What Am I Doing with My Life? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps

“What am I doing with my life?”

As a life coach and business consultant, I hear this question – or some version of it – all the time. Those asking the question are likely facing one of a couple scenarios.

One, you wake up one morning and find yourself in a job you hate, a relationship you don’t want to be in, or a life that has little resemblance to the one you had imagined. You might be feeling low, filled with frustration, shame or regret. This is not where you wanted to be at this time in your life… it’s not the life you wanted to live.

Or maybe you don’t feel unhappy or lost, but you wake up and realize you want something more, new or different. You may have accomplished many of the things you’d imagined for your life and now you’re trying to figure out what to do next.

My job as a coach and consultant is to support my clients to be happier, more successful and fulfilled. To help them get from where they are to where they want to be, uncovering obstacles along the way. This usually involves working through a process and asking powerful questions so they can discover the answers to their biggest questions – including this one.

One of the very first things I share with my clients is this: you don’t have to figure out what you want to do with the entire rest of your life!

You don’t have to work out what you want to be when you “grow up” or discover your entire life’s purpose. You don’t have to commit to a career for the next 20 years. I see so many people paralyzed by thinking they must work everything out for the entire rest of their lives. Of course they feel stressed and overwhelmed!

My advice? Focus on identifying what’s next. At this age, in this stage, facing your current circumstances. I’m not saying this won’t be attached to a bigger vision, but that doesn’t mean you have to have the whole plan right now. I love MLK’s quote,

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, you just have to take the first step.”

Such is true for figuring out what you’re doing with your life.

How to answer the question – what am I doing with my life?

Back to the question. Let’s look at a couple of my recent clients.

Sabine* was a smart, successful, vibrant woman. She already had several successful jobs during her career, traveled the world, had a family, and was settling back in a new city. While she originally called wanting to take her business to the next level, we soon realized that wasn’t what she really needed or wanted.

She was trying to figure out what she was doing with her life. For her, this meant realizing she had lost her sense of self. While no one would know from the outside, she was feeling overwhelmed, lost and unsure of herself. She was doing all the “right” things for everyone around her, but she wasn’t doing all the right things for her.

Together, we were able to help Sabine:

  • Get a clear picture of what she wanted for this next stage in her life.
  • Align her life and actions with her value and priorities.
  • Remember who she was and feel more like herself than she had in years.
  • Regain confidence and take action on things she had been avoiding.
  • Gain motivation, self-trust, and security in her decisions.

Then, there’s Max*. Incredibly smart, fun and motivated, Max had successfully climbed up through his career ladder and was happily married with his first child. Life was good. He came to me because he was in the second scenario; Max was trying to figure out what he wanted to do next. Even though he had a great job, he was looking for more – something new, different, challenging and interesting.

In our time together, Max was able to:

  • Identify his priorities and what was important in this next stage of life (and what wasn’t)
  • Pinpoint several new career options/ideas
  • Uncover and work through old, limiting beliefs and thought patterns
  • Start exploring potential new careers.

Here’s the process and the questions I walked through with Sabine and Max. Following these will help you make progress towards identifying what you’re doing with your life too:

Step 1: What do you want?

Whenever you’re looking at what you’re doing with your life, it’s important to take a step back, look at the big picture and identify what you want. Frankly, if you don’t know what you want, how do you expect to get it?

This seems simple, yet it’s often quite hard to address. When I ask this question, people often tell me what they don’t want or what’s not working. They’ve gotten into the habit of making decisions based on what’s best for their career, family or others… and forget to think about what they want for themselves.

Sabine originally thought she wanted to “take her business to the next level”, but when she dug deeper, she realized there was so much more. She ultimately found that she wanted to feel like herself again; to feel secure, trust and assert herself, and regain her sense of self.

Max wanted to love what he was doing. He wanted to be in a career (or role) that he was energized and “jazzed” about.

Your turn:

What do you want? Get specific.

Is it a new career in which you feel excited and energized? A relationship where you feel honored and loved? To be confident and happy with yourself? To live in a particular place or to explore the world?

Maybe, like Sabine, when you think you have your answer, ask yourself, “what else?” and see what comes up.

Once you are clear on what you want, you can move to the next question.

Step 2: Who are you?

I have a strong belief and a lot of experience that self-awareness and a little soul searching is critical for success – especially when you’re trying to figure out what you’re doing with your life.

Understanding yourself at a deeper level and making decisions based upon those insights will make sure whatever you choose to do next is something that will make you happier, more successful and more fulfilled. It will make sure that your next step is a step in the right direction, not just another step.

While I take my clients through a series of many questions, here are a few of my favorites:

  • What is most important to you right now?
  • What are your core values? What are the beliefs, guiding principles or ideas that are deeply important to you? Which ones are you off track with?
  • What are your passions? What do you love? What interests you? What gets you engaged, motivated, excited?
  • What are your skills and talents? Which would you like to use going forward?
  • What is your wish list? What do you want and need in your life/career/relationship? This might include the type of environment you thrive in, people you want to be surrounded by, or something you want in a role.
  • What is the impact or difference you want to make? How do you want to serve, contribute or add value?
  • What do you NOT want? While you don’t want to spend too much time in this space, it’s as important to be aware of what you don’t want as much as what you do!

In addition, I always have my clients take the Instinctive Drives™ questionnaire. It’ s a profiling tool that helps you understand what you need to be at your best. While it happens to be my personal favorite, I highly recommend any tool or resource that will help you gain personal insight.

In her soul searching, Sabine identified that she needed to find and surround herself with her “people”; uncovered what she needed to feel safe and secure; learned she needed to delegate more; and discovered that her direct approach was getting in her way.

Max realized what was most important to him at this stage of his life, identified the limiting beliefs that were getting in his way, learned to stop comparing himself to others and realized how important it was to infuse humor and joy into his everyday life.

Your turn:

Grab a journal. Ask yourself these questions and allow the time and space to discover the answers.

Write everything down. Then, review what you wrote and highlight or circle what stands out or resonates the most. These are what you want to pay attention to as you move forward and think about what you’re doing next with your life.

Then, with a little soul-searching under your belt, it’s time to move on to step 3.

Step 3: What are your options?

You’re not happy where you are. You know you want something else. But what is that “something”? This question allows you to explore what your potential options.

At this point, it’s not about deciding the one thing or making the right choice, it’s about allowing your creative mind to expand and see all the possibilities.

If you hate your career, what new potential careers are on your mind? If you’re unhappy in your relationship, what can you do? If you’re feeling like you need change or an adventure, what could those possibly be?

