Breaking The Bonds of Worry

Breaking The Bonds of Worry

 

Like so many other things, worry can be good in small amounts, but disastrous when left unchecked.

 

When you realize you’ve done something wrong or someone isn’t doing what they’re supposed to do, or something is going wrong, you might get worried on the way to getting the situation rectified. A little worry is good. It can get the ball rolling by spurring you into change mode.  Too much worry leads to sleepless nights, illness and can often be paralyzing.

 

In the words of Erma Bombeck, “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it never gets you anywhere.”

 

When you’re stuck in a worry cycle things feel out of control. Once you take steps to change the situation you regain that control.

 

So, once worry has done its job, identifying that there is a problem, it’s time to move on to the words of the Dali Lama, “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

 

Easy for the Dali Lama to say. Simply deciding to stop worrying isn’t as easy as it sounds. We’re conditioned to worry. We’re hit by worrying news day in and day out on our newsfeeds, on every screen we turn to, in the newspapers, on TV. It seems like there’s always one threat or another waiting around the corner, so when it comes to our personal and professional lives we’re already primed to worry about those too. However, as wise Erma points out, as occupying as worrying can be, it will never of itself solve anything. Here are a few tips to help you vacate that chair:

 

Identify the problem

Sometimes we simply feel a general sense of unease about a situation. If you don’t know what the problem is, work on identifying it. If you do know the cause of the problem, try and drill past generalities down to specifics. For example if you’re worried someone on your team isn’t pulling their weight try to figure out exactly why you feel that way. Write down examples of the problem. Shave it down to the core.

 

Take action

Now that you know precisely what’s bothering you, take tangible steps to change it. Worrying holds on to the problem. Taking steps to change it, helps you release it.

 

Worst case scenario

Our imaginations often jump from problem directly to worst case scenario outcomes. Since worst case is by definition the worst case, let yourself imagine it. Now come up with a contingency plan. You probably won’t need it, but having something in place can ally your worries.

 

Release it

Once you’ve done everything you can to change the situation, let it go. Things will unfold on their own from there whether you wear grooves into the floor with the constant rocking of your chair or whether you go out for a walk in the sun. So you might as well enjoy the sun! Remember, life isn’t made for sitting around worrying, it’s made for taking charge action!

 

Other ways to release worry can include meditating and staying hydrated. Here’s a list of helpful worry releasing ideas from tiny buddah

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What Makes You Happy?

What Makes You Happy?

“What makes you happy?” Should be an easy question. You know what makes you happy right? But as many of us know, it’s not always that easy. Sometimes when we’re down, we’re not sure how to get back up. If you feel like you’re not as happy as you should be, and you’re looking for ways to be happier, we’ve got some ideas to help put a smile on your face.

Be Generous

When you ask yourself, “How can I be happier?” you might assume the answer is about what you can do for you. However, when outlining his 10 tips for happiness, Pope Francis listed “Be giving of yourself to others” as number 2. Giving of your time and efforts for the benefit of others has a weird way of making you feel good.

Turn Off

Falling into the habit of being busy all the time leads to stress and fatigue. When we are constantly on the go, we don’t give ourselves time to decompress. “Have a habit of disengagement.” says Joel Gascoigne, CEO of Buffer. Everyday Joel goes for a walk in the evening to clear his mind and reboot. This gives him the time to work through things and find solutions to the day’s problems.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

Moods and attitudes have a way of rubbing off on those around them. If you find yourself in the company of people who are often negative and ornery, chances are you’ll slip in to the same mood. The same is true for surrounding yourself with happier, positive people. If you’re around happy people, slowly you’ll find you can’t help but smile.

Get Some Sleep

If you’re tired, remembering happy things is actually more difficult than remembering negative things. Being rested also helps with productivity and will improve your reaction to negative emotions.

Drink Water

Hydration is important. You’re about 60% water and maintaining your hydration is essential for a variety of reasons. Water carries nutrients and detoxifies the body. Drinking the right amount of water per day (about 8 glasses) keeps you from getting too irritable and helps you stay mentally alert.

 

If you take time to focus on your day-to-day well

Take the Initiative, Make A Difference

Take the Initiative, Make A Difference

 

If you are not a writer, you might wonder what writing a book has to do with your career. At first glance, maybe not much, but if you look a little closer you will see it has a lot to do with your initiative, and with getting ahead in your career and your life.

 

A question of initiative

If there’s a better way of doing something at work, should you wait for someone else to figure it out or should you go ahead and do something about it? It’s easy to complain, it’s easy to hope someone else will change things. However, hoping and complaining do not, in general have any effect on life’s outcomes.

