Everyone is occasionally tempted to pull on their sweat pants, curl up on the couch, turn on Netflix and turn off and tune out the world. We live in trying times, and sometimes it seems that what lies ahead is overwhelming, too big for any one human being to tackle, solve and move on. Sound familiar?
Procrastinating means not doing what you should, what you must to live an extraordinary life. While it’s a human foible most everyone falls prey to sometimes, the fact that it’s commonplace doesn’t mean you should succumb to it. Procrastination will, if you let it, derail your life and prevent you from achieving real change, change for the better that makes life more fulfilling and satisfying.
Here are a few suggestions on what you can do when procrastination threatens to hamper your day, your week, or even your life:
1) Involve Someone In Your Goals: When you have committed to someone else, it’s tougher to bail on the task or dream because it’s not just you who is disappointed. For example: let’s say that when 2020 began, you promised yourself you would work out regularly. But it’s cold and damp outside, and you’re exhausted at the end of a busy day at work. That Netflix movie you’ve heard so much about it calling your name.
But, if you join a class or a gym with a friend or colleague, it’s hard to back out. That’s the great thing about bonding with others; we feel obliged to follow through on our promises. The upside is that following through for them means you follow through with yourself, too. It’s a win-win, no matter how you slice it.
2) Break That Task Down: If you set a goal, let’s say “be rich by the time I’m 30!” you are setting yourself up for failure, and for being overwhelmed. The goal is fine; it’s the vagueness that’s problematic. Instead, ask yourself where you want to be at 25, 27, and 29. What field do you want to be in, and what education do you need to achieve success? Instead of the end goal, focus on the one right in front of you, like getting all “As” at university this year. That’s more practical, and more manageable.
3) Turn Off Social Media Alerts: This is a tough one, we know. But if you’re procrastinating about finishing the monthly report for your boss, the last distraction you need is Facebook alerting you that a friend has updated her vacation photos. Prioritize your project over everything else; you can get back to connecting when it’s done. And if you can’t turn off those feeds for a few hours, you’ve got bigger problems than a late report!
4) Let Your Anxiety Fuel You: Stop fidgeting nervously and get down to business — writing the report, the assignment, getting the bills paid — whatever it is you are procrastinating about. The anxiety you’re feeling can morph into positive energy if you let it. Look at your task from a different point of view, as something you want to do, not something you have to do. Describe it with relish, not dread. Language makes a big difference even when we are only talking to ourselves, so decide you want to do this, rather than viewing it as a boring task. Think of the reward at the end — the feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with a job well done.
Even paying bills can be rewarding because you should take a moment to relish this: you earned the money to pay them. That feels good, right?
Procrastinating is one of our worst tendencies as people, and we all do it, to a greater or lesser degree. These strategies will help you overcome the habit, so remember them the next time you’re putting something off that needs to be done. And remember — only you can truly change how and when you accomplish things in life. Decide right now you won’t put off changing and achieving more even a moment longer.read more
Raising childing in this technologically advanced era is the most challenging task that parents have today. Development in technology has made the world a global village, exposing children to a lot of information. It is therefore very important to develop strategies that will help you as a parent to raise your children to have the necessary mental strength to help them face the ever-increasing challenges of the world today.
It is important to note that children always watch what their parents do. They see how you handle complicated situations and try to copy the same. They watch how you treat others and how you deal with your feelings. Even if you don’t think they pay attention, they absorb all the information.
Picture the mind of a child as a dry sponge; it will absorb everything since it has space. It is like an empty computer hard drive that is waiting to be filled with information. What you feed into the hard drive will determine the output you get.
Children will imitate what they see their parents doing from a very young age. Therefore, what you do and how you handle situations in front of your children should be the first step into teaching your children how to face life in the future. This is an innate behavior of human beings.
Children will imitate gestures and facial expressions from a very young age. Unfortunately, if you do something wrong, your kid will imitate that behavior even if s/he is told it is not good.
Strategies to help your child develop the mental strength
Besides acting in a manner that you would wish your children to imitate, here are some important things to do to help your child to develop the mental strength necessary to face the grim future:
- Teach your child how to distinguish right and wrong and walk them into the process of deciding which direction to take and sticking with their decision no matter how hard it is.
