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7 Personal Characteristics For Effective Lifestyle Design Lifestyle 

7 Personal Characteristics For Effective Lifestyle Design

As I thought about it for the last few days, I realized lifestyle design requires quite a bit more than just setting a goal of a certain lifestyle and setting out to achieve it. It requires being a certain type of person.

So, in no particular order here are some of my thoughts on personality traits you need for effective lifestyle design.

1. Remember Names.

In the guide I wrote on How To Get Free Drinks And Get Treated Like A VIP Everywhere You Go, I shared one of my greatest tips which was to remember names.

Remembering names is one of those things most people aren’t good at. How often do you hear a person say “I’m sorry, I’m really bad with names.” If you’re not that person then you’re automatically a notch above the average person in terms of charisma.

Ask people their names whether it’s your waitress, cab driver or any other person you’re interacting with. If it’s in a hospitality environment where people have name tags, then address people by their name. Make them feel like a human who’s on the same level, not somebody who’s serving you, and you’ll be amazed.

2. Treat everybody like a VIP.

One key component of lifestyle design is treating everybody like a VIP. I’m guessing VIP treatment is something we’d all like built into our lifestyle. Remember that golden rule from elementary school “treat others the way you want to be treated.”

I’ve noticed that when you treat anybody in your environment like a VIP, whether it’s a waiter, new friend in a group, or anybody else, they’ll reciprocate treatment. This is one of those things that results in a lot unexplainable perks in your life.

3. Be outgoing.

If you think you can be a recluse or a social outcast and somehow design an amazing lifestyle, good luck. Designing a lifestyle requires many moving parts, most of which are other people. If you’re not outgoing or friendly it’s going to be a challenge.

Let’s say you get to the foreign country that you’ve been dreaming of living in and you’re anti-social; you’re going to be pretty miserable. If you’re outgoing then you’re going to open yourself up to a world of interesting experiences and opportunities.

4. Radiate Good Energy.

You’ve likely heard the saying that 90% of communication is non-verbal. There is so much truth to this. I was recently coaching a client on his public speaking skills and one thing I was telling him is that whatever you feel on the inside is going to be conveyed regardless of the words coming out your mouth. Like attracts like and good energy draws people to you along with positive experiences.

5. Be Agreeable.

Nobody likes a person who is really argumentative. Argumentative people are really good at eventually alienating everybody around them because it’s impossible to have a conversation with them. The idea is to be the kind of person people want to be around.

6. Become a connector.

This is one of my personal favorites. I even wrote two posts over at The Skool of Life called How to become a connector and how to become a connector part II: World Domination. If you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, I highly recommend you do.

Let me explain the concept of a connector just in case you’re unclear. If you analyze your forty closest friends and see how they all connect, you’ll always come back to the same three people. Basically, these people are the ones that know a lot of people and have a very special skill.

Guess what? Anybody can become a connector. Once you do, you’ll open up another world of possibilities.

7. Be Flexible.

No matter what you’re after in your life, flexibility is the key. You have to adjust to the inevitable ebb and flow that is part of life. Sometimes bad things happen and you have to choose how to react. Other times you may have to adjust your goals to fit in to where you are currently at in your life.

As you take a closer look at lifestyle design, you’ll see that incorporating certain personality traits will make it easier and much faster to reach your lifestyle design goals.

Changing Habits – How to Quit Smoking Lifestyle 

Changing Habits – How to Quit Smoking

Many people begin to quit smoking by reading and using materials that help you navigate your way through the quitting process. These may include self-help books, manuals, booklets, audiotapes, videotapes, guides, posters, calendars, charts, pockets reminders, and Websites. Below we have listed some of the most popular methods to help you get started on your journey!


Acupuncture is based on the Chinese science of energy pathways in the body. Needles or staple-like attachments are inserted in the skin at strategic points with the theory that this will reduce or eliminate cravings to smoke. Acupuncture treatment works by reducing withdrawal symptoms when you quit. Acupuncture involves putting small, flexible needles into your skin, generally on your ears, but may include points on your nose and wrist. This is usually a painless treatment. Call 1-888-818-6300 for names and numbers of Acupuncturists in your area.


Hypnosis Therapy puts smokers in a relaxed and focused state. can be done either one-on-one or in a group. During hypnosis, one is given suggestions or prompts that are intended to linger in the mind after the session ends and change ones attitude about smoking. This method can teach you skills to relax and cope with stress. It can help you increase your motivation to quit and reduce your craving for nicotine. For more information about hypnosis, call the National Guild of Hypnotists at 603-429-9438.

Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy works on the same principle as Acupuncture, but uses lasers rather than needles. Laser may help to decrease the body’s need for nicotine and limit the side effects of smoking withdrawal. Like hypnosis, there is little reliable scientific evidence to show that this therapy works- but some smokers have found it useful. It is offered in private clinics and can be expensive. Ask you health professional for more information.

Nicotine Replacement Therapies

The patch and gum provide nicotine to help ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings until the smoker has mastered some of the psychological and social aspects of quitting. Seventy to 90% of smokers say their only reason for not giving up cigarettes is their fear of withdrawal symptoms.

