Make Someone Else’s Day, and 3 Other Ways to De-Stress

 

Image credit: Warner Bros.

A survey from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that close to half of all working adults say that their job negatively affects their life. And that certainly resonates: It’s easier now more than ever to get stressed out and adopt unhealthy habits into our everyday lives.

What’s more, the biggest problem about this epidemic is not the actual stress in itself, but our inability to do anything about it. Instead of thriving on all cylinders and being a top producer in our chosen lines of work, most of us settle for a state of survival.

Of course it’s important to work extremely hard, put in the long hours and do everything in your power to make sure you are living up to your full potential each and every day. However, that doesn’t mean you neglect your emotional, mental and physical health in the process.

Here are four things that will help you eliminate stress and reclaim your happiness.

1. Make someone else’s day.

Remember the famous Clint Eastwood line from Dirty Harry? Why not turn it around? Because one of the easiest ways to eliminate stress and put a smile on your face is to find a way to make someone else’s day. When stress beats us down, it’s usually because we put too much focus on ourselves.

We may be way too hard on ourselves, setting unrealistic expectations at work, and feeling consumed only with what we currently have going on in our lives. But when we make it a priority to be of service to someone and “make someone else’s day,” we just might learn one of the most fulfilling ways for minimizing stress and reclaiming our happiness.

2. Go on a digital detox.

One of the best decisions that I ever made was to go on a digital detox for one full week. I stayed off social media, never once opened my email and even made sure that my phone was in a completely different room locked away for the whole week.

This was a very powerful action that provided me with just the right amount of solitude and soul searching required to get back on track and come back even stronger. In the technology-driven world that we currently live in, it’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of comparing our success (or lack thereof) to someone else’s achievements. It’s easy to let social media run run our lives. It’s easy to forget about what matters most in life.

I am not suggesting that anyone go on a technology detox for a full week like I did. But I am encouraging that people at least try it out for maybe a weekend or just one day. I am positive that you will enjoy the sense of relief and calmness that will result.

3. Let gratitude be the driving force in your life.

Every single time that I have been stressed out and on the verge of burnout, my absence of gratitude has always been the main reason why. It’s virtually impossible to be stressed out and feel terrible about yourself when you are in a constant state of gratitude.

And in case you’re wondering what that means, there are plenty of ways to incorporate gratitude into your daily life. I write in a “gratitude journal” each and every morning. The first thing I do when I wake up is write down three to five things that I am grateful for that day. Instead of worrying about what I have to do over the day ahead or taking a look at the hectic calendar waiting for me, I turn to gratitude first.

Another way that I bring gratitude into my life is by going on a daily gratitude walk. I learned this daily practice from my friend and bestselling author Jon Gordon. Before I listen to music or a podcast, I’ll go on a scenic walk early in the morning and say out loud everything that I am grateful for. This energizes me and is a profound way to start the day. Stress has no chance of surviving when you are in a constant state of gratitude. Don’t believe me? Check out this Newsweek article which reports on five scientifically proven benefits of gratitude.

4. Get lost in a great book.

One of my favorite things in the world is to read and get lost in a great book. There is something magical about picking up a great book and not letting your worries, fears and stresses win the battle of your mind. Great books have the potential to change lives.

Even though I read a new book every week, I have a stack of ten or so more familiar books that I always turn to when the going gets tough and I feel the hustle and bustle of life starting to really get to me. All it takes is for me to pick up one of these great books and start re-reading it for 15 minutes.

Reading a great book helps me to see the world in a different light and forget about all of the problems going on in the world. I might do the same for you: Getting lost in great books has totally changed my life; and I know it can do the same for you as well.

Stress doesn’t have to get the best of you and steal your happiness. I hope these four ideas help you just as much as they have benefited my life over the years.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

8 Ways to Stay Positive Regardless of What Is Going on Around You

20161024191043-gettyimages-555799343Image credit: Sam Edwards | Getty Images

You probably hear it over and over again how important it is to be positive, think positive and only engage in positive activity. In this day and age, being positive isn’t always an easy task.

Turn on the news and the first thing you will usually see is something negative. Head into work and a negative coworker is already complaining about the boss. Watch the presidential debates and all of the coverage leading up to the upcoming election while the only thing you can do most of the time is shake your head in disbelief while you watch the two potential leaders of this country.

