Feeling Drained? 3 Simple Steps to Reboot Your Energy

When you’re feeling drained, do you feel that it’s a more physical or mental (emotional) thing?

Feeling drained is ultimately a wake-up call.

The three steps in this article will help you understand how, and create the best way to reboot your energy. By practicing these, you can avoid feeling drained in the future.

Studies in the psychology of mind and the practical experience I have gained working with hundreds of different people have shown me that feeling drained comes as a result of a disequilibrium between physical and mental energy.((Cornell University: Understanding the mind))

Whether it comes from conflicts with your boss, friends, family members, or your idea or opinion about your self-worth, society, or life in general, you create a disequilibrium between these two energies. As a result, your nervous system produces chemical reactions (hormones) that impact your body’s physiology, which in turn will wear and tear your body to a point of exhaustion.

The process of wear and tear is natural and at the same time highly beneficial as it can teach us how to manage our physical and mental wellbeing.

Physical and Mental Wellbeing

Are you neglecting your mental and physical wellbeing by focusing too much of your energy (thoughts and actions) on insignificant things?

Since you’re feel drained, the answer is yes. You’re left with no energy and feeling tired and exhausted. Feeling drained is a wake-up call to slow down, reconsider your approach to external events and how you engage with them.

Take your condition of being exhausted and these three steps in this article very seriously. They’ll motivate you and help you reboot your energy, learn about yourself, and use your capabilities wisely.

Why You Feel Drained

There must be something that permanently withdraws your physical and mental energy. Sometimes you can identify what it is, but when you’re feeling tired, it can be difficult to do so. Engaging in activities where we don’t have to put much effort or creative thinking becomes a dangerous norm during times like these.

This approach makes it even harder to manage the stressors that bring you to the point of feeling drained.

So, what can lead you to feeling drained? Is it a physical activity, like working long hours, running errands, etc.? It may be this, but probably not only this. However tired you get from a physical activity in an average working day, sleeping can help you fully recover from your physical exhaustion.

However, the biases, judgments, and misconceptions you have created for yourself are more complicated and require more than sleep to overcome.

Inefficient Thinking

You feel tired all the time because of the inefficient managing of your thinking about things that are insignificant to your physical and mental wellbeing. You approach things that make you less tolerant, less acceptant, and less patient, thus your perspective and understanding are limited or strongly clouded.

In my early twenties I had a skewed perspective on how society ought to function. This created a lot of conflicts in my private and professional life, and as a result I felt powerless and completely exhausted. Mentally exhausted.

One thing that influences your management of thinking is the fast-paced way of living — complying to the dynamics of modern life — like feeling the obligation of being present online and partaking actively in social media, as well as being active in society on a daily basis. We haven’t really learned how to effectively utilize our precious time, which seems to be dwindling with the development of society.

The Signs and Symptoms of Exhaustion

Physical exhaustion is very simple to detect; your body feels heavy, and the first sign is feeling the need to sleep. After sleeping overnight, the nervous system is rested, and the immune system has balanced all the hormones in your body. You wake up and your physical and mental energy has been replenished.

Mental exhaustion is a bit trickier to detect as its signs and symptoms are vary; one day you feel more focused, the next day less. To detect them, you simply must stop any physical and mental activity and listen to your body — be aware of yourself.

The most obvious signs and symptoms for mental exhaustion can be physical, emotional and behavioral:

Physical Signs

  • Muscle weakness
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Change in appetite
  • Disturbed sleep

Emotional Signs

  • Feeling neurotic and anxious
  • Feeling angry for no obvious reason
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of productivity

Behavioral Signs

Follow the next steps and create a routine to reboot your energy and make all of the above signs disappear.

3 Steps to Reboot Your Energy

It is self-explanatory that to not feel exhausted or drained, you must not only identify the root cause of it, the stressor((Science Direct: Psychological Stressors)), but more importantly, bring the decision to successfully execute the change and act diligently upon your decision.

To stop feeling drained, you must first stop feeling tired. Follow these three steps to reboot your energy and never feel drained again.

The Let-Go Approach

Mostly, in times when significant life changes are coming, drastic measures must be taken. The most significant step for that is taking a step back from the situation. To re-invent yourself, you must take time and distance yourself from all the things you’ve been attached to (the stressors).

This might seem like running away from things or isolating yourself, but it only requires letting go for a while. Let the events run without you for a while, and you can get back to them at a later point. Remember, you want to regain your energy and find a new way to manage your life in an efficient and joyful way.

Letting go takes courage, the courage to show your ego that things in life can run without you. You may not want to let something go completely, especially if it is an important part of your life, but if it is causing you stress, take a few steps back to gain some perspective on how to handle it more efficiently.

For example:

  1. Let go of social media or watching TV for a few weeks.
  2. Invest 60 minutes a day in gentle breathing exercises and smooth physical exercises, like abs and push ups (or any other exercise that suits you).

The Observant-Guardian Approach

You have now reduced the number of activities on your agenda, and there is no energy consumption at the moment. By letting go, you have created a new moment of time and space in your life. When you are able to be still, observe how that stillness helps you regain and recreate your energy.

When sitting still:

  1. Take a loving, long, and slow breath.
  2. Recognize the fresh energy coming into your body.
  3. Exhale in the same way and let go of thinking and any tension in your body.
  4. Observe that state of pure stillness and pure flow of energy. Take this state as a very serious one, store it, and guard it, for it is the source of your energy.

Here, in this step, with breathing and stillness, you reboot your energy.

Option:

If you really think your body needs to move, then create a movement that is constructive.

For example:

  1. Walk slowly in circles.
  2. Move your arms over your head while keeping pace with your breath.
  3. Make any slow and rhythmical movements in accordance with your breath.

This movement will enable you to observe your body and thoughts and guard the energy you have just regained.

The Passive Approach

Approach your daily life duties now not by pouring all your energy in, but by passively observing the situation. If you’re involved in a discussion, don’t react immediately. Try to first receive information without exchanging or investing your energy and:

  1. Let go of reacting or acting.
  2. Realize the capacity of your patience and tolerance for the situation.
  3. Look at your existing energy and deepen your stillness
  4. Improve your patience and tolerance.

Once you’ve realized this, accept the fact that you must not change the situation if it’s not to your liking, but act accordingly and do your best to find a solution that works for you and the other party.

If you have trouble accepting tough situations, this article may be able to help you get started.

This step will teach you how to invest your time and energy in the right amounts. You can integrate the first two steps here as well and manage your energy in the right way.

Final Thoughts

We, as highly intelligent and spiritual beings, should be concerned with the depth and not the surface of things. Don’t let things from the outside exhaust your inside.

Let go of them first, observe them, and realize the power of courage, patience, and tolerance that lies within you.

Apply these steps and avoid feeling drained in the future.

Approach the world with patience. Be observant, and don’t get involved too quickly. Don’t go grab the flower; wait to get the fruit.

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9 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Advancement

Are you focused on career advancement, or is it not your priority?

