the ability to build the life that you want, a unique life to you using your gifts and talents. This will make you feel better about yourself as opposed to copying another’s life.

You are doing an injustice to yourself by comparing yourself to others. The same energy and time that you are using to do this is the same energy that you should be using to build the life that you want.

Maintaining happiness: 5 things to avoid

I will no longer compare my path to others-I refuse to do a disservice to my life. – Rupi Kaur

Bonus Point;

6. Not pursuing a  little progress every day

When you look at your life goals and think about the major dreams you have for yourself, it may seem impossible to achieve them all.

The most important thing to remember in this case is that you are capable of achieving it all.

All you have to do is wake up every day and pursue your goals consistently with an aim of making a little progress every day.

Keep track of your progress using your journal or habit tracker. Before you retire to bed every day, write down what you achieved. Also, write down what you must accomplish the next day. This daily habit will propel you to your dreams!

Conclusion

Use the above 6 tips and incorporate them into your life. As it is often said, knowledge without application is useless.

So go ahead and use them! Tell us in the comment section which one has brought you a little sunshine in your life. As always, see you at the top!

The magic of pursuing the bigger picture

Imagine that employed in a company doing your dream job that has a promising future.

A member of that company comes up to you and makes you an irresistible offer. He has found a way of convincing one of the company’s biggest clients to revoke a contract with them and instead give it to him.

He’s offering you 50% of the value of the contract if you quit your job and join him to work on the contract. Sounds good and lucrative, right? Yes.

This being your first job means you do not have enough corporate experience to understand the potential consequences of your decision. You quit your job and join him.

Three months in, the company sues the guy who gave you the offer and you both lose the contract.

You end up jobless, your name tarnished, broke and unable to get a job in the same town.

As much as the situation promised a bigger pay cut, in the long run, this engagement was bound to fail because the guy duped the contract from the company.

This is a classic example of the damage that thinking small can do! This kind of thinking is often also referred to as hollow thinking, small picture thinking or winning the battle-losing the war thinking.

The magic of pursuing the bigger picture

It is much better to lose a battle and win the war than to win a battle and lose the war. Resolve to keep your eyes on the big ball –David J. Schwartz

Big picture thinking

Big picture thinking means zooming out your life or situations to see your ultimate goals. This practice helps you to make better decisions when faced with challenges whether in your personal life, relationships, work or business.

Big picture thinking also means forfeiting small wins as you focus on working on your bigger wins.

How do you become a big picture thinker?

The best way to become a big picture thinker is through taking time to work on your ultimate life goals.

What is your end game? How do you want your life to be when you’re 60 and retired?

Constantly going back to this end game and asking yourself if you are working towards this big picture will enable you to be a big picture thinker. This will also enable you to focus on the big picture as opposed to concentrating on small wins.

The magic of pursuing the bigger picture

The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close-up – Chuck Palahniuk

Focusing on the big picture in everyday life

  1. The social media bug

Social media addiction is one of the greatest problems facing young people.

Our phones are the first things we check when we wake up and the last before we retire to bed. We spend so much time on social media that we forget our other responsibilities such as family and work.

Worse still, people invest on a ‘fake it till you make’ it lifestyle on social media. We edit photos, lie, post personal information all in the name of gaining likes.

While social media is a powerful tool when used and managed correctly, these same tools have been known to cause major damages especially when it comes to our mental health.

Living a fake life on social media is one of the ways of experiencing small wins while losing the big picture. You spend a lot of time on social media which makes you waste precious time that you could use studying, reading books, working or loving your family and friends. The consequences? 

  • Falling out with your family and friends. We all know how much time and resources it takes to build strong relationships.
  • Failing your exams which makes it harder for you to secure a job. This also makes you stressed and messes up with your self-esteem.
  • Underperforming at work could lead to a pay cut or losing your job altogether.
  • You have no time for self-development. Reading books, attending networking events and having meaningful conversations will leave you a better, happier and more valuable person.
  • You risk experiencing mental health issues. The comparison games on social media leave you doubting your self-worth which leaves you stressed and sometimes depressed.

Tip; Manage your social media usage. You don’t want to end up with thousands of followers while doubting your self-worth at the same time!

  1. Your money

Borrowing money in a bid to sustain a life that you can’t afford may feel wonderful at first, but soon enough, you’ll end up stressed and deep in debt.

Taking a loan to buy that new pair of shoes may feel awesome especially when you receive compliments about it, but the interest rates on that loan will leave you broke! This is a perfect example of how to win small while losing the bigger picture since you will end up stressed and straining to pay off your debt.

This is an especially dangerous small win because once you start the borrowing loop, it’s almost impossible to stop.

Tip; Live within your means and keep track of your finances. Create a savings plan and back it up by reading some financial literacy books while at it!

The magic of pursuing the bigger picture

If you just focus on the smallest details, you never get the big picture right. – Leeroy Hood

  1. Neglecting your family and friends

For most people, as soon as they get their first job, they start losing track of their relationships as they claim they’re ‘busy.’

If this includes you, you’re not busy. You just haven’t taken time to track your priorities.

What is the use of climbing the corporate ladder and getting that high paying position while having no one to make a toast about it with?

Does this remind you of anything? Yes. This is another miserable small win caused by not taking time to balance your big pictures.

Tip; Add ‘meeting with family/friends’ in your weekly schedules.

  1. Prioritizing your job

Working overtime might seem like a good thing in your grand picture of things but this does you more harm than good.

Getting home late means not having a chance to have dinner with your family. It also means missing out on important life milestones and meaningful conversations.

You will use more time to rebuild these relationships in future. Working overtime will also harm your health which will ultimately make you way less productive in future. See? Small wins yes but again that’s losing the war.

Tip; Create a life where you work hard at your job while at the same time creating time to love your family.

The magic of pursuing the bigger picture

The big picture doesn’t just come from distance; it also comes from time. – Simon Sinek

  1. Choosing a career because of the money

Choosing a career because of the money as opposed to your passion is also an example of a small win that has long-term damages. You will end up feeling cheated, unhappy and unfulfilled.

Having money is good, but that combined with hating your job is miserable. As the experts say, choose a job that you love, be an expert at it and the money will come.

Tip;  Choose a career of courage, meaning and impact.

Conclusion

You need to use smart tactics to win at life. The best tactic is to keep asking yourself if your life decisions are in line with your big picture.  The above 5 tips will help you get started. As always, see you at the top!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgHkPhn-494


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