Brainstorm ALL your options without worrying about whether they are possible or not (just yet). Make a list and keep asking yourself…. what else? This allows you to dig deeper and see opportunities you might have otherwise not explored.

Your turn

What are all of your possible options at this point in time? Don’t limit them if you can’t see how it’s possible, just get all your ideas out on paper.

Once you have your list of options, then you can move to the next step.

Step 4: Which options are the best fit right now?

Okay, so you have your list of options and possibilities. Now it’s time to narrow it down and explore those options in a little more depth.

Once Max had a complete list of potential career options (including advancing in his current role), he narrowed the list down to the top most interesting and compelling opportunities. We then worked through each of those in greater depth.

A fantastic way to do this is to envision your life “as if” you were in that new role/situation/relationship/option.

Max imagined himself living the life in his new career options. First, he imagined himself as an REI employee. Yes, he had grown a beard and was drinking from a metal mug.

But the next question was even more important. I asked him how he felt. He said while he was excited to be outdoors more, he realized he wouldn’t be fulfilled in that role. He definitely didn’t feel “jazzed”.

We went through all his options, envisioning what life would be like in each role until he found the one in which he felt the most connected. We could both feel a shift in his energy immediately…he was on to something.

Your turn

Go back to your options list and circle the 1-3 that you feel most connected to, energized by or engaged with. You’ll want to make sure those options fit what you want (question 1) and who you are (question 2).

Once you have a short list, imagine your life as if you took that as your next step. What would you think, feel, hear and see? Can you picture yourself there? Does it feel good? You can also do some research at this point to learn more about each of your options.

Then, armed with information and idea of the best next option for you, it’s time to move on to the next question.

Step 5: What’s stopping you?

This is a big one. As you explore your options, it’s likely you may come up against some barriers.

Perhaps you have fears or limiting beliefs of what you can or can’t do or what someone said you were capable of. Maybe it’s lack of self-esteem or confidence. When these come up, it doesn’t mean the option is wrong, it just means you need to dig a bit further to find out what’s going on It’s important to explore what’s getting in your way.

With Max, he was being held back by a deep, long time belief that he wasn’t good enough – that he wasn’t capable of taking on a higher level, higher risk role. This was holding him back. We worked together until he could move past this perception and on to his next step.

Your turn

Think about what’s getting in your way or stopping you from moving forward. Once again, don’t stop at your first answer. Ask yourself, “what else?” until you identify what’s getting in your way.

Then, it’s time to move to the last question..

Step 6: What can you do to move forward?

You’ve narrowed down and explored your options and now it’s time to take action. I know this part is hard.

What if it isn’t right? What if there is something else out there? What if it’s the worst decision I ever make? Arrgghh!

These are all real and good questions, but not if they stop you from moving forward towards a more fulfilling life. If you’re feeling hesitant about taking the next step, let me give you a different way to look at it.

If you’re unhappy where you are now, what is the bigger risk? Staying where you are out of fear of doing the wrong thing OR moving forward and seeing where it leads you? It’s better to rock the boat than to die sinking in it, right?

Once you’ve decided, it’s time to act. What’s your first step? Take it.

Give yourself a deadline, a timeline or a goal to make it happen so you can move from ideas to reality.

Your turn

Make a decision about which option is best for you to move forward into the life you want. Then, take the first step towards that option. Then the next and the next one after that.

So, what ARE you doing with your life?

Just the sheer fact that you’re asking yourself what you’re doing with your life is a step in the right direction. A mentor of mine always said, 90% of solving a problem is awareness that it exists. You know you need to do something.

Now, if you’re serious about moving forward, it’s time to take the time and put in the effort and answer the questions above. Then, like Sabine and Max, be willing to take action – to step forward into a more fulfilling future – even if you’re not exactly sure how it’s going to play out.

Be brave. You’ve got this. It’s not too late. It’s your life, and, yes, it can be everything you’ve imagined.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Why Being a People Pleaser is Terrible for Your Productivity

You most likely were drawn to this article because you believe you are a people pleaser. Your friends ask of you one thing, your family another, and your boss is on top of you insisting that a job due tomorrow should have been completed yesterday. You say “yes” to it all.

All of this leaves no room for you or your work. Meanwhile, you’re just going around in circles, feeling as if no work actually gets done. The feeling is familiar to many, which is why it’s important to understand how people pleasing can negatively impact your productivity.

The solutions to reduce your people pleasing tendencies will be simple to implement, but not easy. So if you are expecting a magic pill, you won’t find it here. But, the good news is, with a little change of attitude and practice, you’ll be able to make positive changes in your productivity.

Below you’ll find a list of 6 things to do to stop being a people pleaser and increase your productivity:

Pass on People Pleasing for More Productivity

1. Make Sure it Moves the Needle

Have you heard about the Pareto principle? If not, the Pareto principle tells us that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes.

20% of the things you do cause 80% of the effects. This can apply to wealth (20% of people hold 80% of wealth), territory (20% of people own 80% of land), productivity (20% of the things you do produce 80% of your results), and many more situations.

But how do we use the Pareto principle in action? It’s simple. Just ask yourself one question: “Does it move the needle?”

This is a question Brendon Burchard asks himself to determine his focus. If doing the action will help him come closer to his goal, he will do it. If not–and it doesn’t matter how good of an opportunity it is–he will skip it.

 “A ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ is irrelevant if it is the wrong opportunity.” –Jim Collins

Moving the Pareto 80/20 rule to 87/13

Greg Alexander, founder of Sales Benchmark Index, indexed more than 1100 B2B sales organization and found out that the rule of 80/20 shifted to 87/13. Now the 13% of salesman did 87% of all revenue.

And, this was after the salesman got the sales training and knew about the Pareto principle. But the 13% didn’t just know about the principle, they were rigorous in implementing it.

That’s why I said that these solutions are simple to implement, but not easy.

Asking yourself the question “Does it move the needle?” is easy, but implementing a change of action after getting a response is difficult. Because if you are a people pleaser, telling someone “No” will be a hard act to do.

But as you see above, doing so will yield massive results.

You may say to yourself: but there are a number of people who say “yes” to everything and still appear to be successful! What gives?

The keyword here is “appear” and the next part of the article will explain that perception.

2. Stop Running in Circles

You look around and see all of these people “making it.” They run around, say “yes” to everything, do everything, have the perfect family, perfect life, perfect job, perfect relationships.

But, that’s only what is apparent on the surface. If you actually took time to investigate how these people have been spending their last 5 years, you will most likely see that they are running in circles.

