Transitioning To Working At Home
Have you been forced to work from home due to the global coronavirus crisis? Obviously you are not alone during these strange times!
The initial joy of being able to work from home can be quickly replaced by worry, a lack of motivation and never-ending distractions.
How on earth do you get things done when there are so many distractions in your home? While home working can deliver a lot of benefits, there are a lot of challenges it presents too and many people seriously underestimate these!
In this post, you’ll discover some useful tips you can follow when it comes to transitioning to working from home.
Set Up A Quiet Work Area
With all of the distractions at home, it can be really hard to concentrate on work. This is especially true if you have kids at home.
So, if you want to ensure you can get things done in peace, it’s worth setting up a quiet working space.
Try and use a room that isn’t frequently used during the day. Place a sign on the door when you’re trying to work to let others know not to disturb you.
Make sure the workspace is comfortable too as you won’t get a lot done if you aren’t comfortable.
Start Work At Your Normal Time
One of the main challenges that can come from working from home is delaying the time you usually start.
It’s tempting to have a lie in and take longer to relax in the morning before starting. However, this only zaps your productivity.
If you want to ensure you stay productive, you’ll want to start as early as possible. The positive side to this is that the earlier you start, the earlier you’ll get to finish.
Limit Social Media Screen Time!
You’ll have a lot more time to check in on social media when you haven’t got the boss breathing down your neck. However, it’s easy to waste hours using social media accounts if you aren’t careful.
Many home workers find it useful to set limits on their social media use during working hours. It could be simply committing to using it during a specific time for example. Having limits in place makes you more aware of how much you’re using it.
Maintain Your Usual Work Routine
It’s really important to try and maintain your usual routine. This is linked to starting work at your normal time as mentioned above.
This means, getting ready for work in the same way you usually do.
So, wake up at the same time, have your usual cup of coffee and get dressed into your work clothes. It’s amazing how much of a difference this can make to your productivity.
These are just a few tips you can follow when transitioning to working from home. It can be a big adjustment, but there are lots of tools and tips out there to help.
Trying to maintain your usual routine is one of the best things you can do during these changing times and will allow you to be just as productive as you were in your work place.
Here are a few more tips to help you with productivity when working from home.
How To Be Productive Working At Home
As convenient and beneficial as working from home can be, it can also prove to be damaging to productivity.
The trouble is, up until now, you’ve associated your home as a space for relaxing. So, it can be difficult switching to a more productive mindset when you’re in the comfort of your home.
The good news is, there are ways to boost your productivity when remote working. Here, you’ll discover some of the best ways to stay productive when working at home.
Keep Your Workspace Tidy And Just For Work
You’re going to find it hard to stay productive if your workspace is cluttered.
So, before you start, take time to clean up the area you’re planning on working in.
Get rid of any clutter and organize the space.
The cleaner and tidier the space is, the easier you’ll find it to focus on your work.
Take Regular Breaks And Get Outside For Air
Suddenly being cooped up in the house all day can be detrimental to productivity.
It can cause issues with low mood and leave you feeling less motivated to get through your workload.
By taking regular breaks and making time to get out into the yard, it can really boost those productivity levels.
Spend just 10-15 minutes gardening or reading a book outdoors to help refresh productivity levels.
Always Prepare For The Day Ahead
When you go out to work, you know there’s things you need to do to get ready for the day.
You have a routine which prepares you for work. However, when you start working from home you don’t really have that.
Rather than thinking you can now work in your pajamas all day, make the effort to get dressed.
Create a morning routine which sets you up for work. That way, you’ll find it much easier to stay productive if your mindset is geared towards work.
Harness The Power Of Nature
Did you know that plants and flowers can help you to feel more motivated? Adding them into your workspace can help to brighten up the working environment.
Numerous studies have shown how effective greenery can be within an office environment. So, if you want an easy way to stay productive, add a few houseplants and flowers to your home office.
You can also utilize the power of scent too. In some countries, workplaces spray citrus scents to boost employee productivity. Try experimenting with different scents to see which ones make you work more efficiently.
Staying productive when working at home isn’t easy but it is doable.
The above are some of the best methods you can try to increase those productivity levels. Taking regular breaks away from your computer are important, not just for productivity but for your health too.
OK, I hope these pointers will help you to stay productive in your working from home during these unprecedented times, and stay safe.
Did you know that a whopping 85 percent of people have low self-esteem? This issue affects their personal and professional lives, including their careers, their health, and their salaries. In other words, self-doubt and low self-esteem can keep you from reaching your peak potential.
These personality traits appear to be more common among women. They develop in childhood and either exacerbate or diminish with time.
Is this because of the demands of women to always look a certain way and if they don’t they are not considered the norm? Possibly, but in this modern world of 24/7 connectivity and social media, the pressures on men are also increasing so there may well be an explosion of self-esteem issues among men as well. And, I think we are beginning to see evidence of this already.
If self-doubt plagues you, whether male or female, check out these simple tips to boost your confidence and trust yourself more:
1. Accept Yourself
Self-doubt is part of being human. Embrace it and turn it into a strength. When used correctly, this personality trait can help you make better decisions, instead of rushing things. Think of it as a tool that guides your actions and keeps you from making costly mistakes.
