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Published on September 14, 2018

15 Inspirational Ideas on How to Stay Consistent and Realize Your Dreams

15 Inspirational Ideas on How to Stay Consistent and Realize Your Dreams

Most of us have experienced negativity in life and have gone through phases where we were consistent in doing only one thing – procrastinate.

If this is the present reality of your life, you are not the only one. Difficult and dark as it may appear now, it’s not the end of the tunnel. Light and hope are waiting just round the corner! All that it needs is little change in your approach.

It is easy to fall prey to the habit of procrastination or getting distracted by trivial and unimportant affairs of daily chores in life. However, building self reliance and a benchmark for consistency is no astrophysics either. All it needs is consistent will power and motivation to keep the show on.

The critical part in this journey lies in how to take the first few steps towards being steady and positive in all life situations. Let’s take a look at these 15 inspirational ideas on how to stay consistent and realize your dreams.

1. Make sure they’re your dreams

Often our dreams and desires are contrast, influenced and shaped by social perspectives, rather than being fuelled by raw passion which leaves us relentless!

It is important to harbor and nourish dreams solely made of our own desires. That’s elementary!

Dreams that are not products of genuine fervor and interest will lose steam eventually as dreams feed solely on pure passions. To keep pursuing the goals, you need to be assured of the vitality and intensity of your dreams. If you are sure about what you want to achieve; consistency will follow suit.

Till 1993 J. K Rowling was a single mother struggling with unemployment, divorce and bankruptcy. Indomitable that she is, she braved the challenges and even the rejections of the Harry Potter script by 12 major publishers. It was in 1995 that Bloomsbury, a nondescript publishing house, came up with the first copies of the now a classic Harry Porter. Rest, as we all know, is history.

2. Break down your goals into smaller pieces

Realizing your dream is like a road trip to your favourite destination. We need milestones to reassure us whether the path we’re taking is the correct one and will soon bring us close to our ultimate destination.

Crossing these milestones will give us a small sense of achievement and egg us on to work consistently. Start by listing out these milestones on a planned timeline of your journey to realize your dreams and strike them out one after the other.

As a computer programmer, Pierre Omidyar once thought of auctioning off products from his personal website, at a very personal level. He was getting happier by the day as traffic kept increasing. Omidyar crossed his designated milestones fast and one day saw the need to upgrade his account into a business Internet account. Omidyar’s site is the now known as eBay.

3. Segment your efforts and tasks

Split your goal to realize your dreams in segments of achievements.

If your dreams are that of establishing your company, segment them into smaller tasks like attaining a business license, building a website, marketing your product or service and finally achieving profit targets.

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This will bring in consistency and order in the operations of your company and the benefits will surprise you. You will also find room for more tasks and as we know the key to incorporating more work is to break them down even further.

Joyce Meyer – the Charismatic Christian author and speaker and president of Joyce Meyer Ministries – says,

“Getting organized in the normal routines of life and finishing little projects you’ve started is an important first step toward realizing larger goals. If you can’t get a handle on the small things, how will you ever get it together to focus on the big things?”

4. Get organized and be systematic

Clear the clutter on your desk, as well as your calendar. Getting organized gives you clarity about your priorities and helps you manage your time better. It gives a big boost to your consistency while executing important assignments.

Ever wonder why Mark Zuckerberg wears grey t-shirt and blue jeans every day? Because he doesn’t spend his time and energy deciding what clothes to wear and instead focuses on important agendas.

Be systematic about every approach in life. Every small step taken in running a business needs well-conceived and systematic approach to achieve the targets. By devising your own ways to ease-of-operation your performance will improve exponentially.

5. Remind yourself why you started

Keep your goals in sight. Write them down and pin them to your desk. Revisiting your goals before starting your day keeps you away from procrastination and makes you conscious of the worth of all your daily actions.

Do you dream of being the next Elon Musk? Or is it your desire to win gold medal in the next Olympics like Abhinav Bindra[1]? Either way, it is your actions which are going to bring you closer to what you wish to make out of your life.

A simple daily reminder is a great power booster. It also helps you survive the tough times when you feel like giving up. As Mick Jagger aptly said,

“Lose your dreams and you might lose your mind.”

6. Talk to your partner often

Your partner is someone who is accountable to your well-being and encourages you to work towards your dreams. Partners are known to be supportive, honest and often play the role of a serial motivator. It could be anyone in your family, a friend or a colleague.

