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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.

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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 –

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Can You Choose To Worry?

"How come you never worry?" My wife asked.

In that moment, I had horrible flashbacks. The truth was, I used to worry constantly about future events and social conflict interactions in particular.

I had a Masters Degree in worrying and preplanning arguments and conversations in my head.

For 7 years, I had a boss who wouldn’t tell his employees what he wanted them to do, then get angry that they weren't doing it. Ugh.

I was constantly on guard, planning my defense:

"If he says this then I'll defend myself by saying THAT! Ha!"

It was exhausting.

Fighting battles in my head that usually ended up never happening was pointless, and I largely had no control over this.

It was awful.

Worrying  was just a version of negative self talk. I was defending myself from imaginary arguments because I was worried I'd mess up every situation and I'd have to defend myself.

Because deep down, I didn't think I was good enough.


"I guess I have a system." I replied to her.

So, what should you do about worrying?

Realize that we ALL have worries and negative thoughts. The first step is simply acknowledging that these thoughts are happening. Let them, but start asking questions about these thoughts... Ask yourself questions:

"Can I control This? > No? > Then disregard." "Is this outcome likely > No? > Then disregard."

Realize that this is a process. The more times you ask questions the easier it will be to ask questions and also destroy negative thoughts. Also, realize that new negative thoughts and worries can and will pop up over time. If you are in an environment that is triggering these thoughts (relationship, job, housing) then it might be time to reevaluate your situation, and possibly change your environment. Easier said than done, but everything worth doing is easier said than done.

Deeper Level: Why Do We Worry?

Now, for you weirdos (like me) let's dig deeper to figure out where these worries and negative thoughts might be coming from.

Let's go waaay back, through time and evolution.

In the 1960s Paul MacLean came up with the Triune Brain Theory. The Triune Brain Theory suggests that we all have 3 brains that evolved separately.

Each of these brains has a specific area of your inner psychology and personality that they are responsible for:

The Reptilian Brain: Aggression, Dominance, being territorial, basic survival mechanisms.

The Paleomammalian Brain: Emotions, Reactions, Memory, and Fear.

The Neomammalian Brain: Language, Abstraction, Planning.

Here's an equation for ya:

Emotion + Fear + Reaction + Memory + Language + Abstraction = Negative Self Talk & Worry

So a likely cause of negative self talk is a reaction between your 3 brains.

Oh yeah, there's also this wonderful thing called the negativity bias which is the psychological phenomenon by which humans pay more attention to and give more weight to negative rather than positive experiences or other kinds of information.

(I've written about negativity bias before in another context here)

When you woke up 9,000 years ago on the prehistorical savannah, what was the NUMBER ONE thing on your mind?


Don't get eaten.

What was that noise behind that bush?!

Have to get home to the tribe before dark.

This survival mindset served us well for millennia, we're all here aren't we?

Neuropsychologist Ph.D. Rick Hanson sums the negativity bias up perfectly:

"To keep our ancestors alive, Mother Nature evolved a brain that routinely tricked them into making three mistakes: overestimating threats, underestimating opportunities, and underestimating resources (for dealing with threats and fulfilling opportunities). This is a great way to pass on gene copies, but a lousy way to promote quality of life."

Think of the negativity bias as an outdated operating system on a computer.

Key Points To Remember:

Worrying is something we’re all engineered to do from time to time. That’s okay. We have control over more than we think we do. Worrying about things that we can’t control is useless.

Final Thought:

Now that you have some more tools in your utility belt, what questions will you ask yourself next time you start to worry?

About Jeff:

Jeff Callahan is a Social Skills Strategist and Coach for people looking to maximize their social skills and charisma.

Want more info on stopping negative self talk?

Read this: Confessions Of An Ex-Time Traveler

The post Can You Choose To Worry? appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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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 […]
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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.

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In Praise of Limits

By Leo Babauta We live in a world of abundance, often to the point of excess: we can buy anything anytime, consume as much of the Internet as we want, eat anything all the time, work as much as our bodies will allow. With so much available, it can become overwhelming, unhealthy, unbalanced. I’d like […]
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7 Unconventional Answers to Life’s most Pressing Problems

Do you ever watch personal development videos on You Tube?