The list goes on and on. The point is that negativity is all around us. No matter where you look, you will always find either a negative situation or a negative person. However, you don’t have to let what happens on the outside interfere with what happens within you.

Being positive each and every day is an inside job that consists of intentional effort even at times when you don’t feel like it. No, being positive won’t guarantee that you will be a success or achieve a major goal of yours, but it will help you a whole lot more than what being negative will do for you.

I recently sat down with Jon Gordon, the bestselling author of the mega bestseller The Energy Bus to discuss eight ways you can become more positive regardless of what is going on around you.

1. Make the choice.

All of life consists of choices. In order to be incredibly successful, stay positive, and reach your full potential, it all starts with a firm choice to do just that. Jon says, “You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.”

2. Talk to yourself like a champion.

I have been speaking about the power of talking to yourself for quite awhile now.  Jon Gordon said, “Talk to yourself instead of listen to yourself. Instead of listening to your complaints, fears and doubts, talk to yourself and feed your mind with words of truth and encouragement you need to keep moving forward.”

3. Be strict with energy vampires.

Association is everything. It’s an absolute must that you have zero tolerance for negative energy vampires. Jon says, “Post a sign that says ‘No Energy Vampires Allowed.'” Gandhi said, “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”

4. Live your purpose.

Nothing helps you to come more alive alive and radiate positive energy like living out your purpose. Gordon said, “Remember why you do what you do. We don’t get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it.”

5. Change your perception of adversity and failure.

This is what my new book, Winning Plays is all about. Being able to redefine what failure really means and learning how to capitalize off of each and every setback. Jon says, The next time you ‘fail’ remember that you aren’t failing, you are becoming. You aren’t failing, you are growing.”

6. Smile and laugh more.

Very simple things to do, but so many forget the power of just smiling and laughing more. Just as Jon said, “Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.”

7. Protect your inner world.  

It’s important to remember that regardless of how bad or negative a certain situation may be that you don’t have to let it dictate your level of happiness or positivity. Jon said, “Remember that outside circumstances and events have no power over you. You create your world from the inside-out.”

8. Be patient.

A great majority of the negativity that holds many people back is a major lack of patience. Greatness takes an extraordinary amount of time putting in the work behind closed doors before anything blossoms. Jon said, “There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Anything worthwhile takes time to build.”

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

4 Things You Can Do to Stay Positive In Trying Times

20150805174656-delicate-balanceImage credit: Shutterstock

Everyone will agree that the current presidential campaign is turning out to be one of colossal angst, controversy and mudslinging. Friends, families and businesses are fighting with one another over which candidate is best.

The thing is, if we keep our minds on the controversies, disharmonies, and fighting, we stand a very good chance at losing hold in our businesses and in life. And we can’t let that happen.

What we can do is be of service to others. As Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Take a look at yourself. You can strive to make a difference in your customers’ lives, in your friends’ and families’ lives and in your own business and world. A good way to counteract all the disharmony that’s taking place in our country and the world right now is to focus on the service we provide to others. Whether it’s through our business or through our relationships, we can give more, listen more, and understand more. We can glean much understanding of others by giving of our time to those in need. It was Mother Teresa who said, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

This may sound so cliché and simple, but it’s a truth. So, in this time of political angst, here are some things you can do to stay more balanced in your business and life.

1. Teach humanitarian service and love.

Volunteers of all ages build houses for the homeless. They traipse to other countries to build homes and provide aid to those in need. Not only that, but they collect shoes for the homeless, they pick vegetables and fruit on farmers’ fields for the homeless. They donate leftover food to the homeless from restaurants and social events. They ring kettle bells for those less fortunate. They read stories to children and play games and do arts and crafts with the elderly in hospitals and nursing homes. There are a million kind acts that people do for others. When you offer yourself to be of service to others in some small way, the love will come back to you a thousand-fold, and this will benefit your business and life.

2. Giving and mentoring: A gift that lasts a lifetime.

I know a friend who tutors and mentors at-risk youth to help prepare them for exams. His students come from all ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. He has told stories about how he helped gang members get out of their gangs and focus on their studies so they could earn good grades and attend college.

