Those who lead are in position of power. Those who are leaders, inspire others. – Inspire One.
Those who lead are in position of power. Those who are leaders, inspire others. – Inspire One.
Describes the secrets to be happy and appreciate what you got!…and buy sunscreen.
The truth is that airports saw more sincere kisses than wedding halls, and the walls of hospitals have heard more prayers than the walls of the church.
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Ironic…but somewhat true. The life around us has been created by people no smarter than you – Steve Jobs. This life around us can be changed by one individual…and that is a beautiful freakin thing. Whatever your dream, goal, aspiration, or passion is, go for it and don’t look back. I’ll reiterate: one individual can make a significant difference in our world, and that is more prevalent now than ever. Get out there!!!!
by James Clear
There are choices that you make every day, some of which seem completely unrelated to your health and happiness, that dramatically impact the way you feel mentally and physically.
With that said, here are 10 common mistakes that can prevent you from being happy and healthy, and the science to back them up.
Ultimately, the human experience is about connecting with other people. Connection is what provides value and meaning to our lives. We’re wired for it and research proves just that.
For example, people with strong social ties were found to be healthier and have a lower risk of death. Additionally, it was found that as age increases, the people with stronger social ties tend to live longer. And it seems that friendships can even help you fight cancer.
The benefits of deep relationships extend to marriage as well. Being in a long-term relationship decreases the risk of depression, suicide, and substance abuse. And one study of almost 6,000 people found that marriage led to increased longevity while never marrying was the strongest predictor of premature death.
Finally, multiple studies (here, here, and here) show that strong family ties are one of the primary reasons the people of Okinawa, Japan have incredible longevity despite being one of the poorest prefectures in the country.
What do all of these different studies tell us?
Connection and belonging are essential for a healthy and happy life. Whether it’s friendship, marriage, or family — humans need close connections to be healthy.
For more about the connection between loneliness and health, I suggest reading the New York Times best-seller Mind Over Medicine, which was written by my friend Dr. Lissa Rankin.
You might want to stand up for this. The internet has gone crazy over this infographic that describes the harmful effects of sitting all day.
The short version is that “recreational sitting” like sitting in front of a TV screen increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and death, regardless of your physical activity. Obviously, sitting at a desk for work isn’t too good either.
This troubling data doesn’t come from small sample sizes either. These trends held true in one study with 4,500 people, another with 8,800 people, and a final one with over 240,000 participants. If you’re looking for more details on the health risks of sitting, this New York Times article covers some of the basics.
A few years ago, I was speaking with a yoga instructor who told me, “I think people love my class because it’s the only time in their entire day when they just sit and breathe.”
That provides some interesting food for thought. From the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, do you ever take 15 minutes to just sit and breathe? I rarely do. And that’s a shame because the benefits of mindfulness and meditation are huge. Meditation reduces stress and anxiety. Meditation improves your quality of life and boost your immune system. Meditation has been shown to decrease anger and improve sleep, even among prison inmates.
There is an interesting and growing body of medical research that has discovered the positive health effects of religion and spirituality. The science doesn’t necessarily say that there is anything inherently healthy about religion, but it’s all the by-products that come from practicing religion that can make a big difference.
For example, people with strong faith often release control of their struggles and worries to a higher power, which can help to relieve anxiety and stress. Religious groups also offer a strong source of community and friendships, which is critical for health and happiness. In many cases, the strength of friendships formed with fellow believers can last for decades, and those strong personal ties are crucial for long-term health.
If you don’t consider yourself to be a religious person, then the lesson to takeaway from this body of research is that we all need a sense of belonging and community in our lives. It’s important to share your beliefs (whatever they happen to be about) with a community of people. People who have a community like that to lean on find themselves happier and healthier than those who lack that type of support.
Expressing yourself creatively reduces the risk of disease and illness while simultaneously strengthening your health and wellness. For example, this study from the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that art helps to reduce stress and anxiety, increase positive emotions, and reduce the likelihood of depression, along with many other benefits.
Another study, which was published in the Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, discovered that creative writing improved the immune system response of HIV patients. For more ideas on why creating art is healthy, read this: The Health Benefits of Creativity.
Exploring the world around you — whether that means traveling to faraway lands or hiking through the woods in your area — provides a wide range of mental and physical benefits. For starters, the benefits of sunlight (and the negative effects of artificial light) are well-documented in research.
Additionally, researchers have begun to discover that wilderness excursions — known as “adventure therapy” — can promote weight loss, improve the self-esteem of people with mental illness, and evenreduce the rearrest rates of sex offenders.
The central theme that runs through all of these studies is that exploring the outdoors and spending time in nature can increase the confidence you have in yourself and improve your ability to interact with others.
When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.
Contribution is an essential part of living a life that is happy, healthy, and meaningful. Too often we spend our lives consuming the world around us instead of creating it. We overdose on low quality information. We live sedentary lives and passively eat, watch, and soak up information rather than creating, contributing, and building our own things.