Nicotine Patch

The patch is now sold without prescription in Canada due to its relative safety. The patch is available in Canada in different dosages and different brands. There are patches which are meant to be worn for 24 hours and those that can be removed at night. (16 hour). Doses may range from 7 to 22 mg. People typically use patch therapy for three months. Heavy smokers may need the highest does available and achieve more success with using it for a longer period of time.

There does not exist any indication to date to suspect that a patch causes cancer or nicotine addiction.

The patch must be used properly to be effective. For example, you need to put on a new patch every day. Also, a common error is to quit the patch sooner than recommended. Cutting a patch in half will make it ineffective..


The only patch that has a rate controlling membrane, to give your body a steady supply of nicotine to help protect you against cravings. This unique feature offers 34-hour-a-day protection, even against the early morning cravings many people find the most difficult. Whether you are at rest or physically active, the amount of nicotine absorbed over 24 hours does not change.

Nicotine chewing pieces (gum)

Nicotine chewing pieces are sold without a prescription in Canada. The gum is available in different dosage levels, usually in 2mg and 4mg units. The gum is different from the patch in that it delivers nicotine in valleys and peaks similar to smoking, rather than a continuous delivery as in the patch.

Like the patch, the gum must used properly in order to be effective. Rather than chew it, it is important to bite the gum several times and place it between the cheek and gum before biting it again and repeat this process. If you are unsure, ask your pharmacist or health professional for instructions.

Most people use chewing pieces for approximately three months. Heavy smokers may need to use it for longer duration. The most common side effects are burning throat, hiccups, or dental problems. These symptoms can often be eliminated if the gum is chewed properly. Read the instructions on the package or ask for advice if unsure.

Because chewing pieces do not contain the over 4000 harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, they do not cause cancer or other serious health effects associated with smoking.


sugar-free chewing pieces which provide nicotine to your system – they work as an aid to help you quit smoking by reducing nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Nicotine replacement therapies have been proven to double the chances of quitting, and they’re even more successful when they’re used in combination with counselling or support programs.

Most smokers who quit should use medication to double their chances of successful quitting. Your preference, personal experiences, and health history may determine which medication to use- ask your health professional.

Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping Devices

Over the last few years electronic cigarettes and vaping devices have become one of the most popular methods used by smokers to give up smoking. An electronic cigarette or vaping device contains a battery, an rta or rebuildable atomizer tank filled with flavored nicotine and a mouthpiece. When you inhale the battery heats up the heating element in the ecigarette and it converts the flavored nicotine liquid or eliquid into water vapor. The advantage of using ecigarettes as a smoking cessation method is that you avoid most of the extreme withdrawal symptoms smokers experience when going cold turkey as the flavored ejuice comes in different strengths and thus the amount of nicotine you are inhaling can be tapered down over time.

Another great benefit is that although you are still smoking nicotine, you aren’t inhaling the thousands of harmful chemicals contained in standard cigarettes. We suggest purchasing the best vaping starter kit you can find for around $100 instead of buying all of the items individually as there are quite a number of different brands on the market and not all of them will work well together. We suggest going down to your local vape shop and asking for advice. If you are unable to find a vape shop near you then visit a website like or to find out more about the options available to you. As you get more advanced and want to try different configurations we suggest looking for the best rta you can find as a quality tank will enhance the amount of flavor and vapor you get and can usually be used with most devices. Ensure that no matter what tank you get that it is 510 threaded or it will not work with most of the vaping devices or box mods (big box shaped vaping devices) which are currently on the market. As for what eliquid to use, it really comes down to personal preference as there are literally thousands of flavors available on the market. We suggest looking at quality eliquid from stores like vaporfi or vapordna.


Zyban® (or bupropion hydrochloride)- Available only through prescription, Zyban® is a non-nicotine oral medication to help people to quit smoking. Zyban® relieves the psychological and physiological withdrawal symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. It appears to work in the addiction centre of the brain. It also reduces the weight gain that is sometimes associated with smoking.

When do I start using Zyban?
It needs to be started before your quite date, usually 7-10 days before, to allow for time to build in the bloodstream.

When should Zyban not be used?

It should not be taken if one is pregnant, breast feeding, have a history of seizures, bulimia and /or anorexia, taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, or are allergic to bupropion hydrochloride. You should also avoid use if you are alcohol dependent, taking St. John’s Wort and or SSRI (selective reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants.

What are the common side effects of Zyban?

People using Zyban have reported dry mouth and insomnia.

First prescribed under the name Wellbutrin to treat depression, this medication was also found to reduce a persons desire to smoke. Studies show that Zyban® doubles the rate of cessation and combining Zyban® with a nicotine replacement therapy may produce even better results. You should discuss the use of Zyban® with your health care provider to decide if this is the right quitting aid for you.

Zyban Plus- this unique treatment plan combines a medication called Zyban® (Bupropion Hydrochloride) sustained release tablets, and a support program to help you quit smoking. Call 1-800-489-8424 for more information.

