Have you ever noticed some people tend to be “lucky” consistently, whereas other people tend to continuously attract negative experiences?
Our experiences do not occur by chance or luck. We create our reality based on our thoughts, emotions and behaviours.
If we’re responsible for our reality, then we have the power to create the reality we want. The starting point is being able to condition our minds and our brains so that we maintain a healthy, positive attitude, and direct our attention to what we want to create.
The brain is an organ that’s dynamic and constantly changing based on what we’re feeding our minds. If we’re constantly stimulated in a negative way, then that’ll affect how we see ourselves, others, and how we operate in the world.
On the other hand, if we’re feeding our minds with positivity, then we’ll have a more positive outlook on life. We know there’ll be times when we go off track and get caught up in negativity, but if we’ve trained ourselves to focus on what’s positive, then it’ll be so much easier to shift our focus away from negativity.
Our job is to train our brain in such a way that it’ll be easier for us to focus on thoughts that’ll lead us to where we want to go or what we want to achieve.
There is a common misconception that in order to get further ahead, we have to constantly be doing more and continuously adding more things to our lives.
While it’s an innate human quality to desire more in life, that doesn’t necessarily mean pursuing more at the expense of the things that really matter, like:
- The quality of our closest relationships.
- The quality of our physical, emotional and mental health.
- Doing work that brings us true joy and fulfilment.
- Making a difference in some way.
If we keep adding more to our already busy lives, it’s obvious that it’ll eventually affect us in some way. For a lot of people, that results in additional stress and burnout, which not surprisingly, affects how much progress they’re able to make.
Knowing when to take on more things and when to eliminate things from our lives is a key distinction that can affect how successful we are.
With the amount of information we’re being exposed to daily increasing continuously, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed and stop doing what’s necessary.
The age we live in has forced us to cope with change at a faster rate than any other time in human history. We’ve been forced to embrace more change and learn new things, even if we may not want to.
Those who develop the ability to learn faster and apply what they learn more readily, will be the ones who will benefit most from the changes we’re having to deal with right now.
The advantages of training ourselves to learn faster include:
- Be able to cope with large amounts of information without feeling overwhelmed.
- Make decisions quicker.
- Achieve our outcomes easier and faster.
- Have more self-confidence.
- Be better informed about changes and how to deal with them.
Most of us are not fully utilising our brain’s capacity so learning how to learn faster will give us a significant advantage over others.
One thing certain in life is that we’ll have our share of setbacks and knock downs, which often will test our resolve and mental strength.
Depending on which season of life we’re in, our challenges may be small or big, and how we cope with them will determine how quickly we can get back up.
It has often been said we’ll never be given a challenge we’re not capable of overcoming. Oftentimes, we may have to acquire new knowledge, skills and abilities, however, we all can overcome anything life throws at us.
Sometimes, while we’re in the middle of a challenge, we forget to do the things we know to overcome it, which can:
- Affect our overall well-being.
- Reduce our ability to concentrate on our daily activities.
- Put additional pressure or stress on our relationships.
- Affect how motivated we are to get through each day.
- Prevent us from taking action to create what we want.
Learning how to cope better and get back up quickly is really important if we want to continue making progress towards what matters most to us.
Conflicts are inevitable whenever we have to deal with other people for extended periods of time. Sometimes issues arise which can catch us by surprise.
If we know how to respond to issues or conflicts, we’ll be in a much better position to affect the situation the way we want, while ensuring those involved achieve their outcomes as well.
The Risks of Not Resolving Conflicts
As dealing with conflicts can be uncomfortable or challenging, if left unresolved, we may experience:
- A loss of motivation to do our best work.
- Additional stress and mental turmoil.
- A loss of self-confidence.
- Some hesitation in asking for what we want.
- A deterioration in the quality of our relationships with others.
Whenever we’re interacting with people who have different beliefs, values, opinions or behaviours, chances are at some point we’ll experience disagreements and conflicts. Therefore, knowing how to deal with conflicts is a useful skill to have.
Experiencing burnout has become more common today because of the busy, overworked and stressful lives we live.
While we often related burnout to being overworked, it’s more than just being tired.
What is Burnout?
It’s defined as fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity. It’s also described as total exhaustion and not being able to go on.
Burnout occurs because of:
- Lack of rest and recovery.
- Lack of variety in our daily activities.
- Lack of reward for accomplishing things.
- Lack of motivation to keep doing what we have been.
- Lack of attention to our mental, emotional and physical health.
Other things that also lead to burnout include:
Knowing what causes burnout is a good start but there are also specific things we can do to ensure we prevent it from happening in the first place.
Our level of assertiveness is closely linked to our level of confidence and our willingness to take bold action.
The more assertive we are, the more confidence we’ll develop, which in turn, will help us do what we need to in order to achieve the results we want.
There is a fine line between being assertive and being aggressive. A person who’s assertive usually is:
- Self-assured or secure with who they are.
- Confident in what they do.
- Clear about the decisions they need to make.
- Persistent when it comes to achieving their goals.
Being overly aggressive, on the other hand, usually comes across as trying to exert power over others, which most times, alienates a person from those they are communicating with.
Knowing how to become more assertive, while being respectful of others, will help us get the results we want a lot easier without the need to force things to happen.
An unfortunate reality for so many people is that they give so much attention and mental focus to what other people think of them.
We’re programmed at an early age with statements like, “What will the neighbours, your relatives, your friends or your teachers think of you?” As a result, we’re conditioned to be cautious about how we show up in the world or what we reveal about ourselves.
Allowing ourselves to be influenced by other people’s opinions often results in:
- A lack of true connection with others.
- Feelings of not being good enough.
- Lack of confidence in our ability to be who we truly are.
- Fear of being judged by others.
- Reluctance to pursue what we truly desire in life.
Learning not to worry about what others think of us does not mean we ignore any personal or social responsibilities we have to others. It means learning to be comfortable with our daily decisions without letting others stop us from deciding what’s best for us.
For all of us, school plays a major part in shaping our beliefs, values, interests, and who we become as we grow up.
While school is an extremely important part of our early life and upbringing, the things we learn during our time at school does not necessarily mean we’ll be successful in life.
I remember after I finished high school, the next step was to acquire further education by enrolling in a university course. I spent an additional five years acquiring more technical skills via an engineering course.
When I officially finished my studies, I should have been prepared to take on the “real” world and achieve the success the success I wanted. The reality was a totally different story.
Not only did I struggle to find my place in the world, the only thing I knew back then was to look for a “secure” job. As I had acquired an engineering qualification, I realistically had the chance of obtaining a job in that field only.
After struggling to find my first job, which took me seven months, it made me question some of the things I had been led to believe about the importance of school and higher education.
t’s quite easy to drift along in life, doing the same things over and over, hoping we’ll achieve new results and become more successful in the process.
Sometimes we get caught up doing daily trivial things that we lose sight of what’s truly important and what we want to achieve.
The truth is that if we want to be more successful, we have to take new action and also do things better. Becoming more successful will require us to use more of our skills, talents and abilities, and tap into resources within that we’ve not utilised fully.
When I self-published my first book, Hoops and Freedom, it was a real challenge as I have never done it before. While I was happy I had achieved my goal of becoming a published author, I was disappointed that I was not able to get my books into the hands of more people.
In order to have better success as an author, I had to face some truths and also do things differently next time.