I do. I used to watch them all the time and one day, about a year and a half ago, two things really struck me.

They’re so damn long. The ‘guru’ can take between 10 and 30 minutes, sometimes going off point, to answer the question or talk about their area of expertise. They overload you with information. The subject may be something fairly clear like building confidence but you’re gonna get a cluster bomb of an answer. Stand back while you’re bombarded with 10 different steps ranging from the useful to the downright trivial.

Hmmm, I thought, I have an idea. What if I was to make a series of videos that gave viewers just one answer to the problem they face and were no longer than 4 minutes in length?  That way, I wouldn’t take up too much of their time and also give them a clear solution they could action in their day to day lives.

Yes, I said to myself, you’re onto a winner. And so, The Real Answer series was born.  I proceeded to make 7 videos dealing with issues that we all face and how to solve them.

But me being me, I couldn’t just give any old answer. It had to be THE answer, the most definitive, clearest and effective solution

And guess what?

When you’re looking for the REAL answers, the place to find it is outside the mainstream.

So without further ado, I present to you, 7 unconventional answers (taken from my video series) that will get you thinking and hopefully have a positive impact on some of the issues you face.

Answer Number 1: How to be Confident

It’s not affirmations, empowering clothing and it’s not even your posture and the way you carry yourself. Don’t get me wrong, these can help but the only real way to build long lasting confidence is to face your fears.

The confidence of a person can be measured in the amount battles they’ve been through. Yes, you may have quivered throughout that presentation you gave or bumbled your words when approaching that beautiful woman or man you like, but you had the balls to do it.

Confidence grows through this because of a human beings amazing ability to adapt. Keep putting yourself in fear inducing situations and eventually the strength of your terror will subside. When this happens, you start to relax, and when you start to relax, you’re free to give the best of yourself to the task at hand. 

Answer Number 2: How to Find your Passion

The commonly held belief is that this is very difficult to do. After all, a shocking 81% of people in employed work are uninspired by their jobs.  Viewed like this, there’s a global epidemic of wasted lives.

Understandably, this is something you want to avoid but doing so requires a little lateral thinking. You see most people don’t lack passions; they lack the courage to pursue them. You probably already have a workable idea but what are you doing to make it happen?

  Answer Number 3: How to be Successful

I need to warn you that society considers the answer I’m about to give dangerous. It’ll tell you to work hard, keep your head down and play the game. If you do all of these things then one day you’ll live in a big house, own multiple cars and have respect.

Yeah right!

While there’s a chance this might occur, even if you do get to the front of the rat race, it’s more than likely the things you’ll notice the most are how stressed you are by your 50 plus hour a week job and how a little piece of you dies every day through having to conform.

Of course, there is another kind of success – the one where YOU set the agenda. However, to succeed outside the system, your project, idea or dream will have to become an obsession in your mind. Only this strength of mental focus will galvanise all of your energy and provide you with the motivation, answers and persistence to forge your own path.


Answer Number 4: How to Overcome Depression  

This is my most controversial answer. Remember, my intention in saying what I’m about to say is to enlighten, not offend.

It is my belief, and that of a psychiatrist imminently more qualified than me, that most people diagnosed with depression don’t need prescription drugs.

What’s the solution then?


Think about it, is it any wonder so many people feel miserable and low on energy when we work jobs we don’t enjoy, spend an endless amount of time doing them and are conditioned to ignore our true feelings?

The antidote, therefore, is to give free reign to your dreams and desires. Start doing what you want to do, not what is expected of you. Remember, that low energy state you’re experiencing is your soul’s way of communicating and telling you to set your sights higher.

Answer Number 5: How to Deal with Failure

‘Failure is feedback’ goes the famous saying.  While I don’t wish to knock a useful NLP presupposition, I do want to draw your attention to another factor that makes the experience more palatable.

What if you only needed to win one time out of ten to be a success?

Sound odd doesn’t it, but when you break down even the highest of achievers success rates, you’ll discover that they’re not as awe inspiring as we’re led to believe.

