Spend The First 30 Minutes Of Your Day Alone

We all have a certain amount of time that we allocate to morning warm-up.  This period of time is very important for the day.  The productivity and feelings you exhibit in your first hour or 30 minutes have a huge impact on the rest of your day.  This is why it is wise to save a certain amount of time for morning planning and brainstorming that you perform alone.

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Leave E-Mail And Updates For Afterwards

When you wake up and go straight to checking e-mail, checking internet updates, TV news, or other entities that come from others, your day’s foundation can become based on concepts that are not conducive to a productive mindset.  You might run across a frustrating TV story, a pressure-based deadline in your e-mail, a time-wasting message, etc.  Although these might be enjoyable to run across, they can heavily limit what you can complete in your day.

Your Day Starts Off Clean

When you have just waken up, your day is blank.  Starting it off by checking news and updates from various sources leaves you as a reactive individual, instead of a pro-active individual(which Stephen Covey would recommend that you would be).  You will get into the thinking that your day depends on circumstances around your environment and around the world, as opposed to the decisions you make.  Once you step into the reactive mindset for the day, it is no longer a blank day, and it can then become a struggle to be pro-active for the rest of the day.

A Foundation Of Pro-Activity

If you convert your first 30 minutes of the day to self-time, or create 30 minutes of such time by waking up 30 minutes earlier, you can start each day off in a pro-active stance.  It is already pro-active to perform a 30-minute foundation time-boxing, and this is built upon by spending the time discussing the day with yourself, or producing material with no interruptions.

Be The First Tire To Get Rolling

One of the main concepts behind why waking up “early” tends to be associated with success is that it refers to waking up early relative to others in one’s community or environment.  This creates time when you are forging ahead while others are still asleep.  Although they might sleep just as long as you, since they sleep later at night, in the comparative scheme of the day, you would be ahead of them throughout the day, simply because you started sooner.  This provides added motivation that they would not have, since you would be gliding along knowing that extra effort you put out adds even more to your lead.  You often see people publicly saying all the things they did early in the morning, and this can crush the motivation of others who wake up to find out that they are behind, sometimes leaving them mentally paralyzed for hours of the day with the feeling that catching up is out of reach.  You can become the person in this example who is performing more early on and reaping the benefits.

There Is No Criticism In An Empty Room

Also, when you start off working or discussing the day to yourself alone, you don’t have to worry about criticism.  It is like bonus time that you have created, where anything you do is a plus, and no one will describe your efforts as wasteful or irrelevant.  Although a select few individuals will try to build you up, the majority of people will make small comments to tear down your efforts as they occur, which is expected, but you can avoid these in the important early basis-forming portion of your day.

A Stable Foundation Allows You To Be Fruitful

It is not to say that dealing with people is to be avoided at all times, but that the first minutes of our day are like a soup of chemicals that crystallize over time; at first, it is a liquid that is easily able to be disturbed or unsettled, making it unable to crystallize, but if it is protected during that time, in hours it will become a hardened crystal.  It is said that “You are your best doctor.”  In the same way, the individual who is best able to protect their per-crystallized self is you, as you know your own trials and tribulations, have the tact to not discourage yourself, and have a solid understanding of your own goals for the day or week.

Some Opportunities Are Only Seen By You

At a certain point, some of us get the sense that the decisions we make, and the opportunities we see, are the same as the ones other people see. We think that some big change is not grasped because it is a large burden and that others have already thought it through. While this can be the case for some of the most well-known decisions or opportunities, it is often the case that something we see as a huge opportunity is only in our mind, so it has to be treated as such.

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Your Conditions Are Unique

The state that you are currently in is unique to anyone around you.  Your genetic makeup, location, daily routine, social interactions, etc. are all items that set you apart from people who you might think are very similar to you.  This provides your mind with thoughts and opportunities that no one else is more suited for.  When you see an opportunity, it is worth the time to think of how specific it is to you as a person, and the more specific it is to you, the more weight you should put on pursuing it with action.

Example: A Book Recommendation Business

You might come across a website that has a listing of 100 business ideas.  One of the example entries might be about creating a book recommendation business, where the handler of the business would lead people directly to the next book they should be reading if they want to proceed at an optimal rate of knowledge-gaining.  When reading this, your mind might jump to ecology books as the ones you could see yourself recommending, since that is your area of interest and learning.  The likelihood of someone else running across that site, picking out that specific suggestion and thinking of ecology as the focus of their business is already very low, and the chance that they would put it into action is much lower(the average rate of reading something to acting on it is enormously low).

