Turn Your Obstacles into Opportunities

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Every person has obstacles in their life. How they overcome them determines their success.

Some people see obstacles as a puzzle to solve. Others see obstacles as threats. Still, others see obstacles as meaning they cannot succeed. Your view of barriers to achieving your goals affects how you react.

When you see obstacles as an opportunity to grow, you change your destiny and the quality of your life forever.

 

Think about these following tips we’re presenting to you… which ones do you already do well, and which ones could you add to your style of overcoming obstacles?

 

See your obstacles as just detours along the way

Never stop believing in yourself and in the achievability of your goals. Surely you already heard the motto “obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off your goals”. Don’t let giving up be a part of your culture, do something worthwhile.

Once your eyes are set on your target, don’t get sidetracked by minor obstacles; no matter how hard it gets, stick to your plan.

 

Hope alone will never get you there

There will always be complications as you move towards your goals, and wishing them away won’t work.

When you create specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based goals (also known as SMART), in a way, you’re ensuring success. Measure and celebrate your progress and accomplishments to motivate and propel you forward at a faster pace.

Always set those standards and see how much easier it will be to keep moving ahead in spite of obstacles.

 

Focus on what you can do

There will always be things out of your control. Instead of wasting time and effort thinking about the things we cannot do, focus on what you can do. Use the obstacle as a means to become better or think of creative ways to overcome it.

When you hit a wall, don’t just stand there and wonder why you hit the wall; find a way to climb, go around it, or breach through it to get to the other side.

 

Control your response to events

We can’t control the events and circumstances of life, but we can control how we react to them, our response.

If you want to prevail despite the odds, choose attitude. Develop an unshakable belief in yourself and your capabilities; have the confidence to be the exception, the one who overcomes all obstacles, someone who’s willing to bet on yourself.

 

All in all, obstacles are inevitable.

All successful people have faced and overcome their own obstacles.

Find conviction in your goals, create a smart plan, come up with creative solutions and get into the right mindset… you do all that, and you’ll have the power and the determination to succeed.

 

Stay strong!

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Harnessing the Overlooked Power of Faith

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“There is no problem in any situation that faith will not solve.”

What if we believe there is a beneficent order to things? A force that’s holding things together without our conscious control?

What if we could get to see that force at work in our daily lives?
And what if we could believe this force to be loving, caring and protective in essence?

 

The Universe is an array of mechanisms with a brilliance of design and efficiency our human efforts haven’t got even close to grasping… Planets revolve around stars, seeds become flowers, and embryos become babies, all without any help from us; we don’t have to make them work, they just do.

Nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease . . . with carefreeness, harmony, and love. And if we could harness the forces of harmony, joy, and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease.

Their flow is built into a natural system, and you and I are an integral part of that system.

 

What if we could let our lives be directed by the same force that makes flowers grow, instead of forcing our will into it?
What if we could rely more on Faith?

But what is Faith? Is it to place our trust into something based on things we hope for?
I believe that’s a poor, traditional, and weak definition of it

Faith is trust in the force that moves the Universe. Faith isn’t blind, it is visionary; it is believing that the Universe is on our side and that the Universe knows what it’s doing.

Faith is a psychological awareness of an unfolding force for good, constantly at work in the world around us.

 

When we attempt to direct or manipulate this force, we only interfere with is; but when we trust and relax into it, we allow it to work on our behalf.

When we don’t use our Faith, we’re frantically trying to control what it is not our business to control and to control what it’s not in our power to fix. I mean we can, but only from our limited and biased point of view, which most of the time is far from what’s really best for us, and ends up being a waste of our time.

We truly find our power not in actively pursuing a goal, but in finding the path of less resistance; allowing our goal to come naturally to us.

 

Every given moment is as it’s supposed to be.
When we accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as they happen, we take responsibility for those situations and events, and stop seeing them as problems and start seeing them as learning and growth opportunities, and that allows us to take those moments and transform them into a great benefit.

That’s the way we get in harmony with the flow of the Universe.

