Negative TV – I don’t like watching her!

I don’t like watching negative content on TV! I made a decision to be more conscious and selective about what I choose to watch and it has made such a positive impact on my life. But what exactly does negative TV programming refer to?

In my opinion, TV programs that affect the psyche and the mind in a negative way are the ones to be limited or avoided altogether. Very often, the effects of these negative programs don’t seem harmful on the surface. They affect our minds the way the constant dripping of water can affect a rock. A few drops may not seem to make a dent, but, over time, the water will corrode the rock.

Some of the types of TV programs I have chosen to avoid are:

  1. Ones that depict violence or have violence as their central theme.
  2. Shows that are overly sexual in nature and with no artistic merit.
  3. Ones that take advantage of the unfortunate by exploiting them (many reality TV shows).
  4. Programming that glamorizes drug and alcohol use.
  5. TV programs that are replete with vulgarity, crude and discriminatory language or themes.
  6. Overly negative news shows that sensationalize bad events in order to boost viewership.
  7. Shows that leave the viewer with a general negative outlook and mindset.

Think of a time when you watched an uplifting or educational documentary or TV show. It leaves you feeling good and inspired. Perhaps it gives you confidence and encouragement. Now compare that to how you feel when you watch a show full of violence, vulgarity, or negative news. The difference is very pronounced. Your mind is like a sponge that absorbs whatever stimuli you feed it, either positive or negative. In fact, a famous former U.S. FCC commissioner, Mr. Nicholas Johnson, said, “All television is educational. The question is, what does it teach?” Both positive and negative TV teach good and bad respectively. Which one would you rather watch and learn from?

In addition to the negativity subliminally affecting our minds by these TV programs, there also is another reason to stop watching negative TV: it leaves you with more time to watch positive TV programming that is positive, inspiring, educational and uplifting.

It is true that our world does have its fair share of violence, famine, natural disasters, wars, injustices and the like. There is nothing wrong with keeping up to date on what is occurring in our world in order to make better decisions and make a difference. However, focusing on such negativity at the expense of all the positive that occurs can, slowly but surely, be detrimental to your mind and psyche.

Doing anything in excess is generally not good for you, and watching too much TV is definitely no exception. Watching TV should be done in moderation because it can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle. However, there is nothing wrong with doing it in moderation, especially if you are careful about what you choose to watch.

There is a lot of educational, inspiring, and positive programming on TV these days, probably much more than people realize. There are entertaining programs that focus on a variety of topics: healthy cooking and nutrition, exercise and health, how to be successful and to accomplish your dreams, travel and adventure, meditation, music, art, educational films and much more! Those are the types of programs I choose to watch.

We are fortunate to have new technology like Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), HULU, Netflix, online recommendations, and On-Demand TV that allows us to record and view positive TV shows much more easily than ever before. I record the shows I want to watch and use my DVR to facilitate this. It allows me to always have something positive to watch when I want to watch TV.

What you watch on TV is your choice. The remote control is in your hand.

What will you choose to watch?

How to become a more positive person?

Have you ever been pessimistic about a problem or life situation you faced? Have you noticed yourself inundated with negative thoughts at some point in your life? Most of us have. Life can be a test, especially of our minds and, specifically, our outlooks and mindsets. Ask yourself this: do you consider yourself to be a positive or negative person?

All human beings will, at some time or another, face tough challenges, obstacles and heartache in their lives. How we view and react to these situations is a choice we make, thankfully. We can choose to be either positive or negative when facing any predicament.

I know quite a few people who have experienced tremendous hardships in their lives, much more than the average person, in fact. Yet some of these same people are the most positive, upbeat and happy people I know. Despite some extraordinarily tough life experiences, they are optimistic about life. They exude a positive energy which affects others around them.

These positive people have two things in common: they choose to have a positive outlook and they commit to diligently performing certain practices daily in order to maintain and, perhaps even increase, their positivism. In other words, they make a personal choice to be positive and then train themselves to get good at it.

What I have learned is that a person can actually practice becoming more positive and optimistic. There are many ways to do this and I list them below. But first, it is important to realize that you DO have a choice, even if you have experienced suffering and problems in your life. That ability to choose is your right and it is yours to claim. Victor Frankl, the famous neurologist, psychiatrist and holocaust survivor, expressed this best when he said, “Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Our lives are influenced tremendously by our childhoods, our parents, our families, our childhood environments, our current environments, the people we associate with, and our life experiences in general. All these factors shape the way we think.

Most of the time, we are not even aware of our own mindsets and outlooks. We do not realize that we are being negative and pessimistic. Instead, our outlook causes us to feel frustrated, hopeless, sad, angry, desperate, and depressed. We blame others for our problems or think that we are unlucky and victimized. It never occurs to some people that their outlook and mindset is the filter through which they view the world.

Whether your glass is half empty or half full is really a matter of perspective. Fortunately, we can all choose the kind of mindset we want to adopt in life and this will greatly affect how we think, act and feel, regardless of the situation at hand. We can elect to adopt a negative mindset or a positive one. And both have serious repercussions.

So why should we choose a positive mindset over a negative one? First, let’s look at the disadvantages of having a negative mindset:

  • It does not feel good and often leads to depression, anger, hurt, resentment, hopelessness, and frustration.
  • It compromises our body and our immune functions, leading to more disease, lack of energy, chronic stress, less rested sleep, fatigue, high blood pressure, and even a reduced lifespan.
  • It makes life less fun and adventurous.
  • It makes positive people want to avoid us.
  • It makes us myopic and less aware of opportunities around us.
  • It reduces our ability to experience ‘flow’ or ‘being in the zone’, a trait that many positive people experience in their lives.
  • It brings others down and creates a negative atmosphere around us.
  • It can have a negative effect on our self-esteem.
  • It can cause us to feel fearful all the time and not want to try anything new because a negative mindset often leads to not feeling ‘good enough’.
  • It often exaggerates a problem or difficult situation and makes us feel worse than necessary.
  • It can increase the tendency to constantly compare ourselves to others negatively.
  • It leads to negative rumination about the past
  • It discourages us from investing in ourselves over the long run.
  • It can prevent self-forgiveness and the forgiveness of others.
  • It makes it more likely that we will fear making mistakes and, therefore, not even try.

