Tag Archives: personal development

Explore New Topics

When beginning a blog or writing a post, take the time to think about all the endless possibilities you have and be willing to explore new topics during your journey.

Explore New Topics

Being a writer is difficult. You are always on the hunt for engaging topics to write about.Sometimes the topics you come up with are dull and it can be insufferable to write. At other times, you may find a topic to write about that truly captivates your passion. When beginning a blog or writing a post, take the time to think about all the endless possibilities you have and be willing to explore new topics during your journey.

Set Up An Idea Bank

Set aside time to form a folder on your computer and label it your idea bank. Anytime you have an idea or a new topic to write about, take the time to jot it down and translate it to a word document. Put that document in that folder and refer to it for any time you need fresh ideas. I use a program called Scrivener for my idea bank. It acts as a file management system for all the ideas I have and is how I continue to write blogs posts. I set aside time to brainstorm ideas for my bank and it is a fundamental part of my writing process.

Brainstorming Session

You need to set aside one day out of the month to brainstorm for an hour or two. Use this time to come up with as many ideas as you can. Don’t judge yourself for the ideas you come up with. You are not obligated to use every idea so there should not be any pressure. But what this brainstorming session does is that it allows you to have a list full of ideas that you can weed through and schedule your blog posts for the month. During my brainstorming session, I get about 15­20 ideas and that’s already a month and a half worth of blog posts. It saves you time when you sit down to write because you don’t have to think about what it is your writing about. You already have a general direction!

Branch Away From Your Comfort Zone

The concept of exploring new topics is trying to get you, as a writer, out of your comfort zone. We tend to be monotonous in our writing because we tend to write about the same things repeatedly. Make a conscious choice of writing about topics that you normally don’t feel comfortable about. Try to commit yourself to doing research on things that you would never have learned in your free time. Not only will you educate yourself on a new topic but you will be offering a new perspective on things.

Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

I found that when I write about new topics, my writing is weaker. This is because I am exploring a new topic and new territory that I would not have normally done. That said, try not to be hard on yourself for the writing that you do. It is impressive that you are willing to write first and foremost but second, you do not have to feel like you are an expert on things. Your job is to provide a perspective and by choosing to write about topics that you are not used to, you are proving to others that you are not afraid to speak your mind on something fresh.

I find that exploring new topics to write about can always be a fun and exciting time. You have to be willing to learn something different every day. During your brainstorming session, don’t limit your imagination. Go all out on your ideas and write down the most outrageous things you can think of. These ideas will create unique blog posts because it’s different. Commit to new topics and watch your blog expand.

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How To Be More Productive

It’s actually a deficit to our productivity when you choose to think about multiple projects at once.

How To Get Someone To Be More Productive

Isn’t it interesting that the more productive you need to be, the lazier you become. I found that when I have a lot of tasks on my plate, I end up shoving it to the side and choose to procrastinate. This is problematic because I then get overloaded with work later and this is nobody’s fault but my own. You have those days where you need to get things done but how do you go about them? Follow these tips below.

Focus on one task at a time

Multi­tasking is so outdated. It’s actually a deficit to our productivity when you choose to think about multiple projects at once. Make the effort to switch your thinking to one project at a time. Focus on the task in front of you and close your mind to everything else. Don’t let any distractions get in the way or think about any lingering thoughts. Make the conscience choice to focus and you’ll find that the task you need to get done, ultimately will.

Use a timer

I am a huge advocate of the Pomodoro techniques which encourages you to focus on a job for 25 straight minutes and then break for 5 minutes. Having a timer and a time of 25 minutes forces you to use your time effectively. It encourages you to sit down and do your  ONE task at hand for a short amount of time. Anything longer than that can take away from your concentration but knowing that it is only 25 minutes will be more manageable.