Other people I know serve as volunteer lifestyle coaches in halfway houses to help people who have been to drug and alcohol rehab. Those recovering people need ongoing help and support, and the volunteers serve as a guide to those in need. Many times these lifestyle coaches will save lives because of their gifts of service. This kind of “gift” and service is everlasting.

You can even give your time to your nieces and nephews. This is more valuable than any gift you could ever purchase for them.

Giving of yourself to others in any way will help you learn more about people and in turn, this will help you achieve more in your business.

3. Join a group like Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is a wonderful organization that allows you to be of service to others by volunteering your time to guide and mentor a child so he or she can fulfill their life’s potential. It gives you the opportunity to help shape that child’s future by playing sports together, reading books together, or simply going out for pizza. Some children need a big brother or big sister because they have no one else.

4. Teach by example and be a role model.

One of the best ways to serve others is to teach by example and to be the best role model you can be. Again, this sounds so simple, but it’s not. The way you carry yourself, your actions, your conversations, your thoughts, your demeanor — all write the story of who you are. People respond to that. If you’re negative or angry all the time, that’s how people will perceive you. And there will be some who will copy you because they think if you can get away with it, so can they.

You can start slowly. Maybe even just block out one or two hours a week to give some time of service to an organization or someone. You can come up with your own creative way of volunteering. It can be at a church, a hospital, a school, a nursing home, a pet shelter or your local gym.

It’s very important to display your best at all times. Be your best. Teach your best. There’s always someone out there who needs guidance or mentoring. When you are kind to others and offer your service, it acts like a boomerang. The kindness will bounce back to you.

Stephen Covey said, “Seek to understand before being understood.” In these times of political turmoil, it’s important to stay balanced in your business and life more than ever before. We desperately need more understanding. Stop and look inward through meditation, silence, and prayer to better understand your own self.

To stay balanced and productive in your business and life, which includes a sense of empowerment and unity as a country and people, it starts with you and with love in the home and service outside.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Want to Defeat Stress, Anxiety and Worry? Exercise, Say ‘Thank You’ a Lot and Use The Calm App.

20160329134106-calm-appImage credit: Calm

Stress, anxiety and worry are three things that drastically interfere with millions of people unleashing their best work and tapping into their full potential. Some are better than others at minimizing the negative effects that stress, anxiety and worry can have, but at one point or another, all of us will experience some sort of discomfort from the killer three I like to call them.

I call them the killer three, because they not only stop people from unleashing their best work and tapping into their full potential, but over time they actually do a whole lot more than prevent us from achieving success. Heart attacks, strokes, suicides and many other social and physical impairments can be brought upon by the killer three if we aren’t intentional about practicing mindfulness each and every day and working to defeat stress, anxiety and worry.

Here are three ways to help you defeat the killer three.

1. Start incorporating meditation into your life daily.

Meditation is a complete game-changer when it comes to defeating stress, anxiety and worry. Not only does it do a fantastic job of minimizing all of the side effects from the killer three, but the other benefits you reap when you invest in daily meditation is extraordinary.

At first, I thought I could never be someone who would sit down and relax for 20 to 30 minutes to meditate. There was just no way. I had too much to do, and there were never enough hours in the day to accommodate my strenuous workload. However, when things eventually became too hectic to function efficiently, I looked to meditation as my last resort — and never looked back.

We hear about how important mediation is for brain power and overall health, but there are still too many who are reluctant to try it. A great way to get started is to use The Calm app, which has been invaluable, as I have it with me everywhere I go. It has guided and unguided mediation sessions and I really think it can add value to your life as it did mine. If you feel overwhelmed from your every day workload or stressed with life in general, meditation is a must.

2. Exercise.

There are plenty of productivity apps and all sorts of different gadgets that promise to increase productivity levels, but the most powerful productivity tool there is isn’t an app or gadget. It’s exercise. Not only does exercise release endorphins, positively impact your mindset and take your productivity to the next level, but it is an absolute must if you want to decrease the amount of stress, anxiety and worry in your life.

When I was an athlete, I never had the worry syndrome or let stress get the best of me, even though there was so much doubt and uncertainty looming ahead. When I analyzed what the difference was between the two, I noticed that when I was an athlete, there was never a day that went by without me investing back into my body and exercising.

