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Be The Only Script Writer Of Your Life

Be The Only Script Writer Of Your Life

We live in a fast paced world, and it is getting increasingly difficult to keep up with the tempo of things. With the advent of more sophisticated technology and software, our lives are even more chaotic and disrupted. If we don’t check up on social media in two hours, we start to feel jittery.

We put on the news, even when we don’t want to, so that we don’t miss out on important happenings around the world. We are besieged by emails and text messages that add no value to our lives, yet we feel compelled to open each and every one of them.

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The hours in a day are still 24 hours, same as it was from time immemorial, but it does seem to be getting shorter, because there is so much to do (most of it irrelevant) and not quite enough time to do them all. But we live only once, and we get no other chance to redo what we have done wrong. This is the time to take back our lives, this is the time to reclaim what modern times, technology and our anxiety has taken from us. This is the time to take full control.

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How can you take back control of your life?

The article “50 ways to live life on your own terms.” originally published on Medium, is an extensive and well researched article written by Benjamin P. Hardy, a PhD candidate in Motivation Psychology. Hardy is a husband and foster father of 3, and knows what is important in life and what should be focused on.

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Benjamin has explained 50 ways on how we can take back control of our lives. Here Lifehack  summarises some of the key points that we think you should know. Feel free to take your time to finish the rest of his article by clicking the link.

On Personal Improvement

  • Stop consuming the news: Media outlets have a goal to appeal to your fears by inflating extreme cases. This way, they retain their viewership. Ditch the news and get high quality news curated from sources like Google News.
  • Do something terrifying: Do something every day that terrifies you. Confront your fear and make that call, ask that question, pitch that idea, or post that video.
  • Work on your bucket list: Design your life around your ambitions rather than design your ambitions around your life. Make a list of the things you absolutely must do before you die, and then start working on doing them.
  • Declutter: Remove all non-essentials from your life. We hardly use most of the possessions we own, and these suck energy from our lives. Also, they are dormant value waiting to be exchanged for dollars.
  • Don’t obsess: Stop obsessing about the outcome. Instead, have an expectation in your own ability. This serves as a better predictor of high performance than expectations about a specific outcome. Expect optimal performance from yourself and let the consequence follow.
  • Don’t check social media immediately: Wait at least 60–90 minutes after you wake up before checking your email and social media. If you check immediately, this puts you in a reactive state for the remainder of the day. Instead of responding to other people’s agendas, you’d rather live life on your own terms.
  • Track an improvable habit: Track at least one habit/behavior you’re trying to improve because research has repeatedly found that when behavior is tracked and evaluated, it improves drastically. You can also make tracking creative. Do what works for you. Use a method you will actually do. But start tracking.
  • Reduce the to do list: Have no more than 3 items on your to-do list each day. When you shift your life from day-to-day reactivity to one of creation and purpose, your goals become a lot bigger. Consequently, your priority list becomes smaller. Instead of doing a million things poorly, the goal becomes to do a few things incredibly well.

On Improving Relationships

  • Marry for love: Find yourself a spouse who complements and supports you and makes you better. Remember that being married gives you a higher purpose for being productive. And also remember you don’t marry to make yourself happy, but to make someone else happy.
  • Learn to say “No”: You must say no to people, obligations, requests, and opportunities you’re not interested in from now on. Know what you want and you’ll have the courage and foresight to pass up opportunities that are distractors from your vision.
  • Be spontaneously generous with a stranger: Be spontaneous. When you get the wild thought of buying the person’s food in the car behind you, just do it. Don’t think about it. If you’re driving down the road and see someone with car trouble off to the side, just do it. Don’t think about it. When you want to say “I love you,” to a loved one, just do it. Don’t think about it.
  • Befriend your parents: Become good friends with your parents. Although you won’t always see things the same way your parents do, love them and respect their viewpoints. If your parents are still around, rekindle those ties or increase the flame. You’ll find enormous joy in those relationships.
  • Eat with the family: Eat at least one meal with your family per day because eating together creates a sense of community like nothing else.