These summaries provide important information about Zyban®, Zyban Plus, and Nicotine Replacement Therapy. This summary cannot replace the more detailed information that you need from your doctor. If you have any questions or concerns about any of these medications or smoking cessation in general, talk to your doctor or other health care professional.

What doesn’t work…

One method that some smoker’s try is substituting herbal or clove cigarettes for their regular brand. This method is not safe. Herbal cigarettes pose a health risk because they produce carbon monoxide and tar, and because smoke from any plant can damage the lungs and airways. Clove cigarettes are even worse: their first ingredient is tobacco, not cloves (in fact, tobacco makes up about 60 to 70% of a clove cigarette). Studies show that these cigarettes produce higher levels of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide than all-tobacco cigarettes and pose the same health hazards.

Confessions Of A Personal Development Junkie Lifestyle 

Confessions Of A Personal Development Junkie

I have been a Personal Development Junkie since I first started work, avidly reading the latest books on the subject. When the internet came along, I was in heaven, and could quite easily have spent my life on there.

I seemed to spend my early years constantly reinventing myself, then chastising myself for not living up to the “new me.”

I’d like to share a few thoughts and tips, based on what I’ve learned on this long, and sometimes rocky road.

Don’t forget you’re different!

When you read what you perceive to be some brilliant advice, the temptation is to dive into it straight away. But pause for a moment and check that the great advice is right for you, for your nature.

Let me give you an example of how this can go wrong. When I started as a blogger, I read somewhere that the best way to write posts was to “batch” them, or write a number in one sitting, then schedule them to go out over the following week. Good advice! So I tried it for a few weeks, and yes, I did enjoy the feeling of being “ahead of the game.”

But there was a problem. Nobody liked the posts, and when I looked at them again, I agreed that they were lifeless and limp. I had discovered that my writing style is about having an idea, RIGHT NOW, and blitzing a post out while the idea is fresh and still fascinating to me. I actually thrive on rushing to meet a deadline. That gives my posts an edge and some passion, so I reverted back to my previous posting method, and learned something about myself in the process. Not every piece of great advice will suit you, so analyse each against your own core values and style.

It takes 30 days for something to become a habit.

I’m not naturally disciplined, and I have learned that I need to do something consistently for a month before it becomes part of my routine.

Have you ever started, with the best intentions, something new, and then seen it slowly disappear from your schedule? If so, next time, promise yourself you’ll give it 30 days, you’ll be amazed at the effect!

You are already pretty damn good!

It can be depressing when you’re reading the blog of a personal development guru. Their lives seem so serene, so organised, they are so “in control.” You can end up feeling hugely inadequate, and that feeling can have a negative effect on what you want to achieve.

When you’ve read this post, sit down, and write down five things you are really good at – stuff related to your work. Post that piece of paper on the wall near your desk. Next time you have that sinking feeling, check out the piece of paper and remind yourself how good you are.
It’s OK to take “bits”.

When I start every training or coaching session, I open with the following words: “Training is not about changing the whole way you do something, it’s about putting a series of ideas, which may help, in front of you. And it’s about you selecting the ideas that are right for you, then acting on them and making them a habit. If, as a result of this session, you start to do one or two things differently, then it’s been a success.”

So how does that translate to you? Feel free to pick out a small idea every now and then, start doing it, and then incorporate it into your life. Don’t try to eat the elephant in one sitting, do it one chunk at a time.

Maintain a balance.

I’ve been the greatest Dad in the world; I’ve been the best husband a woman could ever wish for; I’ve been the hardest working, most successful employee in my company. The trouble is, I couldn’t ever be more than one of those things at the same time, and each time I became the best at one of them, I became a waste of space at the others. If you’re a PD junkie too, you’ll recognise this symptom all too well.

Unless you’re training for the Olympics, settle for being as good as you can in each of your life areas.
Being extraordinary is about doing the simple things extraordinarily well.

I’m not even going to explain that to you – I’d like you to ponder that one for yourself!

How Self-confidence Can Strengthen Your Lifestyle Design And Personal Development Lifestyle 

How Self-confidence Can Strengthen Your Lifestyle Design And Personal Development

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” -E.E. Cummings
Impenetrable Self-Confidence: The Key Driving Force behind Getting What You Want Out of Life.

Raising your self-confidence will take you far in building upon your lifestyle design and personal development. Confidence is the motor behind the passion to strive to achieve your goals. It’s the tool that will break down the barriers of fear that’s holding you back from achieving your desired lifestyle design and goals. Let’s take a look at some steps on how to build self-confidence to achieve what you want out of life.

The simple formula to confidence.

Experimenting + failure = learning + confidence

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” -Mark Victor Hansen

Live by your values.

Values define what’s most meaningful to us. They’re guides to our daily decisions, life priorities, and purposes. You can see a person that’s true to his/her values by the look in their eyes. They’ve a sense of purpose in life, a passion to live. They have a core set of values and nothing will shake their self-confidence.