 

 

Stay strong!

Keep Your Cool and Find Your Way to Success

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The ability to remain calm under pressure is an almost certain way to create success.

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance.

Research made with more than a million people found that 90 percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.

Prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control. The tricky thing about stress though (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress.

As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless; it is the intermittent stressful events that keep the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert,

Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ under stressful circumstances. This lowers their stress levels regardless of what’s happening in their environment, ensuring that the stress they experience is intermittent and not prolonged.

 

This is what they do that most people don’t:

They appreciate what they have.

Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, because it reduces drastically the stress levels in the body.

 

They avoid asking “What if?” negatively

Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action that will calm you down and keep your stress under control.

 

They stay positive.

Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. The key is selecting something positive to think about.

 

They disconnect.

When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Taking regular time off the grid can help keep your stress under control.

 

They squash negative self-talk.

The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts.

 

They reframe their perspective.

You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So before you spend too much time dwelling on something, take a minute to put the situation in perspective.

 

They breathe.

The easiest way to make stress intermittent lies in something that you have to do every day anyway: breathing. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back.

 

They use their support system.

It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it.

 

 

So, what can YOU do to enter your calm state?

See you next week. Stay strong!

 

 

 

 

(source: Travis Bradberry)

A Better World through Compassionate Leadership

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There is an ancient tradition that describes three styles of compassionate leadership: The Trailblazer, who leads from the front, taking risks and setting an example; there is also The Ferryman, who accompanies those in his care and shapes the ups and downs of the crossing; and finally, there is The Shepherd, who sees every one of his flock into safety –or success, before himself.

These are three different styles and approaches, but they have an all-encompassing concern for the wellbeing of those they lead in common.

Leaders, whatever field they work in, have a strong impact on people’s lives and on the world in general.

No matter how much time we have to live, we should work to leave the world a better place.
But, what does that better world look like?

I believe a better world is one where people are happier. We all want to be happy; our desire for happiness is something we all share.

Today though, the world seems to be facing an emotional crisis, when the stress, anxiety, and depression rates are higher than ever.
The gap between rich and poor, and between CEOs and employees is at a historic high; and the ever-present focus on turning a profit often overrules our commitment to people, the environment, and our society.
We work closely together every day, but in spite of it, many feel lonely and stressed… there is a lack of responsibility toward each other, and we tend to forget that we, as humans, are physically, mentally, and emotionally the same.

We need to ask ourselves what’s going wrong.

Perhaps our strong focus on material development and wealth accumulation had led us to deny our basic human need for connection and contribution.

Reconnect with the oneness of humanity and altruism is fundamental for societies and organizations, as well as their individuals in order to thrive in the long run.

And we all have a responsibility to make this happen.

So, what can leaders do?

Practice mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion

Cultivate your own peace of mind. Destructive emotions like anger and attachment cloud our ability to use our intellect clearly, so we need to tackle them.

Fear and anxiety give way to anger and violence. The opposite of fear is trust; which, mixed with warmheartedness, can boost our self-confidence, and compassion –a concern for other’s well-being– also reduces fear.

All this, not money and power, is what really attracts success.
When our mind is focused on compassion, it is calm, and when we do, we’re able to use our sense of reason practically, realistically, and with determination.

Peace of mind also means being undisturbed, free from concern. It’s all about our mental attitude and having a calm mind, and it is within us, it requires that we develop a warm heart and use our emotional intelligence.

Remember, the source of happiness lies within.

Stay strong.

What’s Your Identity?

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We all humans have an identity; a set of beliefs that we establish through time and define who we are, what we’re not, what we would or wouldn’t do.

This identity is really important because one of the strongest forces in the human personality is the need to stay consistent with the way we define ourselves, we can’t go against that; is engrained deep within our psyche. Beliefs set the guidelines for all our behaviors.