A partner mostly acts as a talking mirror – someone, who can be the sounding board of your ideas, thoughts and emotion. They let you look at things the way they are and sort out the muddle in your head.

Shankar and Jaikishan[2] are a perfect example of an organized, supportive and successful Indian music composer duo. They have only achieved success in their life since their relationship started in 1949-1987.

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7. Schedule time for things you love doing

Ensure that you take time out almost daily to do what you really love – be it playing squash or strumming your favourite instrument. Do it often! Things you like doing keep your creativity alive. These activities elevate your mood and enhance your productivity.

The famous proverb, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” perfectly describes why you need time off from work. Only work will make you boring and uninteresting. Experts say finding time from your work to do stuff you love will not only improve your consistency but also affect your efficiency dramatically.

Here are some interesting facts about pursuing creativity by the rich and famous:

Meryl Streep the award-winning actress loves to knit; Bill Gates is an avid bridge player; George W. Bush, the former US President is a prolific painter; Tom Hanks collects vintage typewriters; Marissa Mayer, The Yahoo CEO, loves baking; and Warren Buffet plays the ukulele.

8. Travel solo often

Travelling clears the clutter in your mind and brings you back rejuvenated to perform better and achieve more tasks than you normally would with a clogged mind.

Travelling also makes you look at the bigger picture in terms of realizing your potential. An amazing example of travel making you look at the bigger picture is that of Elon Musk.

When Musk was only 17 years old his father made him take a tour of the West. Musk traveled to 18 US states by car. His solo trip exposed him to situations that are believed to have helped him take major decisions in life.

9. Money will not motivate you consistently

Money is not the only motivator that works for consistency. You will tend to procrastinate if you aren’t interested in doing a certain task. Be true to yourself and set goals beyond money for motivation.

The best way to deal with this is to delegate tasks and follow up constantly. Let people help you with the tasks that they like doing and find a way to monetize these tasks profitably. Henry Ford very famously said,

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

10. Surround yourself with positive people

Tap into the positive energy of people around you. Positivity brings in a lot of energy to motivate you in performing your tasks faster and work for longer hours. Be constantly aware of your state of mind and be vigilant about getting sucked into the negativity.

Follow successful leaders and inspirational speakers on social media. Read and listen to their daily dose of positivity to differentiate between struggle and negativity.

Want to know the source of inspirations for the big names in industry? Examples are plenty:

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Richard Branson claims to be highly inspired by Steve Jobs.

Paul Mizen, MD, Recruit Venture Group, call on Winston Churchill – as a training resource to inspire the rest of his team.

No one has inspired Tim Cameron-Kitchen, head ninja at digital marketing agency Exposure Ninja, more than Benjamin Franklin.

11. Visualize the results

Right from dealing with failure to success – every negotiation in life needs to be pre-empted and visualized to prepare beforehand in order to deal with the situations as and when they arise.

Visualization keeps us armed and motivated to execute the required actions. This does not mean having vain chimeras though! In some scenarios, you might even have to improvise your plan to achieve the desired results from a particular task or activity. New challenges will demand you to be flexible and open to changes.

Visualize every intricate detail of your journey and you’ll be motivated to work towards turning them into a reality. This also instils uniformity in your efforts. The more often you visualize your dreams and journey, the more unfailing you will be at working hard.

The oft-quoted lined by Benjamin Franklin, the founding father of the United States of America who revolutionised the world with his discovery of electricity, comes to mind in this context:

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

12. Realize that you can’t control everything

Don’t be demotivated if certain plans don’t work. We cannot control everything. All we can do is deliver the best in all we do. The key to consistent performance is in knowing that you need to constantly keep delivering regardless of failures.

Elvis’s recordings were a flop for initial many years and later when he tried to be the member of a vocal quartet he was told that he couldn’t sing. It was till the very day that he became popular, people kept telling him to go back to driving a truck.

Let go of “what-ifs” and approach every task with confidence. Focus on your efforts and performance more than the outcome and keep on adding value to your deliveries.

13. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture

Taking care of the menial or mundane tasks can get pretty boring. To keep away from dejection remind yourself of the reasons for getting them done. Keep the bigger picture in mind. All these small tasks are going to complete the jigsaw puzzle in your near future.