 

Even if you feel like it isn’t your place to step in and make suggestions, go ahead and do it anyway. Best case scenario your efforts will help make a change that will benefit you and everyone else who has to deal with that situation. Worst case scenario, your efforts will be noticed and appreciated.

 

Improvements never happen by leaving things the way they are

Maybe it’s not a question of figuring out a way of doing something better. Maybe it’s a question of a complete overhaul. A brand new way of doing something. Or a brand new way of thinking about something. Less a question of building a mouse trap and more a question of realizing a mouse trap needed to be invented in the first place.

 

Obviously writing a book – or figuring out a new way of doing something is a big undertaking and complaining and wishing someone else would fix the problem are much easier. But remember effort and reward are usually proportional to each other. So the harder you have to work to get something done, the greater the reward in your accomplishments.

Productivity Hacks

Productivity Hacks

Some people have a knack for getting things done. Productivity is no problem for them. They’re more organized than the rest of us and they don’t let themselves get distracted by whatever curveballs the day throws their way.

 

For those of us who have to work a little harder to achieve the same results here are a few productivity hacks to get you going.

 

Mornings

Did you know that morning people are generally more proactive? Here are a few small things you can do to get you going earlier. Set your alarm five minutes earlier each day until you achieve the new wake up time you’re looking for – about an hour earlier than usual.

 

Once you’re up don’t waste your newly acquired precious time scrolling through Facebook or looking for dinner recipes. Get yourself into productive mode. Start with a glass of water. Your body needs a dose of hydration (other than coffee) to get you going.

 

Exercise for 10 – 15 minutes, meditate – even a short 10 meditation is beneficial. If you can do both great. If not alternate or choose the one that means more to you.  Make yourself a good breakfast that includes protein. Protein is known to get you going.

 

Finally spend ten minutes writing. It can be a journal, it can be notes about the day, it can be related to long-term goals. Deliberately sitting down to write everyday lays down a path of productivity for the rest of the day.

 

Commute time

There are lots of things you can do during your commute. You can seethe at the other drivers or commuters. You can listen to music. You can daydream. Or you can use the time to your benefit. If you drive to work, podcasts are a great way to educate or entertain yourself. So are language apps.

 

If you’re on transit the commute is the perfect time to catch up on articles you’ve bookmarked for later, for goal setting or for online classes.

 

If work isn’t too far, the other thing you can do with your commute is use it to get in shape. Cycle, run or walk to work – it feels great and puts everything in forward motion!

 

First part of your day

Productive people have a routine. Start work at the same time each day. That puts your mind and body in work frame. Don’t check your emails first thing because they are a time and energy suck. Give yourself an hour to get settled and get your most important tasks underway first.

 

If you haven’t already prepared a to-do list for the day get that done. Prioritize it. Start with your top priority. Get that out of the way, them move down the list. Give yourself deadlines for each task.

 

You have probably heard that you have 90 minute sleep cycles at night. Well, those 90 minute cycles don’t suddenly stop once the sun rises. In general you can focus well for about 90 minutes at a time. After that you’re brain is tired and you lose productivity so you might as well break every 90 minutes. It doesn’t have to be long, but get up, stretch your legs, get a drink, break it up every 90 minutes. Switch tasks.

 

Do not multi-task. Even if you think you’re a good multi-tasker you are not. You are still doing one thing at a time then switching. If you want to do something well then give it your full attention then switch to something else.

 

After lunch

Some people work equally well in the afternoon as they do in the morning, but most have a little more trouble focusing in the latter part of the day. That’s why you want to get your most important tasks done early. Watch your posture in the afternoons. If you notice yourself slumping over sit up straight. If you can get yourself out for a sort walk in the afternoon. A quick walk around the block can do wonders to bring productivity back into the day.

 

Afternoons are a good time to do the work that doesn’t require as much concentration so save those for after lunch. It’s also a good time to let your mind wander a little to pursue a little creative thinking.

 

Evening

Although it might be tempting to take work home, the most productive people know there needs to be a cut off time. Your body and mind need a full stop to recoup from one day and rest up for the next.

Only You Can Change Your Life

Only You Can Change Your Life

In fairy tales when the hero or heroine is down on their luck or the situation seems hopeless, a fairy godmother or some other form of chance or circumstance steps in and saves the day. Life however isn’t a fairy tale – it’s more of an adventure! Sometimes people do step in to help, but if you count on that you could end up stuck in the same place forever.  As much as we may hope for intervention from mystical realms the people that achieve success are the ones who make it happen.