Let’s say your everyday life is a thermostat at 72 degrees. That’s a fair representation of you, enjoying your comfort zone –but let’s be clear on that, that’s just where you’re comfortable, NOT at your best. That 72° is where you are content physically, financially, intimately with your partner, connected to your spiritual life, friends, family, etc.

If things begin to cool down if you drop to a 65 or 60, things are going to change from that convenience to discomfort to intolerance; your whole self is going to start screaming in complaint, for sure. This is your baseline that says “Hey, I won’t take less than this!” and gets you moving to get things back to how they were; to what you believe you deserve.

Have you ever gone through something like this?

Sure you have….

When things got that bad with your health, your body, your relationship, your career or finances, you hit a threshold and start doing whatever it takes to get it back up.

Of course, there is a flip side of this coin; if you start doing better than you, for whatever reason, believe you deserve –you start making more money, have deeper relationships, get in the best shape of your life, etc.; you’re going to start sabotaging you and get you down again.

 

In order to avoid this, you don’t need to change your identity, you just have to expand it.

When the chance presents itself for you to grow, you must be able to say “I get this”. Get into the habit of looking forward to doing the things you never believed you could do; keep growing that muscle.

 

What can you do to challenge and redefine yourself? What would you like to become?

DECIDE and get on with it today.

Stay strong!

We Are the Choices We Make

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Every day, at all times, we’re making decisions; and these decisions affect all aspects of our lives.

Now, have you ever thought about what makes us take those specific decisions? How it is that two people can be faced with the same options and circumstances, and make different decisions?

We all approach our life choices differently because our decision-making system is based on the mental processes which define what motivates us and how we see the world.

When it comes to making progress in life, understanding this decision-making system is an invaluable tool. Once we understand the factors that play a part in our decision-making process, we can make our choices take us closer to our goals.

It’s not about what’s right or wrong, but what is it that we tend to do, and how we respond consistently.
Once we figure this out, we would know how to steer our way towards our desired destiny.

 

What of the following characteristics resonates more with you?

1.    Do you tend to move towards to, or Away from?

When a prospect comes your way, do you tend to consider all the benefits that would come with it, or do you tend to worry about what you may lose if you take that choice?

If you are generally motivated by desire, you are more of a “towards-to” person. You need to be motivated by goals and rewards, and make your choices based on the pursuit of pleasure.

If, on the other hand, you are mostly motivated by fear or pain, then you are an “away-from” type of person. You need to get motivated by pain and fear as the consequences of not doing something. It makes more sense to you to identify the risks and downsides involved in a situation.

 

2.  Internal or External?

Who do you turn to when you’re faced with a big decision?

Do you seek an internal point of reference, think about the issue and make a decision by yourself trusting on gut feelings or intuition? If so, then you’re an internal person who would rely on what’s important to you.

Conversely, if you seek out an external point of reference, then you reach out to people in your life looking for their feedback or advice. As an external person, you rely on other people’s testimonials and statistics and seek out validation from them in order to make the most well-informed choice possible.

 

3.  Possibility or Necessity?

What drives you in your life? Are you curious about the potential it has for growth? Does it excite you?

If you tend to see the many possibilities and you’re motivated by the growth you can pursue, then you’re a possibilities person.

If you are a necessity person, you like your life the way it is now, and you feel secure because you know how to handle things that are within your “box”.  You like to be told what new thing or improvement you need to do.

 

4.   Generality or Specificity?

For some people, knowing the big picture is enough to get motivated. They focus on the master plan and the overall goal and think of how each of their actions will affect the goal in the long run.

Others are more comfortable only when they have all the details. They would be doubtful with only a general sense of the situation. They don’t regularly think about the future and are able to hone in on the short term.

 

Once you understand the way you make decisions and identify these patterns in yourself, you can more effectively communicate your needs and understand your decision-making process.

See you next week.
Stay strong.

Turn Adversity into an Advantage

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If the flame of our passion is the size of that of a candle, even a mild breeze could put it out; but if it is as big as a bonfire, the strongest wind just makes it burn even brighter. 