Tim Ferriss got rejected by 26 publishers before the 27th he approached agreed to publish his Four Hour Work Week.

Colonel Sanders was rejected 1009 times before a restaurant agreed to use his recipe.

Michael Jordan missed more than 9000 shots in his career.

So don’t be concerned the next time you fail to get a client, don’t get the job or make a loss on an investment. Hold out for the occasions that you do.


Answer Number 6: How to be Happy

It’s all about your energy. While the system seeks to convince us we can only be happy through greater consumption, the research would suggest otherwise. In fact, being in the highest income bracket of your country will only make you 3.5% happier than the average.

So if the big car, grand house, expensive holidays and designer clothes aren’t going to make you that much happier, what will?

The paradoxical answer is, taking ownership of your happiness. You have to work at raising your energy regardless of life’s ups and downs. Every day, you have to focus on the thoughts that get you feeling good and eliminate the ones that depress you.  This way your mood will be dictated by you and not your environment.

  Answer Number 7: How to Sleep Better

Some YouTube videos were telling me I needed to buy lavender scented pillows, set my alarm at exactly the same time each morning and get into bed at exactly the same time each night, but after years spent as an insomniac I knew this advice did little to assist consistent sleep.

So what did?

I only began to sleep properly after I stopped worrying about my sleep.  I had to LET GO.

This meant;

No more attempting to force myself to sleep No more worrying about feeling tired for an important event the next day No more questioning why it was I wasn’t sleeping properly and wondering whether I was being punished

Although sleeping badly, the issue of sleep had to be completely absent from my mind. Only by letting go in this way would I allow my subconscious mind to take over. It knows how to guide you, SO LET IT DO ITS JOB.

Joe writes for the Dreamers. He believes everybody should live a life doing the things they love (and get paid to do it!) and have the freedom to set their own agenda. For more information please visit his website and check out his critically acclaimed book Escape the System Now. He also works as a hypnotherapist and tennis coach.

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6 Ways to Combat the Failure to Launch in Your Life

Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you anything was possible? The sky was the limit, they said, and you believed them. Being cut from the soccer team, setting fire to your chemistry set, getting turned down by your kindergarten crush — no setback was damning enough to shake your confidence or destroy your faith in the future.

But a funny thing happens as you get older. When faced with a big challenge, you can become paralyzed by self-doubt because you’re afraid of failing. And when you do try and things don’t work out, bouncing back from failure is harder than it used to be.

Asking out the cute girl (or guy) at the coffee shop feels more daunting after a few heartbreaks, and going after a big promotion seems like an embarrassment waiting to happen after being passed over once.

Our setbacks make us fearful. Some people plow through those fears, driving through doubt like a runaway train. Others become prisoners of their own anxieties and stop living their lives because of it.

This failure-to-launch cycle comes in varying degrees. Some have a hard time getting through simple tasks like calling someone on the phone; others are fully functioning in society, just not at the level they want to be.

If you’re caught in the failure-to-launch loop of self-doubt, fear, and low self-esteem, there’s a way out. You’ll have to put in some emotional work and be willing to step outside your comfort zone, but you can do it if you’re willing to try.

Prepare for Takeoff

Here are the steps for overcoming the failure to launch once and for all:

1. Create accountability. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, your mentor, or a romantic partner — choose someone who will push you to follow through on your goals and call you out when you don’t.

2. Exercise. A healthy, active body is directly linked to a healthy, happy mind. Start by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or biking to work. When you’re active, you’ll feel sexier, more alive, and more willing to challenge yourself.

3. Be honest. Own your strengths and your weaknesses, and don’t be afraid to set personal boundaries. The more straightforward you are with yourself, the more likely you are to cultivate honest, healthy relationships that enhance your life.

4. Socialize. We’re social creatures, and being around other people makes us feel needed, appreciated, and loved. If you decide to sit at home and watch TV on a Friday night, you know how that’s going to end: with you crying over “Downton Abbey” all by yourself. If your roommates or friends invite you to a party this weekend, go! If you prefer a less intense get-together, book clubs or lunch with a friend are also great, low-key ways to connect with people.

