Maximize Your Motivation
Maximize Your Motivation and Results by Quantifying Your Progress
Progress is the best motivator. Even if you need to lose 100 pounds, itâs pretty exciting to see that youâve lost 10 pounds. However, progress isnât always apparent. Some things are very subjective unless you take the time to measure them.
For example, it may be hard to see a 10-pound weight loss in the mirror, but itâs pretty easy to see your progress on a bathroom scale.
Some goals can take a long time to accomplish. If you only measure yourself by whether or not youâve achieved the goal, youâre going to be displeased for months or even years. Youâre also likely to lose interest. Measuring your progress makes long-term goals much more possible.
Try these methods to quantify your progress in different areas of focus:
- Body weight. This is one weâre all familiar with. Itâs pretty easy to step on the scale at regular intervals and see which way your weight is headed.
- Body weight can fluctuate considerably with hydration levels, hormone levels, and how long itâs been since you used the bathroom.
- One way to minimize these variations is to weigh yourself under the same conditions each day. Get up, use the restroom, and then weigh yourself. Even better, weigh yourself each morning, but use the weekly average and compare one week to the next.
- Money in and money out. Measure how much money you spend each day. That means every single cent. Also keep track of how much you earn each day. Track your bank balance. Track the balance of your brokerage account.
- Take the time to examine your spending in detail at least once a year.
- Repetitions. One way to track progress is through repetitions. This could be how many pushups youâve done or how many times youâve practiced the A-flat minor scale on the piano. It could be how many times youâve said your affirmations or how many pages youâve read. How many sales calls did you make this week?
- Time. You can also track time. How many minutes did you jog? How much time did you spend on your online business? How much TV did you watch this week? How many minutes are you sleeping each night? How long did it take you to do 100 sit-ups?
- Occurrences. Think of occurrences as the desired results of your actions. How many sales did you make? How many dates did you have? How many written pages did you produce? How many songs did you write? How many widgets did you make?
- Checklists. Many people find it useful to make a checklist before going to bed to follow the next day. How many of those items did you complete? Can you get more done tomorrow than you did today?
- You can even assign points to each item based on their difficulty or priority. Try to score higher each day.
There are many ways to track your progress. If youâre attempting to track something more subjective, you may have to invent your own system. Rating scales can be useful in many cases. For example, you could rate your mood or the quality of a conversation. You could also rate the quality of your sleep.
Being able to see your progress will do wonders for your motivation and will drive further results. If you canât measure your progress, youâll be much more likely to give up before youâve reached your goals.
Increase Your Success With Conscientiousness
Increase Your Success With Conscientiousness
Conscientiousness is one of the most reliable predictors of success. There are plenty of intelligent and talented people that struggle with life. However, an average person that possesses a high level of conscientiousness can be incredibly successful.
Conscientiousness is the quality of doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and doing it well and thoroughly.
Using these strategies will help you to be more conscientious:
- Start by planning your time. Make a schedule for yourself based on the most important tasks that need to be done. The crucial things will get done, and youâll be much less likely to waste time.
- Schedule your life maintenance tasks. Being conscientious means taking care of your personal business. This includes all of those like maintenance tasks like paying bills, laundry, cleaning, shopping, and mowing grass. Have a schedule for all of these responsibilities and stick to it.
- Have a grooming routine. One pretty reliable way to determine if someone is conscientious is to look at their grooming and wardrobe. Maybe you canât judge a book by its cover, but you can tell a lot about a person by their appearance. If you tend to look a little on the disheveled side, create a routine.
- Only wear clean clothes that fit and are in good condition. Get rid of the rest. You donât have to be known as the best dresser at the office, but it may help to be in the top 25%.
- Declutter. Scale back on your possessions and ensure that everything thatâs left has a place. Put everything back in its place when youâre done using it. This is enough to remove all the clutter in your life.
- Be on time. Conscientious people are aware of time and stick to their plans. They donât make other people wait. Be prompt and courteous. Show yourself and others that youâre in control of your time and your life.