Sure, that was a major part of my job as a professional athlete, but you don’t have to be a professional athlete to exercise regularly. I took major notice as to how I would feel when I would go weeks or even months at a time not paying much attention to exercise or making it a priority in my life.

I made excuses, and in return, I felt like complete crap physically and mentally. Your health is your livelihood, and convincing yourself that you don’t have time to workout or exercise for at least 30 minutes a day is adding more harm than benefit to your schedule. I promise you that you aren’t freeing yourself up to get more work done or get ahead professionally. I don’t know about you, but I am all for increasing productivity levels, defeating the killer three, and feeling wonderful all day long. Daily exercise does just that — and much more.

3. Say ‘thank you’ more often.

Saying these two words with conviction on a regular basis can powerfully change the direction of your life. It’s important to set goals, create visions and think about what you want for your future, but often, we let what we don’t have get in the way of all that we do have.

We spend time worrying and stressing about where we want to be and forget to have an attitude of gratitude for having the opportunity at all. There is nothing more harmful to our health than forgetting the importance of being grateful for what we have and getting in a daily routine of saying “thank you” more often.

I have a note card that I carry in my briefcase with the two words, thank you, written on it. Everywhere I go, I’m reminded to give thanks for waking up, experiencing life another day and having the opportunity to work towards my dreams.

When you really think long and hard about it, it’s truly remarkable what a privilege and opportunity that each and every one of us has to wake up and live another day. It’s up to us how we shape our minutes, days, years and lives. Saying “thank you” more often minimizes the negative effects of the killer three and increases your sense of fulfillment every moment of your life. It’s so simple — yet so important.

Practicing mediation, exercising daily and saying thank you more often will not only reduce the amount of stress, anxiety and worry that you have in your life but also change the way you work and go about your every day life. I urge you to incorporate these three simple tasks into your everyday life, and see how they reward you over time.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

 

Why Worry? Because We Do. But We Can Kick the Habit.

20150119202257-thinkingImage credit: Nastya Birdy | Flickr

We all have different kinds of mental routines. Some are positive and nourishing to the mind, while some are so negative and tragic that they actually lead to death.

A key part in reprogramming the mind for optimal performance and healthy thoughts is to kick the worry habit. So many people love to worry about every little thing. Half the things people worry about are not even in their control. Most are worrying about things that they can do absolutely nothing about. They are creating stress and negative energy all throughout their entire body when they worry.

Worrying is unhealthy. Worrying kills. Worrying destroys dreams. Worrying creates bigger problems than the actual problem itself.

As human beings, we naturally tend to worry about so much already. Then all of a sudden go ahead and add some kind of adversity or major failure to the mix, and then the worry just intensifies. Worrying about anything, whether big or small, creates a huge burden in our lives that limits us from reaching our full potential.

John Lubbock said, “A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.” I couldn’t agree more with that statement. Worrying completely sucks all of the energy right out of us. Worrying really does create more work than actually doing work itself.

Just like all of the other habits that we have and spend time doing every single day of our lives, worrying ends up becoming a habit for most people as well. There are all kinds of things you can do to temporarily eliminate all worry from your thinking, but the only way to permanently rid yourself from the worry habit is to get in tune with your faith like never before.

Bestselling author Max Lucado said it best when saying, “Feed your fears, and your faith will starve. Feed your faith, and your fears will.” You can’t worry and have faith at the same time.

Let your faith be so big that there isn’t even the slightest of chance that worry can even creep in at any point in time. When your faith isn’t there, it’s second nature for worry to occur. It’s almost expected, especially when your back is up against the wall.

Here are two ways to help you kick the worry habit.

1. Focus on what you can control.

It seems so self-explanatory, but it’s also one of the hardest things to do most of the time. One of the best ways to help eliminate worry is to put all of your energy and time on the things that you can control.

Each and every one of us spends more time than we should on things we have absolutely no control over. You can’t necessarily control an outcome, but what you can do is put yourself in position to win by focusing on the process and everything that you do have control over.