In this example, you would do quite well in pursuing something related to the concept of recommending ecology books, whether in a business just for that, or as an add-on to your website, or as a public service in your local area.  Whether the idea has a solid business basis, you have to seek the valid points in it that peaked your interest in trying it out.  Your mind saw an opportunity while reading the business idea list, where the majority of others did not, and that is a sign of something to pursue.

Being Alone Is Okay

When I am saying this, you might be thinking “If I pursue an opportunity that only I see, no one will understand it or help much along the way.”  While this may be true in the initial points of pursuing it, you can be surprised with how soon some individuals notice what you are trying to do.  Other than a couple of useless comments that you can ignore early on in your efforts, some people will see that your business plan suits you, and will likely make suggestions to tweak your plan, in order to make it more marketable or relevant to the masses(it is vital to take suggestions like these into account, because you have to remember that each single suggestion made by one person can represent what thousands of people would suggest you change if your business was much larger).

We can see that most opportunity-pursuers are alone in their initial efforts.  If you were watching most of the big creators and businessmen of our time when they were formulating their plans, you would have seen people much more clueless than they are today, piecing together the way they would provide their service or product.  Very few people would help them early on because they would see them as competition, or as confused individuals, or as people that didn’t want to be part of the common folk.  Next time you see a new business venture, think not about the hype around it, but about the image of a person sitting at a table formulating the business plan.

Others Join In Real Quickly

Once your opportunity is seen and acted towards, certain people will quickly identify your passion and fitting interest and will come around you to leave you no longer alone in your endeavors.  It will then be up to you as the handler of the operation to assess how much you want to delegate or not delegate the efforts of your operation.  This special ability to be the person in charge comes directly from spending time in the “alone” phase, where your idea is only in your head, being formulated and worked upon.

18 Benefits Of Learning Facts About The World

What type of facts can you learn about?  There is much for you to know about communication, arts, culture, technology, nations of the world, history, science, the human body, earth, books, sports, though, our environment, and so on.  Knowing that the capital of Chile is Santiago, or that in past and is a specific chess attack move involving pawns, or that a major is higher ranked in most nation’s armies than a captain will help you out in your daily living.

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Do you ever notice how you don’t see many of a type of car until you drive one, and then you see them all over the place?  The same is true with information, where we ignore something until we find out about it, and then we see that it was showing up over and over.  This is true for most information.  The following is a list of 18 benefits of learning facts about the world:

  1. You will have a better sense of where world news stories are occurring, and what the situation in those countries is like, giving you better context.
  2. Conversations with strangers will go more smoothly because you will be more able to connect, and will have more information to provide.
  3. You will be better able to defend your views and self in the context of a debate.
  4. Knowledge of events in the recent past will give you a better sense of how humans progress, as well as what has stayed similar about people over time
  5. You will maintain a bigger mind, focusing on larger issues that matter instead of smaller ones that are nearly a waste of time
  6. Understanding other cultures will give you a much more favorable presence to people of those cultures, as well as to those who appreciate a worldly person
  7. Knowing terms that are used regularly in business or sports or finance or medicine will allow you to communicate more effectively to people of those professions, and to be able to read works about those topics without getting confused at some point
  8. No one is going to look down upon you for knowing more about various concepts and countries unless it makes them feel inferior, and in that case, it doesn’t matter
  9. You will keep your brain more active, and this will assist you in all aspects of daily living.  An active brain is an efficient brain.
  10. You will have more confidence because you will feel less likely to appear foolish in public or in conversation.
  11. You may motivate others to learn more as well, so the benefits are not only limited to you.
  12. In your quest for random facts, you may find out something that makes a huge difference in how you exist or perform, like a certain habit you can do to strengthen your lower back or a conversational method that attracts people instead of repelling them.
  13. You will find out something you were confused about for a long time, and will then not be avoiding it when it shows up again.
  14. Since facts likely fit into the 80/20 rule, you will have the biggest gains in relevant facts and information soon after you start, because a small percentage of facts are the ones that come up over and over again in society.
  15. You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it.  Things you find out will solve problems of yours that you didn’t know were solvable or needing to be solved.
  16. Understanding how class and power structures are set up in your city, county, country, and in other countries is the way to be able to get into positions and move up.  You can only win in chess once you know the rules and limitations.
  17. Power comes from knowledge.  If only one person in an office of 20 knows how to use PowerPoint, that person is the boss when it comes time to make a PowerPoint presentation.  To gain prominence, you need to know information and relevant people.
  18. We live in a knowledge-based world.  Physical ability has its place, but mental efforts have taken us to where we are technologically and culturally.

