A Simple Mindfulness Strategy That Literally Rewires Your Brain to Let Go of Negativity – The Power of Ideas

Make 2017 even more positive with these tips!

In the center of everyone’s being is a place of pure peace. But as we go through life, we tend to be taken away from this deep sense of self as a result of social conditioning and difficult life situations. However, by practising mindfulness, we can learn to be aware of the negative thoughts that […]

Source: A Simple Mindfulness Strategy That Literally Rewires Your Brain to Let Go of Negativity – The Power of Ideas

We’re always waiting for that next big breakthrough in our lives…

Because nobody ever changes completely. And nobody changes all at once. Change is gradual. Breakthroughs are gradual, measured in decades and not moments.

 

There is no big breakthrough. Our breakthrough is now. This moment. And the next. And the next. Our life is a never-ending series of micro-breakthroughs, some of them obvious and consciously impactful, others subtle and unnoticeable.

 

And as long as we’re fixated on our next big life-changing moment, we’re likely to miss all of the small ones happening right now, right in front of us.

– Mark Manson (click here for the full article)

Luck Marches With Those Who Give it Their Very Best – – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

What is luck? We know it is good and some people are blessed with it but the big question is how do we get more of it?

First of all, let’s find out exactly what luck is.

According to the dictionary, luck is “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.”

While this is a good definition, there do seem to be people who are more prone to “lucky breaks” than others.

You have probably heard on occasion that you make your own luck. This is true and I can show you how to make more of it for yourself.

Luck can appear to be magical and there are some seemingly magic elements involved. However, if you really understand how life works, you can easily see how to make your life luckier.

First you have to understand what each of us as individuals are trying to do in life. We are trying to survive and to help others to survive better. We are connected as families, towns, countries, races and ultimately as the human race. What affects one of us affects the rest of us whether we know it or admit it or not.

When you look at luck, you cannot just look at luck for yourself but luck as it affects everyone involved in any given situation.

A thief who finds someone’s door unlocked may feel lucky, but the loss of property for the one being robbed and the subsequent self degradation of the thief makes us realize that his discovery of the open door was in fact, extremely unlucky.

When one commits harmful or criminal acts, he also creates his own bad luck. Call it Karma or give it another name. It doesn’t really matter, it is a fact of this universe.

-Taken from Lifehack.org’s “15 Ways to Create Luck”

Click on the link above for 15 excellent tips, for creating luck , being happier, and more successful in life! An excellent read!

Living the Simple Life

Another really great post by Zenhabits on living a simple life. It’s very much in the spirit of this older post I made about de-cluttering your physical space, to de-clutter your mind. Here are my five favourite tips from that amazing post which can be found by clicking here:

1. You can’t have a simple life if you’re unwilling to let go of what you’re used to

2. You have to make time for what’s important: time with your kids, time with your spouse, time for creating, time for exercise. Push everything else aside to make time.

3. We put too much emphasis on excitement. It’s temporary, and not important.

4. It’s not how few things we own that matters. It’s whether we make those things count

5. Your attention is your most valuable possession. Give it as a gift to the people you love most, not a bunch of clowns on the Internet. Give it to the work that matters most, not distractions

Turn Toward the Problem

Let’s take away that power, and shine a little light on the problem. Allow ourselves to feel the pain, to feel the fear and still take action. To begin the healing. To begin to create something new and amazing from the ills that have been hiding in the dark.

Turn toward the problem and you turn it into something beautiful.

– From Zen Habits “Turn Toward the Problem” 

An incredibly inspiring post courtesy of Zen Habits!

How to Be Prepared for Anything

There are various ways to prepare yourself for what might come your way, whether that’s a tough work project, a crisis, the loss of a loved one, an argument with your partner, or the zombie apocalypse.

One way is to get everything ready for anything that’s likely to come: get all your survival equipment, prepare your skills, plan for your work projects, get your affairs in order, think through your arguments, and so on.

The trouble with this is you don’t know what’s coming. And so you’ll spend your entire life preparing for various things, and not really be ready. And who wants to spend their life just preparing?

Another way of preparing is learning some skills that will have you ready for just about anything that might come.

This is the survival kit of living.

Taken from Zen Habits: How to Be Prepared for Anything

4 Ways of Choosing Happiness

1. Don’t be Your Own Worst Enemy
2. Practice Gratitude
3. Savor Pleasant Experiences
4. Exercise Optimism

Taken from 4 Ways of Choosing Happiness – Time

Here are some of my own reflections on the above:

1. Don’t be your own worst enemy:

We all have a critical voice inside us that is rooted in a one word philosophy: “can’t”. It’s a critical voice that makes us pause when we are pursuing something we like, or make us doubt the things we know. Learning to listen to this voice, without letting it interfere is a skill that can take months to years to form. One way I’ve learned to deal with this voice is to recognize that anything that generates a reaction from that voice of critical self, is probably worth my time. The things that we are most scared of doing, often end up being the most rewarding. The next time you hear the inner voice of ‘cant’, realize that you’re onto something worthwhile…and then give it your all. 