- Deliberately choose the right environment to raise your kids – your kids will not be with you 24 hours a day, particularly as they grow older. Make sure your kids are surrounded by positive role models.
- Share stories about your past and how you managed difficult situations. This will help your children to learn from their No. 1 role model – Parents.
- At a very tender age, teach your children how to manage stress and control their emotions. Emotional Intelligence (EI) should be inculcated in your kids at a young age. This should be taught hand in hand with Intellectual Quotient (IQ). A balance of these two will help your kids make informed decisions. If your children have strong negative emotions, they can not be considerate of others.
It is important to note that children are not born with an understanding of how to control their emotions. It is your duty as a parent to teach them how to use deep breathing, counting down distractions, and other simple techniques to relax and have a clear mind when making critical decisions that will impact their future.read more
Do you ever find yourself wondering why it is that a colleague seems to get more attention from the boss, more enthusiasm for their ideas, and maybe even more promotions and salary bumps than you do? Perhaps there are problems you’re not even aware of, bad habits getting in the way of your success at work. Here are a few key bad habits that slow down professional progress, and some tips for overcoming them.
1) You work too much. Employers today are keenly aware of quality, not just the quantity of hours their employees put in. You might think that staying 14 hours at your desk makes you look dedicated, but in fact, it might be making you look disorganized and unfocused. Employers want staff who work smart, not steadily, at least not habitually. Putting in a late-night is fine once in a while if you’re on a tight deadline, but doing it regularly implies that you can’t focus properly and are wasting precious time.
2) You bring in your personal life. Has your boss caught you, even once, scrolling through your Facebook account at work? If so, you can be sure they made a mental note of it. Using your phone and computer for anything other than work duties (or a home emergency) is frowned upon at work today. Save those scrolls for your lunch hour or commute on the train.
3) Are you a complainer? Ask yourself, do you do lots of complaining about pay, or office politics, or vacation policies? Even worse — do you play office politics? Even if you do it out of the boss’s earshot, your complaints could get back to them, and that makes you sound like you’re not a team player. Any legitimate complaints should be taken up with your supervisor or human resources. And if those complaints can’t be solved, it might be time to move on.
4) Are your time management skills good? If you’re always rushing to finish projects while other employees come striding into meeting calm and organized, something is wrong with your time management skills. If you need extra time on a project because a client has changed the requirements at the last minute, ask for an extension before the meeting — don’t let staff arrive and then begin making excuses about why your work is not complete. It looks unprofessional and amateurish — two deadly qualities in a work environment.
5)Your perspective isn’t balanced. If you don’t like your job or your boss, you’ve got a big problem. No matter what, you must act professional and keep your feelings and opinions to yourself, especially if your boss is highly regarded by others. If there is a genuine personality clash that can’t be resolved with dialogue and mediation, it may well be time for a transfer, or a move to a whole new business entirely.
These are just a few bad habits that can interfere with realizing professional goals, like that promotion you’ve been hoping for. Check yourself, and be brutal! A self-assessment is required, and if you aren’t sure what your bad habits are, ask a mentor or colleague you respect to do the assessment for you. Once you realize the bad habits you’re exhibiting, get on with the business of fixing them. That’s the only way you’ll achieve satisfaction at work and keep climbing the professional ladder.
We always hear about the power of day one, and we are told the secret of success is beginning. But the most challenging and most important thing in life is actually to continue.
Everyone may wish to be something like a doctor, an artist, engineer, dancer, etc. But only a handful will remain on it for weeks, months, years, and decades to see it come to fruition.
We all have brilliant ideas and intellectual capacity to implement these ideas. But after a few years into a project, many will give up. When the journey starts going uphill, many will resign.
But how can you keep going when everything seems not to be working in your favor?
Short Answer: Never Give up! No matter what.
Well, things may have gone bad yesterday or today, but you just don’t know what is next. You may be giving up when you are just about to make that sale that will completely change your life. You may be giving up on a client who was almost considering investing in your project.
It is the basic cycle of life to struggle to know what will happen next. But you will never know what could have happened next if you are not resilient enough to stick to your goals.