- Finish what you start. Those at the low end of the conscientious distribution have a habit of failing to finish what they start. You canât win if you donât finish. You canât accomplish anything until you complete something. Develop the habit of seeing things through to completion.
- You can do this with any task in your life for practice.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Have a bedtime and stick to it. Get up at the same time every day. This takes a little discipline, but itâs worth the effort.
- Learn to control your impulses. Poor impulse control and conscientiousness do not go hand in hand. Conscientiousness is doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, regardless of whether or not you feel like doing it.
- Following an impulse is doing what you feel like doing regardless of any other concern.
We all know that person with all the intelligence and talent that anyone could ever hope for, but for some reason they canât live a successful life. The most common reason is a lack of conscientiousness.
This can be a challenging quality to develop if it doesnât exist in you naturally, but the benefits clearly outweigh the time and effort it takes to develop it.
The best first step is to schedule your day and follow your schedule. Keep to the schedule no matter what. You can become a conscientious person! An easier, less stressful life is waiting for you.
Top 10 Tips for Reinventing Yourself
Top 10 Tips for Reinventing Yourself
Most of us, at some point in our lives, are presented with the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. If you change your job, move to a different town or even country, you can tidy up all the loose ends in your recent past and step out into a brand-new persona.
You can change the way you dress, live, and how you show up in life. This is a particularly refreshing time for those people who welcome change, because it gives them a reason and a purpose to change everything at the same time.
If you relish the opportunity to change, consider these Top 10 Tips for reinventing yourself:
- Avoid giving in to what is expected, reasonable, sensible, or appropriate. The point here is to enjoy yourself. For example:
- If youâve been âthe grey suit guyâ all your life and you want to be the Hawaiian Shirt guy, just do it.
- If youâve been âthe modest condo guyâ, and you secretly lusted after a penthouse suite with views of the ocean, find one.
- And if youâve always been the âBMW sedan guyâ but love the idea of driving a 55 Chevy pick-up, this is your time to shine. People will notice that you live life according to your own rules, and you can enjoy every minute of it!
- If youâre in a new job or locale, this is a time to make new friends. Choose carefully and wisely. You donât need to be everybodyâs friend.
- Keep your circle small. Sound people out and use your new friends to sound out new places and potential new hobbies too. Others will notice that youâre friendly but have a private side too.
- Practice being a great listener. Youâll be amazed at what you can learn about people, places, and everything else if you just listen. Ask lots of questions. Youâre new here and others will expect you to ask questions. Ask some good onesâ¦and listen.
- A surprising perk of this technique is that others will refer to you as a great conversationalist!
- Take time to explore the area â¦. alone. Youâll notice and appreciate more if youâre alone. Take pictures and make notes. It will make for great conversations later!
- Be a good neighbor. Take time to help others. Practice random acts of kindness at every opportunity.
- Others will appreciate you and speak well of you, especially if you help with no thought of a reward. Do it because you can and for no other reason.
- Stand up and speak out for things you have a passion for. Let others know that you are both willing and able to make your point, debate an issue, or speak up for those who have no voice. People will notice that you are selfless and put others before yourself.
- Start early. Show that you have a zest for life and canât wait to get at it each day. Walk quickly and with purpose. Always be the first to volunteer for everything.
- You will win some and you will lose some, but overall, you will win because everyone will know you as the one who is up for everything.
- Be generous with your praise for everybody who has earned it. Giving credit to others will show how much you appreciate them, and it will come back to you tenfold.
- Keep yourself fit and healthy. Set a good example. You donât have to go crazy – just eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and do some form of exercise that raises your heart rate for 30 minutes each day.
- The pay-off is phenomenal. Others will notice you and be inspired, which, in turn, will inspire you to continue.
- Thank others – for everything, all the time. Show your gratitude to as many people as you can, as often as you can. Most people are starved of thanks for a job well done, for sharing their wisdom, or for acknowledging their kindness.
- People will appreciate you forever if you show them gratitude for good words and deeds.