2. Practice Gratitude

It’s  easy to look at the things we don’t have. But to take a pause from that and focus on the things that we do have is one of the most rewarding skills a person can have. People try to define their happiness by accumulating the things that they have, when happiness can come from the things they already have. Take a moment every day (I like to do it at the beginning and end of every day), to appreciate the things you have. Maybe it’s the fact that you had some free time to pursue a hobby. Maybe it’s the fact that you had a good day. Maybe it’s simply looking forward to the cool crisp sheets you’re about to sleep in. Whatever it is, find something to be extremely grateful for, and let it fill you up with happiness, appreciation, and gratitude. 

3. Savour pleasant experiences

This one is very similar to practicing gratitude. Whereas gratitude may be backwards or forward reflecting, savouring pleasant experiences is something that has to be done in the moment. Stop right now. Take a minute to do absolutely nothing. Focus on the air around you, your breathing, the sounds, your body etc. What about this very moment is pleasant? Now, try this same exercise the next time something pleasant happens to you. Pause and really soak in the moment to appreciate it. 

4. Exercise optimism

This one is perhaps the hardest of them all. Optimism is not something you just do. It is a philosophy and way of life that can take years to fully form. The next time something neutral or bad happens, try to see the glass half full. What about that experience can be beneficial to you? What about that experience has taught you something new? The expression “there is always a silver lining” is almost always true. The trick is looking to find that silver lining. Take every opportunity to find the silver lining, and you will be one step closer to an optimistic attitude. 

29 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy

Andrew J Walton from the “Cracking the Happiness Code” blog has created a list of 29 items that we should all give up in order to be happy. The post is very detailed with some direct applications as to HOW to go about it.

One of my favourites was #15: “Give up the need to be right“:

One of the reasons I like writing this blog is I get to exercise my intellectual prowess without censorship or argument. However, leading all aspects of my life in the same way I write a blog post would be ruinous for my relationships.

When we value being right – or rather, feeling like we’ve won an intellectual debate – over our relationships with others, those relationships erode.

It’s understandable why this is the case. Being wrong threatens our identity when we associate too closely with the ideas and opinions we express.

But our ideas are independent of us. In fact, they’re not our ideas at all. The process by which humanity increases its knowledge is a continuous and collective process.

Letting go of the need to be/feel right will allow us to focus more on what’s truly important, our relationships and our ability to come together to find solutions to the challenges that face us.

How: Learn to listen more and talk less. You already know your opinion, and the only way you’re going to learn anything new is by letting someone else share theirs. By valuing the other person and your own growth more than the jolt of pleasure from dominating someone with your caustic wit, you’ll both come away happier.

Check out this fantastic blog!

12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans

– 12 Quiet Rituals of Enormously Successful Humans

1.  They have calm, consistent morning routines.

2.  They eliminate all needless busywork.

3.  They do what needs to be done, TODAY!

4.  They gradually turn life’s obstacles around.

5.  They learn by stretching themselves to their limits.

6.  They turn to their intuition when making tough decisions.

7.  They mindfully focus on the positive.

8.  They create visual reminders of their long-term goals.

9.  They keep some kind of personal notebook.

10.  They have mentors they observe and consult with.

11.  They welcome honest feedback and criticism.

12. They keep their pride in check.

 

An incredible read! Head over to Marc and Angel Hack Life!

The End of Day Philosophy

How will I feel about this when today is over?

Have a daily review before you go to bed, even if it’s just a mental review. Were you right? Do you regret any of your choices? If so, don’t feel bad about being wrong — be happy that you’ve learned this.

Then make a better choice the next time.

What are you going to do next, after reading this? Will you be happy with that, at the end of this day?

– The End of Day Philosophy

This is a fantastic exercise at the end of your day. With a little bit of reflection, you will be able to pinpoint the things you did during the day that were worthwhile, and others that were not so worthwhile.

Time is very precious, and in our day to day activities, we find ourselves increasingly bombarded by flashy, shiny things that can take away from our attention, distract us from the things that matter most, and hijack our appreciation for what we do have.

Just keep in mind: even if you did something that was not worthwhile, there is still worth in it. You may appreciate that your time could have been better spent, or that you wished you had time for something more important, and in that regard, turn the experience into one which promotes learning and growth.

Try the End of Day Philosophy!