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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 November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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