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How to leverage your pain as a servant

How to leverage your pain as a servant

What if you viewed:

  • Pain as fuel?
  • Hurt as something to look forward to?
  • Disappointments as your servant?

How would that change your outlook on life? On your relationships? On your business?

Do me a favor and indulge me until you finish reading this article. I want you to question why you believe that:

  • Pain is something to be avoided
  • Heartache is bad
  • Struggle is something negative

No, I want you to really ask yourself why you believe that.

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It’s because along this journey of life you have picked up messages from the people and society surrounding you. Don’t worry, I have too. I call this “mass thinking.”

Did you ever hear your mom say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees”? If you heard that example of “mass thinking” often, and you heard enough other people say it too, you probably accepted it as fact and never stopped to question it.

Or, what if you heard your dad always say, “People can’t be trusted”? If so, you probably inadvertently picked up that concept as a child and have never bothered to question it.

What makes us suffer as humans are our own thoughts and the mass thinking we’ve adopted. According to master motivator Tony Robbins, most people don’t ever master their thoughts, and that’s why they are in anguish.

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Best-selling author Jack Canfield, says, “Thoughts are simply programmed. We are conditioned by our parents, school, church, culture and so on.” Because of this conditioning, we rarely revisit thoughts or beliefs that no longer serve us.

So, how do you, in a sense, re-program your long-held, deep-seated beliefs?

According to motivational speaker Brian Tracy, you simply need to question the thoughts you currently believe in.  For example, let me ask you two questions.

  1. Do you believe it is possible for a person to become a millionaire?
  2. Now, do you believe it is possible for you to become a millionaire?

I’m pretty sure the majority of you said yes to the first question but no to the second question. Why?

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Why do you believe that?

If you simply change that belief to the belief that it is possible, you will unlock your subconscious and allow it to look for ways for you to become a millionaire. But, if you continue to believe that it is not possible for you, you will never unlock your potential power to find a way to make it happen.

So, how can you leverage your negative, harmful, painful thoughts to serve you instead of hinder you?

Here are five ways you can do so, according to leadership expert Robin Sharma. He calls it his five “ings.”

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  1. Journaling – Sharma said on his YouTube channel that journaling saved his life. He believes the antidote to pain is gratitude, so he writes down what he is grateful for. In addition, he says that you can never escape your pain, but that you can only feel yourself through the pain. Journaling allows you to process the pain and use it as a servant and not as a cruel task master.
  2. Talking – Sharma says that talking releases the energy of the pain. If you don’t talk about how you feel, that energy stays inside you and you end up making yourself sick. When we repress emotions, we only hurt ourselves.
  3. Communing – Nature is something you must commune with. You have to go outside and walk, breathe and be at one with nature. Being in nature gives you much-needed perspective on whatever ails you.
  4. Moving – You have to move in order to improve. When you exercise, you will shift your psychology, your neurobiology and your metabolic rate by releasing endorphins, which are natural motivational drugs, in your brain.
  5. Resting – We can only get better if we recharge. Studies show that it is only during sleep that the body and brain have a chance to do their repair work- to undo the subtle damage suffered by millions of cells over the course of each day. So, get some rest.

Instead of viewing pain as something to avoid, try to look at it as something to embrace. Pain, disappointment, hurt and heartache are just natural parts of your process of becoming a stronger version of yourself.

And remember, whatever you are going through now is only temporary. It may last a while, but eventually, this too shall pass, and you will be a stronger person because of it.

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meiko patton

Founder - Never Ever Give Up

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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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