Wednesday, July 31, 2013

50 of my favorite tips for life.

1. Constantly try to reduce your attachment to possessions.
Those who are heavy-set with material desires will have a lot of trouble when their things are taken away from them or lost. Possessions do end up owning you, not the other way around. Become a person of minimal needs and you will be much more content.2. To go with that, Simplify and declutter your house and life as much as possible.Everytime I move I get the opportunity to have a garage sale, organize, throw out broken junk, and clean, and I am amazed by how much simpler things feel. . .but you don't HAVE to wait until you move to do this, as the old Nike ad says, "just do it".3. Try new things. Get out of your comfort zone. Experiment with new foods, talk to people you might normally avoid, try a new sport, or group activity. Participate in a march or stand for something you believe in.4. Buy a membership for braintraining with Lumosity. This is a tested and proven- as well as fun- way to build your brain in numerous capacities. For a reasonable price you can buy a lifetime subscription to keep your mind sharp, and there is no pricetag on that.5. Get and stay fit and healthy. Fit bodies lead to better all around health, confidence and more success in both social and romantic endeavors.6. Get enough sleep, in the right hours of the day for it. (And take regular short naps as well.)Your health, happiness, and even spirituality is surprisingly connected to melatonin production at night. If you are snoring, not in a regular routine, sleeping in the dark, and using a lot of artificial light in the wee hours of the morning, you should study up on good sleep habits.7. Learn to focus only on the present.The past is unchangeable so it is futile to reflect on it unless you are making sure you do not repeat past mistakes. The future is but a result of your actions today. So learn from the past to do better in the present so that you can succeed in the future. 8. Smile more often.Whenever you get a grin on your face, your brain is releasing serotonin, the happy hormone. Smiling is the natural way to force yourself to be happy. Many people even smile for five minutes straight in the morning to get themselves in a great mood for the day. Just remember that while happiness leads to smiles, smiles also lead to happiness.9. Don’t take life so seriously!Learn to laugh at the little things and this whole “existence” thing will be a whole lot easier. Be amused by your mistakes and failures and be thankful that you learned your lesson and won’t mess up like that again. And most importantly do things that you enjoy! Life is not strictly business, it can be mixed with pleasure. 10. Think positive thoughts.When you find yourself thinking a negative thought, stop it immediately by any means necessary. Slap yourself in the face, yell something positive at the top of your lungs or jump up and down. Do whatever it takes to get back to a positive mindset which is essential for continual happiness and success.11. Eat quality food, and drink mostly water.You literally are what you eat, and will act and feel as good/quality as the stuff you put in your tank. Some people point to only the rich yuppies eating organic and healthy, but the truth is, the better you eat, the more likely your health, social life, intelligence and finances will show it.12. Get out in the fresh air and sunshine.While diet does a lot for the body, it is not the whole picture. Depending on where you live the air may not be clean, and you may be better off getting a good air purifier in your house then going outside. If you are around trees at all though, chances are that the air outside is better then the toxic stuff in most houses. Considering typical construction methods of houses, the toxins in our furniture, carpets, and walls, as well as cleaners, the average house air is a potent cocktail making us sick. So not only do we get pure air when we get out in nature, we get oxygen! Add to that the health giving properties in Sunlight with it's vitamin D, and being outside makes the perfect recipe for good health.13. Go for walksWhenever you are feeling unmotivated, depressed or angry, take a walk.There’s something about being in nature, getting some exercise and (most importantly) getting out in the sun that can get you over any emotional hump. It is one of the best ways to fight depression, ,meditate/ spend quality time with loved ones and get in shape at the same time. It is also the safest form of exercise.14. Learn to do things for yourself to save money.(I.E. cooking, cut hair, first aid, handiman stuff.) 14. Build a helping community of friends.People stay in cults and intentional communities not simply because of shared beliefs, but because of the community feel. People need the help of a village setting more then they realize. When you foster this mentality toward others, it will likely be returned to you too.15. Set aside a specific time to worry each day.Ponder all of your problems and anxieties during that time so that they will not distract you during work or moments of pleasure. This way you can be extremely efficient with your time and avoid focusing on negative things as much as possible. If you get all of your worry out of the way and have the mental fortitude to keep from reverting back to them, you will be much happier.16. Be honest at all times. Lies lead to nothing but trouble. Being known as trustworthy is an excellent trait to maintain and essential to having integrity.17. Have dreams and goalsWe are the happiest when we are growing and working towards something better. Even if your practical side tells you it is unlikely to ever come to fruition, you will be happier to shoot for something then nothing.18. Start your day off right.Wake up and set aside some time for personal development activities (meditation, yoga, inspirational readings, observing nature, a walk, etc.) Do the things that make you feel blissful, optimistic and empowered so that you can set a positive tone for your day.19. Travel. Anyone who has ever gone anywhere will tell you that traveling is one of the most exciting and life-changing activities that you can do. Observing a different culture will expand your mind while often making you appreciate the life you already live.20. Practice StoicismStoicism is centered around being unaffected by misfortune. A good stoic will recognize that mishaps will inevitable occur so he/she is constantly ready and open to experiencing them. Unlike pessimists, Stoics expect bad things to happen only because they recognize this is the nature of reality, and so strive to become immune to being demoralized by said misfortunes.21. Learn to be unaffected by the words of others.Most people get very upset when they are called negative names by others, but there is a simple trick to overcoming this: when someone calls you something that you know you are not, you can be confident that it is likely just a reflection of them and their day.. The only exception is when someone calls you something that you suspect is true! In this case, you should probably get a second opinion from an honest and trusted friend, and if it is true, thank them for alerting you to a weakness you may have been blind to.22. Develop the ability to forgive.Forgiveness is something that most people fail miserably at even thought it’s so simple. Grudges only bring more misery to those who hold them and prevent good relations. YOU surly makes mistakes all of the time so why not have mercy when other do? (Whether or not they know they have made one.)23. Meditate/have a quiet time everyday.
