Is TikTok good or bad for our happiness?

woman with pink shirt

TikTok  is not just an app but a platform to showcase your talent for the sake of fun and entertainment to its users. Earlier, it was known as ‘Musically’ the Chinese app TikTok  has gained a lot of attention in a very short period of time. Its popularity has spread among the youngsters and teenagers like an addiction from which people have got so much influenced. 

Nowadays, TikTok  has become a major part of people’s life to let them gain popularity over the internet and experience new things. There are many creative contents that you’ll find out coming up from all over the world. 

This app doesn’t just restrict people to enjoy only the funniest videos and for entertainment purpose but also provides many useful things and news that has to be acknowledged. 

Sensational news starts to go viral in no time. It is very easy to share your creative side rather than just making connections to the people like all other social media platforms. 

It impacts people in many ways, it has received many bad presses in recent times and there are also many issues with using TikTok  like promoting dangerous challenges and also allegedly censoring creators. Let us discuss these issues in detail.

Dangerous Challenges: 

There are many challenges in TikTok  that starts going viral, even when it is dangerous.

Many TikTok  users attempt these dangerous challenges and many of those even include children. This results in getting hurt. For example, the penny challenge in which dropping a penny between a phone charger and the wall plug. This challenge went viral in many places and has claimed to start fire resulting in disastrous consequences.

Another challenge called skull breaker challenge, that enables tripping somebody so that they fall and smack their head on the ground. This challenge can probably cause serious injuries to the people. 

Censorship: 

TikTok  has also been alleged in censoring posts. In this past November, a 17-year old girl from New Jersey has alleged that TikTok  has censored her video that was related to the Uighur interment camps in China. Uighurs are a Muslim community who belongs to north western China, the video is made to bring light over these struggling people staying in Uighur internment camps in China. 

Entertainment:

TikTok  is a social media platform for entertainment, it does not limit it’s content to a specific niche. Any user can upload any content through dance and music. 

Almost all users in TikTok  posts their content either by dancing or singing. This helps in getting recognition for their talent and make them popular. 

Most of it’s audience are young in age and post videos based on their interests. This also helps in showcasing their acting skills to the world. There is also term to call these popular users, they are called influencers. Who are even approached by big brands to advertise their products to users.

Privacy & Security: 

In recent times there were also many allegations against TikTok  with respect to security and privacy concerns. TikTok  has been fined by US government for $5.7 million for illegally collecting children’s data.

In October 2019, the U.S. government launched an investigation into ByteDance to find out how the data gathered on TikTok ers of all ages is being used. US senators are worried about the information collected and suspect that it can be used to spy on Americans and can be used to influence political decisions. 

Stranger Danger:  

Although, the community guidelines of TikTok  is deeply committed to child safety and has zero tolerance for behaviour that could lead to child abuse or sexual exploitation. TikTok  has been a place where teen girls receive creepy and actively upsetting messages from many users. 

In recent times, the situation has improved slightly by policy like restricting child user who are under 13 to only view the content and not to share them. 

TikTok  announced a new feature on Feb 19 called family safety mode that allows parents to link to their teen’s accounts in order to curb out their screen time, limit direct messaging and restrict some content that may not be good. But, this feature is only available in UK and is set to launch in all other countries very soon. 

Indecent & Harassing Content

This is one of the major disadvantage for TikTok  users. Many users in TikTok  use it as a platform to spread their prejudice ideas which targets certain sections of the people.

Many videos are done just to harass and discriminate people on the basis of color, race or religion. Also, indecent and inappropriate content which could be criminal in nature if it is done in public gets popularity in TikTok .

Addiction

Another major con of using TikTok  is the addiction that the platform brings with it. TikTok  users get addicted to it in such a way that it even starts affecting their day-to-day life.

There are many users who use this platform even during work and driving. This not only affect their performance in work, it can also cause accidents when used while driving.

Career

Not all is bad with TikTok , Some influencers are genuine who have build their career out of it. There are many examples like Loren Gray, Jacob Sartorius and Ariel Martin who have build their career through TikTok   made and also transitioned to other media platforms like YouTube and Spotify

Not only in music, many other users in other careers as well started growing their business with the help of TikTok . TikTok  provides huge fan following users in a short span of time and it can be used in a positive manner to add value to the society. 

Conclusion:

Now coming to our initial question whether TikTok  is bad or good, we have to view this with a larger viewpoint. Although TikTok  can be used to build ones career and get instant publicity. But, still it doesn’t add much value to the common user. Instead it seems to be filled with bigotry, inappropriate content and harassment.

As there is a saying “Prevention is better than cure”, we are better off without using TikTok rather than using it.

How to Not Overthink – This Challenge Will Improve Your Life

Does your mind ever stop? Do you think too much? Do you want to know how to not overthink? When this happens, we go over the same stuff over and over, and can lose perspective. Then it turns into worry and stress. That is not good!

Overthinking is a big part of the reason so many people get stressed. If you can’t stop your mind from going around and around, it limits your ability to control your life. It uses up a lot of energy and brain matter, so much so that it can crowd out other thoughts. You have no room left, no spare capacity for other thoughts, or more important things.

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The Theory Behind This Challenge

There are three challenges presented here to give your mind a break – and help you to not overthink. If you try them as suggested, your life will improve, and you will have more control over your life.

These challenges will train your mind to give you more control. They involve automating some of the daily decisions you have to make. This removes the inability to make decisions by overthinking it, or by paralysis from analysis.

There are so many tips and articles around on how you can create a better life, and every one of them hinges your total commitment. If you overthink it, you will fail. When you feel you have no capacity for new things, any resolution will fail.

To succeed in establishing new habits, or making changes in your life, you need the desire and discipline to follow through. Changes y will only happen if your will power is up to the task. Whatever strategy or technique you intend using is less important than this.

If you aren’t committed, then it won’t happen. There is no silver bullet.

Why do Most Resolutions Fail?

Most people fail with their resolutions. It might be a gym program, a better diet, reducing your alcohol intake, losing weight, having a better relationship, or being a better person. The list of things people look to change is long and varied, yet many people have been promising themselves the same things for decades without success.

So why can’t you achieve what you set out to? What gets in the way? I’ll give you three reasons:

  1. Lack of conviction – There’s no real urgency or imperative to make the changes. Your thinking goes something like this – “it’s a good idea, but I’m not convinced about it. Deep down I don’t think it’s that important. Yes, I could make some improvements, but really, it’s not that critical.”
  2. Going outside your comfort zone – When this happens you feel scared or unsure about it. You might be able to go there for a day or a week, but it’s a bit scary to make it permanent. There are risks to consider – it might mean a different take on life; you could lose friends or miss some of things you enjoy.
  3. Lack of self-belief – You don’t believe you can make the changes you are thinking about. You decide to give it a little push, but don’t have a lot of confidence in your ability to complete it. You don’t expect to succeed. It’s a relief when you give up and don’t have to try any more.  

If you want to get past these thoughts – or this way of thinking, you need to train your mind first. Take on a short-term task. You don’t need a deep-rooted conviction about this, and the risks associated with it are less, so it’s less scary. Success will boost your self-confidence and give you the belief that you can make the changes you want in your life. You will have trained your mind to be more amenable to change. You will be in more control.

