Category Archives: Self Improvement Tips

Erin’s Things: October 22

By Erin Falconer

You’re reading Erin’s Things: October 22, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

This week I found some major inspo so i’ll just jump right to it! As always, if you have any suggestions that made your week better please share in the comments below or dm me!

  1. IT DEVOURS! By Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Canor – These two have a bestselling novel called ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ for which they also have a podcast. They have decided to wrote another book, this time about how faith and science intersect. In this novel a scientist is investigating a rumbling in the desert, where she discovers a congregation called ‘Smiling God’. She is attracted to a young man she meets there and she must try to reconcile with their very different worldview. Witty and interesting, this book is definitely an entertaining read.
  1. BILLIE EILISH – Billie Eilish O’Connell released a haunting single called ‘Ocean Eyes’ about a year ago, written by her brother Finneas (also a singer). After an extreme 2 million streams on soundcloud, she is now signed to Interscope records, and ar 15 years old she is not at all going to be a cookie cutter pop star. On one soong, she sings about holding someone hostage and burning down their car. Not for the faint of heart, or your average 15 year old I would say. One to watch.
  1. ZOJIRUSHI STAINLESS STEEL TUFF BOTTLE – These bottles look cool. Thankfully, that is not all! They have a lock on vacuum insulation technology that keeps beverages hot or cold for at least 6 hours. They feature a one touch pour through stopper, and a lid that doubles as a cup. Lightweight and durable, they come in a series of mug sized thermos’ as well, and a variety of bright, metallic and pastel colors!
  1. TRAVELING SOLO – I love to be solitary, whether it is hiking or meditating, I prefer these activities solo. Lately, I have been wondering about taking that desire up a notch and traveling solo. At first, it seems daunting and perhaps even lonely that you would not have anyone else to share or witness the experiences with you. As I let go of those limiting thoughts, I realized that it is in fact, the ultimate embodiment of confidence. You will meet morel locals, you will focus more on the destination, you will find your own way and have financial control. Some of the best places to travel alone are: Dublin, San Francisco, Toronto, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur and Brussels. Bon Voyage!
  1. SUPER SOUL SUNDAY – Airing Sundays at 11am/10C on the OWN network, this is Oprah’s talk show on her network. On October 22, 2017, she had a conversation about consciousness with Eckart Tolle (The Power of Now, A New Earth), one of my favorite authors. If you missed it, one can download the app you can watch the episode at any time, and all other episodes that are still available for that matter. Super Soul Sunday is a collection of episodes featuring conversations with thought leaders, authors and wellness experts., as well as feature length documentaries and short form content. The show offers insights in to living your best life.

Hope you have a great week next week!

Be well,

Erin

You’ve read Erin’s Things: October 22, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Read more here:: http://feeds.feedburner.com/pickthebrain/LYVv?format=xml

      

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

4 Tactics to Take Control of Your Career

By Debbie Wooldridge

You’re reading 4 Tactics to Take Control of Your Career, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Millennials—a word synonymous with labels such as lazy, demanding, entitled, impatient and disrespectful. Is it any wonder that many Millennials are finding a less-than-welcoming workplace environment?

A shocking clash of culture between Millennial employees and top-down management can create a very hostile and unsuccessful experience. This lack of understanding is forcing many Millennials to quickly exit their newfound, hard-fought-for jobs in just a matter of months.

So, what’s a Millennial to do? Stand up and fight for your right to contribute! Don’t give up at the first sign of negativity—instead, consider using one or more of the tactics below to demonstrate the value you bring.

Communicate with Confidence

Text messages, instant messages, email and social media messaging are amazing tools that Millennials are extremely confident in using to share opinions, ideas and general discussion. Unfortunately, while these forms of communication are excellent means for getting content out, what they lack is the emotion and the intent behind the information.

Often, what is not said can have a bigger impact on communication than the spoken words. Imagine you are with your manager talking about a challenge that came up on the project. You finish giving all the details, and your manager leans back in her chair, takes a long pause, and says, “Okay.” Chances are, she is not really “okay” with the situation. Leaning back and the long pause are both nonverbal indicators that need to be addressed. Neither of these cues would have been identified had you sent a quick email about the project. And, likely—much further along the project timeline—you would have found out you truly didn’t have your manager’s support.

Quick tip: To be a confident communicator, know when to use the most effective form of communication. Sharing content? Great opportunity to use technology! Needing to have a dialogue? Face-to-face might be the much better route to take.

Take the Wheel

Once you have successfully communicated an idea, and you have support, the next step is taking charge. What better way to overcome the stigma of Millennials being lazy or entitled, than stepping up to the plate to take charge.

Taking charge begins with choosing the players to join you on this venture. Who you select for the team will either help you reach the goal or derail you quickly. Having the right mix of skills, personalities, and work styles will help you minimize potential discord while maximizing effectiveness.