When we start to focus on things outside of our control, anxiety, worry and fear begin take over in a big way. I will be the first to say that only focusing on what you control is not the easiest of task at times. However, it’s an absolute must in order to minimize the amount of worry in your life. Focus on what you can control.

2. Make progress every day, and then acknowledge it.

When you focus on making progress each day and then acknowledge it, you begin to feel good about yourself and instantly boost your self-esteem. You come to the realization that you are better than you were the day before — and that gives you a deep sense of satisfaction.

A lot of the times most people worry when they feel like they aren’t making progress or getting anywhere in life. So by putting your attention towards making progress and then finding a way to acknowledge it can greatly help in decreasing the amount of worry in your life.

To give you an example, every night before I go to bed, I grab my journal and start writing down the progress that I made for that specific day. Some days I have more to write down than others, while some days it can be hard to find things to even write down in the first place. However, regardless of how easy or hard it is to find things to write down at night, getting in the habit of acknowledging your wins and daily progress can positively impact your life — and tremendously help in removing worry.

It’s awfully hard to tap into your full potential with worry becoming a natural and daily habit for you.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Work Hard, But Don’t Lose Your Sense of Fulfillment and Empowerment

20150901170738-happy-man-stress-free-business-manImage credit: Shutterstock

When I first set out to build my business and the life of my dreams, I forgot one important ingredient: To care, nurture and love myself first and foremost.

I started to see some big success in year three of my business, but I couldn’t wrap my head around why I was feeling miserable and lost. After months of dissecting the situation, it was easy to see that I was so focused on building the life and business of my dreams while completely neglecting my own mental, physical and spiritual health.

That is something that you never want to happen, because once you lose a sense of fulfillment and empowerment, everything you do will start to feel as if you are just going through the motions and coasting along. It’s a surefire recipe to become miserable and live beneath your full potential.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for hustling and working harder and smarter than everyone else. That was the blueprint as to how I was able to overcome a teenage drug addiction that nearly killed me to then having the opportunity to go on to play in the National Football League. But you must never forget to care for yourself.

Here are two ways to empower your life immediately that will ultimately help serve your business and professional success as well.

1. Discover the incredible power of stillness.

This one was a life changer for me. My whole life leading up to discovering the incredible power of stillness was predicated on moving fast, quickly and constantly. It still is to an extent, but my biggest issue back then was never taking the time to just slow down and be still for even a couple minutes a day.

When I refer to stillness, I am referring to a number of different things: mediation, prayer, thinking in solitude, journaling in the presence of beautiful mother nature and just slowing down some way, somehow every day.

We live in a busy world, and it’s imperative to find time daily to escape the noise and get in tune with yourself. Maybe you have another way of escaping the noise. Whatever that may be for you, I encourage you to make time for it every day.

When I started to adopt some of the practices that I mentioned, my peace of mind alone was instantly and drastically noticeable. Practicing stillness and searching for solitude throughout my day has changed not only my success in the game of business, but most important, in my health and overall well-being.

2. Love yourself.

I have written so much and speak all the time on the topic of how important it is to love your customers, team members and the process of where you are to where you want to go, but haven’t spent as much time on a major factor in being able to do all of the above exceptionally well: To love yourself.

Loving yourself is taking time for you. Loving yourself is taking time off if you feel the rate that you are going is unhealthy. Loving yourself is never neglecting your well-being, values and characteristics that define who you are as a person for monetary gain or professional advancement. Loving yourself gives power over your life.

One of the major reasons why so many successful men and women lose the empowerment in their lives that once ignited them is their lack of love and nourishment towards themselves. Continue to work ridiculously hard and become the absolute best at what you do, but don’t forget to love yourself along the way. No one can love you to the extent that you want them to if you don’t love yourself first.

It’s easy to forget about yourself when you are striving to achieve the audacious goals that you have for your life and business, but discovering the incredible power of stillness and loving yourself are two practical and easy ways to empower your life immediately.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

The Many Ways Being Kind Leads to Success

20150720153529-thank-you-gratitude-signImage credit: Pexels

We often hear about the importance of focusing on the positive despite the negatives in our lives, but that can be a tough feat to accomplish. Whether we are experiencing a catastrophic business failure or going through a personal struggle, most of the time it feels impossible to think “positive.” We’re too busy focusing on everything that can go wrong.