My challenges demonstrate this. They give you a way to get you into the groove a bit tighter. They also give your mind some breathing space, and will reduce your overthinking.

The Challenges

The challenges I propose aim to give your mind a rest by automating some common decision points. They are an easy way to prove to yourself that you are in control of your life. Strangely this occurs when you take your foot off the throttle and put your mind on autopilot.

When you overthink things, you focus on and dissect the changes you are looking to make – and get in your own way. An example of this is giving up smoking. If you tell yourself that you are giving up, you continue to define yourself as a smoker. Your attempt to give up won’t work because of this mental disconnect. It is more effective to stop thinking about it and train your mind to accept it as a done deal – i.e. “I am not a smoker, I don’t smoke”. By not overthinking it, you achieve a new reality more quickly.

There are three challenge exercises. Each of these calls for an automatic response. They each give your mind a break, a bit of free time, so it can focus on other things. Try each one for a month (you can’t do all three at the same time), and see how your brain processing has altered. It will surprise you!

You’ll feel liberated and more in control of your mind. The secret to a more efficient brain is to give it less work. As an example of how full our brains can get, Einstein had a terrible memory. He couldn’t remember his phone number or street address – the filing cabinet of his mind was full of more important data. Stop overthinking, and give your brain a bit of spare capacity.

Automating a part of your life can be fun; it will open new doors and give you a whole new perspective on your life. It may feel risky, but you do have ultimate control.

Of course, taken to the extreme, this can be dangerous, which is why I recommend a one-month trial of each. The results will surprise you! At the end of the month you will most likely incorporate some of this approach into your daily life.

The first challenge is to say yes to everything. The second is to always select the 4th item from the top of a list from which you must make a selection (for instance, a restaurant menu). The third challenge is the opposite of the first – say no to everything.

You can do the first and the second at the same time, but it is better to do them one after the other. It is also important that you do the third challenge (saying no) last.

Challenge # 1 – Say Yes to Everything

Jim Carrey’s popular movie “Yes Man” follows on this concept. The plot involves a recently divorced man who has become withdrawn and negative. He builds a new and more positive life through a series of events where he says yes. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look.

Of course, if taken to the extreme, this can lead to bizarre and dangerous circumstances, but it’s worth a try for a month. Use some prudential judgement if needed.

By analysing situations less, you open yourself up to new experiences and people. This one-month challenge gives you a taste of what is possible when you let yourself go a little. It is liberating, and could become the start of a new life.

Being more adventurous not only opens your mind, it gives you more confidence and readiness to tackle the world. Your social circle will welcome the new, more approachable you.

Challenge # 2 – Choose 4th From The Top

My second challenge is to choose the 4th item from the top of any list where you have to make a selection. The classic for this is a restaurant menu. Rather than studying it, and worrying about how to make the right selection, choose the 4th item from the top. Your dinner companions will see you as decisive and informed.

I’ve been using this technique for over a decade and a half now, and on only one occasion did it fail me. This was in a French Restaurant in rural France. The menu was in French, a language I do not speak. My plate of offal, enjoyed by the locals, was no to my taste! But only one fail in 15 years is a pretty good statistic! One fail does not ruin the system.

You have to trust the restaurant – they are not going to put something on the menu that patrons are not going to enjoy.

The reason for selecting #4? Well, it won’t be the cheapest and it won’t be the most expensive. There will be no embarrassment by looking either cheap or a show –off. This is very useful for wine lists.

I have applied this to almost any list. If the selection doesn’t make sense you should look immediately above and below for other options. One of those selections will work just as well.

If you discover new tastes – congratulations, you have expanded your horizons, and that is not a bad thing.

Challenge # 3 – Say No to Everything

Most time management books or self-help guides will suggest that you learn how to say no. They mean this to be selective, but it’s easier said than done. Like most things in life, it takes practice.

This exercise gives you that practice. It trains your mind (and friends, associates and so on), to not expect you to do everything asked of you.

I propose that you train yourself by saying no to everything for one month. This could include party invitations, a dinner date, a movie, or assignment at work. If you need to come up with an explanation for this from time to time – make something up. But say no unless you have no choice (which can be the case at work).  Use your personal judgement, let common sense rule the day.

By the end of the month you will be surprised at how easy it is to say no. When you realise this, you will see how liberating this can be. This will give you more control over your life, and free up an enormous amount of time.

It is easy to become overwhelmed by agreeing to do too may things, or by agreeing to do things that we don’t enjoy or want to do. Learning to say no is a very powerful tool in your arsenal to control your life. In practical terms it is not easy, which is why this exercise is for a one-month trial only. Think of it as a Dry July type of challenge.

After a month of this, you’ll find it easier to say no selectively in the future. Take back control.

How To Not Overthink After The Challenge

Completing these three challenges will train your mind and give you more confidence in taking on new things. They will broaden your horizons and give you more control over your life.

After you have completed these challenges, you will have trained your mind to accept or deny requests, and you will have learnt how to trust others. The lessons from these three exercises are applicable in other ways as well. They provide an important lesson and training in learning how to not overthink.


25 Powerful Ayn Rand Quotes That Will Make a Winner Out of You

We have selected 25 of the most powerful quotes from Ayn Rand as a guide to living a strong life. She was a hero to many baby boomers through the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. These quotes summarise the key aspects of her Objectivism philosophy.

The post-war economic growth and prosperity engendered a generation wanting a new societal structure. The rationalist ideas proposed by Rand echoed their hopes and aspirations. Her philosophy of self-determination was embraced widely as it tapped directly into American ideals of freedom, hard work and individualism. 

It resonated with the new social freedoms and mobility the boomers were hoping for. These amounted to a revolutionary tide which swept through America and other countries. The 25 Ayn Rand quotes below are a guide to living a life of self-determination.

Objectivism

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand


Ayn Rand’s philosophy was spelt out in her two best-selling books, both considered modern day classics – The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. The latter is considered her magnum opus. She described Atlas Shrugged’s theme as “the role of the mind in man’s existence—and, as a corollary, the demonstration of a new moral philosophy: the morality of rational self-interest.”

The philosophy of objectivism holds four key principles:

1. Objective reality – this holds that aside from our own perceptions, there is a true reality happening, whether anyone sees them or not. The only way we know we exist is in relation to that reality; our existence is defined by the capacity to observe reality.

2. Absolute reason – there’s no room for emotions or faith, only facts should guide people.

3. Individualism – the individual should be empowered above everything else. A man who can embrace the logic and reason of an objective reality is the most powerful figure. And if a man is able to do that, he should only ever act in his own self-interest.

4. Laissez-faire capitalism – where the economy is completely unregulated and separate from the government. This allows powerful Objectivists to do all they can in order to improve their own standing, while not violating the rights of other people.

You will get a feeling for her philosophy from these selected quotes. They remain very powerful motivators and moral guides. If you haven’t read her books, we recommend them. They are thought-provoking and belong in everyone’s library.

Quotes About Living Your Life from Ayn Rand.

We have grouped our selected quotes into three categories:

  • The power of the individual
  • The power of thought
  • How you interact with others

Quotes About The Power of the Individual

1. “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

2. “Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.”

