When to Take Advice, and When to Ignore It

Good advice can get you out of a jam and get you where you need to be. Bad advice can keep you stuck and spinning your wheels.

So when do you take advice and when
do you ignore it?

Here are key questions to ask yourself:

Is the advice requested or unsolicited?

If you asked for the advice, listen up. Get specific about your dilemma and let the person describe what they would do if they were you. Take notes (mentally and literally – on your writing pad or electronic device).

If you didn’t ask for the advice, you’re probably dealing with an overbearing know-it-all. Set boundaries. Tell the person you don’t really need the advice. Or just politely say thank you, then walk away and make yourself scarce.

If you need to talk through the problem without being advised on what to do, find a good friend, a trusted confidante or a skillful therapist who will simply listen (and maybe ask you insightful questions to move you out of the rut).

Who is the source of the advice?

Determine if the person who’s giving you advice is truly an expert or too much of an expert. The person needs to be smarter or have more experience for their advice to be worth much. But a smart person with lots of experience might give you advice that is based on situations that are different from yours.

Know whether the person has a biased perspective, ulterior motives, or a vested interest. If you’re looking to hand in your resignation and start a business, getting advice from a risk-averse, overly cautious colleague won’t be very helpful. This person might scare you into hanging on to your day job. They will tell you to play it safe and keep the status quo, when what you really need to do is take a risk and make a change.

What is your history with the person? Do they normally give you sage and sound advice, or wrong-headed and misguided advice? If the person is someone you can count on, stay open to what they say. Otherwise, be skeptical.

Are their values and priorities similar to yours? Getting another person’s perspective helps. But don’t take their advice if it conflicts strongly with your values and priorities.

Get advice from someone who walks the talk and leads by example. If they talk about how much they care about friends or family members, but do and say things to alienate them (like lie, criticize and blame), don’t take their advice on how to resolve an interpersonal conflict. Go to someone who has deep, strong and healthy relationships.

What does your instinct tell you?

What’s right for one person might not be right for the other. What works in some situations might not work in others. What led to failure or success in the past could result in a different outcome in the future.

At the end of the day, you need to trust your own instincts. The advice has to resonate with you in order for you to truly internalize it and act on it. Solicit feedback and use others as a sounding board, but pay attention to your own gut.

You will usually feel discomfort or get defensive when there is something critical to learn. Getting revved up doesn’t mean the advice is right or wrong. But if it hits a nerve, take a step back to see what’s really going on.

There could be tremendous truth in what seems to be wrong advice. There could be misleading information in what appears to be right advice. Give yourself time to process the feedback. And trust that you know what’s best for you.

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Photo by: Laughlin Elkind

top 10 lazy ways to get things done

Over the past 13 months, I’ve blended parenting into what I thought was an already challenging work-life mix. Since July last year, my kid Eleanor has grown from being a defenseless newborn to now an assertive toddler.

Along with parenting, I’ve kept a thriving law practice and continued to coach, write and speak on creating a purposeful and enriched life. My marriage, relationships, and friendships also remain top priorities. Then there’s my taking weekly piano lessons, learning music theory, and mastering contemporary to classical pieces. And while I no longer practice yoga, tai chi, or meditation daily, I still turn to them when I need that extra glow.

Objectively, my work-life mix is by no means extraordinary (other way more productive, creative, successful people get tons more done). But personally, it keeps me fulfilled and moving toward my BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals).

Although I sometimes wish I had more than 24 hours in a day and the energy of iron man Rich Roll, I mostly rely on “lazy” way to get things done. Here are my top 10:

10. Work in short bursts. This could mean 90 minutes of work followed by a 15-minute break. Or it could involve breaking down your work in 25-minute blocks with short breaks in between. Or you could set aside just ten minutes to perform the task.  When time’s up, stop and move on to something else (or keep going if you’re in the zone).

The energy and attention you bring to the task is just as, if not more, important than the time you spend on it. Limiting your work hours often leads to sharper focus.