In order to have impenetrable self esteem you need to define your life values and live by them. Everyday people are living by other people’s values, one of the main reasons they are so stressed.

They are not living with integrity. Living with integrity will build your self-confidence because every thoughtful decision and action you take is based upon your values. If you are not living life based on your values then your self-esteem and confidence will slowly deteriorate. You will always be second guessing yourself.

What are your values? There are tons of values out there. Think about what your values are and define them. Write them down and place them all around you, just like you would with your goals (See my recent post on how I set effective goals).

Start basing your decisions in accordance with your values and self-confidence will start flowing through your body and mind. You will feel it both mentally and physically. Which leads me to the next step…

The Power of Physiology.

How we present ourselves is a big determinant in our self-confidence. For example, look at those who have confidence. They are smooth like a lake on a calm night. They are determined because they have the unstoppable force of passion. They stand up straight like a soldier marching into battle. They speak with a sense of excitement. They look directly into your eyes. Most importantly, they smile and laugh more often than those who lack self-confidence. They are passionate and living with a purpose, a mission in life.

By changing your physiology you can instantly change how you feel and how you think. You can do this by learning to be consciously aware of your body. When you know you are slouching, prop your shoulders back. Make it a point to look at people in the eyes. Call people by their names when you talk with them.

And yes, most importantly, smile. When you smile, the brain produces endorphins which are chemicals inside your body that, when released, help relieve physical and emotional stress, and thus, create a sense of well-being. So many of us get caught up in things that we do not allow our self to relax and just smile.

By giving off these physiological signals, they’ll connect with your mind and allow you to feel and exert more self-confidence. Start becoming consciously aware of when you are feeling down and how your body responds. Then, be aware of how your body responds when you’re up, happy, and living by your values.
Mind: The most powerful tool for self-confidence, the mental laws of self-confidence, and positive affirmations and visualization.

Thoughts are constantly streaming throughout our minds. Only you can allow what thoughts you think, whether they are positive or negative. You should strive to have a positive balance of positive thoughts throughout your day. The most powerful tool to self-confidence is the mind and your ability to think. According to personal development guru, Brian Tracy, there are some mental laws that help build confidence:

Law of cause and effect.

Sowing and reaping. If you define clear goals and objectives in your mind you’ll reap clear results and happiness in your life

Law of attraction.

Like attracts like, you inevitability track into your life people, ideas, circumstances and opportunities that are in harmony with your dominant thoughts. Whatever you think you draw in…Fuzzy goals bring in fuzzy results. Know exactly what you want and think of nothing else. The number two foundation of lifestyle design, I recently posted about in What is Lifestyle Design?, is the people around you.

Law of correspondence.

Your outer world tends to be a reflection of your inner world. Your thought is the most powerful force in your universe. Thought is forming the world around you.

Law of concentration.

Whatever you dwell upon continually grows into your reality. Dwell upon any goal or subject and the more your mental capacities make that goal a reality. Dedication to a single purpose goes hand in hand with accomplishment.

Law of substitution.

You can either have a positive or negative thought at one time. If you have a negative thought, recognize it and figure out why you’re having negative thoughts. Work towards changing it into a positive thought. Program self-confidence deep into your subconscious mind.

Law of emotion.

Every decision you make, every thought you think is based on emotion of some kind…Emotion of fear or the emotion of desire at the other end of the spectrum.
Action without thinking is the cause of every failure, whereas action preceded by thinking is the cause of every success.

The way you talk to yourself has a huge impact on who you think you are, and thus is a strong determinant of your self-confidence. You need to continually reinforce who you want to be by positive affirmations. If you follow my guide on setting goals, then you’ll have plenty of positive affirmations to write down based on your goals. Go back, review and repeat these affirmations to yourself a few times throughout the day.

Positive visualization.

Positive visualization is another tool of the mind that builds confidence. It’s one of the most powerful tools for professional athletes. Many professional athletes, including the recent Athelete Of The Decade: Tiger Woods, prepare themselves by putting themselves in certain situations, and then playing out those scenarios. Picture who you want to be and mix emotion with your picture in your conscious mind. The more emotion you visualize the faster the picture will emerge in reality.

See yourself in whatever situation that is coming up. For example if you have a speech coming up, picture yourself in the room, on the stage with all the onlookers. Visualize giving your speech like JFK or whoever you think might be the greatest speaker. If you’re going into an interview, visualize the setting, answering your questions with confidence, and so on.

As you can see self-confidence can be developed through implementing some steps. Self-confidence will carry your far into your lifestyle design and personal development. Don’t try to implement everything at once; begin by taking small steps. In time you’ll gradually increase in self-confidence and begin conquering fear. You’ll begin to take on that larger project or find confidence to join that yoga class or talk to that cute woman at the coffee shop.

Final Thoughts.

One last quick point I want to make is surround yourself with positive material, such as Lifestyle Design For You and Life Destiny. You’ll notice that the more you expose your mind to positive material such as this blog and others; you’ll begin to feel and act more confident. Consider investing in some audio books and listen to them on the way to work, contact me for suggestions.