Most of the time, our mind runs on autopilot because how we show up in life is directed by our subconscious mind. When you turn the job over to your conscious mind and really put some thought into it, amazing things can happen.
Peopleâs perception of you can change in a heartbeat if you apply any one of these Top 10 Tips. If you apply yourself to all 10, you will, indeed, be a completely different person – one that you consciously designed. Try it – youâll like it!
Top 10 Tips for Taming Your Ego
Top 10 Tips for Taming Your Ego
Are you having challenges in your relationships because of your ego? Would you know it if you were? Possibly not! Your ego could be in charge without you even realizing it.
There are two basic types of ego issues:
- The arrogant ego
- The overly sensitive and easily wounded ego
Neither is attractive, and both are damaging. Both can lead to spending a lot of time alone, though not for the same reason.
Few people enjoy spending time with arrogant people. And, if youâre overly sensitive, youâll tend to avoid others because nearly everyone upsets you. Itâs also possible that you lash out at others too easily, and they avoid you.
Many people arenât aware that they have an ego issue. You might have to ask a friend for a little insight.
Keep in mind that thereâs a difference between arrogance and confidence. Arrogance is having an exaggerated opinion of yourself. Confidence is having a healthy level of belief in your abilities.
If you feel that you may be experiencing negativity because of your ego, luckily, there are things you can do to take your ego down a notch, whether your ego is arrogant or sensitive.
Try these tips for taming an arrogant ego:
- Ask yourself why. Why do you feel that youâre better than everyone else? Why do you feel the need to let everyone know how awesome you are? There are real causes for these thoughts and actions.
- Is it something from your childhood?
- Are you actually one of the best in the world at something? Even if you are, there are likely other things that you might want to improve.
- Remember your failures. Remind yourself of the times things didnât go your way. None of us are successful all of the time. It might be useful to remember that.
- The same goes for your weaknesses. Identify them and recognize them.
- Consider how you appear to others and the negative impact it has on you. Arrogance isnât something you can broadcast for free. Others hold it against you, and it does have an impact on your life. It can be costing you, both personally and professionally.
- Give compliments to others. Remind yourself of how awesome other people can be. Look for reasons to compliment others and give them those compliments.
- Apologize more often. Recognize when youâre wrong or inappropriate and apologize.
Tips for taming a sensitive ego:
- Realize that itâs not always about you. Maybe someone failed to say, âGood morning,â because they had an argument with their spouse. Maybe itâs not because they dislike you.
- People do and say lots of things that actually have nothing to do with you but something to do with whatâs happening in their personal life, instead.
- Avoid being critical of yourself. Allow yourself to make mistakes and fall short of perfection. Laugh at yourself. Life is short, so donât take it too seriously.
- Value your own opinion more and the opinions of others less. The opinions that matter are your own. If youâre happy with your life and your choices, thatâs whatâs important to you.
- Notice what offends you and ask yourself why. When you feel offended or slighted, stop and ask yourself why. What specifically bothers you about what the other person said or did? What can you do to get past this?
- Work on being your best self. Each day do one thing towards self-improvement. Strengthen one skill or build on one characteristic.
- Over time, youâll be amazed with your greater power!
- As you actively build these talents, youâll feel happier and more confident in general.
It can be a challenge to overcome your ego and interact with others in a more pleasant manner. Ego issues often develop early in life and may require professional help. See how much headway you can make on your own but be willing to reach out for additional help if needed. You can tame your ego!
Do You Really Want to Change
Do You Really Want to Change?
Believe it or not, it is not only possible, but quite common for someone to consciously convince themselves that they want change in their life, but subconsciously put all their effort into keeping everything exactly the same as it is right now.
They even go through all the motions of starting a new project, enlist help, buying software, having a website built, creating all kinds of marketing text and tools, only to consistently find some insurmountable challenge when it gets close to a start date that prevents them from following through.
Why would anyone do that?
Fear is the prime reason that most people donât follow through.
They are unhappy, unmotivated, and unfulfilled. They know exactly what they need to do, but never manage to get it done. They are often solitary individuals who have lots of friends and contacts, but, in reality, they live their life almost entirely in their own heads.