 

6 Steps To Creating Positive New Habits

Check the dictionary and you will find that a habit is an acquired pattern of behavior that often occurs automatically.  Habits are things that you do subconsciously, often not even thinking about it.  They are part of your daily routine and can often be hard to break.  Have you ever got in the car to drive home from work thinking, “I’ve really got to stop and pick up some milk from the shop”, and the next thing you know, you’re at home without the milk!  This is an example of a habit, and these habits that are part of your daily life can be both bad and good.

It depends on whether they add quality to your life or not.  It would be exhausting to have to go through the day concentrating on everything you do – like washing the dishes or brushing your teeth.  These are things that we do on autopilot that help life run more smoothly.  There are also negative things that become habits, however, such as worrying about things at work or doubting your ability to achieve things, which can hold you back in life, and stop you from achieving the level of success that you desire.

It is difficult to break old habits and install new, positive habits.  Ever tried to get fit or lose weight and you’ll know what I mean!  It takes time, and effort to begin something new, and stick to it, and it is only once you have been doing it for some time does it begin to become a habit.  Studies have shown that it takes approximately a month of consistent effort to instill a new habit or break an old one, so it will take some time and perseverance on your part, but there are a few simple things that you can do to make the transition a great deal easier and ensure your success.

  1. Decide on the habit that you are going to change –

    Once you have done this, you are half way towards making the change.  If you don’t have a goal, then you will never achieve it!  Successful people have goals, and this can be a differentiating factor in your success.

  2. Substitute negative habits for positive habits –

    Once you have decided on the habit to change, you need to decide what habit you will replace it with.  This is very powerful and will accelerate your progress.

  3. Write down the new habit–

    Take a piece of paper and write your new habit down.  Say it out loud to yourself and then put it in your pocket.  Carry it around with you and take it out and read it to yourself throughout the day.  Read it out loud first thing in the morning and then the last thing at night.

  4. Visualize yourself doing your new habit –

    Visualization techniques are very powerful and can have a great impact on your subconscious mind.  If you have never tried it before, then try out this simple exercise.  Lie down in a quiet comfortable environment and feel your whole body relaxing as the tension from each of your muscles disappears.  Once you feel relaxed, imagine yourself doing your new habit.  Make the images bright, colorful and bold, and imagine what you are saying and doing as you carry out your new habit.  Smell the smells, hear the sounds and feel the emotions.  Really put yourself into the situation and make it as real as possible.  Do this at least once a day and the effect that this will have on your subconscious mind (and ultimately on your behavior) will be huge.

  5. Ensure you have plenty of reminders –

    Put up notes on your fridge, set alarms in your calendar or phone, take out the piece of paper that you have in your pocket and read it to yourself throughout the day.

  6. Be patient and persevere –

    the first month may be difficult, and you may suffer from lapses, but remind yourself that these things take time.  You are only human after all.  With consistent effort and determination, you can succeed.

Although breaking a habit can take time and effort, the steps involved are relatively simple but can have a lasting impact on your success and overall happiness in life.  Good Luck!

 

5 Ways To Make A Difference In Your Community

This article was written by Jami DE la Cruz, who writes for Personal Trainers.

If you really want to make a difference in your community, there are several ways you can do so. That way you will know what is going on, and if there are any issues, perhaps you can come up with a solution.

In Your Community

1. Volunteer

The opportunities to volunteer in your community can be varied. For example, you can volunteer to help at your house of worship, the community library, or at hospitals or nursing homes located in or near your community. All of these places need volunteers, and some of them rely very heavily on them to “take up the slack” when necessary.

