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Breaking Free from Mediocrity

Breaking Free from Mediocrity

So tell me, how mediocre are you today? Sorry, let me rephrase that, who are you hanging with today?

If the people you hang with all very successful, daring to be different,  and doing things you want to accomplish, I bet it inspires you to be the best you can be. If everybody around you is looking up to you as their hero in every aspect of life, however, you’d better wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe it’s time for some changes?

Social Creatures

People are social creatures—even if you are a loner or prefer to work alone, I bet you have some form of social network around you, in real life and online. If you examine your network you will most likely find that the people you interact with most have similar drive, similar levels of success, and similar ambitions. What does that mean? Simply put, you are becoming an average of each other. Does that scare you or inspire you?

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You may know somebody who has made some bad choices in life and ended up in bad places. With effort, they may have come out of those bad places and started making positive changes: during this period, they might have great support from counselors or similar, but what happens afterward? Well, some may go on to become successful to some degree, but there are always some who fall back into their old habits. The difference? My money is on the changes they have made in their social network: if they make no changes to their network at the same time as they were going through their other positive changes, all their efforts may very well be for nothing. Why? Because their old network is supporting their old way of life and will make them gravitate towards their old habits.

The same goes for very successful people—who do they have in their network? The answer is: very successful people!

Putting it Together

So what does that mean to you? Well by making some adjustments in who you surround yourself with, you can accelerate the changes you are implementing. People can help each other by teaming up with others of complementary strengths, for example, so together they can catapult each other into greatness. Sounds good, right?

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So then, where do you get these complementary boosts? Well, there are a number of ways to choose from and it depends on what you want to accomplish. Want to become fit? Ask a fit friend to work out with you and spend more time with that person, or join a running class or a gym with team training to get inspired, and find friends that pull you forward instead of weighing you down. Want to start a business? Join an entrepreneurs’ club, visit online forums, network online and off-line, and get advisors or mentors.

Remember, understanding this and recognising this means nothing unless you make changes where you see the need for them. Action!

So here is what you do:

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  1. Take a long, hard look at who you interact with most: list them and quantify their level of success in relevance to where you want to be.
  2. Quantify the time you spend with these people.
  3. Identify the energy thieves—that’s anyone you feel is giving you more negative energy than positive. Look for clues like people who complain a lot, never give you encouragement or try to put you down.
  4. Now take action to break free from these energy thieves, and with that, kiss some of your mediocrity goodbye.
  5. Identify people in your circle whom you admire or who have a lot of success in an area you are interested in.
  6. Take initiative to spend more time with these people, and be inspired to be the best you can be!

Does it sound scary? It can be, but remember: sometimes you have to put yourself first, so make yourself a priority!

Conclusion

In closing, I want to stress that a you don’t ditch friends because they are going through a rough stretch in life and need your energy to stay afloat—we all have to roll with life’s punches and that’s when friendships are tested, so cherish those friendships that stand strong during difficult times. This post refers to the fake friends and acquaintances who give a false feeling of friendship—flush them out and invest your precious time with those who can lift you to new heights.

Have you considered how your network affects you?

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Featured photo credit:  Full length of muscular guy via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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