Category Archives: life skills

Your One Big Thing

by Chris Baréz-Brown

Most people’s lives are busy. It’s so easy for us to get up and plough straight on with the things that need to be done – and the next time we take a breath, the day is over.
 
Being busy is addictive. It is another strategy we use to numb our emotions. Author and researcher Brené Brown explains: ‘We are a culture of people who’ve bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us.’ Being carried along on a whirlwind of tasks makes us feel as if we are needed and achieving something but, more often than not, we are using our energy on the stuffthat doesn’t count, but that shouts the loudest.

Before getting drawn into your to-do list, think of one big thing you need to achieve today. Take your time to get perspective on what’s most important to you. Take a deep breath, smile, and just see what comes to you. You’ll know when you’ve got it right, because you’ll feel excited about delivering it and you’ll know it will create real impact for you and/or those around you. Once you’ve identified it, spend as long as you need to make it happen before getting distracted by the world calling for your attention. What’s your one big thing today?

 
 

Are you Taking Time out to Reflect?

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Do you take time out of your life to reflect?

Yes, I realise you may be busy, however reflection is important. What I mean by reflect – is taking the time out to review a situation or activity, your week, day, month or year. It is a great tool that allows you to take notice and become more mindful of what is happening in our lives.For example, have you ever noticed when you start a new activity, you are often enthusiastic and dedicated at first and then things change? Why does that happen? To be honest, I am not sure why it happens for you as we are all different and unique, however this is one of the reasons why it is important to take time out and reflect. Continue reading

7 Ways to Spark Your Creativity

Instant inspiration, courtesy of designer Anna Rabinowicz


1. Read Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis

A rabbit sits in a cardboard box and uses his imagination to transform it into a racecar, a mountain, a robot. The lesson? “Anything can be anything,” Anna says.

2. Go outside

Nature informs most of Anna’s designs: “A pinecone, a caterpillar, some gnarled gourds from a pumpkin patch—the natural world is full of bizarre, beautiful stuff.”

3. Start a collection Continue reading

Quote: Being the Best Version of Ourselves



“Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for your convenience, not the callers. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is. Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don’t major in minor things. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly. Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Don’t waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them and move on. Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best. Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, ‘Gee, if I’d only spent more time at the office’. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Judge your success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health and love. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Never cut what can be untied. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don’t want to do. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out. Spend less time worrying who’s right, more time deciding what’s right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it. When facing a difficult task, act as though it’s impossible to fail.” 

― Jackson Brown Jr.

Some Deep Truths About Time Management

by Maya Mathias

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We’re well and truly into the new year.

Many of us will have designed resolutions, visions and goals.
And some of us will already have “slipped up” on them by now.

What makes some new intentions stick, while others seem to fall by the wayside?
Is it a question of will, of habit formation, or something else?
And how can we make the best use of the time we have each day to fulfill our most important commitments and our most heartfelt desires?

Here are some guiding principles that I have grown into over the years — they help me see time in healthier and more holistic ways, and turn the idea of time management into something far more effective for myself and the people I lead. Continue reading

How to be your best in 5 minutes

Proper body language can quiet self-doubt and help ace life’s challenges, says Amy Cuddy

be yourself edited

By Christina Pazzanese

It’s that make-or-break moment. You head into a room for a job interview, to give a presentation, or to take an exam. In theory, you should ace what’s coming: You’ve got the credentials, rehearsed what to say, and mastered the material.

But when it’s time to put your best foot forward, your body and mind go into meltdown as you sink into a dark spiral of panic, anxiety, and self-doubt that leaves others unimpressed. You walk out full of regret, knowing that you didn’t rise to the challenge and wondering what you can do to prevent the next pivotal opportunity from slipping away.

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy says there are some easy ways to help people rise to the occasion and dial into an inner strength that showcases their very best. Continue reading

Feeling Overwhelmed? Remember “RAIN”

Four Steps to Stop Being So Hard On Ourselves.