This vicious circle of starting and then stopping, over and over again, can cause them to have low confidence, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression, which reinforces their overwhelming desire to keep everything the same, no matter how good a new future might look.
Does this scenario describe you? If so, what can you do about it?
Is There a Solution?
One of the best ways to break this pattern is to help someone less fortunate than yourself. Perhaps try charitable work or something similar, where people depend on your help, energy, and support, and you know it.
In this charitable work, consider how you have responsibility to others where you cannot possibly let down those who depend on you. That way, you are not working for your own personal rewards, but for someone who cannot possibly fulfil their ambitions on their own.
The feeling you get from helping others is so strong, so compelling, that your personal anxiety diminishes and your self-esteem rises in direct proportion to each other.
Youâll enjoy strong feelings of accomplishment and, in turn, fulfilment. Youâll find yourself in a place of happiness that youâve never experienced before, and you really like it.
Make a Decision and Take Action
Through practical experience, youâll come to realize that when you make a decision and take action, you move forward. Youâll recognize that you only have one life, and you can live it best and most fully by making decisions and taking action.
Youâll also acknowledge that doing things for someone else allows you to fully engage your talents in a way that you could never have experienced while just working for yourself.
When you find purpose in all that you do, you will also realize that the fear evaporated long ago, and now you can actually feel a sense of pride in your work that was never there before.
Through helping others, youâll come to understand that it doesnât even matter if you make a wrong decision or take a wrong action. You can always make another decision and take another action and correct it.
The most important thing is that you keep making decisions and taking action. Itâs the only way to effect change in anything.
The biggest changes will be the ones you experience yourself, but it may still take others to point them out. You are so talented, and you have no idea how gifted you really are, until you see other peoplesâ lives improved because of your actions.
Thatâs when youâll get to see your true, authentic self show up in your smile as you look forward to finally being able to start creating the future you desire.
8 Tips for Creating a Compelling Future
8 Tips for Creating a Compelling Future
Everyone needs a vision of the future that holds a little excitement! It would be dreadful to live year after year with nothing to look forward to. Life is just better when you have the expectation of something positive happening in the future. It could be retirement, a vacation, buying a particular item, or meeting an old friend for lunch next week.
No one can design a compelling future for you. You have to choose it for yourself and then begin working on it.
Try these techniques to create a future that will make you feel excited to get up each day:
- Make a list of the things youâd love to do, see, and accomplish. A compelling future has to be, well, compelling. The only way to make your future compelling is to choose things that youâd like to see, do, and accomplish in the future. Itâs entirely up to you what youâd like to pursue.
- Set a timeline for each item on your list. Go through your list and put a realistic timeline for each one if you were to start working on it today. There should be items that can be accomplished relatively quickly while others could take years.
- Choose several items with varied times to completion. You can do just about anything in life, but you canât do it all. Itâs time to make some choices.
- Itâs important to choose some short, medium, and long-term items.
- If youâre going to have a compelling future, itâs important to always have something to look forward to. If all of your goals are 10+ years in the future, youâre not going to feel very motivated or positive about the next few months or years.
- Consider everything these goals will require to accomplish. Consider the time, money, and other resources that will be required. Do you need to acquire a boat? Learn to surf? Speak Vietnamese? Do you need a lot of time off from work? After all, it takes quite a while to climb Mount Everest.
- Make a plan. Create a plan for each goal that you have. What do you need to accomplish tomorrow, this month, and this year? Map it all out as well as you possibly can. This might take some time and research.
- Visualize daily. One of the best ways to keep your goals in mind is to visualize yourself achieving them. It will also keep your motivation high and keep you on track.
- Review your day in relation to your goals. At the end of the day, evaluate yourself. How well did you live today based on what youâre trying to accomplish long-term?
- For instance, if you want to lose 30 pounds so that you can learn how to surf, how well did you eat today?
- If your plan was to learn five new words in Japanese, did you accomplish that?