 

Take charge

When Carol Burnett was in school it was her intention to take playwriting, but in order to do that she had to take some acting classes. Guess what she found out she excelled at? Carol Burnett found her passion and changed her outlook and life to peruse it.

 

No one is happy with their situation or circumstances all the time. Some people choose to complain, some people choose to believe things will never change and there’s nothing they can do about it. Other people choose to make changes.

 

Create lucky circumstances

Does it seem to you that some people are luckier than others? Maybe you should step back and have another look at what’s going on with those supposedly lucky people. You’ll probably find that they do a little more than others. They work a little harder, they’re a little more optimistic, they set out to meet people who can help them.

 

If you take two steps toward the changes and situations you want to see in your life you will often find the situations and circumstances you’re looking for will take a step toward you. Lucky breaks happen to people who have put themselves in the path of luck through their focus on the end result.

 

Don’t just think about changes you want in your life. Take a step toward them.

Character Makes The Man – Monday Motivation

Character Makes The Man - Monday Motivation

The boy Booker, was born into slavery. The man Booker T. Washington, was an advisor to two presidents of the United States of America. When Booker T. Washington says it is character, not circumstances that makes the man, the man is speaking from experience.

 

After the emancipation, Booker taught himself to read and began attending school. At that time he needed to come up with a last name (never knowing who his father was he didn’t have one). So he chose the name of Washington, his stepfather. On the way to becoming a man, the boy named himself.

 

Working in salt furnaces and coal mines to make money, Booker Washington made his way through post-secondary school. By the time he was 25 he was the first leader of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute – now Tuskegee University.

 

Positive that the best way to enable blacks to gain equal rights was to demonstrate, “industry, thrift, intelligence and property,” he helped raise funds to open up hundreds of schools for blacks.

 

On close terms with the Republican Party, both presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft often asked Booker’s political advice.

 

Belief in potential

 

A strong belief in potential, his own and the potential of his community made Booker T. Washington a man on a mission. According to Wikipedia, “He believed that by providing needed skills to society, African Americans would play their part, leading to acceptance by White Americas. He believed that blacks would eventually gain full participation in society by acting as responsible, reliable, American citizens.”

 

Character can be adapted

 

No matter what circumstances we were born into, or what our situation now, each of us has the ability to make positive changes within ourselves to enable us to work towards a better tomorrow. Circumstances may be out of our control. Character can be adapted.

Find Your Lost Motivation

Find Your Lost Motivation

All of us deal with stress sometimes and sometimes stress is good. It pushes us forward, in a way it can give us sustenance– but that’s only in short bursts. Prolonged stress is another thing altogether.  Lost motivation.

 

Prolonged stress leads to illness. It drains our motivation as effectively as a leak in a balloon. When you feel the heavy weight of stress bearing down on you, there are a few simple things you can do to bring yourself back to center.

 

Remember you are not meant to be “on” 24/7

With smart phones and texting and emails and the thousand other ways we have to stay in touch with each other, we sometimes forget about the importance of taking a break. If you don’t turn off regularly you will burn out.

 

Make time for things that make you happy. Maybe that’s volunteering in a pet shelter, maybe it’s spending a whole day with a good book, maybe it’s making a great dinner. Joyful times, whether they be moments or hours can help you fid your way back to lost motivation.

 

Acknowledge your worries

Sometimes we tell others what we’re worried about, but a lot of the time we keep our worries to ourselves. If you have someone you feel like you can confide in, that’s great, but even if you don’t you can still release some of your stresses by writing them down.

 

Once you’ve got them out in the open on a piece of paper, take them on, one at a time. Maybe there’s a project you’re procrastinating on. If that’s the case then give yourself defined steps for getting it done. Putting an action plan in motion is motivating.

 

If you realize there’s nothing you can do to alleviate the problem, for instance if you’re worrying about someone in your family and there’s nothing you can do then give yourself permission to let it go. Worry won’t change the situation. Letting go of worries you’ve been carrying around gives motivation space to return.

 

Remember the power of your breath

When we’re stressed out we forget how centering it is to simply stop what we’re doing and breath. Take one minute away from whatever it is that’s got you all wound up and take breathe deeply.

 

Get outside

Ever notice how a short walk can totally change your perception? The solution to a problem you’ve been mulling over for hours suddenly seems so crystal clear when you take it for a walk or a run. Sometimes the simplest things can be the greatest motivators.