There is a way out of this dilemma. It all starts with being intentional. There is an extraordinary power that lies within intention. It will take practice, but it’s crucial to stay positive at all times, especially in times of change and turmoil.

The Power of Intention, written by the late Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, an internationally renowned author of 30 books, offers numerous action tools to help build positivity in your life that are focused around virtues.These can help you register positive experiences so that they sink into the deepest layers of the mind and alter implicit memory. These tools will help you transition your feelings from negativity to positivity more easily, and more often.

Dr. Dyer said in an interview that “The Law of Attraction is this: You don’t attract what you want. You attract what you are.” Dyer is referring to the Tao Te Ching, written around the 6th century BC by Lao Tzu.

According to Dyer, the Hua Hu Ching, Lao Tzu’s further writings, clarifies, elucidates and reinforces the Law of Attraction. Those who want to build positivity along with Reverence, Natural Sincerity, Gentleness, and Supportiveness in their lives will utilize the following virtues, which can be attributed to the Hua Hu Ching:

1. Gratitude and reverence.

Be reverent and grateful for all of life. This manifests as unconditional love and respect for oneself and all other beings. Every day, and as often as you need, say, “I intend to honor and respect all life and I am grateful for all life.” Take this one step further and write a Gratitude List for all that you are grateful for, including the failures.

2. Sincerity.

The second is natural sincerity. This manifests as honesty, simplicity and faithfulness. Every day, say, “I intend to be faithful to my life, to my dreams and goals, and to my mission.” Give attention to the loved ones in your life every day. Don’t take them for granted. Show them that you are loyal and devoted to them.

3. Gentleness and kindness.

The third is gentleness, which manifests as kindness, consideration for others and sensitivity to spiritual truth. Every day, perform at least one act of kindness for someone else. It can be something as simple as letting someone go before you in the grocery line. Or it can be as difficult as helping a friend move to a new home.

4. Supportiveness.

The fourth is supportiveness. This manifests as service to others without expectation of reward. Do something each day that is supportive.

It can be as simple as something like anonymously paying for someone’s movie ticket who will be approaching the window after you. One young college man I know often puts a $20 bill on the windshield of someone’s car. He doesn’t know who owns the car, but he just wants to give something of himself. Another friend often picks up the tab for young couples who are out on a date in a restaurant. They never know who paid the ticket.

One evening in Nashville, the country music artists, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, were dining in an upscale restaurant. The whole restaurant was filled with young high school students who were dressed in formal wear, heading to their spring prom later. Without disclosing who they were, Tim and Faith paid the bill for the entire group of students. Only later, after some servers leaked it to the press, did anyone know who paid this bill.

When you do something for others anonymously, with no expectations of a reward, you give back to life in a way that sustains you and manifest a “kindness” in the world that will spread a thousand-fold. This “kindness” will in turn bring positivity to your business and personal life in ways that you cannot imagine.

These Virtues are key components of the Power of Intention. They are tools that will help you shift your body and mind from negative to positive, to happiness and success.

Thank you, Dr. Dyer, for the wisdom.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Ways to Create a Winning and Healthy Mindset

20150528205710-yoga-zen-peaceful-meditation-quiet-forestImage credit: Shutterstock.com

One of the biggest determining factors whether someone lives a life of major contribution and greatness or ends up going to their grave with all of their potential still inside of them is mindset — how we think and feel, largely about ourselves.

Think of your mind as the Grand Master, the ruler of your destiny, because that’s exactly what it is. How we think and feel is determined by how we see the world, and how we see the world is determined by how we see ourselves. Unfortunately, when something goes wrong in someone’s life, they begin to look at the world and themselves with a limited vision.

They put on blinders and neglect to see all of the potential that is still out in front of them. The failure, hardship or pain that they are currently experiencing completely shrinks their belief system and takes over their thought processes.

It’s our job to change this cycle and get ourselves back on track by reconditioning our minds. How we think and what we think about is up to us. If we don’t take the initiative to recondition our thought processes on a continual basis and work to develop our minds consistently, the harsh circumstances of life will do it for us.

Here are three ways to help you develop your mind and work to interrupt negative and toxic thoughts that may be holding you back from unleashing your full potential into the world.