Don’t burden yourself with pressure

Ultimately, don’t add unnecessary pressure on yourself. If you can’t seem to make time to be productive, it doesn’t help to mope around. Make a commitment to yourself that you will work hard at the task in front of you but that it will not be the end of the world if you do not finish it. People tend to beat themselves over way too often when they procrastinate. Yes, it’s a horrible feeling that we wait until the last minute but when we do, just acknowledge what’s done is done and there is no use dwelling on what could have been.

Being productive requires discipline and patience. You may be antsy to get things done but if you rush into stuff, you will mess up your project and make errors. Write down all of your tasks the morning of your day and go down the list, one by one. You’ll find that you will get more things done when you take it slow and steady and not rushed in. Be committed to being productive and sooner or later, you will get more things done than you could ever imagine.

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Anxiety And How To Break Free

Stress and anxietyStress kills. A bold statement and, unfortunately factual. Some stress is healthy for our bodies, but most of the stress that enter our lives is harmful. When stress becomes chronic, I consider it anxiety. It leads to us worrying about every detail in our life and we become fearful of outcomes and circumstances. We need to train ourselves to fix our anxiety otherwise stress will kill us.

Before panicking over a problem, take time to analyze whether your anxiety is worth the negative stress that will come. Ask yourself does this matter? If this is not a life or death situation, in what way will it affect you. Is your career in jeopardy or are you afraid of disappointing another person? The phrase “it too will pass” is important in this case because most situations turn out fine and people overwhelm themselves by growing frantic over trivial matters. The anxiety you are feeling in these situations is just a passing phase and once it subsides, you’ll find that it was a waste to be worried. Rather than immediately panic, take things slow and you’ll realize that most problems won’t matter.

Guided meditation helps calm the mind. I consider it mental training. Our mind is used to being bombarded with an overload of information. When stressful situations occur, it leads to a higher degree of emotional transmissions to our brain. We become sad, grow fearful, frustrated and possibly angry at everything happening to us. We think about potential awful outcomes. In order to balance these emotions, guided meditation is a resource that one can apply to their lives. By practicing stillness and clearing your mind, the emotions that were overwhelming you will be less effective. You’ll find that peace will come easier and will result in helping you craft a more optimistic attitude while handling any concerns.

Rather than let anxiety dwell, be proactive and find ways to resolve it! Begin by creating a list of steps that has to be accomplished in order to feel satisfied. Take a block out of your time and focus on projects that are outstanding. What are the series of steps you need to complete these projects? What can be one thing you do that will get you closer to your goal? I find that we become increasingly stressed when we feel that there is a lot on our plate but have little time to complete. This is because we do not take the time to fully address how to finish our tasks and choose to ignore it. Over time, our projects start to build and it comes to a halt when it becomes too much. Do your best to stay active and prepared. The only way to do this is to start small and find ways of unloading any burden on your shoulders.

Anxiety has never been absent from our lives. We are always around it regardless of the environment we work or live in. But it seems some handle it better than others and we envy them for their strengths. You can have the same strength if you take the time to be mindful of your stress. Understand that unless it involves a life or death scenario, the anxiety you feel will pass and it’ll leave you wondering why you were worrying at all. Allowing the stress to build can impact your ability to work, think rationally, and be yourself. Don’t allow your anxiety to overcome your mental stability because it will only lead to further stress.

Photo Credit: Holly.

The Best Thing You Can Do Is To Make Mistakes

"If you learn from a loss you have not lost", Austin O`MalleyBefore reading books and blogs on personal development a fear I usually had was that I would constantly be making mistakes. I was under the impression that making a mistake is an indication of failure. In doing something wrong, you were forced to face the consequences. Looking back, I should’ve embraced the mistakes I made in life because they all provided me with valuable lessons that shaped me into who I am today. Don’t dwell on the mistakes you have made but use these experiences to evolve as an individual.

