Prolific Living http://www.prolificliving.com Smart Habits for Rich Living Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:06:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Smart Habits for Rich Living Prolific Living no Smart Habits for Rich Living Prolific Living http://www.prolificliving.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://www.prolificliving.com 42 Affirmations Every Successful Entrepreneur Believes http://www.prolificliving.com/positive-affirmations-for-entrepreneurs/ http://www.prolificliving.com/positive-affirmations-for-entrepreneurs/#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 21:29:47 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=39895 Affirmations, huh? Once a skeptic, now a believer. A few years ago, I was a serious corporate gal who would poke fun at anything that could not be proven for a fact. Affirmations were the last thing I could take seriously, and yet, funny enough, affirmations and the subsequent changes in mindset and thinking created […]

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Affirmations, huh? Once a skeptic, now a believer.

Affirmations_Edinburgh

A few years ago, I was a serious corporate gal who would poke fun at anything that could not be proven for a fact.

Affirmations were the last thing I could take seriously, and yet, funny enough, affirmations and the subsequent changes in mindset and thinking created the conditions for my transition from corporate to entrepreneurship.

Positive affirmations were the seeds that enabled me to land my dream company and online businesses and partnership with my husband.

Specifically, I can attribute the following to learning and using positive affirmations in my life:

  • Healing from my past mistakes.
  • Accepting myself for who I am.
  • Forgiving myself for past failures.
  • Letting go of a 12-years success career that was all wrong for me.
  • Learning to start over in a new direction.
  • Believing in my own eventual success.
  • Discovering my life purpose in the process.
  • Overcoming my fears to move in the direction of my dreams.

Isn’t it ironic that I now pay tribute to the very thing I used to poke fun?

Well, here’s the thing. If I was able to experience that level of change in belief and mindset, I am convinced you can too. I used the power of affirmations and guided meditation to achieve my goals.

So let’s talk about what you can do to achieve the same because this stuff can change your life forever.

The lesson here is simple (not easy, but simple): We all change and evolve when we know better.

So go ahead and let the skeptic part of you find it silly or cute or plain dumb to look at positive affirmations as an answer to improve your life, enhance your career and land your dream business. But give affirmations a try anyway.

It starts by believing, if only for a minute, that you deserve a positive, fulfilling, happy life and enjoyable fulfilling work and career. Period. No ifs. No buts. No excuses.

Can we please stop confusing affirmations with magic?

Positive affirmations are phrases or statements that retrain your brain to think the right way and in doing so, cultivate the right mindset and energy for everything you want in your life.

Got it? Everything you want in your life can be yours. That can be your first affirmation.

I am worthy and deserving of everything that I want in my life.

Affirmations help you believe that you are already experiencing that outcome in the present moment and helping manifest it in the future.

How, you ask?

Let me give you examples.

If you want to be healthy, you envision health already happening to you.

If you want to have a highly profitable online business, you envision that success and money is already pouring into your business.

If you want to attract the right partner into your life, you live as though you already have met and believe in this person’s existence.

Then, you state those eventual realities as facts in the first person – I am, I believe, I do – and repeat them over and over to yourself, believing that the outcome is simply inevitable.

Because it is. If you believe first.

Now, here’s where the confusion comes from those who confuse affirmations with magic. Which is mainly prevalent in the Harry Potter world and generally requires the use of a wand.

Affirmations do not absolve you of taking the action that will bring you to the eventual outcome.

Um. Yes. You still have to take action and do the work.

If you want to get healthy, you have got to set up everything else in your life to achieve that health from environment, diet, habits, and family support.

If you want to create your own profitable online business, you have got to work hard, make sacrifices, and be patient.

And I bet you’re very good at taking all the action.

But are you creating the positive and supportive mental thoughts and beliefs that make the ride to the top easier, smoother and quicker?

If not, affirmations will be your very best friend.

Because everything you want is so much harder, if not completely impossible, with the negative berating mindset that is full of doubts, criticism, insecurity and impatience.

So why not ease the road to your dreams?

How to use positive affirmations for entrepreneurs in your daily life and not feel, ahem, silly?

Here’s one thing I’ve noticed in our culture. Negative thoughts, statements full of doubt and insecurity, and terrible prospect for the future is completely normal.

Tell me if these are not totally normal conversation starters:

I’m in a new job but I already have a bad feeling about it. You know?

I started my own business, we’ll see what happens, you know 95% of businesses fail, right?

My first product just didn’t sell. This is so hard. I don’t know why I’m even doing it.

I know, right? I’m going to be a starving artist for decades.

You left your safe job? Well, at least your spouse still has a job while you do your own “thing” for a while.

I feel just awful. I have to go speak to a crowd about marketing their business. Argh.

And on and on and on these negative downright disgusting dialogues continue, while any positive affirmative phrase is met with a look of surprise and even shock!

So you know what? It’s up to you if you want to continue the trend or buck it. I want to set up everything in my life to create ALL the success for my growing business, not just some of it. And if you want the same for yourself, your mind and body and spirit all have to be on board with your entrepreneurship dreams.

You may feel silly at first, but you may also feel good. And positive. And more creative. And more productive. And even more profitable.

Now that’s a good price to pay for a wee bit of silliness. Don’t you think?

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The 42 Positive Affirmations Every successful Entrepreneur Believes (Even if They Never Admit It)

  1. Being an entrepreneur is my natural path in life.
  2. Success and money come easily to me.
  3. What I focus on grows and so I focus on my business.
  4. My service is a gift to this world and I feel compelled to share it.
  5. I am building a successful company every day.
  6. My work makes a difference in this world.
  7. I believe in the value I create in the lives of others through my business.
  8. I am smart, successful, savvy about business.
  9. The success of my fellow entrepreneurs fuels me with energy and joy.
  10. Whatever I can dream up for my business, I can achieve.
  11. Entrepreneurship is a path of service and prosperity.
  12. I create daily opportunities for growth for myself and others.
  13. My failures have made me a better entrepreneur.
  14. My income is growing every day by doing something I love.
  15. The passion I have for my work enables me to create real value.
  16. There are no limits to what I can achieve.
  17. I am driven by passion and purpose.
  18. Money and wealth comes to me easily.
  19. I attract my ideal clients and customers with my energy.
  20. I serve my highest work to my clients and customers.
  21. My business is set up for massive success and growth.
  22. I am energized by challenges in my business.
  23. My business is growing at exactly the right pace.
  24. I started my business at precisely the right time in my life.
  25. My business meets and exceeds my needs and my family’s needs.
  26. I get everything I want by first helping others get everything they want.
  27. My business helps me serve my life purpose.
  28. Entrepreneurship is the safest bet to security and wealth.
  29. I treasure the freedom my business affords me.
  30. I love work and feel charged and energized by work.
  31. My work leaves me stronger and happier at the end of the day.
  32. I focus on the value-generating parts of my business.
  33. Being my own boss is a responsibility I handle with care.
  34. I invest in myself and in my business every day.
  35. My business dreams align to my core values.
  36. I am making a difference in this world with my business.
  37. My success or failures do not define me. They grow me.
  38. My ideas come to life through my business.
  39. I leave a small dent in the universe with my work.
  40. I take entrepreneurship seriously, without taking myself too seriously.
  41. I appreciate all the lessons that owning my business has taught me.
  42. Success and growth are inevitable outcomes of my work.

Up for an affirmation challenge with me?

As a former skeptic, I get it. You don’t think this will work, so I am asking you to a challenge.

Let’s both commit to saying 5 – only 5 – affirmations from the list of 42 above every day. Choose your own set of 5 positive affirmations for entrepreneurs, and repeat it every day before you start your work and every evening before you shut down. Do this for 1 week.

If you want to go above and beyond, use Guided Meditation tracks in this program that I adore to accompany and expedite your progress.

On top of the affirmation challenge, remember to do the regular work. This is not magic. This has to be combined with your work!

I am confident that you WILL see positive results in your business, even if you don’t want to admit it. That’s okay! The deed will be done, my dear fellow entrepreneur and you will be far more successful with positive affirmations than negative thoughts.

Spilling the beans on what’s coming next …

Oh joy joy! Here comes the next heart-and-soul filled project. I am working on my next product for you. It is based on feedback from amazing readers like you and I am excited to focus on it. It’ll be an audio-based affirmations program with guided tracks to help you through life’s challenges. What life challenge would you like to see in this program?

Don’t forget to grab my popular 21 Step Confidence Building program below:

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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How to Stop Procrastinating: 18 Easy Ways http://www.prolificliving.com/18-radical-ways-to-stop-procrastination/ http://www.prolificliving.com/18-radical-ways-to-stop-procrastination/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 15:27:20 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=25646 Why do we love to procrastinate? It is an undoubted truth, that the less one has to do, the less time one finds to do it in. ~Earl of Chesterfield First, the obvious: Everyone procrastinates. I do it, my corporate and entrepreneur friends and the ones in between do it and I know for a fact […]

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Why do we love to procrastinate?

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It is an undoubted truth, that the less one has to do, the less time one finds to do it in. ~Earl of Chesterfield

First, the obvious: Everyone procrastinates.

I do it, my corporate and entrepreneur friends and the ones in between do it and I know for a fact that super successful gurus do it on occasion too. It’s just a human thing to put off what we could get done now for later. So relax. You’re not alone.

But the ones who get a lot done in short periods of time and seem untouchable by excuses that plague the rest of us simply have learned how best to manage their procrastination tendencies. You can too. I’ll tell you how.

Procrastination is not in your DNA make-up, it is not inherited from your parents or siblings and it most certainly does not “run” in your family – in fact, removing that phrase altogether from your vocabulary can improve your life drastically.

Procrastination is a bad habit that has formed over the years, and in order to break this habit, you must create enough reason and momentum to build the opposite habit, the habit of getting things done.

Let’s find out why we procrastinate first.

Getting things done is hard work, definitely harder than getting nothing done. Or getting easy things done. Right?

We are creatures of comfort so we resist the notion of hard work, because it translates to discomfort and maybe even pain.

We might have to move our bodies and put in effort and concentrate and focus and even break a sweat. So we resist.

These walls of resistance manifest in the simplest and costliest form in our lives: Procrastination.

But here’s the irony. Procrastinating is actually harder on you over time than overcoming resistance and doing the work.

Why?

Because procrastination can cause fatigue and stress and anxiety. It can leave you feeling empty and dissatisfied with yourself. It makes you feel guilty and nags you like an annoying fly in your bedroom in the middle of the night.

On the other hand, completing a task elevates you to high levels of true happiness, gives you a sense of accomplishment, and makes you more productive for the next task.

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

So the question is, which feeling do you want more?

Getting in the flow of getting it done. You know this.

Tell me if this is not true for you. When you actually commit to doing something, you get it done fast and without any fuss. You are focused. Your decision drives you, and you know what needs to happen and you just do it.

Plus the satisfaction that comes from your results generates even more creativity and productivity.

Those are the times you are in the zone. You are on top of it. You are untouchable by delays and excuses. You are doing your best and moving towards your goals and desires.

You love this feeling of completion. You secretly prefer this feeling to stress of procrastinating and yet you manage to procrastinate on a whole lot of things. Why is that?

Because you have a habit of procrastinating. But the good news about habits is that you can break them by interrupting them and replacing them with better, more fruitful habits.

18 ways to learn how to stop procrastinating now.

1. Determine if it’s worth doing.

You might just be procrastinating because you don’t want to do something for a good reason. It may be a job you hate, a procedure you can’t stand, a part of your life that you simply want to escape. That is different from procrastinating on your dreams and real goals.

To this, I would say examine the task at hand before doing it because why do something you hate with so many opportunities to do what we love?

2. Tiptoe in to see what happens.

Pick the thing you are procrastinating right now and just tiptoe in to see what happens. Do a fraction of it. Then decide how you feel about the advice.

Often you overwhelm yourself with the idea of doing it all and then you sit on it because it’s too much. What if you just did 15 minutes or half an hour? What if you got on board for just a wee bit to get a taste and break the waiting cycle?

3. Don’t listen to your moods. They lie.

The strongest reason we procrastinate is because we just “don’t feel like doing it!” You know what happens if you listen to that lousy mood? Nothing happens!

So before you do whatever you need to do, change your mood with a meditation track or check out my popular 10 Minute Invigorator Program that is guaranteed to switch up your mood in 10 minutes or less.

office-tea-clean

4. Clean up the environment.

The environment you surround yourself with can either perpetuate your procrastination or nip it in the bud. Take a look at your desk, your house, your space where you need to do this work. Is it clean or cluttered?

Have courage and clean up the mess, throw away the rubbish you don’t need, and create a peaceful and productive space that is inducive to creativity and positivity.

5. Commit to it loud and clear.

In the first 20 minutes of my 6am Ashtanga yoga practice,  a voice inside me is complaining and fussing “This is way too hard at this crazy hour. Let me go back to bed. Stop! I don’t feel like it!” And I know right then that if I give power to that mental shift, if I don’t commit loudly to the breath and the practice, if I stare at the clock, then I might as well go home.

Commit already. Commit loud. Commit and mean it. Commit to yourself.

6. Share your commitment with one person.

Choose one person, a partner, a spouse, a role model, a good friend, and tell them you committed to something specific, with dates and times. Ask if they please hold you accountable in a friendly but firm way?

The best partner is someone who may need the encouragement too. What is it that they are procrastinating on? Can you keep one another honest? Of course you can! Together, you are twice as strong!

7. Stop playing the victim card.

Why do we glorify being a victim of circumstance? Why do complainers get so many listening ears? There is nothing sexy or healthy about playing the victim, trust me.

Be your own hero instead. Be a warrior of peace. Be strong and tall and grateful for life. Stop the victim mindset and when it creeps in, just change it by telling yourself that you are in charge.

8. Kill the excuses. Abolish the distractions.

In order to do this, you must first know the definition of an excuse and a distraction. The dictionary definition says an excuse is “a reason put forward to conceal the real reason for an action.

Excuses and distractions build the walls of resistance, but only if you give them focus and attention. Put your focus and attention where it belongs: on the task at hand.

9. Maximize the small chunks of time.

You have got to manage your time well if you want to be a success. One good news is that you don’t need large chunks of time to get things done.

If you can’t dedicate an hour or two a day to something that matters to you, you can start with 15 minutes or 30 minutes a day, but for the long term, think about a fundamental shift in your lifestyle design. For now, use the 10-minute chunks everywhere you can find them.

10. Let the power of mantra guide you.

Mantras are positive affirmations you repeat to yourself over and over. Guided meditation can help you achieve this. You can even synchronize your breathing. In-breath will do the first half of the mantra and out breath the second half.

Some of my favorites are “If they can, so can I” and “I’ll do it now so I can reap the reward later.” Choose your own mantra and repeat it.

11. Turn a deaf ear to your lizard brain.

The inner voice is negative, it is your lizard brain, as Seth would tell us, and if you let it loose, it will destroy your mind with negativity. Stop listening to it by not focusing on it.

Recognize when you may be entering your lizard brain, it’s usually when you doubt your ability to get something done. Even if you don’t believe in yourself at first, keep repeating your positive mantra to quiet the negativity.

12. Visualize the end goal. See it in your mind’s eye.

Visualization is a powerful exercise that helps you focus on the end goal. It is a proven technique that kills procrastination and motivates you to high levels of success.

It takes a lot of focus and attention to seeing the end goal and how it can manifest itself in your life. Start with creating a vision board if you want to give this a full try.

13. Create enough pain to move you to action.

Pain moves you to action. It was pain that led me out of my corporate life and into running my own businesses. If you have enough pain, you will start doing. And if you told me that you wanted out of the corporate world but you are sitting around not taking any action, it’s because you are not in enough pain to take action.

So are you in pain from not doing what needs to be done? Let’s take weight loss. Are you in enough anguish from your weight and health problems to take action yet? If not, then can you creatively create more pain (yes I am asking you to create more pain in your comfortable state)?

14. Harness the fear and win.

Say no to fear. Fear is procrastination’s best ally so it’s bound to show up. Just don’t accept it. Don’t invite it in. Engage it in conversation to calm your nerves, to be in charge, to have control. If you can do this once, you can do it again and soon it becomes a habit.

Who hasn’t had a conversation with oneself? Why not make it a good one? In the privacy of your thoughts, ask yourself why you are procrastinating, what it is, is it fear, is it laziness, is it lack of knowledge? What is at your soft core? Listen to the whispers coming back. Then let your own inner guide help you push past the fear.

15. Cultivate self-discipline.

It’s either the pain of getting self-disciplined now or tasting the bitter pill of regret later. When put in that perspective, it is a quick decision. To translate it to action, create your own small habits that will build up your productivity.

