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Published on February 6, 2019

34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment

34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment

Time is the currency of life—we have a certain amount of heartbeats with which to savor it.

In today’s hectic world, it’s also more scarce than ever. We watch the clock in a meeting, waiting for the hands to move so we can go home. When a deadline approaches, we wish for more hours in the day. We squander what time we do have on mindless pursuits like binge-watching the latest show on Netflix, scrolling through Twitter, then later feel guilty or not spending enough time with our kids.  

When we don’t have a connection with the flow of time, we lack purpose. We move through our days aimlessly. We feel worse, and our personal and professional lives suffer.

But when we adjust our relationship with time and find our center, we can take ownership of our commitments and our lives. 

Here’s how to stop time and live in the moment:

1. Real Gratitude Takes Time

Gratitude is good medicine and is always time well spent. It helps relieve stress and build positive energy, and it gives us great perspective on life.

Every day, you should take some time out to be grateful for what you have. Here’re some ideas for you:

40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude

2. Nature Is Our Guiding Light

In nature, things move with the sunlight and the seasons. Society artificially compresses time. Tapping into nature’s rhythms will connect us with life around us and feel more energetic and productive.

3. There Is a Time to Hustle and a Time to Chill

If you’re hustling 24/7, it wreaks havoc on your mental and physical wellbeing. It’s crucial to carve out down time to slow down and breathe.

Bring a blanket and book to the park, or take a long walk without your phone.

4. Anxiety Is Mostly a Waste of Time and Energy

Worry steals joy and negatively impacts decision-making. It’s understandable to often feel overwhelmed by life’s unknowns, but spending all day worrying about something that “might happen” is a waste of time and energy.

Acknowledge the frightening thoughts, and move on to the task at hand. This anxiety coping mechanism can help:

Anxiety Coping Mechanisms That Work When You’re Stressed to the Max

5. Discover What You Want

Make a list of all the things you want to do, including exercise, personal time, family time, reaching, yoga etc.

Take a look and make sure it reflect your desires for self-care. If you did these things, would you feel calmer and happier? If so, add them to your calendar and prioritize them.

This guide can help you discover what you truly want:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

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6. Exercise Doesn’t Have to Be a Grind

Exercise isn’t about quantity—it’s about quality.

Are you focused? Can you breathe into and slow down that bicep curl? If so, then a few solid reps do the trick, and you can move on with your life and use the extra time to read a book or take a nap.

7. We Need Space to Digest Thoughts and Emotions.

When you aren’t digesting your thoughts, you create a backlog of mental suffering that keeps you from being present with your friends and family.

To fix this, allot time to process your feelings. A hike in nature is a great time to work through that emotional turbulence, in turn allowing you to be more present for the rest of your life.

8. Sitting Is the New Smoking

Numerous studies are linking a stagnant lifestyle with a high rate of mortality. Get up and move around frequently throughout the day to improve your body’s functions and overall sense of wellbeing.[1]

9. Meal Time Should Be Ritual Time

Our ancestors spent hours preparing meals and enjoying them with loved ones. Today, we scarf food down in our cars in between meetings.

We should return to seeing mealtime as an opportunity to slow down and nourish our bodies, absorb nutrients, and relax into the digestive process.

10. Cut the Fat

We all have people in our lives who sap our energy without giving back. Draw boundaries and take your time back.

If you aren’t sure how to get rid of these toxic people, take a look at this:

15 Effective Ways Clever People Handle Toxic People

11. Family Time Means No Distractions

Instead of multitasking on work emails when you’re with your family, give them your all.

Walk the dogs together or have dinner without devices. Work to get in quality time with your family every day, even if it’s just a few minutes.

12. Communication Isn’t What It Used to Be

Today, the vast amount of our communication is electronic. But it’s important to interact face-to-face to really connect.

Wake up and pay more attention to your in-person communication, focusing on things like body language and eye contact. See how much better you feel.

13. Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Not all time is created equal. There are times of the day, times of the week, seasons of the year, and even eras in your life when you need to lean into things and devote more hours to your career or projects.

So plan your day for maximum productivity and leisure time.

14. Mix up Your Workspace

Work can suck our time and prevent us from properly caring for ourselves. If you rearrange your workspace a bit, you’ll give yourself more room to think outside the box.

Spacial awareness cues our bodies to stay more awake and wires our brains to work more efficiently.

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15. Daydreams Give You New Insights

It’s healthy to daydream, but it can also become disruptive.

Time debt has us constantly catching up on yesterday’s thoughts. Block off some time to think about a trip you’d like to take, and imagine the sights, sounds, and textures.

Building positive and productive daydreaming into your life can be therapeutic and inspiring.

16. Trading Time for Money Is Limiting, but It’s a Necessary Evil

Modern society puts a dollar amount on our time. Can you do a project online to earn more money on the side and buy back some of that time?

