10 views | +0 today
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Brian Summer!

The Best Ancient Quotes To Help You Lead A Successful Life

History is a great teacher. Whatever challenge you are facing today, you can be sure that someone else has faced it before. Thousands of years ago, people's lives were a lot more challenging than the lives of people today. Warfare, lack of food, diseases were a constant threat. Yet people were still able to overcome these challenges, survive and even lead happy lives.

From these ages, comes timeless wisdom that is as inspiring and pertinent today, as it was thousands of years ago. This ancient wisdom has served as a guide for people throughout the ages, and it can inspire you as well. Use it to get a sense of direction and tackle the challenges that life throws at you.

"A man's character is his fate." Heraclitus

Your outlook on life will determine how you will fare in life. Yes, the world can be a mean place sometimes, but there is no use in complaining about it.

You need to take matters into your own hands and face all the things life throws at you head on. A person who has a strong will and self-discipline will conquer, while the weak person who only complains and does nothing to improve themselves will continue on living a measly existence.

"The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances." Aristotle

You always have to count on something happening in life that will derail your plans. Don't sulk in despair. Use it in order to drive you to achieve even more.

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." Confucius

There will always be obstacles on the way. You will fail more times than you will succeed. However the only thing you can do is to get up again, brush yourself off and continue on your journey. That's where your greatest triumphs will come from. A successful person is also usually a person who has failed thousands of times over.

"You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity." Epicurus

You rarely become great just by circumstances and without challenges. In fact, it is the difficult times and the way you handle them that make you great. The next time when you face a challenge, don't back down, instead overcome it and learn from the experience.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

Your life is what you make of it. If you think everyone is against and you are helpless to overcome all this negativity, then you will continue on living a miserable life. However if you realize that your life is in your hands and instead decide to face your worst fears and start on a journey of self-improvement, then your life will only get better.

You need to visualize success and work for it. Only with hard work will you be able to achieve your goals.

In the ancient times, people from all over Ancient Greece and beyond used to go the Oracle of Delphi to ask for guidance. High on the temple walls were carved out a series of simple maxims, words of wisdom, which are as true and applicable today, as they were thousands of years ago:

"Know thyself." Delphic maxim

"Know your opportunity." Delphic maxim

"Cling to discipline." Delphic maxim

"Test the character." Delphic maxim

"Work for what you can own." Delphic maxim

"Live without sorrow." Delphic maxim

"Do not tire of learning." Delphic maxim

Take these to heart and return to them whenever you feel you are losing direction or need a kick in the ass.


Peter is a world traveler interested in fitness, history, learning languages, as well as many other things. He shares his thoughts on fitness, history, and self-improvement on his blog: Gain Weight Journal.

The post The Best Ancient Quotes To Help You Lead A Successful Life appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

Survival Basics: Buckets, Lids and Gamma Seals

Buckets are a fact of life when it comes to food storage. They are strong, light and moisture free, and, when sealed, will keep most, if not all pests at bay.  They are also readily available and the cost is nominal, if not free.

In keeping with the them of survival and food storage basics, in this article I share the ins and outs of food grade buckets, lids and gamma seals to safely store you bulk food items for the long term.

. . . Read More

Survival Basics: Buckets, Lids and Gamma Seals by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

20 Groovy Life Lessons I’ve learned Before 30

So I'm going to turn 30 this year. Yep. The big Three 'O'. And this is a post compiling what I've learnt and how they can inspire you.

My "credentials"?

My dad died of ALS when I was only 20, exactly two months before I enrolled into college. Despite graduating, I don't work a conventional job. I'm doing my own thing now by being a writer and have finally hit success after a few years. I've been in a long distance relationship for over two years now. To throw in to the mix, I've had my heartbroken many times before.

Basically, I've had my fair share of ups and downs. I'm very grateful for the life I have, but from time to time, I do wonder why I'm dealt such a lousy hand.

Nonetheless, I still and always will fight hard for what I want.

1) Life is a mystery and that is a fact

Frankly, I don't even know why my dad died. He got ALS one day and we knew there was no cure. That was it. After two years, he went away peacefully.

Seeing someone you grew up with go like that is extremely surreal and painful at the same time. It's weird even. And sometimes, it's no use fighting it.

You just try to make do with what you have.

2) Love your parents for they're growing old while you're growing up

And yup. Cherish your loved ones, especially your parents. While you're growing up and learning about life your own way today, they're only growing older.

3) Love is just a crazy energy that comes and goes as it pleases

You know, because sometimes you unexpectedly meet somebody and have perfect chemistry, while other times you're seemingly forced into a breakup for reasons you cannot comprehend.

Love is indeed a crazy energy. So don't be too shocked or sad when it comes and goes. Be grateful for the experience.

4) Don't judge people because people are never what they seem

In other words, don't perceive somebody according to their various labels.

My first girlfriend was a girl I met in church. She wanted the best for me through her religion and I thought that meant she couldn't be that bad.

She cheated on me in the end and I had to find that out from her best friend.

So never judge somebody and base them on your own beliefs and ideas. People are not what they seem for everybody has their secrets.

5) Yet, learn how to judge people the right way

Although judging people is considered wrong by most, I personally think we can't help it, so we might as well do it the right way.

For example, if you meet somebody for the first time and they're extremely rude to the waiter, dump them. You don't need such disrespectful people in your life.

6) Quit your job to do what you love only when it makes sense

I quit my job and jumped into starting my blog without knowing a damn thing. My savings depleted extremely fast and I felt miserable for a long time.

Don't quit your job just because most successful people did it. Do it only when it makes sense. You do need the stability to fund and give you the drive to do what you love. Otherwise, you may end up making desperate decisions just to make money.

7) Money is important, but the bottom line is whether you want to chase it

To say money is important is naive and even arrogant.

Yet, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, if you do work specifically only to make money, you most likely won't make much. It's only when you come across as authentic and provide major value would you be able to make something people are willing to buy.

8) Be very wary of people who use flowery language 

"You're lucky now cause I'm on my break" and "I don't normally do this for others, but for you I will" are a couple of classics I came across many times.

It's extremely easy to use mere words to come across as nice. Be wary of such people. They will be back for favors for sure.

9) People change, get over it

I've fallen out with over a handful of friends because I realized they are pretty toxic. And it was sad because they didn't use to be like that.

But well, people change. It can't be helped. It's best to just move on.

10) Passion is not a golden ticket that solves all your problems

I've heard many people preaching, "Do what you love, and the rest will take care of itself."

I think that's bullshit. Passion or following your heart doesn't solve problems.

Hard work and consistent effort do. That being said, passion doesn't make you feel on top of the world all the time.

11) The world is not a secret place the media makes it out to be

I've been to the rural parts of Thailand myself and also interviewed a fellow location-independent blogger who's been to more places.

Indeed, the world isn't that scary. If you're sensible and make smart choices, you're safe. So don't be scared. Travel!

12) Embrace your introvert side

Feel out of place at a party? Constantly disagreeing with the conversation your friends have? Don't like to go out on weekends?

That's okay. That's great even. There's absolutely nothing wrong with you and you're certainly not weird.

Don't ever let anyone sway you. Embrace your introvert side and keep growing the way you like it, alone.

13) Feel uncomfortable and do it anyway

That's how you get out of your comfort zone. That's how you stop procrastinating.

The main point is, you're not supposed to feel super awesome about it. In fact, you may not even know what results you will get.

But at least, there are results. So just do it anyway. No excuses.

14) You're not your job

You, [Insert your name] is not based on how high your income is, what you do at work, how much time you spend in the office and certainly not what your crappy boss says about you.

You're many more things, like passion, love, ideas, worldviews or the difference you made in someone else's life.

So don't bring your job home. Clock out and that is that.

15) Don't be too quick to criticize or punish somebody

You're not perfect either. You make mistakes too and there's a chance you will make the same mistake as others.

16) You don't have to be first place in your passion

Passion isn't about competition all the time. It's good to push yourself and be motivated by prizes, but remember that passion is about expressing your art, craft and imbuing yourself in it whole.

Remember to have fun too.

17) Success is individual

Thus, stop comparing with others. It doesn't matter if you're not making millions or have adoring fans like a celebrity.

You have your own unique challenges and hence your own unique form of success. Embrace that and your true path will be revealed.

18) Enjoy school while you can

Because when you're out there in the world, it's back to square one. It is only when school is over you'll start to wonder if this (likely your job) is all you're going to do for the rest of your life.

19) Breakups hurt, but you'll be fine

It hurts like mad. You may get depressed even.

But relax. You'll be fine. Everybody goes through heartbreak. If they can get by, so can you.

20) If you don't want to feel like an old fart, then start hanging out with people who don't

Honestly, I always dreaded the big Three-'O'. I thought I would feel old, sluggish and be forced into social norms.

But age is truly what you make it up to be. You can do anything you want. And if you want to feel like you belong, just hang out with others of the same age or older who still do what they love.

Age is just a number, but life can't be made with numbers. You make it with real experience.

So make it awesome, memorable and incredible.

Something awesome for Pick The Brain Readers!

I hope you enjoyed the article! Want more ways to be happy?

Then you’re going to want my book. It’s free! Here it is:

12 Things Happy People Don’t Give a F**K About!

Time to shed the crap in life and start being happy! This free book is only available through this link to Alden Tan.

