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9 Things To Declutter From Your Life To Be Much Happier

9 Things To Declutter From Your Life To Be Much Happier

Throughout life, just as we collect items, we collect thoughts. Every now and then it’s necessary to clean your home and refresh your mind to lighten the load of what’s been collected. If you feel that you have to declutter many physical possessions, first think about why that is. Know that decluttering isn’t simply organizing your things. It’s determining what is essential and what it adds to your life. You’ll be surprised how minimizing your possessions causes you to re-evaluate your life. Decluttering forces you to make certain decisions like using or losing your hobby materials sitting around the house. You may be surprised how much happier you’ll be after you completely declutter your life.

1. Cotton clutter

Does consumer culture have you buying more clothes for a rush of dopamines? In other words, are you excited by the idea of having more clothes or the experiences you’ll have in them? You may be long overdue to downsize your closet if you’re doing laundry quite a bit.

You’ve likely heard it before; if you haven’t worn it in a year or more, it’s time to go. If you’re the type of person that attaches sentimental value to everything you may have trouble with this. Have depth to your sentimental attachment and keep the things that deeply matter to you, like your wedding dress, graduation attire, vacation memento, etc.

2. People who don’t align with where you want to be

You know who they are. They do not add any value to your life by showing you what they ate for dinner. Those who don’t align with your future-self fall into two categories; you know them intimately or not much at all. They’re the people who you may not know so well on Facebook and Instagram. It may seem harmless to browse down their timeline, but those moments you’re spending could be spent making a real connection.

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Use the social networks for their highest good by communicating and creating content for people who are important in your life. It can be difficult to remove people from your life that are closer to you. Look at the top five people you surround yourself with and honestly ask yourself if any of them are where you want to be in 20 years.

3. No more junk drawers, closets, and rooms

Decluttering your life benefits you physically, emotionally, and mentally. You can get the mental and emotional benefits by improving your environment first. Eliminate all “junk” areas from your home.

No more junk drawers filled with random items allowed. This is a form of physical clutter which has its equivalent in your mind. Some people have closets or entire rooms written off as “storage”, but you know what it really is.

4. Unhealthy snack options

You may not think of a snack as clutter. Your body takes what you consume and uses it to form everything that you are. Junk food in your kitchen eventually becomes clutter in your body. Your body has to work to process out any preservatives and chemicals you eat.

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The more unhealthy snacks you easily let slip in between meals and activities, the less healthy you are. Poor health can make your mind foggy, physically drain you, and even affects your attitude. Put healthy snacks in your kitchen, you’ll eat them simply because they’re there.

5. Unfinished business

When you leave loose ends, you have to remember to go tie them back together. Having to remember unfinished business is a drain on your mental energy. You may even feel some level of guilt for not completing a project, not making a call or not giving your best.

These thoughts are mental blocks that you should live without. If you let too many things go unfinished they might make you feel guilty, ashamed or reluctant to take action again. So, even if you think you’re behind in the race, finish. Give yourself the warm satisfaction of knowing you did what was right. Whether it is scheduling a meeting or launching a project, tie your loose ends.

6. Commitments that don’t serve you

Does paying for a monthly makeup or outdoor gear subscription box for the next 6 months really serve you? Of course, you want to have the highest quality of life possible. Should you collect more things or should the funds for the subscription box be used towards a more worthy cause? This is a commitment you made that may no longer serve your best interest or your wallet.

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Especially if you already have mounds of whatever the subscription box offers. You may end up with a lot of excess products getting automatic shipments every month. Say “No” more often, so you can spend time and money on the things that are truly important to you. Your true friends will still love you if you pass on Thirsty Thursday at the bar. What can you cut down time doing to get more time to work on goals or practice your craft?

7. Worries clouding your mind

Declutter your mind from incessant thinking. It may seem normal to want to think all of the time. Yet, many people who still their mind through meditation or yoga find it easier to direct thought because of the practice. You can’t expect yourself to be able to devote undivided focus to something when you can’t quiet your own thoughts.

Letting your thoughts run rampant really prevents you from giving 100% of yourself to whatever you’re doing. Your mind is designed to constantly look for potential dangers and you have to consciously quiet that. It serves you better to have a seat with your eyes closed and view the blank screen of your mind.

8. All of the paper you don’t need

Are you guilty of having a drawer full of papers? Go digital where you can. Paperwork adds up over time, leading you to have cluttered areas in your home, which you swear have important documents.

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Loose paper around your home breeds more of the same, leading to stacks of paper that only get thicker. Having a digital copy of important documents and even instruction manuals can help alleviate some of your worries about losing the hard copy.