For many of us, having a secure job to go to each week is important and career is not much of an interest. It may not be an issue until we start to feel discontent at work. When this happens, we naturally start to look for another job.

By this time, desperation has often crept in and we go into reaction mode. We become impatient for change and may jump out of the frying pan into the fire.

The more interested we are in career advancement, the more likely we are to get to that stage. This is because we make conscious and objective choices, and we are more proactive about them.

There are many benefits to advancing our careers. This includes salary raises, increased work satisfaction, travel opportunities, building skills, and personal growth. All of these contribute to our quality of life in general.

For many people, career advancement happens organically. I know it always did for me. It was not something I consciously pursued; my employers just saw potential in me. I guess, in a way, I was lucky.

But for most of us, if it is something we want, then we need to make conscious decisions.

If you are new to the idea of advancing your career, you may not know where to start. To help you, here are nine powerful steps to achieve career advancement.

1. Set An Intention to Advance Your Career

Starting with the outcome in mind is always a good place to start when you want to achieve something.

Forbes magazine says that it is about defining what success is in your career.((Forbes: 5 Things You Can Do to Advance Your Career)) Success is different for everyone, so it is important to make this clear from the beginning.

This can be challenging from the onset, especially if you are not really sure. But if you spend time exploring this early, it will guide you with the decisions you make. It can also help you choose the right company to work for and roles most appropriate for you.

Even more essential is to regularly check in with your intentions at different points throughout your career path. This will help you see if it is still relevant to what you want as you change and grow. Because what you want now will more likely be very different from what you want in five years.

A favorite interview question is, “What is your five-year plan?”

This is because it is helpful to know this when your potential employer makes a decision. It is also beneficial for you because it gives you direction and helps you make effective decisions.

Imagine how you want your career to look like five years from now. Think about how this may benefit your whole life. Remember that your career is just a part of your life; it is important that it benefits your life in general.

2. Explore What You Enjoy

The more we enjoy our work, the more satisfied we feel. And increasing job satisfaction gives us more potential for career advancement. We become more productive when we enjoy what we do. We see greater opportunities, and this leads us to be noticed.

In general, we enjoy what we are good at, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, we develop strengths just because we have been doing them for a long time, or we have been trained well.

My career is probably a really good example of this.

I am strong in numbers and was a skilled bookkeeper. Yet, I have chosen a career in human services. This career is the love of my life, and I have been very successful in it.

It is also easier to learn new skills when they are related to what you enjoy. Even out of comfort zone skills become more doable. For instance, I was a C grade student in English, and now I have become a skilled writer because I write about my passion.

We can be doing something for years without fully enjoying our work. Know what most lights you up from the inside and work with that creates fulfillment for you. All of these contribute to your prospects of career advancement.

3. Be a Forward Thinker in Your Job Choice

If career advancement was not on your horizon before, you might be in the pattern of accepting a job just because it is offered. It is easy to do, especially if you are unhappy in your current workplace.

Doing this can eventually lead to more of the same; even if you are happy in the role, to begin with. This can limit your career and even set you back for a few years.

When you have a big picture outcome for your career, you can use a simple process to ensure you make choices serving that outcome. This can fast track your career success.

For each role or job that interests you, check for its alignment with the bigger picture.

Look for where it can contribute to your ultimate goal and how you can use it as a stepping-stone. For example; will it mean you have to learn new skills or open you up to new networks? Is there potential for promotion or not?

4. Do Not Keep Your Plans a Secret

In business, there is a fantastic saying:

“You can be really good at what you do, but if it’s a secret you won’t attract clients.”

The same goes for career advancement. You can have wonderful plans for professional growth, but keeping it a secret delays your development.

When you have decided what you want to achieve in your career, it is a good idea to let the appropriate people know. This might mean being prepared for that “5-year plan” question at your interview and answering honestly.

And if you are in a company you love working for, let your superior know your aims.

Freely sharing this information and asking them to keep you in mind puts you on their radar. This makes them more likely to give you the chance to develop yourself or trust you with extra responsibilities.

As you take on more, it gives you a chance to show what you are capable of. And this puts you in the forefront for future opportunities.

5. Stand Out by Believing in Yourself

Believing ourselves means having better self-confidence. And confident people tend to stand out in the workplace.

Believing in yourself and what you are capable of also leads others to believe you too. This makes you more likely to be considered for promotion when it becomes available.

We are all very good at noticing our negative qualities. Many of us are also very talented at beating ourselves up for those things. This lowers our self-belief and in turn, our self-confidence.

But when we flip this pattern and notice our wonderful qualities instead, our self-belief increases. Plus, our superiors are more likely to notice those strengths too.

One of the greatest self-confidence boosting exercises I like to do is writing a list of all your amazing qualities in a journal. Then write a list of all the things you are good at. Allow yourself plenty of time to do this and keep coming back to it as the answers come to you.

You will be astonished at how much you have on your list. And you may realize that you are a great catch for any employer.

6. Identify Your strengths Using Profiling Tools

Profiling tools are a fantastic way to identify what we are good at. It can cut out the guess-work, and it hones in on our professional strengths. These days, there are many different types available.

Extended DISC is a tool I have used for myself and my clients for a long time. I prefer this method because it does not pigeon hole us. Instead, it helps us build on the strengths and developmental areas that we naturally have.

This profiling tool is based on the works of Carl Jung and William Marston. It helps us build on our strengths and modify our behaviors to improve our performance. And when we improve our performance, we increase our opportunity for career advancement.

We can also identify our strengths by writing our own list in a journal. We can also ask our work colleagues or honest friends to help us with this. Other people close to us can often see our strengths easier than we can.

Once you know your strengths, identify ways to build on them to improve your performance. You can start by volunteering for responsibilities where your strengths can be utilized.

7. Be Prepared to Level Up Your Knowledge and Skills

For every strength, there is an underside, and we must work on those to increase our opportunities.

Einstein’s definition of insanity is, “doing the same thing and expecting a different result.”

This means that if we want to advance our career, we might need to do different things and learn new skills. We can also develop in areas that we are not that strong at.

Be willing to study further to support your career advancement. In many instances, the company you work for will chip in with the financial side. But if not, be happy to fund it yourself. After all, it is for your benefit

Also, volunteering for extra responsibilities that are out of your comfort zone allows you to learn new skills. You can sometimes do this by offering to cover someone when they are away or on holiday.

8. Show That You Want to Advance Your Career

We can have the best skills in the world, but if our outer image does not reflect our inner success, other people may overlook us.

Our image gives others an impression of our personal brand. Our brand is what we stand for, which includes our qualities, beliefs, and values. In other words, it is important to look the part.

Sally Mlikota from CBC Staff Selection says it is important to dress for success. Research conducted by various career agencies showed that 65% of hiring managers say that clothes can be the deciding factor between two similar candidates in an interview.((CBC Staff Selection: Dress for Success))

I believe this also applies when already working in a company you want to advance in. Promotion really is like applying for a new job.

Think about the new role you want and the responsibilities along with it. Consider the qualities, values, and strengths the role might require. Do you have those attributes, and if not how, will you develop them?