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3. “I can accept anything, except what seems to be the easiest for most people: the half-way, the almost, the just-about, the in between.”

4. “Freedom: To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.”

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5. “The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.”

6. “I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom.”

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7. “Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” 

8. “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.” 

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 9. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” 

 10. “The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” 

11. “Do not let your fire go out. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, and have never been able to reach. The world you desired can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it is yours.” 

Quotes About the Power of Thought

12.  “I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.” 

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13. “Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose.”

14. “Worry is a waste of emotional reserve.” 

15. “To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you are doing and that’s real power.” 

16. “If you don’t know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.” 

17. “Every man is free to rise as far as he’s able or willing, but the degree to which he thinks determines the degree to which he’ll rise.” 

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 18. “Man survives by adjusting his background to himself.” 

19. “Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think.” 

20. “Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants.” 

Quotes About Interacting With Others

21. “Everyone has the right to make his own decisions, but none has the right to force his decision on others.” 

22. “Any alleged right of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another isn’t and can’t be a right.”

 23. “The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap.” 

24. “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.”

25. “An individualist is a man who says: I will not run anyone’s life – nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone – nor sacrifice anyone to myself.”

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We hope that these Ayn Rand quotes will inspire you to greater things. They ask a lot of the individual, but with a strong moral compass and self belief, they will help to keep you on track. They remind us of what is important in life, and how you should act if you are to be a winner.


How to be More Productive in Life

Imagine what rewards can come your way if knew how to be more productive in your life. It takes a bit of discipline, but everyone can do it. When you are more productive, you do more. It’s like having a second pair of hands. It’s pretty straightforward maths – you do more, you get more back.

The big secret is to be focussed, be very clear about where you’re going and what’s most important for you. Following on from this, you need a process to clear the clutter, so you can tackle those big, important bits that will get you to where you want to be.

Productivity is the amount of something produced from a given number of inputs. Higher productivity means more production. Time is the limiting factor here.

It means that your own productivity is the amount of stuff you get done in a day. To get more done, you need to be more productive. And isn’t that exactly what your boss wants? Isn’t it what you want, to be successful?

If you don’t want to read the whole article – here’s the gist of it. To improve your productivity you have to be more focussed. Once you decide what’s most important, make sure you have enough time dedicated to those tasks. Don’t get swamped by the small stuff. It’s really that simple.

If the secret to being more productive in your life is to be more focussed on what’s most important, you need to know what that is.

It’s always good to start at the finish. What are your goals? What do you want to achieve? Where do you want to end up? What are the activities or things that will move you closer to this?

It all starts with your to-do list. Let me guess – it’s big, right? And you know you can’t do everything on it. I’ve got about 3 months’ worth of activity on mine, it’s a weakness that I can think up more cool stuff to do than I have time for. But I treat this like a reminder. I know most of it will be there for a while and will be pushed onto the backburner. Sometimes priorities change, and what was just a good idea becomes more useful.

The trick to being more productive is to do more of the important bits and less of the others. Let them ride.

It’s easy to tackle the urgent, more insistent things first. Usually, these are not too hard to deal with, so by doing them first, you’ll have more time. We try to get them out of the way to reduce the noise, thinking this will help our focus. But then what happens? More small stuff turns up. It too demands attention. Somehow we get stuck on the treadmill and never quite get to the bigger, more important things. This short story is a beauty for understanding life balance. I thoroughly recommend. you read it.

When this happens, it feels like you’ve lost control. You’re spiralling down in a vortex to nothing. You can feel like you don’t have a chance to make progress towards your goals. This is dispiriting, but you can beat it!

In this article, I’m going to give you a few tips about how to be more focussed, which will lift your productivity.

Being busy is not the same as being productive

Being busy and on the go all the time does not mean you will achieve your goals. You are only productive when you are achieving your goals. Just because you are in constant motion doesn’t mean you are progressing towards your goals. Constant movement is not productive.

How many times do you get to the end of the day and feel like you have achieved nothing? It doesn’t feel great, does it?

To state the bleeding obvious, improved productivity comes from better time management.

My wife talks about the time she spends on Facebook as “going down the rabbit hole”. It’s too easy to spend a working day like this. Remember that there are only 24 hours in a day. Try to avoid the rabbit holes.

You also only have so many days alive in which to achieve the things you want. Time is not a limitless resource. Use it well – or lose it.

Being more productive is about how you use that time. And there are only two ways you can get more done. Only two ways you can be more productive.

The first (which I do not recommend) is to use more of your 24 hours working. Lots of people try this – less sleep, less social time, few or no hobbies, and little time for relaxation. Of course, it depends on how ambitious you are. For superstardom, these are the prerequisites. But it doesn’t have to be for everyone. Life balance is important.

The second is to work smarter – get more done in the time you do have. That’s what we want to talk about today.

It means more time spent focussing on the big, important things. Don’t let the small stuff consume you. You are better than that and deserve more.

Managing this is not that difficult. But it does take discipline. And focus.

The Three Secrets to Success

Secret #1 – Progressing towards something

First up, you need to have clear goals of what you want to achieve. If you don’t know what the big, important things are, you can’t focus on achieving them.

Two of my favourite quotes are:

“if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”; and

Alice in Wonderland

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else” .

Yogi Berra

To make sure you don’t waste this precious resource, focus on what is important to your life. Being more productive means being more focussed. Stay focussed on where you want to get to.

Yes, to be successful you will have to work hard. But do it on the things that will get you where you want to be.

Secret #2 – Thinking your way through

Tackling big goals requires a series of smaller steps. To climb to the top of Everest, you need to make sure you have the skills, fitness, and financial capacity. Then you have to get to Base Camp before you start your climb.

Think through the big goals and break them into smaller, achievable pieces. Keep track of your progress so you know you’re getting there. Nothing succeeds like success, and achieving the smaller bits keeps you motivated.

Working hard without direction or focus can be a waste of valuable time and energy. Always consider your “why” before you schedule your time.

Consider how you currently spend your time and how you can be more efficient. Keep a journal for a week and record how you spend your time. In particular note how much time you spend on non-productive activity. Note how much to your longer-term goals.

This is a useful activity once or twice a year. Every time I do this, I am surprised at how much I have slipped into non-productive activity. It is a useful exercise to refocus yourself.

Then take a hard look at your to-do list and trim out the crap. Delegate or reassign where possible. Eliminate fringe tasks. Ask yourself “what will happen if this doesn’t get done.” If the answer isn’t much, then let it go.

Focus on the important, life-building activities. This is how to be more productive in life.

Secret #3 –Achieving a productive life balance

Rate each item on your to-do list for urgency and impact (or importance). Knowing that you’re not likely to do everything on your list, be selective about which items you will do. Urgent items need attention, but don’t let them consume all your time. Schedule enough time to make progress on the important things. Achieving impact will move you towards your goals much faster.

I find that spending the first hour or so of my day on the urgent, but easy to do things helps. There is a sense of achievement that gives me a more positive frame of mind for the day.

It reduces the size of my list and stops smaller items from becoming problematic later. There is less noise and worry of things pulling at my mind. By removing the noise and worry about these items, I am more focussed.