9. Tell it like it is- it’s trash

Yes. Sometimes decluttering consists of getting rid of trash and dusty old items. Have you ever noticed how trash seems to collect in piles? You need to actively work to keep trash down to a minimum or you’ll attract more trash. You may not call all of the trash in your home, car or office trash. You may tell yourself, “I might need that one day”.

Tell that pair of underwear that has seen better times goodbye. If you have items you have never used for more than six months, get rid of it. If you can live without it for that long, it’s trash to you and someone else can enjoyably use it. Consider how much you really care about anything that’s been dusty and in your garage for more than six months.

Decluttering your life is so much more than organizing what’s under your bed into bins. You have to get rid of unneeded clothes, people, worrisome thoughts, unhealthy food, and trash. Decluttering negativity from your life on so many levels is going to have a deep and beneficial impact on your life. You’ll notice the difference. Get ready to walk lighter, feel free, and think more positive thoughts about yourself and the people around you.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

What Makes a Good Leader: 10 Critical Leadership Qualities

What Makes a Good Leader: 10 Critical Leadership Qualities

The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge. High-ranking people – your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

Good leadership is about acquiring and honing skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or at the workplace.

The following is a list of characteristics of a leader who successfully leads a great team:

1. Stay Positive, Even in the Worst Situations

Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and, by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

Even some simple things like providing cupcakes or beers on Fridays can make the world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

Even in the worst situations such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figure out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

Walt Disney (1901-1966), had his share of hardships and challenges; and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse.

    What Can You Learn from Walt Disney?

    Break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

    Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down — Because sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

    2. Exhibit Confidence Everywhere

    All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

    Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high and the problem will be solved more quickly.

    If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go down hill from there.

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    Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

      What Can You Learn from Elon Musk?

      You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

      • List 10 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll be more confident about yourself.
      • Work on your strengths, do your best to enhance them.

      3. Have a Sense of Humor

      It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

      Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off, because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

      Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the work place.

      As president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes”,[1] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[2] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest – no doubt that helped during some tense moments in the White House!

        What Can You Learn from Barak Obama?

        Laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

        Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspirations from the internet.

        4. Embrace Failures and Manage Set Backs

        No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

        Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear and binge-drinking under desks.

        Great leaders do in fact lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

        Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

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          What Can You Learn from Walt Disney?

          Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

          To do this, use the 5 Whys problem solving framework.

          By asking “why” for 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

          You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

          5. Listen, and Give Feedback

          This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

          The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

          The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

            What Can You Learn from Dalai Lama?

            Encourage communication between team members and establishing an open door policy.

            Practice not to interrupt team members when they’re talking.

            Summarize what they say and ask for feedback every time after you have talked about your ideas.

            6. Know How and When to Delegate

            No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

            Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

            Although Steve Jobs is known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members – like Tim Cook – Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even while he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

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              What Can You Learn from Steve Jobs?

              To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

              • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses and personalities.
              • Talk with your team members more too to know more about their passion and interests.

              Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

              7. Inspire and Grow People Around

              Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

              Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

              Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk drew attention, because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

                What Can You Learn from Pope Francis?

                Spend time to talk with other team members individually to understand them.

                Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

                8. Take Responsibility and Never Blame Others

                Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

                The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

                Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind.[3] This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

                  What Can You Learn from Howard Gillman?

                  Ask yourself what you could have done better to prevent this from happening.

                  Take the responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

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                  9. Make Decisions Based on Lessons Learned in the Past

                  It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career (figuratively, of course). Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

                  Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

                  You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories, or search from your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

                  Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake.[4] From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely – and it shows.

                    What Can You Learn from Warren Buffett?

                    Write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made.

                    Have all the lessons well organized and  when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

                    10. Lead by Example and Commit to Do the Best

                    Great leaders stick to their commitments and promises, and they are the most committed and hard working ones on the job. All great leaders lead by example.

                    Why should your staff and team members give it their all if you don’t bother to? By proving your own commitment, great leaders will inspire others to do the same, as well as earn their respect and instill a good work ethic.

                    After 15 years of house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi was voted state counsellor in Myanmar – one of the highest-profile and most powerful positions in the country. She became a symbol of peaceful resistance when she attempted to bring democracy to her country.[5] In the early years of her detention, she was often in solitary confinement. Suu Kyi is a perfect example of committed and belief-driven leadership, which she openly demonstrated during her many years of house arrest.

                      What Can You Learn from Aung San Suu Kyi?

                      Some people learn by observing the way you perform a task, some need more detailed guidelines.

                      So dedicate time to demonstrate your work to team members, let them observe how you do it. Summarize the skills you use and let team members know how you make difficult things work.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader too.

                      Make small changes your habits when you work with your team – wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs.

                      But we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

                      More About Leadership

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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