Ideally, you create a gig where your passive revenue matches and then exceeds your bills. You can use that income to bank money and buy a better future for yourself, or you can choose to chill out and garden all day.

This article may inspire you to think differently about time:

How to Gain More Time Like Making Money

17. Music Is the Space Between the Notes

Music would drive us crazy if there is no space between the sounds. Yet that’s how we live our lives—nonstop motion, never slowing down.

Pick an instrumental track you love and make some space to sit with it. Then see if you can sync your breathing with the song’s cadence. If you master this, you can learn to slow down in your regular life.

18. Our Time-Saving Devices Are Actually Draining It.

We created technology to help us save time and energy, but constant alerts, reminders, and notifications take us out of the present.

Take a hard look at your relationship to technology and see where you can cut back.

19. Don’t Let Social Media Become a Tick

I get it. Social media is a way to feel connected to your world and in the loop. But checking it can become a social tick that completely removes you from the world around you, and it’s time to break the habit.

Have a social media blackout day in order to reset.

20. Five Deep Breaths Can Help You Think More Clearly

Set a timer for every 30 minutes. Whenever it pings, stop what you’re doing and take five deep breaths down to your lower abdomen.

Focus on slowing the inhale and holding for a second at the top of the breath. Then make a long, deep exhale.

When you train your body and mind to press pause and nourish your breath regularly, you feel calmer.

21. Many Big Life Decisions Are Made Under Duress, Slow down and Stop Reacting

If you think through your history of big decisions, you’ll realize how many you made when you were stressed and under the gun.

You make better decisions when you’re calm and collected. If you breathe deeply to your core and focus your energy on staying in the moment, you’ll see reality more quickly and make a smarter choice.

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22. The Sun Isn’t Your Enemy

Given the negative effects of UV exposure, sun has gotten a bad rap lately. But we all need sunlight to trigger vitamin D synthesis and balance our neurotransmitters. Make a concerted effort to spend time in the sun to reap the benefits.

23. Give Yourself a Break

Take a 5-minute break once every 25 minutes. Get up and stretch, or do some squats—whatever gets your blood flowing.

Listen to your body and let it decompress. Practicing this throughout the day will keep your oxygen pumping to give you more energy.

24. Sleep is Crucial

In today’s busy world, there’s less time to build recovery into your schedule. But sleeplessness makes us tired, weary, moody, less enthusiastic, and unfocused.

If you stay in this state for too long, you’ll start to see negative effects on your career, relationships, health, and mood. Try giving up caffeine to reinvigorate your sleep life.

25. Bed Time Is Sacred

The bed should be only for sleep and making love, but we often use it for other things like eating, watching TV, and doing work.

Take all those activities and move them elsewhere. When you stare at a screen in bed, you’re compromising your sleep schedule.

26. Quality Time in Low Light Is How Our Ancestors Lived for Generations

When the sun went down, our ancestors would wind down by candlelight or hang out around a fire. The darkness signalled our brains to start shutting down and prepare for sleep.

We need the darkness to reset. Every night, take a few minutes before bed to slow down in the dark.

27. If You Need Help, Ask for It

Enlisting help is not easy—many of us are control freaks. But not being able to get help is exhausting, and not asking for help will lead to burnout.

Look at your day and see where you’re spending time on menial tasks you don’t need to be doing. Let people help you.

This article is a great reminder for anyone who is reluctant to ask for help:

Afraid to Ask for Help? Change Your Outlook to Aim High!

28. We Spend an Average of One Hour per Day in Our Cars

The time we spend in cars is crunching our spine, tightening our hips, collapsing our posture, and slowing down our metabolism.

To counter the negative effects, keep your body engaged and postural muscles active.

Use your car time productively, like by listening to an audiobook or catch up with your mom on the phone.

29. A Vow of Silence Is Therapeutic

We live in a world of noise, and we spew endless energy on wasted words.

Take a few days to be more mindful about your conversation, and avoid saying anything that is unnecessary—you’ll be shocked how much more time you have.

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30. Books Can Take Us out of Time and Space

Books give us information, insight, and knowledge, and take us to new places. All the most successful people I know are avid readers.

Today, pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read and get through at least 30 pages. Relax into the experience and know it’s time well spent.

31. Enjoy a Moment with a Neighbor

Back in the day, we used to be close to the people who lived in close proximity to us. Today, it’s just a quick smile or wave as we pass in the driveway.

Making an effort to connect with the people around you will make you feel less lonely and improve your mood.

32. Traumatic Events Carry a Heavy Weight in Our Mental Timeline

Trauma imprints on our cells and stays with us throughout our lives.

When you experience an uncomfortable feeling that’s associated with a harsh memory, close your eyes and follow your emotions in. It may be uncomfortable, but when you breathe into the area, you and heal your past.