Why Meditation Is The Rocket Fuel For Lifestyle Design And Personal Development Lifestyle 

Why Meditation Is The Rocket Fuel For Lifestyle Design And Personal Development

“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation… tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.” -Jean Arp

If the above quotation doesn’t resonate with you, then I suspect you’re one of the lucky ones who have escaped the spiraling madness of most modern lives. For the rest of us the “monstrously gray vegetation” is what we see outside the window of our offices and passing us as we drive down the roads of our modern landscape and its noise fills our ears.

If like me, you’re not okay with this ever encroaching bedlam, this sonic infection that’s attacking the flesh of our lives. I invite you to consider the practice of meditation.

Meditation is rocket fuel for lifestyle design.

Lifestyle design and meditation is a match made in heaven. Lifestyle design focuses on shaping your own path in life, rejecting the road more traveled and making conscious decisions about the life you choose to lead. Meditation teaches us to focus inward and become more in tune with our bodies and minds.

Lifestyle design looks inward at the life we’re living and helps us break outdated assumptions so that we’re able to get from our lives what we are most passionate about.

Meditation does exactly the same but looking at our inner lives. Internally, the biggest outdated assumption we have is that we’re our thoughts.

Our thoughts tend to run on auto pilot and we make decisions based on what we’ve experienced before and what we want to experience in the future. The problem with this is we end up trapped in repeating “safe” patterns. We avoid the tough decision and continue merrily on the path to mediocrity.

Meditation tunes out our chattering ever-thinking internal voice, that voice that keeps telling us what we can’t do. The one that has an opinion on everything. Meditation allows us to pause, reboot and return to our lives free of the baggage of the past or fear of the future.

We often find external factors influencing our behavior and moods. Meditation can become the route to our deep inner self that breaks us free from our patterns of reaction to everyday life. When we meditate we tune in on our body.

Meditation clears our mind and puts us in touch with our feelings. Meditation increases our self-awareness and puts us in touch with our goals and the burning “Yes” within each of us, which has the power to subdue the negatives we face each day.

Ultimately, meditation is what clears our mental workbench and reminds us why we chose the path of lifestyle design and personal development in the first place. When we’re able to tap into that power often, we become very formidable foes of the monstrous gray vegetation.

“You can hear the footsteps of God when silence reigns in the mind.” -Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Meditation brings silence to our minds.

I’ve been practicing meditation for three years now, and I’m often surprised by how many people who have an interest in meditation are scared by the mysticism modern culture attributes to it. It was much the same for me when I began my study of meditation.

Meditation as you’re told over and over again, is the path to spiritual enlightenment, astral projection even conversing with deities; or at least that’s what Hollywood would have you believe. Mystical music and chanting fills the air as thin wisps of smoke from burning incense waft round, in a dimly lit room and a wise old man sits still in flowing robes contemplating the universe.

Wow! No wonder we poor average Joe’s and Jane’s steer well clear of this kind of thing. All that spiritual stuff is best left to the experts.

All of these wizened old masters of meditation started many years ago with the simple exercise of learning the discipline to quiet their minds. All we do when we meditate is stop thinking. We focus inward and allow our bodies to guide our thoughts rather than letting our thoughts guide our bodies.

You’ve probably been in states of meditation before without even noticing it. Moments at work where you are so focused on your task your thoughts fled your mind, as you become completely present in the moment. Moments with your loved one where your thoughts receded and you experienced only your shared love. Anytime in your life you let go of thoughts was time spent in meditation.

“Silence is as deep as eternity; speech, shallow as time.” -Thomas Carlyle

The many benefits of meditation:

Meditation helps the body regulate its breathing.
Meditation reduces anxiety attacks as it lowers the levels of blood lactate.
Meditation makes you more aware of your body and well being.
Meditation builds self-confidence.
Meditation gives your conscious mind a rest.
Meditation increases serotonin which influences moods and behavior. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, headaches and insomnia.
Meditation enhances energy, strength and vigor.
Meditation increases your mind’s capacity for creativity and problem solving.
Meditation helps keep blood pressure normal.
Meditation reduces stress and tension.
Meditation creates a state of deep relaxation and general feeling of well being.
Meditation helps with P.M.T.
Meditation increases concentration and strengthens the mind.
Meditation helps to reduce heart disease.
Meditation helps with weight loss.

”We must have reasons for speech but we need none for silence”. -Proverb

Why You Should Make Your Life Remarkable Lifestyle 

Why You Should Make Your Life Remarkable

“Most days of the year are unremarkable. They begin and they end with no lasting memories or anything of significant. Most days have no impact on the course of a person’s life.”

That’s the final quote from the “[500] Days of Summer” movie. Yes, it’s a chick flick; yes, I watched it… (It was a long flight to Dohar and I was bored. Honest.), and I have to say that yes, I actually thought it was pretty good. I realize that this now probably loses me a few masculinity points in most people’s eyes but don’t worry, I’m currently sporting a rather fetching and particularly rugged manly mustache and so can afford to lose a few.