They are using speed instead of velocity and here is the difference:

Take an airplane which goes 700 miles per hour with its goal to reach Miami (point B) from New York (point A). However, instead of traveling straight there, the plane flies around in circles, covering great mileage with an enormous speed but still not getting to the targeted place. The pilot can brag later on that he flew 2500 miles in less than 4 hours, but the truth is that he still got nowhere – that is speed.

Though, if an airplane travels only 500 miles per hour but flies straight from New York to Miami, it will get there in a 2 and half hours. This plane traveled half the mileage (1250 miles) and it was slower than the first plane. Nothing for the pilot to brag about here, except that they hit their goal directly. [1]

This is the difference between people who seem to be people pleasers and still managed to do everything – they run around in circles thinking that they are getting things done while in reality, they are in the same place where they were 5 years ago.

You may be thinking, “Well I got where I am by being a people pleaser and saying “Yes” to everything.” But, as Marshall Goldsmith said it best: “What got you here, won’t get you there.” And that is the next solution we will dive into.

3. What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

When you just start out, many people will tell you to take every opportunity there is. And, they may recommend, if there are no opportunities then create some yourself.

This is actually great advice when just starting out, as you have less to do and oftentimes saying yes leads to immense opportunity.

Peter Diamandis, co-founder of Abundance 360 and X-prize has a variation of this in his “Peter’s Law” number 2: “When given a choice, take both.”

So if you are just starting out, you know what to do: say “yes”! But as you to grow and take on more responsibility then you will quickly come to a place where being a people pleaser and saying “yes” to everything becomes a problem.

That’s when the phrase “What got you here, won’t get you there” comes into play.

At this point, you need to start saying no to almost everything – except for the things that “move the needle.”

This is really hard for our minds to comprehend because our mind is a non-stop meaning-making machine. And that means that it looks for a pattern in everything we are doing so that we believe that the thing that worked in the past will work now.

Being a people pleaser may have worked before – but it won’t work now. Convincing your mind that “what got you here won’t get you there” is a difficult task, but you can do it.

You become good by knowing what to do. You become great by knowing what not to do.

So, what else do you need to do become more productive? Procrastination and be boredom! Yes, that’s right. That is the next solution on our list.

4. Procrastinate More

If you are going to create on a big level and do only the things that move the needle, then you need to have off periods – times when you are doing nothing.

This time is necessary for the mind to recuperate even though our minds never fully go off – you can’t stop thinking.

Does this mean that by not doing anything, we can actually increase our productivity?

The answer lies in the difference between idleness and boredom.

Idleness is laziness and indolence – it’s refusing to do what needs to be done.
Boredom, on the other hand, is a pause between inactivities–a deliberate escape from activity altogether.

When you have time to be bored, take that time to cease all activities and do something relaxing such as talking a walk, showering or simply zone out with some great music.

Your conscious mind will relax and enjoy while your unconscious will actually work on your tasks and problems. In these moments of boredom and relaxation, you will find one of the biggest discoveries in your life and work.

It is how how Albert Einstein got the idea for the Theory of Relativity. [2]

Just because you have spare time, doesn’t mean you actually need to do something with it.

Rest is as important as work – and if you are a people pleaser, start defending your time like your life depends on it.

You may still not be convinced. You may think. “But isn’t everyone who is a people pleaser making it work?” Truth be told, if you do what everyone else is doing, you will end up as everyone else.

As Ramit Sethi said: “When everyone zigs, you zag.” Which is our next solution.

5. When Everyone Zigs, You Zag

There isn’t a sane person in this world who would tell you not to listen to your boss and do as he or she tells you to do.

Yet, here is a story to contradict that notion:

The Story of Shane Parrish

Shane started out his career right after graduation, in an intelligence agency, working with the government within a very niche cyber-related area.

In the first year, his boss would show up at his desk and throw new projects at him almost every single day.

And the projects weren’t the type where you spend 15 minutes and voila, get a solution. They were simply busywork. Shane’s response?  “That sounds amazing, but it’s not for me. I’m busy enough.”

Yep, his boss came to him and gave him work and he responded with a “no”.

Shane Parrish was the new kid there, and every single one of colleagues pulled him aside and told him “You’re not going to get anywhere with that attitude.”

But Shane knew the difference between busywork and work which moves the needle. While everyone was zigging, doing everything their bosses wanted them to do and going nowhere with that, Shane Parrish was zagging and focusing only on the crucial work.

Again, telling your boss “No” is quite simple, but not easy.
Enduring your peer pressure is quite simple, but not easy.
Staying on your course when everyone tells you to change it is simple, but not easy.

“The difference between successful and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” –Warren Buffett

But all of these solutions are going to be in vain if you don’t master one simple skill – and that is the art of saying “no”. Being a people pleaser is not a bad thing but you need to know that it won’t get you where you want to go.

And that brings us to the final solution:

6. The Art of Saying “No”

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” –Tim Ferriss

These words ring true no matter who you are or what you are doing with your life. All of the solutions above will work, but they will require that you are able to say “no” to people. And for a people pleaser, that is the hardest thing to do. I know because I used to have big people pleasing tendencies.

Many people feel that they need to have a really good reason for saying “no” because otherwise, others may think that you are being rude or selfish. But the art of saying “no” is the way forward. When you are clear on your purpose of doing work (does it move the needle?), you will have a compelling reason to say it.

But how to actually do it?

To do that, we will borrow the knowledge of Chris Voss, one of the negotiating masterminds who regularly beat negotiating professors at Harvard in their own games.

Say “No” like your life depends on it

So what does Chris Voss actually tells us? Instead of saying ‘No’, say “How can I do that?”

Negotiation, as he put it, is not about being a problem solver, it’s about being a people mover.

So instead of simply saying no, you can confront people – and get your way – without confrontation. And this is coming from a man who confronted terrorists and mass murders and got what he wanted.

So how to do it?

Here is a step-by-step process on how to say “No” without saying “No” by Chris Voss:

  1. Use the late-night FM DJ Voice (voice of calm and reason that conveys “I’m in control”)
  2. Start with “I’m sorry…”
  3. Mirror. (When you repeat the last three words – or the critical one to three words – of what someone just said.)
  4. Silence. At least four seconds, to let the mirror work its magic on your counterpart.
  5. Repeat.