5. Practice mindfulness. Don’t let regrets about the past or worries about the future cast a shadow on the here and now. Being present helps you get more out of life and feel more positive in general.

6. Educate yourself. Developing a skill boosts your confidence and makes you happier in the long run. Take advantage of online resources to study an interest you’ve been toying with. You’ll boost your self-esteem and gain respect from others.

Everyone has their hang-ups. Take my friend, Vinny, for instance. He was a 22-year-old guy from a good family, but he struggled with depression, anxiety, and a lack of motivation. When I met him, he wasn’t even comfortable talking on the phone and would only communicate through email or text. Vinny was a talented guitar player, but no one knew how much he had to offer because he was too intimidated to perform.

Unwilling to spend the rest of his life on the sidelines, Vinny started putting in work to develop his confidence. A guy who was once too shy to pull out his guitar for a small audience now plays open-mic nights and has performed in front of hundreds of people.

There are a lot of Vinnys in the world — people who are holding themselves back because they’re scared but who actually have unlimited value to offer. If you’re one of them, listen up: Nothing will change until not achieving becomes more uncomfortable than putting yourself back in the game.

Taking risks is scary. But isn’t spending your life feeling trapped and unfulfilled even scarier? Channel your negative or anxious energy into exercising, learning a new skill, or just hanging out with a friend. Small steps make a huge difference in your self-perception, and that’s the key to reaching your greatest potential.

Matthew Arrington is the executive director and co-founder of Forte Strong, the world’s first failure-to-launch program for men who struggle to leave their parents’ home or find it difficult to become independent. Forte Strong uses a proprietary coaching model to help students find purpose and direction, guide parents and families in empowering their sons, and ultimately create a healthier family dynamic. Matthew currently resides in sunny St. George, Utah.



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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.

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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.

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3 Magic Words to Overcome Overwhelm

Do you ever know what you need to do but have trouble getting started? There’s a good chance that there’s at least one thing that you habitually put off doing. For many, it’s exercising, cleaning, or starting their next big project. For myself, even though I love writing, I still find myself feeling wanting to procrastinate writing my next article, book, or social media post.

By looking at my own experience as well as those I’ve coached, I’ve found one common underlying feeling that sabotages people from moving forward – overwhelm.

Imagine having an entire house to clean. The thought of not even knowing where to begin can make it easy to just sit back and say "Screw it, I'll deal with this later." Even with small projects like writing an article, I’ll find myself overwhelmed, not so much by the amount of work, but with the worry of “What if it’s not good enough?”

There’s one thing I’ve found that can instantly take away the feeling of overwhelm and get me to take action right away. When done properly, it’s virtually impossible to procrastinate.

This trick I've found is to ask the question, "Can I just...?" and then insert an action so easy that I'm guaranteed to be able to do it even if I have barely any willpower at all.

Let’s say I don’t feel like doing an hour-long workout. I can ask, “Can I just do the warmup?” If even that’s too overwhelming, I’ll ask, “Can I just do the first 30 seconds?” After that I’d ask, "Can I just do a little more? One more rep? One more exercise?" I can always stop once I’ve reached a point where I’ve felt like I’ve done all I can and still feel a sense of accomplishment.

On the surface, this may not sound like it would accomplish much. After all, what would thirty seconds of exercise matter for getting in shape? The key thing to understand is that we’re not after the tangible benefits of exercise; at least not at first. We’re after the intangible benefit of momentum.

Have you ever noticed how it’s usually only after you get started with something, that then the motivation to do it goes up? I may not feel like writing, exercising, or getting to work when I’m doing something else. Once I start doing any of those things though, my desire to keep going skyrockets.

Instead of trying to get motivation, try to get momentum. The motivation will naturally follow.

It’s also important to remember that overwhelm comes from seeing all the steps in the process all at once. If I’m thinking about the 37 things I have to do to complete my next book, I’m naturally going to put it off. If I only ask, “Can I just do the next thing on my list?” such as naming the next chapter, it suddenly becomes far easier for to get going and then to want to keep on going.