And once you have those qualities, how would you dress and present yourself?

This is not about becoming something you are not. It’ is about developing and building on who you already are.

9. Find a Good Mentor

For anything we want to achieve, there is always someone else who has already done it. And if we have a successful career, we are often eager to share how we did it.

Achieving success in anything involves making mistakes and overcoming many challenges. Working with a mentor or a coach can help you minimize these and fast track your career success.

That is why many network marketers do so well. They always have mentors on hand to tell them step by step how they did it.

You can find a mentor in your current workplace, or you can meet them while networking.

In my experience, networking in appropriate circles always expands opportunities. It gives us the chance to get to know people. And this allows us to make the best choices.

When deciding on a mentor, make sure that the person has the results you want. Just because someone has the kind of role you want it does not necessarily mean they are doing it well. It is essential to build the relationships first, so you get to know more people first before you choose a mentor.

Lastly, do not be shy about it. Just ask them. More often than not, you will find they feel honored.

To Sum It Up

We spend many hours at work each week. For that reason, it is vital that we feel satisfied with our roles. Feeling happy at work has a positive effect on our health and every relationship we have both at work and personally.

There are two choices:

You can be carefree and just change jobs when you feel unhappy. This means leaving it to chance, and you might never feel long-term fulfillment.

Or, you can consciously choose career advancement and know where you are heading. This one has positive effects on all aspects of your life.

Which one will you choose?

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How to Speed Up Your Learning with the Humanism Theory

Most would agree with the opinion that the world is a cruel place. This isn’t targeted towards humans only, although most of what happens is directly or indirectly an effect of human behavior.

The humanism theory can be viewed as a step towards a more sensitive world, a kind world.

You might be thinking how all of this is related to learning and how can it possibly make you more skilled than you already are.

Well, humanism has its origins in psychology, but it is also closely linked to learning theories. This theory links behavior with learning, which isn’t all that unique if you take a look at some other learning models.

However, it is still very different with unique uses and advantages. Today you’ll find out all about it!

What Is the Humanist Learning Theory?

To get the most out of the concept, you need to first have a clear understanding of what the theory is.

As per the theory in psychology, it puts humans in charge of creating a better environment. It is aimed towards an overall strong and united world.

Here’s the thing:

This sense of unity and empathy translates to learning by encouraging every human to not just gain knowledge themselves, but also to spread it so that more people can benefit from it.

Altogether, humanism aims to create a world where everyone is helpful, so that even in the toughest times, any sort of crisis can be fought with cooperation.

From a definition point of view, the humanism theory focuses on an individual’s potential. It emphasizes things like free will and personal well-being to minimize stressful effects.

It is not linked to any religion or culture. Instead, humanism believes that regardless of these factors, every single human is capable of goodness. This theory gives every individual the right to believe in whatever they want, without any repercussions, criticism, rewards, or punishments.

However, since the entire idea of humanism is of collaborative learning, these ideas and beliefs are to be openly discussed and shared, never enforced.

The strongest force according to humanism is the human race itself. Every person is responsible for controlling their mind and actions.

Assumptions of the Theory

All these ideas seem to be very idealistic, and they definitely are. The humanism theory has been designed with four main assumptions.

  1. Humanist researchers assume that deep down, every human is good. There is no evilness whatsoever.
  2. This leads to the second assumption, which is that every human wants to strive to become their best version, regardless of the efforts they need to put in.
  3. The third assumption is that humans can control their thoughts freely.
  4. The final assumption is that being positive and optimistic is the only way to achieve goodness.

Humanism-Based Learning

When it comes to humanism concerning learning, the three components include:

  1. Observation
  2. Evaluation
  3. Revision

Observation relies solely on truth and reality. It is free of every sort of imagination. Only those things that can be observed exist in full reality.

This does not restrict the learning to what is already known. Evaluation is where all the imagination, opinions, and personal points of view come in.

In fact, humanism strongly supports learning through creative means such as art, music, and literature. This includes visual, auditory, and reading or writing learning styles. This theory is a strong supporter of creativity.

Revision then helps the individual repeat what’s true and what they think about it. This way, the reality is clearly distinguished from personal biases and societal visions. Yet, the entirety of the concept is imprinted in the brain.

The Development of the Humanism Theory

Humanism may have been in the minds of many, but it didn’t gain popularity until the 20th century. A lot of researchers worked around this theory in their own way. However, they all had one common goal to find ways of learning that would promote every individual’s personal strengths and weaknesses.

Although there have been several studies, two main people who did wonders for the learning side of the spectrum are Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.((Minnesota State University: Humanistic and Holistic Learning Theory)) They added the following contributions to this theory:

Emotional Stability

Carl Rogers had very unique ideas about learning. He mainly suggested the complete opposite of a structured learning environment.

Instead, he emphasized emotions, learning freedom, and the eradication of all boundaries.

Basically, Rogers extended the humanism theory by claiming that for any human to improve their strengths, they need to have stable emotions.

He was certainly right. Have you ever learned anything successfully while you were angry or sad?

Rogers also suggested that every individual should be able to choose what they want to learn. The restrictions of a set curriculum should be eradicated. This also changed the role of teachers from tutors to mere facilitators.

This applies to every part of learning. If you were to go to a gym, as per this belief, you would choose whether you want to go for Zumba or a treadmill exercise. Then, the gym instructor would assist you so that you didn’t pull a muscle or hurt yourself. Other than that, you would have the complete freedom to design your own plan.

Although it may be a great technique for a huge audience, it totally ignores individuals who need a structured learning environment along with a set of rules to follow.

Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow is most famously known for his Hierarchy of Needs.((Highgate Counselling Center: Maslow Hierarchy of Needs))

It is a pyramid that starts with the broadest category of basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. Then it moves onto the sense of security.

The next need in this pyramid is love and relationships, which is followed by respect and self-esteem. All these progress to the category of self-actualization. This is supposed to be the final aim.

From bottom to top, these needs are arranged in the order of most important to least important for effective learning.

What Are the Goals of Humanism Theory in Learning?

If the humanism theory were to be summarized into one goal, it would be to support every individual in their own element, style, and personality.

This goal further divides into numerous others.

It aims to benefit the entire community instead of one individual. Emotional learning, self- concept, goodness for all, and widespread positivity are concepts that humanism stresses.

Also, it aims to produce successful individuals who are capable in their own field. In fact, if you look closely, a lot of successful people do practice humanism.

How to Learn with the Humanism Theory

Humanism theory is an extremely optimistic approach. The idealistic approach, although doable, is difficult to implement to its fullest extent.

However, Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow have offered a convenient route for learners to follow. No matter which skill or category of knowledge you want to gain, by implementing the studies of these two humanists, you can enhance your learning immensely.

1. Learning Free of Boundaries

Firstly, there’s the approach suggested by Carl Rogers. Since it rids learners from all sorts of set boundaries, you have the freedom to design your own learning plan.

