Are You Creating or Reacting?
Living by simply reacting to everything that happens around you could be considered as “living by default” or “living on luck.” Living a life of reaction is stressful and dissatisfying. People who choose to live this way only have access to random events. They’re primarily driven by pain and avoid creating their own opportunities.
On the other hand, creating your life is more assertive, satisfying, and controllable!
Consider these ideas to create your life instead of reacting to it:
- You’ll know you’re reacting if the quality of your life fluctuates between poor and tolerable. This is the telltale sign of reacting.
- You’ll leap into action when your comfort falls below a certain standard. You’ll work hard to bring it back up to a tolerable status. Then you’ll relax again, only taking further action when the situation becomes dire once more.
- Failing to choose a direction for your life is choosing to fail. Without a chosen endpoint, there is no intention. Without intention, you’ll get whatever happens to come your way. People with wonderful lives didn’t get there on accident. Be brave enough to choose a path and stick with it.
- Discover the power of visualization. Visualization is powerful on multiple levels:
- Visualization forces you to determine what you want. You must make a choice before you visualize anything.
- Visualization keeps your objective fresh in your mind. It serves as a reminder of what’s important to you. This reminder will help you to spot related opportunities when they present themselves.
- Visualization makes your objective believable. Imagining success over and over trains your brain to believe that it’s possible. You only need to spend five minutes each day visualizing your desired outcome. Everyone has five minutes to spare.
- Know the difference between action and reaction. With action, you’re moving toward a chosen reality. When you’re reacting, you’re being stimulated by the current reality. Reaction seeks to bring the situation back to “normal”. Action is taken with the intention of creating a new reality.
- What could be more fulfilling than creating a life that inspires and excites you? Reacting to life consists of solving one problem after another. Who wants to spend a life doing little more than dealing with unnecessary challenges or passively waiting for the next issue to appear? Living this way invites stress and uncertainty. Create the life you want, instead!
- It won’t happen automatically. There’s been too much emphasis lately on the idea of allowing the universe to deliver the results you desire while you wait patiently on the couch. Maybe you know someone who woke up one morning to a brand new Porsche in their driveway, but it’s unlikely.
- When you’re clear on what you want, you’ll have the opportunity to take inspired action to get it. You’ll notice opportunities to be successful and make the most of them.
- Respond to challenges rather than reacting to them. Instead of just reacting to the issue at hand, avoid future reoccurrences. Most of the challenges you have today are the same ones you’ve faced numerous times in the past. Create a solution and a plan for prevention. Making the same mistake repeatedly is silly and unnecessary.
Decide today to choose the type of life you’d like to enjoy. Remind yourself of your choice by visualizing it regularly. Take advantage of the opportunities that you notice. Avoid living by default and create the life you desire and deserve!
A Fool-Proof Formula for Preventing Clutter at its Source
You can move clutter around or you can cut it off at the source. Instead of buying new storage containers or calling Goodwill for a pickup, take a look at your shopping habits.
Imagine how much more you can enjoy your weekends and paychecks when you break the cycle of excess consumption. Take a look at these strategies for bringing less clutter into your life.
Strategies for Shopping Anywhere
Buy what you need. Ask questions before you complete your purchase. How will you use the product you’re considering? Do you already have enough similar items at home?
Focus on quality. In the long run, higher priced goods usually offer greater value. A fine cashmere sweater or sturdy kitchen knives may hold up for decades while bargain brands may need to be replaced annually.
Stick to a budget. Decide in advance how much you can afford to spend. Regard occasional indulgences as an exception rather than the beginning of a habit.
Find other outlets. Retail therapy may be masking other issues. Find a hobby or do volunteer work if you’re bored. Talk with a friend if you’re feeling anxious or lonely.
Swap things out. During holidays and other shopping seasons, try discarding at least one item to make room for each new purchase. Give your used computer to a local nonprofit. Sell your old bedroom set on craigslist.