Mistakes can be missteps we took during our journey towards a goal. They range from minor infractions such as forgetting an ingredient in a recipe to major life changing moments such as committing a crime. Depending on the seriousness of the mistake, you could be left with dire consequences. But from the results of your action, you learn from it and use it to better yourself. Mistakes provide ample amounts of learning experiences and teach us different ways to approach life.

When you make a mistake, you learn that you are not invincible. You become vulnerable because you show the world that you are human. It may not feel good but you should embrace the vulnerability because it will keep you grounded and make you aware that these things do happen in life. You can’t beat yourself over it. In addition, society tends to be more empathetic to others who have made mistakes because it is something people can bond over and grow from. We like being around other vulnerable people because it makes us feel that ultimately we are not alone.

As an entrepreneur, mistakes keep you in check. It forces you to be mindful that your business plans may not be working out as well as you thought. It allows you to reanalyze your approach and to regroup. Without mistakes, you may think you have a perfect plan. Mistakes prevent you from growing a huge ego and make you aware of not only your business flaws but your personal ones as well.

Don’t let the concept of mistakes scare you. Everyone makes them and rather than shy away, think about how you can grow from it. People are fearful of being looked down upon for making mistakes but I find that it is worse to not be given opportunities to grow from experience. Have fun developing in life and learn to accept the mistakes that come into your life.

Photo Credit: Celestine Chua

How Reading Affects Your Personal Development

20150202One thing I wish I had done more while growing up would have been reading. As a teenager, reading bored me and I didn’t have the ambition to pick up a book and read for enjoyment. I usually read only when a book was assigned in class and required for homework. Now that I know the benefits and how instrumental it can be in shaping us to become better individuals, I kick myself in the foot for starting late. Presently, I make a commitment to read for at least thirty minutes a day and not limit myself to any genre. If you are not currently reading regularly, I highly encourage you to start because the benefits are enormous.

Reading allows your vocabulary to develop. When we read, we come across words we cannot define. By being introduced to the new word, we learn to recognize it for the next time it may pop up. Our vocabulary bank expands because we are able to add new words to it. We start to conceptualize the meaning of the new word and put it into proper context in our writing. In essence, your brain can become a never-ending storage space of words as long as you persist in your reading.

Everyone has a unique writing style. By reading and studying multiple authors, you learn to craft your writing and improve. Reading dramatically improves your writing ability because of what you learn from other authors. You are able to incorporate any new vocabulary you learn into your writing and develop a voice. From reading, you start to have a firm grasp on structure and grammar as well as a clearer vision for your message. This stems from analyzing the works of other authors.

Aside from becoming a stronger writer and a developed vocabulary bank, you can educate yourself in many ways with reading. In choosing non-fiction books to read, you gain access to a wide array of resources that can help you learn something new. If you wanted to know the history of a particular individual, there are biographies that can provide that research. If you want to study business, then there are books that will enhance your abilities in that field. Reading allows you to learn about topics you normally wouldn’t encounter in your day-to-day life. If you choose not to read, how else will you be able to gain knowledge about a topic? If you’ve never been introduced to it in your lifetime then there’s no way to pull it from your brain. Reading provides the information you need.

My growth has been tremendous because I made the choice to read more. Making a commitment to read can be difficult especially when we lead busy lives but the benefits outweighs the struggle. Reading is a great way to improve yourself because you grow in intelligence and have a better understanding of this world. This planet has such a vast history and there are many personalities living among us. Reading expands your mind and the world that you’re accustomed. Don’t you want to know more and not feel so small? Let reading make you feel big again.

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10 Incredible Routines To Improve Your Life

RoutineI love reading about the productivity habits of others. Knowing what their habits are and what they do to motivate themselves in turn motivates me. It provides me with new habits to instill in my life and strengthen my personal development. Having a routine will streamline your life and make you more well-rounded.