Everyone is different. Cultivate at the pace what works for you, maybe an hour early in the morning, maybe a Sunday night ritual, maybe timing yourself, maybe working in complete isolation. Find that magic habit that works for you. That’s your self-discipline.

16. Make that deadline count.

Setting deadlines is easy to do and hard to keep. Nothing could be easier than putting a date on the calendar so how do you make it count if you hate deadlines? Put some repercussions in place.

Tell yourself that if you are not done by this date, you have to give up on something you really like. For me, the ultimate punishment would be my daily good tea. What do you want to give up if you don’t meet that deadline?

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17. Drop the perfectionism.

Perfectionism is not something to be proud of. It is a habit that holds you back from delivery results. Don’t mistake it with high quality. Of course you must delivery your highest work at the best quality, but perfection? Do you think that it even exists?

Have you ever achieved the state of perfectionism and been rewarded to the point that you now hold yourself to it every time? Learn to cure your perfectionism and move yourself to a steady state of taking action.

18. Reward yourself big every time.

We do not reward ourselves nearly enough. When you achieve a goal, any shape or size, especially one you have been procrastinating on for a long time, celebrate it! Buy yourself something wonderful. Give yourself a day off. Do something you rarely do for yourself. Look at your accomplishment with gratitude and joy.

It’s a big deal when you break through the barriers of procrastination. Congratulations are in order! How do you celebrate in style? I book a trip somewhere special and run off to practice more yoga.

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment. ~ Jim Rohn

What are you procrastinating on? Did you learn more about how to stop procrastinating by stopping here?

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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7 Productivity Hacks You Could Be Using Right Now http://www.prolificliving.com/path-to-long-term-productivity/ http://www.prolificliving.com/path-to-long-term-productivity/#comments Sun, 06 Jul 2014 02:25:51 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=26970 Wait, is this your relationship with productivity? Admit it, you envy productive people. You keep telling yourself that you could be more productive if only you use your time better and smarter. You read books and blogs and listen to podcasts on productivity hacks. You know the drill by heart: Set goals, use a timer […]

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date-time-blue

Wait, is this your relationship with productivity?

Admit it, you envy productive people. You keep telling yourself that you could be more productive if only you use your time better and smarter. You read books and blogs and listen to podcasts on productivity hacks. You know the drill by heart: Set goals, use a timer for uninterrupted focus, avoid distractions, focus on one task at a time, and just hustle after what you want. But when it’s late morning already, and you have not accomplished any of your to-do items even though you got up early and hustled to work.

You wonder to yourself when you will figure this productivity ‘thing’ out.

Here’s the problem: Your relationship with productivity is a forceful one.

You want to force productivity into your day, rather than, shall we say, integrate it? Forcing habits, routines, and ideas into ourselves fails every single time.

Why is this so hard to see this?

Because the failure is not immediate, it happens gradually. See, at first, when you force yourself to use a timer to complete a task, you will be successful at it. But it doesn’t “stick” and sooner or later, your older, stronger, and more established habits will swing you back to your natural rhythm. And you are back to wondering why productivity is so elusive, so out of reach for you.

Well, it isn’t. You can achieve it but first, improve our relationship with productivity.

Stop forcing productivity. Start integrating it instead.

Instead of forcing productivity into your life, choose to integrate it.

First, you need to understand the pieces of the puzzle that create a completely productive system for you.

I repeat the important keywords: For You!

Then integrate these pieces as small building blocks into your lifestyle, your habits, and your natural rhythms. In order to know what these building blocks are, you have to understand what is getting in the way of your productivity and what is enabling your productivity? Do you know that already?

Because sometimes, there are no outside forces, no deadlines and no pressures from others to get anything done. You need to drive yourself to results. You need to motivate yourself to be productive. And you need to do this every day, sometimes, multiple times a day, and it feels like a massive effort.

How do you make productivity flow into your days?

How do you make it your standard mode of operation, not something you need to strive for?

7 Productivity hacks you could be using right now

Yes, tools and apps and technology can make us more efficient, and sometimes enable lots of productivity too. We are not going into that here. We are taking the indirect approach to productivity. The only thing you need to put these productivity hacks to work is your decision to take them seriously.

If you have doubts that it won’t work, make a deal with yourself. Commit to doing them for only a week. If you are not massively productive at the end of that week, come back here and let me know. We’ll find you a new solution!

Now, the seven productivity hacks you could be doing now:

1. Empty the mind, focus the mind.

Professional sports athletes and dancers pump themselves up before a performance by visualization and meditation and affirmations and more techniques. In essence, they empty the mind clutter, they quiet the mind chatter, they put everything aside so they can focus singularly on the task at hand. First, you empty your mind, then you focus it. Do this by simply saying it out loud.

For instance, before writing your daily 1000 or 5000 words a day, you say: “I empty my mind of all chatter. I focus my mind on writing 5000 words now.” Repeat this mantra. Believe it. Get on board with it. Focus on it. Then and only then start your work.

2. Tackle the ugly monkey first. Then a big reward.

You’ve heard it but are you doing it? Eat the frog first thing in the morning. Attack the ugliest task first. One thing I’d add to that: put the ugly task or the frog on the calendar and treat it like a meeting. You can only do this if you’ve already done #1: Empty the mind, focus the mind.

And one more thing, give yourself a reward. Seriously, reward yourself like you would a child or a dog. Your own sense of accomplishment is a great reward but why not throw something else in the mix? I love and dread making my career videos. They take massive efforts of preparation, focus, creativity, attention, energy, and presence to create. I am at best exhausted for the rest of the day after doing just two.

But, but but BUT, I also feel the greatest sense of completion and accomplishment when I am done. Then comes reward time. I give myself downtime, movie time, or yoga time.

3. Exercise the body 30 minutes a day. Minimum.

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Look, I am not saying you can’t be productive without exercise. I am saying don’t be!

Your body’s health and happiness is directly related to your productivity and throughput.

When you are sick, you are not doing so hot on the productivity scale. To avoid using sick time, stick to any exercise routine that works for you but do 30 minutes minimum per day. Every Single Day!

Exercise is one of those productivity hacks that doesn’t make sense at first because it feels like you are taking time out from work but in fact, you are getting time back: with more energy, more focus, better health and higher creativity.

If you are not doing this, you are sabotaging your every chance at massive productivity and subsequently, massive success. Exercise clears the mind. Exercise rejuvenates the body. Exercise helps with digestion and perspiration is a natural purifier and detoxifier. Exercise combats countless health problems. Exercise builds your confidence. Exercise heals and strengthens the body. Exercise controls your weight. Exercise improves your mood and kicks in your creativity. Exercise gives you time to connect with your body and your mind.

The result: A more productive you!

4. Do nothing first, then do everything: Meditation.

If you are too busy to meditate 20 minutes a day, a zen master once said, then meditate for an hour. Meditation, like exercise, gives you time back and the quality of the time that you get back from meditating as little as 10 minutes a day is much higher than if you were to skip this. See, you don’t need hours and hours of time to be massively productive.

You need only to increase your level and quality of productivity during the time that you have. Meditation is an excellent tool to help you achieve this.

These guided meditation tracks have been my go-to source of meditation for several years now, and I can’t recommend them enough. Do it for the sake of productivity and you may just fall in love with meditation in the process.

5. Streamline the process: Stick to one single tool.

You don’t need more tools and apps and processes to be more productive. It’s not a linear process. You need to eliminate and in fact, I suggest sticking to a single method.

If you are following Getting Things Done by David Allen, then stick to just that system. If you are trying a new app, then use only that app.

If you are following the Pomodoro Technique, then stick to that.

Use one single system or app or tool for a period of 2 weeks, measure results, then move on to another if you are not happy or continue using that system if it works.

6. Watch what you put in your mouth: Eat a high-energy inducing diet.

Your diet couldn’t be more instrumental to your productivity. If you live on caffeine, sodas, junk foods and fast foods, you are willingly handing over hours of power productivity over to your body so it can digest and deal with the “food”.

Think how productive you feel after a heavy lunch or after a day or two of eating poorly? Think how much effort it takes to just focus when you are tired and dizzy from a hangover? Note: I’ve never had one but I’ve observed a few who did! Not pretty!

Now compare this to how productive you feel after a healthy meal, a green juice or a raw salad? If you’ve never had a green juice, grab The Healthy Juicer’s Bible and add juicing to your life, if only for the increased energy. Change your diet if you want to super charge your productivity. Simple as that.

7. Get the rest your body needs: More Sleep, not less!

Are you obsessed with getting less sleep so you can secretly brag about it? The person who sleeps 4 hours a night is not a hero. Sleep loss can lead to serious health issues, loss of focus, and according to WebMd, it dumbs you down! Ouch!

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried every hack to sleep less over the years, and now that I am getting enough sleep, my productivity has doubled! Doubled!! I love my waking hours just like you, and yes, I do wish that we needed less sleep so we could participate longer hours in life, but that’s not up to us to change, and if you force yourself to sleep less, it catches up sooner or later.

Commit to getting enough sleep and be proud of it. And trust the rested happy body to give back with focus and productivity.

meditation-stones

10 productivity blogs you should be reading.

Here’s 10 great productivity blogs with a link to one of their best articles. Read and grow your own productivity:

  1. Getting Things Done
  2. A Year of Productivity
  3. Productivityist
  4. Productivity501
  5. Dumb Little Man
  6. Change Your Thoughts
  7. Smarter Strategies
  8. Steve Pavlina
  9. Lifehack.org
  10. Prolific Living

Ready to go from procrastination to productivity?

These hacks are the path to your long-term sustainable productivity. You can break the cycles of procrastination, rewire your brain, release old patterns and lay the groundwork for a new cycle: more productivity. Now if you can’t remember all the details, just know the single secret to your long term productivity.

Everything else is secondary and pales in comparison. This one is the one non-negotiable in your list. This is the one thing you cannot afford to sacrifice when things get too busy and when you are too tired and too preoccupied.

This is the only thing you will definitely regret if you overlook it long enough. If I must say it in a Shakespearean tongue, then I will:

If thou wishes to be a productive human being, thou canst neglect thy health! ~ Prolific Living

Why do it alone? Stop being a hero. Work with an expert.

If you have done all of these productivity hacks, and you are still having trouble integrating productivity into your life, stop losing more time, and start working with a productivity expert or coach to build a system that works for you. I had only 6 weeks to write, edit, layout and turn in a 40,000 word manuscript to my publishers for my first book.

Even though my specific project – in this case, turning in a book to publishers - may be unique, I followed a productivity and results-oriented system that can be replicated and applied to other projects, and I gladly share this and other productivity tools that have served me well with my clients. Interested in super charging your own productivity? Apply to my coaching program here.

Don’t leave yet! Share your single best productivity secret in the comments below.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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The Importance of Being Punctual http://www.prolificliving.com/the-importance-of-being-punctual/ http://www.prolificliving.com/the-importance-of-being-punctual/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 14:00:47 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=16644 Is that a real emergency or just a poor excuse? Person A: I am so sorry I am late. I was stuck in traffic. Person B: No kidding. Cause, ya know, I chartered a plane to get here! I am so tempted to respond this way to every Person A who has been notoriously late […]

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clock-time-punctuality

Is that a real emergency or just a poor excuse?

Person A: I am so sorry I am late. I was stuck in traffic.
Person B: No kidding. Cause, ya know, I chartered a plane to get here!

I am so tempted to respond this way to every Person A who has been notoriously late to a meeting with me and arrives blurting out this ridiculous excuse. They may be friends, family, guests, co-worker, clients, or perfect strangers, it matters little who they are because tardy is a serious lack of respect.

Am I the only one left who feels this way about punctuality and tardiness? Please say it isn’t so.

Has our culture written off the importance of being punctual as insignificant and inconsequential?

Can we not have confidence enough to politely ask that people do us the courtesy to simply be on time?

Can we not have enough respect for the other person’s time and effort to show up at the hour that we said we would?

Are we really that incapable of handling ourselves and managing our time as adults with all gadgets of technology known to man?

The dreaded truth: what it really means to be late …

Let me dispel a few preconceived notions about being late. This quiet truth deserves a voice and it rarely gets heard.

Being late …

  • … does not make you an important or special person. Whoever you are doesn’t reserve you the right to be late.
  • … late once or twice in your life may be unavoidable but being late consistently makes you unreliable.
  • … says you clearly do not respect the other person’s time, only yours.
  • … affects your boss’s impression of you and damages your upward mobility at the company.
  • … consistently implies you are rude and lack all consideration and respect for the other person as well as for the commitment you made.

Your apologies for being late, however profuse and sincere, do not excuse the tardy. I am not saying not to apologize, I am saying not to be late!

Your reasons for being late insult the other person’s intelligence.

Let’s state the obvious here: Emergencies are exempt from the list above. Emergency, however, is defined as an unavoidable and uncontrollable situation which puts you in a position that makes it impossible to comply with your original plans because something more important has arisen at the last minute.

No, that is not an emergency!

The short list below shows examples of what is not an emergency, and rather results from lack of planning and a personal choice:

  • You spill coffee (or any beverage) on yourself on your way out the door.
  • Your children making you late. For whatever reason.
  • You have an argument with your spouse, your partner, your neighbor and then you are late.
  • Your dog or cat or other four-legged friend does something to make you late. Anything!
  • You answer an unexpected call which runs over and makes you late.
  • You ‘lose track of time’ and are thereby,  you guessed it, late.
  • You forget altogether about the appointment and are embarrassingly late.
  • You are “stuck” in ‘unavoidable’ traffic or re-routed due to construction routes.

The last one is my pet peeve. Calculating the distance between two points takes simple thinking. The two tools you need are access to Google and a device that tells time.

If you have never traveled that route and are not familiar with traffic patterns, give yourself at least 15 extra minutes on top of what Google maps or your GPS dictates.

Traffic is not a new phenomena in our lives. You can manage extremely well with minimal planning. Traffic does not control you, excuse you, make you late or hold you back. You do. Be smart, be responsible, and plan around it!

But some days, life has other plans and hands you a real emergency such as:

  • Your punctual train or public transportation is delayed because of unforeseen circumstances.
  • You have an accident or a punctured tire while in transit.
  • You become ill and unable to go the meeting – in which case you will be a no-show not just late.
  • Someone you care for becomes ill and needs your help.

May none of these real emergencies ever detain you. May you be healthy and outside the emergency zone at all times. But if they do, please immediately contact the other person and let them know. Communication is consideration when emergencies arise.

11 reasons why it pays to be punctual in life

Embracing punctuality is more than just an admirable trait; it introduces you to a brand new way of living that you will love! You feel content and happy with yourself rather than frustrated and guilty.

Why is the importance of being punctual in life anyway if there are far too many Person A types around.

Because it is the right thing to do – but I shall give you 11 more reasons just to be safe.

The best motivator I can give you is that if you are a conscientious Person A, being late adds unnecessary stress to your life and breaking the habit removes it.

Below are 11 more reasons why punctuality matters in a professional world among smart people:

  1. You show respect for the Person B in your life.
  2. You respect yourself enough to keep your word.
  3. You prove that you can be trustworthy.
  4. You are appreciated for being on time.
  5. You are regarded as a reliable person.
  6. You are seen as a professional.
  7. You are taken seriously and on your word.
  8. You build a strong reputation for your character.
  9. You open doors and attract more opportunities to yourself.
  10. You eliminate stress from your life by removing the anxiety of being late.
  11. You do the right thing and feel good about it.

importance-being-punctual

What you should do when someone is late?

You have choices as in all things in life. The most popular choice is to never mention it, to be flexible with people’s schedules, and to convince yourself it’s no big deal and your time doesn’t matter all that much. After all, what’s a few minutes here and there?

Or (can you tell this is my recommendation?) you could bring it up gently once, make the point, request that they respect your time next time. If it happens again in the future, know that you have a choice about interacting with that person.

You cannot change any one except yourself but a kind reminder in a gentle tone will get the message across. Well, most of the time!

If you are on the receiving side of this, I would encourage you to see it from the other person’s point of view. Your time is just as valuable as theirs, regardless of your life circumstance.

In response to Person A being late, you could say:

John/Jill/honey/bro/sis/you, I just wanted to let you know that I also went through a lot of effort to be here on time and I still had to wait 10 (or more) minutes for you. I hope that this will not happen again in our future meetings.

Be polite, be sincere, be kind but be honest and have these tougher conversations for more rewarding relationships in the future.

If the late person continues to disrespect your time and ignores your hints, it may just be a strong sign to let go of the relationship or stop living up to their expectations.

We make our choices in a free world about lifestyle, commitments, priorities, and family.

If we are responsible individuals, we will only take on as much as we can handle and handle that which we take on very well.

If we are reliable individuals, we will meet our commitments to others or break the commitment professionally if we cannot make it.

If we are smart individuals, we will prioritize our activities.