Quick tip: Avoid personality clashes. Just because a resource has the right skill set doesn’t mean the person is the right fit. If he or she doesn’t have the ability to work well with others, you will waste a lot of time on conflict and may derail your entire team, resulting in failure to achieve the goal.

Become a Game Changer

What is a game changer? Game changers are individuals with an imagination, confidence and a willingness to take risk. Game changers can come from any department and any role within an organization. Keep in mind that each of us has the ability to be a positive change agent. We just have to believe passionately in our vision, be relentless in our commitment, be bold and not let anyone tell us we can’t achieve.

Quick tip: Often, ideas are left unspoken because you think, “This sounds crazy,” or “I’m not sure I can pull that off.” Unless you get your ideas out there and gain support, the idea may remain just that—an idea. Keep in mind, crazy ideas are often the ones that change the world.

Be Proactive

Negative experiences happen to all of us. We get passed over for a promotion that we really worked hard to win. We end up having to work late to meet a deadline, making us miss a dinner party we had planned to attend. Teammates fail to deliver on a promised task. Life happens to all of us; it is how we respond that makes all the difference. We can choose to react to all these circumstances, or we can instead choose to be proactive. When we react, we are allowing others to control the situation. When we choose to be proactive, we take control. Proactively anticipate potential problems, take charge of the situation, and remain solution-focused.

Quick tip: Being proactive means that you take ownership of both your successes and failures. Accept responsibility for any mistakes along the way, and use these as opportunities to learn and grow.

These are a few effective ways to ensure you take control of your career, attain your vision and achieve your goals. If you’re interested in learning more helpful tips to drive your career forward in a meaningful way, I invite you to take a look inside my book Unleashing the Intrapreneur, Changing the Face of Corporate America (download a free chapter here) and the companion book, The Manager’s Guide to Unleashing the Intrapreneur (launching October 2017).

You’ve read 4 Tactics to Take Control of Your Career, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Read more here:: http://feeds.feedburner.com/pickthebrain/LYVv?format=xml

      

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

3 Convenient Ways to Be a Lifelong Learner

By amymhaddad

You’re reading 3 Convenient Ways to Be a Lifelong Learner, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Lifelong learning is a buzzword today, and it’s easy to see why. The massive changes in technology and the changing nature of work are reasons to sharpen our skills and expand our knowledge. We need to be lifelong learners, but how?

When people hear “lifelong learning” they often think of getting another degree or taking university-level classes. They dread the costs and time commitment associated with these options. And the caliber of massive open online courses (MOOCs) can range drastically. However, there are high-quality, inexpensive alternatives to consider.

1. The Great Courses Plus

The Great Courses Plus have lifelong learners in mind. It’s an on-demand video service of lectures that cover a range of subjects: history, science, philosophy, economics and finance, travel, and music and fine arts, among many others. Each subject offers a variety of courses to choose from. For example, “history” has over 70 courses; “History of the Ancient World” is one course and it has 48 lectures.

The benefits are many. First, lectures are about 30 minutes long, so you get a dense amount of information in a reasonable amount of time. Second, the price is right. For about the cost of one movie ticket each month, I have access to thousands of videos taught by high-caliber professors.

Third, The Great Courses Plus app makes it easy to learn while you’re on the go. I listen to about two lectures each day walking to and from work; sometimes I download lectures in advance so I can watch them on my smartphone when sitting on the train or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. As a result, I’ve learned about creativity, Japanese history, European art, American history, and writing, among many other topics.

2. Lynda.com

Another online education platform I use regularly is Lynda.com. It consists of thousands of courses on subjects, like technology, business, software, and productivity, that are taught by industry experts. For example, there are more than 200 hundred courses on productivity alone.

A course, which may last a few minutes or several hours, consists of multiple lectures. Lectures typically last just a few minutes, thereby distilling complicated topics into small, digestible bits. Plus, similar to The Great Courses Plus, convenience is key. I often download lectures in advance and listen to them when I’m sitting in the airport or standing in line at the store.

And, once again, the price is right: for the price of a meal out each month I have the convenience and expertise Lynda.com offers.

3. Audiobooks

Listening to audiobooks is not a novel concept, but it seems to be glossed over today. That’s a shame, because listening to audiobooks are an easy, and often free, way to cycle through a lot of information quickly.

I download books from my library and listen to them on my smartphone during the course of my day. Sure, I prefer sitting down in a comfortable chair and reading a physical book. But audiobooks are another convenient and inexpensive way to learn.

Of course there are many other ways to keep learning, like reading and listening to podcasts. Reading is valuable, but I find that podcast episodes vary greatly in terms of quality. In contrast, the quality of a Great Course or Lynda.com course is consistently high over time. When I start a Great Course lecture, I know it’ll be an information filled, thought-provoking 30 minutes.