Alden Tan keeps it real at his blog and writes about motivation in unconventional ways. His two main passions are Bboying and writing. Check out his free report, 12 Things Happy People Don’t Give a F**k About!

The post 20 Groovy Life Lessons I’ve learned Before 30 appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

Pen or Computer: Which is Better for Writers?

For writers of the imagination, what we fear the most is a disruption, a blockage, a sudden dam that changes the course of the river of creativity. Back in the late sixties and early seventies when technological innovation began to creep into the public consciousness, I shunned all the so-called marvels of computers when it came to my writing process. As a novelist, I feared that switching to these new fangled machines might somehow inhibit my ever-reliable muse, but what I feared most was a disruption of my creative process, a drastic change to my internal thinking patterns that would inhibit my imagination. A strange new means of composition at the time, the computer seemed an intrusion or, at best, an unwelcome detour on a well-traveled road to storytelling.

The Old Days

Up to that point, I had been composing in pen and ink before making the transition to a manual typewriter. I had learned to type at the age of seventeen on a clunky old Remington and had become quickly used to the feel of the keys on my fingers. I discovered how great it was to see my words in black type, almost as if it were already a page in a book. I have to admit, that as I continue to work on a keyboard today, I've found that it creates the same comforting sound that once accompanied me during my creative revels on that old clunky Remington.

I grew used to rushing through a first draft, reworking it with pen in hand, retyping, reworking, retyping until I had my manuscript in what I had internally believed was reasonably acceptable for submission to my then agent. I used the services of a few freelance typists who had grown used to my hasty yet elaborate chicken marks. I had long ago discovered that the secret to good writing was rewriting. I rewrite like mad, changing dialogue, characters, plot points, reconsidering different ways of expressing the material; the subconscious is a very busy place, and every nuance, every thought, is constantly changing. Writing stories is like building a house with wooden blocks: remove one, and you must rearrange the supporting neighbors or the whole structure will collapse.

Making the Transition 

Because I spent a vast amount of time composing my novels in my basement writing room, I owned three Smith Corona portable typewriters. One was my primary work tool until its mechanism shouted for repairs, one was in reserve, and one was always in the shop. My fingers were invariably stained by carbon from used-up ribbons that constantly needed changing.

I was still in the advertising business in those days. I would get to my basement writing desk before six in the morning and write for about four hours before hustling off to my office for my regular workday; the pittance I earned from writing was hardly enough to support a growing family.

It was during my time in the advertising business that computers were proliferating. I now had the option to eliminate my freelance typists since I could compose and make changes directly on the screen, but if you were unable to break the habit of making changes on paper, printers were available.

One of my writing friends, a world famous photographer/writer, Fred Ward, was an advanced techie, and assured me that a computer was an enhancement rather than a hindrance, and finally, after much persuasion, I bought my first clunky computer in the early 1980’s. The writing program was called Wordstar and I attached a Hewlett Packard laser printer that could print out a few pages a minute, which I thought, at the time, was remarkable. Of course I kept my three Smith Coronas at the ready in case this technology failed me, and so I chugged away learning Wordstar.

Getting Over the Fear 

Some of my writing friends continued to resist, and they often insisted that they were happy with the old ways of pen on paper or mechanical typewriter. In fact, many of them continued to compose that way and some still do; I have a number of writing friends that have refused to adapt under any circumstances. I suppose it is an age thing. After all, they argue, the greatest works of literature were composed with pen and paper. Were William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens inhibited by the lack of computer technology?

I must admit that it took a while to get over my fear. When I slowed down or met an obstacle while writing, I wondered whether or not the disruption was due to the new process and the difficulties of having to remember the new strokes on a computer keyboard. Thankfully, my earlier typing skills came in handy and after a few months I was able to write and rewrite to my heart’s content, which I continue to do today.

I suppose my story has been experienced by many writers across the globe who were plagued by similar fears. To a younger generation, many of whom are no longer taught the elements of penmanship, my experience could be laughable.

How do You Prefer to Write?

I am totally committed today to writing on my computer. It offers a writer a vast improvement especially in time saving and research.  The creative process remains the same as it always was, requiring deep thought, constant improvement and extensive re-writing. But most of all, in terms of speed and convenience, it is an enormous help. Still, despite such improvements, if suddenly the electrical grid was destroyed and a complete power blackout would occur I would still continue my writing schedules. It is a necessary component of my life.

An old friend, John David Garcia, now deceased, once declared that the goal of life is to evolve into pure mind. He wrote a book called The Moral Society, and claimed that technology might one day bring us to pure mind. But a truly inspired and gifted writer, as has been proven over the centuries, does not need the geegaws of modern technology to create masterworks of great insight and benefit to the human species.

While it has made a vast difference in discoverability and marketing, giving opportunity to emerging writers to get into the publishing fray, I doubt if it has made one iota of difference in the quality of the offerings.

On that note, I want to know, how do you prefer to compose?

Warren Adler is best known for The War of the Roses, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. Adler's international hit stage adaptation of the novel will premiere on Broadway in 2015-2016. In recent development is The War of the Roses - The Children (Grey Eagle Films and Permut Presentations), a feature film adaptation of the sequel to Adler's iconic divorce story, Target Churchill (Grey Eagle Films and Solution Entertainment),Mourning Glory, to be adapted by Karen Leigh Hopkins, and Capitol Crimes (Grey Eagle Films and Sennet Entertainment), a television series based on his Fiona Fitzgerald mystery series. Warren Adler's newest thriller,Treadmill, is officially available.

Learn more about Warren Adler at



The post Pen or Computer: Which is Better for Writers? appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

How to Really Really Find Your Life Purpose (and Do the Work You Love)

Break the rules. We have so many rules in life about everything. I say break the rules. Not the law, but break the rules / Arnold Schwarzenegger

Can we be honest?

You know how you've been struggling to find your dream job? Tried everything and still feeling crappy?

Well, It's not because you didn't find the right place to work in. It's not because you have the wrong position.

It's because you're looking in the wrong place.

But you’re not alone.

Most people live their life without knowing better. They cruise on autopilot, letting their job slowly suck the life out of them. They feel bitter and lost.

But there’s a dead simple way to get your bearings straight. To find your life purpose. To do the work you love.

Shall I explain?

Working a Corporate Job Changes You in a Creepy Way

I used to work in a corporate job. I kept my nose to the grindstone. I wanted to save money for retirement because that’s the “right” thing to do. But living this way takes it’s toll.

I started daydreaming about retirement. Being only 30.
My mood became gloomy making me grumpy and miserable. Being around me sucked.

Then I remembered.
How it was before, how I was happy.

I didn’t want to become a corporate slave. To forget how to enjoy life as a free man.
I didn’t want to become institutionalized.

These walls are funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That's institutionalized / Shawshank Redemption

I knew there must be another way. To live a vibrant life. To be happy.
But I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid to step into uncharted waters.

The Kick-Ass First Aid Treatment that Saves You From Misery

When I felt hopeless, my wife came to the rescue.
She challenged me with a simple exercise. It changed my life. It helped me find and pursue my life purpose.

It’s extremely simple but it’ll guide you towards living fully. Towards doing the work you love.

What’s the exercise?

Write down what you’d like to do if money is not an issue. Order the list by what you’re most passionate about. Pick the top item.

When I did this exercise, my top item was helping people achieve their greatest potential. I had noticed that I felt best when I mentored others to enjoy their lives more.

I started gobbling up books and taking courses. I worked hard to overcome my social phobia. To sound my voice even when I was scared shitless.

Take the time to complete this exercise. And when you’re done, start acting towards accomplishing it.

It’ll be hard. Damn hard.
It’ll smack you out of your comfort zone. It’ll shake every molecule of your being. But it’ll be worth it.
It’ll change you. Drastically. You’ll feel alive. You’ll become happier than ever. Your friends will notice it. Your family will notice it.

Wouldn’t you go an extra mile for that?

Repeat this exercise once in a month. You’ll be surprised your answer changes.
That’s how you navigate to your greatest passion. Each time you perform this exercise you come closer to finding your purpose in life.

And when you find it you’ll know. Definitely.

The Secret To Doing What You Love

You can’t achieve your dream by staying comfy.

You can’t fulfill yourself doing what everyone expects.

Break a convention and naysayers start popping up from everywhere. They say the risk is too big. That you won’t make it.

But deep down they know.

They are ashamed to lack YOUR courage.

Stop listening to naysayers. And start listening to yourself.

Follow your passion. Cultivate it and learn about it in every chance you get.

Go ahead. Fire up your passion.

You know you deserve it.

P.S. How do you handle naysayers? Let me know in the comments below.


Benny helps men live their life to the fullest, while putting their family first. Get his free “Foolproof Checklist for Spending More Time with Your Family While Getting Things Done”.

The post How to Really Really Find Your Life Purpose (and Do the Work You Love) appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

6 Reasons A Lack Of Productivity Can Lead To Bad Habits


We first make our habits, and then our habits make us. - John Dryden

Are you as productive as you'd like to be?

Do you feel like you could do a whole lot more with your time?

And how often are you getting distracted within any given day? Too much?

Are you finding it hard to break the habit? Do you wish it were easier?

I'm going to show you why a lack of productivity can lead to bad habits. And what you need to start doing!

1. You become easily distracted.

By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination. - Christopher Columbus

Have you ever noticed when you're not productive you're easily distracted? This is what I'm talking about.