Chriss Voss gave us an example of how that looks like in a conversation between a boss who wants everything in a physical copy and employee who wants to go full digital:

“Make two copies of all the paperwork.”
“I’m sorry. Two copies?” (DJ voice + mirror)
“Yes, one for us and one for the customer.”
“I’m sorry, so you’re saying that the client is asking for a copy and we need a copy for internal use?” (wanting to understand)
“Actually – I’ll check with the client- they haven’t asked for anything. But I definitely want a copy. That’s just how I do business.”
“Absolutely. Thanks for checking with the customer. Where would you like to store the in-house copy? There is no more space in the file room here.”
“It’s fine. You can store it anywhere.”
“Anywhere? (mirror)
*silence*
“As a matter of fact, you can put them in my office. I’ll get the new assistant to print it for me after the project is done. For now, just create two digital backups”

A day later the boss emailed her with “The two digital backups will be fine.”

Wrap it Up Like a Gift

We have seen the 6 solutions that help you become more productive by stop being a people pleaser.

The solutions are:

  1. Does it move the needle?
  2. Speed vs. Velocity – Why you might be running in circles
  3. What got you here, won’t get you there
  4. Productivity involves having time for procrastination
  5. When everyone zigs, you zag
  6. The art of saying “No”

So the next time someone asks you something that you know will mess up with your productivity, it’s okay to say “yes” to them but do it like this:

“Yes. Which of the other projects should I de-prioritize to pay attention to this new project?”

If you know a people pleaser or just someone who needs help with their productivity, share this article with them; if it has helped you, it will most likely help them as well.

Featured photo credit: Photo by bruce mars from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-man-in-white-dress-shirt-holding-phone-near-window-859265/ via pexels.com

Reference

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What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

With this ever so competitive era consistently demanding people to be their best versions all the time, setbacks are bound to occur some stage. Be it failing to secure a job at the company of your dreams or not being able to marry the girl you held so close to your heart, many people dive into self-destructing coping mechanisms that take a toll on their mental as well as physical health.

This is where being resilient is so much more significant as it not only helps us to make a strong comeback whenever we lose control of our life, but also propels us in the right direction to attain the goals we cherish.

In this article, I will explain to you what resilience is and how you can apply it to life to become a better and tougher person.

  • What is resilience

    Resilience is a method of how well a person can adapt to a situation when faced with trauma, stress, tragedy or other likewise scenarios. Simply put, it means getting your life back on track every time you’re being knocked down by a difficult experience.

    Studies undertaken by numerous psychologists point out that a person blessed with good resilience has the knack of turning their fortunes fairly quickly as compared to their counterpart who might struggle for a longer duration before getting their act together.

    However, it does not necessarily mean that a person who portrays resilience effectively eventually becomes untouched by difficult experiences or traumatic situations in life. It is just that those people just know how being resilient can be beneficial for them.

    Resilience is not a quality that people may or may not have. It consists a set pattern of thoughts or ideas that can be mastered and used into practice by any individual over time.

    Why resilience is important to your life

    With a lot more people finding their lives in the doldrums, being resilient has never been as vital as it has become today.

    As per a research carried out at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, depression has risen significantly over the last decade or so, especially among the teenagers. Also, the number of professionals queuing up outside a psychiatrist’s office has also registered a steep rise.

    A closer sneak peek into resilience can help us throw light on the vast benefits it has in store for us:

    Opportunity to introspect

    Whenever we let ourselves or a close one down, a feeling of guilt can easily creep in not only making us look dejected but also lets us lose all hopes and aspirations of further doing anything right. But these moments of challenges also help us to turn a new leaf by defying all odds and reach the pinnacle of success.

    During these testing times, it is wiser to take a step back and try to understand who we really are and what we would like to become. Trying to understand our thoughts and ideas can help us analyze the situation better and see alternatives that we might not have paid heed to at all in the first place.

    Self-discovery can be a life changing experience that can shape the direction of our entire life, breaking barriers of orthodox mindset and paving way for a brighter future. After all, the difficulties in life are nothing but opportunities to enhance ourselves.

    Immunity towards adversity

    Think about a problem that had been giving you sleepless nights recently. What if you had pulled it in a corner instead of breaking sweat when it first surfaced? That’s what resilient people do.

    Resilient people understand that it is not the problem but our mindset towards it that eventually matters in the end. It’s not that resilient people who have fine-tuned the art of bouncing back in life find facing their struggles a walk in the park, it is just that they know how to embrace them meticulously.

    Change is the only constant, so why not adapt to the constant change happening around us? This can only not open up more career opportunities for you, but also prepare you to take every challenge of your life in the best possible way.

    Enlighten your mind

    Resilience is a key element that helps to re-develop our thinking and learning patterns. Whenever we find ourselves deep in trouble, we draw inspiration from similar experiences of others and try to imitate their feat to help us conquer our existing fear.

    We must break away from our old selves that limit the ability of our mind. Instead, we should fuel it with meaningful knowledge and theories that build our wisdom. Strengthening the mind through habits like reading helps us to focus clearly on our long term vision.

    Resilience helps you to take care of yourself not only physically but spiritually as well. When things are not going bright in the outer world, you can connect with the inner self to look for a clarity of goal and re-develop your march towards victory.

    Not to mention, when you understand your inner desires better, it helps you to adapt better to the surroundings.

    Fulfill your dreams

    Some people put everything at stake to achieve their ambitions. However, if victory eludes them in the first attempt, they prefer giving up on the dream and follow the crowd who might have always wished for their downfall.

    It is crucial to stay focused all the time and not accept defeat until you cross the finishing line. Resilience and motivation go hand-in-hand and always push you forward in your relentless pursuit of the bigger picture.

    You only live once, so why not give your best shot at your dream until you can finally lay your hands on it? There is nothing like getting to live your dream when the odds were stacked up against you. This will lead you to be successful just the way you want.

    Connect with like-minded people

    Everyone wants to be connected with people who have a positive influence on them and from whom they can draw inspiration.

    Being resilient can help you develop bond with groups and communities that think alike and love helping each other towards their goals.

    How to do build resilience (a step-by-step guide)

    Whether you find yourself engaged with a challenge right now or would like to be in a better position to tackle the next one, there are a few ways that can help you become resilient and improve the way you look at your challenges.

    Here goes the list:

    1. Believe in yourself

    Research has shown that a majority of people remain unsure of what instigates their everyday behavior. Labelled as motives, our behavior is primarily based on what we think of ourselves. The beliefs we carry in our minds or the ideas we preach will determine the course of our actions.

    Below are a few ways to develop self-belief that can work wonders in your life.