I find that by doing this I can concentrate my mind and energy on the bigger, more important tasks. This in turn makes me more productive.

The big secret to a successful and productive life is balance. OK, it sounds simple, but it is harder to manage than you think. Being aware of what is important and what is not is the starting point. Staying true to these priorities takes constant management.

Balance means nurturing every aspect of who you are, and of your life. There will be times when you need to dedicate yourself to one task. Make sure that this is a temporary need. Don’t let it dominate your life. Give it a time frame. When this time is over, regain balance by nurturing the other aspects of your life.

So if you want to be more productive in your life, remember that balance is the key. Remember that success is multi-faceted, and you need to give all aspects a chance to flourish.


Who is the best to make me write a book?

Introduction

When I was thinking about writing a book I knew I would need help. When considering a large task such as this, I wondered who could show me how to write a book. Some basic research showed that quite a few guides and templates are available – but they all sounded a bit dry. Either they left me feeling confused or filled me with dread about how daunting this can be. But I’m pretty sure I’ve found who would be the best to help me.

I figured if I could get some help to get me started that would provide some impetus. I also knew I would also need some support to keep going if I was ever going to finish.

It turns out that thinking about writing a book is quite common. There are lots of reasons why you might want to write a book. But most people don’t get there.

Structure is important

The biggest challenge is that it can be overwhelming. Such a big job, it is overwhelming. Even starting is an achievement. I admit to having had a couple of false starts. But then, finishing is even harder than starting, and only a few make it the finish line.

The first thing for me was to find someone who could give me a sense of structure. Having some tips on how to manage my information was a great help to get me started.

I know that I need the motivation to keep going during the slow times (and on those down days with no energy). Having some support along the way is invaluable.

I found that Brian Tracy ticks all these boxes. He has numerous guides and supporting materials, including some FREE stuff. This material helps show how to write a book.

These will help get you started and keep you on track.

Why would you want to write a book?

We all have a story in us – something we want to say. And we know there are people who we want to hear our story. Motivations range from personal to financial, for career or business advancement. Some have a particular message they want to spread or want to provide a guiding path to others.

You might want to become a famous novelist and collect royalty payments a la JK Rowling.

Or you might be an expert in your field and want to share this knowledge with others. There are many e-books self-published for this very purpose. Your motivation might be to position yourself as a person of influence, a leader in your field. In this instance the pay-off comes from better contacts and connections, and an enhanced bargaining position. All of these will enhance your career prospects.

Others write for their friends and family. Many an autobiography is written for children and grandchildren. The intent is to provide a deeper insight into the lives of their mother, father, or grandparent. A lot of personal history is not revealed in family conversations over the years. As an example, when I read my mother’s journal when she and my father emigrated to Australia in the early 1950’s it was illuminating. It showed me a side of her I had never known before.

For some it’s a journey of self-discovery.

Around 8 out of every 10 people in America have considered writing a book at some stage of their lives. You are not alone in this ambition. The reality is that a much smaller number attempt the task, and an even smaller number finish.

To improve your chances of success, it’s important that someone shows you how to write a book.

Of those that do finish – there are now many paths to publication. This will in part be dependant on the book’s purpose. Self-publishing for a small audience may be adequate. Or the production of an e-Book to be distributed digitally for publicity and promotional purposes may meet your needs.

Do you intend the finished product to sell on Amazon Kindle? Or do you aim to join the elite of authors and win an established publisher over?

Why don’t more people write books then?

Well, it’s many might think about it. But it’s a big job. Too big for most, and not a task to tackle lightly. Being intimidated by the complexity scares many people off. This is the main barrier that stops them from even starting.

Many will put down a few ideas. This might even include a snappy title. That in itself is not enough. Without structure and discipline, the job gets away from them. Writing a book is not something that happens on a whim. It takes dedication and perseverance. Your first book may take a year or more to finish. And a project of that length needs a plan.

It might be that the idea for the book isn’t clear enough. You will get lost if you don’t have clarity on your message, on what it is that you want to say. Consequently, when that happens – bang, it’s shutdown time. You will get dispirited and lose motivation if you lose momentum. This can happen if you get lose sight of what it is you are trying to accomplish. When the motivation dries up, so does the work.

So how do I get started?

For someone to show me how to write a book, they’ll have to cover all of that stuff. For a start, it makes sense to take a bit of prep time. Take time to plan it out. Putting together a game plan on how to manage a project like this is important.

The starting point is your “why”. Here are a few questions to help you clarify that.

  • What is your key message?
  • What is it you want to say?
  • Who do you expect to read it?
  • And why will they want to read it?

The answers to these questions will help give you clarity on what you are aiming to achieve. These also act as reminders you can come back to during your writing time. They can help keep you on track and motivated.

Once you have your central message, you should then list out the key points. Each of those key points is likely to have 3 to 5 sub-points for clarification. List these as well.

Voila! You now have a book outline. This is your start. Each of the above points becomes a chapter heading.

Think up a couple of sexy-sounding titles. You’ll come back to these several times over, others will come to mind and you’ll re-evaluate them. Your title is a critical part of enticing readers to read.

Moreover, it gives your project substance. It makes the whole thing a bit more real. Something to get your juices flowing. Helps you see the finished product.

Things to do along the way

Next is to get at it. Just write – don’t worry about perfection – get the ideas down

Start writing and then keep writing. If you prefer you can dictate, using the key and sub points you have listed. Whichever suits your style.

Getting the words down is the first part. Tidying them up comes later.

All the while, stay focussed on your goal. Using reinforcements and affirmations is a big help.

The most important thing is to just keep at it.

Conclusion

Doing it solo is tough. But you don’t have to go alone – help is there when you need it. The more encouragement you can get from family and friends the better. Every bit helps. Having a structured approach removes much of the stress.

I have no hesitation in recommending Brian Tracy to provide you with guidance through this project. For those of you who haven’t heard of him, he’s a world leader in the field of motivation and self-development.

He is the top-selling author of over 50 books, translated into dozens of languages. Brian has also written and produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs. These include the worldwide, best-selling Psychology of Achievement. As a keynote speaker and seminar leader, he addresses more than 250,000 people each year.

Brian has produced many guides and supporting materials that will help to get you started and keep you on track. I recommend you start with his FREE “20 Step Quick Start Guide”, and the FREE “Take the Quiz – Should You Write a Book?”

There is also a FREE Training webinar, you can access here.

Look at these materials first. Or you can get his “How to Write a Book” for the cost of a week or so’s coffee.

Once committed, I suggest his larger program – “Writing and Publishing Starter Kit”. This is the ultimate book to show me how to write a book. It’s very comprehensive and will guide you all the way through. In it, you will find everything you need to know to write and publish a book, based on your experience, knowledge, and expertise.


Are You Victim or Victor? – Preparation is the Answer

Lockdown, social isolation. These are the new rules of our lives for the next few months. How you respond will determine if you are victim or victor.

Covid-19 has caused unprecedented changes in our way of life. It has caused us all to spend much more time in our own homes, with much less social contact as we try to contain the spread of this disease.