In this modern world where everyone is so connected to everything else via cell phones, TV and internet, most people rarely enjoy the beauty of silence. The ability to quiet your mind and relax your body is an art and skill that everyone should develop. Simply sit/lie somewhere, preferably around nature, focus on your breathing, and listen to your inner voice.24. Learn to control your emotions.The only person that can make you unhappy is you! You are the one that decides to be affected by the words and actions of others. If you realize this, the next time you experience a negative emotion, you can find the strength within yourself to overcome it.25. Work on making good first impressions.Practice a strong, firm handshake, good eye contact and the small talk that generally goes along with meeting someone for the first time. People won’t know what to think of you if you have nothing more to say beyond “My name is _______, nice to meet you.” Also make sure you remember names. (Lumosity brain games will help with this.)26. Read inspirational, educational and self help books.Life is short, if the stuff we read isn't of some practical benefit, you are simply wasting precious time that could be better spent in most any other way.27. Do what you love for work.There is a huge difference between making a life and making a living.28. Choose your friends wisely.You are affected far more than you think by the people you spend your time with. Do your friends share your values? Do they challenge you to be all you can, and grow in your thought? Do they encourage you when you speak of your goals and dreams or do they scoff? Make sure the people around you are conducive to the lifestyle you want to lead. . . or they may drag you down a path you don't want to go.29. Keep a journal/diary/blog.It sounds like a very monotonous habit at first, but when you get into it, it will become a great way to organize your thoughts, track your growth over the years, sometimes bounce things off of others and even be accountable for what you have done or thoughts you have. (Your children with thank you later.)30. Learn to use and trust your subconscious/intuition.When you spend time in silence/meditation/nature everyday, listen not for words but for a feeling that tells you to do something. Do not mistake your own reasoning and thoughts for those of your subconscious. (Some call this "God") If you can track where the thought came from, (this thought led to that thought which led to this thought, etc.) then it was not from your subconscious. Learning to accurately discern between the two will allow you to tap into knowledge that you don’t consciously have.31. Try to develop a charismatic personality.You know, the kind of personality that is surrounded by people constantly and is the life of the party. Start visualizing yourself as THAT person. Maybe take a short course on dynamic speaking and learn some jokes. Tell yourself constantly that you are popular and charismatic.  Belief is the first step! Reality will come soon after.32. Speaking of jokes though, forget about insults, entirely! Nothing good comes of insults. If they are serious, then someone comes out of the exchange feeling cut down. Even if you insult someone jokingly though, (and they understand it as such) their subconscious mind still takes your words in as a serious statement and imprints the insult on the person, sometimes permanently.33. Investigate what is known about deathWhat do you know about death? You certainly have beliefs around it, but what do you know about the science of death, or of those who have died and been brought back to life? Death is not as big of a mystery as it is made out to be. Do your research before you fear or misconstrue this most universal human experience.