- Make tomorrow better than today. Improve your behavior as it relates to accomplishing your goals. If you live each day a little better than the last, youâll eventually achieve everything you set out to achieve.
If youâre feeling down, perhaps you just need to create a compelling future for yourself. Everyone needs a future filled with positive expectations.
You donât have to rely on luck to have a future that is interesting and enjoyable. You can put the pieces into place right now to ensure that you have things in the future worth looking forward to. Get started today.
9 Benefits of Being an Early Bird
9 Benefits of Being an Early Bird
Are you an early bird? If so, good for you! If youâre not, you might want to consider trying out a new schedule. There are a lot of advantages to being an early riser.
Studies show that early birds are more productive and healthier.
Itâs a great way to live. All you have to do is get up a couple of hours earlier. The benefits are worth the momentary discomfort each morning.
Still not convinced? Read on.
See why the early bird really does get the worm:
- Itâs healthier. Itâs been found that the sleep patterns of those that get up early are healthier. You might live longer by being an early bird. Spending less money on medical care is another bonus.
- Itâs more natural. Most animals are active during daylight hours and asleep while itâs dark. We donât see well in the dark, so weâre clearly not designed to be active at night.
- Youâll be thinner. On the average, early birds are leaner than night owls. Maybe itâs the late-night snacking that many night owls like to do.
- Youâre more focused. There are fewer distractions early in the morning. You can get more done by having a greater level of focus. Thereâs no one around to intrude on your time.
- Youâre in good company. The majority of highly successful people are early birds. You might become more successful if you wake up earlier and get started on your day.
- You can enjoy the morning. When you have a few hours before you need to leave for work, you can take your time and enjoy the morning. See the sunrise. Listen to the birds. Enjoy a cup of coffee without being rushed. Relax while everyone else is rushing to get ready for work.
- You get more accomplished. You could use the extra time to learn the guitar, read, write, exercise, journal, or get started on your work for the day. Studies show that early risers are significantly more productive.
- Most people donât accomplish much after 6:00pm, so early risers have a day that is effectively longer. The night owls might spend as many hours awake, but more of their hours are spent on less productive activities. The early birds are sleeping while the night owls are playing.
- You build willpower. Itâs not easy to get up when you know you have time to sleep for another hour or three. It can be a bit of a challenge to get up earlier than necessary each day. However, the willpower you develop can be applied to other aspects of your life.
- Youâre more confident. Knowing that you have a big head start on most of the rest of the people in the world can make you feel a little smug. You can be a couple hours ahead of your coworkers while theyâre still brushing their teeth.
- Some of those coworkers will likely be working for you someday soon.
If youâre not someone that naturally likes to get up in the morning, thereâs still hope. The key is to alter your bedtime and wake-up time a little at a time. Fifteen minutes each day is doable and sustainable. Or you could adjust by 15 minutes and keep that schedule for a week. The next week, add another 15 minutes. And so on.
Shifting your schedule to a couple hours earlier will change your life in so many positive ways.
Consider how you spend the last two hours of your evening with your current schedule. Those hours might be fun, but theyâre probably not productive. Imagine adding two hours of productivity, enjoyment, and reflection into each day of your life.
There are so many advantages to being an early riser that it would likely benefit you to at least give it a try. Avoid assuming that it would never work for you. You might be pleasantly surprised!
Is Social Media Negatively Impacting Your Life
Is Social Media Negatively Impacting Your Life? Hereâs How to Handle It
How often do you pick up your phone and browse social media just to fill up time? These days, social media is at our fingertips. One scroll turns into thirty minutes.
These platforms are designed to keep us on there as long as possible. Social media started out as a place to connect with loved ones, but has evolved into places for advertisers, influencers, and marketers to get our attention.
Keep in mind that it is so easy to get into a habit of using these platforms compulsively and excessively. Social media use can be so habitual that it might affect your life in unintended ways.
Logging onto social media and seeing new notifications, likes, or comments can send a rush of dopamine (a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure) to your brain. The problem is that the dopamine is temporary. And once it wears off, you might want to go back for more.