9. Complete big journeys in tiny steps. Whether you’re setting up a new business, creating an online course, or writing a book, chip away at it in easy, micro steps.

Break down the big project into small, actionable to-dos. Then take the first step and the next one. Find your ideal teacher. Sign up for the art class. Go to class. Buy the watercolor paint brushes. Fill out the canvas.

8. Embrace “good enough.”  You don’t always have to impress your friends and enemies with epic, ground-breaking stuff. Save your best work for when excellence counts. Forget about crossing all your t’s and dotting all your i’s in a routine report that everyone just skims.

Tolerate tiny mistakes. Accept your limitations. Do the job well enough to keep your clients, build your reputation, and avoid getting fired. But don’t expect to execute perfectly every single time. Perfectionism will drive you mad.

7. Make it a habit. Reduce decision-making fatigue by narrowing down your options, making repeatable and satisfactory choices, and following routines. President Obama wears only gray or blue suits because, as he told Vanity Fair, “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

Willpower is a limited resource. Maintaining self-control can be exhausting. Routinize the mundane areas of your life. Develop healthy habits and break bad habits. So you don’t have to think and work so hard.

6. Get help.  Delegate. Barter. Hire someone. Stop micromanaging and trust your team to figure it out on their own. Accept help – especially when it’s free, reliable, and offered with enthusiasm and no strings attached.

5. Take a break. When you’re feeling depleted and drained, getting the caffeine boost or sugar rush isn’t truly what you need. A weary body is often a wake-up call to get more sleep. Nap whenever and wherever you can.

Don’t disrespect your inner energy with artificial stimulants. Invigorate yourself naturally. Step outside for some fresh air. Listen to the birds and the trees rustling. Stroll at sunset or walk in the moonlight. Sit quietly and meditate. Or go for a run or hop on your bike. Taking a break gets you recharged, refreshed, and ready to take action.

4. Put things off.  Deliberate delay isn’t necessarily unproductive. It can lead to an extra burst of energy or add to your sense of urgency to get the thing done. If you work well and deliver good results under external pressure, putting things off until the last minute does little or no harm.

Procrastination works in many situations.  It can also cause you to lose projects that weren’t right for you, didn’t matter to you, or didn’t capitalize on your strengths. (Good riddance!) Sometimes what looks like procrastination is really incubation (i.e. your mind is preparing for work and you’ll snap into action when the time is right).

3. Do what you feel like doing. Permit yourself to just do what you want to - at least for an hour each day. Ease up on the self-imposed deadlines, let go of obligations, and drop the productivity rules. (You can get back to them later if you must.) Think about what excites you, gets the creative juices flowing, and lights your fire. Then do that thing.

2. Do less. Simplify and shrink your to-do list. Have just three main things to do on a given day. Focus on only three big goals in the week. Do one thing at a time. Declutter your life so you have one less thing to do, clean or maintain. Buy wrinkle-free clothes so you don’t have to iron much. Stop buying stuff unless it’s absolutely beautiful and/or useful to you.

Doing less frees you up to create your best work and deliver top-notch results on the things that matter. It makes room for interruptions, distractions and emergencies that are bound to come up. Don’t commit to anything else when you’re working on a major goal that deserves your undivided attention.

1. Do nothing. Many things take care of themselves and get resolved without your interference. There’s often no need for you to send a reminder note or make a follow-up call. The package arrives at your doorstep when you’re home. The approval letter you’ve been waiting for eventually comes in the mail. Your client sends the exact information you need to finalize the project.

Step out of the way and let things happen naturally.

* * *

This top 10 list is not for those who are lazy in the traditional sense.  It requires a more focused and conscious approach to productivity. Instead of being super busy all the time, you get to decide what really matters and get those things done at the right time.

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Photo by: ShellyS

Create Work-Life Blend (Not Balance)

Striving for work-life balance can make you feel guilty, interfere with your natural rhythm, and dampen your spirits.

