Failure: Embrace It

This may sound counterintuitive to you. Embrace failure? Nobody wants to be a failure. It makes us look bad, we lose face, we can get laughed at. Most of us will go through life trying to avoid the embarrassment of failure. Failure is one of the worst things that can happen to a person right?

Wrong.

infographic-learning-and-failureI love to fail. I mean, I really hate it too, but I love to fail. Do you know why? No It’s not because I’m crazy. It’s because failure is how you learn. Let me give you an example. My friend asks me to help them fix something. I have absolutely no idea what it is let alone how to fix it. So I could take the easy route, like most people, and say nope not a clue what that thing is, sorry! But that’s not really helpful. Not to me, or the friend who asked me. So instead I could say yeah sure, I’ll give it a shot. Chances are, if they’re asking for help they already know how to fix it so you’d just be holding things for them most likely. But, you would learn how to fix it by watching them. Maybe you drop something, or accidentally break something. That is gut wrenchingly painful in the moment, but remember:

Strong emotions create strong memories.

You broke it. Now you have to fix it again. You’re frustrated, its an endlessly long struggle, you don’t know what you’re doing, you waste your whole day trying to fix it. But you know what? You just spent a whole day fixing that, do you think you might have retained some of that knowledge? You’re damn right you did. But you had to set yourself up to fail in order to learn from it. If you hadn’t volunteered to help with something out of your comfort zone you would have completely missed this opportunity.

Not everybody likes failure.

Most people don’t like to fail. It comes with all those negative emotions that nobody wants. It’s not worth setting themselves up for failure to learn, they want the easy way. I have three words for these people, and this is something I will push in so many aspects of motivation. You need to learn this in life.

Suck it up.

Knowledge stays with you. Failure is forgotten. There’s always that one guy who will never let you live that down. Ditch that guy. See my post on negativity. You might fail this time, but the more you fail, the more you learn. Eventually you’ll know more than that goof who was laughing at you. You become the go to person because you’ve been there and made the mistakes. You know how to fix them, how to avoid them. You have put yourself out there and made the effort. Pretty soon that guy is asking you for your help because he has no idea how to do what you do. He gives up when he doesn’t understand. Don’t be that person. Be the one who fails. Be the one who learns. Own it and become better.

Do you have any failures that have helped you in your life? Tell us how! Leave a comment below.

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Courage: Start Something New

I would like to know about starting something new. How do you find the courage?

                                                                        Sharon Yvonne

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Thanks for the question Sharon! Courage is something that everyone already has, but has to discover on their own. If you really boil it down, courage is just the ability to overcome a fear of doing something, and then being able to act on it.

For me the obvious first step is identifying what that fear is. I’ll use this blog as an example. When I started I had no idea if people wanted to hear what I wanted to say, or if they would like my writing. There’s that fear of rejection that lots of people get when starting something new. There are a few steps you could take from here.

Firstly, I could have tested my writing and got an impression of it from people I trust before I started posting things online. Build my confidence up and overcome the fear that way. Or, I could take the approach that I did which was to stop caring if other people liked it or not. At the end of the day you’re trying something new for you. Not everyone else. So it doesn’t really matter if they like it or not because you’re doing for yourself, it’s something you want to do.

Don’t let others hold you back.

The truth is there will always be people who don’t like what you do. If you listen to those people then you let them win. If you want to try something new, you do it because you want to.

Recognize you won’t start off as a savant.

When you start something new, chances are you’re going to suck. You’ve never done it before, how could you be good at it right away? Some people get away with some natural talent but most of us take the hard route.

For me, the courage to start something new comes from recognizing the obstacles, whether they’re self-imposed or otherwise, overcoming them, and being realistic about where you’re going to be skill wise when you start that something. You have to understand the risks and the challenges, brace yourself for it, and then dive into it headfirst. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll learn from them, and you’ll improve. As long as you understand that mistakes will be made, you’ll be in a better state of mind when they actually happen.

I hope this helps Sharon! If anyone else has tips or advice for Sharon, please submit a comment below. The more perspectives and ideas we can provide, the more helpful we will be!

Interactive: Next week is for you!

TellUsHey everyone! I originally started this blog so that I could help other people get motivated in their everyday lives. So far, I’ve posted things that I thought might be particularly helpful for you. But really, it should be you who decides what’s important and what you want information on. It’s you that I’m trying to help so it only makes sense to include you right? In light of that, next week I’m going to try something a little different.

