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How To Have A Brighter Future

How To Have A Brighter Future

    Hold on for a brighter future…

    A lot of people might be dreading upcoming get-togethers with relatives during the holiday season because one of the things that will most definitely be brought up is how we all did this year. If you are going to be facing nosy relatives knowing that you failed in a relationship or business (or lost a job), you are already going into the holiday season with some negativity.

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    Some of your failures, losses or bad experiences might have been beyond your control but the negativity that comes with them can linger around more than you like. When one happens to get some bad luck on a repeated basis, this can have a really devastating effect on the soul.

    For example, let’s say that you keep having bad relationships from the dating scene. They all start out with much excitement but after a few months, all of your relationships turn sour. You then start to wonder if you will always end up with relationship disasters as if they were your destiny.

    It’s so easy to fall into this trap of being a perpetual victim or failure as your self-esteem goes down the drain. But there IS hope even if you have had a rocky past.

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    Past Does Not Equal Future

    One of the biggest advocates of the notion that your past does not equal your future is motivational speaker and author Anthony Robbins as he stated;

    “Your past does not equal your future.  What matters is not yesterday but what you do right now.”

    If you have ever had any failures or losses (and who hasn’t?), this is one quote that you should always keep in mind. Whether you’ve had failures in relationships, business, career or have been accident prone, it doesn’t mean that you are doomed for all time. Learn what you can from any bad experiences and move on. Apply your lessons to what you can do right now to move your future towards your desired future.

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    Let’s go back to the bad relationships example. Just because you’ve had a few of them doesn’t necessarily mean that you will continue to bomb in this area as well. Although for many people, this unfortunately will be the case only because they never take the effort to try and learn from failures in past relationships.

    Were there any repeated patterns on choosing the incompatible partners? How about patterns in how we deal with our partners? Can we take these lessons and apply them to future relationships so we are more careful in choosing more appropriate people to have relationships with?

    It’s What We Do Now That Counts

    If we make real efforts to actively make positive changes right now — despite failures in the past, our chances of success in the future are much higher. Don’t just make wishes for better outcomes. Again, it’s what we do right NOW that makes the big difference in the future rather than what happened in the past.

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    In my case, I’ve had everything from family tragedies to major sports injuries that required surgeries. I cannot let these past events jinx my future. I could have easily allowed these bad experiences to turn me into a chronic pessimist. But as long as I keep steady in doing the right things now, I will succeed in the future no matter what the past was like.

    As a result of my own past misfortunes, I’ve made such changes from taking steps on injury prevention to actively re-balancing my day-to-day lifestyle. These changes have paid off in much better results compared to my past.

    What you do now can drastically change your future for the better. Think about anything in your past that you would have liked to change if you could. Then make positive changes so that your future will look brighter than ever before.

    Feel free to share what changes you will make to ensure that your past does not equal your future.

    (Photo credit: The Sun in Hands via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

    More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

     

    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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