This is going to result in a very different world in future years (and decades). Whilst I have no doubt that the “Roaring Twenties” of the last Century will return in this, just as they followed WW1 and the Spanish Flu last century.

Whether you are an employee or employer, there are opportunities to be taken. Whilst the victims wallow in fear and doubt, like rabbits in the spotlight, the victors recognise the huge opportunities that arise in times of crisis. The best are already preparing and making plans for the next decade.

But it won’t be the same people who were on top before that come out on top when the dust settles. In any crisis there are winners and losers, victims and victors.

Employment

In the immediate term – to end 2020 employment levels in all countries will escalate. Government stimulus packages designed to counter the impacts of this are reaching unheard of levels.

What is not known I show long the state of emergency or pandemic shutdowns will last? Or how long it will take to recover. The financial stresses that businesses are going through encourage a closer look at costs and efficiencies, and many jobs will be permanently lost.

In his classic book – Bullshit Jobs – David Graeber proposes that up to half of all work is pointless. He includes five types of entirely pointless jobs:

  1. “Flunkies” whose sole purpose is to make their superiors feel important – e.g. receptionist, personal assistants;
  2. “Goons” who act aggressively on behalf of their employers – e.g. lobbyists, corporate lawyers;
  3. Duct tapers, who ameliorate preventable problems, e.g., programmers repairing shoddy code, airline desk staff who calm passengers whose bags don’t arrive;
  4. Box tickers, who use paperwork or gestures as a proxy for action, e.g., performance managers, in-house magazine journalists, leisure coordinators; and
  5. Taskmasters, who manage—or create extra work for—those who don’t need it, e.g., middle management, leadership professionals

Many of these jobs will simply disappear for at least a decade. If you are in one of these jobs, or you realise that your job has no real meaning, and contributes little, I would urge you to take the time in isolation, quarantine or shutdown to prepare for a different future. Don’t just think that after a period of time – it will back to normal. It won’t be. The new normal will be very different, and we can only guess at how different.

What we do know is that it is wise to prepare for this. Use this time to develop your ability to create a new future – build your skills and flexibility.

While all the self-improvement gurus tell a similar story, the fundamentals remain the same. They may be wrapped in different packaging, with different wording and stories, but its very much the same messages which have been around for fifty years or more.

It comes down to setting goals, being focussed and disciplined. I have personally found it useful to be guided by others in this. It keeps you on target and can be a useful tool to motivate when you lose the urge.

The two best in the business are Brian Tracy and Tony Robbins. Selecting between them is as much a matter of personal preference as anything. Either will be a great help to you.

Their longer programs can run to hundreds of dollars, but both have introductory materials such as The Miracle of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy or Find Your True Gift by Tony Robbins which will only set you back the cost of a few cups of coffee (and you can’t go out to but hose now anyway).

Business

Any recession brings with it heartache and misery, we’ve been through it many times before.  This one is likely to be one of the biggest.

But for those with foresight, strong management discipline, and dare I say, “balls”, there are always business opportunities during recession that can provide decades of wealth to follow.

The victors prosper and get rich in times of recession. The money may not turn up for a few years, but it is an incredible opportunity to build the foundations of future wealth.

OK, so this seems to be going in the face of all the doom and gloom that is common, but isn’t that just the point?  If you do the same thing as everyone else, you’ll get the same results as everyone else.

“Fortunes are lost in the boom and made in the bust” JP Morgan

The victims will just keep plodding along, hoping for the best, and will more than likely go broke. The victors will be those who manage their cash flow, have cash (or access to it), those who keep their costs down and maintain their margins. When the victims disappear, the winners will take their market share, employ their best staff and build strong businesses for decade to come.

 The strongest companies in each industry benefit in four ways:

  1. They gain market share by picking up sales that had previously gone to weaker competitors that no longer exist;
  2. With fewer competitors, the strong find they can increase their margins since customers and clients have fewer options.  This is even more valuable than increased sales;
  3. High unemployment in the industry means it is easier to recruit top quality staff that had been working for weaker competitors. Those who survive and take advantage build their knowledge and skill base at a rapid rate; and
  4. They have the opportunity to buy out weaker competitors at bargain prices.

What You Need to Succeed

In a previous post we identified 6 Critical Factors for Success.

These are the skills and traits that will enable you to not only survive, but also prosper in an uncertain and rapidly changing world:

  1. An Action Orientation – nothing happens unless you make it so. Your success or failure is ultimately up to you. Luck will play a part, but perseverance will generally win the day. Staying motivated is essential, as are productive habits;
  2. Continuous learning – in a world of constant and exponential change, we need to be able to adapt and keep up. This is less about knowledge but the ability to source and analyze it. Read widely and be open to new ideas, discuss topics with others;
  3. A questioning attitude – fake news is widely accepted as fact. We need to question all information as to its source, reliability, and veracity. Some may call this cynicism, or being skeptical – we think it essential in a world where information is so readily manipulated;
  4. Flexibility and adaptability – the next decade will be very different from this one. Whilst many try to predict the future, we should be aware of changes and be prepared to alter course accordingly. We can’t become too fixed in time or place, but must continually adapt;
  5. Morality and ethics – whilst the “gamers” may have some short-term wins, in the long run, they lose. Your time on this planet is too short to not treat people the way you would want to be treated yourself. Empathy with others has a way of repaying you over time (think Karma bus). A strong sense of who you are is invaluable in times of crisis;
  6. Confidence and courage –these are closely aligned with a strong self of sense. It takes confidence and courage to follow your own path. These are traits that can be practiced and built upon.

How to Increase Brain Function- What Are Nootropics?

As our lives get more competitive, more people are asking how to increase their brain function. Nootropics, or smart drugs are becoming increasingly popular as more and more of us look for that added boost. This might be for career advancement or monetary gain, or it may be social pressures (keeping up with the Joneses), or perhaps just the simple realisation that we can do better and could live better lives if our brains functioned more efficiently.

This quest is not new – it is evidenced throughout history from the ancient Greeks onwards. The human brain is an incredibly complex organism, and it is widely recognised that we only harness a fragment of its full potential. Studies suggest that we only use as little as 12% of the brain’s processing power – so we can only imagine the possibilities if we were able to harness the other 88%.

Research into brain function is not new either, but there has been an explosion of knowledge in different disciplines over the past few decades. This expanded knowledge base in medicine, pharmaceutics, psychology, biology, nutrition and the like have encouraged exploration and experimentation into the impact of different substances that affect brain operation and performance. This includes stimulants – both natural and synthetic, and how these affect our neural pathways.

Many of these stimulants are referred to as Nootropics, or nootropic stacks. They are herbs, supplements, or synthetic substances that can enhance brain function—including things like memory and learning. Also known as smart drugs, they have become all the rage lately, as we look for an edge in a competitive world, or seek to delay the ageing process.

One of the results of is the emergence and popularity of the so called “smart drugs” or Nootropics which have been embraced by College students looking to get better grades, to silicon valley entrepreneurs looking for enhance creativity to stock brokers and management types looking to improve their work performance. Older people are keen to delay the atrophy of old age. All have taken to the many variants that are now available.