It implies that you devote equal time to work (e.g. career, ambition, business travel) and life (e.g. family, health, leisure travel). It sets up a false dichotomy between work and life.

When you dislike your work, when you consider it separate from your life, and when it doesn’t reflect your core purpose, the most you can really do is aim for balance.

When you enjoy your work, when you’re passionate about it, and when you find meaning in it, go for blend. Integrate your work, your health, your family, your friends, your playful pursuits, your creative endeavors, and every other aspect of your life into one symbiotic whole. Then attend to what matters the most right now.

Balance is an elusive goal. Life is messy. Work spills over into the home. Personal issues affect your productivity. Priorities don’t always fit neatly into clearly labeled buckets. The perfect business opportunity can arise while you’re sipping mai tais.

Blend, however, is within your reach. It doesn’t lead to a superficial distinction between work and life. It lets you integrate work and play so there is more flow in what you do and less friction between what you think you should do and what you want to do.

Here are some ways to create the ideal work-life blend:

1. Do meaningful work. Focus on work that capitalizes on your strengths, gives you a creative outlet, and moves you in your desired direction. When your work energizes and nurtures you, it’s not that you won’t choose to take a beach vacation in Tahiti to renew and relax. It’s just that the need to escape from meaningless/mundane work won’t be the driving force.

2. Respect your own natural rhythm. Instead of keeping a rigid schedule for when work ends and play begins, cultivate flexibility and fluidity in your day. Just because you work after 5 pm or on weekends doesn’t mean you’re a workaholic. Having an unstructured day in your week or taking a walk in the park during office hours doesn’t mean you’re a slacker.

Take a nap on your lunch break. Stay up late on a Monday evening to crank out the blog post while your baby sleeps. Work on the big project from 10 pm to 1 am if that’s when you feel most creative.

Don’t burn the midnight oil and end up skimping on sleep, skipping meals, or neglecting relationships. But know that the normal 9-to- 5 schedule might not jive with your natural rhythm. Negotiate or keep flexible work hours whenever you can.

3. Make technology work for you. Technology allows you to work from virtually anywhere at practically any time. Set boundaries if you feel pressured to stay open and available for business 24/7.

Apply technology to your advantage. Use email, IM and teleconferencing to collaborate with others and get stuff done without face time in the office. If your best ideas tend to come up when you’re away from your desk, step away from it. Take your lap top to the coffee shop or go to a quiet library to meet the deadline.

4. Know that every choice involves trade-offs and opportunity costs. When you choose to play with your child, you will have less time to complete the big task. When you opt to work late, you’ll need to cancel the dinner date you had planned for that evening.

Immerse yourself fully in the task that you choose to do. Set aside your preoccupation with what you’re not doing and where you’re missing out.  If you don’t enjoy your choice or if you don’t think it’s your highest priority, why did you go with it?  Do something more valuable. Or stop complaining. Let go of the internal busyness.

Own the choices you make. When you choose to focus on a certain task, activity or thing, you invariably make trade-offs and incur opportunity costs. Say no to nonessentials so you can say yes to what really matters.

For more pointers on the work-life blend approach, watch these two interviews from Jonathan Fields’ online video series entitled The Good Life Project:

Brad Feld On Maker Mode and Living Well


Mitch Joel: Time to Ctrl Alt Delete Your Life (24:22 to 30:50)

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Photo by: TheFoodJunk

Stop trying so hard. Just do what you want to.

About a decade ago, when I began practicing yoga, mastering the headstand was one of
my goals. In a Beginner’s Ashtanga yoga class, I did a headstand for the first time.

I was struggling with it initially. But then my teacher came over to me and whispered, “Stop trying so hard.”

That simple statement made a world of difference for me.

Headstands became, and still are, a regular part of my yoga practice. My relationship with this and other challenging poses has evolved over time. It’s not about physical accomplishments anymore.