 34. Plan romantic getaways for you and your significant other at least bi-yearly, even if they are only for a day or two.The getaways may not be all be fancy, or expensive, but if it's just away from it all, you will feel refreshed in your relationship. This has been a marriage saver on many occasions for me and my hubby. I like to make the excuse of either a birthday or mothers day or something, to make sure we fit it in.35. Pamper yourself in small ways regularly, no matter your budget.Take a nice long bath with candles and music, buy your favorite quality chocolate stash just for you, go to your favorite play/concert with friends, buy yourself some flowers, etc.36. Practice being open-minded rather than doubtful, especially about things foreign to you.Read all about things you disagree with, in order to know the other side of the argument; you may just find yourself switching sides of an issue.The best things that have ever came to me in life were because I considered things, (or people) that I had previously been closed to. Those who come to preconceived ideas before seeing, getting educated on, trying something or getting to know someone are usually only hurting themselves.37. Limit your time-wasting online activities The internet is an awesome tool but some sites can suck you in and waste tons of time that could be spent doing something productive. For those who can’t help themselves, there are extensions for Chrome and FireFox that allow you to specify a certain amount of time to allow to spend on time-waster websites per day. Every minute you spend on the sites you specify is tracked, and when you reach the limit those sites are no longer able to be accessed.38. That said, use StumbleUponStumbleUpon (SU) is an internet tool that brings you to random sites based upon your interests. You can also specify a particular interest category while also limiting the results to videos, photos, news, blogs, etc. SU is the best way to discover awesome content around the web, much of which you didn’t even know you were looking for! As you go through and ‘Thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ different web content, SU learns more about your interests and returns more accurate results. 39. Watch documentaries and get informed about the world you live in.Many times education leads both to acceptance, and peace, the opposite of fighting and war. We need more of that in this world that's for sure. Other times though, education leads to activism and action, doing what we feel is right. In the end, we feel more a part of our world and community when we take part in the world around us and get educated in everything from nature and history, to current affairs in health or politics.40. Transition from TV to Internet TV.If you’re still spending your leisure time in front of a TV, consider the new web-based streaming options to traditional cable/satellite. Services that allow you to stream like: Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, Xfinity and tons of other internet entertainment channels are not only a fraction of the price, but additionally instead of mindlessly flipping through channels, and being exposed to commercials for junk you don't need,  you’ll have to think twice and actually plan before zoning out to some stupid reality show  or sit com. (Hopefully causing you to eliminate them all together, for a more beneficial program.)41. Question what you have been told to be true but have not investigated yourself.Simply stated, we are fed a lot of lies growing up that is not necessarily (or at all) true. We assume it is true because we or our parents and Grandparent have always “known” it to be true. Examples include religious and political beliefs, stereotypes and habits. One example is that marijuana is dangerous and deadly, when in fact alcohol is infinitely worse for your body and your driving ability.42. Don’t compare yourself to othersEveryone is born with different strengths and weakness. Otherwise we wouldn’t be individuals and how much fun would that be? Consequently don’t hold yourself to the standards of others; you’ll never measure up to everyone.  On the other hand, sometimes it is beneficial to compare yourself to some people you want to emulate. Competition is a strong motivator and can be used to your advantage if you don’t get too caught up in it. 43. Recognize the golden glow of retrospectWhen you look back at difficult events in your life, they usually no longer hold the same feelings for you when they're over. Even very painful events like deaths, breakups and accidents can often be looked at in a positive light looking back on them. (I know I have found this to be true for a bad car accident, a miscarriage, traumatic church events, etc.) If you can assume this perspective from the past, (of everything turning out in the future, because it did in the past) certainly you could apply that mindset while going through a hard event in the present or future.44. That goes with resisting nothing For example, you are driving on the freeway and you miss your exit. Instead of getting angry and wishing you had not missed it, accept your circumstances. Maybe you would have gotten in a horrible car crash had you gotten off in time. You will never know how lucky it was that you may have just narrowly escaped a fiery death!45. Master what you do most oftenFor some that would be typing and navigating around a computer. So download a typing tutor program. Or if you read a lot, take a speed reading course. Take the time to become the best you can be at the small things you do most often. You will save yourself loads of time, plus it’s fun to be really good at something.46. Realize that nearly everyone can teach you something, and be open to being taught.It's a frustrating fact in my life that sometimes the people I least like, have had the most to teach me. . .sometimes about myself, other times information. Often the nice ones are really not that bright, and have little to teach you besides tolerance for their naive thoughts.47. "Fast" from anything addictive, just to prove to yourself that you can.To know that your will controls your body, not the other way around, will bolster your self esteem and make you feel powerful and in control. You may even find that you don't enjoy or feel the need for that food, substance or habit once you've had a break from it.48. Learn natural remedies for you and your family's issues, and use them!I can't tell you the money and time I've saved, not to mention the misery and toxins my family have avoided by doing this one thing. It is huge!49. Learn to forage for wild herbs and foods and to grow an organic garden.With food becoming of less quality, toxic, and GMO, as well as likely more scarce with the unpredictable weather, politics and economy, it is not just a thing of saving money to know what is edible around you and to have a garden, it could very well save your health, or even your life!50. Spend more quality time with the ones you love.While lots of people live in the same house with their family, most people spend mere minutes or even seconds actually being with their family in any meaningful way. It takes thought, planning and effort to make "dates" with your loved ones, but you will both benefit by it. Sadly though, It is likely to be the most neglected one on the list. Also the most likely to be regretted for neglecting in your old age. . .

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