5 Lessons For Your Success

5 Lessons For Your Success

5 Lessons For Your Success

Success teaches us to be persistent no matter what stands in your way.

Put your mind where your heart is

Do something that comes naturally. You have to be mindful of what YOU enjoy, not what others do. Straying from the herd does not necessitate failure. There is no reason for an individual to not make a decent income by doing what they truly enjoy. So just do what you are passionate about.

Acknowledge the game but don’t get discouraged

You have to know what you are doing and why. Success is a process and motivation is part of the picture. Many people will have the same ideas and goals, it’s your job to differentiate yourself from them. You don’t just become good, you become better, and then you become great. Competition is huge in every career category, add your own spark to open some eyes. It is a tough mental game and consistency is your best friend. 

Learn when it’s time to move on

Being able to accomplish one goal and move on to the next is crucial. Trends change quickly, society can change their minds almost instantaneously. This way your mind is always focused on the next big thing. You have to learn what the market wants, it’s okay to switch from one idea to another. Always doing the same things over and over is boring, don’t fall into this trap of repetition, especially when it brings no benefit or happiness. You need to find when the cap has been reached so you can catch the next bigger and better wave.

Time management

The last thing you want is to be so focused on one subject that you let the others lag behind. Can you remember a time where you were stuck studying some random topic for hours then come to realize it’s already 3 am. Yet somehow you still don’t get it. You could have put that topic aside and learned all the others in that same time frame. Efficiency is a key aspect, you have to capture all ideas and accomplish tasks in a timely manner. A good way to assess whether you’re being efficient is looking at the clock, for example, dedicating two hours for a given task. When the 2 hours pass and the task is not done. Assess why wasn’t it done? Decide what needs to be changed, maybe put down the social media or move on to the next task. It’s understandable that you won’t enjoy everything you do in life, that is why good time management is so crucial in allowing you to do what you enjoy with most of your time.  You have to be mindful of time because time is a valuable and limited resource.

Don’t undervalue yourself. 

If you have a good idea set some time aside and really think about it. Is the idea relevant, purposeful, and achievable? Taking time aside will allow you to know the value of the idea instead of taking on blind faith. You don’t want to be careless and rush into things because of FOMO (fear of missing out) but you also don’t want to miss out on your potential. If you put in more time you will make good ideas even better. This will keep you focused because it is about you, the simple thought of personal progression keeps you motivated. Always be mindful of ways to change, progress, and improve.

What is Self-discipline?

What is Self-discipline?

What is Self-discipline

Many personal qualities contribute to personal growth and happiness. But to sustain long-term success in every aspect of life, one must master the trait of self-discipline.

Motivation is great, but it’s here today and gone tomorrow, and up and down like a roller-coaster. Self-discipline helps you form habits that stick. Whether you’re procrastinating, using social media too much or just lazy, self-discipline will help you kick these habits.

Self-discipline is the willingness to accept physical, mental, and emotional discomfort.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “With self-discipline, most anything is possible.”

Successful people understand that discipline is the portal to the attainment of their intentions. The art of self-discipline creates a foundational set of good habits that can help anyone and will help you, to seek things through.

Discipline is developed through repetition. The problem with this, however, is that we often set ourselves up for failure by promising ourselves to go from zero to hero overnight. It doesn’t work that way. The best thing anyone can do is to use the micro-change approach.

Key: Start small, change gradually. Make progress in small increments, but keep doing it every day.

What will help you stick to your goal?

Desire

Whenever you aim for a goal or dream, ask yourself the “why”. We need to visualize our dreams. We need to silence negative voices, focus on who we want to be and what we think is right for us. Visualize, and then start making those choices, fueled by self-discipline.

Example: The desire is “I want to get into shape”. Why? Tell yourself why, or write out the benefits. “I want to get into shape because I want to live longer, I want to feel good about myself, I want to be there for my kids.”

Remove Temptation

Removing distractions is a crucial step to consistently improving your self-discipline. If you’re trying to take more control over your fitness/weight-loss goal, toss the junk food from your house. If you’re in the office and need to be more productive, learn to silence your phone. Set yourself up for success by removing the obstacles that are blocking the path to your goal.

Instant gratification

Put off instant gratification to reach more long-term goals. Instant gratification is when “you want it, and you want it now”. Today, instant gratification has been put on a pedestal – literally, everything we want is at our fingertips. But true success and becoming who we truly want to do not come instantly. It takes time, patience, and discipline.   

Other ways to improve self-discipline

Set clear goals

A clear plan outlines each step you must take to reach your finish line.

Don’t wait until it “feels right”

Changing habits and routines will feel awkward and uncomfortable. Breaking a bad habit needs to be an active decision – and it’ll feel wrong because your brain is programmed for old habits.

Meditation

Meditation can put your mind at ease and set the right tone for the rest of the day. Mediating will also help you realize how often your mind is on auto-pilot, guiding you to unwanted habits.

Become organized

An organized life is a disciplined life. Start small. For example, today, organize your desk drawer. Work to achieve organization in both your personal and professional life.