    • Make bold decisions. Set practical goals that you feel are achievable in a certain time-frame. Implement a strategy as to how you plan to achieve that goal. Once you reach the desired outcome, only then it is wiser to push your limits and aim for a higher goal.
    • Appreciate yourself. Most people get too harsh on themselves at times, which not only puts a dent into their self-confidence but also inculcates negative thoughts. Therefore, it’s always wiser to give yourself a pat on the back, even for a tiny accomplishment. This goes a long way in inducing self-belief.
    • Avoid comparisons. Making comparisons with others can also let your self-belief vanish in thin air. Even though you might be good at your trade, there will always be someone who could be better than you. The comparison game will only harm your self-belief. Making comparisons is instilled strongly in our nature, but can always try to reduce it by keeping your mind busy doing productive tasks.

    2. Become action-oriented

    Always shying away from your problem and putting it off to solve it another day will only elevate it further. You may not get all the answers to your problem initially, but solving it by bits and pieces actively will surely lead to a successful outcome.

    Some ways that can help you prevent procrastination and be more action-oriented:

    • Set deadlines. Begin by making a to-do list that includes all the tasks that you probably have been avoiding recently. Then set deadlines as to when you’ll likely want to get them done.
    • Cut down on temptations. Get rid of any distractions that might pull you down from achieving your deadlines. If you think your phone texts or notifications is the biggest hindrance, keep your phone away from you or turn the notifications off until you cover your goal for the day.
    • Reveal your intentions. Take your family and friends aware of your goals and deadlines, so they can push you towards it whenever you refrain from showing up. Letting others know your intentions will also add pressure on you to perform when everyone expects a desired outcome from you.
    • Pamper yourself. Always have a reward carrot in place. In case you finish your assignment now, you can buy your favorite meal. This will help you to get things done more efficiently and timely.

    If you want to start taking actions and stop putting things off, this guide can help you: A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

    3. Give a helping hand

    Reaching out to the needy is a great way to build your own resilience. According to researchers, the neurotransmitter serotonin that regulates mood and social behavior builds up when we engage in acts of kindness.

    • Volunteer. Volunteering is one of the best ways to help others and bring a smile on their face. Take some time and visit a charity nearby, and let them know you are there to help in whatever way you could.
    • Donate. Instead of discarding your old clothes or any household items, you can give them to someone who can make better use of it. You can also get some food for a homeless person rather than just giving them money.
    • Teach. You can teach your friend a new skill that you’ve recently mastered, or lend help to a child who might be finding his homework difficult. Teaching something will always help you connect better with others and improve your problem solving skills.
    • Compliment. Compliment your colleague in front of others for a presentation that have been working hard on. You can also compliment a complete stranger for their appearance or attire that can make their day. You never know–by striking a conversation with a stranger, you could win a friend or business partner for life. Plus, there is hardly anyone who doesn’t like to be complimented.

    4. Enhance your skill bucket

    Learning a new skill set at any age never goes out of fashion. Want to learn how to play guitar but don’t have time for it? Look for any online course or a video session that can help introduce you to a few basics. As building up new skills becomes mandatory to get ahead in life, here are a few tips you could follow to start your journey for self-improvement.

    • Clarity of thought. While beginning a new skill set, it is important to know what we really want to attain out of it. A chef might want to learn making a new cuisine to help his restaurant attract more customers. Similarly, someone may want to learn a new language to open up more career opportunities. It is beneficial for you to know how that skill can help for you to grow.
    • Learn how it suits you. Living in an era where abundant information is just a few clicks away is always a boon to have. In case you don’t have a budget to enroll for a professional course, you can easily access all the blogs, videos and online channels. You can also join community groups where people with similar interests can bond with you.
    • Don’t rush into things. Select one skill set at a time and try to understand how you can adapt in by breaking it into smaller achievable goals. For example, if you want to be a better writer, start by reading books and articles of famous writers and writing a journal for 15 minutes everyday.

    The takeaways

    Rome was not built in a day, nor can resilience be built in a day. Even if you currently find yourself struggling with your share of problems, it’s time to move on and bring about a positive change in your lifestyle that can help you become a better version of yourself.

    While we cannot change our personality in a blink of an eye, we can certainly make an effort to change our perspective immediately towards our problems. As you set your mind towards new challenges, your resilience towards achieving them gets stronger.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    The post What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide) appeared first on Lifehack.

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    How to Stop Worrying About Your Future (and Start Saving Time!)

    Have you ever lost sleep worrying about something that has yet to happen?

    Has worrying about the future interrupted your productivity? Your flow? Your day? Your mood?

    If you answered “yes”, you are not alone.

    Worry happens to all of us, particularly when it comes to events, people, and things that are important.

    The trouble with worry is it is a complete and total waste of our valuable time and energy. We all know that on a logical level, and yet we still worry.

    Here’s the good news; while we may never learn how to stop worrying about the future completely, there are ways to help us better manage that worry so we can save ourselves some time. In this article, we’ll go over exactly how to do just that.

  • Worrying Wastes Time And Energy

    “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” –Leo F. Buscaglia

    Part of managing worry is being aware of the costs. When we create awareness we are better able to create proactive solutions to minimize or eliminate that cost.

    • Cost #1: Worrying about what has yet to happen uses up valuable mental real estate and time.

    “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere” –Erma Bombeck

    • Cost #2: While worry may give you something to do, you most likely have better things to do with your time and your energy. For example, you could instead focus on your to-do list or notice the multitude of opportunities waiting for you. Focusing on worry not only makes it difficult to handle your to-do list, it also blocks you from seeing those opportunities or the steps that lead to them.
    • Cost #3: Worrying about the future is also an energy drain leaving you susceptible to more worry. Did you know that worry takes advantage of the times when your energy is low? That is when worry is at its most powerful.
    • Cost #4: It is a present moment joy crusher that can lower not just your energy but also your mood.
    • Cost #5: Speaking of mood; worry never gets you anywhere. Worry does not get you to a place where everything is OK. It does not make sure that everything is taken care of. Actually it does the opposite.
    • Cost #6: Worrying about the future creates a vicious loop of more worry about the future.

    What does worrying about the future cost you?

    Tried and True Worry Busting Techniques

    When I find myself worrying about the future, I use the following techniques to manage the worry. (Just a little side note: I like to switch it up a bit. I use a different technique each time I find myself worried about the future, or worried about anything for that matter.)

    Practice Mindfulness

    Since worrying about the future pulls us into the future, nothing busts worry faster than some good old fashion present moment mindfulness.

    Take a look around and notice what is surrounding you. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you taste? What do you hear? What do you smell?

    Taking note of your surroundings by using your senses is an awesome way to pull yourself into the present moment where future-related worry cannot bother you.

    Do Deep Breathing

    Have you ever noticed your breathing when you are worrying? If not, the next time you are worried about a future-related event check in with your breathing.