And if we are considerate individuals, we will plan ahead, show up early and set an example to follow.

Have you seen The Birdcage? One of my favorite movies of all time, hilarious even on the 5th watch. In it, a dialogue takes place between Agador and Amand. When Agador, the house chef, announces that dinner is served as it is 8 o’clock, Amand, the party host, responds: “Yeah well, 8 o’clock – that means 8:15, 8:30, quarter to 9!” Agador scratches his head as he heads back to the kitchen.

Robin Williams may be hilarious in his role as Amand but he is wrong in this instance!

8 o’clock means 8 o’clock unless appended with a clause, such as “I don’t really mean 8 sharp.“, “8 is fine but we’ll be at least 10 minutes late.” or  “We meet 8ish, give or take a few minutes.” Otherwise, 8 o’clock it is, baby. Be there or be square!

8 things you can do to heal your own tardiness

Listen, being late is not in your DNA. It’s not something you “inherit” from your family. It is not a characteristic trait. It is just a good habit and like all habits, it can be broken or preserved. It is a matter of personal choice and priority. Make the right one every time!

The real problem with being constantly late is that it makes you stressed and anxious. Why add this pressure to your life when you can live with inner peace? There is a better way to live than chasing the clock every day from too many commitments, too much activity and too many promises. So I put together a short guide for you if you find yourself constantly late, and if you swear it is “impossible for me to be on time!” – first of all, I disagree, it is very much possible. Here’s 8 things that can heal your tardiness:

  1. Simplify your life by thinking about why you are doing something before committing.
  2. Say no more often. “No, I’m afraid I can’t take that on right now, thanks for asking though!”
  3. Give yourself more wiggle room in between appointments.
  4. Be aware of your body rhythms. If you are not a morning person, don’t keep making morning appointments.
  5. Stop thinking of yourself as a perpetually late person. You can change your habits if you so decide.
  6. Aim to arrive 10 minutes early for every appointment for a week.
  7. Apologize if you are late and ask if there is anything you can do to make it up to the other person.
  8. Celebrate your success when you have been on time for 3 times in a row. Then repeat for 3 more times.

With these actionable tips, you may find it easier to develop your own punctuality even for the first time in your life. You are not ‘afflicted’ with tardiness. Your mind has the power to train and become the most punctual person you ever know. And when that happens, you may be sending this article to your friends and family, asking if they could please observe more punctuality in their appointments with you.

In fact, share this article with at least one friend that is ‘suffering from the tardiness syndrome’ and help make this a more punctual world! Would you?

If I have not stirred the pot with this one, I am lucky. Really, tell me, is it just me being so persistent on punctuality and respecting other people’s time, including the very minutes? Do you make an effort to show up on time? Do you feel indifferent about being on time or being late? Please share your thoughts!

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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19 Common Errors in the English Language that You Must Avoid http://www.prolificliving.com/19-errors-to-avoid-in-your-use-of-the-english-language/ http://www.prolificliving.com/19-errors-to-avoid-in-your-use-of-the-english-language/#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2014 16:20:10 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=13505 You Idiot!: My 7th grade lesson on the English language “You idiot” might have been one of the first phrases I learned in English. It was not necessarily directed at me (at least, not that time!). It was often directed at the 11-year old boy sitting next to me in class in Izmir, Turkey. It […]

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You Idiot!: My 7th grade lesson on the English language

You idiot” might have been one of the first phrases I learned in English.

errors in the english langauge

It was not necessarily directed at me (at least, not that time!). It was often directed at the 11-year old boy sitting next to me in class in Izmir, Turkey. It came loud and clear from our disgruntled British teacher. He was almost always disgruntled, poor man, not to mention visibly hurt when we mangled his perfect language.

Brute force teaching methods for avoiding errors in the English language can be marvelously effective. I have never lost that sense of respect and responsibility toward the English language.

I started to learn English at the age of 12 in Ankara, Turkey. My mother tongue is Farsi. I had to take a year of Arabic while living in Iran. The move to Turkey made it imperative that I learn Turkish fast for survival. If I count the German lessons during the same school year, English was the fourth language that I started learning.

So you see, English is not my first language by any stretch!

I also did not go on to major (or minor) in English. A part of me wishes that I had. I studied Engineering instead and went to (gasp!) public schools all the way.

Yet I have never ever used any of this as an excuse or a weaknesses when it comes to proper use of the English language.

Instead I use my powerful story to show that it is critical for all of us, particularly those of us living in English speaking countries, to be able to speak and write using proper and polished English.

And to be able to master the language, it helps to have a positive attitude towards it. It helps to desire to learn it, to excel at it, to become intimately familiar with one of the greatest modern languages of our time.

So what if English is not your first language?

English is not an easy language to learn, I admit.

In fact, it’s bloody hard! Alright?

English may be easy enough to get started and communicate the basics, sure, so is every language under the sun. But it can take many long years for your ears and mouth to learn all the wacky expressions and phrases, all the myriads of ways of using the language.

The road to achieving excellent flawless writing skills is long and arduous.

But you can learn to follow the fundamental basics of English in your daily use of it. The simple application of basic grammar and spelling are becoming more the exception than the rule but it doesn’t mean the incorrect way of doing it is ever EVER correct.

19 Common Errors in the English Language You Must Avoid

So without further ado, let’s talk about errors in the english language that you should avoid. I implore you to remember these 19 Significant and Simple rules every time you put pen to paper or finger to keyboard:

1. its vs. it’s

its = a possessive pronoun. Examples would be: The puppy played with its toy. The computer and its power supply are for sale. Do you know whether my car needs its own inspection?

it’s = contraction of it is. Examples would be: It’s much too hot in July. I think it’s going to rain. I doubt it’s ever going to be the same.

Easy reminder: You can replace it’s with it is every time and re-read your sentence for meaning.

2. there vs. their vs. they’re

there =an adverb, in or at that place. There is only one lemon left. There should be an easier way to do this. I hope you don’t go there.

their=a possessive pronoun. Their mansion is beautiful. Their olive trees make me dream of Italy. Their baby cries a lot.

they’re=contraction of they are. They’re simply stunning. They’re going to perform for us. Don’t act as if they’re here already!

Easy reminder: You can replace they’re with they are every time and re-read your sentence for meaning.

3. lose vs. loose

lose = a verb, to come to be without something; to suffer the loss of something. I do not wish to lose more weight. I was about to lose my ear ring. She cannot stand the thought of losing him.

loose=an adjective, free or released from attachment; not bound together; not strict. My belt is very loose around my waist. She likes to wear her hair loose and free.That is a loose interpretation of our document.

Easy reminder= Lose has come to be without its extra “o”!!!

4. whose vs. who’s

whose= possessive form of who. Whose plans are these? Whose money did he take? Do you know whose boat we saw the other day?
who’s= a contraction for who is.
Who’s going to clean all this mess? She was wondering who’s going to dance with her. Do we need to tell them who’s going to be there?

Easy reminder: You can replace who’s with who is every time and see if it makes sense.

5. your vs. you’re

your=possessive pronoun. Your job is very exciting. I wish I were in your shoes. Did you tell me your secret yet?
you’re=contraction for you are. You’re
going to amaze them with your performance.I want you to know how much you’re delivering for us. Perhaps you’re about to get started?

Easy reminder: You can replace you’re with you are every time and see if it makes sense.

6. write and right.

write=verb, to express in writing. I want to learn how to write well. Did you write this? Write a letter to Mom
right=adjective, correct, justified, suitable, opposite of left. The little boy knew right versus wrong. It’s the right way to do things. I meant to write this for you right away.

7. me vs. I

The best explanation for this rule is here; nonetheless here is a simple explanation:

I=subject. Me=object. Which one to use when?

Let’s learn by example:
1. This would be wrong: They are going to send my wife and I a package.
Why? The rule is that the sentence should make sense if you remove the person and preceding the I. So in our case:
They are going to send I a package. This is obviously wrong. It should be: They are going to send me a package.

2.This would be wrong: Jim and me are going to the beach.
Why? Remove Jim and. In this case, also adjust the verb to match single form of first person. Then re-read the sentence:
Me am going to the beach. This is also obviously wrong. It should be: Jim and I are going to the beach.

3. This would be wrong: The best one is sent to Ashley and I.
Easy way to remember this is that I does not follow a verb. I should always make sense if it is followed by a verb.
Correct form would be The best one is sent to Ashley and me.

I am rather pleased to learn that my favorite phrase, “it is she“, upon answering the phone has formal correctness on its side but is rather antiquated

8. effect and affect

effect=noun, produced by a cause; a result. The effect of your leadership is visible here. The rules are in effect as of today. What if the change has no effect?

affect=verb, to act on; to produce a chance. She affected all of us with her speech.The cold weather affected my plants last night.I let the movie affect me deeply.

9. accept vs. except

accept=verb, to take or receive. I accept the challenge. They accepted the generous gift. Why not accept our flaws and still love ourselves?
except=preposition, excluding, save, but.
 So it will never follow a subject such as I, they, we.

Everyone except me decided to go. Do anything you can to please her except calling her. Except for her attitude, I think she is ideal.

10. gone vs. went

Both are past participles of the verb to go.

Correct: I went to the store. I should have gone to the open market instead.
Incorrect: I should’ve went somewhere!

11. the apostrophe disaster for plural form

The most common error is to put apostrophe where apostrophe has no business. When you form a plural for nouns, there is no need whatsoever to add an apostrophe.

These are all wrong forms of plural nouns = Cat’s, Dog’s, Lot’s (not even a word), ABC’s,
Plural forms in most cases are made by simply adding an ‘s’ to the singular form = Cats, Dogs, lots, ABCs.

Even though the use of apostrophe before an S in an acronym is almost universal when you make it plural, it is still incorrect.

12. ending sentences with preposition

It has also become common to use prepositions inappropriately or to end phrases and questions with prepositions.
Examples of some prepositions: at, of, with, in.

Wrong: Where are we at with our plans? Where is the movie theater at?
Correct: Where are we with our plans? Where is the movie theater?

When asking about the location of a place, “at” should not be used after “where.”

Note: Don’t confuse phrasal verbs which make up a huge category in English language and are best described here. For instance, a preposition always is used in the phrase “to hang out” (where did you want to hang out?) and the verb wouldn’t make sense without this preposition.

13. the dangling participle

The dangling participle can seriously change the flow and meaning of your writing. It is important to make sure we qualify the intended words.

Examples:
Misinterpreted: Cooking on the stove, she decided it was time to turn the vegetables.
It sounds as though she was being cooked on the stove herself.
Better: She decided it was time to turn the vegetables which were cooking on the stove.

Misinterpreted: Sunburned and dehydrated, mom decided it was time for the children to go into the house.
It sounds as though the Mom is sunburned and dehydrated.
Better: Mom decided it was time for the children, who were sunburned and dehydrated, to go into the house.

14. could of vs. could have

This is very simple. I’m afraid “could of” is not even a phrase. It is often misused perhaps because it is phonetically so close to “could have
I wonder if I could have majored in English.

15. here vs. hear

here=adverb, in this place; in this spot. I am here and planning to stay. I wish you were here. It is here in this place that we met.
hear=verb, to be within earshot; to perceive by ear.
I hear you. We do not want to hear the policies one more time. If only she heard what he had to say!

Easy reminder: Here is There with a preceding T and the two are almost opposites so think of them in a pair.

16. irregardless vs. regardless

This is very simple also. I’m afraid “irregardless” has never and will never be a valid word. It is completely made up. It’s not going to join the ranks of words regardless of what we do!

17. then vs. than

then=adverb, at the time; immediately or soon afterward. I will eat; then I will go. He shall see you then. If you want to be there by then, you had better hurry.
than=used after comparative adjectives. He is taller than she is. I wonder how much more than this I can pay. Will you please speak louder than them?

18. to vs. too vs. two

to=preposition. If you want me to do this, I will. You should be prepared to go.
too=adverb, also. They want to perform too. She too has one. So will they see you too?
two=noun, one plus one. I want you two to decide amongst yourselves.If only the two of them could see you.How long before you two grow up?

19. were vs. where vs. we’re

were=past tense of verb to be. If I were a rich girl, I would live in Italy. You were happier then. I think they were going to stay.
where=adverb, in or at what place. Where were you last night? Where can we go from here? Where in this world did my dog disappear?
we’re=contraction of we are. We’re going to be famous. We’re not there yet. We’re about to make a huge difference.

The Angry Flower take on Errors in the English Language

If you think me harsh, let Bob’s Angry Flower tell it to you straight:
errors in the english language

8 Easy to Implement Suggestions to Avoid English Language Pitfalls

Well, my friends, this is by no means a comprehensive list. This is just a list of most common errors which I see and find easiest to avoid. Writing and learning has never been easier. We are a click away from a dictionary or thesaurus and all other English language resources all over the web. I think as humans, we all err at some point or another. The goal is not to become infallible. The goal is to become aware and conscious of how we use the English language and to strive to be the absolute best we can be.

In my parting thoughts, I leave you with 8 quick suggestions that can help you avoid these terrible pitfalls:

  1. Proofread your writing. Twice.
  2. Proofread it three times if you are going to publish it anywhere.
  3. Have a friend or a peer proof read it with a critical eye for oversights and errors.
  4. Use a dictionary and thesaurus when in doubt.
  5. Train your spell checker to kick in before you send or publish anything.
  6. For long documents, walk away from them for a little while and come back with a fresh mind and a critical eye.
  7. Find a gentle way to tell others when you catch an error. Just do it in private.
  8. Always be open to feedback and receive it with kindness.

Let us not allow poor writing skills overshadow our brilliant potential.
Let us not succumb to the everyday disasters in the language by just following the crowd.
Let us show love and care about the way the English language is spoken and written.
Let us preserve the beauty of the English language.

What to do next about all this language stuff …

First, grab a copy of Empower Your Writing, a manifesto that I published on writing well.

Then, share one single thought about English. Do you like it? Do you hate it? Is there a common error that gets on your last nerve? Tell us in the comments.

And then sign up to sign up to get my confidence series where I talk about stuff that does not concern the English language so much as it does YOU! Grab it below:

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps



Knowing that irony has a sense of humor, I would not be surprised if you caught an error here even after I proofread it 5 times! Hey, feel free to tell me.

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How to Go from Fear to Motivation with 22 Radical Thoughts http://www.prolificliving.com/from-fear-to-motivation-in-22-radical-thoughts/ http://www.prolificliving.com/from-fear-to-motivation-in-22-radical-thoughts/#comments Sun, 15 Jun 2014 21:40:27 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=17809 Going from Fear to Motivation with a Simple Shift My motivation is insanely out of control lately. Something has switched inside after I dropped my negative thoughts and adopted these 22 radical thoughts that I share here. I am basking in the glorious aftermath of living on the other side of fear: in a constant state […]

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Going from Fear to Motivation with a Simple Shift

My motivation is insanely out of control lately. Something has switched inside after I dropped my negative thoughts and adopted these 22 radical thoughts that I share here. I am basking in the glorious aftermath of living on the other side of fear: in a constant state of motivation. Think it’s too good to be true? So did I, but so glad I was wrong!

positive-light

Lately, my energy is to the roof. My focus is laser sharp. My productivity is highest it’s ever been. I feel a great sense of urgency and nobody can talk me out of the work I need to do.

I can’t stand the idea of resting and relaxing for a minute longer than necessary. I cannot keep count of all the ideas running through my head and what’s more, I can smell no fear in pursuing every single one of them.

No fear. Not anymore. I am done being scared. I am done making decisions with fear. I am finished half-committing to my goals. I am done fooling around with my dreams. What about you?

I’ve turned a corner and I am not looking back. It happened when I woke up one day only to realize I have been chasing an empty dream, an illusion of happiness, and a mere shadow of success. Have you turned that corner yet?

Failure is grand. Fear of failure a complete waste of time.

I’ve had it with fear of failure. I am weary of thoughts of failure, anticipation of failure, worries of failure and they have nothing to do with failure itself. Failure itself has been really good to me in life. In hindsight, of course – I was never that smart when it first knocked me off my feet.

Failure taught me whom to trust. Failure showed me the true colors of friends. Failure proved what I am not willing to give up in life. Failure brought my values to light. Failure opened doors which always led to better success. Failure connected me with better opportunities, brighter outcomes and greater results.

You see, failure has been so good to me and I bet it’s been really good to you too.

Fear of failure on the other hand has been nothing but a waste of precious time.

Enough already!

So you fail. Great. You tried something. You learned something. You risked something. In fact, who are you not to fail? Whoever achieved greatness without it?

Fail.

Fail again.

Fail often.

Fail shamelessly and proudly.

Fail until you get it out of the way so you make room for nothing but success. Success on your terms, in your words, by your definition.