As I wrote in this article…
“You can’t control the amount of time you spend on this planet, but you can control what you contribute while you’re here. These contributions don’t have to be major endeavors. Cook a meal instead of buying one. Play a game instead of watching one. Write a paragraph instead of reading one. You don’t have to create big contributions, you just need to live out small ones each day.”
As you might expect, it’s dangerous to work too much. In Japan, the overtime and workplace stress has become so bad that they actually have a label for the people who die because of it: karoshi, which literally means “death by overwork.”
Basically any way in which your job makes you feel stressed is bad for your health — unpredictable commutes, tension and disagreement with your boss or coworkers, feeling undervalued or unappreciated. Even working overtime increases the risk for coronary heart disease, independent of outside factors.
What can you do about it? No one strategy will work for everyone, of course, but the principles in The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor offer a great place to start.
Brian Wansink, a Cornell professor and author of Mindless Eating, has written that when people eat alone they are more likely to have a large binge feeding. Additionally, diets suffer when people eat alone. Lonely diners tend to eat fewer vegetables and less healthy meals. It seems that we make less of an effort to eat well when we are by ourselves than when someone else is involved.
Given that an estimated one out of three people eat lunch at their desk, it’s easy to see how these little choices add up to big health problems over the long-term.
Brene Brown is a researcher at the University of Houston and she has spent 10 years studying vulnerability. In recent years, her work has exploded with popularity as she delivered one of the most popular TED Talks of all-time and has written multiple best-selling books including Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection.
As Brown studied fear, uncertainty, and vulnerability, she discovered one key insight…
There was only one variable that separated the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who struggle for it. And that was that people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging.
That’s it. They believe they’re worthy. The one thing that keeps us out of connection is the fear that we’re not worthy of connection.
If you allow your fear or vulnerability or shame to prevent you from showcasing your true self, then you will be preventing yourself from connecting fully with others. If you want to be able to move past fear, judgement, and uncertainty and into a healthier and happier life, then you have to give yourself permission first. You have to decide that you’re worthy.
Living a healthy life is about much more than just diet and exercise. Don’t forget about the 10 areas above because they play a significant role in your health and happiness.
As my friend Lissa Rankin often says, “What does your body need to heal?”
In many cases it’s not a better diet or a new workout program, it’s one of these areas that might be impacting your health and happiness without you even realizing it.
That we have to fight and achieve something “grand” to stay happy. This cartoon sums it all.
Watch this, and win.
What do you want to do with your life? It’s a question almost everyone asks themselves. It’s also a question I don’t believe you should bother asking in the first place.
“I don’t know what I want to do in life, all I know is that it isn’t this.”
That was the sentiment a friend reflected to me. She’s in her mid-twenties, smart, savvy and hard working. But she is still stuck working jobs that don’t hover much beyond minimum wage. Every year, she tells me, that she applies for Universities, but never goes through with it. Why? Because she can’t answer that question.
I worry a lot of people fall into the same trap. The trap of believing that they need to make big life decisions before they can start doing anything. The trap that you need to be born with a passion. And the lie that being able to combine your interests with a profession is easy.
When people ask me what I’m going to be doing in five or ten years, I usually tell them I’m going to be an entrepreneur. “Oh. What’s your business going to be?” I have reason to believe this internet business could be it. Between revenues and freelance work I’m expecting to make about ten thousand dollars this year. Concentrated effort for the next four or five years could definitely make this a livable income.
But I don’t usually say that. Because it isn’t the point. In all honesty, I have no idea where I am going to be in a decade. My track record shows that my passions have evolved considerably, even over the last couple years.
Ben Casnocha, the 19-year old CEO of Comcate, shows how his passion didn’t start with a flash of insight, in the book My Start Up Life:
“It didn’t start with a dream. It didn’t start with in a garage. It didn’t even start with an innovative epiphany, which are perhaps entrepreneurs’ most overplayed recollections.” He continues, relating the story of Jerry Kaplan’s epiphany moment in Kaplan’s book, Start Up. To which Ben adds, “I wish my epiphany were as primal. It wasn’t, and most aren’t.” [emphasis mine]
As Ben shares his story of being a teenage CEO, it becomes clear that his passion evolved. There were interests in entrepreneurship and making a difference. But from these interests, he made smaller steps, each building a passion. I don’t believe his journey ever started with deciding what he wanted to do with his life.
Replace Decision with Curiosity
Instead of making definite decisions about a career path, I believe you should get curious. Get curious about the way the world works. Notice your own interests and find small ways you can exercise passion in something. Even if you can’t find a way to make money off of it yet.
The bridge from passion to money-maker can’t be made hastily. Interests often get discarded because they cannot be immediately relayed into a source of income. And therefore aren’t as important as work that does.
Blogging is a great example. I know many bloggers who want to go pro. They want to take the interest they have and turn it into a passionate source of income. But blogging isn’t easy. Even the most rapid successes I’ve seen, took over a year before the author could claim blogging as more than a hobby. And those were due to writing talent, luck and an incredible amount of work.
Patience is a necessary ingredient in evolving a passion. But even more, you need to be open to other possibilities.