Remember, you can always do more than you set out to do originally. It's better to start small, hit your target goals every day, and occasionally go past them, so that you're always succeeding rather, than to have lofty targets that you only hit on occasion - if at all.

This method cannot fail so long as you break it down into something so easy it requires virtually no effort and time. Even if it takes months to build momentum, using these three magic words, “Can I just,” to find the smallest step you’re willing to take, is guaranteed to take you farther than doing nothing at all.


Derek Doepker shows people how to create better habits in 5 minutes a day in his book The Healthy Habit Revolution. He is also the author of the #1 best-selling personal development book Why You’re Stuck and founder of the blog Excuse Proof Fitness. You can connect with him at

The post 3 Magic Words to Overcome Overwhelm appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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Define the Prepper Movement With A Call Action

Back in the day, I was considered somewhat of an activist.  Although normally quiet, unassuming, and nerd-like, I fought for the end of political tyranny, power to the people, and women’s rights in the workplace.  I was a small voice in a big sea of voices, but, to this day, would like to believe I have made a difference.

Now, years later, in my own quiet away, I have proudly labeled myself as both a “Prepper” and a member of the Prepper Movement. 

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Define the Prepper Movement With A Call Action by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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Welcoming all our new clients to Internet of Mind - my healthy living & weightloss program! #health
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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.

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

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The Contentment Habit

By Leo Babauta I’ll admit I do it as much as anyone else: see the cool things that others are doing and wish I were doing something cool like that too. You see great travel photos on Instagram and other social media — people living amazing lives, creating cool things, going on adventures. And instantly, […]
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5 Important Considerations When Forming a Prepper Community

One of the key strategies for every prepper is the formation of a prepper community.  Yet, as strategic as this may be, it is conceivably the most difficult of all of the prepper strategies.

There are issues, not the least of which is who do you trust, how much do you trust, and what are the limits that you place upon that trust?  Sadly, there are no easy answers.  That said, as I wrote in 10 Simple Strategies for Becoming A Prepper, this is something that needs to be addressed by each of us and the sooner the better.

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5 Important Considerations When Forming a Prepper Community by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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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. 

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

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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.

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Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain

Once you move beyond the basic, everyday essential oils that we all know and love, it becomes time to explore some of the more esoteric oils that solve specific ailments.  In my own exploration of essential oils, a specific ailment high on my list was relief from muscle and joint pain.

The oil of choice?  Birch essential oil for arthritis and other aches and pains of the muscles and joints is perfect!

Not only is Birch effective against common, everyday aches and pains, but it is superior if not outstanding in providing relief from arthritis joint pain and those deep, spasmodic cramps that only seem to visit in the dead of night.

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Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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How To Create Good Habits (for Free!)

A powerful free video series

I’m too excited about this not to share it with you…

Today, my friend and habits expert Barrie Davenport launched a free 3-part video training called “Unleashing Your Best Self.”

You can get the first video instantly by clicking here and signing up.

In these videos, Barrie shares something that's spot on with my personal values …

Creating indestructible habits.

I know, I know…

Maybe you cringed a little when you read that. That’s okay. There are SO many people who are cynical about sticking to their habits. You’ve tried it in the past. You start with good intentions, but after a few weeks (or even days!), you give up.

The good news? We don’t fail to follow through because of some character flaw. We fail because the process is flawed.

How about a fresh perspective on forming great habits? One that will help you move on from past failure. One that will help you look ahead with clarity and confidence.

Well, then, good news — you will get a TON of value from this series.

In fact, in Video #1, Barrie shares the four common myths about creating habits and why it’s so difficult for almost all of us to commit to our resolutions and follow through on those new behaviors we want in our lives — whether it’s exercise, eating healthier, learning a new skill, or even improving a relationship.

Without busting these myths, you’ll find it virtually impossible to stick to your habits and reach your goals.

If you’ve ever felt like there was something standing between you and becoming the person you want to be, don’t miss this series.

You can finally get clear on how creating rock solid habits can truly transform your life — even if you’ve tried in the past and failed.