Since you’re not experts, you can take the help of a teacher who will facilitate your learning progress. But, you can have full control over how, when, and what to learn.

If you are interested in learning a foreign language, you will definitely need guidance from an expert in the language. However, the pace of learning, which aspects of the language you want to learn, how crammed the schedule should be, and other similar factors of the process can be planned by you.

2. Prioritizing Personal Needs

One major component of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is self-realization. You can achieve self-actualization by following simple exercises.

Self-actualization is the highest goal in this pyramid. It is the main goal that you should strive to achieve.

Therefore, once you get on the road to achieving self-actualization, you will find your learning process automatically falls in line with the rest of the theory. It is like a domino effect; once you get on the right track, the rest becomes a piece of cake because your mind begins to move forward along the same lines on its own.

The hierarchy of needs can be used to prioritize every individual learner’s needs so that the process goes smoothly and reaps efficient results. You can ensure your health, comfort, and emotional stability before moving on with the learning.

For example, you may postpone a music class until you find a comfortable spot to sit if that’s what your prioritized need is.

Final Thoughts

Humanism puts most of the control in the hands of the learners. While it may bring forth certain disadvantages, it is actually rather effective in the case of career-oriented individuals.

Freedom along with the responsibility ensures effective learning to promote the individual’s qualities to overpower the weaknesses!

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5 Steps to Designing Your Life Wisely

Are you consciously designing your life? Do you really understand what that means and how to do it?

This matters because, in a time when online marketers are pitching their services or products, promising that they’ll give you the time and financial freedom you need to create your “life by design,” it is important for you to have an understanding of what designing your life actually looks like, and how to do it effectively.

The problem is that, while it sounds great in theory, most people don’t understand what it means to create a life by design, and they do not have the first clue where to start to make that happen.

For that reason, I’m going to share with you 5 steps for designing your life in a way that is both sustainable and wise.

Step 1: Get Clear on What You Want

At the core of designing your life is the question of what you actually want and what will help you to wake up excited to live every day. In order to achieve this, you have to get clear on exactly what you want.

It seems like common sense, right? Well, common sense isn’t always common practice.

We live in a society where people are overwhelmed with the inputs, thoughts, beliefs, and opinions of others. Not to mention, the environments we are routinely in impact our values, beliefs, and desires on a deep level.

Because of that, it becomes very easy to lose touch with who we are and what we want in life among all the noise.

That’s why seeking clarity is so important.

Clarity is foundational to designing the life you desire to live because without it, the desires and expectations that everyone else has for your life will take over.

In order to design your life, you have to break free from the stories of your past that have told you who you are and what you should want. The only effective way to do that is by seeking clarity.

I always advise my clients to first get crystal clear on who they are and/or who they’d like to be. Then, out of that truth, determine what it is that you desire most in your life.

Step 2: Create a Plan

Once you’ve gotten clarity on exactly what you want in your life, the real “design” work comes when you create a plan to achieve those desires.

If you’re not sure how what a good plan may include, this article is a good place to start.

Think about your life like a beautiful work of architecture.

A bunch of builders didn’t just walk out there one day and start throwing things together in hopes that something nice would turn out.

No, they did the tedious work of mapping out every single detail of that structure, and they did it long before they ever even broke ground on building it.

Your life is much like that. One of the biggest reasons people never get to live the lives they desire is because they are unwilling to do the necessary work of creating a plan to get there.

Nothing great in life is accomplished without a rock solid plan.

Yes, hard work, perseverance, and belief are all essential parts of you effectively creating and living the life you desire, but all of those are for naught if there isn’t a plan in place for designing your life.

Be like the architect and take the time to create the plan before you start, metaphorically, breaking ground, swinging hammers, and constructing anything of significance in your life.

Otherwise, you may find that the structure you’ve built isn’t the one you had hoped for.

Step 3: Be Flexible and Open-minded

When it comes to designing your life, you must have a plan — we have already established that.

However, even though there is a plan in place, those who live the most fulfilled and joyful lives are those who are flexible and open-minded to change and new opportunities.((Social Neuroscience: Taking another’s perspective promotes right parieto-frontal activity that reflects open-minded thought))

One of the downsides to planning is that, because you invest so much time, energy, and effort into creating it, you can get rigid about following it to a T.

The problem is that life is always evolving and changing, and it is that fluid nature of life that brings uncertainty and adventure into the picture.

Therefore, the plans you make today may no longer be relevant tomorrow.

You may have plans of going back to school to further your education, but an opportunity to step into entrepreneurship may come available.

Accomplishing some big goal may be in your plans, but a bigger goal may present itself, or the original goal may no longer be of interest to you.

In both of those scenarios, being dogmatic about carrying out the original plan may be a detriment to future opportunities.

The main point in all of this is that when it comes to designing your life, you absolutely want to have a plan in place, but you must also keep an open heart and open mind.

That is where the adventure in life lies.

Step 4: Say “No” More Often

If you take away nothing else from this article, this may be the one piece of wisdom you want to hold on to.

We live in a society where “busy” is celebrated. The problem is, when busy becomes your default way of living, the things you care most about have a way of getting buried under other stuff.

That’s why the subtle art of learning to say no more often is necessary if you want to start designing your life.

One truth about life is that we only get so much of it. Another truth is, we don’t know how much we get. And one last truth is that you can’t do two things at once — at least not effectively.

If you add all of those together, that means with the unknown, limited time you have, you’re either designing your life, or you are falling victim to what Brendon Burchard calls “other people’s agendas.”

We live in a culture where “no” has a negative connotation. Because of that, most people grow up lacking the ability to effectively take a stand for their time and confidently say no to something.

Whether it’s due to a fear of upsetting someone or letting someone down, or the dreaded fear of missing out (FOMO), people just aren’t great at saying no.

However, if you truly want to design your life as you desire for it to be, it’s imperative that you take back control of your time and agenda.

The best way to do that is to develop the skill of saying no more often.

Step 5: Understand That Failure Is Part of the Process

There it is, the dreaded “F” word — failure.

Most people live in fear of failure, and that fear stifles their ability to go after the true goals, dreams, and aspirations. However, if you want to be able to design your life, you must not only accept that failure is going to be part of the process, but you must also learn to embrace it.

I’ll tell you why: it is through the failures in life that we often learn our greatest lessons and are able to achieve more growth.

You see, most people don’t take time to reflect upon their wins to figure out what went well that allowed them to win. And they definitely don’t take time to evaluate what they can do better the next time.

However, when people fail, they tend to be a bit more reflective, especially regarding why they failed in the first place.

If you can learn to dig into your failures a bit more and see them as learning opportunities, you will set yourself up for long-term success.

One of the biggest problems with failure is that people see it as a stop sign. They think that is the end of the road. Failure doesn’t have to be that way though.

If you want to start designing your life, start thinking of failure as a yield — a place where you pause, evaluate the situation, and proceed when you’re ready.

When you can learn to view failure in this way, you start to understand the benefits of it, and once you can understand its benefits, you’ll not only stop fearing failure, but you’ll start embracing it.