    Worrying causes our breathing to become shallow. And, deep breathing can help us to relax and get us out of worry mode.

    Here are two techniques to use to engage those deep breathes and cue the relaxation:

    The first is the 4,4,and 4 technique. Give it a try right now by taking a deep breath in through your nose to a count of four. Then let the breath out through your nose or mouth to a count of four. Do that four times. (Another side note: Be sure to do this technique slowly so you do not hyperventilate or make yourself dizzy.)

    The second technique is called Oxytocin Breathing because it actually releases the powerful hormone oxytocin into your brain. This is the same hormone that is released when you are hugging or kissing someone you love or after making love.

    Just a word of caution: you may not want to do this breathing technique in the middle of your busy office or a crowded street. It is best to do it some place private.

    Here’s how to do Oxytocin Breathing:

    Take a REALLY deep breath so that you are filling up your belly with air. Once you feel your belly expand to the point that you can no longer take in any more air, release it slowly by letting out an audible “Haaaaaaaaaaaahhh”.

    Repeat this technique a few times until you feel yourself relaxing.

    Check out this video to see the technique in action.

    By the way, worry hates deep breathing so this is one of the quickest and the easiest techniques to use.

    Express Extra Gratitude

    As you are probably already aware, worry creates negative thoughts (and feelings). Gratitude does the exact opposite.

    Since your brain can not think positive and negative thoughts at the same time gratitude is an awesome worry buster. Not to mention it’s something you can do any where, any time, especially when you are short on time.

    I actually use gratitude when worry wakes me up in the middle of the night. When this happens, I begin listing all the things I am grateful for until I fall back to sleep. It works like a charm.

    Similar to the present moment exercise, take a look around.

    Really quickly begin listing at least three things (or more) that you are grateful for. It could be the chair you are sitting in or the sleeping pet at your feet. Just start listing and before you know it the feeling of gratitude will replace the negative feeling that worry causes.

    Lean Into “What Ifs”

    It is all too common to want to shove worry aside or try and stuff it. Especially when you have a tight project deadline or a calendar full of obligations. Doing so, however, is just an invitation for the worry to stick around even longer.

    Rather than try to ignore the worry, lean into by asking yourself the following question, “What if what I’m worrying about were to actually happen?”

    Once you have your answer then ask yourself this follow-up question, “Then what would happen?” Keep asking the follow-up question until you have run out of “then what’s”.

    I always find that doing this exercise takes the bite out of worry. I also walk away with a plan should what I’m worrying about actually happen. (Which, by the way, usually does not happen.)

    Take Back Control

    “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” — The Dalai Lama

    What do you have control over? What can you fix? What can you do to prevent whatever you are worrying about from happening?

    For many us worry creates a feeling of being out of control and not safe. Doing things that are within our control helps us to regain those feelings of control and safety.

    Tighten and Release

    When you are worried, do you often feel a tightness in your stomach or your neck? Use that tightness to help you relax.

    It sounds funny, but go ahead and tighten every muscle in your body. Tighten your legs, suck in your stomach, clench your bottom, tighten your arms, and make fists. Hold your muscles in that tight position for just a moment, and then release all your muscles.

    This technique is called Progressive Muscle Relaxation. It combats worry and even stress by creating awareness around what the body feels like when it is in a relaxed state. And when you are in a relaxed state you are not in a state of worry.

    Use Worry As A Gauge

    Worry serves as a great gauge to let us know what is important and what is not. When you are worrying about something, tune-in to the gauge.

    How important is what you are worrying about on a scale of 1-10? If you gave it a 5 or less, ask yourself this question,”Since this thing I’m worried about isn’t super important, what is really driving the worry?”

    If you gave it a 5 or higher then it’s time to turn worry into a motivator to start taking action. To help, go back to the Take Back Control technique and ask yourself those questions.

    Write or Talk It Out

    Getting worry out of your head diminishes it. It is like the old analogy that if you shine a light on bacteria it dies. But if you keep it in the dark it grows.

    If you do not feel comfortable talking it out with a friend, family member, coach, or another trusted professional, try writing about it. Get it all out on paper and then throw the paper away.

    Writing about your future-related worry takes the charge out of it and creates more clarity and awareness.

    Worrying Has Nothing On You

    The next time you find yourself worrying about the future:

    • Create awareness around what the worry is costing you.
    • Use one or more of the worry busting techniques.
    • Remember that you are not alone when it comes to worrying (we all do it).

    So, there you have it. By following the steps above you’ll be able to have a more worry-free life so that you can reclaim your precious time and get stuff done!

    Featured photo credit: Freely via freelyphotos.com

    The post How to Stop Worrying About Your Future (and Start Saving Time!) appeared first on Lifehack.

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    How to Stop Worrying About Your Future (and Start Saving Time!)

    Have you ever lost sleep worrying about something that has yet to happen?

    Has worrying about the future interrupted your productivity? Your flow? Your day? Your mood?

    If you answered “yes”, you are not alone.

    Worry happens to all of us, particularly when it comes to events, people, and things that are important.

    The trouble with worry is it is a complete and total waste of our valuable time and energy. We all know that on a logical level, and yet we still worry.

    Here’s the good news; while we may never learn how to stop worrying about the future completely, there are ways to help us better manage that worry so we can save ourselves some time. In this article, we’ll go over exactly how to do just that.

  • Worrying Wastes Time And Energy

    “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” –Leo F. Buscaglia

    Part of managing worry is being aware of the costs. When we create awareness we are better able to create proactive solutions to minimize or eliminate that cost.

    • Cost #1: Worrying about what has yet to happen uses up valuable mental real estate and time.

    “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere” –Erma Bombeck

    • Cost #2: While worry may give you something to do, you most likely have better things to do with your time and your energy. For example, you could instead focus on your to-do list or notice the multitude of opportunities waiting for you. Focusing on worry not only makes it difficult to handle your to-do list, it also blocks you from seeing those opportunities or the steps that lead to them.
    • Cost #3: Worrying about the future is also an energy drain leaving you susceptible to more worry. Did you know that worry takes advantage of the times when your energy is low? That is when worry is at its most powerful.
    • Cost #4: It is a present moment joy crusher that can lower not just your energy but also your mood.
    • Cost #5: Speaking of mood; worry never gets you anywhere. Worry does not get you to a place where everything is OK. It does not make sure that everything is taken care of. Actually it does the opposite.
    • Cost #6: Worrying about the future creates a vicious loop of more worry about the future.

    What does worrying about the future cost you?

    Tried and True Worry Busting Techniques

    When I find myself worrying about the future, I use the following techniques to manage the worry. (Just a little side note: I like to switch it up a bit. I use a different technique each time I find myself worried about the future, or worried about anything for that matter.)