The problem with modern day living is that we’re far too comfortable, even if by being comfortable we’re bored out of our minds.

These days there’s rarely a sense or a desire for adventure – we seem to have lost the need to explore our world and in the process, ourselves.

Modern day man (or woman) is less Indiana Jones and more Mr. Jones who works at the bank; less James Bond and more his administrative assistant.

We’ve become apathetic towards and unappreciative of life.

Call it apathy; call it a reduced survival requirement; call it whatever you want but it seems to me that very few days in people’s lives are remarkable and have a significant impact on the course of their lives.

Surely this is a waste. We’ve so few days available in our lifetime that it seems ludicrous not to make the most of them. We’re content to let so many of them slip past without challenge or risk.

We’ve tried to eliminate risk.

Even our modern day holidays seem geared towards reduced risk. We have all inclusive holiday packages that ensure we manage to make it out of our own country and into a foreign hotel and back again without having to actually engage with the locals of the country we traveled to. We have short city breaks that allow us to cram an entire city experience into less than 48 hours so that we don’t miss work.

And we all have any number of excuses on why we didn’t do such and such, missed out on that experience, wasn’t able to take part in that event, or didn’t speak to that person.

Imagine if most people’s lives were made into a Hollywood movie. How much would these movies bomb at the box office?

Get some excitement into your life people, whatever form that works for you.

If someone was to make a movie of your life, I would like to think that you’d at least hope it would have some chance of being a box office hit.

But to do that you need to make things happen, not just sit around and hope they turn up. Life doesn’t work like that.

For those of you that have been unfortunate enough or bribed into reading some of my other posts, you’ll know that I recently quit my job and moved to Thailand to live life as a traveling entrepreneur.

This is quite a drastic move and it definitely impacted my life course like the meteor in the movie Armageddon. It did however, completely change my life and not in the cliche way either.

Is your life adventurous or just plain boring?

Are you living life like an adventure? Is your life like a Hollywood movie in which you are the star? If not, why not?

If your life is currently drifting through space like a slow moving planet and you’re suspicious and worried at where this current path will ultimately lead you, then you need to inject some tactical meteor strikes into your life and shake things up.

If you’re trying to derail a planet, you need a big impact. Small ones will chip away at the outer crust but ultimately prove ineffective. Big ones change courses.

From experience, I realized that if I was going to be serious about retiring before age twenty-five and pursue my life’s ambitions, then I needed to do something big.

I was in a good, well-paid job with excellent potential. I had a good life but it wasn’t a great life. To get the great life I had to risk the good life.

So, four months ago I decided to quit my job and get out of the country even though I had no real idea what I was going to do or if it was going to work out.

Whatever position you find yourself in now, you have the same decision to make. You can risk nothing and live like you’ve always done, and be safe in the knowledge that you know where you’ll be in 20 years time, or you can put on your hat, pick up your whip and search for adventure.

So, who are you, Indiana Jones or Mr. Jones?

Six Things You Should Do Daily To Succeed Lifestyle 

Six Things You Should Do Daily To Succeed

Zig Ziglar said that, “Motivation doesn’t last, but neither does taking a bath. That’s why we recommend it daily.”

Personal development and lifestyle design can be huge topics and cover and apply, but just by taking a tiny proportion of them and putting them into practice daily you can succeed.

The six things you should be doing daily.
1. Everyday upon waking you should by say out loud three things that you’re grateful for.

This immediately puts you in a positive frame of mind for the day. When parts of your day are going wrong, repeat these with a positive tone, smile on your face and a confident posture.
2. You should be reviewing your affirmations daily.

If you’re serious about success, then you should already have a list of affirmations. These may be written down or they may be recorded on some sort of Mp3 listening device. You should be reading or listening to these and saying them out loud. This helps you to morph into the person you want to become.
3. You should be reviewing your major goals daily.

What are your biggest five goals? Read them out loud daily, several times if you can. This will keep you focused and moving toward their completion.
4. You should be using visualization daily.

Here you don’t read or listen. You sit in silence with your eyes closed picturing yourself the way you want to be and as if you’ve already accomplished your goals.
5. You should be meditating daily.

Meditation has so many mental and physical benefits that we’re pretty stupid if we don’t meditate. Meditation relaxes your mind and body and only needs ten or twenty minutes per day.
6. You should write a daily to do list.

A to-do list is ideally written the night before the day the tasks need to be done. This has two benefits. Firstly, it gives you a path to follow throughout your day to get things done productively and secondly it makes for a better night sleep. Once you’ve written down what you need to get done, you don’t need to worry about forgetting them. You can put them out of your mind and go to sleep. They’ll be waiting for you on that to-do list the next morning.

Do You Have A Success Mindset? Lifestyle 

Do You Have A Success Mindset?

Having a success mindset is one of the most valuable innermost strengths that we can possess. It’s an extremely positive way of thinking that provides us with the willpower and the determination to make serious changes in our lives, the foundation for lifestyle design.