I do yoga (including poses or postures, meditation and breath work) because I want to — and not so much because it offers tremendous health benefits, relieves stress, and cultivates mindful living (which it does).

I also play piano because I want to – and not so much because it focuses the mind, improves coordination, and enhances discipline (which it does).

Aligning body, breath and mind when I do yoga or hearing music radiate from my fingers when I play piano puts me in the zone. So I naturally and gladly do these things.

In our busy, day-to-day living, we often don’t do what we want to. We rely on to-do lists to tell us how to invest our time. We prioritize tasks based on deadlines and due dates. We diligently return telephone calls and reply to emails. We even do soul-sucking work to pay the bills.

Sometimes there’s no getting around all of that. Unless you want to live off the grid, there are some things you must do, should do, and have to do.

But there are times when obligations, goal-setting, and the need to please begin to take over your life. And that’s when you have to stop, take stock, and just do what you want to.

A little over a week ago, on May 15th, I celebrated my birthday. On that special day, I took a moment to stop, take stock, and ask myself if I was doing what I want to.  The answer was yes, on many levels.

But then it dawned on me that I hadn’t rolled out my yoga mat or tickled the ivories in several days. So I returned to them for the true joy of the experience.

Then, on a recent coaching call with a client, who I’ll refer to as Sally, I learned that she was struggling to get back into swimming (an activity that brings her true joy). She was scared to start. We talked about her fear.

Sally said she was most afraid of starting the activity and then not following through on it (i.e. not being able to make swimming a lasting habit). I asked her why swimming had become a goal to achieve.

Could she let go of turning it into something to fail or succeed at?  Could she simply swim for the sheer joy of it? Could she swim just because she wants to?

When Sally realized that swimming was more of an activity to enjoy, and less of a task to achieve, a sigh of relief emanated from her.  The sense of freedom and power of choice that come with that realization are invaluable.

The next time you find yourself struggling to start, perform or complete a thing, stop trying so hard. Loosen up. Let go. Do it because you want to. Or just do what you want to.

Slomo: The Man Who Skated Right Off The Grid. (Courtesy of YouTube.)

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Photo by: Ian Sane

7 Strategies to Stay Super Focused

Staying focused on your task, priorities and mission is vital to your success. But it doesn’t come easily when you’re overwhelmed with daily distractions, a long to-do list, and multiple projects that demand your attention. 

Here are seven strategies to stay super focused: 

  1. Say “no, thank you.”
  2. Mentally rehearse the task.
  3. Keep your energy up during breaks.
  4. Stop multitasking.
  5. Boost your willpower.
  6. Make it automatic.
  7. Create a supportive environment.

Use one, all or a combination of these strategies to overcome internal busyness and reduce external distractions. Review what works for you. Make use of your preferred techniques to stay super focused and get meaningful things done.

Read the full article, 7 Strategies to Stay Super Focused, on Lifehack.

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Photo by: Dani Ihtatho

Striving, and always arriving

Yoga. Visualization. Meditation. Self-help books. Master-mind groups. Energy healing.vision quest Affirmations. Vision quests. Prayer. Inspirational quotes. Spiritual retreats. Journaling. World travel.

These are rituals, activities, and practices that can move us along on our journey of self-discovery and personal development.

But sometimes we get so caught up in the quest itself that we fail to notice we’ve already arrived.

Below are five principles to live by – and films to watch – as you strive to make positive changes and create your deepest wishes:

1. The answers are out there, and the answers are within you. 

Spiritual teachers, professional mentors, life coaches and subject matter experts have much to offer, especially when you’re stuck in a rut.

But once you put them on a pedestal and assume they always know more than you do, you begin to tune out your inner wisdom and accept whatever they say at face value.

In your search for self-realization and spiritual awakening, remember that the best guru – for you – is you.

Watch Kumaré: The True Story of a False Prophet

2. You have the power to fix yourself, and you don’t need to be fixed

Just when you thought you had it all figured out, you hit a bump in the road. Just when you thought you had settled for a mundane routine, you get hit with a sweet surprise.