Just make sure you don’t overuse it though because self-doubt can also make you question your sanity and decision-making abilities.
By accepting yourself and who you are, you can really help yourself to overcome low self-esteem and build confidence.
2. Know You’re Not Alone
Even the most successful people have doubts. They often question their actions and wonder what the right thing to do is.
Focus on building your confidence and self-esteem. You might never get rid of doubts, but you can stop them from taking over your life.
Talk to others about how you are feeling, especially those who want to lift you up. I know this may be difficult for the men out there, but it really does help. It isn’t manly or macho to suffer in silence.
Stay away from negative people because they will always try to bring you down and this can have devastating effects on your feeling of self-worth. This can be very difficult if these are close friends or, even worse, family, but it must be done for your own benefit.
3. Get the Facts
Your doubts don’t necessarily reflect the truth. Most times, they mirror your fears and emotional struggles. Think about your achievements and how hard you worked to get where you are today. Be proud of yourself and admire your capabilities.
Whenever you’re in doubt, get the facts straight. Research the problem in question, weigh the pros and cons and ask for a second opinion.
We live in a world where image is everything and the truth can easily become obscured, so take your time to look at the evidence and this will often give you some clarity and peace of mind and can banish self-doubt instantly.
4. Acknowledge Your Strengths
Make a list of things you excel in. Write down your skills and accomplishments. Accept praise from others gracefully and acknowledge your talent.
Celebrate your strengths every single day. Make positive affirmations and remind yourself how much you’ve done so far. Stop thinking of what you could have done better.
This is not the same as being boastful although some people may misinterpret it as such but there is real strength in realising that you have achieved many things in your life and you should be proud of that.
5. Choose Your Friends Wisely
Negative people can drag you down and ruin your self-esteem. Nothing will ever be good enough for them. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with positive people who support you and listen to you instead of judging.
This is closely linked to tip number 2 above where you were advised to remove toxic and negative people from your life, and if that is impossible (perhaps they are family members), to at least remove them from your immediate sphere of influence.
6. Define Your Values
Lastly, define your values and the values you live by daily. Once you establish those, you will have a more realistic perspective of the current situation. Focus on the things that drive your actions and are at the core of your beliefs.
Overcoming self-doubt is a lifelong process. Stop questioning your own decisions. Don’t waste time overanalyzing – trust your actions and put your plans in motion.
OK, so there are 6 ways that you can boost your self-esteem. Put them into action and see what difference they can make to your life.
Affiliate Marketing With Clickbank Basics
Anyone who has been trying to make money online for more than 2 minutes would have heard of ClickBank and what a potential goldmine it is.
Clickbank is an extremely popular and profitable affiliate network on the worldwide web and many Clickbank affiliate marketers make a lot of money with it. This post will give you the basics on how to go about using this powerful website.
By the way, if you want to learn more about affiliate marketing in general such as some of the myths surrounding it, you can read a great post here.
OK, back to Clickbank. Signing up with Clickbank is fast and easy and there are several tutorials, tips and training that show you exactly how to get started.
Next, you’ll want to look for your first product or service–keep in mind that Clickbank is generally geared for digital products.
If you already have an established site on a certain topic, it’s very easy to incorporate some Clickbank products to sell there. The more specifically targeted the product to your site, the better.
Look for products and services that have good gravity and popularity stats. If you find something that you really like but the stats don’t add up, then it’s probably not worth the effort you’ll have to spend on it.
You can decide to promote your product directly with the salespage given to you by the merchant, or you can do it by setting up a blog or website and positioning the product there on what is called a bridge page.
Most experienced marketers will agree that you can send traffic/visitors directly to merchant website as a newcomer to affiliate marketing, and it is a way to learn the ropes, so to speak.
But it is well worth the effort to eventually set up your own blog or website. This way you can use your bridge page to offer visitors a free report or checklist that is highly relevant to the Clickbank product you are promoting; this way you can get people’s email address and start building your own list.
Some pros and cons of Clickbank affiliate marketing
- One big pro, especially if you are a newcomer to affiliate marketing, is that Clickbank is extremely easy.
- The second big pro is that the commissions are on the high end when compared to other affiliate networks.
- One con is that many of the products offered on Clickbank are not of the best quality, although they can be expensive. There are really a great deal of rags-to-riches types of products and e-books. You can also find many good products but you do need to do a bit of digging, depending on the niche you are working in.
- Another con is that the Clickbank stats are really nothing special, especially if you compare them to sites such as Adsense and Amazon, just to name a few. Also, you can only create text links automatically with Clickbank. Other types of links are not available.
As you can see, Clickbank affiliate marketing is a good place to get started in affiliate marketing and many experienced marketers are successful with them as well.
However, the problem that many beginners and even intermediate marketers face is that they just can’t crack the ‘ClickBank code’.
It’s as though those who know what to do are insiders who are raking in the cash while everyone else is an outsider struggling to make a single sale. It used to be that way for a long time until CB University appeared on the scene.