Conclusion

Living a life by design is absolutely possible. However, you have to remember that it is a conscious process.

Just like with architecture, great works don’t happen by accident. It’s through conscious, intentional action that someone is able to design and live the life they desire.

By engaging with the 5 steps outlined here, you’ll be effective and actually enjoy the process of designing your life.

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How to Hack Your Unconscious Mind and Untap Your Potential

The unconscious mind is something of great interest and yet remains a mystery.

“The unconscious mind of man sees correctly even when conscious reason is blind and impotent.” –– Carl Jung

What does it consist of? Can it affect your thoughts? How can thoughts affect reality? Can you control your unconscious mind?

Although he was not the one who came up with it, Freud popularized the term “unconscious mind.” He compared the mind to an iceberg with the conscious mind being on top and the unconscious mind being the most prominent part of the mind, under the surface.

We can easily access the conscious mind, but not the unconscious mind. However, they are connected to our conditioning.

Psychology Today says that:((Psychology Today: Unconscious))

“The conscious mind contains all the thoughts, feelings, cognitions, and memories we acknowledge, while the unconscious consists of deeper mental processes not readily available to the conscious mind.”

Why is the unconscious mind so important?

Because it drives most of what we do. But the point of it being “unconscious” is that we are not always actively aware of why we are doing it.

As we delve deeper into the unconscious mind, what is underneath can also be the most problematic or painful for us. It can hold our feelings, our fears, our secrets, our repression, and our insecurities. And yet we can walk around not even knowing certain things about ourselves because it exists the way it does.

It can control our being and how we conduct ourselves; it can also help us unleash our potential once we learn how to tap into it.

The unconscious mind can come out in different ways. It can be the reason you are acting a certain way or how you make a decision. The unconscious can come out in what you say, showing true nature and desire such as through what we call a “Freudian slip.”

We do not always know what motivates us initially, but there are ways to hack our unconscious mind and tap our potential.

How to Hack Your Conscious Mind and Tap Your Potential

There are five ways we can unlock our unconscious.

1. Understand How the Brain Works

In a study conducted by the Mind Science Foundation, researcher Heather Berlin describes how she seeks to understand how the brain creates subjective feelings when it is largely seen as an “info processing machine.”((Mind Science Foundation: The Neuroscience of the Unconscious))

She asks: What is the neural basis of consciousness?

They tested people by showing stimuli very subtly so that they are not conscious of the stimuli. This serves to analyze subliminal processing versus conscious processing. Berlin seeks to track the neural basis of perception but without the brain analysis of how it makes meaning.

Berlin says that the “consciousness has a limited capacity . . . the unconscious is virtually limitless. . ..” Most of what you do and why you do them come from the unconscious because if your conscious mind tracked it all, it would go into overload.

This is why the unconscious exists. If subliminal stimuli come to consciousness, there is whole-brain activation. Whereas, if stimuli remain in the unconscious, there is less brain activity.

There is also something called the PB3 signal which is “evidence of complex, sustained, unconscious brain activity.”

She further explained that Freud, while not all his theories were correct, was correct on some things in regards to the unconscious brain. Namely, that the brain acts in a defense mechanism to unwanted stimuli through suppression (conscious defense), repression (unconscious defense) and even dissociation.

Consciousness has evolved to untangle the mess of motives made by the unconscious.

Consciousness Corrects the Unconscious

Neuroscientist Eliezer Sternberg’s “. . . way of delineating brain activity suggests one reason we may have evolved consciousness: to shoot down illogical stories concocted by the unconscious – which he calls an ‘egocentric storyteller’ – that can get things wrong when the neural circuitry goes haywire.”((NewScience: NeuroLogic: The enthralling story of the unconscious mind))

In other words, the conscious can correct the wrongs of the unconscious.

The conscious is there as a babysitter to bad behavior; a filter towards feelings and a way in which we can rewire the functioning of the unconscious. In this perception, the brain acts as a rewiring tool by constantly fixing our mental states or exasperating them. In this way, we can learn to choose our thoughts.

We learn to create associations with things that we give attention to. We learn more about ourselves. But that attention can be difficult to ignite when we are always balancing between the conscious and unconscious mind in an integrated web.

It all works together, so, we must pay attention to what affects us and why.

2. Address Troublesome Thoughts and Feelings First

To most people, the unconscious holds things we do not wish to think about. We judge these thoughts without any compassion for ourselves. But if we are compassionate towards ourselves, we can rewrite the traumatic memory or unpleasant thoughts with reassurances of safety and security.

We also are split between rationality versus emotional distress.

Emotional distress is your brain’s way of telling you that something is unresolved, whether it be trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or unpleasant thoughts or feelings. However, we can ease emotional distress by acknowledging it and comforting our mental state.

The two ways to do this are to gain awareness of your triggers (i.e. what causes memories flashbacks or unpleasant thoughts) and to utilize compassionate attention, which we seek from the earliest years of development including birth and do not always get.

The Unconscious Mind as an Adaptation

As human beings, we have evolved and adapted ways to survive. The unconscious mind is part of that adaptation – of repression and of what we do not want to deal with at the present.

However, if we want to survive, we have to heal the damage that these trauma or unpleasant thoughts and feelings have caused. If we do not, the unconscious mind can continue to control our actions and disrupt our lives.

Most of what the unconscious mind is doing is telling our brain to relive trauma or repressed memories for us to finally face them. This could easily come from simply not enough care when you were an infant, to a lack of emotional support as you grew to be an adult.

Once you know you are safe, however, you can start to heal the brain’s urges to tell you over and over again that you are unsafe. What we experienced as a child lives on in our brains as adults. What we experience as adults we can learn to continually repress if never unlearn this cycle. Unlearning is why we focus on the unconscious mind and how we recover.

3. Use Free Association

Freud decided to use free association to reveal what lay within the unconscious mind. According to Very Well Mind, Freud “asked patients to relax and say whatever came to mind without any consideration of how trivial, irrelevant, or embarrassing it might be.”((Verywell Mind: Understanding the UnconsciousFreud’s Conceptualization of the Unconscious))

If it is repressed, then free association or stream of consciousness in therapy can help unlock troubled thoughts. You can ask a therapist to help you with this, or you can try blind dictation as Synecticsworld suggests.

The key is to find a safe space to release these thoughts. When it gets difficult, you can play it by “challenge by choice” mentality. Free association is explored in many avenues, but ultimately, you can regain control over your thoughts when you understand them. Analyzing associations help you to do that.

Mindfulness Helps

You can also engage your unconscious mind and free association via mindfulness. Mindfulness leads to mind wandering and the surfacing of unconscious associations.

Frontiers in Psychology mentions that:

“It has been speculated that mind wandering facilitates creativity by stimulating unconscious associative processes that can lead to a sudden insight (Baird et al., 2012).”((Frontiers in Psychology: Mind wandering “Ahas” versus mindful reasoning: alternative routes to creative solutions))

This improves creativity and problem solving overall. It can help us regain control of our intent and actions. It can help us to figure out what is going on inside of us that needs attention. What drives or motivates us can come to the surface simply by observing thoughts.