It affects our ability to solve problems and think clearly.

Now that we know all the drawbacks to being a negative person, let’s look at the advantages of being positive:

  • Our vision expands (also known as the broaden effect) and allows us to increase our awareness and ability to engage in novel thoughts and actions.
  • It encourages us to invest more in ourselves and see the long term benefits of doing so.
  • It is better for our health, reduces our stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol), improves our cardiovascular health, and increases life span.
  • People who are positive have lower rates of depression.
  • It boosts our immune functions and makes us less susceptible to diseases and illnesses.
  • It facilitates better psychological and physical well-being.
  • It helps us to cope better with genuine problems and challenges.
  • It increases our overall productivity and performance.
  • Positive people have better relationships with others.
  • It makes us more resilient and increases our ability to ‘bounce back’ when we experience setbacks.
  • It makes us happier, more calm, and more optimistic about life in general.
  • It helps us to be more motivated.
  • It reduces the need for external fixes such as alcohol and drugs.
  • It makes us more attractive and approachable to other positive people.

Clearly, there are so many benefits to be gained from becoming a positive person. Most people who are negative do not realize that they have a negative mindset. This negativity has been honed over the years and become ingrained. It becomes their default disposition. Quite often, they are unable to see how their negativity has adversely affected their lives and they blame external circumstances.

Positive people take responsibility for their lives and find positivism in almost any situation. They know that their attitudes affect their lives substantially and, as a result, they choose a positive mindset. They do not blame the world around them and, more importantly, they spend time daily practicing being positive. That is why two people can experience the same setbacks or problems, but the more positive person is able to cope and even thrive in those situations. To use a simple illustration, think about how a negative and a positive person would each handle an unexpected traffic jam that is making them late for an appointment. The negative person might get angry, frustrated and stressed while the positive person stays calm, unflustered, and turns the radio on to their favorite music station or listens to an audio book to take advantage of the free time.

So what are some things we can do daily to practice becoming a more positive person? Here are 30 ways that really help, especially if practiced daily. I know that thirty ways is an extensive list and it is important that you realize that you do not have to practice all of them at once, or even at all. Pick the ones that feel right for you and stick with them. The more methods you use, the more effective they are and the sooner you will experience positive results.

Twenty-nine ways:

1. Daily gratitude (I wrote about gratitude in this text Why practice gratitude and how? and I recommend you read it)!

2. Meditation

There are many kinds of meditation and it is important to find one that you feel comfortable with. Personally, I meditate each morning by sitting in a quiet spot, closing my eyes, and focusing on my breathing. If my mind wanders (and it will), I simply become aware that my attention has strayed and I gently, without judgment, return my attention to my breath. Meditation helps us become aware of our thoughts and helps to prevent us from getting caught up with them. Instead, we are able to ‘watch’ our thoughts from a distance without reacting to them. Meditation also helps to keep us present, which is the next point in this list.

3. Be present

Almost all our unhappiness, anger, resentment, and regret are caused by us thinking about the past. And almost all anxiety, worry, and stress are caused by thinking about the future. The only thing we have some control over is the present. Focusing on the present enables you to focus on the tasks at hand and not ruminate about the past or worry about the future, both of which we have no control over.

4. Distance yourself from negative people

All of us know someone who is extremely negative in their outlook and who seems to always have complaints and problems. Attitudes can be contagious and that is why I have chosen to distance myself from negative people.

Beware of negative people. They have a problem for every solution”!

5. Surround yourself with positive people

Try to surround yourself with people who have positive outlooks because they will be better influences in your life. Just as someone who stops drinking alcohol might choose not to go to a bar, if you want to become a more positive person, associate with like-minded people.

6. Eradicate negative media

A lot of the media the average person comes face to face with every day is highly negative, bleak, pessimistic, violent, and depressing. While it is important to be aware of what is going on in the world, it does not mean that we need to be constantly inundated with negativity.

7. Engage in positive media

Thankfully, there are positive blogs, web sites, videos, TV programs, books, and magazines that have a positive spin.

The point is to be conscious about what media you allow yourself to engage in because the type of media you choose to surround yourself with on a daily basis can affect your psyche.

8. Help others / volunteer

Another effective thing you can do to become more positive is to volunteer and help others in need. Why? Because when you see others suffering and in need, it makes you aware that your life is not as bad as you previously thought. Also, numerous studies have shown that helping others and giving them our time and/or resources increases our own level of happiness and self-worth. So reach out to others and help as often as you can. You will reap immense benefits from doing so.

9. Challenge your negative thoughts

Many of our negative thoughts are irrational and not based on fact. You might not think that you are good enough, worthy enough, smart enough, tall enough, attractive enough, etc, but there is a good chance that you are wrong. When you feel this way, sit down and make a list of reasons that challenge and disprove your beliefs.

10. Deep breathing

When we are stressed and upset, our breathing gets shallower and quicker. This is one of the symptoms of being in fight-or-flight mode, with elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol in our bodies. We can counteract this by remembering to breathe deeply and slowly. This actually calms us down and activates our parasympathetic system. Deep breathing is a powerful way to take advantage of our mind-body connection to lower blood pressure, relax our muscles, and induce the production of endorphins, hormones that improve our feeling of well-being.

11. Exercise

Regular daily exercise is another fantastic way to help us feel better and become more positive. It helps increase our brains sensitivity to serotonin and nor epinephrine, both of which help prevent depression. Exercise also increases our production of endorphins which trigger positive feelings in us. You will also experience less anxiety, better sleep, and a sense of accomplishment which will have positive effects on other aspects of your life. You do not have to start out by running a marathon. Start walking for a few minutes each day and slowly increase the length of time and level of exertion.

12. Movement

Human beings are not meant to sit at a desk for hours each day or lie down on the couch to watch hours of TV. We are built to move. In fact, movement actually positively affects our mood, our level of happiness and optimism, lowers blood pressure, and boosts our immune system.

13. Daily visualization!

14. Spend time in nature

All of us know the positive feelings we experience when we surround ourselves with nature. It could be a hike in the woods, a trip to the beach, a picnic by a lake, etc. Nature has a soothing and positive effect on our minds and bodies. Being in nature makes us less stressed, more creative, happier, more connected to the world, and more alive. In short, nature is good for us.