For example, you can offer your services at your house of worship by helping seal, stamp, and address weekly or monthly mailings. You can also volunteer to assist at funeral luncheons or other functions held during the week.

The community library will welcome volunteers to re-stock shelves, assist patrons, and perform other duties. The hospitals and nursing homes will enjoy having someone to come in and assist with delivering mail or other items to patients, assisting with activities, or just keeping someone company.

Does your community have a neighborhood watch program? If not, and there have been incidences of break-ins, vandalism, or other criminal activities, why not organize one? The police department or sheriff’s department that serves your community will help you get one started.

2. Join a Board or Commission

Many communities have their own boards or commissions that work separately from or with local municipal and county ones. These can include beautification boards, library boards, and others. Vacancies may occur each year as a member’s term of service ends. When it gets close to time for terms to end, you can submit your application or letter of intent to fill the vacancy.

3. Support Your Schools

Join the PTA or POST, even if you don’t have children in school. Volunteer in the media center or in a teacher’s classroom. Offer to tutor or give additional help to students before or after school. Most degree programs need people to support their specialized tutoring, like in mathematics and design.

4. Vote on Issues That Directly Affect Your Community

Many times, tax issues or other ones may affect an entire municipality or even county or parish. When this is the case, it’s for sure your community will be affected in some way. Make sure to be well informed on the issue and vote. If you are against a particular issue or if you strongly support the issue, then consider volunteering to inform others about the issue and persuade them to also vote.

5. Support Your Community by Shopping at Local Businesses

Many communities have small business establishments that provide products or services. Unless it is absolutely necessary to go somewhere else, use those businesses first, especially family-owned or independent stores. Often times the prices are comparable if not slightly cheaper than larger ones, anyway, so. Even if they’re higher, you may find the service there much more personalized, making it worth paying more.

CONCLUSION

These are only five ways you can support your community. There should be other opportunities available. Contact your community leaders, houses of worship, and others for ideas about giving back to that area you call home.

4 Ways To Get Your Brain Into Action Mode

What is action mode?  It is where your brain is in a state where it is ready to do critical thinking for a substantial period of time.  How can you get to this state if you aren’t getting there currently?  That is what this post is about.  Following these steps should take you from where you are as point zero to being a pioneer in some category in a short period of time.

  1. Disconnect From The Internet

It could be this simple for some of you.  Staying connected to the internet and your computer or portable device may be the reason you can’t focus.  There are so many distractions and items to keep up with, including messages, e-mails, news, weather, software updates, music, and so on.  For some of you, these are fine, and for others, these distractions are rendering you unproductive on a regular basis.  If you sense this, get away from your computing device at times.  Disconnecting the internet may not be enough(even though it is the title of this subsection).

Related link about disconnection

  1. Do Puzzles That Fit You

What you may need is to do puzzles of a certain type.  Whether it be Sudoku, word searches, logic puzzles, number games, cryptograms, crosswords, or very specific puzzles that you know of like solving the next move in a chess game, you could greatly benefit from finding a puzzle set you can enjoy and use regularly to activate your brain.  A long time ago, I really liked word search puzzles.  I would do loads and loads of them.  I had a subscription to a word-search book series called Find-A-Word where I would get a new book of 100 or so word searches each month.

You can’t lose with puzzles because they are much better than most time-passing activities that you do since they get your brain rolling with thoughts.  You can write things you think of down while doing the puzzles on the side of them, and then the pages they are on get filled with puzzle answers and puzzle steps you took, as well as thoughts you had for outside the puzzles.  Maybe this will help one of you like it has me.

  1. Sleep On Time Or Enough

If you are one of those folks that can’t get going during the day because you didn’t sleep enough, because you either got distracted during the late night period or didn’t set a specific time to sleep, this point is for you.  You will not reach that peak state of productivity until you get enough sleep on a regular basis.  Getting enough sleep is all about what you do at nighttime.  If you squander your time at night, your next day will not be as you hope it to be, and it will be out of your control(until the next evening).

  1. Think About How Limited Your Time Is

This one can get you going if you need a boost of energy.  When you think for a minute about how little time you have to accomplish what you want, it is likely to jump-start you into thinking through your options, leading to taking action.  Sometimes we are thinking that we have a year to do a certain item when we really only have a month to do that specific item before some change takes place that makes it much more difficult or out-of-reach.