It starts with shifting to noticing your thoughts as you focus on the present moment. Notice and practice acceptance of them, whether they are pleasant or not. Through taking an observer mentality towards one’s thoughts, see what connections are made.

This is where the association starts to surface. See what comes up. This will link repression to the root of why you are struggling with being in control of your thoughts and behaviors.

4. Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality

While there are many theories on whether we can change reality with our thoughts, one thing is certain: You can change your EXPERIENCE of reality with your thoughts.

The brain fills in the gaps of perception, and we can unconsciously and consciously create meaning. However, the mind can get in the way of itself by doing so. That is why understanding what affects you and your unconscious mind is one way to challenge any distortions.

You may have heard the statement, “Feelings are not facts” in many Psychology and self-help resources. It is because we do not always see reality for what it is.

Our feelings can alter our experience and acceptance of reality. When our perceptions are limited, we fall into patterns that affect our experience of reality. These patterns may be repeating the same mistakes or finding yourself in the same situations.

Quantum Mechanics Perspective on Reality

In quantum mechanics, few theories attempt to explain reality:((The Next Web: Quantum Physics for Regular People: Is reality even real?))

  • Copenhagen Interpretation: Some things exist because we observe it.
  • De Broglie-Bohm/Pilot Wave Interpretation: This is deterministic. Things exist whether we observe them to be or not
  • Many Worlds Theory: “Every possibility is real and manifests across infinite universes.”
  • Ensemble Theory: “All things are possible, but only one outcome shall manifest.”

Depending on what theory of reality you subscribe to, one thing is clear: our experience of reality can be subjective, can be changed, and can be examined. The brain filters these alterations in our perceptions, and our thoughts influence them through our associations with our unconscious minds.

When we think of something, do we ask ourselves why we think of it? Do we challenge it?

We can do this through therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, where one challenges an irrational thought with a rational one and analyzes where it comes from.

Human Consciousness and Protons

Huffington Post compares human consciousness to a photon:

“The one difference between us and a photon is that we can think, we are conscious. As such, we can choose which of the possibilities before us to collapse our wave function. But more than that, since we are entangled with our environment we can affect that as well and influence randomness, just as it can influence us.”((Huffington Post: Can Our Brain Waves Affect Our Physical Reality))

This means that if we have consciousness, we can impact our surroundings. The higher our consciousness or the more we are self-aware, the bigger our impact.

It starts with you – with the thoughts you think. Think negatively and your experience of reality will be negative. Ignore the happenings of the unconscious mind, and your experience of reality will suffer.

Think positively, and you will find good things around you. Pull them into YOUR existence and your well-being will improve.

5. Untap Your Potential

You have potential, but how can you tap into it with your unconscious mind?

Your brain has evolved in many ways, but one way remains fundamental: survival. Your brain reacts and reassesses your survival all the time, largely through the unconscious mind.

What you think of creates your reality or your experience of it. When you react to something, the first thing your brain asks is “Will I survive?” and acts accordingly.

This awareness changes your destiny. You can suddenly control how you think, which alters your experience of reality. This can unleash your potential.

When you are aware of what makes you tick, you stand taller. You feel more empowered to change your life.

Your unconscious may pull you back because it thinks of survival. It thinks of stopping you from acting on a good idea maybe because of bad past experiences. It is programmed to ensure you make it. So, even if you are not in danger, it will react as if you are due to the associations your brain makes with prior events.

But you can control this by reassessing your purpose and what you want to do. This allows you to evaluate how you can rise rather than continue to repress negative thoughts and emotions.

In a way, you are powering through it – teaching your brain to calm down. When you give it new information, you give yourself a new identity. Your identity is based on what you think about and how you respond to life. When you can control your thoughts, you can start to see a difference in the world around you. It sounds easy, but that is not always the case.

Behavioral Analysis

Emotional trauma can trick us into thinking that we are somebody who we are not. This is a hard thing to reverse, but it is possible.

It starts in behavioral analysis. When you do something that seems counterintuitive to you you are, make a log of those times and the triggers. Ask for input from a trusted professional. Note the times you have done free association and the trauma that is triggered.

What does it all mean? How does it all come together?

That is how you find the depths of you. You uncover what you are meant to be. And you learn that how you have responded in the past may not have been necessary.

You can do something even though you had failed at it before. You can open up again even if you have been ignored in the past. All these patterns can change.

Final Thoughts

You can control unconscious thought when you understand how the brain works, address troublesome thoughts and feelings first, use free association, change thoughts to change reality and tap your potential. If you pay attention to your triggers, you will learn how to handle the associations that arise.

There is still much to explore in the field of consciousness and human behavior, but in that mysterious nature of the unconscious mind, you can also take control.

You can find your footing. You can learn how to unlearn your ego and past mistakes and understandings of yourself and the world. You can challenge thoughts once you learn they have no power over you.

You can make the unconscious conscious by how you pay attention to it because it is you who creates YOUR reality.

When you change your perceptions, reality also changes. You make better decisions that are based on truth rather than fear. You stop settling, and you learn to live again.

You can become anyone you choose when you realize the power your thoughts have, and you can understand how the unconscious mind can be utilized to find the truth.

Learn More About How to Unleash Your Potential:

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7 Best Natural Ways to Enhance Your Memory

Everything you do requires memory. Whether it’s your everyday chores, work responsibilities, communication, or any other task in life, memory plays an important role. So, if you’re not in search of ways to enhance your memory, you should be.

If you’re someone who wants to excel in life by learning new things, enhancing your memory is extremely important for you.

Luckily, it is something that can be done. There are some simple, natural ways to boost your memory. Keep reading to find out all about these amazing tips!

Here are some of the most effective tips for enhancing memory:

1. Focus on Your Learning Style

One main reason why people want to improve their memory is for the sake of boosting their learning capacity. It is true that without a good memory, learning is a difficult task.

Your learning style is an arrow that can shoot both these targets.

There are 6 broad learning styles. Each individual falls into at least one of these. It is also rather easy to figure out your learning type by following a few steps.

Once you’re aware of your learning style, you can incorporate methods and techniques that go hand in hand with your style.

For example, if you happen to be an auditory learner, you can listen to online tutorials to gain new knowledge instead of opting for another method. Similarly, people who prefer structured learning environments can go for tutors who have a coherent teaching style.

If your brain receives information in a manner that is supported by your style, you are highly likely to retain this knowledge in the long term.

2. Add Variation to Your Learning Routine

When you start learning a new skill or get on with a new task, enthusiasm levels are rather high. This is the time when learners are so motivated that they don’t mind doing the same thing all day long.

Although it seems fun for the time being, it eventually becomes monotonous or boring.

You should add variation to your learning routine from the get-go so that you can avoid getting to a stage where the brain loses interest in the said task or skill. Once it gets boring, it will be much more difficult to learn or remember.