When I was in college, I went off to the mountains for a weekend of hiking with an older, wiser friend of twenty-two. After setting up our tent, we sat by a stream, watching the water swirl around rocks, talking about our lives. At one point she described how she was learning to be “her own best friend.” A wave of sadness came over me, and I broke down sobbing. I was the furthest thing from my own best friend. I was continually harassed by an inner judge who was merciless, nit-picking, demanding, always on the job. My guiding assumption was, “Something is fundamentally wrong with me,” as I struggled to control and fix what felt like a basically flawed self.

It’s like we’re in a trance that causes us to see ourselves as unworthy. Yet, I have seen in my own life, and with countless others, that we can awaken from this trance through practicing mindfulness and self-compassion. We can come to trust the goodness and purity of our hearts. Continue reading

Self Talk: When Talking to Yourself, the Way You Do It Makes a Difference

photo by: Michal Zagorski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you ever talk to yourself? Be honest. Researchers say talking to yourself, out loud, is more common than many of us might care to admit. Psychologists call it “self talk” and say how we do it makes a big difference in both our mood and our behavior. Most people engage in self-talk, experts say, though some do it louder and more often than others. When I asked, I heard from people who talk to themselves in the basement, in their cubicle at work and at the urinal in the men’s room. One woman turns the car radio down so she can hear herself better. Self-talk is what happens when you make yourself the target of your own comments, advice or reminders. Experts consider it a subset of thinking. You’re having a conversation with yourself. Continue reading

Creativity Boost: How to Tap into Right-Brain Thinking

We’ve all heard that we need to tap into our creative right brains.

But how? Martha Beck offers a few fruitful ways to branch out.

by Martha Beck


This morning I sat down to write about how we can all learn to better use the right hemispheres of our brains. For 30 minutes, I tapped restlessly at a laptop. Nothing much happened, idea-wise. Flat beer.

Finally I resorted to a strategy I call the Kitchen Sink. I read bits of eight books: four accounts of brain research, one novel about India, one study of bat behavior, one biography of Theodore Roosevelt, and one memoir of motherhood. Next I drove to my favorite Rollerblading location, listening en route to a stand-up comic, a mystery novel, and an Eckhart Tolle lecture. I yanked on my Rollerblades and skated around, squinting slack-jawed into the middle distance. After a while, a tiny light bulb went on. “Well,” I thought, “I could write about this.”

Duh.

The Kitchen Sink, you see, is one way to activate your brain’s creative right hemisphere. Every writer I’ve ever met uses some version of it, as do Web designers, cartoonists, TV producers—all “content creators” who regularly face the terrifying thought, “Well, I’ve gotta come up with something.”

If you’re not a content creator, wait a while. The 21st century is to content creators what the Industrial Revolution was to factory workers: In a world where information is superabundant, unique and creative ideas are hot-ticket advantages both personally and professionally. More and more people are finding more and more ways to parent, make money, find friends, and generally live well by relying on creativity. I’ve seen this shift among my life-coaching clients. For instance: Michaela develops financial-planning strategies for stay-at-home moms. Mary runs a long-distance mother’s support group via Skype. Alyssa’s innovative T-shirt designs keep selling, recession or no recession. The demand for creative thinking is both a challenge and an opportunity. It requires us to use more than the logical left-brain skills we learned in school. These days, we all need to get back into our right minds. Continue reading

5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick

by Gregory Ciottiy


Illustration: Jenn Kwon

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Sobering words from Aristotle, and an astute reminder that success doesn’t come overnight. On the contrary, it’s discipline that gets you from Point A to the often elusive Point B.

In our day-to-day lives, habits can often be tough to build, as there are plenty of distractions that can lead us off the “straight and narrow” and right back to our old ways. To alleviate some of those troubles we can examine some academic research on motivation, discipline, and habit building, and break down their findings into actionable steps that any aspiring habit-builder can put into place. Continue reading

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