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The Best Mentality For Life That Will Make You Much Happier And More Successful

The Best Mentality For Life That Will Make You Much Happier And More Successful

Your Attitude Makes All The Difference

We are all born with our own gifts and talents, but what separates an average person from a truly exceptional individual? Quite simply, the way you approach life and how much effort you put into self-improvement can propel you from a mediocre existence to a life that is so much more fulfilling. Your mentality shapes the messages you send yourself. It dictates your level of self-esteem, how much progress you can expect to make in life and even the way others treat you. Changing your mentality isn’t easy but the rewards are substantial.

Self-improvement Is Key

If you want to develop your skills and reach your goals, you need to make self-improvement a big part of your life. As the saying goes, the bridge between dreams and goals is action. For every key area in your life, make a list of your main objectives and ways in which you would like to grow. For example, you may wish to become a more competent artist and learn how to draw people, animals, landscapes or any other subjects that catch your interest. Signing up for an art class, investing in some basic materials and scheduling time every week to draw for a few hours would be useful steps to take if your goal is to become good at drawing.

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Self-improvement tends to lay the groundwork for a virtuous or upward cycle. When you take your ambitions and goals seriously, this helps you maintain a positive and proactive outlook. The better your mentality, the more time and energy you will devote to self-improvement and the stronger your skill set will become. This in turn will feed your confidence and inspire you to pursue further success. Your life satisfaction will soar along with your competence.

It’s tempting to compare your progress to that of others, and to rate your own contributions against theirs. However, this is a mistake that will set you back. It’s great to be inspired by other peoples’ work and to learn from their successes, but constantly making comparisons may lower your self-esteem, especially if you are early on in your journey and haven’t yet achieved your desired level of mastery.

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Tiny Steps Are Sometimes Best

Even if you only move towards your goal in tiny increments, you should congratulate yourself for making progress. Many people go through life wishing and hoping for change without taking steps to make it happen. It’s the small changes that add up to groundbreaking results. For example, you may wish to become a marathon runner but cannot remember the last time you walked for longer than 20 minutes. In this case, by walking just 5-10 extra minutes per day most days of the week you would be making huge progress. If you have become highly introverted recently and your goal is to become more social, meeting up with friends one evening per fortnight would be a fantastic initial milestone.

If you have a competitive streak, focus on beating the old version of yourself rather than outperforming other people. You have no idea as to their personal problems and insecurities, and they are on their own journey. Moreover, even if they appear to give much more to the world than you do, remember that this does not invalidate your own progress. Everyone has plenty to give, and everyone needs to move at their own speed.

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How To Maintain A Positive Mindset

Remaining positive and dedicated to personal growth whilst resisting the urge to compare oneself to others is a difficult task. Some people find that journaling about their experiences can help them retain their focus. Try making regular lists of your achievements, no matter how small, together with lists of everything that is positive in your life. This can help you remain grateful for what you have and committed to your personal development.

Try and use positive language when you talk to other people. If you talk about yourself and your progress in a derogatory manner, this signals to yourself and everyone else that your goals aren’t to be taken seriously and that you are only expecting to make limited progress. Speak as though you believe in yourself and others are likely to follow suit.

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More by this author

Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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