Some ways to add variation are:

  • Take breaks
  • Change your location or environment every now and then
  • Add various learning tools into play
  • If you have multiple learning styles, incorporate them alternatively

3. Regulate Your Sleep Schedule

Have you ever seen a sleepy person do a good job anywhere?

It’s pretty rare. That’s because a sleepy mind is good for very little. Memory and sleep go hand in hand. Without a fresh mind, not only does learning become harder, but it also gets more annoying and seems tougher.

Also, many people retain information better if they sleep after learning something new.

Whatever the case is, never skip a good night’s sleep!

4. Practice Mindfulness

How can you remember something you weren’t paying attention to?

A human’s attention span is rather short, but it can be improved. Practice mindfulness to enhance your focus . This will, in turn, improve your memory.((Greater Good Magazine: Can Mindfulness Improve Your Bad Memory?))

As humans age, memory and cognition are bound to decline. However, effective mindfulness has proven to slow down this deterioration.

You can improve your memory and concentration by following a lot of easy-to-implement tips in your daily routine. Some of the things you can do to practice mindfulness include focusing on your surroundings, being more aware of your breathing, and gaining control over the ability to shift attention from one thing to another.

5. Meditate

Here’s a secret that will change your life: You can control your brain.

How? It’s actually not even hard!

All you have to do is play brain games and boost cognitive activity by meditating. All these help increase the gray matter in your brain. Gray matter includes neuronal cell bodies, which are technically responsible for memory.

Meditation, in general, keeps the brain calm, which helps new information get organized efficiently. It also supports mindfulness.

People who experience short-term memory loss will experience great benefits from meditation.

6. Eat Memory-Enhancing Foods

You are what you eat.

The saying is so famous for a reason. Food directly affects every single part of you. The nutrition you receive can enhance your memory immensely.

The brain is what controls your memory. Since the brain is a muscle, after all, good food will improve its strength.

Here’s what you should eat more of:

Fish Oil

Everybody and their dog knows that fish oil is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. These fats are categorized as healthy fats.

Healthy fats are a necessary part of a balanced diet. They reduce anxiety, prevent inflammation, and contribute to the brain’s health.((Healthline: How Omega-3 Fish Oil Affects Your Brain and Mental Health))

Elderly people who are at risk of memory loss have been proven to experience an improvement in their condition with the help of fish oil supplements.

Cocoa

How amazing is life? You’re literally being told to add delicious cocoa to your diet. You certainly can’t complain.

Just in case you need some supporting evidence because it sounds too good to be true, we’ll let you know why cocoa is so good for enhancing memory.

It is a generous source of anti-oxidants. More importantly, cocoa encourages blood flow. Your brain will only stay healthy if it receives enough blood flow and nutrition. This is why cocoa does wonders for enhancing memory.((Front Nutr: Enhancing Human Cognition with Cocoa Flavonoids))

One thing to keep in mind is that dark chocolate cocoa is more effective than white chocolate cocoa.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Did you know that inflammation is a major cause of deteriorating memory?((RWJBarnabas Health: Fight Inflammation and Alzheimer’s Through Diet))

Inflammation leads to oxidative stress, which then leads to dementia. Your mental health, in general, is at risk with inflammation.

So, it is best if you eat more anti-inflammatory foods. Fruits, vegetables, and teas are some of the best options to include in your diet.

Vitamin D

One of the most common deficiencies in patients of dementia is vitamin D. It is a huge contributor towards cognitive function.

Trends have shown that people with vitamin D deficiencies experience cognitive decline and are at a higher risk of dementia. If you live in colder climates, you are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.((Amens Clinic: How Does Vitamin D Deficiency Affect Your Memory and Mood?))

Some foods that are rich in vitamin D are:

  • Dairy products
  • Mushrooms
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna

Sunlight is also a great source of this vitamin!

Curcumin

Even though you will have included anti-inflammatory foods in your diet, there is still a risk that something small may cause inflammation.

To counteract this issue, you should use curcumin.

Curcumin originates from the turmeric root. It has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces oxidative stress, and prevents the buildup of amyloid plaques. All these qualities keep the user at minimal risk of Alzheimer’s, too.((Ann Indian Acad Neurol.: The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview))

7. Avoid the Wrong Foods

Once again, you are what you eat.

Bad food can affect you equally as much as good nutrition.

If your goal is to avoid memory loss, you should also be avoiding the following:

Refined Carbs

Refined carbs include foods like cake, white bread, white rice, etc. These carbs are digested quickly and cause a steep increase in blood sugar levels. That in itself is harmful.

Moreover, refined carbs are also closely associated with obesity. Overweight individuals suffer from memory loss at younger ages. In fact, it is strongly recommended that people who want to enhance their memory should maintain optimum weight. Obesity is directly linked with dementia and a decline in brain activity.((NCBI: Does Obesity Increase the Risk of Dementia: A Literature Review))

With the rising trend of fast food, refined carbs have become a part of pretty much every human’s diet. From kids to elders, everyone is exposed to foods that seem to be harmless but end up being highly risky.

Sugar

As mentioned above, high blood sugar levels are not good for the brain. This is why sugar intake must be monitored.

People with higher sugar levels have worse memories and lesser brain volume in comparison with people who have lower sugar levels.

Furthermore, research has proven that sugar is one of the major causes of short-term memory loss.((Forbes: Too Much Sugar Linked To Reduced Memory, Brain Volume))

By decreasing your sugar intake, you’ll not just improve your memory, but you will also get rid of numerous other health risks.

Alcohol

Alcohol in the blood leads to a memory deficit. Although occasional drinking doesn’t have a noticeable effect, habitual drinkers are at a huge risk.((Healthline: How Alcohol Is Linked to Memory Loss))

Excess alcohol intake has neurotoxic effects. It can directly attack the part of the brain that deals with memory.

The Bottom Line

If you get to it with full passion, you can experience noticeable results in your mind’s performance within a few weeks. Since none of these tips are hard to follow, you should begin with a positive attitude right away!

More Tips on Enhancing Memory

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How to Use the Theories of Motivation to Keep Yourself Uplifted

Have you ever wondered why you are motivated in some instances and not in others? More importantly, have you considered what effect this has on your life in general?

Research has revealed numerous theories of motivation. They all have their merits and can work especially well as a mix. But what is motivation really, and what effect does this have on the reality we create for ourselves?

What is Motivation?

Motivation generally includes an experience of desire or aversion. This means we either desire something we want, or we have the desire to avoid something.

This explains why we might find it easy to take action on some things and procrastinate on others. As you likely know, procrastination can really cause us to get in our own way.

Furthermore, we are all motivated in different ways, which makes this even more complex. We are led to believe that it’s just about setting a goal, and that that will be enough to motivate us. However, it’s not always that simple because setting a goal without other important elements can decrease motivation.

The good news is that with more knowledge, we can gain insights on what motivates us personally. It’s just a matter of understanding the theories that relate to us and then consciously utilizing them.

3 Theories of Motivation

Through experience and research, I have identified what I consider to be the three most useful theories of motivation.