Lifestyle design is generally thought of as an unconventional means to a great life and most would just love to get outside of the norm and design the lifestyle they truly want, but lifestyle design is not always outside of what we know to be everyday life.
What is it that holds you back?

Could it be your family, your job, a fear of failure, or could it simply be that many of you are just not able to grasp this much needed successful mindset?
Perhaps we’ve been conditioned by our upbringing to think small, think “normal”, the forty years and a gold watch type of thinking.

Everyone is different as we’re all individuals with our own way of thinking, but here are a few of my thoughts on how to begin the process of developing a successful mindset and keeping this as a part of your daily lives.
Define what success means to you.

This clearly has a different meaning to each individual and I think it’s so very important to understand within you, what you would consider success.
For some, it may mean building a multi-million dollar corporation, while others would be ecstatic to work for themselves and have financial independence and the freedom to work just a few hours each week without such a large income.

Until we understand what this means for each of us individually, developing a successful mindset and finding what you envision as success may be difficult.
Be grateful for what you have.

There’s a certain inner peace and solitude that comes with being grateful. When you look around the world and see the suffering of others you should feel very grateful to have avoided such a struggle in life. There’s always someone who’s worse off than you, so rather than feel like a failure because you haven’t been able to purchase that new expensive car of your dreams, be grateful that you had the freedom of thought to have that item on your mind in the first place.
Recognize negativity.

This seems so simple and most will say “of course I recognize negativity” but do you really? We’re sometimes blinded by friendships and fail to recognize the negativity associated with the relationship, dismissing it as “that’s just Joe being Joe” behavior. The fact is this, Joe is a negative thinker who brings that type of energy consistently, but because he’s a long-time friend, it’s accepted and excuses are made for his behavior.

Finding quiet time to really think and focus on your own negative thoughts will expose the negativity of others and make it clear that you need to distance yourself from this type of energy.

I made a conscious effort some years ago to keep this type of negativity away so I could concentrate on being a more successful person, and yes, I lost a few “friends” but when you see some of them today, it’s clear that it was or the best. For negative thinkers, the only thing that changes is the calendar.
Recognize myths and falsehoods.

Many successful people are considered “lucky”; haven’t you heard that said about someone you know? But who’s to say they didn’t make their own luck by being positive, believing in their own abilities, and taking action to change their quality of life?

As long as you have your physical and mental health, you’re empowered to make a better life for yourself, so your lack of action isn’t bad luck; it’s your failure to take advantage of the gifts you have.

People who consistently fail to motivate themselves into action are always quick to tell you how something will not work for you. How would they know when they’ve never really tried?

Take this environment we’re in now for example. How many times have you heard someone say that you can’t make lots of money online, or Jack Sprat’s program doesn’t work, or it’s a scam? The program didn’t work for them because they didn’t work the program.
Dare to dream.

Have the audacity to dream and want to be someone that you’re not today. Without a vision or a goal leading to an improved lifestyle you’re doomed to complacency.
Be a forward thinker, which is what successful minded individuals are. Yes, I had a great day today, now what about tomorrow?
Learn and then learn some more.

You can never have too much education as knowledge is power. No matter what your profession is, you’ll never know all that there’s to know about the topic. Technologies advance and you’ll have to advance your education to keep pace.
Take some calculated chances.

Doing the same thing that everyone else has done won’t likely advance your cause beyond that of those before you. Take a little risk occasionally and do something different. Yes, there may come a time when you will hitch your wagon to the wrong horse, but at least you were bold enough to try.
Wrap up.

Heaven knows I’ve taken some calculated risks in my time, and have lost my shirt to boot, but it’s these types of situations that help you grow and make you even more determined to be the successful person that you know you are capable of being.

Without a successful mindset it’s already game over. Why exist without ever having giving it your all?

As a positive thinker, I’m positive that you’ll share your thoughts below. What can you share or add to this conversation?

Carrots, Sticks And True Motivation Lifestyle 

Carrots, Sticks And True Motivation

Motivation is an interesting thing, which occurs in varying levels for most people. But, why is that? It’s because the carrot is not enticing enough for you to be truly motivated.

Yesterday I was having a conversation with my boss. He’s an avid runner who runs six miles a day and does most of his thinking when he runs. For me, as you know, it’s surfing. What was interesting is that he wasn’t always a runner. I figured anybody who runs six miles everyday must ran cross country track in high school, but that wasn’t the case.

When he was younger, he broke his leg playing flag football. As a result he had to spend time in physical therapy. Most of the people who came to physical therapy were athletes and had a serious motivation to really push it and recover. My boss told me that getting through physical therapy in order to walk to his car in the parking lot wasn’t the right level of motivation. The carrot was just not enticing enough. So, he decided to run a marathon, which in turn increased his motivation level. Several years later he’s still a runner.