Fear of success, anyone?

But then there is another fear lurking around. Another one you rarely hear about. The fear of massive success, of the incredible realization of your wildest ideas and your greatest desires.

You may crave success badly but tell me, do you not foster any fear from realizing your truest and greatest potential?

Do you not fear the thought of influencing people with your work, of touching the lives of hundreds or thousands of other human beings, of being a leader, a role model, an inspiration for others to follow?

Success is as a scary beast as failure – and both of these fears, you must conquer before you can step out of your mediocre achievements and do something really great with your life.

That’s where motivation comes in. Tap into yours. You are the source for your own motivation, you just need to wake it up! True motivation comes from within, this seemingly infinite well of motivation that rises from the pit of your belly and refuses to leave until you have taken notice of it. Tell me you have felt that before.

If yes, great. If no, then you are not listening. You are not hearing yourself. You are not following the rhythms of your heart. So let’s change that around with these 22 radical thoughts to help you move from fear to motivation.

From Fear to Motivation: 22 Radical Thoughts

You can start right here, right now. I will start all over with you too. First change the thoughts, then watch the actions follow suit.

  1. Get vigilant. End the passive cycles.
  2. Be awake at the wheel of your life.
  3. Fight complacence. Fight it hard.
  4. Reject boredom at the door. Never let it in. Not for a second.
  5. Be madly in love with your life.
  6. Be madly in love with you. That’s right. Let them call it vanity or selfishness. I call it the first rule of true happiness.
  7. Find your purpose. Your real true purpose. If you can’t find it right away, please for heaven’s sake, don’t give up. It took me over two decades to find mine.
  8. Find some ounce of meaning in what you do during the day. Please find a way to make this happen for you.
  9. Stop sacrificing for others so much. Giving is fine. Sacrificing no!
  10. Do something – anything – just for yourself. It takes knowing yourself to do something for yourself. Maybe do that first.
  11. Remember to value the person you see in the mirror. It is the one person who stays with you through thick and thin, in loneliness and in the crowds, in darkness and in light. Hear me again: the only person! Make friends with yourself. Find solitude, not emptiness, in your own company.
  12. Listen to no one who dares tell you what you can or cannot do. Turn a deaf ear to naysayers. Who are they to set limits for you and judge your potential? Who are they to judge your capacity for success or your tolerance for failure?
  13. Stop abusing your body with alcohol and drugs and smoking. Are you not intoxicated enough on your raw health, on your life, on your freedom to living on your terms? Do you think you are invincible against the disasters awaiting you from abuse?
  14. Stop blaming the industries, your parents, your children, your teachers, or the circumstances or the culture for your troubles. They don’t care and they shouldn’t. You should. Your life is in your own hands. It always has been.
  15. Choose to see only the radically positive light in your life.
  16. Take a risk. Not a stupid risk. Take responsible calculated risks to find out where your limits and boundaries lie. Then up the ante. Every day.
  17. Step out of the boxes of society. In fact, crush the box altogether and rebuild it. Build your own box. In your own shape. Your own dimensions. Make it your art . Let it be your brand and your identity.
  18. Live your motto. Live your values — and only yours. Let others’ values be just that – their values. And let their limitations be theirs too.
  19. Never be a copycat. Try authenticity. Try originality. Try being exactly who you are meant to be. What worked for the massively successful individuals may not work for you.
  20. Be different but essentially, be yourself, in fact, be the best version of you.
  21. Be radically uncommon – but be smart, responsible, kind, sincere and genuine at the same time. Yes, it is possible to be all of that and massively successful to boot.
  22. Be kind to yourself. This process takes time and you are worth every minute. Be kind. Believe. Don’t give up. Have patience.

Yoga headstand meditation

The Mantra for Staying Motivated Daily

A mantra is a phrase or several phrases that you repeat to yourself to make thoughts and habits stick. Here’s a mantra for staying motivated. Just say to yourself:

  • Today is the day that I drop the heavy weight of doubts and fears, bury them deep under the ground and take the rest of the journey without them.
  • Today is the day that I take my dreams seriously (but myself not so much!).
  • Today is the day that I make no exceptions to my values but plenty of room for failure, should it wish to show up.
  • Today is the day that I refuse to touch any endeavor unless it is with my absolute best effort. Tomorrow, I will raise the bar higher.

If you like this post, check out my Kindle book: The 8 Pillars of Motivation.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Nov 4th, 2010 on Prolific Living. It has now been revamped, revised, and updated with fresh new content. Enjoy and spread the word!

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8 Little-known Corporate Career Mistakes You Must Avoid http://www.prolificliving.com/top-8-mistakes-of-my-corporate-career-and-how-to-avoid-them/ http://www.prolificliving.com/top-8-mistakes-of-my-corporate-career-and-how-to-avoid-them/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 04:35:06 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=25958 They didn’t warn you about this at your Corporate 101 Class? Of course that’s a joke. There’s no Corporate 101. There is no basic training about mistakes you must avoid if you want to succeed at your job. There is no place to come clean with your corporate career mistakes and start over. There is […]

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corporate-career-mistakes

They didn’t warn you about this at your Corporate 101 Class?

Of course that’s a joke. There’s no Corporate 101. There is no basic training about mistakes you must avoid if you want to succeed at your job.

There is no place to come clean with your corporate career mistakes and start over.

There is learning by experience and learning by being an insider. Or not learning until it’s too late!

In the early years of my 12 year career, I went down a lot of dark alleys; I came up to a lot of dead-ends and I turned to a lot of wrong people; I believed a lot of rubbish and I made a lot of corporate career mistakes and what I learned is this:

You can accept your mistakes; you can learn from them; you can move on from them but you never want to make them in vain.

You must learn from your mistakes once you have made them.

Now what would be even better is to avoid your mistakes in the first place!

Your situation is not that unique.

While no two companies are identical and no two employees are the same, an uncanny similarity runs across a large portion of corporations and cultures.

So these 8 corporate career facts I daresay apply across the board. No matter how unique you think you may be, you will likely find relevance here to your job situation.

Warning: You may find my tone harsh and negative here. My intent is to be clear. Plus reality bites, direct experience speaks volumes and the experiences you will read about here are not singular as I watched many of my colleagues and clients share a similar path in their own journey of corporate career mistakes. So pay attention and don’t be next!

Career Fact #1: Top-notch industry certifications do not necessarily get you a promotion, more money, or even credibility.

The myth goes like this: If you get certified in your industry or your niche, you are suddenly rewarded by your company.

While it does “depend” on company policy, even that is not enforceable and can change.

After earning two electrical engineering degrees, I went for a hard-core certification called the CCIE that only 7000 people in the world held it at the time – yeah, I thought it was special. It virtually guaranteed paths to recognition and compensation adjustment from my grossly-underpaid state at my job.

As soon as I got certified, the powers that be changed the rules and I had to shamefully beg for the promotion and raise for two years.

Years later, I went for another certification called the PMP because, as you see, I never lost faith in the myth. This one hardly brought me any more recognition than the first.

Bottom line is this: Ask yourself why you want to get certified and if it is really imperative to you doing a good job at work and advancing? What do those acronyms mean anyway and whom are you trying to impress, and is it even worthy to spend your time doing something impressive rather than something useful?

Don’t go with the hype on this one. Focus on what really matters.

Career Fact #2: You will have to ask for a raise and a promotion. Loud and clear. More than once.

I was terrified of asking for a raise and promotion but that was before I understood the secret corporate code on how to do it right. And that’s when the raises and promotions started coming – when I asked for them the right way.

I used to subscribe to the false theory that if you work hard enough, you will indeed be rewarded.

This, my dear reader, is naiveté talking, not reality.

It does not matter how hard you work, how many nights and weekends you put in, and how many hours on top of your average peers you contribute to a project, this does not necessarily promise you a higher pay, advancement, or larger bonus.

You need to clearly identify the important tasks to your management and leadership and understand the impact and the visibility of those, and focus your energy there, not everywhere.

You must ask for what you are worth. It does not land on your lap out of the goodness of anyone’s heart.

Career Fact #3: Executive leadership makes decisions to please shareholder interest, not yours.

People forget that the corporation is not there for them; it is there to answer to its shareholders.

Let this one sink in because it bites but it’s true. True leadership is – as it should be – the magnet that holds a mission and a vision together, and without it, things begin to disintegrate from within.

Companies learn this lesson the hard way but you don’t have to. Don’t expect the executive leadership to do right by you. They may consider what is in the best interest of the employees but they have shareholders to answer to first.

If they don’t make decisions that resonate with your core values, think twice before working at this company.

At least, you now know where the motive resides next time you hear a lousy decision from the top.

Career Fact #4: The Human Resources (HR) is not there to protect you, dear one. Their only job is to protect the company.

First of all, if you can, avoid HR – Human Resources – altogether, not because you want to keep the mishaps to yourself but because they are of no help in general. They will not act in your interest and they will not solve your problem because they do not care about you. HR is there to protect the company.

Disagree with this all you want; I know I did it when I first heard it. Seek a mentor or trusted leader instead for advice, and make sure they are outside your direct chain of command.

Alas, it’s true: HR simply protects the corporation’s interests. Not yours.

No matter what your story may be, the decisions made by the HR will likely not be in your favor and you will be left with larger problems to solve as a result.

Your issues may very well be valid, but think twice before running to HR and did I mention: they protect the company first and foremost.

Career Fact #5: You do not need to do everything they ask you in order to be rewarded, recognized and raised high.

I used to do it all; everything they asked me to do, I would do with my head down and my pride high. Then I realized that I was yet again being an idiot about the way things work.

First of all, most of my work was needless busy work, and second of all, very little of it mattered during performance period. Guess when I had my best, most amazing performance ratings? During the periods when I worked the least hours but only on the most effective projects and activities. (Yes, it did not cease to shock me either!)

So however tempted you may be, do not do everything that is asked of you. Do not respond to all that comes across your desk.

Ask yourself if a task or request is really important and if you really need to attend every meeting and listen to every training and answer every email.

You will find that top performers do very little but they do focus on the important work. Learn to distinguish between busy work that average employees do and important work that the company really wants you to do.

chess-play-right

Career Fact #6: Putting your career in your manager’s hands is as safe a bet for success as letting your child run wild in a busy street.

Now I admit I had good managers; I liked them. I was sincere in my appreciation of them too. They were gracious people for the most part, the exceptions notwithstanding.

What hurt me was my confusion: I believed that simply because I loved my team and my company, they too loved me in return and I defined that love as being taken care of.

So in the early years, I simply let my managers “manage” my career and what a colossal mistake that was.

Be in charge of your own career and drive it forward. If they give you opportunities, look at your plan and see if it aligns to where you want to be and what you want to do and if it does not, then decline.

You decide where to go next, how long to stay on this team, and even what projects you are going to work on. Have a voice about your career because no one else will.

Career Fact #7: Impact and results are not the same and you need to speak to your impact or become irrelevant.

Do not confuse results with impact. You may be getting a lot of results, small, medium and large in size, but that’s not the same as having a great impact. Impact means you had something to do with the company’s bottom line in one measurable form or another but anything could be a ‘result’ of your hard work.

So ask yourself: Are you having an impact in your company, in your customers, and in your community? Or are you just busy getting random results to various tasks? Are you working on some dead-end corporate initiative that will be on the shelf before the end of the quarter, and one that will suck the living soul out of you in the process?

Then do the right thing and focus on impact instead.

Career Fact #8: No one cares if you quit or leave or even die so don’t kill yourself for your corporation.

Sorry to be so dramatic but I wish someone were that dramatic with me.

The sense of urgency about everything at corporate is a little ridiculous and the sacrifices expected of you are uncalled for.

Some people cruise by, yes. Others are asked to do horrendous amounts of work and for that period of time, you are made to believe that you matter, and that your work is integral to the company success.

The truth suggests otherwise. Even if you are the VP or the CEO, you are not that important. You are in fact entirely – and quickly – replaceable. So what are you doing giving up on your family time and your health and well-being?

What are you doing getting stressed out?

Make smart choices and draw the line where it needs to be. Ironically, that line brings you respect and you may find balance in your personal life again.

What to do if you really want to get ahead, get promoted and get paid your worth.

Did these little-known corporate career truths resonate with you?

As you navigate the corporate landscape, I hope to help you to avoid your corporate career mistake. Or recover from them fast.

If you want to go even further, if you want to get ahead and get promoted and become the next rising corporate employee at your company, then check out Crack the Code to Get Promoted, an online program that examines all of pieces to the “get promoted” puzzle, and shows you how to best position yourself for massive success.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Oct 10, 2011 on Prolific Living. It has now been revamped, revised, and updated with fresh new content. Enjoy and spread the word!

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15 Secrets to Writing Great Fiction from Game of Thrones Author George R.R. Martin http://www.prolificliving.com/secrets-fiction-writing-game-of-thrones/ http://www.prolificliving.com/secrets-fiction-writing-game-of-thrones/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 14:13:23 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=39432 What do you mean you don’t like fiction? Everyone has a hero. A hero inspires you to question the status quo, to think differently about an old concept, to rise above your modus operandi. A hero is someone that not only pushes you to a new height, but also makes you giddy with confidence about […]

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dinner-with-george

What do you mean you don’t like fiction?

Everyone has a hero. A hero inspires you to question the status quo, to think differently about an old concept, to rise above your modus operandi. A hero is someone that not only pushes you to a new height, but also makes you giddy with confidence about your own ability to master your craft and rise beyond your limitations.

My hero is George R.R. Martin and I met him and dined with him at ConCarolina 2014. It was ridiculous fun and inspiration and now it’s time to put that inspiration to work.

Do you read fiction? I Love Fiction. I inhale good fiction. I cannot imagine a world without fiction.

In fact, I can’t relate to you if you haven’t at least once in your life fallen hopelessly in love with a fictional character.

Reading or writing fiction are not a waste of time and taking a break from reality is not without its many great benefits. After all, it is the power of your imagination that makes all your dreams possible, and fiction helps you cultivate that side of your brain.

Great fiction is still a rare gem and those who create it for us are, in my mind, extremely special human beings. Ever wonder:

  • What goes into writing great fiction?
  • How do you stay motivated to write great fiction?
  • What does an aspiring writer need to know about the craft?
  • What makes us obsessed with Game of Thrones and the book series so much?

We asked George R. R. Martin for his thoughts during dinner and panel discussions and well, he answered.

15 Secrets to Writing Great Fiction from George R.R. Martin

To my aspiring writer friends, here are the 15 secrets to writing great fiction directly from the source, the mastermind behind Game of Thrones TV show, the creator of A Song of Ice and Fire series, Mr. George R.R. Martin:

meeting-grrm

1. On getting past the ‘writer’s block‘ once and for all:

Just sit your a$$ down in front of the computer and Turn It On. If you want to be a writer, you must write. This seems obvious but a lot of people who say they want to be a writer never quite get around to writing. Sometimes they even have very specific story ideas and they tell you about it at a party or in an email but they never actually sit their a$$ in the chair and write and that’s not a writer, that’s a talker. If you want to be a writer, you have to write.

2. On your books not being for every type of reader:

Different books are for different people. We each read for our own reasons. There are lots of stories where the boy gets the girl and the hero kills the villain. That’s not what I write about.

3. On developing the habit of writing:

Write. Write everyday. Write as much as you can. Finish something and send it off. Then write something else. Keep writing.

4. On becoming a writer and writing for a living:

You have to keep doing it if you want to make it a profession. It’s not an easy profession. It’s not easy to do the work. It’s not easy to persist and build a career because you’ll get a lot of rejection. People who make it in the long run are the people who keep doing it. And hopefully you are of the right temperament for it.

5. On not writing for the wrong reasons:

Write for the right reasons. There are people who want to be a writer but for the wrong reasons. Status and fame and money are good perks but not good reasons to write. Write because you have stories that you must tell and nobody – nobody – can talk you out of telling them.

reading-by-grrm

6. On learning from both criticism and praise:

You need a certain amount of praise along the way but you need the criticism too. Your mother will always like what you write by large … unless you have a really nasty mother. But you have to give it to other people too and hear what they say. When they praise you, let it encourage you and when they criticize you, learn something from it. You just gotta keep doing it.

7. On you alone being in charge of the outcome of your story:

Art is not a democracy. People don’t get to vote on how it ends.

8. On delivering your work without compromising the quality:

Ten years from now, no one is going to care how quickly the books (A Song of Ice and Fire series) came out. The only thing that will matter, the only thing anyone will remember, is how good they were. That’s my main concern, and always will be.

9. On tempering the fantasy and magic in your fiction:

Pour the magic in your fantasy story as you would salt in a meal. Just sprinkle a little because if you put too much, all you’ll taste is the salt. I want magic but I want magic handled subtly and with a certain amount of ambiguity.