    Practice Mindfulness

    Since worrying about the future pulls us into the future, nothing busts worry faster than some good old fashion present moment mindfulness.

    Take a look around and notice what is surrounding you. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you taste? What do you hear? What do you smell?

    Taking note of your surroundings by using your senses is an awesome way to pull yourself into the present moment where future-related worry cannot bother you.

    Do Deep Breathing

    Have you ever noticed your breathing when you are worrying? If not, the next time you are worried about a future-related event check in with your breathing.

    Worrying causes our breathing to become shallow. And, deep breathing can help us to relax and get us out of worry mode.

    Here are two techniques to use to engage those deep breathes and cue the relaxation:

    The first is the 4,4,and 4 technique. Give it a try right now by taking a deep breath in through your nose to a count of four. Then let the breath out through your nose or mouth to a count of four. Do that four times. (Another side note: Be sure to do this technique slowly so you do not hyperventilate or make yourself dizzy.)

    The second technique is called Oxytocin Breathing because it actually releases the powerful hormone oxytocin into your brain. This is the same hormone that is released when you are hugging or kissing someone you love or after making love.

    Just a word of caution: you may not want to do this breathing technique in the middle of your busy office or a crowded street. It is best to do it some place private.

    Here’s how to do Oxytocin Breathing:

    Take a REALLY deep breath so that you are filling up your belly with air. Once you feel your belly expand to the point that you can no longer take in any more air, release it slowly by letting out an audible “Haaaaaaaaaaaahhh”.

    Repeat this technique a few times until you feel yourself relaxing.

    Check out this video to see the technique in action.

    By the way, worry hates deep breathing so this is one of the quickest and the easiest techniques to use.

    Express Extra Gratitude

    As you are probably already aware, worry creates negative thoughts (and feelings). Gratitude does the exact opposite.

    Since your brain can not think positive and negative thoughts at the same time gratitude is an awesome worry buster. Not to mention it’s something you can do any where, any time, especially when you are short on time.

    I actually use gratitude when worry wakes me up in the middle of the night. When this happens, I begin listing all the things I am grateful for until I fall back to sleep. It works like a charm.

    Similar to the present moment exercise, take a look around.

    Really quickly begin listing at least three things (or more) that you are grateful for. It could be the chair you are sitting in or the sleeping pet at your feet. Just start listing and before you know it the feeling of gratitude will replace the negative feeling that worry causes.

    Lean Into “What Ifs”

    It is all too common to want to shove worry aside or try and stuff it. Especially when you have a tight project deadline or a calendar full of obligations. Doing so, however, is just an invitation for the worry to stick around even longer.

    Rather than try to ignore the worry, lean into by asking yourself the following question, “What if what I’m worrying about were to actually happen?”

    Once you have your answer then ask yourself this follow-up question, “Then what would happen?” Keep asking the follow-up question until you have run out of “then what’s”.

    I always find that doing this exercise takes the bite out of worry. I also walk away with a plan should what I’m worrying about actually happen. (Which, by the way, usually does not happen.)

    Take Back Control

    “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” — The Dalai Lama

    What do you have control over? What can you fix? What can you do to prevent whatever you are worrying about from happening?

    For many us worry creates a feeling of being out of control and not safe. Doing things that are within our control helps us to regain those feelings of control and safety.

    Tighten and Release

    When you are worried, do you often feel a tightness in your stomach or your neck? Use that tightness to help you relax.

    It sounds funny, but go ahead and tighten every muscle in your body. Tighten your legs, suck in your stomach, clench your bottom, tighten your arms, and make fists. Hold your muscles in that tight position for just a moment, and then release all your muscles.

    This technique is called Progressive Muscle Relaxation. It combats worry and even stress by creating awareness around what the body feels like when it is in a relaxed state. And when you are in a relaxed state you are not in a state of worry.

    Use Worry As A Gauge

    Worry serves as a great gauge to let us know what is important and what is not. When you are worrying about something, tune-in to the gauge.

    How important is what you are worrying about on a scale of 1-10? If you gave it a 5 or less, ask yourself this question,”Since this thing I’m worried about isn’t super important, what is really driving the worry?”

    If you gave it a 5 or higher then it’s time to turn worry into a motivator to start taking action. To help, go back to the Take Back Control technique and ask yourself those questions.

    Write or Talk It Out

    Getting worry out of your head diminishes it. It is like the old analogy that if you shine a light on bacteria it dies. But if you keep it in the dark it grows.

    If you do not feel comfortable talking it out with a friend, family member, coach, or another trusted professional, try writing about it. Get it all out on paper and then throw the paper away.

    Writing about your future-related worry takes the charge out of it and creates more clarity and awareness.

    Worrying Has Nothing On You

    The next time you find yourself worrying about the future:

    • Create awareness around what the worry is costing you.
    • Use one or more of the worry busting techniques.
    • Remember that you are not alone when it comes to worrying (we all do it).

    So, there you have it. By following the steps above you’ll be able to have a more worry-free life so that you can reclaim your precious time and get stuff done!

    Featured photo credit: Freely via freelyphotos.com

    The post How to Stop Worrying About Your Future (and Start Saving Time!) appeared first on Lifehack.

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    Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

    Have you ever considered your life now, and how it would be if you had more time to spend with your family and less worries about money?

    Nowadays, financial stress is one of the most troublesome weights in life. If you’ve ever encountered financial stress, you know the difficulty of not having enough income to pay your obligations or bills.

    Many people say that money is not the ultimate goal of life. While that’s true, money certainly plays a very significant role. The meaning of financial freedom changes with the different phases of our life, but ultimately, it is something that many people strive for.

    In this article, we’ll explain how to capture that financial freedom you’ve been looking for. Read on to learn the secrets to financial freedom.

  • Break Free of Your Finances

    Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.

    When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. It’s the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.

    Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.

    Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.

    To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, you’ll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.

    While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.

    Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.

    1. Stop Unnecessary Spending

    We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively.

    For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances.

    To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month.

    Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase?

    This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

    2. Plan a Monthly Budget

    This is a great opportunity to get serious.

    Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand.

    Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

    3. Cut-up Credit Cards

    Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game.

    If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring.

    Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up!

    Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

    4. Increase Savings

    There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life.

    It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income.

    Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps.

    Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

    5. Invest Wisely

    Consider investing in funds.

    Specifically, you will gain higher returns if you invest in different types of mutual funds such as Debt funds, Equity funds and Hybrid funds with a proper balance, although it absolutely relies on your personal preferences and sense of risk taking.