Buy for others. Studies show that spending money on others makes us happier than purchasing things for ourselves. Similarly, buying experiences instead of merchandise leaves no trail except for the pictures on your phone.
Strategies for Shopping Online
- Cool off. Online purchases can pile up before you know it because there’s no downtime for parking and commuting. Try leaving items in your cart for at least 24 hours before making a final decision. You may find you no longer want them once you have a chance to think further.
Stop drinking. Even Chia Pets and novelty ties can look good during happy hour. Save the wine for later if it lowers your inhibitions.
Pay off credit cards monthly. Buying online is so easy it may not feel like real money. Avoiding credit card debt helps you monitor your spending and stabilize your finances.
Go to bed. The internet has no closing time so you’ll have to set your own curfew. You’ll feel fresher and richer in the morning if you turn of the computer and go to sleep.
Strategies for Shopping at Stores
- Resist sales pressure. Be skeptical of limited time offers and long-term commitments. Tell sales clerks you need time to think, and do your own comparison shopping. Don’t let freebies make you feel obligated to buy something in return. Ask that any verbal promises be put in writing.
Carry a list. Write down what you need to pick up before you leave home. Go straight to the stores and aisles where you can find your products.
Look away. The more time you spend wandering around sales displays, the more likely you are to wind up with goods that sound like a bargain but wind up as clutter. Be especially careful in the checkout area that’s designed to trigger impulse purchases. Also, avoid touching any item that’s not on your shopping list or it might wind up in your garage.
Next time you’re at the mall or buying online, remember that today’s clutter is yesterday’s shopping spree. Save time and money by accumulating less. You and your home will come out ahead.
9 Steps to Beat Laziness
Everyone feels a little lazy at times. But being lazy on a regular basis can have a severe negative impact on your life. Laziness is a natural tendency. All creatures gravitate toward comfort, or at least what’s perceived to be comfortable. However, laziness is indulging in short-term comfort at the expense of long-term pain.
Do you know anyone with a great life that’s lazy? Over time, the law of cause and effect holds true. Laziness has a long-term price.
Beat laziness and accomplish more:
- Find a way to get excited. Consider the benefits you’ll receive by getting it done. It might be the end result that excites you or the fact that you’re learning and growing. Maybe demonstrating self-control and discipline is something that you can get excited about. It’s much harder to accomplish something if you’re complaining about it.
- Set a deadline. When you have plenty of time to complete something, or no deadline at all, it’s human nature to procrastinate. Setting a deadline in the near future can help to focus your attention and energy.
- Create smaller tasks from the main task. Every large task can be done in steps. Even building a house has steps. First the site must be prepared. Then the foundation is created, and the framing begins. The remaining steps are followed until the house is completed.
- The overall project might be big and intimidating. However, the individual tasks might be easier to handle.
- Focus on taking the first step. Once you get started, the momentum you’ve created can carry you far. Activity breeds further activity. Sitting on the couch tends to lead to more sitting. Instead of worrying about the mountain of work ahead of you, focus on getting one simple task completed.
- Read or listen to something that motivates you. It can be something as simple as a book of inspiring quotes or a song that energizes you. You already know what inspires you. Use it to your advantage.
- Consider the pain of not getting started. We’re good at imagining the pain of getting started, but try the opposite. What will happen if you continue to be lazy? What will it cost you in the future? What has it cost you so far? Instead of using pain as a reason to be lazy, use pain to create action.
- Remind yourself that the last few years have flown by. Laziness is often a chronic condition. A lot of time has passed in the last 5 years, but how much have you accomplished? Five years goes by quickly, especially when one day seems to be a copy of every other day. Life is wasting away. Get up and do something!
- Reward yourself for activity. Get one thing done and celebrate. You probably haven’t done enough to deserve a new car, but you have the right to get excited and be proud of yourself.
- Be patient. It’s common to believe that action comes from motivation, but the opposite may be more true. Action leads to results. Results lead to motivation. Be mentally tough and get busy. You’ll have a reason to be motivated soon enough.