10. On keeping track of your world building and characters:

I use my brain. But I do refresh myself all the time. Sure I have notes and documents I reference but when I shift gears, I re-read the previous 2-3 sometimes 4-5 chapters by that POV character before continuing the story in their voice so I get inside their head and remember what they are dealing with.

11. On finishing what you write, the shockingly-obvious advice:

You must finish what you write. No one is buying fragments. Noone is buying scenes or episodes. If you want to be a professional writer, if you want to actually write things people are going to publish, you have to make yourself finish the stories that you begin. A good story needs a beginning, a middle and an end.

12. On marketing your story once you finish it:

Most writers don’t do it. They have novels in their trunks and short stories in their drawers. Or they send it out once and they get rejected and then never send it out again. No. You must keep sending it out.

13. On not touching your story when you market it:

Do not fiddle with your story after you send it off to your editor. That endless fiddling with the story won’t get you anywhere. When you finish your story, put it on the market. When it comes back from an editor, put it in an envelope and send it to another editor. Preferably on the same day. If the editor comes back with suggestions, then you have a direction and that’s when you re-write. If you want to.

14. On creating the experience for the reader, not just saying what happened:

My view as a writer is that I want to put you in the scene, no matter what the scene. I want to put you there and give you the feeling of it. I don’t want to write that someone sang a song. I want to give you the lyrics.

15. On starting your writing career with short stories:

If you are a young writer or a beginning writer at whatever age, start with short stories. When you are new, you are going to write some bad stories and you’ll experiment with techniques as you should in order to use your tools. If you write a short story, you’ve wasted a month at most. When you write a bad novel, you’ve wasted one or more years. Learn your craft first with short stories. Another advantage is if you start selling those short stories, then people get to know your name and when your first novel comes out, the introduction isn’t ‘Here’s a novel by some writer you’ve never heard of.’ but rather, ‘Here’s the long-awaited first novel by this rising young writer that you’ve seen in all these magazines.’ This way you give yourself the best possible chance to succeed as a writer. That’s how I did it.”

The sources used for this article: ConCarolina conference panel and conversations with George as well as the George R.R. Martin podcast series in 2006.

GOT-dinner

The secrets to writing great fiction may not be what you expected but just because they are obvious and simple doesn’t make them easy!

If you are looking for a silver bullet to establish yourself as a writer, you will be sorely disappointed, but if you follow George R.R. Martin’s advice and believe in the stories that your heart is aching to tell on paper, then you shall be rewarded with sweet delights.

So as you pack your writing tools, pack up your self-confidence. In fact, speaking of writing, grab my 21-step confidence building book to stay motivated as you tackle your first novel or short-story … or even blog post!

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


 

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Stuck in a Loop? Behave Yourself into a New Way of Thinking http://www.prolificliving.com/behave-new-way-of-thinking/ http://www.prolificliving.com/behave-new-way-of-thinking/#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 12:41:56 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=39370 You can’t think yourself into a new way of behaving. You need to behave yourself into a new way of thinking. ~ Robin Sharma Is it possible that you analyze every possible outcome, ask everyone’s opinions and seek advice from friends and family which you don’t even intend to use before committing to any action? […]

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You can’t think yourself into a new way of behaving. You need to behave yourself into a new way of thinking. ~ Robin Sharma

clock-ancient-timeIs it possible that you analyze every possible outcome, ask everyone’s opinions and seek advice from friends and family which you don’t even intend to use before committing to any action?

Is it possible that you are just delaying the very thing that you so badly want to do by giving your fears and insecurities way too much power than they deserve?

Is it possible, maybe just ever so slightly, that you think too much before taking action?

Confessions of an ex-corporate gal. Use it to your own advantage.

Okay, I’ll go first. Yes, yes and yes to the above questions.

I, Farnoosh Brock, have more than once in my life thought waaaaay too much about the things that I badly wanted to do. It cost me dearly.

My worst offender? I thought way too much about what I “should” do about my career woes:

Oh god! I’ve been here at the company for so long and I’m still unhappy. Should I leave anyway? Should I go to another company? Should I – could I, would I dare – start a business and go out on my own?

And I thought and thought about those questions for a few years.

A Few Years!

If I had taken some action from day one, Any Action, I would have been able to pursue all those possibilities and drawn conclusion from actual experience!

I could go off to another company, get more experience, then quit to start my first business, fail and fail until I learn the ropes, then set up my second business and whatever happens, just keep taking action.

But I didn’t do that because too much thinking got in the way.

Instead, I got lost in my thoughts and as Eckhart Tolle would agree, I forgot the urgency of the present moment.

I lost much precious time to overthinking and devoted far less time to immediate action.

And a few years passed while I was still, you got it, thinking about it all! But of course I didn’t call it that. No way! I called it “careful planning.”

Note to myself: Whatever!!!

Note to you: Don’t do this!

Okay, you’re right. Sometimes careful planning is warranted.

There are some life changing decisions you do need to think seriously about, like choosing your life partner, walking down the aisle to say “I do!” forever, or having a first child or a fourth child and even getting a pet.

There are irreversible consequences to some of your actions, and those decisions deserve your full attention and serious careful consideration before taking immature action.

But starting your own business?

Taking that trip you’ve always dreamt about?

Writing that book you keep putting off?

Creating that product to help others and make a difference?

Those are the things best left outside the long-term thinking loop. Because next year, you’ll wish you had started today. You’ll wish you had taken some action today to get you closer to these goals, these desires, these dreams.

But no matter what you logically understand, you are still stuck in the thinking loop. You are still numb to action. What to do?

overthinking

The thing that really paralyzes you from taking action …

Did you know that you don’t have to do it all at once? Imagine that!

Einstein said the only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once.

You don’t have forever but you do have time. So use it to take small daily steps in the direction of your dreams.

If you are using your time well, your steps will add up to a giant’s distance run!

But if you are biding your time in thinking land, you will be standing in the same spot a month or a year from now. Plus you’d wary of all that thinking.

You forget that you are in charge. Fully in charge. Your mind is a powerful tool and it’s yours to use so learn to use it well.

Train yourself to produce results in small tiny steps every day, then measure out your progress and watch it grow over time. Your progress will fuel further action – you don’t need a motivation source beyond your own proven factual progress.

When you repeat this, taking action, measuring progress, not over-thinking every minuscule idea to death, you’ll gently slip into this new way of behaving. It will become your true nature, your default mode if you will! And overthinking will have less and less power over you.

Remember again what paralyzes you the most because it’s false: You don’t have to do everything by today!

You don’t have to write the entire book now or quit your job Monday morning before you have even start your own business.

So stop thinking so much about it to make room for taking that an actual step forward.

Your circumstances will only improve by your taking action. Likewise, they won’t improve by your just thinking about it.

Stuck in the thinking loop? Break free with outsmarting yourself.

Last week, I opened early registration to my Smart Exit Blueprint course which helps you get out of a dead-end job in a smart and sensible way and helps you chart the course of Employee to Entrepreneur.

I am ecstatic to have an influx of new students in the door. They are all fabulously talented, smart and brilliant, and ready to take action and make changes in their lives.

But whenever I open this course for registration, I invariably get a few who show extreme interest in taking the course and in working with me. They have the greatest intention to move away from their career woes and do something about it. They need the course and the guidance badly, but they still want to “think about it.”

They are still thinking:

Should I quit my job? Should I start my own business? Can I really do this? Does it make good sense? What if I fail? What if I regret it?

I want to tell them my story, but I hesitate. I know they have been thinking about it for years too. Their situation has only worsened as they stay stuck in the thinking loop. I know, because I did that.

They are the victim of a circumstance they have perpetuated by too much thinking and too little action.

And I know well that I can’t help them until they break out of overthinking and decide to take action. But I hope to help YOU in not doing the same.

Are you ever stuck in this thinking loop?

See, the thinking loop is just like it sounds: a loop that goes round and round, you pass the same point many times in this loop, and you never quite make any progress away from it.

Your thoughts are teeny tiny entities that have no power without your help so they are starving for your time and attention. They grow when you focus on them and take you deeper and deeper into a maze of more thoughts. The thinking loop grows as you focus more and pay it more attention.

To break free of this loop, outsmart yourself and break the pattern. Here’s how.

Start telling yourself that you are simply delaying the thinking for the time being. You will definitely come back to it and do further analysis about your decision but right now, you have to go off and take care of something.

I have thought about it starting a business for a while now. Which is smart of me. Now I’ll take a break from thinking about it, go off and start the business by taking the first action, then come back and think about it some more.

Of course what you are doing is committing to action and cheating on the overthinking demon. Action is what you are really craving for. Action is what feeds the real hunger, because it’s something that gets you closer to your goals and away from your unhappy circumstances.

taking-action

So tell your thoughts you’re putting them on hold and go off and take some real action. Be it starting that business, laying the groundwork for creating a smart exit strategy or writing the first chapter of your book.

And if you need help doing that, if you want to invest in yourself while you are creating that smart exit strategy out of your job using a proven step-by-step system in Smart Exit Blueprint course, you can sign up via regular registration while doors are open and seats remain. Payment plan is still available. See here for registration.

register-SEB-FAQ 2

Don’t think too much about it if it feels right and you need expert help and guidance quitting that job and starting that business. Also, class is 80% full as of today. Just sayin’!

The doing is what sets you free. The first step is what breaks the thinking loop. Do this every day with the thing you procrastinate the most and you’ll be behaving your way into a new way of thinking.

So what are you waiting for? Have you not thought about it long enough? Commit to taking action and making a decision in the comments section and let’s talk.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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Can’t Get Online? 21 Ways to Be Insanely Productive When Offline http://www.prolificliving.com/be-productive-when-offline/ http://www.prolificliving.com/be-productive-when-offline/#comments Sun, 04 May 2014 10:40:10 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=39323 This must’ve happened to you at least once. If you love traveling like me, and enjoy balancing work and play while on the road especially when hitting international destinations, then this has no doubt happened to you: After a long day of sightseeing and spending time with your loved ones or basking in your own […]

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This must’ve happened to you at least once.

If you love traveling like me, and enjoy balancing work and play while on the road especially when hitting international destinations, then this has no doubt happened to you:

After a long day of sightseeing and spending time with your loved ones or basking in your own company, whatever the case may be, you are ready to settle down in your super comfy PJs, with a cup of hot beverage in one hand and your laptop in the other.

typewriter-to-write

You haven’t been online all day long! Now that you’re back in your hotel room, you are itching to use the fast WiFi the hotel has promised to catch up and get some serious work done.

Except you can’t!

Because the WiFi doesn’t work!

Or worse, it “works” but it’s excruciatingly slow, it kicks you off every 5 minutes and it wants to know your entire family history before authorizing you into the system again!

Your frustration mounds up. You call the front desk. They say it’s working for everyone but you. They are baffled as much as you. Not a good sign.

You waste another 30 minutes trying to force your way onto the web, only to get more agitated by the whole situation.

Finally, you shut your laptop in a rage. “Well look at that”, you say in utter defeat, “I can’t get any work done! Just great!”

Learn to switch to your offline productivity mode

I’ve been traveling in Europe now for five amazing weeks, visiting several countries and staying in a mixture of flats and hotels to get the full experience.

The high-speed internet connection is implied everywhere we go, and most of the time, it works just fine, but every now and then, the WiFi connection just doesn’t work.

My first reaction a few months ago would have been frustration and defeat.

But now, when I can’t get online, I accept the situation, and I just switch to my offline productivity mode.

In fact, I become what you may call insanely productive.

Fact: You don’t always need an internet connection to be productive or run your online business.

See, I’ve now developed a system with which I can adapt to being offline and even get insanely productive with activities that actually move my online business forward, not just keep me busy.

Listen, if you just go online just to have fun, check Facebook or play games, this post won’t apply to you – at least not yet! And if you want to start your online business, take my Smart Exit Blueprint course.

Now if you run your own side-hustle or full-time online business, if you have readers, customers, clients, blogs, social media, and internet-reliant communication that you manage, then you need an “offline productivity plan” that you can put to use ASAP when you are not able to get online.

Why the offline productivity mode again?

Before we get to how you can be productive without access to the internet, let’s talk about the little-known benefits of having a system in place that allows you to switch between your online and offline modes like a highly engineered robot:

  1. You become extremely flexible, a valuable trait that successful people exercise great flexibility when plans go awry.
  2. You give yourself time to pause, reflect and see current business challenges in more depth and in a new light. Solutions come to you more easily.
  3. You take notice of hidden problems that you have unconsciously buried away under the constant distraction of online noise. You see the big picture in the quiet.

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21 ways to be insanely productive when offline

  1. Write blog posts in a draft mode.
  2. Compose email responses in your drafts folder.
  3. Read books on your Kindle. Note that if you want to buy Kindle books in another country, Amazon acts funny sometimes. So load up your kindle with lots of books before hitting the road.
  4. Review your short- and long-term goals. If you don’t have these goals, set them.
  5. Save useful articles and long blog posts to Pocket app to read offline.
  6. Save and download special reports related to your biz and read offline.
  7. Listen to podcasts on topics that you find educational and useful.
  8. Go through your contact list and touch base (via composing an email to send later) to peers or colleagues that you want to stay connected with.
  9. Read your unread or flagged emails and newsletters you subscribe to.
  10. Write a short summary of your takeaways from a book you recently read.
  11. Brainstorm new profitable business ideas to grow your biz in new directions.
  12. Reply to your text messages, the system will send them when back online.
  13. Update your bucket list whether it’s for your business or life in general.
  14. Think about a big business headache and come up with 3 new approaches.
  15. Review your to-do list and remove any tasks that you no longer see yourself doing, increase priority to any that you have forgotten to address.
  16. Touch base with your clients by composing messages with extra love and attention.
  17. Circle back with old clients by composing messages of “checking in”.
  18. Create (if you don’t already have one) a list of 10 experts and role models in your fields. Put together a rough plan of connecting with them and getting on their radar.
  19. Come up with 3-5 new ways you can offer your skills and talents to your potential customers, clients and readers.
  20. Review strategies for every aspect of your business. For an online business, this can be your newsletter strategy, your social media strategy or your content creation strategy to name a few.
  21. Assess your health and exercise programs, which are directly related to the state of your business – present and future – and make positive change in the direction of vigilant health and self-care.

Your productivity only stops when your confidence drops.

You are not as attached to the online world as you may think. This is the phrase I have been contemplating during my Europe trip. I love being online, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I love staying connected, I love using social media and I love sending talking to you – my readers – especially in the comments.

But when circumstances are such that you are pushed outside your comfort zone, take charge, pull out your offline productivity system and get to work.

Nothing and nobody can get in your way as long as you stay confident and in charge, and nothing can stop your business from flourishing, least of all a short absence of WiFi and internet connection. So now you have an idea how to be productive when offline. Right?

What do you think? Are you growing a business online and feel hopelessly connected to the internet? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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Simplify Your Diet with Healthy Smoothies http://www.prolificliving.com/healthy-smoothies/ http://www.prolificliving.com/healthy-smoothies/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 23:08:55 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=39278 The relationship between food and mood. At some point in your life, you are going to wonder whether you are eating the right foods. You may feel this way as a result of a traumatic incident such as an illness or the loss of a loved one due to poor health. Or it may be […]

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The relationship between food and mood.

At some point in your life, you are going to wonder whether you are eating the right foods. You may feel this way as a result of a traumatic incident such as an illness or the loss of a loved one due to poor health.

Or it may be a mundane problem that gets more serious over time such as fatigue, headache, stress or those pesky extra 10 (or so!) pounds that just don’t melt away!

healthy-smoothie-edinburgh

This point in time happens much earlier for women than for men, but it doesn’t mean we have any better ideas how to deal with it. Women get to that point of self-awareness earlier because we are generally more focused on how we look, but neither sex is all that concerned about the general state of their health until much later in life.

At least, that was the norm when I was growing up first in Iran, then in Turkey and finally in the US. You ate what you had and what your family made, you ate a whole lot during celebrations and holidays and birthdays and a dozen other occasions. You went on a strict diet when you had to “lose weight” and you didn’t fuss so much over food unless you were going to become a dietician or fitness trainer.

You also begin to wonder whether all the food going into your body is in anyway affecting your moods, your general state of happiness and your productivity. (Hint: the answer is yes but more on that in a minute.)

Take the quiz. Learn the truth. You CAN handle it.

How you feel on a day-to-day basis about yourself, your body and life around you is your best indication as to whether you are nourishing your body properly or you need to improve things.

Here’s a quick 10-question quiz to see how you fare on your nutrition knowledge and self-care. Answer yes or no. Keep count of each.

