Thursday, 2 January 2014

9 Things Happy, Successful People Choose to Ignore

1.  Other people’s judgments.
It’s OK to listen to others, but not at the full expense of your own intuition.  Throughout your life there will be many times when the world gets real quiet and the only thing left is the beat of your own heart.  So you’d better learn the sound of it, otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s telling you.

When you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you truly are.  So don’t fear the judgments of others; you know in your heart who you are and what’s true to you.  You don’t have to be someone else to impress and inspire people.  Let them be impressed and inspired by the real YOU.  Honestly, what does life matter if you lose yourself along the way?  Even your mentors should teach you HOW to think, not WHAT to think.  So if someone – anyone – is belittling your truth, it might be time to turn the other way.

2.  Old troubles from the past.
You can’t change what has already happened, so choose to look ahead instead of behind you.  Don’t stress.  Do your best.  Forget the rest.  Your past mistakes are meant to guide you, not define you.  Life is a beautiful circle.  You’re strong because you know your weaknesses.  You’re wise because you’ve been foolish.  You can laugh now because you’ve known sadness.

It’s crazy how you always end up where you’re meant to be – how even the most tragic and stressful situations eventually teach you important lessons that you never dreamed you were going to learn.  Remember, oftentimes when things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place.  Just because you’re not where you want to be today doesn’t mean you won’t be there someday.  Everything is going to be come together – maybe not today, but eventually.  (Angel and I cover this in more detail in the “Adversity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

3.  Each day’s little frustrations.
A bad day is just a bad day.  It comes and it goes.  Choose not to make it anything more.  You will find that it’s necessary to let some things go simply for the reason that they’re heavy on your heart and soul.  Go ahead and let go of them.  Don’t clamp shackles to your own ankles.  It’s incredibly easy to enjoy more of your life right now, no matter what the situation.  It’s just a matter of dropping of the layers of nonsense that are weighing you down.

Behind every beautiful day, there has been some kind of struggle.  You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn.  You’re human, not perfect.  You’ve been hurt, but you’re alive.  Think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive today – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, and to chase the things you love.  Sometimes there is sadness in your journey, but there is also lots of beauty.  You must keep putting one foot in front of the other even when it hurts, for you will never know what is waiting for you just around the bend.

Follow this daily to-do list and you’ll be just fine:

Think positively.
Eat healthy.
Exercise today.
Worry less.
Work hard.
Laugh often.
Sleep well.

4.  The necessary pain of hard work and growth.
There are two types of pain in life: pain that hurts you, and pain that changes you.  But when you learn from it, they are one and the same.  If you want something, you must endure the pain of working for it.  It’s that simple.  If you’re not where you want to be right now, take the time to visualize yourself in the place you want to be and take the first step in that direction.  You may not be able to change your destination in a day, but you can change your direction right now.

Remember, strength doesn’t come from what you can do.  It comes from overcoming the things you couldn’t.  Tough situations build strong, successful people.  No matter how much it hurts now, you have to hold your head up, grit your teeth, and keep going.  In the end, consistent action speaks for itself.  So focus diligently, work hard in silence, and let your success be your noise.

5.  Insignificant busywork.
In the beginning, you need to say “yes” to a lot of things to discover and establish your goals.  Later on, you need to say “no” to a lot of things and concentrate on your goals.  Stop over-committing and trying to do too much at once.  Start saying “no” more often.  If you never say “no,” you will take on too much and all you will achieve is stress and frustration.

As Bruce Lee once said, “It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease.  Hack away at the inessentials.”  Many of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.  Don’t be one of them.  It’s not what we claim are our priorities, but how we spend our time each day that reveals the truth.  Let your daily actions reflect your highest priorities.  (Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.)

6.  Impatient thoughts.
Patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in.  It’s the willingness to stay focused, confidently staking one small step at a time, knowing that the way you move a mountain is by moving one stone at a time.  Every stone you move, no matter how small, is progress.

Whether you are working on improving your health, learning a new skill, or getting a business venture off the ground, you can’t expect instant gratification.  Instead, you must dedicate yourself to the best of your ability and understand that real change takes time.  Sometimes it may be hard to see your progress.  Sometimes it will be frustrating when the results you seek don’t appear as quickly as you had hoped.  Still, you are advancing.  Hang in there.  You may be moving things along slowly, but you are still moving a mountain.

7.  The things that can’t be controlled.
Never force anything.  Do your best, then let it be.  If it’s meant to be, it will be.  Don’t hold yourself down with things you can’t control.  Stop talking about the problem and start thinking about the solution.  Forget what could go wrong for a sec and think of what is already right.

Remember, change happens for a reason.  Roll with it.  It won’t be ideal or easy at first, but it will be worth it in the end.  When times are good and everything is comfortably in order, it’s easy to become complacent and forget how skillful and resourceful you are capable of being.  Unanticipated troubles are necessary evils that push you forward, because they eventually end, but the lessons and growth you gain from them last a lifetime.

8.  Unfounded fears.
Life is about overcoming fear and taking risks.  If you don’t take risks, you won’t know what you’re capable of.  If you don’t risk anything, you risk everything.  Truth be told, nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.  Now is the time to expand your comfort zone so you can experience things and understand more… so that you may fear less in the long run.

The reality, of course, is we all get afraid sometimes.  It’s not about not being afraid, but what you do when you feel that way.  When you feel doubt, or fear, or anxiety, or frustration, know that you can let it go just as surely as you can pull your hand away from a flame.  Keep your mind focused on the goodness, on the possibilities and on your most treasured goals.  What begins in your mind ends up in your life.  Think continually of the way you would like to be, let these thoughts drive your actions, and your reality will reliably catch up with your thinking.  (Read Daring Greatly.)