1. Create a grand vision for your life.

So many struggle with taking control of their minds and seeing all of the true beauty that life has to offer because of a lack of vision. It’s important that we create a grand vision for our lives because that’s what pushes us forward despite whatever hardship or negative situation may be present at the moment.

Oprah Winfrey said it best: “Create the highest, grandest vision for your life, because you become what you believe.”

If you can’t see it for yourself then it will never happen. You must be able to see yourself victorious. You must be able to see yourself building a remarkable and dominant organization. You must be able to see yourself get out of debt and become financially independent. If you can’t see it, you’ll never achieve it.

2. Make a trigger card.

Take a note card and write down your two most important goals in the past tense as if you have already accomplished them.

When Jim Carrey was a broke, struggling actor, he took a blank check and made it out to himself. He wrote it in the amount of $1 million. He dated it one year from that moment. Every day, he looked at his “trigger card” and knew that he would achieve his goal. In one year, he was earning more than $1 million.

In the same way, you can use numerous things as your “trigger card.” Making a trigger card is one of the best ways that has made a profound difference in my life as far as interrupting negative and toxic thoughts and getting me back on track towards achieving my biggest goals at the moment.

As Anthony Robbins once said, “Begin to live as though your prayers are already answered.”

3. Answer some of life’s biggest questions.

What do you want your life to stand for? How do you want to be remembered? What do you want your contribution to the world to be? These are just three of many of life’s biggest questions. By asking ourselves these intimate and extremely impactful questions, we get that much closer to living a life with purpose.

So many men and women unfortunately just coast along through their everyday lives, never really taking the time to even think about life’s biggest questions, let alone answer them. This causes them to move further away from what ignites them so they can do meaningful work.

Find what tugs at your heart and how you want to live your life. Those that neglect taking the time to answer and think about some of life’s biggest questions will always struggle with adopting a winning and healthy mindset, especially when adversity of any sort strikes.

It’s safe to say that the world that we live in right now is full of distress. All it will take is to turn on the news or take a glance at the newspaper to come to that conclusion. With that being said, if you don’t get serious about thinking of your mind as the grand master of your destiny and taking control of what you choose to think about, this messy and noisy world will do it for you.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Simple Ways to Feel Happy

20150313223526-smile-smiley-face-happy-happinessImage credit: Eric | Flickr

Let’s face it, we all have those days when we don’t feel happy. Sure, circumstances and certain events in your life can change emotions for the worse in an instant, but the outcome of whether you are miserable or happy all comes down to you.

The power of choice is one of the most extraordinary things that human beings have. We have the choice whether to be happy or sad, and that choice is in front of us to make every single minute of every day.

I learned the power of choice when I was recently walking in downtown Chicago. As I came around a corner, I saw a homeless man lying on the side of the street with a huge smile on his face. What was different about this man is that he wasn’t asking for money or even food. He was just smiling.

As I began talking to him, he said that people think he is crazy, not because he is homeless and has no shoes on his feet, but because he always has a huge smile on his face. He then went on to explain that he has a choice to either be happy or miserable, and he promised himself that he will always choose to smile and be happy no matter how tough his life may be.

This short story leads me to three ways to instantly increase your happiness levels:

1. Choose to be happy.

It sounds so easy and cliché, but as I stated before, the power of choice is extraordinary. A lot of us take it for granted. I wanted to share the above story to give you a clear example of a man who has nothing but still chooses to be happy.

I have seen hundreds of examples of men and women who don’t have as much success, materialistic possessions or status as others but still manage to be incredibly happy. How is this so? The power of choice. They choose to be happy and not let their circumstances or another person dictate whether they are going to be happy or not.

First, you must choose to be happy before you can ever be happy. It’s not an event or level of achievement that brings real and lasting happiness — it’s a choice that does.

2. Live in a constant state of gratitude.

One of the most efficient and easiest ways to increase your happiness levels is to constantly think, express and write down all that you are grateful for. I know your next statement may be, “I don’t have much to be grateful for in my life right now.” I beg to differ.

Every single one of us that is alive and breathing right now has a whole lot to be thankful for. It can be some of the most simplest things that you take for granted every single day, like having the chance to take your child to school, the beauty of mother nature or to just be alive and experience life.