  1. Are you too full to move after breakfast or lunch?
  2. Or do you skip breakfast altogether and go into lunch ready to eat for 4?
  3. Do you feel fatigue mid-afternoon for no reason?
  4. Do you use a high-dose of caffeine as a pick-me-up?
  5. Do you eat as an emotional response to stress or anxiety?
  6. Do you struggle with how to eat well and what to prepare for a healthy meal?
  7. Are you above the ideal weight for your age, sex and height?
  8. Do you pop vitamin pills to “counter-act” the bad food you eat?
  9. Does more than 30% of your food come from some sort of package or can or fast-food lane?
  10. Does more than 30% of your food have a TV commercial associated with it?

Your Score: How did you do on the quiz?

  • If you had no YES answers, bravo! You are doing a great job for your health.
  • If you said YES 2-4 times, it’s best to start paying attention to how you eat.
  • If you said YES more than 4 times, you need to drop everything to focus on your diet now.

Knowledge is your best friend. Simplicity your second best friend.

I remember feeling sick to my stomach regularly in college from the foods I was eating at the cafeteria, and not having the slightest idea how to eat better. I knew something is wrong because I did not feel great, but I didn’t know how to fix it.

Sure, more vegetables and less rice were good suggestions, courtesy of the latest issue of some teen magazine but that’s not really all that helpful. Is it?

At the time, there was no Google to answer your questions, no Kindle to scroll through thousands of books with and certainly no smart health movement towards easier, simpler and more wholesome eating.

That’s when I first started to get curious and pay more attention to the connection between the way I felt and what I eat. They are linked closely, and if you want to feel good about yourself as well as feed your body with the nutrition that it deserves, you have to start paying serious attention to everything you put in your mouth.

But how do you do that in a simple and effective way that you can sustain over time? How do you create a healthy lifestyle without becoming a dietician or an expert on every food and chemical and micronutrient out there?

Well, I don’t claim to be a dietician but I’ve found an answer that has worked for me and millions of others and I am going to stick to it.

The answer I swear by is a return to wholeness, a return to simpler foods, preferably in their raw and freshest state. The solution that has worked is to consume more leafy green vegetables, more fruits, more raw nuts, more raw vegetables. A whole lot more of it.

healthy-smoothie-london

What’s wrong with salads again?

Oh listen, I love LOVE my salads – I can whip up a mean one for you if we are ever having dinner together – there are still a few challenges with just eating the fruits, vegetables or salads.

The short-coming is two-fold:

First short-coming is versatility. You can make a lot of different salads, I agree, but in their single form, tomatoes still taste like tomatoes and cucumbers are cucumbers. They combine in your stomach after you eat them but the taste is still the same while you are chewing them.

Second short-coming is absorption rate. Your body does not absorb all the nutrition from fruits and vegetables that you have chewed in raw form or eaten in cooked form, (where the nutrition is partially lost during the cooking process anyway). Your body has to work really hard to break down the food to the form that it needs to extract the maximum nutrition from it.

And the ultimately simple ingenious answer that overcomes both short-comings is healthy smoothies.

Heal your body, get lean and strong, and end meal boredom with healthy smoothies.

When your body cries for help, you listen. Right? Sometimes it’s an obvious cry like when you slam your foot into the table. Ouch! Other times, it’s a silent cry like the one you feel after you regret your recent overindulgence at your aunt’s.

You can ignore the silent cry. Or listen.

Between us, I’m pretty happy that I’ve listened.

Because no amount of “I’m busy!”, no level of a serious profession, no number of responsibility is a good enough excuse for neglecting your health.

For without your health, you have nothing.

Healthy smoothies are the easiest and fastest way to heal your body, simplify your diet and revolutionize your health. Hands down!

My second book is out and you should go grab a copy. Because …

Healthy-Smoothie-BibleLast year, I was stoked to see my first traditionally published book, The Healthy Juicer’s Bible, hit bookstores, Costco’s and Sam’s and even Nordstrom among other places, and to date, the book has reached 30,000 readers worldwide and growing. From the glowing reviews on Amazon, juicing has helped them develop healthier happier lives.

I couldn’t be happier.

Soon after The Healthy Juicer’s Bible, my publishers approached me for a new book on another area that I have built experience and expertise over the years: healthy smoothies. The Healthy Smoothie Bible book was an even bigger labor of love, with 108 of my unique recipes, testing dozens of brands of super foods, including a list of experts from the online and offline smoothie communities as well as a detailed detox regimen to help you get back on track fast with smoothies.

The Healthy Smoothie Bible went live today, April 22nd and I think you should go grab a copy. Or two with one to give away to a friend.

Why? Because you deserve the gift of health and I’m confident that with the work we have put in this book, you are not going to be disappointed.

Let healthy smoothies be another dimension in building your confidence, restoring your happiness and living life to your fullest. You will never look back!

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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50 Daily Positive Affirmations for Women http://www.prolificliving.com/women-positive-affirmations/ http://www.prolificliving.com/women-positive-affirmations/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 23:10:46 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=39242 Are you a woman who battles insecurity or lack of self-esteem? Do you talk down to yourself and rarely give yourself praise and love? Then these positive affirmations are for you because whoever you are, whatever your life circumstance or your current situation, you are worthy of joy, happiness and inner peace (link to my favorite […]

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Are you a woman who battles insecurity or lack of self-esteem? Do you talk down to yourself and rarely give yourself praise and love?

Then these positive affirmations are for you because whoever you are, whatever your life circumstance or your current situation, you are worthy of joy, happiness and inner peace (link to my favorite guided meditation).

affirmations-for-women

A note to my male readers: If you have read this blog any length of time, you know that I always speak to all my readers. The stuff here applies to all. But today’s message of positive affirmations for women is especially for my female readers. I ask you to read and please share this with the special women in your life!

Stop the Insanity. Embrace your Feminine Power Today.

Do you live in a state of inner turmoil?

Do you wake up with worry and stress in the morning?

And most of all, do you dislike the woman you are?

As a young woman, I immigrated to Turkey for three years then to the US. I studied and worked mainly in a male dominated workplace for over a decade. And I have to admit that I struggled with self-confidence a lot.

Over the years, I became the very thing that I dreaded: a victim of my circumstance, a product of my negative thinking, an image of insecurity and confusion, a woman in a constant state of stress and comparison to my male counterparts.

I lived and breathed this inner struggle between who I was and whom I thought I was supposed to be.

It was torture. I hated who I had become as a result of low confidence and deep down, I didn’t even like the person I was trying so hard to become.

Here is a fact I learned too late:

You become what you think and what you believe. Your thoughts therefore create your entire reality.

But did you know that we as women create every bit of this agony? Nobody, not even the worst boss, the aloof spouse, the oppressive parent or some stranger from your past is to blame for your problems.

How could they be when you are a responsible, fabulous and smart woman, charting your own course and making your own decisions? How could you rightfully blame anyone when no one can force you to think a single bad thought or live a single sad day?

Everything is within your reach: happiness, joy, confidence, success and inner peace. I know you may want to argue: “Yeah but …” Resist the urge -that’s an old habit that has held you back for too long.

Instead, throw out the excuses and start fresh today.

Start fresh with positive thinking and positive believing using a powerful tool called affirmations. These are mantras, phrases and concepts that you repeat daily or multiple times a day to bring you back to your center, to help ground you, and to remind you that you are beautiful as you are and everything in your life will turn out perfectly.

Here are 50 positive affirmations you can start applying to your life today. Print them and post them on your mirror or save them to your notepad and refer to them whenever you feel the cycle of downward spiral happening.

20 Affirmations on Aging Gracefully as a Woman

  1. I am the perfect age today.
  2. I embrace my age with joy and pride.
  3. I grow wiser and stronger as I age.
  4. Today is a perfect day to be [your age].
  5. I celebrate getting older every day.
  6. I age gracefully and live fully.
  7. I love my wrinkles and I adore the grey hair.
  8. I discover new joys of living at every age.
  9. I would rather be this very exact age as I am today.
  10. I appreciate life more today than I did yesterday.
  11. I grow more beautiful and less fussy as I grow older.
  12. I step into this new decade with confidence and excitement.
  13. I spend my time living the present moment than longing for the past.
  14. Age is a state of mind and mine is in one happy state.
  15. I discover true joys of being a woman through age and experience.
  16. I grow comfortable in my own skin as I grow older.
  17. I feel more beautiful now than I did last year or last decade.
  18. I was born at exactly the right time in history.
  19. I love and celebrate each birthday more so than the last.
  20. Aging is a privilege few get to enjoy and I am lucky to grow old and wise.

30 Affirmations on Body and Self-Image for a Woman

  1. I love my face and all my features.
  2. I am at peace with my body and form.
  3. I lovingly take care of my body.
  4. I love living in this exquisite female body.
  5. I love my curves.
  6. I am sexy and attractive just as I am.
  7. I wear my confidence as well as I wear my makeup.
  8. I love my sleepy face and messy hair in the morning as much as I love it any other time.
  9. I appreciate the female cycles that my body experiences.
  10. I enjoy my body during sex and intimacy.
  11. I move my body with intention and love.
  12. I hold my head up high and wear a smile all the time.
  13. I love the exact size of my breasts just as Mother Nature intended them.
  14. I am the perfect height for me.
  15. I love the shape of my hands and the size of my feet.
  16. I wear my hair however it pleases me and I adore every strand.
  17. I like my thighs and my buttocks and take care of them with exercise and healthy eating.
  18. I am responsible for what I do with my body and I only do what’s best.
  19. I choose to treat my body with care, love, kindness and respect.
  20. I push my body to its limits and marvel at the many ways it can bend, stretch, pose, move and breathe.
  21. I am enjoying a lifelong dance with my body.
  22. I create my image every day with love and kindness towards me.
  23. I look radiant by wearing a smile.
  24. I delight in taking care of my body when it needs healing and recovery.
  25. I channel love and energy to everyone around me.
  26. I listen to my body’s needs with respect and kindness.
  27. I am patient with myself and worthy of all the waiting.
  28. I move at the perfect pace.
  29. I continued to be amazed by my body.
  30. I fill my body with confidence daily.

You can change the way you feel. You can live the life you want.

Here’s another secret for you. I call it a secret because nobody taught me about it when I needed it most, so it was not so obvious to me and maybe you feel the same:

The moment you decide to change the way you feel, boom, magic, you do!

We actually control the way we feel. Imagine that! Why don’t they teach us this stuff in grade school? I could use it more than math lessons, that’s for sure.

So decide to change the way you feel today and you can then change the life you live. You can start shining your positive energy more brightly, you can feel what’s going right in your life, and you can begin to feel confident and worthy of happiness, joy and inner peace.

It takes some work and effort. Do these daily affirmations. Repeat them before work, repeat them during your morning routine, say them on your way to work and as you say them, believe them. Just choose to believe them. You are creating your reality every minute you believe a positive affirmation over a negative thought.

If you have more affirmations to share for women, share them below in the comments. And don’t forget to grab your 21-step confidence building course below before you leave:

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


Disclaimer: I endorse the product ReAwakening here as my favorite meditation tracks.

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How to Pack Light for a Long Trip and Still Look Stylish http://www.prolificliving.com/pack-light-long-trip/ http://www.prolificliving.com/pack-light-long-trip/#comments Mon, 07 Apr 2014 14:00:15 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=39191 Complete How-To Video on Packing Light for a 5+ Week International Trip without Checking In Luggage Light Packing is Not Magic. Light packing is not magic. It is a skill you can learn. Why bother, you wonder? Because of this: If you want to thoroughly enjoy your travels, if you want to focus on what […]

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Complete How-To Video on Packing Light for a 5+ Week International Trip without Checking In Luggage

Light Packing is Not Magic.

Light packing is not magic. It is a skill you can learn.

Why bother, you wonder?

Because of this: If you want to thoroughly enjoy your travels, if you want to focus on what matters on your trips and not have worries of lost luggage or break your back carrying stuff you’ll never use, if (and only if) you get the most out of your travel experience for which you are paying dearly, then packing light is essential.

Do you want to know how to pack light for a long trip as a woman and still look stylish and extremely good for photos and special occasions when you are traveling for a month or longer?

Packing light and traveling like a pro is a skill that you can learn like any other, and I’ve had to learn this from years of traveling the world and from doing it wrong before getting it right. So in this video, I show you the following in a step-by-step process:

1. How to think about your packing and your travel needs.
2. How to set aside everything you need beforehand.
3. How to create your wardrobe in your mind first.
4. How to choose the best luggage and bags to best protect your stuff.
5. How to roll your clothes instead of folding them for maximum space usage.
6. How to organize all of your essentials in a clean and hygienic way.
7. How to take all of your makeup and toiletries without going overboard.
8. How to feel good and confident about not checking in luggage. Ever.

If you want to learn how to travel like a pro, and how to see the world on a tight budget and in style, then check out the comprehensive list of my travel hacks and my best kept secrets for sweet national and international traveling in my book, Travel with Confidence.

Brand Names for Specific Packing Suggestions

Here are some of the references I made in the video.

I made in the video – note that as much as I LOVE these brands, I have chosen the actual piece of luggage or clothing because of its functionality, versatility and durability.

1. Lucy for excellent long-lasting stretchy travel pants.
2. Patagonia or eBags for best MLC: Maximum Legal Carryon luggage.
3. UniQlo for durable, affordable neutral color tops and stylish vest.
4. Baggallini for rain-proof, expandable purse and jewelry organizing bags.
5. Katmandu for high-quality light wind-protection rain jacket.
6. Ecco for excellent, extremely comfortable, durable leather walking shoes.
7. Sherpani Verve for high-quality laptop messenger bag.
8. ExOfficio for the easy-to-wash stretchy blue sleep or undershirt.
9. Three Dots for the navy stretchy light stylish dress.

The Packing Light Challenge. Are You In?

I’ll close with a packing light challenge for you. Next time you take a trip longer than a week, challenge yourself to take a third less than what you would normally take and absolutely do not check luggage. Use the tips here and your own wonderful best judgement to pack light. What excuses challenges might you face? Share in the comments.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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30 Small Acts of Kindness You Could Be Doing Today http://www.prolificliving.com/small-acts-of-kindness/ http://www.prolificliving.com/small-acts-of-kindness/#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 12:13:45 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=39149 The road to inner peace is paved with kindness. Pure, loving, sweet kindness. That’s good news because we can all travel this road since kindness is something we are all born with. You knew that, didn’t you? You are born with kindness. You don’t have to learn kindness here on earth, you bring it to […]

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scatter-kindness

The road to inner peace is paved with kindness. Pure, loving, sweet kindness. That’s good news because we can all travel this road since kindness is something we are all born with.

You knew that, didn’t you?
You are born with kindness.

You don’t have to learn kindness here on earth, you bring it to earth with you. It is a part of your soul, your nature, and your true self.

Kindness is who you are at your happiest and most balanced place, but you have to take care not to lose who you are in the often fast-paced comparison-frenzy world that we live in.

You have to take care not to unlearn your greatest ability – to be kind to yourself and to others.

Or worse, to eventually trade kindness for tendencies that leave you empty and unhappy such as greed, impatience, ungratefulness or self-righteousness.

It sounds so obvious not to do such a terrible thing when you see it spelled out like that, but we are human beings and it turns out that logic or sensibility are not always our chosen course of action.

So we get derailed, distracted and divide our attention. We forget the simplicity of life. We forget even how to stay happy, the simplest thing of all. Surely, it’s not unthinkable to forget our true self now and again and to lose our loving kindness.

Have you been lost or derailed from the path of kindness?

Here’s my confession so you don’t feel alone: Yes I most certainly have, way more than once!

I lose my center, I lose my grounding and sometimes, I fall down (actually both in literal and in figurative sense!).

Seriously, I forget how simple it is to be in a constant state of happiness and joy, and I have to remind myself how to return home over and over and over again.

Home. Where the heart is and where kindness resides in abundance.

At your core, you seek inner peace because that is your nature, and no matter how far removed you may get from it during your journey of life, you will always long for it because that is where your true self resides: With inner peace.

When you lose your way, find it back through small acts of kindness.

If you want to be kind, just be. If you want to show an act of kindness to a friend or a strange, just do. Don’t overthink it, analyze it, and kill the very spirit of it. Don’t plan it, anticipate it and second guess it.

Don’t reduce your acts of kindness later by making light of them.

Getting comfortable with kindness takes some practice, if you are not used to it. I grew up in an extremely kind family and warm culture. Kindness runs in my blood if I am at all related to my maternal grandmother. I am very comfortable with kindness, I just get in a hurry and forget to do more of it.

What about you? If you feel awkward about being kind, if you’ve had little practice in it in your life, and if nobody has been a role model or an example for you to follow, it is okay. You are allowed to feel weird or awkward about it, but here’s the message to remember:

FACT: Kindness is in your nature. Kindness is who you are. Kindness is what you were meant to give and receive.