Next week is all about you.

By you I mean everybody reading this blog. I want to know what you want to talk about, what you want to know, and what you need help with. Share your ideas and your opinions in the comments below! The more people that contribute in the comments today the better next week will turn out. I want to get in at least one post per day which means I need at least five people to contribute. It can be anything at all.

Maybe you want to know how to make your workplace more upbeat, let us know! Or you need an easy way to help yourself unwind after a hard day, tell us! Next week, your idea is my focus.

So the way this is going to work is, I’m going to post your question or comment along with your name (if you want to remain anonymous you can email me from the contact page instead) next week along with a little blurb of my take on how to help, or get you motivated or whatever the case may be. Then we’re going to open it up to everyone else. That means you get fresh perspectives, different ideas, new strategies. We’re going to give you as much information as we can to help you out. We want at least one post per day next week but if we get more than five contributors we will absolutely fit you all in, no worries! But I can’t stress this enough.

Contribute, comment and share your ideas with us.

The more feedback and contributions we have the more exciting next week will be. I’d like to think you’re here because you want or like to be motivated (and hopefully enjoy my writing), so let me help focus on you specifically.

So don’t be shy, I look forward to hearing from as many of you as possible. Help me so I can help you..

Belief: Let it Define You

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You have beliefs. I have beliefs. That in itself is not a problem. Unfortunately beliefs are more complicated than that. Our society has made it so that you can’t just have a belief any more; it has to meet certain standards to be considered acceptable. You have to consider other peoples beliefs, their feelings, their religion, the societal impact of your belief if other people disagree. And to top it all off, everyone thinks their beliefs are the right beliefs. It’s all very complicated.

So let’s simplify things.

We can bring this down to one very simple thing. A belief is an opinion, it is not a fact. It is something that you hold to be true based on your life experiences and your knowledge of the world. So really, you can believe whatever you want to believe because it’s something that’s true to you. Here’s the problem.

Not everyone likes your belief.

People are different; they have different life experiences that teach them different things which lead them to discover different beliefs. But beliefs are strong. They come from our life and we are sure they are right because we live by them. So when people come together, beliefs will always clash because all people are uniquely different. When two people fundamentally disagree, there is potential for major conflict. We see it with religions, nations, race, and gender. It’s all just ridiculous though isn’t it?

You can’t be a part of the conversation if you’ve never known the other side.

If a woman tells me it’s easier to be a man in life than it is to be a woman, before this conversation even goes anywhere it is fundamentally flawed on both sides. As a guy I could say oh you know it can’t be that bad, and she could try and beat into me that she’s absolutely right. Has that women ever experienced being a man before? And on the flip side has that man ever experienced being a woman before? Obviously there are rare cases where this is true but for most of us the answer is absolutely not. Those are beliefs that they have. So how can these two people possibly come to an understanding? They both are only living one side of the argument. Sure they have facts and stories and past inequalities that exist. But that man has no idea what the other side is like. Men and women go through different social pressures, they have different responsibilities in life, and they get treated differently in life and face different health issues. But because they believe those things they act on them accordingly. Here’s my point.

Your beliefs define you.

If you go through your whole life believing people are putting you down, then you will act out your life differently than if you think everyone is your friend. Whether they’re true or not, what you believe directs your actions. If you act like your religion is better than somebody else’s religion, it affects how you react and relate to those people that believe differently doesn’t it? We have so many problems in the world because we all believe in different things and we think my way is better. My way is not better, it is simply my way, it is what I believe, what I think is true. Instead of judging everybody else, turn the mirror on yourself first. What kind of beliefs do you have? Why is your way better? You have your opinions and can try to prove that they are indeed better, but maybe it’s only better for you. How would you know?

Stop getting ahead of yourself.

Remember that your belief is just that. A belief. We can all believe whatever we want, but our beliefs have real world repercussions. That’s because we act on our beliefs. So how do you want your beliefs to affect the world? Personally, I want my beliefs to change the world for the better. Trying to help and motivate people, trying to avoid pointless arguments, being nice to everyone you meet. I believe it and I act on it. And so do you. So ask yourself. How are my actions affected by my beliefs? Are you happy with what you see? If not, maybe it’s time for a change.

Believe in the kind of person you want to be.

Our beliefs direct our actions and we want to be the best people we can be. So choose wisely.

