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Little Things You Can Change For A Happier And Fulfilled Life

Little Things You Can Change For A Happier And Fulfilled Life

Sometimes, the cause of our unhappiness is our very own nature. We are naturally inclined with certain characteristics which needs to be changed in order for us to live a happier and fulfilled life. To hold on to these natural characteristics and still aspire to be happy and live a fulfilled life is impossible. The only thing that stands between you and happiness is you. Change these natural characteristics of you and find your way to a happier destination.

1. Selfishness

It is very easy to think of other people as selfish but the truth is we are all naturally selfish. Of course, some people may be more selfish than others but we all have a dose of selfishness in our genes. Whose face do you first look at in a group picture? You! And so does everyone else.

If all the people in the world remained selfish, then the world will be such a horrible place to live. Selfishness must be replaced with empathy and selflessness. We must realize that, others are important in the world too. We are not the only important people, we need to look out for others the same way we would want them to look out for us. We might not be homeless, but if we were the homeless person on the street, will we expect others to help us or walk by.

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When you trade selfishness for selflessness, you will realize that nothing is more fulfilling and joyful like helping and looking out for others. Help the homeless man get on his feet again, sponsor an orphan in Africa, with sites like this you can donate as little as $50 a month which will go a long way to change the future of others and give you the happiness and joy for making a difference.

2. Jealousy

If you are never truly happy at other people’s success, then you need to give it up for a fulfilled life. Jealousy rips away joy and happiness. Jealousy makes you angry, causes stress and can lead to depression. Jealousy blinds you of the great things in your life to be happy for and makes you miserable for the few things you don’t have that others have.

Be genuinely happy about other people’s success and not only when you will benefit from it. Being happy for others and giving up on jealousy will make you happier and successful, instead of being depressed and miserable by jealousy, your will be excited and more open to opportunities which will help you succeed.

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3. Use your brains and not emotions

It is very easy to be led by emotions and not the mind. But being led by emotions all the time will only lead to disaster. It is common sense to exercise daily, but not all of us do. It is common sense to save and invest, but not all of us do. It is common sense not to procrastinate, but most of us do. Common sense is not common action. This is as a result of the battle between emotions and mind. The mind knows it is right to exercise instead of watching TV, but our emotions ‘feels’ like watching TV instead. The mind knows it is a good thing to log out of social media and do something worthwhile with your time but your emotions ‘feels’ like spending more time on social media instead of attending to the business.

The mind road is very narrow and difficult and only few people take that road, the emotional road is very broad and easy and many people take that road. No wonder there are more unsuccessful people than successful people in the world.

4. Lack of self control/discipline

If you want to live a happier and fulfilled life. You need to have discipline. Knowledge is power but if you lack the discipline to do that which you know to do, knowledge becomes futile. In other words, knowledge is useless without discipline. If you know you do not have to eat junk food but lack the discipline and self control to actually not junk food, you will still be obese and unhealthy regardless the knowledge you have.

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5. Don’t dwell on negative comments

Isn’t it strange that one hundred people can tell us we look beautiful and compliment our personality and we soon forget but if one person tells us we look ugly it takes forever to forget, making us sad and bitter. Instead of dwelling on negative comments and letting positive comments die fast, rather let negative comments die fast and dwell on positive comments.

6. Judgemental

Ironically, we hate to be judged but find pleasure in judging others. We hate to hear mean things about us but never think twice in saying mean things about someone else. This is because naturally we are insensitive to other people’s feeling. We think others deserve our hurtful words and judgement but be mindful that to every one else in the world, you are the ‘other person’. Let us be less judgemental and correct others in love if need be. Every behaviour no matter how bizarre has meaning to the one performing it. Let’s be open-minded rather, there are more than enough judgemental people in the world already.

7. Unforgiveness

You pick up your husband’s phone and see naked pictures of other women on his phone. Your girlfriend whom you loved so much and invested your money, resources, love and time just left you for another person. You become the victim. Think of betrayal, hurt, pain, heartbreak, disappointment, you are a perfect definition. They don’t deserve forgiveness. You have cried and sobbed amidst the emotional trauma. You have two options; To hate them forever after all they are heartless, wicked and insensitive and to hold on to the scenes of their actions and tread on a bitterness lane-where you will always hurt inside and see them as the horrible beast they are or to put yourself together and say ‘you know what, they don’t deserve it, they are mean, wicked, betrayed me, disappointed me, defrauded me’ but I will forgive them not because I want to, but because I have to. Choosing the latter is the best decision.

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Forgiveness is hard to do initially but it’s worth it. Taking the bitterness lane is such a horrible way to live. We need to forgive and let go after all, we all have one thing in common, we are human beings and none of us are perfect. It’s true we may be hurt because someone has hurt us and find it hard to forgive but think of all the people you have hurt yourself in the past. To err is human, once you are human, you have hurt someone before too so forgive.

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Last Updated on October 22, 2019

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

4. Get up and Move

We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

The Bottom Line

It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

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Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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