And If you're not careful you'll become more and more distracted, until it becomes a bad habit.

And once you're stuck in the habit of being distracted (like most), it'll be a bad habit.

A bad habit that'll destroy your ability to focus. And make it harder to stay focused for longer periods of time.

Spend more of your time being productive, so it's impossible to spend the majority of your time being distracted.

2. You become a spectator.

Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life. - Jackie Robinson

Who would you rather be? The one who's perfecting their craft and being productive, or the one who's watching over 7 hours of TV per day?

The difference between the two is - one of them is taking action, and the other is watching it.

And when you become a spectator of life, you start to become more critical of others.

Go onto YouTube, find a Justin Bieber or a Miley Cyrus video for example.

I can bet you'll find 1000's of spectators on there. And guess what they're doing? Being critical of Justin Bieber & Miley Cyrus in the comments.

Here's another example. You have the footballers on the field playing the game, and the spectators in the crowd watching the game.

And which one of them becomes critical when one team loses or takes a bad shot? The spectators!

The same principle applies to your life.

When you stop being productive, you'll eventually start spectating and paying attention to things you weren't aware of before!

3. You start to lose focus.

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus. - Alexander Graham Bell

When you're not doing something meaningful you start to lose focus. Try this as an experiment If you like.

Example - you could be on a train reading a book on your kindle, but the moment you put it down your focus will switch to the people on the train gossiping.

And If you were to do that enough, eventually you'll stop reading your kindle on the train all together.

The same principle applies to anything else you need to focus on. Stay focused more often than you get distracted.

4. You'll waste time on things that don't matter.

Have you ever seen teenagers, students, or young adults hanging around on street corners before? Doing nothing in particular?

This is the perfect example of the point I'm getting across.

When you're not productive you waste time on things that don't even matter. Most of the time.

Like hanging around on street corners, walking up and down town doing nothing important.

Watching the new world news, reading celebrity gossip magazines, scrolling through people's Facebook pictures and status updates, etc.

That's a dangerous habit to get into. Respect your time and use it wisely.

5. You become lazy.

 Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. - Jules Renard

Lazy people for the most part are far from productive people.

And the type of lazy I'm talking about is the person who refuses to do anything. Or makes excuses as to why they shouldn't or don't need to do it.

When you're not being productive there's a chance you'll become lazy. And once the lazy habit hits you, you'll find yourself making excuses.

And once you're stuck in the habit of making excuses, you'll get NOTHING done. And If you get nothing done, you'll be more unproductive than you will be productive.

The goal is to not just stay active, but to be productive. Exercise is a good way to get rid of laziness and the feeling of laziness.

If you're energy is always up, you'll be more likely to be focused and productive more often.

6. You'll have nothing to do.

This ties in with number 4. When you have nothing to do with yourself, you have no sense of direction.

By having nothing important left to do, you'll do anything. And anything usually means distractions, which leads to bad habits.

But the truth is you always have something productive to do.

If your task is to make 100 sales call a day, and you pass that target, does that mean you're done? Of course not.

There's always something productive you could be doing. No matter how much you get done within 24 hours.

So don't slack, don't make excuses, don't justify, and most importantly, stay focused more often than not. So it's impossible to upset the balance!

Got something to say? Leave a comment and i'll respond!


Theo Ellis is a blogger, author, and entrepreneur who’s committed to giving straightforward advice to help others grow. Specializing in topics such as – self confidence, self improvement, happiness, discipline and time management. You can find out more about Theo at his website -

The post 6 Reasons A Lack Of Productivity Can Lead To Bad Habits appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

5 Reasons Why We Procrastinate

Procrastination is one of the things we all have in common.

It lies deep within us. And comes whenever we’re about to start working on something important, something big, that may make us a little more successful, a bit more experienced, but that also takes a certain amount of time and energy.

And that scares us.

And, again, we find ourselves putting off a task and switching to easier, simpler and quicker things to do that won’t make us that anxious or stressed.

But the more we put things off, the worse it gets. We become stressed and overburdened with thoughts about the task. And even though we’re doing something more enjoyable now, our mind is still focused on it.

Solving that problem starts by understanding what causes it.

And fear is mostly what lies behind us not doing the task right away.

Here is what scares us the most when it comes down to being productive and working on important stuff:

We’re not familiar with the task.

That makes us feel insecure, we don’t know what to do and where to start.

It causes discomfort.

It feels so much easier to open the browser and read some articles, check notifications or go to the other room and start doing something else now, rather than facing the task.

It’s easier to put it off and do something that you actually enjoy and won’t bring you so much stress or make you upset.

But as it turns out, that’s not an easier solution. Because anxiety increases and you don’t stop thinking about what needs to be done. You do that much more, actually - you fear the task, try hard to think of a way to finish it quickly. You can’t relax, not to mention to enjoy any other activity.

You worry about not finishing it in time.

Ironically, you don’t even start any time soon. You just waste time on imagining the result and play the worst turnout of events.

But you can never know how that will end until you actually work on it and complete it. So without giving it a try, there’s no need for worries. It may be easier and quicker than you expected.

You may fail.

Of course. That’s true for everything in life. But does it mean we should just stay at home and not try anything?

No. It means that we try. And if we fail, we just think of another way that may work better.

It will take a lot of time.

Many times that’s why we don’t start in the first place.

And yes. Things take time. Especially the things we need to do in order to improve ourselves and our lifestyle.

But they don’t need to be dreadful. And you can always break them into smaller, manageable tasks. You can even make them so tiny that each part of the big project will be ridiculously simple and quick to do.

There are many other fears we come up with when we face our to-do list.

And all of them are the excuses our mind makes when it wants to escape from obligation and turn to something easier.
But the easier stuff causes you worries in the future. So you never actually escape.

We fear the task because we might fail, then we’ll feel bad about ourselves, others will see that, we may fail at other things too because of it, will get to nowhere, etc.

But if you think about it, all these are illusions. You can never know what will happen. And the only way to understand is to give it a try and just start working on the most important thing for the day.

Choose just one.

Start now.

Start small.

Let everything else behind for now and focus on the task. It’s the only thing that’s essential now. And nothing else matter but starting.

The post 5 Reasons Why We Procrastinate appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

BDS Book Festival 7: 5 Acres & A Dream – The Book + Giveaway

Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 7.  Leigh Tate, the blogger at the popular homesteading site, 5 Acres and a Dream, has written a book about the challenges she and her husband have faced while pursing their dream.

Her book, 5 Acres & A Dream The Book: The Challenges of Establishing a Self-Sufficient Homestead, is unlike any homesteading book I have ever read!  In it, Leigh shares her dream of self-sufficiency and her homesteading aspirations along with the disappointments, successes, and failures that happened along the way. 

. . . Read More

BDS Book Festival 7: 5 Acres & A Dream – The Book + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

9 Little Things That Make A Huge Difference For Your Happiness

9 little things that make a huge difference for your happiness

When it comes to happiness, most, if not all people are always advocating the idea of not letting the little things get to you.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” as they say.

Let’s flip it around. The little things DO matter.

“A little bit goes a long way” as we all should say.

There’re a ton of simple ideas we can take up on to alleviate our pains, our ills and boost our happiness two to threefold.

1) Cleaning up your room

Because nobody, and I mean nobody will ever be happy living in their own filth. Whoever claims otherwise are probably hoarders and have major issues they need looking into.

A clean environment makes up for a healthy atmosphere, mind, body and soul. This is how you look forward to actually going back home and enjoy being alone.

So clean it up. Get rid of the clutter. Do a weekly thorough cleaning session and your mood will improve for sure.

2) Having enough sleep in a stretch

And when I mean a stretch, I mean sleeping 7-8 hours at a go. You can’t cheat by taking a few naps throughout the day and then back it up with Red Bull or some energy drink.

This may sound obvious enough, but most people don’t get enough sleep due to their hectic lifestyles. As a result, people get unknowingly cranky and unhappy.

You’ll look better too and definitely fall sick less.

3) Dress up. Groom

It’s easy to think and justify that we shouldn’t bother having to look good when we don’t have any engagements for the day. But I think it’s important to look good on the outside at all the times. If anything, we should put in the minimal effort to do so.

You’d want to look in the mirror and know you’re at your best. You do know after all, when you look your best. Why limit it to rare occasions? I don’t dress up at home, but I always shave or put on my contact lenses when I head out to wherever.

Look good for yourself. You’d subconsciously become more confident in everything you do then.

4) Shower

Again another obvious point, but surprisingly, most people don’t do this. I know of many friends who choose to head to bed after a night of drinking without showering. Gross.

So, at the risk of sounding like your mom, shower. Wash off the dirt and feel fresh. Clean behind your ears. This is how you stay clean, healthy and not smell bad.

This isn’t the cavemen era anymore. I bet you aren’t homeless either. Stop living with dirt!

5) Do that one piece of work, no matter where, no matter what

You know what happens when you decide to procrastinate and hold off work?

You feel half-hearted. You think you get to enjoy your newly-found space of free time, but at the back of your mind, you’re thinking of the work. You’re feeling guilty and unaccomplished.

That’s not how you become happy. You HAVE to do the work. So feel uncomfortable and do it anyway. It will make you happy later on.

6) Take a break

Yet, remember that you’re allowed to take breaks. Don’t overwhelm yourself with work and think that you’re have to use up every second of your time being productive.

