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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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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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