1. Wake Up at 5:00 AM – Yes. This first routine is brutal and I struggle with it. If you are not a morning person, then this can be difficult but the reward is massive. Successful entrepreneurs wake up early in the morning to give them enough time to focus before starting their day. Time is valuable and the more you have, the more opportunities you have to concentrate on your career and advance in it. The morning is often when productivity is at its peak, since your mind is clearest. As a result, it is crucial to do your most important task at the start of the day so you will feel more accomplished throughout it.

2. Meditate for 5 minutesUpon waking up, get out of bed and sit on the floor and be still. Notice your breath and focus. Don’t think about your obligations for the day. Clear your mind and focus on being present. Practice this throughout the day. Meditation is fundamental in establishing a mindfulness routine. It will help you become more grounded and improve every aspect of your life.

3. Move Around!Exercise. Staying active is a significant factor in maintaining your health. By exercising in the morning, you start the day feeling refreshed. It’ll get your blood flowing and make you conscious and prepared for your to-dos. You’ll feel more positive, optimistic and brighter for the upcoming day.

4. Do a puzzle – We think about working our physical traits but its equally as important to work our mental attributes. Do a crossword puzzle, sudoku, or any kind of mental game. Treat your brain like a muscle and train it. Your mind becomes clearer the more you train. You’ll start to think more creatively and out of the box.

5. Read for 30 minutesReading will improve your vocabulary, grammar and overall knowledge of language. Your reading comprehension along with your writing will benefit and these are skills crucial to the work environment. I suggest reading a variety of books. Make a goal to read 30 minutes a day. The reading will start to add up and you’ll become more knowledgeable.

6. Send an email to a friendAs we become older, our group of friends will shift around. It is easy to lose good friends we made during our time in school, job, or social encounters. If you value your friendship then I suggest you send an email to a friend weekly. Catch up and see where they are in life and make them feel like you are there for them. Too often we give up on valuable friendships we’ve made and I find it heartbreaking. Appreciate the time you’ve spent together by sending an email and show you still care.

7. Listen to 15 Minutes of an Inspirational Podcast – When we go after our dreams, we can run into situations where we feel stuck. It becomes hard to get off the couch and do the things you are supposed to do. I’m guilty of this and seek ways of motivating myself. This led me to listening to podcasts and it has been an incredible resource.  Listening to others describe the same faults we all fall victim to is reassuring. They reaffirm your belief that it is not easy to succeed and that it takes a lot of work and dedication to get moving. Go on iTunes, search for “motivation” and listen to one! I assure you it will boost your productivity.

8. Smile – Yes, smiling should be routine if you want to live happier. When you wake up, make a conscious effort to smile. It makes everyone feel good upon seeing one.  Start your day right and appreciate the life you have been given. Smiling lowers stress and makes you approachable. It provides people with the hope of a bright day and makes you appear confident and fun to be around. People appreciate those who smile and are uplifting. Be the spirit that everyone needs.

9. Call A Family MemberOur strongest bonds are sometimes with our family. As we move away and start a family of our own, we want to make sure we maintain that bond with our family. Whether it is our parents, siblings, or cousins, make an effort to call a family member at least once a week. Family will always be there to welcome you home. Don’t let these relationships fall to the waistside because you are too busy. It will hurt you when you realize you have no one to turn to because you gave up on the family.

10. Do One Act of Kindness – Finally, take time to do an act of kindness. It can be as simple as writing a thank you note to a boss or a friend. Buy food for the homeless or donate money to a cause. The idea is to give back to the community. I feel that karma has a way of working in your favor if you give back. Feel proud about the good you do and let that happiness boost your morale and your day.

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Letting Go Of The Problems That Haunt You

How to get over the problems of lifeI believe no one has the perfect life. Buddhism taught me that life would always be full of suffering. Everyone eventually find themselves in situations out of their control and this will lead to stress and frustration. You will feel overwhelmed and won’t be able to stop the negativity from entering your thoughts. You will argue with friends, family and coworkers. Tensions will run high and you will be antagonistic to your loved ones. You may face financial problems and can’t fix it. You will have a predicament at work that prevent you from doing your job efficiently. We will address these issues at some point in our lives and the best thing we can do is to let it go.