1. Locke’s Goal Setting Theory

In 1968 Edward E. Locke published his groundbreaking Goal Setting Theory.

This has claimed to be unique and has withstood the test of time. It has been some 50 years since the first goal-setting experiments were conducted and 28 years since the first statement of the theory.

Certainly, in my own personal experience and working with clients, goal setting has been a powerful motivator. When we have a goal that we desire, it motivates us to move towards it. This makes us more focused and less inclined to procrastinate.

Here’s the thing though: goal setting only works effectively when certain criteria are met, so it’s essential to know what those criteria are.

Here are the important elements of Locke’s theory:((Positive Psychology: What is Locke’s Goal Setting Theory of Motivation?))

Goals Must Be Challenging and Attainable

If a goal is too easy or perceived as too difficult then we will lack motivation. This means goals must be both realistic and stretch us a little.

Goals Must Be Specific and Measurable

This gives us a much clearer direction and helps us measure progress as we reach milestones.

Commitment to the Goal

A firm decision must be made to commit to the goal. If there is no commitment, it will be easy to not put in the effort.

Strategies

His suggested strategies to achieve this could include participation in the goal-setting process, the use of extrinsic rewards (bonuses), and encouraging intrinsic motivation through providing feedback about goal attainment.

Support Elements

Support elements need to be provided. For example, encouragement, needed materials and resources, and moral support can be included.

Quantifiability

Goals need to be quantifiable, and there needs to be feedback.

These criteria are mainly designed for the workplace and are effective as a member of a team. But what about working alone?

Using Locke’s Theory When You Work Alone

The SMART model contains important criteria, which I believe relate to Locke’s theory. This model will help you write a good goal statement.

SMART is an acronym and means making goals specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed.

Commitment can also be a challenge when working on goals alone. Because of this, it’s important to find some way to hold yourself accountable.

A good way to do this is to confide your goal in a trusted friend and ask for accountability. If you are feeling very brave, you could even announce it on social media.

Setting up your own reward system can act as an external motivator. However, a reward you will receive in 12 months time may not be enough to drive you.

A reward system works best when your goals are broken down into shorter-term goals. Giving yourself a reward at each milestone will give you a sense of achievement earlier, and this creates more desire.

If you need help coming up with some useful rewards and punishments to achieve your goals, this article may be able to help.

Essential Resources

One of the elements of a well-formed goal is that you must have the required resources or a way of obtaining them. If you set a goal without these essential elements, you can often find motivation is lacking.

Resources can include physical materials, information, and people.

If you have confided your goal with a trusted friend, also ask that friend for support and encouragement. Identify where you may need training and seek out a course or the support of a mentor or coach. Do your own research to make sure these vital resources are available to you before setting your goal.

Feedback is another essential element that could be a problem when working alone because feedback is often received from others. In this instance, it’s important to acknowledge that everything we do each day gives us feedback in itself. This is delivered in the results we get.

If our results disappoint us, then we receive essential feedback that we need to change something.

Regular reflection is an effective way to receive feedback and look at what needs to change. When this process is utilized in a positive way, it has the potential to positively impact the first of these three theories of motivation.

2. McClelland’s Achievement and Required Needs Theory

David McClelland wrote about his theory of motivation in his book “The Achieving Society” in 1961. It explains why certain individuals are more motivated to achieve than others.

This theory is based on two psychological principles: the motive of an individual to achieve success and the motive of an individual to avoid failure.((International Journal of Management and Marketing Research: The Relationship Between McClelland’s Theory of Needs, Feeling Individually Accountable, and Informal Accountability for Others))

Some people have an intense desire to succeed and are more motivated to move towards what they want. This means they will take action even if they are attempting something challenging.

Others are afraid of failure and so are more motivated to move away from what they don’t want. This means they will procrastinate on doing challenging things where there is a risk of failure. They are less inclined to set goals for the same reason.

This also fits with Anthony Robbins insights that we will do more to avoid pain than we will to feel pleasure. If we believe we might fail and perceive failure as painful, we will do nothing because it feels better.

How to Change Your Perception of Pain

When you know that you avoid pain, it gives you the power to work with it. You can do this quite simply by turning your perception of pain around.

If you are resisting a step that will help you achieve something, explore why you are procrastinating. Ask yourself what you are afraid of.

Place yourself in the future and imagine what will happen if you don’t take the step. Notice how it will impact your goal negatively. Imagine how you will feel when you don’t achieve it and notice how painful that will be.

Now create pleasure around the thing you have been avoiding. Imagine how much closer that will bring you to achieving your goal, and notice how you will feel as you celebrate the achievement.

This change tool has been extremely effective with a number of my clients. As you use it, you will notice your procrastination morphing into motivation.

3. Hull’s Drive Reduction Theory

This theory was first proposed by American Psychologist Clark Hull in 1943. It centres round the premise that humans are motivated to take action where there are disturbances to homeostasis.((InstructionalDesign: Drive Reduction Theory (C. Hull)))

Homeostasis means to maintain stability and stay the same, referring to our overall health.

Many things in our external environment can affect our overall health. This includes our ability to put food on our table, a roof over our head, and money that enables us to provide those things. If our stability is threatened in any way, we are more inclined to take action.

This also means that if we feel our stability is threatened by taking action, we will do nothing.

I see this theory play out a lot with business owners. They avoid things they feel uncomfortable doing, like networking or follow-up calls — at least until their income levels drop. When this happens, they find the motivation they had been lacking and pull out all stops.

This motivational theory also resonates with the physiological level of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs. ((Highgate Counselling Centre: Maslow Hierarchy of Needs))

The base level is also referred to as the need for certainty in Tony Robbins six core needs. Robbins describes them as fundamental needs, which we fulfil unconsciously.

Here’s the thing: if we are motivated by this need alone, then we tend to do nothing new, and when faced with a situation that is uncertain, we can freeze.

Therefore, it’s important to find the motivation to move past this base need, even in the space of uncertainty and challenge.

Components to Handle Uncertainty

Dr. John Demartini, an international educator in human behavior specializing in the area of values, says that motivation is not external. True motivation is inspiration and found when we experience our values.((Manage Magazine: Dr. John Demartini: How your Values Steer your Life))

This means if we set goals that are aligned with our values and focus on that, we can feel internally motivated. As we feel this, we are more inclined to take action on those goals, even when faced with something challenging.

Values are unconscious beliefs, which means many of us aren’t aware of what they are. When you bring your values into conscious awareness, it gives you the ability to use them as motivational tools.

Your values can easily be elicited by working with a coach, but you can also inquire into it alone. Explore which aspects of life are important to you and what you put the most time, energy, or money into. These are aspects that you value.

When you set goals around your values, you will notice your motivation levels become much more consistent.

The Bottom Line

There are a multitude of different theories of motivation. Understanding what your motivators are is helpful, but the real power comes from working with them.

Finding strategies to work with and then implement them can morph procrastination into motivation or even help you avoid procrastination for good. This will create a positive impact on your life in general.

More Tips on Finding Motivation

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