So believe this to be true (because it is) and then take tiny steps to incorporate small acts of kindness into your life. This will transform you over time.

Here are 30 small acts of kindness that you can start showing someone – including yourself – tomorrow. Some take you about a second or two to do, most may not even require an exchange of words, and all of them are within your lovely capable reach:

10 Small Acts of Kindness You Could Be Doing for Yourself:

1. Look in the mirror in the morning and say: “I love you! Yes, you, I love you!”
2. Stop the next negative thought in your head and say the opposite out loud.
3. Tell yourself you are doing your best and you are oh so proud of yourself.
4. Do the one thing you said you’d do for yourself: Take the bath! Buy the shoes! Go to yoga! You deserve it.
5. Turn the voice of guilt into love. You’ll learn the lesson all the same.
6. Do the weight loss with compassion. You are beautiful and important, no matter how much you weigh.
7. Accept the last mistake and get on with it. You’re all the wiser for it.
8. Treat yourself and don’t apologize for it. Whatever the treat may be.
9. Remind yourself that you are magnificent and special.
10. Think only the best thoughts about yourself.

10 Small Acts of Kindness You Could Be Doing for a Friend or Family:

1. Listen to their story with utter interest and compassion.
2. Text and tell them you are thinking about them.
3. Offer to help them with something before they ask.
4. Give away one of your favorite books with a personal note.
5. Send them a thank-you note (or email!). Choose your own reason.
6. Encourage them to do something they want to do but are scared.
7. Drop your defenses and take any criticism with a kind smile.
8. Ask about what matters to them and show sincere interest in learning.
9. Be a pillar of support when they need help.
10. Give without expecting in return or giving reasons.

10 Small Acts of Kindness You Could Be Doing for a Stranger:

1. Share your smile. Make eye contact and share your smile with the next person you see.
2. Say hello with a smile to the next person you buy something from.
3. Donate a book to your local library. If you have more, give more.
4. Tell the delivery person, the postal service rep or the trash service guys that you appreciate what they do.
5. Thank the next army officer you cross paths with.
6. Compliment an over-worked checkout person next time you shop.
7. Tell the produce manager at your store that they do a great job.
8. Tip the barista or the server more than the usual amount.
9. Support and thank a street musician with some change.
10. Let the driver in a hurry to go past you with a smile.

Your turn: Care to share a small act of kindness that has made someone smile, including yourself? Tell me about it in the comments.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


PS: I mention an affiliate program here that I use, love & trust: ReAwakening Meditation program. If you love yourself and seek inner peace, get it.

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10 Addictions You Must Give Up to Be Free of Pain http://www.prolificliving.com/addictions-give-up/ http://www.prolificliving.com/addictions-give-up/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 00:07:00 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=39070 Your addiction, your choice. Why do people get addicted to smoking, drugs, violence or junk food? Why do they turn to habits that slowly but surely kill them? Is it possible that they lose control of their senses and that outside factors such as peer pressure – which is driven largely by morons of society […]

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Your addiction, your choice.

Why do people get addicted to smoking, drugs, violence or junk food? Why do they turn to habits that slowly but surely kill them?

Is it possible that they lose control of their senses and that outside factors such as peer pressure – which is driven largely by morons of society – is in charge of their actions?

love-guide-you

Is it remotely possible that a smoking or drug abuse or junk food addiction is not through a fault of your own and that some inexplicable force from the universe twisted your arm to smoke that joint or to get hooked on junk food or drink yourself to a wretched existence?

Of course not.

You have control of your senses and you are responsible for your actions, but that’s neither sexy nor cool now is it? Somehow, somewhere, stupid – ridiculous, disgusting, dumb, foolish, idiotic, ignorant, boneheaded – became the new sexy and cool, and smart got ousted for being dull and boring.

I hope you didn’t fall into that sad trap.

But if you did, you can turn things around.

This is not a statement to inspire you. This is a fact.

You want proof?

We see countless examples of ordinary people everyday who transform themselves from the depths of horrible addictions (that they got themselves into) and turn things completely around. They start fresh. They forgive their past. They move on clean and ready to live life free of addiction.

If they can, so can you. If that’s what you want.

But first, do you want to be free of pain?

Falling into an addiction is a terrible thing, but if you are in it already, you have got to give up your addictions if you want to be free of pain. There is no other way to escape the pain.

But do you want to be free of pain? That is the first question you should ask yourself.

Some people, it turns out, enjoy to be in pain. They get to complain about it and have an excuse to ooze sympathy from friends and family all day long. They get to be a victim, full of drama and need for attention.

They also get to waste their entire lives.

So do you want to be in pain or are you ready to be free of pain? It is but a choice. Your Choice. All you have to do is say it.

“I am ready to be free of pain.”

Not once but a hundred times. Say it until you can’t say or think the opposite.

Listen, falling into an addiction is sad, but it is the consequences of deliberate actions that a willing human being takes. For your addictions, that human being is you and for mine, it’s me.

By the same token, the reverse actions can be taken to a better pain-free place.

You can tell yourself all day long: “I’m weak! I can’t quit [the-addiction]. I’m not as strong as those other people!” but that is a broken record, darling and a lie and an excuse, and even you probably don’t believe it as much as you’d like.

Addictions are an escape into a fantasy world, and you can choose brilliantly wonderful addictions that can give you that escape and better without harming your body, without killing yourself slowly and without hurting your family to pieces because they will feel sorry and they will blame themselves for your failings.

How to Be Free of Pain? 10 Addictions to Give Up

Here are 10 addictions that plague your mind, your body, and your soul to a darkness that it does not need or deserve. Addictions that harm you in more ways you can count the longer you continue them. Addictions that rip your heart and your family and your career apart. Addictions that in the end can kill you. You want to know how to be free of pain? Give them up and claim your life back.

I’ve divided these addictions into 2 categories. The first set affects the physical body and brain and the second set affects the heart and the mind:

5 addictions that harm the physical body and brain:

1. Alcohol
2. Smoking
3. Drugs
4. Junk food
5. Violence

5 addictions that harm the heart and the mind:

1. Resorting to negative self-talk, self-sabotage and self-hatred.
2. Blaming the world for your problems.
3. Complaining about everything to everyone.
4. Berating and belittling others, strangers or loved-ones.
5. Holding on to the victim mindset.

Asking for Help is a Sign of Courage

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. That’s your addiction talking, and it is never ever the sound of truth.

Asking for help when you need it is a true sign of courage, and it’s the very first step. You don’t have to know the next 27 steps in the process. You just need to take one step forward now.

So simplify your goals. Complexity always robs you of taking any action. Simplify by taking one single tiny step in the right direction but take that step with conviction. Don’t be wishy-washy about it. Ask for help and mean it. Ask for help and show your gratitude by doing what it is that the helper suggests.

Ask for help and watch your world fill with love and support and compassion from people that you thought have abandoned you. They haven’t. It’s YOU that abandoned them through your addiction, and it’s you that has to decide to come back.

So come back already. The rest of your life is waiting to happen, and you can make it the very best of your life.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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Failing at Your Goals? Simplify Your Success Formula http://www.prolificliving.com/simplify-success-formula/ http://www.prolificliving.com/simplify-success-formula/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 17:00:05 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=39032 It’s not you. But it takes you to change it. You set your goal with all the right intentions. You are determined, serious and give them your best shot. You don’t lack for smarts. You are a hard worker and doing all the right things, but you still fail at achieving those goals. Why? Why […]

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It’s not you. But it takes you to change it.

You set your goal with all the right intentions. You are determined, serious and give them your best shot. You don’t lack for smarts. You are a hard worker and doing all the right things, but you still fail at achieving those goals.

hawaii-ocean-yoga

Why? Why then do you fail at your goals when you are (yes you ARE) smart and driven and have good intentions?

  • You want to leave your dead-end job and your horrid boss for better opportunities, but you just can’t take the leap.
  • You want to get out of a bad relationship that is destroying your self-esteem and robbing you of so much happiness, but you just can’t pull the plug.
  • You want to put an end to your bad eating habits and start living healthy once and for all, but you keep repeating the old patterns without much success.

It’s so hard not to want to give up and forget the whole thing and harder still to keep up your pretenses when the rest of your world watches on.

For what it’s worth, I Know How You Feel. Which is precisely why I can’t let you give up on yourself.

When I first started became obsessed with the goal of having my own business, and earning my living outside of the corporate structure, I was clueless. It’s easier to admit it now than it was then. I was determined, hard-working, brilliant in my own way but still clueless as to how to achieve this goal.

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. ~Henry David Thoreau

The turning point for me happened when I finally stopped getting so wrapped up in my goals and making the goal such a big part of my identity and self-worth. Only then I was able to relax and gained an impartial angle to see the flaws in my approach which made it very difficult to achieve my goals.

Your achievements do not define you. You are already a person of success, a person of value and worth.

Your achievements just show you what you are capable of, and how you can best serve the world.

So you are failing at your goals? You keep trying and nothing works? Fine. You are not a lesser person for it. Now let’s get on with a new approach that helps you achieve your goals.

Simplify it with this 4-step success formula

As much as I appreciate that my goals – and whether I achieve them or not – do not define me, and respect that boundary so it doesn’t mess with my happiness, I am madly obsessed about achieving my goals too.

So over the years, I’ve refined my goal setting approach with this success formula. The steps are in the right order and this applies to all types of goals, as long as you stick to the formula.

Step 1: Create a healthy distance between your goals and your self-worth.

The worst thing you can do, which keeps you from achieving your goals, is connecting your identity and self-worth to your goals and getting wrapped up in your goals so much that you can’t think or see clearly anymore.

Case in point: Ever been head over heels in love? Were you thinking clearly then? Aha! Me neither!

Associating your self-worth to the end results of your goals is bad no matter which way you lean. Just because you are a super achiever does not mean you are a better person or a person of higher self-worth. The same is true if you are an under-achiever.

Create a healthy distance between your goals and your self-worth. This way you can set your emotions free so you can think more clearly about your goals.

Step 2: Re-evaluate your goal and this time, do it in private.

You know how some people set goals with group consensus? Don’t be one of them. This is not a democracy. You don’t need majority vote of friends or family to do whatever it is YOU – and yes YOU and YOU alone want to achieve in your life.

In other words, drop stupid goals. Pick up true goals.

If all your goals are true, then this one doesn’t apply to you, super, let’s move on!

Step 3: Adopt a new approach to your goal if the previous one failed.

Stop going about your goal the same way, expecting different results. You’ve heard this many times but it bears repeating because human behavior needs reinforcement of useful logic.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. ~Albert Einstein

So learn from the failure without giving up on the goal by examining the approach now. How did you go about achieving your goal?

Step 4: Get vested in the process and get measured on the progress.

Have you done all first 3 steps? Only then are you ready for step 4.

I have a mastermind friend who is driven, super smart and a big-time achiever but he refuses to commit to dates. He can’t stand deadlines. He is committed to the process instead, not focused on end results.

So forget the achievement part for now and shift your focus to 2 critical (and more interesting) areas:

1. The process – the series of actions and steps that you take towards your goal.
2. The progress – the accomplishments you have at each milestone, a measure of improvement that shows you are moving forward.

Combining the process and progress with a focus on affirmations and meditation that reminds you about what you are doing RIGHT.

A little proof behind this success formula.

Here’s one crazy goal I accomplished using this process: Meeting a 6-week deadline on my first book deal with a traditional publisher. Now I want to hear about your goals and help you get past whatever is holding you back so you create your own breakthroughs in goal setting.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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35 Things You Do that Wastes Your Time http://www.prolificliving.com/stop-wasting-time/ http://www.prolificliving.com/stop-wasting-time/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 12:43:05 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=38996 Why You Should Stop Wasting Time If you want to get things done, if you are driven and motivated with big dreams and plans, if you are not looking to just cruise through life but instead, chart your course, move with intention and go places, then you have to watch where your time goes. Wasting […]

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Why You Should Stop Wasting Time

If you want to get things done, if you are driven and motivated with big dreams and plans, if you are not looking to just cruise through life but instead, chart your course, move with intention and go places, then you have to watch where your time goes. Wasting time is not an option for you.

beach-thoughts-time

A little confession: I can only write this post because I have wasted countless hours that I will never get back. But if I didn’t, I couldn’t write this post. The silver lining in all things.

You get 86,400 seconds every day. And guess what? You are ultimately in charge of what you do with those seconds. Whether you use them well or waste them, there are consequences. Nobody knows the battle that you are fighting, or the road that you are taking, but it is your life and nobody controls your mind, your heart and therefore your actions, other than you. You are not living in prison and no matter what your circumstances, you can change them, as long as you believe so.

Positive believing has to happen first to let you out of your own cage, the cage of fear. If you feel like a victim, you will act and behave as one.

And those 86,400 seconds, they go fast. The older you get, the faster time goes, which is very unfair if you ask me (I realize nobody is asking me but just sayin’) because it’s in our maturity and wisdom that we have important things to do, not in our childhoods where time seemed to go by oh so slowly. Either way, the time passes and you age, whether you like it or not.

“It’s called middle age, little brother, and it comes for us all.” Mycroft, Sherlock’s older brother on Sherlock Holmes, the British TV series.

So before you let your hours and days drift away into a myriad of little things, wake up to the real purpose of your life. You do not get a second chance. This Is It!

Check in with yourself to make absolutely positively 100% certain that those days, hours and minutes are put to your true needs and core desires. Even if you handed the control keys over to someone or something else (fear perhaps?) to tell you what to do and when to do it, you can take back control.

The worst cage of all is the one you put yourself in, and from first hand experience, I say don’t do it. Get back in charge! Don’t make a fuss, just get back in charge of your life. It’s yours and you can decide what goes and what stays.

35 Small Things You Do that Waste a Huge Chunk of Time

Getting back in charge is not a leap. It happens in tiny steps. Here are 35 small things that sneak up on you and steal away your energy and waste a huge chunk of your time before you realize it:

  1. Saying a “quick” hi to someone during a run or a walk.
  2. Answering a “quick” question at work for a random co-worker.
  3. Procrastinating by making excuses. It makes you dread the task you delay and makes you feel guilty.
  4. Watching a ‘little’ TV to decompress, and turning it off reluctantly 2 hours later.
  5. Going out to a crowded restaurant to eat instead of cooking at home.
  6. Consuming alcohol which then debilitates your ability to think clearly. Hence a giant waste of time.
  7. Worrying about all the stuff that can go wrong.
  8. Telling someone else about all your worries.
  9. Complaining about something you can neither change nor control.
  10. Reading magazines. 99% of the magazines anyway.
  11. Watching commercials, infomercials, advertisements.
  12. Popping by YouTube and getting sucked into something totally irrelevant.
  13. Watching random videos that scroll across your feed about someone’s child or cat or
  14. Checking Facebook or Twitter ‘real quick’.
  15. Chasing small money when you are running a small business with a big vision.
  16. Asking everyone’s opinion about something you have already decided you are going to do.
  17. Watching bad movies on an airplane just to pass the time.
  18. Going out to run errands in the middle of rush-hour.
  19. Hanging out with people you don’t enjoy just to pretend you have friends.
  20. Finishing a book that you hate just because you started it. Let it go. There’s a million books that could touch your soul.
  21. Trying to change someone’s mind. Their opinion is none of your business. (Unless it’s your child of 18 years or younger.)
  22. Saying yes to everything at work because you don’t know any better.
  23. Listening to spam comments, stupid reviewers and crazy people trying to bring you down.
  24. Watching depressing movies when you know they give you nightmares and bring down your spirits.
  25. Reading trashy books and thus wasting your brain power.
  26. Staying in a relationship when it is obviously bad for you. Stop hurting yourself.
  27. Chasing potential clients that obviously do not want to work with you.
  28. Explaining your unconventional lifestyle to people who don’t care or want to argue with you.
  29. Over-indulging in a big meal which zaps all your energy and renders the rest of afternoon or evening useless.
  30. Attending parties, social events, and especially baby showers out of obligation, not desire or love.
  31. Shopping and going to the mall only to pass the time when you don’t need anything special.
  32. Going out on a Friday night just to be cool among friends when you’d rather work on your business or read that book.
  33. Being selfless and wondering why you feel so rotten when you put your own desires last.
  34. Engaging with anyone who likes to gossip and judge and resent the whole world for their own reasons.
  35. Doing favors or spending time with anyone who is not grateful for and respectful to you.

Is it REALLY a Waste of Time?

A little clarification about the list: You may consider any activity above as joyful and exciting. It may be important to you. It may have meaning in your life and with your family and traditions and culture. You may be doing it with purpose and intention and a clear mind rather than the force of an old habit you can’t shake. If that’s how you feel, it is NOT a waste of your time.