    To get the most of these benefits, make sure you are investing in a variety of assets. Another resource of investing in mutual funds is SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) where you invest some money every month in funds. SIP works by averaging the per unit price of the stock.

    Mutual fund investors are aware of the benefits of an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). For one, it is the most secure way to invest in equity mutual plans so that wealth is created over a long period of time. This plan also helps you to gain a better sense of financial discipline, which will come in handy in all your financial endeavors.

    6. Invest in Gold

    There isn’t really a better way to invest in gold than to have the physical gold itself in your possession.

    You can purchase gold coins and bars from mints as well as from coin dealers and other private sellers.

    Another way to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

    These are is similar to mutual funds but they are exclusively investments of gold. ETFs are great because they offer more liquidity; the ETF owns the actual physical gold, stores it, and retains the value of the shares. These shares can then be bought and sold in the stock market, and one big benefit is that the transaction costs of gold ETFs are much lower than the that of physical gold.

    With its consistently-increasing demand, investment in gold can be very wise long-term investment to make.

    7. Stash Emergency Funds

    Whether it’s a cash gift or a work bonus, always try to save any extra money that comes your way rather than making unneeded purchases.

    If you get paid every other week, you’ll get an “extra” paycheck (three rather than the usual two) twice a year. Either save those paychecks towards your emergency funds or utilize the money to pay down other obligations, such as loans, credit cards or other debts.

    Make it hard to get your cash.

    Put your savings in an alternate bank, maybe an online bank that forces you to delay for several business days before transferred money hits your regular bank account.

    8. Find Fabulous Mentors

    Find a mentor, such as a friend or family member, who has exceptional control over their finances and pay attention to everything they do.

    If you do not have any friends or family that are enjoying financial freedom, then find a mentor online! There are numerous blogs and guru websites featuring the advice of many people who have reached financial freedom, and they exist primarily to let you in on how to achieve it for yourself.

    There are also plentiful forums available that share tips and tricks on how to best achieve financial freedom. Read as much as you can and start changing your habits for the better.

    9. Be Extra Patient

    Patience is the key of financial success.

    Being patient can be quite tough, especially when you’re struggling with your finances, but having faith is worth it. You’ll continuously be on the right track if you are taking the proper steps above.

    So don’t be discouraged, even if you are only saving a few dollars a month; it all adds up. Within just a few years you’ll look back proudly at your accomplishments and be glad that you had the patience to get there.

    Financial Freedom for All

    Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of their financial circumstance.

    Use the tips provided above to get yourself on the track to financial freedom and toss your monetary concerns out the window. If you wish to achieve a life with financial freedom for yourself and your family then you must adopt a disciplined approach towards your finances.

    Following the simple secrets above is a great start to making your money work for you, so you can work less and live more!

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Hartford Gold Group: IRA Retirement Accounts

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    How to Explain Things Better and Make Others Understand Your Ideas Easily

    Do you ever find that you understand a topic, yet you can’t explain it to anyone?

    What if I told you there was a simple method you could use as a way to better understand and clearly communicate a concept or idea?

    There actually is a very simple method you can use called SEE-I. This method was originally created by Richard Paul and Linda Elder and has been refined into its current state by Gerald Nosich.

    So, what exactly is this method and how can you apply it?

    Let’s take a look.

  • What is the SEE-I method?

    SEE-I is an easy-to-use and methodological critical thinking technique assisting people in clarifying their ideas.[1] It stands for the following: State it, Elaborate, Exemplify, and Illustrate.

    Let’s examine each element of SEE-I:

    • State it: Clearly and succinctly state the concept or idea in a single sentence or two.
    • Elaborate: Explain it further in your own words.
    • Exemplify: Provide concrete examples and counter examples of the concept.
    • Illustrate: Provide a picture, diagram, metaphor or analogy of the concept.

    Essentially, SEE-I begins with a concise statement of the concept (S), followed by further elaboration in your own words (E). Then you are to provide specific examples and counter examples of the concept (E), Lastly, you end with an illustration of the concept (I).

    Let’s examine the following example of SEE-I:

    • Concept to understand/explain: Critical Thinking
    • State it: Critical thinking is a self-directed process by which we take deliberate steps to think at the highest level of quality.
    • Elaborate: In other words, critical thinking is “thinking about thinking” (metacognition) in order to make it better.
    • Example: Critical thinking is an analysis, an evaluation, and improvement. For example, it is an analysis of thinking by focusing on the parts (or the elements); an evaluation of thinking by focusing on the quality (or the standards); an improvement of thinking by using what you have learned.
    • Illustrate: A great interactive illustration of Critical Thinking (Analysis – Evaluation – Improvement) is the Online Model for Learning the Elements and Standards of Critical Thinking.

    How to apply SEE-I to explain stuff (Step-by-step guide)

    Let’s examine a step-by-step approach you can use to apply the SEE-I method.

    Step 1. State it

    Identify the concept or idea you wish to communicate – clearly and succinctly state the concept.

    Example: Learning is the gaining of knowledge, understanding, or ability.

    Step 2. Elaborate

    Using phrases such as: “In other words,” to further expand on your concept.

    Example: In other words, learning is a process where a person gains specific knowledge. It involves different degrees of progress. The learning process occurs through stressful repetitive perception allowing neural networks to adapt to the repetitive input. True learning is the internalization of the knowledge being learned. I know I have learned something when I can not only repeat the information, but when I can explain it, use it, and integrate it along with other knowledge.

    Step 3. Exemplify

    Using phrases such as: “For example,” to provide an example plus a counter example to your concept.

    Example: For example, a child slowly learns to ride a bike by being guided, practicing, and falling down. A counter example is repetition of the same mistakes over and over again.

    Step 4. Illustrate

    Find an image, picture, or design your own image to present your concept (i.e. use a metaphor or analogy as your illustration).

    Example: Learning is like a sponge absorbing whatever liquid it comes in contact with, yet does not get saturated.

    Summing it up

    The SEE-I method is a way to provide a clear and concise narrative to explain any concept or idea along with an illustration. In other words, the method allows you to further paraphrase your idea while providing strong examples supporting the concept and counter examples opposing it.

    The method clearly expresses an individuals understanding of a concept through a narrative and strong illustration through the use of a metaphor or analogy. In essence, it allows you an easy (and extremely simple) way to explain anything to anyone.

    For additional information on how to use the SEE-I method, read Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum by Gerald Nosich.

    Featured photo credit: Image via Gaurav Rukhana via dribbble.com

    Reference

    [1] CriticalThinking.org: The Foundation for Critical Thinking

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