The above options make learning about a wide variety of subjects easy, affordable, and enjoyable. Now you can fill pockets of time throughout your day with quality information.


Amy Haddad writes for a Chicago-based software company. She is also a freelance writer and blogger, writing about productivity, art, and technology. Read her blog at amymhaddad.com.

You’ve read 3 Convenient Ways to Be a Lifelong Learner, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Read more here:: http://feeds.feedburner.com/pickthebrain/LYVv?format=xml

      

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

(3) Habits For Living A Bold and Authentic Life

By Bob Olmstead

You’re reading (3) Habits For Living A Bold and Authentic Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

For thousands of years, storytelling has been a way to pass down wisdom from one generation to the next. There is a reason for this.

Stories make accessible the wisdom of our elders and our peers. Through a tale well told, we find answers. Insight. Even hope.

And so our search for boldness, for authenticity in this life, begins with three stories. Each daring us to form a new habit. Each daring to go to another level.

The Architect & Habit #1 – Take Ownership

He briefly looks over his client list. Frank Sinatra. Lucille Ball. Lon Chaney. His mind wanders. What a journey it has been. Beyond words.

That spaceship looking building at LAX. Other notable buildings. Will anyone know that he had a hand in those designs? He doubts it but that’s ok.

It has been one hell of a ride. A ride that started in the 1920’s and continued for forty years. It was a good run. A really good run.

And his talent for rendering architectural drawings upside down, that always caught their eye. But it was more than a trick.

It put his clients at ease because back then, many of his clients were uncomfortable sitting next to a black man. And that’s what he was. A black man.

The true story of Los Angeles architect Paul Williams.

Don’t make excuses and don’t blame others. Take personal responsibility for your life.

The Politician & Habit #2 – Be Mindful

His mastery with the pen would make even the most savage of warriors think twice. And so it was in the late 1800s. An adversary had appeared.

And he would strike that adversary down from the shadows, through an alias, no less. Anonymous articles submitted to a local newspaper.

All the key ingredients for sabotage were there. An anti-immigrant subplot. Charges of incompetence. Other nuances. But he overplayed his hand and got caught.

He would have to face his adversary in a duel to the death.

The 6’4” Abraham Lincoln wisely choose a broadsword as his weapon of choice. A wise decision because back then, men with Lincoln’s reach were very rare.

Upon seeing this, James Shields, Lincoln’s adversary, decided to work things out. The duel was over before it ever began. But for Lincoln, it was a wake-up call.

His emotions had gotten the best of him. It was a mistake he would not make again. Letters penned in anger, he decided, deserved a good night’s rest.

Learn to calmly sit with your emotions, no matter what. Let go of the need to control people, places, and things. Learn to mindfully react to all things.

The Imagineer & Habit #3 – Speak Your Truth

Would people ever truly get him? His inner world. The fantastical things going on inside his head. Did people get the importance of such things?

It didn’t matter. He would do them anyway.

Animation as high art. People had their doubts until he started winning Oscars. But what about the blending of technology and art? Not enough was being done there.

He would fix that.

And then he had the crazy idea of bringing his animated worlds to life. It would cost a fortune to build but it had to be done. He would build an amusement park without equal.

On July 17th, 1955– The Magic Kingdom opened its doors.

Walt Disney continually faced impossible odds and criticism. And yet his visionary convictions remained. His truth was non-negotiable.

You have but one life, make the most of it! Honor the voice within.

Everyday Humans Welcome

All that is well and good, but most of us will never become the next Walt Disney. What then? These habits offer as much value to you and me, as they do anyone else.

Taking ownership is getting fed up with your own excuses. It’s saying, enough is enough and grabbing the bull by the horns. It’s choosing to rise rather than fall.

Being mindful is simply not reacting. That’s it. Just don’t react. It’s grabbing your breath to get some perspective. It’s calmly working through a problem versus intensely reacting to a problem.

And honestly, for most people, speaking your truth can be as simple as saying “no” more often. Or it’s chasing a dream. Leaving a job. Or changing a circumstance.

Perhaps it’s time to tell all of your story, not just good stuff.

Absent these three fundamentals, little will change. Absent these three fundamentals, chaos and reaction will reign supreme.

But master these three fundamentals and everything changes. Your focus. Your sense of self. The results you get in all areas of life.

The pinball is no longer stuck between the bumpers.

You’ve read (3) Habits For Living A Bold and Authentic Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Read more here:: http://feeds.feedburner.com/pickthebrain/LYVv?format=xml

      

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Get Out the Microscope: The Flaw with the Big Picture

By Maria Kathlyn Tan

You’re reading Get Out the Microscope: The Flaw with the Big Picture, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

I’ve always been a ‘big picture’ kind of gal.

This characteristic has served me well throughout my life, manifesting itself in my relentless drive to attain what I want.