Interest to Income Isn’t a Straight Path
80% of new businesses fail in the first five years. But more interesting, is that of the 20% that succeeded, most didn’t do so in the way they had expected to.
Before setting up his immensely popular website, Steve Pavlina believed he would make most his revenue through products and workshops. But close to five years later, he makes all of it from advertising and affiliate sales. A revenue prospect he downplayed when making his business plan.
Similarly, I don’t believe that most people’s passions follow a straight path. Scott Adams began with a degree in economics and a position in a bank and now he is the successful cartoonist who created Dilbert.
Seven Steps to Evolving a Passion… and Making it Work
Step One – Gather Sparks of Curiosity
Don’t have an inferno of passion driving your actions yet? Don’t worry about it. Most people I know don’t. And if you are under thirty, you are probably in the overwhelming majority.
The first steps is to simply invest your energy into whims. Those little sparks of interest where you don’t know enough to make them a passion. Ben Casnocha calls this seeking randomness. For me, it has been a process of finding my intuition and using it to make small investments in things that are potentially interesting.
This means reading different books, taking on different activities and meeting different people. Broad associations gives a lot of chances to stumble on a passion that can work.
Step Two: Fan the Flames of Interest
After exposing yourself to a lot of randomness, you need to cultivate the successes. Build upon the little sparks of interest that come by your life. If you read a book about physics and like the subject, try taking a physics class. If you enjoy some basic programming try a small software project.
Step Three: Cut Out Distractions
Cultivating whims and exploring new passions requires time. One of the reasons I’ve placed such an emphasis on productivity with myself, is that without it I couldn’t explore these options.
If your interests are genuine and worth exploring, it shouldn’t be too difficult to eliminate the non-essentials. Distractions such as television, excess internet usage and video games only take a bit of conditioning to free up. The hard part is reallocating time you don’t believe is yours.
Step Four: Living Minimally
If you already have a job you aren’t passionate about, work only as much as you need to keep going. Valid passions need time to grow into income generating skills.
I don’t suggest becoming a starving artist and racking up huge debts. But avoid expanding your life to fit a bigger and bigger paycheck if you aren’t living your passion. Otherwise you simply trap yourself into a life that is comfortable, but otherwise dead.
Leo Babauta, author of ZenHabits is a great example of this. With six kids, freelancing work and another job to help support his family he found ways to cut expenses and focus on his passion. His website has quickly grown to become incredibly popular, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a stable source of income for him in a few years. Live minimally, and avoid getting trapped into a comfortable, but unsatisfying, life.
Step Five: Make a Passion that Creates Value
If you have a skill that creates social value, you can make money through almost any medium. Monetizing a passion takes skill, as any entrepreneur can tell you, but without providing legitimate value it is impossible.
You need to transform your developing passions into a skill that can fill human needs. Some passions are easy to translate. An interest in computers could allow you to become a software designer. Others are more difficult. A passion for poetry, may be more difficult to meet a specific human need.
Step Six: Find a Way to Monetize That Value
Once you have the ability to create social value, you need to turn that into a repeatable process for gaining income. This could be in the form of a job. As a programmer you could get hired by Google. Or, it could lead to becoming a freelancer or an entrepreneur.
Monetizing value isn’t easy. It requires that you learn how to market, sell yourself, and find ways to connect human needs. Whether you intend to work in a job or own a business makes no difference. You are the CEO of your life, so you need to know how to connect your passions with serving other people.
Step Seven: Go Back to Step One
Describing this process in steps is misleading. It implies that there is a destination. There is no destination. The process of following whims, cultivating passions, turning them into valuable skills and then finally earning revenue from them is lifelong. I have some passions that are in steps one and two. This blog is in the midst of step six. In ten years I may have gone through them all with a completely different passion.
Not all your passions will or can finish the sixth step. But as persistent as the myth you need to decide what you want to do with your life, is the myth you can only have one passion. I’m at a point where cultivating passions has meant I have too many options. Too many possible paths that could lead to enjoyable and fulfilling careers. Don’t obsess over one failed attempt.
What do you want to do with your life?
Your life doesn’t need to go through a predictable story arc. It doesn’t have to start with a dream, follow through hard work and end up in a nice home with four bedrooms. Instead it can twist and travel. You don’t have to know the final answer, you just need to act on the next step.
Read more stuff like this: here.
by Liz Klimas
A decade after being attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing and losing her arm, professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is showing just how much she has conquered the incident, getting married over the weekend in the same area where she had been attacked.
Hamilton tied the knot with Christian youth minister Adam Dirks in Hawaii. Just 10 years before, at the age of 13, Hamilton was attacked while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore. She lost her arm and more than 60 percent of her blood, but her website states that “her strong water sense and faith in God helped get her through the traumatic ordeal.”
Even though it was near the location where her personal tragedy occurred, the now 23-year-old told E! Online Hawaii was the perfect setting for her wedding.
Hamilton is known for writing the book Soul Surfer, which was made into a movie released in 2011. Even with what might be seen as an impairment, Hamilton went pro and even took second place finish in the ASP 2009 World Junior Championships.
Read more here
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