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The One Practice That Will Help You Face with Every Challenge Much More Easily

The One Practice That Will Help You Face with Every Challenge Much More Easily

Do you see a challenge and immediately start feeling anxious? Do you worry that you won’t be able to make your dreams come true because of the roadblocks in your path? We’ve all been there—but you don’t have to keep looking at problems in the same way forever—value-based affirmations have the potential to make your life a lot easier.

It can be very difficult to prepare yourself for a challenge or roadblock, because emotions can so easily take over.[1] This can paralyze your decision-making, and make it difficult for you to find the best solution or meet the challenge head on. While simply taking a deep breath and diving in might seem like the best way to proceed, it doesn’t help you find the right solution or help dispel your anxiety about the situation.

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We all have challenges and goals in life, but if you don’t have a method for meeting these challenges, then you may not be able to achieve success as often as you’d like. The good news is that there’s one simple (but not easy) practice that will help you face any challenge you come across: value-based affirmation. This practice will help you lead a more empowering and focused life, and you’ll likely experience less stress by having a method for meeting challenges head on. So how does it work?

Visualizing what you want beyond the roadblocks is the key to overcome them

Mindset has a huge impact on how you deal with problems and challenges, and value-based affirmations affect your overall mindset to help you succeed.[2] So how does value-based affirmation work? Basically, it is a practice in which you see the desired result in your head before you begin a task. The idea is to affirm your own values before you begin in order to be more open to the change ahead and avoid getting in your own way. Value affirmation may be the reason that people tend to only make healthy changes in their lives once they’ve realized the importance of doing so on their own—not because of someone else telling them they should eat well, exercise, or even meditate.[3]

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This is why you need to work on visualizing what you want, in order to overcome challenges in front of you. An example of how value-based affirmation works would be visualizing the desired outcome of a test (seeing an A) or running and completing a marathon—then having the willpower and motivation to make that visualization reality. In practical application, this can be very powerful—a friend of mine, who had twice failed the CFA exam tried this practice—and ended up acing the test through value-based affirmation. See the outcome, don’t say it.

Try using value-based affirmation on small things first

Now, you can’t just start off using this technique and expect to run a marathon immediately. You have to develop your skills and belief in the practice before you can use it to meet a very demanding task. Instead, try using value-based affirmation on a task that you know you can accomplish, but is slightly challenging. Building on these successes will allow you to develop the technique and use it to meet even the most difficult challenges over time.

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Don’t let obstacles stop you. The right mindset helps you get through them

If you’ve ever been discouraged about achieving your dreams, practicing value-based affirmation could help you reach them—provided you use the technique to develop the right mindset. Many entrepreneurs have successfully used the practice to design the future structure and success of their business before they even get it off the ground. Seeing the success they want allows them to face setbacks and make good decisions during the challenging first few years in business.

Many successful celebrities have also used mindset to become the best of the best in their industries. Michael Jordan, for example, used a form of this technique on the road to becoming arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan practiced the growth mindset, which allowed him to push through innumerable setbacks. His own words sum up why using value-based affirmations is so important to success:[4]

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“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Visualizing that success beyond the roadblocks is the first step in getting past them. And the best part? You don’t need any special skills to successfully leverage this technique, and it can work for everyone. You just have to start using it and believing it—the rest will follow.

Reference

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Published on October 30, 2020

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

There are numerous ways to build your mindset, but none are as profound as reading philosophy books. Through these books, some of the greatest minds around ask questions and delve deep into thought.

While there isn’t always a clear and distinct answer to the many questions of philosophy, the entire field is a gateway to a higher sense of self. It gets you to think about all manner of things.

Below, we cover some of the essential philosophy books that are best for those who are just starting or looking to expand their mind.

How To Choose a Good Philosophy Book

Before getting to this list, we’ve researched ideal philosophy books to help you expand your mind.

We’ve found that the best philosophy books excel in the following criteria:

  • Complexity – Philosophy isn’t a subject that you can’t dive into immediately and understand everything. The books that we selected are great for people making the first leap.
  • Viewpoint – With philosophy, in particular, the author’s views are more important than in your standard book. We want to ensure the viewpoints and thoughts being discussed still hold up to this day.
  • Open-mindedness – Philosophy is all about asking perplexing questions and unraveling the answer. You might not reach a conclusion in the end, but these books are designed to get you to think.
  • Culture – The last criterion is culture. A lot of these books come from early philosophers from centuries ago or possibly from recent years. These philosophy books should paint a picture of the culture.

1. Meditations

    One that you’ll find on many of these types of lists is Meditations and for good reason. It’s the only document of its kind to ever be made. The book focuses on the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man who advises himself revolving around making good on his responsibilities and the obligations of his position.

    We know enough about Marcus Aurelius to know that he was trained in stoic philosophy and practiced every night on a series of spirituality exercises. These exercises were designed to make him humble, patient, empathetic, generous, and strong in the face of whatever problem he had to face off. And he faced plenty of problems since he was basically the emperor of roughly a third of the planet.