This Introduction covers what nootropics are, how they work to increase brain function, how you can benefit from them and how to get the most from these supplements. It is intended as an introduction to the subject and not as a definitive review. We encourage you to undertake further research and investigate individual products to determine which will best suit your needs.

What Are Nootropics?

Nootropics are primarily known as ‘brain boosters’ that enhance cognitive function, especially memory, creativity, or motivation. They also have preventative properties, which can delay the ageing process.

Even though they are thought of as a ‘now’ product, the term was first coined in 1972, combining the Greek word ‘nous’ (or mind), and ‘trepein’ (or bend). The use of certain herbs to promote brain activity and health has also been in practice for thousands of years.

Today the word is most commonly used in reference to commercially formulated supplements combining mainly natural (and sometimes synthetic) ingredients designed to improve brain power, give better concentration, enhanced focus, faster mental speed and better memory as well as improving long term brain health.

The combinations of ingredients and the ability to concentrate dosages to specifically target neural pathways is one of the new frontiers of mind medicine.

We have long been aware of everyday stimulants such as coffee and the remedial impacts of various herbs and vitamins. Modern science has been exploring the effects of these and how they can be improved, sometimes adding synthetic substances.

The results are a range of new-age supplements that have come onto the market, offering to safely and effectively improve cognitive functioning through a blend of vitamins, amino acids and other essential building blocks for a healthy, well-functioning brain. Memory enhancement is the largest segment, although the promise of reduced age-related declines in brain function is also popular.

The market for these products is growing at an escalating pace as more and more people look to improve their brain’s performance. The global nootropics market is currently estimated to be around $USD2.6b, with over a third of this in the USA. The market is expected to continue growing rapidly, especially in the Asia Pacific region. It is expected to reach $USD6b 2025.

What’s In Them?

Nootropics and smart drugs include a range of natural and naturally substances as well as synthetic or prescription formulations. Many popular nootropics are referred to as stacks as they combine several ingredients for maximum effect.

Prescription smart drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin, have the strongest and most significant effects on memory and attention.

Synthetic nootropic supplements like Noopept and piracetam are also widely available, although research on their effectiveness in healthy adults is lacking.

Many natural nootropics are used in alternative medicine, but their effects are typically more subtle and slower acting. They’re sometimes taken in combination to boost their effectiveness. Commonly consumed stimulants such as coffee, tea and nicotine all provide a short term boost to the brain.

Natural or herbal nootropics are any kind of plant derived or plant based compounds that have been shown to enhance cognitive ability and health. Some of the more popular ones include Alpha GPC, Bacopa Monnieri, Cat’s Claw, Creatine, Ginkgo Biloba, Holy Basil, Huperzine A., L-Theanine & L-Tyrosine, Omega 3, Panax Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea and Vitamins B & E.

Herbal nootropics can be just as effective as their synthetic cousins and you can even stack several of them to boost your results.

How Do They Work?

The continuing body of research into brain cognition has given us more knowledge about how this remarkable organ works. It has also provided insight into how various substances might impact it and improve its performance.

This has revealed that it is possible to improve the production and flow of cellular energy, blood circulation and flow, reducing inflammation, engaging neural support for a healthier network of cells and the levels of key chemicals in the brain.

In a non-technical sense – it’s a bit like giving your car a service and tune-up – cleaning out the gunk and getting everything working a bit better.

In a more technical sense, most nootropics work by affecting neurotransmitters in your brain like acetylcholine, glutamate, serotonin and dopamine. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that act as information messengers between your brain’s nerve cells, which are called neurons. It is neurotransmitters that give the signals to your brain to tell your heart to beat, and your lungs to breathe, but they also play a crucial role in your cognitive function too.

By altering these neurotransmitters, nootropics can be used to improve the way your brain functions. Some nootropics also act as vasodilators, which work by boosting the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain, and others by stimulating nerve growth in the brain. But all of them have the same cognitive-enhancing effect.

What Are The Benefits?

There have been countless studies into nootropics that show that they increase brain function and power, proving the cognitive-enhancing effects that nootropics can have. This has led to nootropics being used for many years by doctors to help treat various conditions relating to the brain such as Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s and ADHD.

But those who aren’t suffering from these conditions can still take them and achieve positive enhancements such as better coordination, mood enhancement, increased learning and memory abilities, reduced symptoms of depression and stress, and increased attention and motivation.

Everyone’s brain chemistry is different, so not everyone will experience the same effects with the same dosage, but the most important thing to realise is that this is not some “pie in the sky” idea. Nootropics do work and can give you a huge number of benefits.

There are 6 widely recognised benefits from taking nootropic supplements:

  1. Better learning and memory – the retention of both new knowledge (learning) and the ability to store and retrieve it (memory) are vital to leading a successful life. These are important both for older adults experiencing memory loss and younger ambitious types looking to improve their work performance.
  2. Focus and attention – the ability to concentrate on an important task helps achievement and improves many other cognitive functions.
  3. Brain Energy – the brain consumes around 20 percent of the body’s energy, and sufficient energy is important for all cognitive processing.
  4. Mood – a poor mood impacts on brain energy, stress resistance, and brain circulation.
  5. Stress reduction – stress impacts mental performance and overall well-being.
  6. 6.Slowing the ageing process – age-related cognitive decline can begin in healthy, educated adults as early as in their 20s and 30s, so it’s never too early to start taking care of your brain.

Are They Safe?

Natural based nootropics are non-toxic and side effects are extremely rare. They are suitable for everyday use over an extended period of time, and, despite being labelled smart ‘drugs’, they are perfectly safe and legal to use. 

It is very unlikely you will experience any side effects when taking natural nootropic supplements, but if you do, you should reduce your dosage immediately. If you continue to suffer side effects, you should consult your doctor. Synthetic, or pharmaceutical products should only be only taken under advice from a medical practitioner. 

Be Wary of Cheaply Formulated Products 

While nootropic vitamins, herbs, and amino acids are generally safe at the recommended doses and many have been used for thousands of years, it’s important to be wary of cheaply formulated nootropic supplements. 

There has been much conjecture about the real advantages of nootropics – just as there has been with the use of vitamin supplements. The industry has certainly had its reputation tarnished by unscrupulous operators and questionable claims and marketing practices.

How Do I get the Most From Them?

Nootropics are supplements – so the impact they have will be at least partially dependant on what they are supplementing. A well fed, well exercised body with an active mind is a better base from which to work, so we suggest that to get the most benefit you should:

  • Get plenty of sleep – your brain will be more focussed and active, so rest and recovery time is important;
  • Exercise regularly – a healthy body helps a healthy mind;
  • Follow a proper diet – fish (Omega-3 fatty acids), fruit and vegetables, minimal processed foods with lots of water will keep you in good trim;
  • Keep your mind active – everything benefits from a workout, and so does your brain, so read, do brain teasers and the like; and 
  • Explore and enjoy your newly expanded capabilities!

Conclusion

There appears little doubt that Nootropics truly are able to increase brain function. The bigger question remains – which one? or which combination will suit me best?

Despite the various contentious issues regarding spurious marketing and product claims, the category is very broad and the enthusiasm with which these formulations have been embraced suggests they are a product category which is here to stay. Growth forecasts suggest more and more people are likely to be using these so-called smart drugs in the future, as they seek to increase their brain function. 