This is one of the most popular online marketing courses online and many customers have reported benefitting from it. The 2.0 version is an improvement on the first release and it’s bigger and better now.
Several CB University members have left glowing testimonials about the efficacy of the training and how it bridges the knowledge gap that has always prevented beginners from succeeding with ClickBank.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of CB University 2.0 and see if it lives up to the hype.
The Good Points:
1) One of the strongest points about CB University is that it covers both affiliate marketing and product creation. This is definitely an improvement on the earlier version which only covered product creation.
With the 2.0 version you have more flexibility. Generally, beginners will find it easier to start off as an affiliate… and as their knowledge and experience gets better, they’ll be able to take on the more daunting challenge of becoming a product vendor.
2) The training itself is detailed with notes, videos and over-the-shoulder instructions. The methods are clearly explained in a step-by-step manner and even the greenest beginner will be able to follow along without difficulty.
3) The people behind CB University 2.0 (Matt Hulett, Adam Horwitz, Justin Atlan) are all accomplished marketers in their own right. They are NOT fly-by-night scammers who will take your money and run. This is crucial when choosing to spend money on any ‘make money online’ course.
4) The training is simple to follow, but is extremely in depth. The training for becoming a vendor on ClickBank is broken down into 12 weeks.
- Week 1 – How It Works
- Week 2 – Finding Your Perfect Product
- Week 3 – Creating Your Avatar
- Week 4 – Creating Your Product
- Week 5 – Creating your Perfect Upsell
- Week 6 – Sales Copy & Conversion Maximizing
- Week 7 – The Easy Video Sales Letter
- Week 8 – Finalizing your Product
- Week 9 – Getting onto ClickBank
- Week 10 – Attracting & Managing JV Relationships
- Week 11 – Split Testing
- Week 12 – Scaling your Success
- Bonus: Selling High Ticket Products on Webinars
And the training for ClickBank affiliates is spread out over 8 weeks:
- Week 1 – Affiliate Marketing on ClickBank
- Week 2 – Understanding Affiliate Marketing
- Week 3 – Finding Your Passion
- Week 4 – The Ultimate Affiliate Funnel
- Week 5 – Free, Free, Free: Always Over Deliver
- Week 6 – Writing the Perfect Swipe
- Week 7 – The Email Blueprint
- Week 8 – Scaling and Expanding
- Bonus: Running Affiliate Promotions
So, you’re going to be busy with this training for quite a while. Ideally, it’s best to choose one method and go all out with it. Most beginners would do well to start off with affiliate marketing.
5) The product comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. So, you have 2 months to give CB University 2.0 a test run. We’re guessing that once you join, you’ll probably stick around for a long time because it has that much value.
6) CB University has a forum for you to hang out with your peers and ask questions and mingle with other fellow marketers. It’s an active community that’s supportive and you’ll learn a lot from there.
This beats buying some eBook from some unknown marketer and being left to your own devices to figure it out, while the marketer has taken your money and run off.
7) The program is also equipped with a very useful toolkit that you’ll use over and over in your business. Basically, it’s a set of tools and online video training that covers some of the tech stuff that most beginners struggle with.
Here’s a list of some of the ‘tools’ inside:
- Camtasia Alternative: APowersoft for Screen Recording
- Creating a Sales Presentation with PowerPoint
- Demographic Research with Google & Twitter
- Design Banners, Posts, & Giveaways with Canva
- Enhance Your Social Media Activity with Hootsuite
- Increasing Conversions with Optimonk
- Introduction to Tools
- Outsourcing with UpWork
- Recording Your Sales Video with Camtasia
- Sending Broadcasts and Automating with AWeber
- Setting Up Your Funnel with CB Builder
- Setting Up a Custom Domain with GoDaddy
- Split Testing with Visual Website Optimizer
- Video Editing with Camtasia
8) There are also live Q & A sessions for members where more training is provided. For those who are unable to attend, you can always catch up on these sessions which are recorded and uploaded in the members area. The value in these sessions more than make up for the monthly fee.
The Bad Points:
1) Just like any online course, you’ll need to study and apply what is taught. Information is useful, but action is the foundational key to all success.
The problem is that most newbies hesitate to act on the information. You must overcome this mental obstacle to see success. CB University is not a winning lottery ticket. You MUST do the work.
2) The amount of information in CB University can be overwhelming to a beginner and may make them him/her that the process is too difficult.
The best way to get around this problem will be to focus on just being an affiliate, instead of a vendor. Once you’ve learned the ropes and are generating affiliate commissions, you’ll be more confident to take the leap and become a product vendor.
3) The membership is a recurring fee. A beginner who is strapped for cash may find that the monthly fee is a burden. The fee gets much higher if you choose the upgrade (Builder 2.0).
Should You Get It?
A resounding YES! This is one of the best online marketing courses on the planet and it’s the benchmark when it comes to ClickBank training.
The fact that it covers both affiliate marketing and how to be a vendor in the ClickBank marketplace makes this a truly well-rounded training program.
With thousands of students and many success stories, the product delivers what it says beyond a shadow of a doubt. If you wish to make a decent side income, this course is for you.