But that isn’t always the case.

I remember a time when I had noticed an increased sense of impatience within me – and it had spiraled to a point where my external circumstances were reflecting what I was feeling inside.

I was experiencing such things as…
– unexpected client cancellations
– delayed payments on invoices issued
– delayed responses from colleagues on collaboration
– slight friction within my own team
– a broken glass candle holder at my altar
– and the delayed launch of a webpage

Realizing that the above were happening all at the same time, I knew I had to step back.

And not just one step, but miles back. There was obviously something I wasn’t seeing, and I needed to get some distance. I started voicing out my frustrations – in my journal, to my personal trainer, to my business buddies. The release felt good, and it helped me to recognize the elephant in the room. I was focused so much on the things I wanted and I couldn’t see what was in front of me.

That is, until my personal training session.

I was sounding off my frustration to my trainer at not seeing the weight drop I expected. I went on and on about my change of diet, increase of exercise, improved breathing… I was doing everything I ‘should,’ so why no noticeable change? Why weren’t my efforts paying off the way I wanted them to?

It should be a no-brainer, right?

But it wasn’t. Not for me and my big-picture vision.

My trainer listened to me go on and on and on until he finally said something that really hit the nail on the head: the big picture can be unreliable.

Indeed.

We focus on the Big Picture so much that we don’t notice the microscopic things that affect us, such as increased food intake to compensate for the energy loss during exercise. He cited studies where even dietitians hadn’t realized how much they were actually consuming until they diligently recorded every single thing they were eating.

At first I discounted what he said, adamant that my food intake hadn’t changed.

But what he said lingered in my mind long after the session was done. I observed the amount of food I was eating, and the frequency of it. I realized that although the frequency didn’t change, I was eating a bit more each time. He was right!

And that inspired me to take a holistic view in my life.

Where was I feeling inadequate because I was so attached to my Big Picture?

Where was I beating myself up because the vision and mission I set for myself was not here yet?

I dug deep and looked at all the things I was frustrated about – why I hadn’t done XYZ, why I hadn’t achieved XYZ, and then…

…I realized one crucial thing that people are not talking about:

There is a necessary balance between the Big Picture and the Microscopic View.

I realized how important it is to really go microscopic with what we have accomplished.

When we zoom in on the details of our lives, we see so much more of what has been accomplished, rather than remaining focused too much on the big picture – that long-distance goal which is not even here yet.

The big picture offers us focus and motivation. But it’s at the microscopic level where we find the little things that actually center us and propel us forward.

For instance, I may not have lost the weight that I wanted to lose, but I was healthier, and happier.

While I was focusing on the numbers on the scale (the big picture), I was giving no value to my dietary changes, my increased activity, or my improved breathing (the little motivators). These were all successes I could celebrate…if I were to zoom in on them. But by not paying them any mind, I became solely frustrated about my weight because I hadn’t achieved my goal. And I discredited everything else.

The same applied to my business frustrations.

At the time when I thought I wasn’t hitting my goals, I was feeling like a loser. I wasn’t looking at the small achievements. I wasn’t congratulating myself on the little jobs well done. I was mooning over the big picture, and of course that is going to foster impatience!

Now I take the time to both look back and look ahead.
I review the milestones I’ve achieved.
And I also focus on where I am headed while staying with one key measurement:

If I am 0.0001% better than yesterday, I have a reason to celebrate!


A transformation catalyst, Maria Kathlyn Tan (aka Miracle Maria) helps soul-centered entrepreneurs transcend reality and create miracles in life and business. She hosts Master Classes, Group Programs, and 1:1 VIP Programs all year round.

You can connect with her on Facebook at [https://www.facebook.com/everylittlemiraclecounts], on Instagram as [@maria_and_miracles], and on her website at [maria-miracles.com].

You’ve read Get Out the Microscope: The Flaw with the Big Picture, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Read more here:: http://feeds.feedburner.com/pickthebrain/LYVv?format=xml

      

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Stressed or Depressed? Know the Difference

By melissajones

You’re reading Stressed or Depressed? Know the Difference, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Stressed or Depressed? Know the Difference

Often in our daily lives, we use the terms stress and depression interchangeably as if they mean the same thing. Although they have similar symptoms, can be dealt with in almost the same manner and one may actually lead to another, they are two different conditions. But the line between the two can seem pretty thin at times, and sometimes the only way to determine whether you are dealing with one or the other is to consult a professional.

What is stress?

Stress is the experience of being overwhelmed or being under too much pressure mentally and emotionally. It is usually triggered by a current situation in your life that is too much for you to handle. It could be bills that you can’t afford to pay, too much school work, a family feud, a relationship that you can’t control, etc.