    All of that is poured into this book, and you are bound to remember a line or more that will be applicable in your life. It’s a philosophy book staple.

    Buy Meditations here.

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    2. Letters From a Stoic

      Similar to Marcus Aurelius, Seneca was another powerful man in Rome. He was a brilliant writer at the time and was the kind of guy to give great advice to his most trusted friends. Fortunately, much of his advice comes in letters, and those letters happen to be in this book. The letters themselves provided advice on dealing with grief, wealth, poverty, success, failure, education, and more.

      While Seneca was a stoic, he has a more practical approach and has borrowed from other schools of thought for his advice. As he said when he was alive, “I don’t care about the author if the line is good.” Similar to Meditations, there are several brilliant lines and advice that are still relevant to this day.

      Buy “Letters From a Stoic” here.

      3. Nicomachean Ethics

        Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher at the time with profound knowledge. He’s named after a form of logic as well called Aristotelian logic. Through this book, Aristotle writes about the root of all Aristotelian ethics. In other words, this book contains the moral ideas that form a base for pretty much all of western civilization.

        Buy “Nicomachean Ethics” here.

        4. Beyond Good & Evil

          Friedrich Nietzsche played a big role in the philosophical world. He was one of the leading philosophers of the existential movement, and it all came through this particular book. He is a brilliant mind. However, the issue with a lot of his work is that it’s all written in German.

          Fortunately, this book is one of the slightly more accessible ones since it’s translated. Within the book, he breaks down the paradoxes of conventional understandings of morality. By doing this, he sets the stage for a lot of the 20th-century thought process that followed.

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          Buy “Beyond Good & Evil” here.

          5. Meditations on First Philosophy

            In Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes breaks his book down into six meditations. The book takes a journalistic style that is structured much like a six-day course of meditation. On day one, he gives instructions on discarding all belief in things that are not guaranteed. After that, he tries to establish what can be known for sure. Similar to Meditations, this is a staple and influential philosophical text that you can pick up.

            Buy “Meditations on First Philosophy” here.

            6. Ethics

              Written by Benedict de Spinoza, this came at a time during the Age of Enlightenment. Enlightenment was a movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and with that, many schools of thought emerged and were presented through books.

              Out of the many influential philosophy books published back then, Ethics dominated during this period as it discussed the basis of rationalism. Even though we’ve developed further beyond that, Ethics can introduce new ways of thinking from this particular school of thought.

              Buy “Ethics” here.

              7. Critique of Pure Reason

                Immanuel Kant is another great philosopher who brought together two of history’s biggest opposing schools of thought into a single book. Those schools being rational thought and empirical experiential knowledge—knowledge gained through experience.

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                In Critique of Pure Reason, Kant explores human reason and then works to establish its illusions and get down to core constituents. Overall, you can learn more about human behavior and thought processes and thus, open your mind more to how you think and process everything around you.

                Buy “Critique of Pure Reason” here.

                8. On the Genealogy of Morals

                  Another piece of work from Nietzsche that is accessible to us is On the Genealogy of Morals. According to Nietzsche, the purpose of this book is to call attention to his previous writings. That said, it does more than that so you don’t need to worry so much about reading his other books.

                  In this book, he expands on the cryptic aphorisms that he brings up in Beyond Good and Evil and offers a discussion or morality in a work that is more accessible than a lot of his previous work.

                  Buy “On the Genealogy of Morals” here.

                  9. Everything Is F*cked

                    The only book on this list that’s been written in the past few years, this book by Mark Manson aims to explain why we all need hope while also accepting that hope can often lead us to ruin too.

                    While many of the books on this list are all practical, this one is the most realistic one since not even the greatest of philosophical minds could predict things like technology, Twitter, and how our political world has shaped.

                    Manson delivers a profound book that taps into the minds of our ancestral philosophers, such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, and digs deep into various topics and how all of it is connected—religion and politics, our relationship with money, entertainment, and the internet.

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                    Overall, this book serves as a challenge to all of us—a challenge to be more honest with ourselves and connect with the world in a way we’ve never tried before.

                    Buy “Everything Is F*cked” here.

                    10. Reasons and Persons

                      One of the most challenging philosophy books to read on this list, Reasons and Persons will send you on quite the trip. Through a lot of painstaking logic, Derek Parfit shows us some unique perspectives on self-interest, personhood, and whether our actions are good or evil.

                      Considered by many to be an important psychological text around the 20th century, the arguments made about those topics will open your mind to a brand new way of thinking.

                      Buy “Reasons and Persons” here.

                      11. The Republic of Plato

                        Written by Plato himself, this book is the origin of political science and offers a brilliant critique of government. As you would expect, the critique is still important today. If you’re looking to understand the inner thoughts of Plato, this is one of the best books around.

                        Buy “The Republic of Plato” here.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Philosophy books take a while to digest as they provide profound knowledge and leave you with many questions. With many of these philosophy books, you need to take your time with them, and you might have to read through them a few times as well. And with every read, your mind will only expand.

                        More Books to Open Your Mind

                        Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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