You aren’t a robot.

7) Get off social media for just a bit everyday

It’s my personal opinion that social media does more bad than good. I think we’re constantly distracted and becoming unhappy because of it.

Now, I’m not asking you to go cold turkey and start hating on technology. I’m saying, take a break from it every now and then. Get off Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a couple of hours a day.

You’ll start to notice your surroundings. You’ll start to appreciate things for what they are and you’ll fall back in love with things. You can also create meaningful conversations with those around you.

How does this happen? Because you’re no longer relying on updates just to be happy.

Take this small step. You’re fully capable of being happy off the grid.

8) Don’t spend, yet spend

Let me be blunt:

If you’ve a ton of savings, then go ahead and spoil yourself. You deserve it. Life isn’t all about money, but it does make our life easier. And since you’ve worked hard for it, you should be rewarded.

If you don’t, stop spending. Please put that credit card back in your wallet. Don’t even think of going drinking if your idea of spending is only with credit.

Depending on where you are in life, be sensible with money. That’s all. There’re too many, if I may say it, stupid ideas on money by dumb and reckless people.

Be sure to manage your finances and life well your own way.

9) Don’t think about helping people. Just do it

Have you ever walked across a homeless person begging for money and then decide to give some change? But, when you reach in to your wallet, you realize the notes you’re carrying are too big. You then feel conflicted on whether you should give or not.

By then, you’ve walked far away.

And then you feel bad. You feel worse later because you end up spending that big note on some useless thing you don’t need.

That’s the folly in a lot of us. Perhaps it’s time we decide to help others to help ourselves. It DOES work that way!

Stop thinking about it. Stop thinking only for yourself. Use the power of impulse to make this world a better place. You’ll be guaranteed happiness this way.

Something awesome for Pick The Brain Readers!

I hope you enjoyed the article! Want more ways to be happy?

Then you’re going to want my book. It’s free! Here it is:

12 Things Happy People Don’t Give a F**K About!

Time to shed the crap in life and start being happy! This free book is only available through this link to Alden Tan.

Alden Tan keeps it real at his blog and writes about motivation in unconventional ways. His two main passions are Bboying and writing. Check out his free report, 12 Things Happy People Don’t Give a F**k About!

The post 9 Little Things That Make A Huge Difference For Your Happiness appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

6 Things Bold People Do To Live A Courageous Life

If you want to live a more courageous life, the one thing you can begin doing immediately is to stop running mental horror movies of your future through your mind.

If you’re safe in this moment, then all of your fear is future oriented. You’re obsessing about bad things that haven’t happened yet.

At any moment, you can create a new movie or story about your future; one of happiness, prosperity and joy.

It takes courage to believe that the best is yet to come.

It takes courage to know and feel that everything is going to be okay in spite of all of the craziness and violence in the world.

It takes courage to notice and focus on the beauty everywhere.

It takes courage to believe that, in spite of everything, you’re going to be better than okay. You can get started right away.

Identify Your Fear to Get Beyond It

What do you hide from? Where do you hold back? There’s a hidden fear beneath your reasons. Many people have powerful messages to share, but are afraid to write or speak about them. They’re afraid they’ll be rejected, experience failure or be thought of as arrogant.

The only way to get beyond these fears is to write and speak anyway. Pretend that you’re addressing your best friend. Know that you have a message that only you can deliver and the world is waiting for it.

Be Yourself: Do Your Own Thing

Get comfortable in your own skin. Accept who you are and live it. Don’t worry about fitting in. Don’t imitate others. Don’t try to please anyone. You’re incomparable and unrepeatable.

If you want to be something, be authentic, uncommon, extraordinary, honest and trustworthy. Push the envelope.

Unleash your inner bold. Never mind the economy or naysayers. Smile and dance through it all. Enjoy who you are and live with conviction. Daily!

See the Big Picture

Think of your past successes. Write them down in your journal. Pinpoint your strengths that have helped you get where you are today.

Write down the names of the people you have helped in your lifetime. Acknowledge it all! Chances are that you’ll succeed again and again. Focus on what goes right and what you get right.

Get into the feeling of success and believe it in every cell of your body. Set your soul on fire.

Do What You Can. Surrender the Rest

Commit to always doing your best. Take a writing course. Join Toastmaster’s or The National Speaker’s Association. Continually practice your craft.

Tell the world who you are. Write a Kindle book and give it away. Begin by speaking for free. Decide that you’ll be so good that someone in the audience will love you and pay you to speak somewhere else.

That’s what I did. I know it works!

Ask For Support

Some people never leave their comfort zone in order to really live an amazing life for the simple reason that they won’t ask for help. They feel unworthy, won’t admit they need it, have a desire for control or are stuck in perfectionism. Therefore, they struggle alone.

It’s a sad way to live.

I think the brilliant Robert Fulghum, author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, had it right, “When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.”

Don’t fear asking for help, and be generous in giving it, as well. Let’s stick together.

Practice Action Belief and Courage (ABCs)

Action is everything. You must move through your fear by taking action. It’s the only way to build your courage muscles. It’s the only way you move forward and get where you want to go.

Go beyond dreaming, wishing and hoping. Take small steps and eventually you’ll be able to leap forward.

Believe in yourself. You were born with the innate power to make your dreams come true and share your gifts and talents with others. Nobody else can do your job.
If you haven’t healed your past, do it now. Believe that everything is possible and anything can happen. Get your faith on!

Celebrate your courage. Each day you take action, you’ll make progress. Celebrate your mistakes, failures, small wins and big victories. It all counts. It’s all part of your journey. Throw yourself a little party and celebrate your courage.

This year I want you to go within, dig deep and work hard on building your courage muscles. I want for you what you want for yourself.

I currently have a clear vision – a mental success story. I carry my desired outcome close to my heart. My vision includes you, growing your wings and taking a leap into living life to the fullest!

You can begin where you are, with what you have, to move forward…no matter how scary things get.

I invite you to choose to step into your personal power, and live boldly and courageously in 2015.

Tess Marshall M.A. is founder of The Bold Life and a personal development-industry entrepreneur. If you want to be inspired, supported and experience wild success, you’re going to want to join Tess in her Unstoppable Courage Club.

The post 6 Things Bold People Do To Live A Courageous Life appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

The Ultimate Guide To Meditation

Meditation. What is it? We’ve all heard of it. Maybe you've tried it a few times, or if you're truly dedicated to it, you do it every day. Meditation is one of the best things you can do for yourself, as it has the potential to transform your life.

The first thing we need to do is clear up some common misconceptions. It is not strictly a "Buddhist" or "Hindu" religious activity, although those religions incorporate meditation into their beliefs. In fact, every major religion incorporates some form of meditation in their teachings. If you don't like the name "meditation," just go with "quieting the mind" or “mindfulness.”

Scientific studies have shown that dozens of positive effects come from meditation. Over 3000 studies in the last few years have shown that meditation improves happiness levels, decreases stress, lowers blood pressure, increases attention span, relieves depression, etc. If you click here, you will be able to see dozens of peer-reviewed scientific studies that demonstrate the incredible benefits of meditation.

There are powerful inner aspects to meditation. A key realization that you will come to as a result of meditation is that you are not your thoughts. You are the awareness behind your thoughts, the "watcher" that notices them.

There are many different ways to meditate. You can should sit cross legged with your eyes open, you can sit in a chair with your eyes closed, lie down, etc. You should meditate in whatever way you want as long as you're relaxed and not going to fall asleep during the practice.

When meditating, there are very few rules. The goal is to quiet the constantly chattering mind and simply be at peace, allowing yourself to be in the present moment. That's it. It sounds simple, but as we all know, what’s simple is not necessarily easy.

Once you start meditating, your mind will begin to wander. You will think of what you need to do later on that day, something that happened earlier, etc. This will happen often in the beginning of your practice. A common experience is getting frustrated at yourself for thinking so much, which is unhelpful. Accept that many thoughts will cross your mind during meditation and just let them float by.

Visualization can be really helpful during meditation. I like to visualize a pool of water, and when a thought comes by, the pool of water ripples outwards until the pool is still again. Try whatever works for you. Some people imagine a clear blue sky, and when a thought appears, they see it as a cloud that quickly disintegrates.

For beginners, listening to guided meditations is very helpful. Eventually, you will be able to just be at peace, without many thoughts entering your mind. This allows you to go deeper and deeper into your meditation, giving you a profound sense of relaxation and happiness. Remember, this takes much practice, and you need to fully accept wherever you're at in your journey.

You have to make meditation a priority in your life; otherwise it simply won't become a habit. While meditating every once in a while is good, it won't make much of a difference in your life unless you commit to it and do it daily.

Starting off, you don't need to commit a lot of time to meditation. To just get the habit started, start off with five or ten minutes daily. It helps if you can incorporate this into your morning or nightly routines so that it can become a habit more easily.

The habit of meditation is not something that you will necessarily notice immediate improvements from. Patience is key here. It takes a couple months of daily practice to noticeably shift your awareness and increase the level of presence and peace you have in your daily life. I can assure you that it is completely worth the time spent, and anyone who’s been meditating for months would agree.

I’ve personally had some amazing experiences while meditating. Many times, indescribable positive emotions flow through me. Flashes of insight and unique ideas come to me. Each time I meditate, I can go for longer and longer periods of time without having any thoughts come up. I promise that you can get to this point and much farther if you commit to a daily practice.