15. Smile

Believe it or not, smiling actually improves our mood and optimism. Studies have shown that, when we smile, our brain produces three neurotransmitters (dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin) that positively affect our mood. So, instead of waiting to be happy to smile, smile and you will find your mood will improve. Try it now.

16. Self – forgiveness and forgiving other people (I will also write special content on this topic)!

17. Celebrate small victories

When someone has a negative mindset, they tend to focus on all that is wrong with their lives. It is as if their eyes have filters that do not allow them to see the positive aspects. They view their glasses as being half-empty rather than half-full. In fact, they often find reasons to discount the positivism they experience. This leads to even more negativity and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Instead, try to focus daily on small victories. For example, you could celebrate the fact that you cooked a nice dinner that your family loved; you could celebrate the fact that you successfully completed the report your boss asked for and complimented you on; you could celebrate a phone call from a friend; you could celebrate a small skill you learned today. The list of things we could all celebrate is almost endless and we simply need to have the right perspective. Take the time to celebrate your blessings and small victories. I guarantee you that you have much to be thankful for.

18. Get some sun

I never knew the benefits of sunlight on our moods until recently when I did some research on circadian rhythms. Exposure to sunlight releases serotonin in our brain, which boosts our moods. A lack of exposure to the sun causes our serotonin levels to drop and that can lead to depression. This explains why people who live far north or south of the equator experience seasonal depression during winter when exposure to the sun is minimal at best. Try to get at least 15 to 30 minutes of morning sun each day. Better yet, kill two birds with one stone by eating your lunch outside in nature and under some sunlight.

19. Learn to stop comparing yourself to other people

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

—Theodore Roosevelt

Who do you most frequently compare yourself to?

If you’re not sure, try this question: Who have you compared yourself to in the last 24 hours?

If you’re still not sure, think of the last time you checked your Facebook or Instagram feed. Which updates made you feel envious or made you feel as if your life paled in comparison? In turn, did any posts make you feel smug, or better than that person?

The comparison game—or war—is as old as humanity.

Here are the facts that can hurt us when it comes to comprasion with others:

Become aware of, and avoid, your triggers.

Start noticing the situations that cause you to play the comparison game. Social media, as I’ve mentioned, is a big one for most of us. What about other circumstances? Is there a certain person who is constantly bragging about this or that, or asks you question about your life that are designed to make you feel inferior? Are there certain activities, such as strolling through a high-end shopping mall, or driving through an expensive neighborhood, that frequently make you feel discontented with your life (when you were feeling just fine about your life, an hour before)?

Remind yourself that other people’s “outsides” can’t be compared to your “insides”

This is such a helpful habit to cultivate. Unless you’re really close to someone, you can’t use their outward appearance to judge the reality of their life. People carefully curate the social media versions of their lives, and do the same with the lives they live out publicly. You may have had the experience, as I have, of being shocked when a couple that appeared to be happy and solid announce their divorce. Continue to wish others well, of course, but in the event that their life gives you reason to feel bad about yours, remind yourself that you don’t actually know what goes on behind closed doors.

Repeat whenever necessary: “Money doesn’t buy happiness and never will”

It’s well-established that wealth, beyond having the basics in life, isn’t associated with increased happiness or well-being. I used to perform flamenco dance at an exclusive resort frequented by celebrities and the mega-wealthy, and a manager there once told me that she’d never seen so many unhappy people in her life. Money and things provide temporary boosts of joy; their inevitable inability to provide lasting sustenance is usually more disappointing than anything else.

Be grateful for the good in your life, and resist any lies that shout “It’s not enough”

If you commit yourself to being deeply grateful for what’s good in your life, and remind yourself of it daily, you’ll be far less vulnerable to comparison and envy. If someone or something triggers that ugly feeling of negative comparison, stop and remind yourself of what’s good in your life, right now. There is so much.

Use comparison as motivation to improve what actually matters

This human propensity to want what others have is such a waste of time, unless what you see and “covet” in another is something of deep worth, such as their generosity or kindness. Who do you admire? What kinds of comparisons might actually be healthy for you? For example, there are women I know well who are extraordinarily kind and generous wives, mothers, and friends. They truly make a difference in their worlds, and I want to be more and more like them. Who inspires you to live better, in the way that matters most? Spend your precious time and thoughts on this, instead.

Imagine if you could elevate the comparison game to a useful art form. Stop falling prey to its dark underbelly, which does little more than increase feelings of misery and lack in your life. Use comparison, instead, to become a better person and maybe even make your little corner of the world a better place.

20. Nutrition

The food we eat has a profound impact on the way we feel and the way our brains operate. Foods that can positively affect our moods include ones that contain probiotics such as kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut. This is because foods with probiotics help to improve our gut bacteria (microbiome) and that, in turn, affects our brains. Also, incorporate more vegetables and fruit in your diet and stay away from junk food, processed foods, caffeine, and sugar. Eat whole grains rather than white rice, white bread, etc.

21. Change your internal dialogue

We are all a product of our past experiences and not all experiences are pleasant ones. We are also constantly talking to ourselves, judging people and circumstances, and, most importantly being harsh on ourselves. That is why so many people feel that they are not good enough, not smart enough, too old, too young, not attractive, or complete failures. None of this is true, of course, but when we send ourselves those message’s day in and day out, we start to believe them. That is why it is so important to be aware of the conversations we have with ourselves. This is done by being mindful. When we are able to take a step back and ‘observe’ the manner in which we speak to ourselves, the negative internal dialogue slowly but surely loses its power. We begin to see that our internal voice is not always right and we can then replace it with more positive message’s that serve us better. It is not easy, but, with effort, we can change the tone of our internal voice. This awareness has had a positive effect on my mood and overall happiness and confidence.

22. Learn to laugh at yourself and have a sense of humor

Nobody is perfect and, unfortunately, most of us have one thing in common: we tend to be our own worst critics. It is important to remember that life is an adventure and that all of us trip up. Learning to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously is another wonderful way to lighten our mood and become more positive about our lives. Some of the greatest achievers in history possessed a good sense of humor and were able to laugh at themselves.