Life is full of twists and turns. Some you will welcome and some you will dislike.

In your effort to maneuver through transitions, know that there’s nothing wrong with you as you harness your power to grow and transform.

Watch Touchy Feely

3. You can’t find your voice without solitude, and you need others to hear it.

Discovering your place in society often requires you to step out of it. Whether it involves walking in the woods, sitting by the ocean, or disconnecting from the Internet, solitude can help you tap into your deepest thoughts, find space to create, and reflect on your truest desires.

While it’s important to follow your individual path on your terms, you can rarely get through it without social interaction and human connections.

In your quest to find your own voice, understand that solitude is not the same as isolation. Spend time alone to see more clearly. Spend time with others to test what you see.

Watch Into the Wild

4. Be yourself from the get-go, and it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.

Knowing who you are, defining your values, and living authentically are essential to your personal freedom and fulfillment.  Celebrate your individuality, capitalize on your strengths, and open up to your vulnerabilities.

But give yourself space to grow, transform, evolve and begin again. Let go of restrictive beliefs; shed outdated ideas; embrace different values; and set new priorities. If old notions about who you are keeps you small and dull, reinvent yourself to create a bigger and brighter life.

In learning to be yourself, acknowledge that some parts are worth preserving and some parts are ripe for change. Your past is not your present.  Your present is not your future. Peel off the layers to gain access to your core self.

Watch Beginners

5. The key to a meaningful life is asking big, philosophical questions, and responding to small, ordinary ones. 

Contemplate the meaning of life. Seek your life purpose. Ask, why am I here? 

If you don’t stop to reflect on your personal mission, you’ll tend to just go along with the masses. You’ll buy stuff you don’t want. You’ll clutter up your space with crap you don’t use. You’ll engage in activities that you don’t enjoy. All in the name of fitting in.

At a certain point, though, you must put the questions aside, end the existential discussions, and participate in the world. Finding your life purpose matters — and it doesn’t. You simply choose deliberately, do what brings you true joy, and learn from the results of your day-to-day actions.

Watch Waking Life

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Photo by: Julian Jenson

How to have a blast doing dreaded tasks

Some tasks are not for you. You never feel like doing them. You find them dull and procrastinationtedious. You think they’re a waste of your time.

But for whatever reason, you can’t pawn them off on someone else and you can’t keep putting them off.

If you’re stuck with doing a dreaded task, here’s how you can make the most of your experience and even have a blast:

Just start. The longer you put it off and the more you resist it, the more daunting the task becomes. Don’t overthink it. Stop dilly dallying. Let go of perfection.

Get curious. Challenge yourself to find something intriguing about the task. Meditate on it. Be fully present. Activate all your senses while you’re tackling it. Remember what it’s like to be a child and approach the task as if you were experiencing it for the first time.

Set a time limit. Do the task in small, time-based chunks. Whether you have two minutes or two hours, stop when the time is up. Make it into a game. See how fast you can get it done without sacrificing its quality or your integrity.

Embrace the ugly. If you’re frustrated, open up to it. If you’re bored, revel in it. If you’re tired, take a nap and get back to it. Notice your weaknesses, dislikes, and bad habits. Self-knowledge is power.

Consider the big picture. The things you love often include bit parts that you hate. Making that telephone call could win over that fabulous client. Booking the flight means you get your dream vacation.

Layer it with something you enjoy. Call a friend while you’re running the copies. Listen to a podcast while you’re doing the dishes. Blast some jazz music while you’re decluttering your desk. (This is background tasking, not multitasking.)

Partner up. Gather your friends to help you clean out the garage. Turn cooking a meal into a family affair. Great company can turn normally dull experiences into surprisingly fun events.

Remember, it’s your choice. You could do nothing. You could do something else. But you chose to do this task. Claim full responsibility for it. Own it.

Lose the attitude. The task is what you make of it. Whistle while you work. Do a victory dance when you’re done.