The great scientist, Alan Turing said,

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“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

Your goals and dreams are way bigger than the small tasks and such tasks will utilize a lot of your time. However, it will be unjust to compare this effort to the overall value of your goal.

14. Follow your industry for positive information

Know about the success stories of others who are trying to do what you are doing. Once you start following the industry, you will be empowered with right knowledge and facts. This learning will nourish your mind and keep you motivated towards your goal.

You will also get competitive and zealous once you follow the progress of other people in your industry. You could also find opportunities to connect with like-minded people who are working towards similar goals. You could even get into a healthy competition with your ally, which in turn will enable you perform better.

Jack Levin nailed it when he said,

“I think healthy competition is good for business, and really at the end best for end-users. Just think about what Android would have been if it was for iPhone – a better blackberry?”

15. Blame yourself before you blame others

All of us make mistakes. Review what you do to find out where it goes wrong and improve your skill in that area. It’s easy to blame your boss, your investors or your trainers but that doesn’t address the issue.

Ask yourself before starting a blame game. Hold yourself accountable and make the most from the mistake by taking serious lessons and building your capacity so that the mistake is not repeated in future.

Courtney Lynch, founding partner of Lead Star, puts it in the most articulate way when she says,

“Leaders inspire accountability through their ability to accept responsibility before they place blame.”

No matter at what stage of life you are in, there is nothing as right time or right place. You can start right now.

Remember, unless you execute, you’ll never know your true potential. Be consistent, be happy.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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Amit Ghosh

Amit likes to experience and observe everything that life has to present in front of him.

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Last Updated on May 16, 2019

Can You Stop Depression from Damaging Your Brain?

Can You Stop Depression from Damaging Your Brain?

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in America, according to the latest mental health statistics.[1] Approximately 17.3 million adults have had at least one major depressive episode.

In this article, we will take a deep look into depression, what a depression brain is like, and how to prevent the damage from depression.

What is Depression?

In order to tap into treatment options for depression, we must first examine what defines this disorder.

Apart from differing scientific and medical jargon, depression – also known as Major Depressive Disorder – is best categorized as a serious mood disorder.

While it is common, it is anything but innocent. The symptoms of depression have serious effects on daily living, and leave the afflicted person with an inability to carry out normal tasks, such as working, interacting with friends and family, and sleeping.

Depression itself is an umbrella term for a list of specific types of depression, such as Postpartum Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (which leads into serious symptoms of depression), Bipolar Disorder, and Psychotic Depression (which is depression with symptoms of psychosis), just to name a few.[2]

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While everyone experiences moments of depression in their life, being clinically diagnosed with depression is usually done with the aid of medical help. This diagnosis typically relies on a baseline of depression symptoms that have been present for at least two weeks.

Symptoms of Depression

Because depression is categorized as a serious mood disorder, most symptoms will begin with a person’s behavior. A person may feel persistent sadness that simply won’t go away, or they may experience a loss of interest in activities that they once enjoyed, like gardening, traveling, or working out.

Other symptoms, although not a complete list, may persist:

  • Feelings of emptiness or hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Angry outbursts, followed by a complete mood change (from happy to sad in very quick shifts)
  • Struggles with insomnia or significant changes in sleep schedule
  • Inability and lack of desire to get out of bed in the morning
  • Significant decrease in personal hygiene, nutrition, and maintenance of their home or space
  • Decreased interactions with friends, family, or colleagues
  • Lack of energy and physical weakness, apathy, or pains and aches
  • Trouble concentrating on specific tasks or making decisions
  • Frequent thoughts about death, or even suicidal plans, thoughts, or attempts
  • Back pain and headaches

While this list is not complete or exhaustive to a person’s struggle with depression, it does provide a general picture of some of the common symptoms.[3])

Causes of Depression

Mental health disorders still very much pose a mystery to medical professionals and science, in general. While depression is treated in a variety of ways (medicine, therapy, alternative healing, etc.), professionals are still learning more about this disorder and how it affects people of different genders, ages, and backgrounds.