Just as a quote by Marcus Aurelius put it: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

No matter how many times our actions were obstructed, nothing can really stand in our way if we can keep our intention and disposition. We can adapt, and overcome, turning the obstacle into the fuel that may propel us.

As we move towards the fulfillment of our goals, setbacks and problems will always be there, but they are never permanent; and if we look at them the right way, we will see that they are nothing but an opportunity to practice virtues such as patience, courage, humility, resourcefulness, and creativity.

The basis for such a discipline relies upon the concepts of Perception, Action, and Will

 

Perception

This is the way we see and give meaning to those events happening around us. Our perceptions can be a source of encouragement and confidence, or they could provide us with great pain and weakness.

If we decide to become emotional, subjective or shortsighted, we would only make ourselves miserable by reacting to our fear of a temporary condition, and to the doom we project into the future.

Instead, we must filter out our prejudice, expectation, and fear; remain calm and imperturbable as we see things just as they really are. From that objective perspective, we can focus on the future we want to create.

 

Action

Some years ago I heard some movie villain apologizing to another for being late saying he “was wasting time confusing motion with accomplishment”.

What a great concept. When faced with a setback, we tend to react with any kind action; usually misdirected and unplanned. If action is required, it should be effective, well directed, and executed with persistence and flexibility –in other words, creative application, not brute force.

 

Will

Will is the internal fuel that moves us; it can never be affected by any outside events. It’s our ultimate resource.

When everything seems to be going down, we can turn it into learning or humbling experience, and a chance to provide comfort to others.

We have to be prepared to accept adversity and chaos and practice acceptance and cheerfulness even in the face of our darkest moments.

Most people think will is the way we strenuously hold onto something when actually it has a lot more to do with surrender yourself to a situation.
True will has to do with quiet humility, resilience, and flexibility under the hardest obstacles.

 

The roads of our lives are filled with obstacles, and we will be constantly tested. We must prove ourselves worthy of the challenge; so let’s stand up and show what we’re really made of.

Stay strong!

Your Words can Change your Life

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Words can be a simple but powerful tool to immediately change the quality of your life; both for the better or for the worse.

It might seem a far-out concept, but language can actually shape our behavior, and consequently, our lives; even those we say to ourselves and those inside our mind).

Each word we use is imbued with our own meaning and emotional charge. The right words spoken in the right way can bring us love, money, and respect; while the wrong words can get create a world of fear, anger, and suffering.

 

It’s important to carefully evaluate the words we tend to use in a constant way because they tend to shape our experiences regarding the situation we’re describing.

Words can transform our emotions, and shape the course of our destiny.  Beliefs are created by words, and they can also be changed by them.

They provide the vehicle for expressing and sharing our experiences with others, but the words we choose also affect how we communicate with ourselves, and what we end up experiencing every given moment.

 

We also tend to respond to other people’s words; they have an emotional impact on us.

For example, if someone tells us “I think you’re mistaken”, or perhaps “I think you’re wrong”. Our biochemical response is going to be different; and even more if we hear “you’re lying!”

The same thing happens with the words we use within ourselves, but we tend to not realize its impact consciously.

How many times have we said something like “he stabbed me in the back!”; although it’s hardly the case.

Coming upon an unexpected inconvenience, we sometimes overreact with internal or external expressions like “I’m pissed off!”…

In both cases, this word choice leads us to an enraged state, it actually worsens our condition and ability to deal with the situation.

 

What if, instead of adding fuel to the fire with words like “I’m devastated”, we purposely de-escalate this situation with a wiser choice of words; ones that convey the same meaning, but that has a comical connotation to us, like “it’s beginning to peeve me”…

I bet it put a slight smile on your face just by reading it…

 

We can also use this trick to enhance an already good situation; for instance, next time you feel good about something, instead of saying “I’m pleased”, why not try “I’m ecstatic!”?

 

Whatever words you hold in your mind and use on a consistent basis will directly shape your thoughts, which in turn will shape your actions, which in turn will shape your entire destiny.

 

Give it a try.
Stay strong!