Will you be left behind? Or part of the pack? 

This article has been reposted from www.BestofBrainPower.com


8 Tips to Soar with Success

By Dr. Steve G. Jones
Clinical Hypnotherapist

I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”
― Abraham Lincoln

To soar with success means being successful in all important areas of life. Everyone craves success, and generally, financial success. But if you want your success to soar to new heights, you should recognise that success in other areas of life is important too. And in this article… I’ll provide you some tips on how to be successful in life, in general.

Before we begin, I want you to check out the Soaring Success program here:

8 Tips to Soar with Success

1. Find Your WHY

The first thing to do if you want success in anything…

Is to have a reason why.

Why would you want to be successful at something?

Is it to impress someone or your friends?

Or to feel more life fulfillment?

It can be satisfying to be successful at something…

But without any real reason why you’re wanting the success…

A lot of things can happen.

Your dreams can crumble down as you hit some minor roadblocks…

Just because you weren’t founded on your reasons.

Or maybe when you get tired, you won’t take action…

Or when you’re distracted, you’ll procrastinate.

It’s your BIG REASON that will push you throughout your journey…

No matter how hard… no matter how painful.

This is your foundation. If you know you’re founded on solid reasons, your dreams won’t go crumbling down easily.

And if you don’t have a foundation, even the slightest earthquakes can bring you down.

2. Stick to Your WHY

Once you found your WHY…

Stick to that.

I’ve mentioned before that your WHY will put you through any challenge…

Only if you stick to it.

You see, some people take action because they’re motivated.

While some people take action because they have a reason to.

Everyone feels unmotivated every now and then.

There are days when you don’t feel like getting up at all.

But you have to. And if you’ll count on your motivation to fuel you on those days…

You’ll be dragging yourself to do what you don’t ‘feel’ like doing.

So it’s a lot better to ground yourself on your WHY. So at times like these…

You’ll be more energized to take action and show up.

3. Find a Blueprint and a Mentor

Now you have your reasons. You need a roadmap to get where you want to go.

If it’s weight loss, you need a diet plan or a workout plan.

If it’s money, you need to work on a ‘wealth’ blueprint.

You also need someone to guide you through the roadmap or the blueprint.

You need someone who’s been there before. Not just someone teaching for money.

You need someone with experience. Someone who really went through what you’re going through.

If you don’t have local or personal access to these people…

You can always buy their books, listen to their podcasts, audiobooks, etc.

The point is to have someone to look up to, who has been where you were before. And is massively successful…

…or at least, the level of success you want to have.

4. Systematize Everything

Now that you have a mentor, a blueprint, and a reason to go forward…

You need to systematize everything.

In reality, this is not the only area of your life you need to focus on.

For example, you want to get rich…

But you also have to focus on your family, on your friends, and other commitments.

So you need to systematize everything to have a balanced and rich life.

Ideally, you should work in these areas:

  • Health & Fitness
  • Finances & Wealth
  • Friends & Family
  • Fun, Recreation and Entertainment
  • Love Life
  • Personal/Spiritual Development
  • Career/Business
  • Physical Environment

A balanced life of those 8 elements will be fulfilling for sure…

But take it easy on yourself. I know it can be difficult to juggle everything at once.

5. Focus, Find Your Flow

Now that you have a system, it’s time to get to work.

And while working, focus is a must. You must find your flow.

Flow is when you’re so engrossed in the moment.

How do you know when you found your flow?

You’ll feel energetic, time passes by so fast, and you’re getting a lot done.

When you’re at this stage. Don’t stop working. This is when you’ll be really productive.

How do you find your focus? You can start by working focused for 5 minutes without any distractions.

Then take it easy for another 5 minutes, and then have a focused session again, maybe try 7-10 minutes this time.

If you’re used to entertaining distractions, this can be difficult. But if you want success, you should focus on what you really need to do.

Avoid procrastination, it robs you of your success.

6. Reduce the Negativity

Now, it’s time to reduce the negativity.

Note how I used the word ‘reduce’ instead of ‘remove’? In reality, you can’t be 100% positive and good. Negativity will be with you, that’s a fact as long as you’re on the planet.

But that’s no reason for you to put it with all the negativity. Reduce it as much as you can.

Love negative people in your life from afar, don’t let them influence you.

Avoid negative news, events, etc.

7. Stick to One Thing at a Time

As you go through your journey, stick to one thing at a time. Your focus shouldn’t be scattered in every facet of your life. I know there are 8 areas of your life… And you need to work on all these. But prioritize one at a time.

Take it easy on yourself. Because doing everything at once is a sure way to stress yourself out!

Also, you’ll produce better results if you do one thing at a time.

8. Don’t Give Up Too Soon

The last tip I have to give is this…

Don’t give up too soon. There will be times it will seem pointless…

But as long as you’re grounded on your WHY, as discussed above…

You’ll have the strength to go on.

Reality will kick in after the motivation goes down. It’ll be hard and challenging. You’ll find yourself asking if it’s worth it to continue…

Or to quit.

But oftentimes, it’s during these times that you’re about to hit your breakthrough.

So don’t quit. Don’t give up too soon.

Once you have these 8 tips nailed down…

I’m pretty confident you’ll be soaring with success in anything you set your mind to.

So go out there and show the world what you can do.

Don’t forget to check out the Soaring Success program here:

Soar with Success Program

Tips for New Year Resolutions

5 Simple Tips to Help Keep New Year Resolutions

The New Year is with us now, and many of us will already be tested by those New Year Resolutions. Statistics show that nearly half of us will vow to change one thing or another about our lifestyle.  These tips will help you keep those resolutions.

Here are 5 useful, and simple tips to help keep those New Year Resolutions, because in 6 month’s time, it is likely that they will be completely forgotten.

New Year resolutions usually fall under the following categories:

  • Weight loss
  • Finance
  • Career
  • Personal development
  • Health and diet
  • Fitness
  • Stress management
  • Focusing on personal relationships

These are entirely consistent with the various articles that we present here at SuccessToro.com. We want to achieve those life improvements you promised yourself.

1. Define Your Motivation

There are 2 types of motivation:

  • Intrinsic – this means your motivation comes from inside. For example, you prefer jogging, going to the gym, or shopping by yourself because you like how you feel afterwards.
  • Extrinsic – you’re pushed forward by actions outside your personal scope. In other words, you prefer working out with your friends, and work harder when there’s a reward system in place.

Think about it, once you’ve figured out what your motivation type is, it’s easier then to do is put yourself in situations that make you more excited to accomplish even more.

2. Actions Speak Louder Than Results

Deciding on a goal for the New Year is always easier said than done. However, it’s the steps you take to reach that goal that’s the tricky part. If you want to stick to your resolutions, it’s wise to break each step down into smaller goals, if possible, to make them more manageable.

Moreover, each time you achieve one, reward yourself and feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. Positive reinforcement is crucial to help guide you as you push toward your goal and commit to your responsibilities.