On Improving Physical Health

  • Less caffeine: Caffeine in the long run is more detrimental than it is helpful, and most of us are addicted to it. You need to stop depending on caffeine and get motivated from the inside.
  • Quit refined sugar: Research shows that your brain will radically change for the better if you stop consuming sugar. Refined sugar has now been shown to make us cranky, make us make rash decisions, and make us stupid.
  • Go on a fast: You should try fasting from all food at least 24 hours once per week. This is a great way to maintain health and vigor, as fasting leverages the self-healing properties of the human body.
  • Sleep early and rise early: Research studies show that people who go to bed and rise early are better students. They are also better planners, are holistically healthier, and are more optimistic, satisfied, and conscientious
  • Get 7+ hours of sleep each night: When you get a healthy amount of sleep, you have increased memory, longer life, increased creativity, attention and focus, lower stress, decreased dependence on stimulants like caffeine, and decreased risk of getting into accidents.
  • Cold showers instead of warm ones: Replace warm showers with cold ones. Cold water immersion radically facilitates physical and mental wellness. When practiced regularly, it provides long-lasting changes to your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems that improve the quality of your life.
  • Wake up with protein: Consume 30 grams of protein within the first 30 minutes of waking up. Protein-rich foods keep you full longer than other foods because they take longer to leave the stomach, so they are great for controlling your eating. Also, protein keeps blood-sugar levels steady, which prevents spikes in hunger. Eat eggs, turkey bacon, organic pork bacon or sausage, or cottage cheese.
  • Replace carbs with healthy fats: Refined carbs and sugars make you fat, and you should replace them with healthy fats instead. Go for avocados, healthy nuts, meat, and fish. Healthy fats are good for your brain and body restoration, and help you perform better mentally and physically.

On Managing Personal Finance

  • Tithe or give 10 percent of your income away: Many of the wealthiest people in the world attribute their healthy financial life and abundance to giving some of it away, because a natural principle of wealth creation is generosity.
  • Buy a small place rather than rent: Don’t pay outlandish amounts on rent each month. If you don’t live in a big city where buying might be difficult, buy your own home. Most mortgage payments are far less than most rent payments. Paying rent is like working hourly. You get money while you’re on the clock. When you’re not on the clock, you get no money.
  • Find out what wealth and happiness mean to you: Define what wealth and happiness mean to you, and never use another person’s definition of success to define what you do with your life. You must define success, wealth, and happiness in your own terms because if you don’t, society will for you, and you will always fall short.
  • Change the way you feel, think, and act about money: Most people have an unhealthy relationship with money. The first step to changing your financial world is to alter your paradigm and feelings about money. Successful people expect to make a lot of money, believe that in a free-market economy, anyone can make as much money as they want, and that your background, highest level of education, or IQ is irrelevant when it comes to earning money. Start thinking that way too.
  • Invest only in industries you are informed about: Don’t put your trust in someone else’s hands by investing in things you don’t understand. Although such investments usually sound incredible on paper, they most often turn out to be disasters.
  • Create an automated income source: Create an automated income source that takes care of the fundamentals. Put a business in place that runs 24/7 even while you’re sleeping, sitting on the beach, or playing with your kids.

Dictate Your Own life

It has never been more important than it is now to take back control, and live life as defined by you. To learn more, we highly encourage you to read the original article.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

1. Define Career Success for Yourself

Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

What does career success mean to you?

This is about defining your career success:

  • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
  • Not what people may think of you
  • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
  • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

  • What do you mean by work-life balance?
  • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

  • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
  • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
  • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

  • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
  • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
  • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

2. Know Your Values

Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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  • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
  • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
  • Put the words on your fridge
  • Add the words on your vision board

Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

  • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
  • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
  • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
  • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
  • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
  • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

  • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
  • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
  • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

4. Determine Your Top Talents

What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

What do you notice?

5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

Keep these words visible too!

Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

7. Manage Your Own Career

Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

Summing Up

For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

  1. Define Career Success for Yourself
  2. Know Your Values
  3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
  4. Determine Your Top Talents
  5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
  6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
  7. Manage Your Own Career

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

Good luck and best wishes always!

More Tips on Advancing Your Career

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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