Whenever I talk to people who have been meditating for years, I notice that they are all very calm, and fully present. They seem at peace with themselves and the world. They rarely, if ever, worry about things. These people seem to realize that worrying is mentally creating a possible negative future that doesn't have any basis in the present moment. These people usually don't have much of an ego, as they have realized that the ego is just another mental concept.

I started meditating sporadically a few years ago, when I was in high school. I had read about the benefits, and wanted to see for myself. I meditated whenever I could remember to do so, and when I did, thoughts would flood my mind and I was never at peace. I gave up on it for the time being, until I read that the only way for me to receive real benefits from meditation was if I did it daily. I started to do just that, and made meditation a large priority in my life. I have not looked back since. I’m now noticing many positive results in my life, and I have no doubt in my mind that meditation will continue to improve my life more and more as time goes on. In your meditation practice, remember this quotation by spiritual teacher J. Krishnamurti, "Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end."

Since I’m so passionate about how meditation can change anyone’s life, I decided to spread meditation to as many people as possible. I wanted everyone to get a chance to experience the benefits for themselves. I created a meditation service that sends you the world’s best meditation videos for only $5 a month. Check it out at Daily Meditation!

Lars King is passionate about creating businesses that help people perform at their best, whether it's to get you motivated all year long or start meditating. You can reach him on twitter at @larstheking.

The post The Ultimate Guide To Meditation appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

7 Science-Backed Tips for Sticking to Your Fitness Resolutions This Year

These days you can’t throw a rock without hitting some new diet plan, app or gadget that promises to help you get in the best shape of your life with minimal effort.

But as much as we’d all love to pop a few pills or strap on a toning belt instead of eating less and exercising more, the fact of the matter is that getting and staying fit is hard work. Fortunately, though there are ways to make sure your efforts pay off in the long run.

Over the years researchers have uncovered a number of nifty tricks to help you get closer to your fitness goals without counting calories or following complicated exercise routines. So, if getting fit is one of your resolutions this year, here are ten more effective ways to make it happen.

Set bigger goals

When it comes to weight loss we’re often advised to set small “realistic” goals, with the reasoning that we may become discouraged and give up if we fail to reach them within the timeframe we set for ourselves.

However, a study carried out by researchers in the Netherlands found that people who set higher weight loss goals actually put more effort into reaching them and lost more weight within a two-month period than those who had set lower weight loss goals.

Of course, no one size fits all when it comes to weight loss and what works for one person may not be the best option for you. But if you’ve always set ‘doable’ fitness goals for yourself and just aren’t seeing the dramatic results you’d like, it might be time to set your sights higher.

Slow it down

Research shows that it can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to register that you feel full after eating. This is because the brain needs to receive signals from stretch receptors in the stomach, which are activated when it fills with food, and also from digestive hormones in the gastrointestinal tract.

This whole process takes some time, so if you shovel down an entire meal in under ten minutes you’re far more likely to overeat than if you take your time to savor the food and chew each mouthful slowly.

If you’ve finished your meal and still feel hungry, make a point of waiting a few minutes before going for a second helping, as your brain may simply need more time to register that you’ve eaten enough.

Use smaller plates

How much we eat actually has very little to do with how hungry we are, as evidenced by a Cornell study that used ‘bottomless bowls’ to determine whether visual cues influence how much we eat.

Half of the participants were served in bowls that were secretly refilled as they ate through a tube under the table, while the other half ate their soup from regular bowls. Those eating from the self-refilling bowls ended up eating 73% more soup, but surprisingly, they did not feel any fuller or believe they had eaten more than the participants who had used regular bowls.

The researchers explain that the amount of food on a plate or in a bowl provides us with a visual cue that influences how much we consume.

When you have a larger plate, you’ll not only load on more food, but also feel the need to keep eating until you’ve cleared your plate. So using smaller plates and bowls can help you cut down on the amount of calories you consume without even missing them.

Change what you see

Since visual cues are so powerful, what you see around you will have a big impact on the choices you make. If you have a jar of candy sitting on your desk, the temptation to snack on it will be far greater than if it was shut away in a cupboard. Similarly, if you have fruits and vegetables in plain sight, you’ll be more likely to snack on them instead of junk food.

A Today News experiment led by Cornell researcher Brian Wansink showed that the order in which food is served also influences your food choices.

Two groups of people were invited to enjoy a free buffet, and although the food was the same for both groups, it was arranged in a different order. When the fruit and salad had been laid out at the beginning of the buffet rather than at the end, people served themselves more of the healthy food.

So even if you don’t cut certain foods completely from your diet, starting your meals with a healthier item like a salad or piece of fruit will help you make better choices overall.

Work harder and less frequently

If you find it hard to set aside time to exercise every day, you may be pleased to learn that brief periods of strenuous exercise just twice a week can be very effective too.

Researchers from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario developed a high intensity interval training program that required participants to exercise at about 90% of their heart for one minute followed by one minute of easy recovery. This process was repeated 10 times, bringing the total exercise time to 20 minutes.

After several weeks of following this program for two days each week, the volunteers showed significant improvements in their health and fitness. So if you’re willing to work harder when you do have time to exercise, you may not need to devote as much time to it as you think.

Implement immediate consequences

Although there are long term consequences for unhealthy eating or a lack of exercise, we tend to pay more attention to actions that have immediate consequences. Skipping your work out or having a hot dog for lunch won’t have any immediate repercussions, so it’s easier to ignore the fact that you’re breaking your resolve to eat better or exercise more.

With this in mind, implementing some sort of penalty for bad behavior will make you more likely to stick to your commitments. A Stanford study shows that commitment contracts can help people stick to their commitments in situations where there are upfront costs, but the benefits are delayed.

For instance, a contract that requires you to pay X amount of money to a friend if you skip your scheduled work out will make it more costly to do so and will increase your likelihood of sticking with the fitness program you’ve chosen.

The researchers also note that longer contracts (of more than 8 weeks) tend to be more effective, because it takes some time to get past the initial experience of displeasure and recognize the longer term benefits.

Reward yourself

In the same way that we’re more likely to pay attention to the short term consequences of our actions, we’re also more likely to feel motivated to do something if the payoff is immediate. Obviously, one work out or day of ‘clean eating’ isn’t going to pay off immediately, but you can find other ways to reward yourself for good behavior.

According to research from the University of California, Santa Barbara, incentives are very effective in encouraging the development of good habits, and in one study, people who were paid to go to the gym doubled their attendance rate.

While it might be hard to find someone who will pay you to work out or eat right, you can “pay” yourself in other ways. For example, after a good work out session you could allow yourself some downtime to watch an episode of your favorite TV series or get a massage.

After a while, your brain will begin to recognize the workout itself as the reward and you won’t even need these little incentives. But while you’re still forming good habits, rewarding yourself can help you stay on track.

Marianne Stenger is a writer with Open Colleges. She covers career development, workplace productivity and self-improvement. You can connect with her on Twitter and Google+, or find her latest articles here. 

The post 7 Science-Backed Tips for Sticking to Your Fitness Resolutions This Year appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer! released their second Weekly roundup. very helpful!

Online posting activities for the week at
No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

4 Reasons You’re Starving on Your Diet Plan

Feel like you would eat just about anything right now? If you’re on a strict weight loss diet plan, there’s no question that some hunger should be expected. It is after all, a normal and natural part of the weight loss process.

No diet would have you completely avoid the hunger you will experience when in a calorie deficit state. However, if your hunger is becoming so uncontrollable that you struggle to stay focused on the tasks you need to do throughout the day, you should analyze the diet you are using.

Is this hunger there for a reason? Chances are, it is. You are making a critical mistake in your diet programming, which is what is leading to this hunger in the first place.

Let’s look at the top four reasons why you’re starving and what you can do to remedy them.

1. You’re Eating Too Many Carbohydrates

The first reason why you may be ravenous all day long is if your diet is too high in carbohydrates and too low in both protein and dietary fats. While you don’t need to cut carbs out, you do need to make sure that you are getting a balanced diet.

Protein and fats are the two nutrients that will best calm hunger pains, so they should form a larger part of your diet plan for optimal hunger-busting results.

Aim to eat around 30-40% of your diet from protein, 25-35% from dietary fats, and the remaining from carbohydrates.

2. You Aren’t Eating Breakfast

The second reason you may be finding yourself more hungry than normal is if you are skipping breakfast. Think it’s a great way to save calories?

Think again. Those who skip breakfast are far more likely to overeat later, making it harder to sustain their target calorie intake.

Eat first thing in the morning and you should find that your hunger level is much better controlled, allowing you to make smart food choices.

Just be sure that this breakfast is balanced as well. An energy bar or donut does not count as a proper morning meal.

3. You Don’t Fuel Up Post Workout

Another time you want to make sure that you are eating well is immediately post workout. Some people think that skipping food here will help promote faster fat burning.

This is not the case. Immediately after exercise, your body is going to be needing nutrients. If you don’t feed it, you’ll not only recover slower, but you’ll find yourself far more hungry throughout the rest of the day.

Eat some faster acting carbohydrates along with some protein post workout.

4. You’re Never Taking A Break From The Diet

The final reason why you may be suffering from ongoing hunger with your diet plan is if you are never taking a break from the diet itself. While you definitely do want to stick with the diet as best as possible, make sure that every 3-4 weeks, you have a scheduled break from the plan where you increase your calorie intake again.