Stress is too mild to be classified as an illness or disorder. But it can quickly develop into one if it’s not dealt with. Less of it is considered normal and harmless and might even be helpful. It can motivate you to take decisive action like beating a looming deadline for example. On the other hand, too much stress can affect your life negatively.

What is depression?

Depression is far more severe than stress, and its effects are long-lasting. It is a condition where you experience low moods most of the time. It makes you feel down, unmotivated and uninterested in the things that usually make you happy. Unlike stress which seems to have a visible trigger, depression can come out of the blue.

It can arise from one painful experience or a buildup of different things over time. It is triggered by the resurgence of old, repressed emotions. Because of its irrational nature, depression makes you feel like you are not in control. If not treated, the condition can spiral into suicidal thoughts.

What are the symptoms of stress and depression?

The symptoms of stress and depression can be hard to tell apart. They sometimes overlap, and it can be difficult to know whether you are depressed or just feeling stressed. Though the two may appear similar, the symptoms of depression are too intense and may last for weeks while those of stress will only last a few days.

Symptoms of Stress

  • Feeling nervous, anxious, or agitated
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Hard time relaxing or sleeping
  • Hard to concentrate
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Regular Headaches
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Worrying constantly
  • Losing interest in social life
  • Feeling like you can’t handle life’s difficulties

Depression Symptoms

  • Feeling sad or hopeless for long
  • Feeling exhausted, unmotivated and lacking energy
  • Continuous shame or guilt
  • Rapid changes in mood, from anger to rage
  • Changes in eating habits, losing or gaining weight
  • Thoughts of committing suicide
  • Memory Lapses
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Losing interest in social life
  • Feeling like you can’t handle life’s difficulties

How are stress and depression similar?

  • They both occur differently per individual. What may trigger them in one person may not in another person
  • They both affect your mood and energy levels. They make you feel down and unenergetic
  • They both change your sleeping patterns. You can lack sleep (insomnia) or sleep more than usual
  • They all disturb your eating habits. They can either make you overeat or lose interest in food.
  • They both disrupt your normal functioning. You can struggle to function and concentrate at your place of work.
  • They all make you lose interest in your social life. You want to stay in isolation and no longer want to be close to friends and family.

How are stress and depression different?

  • Stress is triggered by something obvious while depression may arise from anywhere.
  • Stress disappears when life events change. Depression can last for years no matter what changes happen in your life.
  • Stress is affected by current events while depression arises due to a resurgence of unresolved past emotions
  • If untreated, stress may lead to depression or anxiety. If not resolved promptly, depression may lead to suicidal thoughts
  • Stress enjoys social acceptance and is sometimes encouraged. Depression still faces a lot of stigmas
  • Low levels of stress can be beneficial. Low levels of depression are still debilitating.

How do you treat stress and depression?

The good news is that both stress and depression are treatable. There are many ways of treating stress, some of which include dealing with the trigger head on or taking care of your body. Unfortunately, depression is too severe a condition, and you may not snap out of it alone. You need to get professional help. But some methods of alleviating stress can also reduce symptoms of depression.

Ways to mitigate stress

  • Formulate a plan – Find out what is triggering it and brainstorm for solutions. Pick on a few solutions and start working on them immediately.
  • Avoid stressful situations – take breaks regularly whenever you feel anxious, tired or worried. Take the time to blow off some steam
  • Take care of your body – Maintaining a healthy body can help you cope with stress. Exercise regularly, eat healthy foods and get enough sleep daily.
  • Seek help – Don’t suffer in silence. If the situation appears to get out of control, seek help from a professional or someone you trust.

Get help if depressed

Depression is a very serious mental condition. However, it is nothing to be ashamed of. If you experience symptoms of depression, seek help immediately. The earlier you start treatment, the better.

In summary

Stress and depression are two different conditions, but they do share some similarities, which is why some people tend to confuse them. Stress is a temporal condition triggered by a current life event. It is less severe and easy to deal with. Depression is triggered by the resurgence of old buried emotions. It is serious, and those who suffer from it need expert help.


Melissa Jones is the Head Marketing Communications of We Are Top 10. She is a procaffinator and loves to read any kinds of books and passionate writing blogs on different topics.

You’ve read Stressed or Depressed? Know the Difference, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Read more here:: http://feeds.feedburner.com/pickthebrain/LYVv?format=xml

      

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

5 Ways Photography Can Change Your Outlook in Life

By val.hirst

Photographer on the cliff

You’re reading 5 Ways Photography Can Change Your Outlook in Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

A lot of people turn to photography as a hobby, because aside from providing them with a fun and engaging activity, it also gives them a means of expressing their creativity. But there’s more to it than that.

In many ways, photography can also positively influence your mindset and change the way you approach life. But if you need a bit more convincing, here are some of the ways photography can benefit your journey to self-improvement:

  1. It heightens your self-awareness

Photography trains you to spot a possible subject from afar, and to compose a good photo in an instant. This practice increases your mindfulness because it encourages regular use of your senses.