Do you have any beliefs you think have made a difference in your life? Maybe someone else’s life? Or maybe you have a completely different opinion on beliefs. Share your thoughts in the comments!

Stress: Free Yourself

stress_pictureStress. It is the mental and emotional strain caused by demanding situations and it has the power to make everything in your life harder.  In the past it guided our fight or flight response in life or death situations. It still does but now our world has changed, and we feel the effects of stress every day. In small doses it’s not a problem, but chronic stress is becoming more and more of an issue.  We have increased responsibilities, time constraints, and added pressure from friends, family and colleagues. We are constricted by laws, rules, cultural norms, expectations and governing bodies. There is so much pressure on us that it’s amazing we don’t just explode. All of this pressure has a negative effect on you.

It affects your body and your health.

I know your health is important to you. Mine sure as heck is to me. So just to drive the point home of how bad stress is for you here is a quick list of all the effects of chronic stress.

  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Heart Attack
  • Stomach Ache
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heartburn
  • Irregular Menstrual Cycle

There are so many more things and these are just the effects it has on you. But you’re not the only one your stress has an effect on.

Stress affects everyone around you.

When you’re stressed you become much more irritable. Little things bother you. You get emotional and overreact to things it doesn’t make sense to overreact about. While this can be attributed to the stress, this still affects your relationships. It is often people who are the target of your irritability, and people don’t like that. If you’re stressed all the time you will drive those people away. And nobody wants that. We all want to see the regular happy person that’s buried underneath all that stress. So let’s find out how to help.

So how do you combat stress?

Everyone needs a strategy. I personally like to exercise when I’m stressed because it helps me focus my mind on something else, something engaging that can distract me from my stress and help me relax. But everyone has a different strategy. The way I see it you have two major options to choose from. You can either avoid the stress, which is not always possible so this is not the ideal solution, or you can alter your reaction to the stress. When you’re stressed it is extremely easy to get angry and frustrated with everything, that’s our natural reaction after all. But that’s not really helpful. If we get angry and frustrated all we’re going to accomplish is to make ourselves more angry and frustrated. That’s because when we lose our temper we take shortcuts, we get irritated, it distracts us and we cause more problems because we’re acting more aggressive.

Take a step back.

Until you separate yourself from the stressful situation you will never be able to de-stress. You need to give your mind time to breathe. For me I prefer to exercise, but for you maybe it’s different. Find something to occupy your mind that is constructive and helpful in your everyday life and your killing two birds with one stone. You’re building a healthier lifestyle and you’re dealing more effectively with your stress.

Change how you view the problem.

It can’t be a problem if you don’t see it as a problem. Here’s an example that I can relate to. Maybe you can hear the faucet dripping and it is absolutely driving you insane. You can’t or don’t know how to stop it and it’s been going for hours. You can’t get rid of the sound so have fun with it. Since I like to be silly I made a beat out of the sound of the drops in my head into something I liked. Then every time I heard the faucet dripping after that I heard the beat I made up in my head and it made me feel happy instead of miserable. Reframe the problem. Make a solution out of it.

Adjust your diet.

What you eat can also contribute to stress. Caffeine, sugar, alcohol and drugs are all things that produce a temporary high and end with a crash that can disrupt your mood and behavior. Cutting back on any or all of these can have a major impact.

You have to find out which strategy works for you. This is a bit of trial and error and it can take time. Take the time and put in the effort. And most importantly, have a positive attitude. If you’re negative you’re focusing on the problem but if you’re being positive you’re focusing on the solution. Having a positive attitude is beyond helpful. Find what works for you. Then do it.

How do you cope with stress? If you have any helpful hints and strategies, be sure to share them in the comments!

 

Exercise: How To Start Out Right

Exercising is important. The combination of exercise and proper eating habits are essential to living an active and healthy lifestyle. It’s what everybody wants. It makes you stronger, your body works more efficiently and it makes you an overall healthier person. So why does everybody struggle with it? Let’s look into that.

People try and go too fast.

100000-transformation-challenge-training_e_maleEveryone wants to live a better lifestyle and get in better shape. We’re told that the best way to do that is to go to the gym or go outside and get started. That’s where everyone goes right? So what do we do? We jump right into it. The problem is everyone wants to fast track their success. They take on too much too fast. So much that they get overwhelmed, fall flat on their face and give up right away.

Slow down, pace yourself.