It’s impossible to be stressed, miserable and unhappy when you are constantly paying attention to all that you are grateful for, and nothing is ever too small to be grateful for.

3. Get in tune with your long-range goals and vision.

This is very important because most people’s unhappiness comes from short-term disappointments. This is why creating a grand vision for your life and having not only short-term goals but long-range and lifetime goals is vitally important.

When I experience short-term disappointments, I don’t let them bother me as much because I quickly get in tune with my long-range vision. That excites me and helps me to realize that, hey, this outcome that has me down right now won’t last. I have something way bigger in store for me in the future.

The next time that you are feeling down, get in tune with your long-range goals and vision. If that doesn’t change your state in an instant, they’re not big enough.

Every single one of us wants to be happy. I hope these three easy-to-implement steps can help increase your happiness levels the next time you are feeling down.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

 

When Failure Strikes, Protect Yourself By Being Positive in These 3 Areas

20150327221922-success-winning-inspirational

Being positive, especially in the face of a crisis, is no easy task. The moment something goes wrong, negativity of all sorts begins to take over our thoughts, which eventually goes on to affect many other areas of our lives if we aren’t intentional about increasing positive energy.

This is something that I have struggled with for quite some time. It really took a while for me to be positive, think positive and expect positive when everything seemed to be falling apart in my life.

We have a choice whether we direct our focus on the negative or positive, and whichever one we decide to focus on greatly determines where we are headed. A key point that we can never lose sight of is what we focus on expands. If we give in and decide to play the victim card, negativity will eat us up and provide us with virtually no choice to move forward.

The absolute worst thing that we can do to hinder our ability to perform at a high level and be successful is to be negative, or worse, be negative in the middle of adversity or failure.

Being positive extends how long people live on this earth. Being positive creates thriving relationships. Being positive can turn very dark times into incredible blessings.

Here are three areas where you should be more positive.

1. In your thinking

Being a former athlete, I know firsthand just how powerful the mind truly is. Everything we are and everything we are not is a direct correlation to the quality of our thoughts. You can’t be great without thinking that you are great. You must already be in your mind before you become that in reality.

The same goes for when adversity strikes. The quality of our thoughts matter, and not only do they matter but they will lead us to victory or continual defeat over and over again. Start today to increase your thought patterns. Constantly talk to yourself in a positive and uplifting way. Direct your attention towards the good in your life, not the bad. Do everything in your power to make sure your thoughts are building you up instead of tearing you down.

One of the main reasons why positive thinking has caught a bad rap over the years is because some people will tell you to just think positive and stop there. But that’s foolishness. However, when the positive thinking is paired with massive action, phenomenal things begin to happen. Don’t just think positive, be and act positive as well.

2. In your relationships

We all currently have or know of those certain individuals that completely strip us of any little bit of positive energy that we may have had left in the tank. These individuals must be shown the exit immediately.

When you look to increase the positive relationships in your life, it serves as a springboard to thinking positively. It benefits you in more ways than just one. Don’t wait any longer to get rid of the energy drainers that make it nearly impossible to envision a brighter future for yourself or a way to overcome this hardship that you are experiencing.

3. In your expectations

Failure brings out the negative that ultimately changes our expectations. It’s hard to expect anything good to come out of a situation when all you know is struggle. It’s hard to expect the best when you have been knocked to the ground so hard that you don’t even know how you are going to get back up.

For some, they even decide to give up and quit completely by taking their own life. That’s what the tough times of life can do. That’s what failure can do.

Nothing is ever that serious to make you give up on yourself. Your destiny is a whole lot bigger than what you are currently going through. I have seen time and time again what happens to the people that let their problems and the unfortunate twists and turns of life define them — it’s not a pretty sight.

Every bad situation, failure or adversity is only present in your life to help you, not hurt you. Remember that!

When you increase the positive thinking, relationships and expectations that you have for your life and your business when all seems lost, failure will not get the best of you. As a matter of fact, you will actually get the best of it as you have decided to grow through challenges, not just go through them.

It’s certainly not an easy task to be positive in bad times, but is there anything worthwhile that is easy?

Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com

Pages:12»