When applied to everyday life, self-awareness can help enhance your relationship with yourself and other people because it enables you to get to know yourself better and therefore communicate your thoughts, feelings, and needs on a more solid level.

  1. It enables you to appreciate the good in the bad

If you were to examine the works of some of the world’s most renowned photographers, you’ll notice that many of them tend to feature scenes or subjects that are not considered conventionally beautiful—sometimes even downright unappealing. And yet, these photographers are able to turn these unattractive scenes into works of art. This tells you that, with the right mindset, even the most mundane subjects can appear beautiful and meaningful.

Taking a good photo isn’t just about having the right camera equipment (although this is a big factor) at your disposal. It’s also about having an eye for all kinds of beauty. Photography teaches you to look for beauty wherever you go, even in subjects that seem lackluster or ordinary. And once you have trained yourself to do so, you begin to apply the same principle in all aspects of your life. You’ll find yourself being grateful for the things you used to take for granted, and finding the good in situations that appear to be negative or hopeless.

  1. It makes you more resilient

Photographers don’t usually get a photo right on the first try. They take several (sometimes even hundreds) of shots before they finally capture the image they wanted to create. Unless you’re a complete pro at photography, it usually takes a lot of trial and error to achieve what you want.

Aside from the difficulties involved in capturing the right photo, broadening your knowledge in photography will bring you to various places and expose you to all kinds of shooting conditions. Being able to overcome the different issues and obstacles that come with these situations cultivates resilience, and when you apply this kind of mindset to everyday situations, you become more adaptable and resourceful when faced with the challenges that life will throw at you.

The craft itself also serves as an outlet for your emotions, thus easing everyday stress and giving you a better perspective in how to respond to trying situations.

  1. It allows you to fully be present

There’s a famous quote from Bill Keane that goes, “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” This reminds us how each new day is an opportunity to start over, so we should focus on making the most out of it and not wallow in the past nor worry about the future.

One of the keys to happiness is being fully present in the current moment. This allows you to focus your energy on the important things that need to be done right in front of you and not be consumed by over thinking. As a result, you’ll be more productive and have better peace of mind.

Photography requires you to be fully present. It trains you to always be on the lookout for photographic opportunities wherever, whenever. This forces you to be more aware of your surroundings and to be in the moment, leaving you little to no time to worry about the past or the future.

  1. It helps you see things in a more positive light

All the benefits stated above points to one thing—photography makes you more positive. It opens your eyes to how big the world is, and how you do not need to confine yourself to the negative thoughts and actions you are experiencing as of the moment. It allows you to see and experience beauty in different ways, which is more uplifting and satisfying than constantly focusing on the bad.

And because you’ll realize how big the world really is, you begin to feel more hopeful as you go through the motions of life, knowing deep inside that no matter how bad things turn out, you can always get back up and find a place where you can start over.


Valeri Hirst is a freelance writer, lay-out artist, and photographer. When she’s not traveling, she enjoys reading science fiction (which is not that popular these days) or writing stories, poems, essays, and more. Follow her: Twitter and LinkedIn

You’ve read 5 Ways Photography Can Change Your Outlook in Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Read more here:: http://feeds.feedburner.com/pickthebrain/LYVv?format=xml

      

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

How to Rejuvenate Your Life with These Remarkable Lifestyle Changes

By suzannewinchester

lifestyle changes

You’re reading How to Rejuvenate Your Life with These Remarkable Lifestyle Changes, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

The quest for happiness is innate to human beings. Even in ancient times when there was no global connectivity and no axe to grind with one another, civilizations prevailed because of stability and an urge of making kingdoms happy.

Coming back to the present context, today human existence is grappling with a huge range of issues. Terrorism, famine, poverty, fundamentalism, tyranny and social crimes are eliciting a grim picture to the fore. The good thing, however, is being happy doesn’t have to do anything with these issues. It is something that is at the core our existence.

Unfortunately, many people succumb to unfavorable circumstances and make themselves lead a miserable life. It is noteworthy to understand that only a happy person can make others happy.

If you want to be happier & healthier and ready to make lifestyle changes, there are several ways to do that. It is about time you have made a decision to be happy and bring the smile to the faces of your loved ones.

lifestyle changes

Here are the powerful lifestyle changes you need to rejuvenate your life with:

  1. Be compassionate and help others

You are not the only one who is in dire straits, there are others who need your help and who do not know to get over their sorrows. Be compassionate and extend your helping hand to such people. This is a great human service and you will forget your own unhappiness. There is an age-old philosophy – “what goes around comes around” – so if you are ready to extend this gesture, you will get it back with interest. However, you shouldn’t help others for getting something in return, for such an attitude will not fulfill the purpose of attaining happiness. Rather, being compassionate and helpful gives a great satisfaction. By doing that you are providing a life change for two individuals – yourself and the recipient of your compassion.