Here is how you can motivate yourself to keep going…
- Concentrate on today
Most of our fear stems from uncertainty. Not knowing what will happen tomorrow, next week, or next year. It can be terrifying. The best thing you can do is to concentrate on what is at hand, your immediate tasks, your next move. Just ask yourself: what will I do after I finish reading this article?
- Set targets in areas that you have full control
Never delegate your life to someone else. Take the wheel yourself. You are your dictator; you should be on the front seat of your own life. Concentrate your energies on areas or fields that you are comfortable with, and you can handle the ups and downs that come your way with little or no support from the outside.
- Know when to Quit
Don’t get me wrong when I say “Never Give Up.” Sure, you should not give up easily on tasks and projects on your desk. But again, you should be wise enough to know when it is time to adjust or bail out. When you stick to a project long enough, you will establish metrics that will help you analyze and better understand the health of the project. This will help you know when its time to make drastic changes or to drop it altogether.
- Read and Read and Read more
If you have access to the internet, take advantage of the vast amount of information online, and keep reading. Learn something new every day. I know it sounds obvious, but you will gain more skills and courage to handle your current tasks by merely reading how similar people dealt with that exact situation. The internet has all you need.
This list can go on and on, but the bottom line is, your current discomfort will distract you. Don’t let it divert your attention from the primary goal. Focus on your immediate priority tasks. Worry less about what tomorrow brings.read more
You have just lost a loved one, ended your relationship, lost your job, lost your friend or family member. All this thing will make you sad in some way. All these bad occurrences are bound to cause you some grief.
How you handle the grief will determine how quickly you can get over it. Handling grief is hard, especially when you have little to know social capital. The kind of people who are willing to empathize with you.
During this pandemic period, there are many people who have found themselves in grief for one reason or the other. Most common at the moment being lost of a loved one, friend, or family member to the virus, or loss of a job or a business closing down.
That brings us to the question,
How are we supposed to cope with grief?
Grief can be overwhelming even to those who consider themselves emotionally strong. But how can you handle it? Since there is no On / Off button for grief, the best way is just to manage it.
Since I have personally been hit with multiple griefs during this pandemic period, I hope my tips will help those of you who are facing similar experiences. The technique is not a one-size-fits-all kind of tips; take it with some pinch of salt. The most important is to find out what works best for you.
- Cry – let the pain come, don’t try to stop it. Then cry it out. This may sound cliché or common sense to you. But it works. Just don’t suppress it when it comes; let it out. Scream if you must. After doing so, you will feel much better. This is like allowing yourself to feel the pain. You are the career of the pain; only you understand how it feels, so let loose and allow yourself to feel the pain.
- Engage in your hobbies – During this grief period, you need to find something that works for you, something you don’t invest so much of your willpower to achieve. Avoid stressful assignments and tasks that will kick you deeper into depression when you underachieve.
- Self-affirmation – Keep affirming to yourself that you will get through the situation. That nothing is permanent. Assure yourself that something good is waiting for you in the future. That way you will dwell on the positive side that the future has in store rather than the negativity of the grief.
- Acceptance – some people will remain in the grieving mode for a long time because of denial. Yes, this will be very strong in the first few days. But as time goes, you will have to get used to the idea that it has happened. And for those irreversible occurrences like death, there is very little you can do to bring the person or pet back to life. All you need to do is accept that the worst has happened and learn to live with it.
These are just but a few to ways of coping with grief. The list can go on and on. The bottom line is that you need to find what works best for you. Then apply it every time you find yourself in such a situation.read more
A lot of people are quick to criticize themselves and get mired down in everything that’s wrong with their life, like a boot getting caught in quicksand.
These people know, intellectually, that this is a useless endeavor that only keeps us stuck and unable to achieve our best in life. But how to stop it? How to rid yourself of negative thinking and live your best, most fulfilling life? I’ve got some ideas to help you break this vicious cycle, the one that has you trapped in negativity and feeling like you’ll never break free.
1) First you name it, and then you can tame it. This is an old adage in therapy circles, and that’s because it is so true. How can you overcome negativity if you can’t pinpoint its source? You can’t. You’ve got to do the work to discover the root of these feelings; that’s the only way you’ll ever overcome them. For example: let’s say you are chronically insecure about your appearance. Did someone, a parent perhaps, make you feel like you were never attractive enough, never smart enough, never enough, period? Parental influences leave lasting impressions on children, and if yours were negative, it causes problems. You’ve got to focus, let those attitudes go — you’re an adult now — and practice positive reinforcement every time you look in the mirror.