Unfortunately, chasing the quick gratification from dopamine hits leads to an overall lower level of happiness.
Is social media impacting your life in unintended ways?
Signs that social media may be having a negative impact on your life:
- Gets in the way of life (work, school, or relationships). Do you scroll on social media instead of working or engaging with others? Sometimes we allow social media to get in the way of learning, productivity, or relationships.
- Feeds feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression. Have you found yourself opening social media to check likes and comments? Or maybe youâve seen othersâ highlight reels of their activities, only to feel worse about yourself. These are common ways social media feeds low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
- Disrupts sleep. Do you scroll on social media at night instead of getting rest? If scrolling on social media disrupts your sleep, you might want to consider your limits with social media each night.
The good news is, how you use social media can make a big difference on its impact on your life. You can change your relationship with social media to have a more positive impact on your daily life.
How to make positive changes in the way you use social media:
- Log onto social media with an intention. What is your intention when you log onto social media? Is it to connect with a friend? Take a couple moments to set an intention before you open the social media platform.
- Thereâs an app for that. Use an app that controls the amount of time you spend on social media platforms. If you spend too much time on social media, set limits with how much time you spend on these platforms.
- Turn off notifications. Does your phone light up every time you receive a like or comment? It might help you to turn off notifications on your phone.
- Leave your phone in another room. Huge numbers of people scroll through social media instead of sleeping at night. Avoid joining this crowd! Put your phone out of reach – or better yet, another room when itâs time to rest.
- Delete social media apps on your phone. You can delete apps on your phone altogether. This way, if you really need to check the social media platform, you must do it from your laptop or computer.
- Replace a social media habit with something new. Reach out to a friend, read a book, go for a walk. The key is to think about why you crave going on social media – and replace that habit with something that fills the same need.
Social media can help us to stay connected with loved ones. However, it can also lead to comparing ourselves to others, causing us to feel negative emotions. If you resonate with that, know that you are not alone!
Paying close attention to the way you use social media can help you to feel happier and get greater enjoyment out of life.
How to Build a Reading Habit
How to Build a Reading Habit That Will Last a Lifetime
Reading is such a great habit to possess. Think about all that regular reading can accomplish.
Some of the smartest, most successful, and most interesting people in the world have written books. They write down the things they consider to be most relevant. They acquired this knowledge over a lifetime of observation, trial and error, and experience.
For $17 or a quick trip to the library, you can have this information. For a few hours of work and a few dollars, you can get inside the head of some of the most amazing people that have ever lived!
If youâre a lover of fiction, you can entertain yourself for little to no cost.
But reading has additional benefits, too. Itâs great for your brain health and cognition, lowers blood pressure and stress, and increases your empathy for others.
Practice these techniques to develop a lifelong reading habit and youâll enhance your life in multiple ways:
- Establish a schedule for reading. Establishing a habit requires repeating a behavior on a regular basis. Make a schedule for your reading that you can stick to. Many people like to read in bed, but itâs common to quickly become too tired to read! Take an honest look at your schedule and set aside the time you need.
- Only read books that appeal to you. Itâs easier to read daily if you read something enjoyable. Avoid forcing yourself to read books that donât interest you just because itâs on someoneâs reading list.
- Be willing to toss a book aside and start another. Just because you start a book doesnât mean you have to finish it. Build a stronger reading habit by ditching the books you donât like and giving another book a chance.
- Create the best possible reading environment. Where will you read? Comfortable seating and good lighting are important. Silence is also necessary for many readers. The best reading environment is up to you but make an effort to optimize it.
- Never be without a book to read. Take a book with you everywhere you go. Also, ensure that you have your next book ready to go. Avoid not having a book available when itâs time to read. Itâs easy to get out of the habit of reading.
- Digital reading devices like the Amazon Kindle make it easy to always have a book on standby.
- Build a reading list. Make a reading list of books that interest you. Youâll be surprised what you find while searching around for books to add to your list. When youâre finished with one book, you wonât have to spend time looking for something else to read.