  1. Connect with your friends

Being with friends is one of the greatest fulfillment. You don’t have to think and behave in a particular manner whenever you hang-out with your friends. When you are unhappy and hopeless, your friends are there for you. Moreover, staying isolated and lonely makes no sense when we are social animals and enjoy one another’s company. Be it a friend, family member or a colleague, you need a selfless person who can keep you motivated and lively. Indulge in a conversation with your friends and intimate them about the challenges you are confronting and the things you are learning from them. It would be great if you keep organizing sweet get- together with your close pals and spend precious moments with each other. On other occasions such as weddings or birthdays of your friends, you can give them their favorite bottle of beer with personalized beer bottle labels having photos and images of previous memories.

  1. Laugh, smile and encourage others to do so

Laughter has an enormous healing power as it is often termed as the best medicine. Spend some time with people who make you laugh or you can watch comic videos on the internet. Indulging in activities that prompt laughter, will give you a big relief and you can feel the flow of happiness. However, you shouldn’t stop at that, you should encourage others to laugh as well. Since laughter is contagious, your act of laughing may titillate others as well. It ensures that you are spreading a sense of positivity around yourself. Furthermore, smiling releases endorphins – hormones of happiness. A good way of smiling is to get hold of an old photo album consisting memorable photographs. Just go through them and you won’t stop yourself from smiling.

  1. Be grateful

Be grateful for life, as some moments bring happiness while others may make you upset, but the simple fact of life is it is your own choice to be happy and healthy. Many philosophers believe making a statement gives an individual more of what he is grateful for. So if you believe that you are grateful for a good health – you will indeed get more good health. Being grateful for the beauty of nature even soothes your innermost self. Come out and go into the lap of nature and feel the lush green trees, blooming flowers and appreciate mountains & valleys. If being grateful in this manner doesn’t make you feel happy and fulfilling, nothing is.

  1. Exercise regularly

Exercise is considered as a cure for every disease and negativity that unfortunately may come in your life. A regular exercise not only keeps your body weight in check, and it makes you stronger and gives you a feeling of youthfulness. When you work out daily, you become active, less stressed out, less anxious, calm and more importantly happier. Exercise releases dopamine – a neurotransmitter in your brain that is responsible for happiness and pleasure. Exercising also boosts your confidence. It gives you a feeling that you are well within the reach of neutralizing negative effects in your life.

Final Words

Happiness cannot and should not be one’s destination; it should be a way of life. Nobody can make you happy if you yourself don’t want to be. Everything in life cannot go according to your will, in fact sometimes everything opposite happens. But you always have options and reasons to be happy. The above-mentioned lifestyle changes are powerful tips to remain happy and healthy in life.

You’ve read How to Rejuvenate Your Life with These Remarkable Lifestyle Changes, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Read more here:: http://feeds.feedburner.com/pickthebrain/LYVv?format=xml

      

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

5 Ways to Identify Toxic Friendship

By thebookofsarah_

You’re reading 5 Ways to Identify Toxic Friendship, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

When we talk about emotional abuse, most times we associate it with romantic relationships. We take advice on ways to identity if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship and what to do about it. What we forget is that, even friendship can be emotionally abusive. Most emotionally abusive people have low self esteem, and therefore poke at your emotions to lower your esteem too and bring you down to their level.

This results to a toxic friendship; where your friend feeds you all the negative juice and you drink it up. As a result, you become emotionally bruised and drained. It’s hard to tell if a friendship is toxic, but once you are out of it, it feels like a breath of fresh air. You may need some time away from this person to detoxify.

Here is how to identify emotional abuse from a friend:

Pointing out your insecurities

We all have some insecurity that we are sensitive about. Though it may come out as a joke when a friend points some of them out, sometimes it is not so funny, especially if it is on issues on your weak areas. If your friend always comments about your weight, knowing you have weight issues, or your cellulite, your broken nose which you are really sensitive about, they may be using these features to bring you down. Try and note under which context such comments come up. There is a difference between an honest friend and one who is intentionally bringing you down.

Bad mouthing your other friends

This person always bad-mouths your other friends, so that all you see are their faults and choose to avoid them. Before you know it, you have cut off most of your friends and are totally dependent on this friend. This way, it seems as if it is the two of you against the world, while in reality, you are stuck with their friendship as you don’t have much of a choice.

Reminding you constantly of your past mistakes

We all have that one boyfriend we regret ever dating, or that one time you may have betrayed someone and felt really bad about it. Though some of these things are laughable today, some are best kept in the past. This is especially if you felt really bad about them and you have already forged a way forward into better decision making. If this friend keeps reminding you of that terrible ex-husband, and point out your poor decision making, it may make you relive the past which is best left there, in the past. Good friends commend your effort to make better choices and try to see the good in you, especially if you struggle with your past choices.