Take it to the next level.  Learn by doing. What makes this task a drag? Is there a way to wipe it off your to-do list (permanently)? Create a new process, design a strategy, or invent a tool to bypass it the next time. Make use of shortcuts.

Reward yourself. Celebrate a task well done. Follow it up with a fun and fascinating to-do. Go out for ice cream. Get a mani-pedi. Watch the movie you’ve been dying to see.

Imagine how good you’ll feel when it’s done. Completing a necessary task is liberating and energizing. It’s a huge weight off your shoulders. Visualize the desired outcome and bring those good vibes into the process.

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Photo by: Jennerally 

10 Excuses That Can Make Your Year Crappy (and how to beat them)

The end of year encourages us to reflect on where we have been, where we are, and where we want to be. It’s prime time for mapping out goals and setting resolutions for the year ahead.

A new year symbolizes a fresh start and a revived opportunity to break bad habits, start healthy routines, and create our desired lifestyle.

But as the days, weeks and months roll on, it’s easy to slip back into default mode and settle for mediocrity.

The most common excuses that lead you to abandon your goals or resolutions and can make your year crappy are:

I don’t have time. Long-term goals often fall to the wayside when you barely have time to fulfill daily obligations, meet deadlines at work, run errands, or do household chores. Having more time, however, doesn’t necessarily make you more productive, effective, or efficient.

Carve out and schedule time blocks for your big goals. Work on them when your energy is at its highest or when distractions and interruptions are at their lowest. Just set aside 15 minutes a day, an hour a week, or a day in the month to make small, consistent progress.

Stop wasting time watching TV, surfing the Internet, and engaging in other activities that have minimal effect on the quality of your life. Wake up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later. Use the extra time to focus on the tasks that really matter.

I don’t have the money. Not all goals and dreams are realistic. But many are within your reach even when it seems you don’t have the resources to pursue them. You just need to get creative with exploring options.

If one gym membership fee is out of your price range, find a competitor that offers similar services at a fraction of the price. And if you want to learn Sun Salutations or other basic asanas, you can invest in a yoga DVD and cultivate a home practice or attend sessions at a “pay as you go” studio. You don’t need to travel to India for a yoga retreat or take a pricey yoga class with a world-renowned yoga master.

I’m too tired/ill. Exhaustion, illness, or injury slows you down. While it’s important to rest and recover, you don’t always have to be in peak physical condition to accomplish what you want. Deliberate, ongoing engagement with meaningful activities can energize you and help restore you mentally and physically.

I’m afraid. Playing it safe or staying within your comfort zone makes it hard to thrive and flourish. Going for your dreams and goals involves taking risks. The sooner you face your fears, the quicker you will gain the experience, knowledge, skills and confidence to maximize your potential and step up to the next level.

Fear is a natural, human emotion that demands respect. You can still take effective action despite your fears.

I’m not inspired or motivated. Sometimes you have to take action first to get unstuck and fired up. Favorable results or good feelings from the thing you do can spur you on to keep doing it.

Sometimes the resolution you set for yourself just isn’t right for you.  It might not tie into your big vision or connect with who you are at the core. If you really don’t care much about what you’re trying to achieve, it will be an uphill battle to dedicate your time and energy to it. If that’s the case, feel free to redefine and reframe your goal.

I’m bored. Repetitive behavior can be tedious. Certain tasks might never gel well with you. So mix it up. To get fit, you don’t have to run or work out in the gym every day. You could dance or play racquetball to get the heart rate up and build your strength and stamina.

To help me improve my piano playing skills, my piano teacher prescribes Hanon exercises. While I know they’re good for me, I don’t particularly enjoy them. So after I’m done with one Hanon exercise, I follow it with an improvised piece or sheet music that I love. This keeps me from getting bored with my practice.

I lack willpower.  Willpower is the ability to resist short-term temptations and delay gratification to meet long-term goals. It’s a limited resource that doesn’t run at 100% all the time. But you can refocus and recommit if you get delayed or derailed.