23. Remember that failures are valuable lessons and not the end result

People who have a ‘growth’ mindset know that all failures offer important lessons to help us become better people. People with ‘fixed’ mindsets fear failure and, therefore, rarely take risks or try something new. They view failure as something embarrassing and threatening to their self-confidence. It is safe to say that the people we admire most in the world have all failed at some point or another. Rather than throw in the towel and stop trying, they learn from their mistakes and approach life believing that they are more experienced. As Thomas Edison famously said when he failed numerous times in the process of inventing the light bulb, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. Show me someone who has not failed and I will show you someone who has played it safe and not tried.

24. Forget perfection. Accept that we are all human and focus on progress instead

As I mentioned above, all of us will fail at an endeavor at some point in our lives. Instead of focusing on attaining perfection (which rarely happens), focus on small steps and progress. For example, if you go to the gym and are not able to complete an exercise, focus on the fact that you showed up and were able to complete one rep more than you were able to before. Celebrate the fact that you had the discipline to show up at the gym in the first place. If you authored a book that did not sell as well as you expected, focus on the fact that you managed to complete the book in the first place, something most people are not prepared to do. Then learn from your mistakes and move forward. Almost all success is the culmination of taking small steps and making incremental progress.

25. Positive reinforcement

When you make incremental progress, practice positive reinforcement. This will help to instill good habits. Much like a child who is complimented by a parent when they do something good so that they associate that deed with positivism, you can do the same in your life. For example, if you stick to your exercise routine this week, reinforce your behavior by treating yourself to a healthy dinner at your favorite restaurant. If you lose 5 pounds, reward yourself by buying a new pair of jeans. Positive reinforcement is a great way to help you become more positive and to see the good in yourself and the world at large rather than the bad.

26. Mindfulness / become more aware

Many of our negative thoughts occur subconsciously. Most people are generally not even aware that they are thinking negative thoughts. It happens automatically because that is the way they have become used to thinking. This can be compared to pressing the brake pedal when driving. You do it subconsciously without thinking. Be aware and mindful (meditation is a great way to become more mindful and aware).

27. Stop judging and labeling everything

One of the best lessons I have learned is to stop labeling and judging everything in my life. Human beings tend to label everything as being either good or bad. For example, we see someone with their hair dyed green and we immediately judge this as being good or bad. We judge almost everything in our lives, from other people, to the gifts we receive, movies we watch, books we read, the weather, job titles, and the list goes on and on. True, we do need to judge certain situations that are dangerous in order to protect ourselves, but most people go overboard and judge everything they encounter. Just imagine how tiring that can get. It is often much better to accept what we cannot control and go with the flow. Try to count the number of times you judge something or someone in a day and you may be surprised.

28. Avoid gossiping and complaining

Another great way to become more positive by nature is to stop complaining and gossiping about others. All of us are guilty of this and the more we are able to reduce this, the more positive we will be. Become aware of all the times you complain about something or someone and practice acceptance instead.

29. Reward / compliment effort rather than talent

Last, but not least, remember that effort is worth more than talent in the long run. Focus on your effort rather than your talent. Effort is what leads to proficiency. Talent is wasted if it is not backed up by solid effort. Stop thinking that others are more talented than you and focus on the actual doing. Every journey begins with taking the first step.

Even if you have been a negative person for a long time, rest assured that you can make positive changes. Our habits are learned and, therefore, can be unlearned and retrained. Research has shown that we can actually rewire our brains and change our mindsets. You really can be a more positive person and become happier and more optimistic. You deserve to live your life that way.

What is Ikigai?

I have been fascinated by the Japanese and their culture for at least ten years now and I have learned a lot from them. Some things I am most fascinated by about the Japanese are their longevity (the Japanese have the longest lifespans of any race in the world), the high importance they place on teamwork, social connections and social responsibility, and their incredibly healthy diets.

If you ask someone the reason why the average Japanese lives so long, the answer you will probably receive is, “because they have a healthy diet”. And that answer is mostly correct. But, as it turns out, there might be more to it than simply a healthy diet. It may also have to do with the fact that the Japanese believe in and adhere to something called “ikigai”, which loosely means “reason for being” or “reason for waking up”.

The Japanese take their ikigai seriously and this motivates them in many ways. It is somewhat akin to the word “passion” in English. It may relate to a person’s career or job, but it does not have to. In fact, only about a third of Japanese profess that their ikigai is related to the type of work they do.

Very often, the Japanese will cite social connections and responsibility as their ikigai. For example, the older generation is respected and highly appreciated. Their opinions and experience are valued by society and this allows them to feel a sense of purpose and responsibility towards others. In other words, their lives matter.

Unlike in the West where our passions mostly take into account what we love to do, ikigai also involves doing something that we love, but it also places a lot of emphasis on a group and fulfilling a role that benefits that group as a whole. Many Japanese are part of formal groups called “moai” and they consider their connection to these groups to be very important in their lives.

A fisherman’s ikigai might be to hone his craft so that he can help successfully feed his family, his moai, or the town, village, or city. A grandmother’s ikigai may be to impart wisdom to the younger generation. A traditional chef’s ikigai might involve preserving ancient recipes and passing them on so that every new generation can enjoy traditional Japanese food. A man who conducts the church choir every week might cite that as his ikigai.

Interestingly enough, a lot of research shows that the earlier a person retires, the higher the risk of an earlier death. This could have something to do with inactivity and being sedentary. It also could have something to do with losing one’s “raison d’etre”, or ikigai.

Some people in the West compare ikigai to happiness, but the two are not synonymous. Ikigai refers to finding happiness and joy in the small, day-to-day activities rather than reaching some final goal that promises bliss. It encompasses finding meaning in the small things. In fact, a person’s ikigai gives them a reason for living even when they are unhappy or miserable at the moment. It is what Victor Frankl wrote about in his epic book, Man’s Search For Meaning. In other words, one can still experience his or her ikigai during times of hardship or suffering. It fosters resilience.

How to find your Ikigai?