2) Be around positive thinkers and winners. Don’t surround yourself with folks who reinforce negativity — they make everything worse. Have coffee or lunch with a friend or colleague who is upbeat and sunny; people like that are infectious. Their good mood can easily become your good mood if you let it.
3) Regret & guilt are no one’s friend. I know this is a tall order, but you must try focusing on the present, not past mistakes and “if only.” That mindset gets you nowhere, and contributes to keeping you mired in negativity and self criticism. It’s tough, but ask yourself: what do I accomplish when I focus on the past? The answer? Absolutely nothing. If you must think back to old times, choose a cherished, positive memory, like the day you got promoted or the day you met your spouse. Remembering those moments induces calm, happiness and the knowledge that, often, you make good choices and accomplish goals.
4) Stop believing your harshest critic — you. Negative emotions come from a deep well of insecurity and self doubt. These are what you must quell if you’re going to start living a better, more satisfying life. Here’s a tip: ask someone close to you to name your three best characteristics. I guarantee you’ll be amazed how quickly they respond, and how easy it is for them to name those three traits. You’re a lot more wonderful than you may realize!
5) Establish an ordered morning routine. Not surprisingly, people who don’t get out of bed at a set time with an established routine — shower, coffee, breakfast, exercise — fall prey to negativity much more frequently than their organized counterparts. That’s because their lives feel purposeless, and it’s a short step from there to negativity and gloom. Even if you’re temporarily out of work and therefore home all morning, don’t discard the routine you established when employed. Disorganized habits lead to a disorganized mind.
If you are genuinely struggling with deep negativity that keeps you from getting out of bed, it’s time to seek professional help.
But if, like many people, you fall prey to these emotions occasionally, practise these steps and get out of the mental trap you’ve created. It is possible to break the cycle and move on to live your best, most productive life. But it’s up to you — you’re in charge of making your life fantastic. Silencing that inner critic and surrounding yourself with positive people who love and admire you is an important first step.
How To Stay Positive & Achieve Your Goals
or successful people, giving up is not an option. That’s just one characteristic so many truly successful people have in common — the Oprahs of this world, the Walt Disneys , the Steven Kings, the JK Rowlings– they stared down failure, dusted themselves off, and got on with the job of trying again.
You can too, if you follow some of the principles they did. Here are just a few of those guidelines:
1) Accept failure because it’s bound to come. Did you know that Walt Disney went bankrupt, a lot, before ever getting his first cartoon on big screens or finding financing for his first theme park? He did, but each time he simply moved on and started over. He insisted to many folks that money was never his prime motivation, and that was what kept him going. He had a dream, he wanted it badly, and knew the money would come eventually — what mattered was realizing his dream.
2) Successful people are optimistic. Anyone who has dealt with failure and loss knows that the only way to keep going is to believe, wholeheartedly, that things will soon change for the better. They are steadfast optimists, not pessimists. Don’t be a “glass is half empty” kind of person — the glass is half full, always, if you look at it from the right perspective.
3) Be inspired and inspire others. Getting others to believe in your dreams and goals is a big part of success, whether it’s your local banker, from whom you need a start up loan, or your life partner, whom you need to undertake this journey with you. If you can inspire them, they will do whatever they can to help you succeed.
4) Take risks. Colonel Harlan Sanders had retired from running a restaurant when he decided to start asking other places to carry his (now famous) fried chicken. He was collecting his pension, but didn’t want to stop working. Sources say he was turned down more than 1,000 times by some restaurants, but by 1964 he had 600 franchises, making it big serving his “secret spices” chicken. He sold the business later that year but stayed on as spokesman. What’s the lesson here? Success knows no age boundaries!
5) There is no correlation between success and smarts. You don’t have to have a wildly high I.Q. to achieve your dreams — you have to know your business, sure, but you don’t have to be “book smart” in the traditional sense. Remember what Mark Twain said: “I never let school get in the way of my education.” In other words, he learned by doing, by experience and interacting with others. That’s not to say school isn’t important; it’s just not a guarantee of success. It’s a tool to be used wisely, one step on the ladder to achieving your dreams.