Learn to let go of all the problems affecting your well-being. It is painful and unhealthy to let it dwell. You are wasting time feeling sorry for yourself. If you got into a dispute, acknowledge the faults and figure how to grow from the incident. Don’t allow the fight to shape you into a disgruntled individual. Depending on the seriousness of the conflict, it might be best to walk away from the relationship. I am not suggesting you give up on a loved one but be aware that you shouldn’t allow someone to hold the power of bringing out your negativity.

In dealing with financial problems, acknowledge that patience will be your greatest quality that will help you overcome your circumstances. Learn to accept and understand the necessity of bills. You may not have enough money to pay off your debts immediately but learn to take it slow and focus on it one at a time. You will find others in similar situations to you. Having this perspective can ease your worries. It can be scary to not have money to spend on necessities such as food but with time, your hardships will pass. There is no point in panicking over an issue that can’t be fixed instantly. Instead, address the issue and come up with a plan to save money and get yourself out of the financial hole

At work, you can only control yourself and how much effort you want to invest into your career. Unfortunately sometimes, your job may have to rely on someone else. You can’t dictate an individual’s work ethic or their level of passion. You can only focus on doing your job efficiently and try to motivate the other person. It can be frustrating when someone does not put effort into a task but becoming angry will not change the person’s behavior. Keep the focus on yourself and your personal development in the workplace.

You will run into situations that are not always in your favor. You have the choice of feeling bad or moving on. I suggest you move on from the problems and find ways of improving yourself. Learn to rid yourself of anger and accept that your frustrations will pass. Don’t engage with issues beyond your control. Allow life to run its course and sooner than later, it will all blow over.

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Why You Should Be Proud of Who You Are

People say you're unique.Far too often we compare ourselves to other people and not appreciate our uniqueness. Whether you are homeless and living in the streets or a king in a mansion, it is important to recognize one very important thing that you, me and everyone on this planet share in common: we are alive and there is no one in this world exactly like us. Our unique qualities, traits, characteristics define us as individuals. Your look, behavior, mannerism separates you from the person next to you. It is important to be mindful of our individuality because as we progress in life, acknowledging our uniqueness can provide inspiration when we need it most.

Realizing your existence on this planet is a necessary step to understanding your remarkability. In a world with billions of people, you are the only entity that exists. There is not another you and I think this uniqueness should be embraced and loved. When you realize that you have been given a miracle in life and that you get to shape your own destiny, it is quite a wonder.

Along with this mindset, be proud that no one can completely imitate everything about you. There is something innately special about you that only you can make happen. No one can control your actions, thoughts and the way you portray yourself or perceive others. Your thoughts and the decisions you make are your own. You have been given the gift of free will and how you move forth with that gift is up to you. We should be lucky that we are not attached to strings like marionettes and maneuvered to do what someone else pleases. We can break those strings and move on our own because we know that no one should have the ability to determine how we live.

This mindset is helpful when you are battling loneliness and feel out of place. Learning to embrace the qualities that you have will make you happier about yourself. It can raise your self-esteem; build your confidence; and make you look more presentable when you learn to embrace your uniqueness. There will always be someone out there who will love you for whom you are and can’t imagine a life without you. The loneliness and sadness that you feel is temporary because in thinking about your existence, you realize your life truly matters.

We need to be happier with ourselves and how we live. We are constantly concerned about our appearance, status, and well being, rather than be content with what we have now. As the author of this piece, I sometimes look in the mirror and feel angry for comparing myself to others but the reality is, you should look in the mirror and see perfection and a miracle, because that is what you truly are. Learn to embrace and be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished because it will make all the difference in the life that you lead.