This is not a rush things kind of activity. You need to pace yourself. For one thing, your body is not used to working out. No matter what you’re going to be sore afterwards and it’s going to suck. But if you take on too much right at the beginning it’s going to feel like too much and it will put you off of exercising. That’s not what we want. We want to make this into a habit so it’s something we do naturally everyday without having to think about it. We want this to be long lasting. So how do we do that?

Start small and then build yourself up.

If you’re going to run, don’t start running 5k because you’ll never do it. If you’re lifting weights don’t give yourself heavy weight and a massive workout regime because you’ll never do it. If you’ve never done something before how much do you think your body can handle right off the bat? The answer is not much. So you need to start with the not much your body can handle. This depends completely on the individual. If you’re in decent shape from other things, you’ll be able to start off a little stronger. But if you’re completely new to the exercise scene then it’s a different story.

 Start at ground zero. That means you’re going to be doing a lot of trial and error. For absolute beginners, as well as more experienced people, I recommend you start off with a personal trainer. Many gyms offer a free lesson with a new membership, take advantage of that. If you’re really new, you don’t know how to use the equipment, which equipment is for what, how to do the exercises properly, proper form; the list goes on and on. Use that personal trainer and get them to show you as much of the equipment and exercises as is humanly possible. They are an absolute gold mine of information. Use it. They’re going to want to give you a workout program but that takes up valuable time. A 10 minute google search can give you varying basic workout routines and how to form a proper workout routine. Use your brain and figure it out. Use the personal trainer to show you everything else.

Lose the fear.

The reason I say get as much exposure to the equipment as possible is because if you don’t know the equipment it becomes an unknown. That scares some people. If you don’t understand it or are afraid of it you won’t use it and you could be losing a valuable exercise tool. Don’t hold yourself back, you want to have everything you can available to you to make yourself into a healthier person.

Bring a friend.

Sure you can do it yourself. You need to be motivated and disciplined and focused but you can absolutely do this by yourself, and lots of people do. But for those people who are still struggling with their motivation or willpower a friend beside you can be extremely valuable. They push you to keep going, you challenge each other to do better, you improve faster. If you have a day that you’re just not feeling it your friend will drag you out of your slump, you’ll feel obligated to go. Having a friend with you makes it much harder for you to stop because it’s not just you anymore.

Be active in other ways too.

Young couple run together on a sunset

Don’t just go to the gym. Go for a hike, play some sports, do some mountain biking. Something active. Whatever it is you like to do. If you don’t have one of those interests yet, find one. There are enough things available in the world that there is at least one you will enjoy, do a little research in your area then do some more trial and error. Not everyone likes to go to the gym all the time so other outdoor activities are a viable option. Make it something you enjoy. If you enjoy it you are ten times more likely to keep at it and that’s what you want.

I want you to find something that works for you because I want you to feel good about yourself. Be active and enjoy it. You’ll be glad you did. The other half is healthy eating habits. For more information of forming healthy eating habits see my post Dieting 101.

Have any other tips that worked for you? Tell us in the comments below!

Arguing: Keep a Cool Head

Arguments are one of the most common things around. We argue about stupid things every day, things that don’t matter like where did my stuff go? Those stupid things often escalate into more serious things because we let them get out of control. In the end we don’t even realize what we were arguing about in the first place. This is a regular occurrence every day between friends, families and loved ones. It’s most often caused because one person loses control in an argument and explodes at the other person, maybe letting a cruel comment slip out in their anger, spiraling the argument out of proportion.

Don’t do that.

The first and often the hardest part is realizing how ridiculous what you’re arguing about really is. I had an argument about coat hangers a few days ago. I mean really? Coat hangers? Utterly ridiculous. Of all the useless things to get angry about, why do we waste our time?

At the time it seems important.

Looking back, that was a complete waste of time, and it’s so obvious in hindsight. But at the time, these small things seem like a really big deal. Why? It’s a combination of always wanting to be right, and not keeping a cool head. We’re sure our information is right so we push our issue into a discussion to try and figure it out. Once you’re in that discussion, and we’ve all been there, one comment rubs someone the wrong way and they snap. It can be a totally innocent comment, but maybe that person is having a bad day, or they’re stressed out, it really doesn’t matter.