There are ways to stay on the path and hold yourself accountable even when your willpower is depleted. For example, keep a log of your progress, automate or routinize desired habits, and share your goals with trusted friends and family members who will support you when the chips are down.

I don’t want to upset the people around me.  Your friends, relatives or colleagues might not want to see you make changes, especially when the status quo works for them. Your ability to deal with judgment is critical.

You can talk it out to get to the root of the issue (perhaps their concerns are legitimate). You can also choose to ignore their comments. Or you can end the relationship if it’s toxic and non-supportive.

I don’t know where to start. Start small. Start today. Set mini-goals for each day, week or month, instead of one big goal for the year. Get specific. If you want to author a novel, write a page a day. If you want to develop fluency in a foreign language, learn five new words or phrases every week. If you want to become more cultured, visit an art museum, read a classic book, or see a play once a month.

I can’t stand the pressure.  Setting resolutions and goals can create tension and stress, which in turn triggers procrastination, indecision and inaction for some.

In The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul, Danielle LaPorte encourages us to identify our “core desired feelings” and create practical “goals with soul” to generate those feelings. Instead of chasing after goals with numbers, dates and targets, she suggests we create a journey that feels the way we want the destination to feel.

Chris Brogan, author of The Impact Equation, advises us to choose three guiding words to help us focus our goals and efforts. In one new year’s post, he states:

Resolutions are often too vague, or too directed towards one goal. It might be “quit smoking” or “lose 20 pounds” or “get hired.” These are all fine aspirations, but I challenge you to dig deeper, to find three words that could be used as lighthouses to guide you through stormy seas, that can be used as flags on the battlefield of your challenges, words that will bolster you and give you a direction that goes beyond the goals you might attach as a result of these words.

Throughout the year, you can focus on your core desired feelings or your three words (e.g. Patience. Presence. Partnership) to guide you in your choices, actions and behaviors — without the unnecessary pressure.

To avoid obsessing over end goals, attend to the process itself. Set intentions to choose, act and behave in ways that that are aligned with your deepest values and heartfelt desires. Refrain from going purely after external rewards.

* * *

Excuses undermine the changes you wish to make and sabotage the results you seek to achieve. They can make your year crappy. Knowing how to beat them will help you make the year a happy one that truly counts.

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Photo by: SJ Photography

How to Stay Awake at Work Without Caffeine

Staying awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted, or sleep-deprived. But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your senses and keep you alert:

SIGHT – VISUAL STIMULATION

1. Maximize your exposure to light; 2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break); 3. Take note of your environment.

HEARING – AUDITORY STIMULATION

4. Engage in conversation; 5. Listen to upbeat music.

SMELL – OLFACTORY STIMULATION

6. Work your nose.

TASTE – GUSTATORY STIMULATION

7. Have a good breakfast; 8. Drink lots of water; 9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

TOUCH – TACTILE STIMULATION

10. Splash cold water on your face; 11. Use acupressure; 12. Get moving.

Read the full article, How to Stay Awake at Work Without Caffeine, on Lifehack.

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Photo by: bolandrotor

8 Ways You Can Learn to Deal with Jealousy

8-Ways-You-Can-Learn-to-Deal-with-JealousyWhether you envy someone because of his high metabolism, corner office, house on the lake, or latest solo travel to an exotic country, jealousy can throw you off your game, squander your energy, and generate angst for yourself.

Below are 8 surefire ways you can deal with jealousy to minimize its draining effects and harness its power:

1. Develop an abundance mindset
2. Learn from those who have made it
3. Acknowledge that you have something unique to contribute
4. Stop comparing yourself to others
5. Get your act together
6. Determine if what the other person has is what you really want
7. Realize that another person’s success doesn’t make you a failure
8. Understand that jealousy is a normal, universal emotion

To learn more, check out my article, 8 Ways You Can Learn to Deal with Jealousy on Lifehack.

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