Simply put, your ikigai is where what you are good at, what you love, and what your values are, intersect. When all three of these factors are in line and congruent, it is likely that you have found your ikigai. Try to recall a time when you were doing something and were so engrossed in it that you lost track of time and forgot to eat lunch or dinner. This is often referred to as being in the “flow”.

When you pay attention to tasks that seem to “flow” to you, you will find your ikigai and even deepen your association with it. You will find your life to be more meaningful and enjoyable. Once you notice the things that have meaning to you, you must then take the additional step of incorporating more of those types of tasks into your life. In other words, it requires some action and will not just happen on its own.

This also involves eliminating some things that are not harmonious with your values, that you are not good at, or that you do not like to do. Of course, this does not mean that you can get rid of every single task or activity that you do not like (some people do not like to brush their teeth, but it needs to be done anyway). But it does reduce the amount of tasks that are meaningless to you. Some people delegate these “meaningless” tasks to others to create more time for the tasks related to their ikigai.

One important point to note is that, once you find your ikigai, it will help you see the bigger picture and make even some mundane tasks more meaningful. For example, helping others by conducting research and writing this blog is very meaningful to me. I often experience “flow” and lose track of time when I am writing a blog post.

Knowing what your ikigai is (you can have more than one, although I would be suspicious if a person had more than four or five) not only creates more happiness and meaning in your life, it also can help you live a longer and healthier life. It makes sense if you really think about it: a person is more likely to jump out of bed each morning with vigor if he knows that the tasks he has to perform will make him more proficient at it, happier, and make a difference in the world. Knowing your ikigai also increases the likelihood of you taking better care of your health because your life has meaning.

Knowing your ikigai can be one of the most rewarding things in a person’s life.

What is yours?

Why practice gratitude and how?

Practicing gratitude is one of the most powerful habits we can incorporate into our lives. The recent media focus on being grateful is not just fluff. Gratitude can really change your life and has profound effects on overall happiness and well-being.

Many people only focus on the negative aspects in their lives. They are programmed to see their glass as being half empty as opposed to half-full. In a world replete with stress, distractions, materialism and social stigma, it is easy to forget how to be grateful for all the good that pervades our lives. Rather than being grateful for all that we have, many of us tend to focus on the negative. This often has a devastating effect.

Think about it. When you have a problem and you experience pain, sadness or discomfort, you would do anything to alleviate or eradicate the suffering. However, when you do not have a problem, are you grateful and do you appreciate it? For many people, the answer is no. Problems, pain, suffering, and other negative aspects of their lives grab their attention more resoundingly than the positive does. It is almost as if they are programmed to look out for the bad rather than the good. They notice the thunderstorms more than they notice the beautiful blue skies, even if it does not storm often.

What exactly does it mean to have gratitude?

Gratitude is the conscious effort to acknowledge the good in our lives. It is the recognition that there are many positive and wonderful things in the world. It involves focusing on the gifts we have received and enjoy. This does not mean that our lives are always perfect or we don’t experience problems, setbacks or sadness. It merely shifts our focus from the negative to the positive. When we concentrate on the good, we are also forced to detect the source of this goodness and acknowledge it. This goodness can come from ourselves in the way of our personalities and personal achievements, teaching us to grateful for who we are. Very often, however, this goodness comes from other people and from the world at large. It teaches us to be humble and thankful for all the gifts we have received. It illustrates our dependence on others and the world in general.

So why practice gratitude in the first place? You may be surprised to learn that there are numerous advantages and benefits:

Mental and psychological advantages

  • More optimism
  • More positivity
  • Increased happiness
  • Higher alertness and awareness
  • More motivation
  • Less anger and aggression
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Reduced depression
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased tolerance

Physical and physiological advantages

  • Better sleep habits and patterns
  • Reduced focus on pain
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Stronger immunity against disease and sickness
  • More energy

Social advantages

  • Increased empathy and compassion
  • Reduced feelings of loneliness
  • Increased generosity and helpfulness
  • More adventurous and willing to try new things
  • Better relationships
  • Increased popularity

How to practice gratitude?

The reason it is good to practice gratitude regularly is because it builds awareness of the good in our lives. However, because of all the distractions and responsibilities associated with a typical day, it is easy to forget this. That is why gratitude needs to be a habit that we incorporate into our daily lives.

Keeping a gratitude journal: Maintaining a gratitude journal is one of the best ways to practice gratitude. Each day, simply write down 3-5 things that you are grateful for. They can be simple things such as the nice dinner you ate, the affection displayed by your spouse, or the beautiful sunshine you witnessed. Writing things down has a reinforcing effect because it forces us to think and be mindful. There even are apps that you can use for this purpose.

Nightly gratitude: Another way to practice gratitude is to simply recall 3-5 things that you are grateful each night before you go to bed. Just like in your gratitude journal, you can give thanks for both big and small things. It is a great way to keep you aware and grateful.

Expressing gratitude to others: Another great way to encourage gratefulness and to practice gratitude is to make a conscious effort to express it to others often. You can thank 1 or more people you encounter during the course of your day. It could be your relatives, friends, co-workers, or the person who served you at the fast food restaurant or at the bank. You can express it vocally or even with a small note or gift.

Refrain from complaining: The opposite of being grateful and practicing gratitude is complaining. It is impossible to be grateful and complain about things at the same time. Therefore, if you are complaining, you know that you are not living with the spirit of gratitude. That is why it is important to refrain from complaining about things. Try to be aware when you complain and change that negativity into gratitude.

Watch inspiring videos: A wonderful way to cultivate gratitude is to watch uplifting and inspirational documentaries or videos that remind you how fortunate you are. This is a perfect way to augment your other gratitude practices and rituals.

Acts of kindness: There are not many things that can help cultivate gratitude the way performing random acts of kindness can. Each day, look out for opportunities to help others or make them happy. It could be simple such as opening a door for someone, letting someone else has the choice parking spot, or buying someone a cup of coffee. It makes the other person and you feel good.

Visual gratitude reminders: Another good way to encourage gratitude is to place visual reminders around so that you see them every day. You can print out your favorite gratitude quotations or a list of things you are grateful for. Place them in spots that are impossible to miss (on your fridge, on your desk, on your wall, etc) and you will constantly be reminded to be grateful. You can even select a visual reminder for your phone.