This is going to help send a strong signal to the body to reduce your hunger level as well as increase your metabolic rate –two things that will make it much easier to keep seeing excellent progress on your diet plan.

Taking a short 2-4 day break is not going to set you back in progress, as long as you control yourself and eat wisely. Instead, it will just push you forward so that you can see faster and greater success into the future.

These are a few of the main reasons why you may be experiencing more hunger than normal. Are any of these applicable to you?

Shannon Clark has a degree in Exercise Science and is an AFLCA certified personal trainer. She has written on the topics of health, fitness and nutrition for almost a decade. Her insights are regularly published on, MyFitnessPal and FitRated is a leading fitness equipment review site offering insights on equipment, workout plans and weight loss strategies.

The post 4 Reasons You’re Starving on Your Diet Plan appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

7 Things Ellen DeGeneres Can Teach You About Being Yourself

"Find out who you are and be that person. That's what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come." - Ellen DeGeneres

Whether you hate her, love her, gossip about her, or admire her. It doesn't matter. Ellen DeGeneres is the real deal.

She keeps it real, she isn't afraid to be herself, express her views or stand up for what she believes in. And I admire that about her!

I love and am inspired by people like that.

Here's what Ellen DeGeneres can teach you about being yourself.

1. It makes you a happier person.

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." - Dalai Lama

And one of those actions is being your true self and doing what's true to you.

I can guarantee you that if you do something out of character to achieve something, you won't be happy afterwards.

If you go against your morals, beliefs, values, or act like something you're not, you'll be unhappy.

Ellen clearly demonstrates this with her personality, who she is, and what she stands for. And her positive attitude shows that.

If you want to be happy, start with being yourself if you're not doing so already.

2. You'll be more of an inspiration to others.

Self confidence is a worldwide problem that many of us struggle with.

It doesn't matter what race you are, your background, culture, etc. We've all dealt with confidence issues at some point. Some more than others.

So having the courage and the confidence to be yourself is an inspiration in its self.

It puts you in a position to inspire others to do the same. Even If it's not intentional! Ellen is clearly one of those people, and you can learn a thing or two from her.

3. Life is a lot more fun.

"When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things." - Joe Namath

Ellen DeGeneres is a fun person to watch and listen to. After all, she's not just an entertainer, she's a comedian.

But that's not the point. The more confident you are, the more fun you're bound to have. And that only happens when you start to be yourself without fear of being judged.

Life's no fun at all when you're pretending to be something you're not and feeling like a fraud.

You may say "easier said than done", but that would be an excuse. Excuses, fun, and being yourself don't mix!

Excuses, fun, and being yourself mix about as well as curry and milk in a bowl of cereal!

4. You'll attract a lot of criticism (which is a good thing).

"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing." - Elbert Hubbard

Some days ago, a pastor accused Ellen of celebrating lesbianism (is that even a word?) and marriage to attract young girls.

I won't go into all the details but the point is this. When you be yourself, expect a lot of criticism. But don't let the fact that you'll be criticized stop you from being true to yourself.

Doing something, saying something, and being something is better than the opposite.

Being yourself and being criticized for it just means you're doing the right thing. So don't let it stop you.

5. It shows you believe in yourself.

"You have to believe in yourself before anybody else believes in you." - Ray LaMontagne

Self belief is a powerful thing. And it all starts with you.

Show me a person (like Ellen DeGeneres) who isn't afraid to express themselves, and you'll notice others are more likely to believe in what they say.

You know why? Because they believe in themselves, first and foremost. They're not afraid to keep it real, and they could care less about criticism.

It all starts with you and it always will.

6. It makes you more confident.

"With confidence, you have won before you have started." - Marcus Garvey

The more you get used to opening up and being honest, the confident you'll become. And If you do it enough you won't even have to think about it.

And when you don't have to think or worry about it, you'll be doing it on purpose. That's the point you want to reach. That's the magic of being yourself.

7. People will admire you.

"A leader is admired, a boss is feared." Vicente del Bosque

And Ironically, Ellen shares a leadership quality that people admire. And that is honesty.

Honesty is admired by most, because it's so easy to lie, deceive, pretend, be fake, and mislead people.

But honesty is a quality trait we all admire. And honesty is a major part of being who you're meant to be. You want admiration? Start with honesty.

"I have a great career, and I have wonderful fans who really are supportive and loyal - because I'm not hiding anything from them." - Ellen DeGeneres

8. It puts you in a position of power and respect.

"Personality has power to uplift, power to depress, power to curse, and power to bless." - Paul Harris

The type of power I'm talking about is the power to uplift, influence, inspire and motivate others. The power to change others lives for the better.

And those types of qualities are respected. It's easy to see Ellen uses her power to do exactly that. To influence, inspire, and uplift people rather than destroy people.

Being yourself, having the confidence to be yourself, and being honest can put you in that position. And that's not bad at all because you'll be able to contribute on a wider scale. :)

Leave your comments below, and please share this post. Lets get the word out!


Theo Ellis is a blogger, author, and entrepreneur who’s committed to giving straightforward advice to help others grow. Specializing in topics such as – self confidence, self improvement, happiness, discipline and time management. You can find out more about Theo at his website –

The post 7 Things Ellen DeGeneres Can Teach You About Being Yourself appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

The Delightfully Short Guide to Reading More Books

By Leo Babauta I have to admit, reading online has dropped my book reading in the last couple of years. It’s hard to resist the pull of clickbait titles and fascinating longform articles. But a few small habits have changed that for me, and I’m now reading books more. I’m now reading Don Quixote (such […]
No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

Conflicted: The Survival Card Game + Giveaway

When you read dystopian or post-apocalyptic fiction do you give some consideration to how you would react in a similar situation?  I’ll tell you what. The more I read, the more I assimilate various survival strategies and begin to formulate my own survival game plan.  This is all good and forces me to continue to read serious survival fiction as opposed to the latest John Grisham thriller.

The problem, as I see it, is that reading a book and thinking about strategies is a singular pastime. 

. . . Read More

Conflicted: The Survival Card Game + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

BDS Book Festival 7: The PrepSmart Series from Prepper Press

Early on, when I was a newbie blogger, I was lucky enough to hook up with a boutique publisher who was interested in compiling a series of articles by a dozen or so bloggers.  The project did not pan out but the publisher, Prepper Press, remained in contact.

Many of books featured in Backdoor Survival book festivals have been published by the Prepper Press.  They include books by Glen Tate and the 299 Days Series, R.P. Ruggiero and the Brushfire Plague Series (my favs), and titles from the prolific Joe Nobody and his Holding Their Own. 

. . . Read More

BDS Book Festival 7: The PrepSmart Series from Prepper Press by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

Survival Basics: Be Prepared For Pet Emergencies

When it comes to our four legged friends, being prepared goes beyond having the proper pet supplies in our bug-out bags and in-home emergency kits.  There is also the component of pet healthcare and the need to recognize and then act quickly and decisively during a pet emergency.

In my opinion, this is a topic that is not addressed often enough in the preparedness community.  The truth is that while it is easy to use a proactive approach with our own healthcare, most of us are at a bit of a loss when it comes to our pets.

. . . Read More

Survival Basics: Be Prepared For Pet Emergencies by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

5 Steps to Becoming an In-Demand Expert

Have you ever wished you could utilize your know-how to become a speaker, a writer or an expert advisor? Professionals in every field, from teachers to nurses to financial advisors aspire to speak at local and national events, to write for magazines, author online articles, get interviews on TV, lecture at seminars or find consulting projects in industry. The idea of seeing your name in print or listed as a speaker can be exciting after years of hard work. Yet, at the same time, what if people write negative comments about you once you enter the public eye? What do you think of becoming a professional expert? Does it sound intimidating, fun or exciting?

If you want to become a well-known professional expert- you are not alone. A recurring question that I have been receiving from doctors, dentists, teachers, engineers and parents about the media: ‘I am a coach and I know I would be great on TV. What steps can I take so that I will be invited for an interview?’ Many professionals in the US and around the world have transitioned into public figures quite effectively. The fact that so many people want to become freelance professional experts is a good thing and a little bit overwhelming at the same time.

There are more tools for people without high-powered connections to establish themselves as experts than ever before- but the competition can scare some great professionals who have promising potential as freelance experts from even trying.

Here are 5 useful strategies for getting your foot in the door as a professional expert:

1. First and foremost, you must decide what you are going to talk about. What do you have to offer that is new, unique and interesting to the broad public?

2. You have to start somewhere. Whether your message is global or local, you can begin by connecting with people who already know and respect you and contributing articles for your community magazine, hospital newsletter or professional association. You can even contact local media and let them know about your interesting material.

3. Network. If you want to find an effective contact, you should reach out to writers of newspaper, magazine or online articles that are complementary to your message and view them as colleagues, not as competition.

4. Build an identity. You could consider starting a blog to attain a geographically wider reach and to be easily searchable in your area of expertise.

5. Accept both positive and negative feedback. Once you get started, you should gauge feedback to help you understand the community's response and fine-tune your message.

You have almost nothing to lose and you can possibly gain an amazing career transition.

Heidi Moawad M.D. is author of How to Be a Freelance Expert: The steps to becoming a professional expert and Careers Beyond Clinical Medicine.