Avoid allowing laziness to keep you on the sideline. It will steal your time and limit your results!
9 Calming Strategies That Help You Find Inner Peace
Finding inner peace in the modern world is a significant challenge. Everything about modern society feels like an obstacle to experiencing peace of mind. But there are ways to find and maintain inner peace. Inner peace is a choice, and many of your habits determine how much peace you experience in your daily life.
Experience inner peace and enjoy life on a deeper, more satisfying level:
- Focus your attention on those things you can control. Why worry about those things you can’t control? It sours your mood and makes you less capable.
- Literally ask yourself, “Is this something I can control? Will worrying be beneficial in any way?”
- Spend time in nature. The original humans didn’t live in a 3-bedroom ranch and eat microwave popcorn. Take a long walk in the park or spend a weekend camping. You’ll feel dramatically different compared to sitting in a building 24 hours every day. There’s something peaceful about spending time among the birds and the trees.
- Be true to yourself. Few things are more disconcerting than living a life you weren’t meant to live. It continuously gnaws away at you. Live a life that’s congruent with your values.
- It’s too easy to allow society dictate your choices. You don’t have to spend your life on a career that’s impressive to others. You don’t have to chase after a fancy house. Make your own decisions about what’s most important to you.
- Eat nutritiously. You might not realize how bad you feel because you’re so used to it. Try eating the way you know you should for just a week. Note the change in how you feel.
- Now try eating some junk food and see what happens to your mood and your overall sense of well-being. You’ll feel like you’ve been run over by truck.
- Exercise regularly. Have you ever noticed how great you feel as you’re walking out of the gym? Exercise feels good, and you feel good about yourself for doing it.
- Do something nice for someone else. This is a great way to take your focus off of yourself. You become more aware that others are struggling, too. When you are kind, you receive kindness in return. You’ll also feel a sense of pride and satisfaction when you help someone else.
- Be assertive. Be open and forward with your needs and desires. You’re not only more likely to get what you want, but you’ll also feel more in control of your life. Being passive results in having less control, which runs counter to inner peace. Be bold without being aggressive.
- Meditate. Meditation is calming. It also helps to see life and its challenges more accurately. Things are often better than they seem. Meditation can prevent your mind from making a situation seem worse than it really is.
- Avoid trying to change others. You’ll have as much success trying to change the weather. It’s hard enough to change yourself. How will you ever manage to change someone else?
It’s important to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Eat properly, exercise, and be true to yourself. Be assertive and take control of your life. All the accomplishments in the world can’t replace inner peace. Avoid chasing after those things that society has determined to be important. Decide for yourself and live the life you were meant to live.
8 Serious Reasons to Develop a Sense of Humor
If you’re interested in enhancing your health, brain, social life, and mood, try laughing more. Having a good sense of humor is beneficial to multiple aspects of your life. A well-developed sense of humor has incredible benefits. Laughing and smiling aren’t frivolous activities. So, let go of being so serious and learn why humor is so important.
A sense of humor has many advantages:
- Strengthen your health. The more you laugh, the less frequently you’ll be sick. Studies have shown that laughing strengthens the immune system. It also lowers your blood pressure, which is great for your heart and brain. It’s possible that laughter can lower your medical expenses.
- A sense of humor is attractive. Who doesn’t like to laugh? We’re instinctively drawn to people that laugh easily. Everyone likes to have a good time and release their stress.
- If you’re fun to be with and you know how to make others laugh, you’ll find yourself surrounded by others who also have a good sense of humor.
- Reduce stress. Daily life is stressful. There are many ways to relieve stress, but few feel as good as laughing. With a good sense of humor, it’s easy to find reasons to laugh about life. A good laugh will allow you to forget about your challenges for a little while.
- Uplift your mood. It feels good to laugh, and the good feelings can last for hours afterwards. Humor can redirect your focus from the negative happenings in your life to something more enjoyable.