Volunteering: Volunteering to help the needy and less fortunate is powerful and is a great way to cultivate gratitude. When we help others in need, we frequently come to realize that our plight is not as bad as we thought and there are a lot of others who are worse off. It reminds us that we have blessings that we ought to be grateful for.

Gratitude before meals: Since most of us eat at least 3 times per day, mealtimes offer us good opportunity to stop and give thanks for the food we are about to eat. Some people like to say Grace, but it does not have to be religious. The important thing is to be aware and thankful.

Practicing gratitude regularly might seem elementary, but it is extremely powerful and effective. Try it for a few weeks and you will be amazed at how your life will change.

I am grateful that I was able to write this article for you!

Life is a bag of good and bad things, we choose which ones to think more about – an instructive story

A fast and stressful way of life, everyday problems that accumulate leave us less and less time for friends and family. If we add to that the constant pressure from social networks that warns that someone else is living a better life, and that everything we have is not enough, it is easy to get stuck in a vicious circle of negative thinking.

Often from excessive worry and preoccupation with problems we become dependent on negative thoughts. We look at everything that happens to us and everything we experience in a bad light. In time, that becomes the only way of thinking, and we forget that there is something else beautiful in the world around us. This instructive story about the professor and the lesson he gave to his students will show you that there are better and better ways to spend your life.

Black dots on white paper

One day the professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They waited impatiently at their desk to begin the test. The professor divided the papers with the text as usual, facing down. Once he shared them all, he asked the students to turn the page and get started. The test was really a real surprise, because it did not consist of questions. There was only one black dots on it in the middle of the page.

The professor, seeing the expression on each student’s face, said the following: “I want you to write what you see there.” The confused students began with an inexplicable task. At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one aloud in front of all the students. All of them, without exception, described the black dot, trying to explain its position in the middle of the leaf, its circumference, the way it is colored and the like.

After they were read, the classroom fell silent. The professor began to explain: “I will not evaluate it for you, I just wanted to give you something to think about. Nobody wrote about the white part of the paper. You have all been focused on the black dot and the same thing is happening in our lives. We have white paper to watch and enjoy, but we always focus on the dark spots. Our life is a gift that God has given us with love and care. We always have reason to celebrate, nature is renewed every day, our friends around us, the work that allows us to live, the miracles that we see every day. “

“However, we insist on focusing only on dark spots, health problems that bother us, lack of money, complicated relationships with a family member, disappointment with friends and the like. Dark spots are very small compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our mind. Take your eyes off the black spots in your life. Enjoy every blessing of yours, every moment that life gives you. Be happy and live positively!”

Of course

As the professor explained, life is a bag of good and bad things, we all have positive and negative things together. But we must always concentrate more on the positive values for a healthy and happy life. Life goes on no matter what, don’t waste time thinking about negative things.

Happiness or Success: which comes first?

Think about this: does happiness create success or does success lead to happiness? Most of us are brought up to believe that if we do certain things like study hard, get good grades, gain admission into a reputable university, graduate, and get a good job, we will be happy. But is that really the case?

There is a plethora of neuroscience and psychology studies that show that happiness leads to higher productivity, higher profits, and higher success rates. In other words, rather than becoming happy after a certain milestone is reached, happiness contributes more to success than the other way around. Being ‘successful’ does not necessarily make you happy. After all, most of us know someone who is successful in his or her job and has a sizable bank account but is not happy.

The ironic thing is that so many of us work hard and strive to achieve because we believe it will make us happy. We want to earn more money, buy a bigger house, drive a nicer car, all because we want happiness. Too often, once we successfully achieve our goals, we find that it only brings us temporary happiness and leaves us feeling empty again.

Think about a new car you once bought. It more than likely brought you momentary happiness as you drove it. After a while, however, your level of happiness derived from owning and driving that car diminished quickly and you no longer felt the excitement and satisfaction you experienced when you first drove it. The same principle applies to a new job, a promotion at work, a new home, new clothes, an expensive watch, etc.

Material wealth is often used as the measure of success. Yet, many people who possess material wealth are not happy. Most of these people followed the tradition of studying diligently, getting into a good college, securing a good job, working hard, buying nice things, all in the hope of being happy, only to find out that the happiness they derive from their ‘success’ is fleeting and temporary.

You see, the problem with trying to obtain happiness by being successful is that the goal posts are always moving. Once a person obtains a good job, they then start eyeing a promotion to an even better job. Once they purchase the fancy car, they want one that is even better than the last. The large house they bought suddenly seems less luxurious than another one they saw in a high-end real estate brochure. It is never ending. The goals keep shifting and are always one step ahead. In other words, it is a perpetual game of playing ‘catch up’. It is never enough.

Shawn Achor, Harvard grad, author of the Happiness Advantage and Ted Talk star, talks about the lens through which we see the world. His research shows that how we view the world ultimately creates our reality. If we focus on changing the lens, we can increase our happiness significantly and also change educational and business results.

Shawn advocates that if you focus on being happy first, you will be more successful, and that makes a lot of sense. Every aspect of your life, from business, to education and relationships improves when you are happy and in a positive state of mind. That does not mean that you do not set goals, face challenges, and work hard. It simply means that you cultivate a state of happiness and positivity while doing it.

We need to stop equating future success with happiness. That new job, new house, new car, new slim body that is 20 pounds lighter than before, etc, will not bring us happiness. Instead, happiness is a positive state of mind that we can cultivate with daily practice. Just like working out our muscles in the gym each day, we can train our brains to become more positive and, well, happy!

Every aspect of our lives improves when we are happy, and that includes our work ethic and productivity. Happy people even earn more money and are more influential. In a sense, happiness is really a type of work mindset or ethic. We are much more likely to exploit our full potential when we are calm, positive, optimistic, and content than if we are stressed and unhappy while trying constantly trying to chase down our next goal. We make better decisions when we are happy and we also are more creative. Simply think back of a stressful or unhappy time you experienced in your life and think about how creative, rational and productive you were at that time. The answer is obvious.