One way to keep everything in check is to make sure your actions are SMART:

  • Specific. Having a specific end result prevents you from making excuses.
  • Measurable. Evaluating your progress will give your motivation a boost.
  • Achievable. You can set daily goals as a building block to bigger goals.
  • Relevant. Otherwise, if it’s not relevant, why bother?
  • Time-bound. Goals need to have a defined end date.

3. Be Honest with Yourself

The more realistic your resolutions, the more likely you’ll see them through. If your goal for the New Year is to exercise more, then start small. Instead of planning a 5-day workout week, go for 20 minutes a day then increase gradually.

You’ll find that, as with all goals, as soon as you start seeing what you’ve accomplished, you’ll be pumped to do even more. However, it’s crucial that you stay away from the “all-or-nothing” approach. Doing something, even if it’s a small piece of what you’d originally planned, is much better and more productive than doing nothing at all.

Moreover, it’s equally important to not have too many resolutions up in the air at once. Make a list, prioritize them, and go from there. Once you feel the first one’s in the bag, go for the second, and so on. Focusing on one goal at a time will channel your energy and efforts there, helping you reach your target faster.

4. Think Things Through

Having a positive mindset is key when progressing towards your goals, but let’s be honest; every plan is bound for failure if you’re careful. Be smart and anticipate these obstacles so that when they do appear, you’ll be prepared.

For example, if you get bored when you exercise, choose upbeat workout music that’ll get you revved up. Or you can workout at home, as you catch up on your favorite TV shows. If your motivation method is extrinsic, go to the gym with a friend. The idea is to nip it in the bud before it becomes stronger than your willpower so that you can surmount any obstacle that comes between you and your goal.

5. Be Accountable for Your Actions

Accountability means you’re taking responsibility for the choices you’re making. This may seem easy to do at work when you have a deadline and a boss reinforcing it. It may not seem as easy when you’re home alone and skip out on cooking a healthy meal, and order take-out instead.

You can enlist the help of a friend or join a support group where you’d know that you made a certain commitment to someone, if it’s simply sending a photo of your home-cooked meal on social media.or, you can hang a calendar on your wall with progress notes so you can keep tabs on how far you’ve gotten and what still lies ahead.

These tips for New Year Resolutions will help you to achieve the goals you have set. It may seem scary at first. However, with these 5 tips for New Year Resolutions, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Moreover, once you accomplish your first resolution, you’ll find that it’s not only beneficial, it’s fun as well!


5 Steps to Beat Your Inner Critic

5 Steps to Beat Your Inner Critic

Your inner critic can often have the loudest voice in the room, don’t be afraid to press the mute button.

Follow these 5 simple steps to beat your inner critic and slowing your topping you from succeeding in life. Don’t let it slow you down.

1. START BY LISTENING TO THE VOICE

The voice is insidious – you may not even be aware of how often your inner critic is chiming in. Pay attention to what you are thinking and saying to yourself throughout your day. Getting a handle on what your voice is saying is the first step to silencing it.

2. TALK TO YOURSELF LIKE YOU WOULD A FRIEND

When you hear that inner monologue start to chime in, try changing your words to those you would use with any personal friend having a problem. Be compassionate and encouraging, treat yourself with kindness.

3. LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE

When you start to hear your inner critic tell you what you can’t do, ask yourself, how do you know? What evidence do you have to support that negative assessment? What evidence can you offer to refute those negative claims?

4. DON’T LIVE IN THE PAST

You need to let go of past mistakes. When you mess up, accept that it happened, then move on. Reminding yourself repeatedly of how and when you screwed up isn’t helping you solve the problem or make better choices moving forward.

5. CONSIDER THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO

You can stop your inner critic from turning a possible negative outcome into a potential catastrophe. This causes you to feel more anxious than is necessary, leading to doubt and feelings of worthlessness. Stop and consider, what if that worst-case scenario actually did occur? Would it really be all that bad? In most cases, not really.


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What are Smart Drugs, and why all the fuss?

It seems everyone is talking about nootropics, or smart drugs these days. This is because we are all happy to get a leg up on the opposition, and claims of better brain power are enticing. The use of nootropics supplements is one of the hottest trends of the moment. So just what are these so-called smart drugs?

The terms refer to supplements which are brain enhancements. They are many of these readily available online in both powder and pill form. Some are chemically-made, but many are made using natural substances.

These natural or herbal nootropics include any kind of plant derived or plant-based compounds that have been shown to enhance cognitive ability and health. In fact, there are a whole host of different herbs and natural substances that have been shown to impact on your brain’s function, and some have been in use for thousands of years.

It is no wonder that with the addition of modern medical research these herbal nootropics are just as effective as their synthetic cousins. To increase effectiveness, many different compounds are combined. Thee are known as nootropics stacks.

The advantage of modern medical research is the ability to better track how these substances work, where and why. The result of this research based knowledge has allowed many companies to build more effective combinations, which offer increased potency and effectiveness. As a result, the number of available products has grown exponentially over the past decade.

The range of nootropic substances includes stimulants, but the better ones have much more complex formulations. We are all familiar with commonly used stimulants – coffee is perhaps the most common (how many of us say we can’t start our day without a morning coffee fix). Tea has similar, but less dramatic stimulatory effect. Nicotine is also widely recognised, but not recommended due to its less desirable side effects,

Most newer nootropic stacks combine more exotic-sounding things like Alpha GPC, Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine & L-Tyrosine (found in tea), Huperzine A., Cat’s Claw, Creatine, Gingko Biloba, Panax Ginseng and the like. All of these are said to have the ability to increase your brainpower in different ways – better memory, learning, faster processing, reduced stress and slowing of the ageing process.

Recommendations

There are a lot of products out there, and selecting the right one can be confusing. To help you out, we h ave listed what we believe to be the top general nootropics formulations on the market right now.

Mind Lab Pro®

Universal nootropic

Opti-Nutra is arguably the world’s leading producer – high quality products that have been thoroughly researched.

Their MindLabPro is a universal nootropic stack, great for memory, focus, overall productivity & long-term brain support.

NooCube

NooCube is a synergistic blend of nootropics which helps support and enhance your focus, mental speed and memory.

So you can expect to safely and effectively improve your cognitive functioning with this powerful blend of vitamins, amino acids, and other essential building blocks for a healthy, well-functioning brain.

In Summation

Those using these supplements range from students looking to ace their exams, to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and motivated corporate types, to older folk who want to slow down the ageing process. The common attraction is the appeal of better functioning brain. You can think of it like giving your car a sevice, or doing exercise to get your body into better shape.

To support this increasing demand, there’s a large and growing supply of supplements. Som eof these are universal in effect, some target specific neural patheways.  As a result, the market for nootropics is growing rapidly. It is now thought to be approaching $2b in sales in the USA alone, and is forecast to reach $12b by 2024.

We all face competition every day, in all aspects of our lives. It’s no wonder successful people are looking to science and medical research to give them an advantage.

Everyone’s brain chemistry is different, so what works really well for one person may not be the same for another. Not everyone will experience the same effects with the same dosage, but the buzz that is building around these supplements says they’re worth a trial. With such a weight of support behind them, it seems this is not some “pie in the sky” idea.

So to sum up, nootropics aka smart drugs) do seem to work for a large number of people and we expect that they can give you a number of benefits.