- Become familiar with your library. Your local library has a lot of books, and you can check them out for free. Itâs a great place to walk around and check out some books in person. Itâs also a great place to sit down and read for a while.
- Become a better reader. Reading is more enjoyable when you can read well. There are plenty of websites full of reading tips. As with anything else, the more you read, the better youâll become.
- Track your progress. Keep a list of the books you finish. You might want to write down on a calendar how many minutes or pages you read each day. Seeing your progress can be inspiring.
Building the habit of reading is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself or your children. Books are a condensed form of knowledge and entertainment. Theyâre much less expensive than a personal coach. A novel that takes 12 hours to read is much less expensive than 12 hoursâ worth of movies at the theater.
Reading is also great for your mind and body. You can learn a lot while also enhancing the health and capabilities of your brain. Pick up a book today!
Productive Versus Unproductive Thinking
Productive Versus Unproductive Thinking
How much of your time do you spend thinking each day during your waking hours? Most likely, at least 99% of the time. But how much of that thinking is productive?
There are two basic types of thinking: productive and unproductive. Productive thinking helps motivate us, reach our goals, and create the life we desire. On the other hand, much of the unproductive thinking we do is actually harmful to our happiness, contentment, and success.
What types of thoughts do you find yourself spending the most time on?
Consider how unproductive these types of thinking are:
- Thinking about the past in a way that creates regret. This is a common type of negative thinking that has no positive benefits. Remembering that time you embarrassed yourself in high school or had a huge argument with your partner only serves to lower your mood and put you into an unresourceful state.
- The solution is simple. Catch yourself as soon as possible when youâre thinking about the past and redirect your attention to something more positive.
- Thinking about the future in a way that creates worry. We also tend to look at the future and imagine the worst. We might only look ahead 10 seconds and imagine being rejected by the person weâre approaching. Or we might look ahead further and imagine our yet non-existent business failing.
- The solution: Notice that youâre thinking unproductively and bring your mind back to the present.
- Daydreaming in a non-directed way. Itâs fun to daydream. Who wouldnât like to imagine spending time with a movie star, being able to fly, or other fanciful thoughts? Most of this type of thinking isnât productive. It only wastes time.
- Why are you daydreaming? Are you bored? Stressed? Is it just random behavior? Think of better ways to spend your time when you notice that youâre daydreaming.
- Focusing on problems rather than solutions. Focusing on problems creates stress and fails to address the issue in a useful way. Focusing on solutions puts you in a much more resourceful state and provides a chance for success.
- Notice when youâre focusing on problems and start thinking about possible solutions for them.
These types of productive thinking create tremendous value in our lives:
- Planning for the future. Itâs nearly impossible to be successful by relying on luck and chance. Success for any individual person is unique. Itâs very precise. Making plans to craft your future is a great way of using your mental faculties.
- Learning from the past. Looking at the past can be productive if itâs done with the intention of learning. Each success and failure can be useful for the future.
- Seeking solutions. Focusing your thoughts on finding solutions for the challenges in your life is a powerful way to use your brain.
- Looking for potential obstacles and threats. Looking into the future isnât always a negative action. Looking forward can be useful if youâre identifying and preparing for roadblocks and threats. Then, the trick is to use your brain to find solutions, rather than just worry.
- Thinking about what youâre doing. Try spending most of your day with your attention focused on whatever youâre doing. Youâll get more done and increase the quality of your work if you pay attention to what youâre doing.
Your brain likes to think. Thatâs what it was designed to do. It will provide a never-ending supply of thoughts even if you donât want them. Unfortunately, much of the thinking we do each day is of little benefit. In fact, the majority of it is harmful. We make ourselves feel bad or waste precious time with most of the thinking we do.
Directing your brain to focus on whatever you choose requires a lot of practice, but youâll get better and better at it the more you practice.
Youâll love the benefits youâll receive when you are able to spend more time on productive thinking and less time on unproductive thinking! Try it – youâll like it!