So how does one become more happy? There are five main and effective ways to train ourselves to become more happy:

Practice daily gratitude

Taking time each day to focus on positive aspects of our lives is one powerful way to practice gratitude and become happier. It involves choosing the lens through which we view the world, as we discussed earlier. It makes us realize that there are a lot of positive things we can choose to be grateful for.

Choose a specific time each day, preferably twice a day, to list three things that you are grateful for. I like to do it before I go to bed at night and in the morning when I begin my day. It could the wonderful dinner you had, the productive meeting you had at work, time spent with family and friends, etc. Spend a few minutes reliving each incident and soaking in the positive feelings you felt. Writing your list down in a gratitude journal is even more effective.

What I love about myself

Another effective way to increase your level of happiness is to list three things that you love about yourself each day. All too often we are own worst critics and we are hard on ourselves. I like to practice this daily ritual twice a day at the same time I practice gratitude as described above.

There are numerous things about you that you can love. They can be either big or small. Your kindness, your sense of humor, the skill you bring to cooking a meal in the kitchen, the fact that you are an avid reader, the love you shower upon your kids, etc.

Practicing kindness

There is a lot of research showing that when we are kind to others, we experience a dopamine spike and become happier. In a sense, giving really is better than receiving. If you take the time to practice three acts of kindness each day, you will boost your level of happiness, especially if you practice it consistently.

It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone, buying a colleague a favorite cup of coffee in the morning, giving money to charity, calling someone in need and offering a sympathetic ear, or cooking a delicious meal for the family despite being tired.


Meditation is a great way to center your mind and to become happier, especially if practiced consistently. Simply pick a specific time each day to sit with no distractions for a few minutes and focus on your breath. That’s it. If your mind wanders (and it will, trust me), simply return your attention back to your breath. Ideally, do it for fifteen minutes each day. You can even meditate throughout the day which will bolster the effect.


The last way I recommend to increasing your happiness is to exercise daily. Exercise, as most of us know, has a powerful effect on our overall health and mood. Too many of us sit at our desk for hours at a time and then return home to sink into our favorite couch to watch TV. Movement encourages us to produce more dopamine and serotonin, which, in turn, boost our positivity and happiness. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. The mind to body connection that you have heard about is real.

Too many of us are placing the cart before the horse and hoping that success will lead to happiness, only to find out later that we were mistaken. Sadly, assuming that the average person works eight hours each day, that means that there a lot of people who spend half their awake hours each day being unhappy while pursuing success, all in the hope of becoming happy one day.

Of course, we will always experience challenges and obstacles while pursuing our dreams and goals, but we are much better equipped to handle them if we are positive, optimistic, calm, content, and happy. Our mindset better prepares us to be more creative and productive. That is why so many top companies today are spending money on keeping their employees happy by offering ‘happiness’ training.

To be the most productive and to be the best we can be, we need to focus on our happiness while we pursue our goals. Happiness is a precursor and part of success and it has a profound effect. Happiness comes first.

Things you need to be truly happy

We all have needs that must be met in order to feel truly happy and at peace. There is a series of very basic and essential physical needs that we all have, such as food and shelter, but beyond those there are also several emotional needs that we must meet as well.

In our society, when most people complain about not feeling happy, it isn’t because their physical needs have not been met. Those of us who are unfortunate enough to be lacking the basic physical essentials of food, housing, access to healthcare, etc. know very well what we don’t have and what we need to get access to. But there is a growing number of people in our modern society who continue to feel discontent in spite of having all the physical necessities in place. Many of these individuals don’t understand what they are lacking, and therefore don’t know where to seek and find what they need.

I have been in that latter category. Although I have been blessed in my life to have never experienced hunger, homelessness, or fear for my physical health and security, I have gone through stages where I still felt a sense of emptiness and a lack of happiness in my life. During those stages, I was at a loss as to why I was feeling that way. I looked around me and saw my blessings; I realized that many had much less in terms of material and physical security than I did. Yet I still felt that I had needs that were not being met. At first, I was critical of my lack of gratitude. But upon reading and hearing about others who found themselves in similar situations, I started to do some research. Through that research I discovered that as humans we have needs that go way beyond the physical. We also have emotional and psychological needs that we must meet in order to truly feel fulfilled and happy.

After researching, I came up with five basic items that every person needs to feel happy and fulfilled!

The need for friendship and intimacy

As the saying goes, no man is an island. While we all have the need for privacy, we also have the need for intimacy. In my opinion, intimacy trumps privacy every time. It isn’t too difficult to find some time for ourselves on a somewhat regular basis, but unless we have identified at least one individual in our lives with whom we feel completely comfortable and open, the need for intimacy can be hard to meet.

There are many of us who have large and broad social circles. In the age of social media, shallow relationships are easy to forge. But this is definitely one area where quantity does not make up for quality. I have been fortunate enough to have had a handful of very close friendships in my life. The total number could be counted on one hand. But those friendships were more than enough to sustain me and meet my needs.

How can you meet this need? Make an effort to reach out to your loved ones on a regular basis. Ideally try to make time at least once a week to have an in depth discussion where you each have an opportunity to speak and be heard. Avoid discussing problems; instead focus on your hopes, dreams and aspirations. Talk about what “makes you tick” and what gives you the most pleasure in life. During these times, remember that listening is just as important as speaking. In order to have true intimacy, both parties must benefit emotionally from these conversations.

The need for control over our lives

Having a sense of control in our lives goes back to our basic physical need for security. Some people need to feel more control than others. There are many people who believe that they are perfectly happy when they have someone else takes care of everything for them, and that they don’t need to be in control of anything. That is all fine and good until something unexpected happens and that person is gone. Then they believe that because they have had no control over their fate all along, they now find themselves lost and distraught.

Yet what these people don’t realize, is that there was something that they did have control over the entire time. They had control over their decision to give in completely to someone else’s decisions. That was their original choice. Every time you make a choice, you are deciding what to do with the control you have over your own life. That is why it is so important to always choose wisely.

Having control over all aspects of our lives is obviously impossible. There will always be situations that are completely out of our hands. Things like car accidents, illnesses, job loss, and home repairs happen to all of us. Therefore, it is essential that we feel that we can remain in control of some aspects (even if it is only a single aspect) of our lives.