9.  The mind’s endless stream of doubts.
Believe in yourself through tough times.  Believe in your capacity to succeed.  Believe that your relationships are worth the effort.  Believe that people make mistakes on their way to greatness.  Believe that people can be foolish and intelligent, selfish and generous, and stressed and happy all at once.  Believe that very few people hurt others on purpose.  Believe that there are many roads to what’s right.  Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths.  Believe that the answers are out there waiting.  Believe that life will surprise you again and again.  Believe that the journey is the destination.  Believe that it’s all worth your while.

Or as Roald Dahl once said, “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.  Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

30 Financial Tips That Women Should Know By Age 30

When we're young, we often think about 30 as the age when we need to have it all figured out. However, when that birthday is approaching, it can seem like we're not nearly as far into adulthood as we might hope. We may think that there are certain pieces of knowledge we ought to have at this point in our lives. If you're approaching this age, or want to start preparing early, here is a list of things that you should know. If you're past 30, it's never too later, find out what you need to catch up on.

30 Pieces of Financial Knowledge That Women Should Know By 30
  • A woman can make it on her own financially, even if she doesn't have to.
  • You need to keep your finger on your finances, even if you have a significant other who handles them.
  • How you can deal with a personal financial crisis, like suddenly losing your job.
  • How to make a budget and how to stick to it.
  • How to set up an emergency fund and how to keep it full.
  • How to read a bank statement and how to complain when something on it is wrong.
  • How long it will take you to pay down any credit cards you have paying only the minimum balance.
  • How debt collection and bankruptcy work, even if you're in a good financial place.
  • How to get your taxes done every year without going crazy.
  • How to establish credit in your own name, even if you also share credit cards with a spouse.
  • How much risk you're prepared to tolerate in terms of investments.
  • That you're going to need money for retirement at some point and you'll need strategies to save for it.
  • How you're going to make up for any time you spend out of the work force, at least in terms of retirement.
  • How much having a family costs, even if kids aren't in the cards.
  • What legal protections are out there specifically for women, like whether your state has laws guaranteeing you maternity leave.
  • How to negotiate a raise, even if it feels like you shouldn't ask for more money.
  • How to leave a job you hate, preferably with another one lined up.
  • How to get a copy of your credit report and how to dispute incorrect information on it.
  • What cosigning a loan means - and when to refuse to do it.
  • How to recognize the signs of identity theft and how to address them.
  • What the pros and cons of owning a house versus renting an apartment.
  • What your parents' retirement plans are and whether you're going to need to help them.
  • Who is responsible for you and your finances if something makes you incapable of taking care of yourself.
  • How to reach a lawyer, an accountant and an insurance agent, even if you don't routinely need their help.
  • How to negotiate a big purchase (like a car or a house), even when the other side underestimates you.
  • How to sell something you don't need any longer.
  • What it would take for you to start your own business, even if you're not ready to make the leap.
  • What your options for health insurance are and how to make the most of them, even when they're bad.
  • Where to get financial information and advice that you trust.
  • What your financial priorities are and what's the next step you need to take to reach them.
The Bottom Line
There aren't always classes you can take for learning these things. You may need to go figure out how to learn some of these things yourself, because they make a world of difference in how you can get from the ramen-every-night college era to something much better. Each of us will make very different financial decisions over the course of our lives, but having this knowledge will make those decisions much easier.

Source: Investopedia

Friday, 11 May 2012

5 Ways To Get Lucky

Look for the silver lining
It is inevitable that some people seem to get more luck than others, but should we just wait to see if luck strikes for us or take matters into our own hands? We can help ourselves a lot by looking for the silver lining in a negative situation. If you focus on the negatives you are only going to cloud your judgement on the solution, so adopt a more positive outlook on the situations in your life and you will feel better about how to handle them and begin to assume a lucky mentality. Change your thoughts and luck will follow.

Be on the lookout for new opportunities
Very rarely do opportunities for luck present themselves; when they do it’s fantastic, but the chances are this is not going to occur. Nine out of 10 times things happen because we make them happen, so why not take some calculated risks to increase your opportunities. Take smaller risks at first and if they pay off you can increase them.  You should always be on the lookout for new prospects, whether it is in the workplace or in your social life. Keep your eyes and ears open as you never know what’s just around the corner and you don’t want to miss out!

Cut loose your anxieties
Individual hang ups can hold us back from doing everyday tasks in our lives. Adopt the mantra: ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’  Don’t let your anxiety get the better of you; your mind is very powerful and anxiety is just a learnt behaviour. Sometimes putting yourself in a stressful situation is OK and to explore new paths in life is essential. Sitting back is all well and good if you’re willing to watch the world go by, but the more open you are to new opportunities the more you’ll increase your chances of luck, so let go of that anxiety and go for it!

Trust your instincts
People who make quick decisions can be led by their intuition. Your gut instinct is more than likely correct; how many times have you been stuck in a situation where you knew things weren’t right from the off, but still carried on and things have turned sour? Listening to yourself can really help you make the right decisions.  So how can you become more intuitive? Take some time for yourself, relax in the bath or go for a walk and clear your head.  Spending time with yourself will help you understand your thoughts clearly; that way when the next decision has to be made you will know exactly what you think and you can manage the situation with a clear decisive answer.

Learn how to deal with bad luck
The way we deal with bad luck can be detrimental to how we view our lives. A pessimistic person can always see the bad in everything, and to dwell constantly on the bad will inevitably get you down in the dumps.  Try to put a positive spin on all the bad situations you find yourself in; focusing what could have made that situation worse will give you that pick up to see you through the rough patch. It isn’t possible to always be happy and positive about everything or everyone in your life, but making a concerted effort to have a happier and brighter outlook on life will make you appreciate the luck you already had in your life that you didn’t notice.

Source: RealBuzz