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Starting Today You Can Be Successful In Life…If You Follow These 10 Commandments.

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Starting Today You Can Be Successful In Life…If You Follow These 10 Commandments.

A long time ago on Mt. Sinai, the prophet Moses received two stone tablets that contained the Ten Commandments that were popularized in the Hebrew Bible. Not so long ago somewhere on the World Wide Web, Daniel Wallen, a freelance writer and LifeHacker sick of watching so many people fail at life, felt moved by the spirit and wrote the following Ten Commandments of Success. If you are sick of failing at life, thou shalt read and apply these commandments today.

1. Thou Shalt Find Purpose

  • What do you hope to accomplish in your life?
  • How do you measure the impact of your efforts?
  • Why do you exist?

If you can’t answer those three questions, you need to do some soul-searching to discover your purpose. No matter how hard you hustle, your efforts will be for naught if you don’t have a clear understanding of what would give your life meaning. As John F. Kennedy said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

2. Thou Shalt Focus

Multitasking may be defined as an inability to focus on the task at hand. You’re welcome to keep claiming you have “strong multitasking abilities” on your resume as most employers haven’t caught up with the reality that most people who multitask are not being productive so much as they’re just doing a lot of things badly.  However, from this day forward, make a commitment to focus on one task at a time with laser-like concentration. We live in overwhelming times, full of time bandits that are ready to distract you from the important work you need to get done. Disable all text and e-mail Facebook notifications, because you don’t need to know that a friend thinks that photo of your dog is precious the very instant it happens. Take a few hours to clean up your inbox and unsubscribe from any e-mail lists that don’t add value to your life (and only check your inbox two or three times a day — if it is an emergency, they will call!). 

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3. Thou Shalt Love Thyself

If you view yourself as a big loser unworthy of a better job, a loving relationship, or a fulfilling life, the odds of you getting motivated and being successful aren’t good.  When you look at yourself in the mirror every single morning, don’t look for your flaws or imperfections (like that insignificant area you keep telling yourself is “pudgy”). Instead, search for your greatest qualities that you think are cute, hot, or handsome and proudly proclaim, “Self? You are incredibly good-looking today!” To achieve true transformation, you must not only believe you are capable of improving your life, but you also must believe you are worthy of an improved life (because you are, duh!).

4. Thou Shalt Not Lust for Money

There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of money because we all need to pay our bills (and deserve the comfortable life that financial security provides), but if money becomes the “end-all-be-all” that dominates your thoughts and actions, you could find yourself performing dreadful work that makes you feel miserable. Tell me which one sounds better:

  • Doing work that provides more money than you need (and fills you with dread) or
  • Doing work that provides just enough money (and fills you with joy) 

If you still choose the first option, then it’s time to sit down with yourself, reassess your priorities and hopefully begin to understand that there’s more important things in life than money.

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5. Thou Shalt Embrace Change

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is just about as silly as it gets. If you have been performing a diet or exercise plan for months with nothing to show for it, could it be time to try another approach? If you are in a relationship that makes you feel stressed out and unfulfilled despite your best efforts, don’t you think it might be time to count your losses? If you have been hunting for a job for many months with nothing to show for your efforts, shouldn’t you consider re-working your resume or broadening your search? It is human to run and hide from change as if it is a boogeyman that will devour our soul, but change is the very thing that is necessary for success.

6. Thou Shalt Not Conform

I wish I could hop in a time machine to see what people said about the Wright Brothers during their aviation experiments. I can see it now…

  • “It will never work.”
  • “What nonsense.”
  • “They are off their rockers!”

Where do you think we would be as a society if everyone conformed to other people’s expectations? Do you think we would have high-speed railway, airplanes, internet access, or video games? Conformity is the enemy of personal growth, so march to the beat of your own drum.

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7. Thou Shalt Believe in Thyself

Doubt is a nagging voice in the back of your head that will do everything in its power to convince you that you can’t accomplish your goals. Before you can achieve it, you must believe it. Do you want to lose weight? Don’t merely give yourself a goal of losing x-lbs, but visualize your goal as if it is already reality. Sit in a quiet place where you can be calm and cool, close your eyes, and picture yourself wearing a hot new skirt or super classy suit. Imagine how confident, sexy, handsome, and happy you will feel. Visualizing your goals today will help you find the courage to make it so in the future.

8. Thou Shalt Stop Comparing Thyself to Others

Stop comparing yourself to other people. Life is not a competition and the only person you are competing with is yourself. Don’t try to out-do your friends or co-workers. Simply aim to become a better version of yourself every single day. Forget about pleasing others and be true to you.

9. Thou Shalt Not Fret Over Failure

Failure is nothing to be scared of. It is a learning opportunity and nothing more. A fear of failure can easily turn into an inability to act. Without action, there is no progress. If you aim to achieve a bold and audacious goal, then it is very likely you will fail several times during the pursuit of your goal. Do not agonize over failing, but do search for ways to improve your abilities and keep trying. An unbeatable formula for success = Try + Fail + Grow. Repeat as necessary until the only option left is success. Click here to check out five great questions to ask yourself after a failure.

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10. Thou Shalt Not Throw in Thy Towel

If you are a purchaser of “lose weight fast” or “get rich quick” products, you are guaranteed to fail at life. True success comes to those who play chess (not checkers). Consistency is the key that will unlock the door to the successful life you desire. Buckle up and enjoy the journey because if you really want it, you need to exercise your patience muscles.

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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