What’s the point to this story? It’s quite simple. If you’re not finding a level motivation to do something, it’s simply because the carrot is not enticing enough. Let’s look at an example that most of us can relate to, our blogs. I remember when I started blogging I had a conversation with Alex at Unleash Reality and said “Yeah, I’ll be happy when I have a job and make a few hundred bucks a month off my blog.” He said “a few hundred, more like a few thousand.” Looking back I didn’t realize the importance of what he said. But, a few thousand dollars is way more enticing than a few hundred. As a result of I’ve really pushed myself far beyond where I thought I would be.

So, what is it about a few thousand dollars that makes you work harder to achieve the goal? Personal development guru, Tony Robbins often says part of the reason that people don’t achieve goals is because the goals are not exciting enough. The idea of having extra cash to pay my utilities from a blog is really not that exciting. Sure, it’s nice, but at the end of the day I can pay my utilities with my paycheck. The idea of financial independence and no longer being dependent on a job for income is actually much more exciting.

How To Stay Focused Lifestyle 

How To Stay Focused

Learning how to stay focused on your work is one of the fundamentals of productivity. Unfortunately, maintaining focus has become increasingly difficult in an age where a single email or phone call can force you to reassess your priorities for the day. Why is it though, that even when we close ourselves off to emails and unplug the phone, we get little done? The problem is that although we have minimized the external, physical distractions of email and phone calls, the number one enemy to productivity are our mental distractions: our doubts and our worries.

The problem with these mental distractions is that we’re usually unaware of them. Oftentimes we find ourselves at the end of the day wondering why we didn’t get anything done, despite the fact we had set aside the time to work. We may spend five hours at our desk, but most of this time is spent thinking about the all possible procedures for doing the work, thinking about how little progress we have made, and thinking about how we should get more done. In the end we spend 80 percent of our time thinking about work and only 20 percent working. The funny thing is that 100 percent of the time it certainly feels like work, and hard work at that.

One of the main reasons for these mental distractions is that we tend to look at projects as monstrosities that seem to have no beginning and no end. When we sit down to work at a project a great deal of our time and energy is spent ruminating about the next thing we should do. After ten minutes of thinking about it, we start working, but five minutes into the process we begin to doubt whether what we’re doing right now is the best use of our time. This doubt causes us to switch tasks.

Task-switching can really damage productivity because once you gear your brain to do one task and switch to another, it takes a while for it to get “warmed up” so that you can feel comfortable with the new task. Rumination and task-switching are the biggest enemies to productivity. Chances are that if you feel like you worked the whole day and still didn’t get anything done, most of your time was probably eaten up by these two time bandits.
Why We Succumb to Mental Distractions.

The principle of focusing on completion of a task one step at a time, although it can be difficult when we’re at work, is something that we do quite often. If we wanted to make mashed potatoes, for example, we’d briefly think about the steps we’d need to take and then we go about doing it. We spend little time task-switching because the steps are clear.

Steps to making mashed potatoes:
1. Buy potatoes.
2. Peel potatoes.
3. Boil potatoes.
4. Mash them.
5. Add, milk, butter, and other seasonings.

We make mashed potatoes one step at a time because it’s common sense. It’d be ridiculous if we went to the store to buy one potato, took the potato home to peel it and then put it in the pot to boil while we go back to the store to get another potato. It’d be a waste of time, energy and resources. And, to top it all off, your mashed potatoes probably wouldn’t come out very well.

Why is it then, that although we don’t spend much time ruminating and task-switching when making mashed potatoes, we spend an inordinate amount of time doing it at work? If we make bad mashed potatoes, the consequences are low, that’s why we spend little time task switching or ruminating while we’re doing it. If someone told you, however, that if you don’t make good mashed potatoes you can kiss your salary raise goodbye, the stakes get much higher.

Most likely we’ll spend a lot more time worrying if we’re making them properly. We’ll probably go back to the store to buy other ingredients because the potatoes we have right now don’t seem good enough. We’ll probably fret over every detail and wonder if we’re doing everything right. In the end, we’ll most likely succeed in making the mashed potatoes, but we’ll spend a lot more time and energy doing it.

The reason why many of us don’t work the way we make mashed potatoes is that we blow the negative consequences of a job poorly done out of proportion. We’ll tend to imagine the worst possible consequences should we not do the job well. We think that the boss might not like our report and we could get a demotion, maybe even fired. The problem with this is that our focus is directed toward these negative consequences rather than just doing the job well.
How to Minimize Mental Distractions.

Learning how to stay focused doesn’t happen overnight, but I’ve found these rules very helpful in overcoming rumination and task switching.

1. Do all your rumination and worrying about what you should do before you start working. Take a piece a paper and a pen if it helps and determine your priorities. Get a rough idea of each task to complete and decide which ones you should do first.
2. Once you start working, don’t second-guess yourself. Finish whatever task is at hand.
3. Don’t switch tasks. If you remember something that you have to do, make a note of it on a piece of paper, clear it from your mind, and go back whatever you were doing.
4. Catch yourself in the act of rumination and tell yourself: “I can worry about priorities and other tasks later. All attention must be devoted to what I’m doing right now.”

You’ll find that adopting the above habits will do much to minimize mental distractions. Not only will you get much more done, you’ll also free yourself from a lot of stress and worry.