It’s free, but it will only be available for a limited time. Sign up here, and she’ll send you the first video right away.


The post How To Create Good Habits (for Free!) appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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7 Important Lessons Learned Last Year, And How They Can Help You Too

Last year wasn't so great at times.

But what I learned made it worth it.

I learned a few lessons, good and not so good. I thought I would share them with you so you can take my experiences and make your year ahead a great one.

1. Don’t Write Goals

Write big ones. Write them and put them where you can see them. Change them review them but more importantly follow them through. If you can’t see your goals you won’t be inspired, you will only have a vague idea of what you want. Make them colorful, worthy and exactly what you want to happen going forward, this will motivate you to take action and getting results.


 2. Procrastination works

It helps you to fail badly, feel awfully guilty about yourself and doesn't help much with reaching your goals and dreams. For the most part of the year you could say I procrastinated badly, this didn't work out. Instead I've learned it’s all about discipline – give yourself a command and follow it through. No matter what!


 3. On Launching Ideas

It’s great if you have ideas and you want to follow them through, but there is a process. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself before you even start launching an idea especially if you are trying to make a living doing so.

Have you researched the market? Do they want what you have to offer? How do you know? Has anyone else done this? Are there books on the subject? (Hint: it’s a good idea if there are)


4. Disappoint people who count on you.

Do you have readers, customers, friends, family that rely on you? You are here for them, they need you. For my readers, I feel like you barely heard from me and while I have a lot to give it doesn't matter I didn't give 100%. You needed to hear from me, but didn't as much as you could have. In essence I let you down.

I've learned the idea is to give 100%. You too.


5. Don’t be optimistic

Be realistic. Who are you? Where are you? What is your life like right now? What needs to change immediately? Where do you want to go? What does the light look like at the end of the tunnel?

I kept my optimism levels high – but wasn't realistic, don’t get me wrong it is good to be optimistic but you also have to be realistic. There is a difference.


6. Experiences matter

Life is all about experiences. It means to create the experiences you want to have, then savor them by being present and in the moment. When you look back later on in life you will always remember your experiences over the latest gadget or fashion accessory.

Create the experiences you want. Make your experiences count.


7. There is still time

Every day is a new opportunity to improve and change things if you don’t like the way they are. Don’t look back at yesterday, last week or last year and say you failed because while you are here and reading this right now, means there is hope and an opportunity right now to create the life you want, change the things you don’t like and become a better person.


I made some bad choices, terrible mistakes  - I didn't have the right foundation but will I quit? No. Instead, I will use what I learned to make better choices.

I also did amazing things and changed peoples lives. I am grateful for those moments too.

What lessons have you learned from last year that will allow you to make this year a great one? Do you have a game plan?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


I’m Diana Reid, a Beach lover, Philosopher & Entrepreneur.  I am all about helping you find purpose, authenticity & happiness, sanity which is why I created The Personal Freedom Project. Subscribe to my Happy Triggers Guide, designed to help you find purpose, create a plan and manifest your desires, even if you don’t know where to start!

The post 7 Important Lessons Learned Last Year, And How They Can Help You Too appeared first on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.

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Survival Basics: Water and Water Storage

During a recent book giveaway, the question asked was “What piece of prepping gear is at the top of your bucket list?”  Needless to say, I was more than a little bit surprised to find that the top response was water storage, water filters, and water purification equipment.

While having the gear is nice, anyone interested in preparedness also needs to have a basic understanding of the concepts behind water and water storage.  Where to find, store, purify, and filter water are all questions that need to be asked, answered, and periodically reviewed.

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Survival Basics: Water and Water Storage by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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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.

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

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BDS Book Festival 7: The Avalon Series + Giveaway

I am jumping the gun a day early again this week with the next author interview and giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 7.

L. Michael Ruskin, the author of Avalon: The Retreat and Avalon: Beyond the Retreat is a here to answer the initial round of Book Festival questions and to award one lucky reader with a copy of his two books.

Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

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BDS Book Festival 7: The Avalon Series + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

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Online posting activities for the week at Serenity Creations eStore
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