Photo Credit: Martinak15

Why Failing Matters

Failure is a good thingI find failure to be wonderful. This does not mean I welcome or ask for it, but when it does come, I say thank you for another lesson learned. Failure is a concept that many of us fear. But we shouldn’t. The fear of failure is irrational and does not do us any good to stress about it. I see failure as a way for us to educate ourselves and find ways to improve for the next step of our life.

People often fear failure because they are hard on themselves and fear ridicule. We get self-conscious and think that if we fail, people will judge us for our inadequacy and that we become unworthy of success. First and foremost, ignore all the judgmental critics out there who question your value and your progress. Second, be proud that you took initiative on a project/task that you felt strongly about and as a result gained a learning experience and now know how to improve for the next time, if you were to attempt it again. And finally, know that you have the upper hand over your critics because you started to do something that was risky and it demonstrated that you had courage and guts.

When your project fails to take off the ground; you didn’t raise enough funds for an event; you didn’t finish the marathon because you hit a wall and got injured; these are all instances, amongst many others, that you feel constitutes yourself as a complete failure. Instead of looking at it as such, learn to recognize how you can do better next time. For example, if you hit the wall in the marathon, perhaps you can change your training habits for the next race. Or you can fundraise your event in a different manner if it didn’t get much money the first time. You’ve learned some new marketing tactics and will recognize what worked and didn’t. The whole idea is that failure teaches us lessons and the valuable part is to take these lessons and use them to your advantage for the next time.

If you have never failed in your life then I consider you to be one lucky individual. For the majority of us however, we have failed multiple times and it did not signify the end of our lives. We always find a way to get back on our two feet and learned how to bounce back. And each time we do bounce back, we gained a little bit of insight in our strengths and weaknesses and learn how to adjust our behaviors to succeed for the next time. If we never get to experience failure then it would be a travesty because we would never have these lessons taught to us and grow as an individual. Learn to savor these experiences of failure and grow from them. Do not see them as a hindrance to your life’s journey. The more you fail, the higher the chances you will succeed in your next endeavor.

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Welcome To The Self Starter Guide

New Start

How does one become a self-starter? Do you need to be smart? Do you have to have money? Or does lady luck constantly have to be by your side? Although all of these qualities and circumstances do help, the key to becoming a self-starter is just to…well…START! And by coming here today, you have already taken the first step in becoming a self-starter.

I welcome you to the Self Starter Guide , dedicated to inspiring, motivating, and getting YOU started on a road that will lead you to your dreams. We are here for advice and mentorship, to get you going towards what you ultimately desire. We all need a little push in life and sometimes we are in such a slump that it feels impossible to get out. We’re here to tell you, it’s okay! The most important thing to recognize is to never let your obstacles get you down and knock you out. We will do anything and everything we can, and along the way provide plenty of resources, that will hopefully get you out of your slump!

The Self Starter guide site will offer a multitude of media and resources that will help you in your journey to declare yourself a self-starter. We will be posting blog posts 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday – subject to change) and provide some reading material for your soul. In addition, every Sunday, there will be a morning podcast that will jumpstart your week and get you motivated. Finally we will have fun motivational videos that can be an additional resource if you are more visual.

We will send out a weekly newsletter to our subscriber with the intention to boost your drive to succeed and improve your productivity. In the upcoming months and years, we will add resources such as books and links to websites that can help you develop as an individual and get you active in the community.

There are no gimmicks with the Self Starter Guide. We are here to help and make sure that you get right back on track to the life that you want to live. The world we live in is a rough, tough, and cruel world at times and there have been moments when we feel all is lost. We want to focus on fostering a community that will encourage us to help each other and find ways that make us smile, constantly. The world is ours for the taking and we can do it as one big family unit.

Thank you so much for taking the time to give us a chance! We positively assure you that over the next few years, we hope to build, prosper as a site, and provide a ton of material and information that can create a whole new you! It is our job to make sure you maintain that mindset and to keep on moving forward. Consider us your guide for life’s journey and your coaches year round.

Welcome to the Self Starter Guide.

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