The post 5 Steps to Becoming an In-Demand Expert appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

How To Reset and Make a General Cleaning of Your Life

“Never be a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of you future. You will never be the same.” - Robin S. Sharma

It's impossible to pour water in a full glass.

 This is one of any changes' fundamental principles. It is impossible to change your life and rewrite your history if you act with your unpacked luggage experience only. This fact I've understood after reading The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma.

 Your life puzzle will be always gathered in one and the same picture if you use the same elements, no matter how you mix them at the start.

 You need to start your consciousness and new experience creation from a total reset.

Don't start withsearch for purposes, do not start with a declaration of how you see yourself in five years, do not start with your mission; this entire process will be confused with your past performance and experience which take a lot of energy, too.

 You should start with throwing all the rubbish out of your life: physical, mental, and energy ones. It is December now, the last month of a year and high time to summarize everything, finish and start from scratch; so, a general cleaning of my life has started.

 Uncontrolled hoarding of the past leads to two things:

The endless reproduction of your past; your life becomes something like a deja vu.

The slowdown of your life speed, when you look at those people who have time to do much more things than you do – and you do not understand how they can do that. Success is possible only when your speed is fast.

 It makes sense to clean your life in all three dimensions: past, present and – do not be surprised – future. Yes, you have so many beliefs about your future that it has to be cleaned, too.

 I've decided to start with your present. It is the most objective one, it is here and now. A general cleaning of your present moment will give you a noticeable strength and fresh energy needed for new achievements.


The main thing is to remove all unsettled questions and cases from your list.

 I do not suggest you to polish your present like Cinderella (though it might be useful sometimes); first of all, you need to clean up and close your unsettled questions even if it might end with their total reset. You should remove such tasks from your “waiting” list or put them “into progress” if they are stuck there for more than a few weeks. It will give you a huge influx of new energy.

 Some things you can do the next weekend if you really intend to gather a new picture of your experience. What I have done:

1. Threw out the rubbish

Get rid of all your trash, and start with your house: throw out, distribute, carry away to shelters. Do not leave anything in your list of “waiting”.

What is a rubbish actually?

This is everything you do not use anymore. Let's do the following: everything you haven't been using for more than a year should be removed, distributed, sold, or thrown:

the clothes you do not wear;

most of the gifts, except those ones that really create comfort of your interior (in fact, this is a smaller part of what you have);

unsuitable or old utensil or equipment.

The more you find, the better. You should understand that every thing is a part of your energy; so, take only what you really need and what will make you happy. Just ask yourself a question: “Do I want to save this energy or let a new one take its place?

It's impossible to pour water in a full glass.

You empty your glass yourself. The more you pour out, the more you'll have. And if you are greedy, do not be surprised if big changes will simply have no place to enter. A general cleaning of your house is like a game “How much is my readiness to let a new experience in my life?”

The more things you'll throw out, the readier you are.

By the way, it applies to all your spaces, including your office, cottage, car, and whatever you have. Surprise your colleagues – remove garbage from your desk, start a real process of “uncovering”.

2. Threw out old files

Throwing out your rubbish is just a beginning. It's high time to throw out your files! How much time do you spend at your computer or online? This is your space, too; yes, it is virtual, but it is a part of your energy, too.

We have a habit to store everything at our computers. Why should we throw it out indeed? There is enough place at the hard disk for everything.

The principle is the same here: cleaning is releasing of energy. Leave only those files you like and find important. Why to keep a movie you didn't like? Why to keep any old and useless files? They all are pieces of you; so, should you bear this weight (knowing that the more you have, the slower your speed is) or give a way to anything new?

Such a cleaning would be great not for your personal computer only; do not forget about your office computer and all your virtual accounts: social networks, blogs, websites.

3. Put to rights, gave things their places, systematized files

I've never been an adherent of a strict cleanness, and I always cultivated a so-called creative mess, hiding behind my love of arts.

But I see it a little bit different now: a harmonious order (not a fanatic but systematized one, when all things have their place) is the key to good and effective functioning, especially when it's high time to accelerate. You will not be able to change the speed of your life if there is chaos on your desktop and in your apartment.

4. Filtered incoming information

Your incoming information needs cleaning and order, too. Generally, this is food for your mind; so, the work of your mind depends on this information's quality.

Have you heard of information intoxication? This is a common virus many people are infected with: they read everything on the Web, constantly reposting quotes of famous people and wasting their ability to hear the voice of their own souls.

That's why I recommend to do the following:

Clean your friends list: remove those people who do not inspire you or make you feel bad after reading news from them.

Clean your timelines: remove or hide those people or communities whose news annoy you or make you feel negatively.

Define the list of blogs and websites you intend to read. My principle to do this is a presence of some positive response in my soul: when you read something and feel some kind of value – it is worth reading then.

Choose only those resources that fill and delight your personality; their list should be cleaned and updated regularly, too.

5. Finished all unfinished businesses or reset them all

It is important to finish all works and tasks from your “waiting” lists: either move them to “in progress” status and DO them or reset them all. You should have a feeling that all tasks are finished, all current processes are scheduled, and no “dead” problems are left. This is your first speed to come to the question “What do I want from this life?” and move towards your conscious changes.

Making a long story short, the process of your today's life general cleaning consists of two key elements: getting rid of the rubbish at all levels and organizing your work and tasks, including the incoming flow of information.

Set your channels to receive a high-quality and useful information only, and you will see how much the world will change around you.

Reinventing yourself is possible only if you understand the truth of life: your old experience is not your best adviser here.

And let the cleaning begin! Are you ready for that? 


About the author:

Lesley J. Vos is a novice writer and passionate blogger who is honored to be a guest contributor to many authoritative websites, including Finer Minds, Live Write Thrive, Bid4Papers Blog and others. Lesley writes her first e-book now, and she is always open to new friends and contacts. You are welcome to find her on Google+ and read some works of her at this blog. 

The post How To Reset and Make a General Cleaning of Your Life appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

How to Run Meetings that Get Results: Lessons from the Pentagon

Don’t you love meetings?

Especially the ones that go on forever and result in nothing productive?

Unfortunately, this sad state of affairs is all too prevalent in organizations. During my 24-year Air Force career, I attended literally thousands of meetings. Looking back, it’s astonishing how much time I spent in meetings and how little was accomplished.

I encountered my first example of a well-run meeting when I was a young lieutenant in Germany. Every morning, all the key personnel of the unit were required to attend a highly structured, stand-and-deliver meeting with a very crusty—and very smart—commander. I learned quickly to have my stuff together or else things didn’t go very well for me. There was no idle chitchat; everyone was engaged. When the meeting ended, we walked out with a clear idea of the day’s objectives with a minimum investment of time.

Later in my career, I remembered those meetings and vowed never to waste my folks’ time with unnecessary meetings—and when I did have them, to make them count. I found this mind-set to be particularly successful when I worked in the Pentagon, which houses a formidable bureaucracy.

The process I used at the Pentagon tapped into a need for military and civilian “action officers” to actually take some action and do their jobs. These professionals always knew they would be doing something substantial when they participated in my meetings. So people appreciated that I respected their time. The impact that my approach had on my ability to get things done was amazing.

Here’s what I did:

Before the Meeting

Determine the specific outcome or set of outcomes you want to achieve. This is especially critical to ensure the purpose of the meeting is clear. Lack of a clear outcome is a primary cause of poor meetings. Make a list of the required and optional participants that you need to achieve your desired outcome. Invite the decision-makers. If they can’t make it, put the word out that whoever attends in their place speaks for them. In this way you prevent people from blocking progress because they aren’t authorized to make a decision. If you need subject matter experts to provide additional support for the meeting, have them to attend as well. Construct and distribute a logical, time-driven schedule of events so everyone knows how to prepare and what’s expected of them. If possible, get the schedule out at least a week ahead of time. It’s important that you keep a record of when and to whom you sent the meeting notice. You’ll be surprised how many people will claim they never got it. Make a list of deliverables and products required before the meeting, and set a deadline and format for their delivery. Gathering and preparing meeting materials like slide decks and reports takes time. Don’t leave this to the last minute. Reserve a room that is conducive to what you intend to accomplish. Makes sure the room is the right size, it has enough chairs, and it has the equipment you need. Assess whether the location is advantageous to you, neutral to your cause, or puts you at a disadvantage. For instance, if you anticipate that the meeting will be contentious, perhaps you’ll want to find a neutral location. If time allows, send out multiple announcements to the participants, and secure their RSVPs. Follow up with phone calls if necessary. Increase the probability of having a good meeting by getting the right people there. Identify your note taker. A competent note taker is crucial. The note taker creates the record of what was said, agreed to, and disagreed to. If it will help your cause, provide basic refreshments and snacks. Then plan time to prepare or purchase them. At least an hour before the meeting starts, get the room set up. Bring up the computer and projects; check microphones if you’re using them. Pull up your charts and other electronic material. Put out nameplates. Set up your refreshments.

