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How to Win, How to Fail, and How to Be Lucky

How to Win, How to Fail, and How to Be Lucky

How to Win

The results in your life are a direct reflection of your thoughts manifested through your actions, which is one reason why so many of us feel like we are in one spot in our lives when we’re really in another—we keep thinking one thing and doing another. So today, take a moment to think about what is and what is not working. If you need some help, start with your physical health, and move on down to your personal relationships; which ones are contributing positively to your life and which ones are not? What’s working and what’s not working within your career or life purpose? Emotionally, mentally, spiritually, what’s working, and what needs to change? How can you change your life and create more winning opportunities for yourself and others?

We all live our lives with prejudices, and one of the biggest prejudices we hold has to do with ourselves; namely the things we are and are not capable of. The mind will always go back to what it knows from its past and what is comfortable and familiar to it. Your noodle doesn’t like to be confused, and it doesn’t like change. It wants things to stay the same, for you to feel safe and secure. There’s just one problem with that: the only thing constant in life is change.

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I don’t know how you feel about this, but I personally prefer to take responsibility for everything that happens in my life—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I like to think that nothing outside of me can influence my experience, and that no person thing can cause me to feel annoyed, anxious, pressured, happy, excited, sad, or uncomfortable—only I can decide these things. I get to choose how I react and respond to everything that is happening in my life. Where I am now and the direction I am going are dependent variables that are waiting for me to decide who it is I want to be and where it is I want to go.

The only way to get better at this life thing is by doing it. What do you do when you want to get good at something? You do it. You make it a priority; a priority above anything and everything else and get to practicing. Notice you won’t feel this way about work, as work as such a negative connotation to it: when you hear the word you probably think of something you don’t like or want to do. How many times have you said something like, “I can’t, I have to go to work” or “I have to go work out.” Forget that jazz! Creating more wins in your life involves getting to do stuff that’s enjoyable, pleasurable, and allows you the opportunity to constantly be learning and experiencing yourself in new ways.

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How to Attain Your Goals

  • Educate: Use those whom you admire, look up to, or see as heroes as motivation and inspiration. Take what they’re doing and accomplishing as a reminder that you can do it too. Read constantly: there should always be a book under your arm, and not just on topics you’re interested in, but also on subjects you don’t understand. Biographies, history, fiction and non-fiction, milk cartons if you need to—just read.
  • Take action: Actively participate in your life by taking small steps towards your goals. Break things down into tiny steps that can be practiced every day to allow you to build momentum. Some preach intensity, but I like to talk about consistency; I bet you don’t have to think about how to tie your shoes anymore—it’s effortless, easy, and requires little to no energy or thought. What’s one big thing you want to accomplish? Trying to exercise? Start with 5 minutes every day at the same time and work up form there.
  • Reflect: What went right? What went wrong? How can I build on these experiences to create a better tomorrow for not only myself but someone else as well.

How to Fail

Do you ever get the feeling that no one cares about your success? Yeah, I feel like that too sometimes, but guess what? That’s totally awesome because no one really cares about your failures either. They may care a little bit and say all the right things to convince you they care, but essentially they have their own successes and failures to worry about. You know what? It doesn’t really matter because no one is going to care as much about your achievements or your faults as much as you do.

Here’s a challenge, and it may be something you’ve never experienced before: I want you to think about something you want to achieve badly right now, close your eyes and imagine yourself putting everything you have into trying to achieve the outcome you’d like. Now here’s the kicker: picture yourself failing. Yup, you heard it right—I want you to see yourself as a failure. It’s not so bad, right? Julien Smith, the author of the book Flinch said it best, “For most of us the fact remains that the fall is not that far or hard, so take that leap and make it happen.” In order to make those necessary changes and take that leap you have to convince yourself that the benefit outweighs the cost and the best way for most of us to do that is by starting small.

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Tips for Failure:

  • Blame others: Never take responsibility: blame others, circumstances, and resources for your current situation. Assume everything is out of your control and you have no say in the matter.
  • Make excuses: Use as many as you can as often as possible. “Not enough time” is my personal favorite. The more you make the easier and the more comforting failure feels, it makes everything ok.

Be Lucky

There’s no such thing as luck: I’m sorry it just doesn’t exist. In Sebastian Marshall’s book Ikigai he references how life is made up of predictable outcomes that are either more likely to happen or less likely to happen based on probability. There’s no such thing as good luck or bad luck; there is only a more likely or less likely probability that something may or may not happen, and this holds true for anything you want to accomplish in your life. The good news is that you have influence over whether or not these things happen by making choices that put you in position for the more likely stuff to occur, as opposed to the less likely stuff.

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How to Increase Your Luck:

  • Pinpoint: Clearly identify your destination and accept that there are countless ways to get there. There’s an equation I love that goes like this: 100% intention + 0% mechanism = Results. What this means is that there are a million and one ways to do the same thing but you will never achieve it or “get lucky” if you never get started.
  • Get unlucky first: Make as many mistakes as you can, as long as they are not severely detrimental to your health and well being. Keep learning what not to do and eventually you’ll perfect what to do.

So again, just think about your life today and what’s working or not working. What are you going to do about it? Will you create tiny wins, will you commit to fail, or will you chalk everything up to dumb luck?

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Justin Miller

Healthy Lifestyle Architect, a Fitness and Nutrition Coach

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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