Sleep

This is a no-brainer. Sleep is connected to one’s ability to discipline oneself. Getting enough sleep is a vital prerequisite to getting things done. If you struggle to get a decent night’s sleep, try naps!

Persistence

Getting discouraged is easy, and giving up takes a lot less effort than pushing through a challenge. To develop self-discipline, be persistent in your desire to reach your goal and have a strong “why”.

The self-disciplined person spends less time debating about their behavior and makes positive decisions more easily. Disciplined people control their impulses and feelings, and act on rational decisions. They don’t overly stress or get upset about the future.

Self-discipline is a hidden gem that allows you to regain your life and freedom.

How do you practice self-discipline in your life?

Know Your Mistake

Know Your Mistake

Know Your Mistakes

We all make mistakes because we are not perfect – but take responsibility for all of them. Things happen. Lessons in life are there for a reason: so you can learn. Acknowledge your errors and move forward with this new wisdom.

There are 2 types of choices:

Ones we truly believe will lead to good

We make some choices because we hope they will be beneficial. But they don’t always turn out in our favor. For example, no one likes exams, but how else can you evaluate skills? You hammer out a bunch of hours studying but fall short of your due date. Now what? You thought your actions would lead to good results, but it didn’t. Now, it’s your responsibility to change and prepare longer for the next exam. You thought you’d done enough, but you missed the mark. And that’s okay. Take it as a lesson that will help you improve.

Ones we choose even though it is the lesser of two

These mistakes can get really nasty and come back to bite you if made repeatedly. Repetition is good, but not in this situation. Let’s say the situation before you decide to stay home and be productive – to catch up on bills – or go out for the night. You know you should probably stay in, and you know you will have plenty of opportunities to go out. But you decide to go out this time. And next time, and the next. Now you’re really behind, stuck in an endless game of catch-up. The sooner you get out of that situation, the better off you will be.

Know which mistakes you are making, and why. Be mindful of your mistakes. They will happen, so it’s your job to benefit from them and promote change in your life. By realizing and acknowledging your mistakes, you learn and grow as an individual. This is how you succeed in life and become the person you strive to be.

Benefits of Meditation

Benefits of Meditation

Benefits of meditation

Benefits of Meditation

The benefits of meditation are no longer a secret.

Have you ever wondered why the happiest, most successful people practice meditation? The answer is simple: when adequately developed, meditation yields benefits such as self-awareness, better concentration, and lower stress levels.

Meditation involves focusing on the present moment, breathing, and being in touch with your body sensations. Most people use their minds all day long. Doesn’t your mind deserve a break? Just like any part of your body, it needs a rest from constant thinking.

Our thoughts are a huge distraction that affects our quality of life. Your thoughts do everything possible to distract you. They make you chase them down and give them attention. As your day carries on, you get completely lost in thought, without realizing you haven’t had a chance to tap into your inner self. Our body and mind are on constant autopilot.

Just imagine how many thoughts you have on a daily basis. If you have so much running around in your mind, how can you realize who you are within?

If you’re thinking of starting meditation, consider some of its benefits:

Meditation reduces stress

Managing stress is a common reason why people try meditation. The latest neurobiological research shows that mediation affects the amygdala, the “fight or flight” area of the brain (1). The amygdala filters emotions such as anxiety, fear, and stress. That area of the brain shrinks when you practice meditation, which correlates to a reduction in stress levels.

High-stress levels also correlate with higher levels of cortisol. This hormone increases inflammation, which promotes anxiety, fatigue, and disrupts sleep. An eight-week study found that meditation reduces stress-related inflammation (2).

Less anxiety

The typical coping strategies for anxiety are to “take a time-out” or “take a few deep breaths.” These two strategies are basically what meditation encompasses, but with more effectiveness. When we get anxious, we’re usually concerned about the future. An eight-week study found that mindfulness meditation helped to reduce anxiety and other anxiety-related disorders such as phobias, social anxiety, and paranoid thoughts (3).

Mind and Performance

Meditation allows you to focus your thoughts on an object or sound, rather than on trying to achieve a more precise mind to focus. In one study, students practiced meditation for 20 minutes a day and showed improvement in their cognitive skills (4). Some students did ten times better than the control group that did not meditate.  

Strengthens you against pain

If you apply the same pain stimuli to the same body part, wouldn’t you feel the same amount of pain? In a study of the Journal of Neuroscience, led by Fadel Zeidan, Ph. D, volunteers attended four 20-minute meditation courses. Heat at 120 degrees was applied to their calves, and the results showed that 57 percent of them felt less unpleasant pain and 40 percent less intense pain (5). Maybe meditation will be part of the future treatments as we work to address America’s opioid crisis!

Meditation helps manage ADHD

I think we all have a little ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) because of our highly active lifestyles and addictions to technology. In a study with 50 adult ADHD patients, the use of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy resulted in a reduction in hypersensitivity and reduced impulsivity (5).