Try these steps to let go of the past and move on:

10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

33. You Can’t Get Back Lost Time

Although there’s no use crying over spilled milk, there certainly is an opportunity to reflect and see how you could have avoided that incident for the future. There is always a lesson in your mistakes you can learn from:

10 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Reading My Past Journals

34. Creativity Takes Our Minds off the Clock

Sometimes it feels like you have no control over when inspiration hits. But this isn’t entirely true.

Through meditation and diaphragmatic breathing, you can engage the right hemisphere of your brain and foster creative thinking. This way, your creative juices spring up naturally, and before long, you’re in a timeless flow state.

Everyone can be creative, here’s how to rejuvenate your creativity:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

The Bottom Line

We aren’t going to be around forever. Make the most of now.

Thinking about death shouldn’t make you depressed. It should help build enthusiasm for the time you have here—to optimize it and savor every moment. What can you do right now to positively impact your legacy on this planet?

Featured photo credit: Barbora Polednová via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Well.org: Are You Sitting Too Much?

More by this author

Pedram Shojai

An author, filmmaker, and founder of a health and wellness platform at the cross section of health, environmentalism, and conscious capitalism.

34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment 6 Mental Exercises For Busy People To Calm the Hectic Mind

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

What Makes a Good Leader: 10 Critical Leadership Qualities

What Makes a Good Leader: 10 Critical Leadership Qualities

The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge. High-ranking people – your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

Good leadership is about acquiring and honing skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or at the workplace.

The following is a list of characteristics of a leader who successfully leads a great team:

1. Stay Positive, Even in the Worst Situations

Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and, by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

Even some simple things like providing cupcakes or beers on Fridays can make the world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

Even in the worst situations such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figure out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

Walt Disney (1901-1966), had his share of hardships and challenges; and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse.

    What Can You Learn from Walt Disney?

    Break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

    Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down — Because sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

    2. Exhibit Confidence Everywhere

    All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

    Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high and the problem will be solved more quickly.

    If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go down hill from there.

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    Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

      What Can You Learn from Elon Musk?

      You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

      • List 10 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll be more confident about yourself.
      • Work on your strengths, do your best to enhance them.

      3. Have a Sense of Humor

      It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

      Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off, because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

      Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the work place.

      As president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes”,[1] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[2] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest – no doubt that helped during some tense moments in the White House!

        What Can You Learn from Barak Obama?

        Laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

        Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspirations from the internet.

        4. Embrace Failures and Manage Set Backs

        No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

        Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear and binge-drinking under desks.

        Great leaders do in fact lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

        Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

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          What Can You Learn from Walt Disney?

          Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

          To do this, use the 5 Whys problem solving framework.

          By asking “why” for 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

          You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

          5. Listen, and Give Feedback

          This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

          The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

          The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

            What Can You Learn from Dalai Lama?

            Encourage communication between team members and establishing an open door policy.

            Practice not to interrupt team members when they’re talking.

            Summarize what they say and ask for feedback every time after you have talked about your ideas.

            6. Know How and When to Delegate

            No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

            Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

            Although Steve Jobs is known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members – like Tim Cook – Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even while he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

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              What Can You Learn from Steve Jobs?

              To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

              • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses and personalities.
              • Talk with your team members more too to know more about their passion and interests.

              Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

              7. Inspire and Grow People Around

              Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

              Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

              Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk drew attention, because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

                What Can You Learn from Pope Francis?

                Spend time to talk with other team members individually to understand them.

                Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

                8. Take Responsibility and Never Blame Others

                Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

                The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

                Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind.[3] This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

                  What Can You Learn from Howard Gillman?

                  Ask yourself what you could have done better to prevent this from happening.

                  Take the responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

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                  9. Make Decisions Based on Lessons Learned in the Past

                  It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career (figuratively, of course). Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

                  Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

                  You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories, or search from your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

                  Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake.[4] From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely – and it shows.

                    What Can You Learn from Warren Buffett?

                    Write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made.

                    Have all the lessons well organized and  when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

                    10. Lead by Example and Commit to Do the Best

                    Great leaders stick to their commitments and promises, and they are the most committed and hard working ones on the job. All great leaders lead by example.

                    Why should your staff and team members give it their all if you don’t bother to? By proving your own commitment, great leaders will inspire others to do the same, as well as earn their respect and instill a good work ethic.

                    After 15 years of house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi was voted state counsellor in Myanmar – one of the highest-profile and most powerful positions in the country. She became a symbol of peaceful resistance when she attempted to bring democracy to her country.[5] In the early years of her detention, she was often in solitary confinement. Suu Kyi is a perfect example of committed and belief-driven leadership, which she openly demonstrated during her many years of house arrest.

                      What Can You Learn from Aung San Suu Kyi?

                      Some people learn by observing the way you perform a task, some need more detailed guidelines.

                      So dedicate time to demonstrate your work to team members, let them observe how you do it. Summarize the skills you use and let team members know how you make difficult things work.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader too.

                      Make small changes your habits when you work with your team – wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs.

                      But we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

                      More About Leadership

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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