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How to Live a “Contagious” Life and Start an Epidemic!

How to Live a “Contagious” Life and Start an Epidemic!

Have you ever been around someone with a cold or flu? The sneezing, running nose, sore throat, and whatever else they’re carrying are enough to make you want to run for cover. Why? Because viruses are contagious and none of us want to catch them.

The point is, we can tell when people are sick because they demonstrate certain characteristicsthat tell us to “stay away.” If you’ve spent any time around someone who is sick you know what I’m talking about—you find yourself feeling miserable within minutes.

Not wanting to be around sick people who may be contagious is a no-brainer, but what about people who are positive, fun, encouraging and passionate? Everyone wants to be around those folks because their energy rubs off on others—their energy is contagious. They are usually leaders whose character traits are mirrored by the people around them. The key is learning how to breathe in some of that positive energy for yourself.

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If you want to live a contagious life, but feel like you’ve been drowning in the sea of mediocrity lately, it’s time to amp things up a bit. Here are a few things you can try to get infected with positivity:

Have the right attitude

A right attitude is contagious: most people want to be around others who are humble, teachable, and positive. You may not be the most talented or experienced person, but with a great attitude, you’ll always stand out in a crowd. 

Know who they are

People who have a good self-image are more likely to convey an infectious attitude. They focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses, and they don’t rely on their performance as a barometer for their self worth.

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Avoid “stinking thinking”

Contagious people encounter difficult circumstances like the rest of us; they just filter them before passing them on. They focus on the positive and see adversity as a challenge. They watch what they tell themselves and take an optimistic tone. You won’t hear any negative self-talk because they’ve trained themselves to filter it and avoid ruminating about things that are negative and will bring them down.

Stop making excuses

The “I’ll never change, or this is just how I am” mentality has got to go. If you want to live a more contagious life you have to step outside the box and be willing to take some risks: excuses keep you stuck. You are only a moment away from experiencing truth by what you chose to believe about yourself and your circumstances. You can change, millions of people have. You only have one life—go for it!

Fuel their passion

Passion is contagious. Look around at the people you know who are inspiring: they are generally passionate about something. They are motivators, and tend to be willing to take risks to add some gas to their fire.

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Pass the infection around

Laughter really is the best medicine, and it’s infectious. Contagious people spread positive energy by acting goofy, joking around, and making others laugh. They don’t take themselves too seriously all the time.

Strive for personal growth

Contagious people are movers and shakers: they are always looking for new ways to stimulate their minds and challenge themselves with new adventures. They are intention on nurturing personal growth and development, and you’ll find them reading, writing, taking a course, trying a new sport or hobby, or doing something adventurous.

It’s never too late to live a contagious life; all it takes is a decision. Start today by taking some next steps to change, and start an epidemic!

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Back at you: What strategies have you implemented to live a more contagious life?

Featured photo credit: young pretty woman drinking coffee via Shutterstock

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Rita Schulte LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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