If you keep these tips in mind — embracing failure, setting money goals aside, developing people skills, and other secrets — you too can do the work necessary to become genuinely successful. Perhaps most importantly, never let failure deter you from your true aspirations and dreams. Everyone fails, sooner or later; what counts is how soon, and in what way, you get back on your feet again.read more
Six Steps For Coping With Aggressive People
We talk about bullying a lot today, because it has moved from the physical realm — which was bad enough — to the online world, too. Whether it’s your children being bullied by someone at school or you being bullied by a co-worker, this behaviour makes life miserable. But there are strategies for coping that are recommended by experts; employ them, and life will get easier. It may take a little time, but these tactics do work, no matter how bad the situation.
1) Don’t Ignore It: If you’re imagining that the bullying will stop if you just pretend it isn’t happening, or that you are making it out to be worse than it is, stop right now. Bullying is real, and the sooner you deal with the aggressor in your life, the happier you (or your child) will be.
2) Don’t React Emotionally: If your child is being hurt, it’s hard not to react with all guns blazing. But to be truly effective, you must be calm. If it’s a co-worker, you could jeopardize your position if you get emotional in the work place, or respond while others are around. Walk away, calm down, and plan how to deal with this person in a rational manner. Bullies love provoking a response, so don’t give it to them. That’s often enough to dampen their aggression and turn their attention to someone else. You can’t change them, but you can stop giving them the reactions they seek.
3) Set Boundaries: If there’s someone disrupting your attempts to get work done, don’t let them. Tell them your office or work station is off limits, and involve your boss, if you must. Speak up, but do it calmly and don’t react in kind. In other words, if the bully launches a personal attack, insist on keeping your response purely professional. It may take a bit of time, but the bully will turn their attention elsewhere when they see you aren’t reacting as they’d hoped.
4) Be Consistent: Don’t get angry one moment, burst into tears the next, and walk away the third time. You’ve got to respond quietly and calmly each and every time if you want to diffuse the situation completely.
5) Use A Mediator, If Necessary: If the situation continues to devolve, ask your superior to intervene — that’s their job. Productivity lessens when a bully thrives in a workplace, and no employer wants that. Plan your case ahead of time, ask to see your boss, and lay out your complaint, but again — don’t let it get personal. Keep your comments specific. For example, don’t say, “He steals my ideas.” Instead, say something like, “On the Harris account, I worked three evenings to design the ad campaign.” Explain how you generated the ideas, and how the office bully tried to take credit for them. Trust us, your boss doesn’t want bullying in the office any more than you want to be a target of it.
6) Use Resources: Most communities have therapists, mediators and outreach programs for dealing with bullying. Utilize all of them, if need be. You’ll find plenty of resources and strategies online, too.
Your child’s well being, and your satisfaction in the workplace, are at stake. Life is too short to have bullies ruining our day. Use these techniques, and the situation will improve quickly, we promise!read more
A lot of words have been spoken and a lot of ink has been spilled about the power of positive thinking. Bestsellers have been sold worldwide to eager audiences wanting to know: what is the secret? What are the benefits? Can I really train myself to become a positive thinker, and if so, how does positive thinking help?
The answer is yes – you can become a positive thinker, and yes, it helps in every avenue of your life. Banishing negative thoughts and negative people from your life are key ingredients of becoming a positive thinker, and there are other strategies you can use that will allow you to reap the benefits of a new, optimistic attitude. It’s not always easy; it’s tempting to slide backward into cynicism and doubt, but following a few guidelines will make the process start to come easily. Once you’ve mastered these techniques, you’ll see and feel those benefits flowing into your life.
If you believe in yourself and your success, it will happen. That’s not a theory; it’s fact. Have you ever known a successful person who didn’t believe in themselves? No. To become rich, in every sense of the word – money, love, relationships – you have to believe you are deserving. That shift in focus and energy brings positive results, because others start to believe in you, too. Others want to be around happy, upbeat, positive people, in their business and personal relationships. When you’re one of those people, folks just naturally want to be around your energy and spirit. It’s like an invisible, magnetic pull. And in a work situation, for example, that means that if there are four candidates for a promotion, and you’re the most positive, chances are your boss will promote you.