Emotional well-being

Emotional well-being is vital if we are to meet the demands of society and function in our everyday lives. Eating better, positive thinking, and exercise are crucial to well-being. A study conducted at the University of Utah with 38 subjects linked meditation to greater emotional stability, better self-rated emotional control, and lower pre-sleep arousal (6).

Reduced blood pressure

Some 75 million American adults have high blood pressure – that’s 1 in 3 adults (7)! High blood pressure puts you at risk of heart disease and stroke. No wonder it’s called the “silent killer”! After using an experimental technique called “relaxation response,” two-thirds of patients with high blood pressure showed a significant drop in blood pressure, which resulted in less need for medication (8).     

Meditation for loneliness, depression

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses; it affects 16 million American adults each year (9). Researchers at UCLA showed a decrease in loneliness and depression in seniors who participated in an 8-week meditation program (10). Similarly, in a study of 400 students aged between 13 and 20 in Belgium, students followed a mindfulness program, and afterward reported reduced depression, anxiety, and stress (11). These results persisted six months after the mindfulness program ended.

How to enjoy the benefits

There’s no doubt that meditation is beneficial – but can you get results from just one session? Probably not. To receive the full benefits of meditation, you have to incorporate it into your daily life. It only takes a few minutes a day. Soon enough, you’ll love emptying your thoughts, and meditation will become the best part of your day!

Is Sugar Toxic?

Is Sugar Toxic?

Is Sugar Toxic?

Just take a moment to realize how often you consume sugar.

You add sugar to your morning cup of tea or coffee. You add it to your fruit or oatmeal to give it that “flavor.” How about the sugar that you consume without even realizing in ketchup, sodas, and candy?

Many experts say that sugar is one of the most harmful substances we can ingest. Take a look at western culture, where obesity and diabetes are on the rise. According to the American Heart Association, the limit for added sugar should be no more than six teaspoons of sugar for women and nine teaspoons for men (1) (One teaspoon is 5g). In the United States, the average person consumes more than 126 grams of sugar per day (2)!

What is sugar?

Sucrose is the scientific name for sugar. Sucrose is naturally made by plants, through photosynthesis. During the refining process, we remove the sugary sap from the plants to produce that beautiful white, crystal, sweet sugar. The sucrose molecule is made up of two parts: glucose and fructose. For this blog post, we will focus on fructose.

Glucose comes from starches like potatoes, rice, and bread. Every cell on the planet has glucose in it. It’s vital to us. Glucose is the primary source of fuel for every cell in your body. On the other hand, fructose is not needed. Fructose can only be metabolized in the liver; any excess is converted into fat, which is then stored in the liver (3). A prevalent form of fructose is high fructose corn syrup.

What does sugar do to our bodies?

We know that the average western diet brims with excess sugar and that we are overloading our bodies with it. The bad news is that our body is not made to process excessive amounts of sugar, especially in the form of fructose. Here’s what you get when you consume too much sugar:

Zero nutritional value

Added sugar is empty calories. I’m sure you’ve heard it a hundred times, but it’s worth repeating. There are no nutrients – like proteins, vitamins, and minerals – in sugar that are needed by the human body. Feeling fatigued? Maybe you’re nutrient-deficient and need more iron.

A damaged liver

Overconsumption of excess sugar or fructose produces effects much like those of excess alcohol consumption. When fructose is not used up, the liver turns it into fat in the form of cholesterol. Over a prolonged time, this leads to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (4). Studies show that individuals with this condition consume 2-3 times as much fructose as the average person (5). 

Fat-promoting effects

Fructose doesn’t stimulate the body’s appetite-control hormone, so it fails to excite insulin, which turns off ghrelin, the “hunger hormone.” This has a domino effect that fails to stimulate the production of leptin, the “starvation hormone.”  

The bottom line is that different foods have different effects on our brains, which control our hunger and the number of calories we consume (6). 

Type II diabetes

Consistently high levels of blood sugar make our pancreas work harder to produce insulin. Eventually, the pancreas can’t keep up with the demand; the result is insulin resistance. Western culture loves just to take a pill and “fix things,” but insulin resistance only gets worse, and patients typically move from using tablets to insulin injections.

So stop being lazy – and make a long-lasting change by making healthier food choices!

Increased cancer risk

Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, with 8.8 million deaths in 2015 alone (9). Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells in the body. Many scientists believe that consistently elevated insulin levels, due to excess sugar consumption, can contribute to cancer (10).

Eating a lot of sugar over time can cause you to gain weight gradually. Sugar isn’t indirectly tied to cancer, but there is evidence showing that overweight people have an increased risk of 13 types of cancers (11).

Other effects of fructose

  • Increased levels of uric acid in the blood, which leads to gout and high blood pressure (12).
  • Sugar addiction (13).
  • An urge to over-consume and gain weight (14).

You get the point by now. SUGAR IS BAD. Acknowledge that sugar is your real enemy and that it isn’t necessary to your enjoyment of life. Sugar is keeping you from living a vibrant life by endangering your health.

The health world can sometimes be a confusing place. Take time to digest all this information and gradually start making healthier eating habits. Can you put a price on health and happiness?