They explode.

shutterstock_angrySomeone starts yelling. I’m sure you’ve done this before, you start yelling or raising your voice, and it suddenly seems like a very good idea to bring up that other thing that’s been nagging at you for the last few days. Naturally, the other person who is being yelled at is suddenly now being accused of something totally unrelated to the original issue. Everything blows up. Once everything starts you can’t stop it. You get emotional, you stop thinking, you throw everything on the table. You say thoughtless hurtful things in the moment because you’re not thinking and you cause damage to your relationship. Nothing but problems.

So why do it?

Now imagine instead you didn’t snap. You stayed calm. You realize in your head, wow, we’re arguing about coat hangers, how silly is that? Let’s say the issue was you’re missing some hangers. Since you’re calm, you realize that the real issue is not having enough coat hangers. So you don’t explode. Instead you do the smart thing and point this out to the other person. Then you go and buy some coat hangers because they’re insanely cheap. Boom. Problem solved.

So which option was better?

It seems pretty obvious to me. You can either scream and yell and make everything needlessly more complicated. Or you can solve the problem. In that situation, one person stayed calm, identified the problem and found a solution. Now imagine if both parties stayed calm. You bring up the issue that your hangers are missing because you’re confused. The other person asks you how many you need and you figure it out, so they suggest you go buy some. Done. No argument, no discussion, no problems.

Keep a cool head.

1As soon as you get angry or start yelling you’ve lost. Sure you might win the argument but you can lose respect, trust and sometimes much more. Don’t snap. Keep your cool. The facts are your friend here. If you ask a question and they don’t know the answer, you end it there and move on to find a solution. If you don’t believe what they tell you then you have a whole different set of issues that you need to work through.

Stay calm. Be smart.

You’ll solve more problems and save yourself a lifetime of stress. It’s hard work and it takes practice, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Are you having similar issues? Let us know in the comments below, maybe we can help!

Health

Diet: What You Need To Know – Everybody wants to diet, and your friends, your peers and the media are pushing you to do it. But should you? Is that the right way to lose weight?

Exercise: How To Start Out Right – It’s hard to decide to start living a more active lifestyle/ But once you do, where do you go from there? Learn how to start out right here.

Health: Boost Your Mornings – Mornings are tough. Lots of us aren’t morning people including myself. Here’s a few tips that might make mornings a little bit easier for you.

Stress: Free Yourself – Nobody likes stress. It makes us miserable and makes our lives harder. Find out how to combat your stress here.

Sugar: It’s Killing You – It’s addictive, it’s delicious and it’s slowly killing you.

Relationships

Arguing: Keep a Cool Head – Everyone argues. It’s stressful, it’s hurtful and it’s a complete waste of time. Save yourself some stress. Stay calm and solve the problem.

Friends: Grow Your Social Group – Introverted personality and looking to meet some people or grow your confidence? Or maybe you’re just looking to expand your social group and make more contacts. This post is for you.

Love: Finding “The One” – Are you looking for true love? Stop looking. Become the best you that you can be and love will find its way to you.

Relationship: Show That You Care – When we’ve been around the people we love for a long time, sometimes it’s easy to forget to show them how much we care. Make time in your day for the people you love.

Relationships: Make Them Stronger – If you’re in a relationship I assume you want things to work out. Sometimes we get complacent and forget the little things we should always be doing for each other. Build your relationship up. Make it stronger.

Volunteer: Make a Difference – If you have the ability to help other people, why don’t you? Even if you don’t like volunteer work, there are other things for you to enjoy with the people that you will meet. Find out what.

Self Help

Belief: Let it Define You – Beliefs are complicated. They define who we are and how we act in the world. Choose your beliefs wisely.

Courage: Start Something New – Find your courage. Conquer your fears. Start something new.

Dare to be Different – The world expects you to be a certain way to be accepted. Don’t fall into the trap. Be yourself. Be different. I dare you.

Failure: Embrace It – Failure is not the end. You fail and you learn from it. You have the chance to improve yourself after every failure. Embrace your failures and find success.

Goal: Dream Big – Don’t limit your dreams and aspirations to something small. Chase something worthwhile. Dream big.

New Life: Out with the Bad, In with the Good – Sometimes people change. They’re no longer your kind of people and you’re looking to meet people with similar values and interests. Time for some spring cleaning! Get that negativity out of your life.

Motivation: Starting with the Basics – The hardest part of anything is getting started. Find your motivation here.

Possibilities: Open Your Mind – Close minded people cause more problems today than almost anything else. Do yourself a favor and open your mind.