Playing victim at every circumstance

Reverse psychology is an old trick when one intends to take you on a guilt trip. This friend plays victim in each situation that you go through and makes you feel guilty over things that are not your fault. They take everything way too personal and make it look like your fault that things did not go your way. This is a form of manipulative behavior to coerce you to do things their way.

Help you so that you ‘owe’ them

A gift or some assistance may look innocent some times, thought other times it can be meant to hold you hostage. A toxic friend will always remind you of that time they helped you out so that you feel that you owe them. This ‘debt’ could run for years, or they will constantly jump to help so that you are more and more indebted to them. It is important to differentiate between someone helping you from the goodness of their heart and someone who intends to use their ‘help’ against you.


Sarah is a self improvement enthusiast. She is also a lover of life, food, coffee, books and travel (not necessarily in that order). Introvert. Lifelong student.

Website link: www.thebookofsarah.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebookofsarah_/

You’ve read 5 Ways to Identify Toxic Friendship, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Read more here:: http://feeds.feedburner.com/pickthebrain/LYVv?format=xml

      

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Triumph Beyond Bounds: 8 Effective Ways To Pick Yourself Up And Take Charge Of Your Life

By Joseph Chukwube

You’re reading Triumph Beyond Bounds: 8 Effective Ways To Pick Yourself Up And Take Charge Of Your Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Quite a lot of people have, at one time or another, found themselves at the last rung of the ladder.

If you do a random sampling, you will find out that a lot of people have passed through this stage of life.

While some decided to resign to fate, others felt they must put in a fight to effect a change in their fortunes.

The fact is that we can fall at any point in our life but what makes the difference and what determines the type of stuff you are made of is whether or not you are able to pick yourself up, dust your butt, and tell yourself “I’m going to give it a resounding whack.”

If for any reason you are struggling to pick yourself up and take charge of your life, the following 8 effective ways come in handy as the magic wand you have been waiting for.

1. Avoid detractors

As someone striving to stand back on their feet, this is the very first thing you should do.

Detractors are the people who originally wanted you to be in that situation. They are a total bunch of no-gooders

They prefer to have you laze about with them. They practically have no goal in life and you will only end up being miserable in their midst.

2. People already walked the path, Pick a role model

Now that you have decided to take charge, it will make a very big step in the right direction if you have a role model. This is somebody you may like to fashion your life after.

Incidentally, there are thousands of people who have made it starting from the scratch. You may even discover that what you experienced was more of a stumble when you come across some of the successful individuals who call the shots today.

3. Don’t just work, Map out your goals

Goals and targets put a spirit of competition into all you do. You must have a yardstick to measure how far you are going about accomplishing what you have set out to do.

You will be charged up to do more once you realize that you are not meeting up with your target.

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

4. The word is ours, Explore it

You need to venture out of that hole you have encaved yourself in if you want to move forward.

The world is full of opportunities and the social media and internet as a whole has brought the world even closer to you.

If you cultivate the spirit of adventurism, you’ll discover opportunities hidden from the world at large — remember that the creation of the web browser, Chrome, has further led to the creation of successful businesses in the forms of Chrome Extensions and Apps, just as WordPress led to the creation of successful businesses from plugins, theme platforms, and more.

5. Give your gut feeling some credence

There is every reason for you to trust your gut feelings. What your guts tell you is actually the real stuff. You can’t be deceived by that.

You need to realize that nobody knows you better than yourself. People may assume what is best for you but you alone know for sure.

6. Charge up your optimism

You clearly need the go-getter attitude in your life. Stop seeing things from the negative side. Those heights you are thinking of are definitely very surmountable.

Once you cultivate a positive attitude towards life you will see things falling in place rather very quickly. You will even be surprised at the turn of events.

7. Go hard or go home

You can no longer afford to be lily-livered. You need to stand up to realities of life. Look problems at eyeball to eyeball. You must stop being queasy and don’t chicken out at every little difficulty.

Your audacity and courage speak volumes of you. People you come across and engage with in life rate you on your boldness. This determines how you run your business or even how your fellow staffers view you.

Wherever and whenever it is necessary, come out with both barrels blazing.

8. No mistakes, only stepping stones

You went down the first time but fortunately, you did not go out.

For all intents and purposes, you must have discovered what sent you to the dregs you’re trying to escape from.

It will be foolhardy if you don’t learn from your past mistakes with every determination to not fall a victim again.

On a parting note, you should be raring to go.

You’ve read Triumph Beyond Bounds: 8 Effective Ways To Pick Yourself Up And Take Charge Of Your Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Read more here:: http://feeds.feedburner.com/pickthebrain/LYVv?format=xml

      

  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon