Improve Your Life, Two Minutes at the Time, Part 2

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Let’s continue here with our last week’s blog about changing our lives for the better, two minutes at a time.

 

Change judgment for understanding

When you’re inclined to past judgment to others, first take two minutes and ask what aspects of yourself do I see in this other person?

When we’re upset about somebody else’s behavior or actions, is because it is reminding us of something we don’t like about ourselves.

If we can turn this inner critic into a coach, we can help create a better relationship with ourselves, with others, and live a more positive life.

 

Compliment others

Get into the habit of coming up with ways to tell others –and by others I mean people who are actually present there with you at the time- what you truly appreciate about them.

Take one minute to think about the reason, and another minute to tell the compliment.

You will make this person happy for sure; you’ll feel good about yourself, and most likely will receive some happy and affectionate feedback in return.

 

Hug more

It might seem like a small deed, but it’s known to reduce stress and make us feel very good; so spend –at the very least- two minutes a day hugging people!

Like compliments, hugs can be a simple way to build warmer and more positive relationships with people in your life.

 

Be interested instead of interesting

Whenever you engage in a conversation with someone, be interested in that person; ask questions about his or her life, interests, passions, and don’t just wait for your turn to talk back, really pay attention to the answers… Get to know and appreciate that person.

The interest you give will most likely be returned in what surely will build into not just a conversation, but a giving and fulfilling relationship.

 

Shuffle things up a little

Change things, mix them up… whatever you’ve been doing, try something different this time; for instance:

If you always go for the meat, next time try vegetarian.

If you tend to get into conflict often, next time try walking away.

Give away some of your favorite things.

Say yes to something spontaneously and stick to it to the end, see where it leads.

Take a different kind of decisions for today.

 

Get into the habit of mixing things up and have some fun. Grow your life in small or bigger ways, add unexpected experiences to it.

This practice will make it easier and simpler to step out of your usual comfort zone when you really need to, and also it will make you feel alive!

 

Talk again next week.
Until then, stay strong!

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Improve Your Life, Two Minutes at a Time

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“The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult.”
Madame Marie du Deffand

 

Making a positive change in life doesn’t have to be about big moves; world-wide impact, or changing the whole world.

The secret to real change and sustainable action is to discard this pretentious and overwhelming belief and go for smaller, constantly repeated smaller steps.

Through these smaller steps, you can start building habits that will get stronger as you build momentum. These steps have the potential to actually change your life in ways you can’t possibly imagine now.

 

By establishing a two-minute daily routine over the following steps, you will create a habit that would point you in the right direction.  You can choose one a day, or you can invest a little time on yourself and move through the whole list.

 

  1. Identify your most important task, and just start working on it for two minutes.

We all have one of those days when you just don’t feel like getting started with work, and we find ourselves dwelling lazily to the sofa.

It’s not the task itself, the hardest part is getting started. So, after you’ve started moving and working for those two minutes, it gets pretty much easier to just continue working on the task.

 

  1. Review and appreciate your day

Once your day is over, take two minutes to review and appreciate what you have done. See all that you have accomplished; the finished tasks, your performance, the shared moments with friends, family, coworkers, and also the time you took for yourself.

 

  1. Set a low bar for happiness

It doesn’t mean you have to lower your standards or stop going after the bigger stuff, not at all. What it means is that you are willing to appreciate things more, feel happier for the smaller things as well. This will fuel yourself with more energy and inspiration; your life will become lighter, and you will feel less inner resistance as you work towards your goals, big and small.

 

  1. Whenever you feel stressed, BREATH

Whenever stress catches up with you and you start to feel anxious, upset or scared, take two minutes, sit down, breathe through your nose deeply with your stomach, and focus on your breathing.

This will calm your mind, and ease your body so you can resume your work more focused and relaxed.

 

  1. Be here and now

Remove yourself out of the past; stop reliving old experiences of conflict. Stop anticipating a catastrophic future.

Focus your attention on where and when you really are, here and now.
Sit down for two minutes; see what is in front and all around you. Listen to the sounds, feel the wind and the sun on your clothes and skin; the smells in the air, the textures of what you have at hand…

Feel your present for those two minutes, and notice how this new, optimistic viewpoint starts to feel more natural to you.

 

 

I’ve saved the next five for our next blog, so you go ahead and start with these first five steps today; start gaining momentum and building towards a better state.

Start by feeling more alive today.

 

 

See you next week; until then, stay strong!

Living Your Life Purpose

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Our lives are at its most productive peak when we have a true sense of direction. They are also much easier and enjoyable to navigate once we got to understand our destination –that is, once you know the purpose of your existence.

One of the most important things you in life is to figure out –the sooner the better- why you’re here for; what is your purpose, your core values, and then, figure out what are the goals that would help you move towards it.

 

Take some time to reflect about where you are in life now, and then decide where you would like to take your life from there.

When you know where you’re headed, it’s easier to determine which actions and behaviors contribute to achieving this destination, and which ones are just deviating or holding you back.

Below is a list of questions, designed to help you discover your life purpose.

 

  1. What are three of your favorite skills?

Give it a though right now… try to determine what are the two or three abilities you have that are your favorite; not which you are best at, or most profitable, but honestly which are the ones you enjoy doing the most.

  1. What are two ways you would like to use to make an impact in the world?

How would you like to make a difference? Which are the ways you’d go about it? Don’t think too hard; just follow your intuition and write down whatever pops into your mind…

  1. Who or what would you like to impact?

Now it’s time to be specific; narrow down our target and start defining the people or things you want to help. Give it a thought; see what things come to mind first and write them down.

  1. What goal do you think your impact would achieve?

Think about the people or things you have in mind… what good would your actions do to them? What outcome do you desire for those peoples or circumstances? 

  1. Create now a run-on sentence, combining all these previous elements, starting with “my purpose is to”.

It’s time to put things together. The previous questions contain in them the combined elements of your life purpose.

Shuffle the answers around and find a combination that makes real sense to you.

 

Have in mind that your life purpose is something you continuously keep discovering, watching it as it unfolds before you.
Like a big dinosaur skeleton, it lies buried somewhere; it is your job to find it and dig it up; a little or a big piece at the time.

 

Start digging and follow its clues.

Tap into Your Resilience and Thrive

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by John Krumbach

Resilience comes from knowing that you are the only one that has the power and responsibility to pick yourself up

 

One of the main strategies to achieve success in life is related to your ability to tap into your resilience.

We all want to live at our full potential in order to accomplish our goals, dreams, and aspirations. One of the things we have learned in life is that we need to have the drive – drive, ambition, motivation – to reach those goals and dreams.

We are constantly trying to do more and better in our profession, our finances, family life, personal life.

 

Having drive is a positive thing. The problem is that in today’s world many are living in over-drive – studies have shown that 2 out of 3 people live their lives with high levels of stress. Stress can be positive only if it’s short-term stress, high-stress levels are completely negative.

Over-drive ironically backfires and prevents us from achieving the goals we aim for.

There is a better way: fostering resilience.

 

Instead of living in overdrive, train your nervous system to bounce back from setbacks. Resilience will allow you to control the moment, bounce back from stress –  empowering you to face difficulties and challenges with ease.

How quickly do you bounce back from frustrations, stress, disagreements? – five minutes, an hour, a day, a week?

 

Train yourself (your brain / your mind and your body) to bounce back by avoiding over-drive and taking the appropriate moments to relax and enjoy the moment.

Use Openness to Build Effective, Stronger Teams

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The key to building stronger teams is to, first and foremost, build stronger relationships and connection between the people on them. Learn about each other and build a deep and authentic relationship that will help the team navigate challenges together.

More and more people from schools, companies and all kinds of organizations are starting to use this approach. It might seem a little touchy-feely at times, but through time and experience, even the most skeptical person turns around and loves it.

These are some examples of exercises you can implement within your organization:

 

  1. Lifelines

Ask everyone to describe a few key moments or events in their lives that have made them who they are today. This task helps break the barriers between them and allows them to gain a deeper understanding of one another. The confidential nature of these exchanges helps them build enormous trust.

 

  1. Storytelling

Building upon the previous exercise, this one encourages all teammates to open up and tell a significant story about themselves, and it helps them appreciate the courage of those eager to share so much; and this exposure makes everyone more willing to open up as well.

 

  1. Appreciations

One of the most effective methods to build trust within a team is appreciation. At the end of a sprint, or a project, ask your group to share things they appreciate about each other; go at it in turns, letting everybody chime in with reasons why they appreciate that person. It might be awkward to be so openly appreciated, but it is extremely moving. We rarely take the time to tell people around us why we appreciate and admire them, and when we do, it is surprisingly great.

 

All these kinds of activities build deeper and meaningful relations among colleagues, helping them work more effectively together. It can also help with conflict resolution, since the stronger the foundational relationship between two people, the easier these conflicts are resolved or avoided in all.

If you get your team to know each other, everything after that just comes more easily.

Put these techniques in practice and see how it turns out.

 

Enjoy your long weekend, and have a Happy Thanksgiving Day.

A Morning Routine to Stay Focused and Excel

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Every time you wake up in the morning, your frontal cortex is fully charged with willpower. The quality of the results you may get from it will depend on the way you use your first 30 minutes of the day.

The average person usually starts their day by doing the following: they’d wake up, reach out for the phone while still in bed, and start reading emails. Then, they’d check Instagram and Facebook posts, and scroll through some news sites.

Finally, they’d get out of bed, make some coffee, turn on the TV, and eat a high-sugar breakfast while watching some morning talk show.

In the meantime, they’re reproaching themselves for not making any exercise, and then they’d probably try to make decisions about their tasks for the day, take a quick shower, dress, and hit the morning traffic to work…

All this rush, conflict, and forced decision-making process would drain up your willpower supply before lunchtime.

 

There’s a better option for your morning routine.
No matter how stressful your environment, there is a way to start your day energized, focused, and feeling great, with your whole willpower reserve available for the necessary decision making and action taking required to accomplish your daily goals.

 

These are the basic six steps required to develop and follow a powerful morning ritual:

  1. Get your quite space

Each morning, as soon as you wake up, go to a place where you can be alone and undisturbed to be in silence –it should be a place other than your bed, where you can have privacy.

 

  1. Hydrate

Fuel your body starting your day with a big glass of fresh, filtered water.

 

  1. Take a moment to reflect

Think about your core beliefs, and get into a positive grateful state. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What am I grateful for in my life right now?
  • What am I happy and excited about?
  • What is my life purpose, and do my goals for the day get me closer to it?
  • Who do I love and loves me?
  • Who can I serve and thank today?

 

  1. Breathe

Practice conscious breathing and add movement –like walking- if possible. There is a great technique called Breathwalking, which I personally recommend, combines specific patterns of breathing synchronized with your walking steps, enhanced with the art of directed, meditative attention.

 

  1. Move your Body

Emotion is driven by motion. The more you move, the better you’ll feel; so add some brisk walks and exercise to your daily morning routine in order to feel great.

 

  1. Visualize and Celebrate

Finally, review what you expect from the day ahead, and visualize yourself going through it; see and feel the best results you could ever expect. Remember, everything you see in the physical world started once as a thought, as a vision.

 

This simple morning ritual is designed to take only 30 to 45 minutes of your day. If you have more time –or decide to make more time- you can add more gratitude, exercise, and visualization; you can never have enough of those.

Do it consistently each and every day, and the results will be life-changing.

Stay strong!

Leadership: the Great Challenge of Life

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It was Jim Rohn who called leadership the great challenge of life, and he was right.

We can think of leadership as the ability to attract people to the gifts, skills, and opportunities you present as a CEO, manager, parent, etc.
If you want to attract quality people, you have to become a valuable person yourself. As with anything else in life, leadership requires constant improvement and refinement; you need to work endlessly on yourself to become more and more effective.
These are some of the traits you may want to cultivate to enhance your leadership skills:

 

. Be strong, but also kind

If you want to be a powerful and capable leader, you must never confuse strength with rudeness. Kindness and politeness are key ingredients.

 

. Be kind, but not weak

Also a frequent mistake. Kindness is a rare type of strength… You have to be kind to tell someone a hard truth, to tell it constructively like it is without hurting anybody.

 

. Be bold, but not a bully

To be able to lead and build your influence, you got to be able to walk in front of your team and tackle the problem. If you want to harvest success, you have to be bold and face the risks, take chances and seize the moment.

 

. Be humble, but not shy

 You’ll never accomplish anything by being shy. Don’t confuse being humble with being shy; shyness is an illness, but humility is a virtue that comes with a sense of awe, of wonder; an awareness of the human soul and spirit.

 

. Be proud, but not arrogant

It takes pride to build your ambitions, pride in your community, and pride in a cause or accomplishments. The key to becoming a good leader is to be proud without being arrogant.

 

. Be funny, but not stupid

In leadership, it’s ok to be witty, but not silly. Find your style and your pace, but don’t fall into vulgarity and silliness; you’d risk losing your team’s respect.

 

. Be truthful, and follow your heart

Spare yourself the agony of delusion; take things as they are.

Life is unique, and so is leadership. The skills that work well for one leader may not work at all for another; however, the core of leadership work for everyone all the time, whether at work, in the community, and at home.

Strategy 8: Take Out the Trash!

 

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Processed Fats

Generally –and sometimes, unbeknownst to us, the food we eat is overflowing with saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fatty acids.

We, as Americans, consume up to 40% of our total calories in fat. This entails the danger of poor circulation –which leads to high blood pressure; poor elimination, and excess congestion and toxicity in the body. Also, our bodies then are unable to perform the functions that good, unprocessed fats provide.

In short, we have to take action on these by:

  • Eliminating or dramatically reduce our consumption of processed fats, trans fats, and hydrogenated fats.
  • Keeping our total daily fat intake below 25% (i.e., fewer than 25% of the calories we ingest should be fat, ideally less).

 

Animal Flesh

These days we have countless studies and a gazillion research made that shows a direct relation between animal-based diets and chronic illnesses as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Even small amounts can cause adverse effects; so we have to focus on:

  • Eliminating or dramatically reducing your consumption of animal flesh
  • Total protein intake should be 5-6% per day and should come from plant-based sources, which are more efficient and have more antioxidants, fiber, and minerals

If you are among those people which find almost impossible to leave out meat of our diet completely –and I can almost hear some of us pleading: “not the bacon… please, oh please, not the bacon– then follow these guidelines: eat it only once a day, combine it with green vegetables or salads; eat it in the middle of a day, never before going to sleep at night, and always purchase your meat making sure it’s free range, antibiotic free and organic.

 

Dairy Products

By now you should already know that there’s a significant correlation between dairy and osteoporosis, kidney problems and certain forms of cancer. In the China Study, researchers found that a certain kind of cancer was promoted by casein, which makes up 87% of cow’s milk protein. Also, diets rich in animal foods make women eliminate excessive calcium, providing a negative balance.

This is why we should:

  • Eliminate or dramatically reduce your consumption of dairy products
  • Ensure that your daily calcium intake is about 400 milligrams per day and comes from plant-based sources that are calcium-rich
  • Try other alternatives (in moderation) such as rice milk, soy milk, or almond milk when you desire the texture or taste

 

Acid Addictions

When we’re hooked to any kind of diet or habits that promotes the over-acidification of the blood and tissues, we’re creating the ground that is favorable to the growth of virus, bacteria, yeast, and fungus, which are the greatest decomposers of cells and tissues in our bodies.

In order to reduce and eliminate all that acid, we need a diet consisting of live alkaline foods (we covered it before in our Alkalize and Go Green! article), grains and essential fatty acids. This kind of diet lowers the acid in the blood with its abundance of bases and alkaline salts.

Our advice on this subject would be:

  •  Eliminate or dramatically reduce your consumption of acid addictions
  • Use your common sense! Say no to the following addictions: caffeine, sugar, whites, vinegar, alcohol, nicotine and drugs. Associate yourself to the consequences and break your pattern.
  • Alkalize! When you are consuming at least 70-80% alkaline, life-giving foods, your body will naturally decrease its desire for these addictions.

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of healthy advice and that you’d be able to apply at least some of it into your daily lives; that alone would make the difference you’re looking for.

See you next week. Stay strong!

Strategy 7: Build your Body, Mind, and Heart

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Our bodies are designed for motion, that’s when they are at their best… still, most of us stay at least half of our day in a stationary position… we have a “box” life; we live in a box home, sleep in a box, eat out of a box, drive in our box to work where we sat again in a box cubicle, typing on our box watching a box; only to go back to our box home, sit again and watch yet another box… and for variety sake, we grab a cold cylinder to make a change!

To make our bodies work, we need the power of structural alignment and strength, a system designed to manage the musculoskeletal system, which is the framework for human health.
If you want to have a functional body, then start focusing on the following:

  • Condition yourself to motion! Stay active and move… walk or jog instead of using your car for short distances, take the stairs, crush everything whenever you have the chance
  • Stretch! Exercise is good, but not that good without stretching after the workout… this way you only get tough -lean and good-looking, of course, but the stiffness of your muscles makes you inefficient and prone to injuries; and I’m not talking about lifting a sofa, I mean by only bending over to pick up a pencil!

 

Another way to raise our body’s resistance, fight decease and create health, is found directly in the mind. If utilized and directed effectively, our thoughts, emotions, and mindset, in general, can be one of our most powerful allies to fight disease and boost our energy and vitality.

These are some ways to promote this:

  • Keep an eye on your mind so it keeps away from stressful emotions; instead, focus on empowering ones, such as gratitude, courage, faith, determination, compassion, and love.
  • Utilize the healing power of the heart, directing your full attention -that means mind, breath, and emotion- to the physical location of your heart.
  • Use at least 10 minutes every day to evoke positive memories and create compelling visions of the future

 

 

Will continue with this series next week talking about the benefits of reducing -or eliminating completely- processed fats, animal flesh, dairy products, and acid addictions.

Until then, stay strong!

 

Strategy 6: Optimize your Nourishment

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In our constant strive to improve our health and well-being; we should aim to consume foods that will serve our body as a main goal.

If you want to reach a maximum level of nourishment, these guidelines would be helpful:

  • Follow all the previously posted advices concerning healthy eating: water-based foods, alkaline foods and essential oils, just to name a few.
  • Drink water, lots and lots of water; but only after or before your meals, not during.
  • Always combine your foods properly:
    • fruits only on an empty stomach
    • never mix carbs and protein in the same meal
    • don’t combine fats with proteins
    • eat green vegetables with proteins or carbs
  • Whenever you eat, see that you already are in a relaxed state, never eat under stress.
  • It’s always better to eat small amounts of food several times a day
  • Avoid processed food and always look for all that is free of pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones.
  • Keep an eye on your glycemic index, it should always be under 55
  • Create your ideal Food Pyramid:
    • 70% live foods
    • 10% plant-based proteins or quality fish
    • 10% carbohydrates
    • 10% quality oils
  • Create the Base: Follow a daily regimen with the 7 Vital Nutrients for a foundation of health
  • Fast regularly. Complete a periodic cleanse of your internal organs and body
  • Supplement for specific conditions and maximize your results!

 

For our next delivery, we’ll talk about how to align and strengthen our bodies for its best performance.

Until then, stay strong!