However, a variety of factors are known to be possible contributors to depression, such as:

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  • Hormones – in cases of giving birth or going through menopause, women’s hormones quickly change, which can trigger depression or similar symptoms
  • Genes – while not everyone gets depression from inherited traits, it is a factor, and research has seen a correlation between depression in families that is carried through generations
  • Brain chemistry – one of the key factors in understanding cause of depression is brain chemistry, specifically neurotransmitters that work with the neuro-circuits in the brain to balance mood stability. If these neurotransmitters are not working properly, it could lead to depression or similar symptoms

We already mentioned brain chemistry, and how it plays an integral part in understanding how your brain works in relation to mood stability. Neurotransmitters are your body’s chemical messengers. They transmit these messages between neurons for a plethora of reasons – cognitive function, organ function, dopamine release, etc.[4]

In terms of relating this to depression, however, those transmitters also regulate mood stability, and if they’re not relaying messages correctly or connecting to the brain circuitry in normal, functioning ways, we see a correlation between that “misfiring” and mental illness.

To paint a picture, imagine your brain split in half, the two lobes or hemispheres perfectly separated from each other.

Now, imagine the mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters like tiny little ping-pong balls that bounce from one hemisphere of the brain to the other, relaying messages that connect the brain as a whole. This is what we normally see in a healthy functioning brain.

However, if there is a change in this chemistry, and the ping-pong balls are not crossing and relaying as they should, that change creates a shift in your brain circuitry that may cause depression or similar symptoms.

Because our brain is an extremely complex and intricate organ which scientists are still studying and learning about, it wouldn’t be complete to say that only chemical imbalances cause depression.

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In fact, recent Harvard research suggests that a slew of factors are involved in creating a correlation between depression and your brain function. These are inclusive of the neurotransmitters we described above, but they also include your way of life, medication, stress levels, and even genetic contributions or ways in which you were brought up.[5]

Because depression is a mood disorder, we have to look at our behavior, and how it is influenced by our brain chemistry.

Behavior is shaped by our temperament, and much of that comes from our genetics. We are predisposed to act in certain social situations in ways that tie us to our family chain.

How we react to life circumstances or other people is very much a reflection of what we picked up from our parents, guardians, friends, or social upbringing. From this, we may make different choices in life, for better or worse, depending on these genetics.

Similarly, our view of the world and our relation to it also have a hand in how depression may form. We create our world view early on in life, and while it is influenced by our family and life events, it’s also very much our own.

If you’ve experienced loss or disappointment, you’re likely to fall back on your world view to cope with it and allow it to protect you. As an example, you may close yourself off from new relationships because you’ve endured heartbreak and don’t believe that you’re worthy of real love; or, you come from an upbringing that wasn’t emotionally available, so you don’t create habit patterns or behaviors that show you how to handle emotion in a healthy way.

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All of these scenarios create behavior. In turn, that behavior creates habit patterns, that in turn, create your daily life and your interaction with it.

While chemical imbalances can have a direct role in manifesting depressive episodes, we have to be aware that our own, inherent behavioral traits are just as powerful contributors.

Medications to re-balance any chemical disruptions in the brain are a proactive tool against depression. These can be explained and provided to you by a medical health professional.

When it comes to our behavior, however, and how we deal with stress, trauma, loss, medical problems, and the like – all of which are triggers for depression – we can implement new habits[6] that can decrease any damage to our state of body and mind, such as:

  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing
  • Yoga or any body-conscious movement or workout
  • Journaling about life events or problems we encounter on a daily basis
  • Therapy or group-sharing
  • Acupuncture, Reiki, or any alternative-healing modality
  • Diet and nutrition rich in foods that cleanse and empower (rather than numb and overpack the gut)
  • Hiking, running, biking, or any cardio-increasing activity
  • Spending time with others who support you

These are habits and tools that you can implement on your own, as well as with a professional. Remember to always consult with your doctor before starting any new regiment.

The Bottom Line

Depression is a disorder that affects our mood. While research has uncovered that depression may be linked to chemical imbalances in the brain, it also suggests that our behavior and inherent genetic traits are strongly connected to how depression manifests.

How you deal with the many ups and downs of daily life are strong indicators of where you may want to make changes, whether medicinal or alternative, to decrease your chances of depression and its damage, and embrace a life of health and well-being.

Featured photo credit: AJ Garcia via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] National Institute of Mental Health: Major Depression
[2] National Institute of Mental Health: Depression
[3] Mayo Clinic: Depression (Major Depressive Disorder
[4] Queensland Brain Institute: What are Neurotransmitters
[5] Harvard Health: What Causes Depression?
[6] Help Guide: Coping with Depression

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