During the Meeting

Introduce the meeting’s host (if other than you) at the start of the meeting and welcome the participants. Right up front state the purpose and desired outcome(s) at the beginning of the meeting. If applicable, go over action items from previous meetings. If progress hasn’t been made, take some time to drill down and find out why. Then, gain agreement on what the responsible party will do to accomplish the task and set a revised deadline. Keep the meeting flowing and on schedule. If a discussion can’t be concluded, table it for a future meeting or an off-line discussion. Keep a tight rein on irrelevant topics and rabbit holes. Otherwise, you risk derailing your meeting. Before concluding the meeting, sum up the tasks, agreements, outcomes, deliverables, responsible parties, and due dates. This is extremely critical so that everyone is clear as to what transpired and who will do certain tasks. If needed, agree on a time, date, and location for the next meeting. Ensure you sustain momentum. It’s much more difficult to pull together a follow-on meeting once everyone has returned to their normal day-to-day routine.

After the Meeting

No later than twenty-four hours after the meeting, send out meeting notes to all participants. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step. It’s the way you document progress and help hold people accountable in between meetings. Communicate with those responsible for actions to assess status, head-off problems, and provide motivation. Wash, rinse, and repeat the entire process for your next meeting.

All this planning, preparation, orchestration, and follow-up may seem like a lot to go through, and it is when you first begin to use this process. However, the template is effective for both formal and informal meetings at any level of your organization. Although you may not need to use all these steps, you can use them as a template to help you tailor the process for what you need.

As a side benefit, people will appreciate you for your outcome-oriented focus and your respect for their time.

And trust me, if it worked in the Pentagon, it can work for you.

Joe is the author of The Leadership Forge: 50 Fire-Tested Insights to Solve Your Toughest Problems, Care for Your People, and Get Great Results. He is the President of The Leadership Crucible, an executive coaching and leadership development firm. Joe is a decorated Air Force veteran who deployed in support of seven overseas operations. His twenty-four year career included command of five units including the Air Force's only combat-coded communications wing.

The post How to Run Meetings that Get Results: Lessons from the Pentagon appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

7 Things to Remember When You’re Trying to Lose Weight

Getting healthier and learning to love your body can be hard, especially when it’s been a constant battle (sometimes for years). But, it doesn’t have to be.

Here are 7 things to keep in mind when you’re on your weight loss journey.

Your thoughts matter more than you think 

If you’re constantly thinking about how gross you are, how much you hate your body, and how you’ll never actually be able to lose weight, well, guess what? It’s going to be pretty hard to make healthy changes that last.

Take a step back and choose to see yourself through a lens of love. Would you ever speak to your friend like you speak to yourself? I think not.

So – what would you say to your friend, feeling the exact same way about her body? Really think about it. And once you’re clear on how much kinder you’d be to your friend, tune-in, and start talking to yourself like you would a loved one because (to put it simply) you just can’t make positive changes when you’re constantly beating yourself up. 

Before anything, you’ve got to appreciate your body exactly as it is

Transitioning from a place of hate to a place of love towards your body is transformative. When you can appreciate all your body allows you to do, you start to respect your body in a way that allows you to make healthier choices.

You can want your body to change to become healthier. But the difference from before is that once in this place of gratitude, your intentions for your body are ones out of love, respect, and care –not hate, disgust, and disrespect. And that change is monumental in all of your daily choices. 

Your weight won’t make you happy

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve met thousands of unhappy thin people. Your weight doesn’t determine your happiness. Happiness is an inside job. It’s about self-love and acceptance. And it stems from choosing love and faith over fear, moving your body out of love, setting healthy boundaries, asking for what you need, cultivating supportive relationships, and choosing to honor your hunger and fullness.

As you go throughout your journey, remember the inner stuff is just as important as the outer stuff – it’s where lasting change occurs.

Small steps forward are success

In a world of huge dramatic weight losses, your choice of a salad for lunch instead of a burger may seem insignificant to you. But, it’s not. It makes you feel better, more vibrant, and alive. That’s the stuff that matters. And remember, this is real life – not the movies or television. So on a daily basis, remind yourself that all steps, even small steps, are important steps. They key is to just keep taking steps.

You’re going to have hard times and that’s okay

Just like any other journey, you’re going to have bad times. Times that have you feeling like you’re ready to throw in the towel, that you just can’t do this, and that none of your hard work matters. Just knowing that you (and everyone else) will have hard times is comforting. You are not alone.

The important thing is to use the lessons that you learn from these times as growth opportunities. We have pain and struggles so we can grow. Without pain, we’d stay where we are, which (if you ask me) isn’t really the point. Walk away knowing that no goal is win/lose, all goals are win/learn and grow with grace. 

Deprivation does no one any good

Diets don’t work. That’s why there’s a new one every other week. Ditch the diets (and deprivation) and start focusing on how certain foods make you feel. You’ll notice that real whole fresh foods make you feel happy, vibrant, and healthy.

And start tuning-in to your hunger. When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re full stop. When you begin to listen to your body and choose healthy foods, you’re body will naturally stop you when you’re done. You’ve just got to tune-in. 

Connect with your body doing something you love

Whether it’s through yoga, nature hikes, or group exercise classes, find an activity you enjoy that involves moving your body. Through movement we get out of our heads and connect with our physical being in a whole new empowering way. The super important part is that you’re moving your body doing something you love.

One of my clients once brilliantly told me, “If I had to tell my former self something, I’d ask her what she liked to do as a child. What activity brought her joy? Once I had the answer I’d go do (way) more of that. Movement is therapy for the soul, that is, if you like what you’re doing.”


Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and Wellness Coach with a Masters in Nutrition. Specializing in coaching, weight loss, and behavior change, Corinne has helped hundreds of women develop a healthy positive relationship with food, their body, and themselves. She helps women do this by showing them how to create a healthy lifestyle (they love) using a holistic approach. She believes lasting change starts from the inside out. Visit her at and see how to work with her here.

The post 7 Things to Remember When You’re Trying to Lose Weight appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

The Survival Buzz #150

Welcome to the first Survival Buzz of 2015.  This week I tried to keep things brief since I am up to my neck in alligators with all of the projects that are a work in process.  Alas, that did not happen.

To be honest, I feel bad teasing you with a mention of the projects without closure in terms of how-to articles.  I apologize but these things do take time. That being said, this weeks preps are more of the same.

. . . Read More

The Survival Buzz #150 by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Brian Summer!

3 Steps to Improve More by Learning Less

What a world we live in. The information age, as it’s being called, provides us with exactly that: information. For bettor or for worse, any question we have, any answer we require, or any ailment we’re trying to cure, is at our fingertips.

I mentioned that all this information could be for worse, but how is that so? How can more data and facts be a bad thing? Ah, well, with more information comes more opinions, and with more opinions comes a more convoluted message of…well, anything.

When we leverage this information to focus on self improvement, we are often thrown into sensory overload. There are so many books, articles, events, speakers, and armchair therapists, that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. With this in mind, it’s much better to improve more by learning less.

Self improvement: Uncovering personal values

The key to lasting self improvement is to uncover the core values and principles that govern your life, not to follow the latest improvement fad. This way, as you move through life, you’ll be able to navigate your way to personal success based on those values and principles.

Much like an ocean, all the self improvement tips and tricks, although helpful, are like ripples on the surface. It’s our personal values rooted deep in the depths of our psychological ocean that are ultimately used for self improvement. When we uncover a new value or principle through life experiences, we are literally self improving. We then use that newfound core value to propel our lives forward, further uncovering more values, and therefore, further improving ourselves.

By focusing on personal values and principles, you start a cycle of self improvement that never stops.

Personal growth: Back to basics

Self improvement and personal growth is an ongoing process, and one that can’t be rushed. Even though a lot of people are looking for a magic bullet or quick fix, it’s literally the process of self improvement that causes us to grow in the first place. To grow as a person is to be process oriented, and to do that, it’s important to get back to basics.

Once we begin to uncover and focus on our core values, personal growth is simply a matter of following those values. This way, we’re oriented toward the process of finding what resonates with our core self.

By getting back to basics, we’re reminded that true self improvement happens when we take our life’s principles, and test them with experiences. If your experiences resonate with your values, you know that you’re headed the right direction. If they conflict with your values, you’re telling yourself that you either need to adjust your course, or reevaluate your governing principles.

Personal growth is as easy as that.

Self Discovery: Learn, and then forget

Although achieving lasting self improvement is as simple as uncovering our personal values and getting back to basics, there’s an important linchpin that holds the entire paradigm together: experience.

The only way we can improve ourselves is if we put ourselves out there and try to learn from the world firsthand. This way, we can build on our experiences and get a good understanding of our core values and where we’re headed. Think of an experience as a stress test for your governing values. Pass or fail, you grow.

But, with all the self improvement information out there, it’s hard not to get inundated and give up. Because of this, it’s important to learn as much as you can…and then forget it all.

Well, not all, but definitely everything that doesn’t resonate with you. The truth is that a majority of information out there won’t resonate with you; it’s when we lose sight of this and try to account for everything that we actually stunt our personal growth. But, paradoxically, the only way we can uncover our values and get back to basics, is to go out and experience it all.

With that in mind, keep what you enjoy and discard the rest. Forget all the tips, tricks, and fads, and follow your core values and principles. This way, you’ll be on a path to self improvement that you paved, and not on a path someone paved for you.


Evan Tarver is a business development specialist with dynamic experience in the technology industry. He believes that people should be doing what they love, loving what they do, and getting paid for it all!

The key to true happiness is continuous self improvement. Connect with him to read his weekly articles on self improvement through professional excellence and receive your free e-book: 52 Quotes to the Life You Love!

The post 3 Steps to Improve More by Learning Less appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

No comment yet.