Hack into your Procrastination

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Everyone can fall into the procrastinating trap, delaying important tasks when you feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

Pushing yourself to take action might seem like a good idea at first, but in the end, it’s no better than telling a depressed person to just “cheer up”.

Instead of just fighting against it, what you need is a specific process that works with each individual psychology.

Hacking into your procrastination tendency can help you to bypass any internal resistance and get yourself to take action almost naturally.

This process only takes about 10 to 30 seconds to implement, and –if used correctly- is guaranteed to succeed.

 

So, how does this work?
Easy; but first, let’s get into common ground.

We use the term “chunk” to define a small step into the direction of getting your big goal done. It is something so small that, even if you’re really busted, you can easily say “yes” to doing it.

With that in mind, just ask “Can I just … (insert your “chunk” here)?

For instance, let’s say you’ve been pushing off cleaning your house for some time now. You can ask yourself “Can I just take two minutes and clean up my desk?”

Clean up your desk is your chunk in this example.

Apparently, it doesn’t sound like much; I mean, it’s just the desk… but once you start, you will notice an internal shift stepping into action, and you will get more motivated to keep going.

This happens because momentum generates real motivation, which in turn gets you to ask “Can I do a little more now?”.

As we looked into procrastination, we identified 4 powerful drivers: fear, overwhelm, uncertainty, and perfectionism.

Let’s look at them individually now, and find out how to overcome them.

 

 

Overcoming Fear

The best way to overcome your fears is to face them head on, exposing yourself to them, but starting in a safe environment.

For example, if you are afraid of public speaking, you may start by asking a group of close friends to your home and give a speech in front of them.

It’s all about going one step at the time. Don’t break out of your comfort zone; stretch it gradually until you get out.

 

Overcoming Overwhelm

It’s very important to dream big and find inspiration. But when we focus only on the whole picture, we get intimidated and overwhelmed.

This is why it’s so important to break big goals into smaller action steps (or chunks) and prioritize them.

By focusing on just one or two priorities at a time, you’re more likely to get effective on those and get used to them before moving on to the others.

 

Overcoming Uncertainty

One thing that usually leads to procrastination is not knowing what to do next; not having a clear picture of our road ahead. But we can start taking steps and then use feedback to adjust our advancement until we get to our final destination.

Remember, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take one step at the time.

 

Overcoming Perfectionism

Nothing can be made perfect, so you need to focus on making it right instead. We all make mistakes, so we have to be ready for them, get them right the next time, and move on.

Make a commitment to yourself, set up some specific amount of time, and work on your task. Great work, lousy work; it doesn’t matter for now.
Ironically, once you remove the pressure to be perfect, your work flows freely, giving space for creative expression. Then you can go back and review it with an improvement mindset.

 

 

This process is a great way to hack into your procrastination tendencies. When you start applying it, you may notice that momentum building and an inner transformation.

The key is to get started today.

Commit to something you’re guaranteed to easily say YES to, pick your first “chunk”, and start moving forward one step at the time towards your biggest breakthroughs.

Stay strong!

Learn to Say YES to the Great!

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How do we learn to say NO to some good things so we can say YES to the great things in life?

This is one of the biggest skills we all need to learn.

When you say NO to those things that aren’t really adding value to your life, taking you closer to your goals or in alignment with your values; you’re actually saying YES to something else that is. It could be time with your family, workout, meditation, reading or studying something you love, or even a little shut-eye time.

That NO can be hard sometimes, but it’s nothing if you compare it to some other time when you reluctantly said yes and regretted it later on. Think about all the sorrow that one decision caused… You might have kicked yourself for a while, but then, you’d surely resented the person or circumstances related to that task.

Saying no in the first place to a task you don’t want or you don’t have the time to do, ends up being a lot easier than having to struggle with it out of time and resources; so, the sooner you learn to do it, the better.

In the end, this underrated time management strategy will help you devote your time to the things that you really care about.

 

See you next week to close this series of strategies.

Stay strong!