If you wish to make income that will allow you to quit your day job and have location independence and freedom, CB University will help you get there.
If you want to be a millionaire, guess what? Yup! This course is for you too. ClickBank has made millionaires out of several vendors and affiliates. If you do the work and follow the training closely, success can be yours too.
It happens to us all. One day we’re motivated and the next day we’re in the dumps having ourselves a pity party. Staying motivated is not easy and lack of motivation can be a serious problem that affects every one of us.
But, it can be done. You believe it can be done and that’s why you’re reading this right now – good for you!
Think about this: You may have felt good about a certain job or project when it began. You were filled with enthusiasm and motivation.
Then you hit a few speed bumps and unexpected failures and your motivation waned. You may have fallen into depression and decided to give up. All of those positive thoughts turned into negative ones.
This is nothing new and, believe me, you are NOT alone! We’ve all experienced these emotions that can cause us to give up prematurely. All that upsurge of energy when we started a new project inevitably ends as dreams become reality and we lose our confidence.
Don’t be so hard on yourself; you are allowed to dream, and dream big.
The trick is to turn these negative emotions around and the best way to do that is to understand them, analyze them and find out what caused them. We lose our motivation as we lose our focus, our confidence and our direction.
If you can learn to control these three emotions you can control your life. Let’s take a quick look at each of these now:
Focus on what you really want
Focus can make or break your dreams, it’s as simple as that.
Be specific and be positive. We generally think in terms of what we don’t have rather than focus on what we want.
Try flipping this around; it’s also a good idea to be grateful for what you have and where you are at present.
You can find a great post about gratitude and self-reflection here.
Don’t focus on your fears but what you can do to overcome them. Don’t focus on being poor but on a plan to create wealth.
To do this make a plan to get there one step at a time. You don’t become the president of a company until you’ve come up from the ranks.
Focus on your plan to achieve your objectives and your goals. Be realistic on your goals.
Goals that are unreachable can lead to depression. But even small goals that are achieved lead to increased motivation.
Boost your confidence
So many people think that confidence is something you either have or you don’t, but, like any other skill or attribute, it can be acquired and developed.
To quickly boost self-confidence, you can do this by taking stock on what you already have and not what you lack. This is closely linked to the gratitude point made previously.
You’ll probably discover you’re more successful than you think.
We waste our mind power being jealous of others instead of working on achieving our own aspirations.
Don’t take your strengths for granted and count your failures one by one.
Count your blessings one by one and whatever your mind thinks it can accomplish.
So, confidence is a powerful motivator, but without a sense of direction, you won’t make the most of it, so let’s look at that now.
Without direction there is no motivation
You must create a day-to-day strategy. Make a to-do list and do it. Mark off each item once it’s accomplished and do not mark it off until it’s done.
You’ll eventually get tired of looking at it on your list and do it.
By making a list or outline of what needs to be done, you’ll find ways to do it and you’ll believe that you truly deserve success.
Don’t waste time by worrying about the future. Start today by doing something to change your future for the better. Today’s actions can create a better future.
Set goals that challenge you to grow, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey and not just the destination. And also, don’t be afraid to “fail” once in a while.
A great post about reframing “failure” can be found here.
Don’t be surprised or depressed about a lack of motivation; it will affect us all many times during our lives, but it is how we react to it that can make all the difference.
Discover your faults and correct them. When you re-evaluate your plans and goals from a fresh perspective, you’ll feel a new surge of enthusiasm and motivation and that lack of motivation can quickly become a thing of the past and you can move onto bigger and better things.
If you don’t know this already, habits are powerful things and have a massive impact on our lives, so it makes sense to follow good habits, doesn’t it? And there are numerous ways that will show you how to develop good habits.
Take a look on Amazon or in your local bookstore and you’ll see many books with “21 days” somewhere in their titles. In many of these titles, it has to do with some form of positive or good habit that the author is going to try to help you accomplish to change your life for the better.
Most of these authors will tell you this number is based on scientific studies. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant. On a personal note, I believe that 30-60 days is much more likely to succeed in instilling habits that last a lifetime.
When you perform the same tasks repeatedly for 21 days, they will start to become a routine. The problem with setting a hard number to this is that people may abandon it after they reach the threshold. In other words, if you do something every day for 21 days, after the 21st day, you may feel as though you accomplished the task and move on, but it is easy to “forget” your new habit and slip back into old habits if you aren’t careful.
A better approach for adopting new habits is to set up a plan that is longer term. Have milestones for the short term but project out for a much longer period. This way when 21 days passes, you still have a game plan to reference. This gives you something to shoot for after that time.
Another tip is to find people who are trying to form the same habits as you. Create times when you can all talk together, either in person or via some conferencing solution. It’s easier than ever to do this with the Internet. The members of this group can discuss what has worked for them and what has not been successful. Avoid the unsuccessful tasks. Try to keep the groups small. Large groups will force many members to become complacent and defer to the stronger personalities.
Being a member of a group gives you motivation, but perhaps, more importantly, it gives you accountability because you can make your goal public in the group and you won’t want to let them down, and they will push you to achieve it.
Here are 5 steps to developing good habits.
1. Start Off Small
It’s natural to want to make big changes to your life as quickly as possible but this is a mistake that many people make. They take on more than they can handle and become frustrated with lack of progress and eventually give up.
Does this sound familiar?
Instead, try to break down your big goal into smaller chunks and keep going until you can identify small daily tasks that you know you can achieve, and this will inspire you to keep going. It all adds up, and you will reach your goal in next to no time and you can have fun along the way 🙂
If you want to know more about enjoying the journey while tackling your goals, take a look at this great training here as it will really give you some insight into the fact that the goal is just the destination, and you can also enjoy every step of the process too. It is a real eye-opener and I highly suggest you take a look here.
I also have a nice infographic that you can view all about enjoying your journey 🙂
2. Get Crystal Clear
When deciding on which habit you want to instill in yourself, you need to get crystal clear on what it is, and what the desired end result is. There is no room for vagueness here. If you don’t know exactly what you want, then you will not stick to it, plain and simple.
Visualise what you want to achieve and be intentional. Use If/Then types of scenarios to trigger you to take action, such as “If I’ve got out of bed, then I’ll do 10 pushups before breakfast. This way, getting out of bed can act as a trigger for you to reinforce the habit you are trying to instill.
In a similar vein, you can simply add your new habit into your daily schedule. If it is important to you, then it is important enough to be put into your calendar and using online calendars, they can send you a reminder a few minutes before time. Simple, but very powerful.
3. Reward Yourself
Human nature means that we are so much better at berating ourselves over something we haven’t achieved, rather than rewarding ourselves for something we have achieved.
You want to flip this behaviour on its head and reward yourself for even the smallest of wins.
If you don’t reward yourself, you won’t be motivated to keep going (willpower simply isn’t enough), so use rewards as a positive reinforcement to encourage you to stay the course.
Whenever you reward yourself for making progress, you activate the “reward areas” in your brain.
This releases some key chemicals, such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, which make you experience feelings of achievement and pride. These emotions, in turn, empower you to take action and create bigger successes in the future.
4. Use your environment
Many psychologists will tell you that your environment can have a huge impact on the way you think and feel, so you need to use this you your advantage.
For example, Have you ever walked into your kitchen, spotted a plate of cookies on the counter, and eaten them just because they were in front of you without even thinking about it? Come on, admit it 🙂
The good thing is that we can use the environment to trigger good habits too, so what can you do to accomplish this?
Do you watch too much TV in your living room when you know you should be reading? Why not put a book on the chair where you sit, and put the remote control on the other side of the room? A simple enough thing to do, but you are much more likely to reach for the book, than get up off the sofa to grab the remote!
5. Go Public
I have already mentioned the power of accountability by going public, but you can also take this a step further by pre-committing to your habit publicly and attaching a penalty for not sticking to it.
This could be feeling guilty if you promise to meet someone at the gym and you don’t show up.
Or it could be financial, by paying that person an amount of money whenever you don’t show up. This can be a powerful motivator to stick to your guns.
So, there are 5 simple steps you can take to form new habits in yourself. However, if all else fails, you can seek professional help. There are plenty of coaches and mentors available to give you some guidance.
Make sure your coach and you both know what is expected of each other and have any provisions in place before you get started in case it doesn’t work out.
However, hopefully by following the 5 steps in this article, you won’t need a coach 🙂
So, what habit are you going to start building today?
Mindfulness is a tool that has become exceedingly popular over the last few years. But what is mindfulness? And what is it not?!
Let’s be honest; only a few short years ago the general public wouldn’t have been familiar with the term, whereas today it’s something we hear about all the time in a range of different contexts.
But at the same time, it could also be a bad thing because it has been misappropriated in some instances and many people don’t actually really understand what it means anymore.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a better look at what mindfulness is and what it isn’t – and how you can start using it to improve your life.
Mindfulness is often used to describe a type of meditation. Specifically, ‘mindfulness meditation’ is a type of meditation that involves reflecting on the contents of your own mind and how they might be affecting you.
Whereas the point of some forms of meditation – such as transcendental meditation – is to completely ‘empty’ your mind, the point of mindfulness is instead to simply detach yourself from your thoughts and become an observer. This way, you can prevent them from affecting you in the same way and you can also gain a greater understanding of the contents of your own thoughts.
Often this is described as ‘watching the thoughts go past like clouds’. The idea is not to engage with them or let them affect you but simply to observe them and to later reflect on how they might impact on your happiness.
By doing this, mindfulness allows us to take some time out of our stressful day to remove ourselves from our thoughts and thereby get some rest and relaxation.
But it’s not really just about meditation. What mindfulness also means is being constantly aware of your own thoughts as you go throughout your day. Some people will tell you to be ‘mindful’ of your body, or ‘mindful’ of your environment. But really what you should be focusing on is just what you’re mindful of.
Next time you go out for a nice walk with family, or next time you do something else that you should be enjoying, just make a note of whether you’re really focused on what you’re doing and whether you’re actively engaging in it… or is your mind elsewhere? Are you actually worrying about work? Or stressing about other things?
Mindfulness teaches us to be more aware of our thoughts as that way, we can decide that we’re not going to let them affect us and because that way we can then make the conscious effort to refocus and to decide to be happy. Whatever we focus on will determine how we feel, and mindfulness helps us with that.
Mindfulness is not mysticism or linked to religion and it’s not a cure-all therapeutic technique. All this is a tool and better yet, a state of mind. With practice, you can learn to be more in-tune with your own thoughts and that can change everything.
4 Mindfulness Exercises To Try
Now you know what mindfulness is (and isn’t) here are 4 exercises that you can use to become more mindful today.
These are simple exercises as we all have busy lives but take the time to try some of these out over the next 30 days and you will feel better and perform better, and people will wonder what your secret is!
The beauty of this exercise (in fact all of them) is that it can be done either standing up or sitting down, and anywhere you want and at any time.
If you can sit down in the meditation (lotus) position, that’s great, but don’t worry if you can’t; just do whatever is comfortable for you.
All you need to do is be still and focus on your breath for just one minute.
- Start by concentrating on breathing in and out slowly. One breath cycle should last for about 6 seconds.
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body. Don’t force it, be natural.
- Let go of your thoughts. Let go of things you have to do later today or pending projects that need your attention. Simply let thoughts rise and fall of their own accord and be at one with your breath. Don’t concentrate on any one thing, just let things flow naturally.
- Purposefully keep an eye on your breath, focusing your sense of awareness on its rhythm as it enters your body and fills you with life.
- Then visualise its path as it works work its way up and out of your mouth and its energy dissipates into the world.
Did you think that you are the kind of person who could never meditate? Well, look at that; you are already halfway there!
If you enjoyed doing this mind-calming exercise one minute, why not try two or three instead?
2. Mindful Observation
This exercise is simple but incredibly powerful because it helps you notice and appreciate seemingly simple elements of your environment in a more profound way. It opens your eyes to possibility.
The exercise is designed to connect us with the beauty of the natural environment around us. This is something that is so easily missed or taken for granted when we are rushing around in the car or hopping on and off trains while we are commuting to and from work.
- Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and simply focus on it for a minute or two. It could be a flower or an insect, or even the clouds or the moon.
- Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. Focus and really look at it. Simply relax into watching for as long as you can concentrate on it. Once again, don’t force it.
- Look at this object as if you are seeing it for the first time. What can you notice bout it that you may not have noticed before?
- Visually explore every aspect of its formation, and allow yourself to be consumed by its presence.
- Allow yourself to connect with its energy and its purpose within the natural world.
3. Mindful Awareness
This exercise is designed to cultivate a heightened awareness and appreciation of simple daily tasks and the results they achieve. By doing this we can live in the moment and appreciate everything that we are doing at any given time.
Think of something that happens every day more than once; something you take for granted. It could be something that appears really mundane, such as opening a door.
At the very moment you grab the doorknob to open the door, stop for a moment and be mindful of where you are, how you feel in that moment and where the door will lead you. What is on the other side of the door? What are you about to do in the next room and how can you do it to the best of your ability.
Similarly, the moment you open your computer to start work, take a moment to appreciate the hands that enable this process and the brain that facilitates your understanding of how to use the computer. Wonder at how technology makes things so much easier than before and be thankful for that.
And these ‘touch point’ cues don’t have to be physical ones either.
For example: Each time you think a negative thought, you might choose to take a moment to stop, label the thought as unhelpful and release the negativity. Reframe it into a positive thought. being mindful makes you acutely aware of these thoughts and allows you to overcome them.
Or, perhaps each time you smell food, you take a moment to stop and appreciate how lucky you are to have good food to eat and share with your family and friends. Mindfulness and gratitude are powerful partners.
4. Mindful Listening
This exercise is designed to open your ears to sound in a non-judgmental way, and you can even use this to train your mind to be less swayed by the influence of past experiences and preconception.
So much of what we “feel” is influenced by past experience.
For example, we may dislike a song because it reminds of us of a breakup or another period of life when things felt negative.
And sound is a very powerful evoker of memories, both good and bad.
So, the idea of this exercise is to listen to some music from a neutral standpoint, with a present awareness that is unhindered by preconception.
To do this, select a piece of music you have never listened to before. You may have something in your own collection that you have never listened to, or you might choose to turn the radio dial until something catches your ear.
- Close your eyes and put on headphones if possible for better immersion.
- Try not to get drawn into judging the music by its genre, title or artist name before it has begun. Instead, ignore any labels and just allow yourself to appreciate the journey of sound for the duration of the song.
- Really listen to what is going on during every aspect of track. Even if you don’t particularly like the music track in question, let go of your dislike and give your awareness full permission to climb inside the track and dance among the sound waves without any preconception or judgement.
- Explore the song by listening to the dynamics of each instrument. Separate each sound in your mind and analyze each one by one.
- Home in on the vocals: the sound of the voice, its range and tones. If there is more than one voice, separate them out as you did in the previous step.
The idea of this exercise is to listen intently and to become completely immersed in the composition without preconception or judgment of the genre, artist, lyrics or instrumentation. Don’t think, just listen.
OK, so now you have an idea of what mindfulness is, and 4 simple exercises that you do whenever you want to bring mindfulness into your life. Take the time to do them and mindfulness will enhance your life in many ways, from being more appreciative, more optimistic/positive and more productive; many high earners and high performers practice mindfulness exercises daily so don’t you think that this is something worth doing?
When it comes to finding our calling in life and starting our careers, most of us will go through a similar process that has very little to do with what we actually want to do and this is so sad and can end up with a sense of being unfulfilled which can permeate throughout our lives and make people feel miserable and unhappy.
For most of us, our jobs are not a matter of design so much as luck and divine intervention. Perhaps you finish school/college/university and you find yourself at a loss for what to do; let’s be honest; many of us don’t know what we really want to do at this stage in our lives.
So what do you do? Inevitably, the vast majority of people will take the first job offer that comes up – let’s say that is stacking boxes for an air conditioning company. Sexy, eh!?!
Then maybe you find yourself somehow rising through the ranks and becoming the head of logistics for delivering said air conditioning units. Maybe this then catches the eye of someone at Fed Ex and you get head hunted to become the head of international…
Never mind that you studied at Uni to become a marine biologist! Did you want to be a marine biologist? Maybe it was just something that was of interest to you, but a career? If it was something that you were keen on studying it, then why not?
How To Stop That Happening
So, how did that happen?
Basically you allowed your skills to form as a result of your experience rather than your desires or dreams.
This is normally what happens and is not your fault but you do need to be aware that this is the normal process.
Our strengths are partly natural and partly acquired through our experience.
The latter actually tends to play a larger role though and certainly from the perspective of someone looking to hire you. When someone is looking at candidates, experience is a very important part in the decision making process of many employers, so we tend to get pushed down a path we never intended to follow!
Never mind that you love fish and have a marine biology degree – you’ve got 10 years of experience in logistics!
In other words, your strengths will be largely shaped by your experience, so if you want to make sure you don’t just ‘land’ in a career you never planned to pursue, you need to ensure that the experience you’re getting is highly relevant to whatever it is that you want to do.
Now you may argue that this is out of your control and it may be to some extent.
You don’t always get to choose the job offers that come your way or the advancement courses you get offered.
But sometimes it will be down to you.
And it will be down to you to make your experience relevant to the career path that you want to choose.
Life is full of choices, and they will have a huge impact on the path that you follow in life, so choose wisely.
Sometimes you have to gamble and choose with your heart and see where it takes you; it will be more exciting and more rewarding, but it can also be incredibly scary and this can deter some people from ever going for it.
Let me tell you now; NEVER give up on your dreams and don’t stubbornly hold out for that perfect job either – instead, plot yourself a course and steer yourself as much in that direction as possible, looking for opportunities wherever they arise to mold your strengths and abilities to be a fit for whatever it is you truly want to do with your life.
This way you will be doing your best to ensure that you are finding the right path in life for you and not just falling into a career that doesn’t really suit you. You owe it to yourself to have a career that you truly enjoy, fulfills you and makes you happy (and hopefully makes you some money in the process) so be aware of your choices and do everything in your power to steer your life and career in the direction you want to go 🙂
Life obstacles; great aren’t they?
But suppose you are given a choice to live a life without any type of obstacles or challenges. Can you imagine a life without obstacles?
Would you take that if it were possible? You may be tempted to jump at the chance, however, it is likely it would not measure up to your expectations.
Several years ago, there was a television program that focused on only good news. It actively looked for good news in the local community and even in other places.
Do you know what happened? The show did not last because people seem to be more drawn to bad news. Isn’t that interesting?
The thing is, our minds are hardwired to solve problems, so when problems don’t exist, our minds become idle and we become bored with our situations.
Therefore, subconsciously, we welcome obstacles so that we can figure out how to overcome or solve them.
When we crash against an obstacle or challenge in our lives, we often moan and groan about how “life isn’t fair…” etc. but we need these things in our life to force us to grow as individuals.
Just think about an obstacle course. Why do these even exist and why do people try to get around them as quickly as possible?
If we weren’t so inclined to solve problems, these never would have become popular. But, we still participate in them because of the challenge involved.
The military use these to inspire things such as free thinking, abstract thought and leadership; 3 qualities highly regarded in life and crucial in soldiering.
When we manage to get past some obstacle, we experience a feeling of elation and accomplishment, which increases in proportion to how difficult the obstacle was to overcome.
Getting past the obstacle may happen very quickly or may happen over a period of time. It could be a mental or physical challenge, or even both. The thing is, it doesn’t really matter. Whatever the situation, we welcome the challenge, at least on a deep, subconscious level.
Some people will withdraw when faced with certain obstacles. They may feel as though these particular types of obstacles are beyond their ability to solve them and this is unfortunate because we all have the capability of solving most situations.
The difference between these people and others who succeed in overcoming these challenges is the belief that they can do so, not being put off by past experience and the perseverance to keep going (grit).
Even when the obstacles are dire, dangerous or even life threatening, people who approach it in a positive manner will have a much greater chance of overcoming them.
What is certain is that if you don’t try, you will definitely fail and that obstacle will become part of you in a negative way. It could destroy your life if you let it.
Your “failure” to overcome it can really eat at you and cause a quick downwards spiral which can make you less certain of yourself and thus even less inclined to face up to future challenges; it is a type of negative self-fulfilling prophesy that you need to be aware of and do everything to avoid.
Obstacles are an integral part of life and as you have seen from this post, they are necessary for our survival and continued growth as human beings and should be embraced.
They may be difficult to come to terms with. However, when we get to the point of overcoming them, we have tools we can use to make our lives better and that is an incredible experience.
But even more powerful is that we can extend our experience to helping others overcome similar obstacles and challenges as well.
And there is no greater feeling than helping someone to overcome a situation that they thought impossible!
So, why not think about all this the next time you are faced with a difficult situation and realise that it is not a challenge or obstacle, but rather an opportunity to stretch yourself and to grow and become a better version of yourself.
So, I ask you again; could you imagine life without obstacles?
I hope the answer is a resounding “No!”
If you search the Internet for quotes about success and/or failure, you’re pretty much guaranteed to come across this one:
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
This was alleged to have been said by Sir Winston Churchill but there is no evidence that he actually said such a thing, but the sentiment is a good one.
Do you believe that failure is not fatal?
You can’t let failure, or more accurately, fear of failure, hold you back from pursuing the life of your dreams.
Either that, or you chose something that was too easy to accomplish, and you got it right first time. If you continually look for the easy way, you may not be living up to your full potential. Eventually, you are going to be confronted with something you find difficult to accomplish, and you may even fail at it.
Living within your comfort zone is a nice, safe place, but you need to venture outside it if you ever want to grow to reach your true potential.
Most people look down at their failures and consider themselves losers when they happen. They look at the profiles of successful people and think that only those people are good enough to make things happen. What they don’t see, is the failures all of those successful people went through before experiencing their successes.
There are many instances of this. Just look at Thomas Edison, or more recently, Sylvester Stallone. These people overcame massive rejection and failure, but did they stop? No, and they went on to achieve great things in their lives.
But people never see the failures and obstacles they went through; they just see the success that they have accomplished – in fact, they often view these people as “overnight successes” when nothing could be further from the truth!
Why not try to view failure as a gift instead? It is something you can use to figure out what went wrong. When you observe your steps, you may find that it was a minor flaw in what you attempted. Others would simply give up saying it is too hard.
Of course, you need to hold the belief that what you want to accomplish is possible. If you don’t truly believe this, the chances are that you will keep failing over and over again and never arrive at a solution.
But, if you are confident what you want to achieve can happen, then you must be determined to stop at nothing to make it so. This is what differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people; the willingness to keep going in the face of adversity, and an unwavering belief that they can and will succeed.
Another way to look at failure is this; consider your failures to be a learning process for your projects. As long as you spend the time figuring out what you were trying to do, and analyzing why it didn’t work, you are gaining valuable insight into the problem. Keep going with your efforts even if you fail thousands of times. Hold true to your belief in the project and stop at nothing to get it done.
You may have heard of the phrase “Fail forward fast” and this is what you need to keep in mind whenever you fail; it is just a part of the journey, and not the ultimate destination UNLESS you allow it to be!
If there is any formula for success, it can all be boiled down to an unwavering belief in the possibility of the project happening, as well as being tenacious in your efforts to bring it to fruition. In this way, you should never put yourself down for failing. In fact, you should expect it and embrace it. Be suspicious if it doesn’t happen.
It’s sad that most people don’t have the self-compassion for failure. These people try once or twice and then give up thinking that whatever goal they were trying to accomplish just wasn’t not meant to be. If only they gave it a few more thousand or so tries.
It’s easy to give up, and the human mind will always look for the path of least resistance and try to convince you that giving up is best for you.
But is it really?
Of course, it isn’t. If you can only push through the pain and disappointment of failing and stop beating yourself up and allowing yourself to feel self-compassion, that all is not lost, then you could achieve so much more that you are currently.
I believe in you and that everybody has the capacity to become successful and the best versions of themselves. The trouble is that most people just don’t believe in either their ability to succeed, or (even worse) that they don’t believe that they are worthy of success.
With unconscious thoughts like these whizzing around your head, is it no wonder that people struggle from one thing to the next.
Failure is a part of success; you can’t have one without the other, so you need to embrace failure and enjoy the journey you are on to achieving your goals.
Whenever you encounter failure, it is okay to feel sorry for yourself. Most gurus will tell you to “man up” and “get over it” but that isn’t always the smart approach. I am telling you that it is okay to feel sorry for yourself, to feel dejected and frustrated. But also understand that it is a process and you can learn from it, adjust and keep going.
Achieving goals should be a lifelong process and you will fail so many times along the way but as long as you can keep the end goal in mind, you can pick yourself up, embrace the process and enjoy the journey you are on to success.
If you want to know more about how you can “enjoy the journey” then I encourage you to check out this cool training that can help you to do just that. You can find out more here: warr.pro/Journey-Full