A waste of time comes with a loud indicator: Just see how you feel after an activity. Are you energized or drained by it? Are you happy or resentful for it? You know the feeling when you’ve wasted your time. I find all of these a giant waste of my time, but if you don’t, well that’s why we have the comment section, so tell me what you think.

But before you do that, sign up to grab your FREE 21 step confidence building course:

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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Stop Worrying and Start Doing http://www.prolificliving.com/stop-worrying-start-doing/ http://www.prolificliving.com/stop-worrying-start-doing/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:00:33 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=38955 The real cost of worry in your life. The difference between you and the successful person you admire so much is not that they are smarter than you or they were born with a creativity gene or a genius bone in their body. Nope. Sorry! You are just as smart and just as creative and […]

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The real cost of worry in your life.

The difference between you and the successful person you admire so much is not that they are smarter than you or they were born with a creativity gene or a genius bone in their body. Nope. Sorry! You are just as smart and just as creative and just as much of a genius as they are.

worry-not

The difference most certainly isn’t about them having an easier path than you either so please don’t fool yourself with those lies. They have crossed over the same set of challenges, obstacles, problems and painful headaches. Their timing may be different but that’s about it.

The main difference is the lens through which you see your life and your opportunities – or rather, your endless list of “problems”. Let me explain about the beast that holds you back from what you are really capable of doing.

Worry.

It goes most by this name but it is also known as stress, anxiety, overwhelm, “I don’t know, therefore I can’t!” syndrome, followed generally by a large dose of self-pity and self-inflicted pain, which ironically creates even more – you guessed it – worry!

Worry. And the inconvenient definition.

Don’t kid yourself! Worry is not “thinking” or “planning” or “being realistic”. Worry doesn’t help you move your business forward or get closer to your goals or discipline your child better. Worry also doesn’t make you into a responsible concerned adult.

Worry is a complete waste of energy and time about something that is not happening and likely won’t happen.

But here’s the twist: the more you worry, the less you do what matters, and the more likely that those things you worry about come to be.

Do you see the beast in cyclical action?

Allow me to illustrate with examples, because, I was quite an expert at doing all of these.

You worry that you don’t know how to run your business? Instead, learn what you need to know step by step starting today and seek the help that you  need instead of going it alone.

You worry that you are not good enough to write the book or shoot the blog post or change your career or decide your own course of life? Instead, believe the opposite, do it anyway. If it turns out to be a smashing success, great and f it turns out to be a giant mistake, you’ll be glad for the experience.

You worry about how doing something will turn out while the success figure you admire so much is already doing it, come what may, success or failure.

You give power to your worries by listening to them and they shut out their worries to give power to their desires and dreams instead.

You worry that it may be hard and you are afraid of hard things, while the success figure couldn’t care less about easy or hard. They set out to learn whatever it is they need to know because they know the power of learning.

All the time you waste worrying is far better spent learning.

The hard stuff gets easier with learning, while it becomes more insurmountable with worry.

Here’s how hard vs. worry play out in reality.

The irony: Hard is not going to break you but worry will.

Hard is going to make you stronger but worry will ride on your back and weigh you down and zap your energy and bring down your spirits. Tell me I’m wrong, huh?

Hard is going to make you better and finer for every challenge that lays ahead. Worry is going to make you far less ready and far more anxious for everything else.

In fact, a lot of worry – also known as despair – can even paralyze you from pursuing anything else in your life because you can’t get it together to move past this current stage.

Okay great. You get it. Worry = really, really bad. What now?

Well, I won’t just say “stop worrying!”. It makes light of the situation, and the situation is anything but. Worry is a big problem, I do get that. Remember that stupid song “Don’t worry, be happy!” – my reaction was always: ” Whatever pal! You don’t get it! I’ve got things to worry about!”

But I will say this. It’s not as hard as you may think to cure your worry wart. Let’s look at eradicating the root of worry so you don’t allow it to take hold from the very start.

As a past queen of worry and anxiety, I admit this is not an immediate shift … as in you won’t stop worrying at the end of this blog post but you will know how to stop it going forward if you should so desire.

Why? Because worry is a deeply ingrained habit, so naturally it takes a conscious effort to shift the patterns of your mind from flowing immediately to their familiar state of worry.

Let’s talk about shifting these patterns with a practical approach instead.

The antidote of despair and how to harness it.

The antidote of despair is action because worry is the absence of action.

So the only way to reverse worry by taking clear, methodical and consistent action in the direction of your goals.

Simple? Yes. Easy? No. Does it work? You bet!

It has worked for me every single time. Instead of worry, which paralyzes my productivity, I stop myself, and analyze the worry and then blatantly ignore it so I can do what I need to do.

You feel overweight? Go for a walk. Cut down your portions. Start juicing (that’s how I lost weight!) Do something consistently for a while. Measure results.

You feel alone? Schedule time with a friend. Get on Skype with your community. Ask for advice from a mentor. Take a class to meet new people.

You feel overwhelmed in your business? Hire a coach. Join a mastermind. Evaluate what is working and what is not. Decide where you need help and invest in yourself.

So your job is to take immediate measured methodical action. Start doing so you stop worrying.

Every single step towards the problem, the challenge, the hardship counts as action.

If you do not take action, worry has power over you. The choice is yours. It really is that simple but it’s not to say it’s easy. It’s so very hard and by now, you know all about hard. Hard makes you better, finer, stronger and savvier for your future. Easy is over-rated and makes for a boring life.

Next time a worry pops into your head and starts to make its way into your speech, stop it in its tracks. Evaluate the right next step you need to take that gives you power and makes you feel in control. Then take the step after that and the one after.

Soon, you will feel in charge, worry will fade into the background and over time, you yourself will become the success figure that you admire.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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14 Things that Fear Doesn’t Want You to Know http://www.prolificliving.com/things-about-fear/ http://www.prolificliving.com/things-about-fear/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 09:00:37 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=38897 Everything you want is on the other side of fear but … Everything you want is on the other side of fear but how do you get to this perfectly magical fairyland? Don’t you just love it when a personal development blog or feel-good book tells you to “get over your fear” or to “overcome” […]

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Everything you want is on the other side of fear but …

Everything you want is on the other side of fear but how do you get to this perfectly magical fairyland?

Don’t you just love it when a personal development blog or feel-good book tells you to “get over your fear” or to “overcome” it using their 3-step process so you can get on with your life?

Then you blame yourself for not being able to do just that because it all sounds so darn easy?

other-side-fear

You already know fear is holding you back, you already want to get rid of it for good and while we are at it, it’d also be nice to have enough courage to last for the rest of your days.

But you don’t understand why, despite all that you do, the same stupid fear shows up without fail and still manages to stop you from taking your next big step in life.

Listen, you are smart and savvy. You don’t need me or others to tell you that fear is holding you back from your best life on earth. But let’s talk about why your strategy fails.

The plan to destroy fear fails every single time because fear is indestructible.

Fear is a necessary emotion to the human condition. You cannot eliminate fear from your being. You need fear to send you necessary signals such as when you are in danger or in an unsafe situation or about to make a giant mistake. Fear can be a really good thing for those circumstances.

Plus fear is a primal condition of all living beings and it’s not going anywhere, no matter how determined you may get. If you want to destroy fear, you will need to destroy a part of your human nature. Best to leave it be.

The Real Problem with Fear

The problem is that fear has spread to areas of your life where it has no business interfering.

Fear has no business being in your head when you are about to go into a job interview or about to go ask for a raise and an overdue promotion from your boss, or about to announce to your parents that you have chosen to marry your lover, no matter what they say.

Most of all, fear has no business stepping between you and your dreams.

You are not in any danger in these situations. You are perfectly safe. No lions are coming to get you and nobody is going to hurt you. You see, fear has no business, no permission, and no right getting in your head when life’s amazing opportunities come knocking at your door and expect you to show up.

This is precisely what you need to address between you and your fear. You need to get back in charge because fear has overstepped its boundaries.
The only reason fear can get away with this is because you accept this irrationality. But how did this happen?

Over the years, fear found subtle ways to convince you that you should be afraid of not just lions and dark alleys and criminals, you should also be afraid of traveling abroad or leaving your house after dark because oh look at all the terrible news happening in the world.

Fear managed to convince you that you should naturally be afraid of dreaming because dreamers are losers and you need to stay modest and realistic to make it in this world. Fear also managed to convince you to be afraid – very afraid – of making any changes in your career even if you are miserable at your job because you deserve the misery and after all, this is as good as it gets, are you so ungrateful for what you have to dare ask for more?

Over the years, fear has lied to you and stolen your power.

It started with little lies but then they got bigger. When fear saw you buying the lies, it made you its hostage, and put you in its prison. Then it realized that you might escape as all prisoners wish to do so at first, so it made you feel comfortable with your prison. It made your prison your ‘home’ so you never even dream of leaving it.

Today, I want you to say “Enough already!” to fear. I want to help you leave that prison and it could be the hardest thing you have ever done, because prisoners learn to love their cages.

will-stronger-fear

14 Things that Fear Does Not Want You to Know

You see? It’s not about destroying fear. It’s about putting it in its place, where it can serve you but stay out of your business so you can create the life of your dreams.

How do you take charge? Start by learning 14 facts fear does not want you to know:

  1. You can do anything you set your mind to.
  2. It is not too late to make major changes in your life.
  3. You deserve to move in the direction of your desires.
  4. Nobody is more qualified to decide for you than yourself.
  5. Your past failures do not dictate a damn thing about your future.
  6. You are stronger than you believe.
  7. The only thing getting in your way is yourself, and that is good news.
  8. You can change your life and the lives of others for the better.
  9. Your work in this world matters so make it what you want.
  10. You have earned the right to be happy, you do not need to feel bad about it.
  11. Nobody is judging your abilities as harshly as you.
  12. The world needs you and you owe it to the world to share your gifts.
  13. You are destined to be someone’s hero and role model so don’t let them down.
  14. You are capable of far more than you have done in the past, so dream big for tomorrow.

Put these truths to work by phrasing them in terms of positive affirmations next time fear grips you by the throat and starts whispering another lie in your ears. With practice, your will to live life on your terms will get a lot strong than your fear. Over time, you will get out of that prison and create the best years of your life without limitations, without insecurities and most of all, without fear.

Your turn: Do you think fear imprisons you? Can you think of one instance where you got out of that prison and did something you were scared to do? Share in the comments below.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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8 Things to Know before You Do What You Love http://www.prolificliving.com/do-what-you-love/ http://www.prolificliving.com/do-what-you-love/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 19:26:11 +0000 http://www.prolificliving.com/?p=38841 Do What You Love but without the Wrong Assumptions please. Do what you love and love what you do. Such a cliche. Such a new age mantra. Such a lofty goal for the ordinary one. Such a … fancy lie? What do you think when you hear the words “Do What You Love” in your […]

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Do What You Love but without the Wrong Assumptions please.

Do what you love and love what you do. Such a cliche. Such a new age mantra. Such a lofty goal for the ordinary one. Such a … fancy lie?

What do you think when you hear the words “Do What You Love” in your career, your profession and for your life’s work?

not-a-democracy

There is no argument that it’s a feel-good advice. Do what you love. And it makes rational sense too. I mean, you wouldn’t want to do what you hate, would you? (We will just disregard the millions of people that do precisely what they hate on a daily basis or hate what they do, however you want to look at it.)

Having gone through this painful process first hand (because I wasn’t so brilliant to always do what I love, only as of recent years), I’d say the first problem is that we don’t believe we have a choice. We think we are stuck with the first path we chose moons ago based on circumstance or a parent’s advice or opportunity, and there is no changing course. Ever. (Ah but there is).

Assumptions are terrible things that keep us stuck, here are the first four about Do What You Love advice:

First wrong assumption: You believe that “do what you love” and “do what makes you money” are mutually exclusive. Meaning, you can have one or the other but not both.

Not true. Life isn’t so black and white and your lot in life is yours to decide. There is an intersection between something you love that also makes you money – I have stumbled on it but not by accident. This “serendipity” happens a lot more than you think and it can be a methodical well-thought-out planning process (I teach this in my Smart Exit Blueprint course all the time!).

Second wrong assumption: If you don’t know what you love from a young age like those self-assured kids that knew their life purpose at 14, then you are doomed.

Seriously, you have to get over this one fast. Julia Cameron, the author of “The Artist’s Way”, has a great response to those who say to her, “Do you know how old I will be if I start writing my book now?”, to which she responds, “The same age you will be if you don’t!”

If you didn’t pick what you loved in college or in the decade or three that followed, so what? Stop thinking your time for doing what you love has passed! That’s just your opinion, and a wrong one too. You can just as easily decide your time is now and make things happen.

Starting today, get old with your passion, not without it.

Third wrong assumption: You confuse “do what you love” with a state of being constantly in love and happy with your life.

Again, not true. Being in love and happy with your life is important and it happens a whole lot more and on a much deeper level when you are doing something you love and something that matters to you. But you will have days when life is hard, when things won’t go your way, and when nothing makes sense.

Because even doing what you love comes with doing some of what you don’t love, just as the person you adore has parts that you may not adore. Do you think twice about loving this person? Probably not. Well, neither will you think twice about giving up doing what you love even if it won’t be a walk in the park.

Fourth wrong assumption: Doing what you love has to sound cool to the whole world, and be completely life changing, and create a fortune of course.

Where do we get these awful ideas? You decide what is cool because this is about what you love – not what your neighbor or mother or best friend loves but hey, I totally get it. I remember being more interested in having a cool-sounding passion than the one aligned to my heart’s desires. That assumption stole away a few precious years. Don’t let that happen to you!

8 Things to Know before You Sign Up for “Do What You Love!”

So you want to do more of what you love and less of what you hate? Great! Now we are talking. Here’s 8 things to know before you sign up:

1. It’s not an all-or-nothing deal:

You can do what you love once a year, once a month or twice a day. It can be a random affair, a hobby, a side-hustle or a full-blown business. You Decide.

2. It is about understanding your core desires:

Doing what you love aligns to your desires. It expands your core desires and builds on them, rather than be in conflict. Know your core desires. If you desire freedom above all things, having a job and a boss would be in conflict with that desire. If you desire structure and direction and minimal risk, being a part of the right organization is in alignment with that desire.

3. It is okay to do it your way, not how others do it:

So what if John Smith the super duper entrepreneur moved to Asia to start his own business? Or if Jane Wright quit her job and started backpacking to write her book? Good for them and that may or may not be your way. Find Your Own Way. Don’t be a copycat. Learn from them but do your thing your way.

4. It needs to support and enhance your lifestyle:

If your lifestyle is not what you want and doing what you love will create that lifestyle, great. If your lifestyle is where you wish, then beware how doing what you love affects it. Ultimately, doing what you love needs to support your desired lifestyle, not limit or debilitate it.

5. It has nothing to do with easy and everything to do with happiness:

Doing what you love might be the hardest thing you have ever done. Often it is. If living an easy life is a core desire (see #2), then doing what you love for a living might pose an issue. Pursue the ‘easy path’ instead.

Little known fact: Working harder than you ever have at something you love creates happiness. Hard work at the right thing is the sweetest reward of all.

6. It is critical to know your why:

Why do what you love anyway? For some, it’s about filling an emptiness inside, a calling. For some, it’s about escaping their current hell, and yet for some, it’s about having fun and creating something unique, and for a few of us, it’s the only path to true wealth. Everyone is right. Nobody is wrong. As long as nobody is imposing their why on YOU!

What you need to do is figure out why – exactly why – you want to do what you love. Do this by asking yourself questions relentlessly until you get some clarity. (And if you need help, call me up because that’s what I love doing in my coaching calls!)

7. It could take a very long time to get “there”:

That’s right. Doing what you love itself may be fast if you have clarity on what it is you want to do, but turning it into a business and a means to a living can take time. You may choose to wait, or invest to expedite, or forget the whole thing. Just know that in most cases, this stuff takes time.

8. It can be an uphill battle with family, friends, and support systems:

Doing what you love is not exactly as exciting to your parents or your friends as it is to you. So please do yourself a favor and decide first if their opinion will weigh in your decision. The more honest you can be here with yourself, the less regrets wait to greet you down the road.

This is not a democracy. People don’t get to vote on what you love.

Your entire circle of friends and family and extended relatives do not need to “understand” or vote on what you love. Only you do. Rise to the occasion then. Stop playing small or being shy or humble here. Be the king, the queen, the god or the goddess, the peaceful warrior, the leader, the ultimate decision maker and guiding light of your life.

Decide what you love, steer clear of wrong assumptions along the way, figure out if you want to do what you love for an afternoon or for a living but for the love of whatever/whomever you love, make these heart-centered decisions on your own. Then go announce it to the world, and embrace all the reactions, whatever they may be.

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


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