- Enhance your social life. Whether you’re trying to find new friends or trying to find the man or woman of your dreams, a sense of humor is critical. Consider the most popular people you know. Are they upbeat and do they smile easily? Or do they lack a sense of humor?
- Benefit others. Your mood, words, and actions affect those around you. When you’re in a bad mood, it negatively impacts others. Your smiling, happy face and mood are uplifting and brighten the moods of those around you.
- Strengthen your relationships. Is it possible to have a relationship that wouldn’t benefit from your sense of humor? Laughing together brings you closer together. You’ll find that your relationships with your neighbors, friends, family, and coworkers benefit from your ability to laugh and appreciate the lighter side of life.
- Increase your intelligence. At the very least, you’ll learn more easily. A study demonstrated that laughing stimulates the learning centers of the brain. Stimulating those areas on a regular basis is believed to enhance the ability to learn new information. Laughing might help you get a scholarship to Harvard.
Laughing is good for you. Your sense of humor impacts your health, mood, social life, and those around you. They say that, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Now you have a better idea why that statement is true. Find the humor in life and keep your mood light. There are no benefits to expecting the worst and experiencing negative moods.
Spend time with others who enjoy laughing. Make it a point to enjoy funny movies or watch your favorite comedians. Your laughter helps you and those around you. Feel free to laugh more.
13 Ways to Expand Your Comfort Zone
You’ve been told countless times that you must go beyond your comfort zone if you want to accomplish anything worthwhile. You may have noticed that’s a scary place to be. But there are ways to expand your comfort zone gently. It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you complete the journey.
Expand your comfort zone and your life:
- Start slowly. It’s the bigger changes that tend to stimulate feelings of discomfort. The thought of doing 50 pushups for the first time in five years is daunting. The thought of doing one isn’t a problem.
- Create small changes and then increase those changes over time. This is a great way to keep discomfort at bay.
- Eat something new. Most of us are a little hesitant to try a new food, but it’s a non-threatening way to stretch your comfort zone. Try a new restaurant or a new fruit from the grocery store.
- Read something completely different than your usual fare. If you’re a man, a book on feminism might be just the ticket. If you’re Christian, a book on the Muslim faith might shake things up a bit. Read something you would ordinarily never read.
- Take a new route to work. Better yet, don’t look at a map beforehand. Follow your instincts and see where you end up. Hopefully, you’ll make it to work on time.
- Unplug for an entire day. Turn off your phone, the internet, and the television. This will be more uncomfortable than you think.
- Sit in a different place. Sit on the couch instead of your favorite chair. Choose a different seat at the dining table.
- Strike up a conversation with a stranger. It doesn’t have to be a twenty-minute affair. If you can maintain a conversation for 30 seconds, consider yourself successful. There are plenty of people in the world available for practice.
- Ask your boss for a review. Tell your boss you’d like to sit down with him and review your performance. It might do wonders for your career and will stretch your comfort zone.
- Apply for a new job that’s a step up from your current position. You might feel like a bit of an imposter, but that’s okay. Worst case? You might get the position and a new career. Your bank account might even benefit.
- Call someone you haven’t spoken to for at least six months. Just pick up the phone and do it. You’ll feel great about it afterwards.
- Travel out of the country. If you’ve never travelled outside your home country, you might be in for quite a shock. The food, people, and culture can all be different. Apply for a passport and consider where you’d like to visit.
- Give yourself a thrill. Tackle something that makes you a little fearful. Go skydiving or ride a roller coaster. Give a speech. Take a dance class.
- Sit by yourself in silence. This can be tougher than you think. Turn off all your devices and just sit alone with yourself. Avoid allowing yourself to daydream. Just stay with yourself for at least 30 minutes.
Expanding your comfort zone opens up numerous possibilities. Think about how your life would change if your comfort zone were larger. It’s possible to accomplish this without the pain you might imagine. Stretch your comfort zone a little each day.