Negative emotions and thoughts can have a paralyzing effect, meaning you get less done, at work and at home. They create a sense of being overwhelmed, and that can cause you to freeze. But tackling responsibilities with gusto and energy, grateful that you have a lot to do rather than sitting idle, means you’ll get more done. When you approach a task with enthusiasm and energy, you’ll get that task done – and others – in a shorter time frame. You can then take on more projects, earn more money…you see where this is headed, right? Doing more leads to more rewards, it’s that simple. And a longer life and better health are also rewards of positive thinking; study after study has verified this.
A guiding principle of this shift to positive thinking is, always tell the truth, to yourself and others. That may sound simple – you don’t make a habit of lying to friends and family, right? — but lying to ourselves is one of man’s most common shortcomings. It might mean taking full responsibility for an error at work; it might mean owning up to a mistake made with a friend. That’s the only way we learn from our mistakes and grow, by admitting fault, accepting blame and moving forward with resolve that the same error won’t happen again. It’s acceptable and in fact necessary to make new mistakes; that demonstrates that we’re changing. But repeating the same old mistakes and denying our role in them keeps us stuck, in patterns, in cycles and in situations that are unhealthy, physically and emotionally.
Positive thinking is not accomplished overnight; it takes work, particularly if you’re inclined toward negative thinking by nature. But the rewards of that work are long-lasting, multidimensional and life altering. Invest in yourself by committing to positive thinking for one day, as an experiment; you’ll instantly feel better when you view the “cup as half-full,” rather than half empty. And everyone around you will feel better, too.read more
Marriage is hard. People do not always realize how much work goes into a strong marriage. They know that they feel love and affection for their spouses, but they do not know how to keep the fire going positively. Healthy marriages are built on love, commitment, and effort. No marriage is just strong because it is. The best thing you can do is to revisit those foundations of love, commitment, and effort.
You need love to have a healthy marriage. Not only do you need to love your spouse, but you also need to love yourself. Having self-respect and loving yourself will make communication and empathy much easier. Spouses that genuinely love each other tend to be more willing to take steps to improve their marriage. If you know you love your spouse but are having trouble, you might consider revisiting why you fell in love in the beginning. Some of the traits that were funny or endearing may have become irritating or frustrating. Was she a bit mysterious? Now you feel like you cannot see inside her feelings. Was he a jokester and made you laugh? Now you feel like you cannot have a serious conversation. Try to remind yourself why those traits were endearing. They helped you love your spouse.
You are committed to your spouse, which is evident since you married him or her. You need to revisit that commitment continually. You said vows to one another. Some of you may have said the traditional vows, but others of you may have written vows. No matter what you said, you committed to each other to honor your marriage and your love. Sometimes you have to commit to being a better communicator, listener, or spouse. No one is a perfect spouse. Sometimes we miscommunicate because our words are misunderstood. However, other times we are the ones who misunderstand. We can learn to be better communicators through marriage counseling, marriage workshops, and self-discovery.
Going to marriage counseling does not mean that you are not happy or that you are considering divorce. What it means is that something is not working, and you are making an effort to fix it. You may need a mediator or teacher to help you learn to change that thing. Often, the problem we are having is not what it seems. Most issues are a result of poor communication. Money, infidelity, and arguments are all communication concerns. For example, if one person is thrifty, but the other person is a frivolous spender, and there is no budget communication. One or both spouses will quickly get frustrated with their finances. The free spender may not communicate spending habits and overspend. The thrifty spouse will soon get frustrated. Likewise, the frugal spouse may complain quite frequently so that the free spender feels restricted. They will also be frustrated. Sometimes, they are unable to communicate these differences so that the other spouse understands. The best thing for them to do is to see a financial planner, marriage counselor, or trusted friend who can help them communicate better.
The Bottom Line
Many facets of love, commitment, and effort exist within a marriage. Cultivating each one like you would a delicate flower will help your marriage to blossom. You do not need to take drastic or extravagant steps. Taking each step one moment at a time and considering your faults as well as your desires will help you become a more reliable spouse. If each of you makes that effort and commitment to using your love to listen and communicate, your marriage will grow nearly indestructible before you know it.read more