How can you meet this need? Understand that you have a lot more control than you think you do. Every time you make a decision you are using your ability to control the factors in your life. Even if something tragic happens unexpectedly, you still have the ability to choose how you are going to react and how you are going to takes care of it. Giving in to a feeling of helplessness is the worst thing that you can do in such a situation. There is always something that you can do, even if it is just to keep your wits about you. Life, circumstances and other people can take almost everything away from you, except one thing: your ability to choose how to respond to your situation.

The need to be part of something larger than ourselves

Humans are social beings. Not only do we need to have intimate relationships with others, we also have a need to belong to a larger community. It helps us to feel useful, needed, validated, and valuable. Having one or two very close friends serves a purpose, but so does belonging and contributing to a wider circle of individuals. Participating as a member of a group has the added benefit of helping to take our focus off ourselves. It allows us to develop emotionally by being of service to others and therefore learning how to be more selfless.

I have always enjoyed completing an achievement or reaching a goal when done as part of group more than when done individually. Perhaps it stems from some leftover shyness from my youth and not wanting to be in the limelight. But whether it was performing as a member of a choir in an opera when I was in high school, or doing research with a lab partner in a biochemistry class in college, having other people who relied on me and with whom I could share the experience made it so much more rewarding. As an adult, the jobs that I have found to be the least satisfying have been those where I worked the most independently. Over a year ago, I started working from home full time. I quickly missed the collaborative process from when I had been working in an office. Since I could no longer get that satisfaction from my job, I sought out other places where I could find it. I found that I could give my professional advice and services to friends who could use it. They appreciated the help and I appreciated collaborating with them.

How can you meet this need? Find a group of people in your community who have similar interests to yours. Choose an organization that could benefit from your skills and talents. It could be a faith-based group, a political organization, a book club, or just a bunch of guys at the park who like to play basketball on Saturday afternoons.

The need for challenge and creativity

We have all seen this with children. The more intelligent they are, the more easily they will get bored. They are constantly asking questions, exploring, wanting to learn more about the world around them. This is a need that doesn’t go away just because we grow up. It might be a need that we ignore, due to the time restraints that are created by our daily lives and obligations. But it will still be there, and if it remains unmet you will eventually see the effects.

Learning something is not just great for our brains, it also feeds our self-esteem. It makes us feel empowered and capable; it gives us a sense of growth, progress and achievement. If we never challenge ourselves to improve by learning a new craft or developing our existing skills, we can quickly begin to feel unimportant, pointless, or maybe even worthless. It will quickly lead to a depressive downward spiral.

Learning doesn’t have to be limited to the classroom or the workplace.

How can you meet this need? Make it a priority to find time in your week to dedicate to your personal growth. If you can incorporate it into your current work schedule, then all the better. But don’t limit yourself to only developing or improving work-related skills. You should also find a hobby that interests you. Maybe there is something that you used to do that gave you great joy before you became too busy and dropped it by the wayside. Or maybe there is something that you have always wanted to try but never made time for it. Whatever it is, find an activity that will inspire and challenge you, which you can perform on a regular basis.

The need for purpose and meaning

An extension of both the need to be part of something larger than ourselves and the need to be challenged is the need to have purpose and meaning in our lives.

This is most often about the family – to fulfill the role of spouse and parent! But when children go their own way, a situation better known as the “empty nest” occurs, in which parents are forced to find a new meaning in their lives ?!

How can you meet this need? Start out by doing some personal soul-searching. Ask yourself, at what times in your life were you the happiest? What were you doing at those times? What activities, people and topics are you most passionate about; which give you the most fulfillment and satisfaction? Once you are able to answer these questions, you will be able to identify where your sense of purpose and meaning lie, and how you can best tap into them.

These are the five emotional needs that I have found to be essential in finding and maintaining my own happiness. It is possible that you may have additional ones that you can add to this list, such as a need for setting and achieving goals, or a need for status within your community. The important thing is to realize that these needs are real, and that you must identify and satisfy them before you will be able to achieve sustained happiness in your own life.

Why do you have no motivation?

Why do you have no motivation? I believe we all want to feel motivated and driven all the time. Nobody wants to feel down, exhausted, tired, inferior, and have no motivation to do things.

The truth is that motivation comes and goes, but we can learn to take control of it and manage it wisely.

Motivation is an emotion that we feel inside us. And this is why there are times when we feel totally motivated and pumped, and we feel like we’re ready to take on the world.

And there are also times when we don’t feel good. We feel lost and we lack the motivation to do things. We just want to do nothing or lay on the couch.

Therefore, it is common that sometimes you feel absolutely motivated, but on the other times, you feel like you just want to do nothing.

The key is to learn how to manage your motivation. In other words, you must learn how to manage your energy and emotions.

Successful people are successful because they know how to handle their motivations well. They know what to do when they lack motivation.

In short, successful people choose to do the work even when they don’t feel like it. On the contrary, unsuccessful people choose to allow their emotions to get over them. They choose to procrastinate and do nothing even when they know they should be getting things done.

Do you get it? It is normal that motivation comes and goes, the key is in learning how to manage it – what you should do when you lack motivation.

It is what you do when you don’t feel like doing it that makes all the difference.

Here are some of the most common root causes of why people lack motivation

Fearful of the Uncertainty

This is one of the most common reasons why people have no motivation most of the time.

People set goals. They have dreams and things that they want to achieve in their lives. The problem is that most of them are fearful of the uncertainty.

They have no idea if they are able to achieve their goals; if their actions can bring them the results they want; and if their goals are really worth their effort.

Think about it, if your success is guaranteed, will you take action?

If I grant you the “Midas touch” ability where every business you venture into will be a great success, will you start a business right away?

You will say yes because your success is guaranteed, there’s nothing to be afraid of. When the outcome is certain, people are more willing to act.

On the other hand, when there are uncertainties, the unknown will stop you from trying.

People often worried if things don’t work out or if their plan is not going to work. And this uncertainty transforms into the fear that stops them from taking action.

Let me ask you this question: If you want to build a successful blog, you need to spend 3 hours a day building content and another extra hour into marketing your blog.

Think about it.

Most people are going to say no, because the outcome is uncertain.

If you have goals and you are not feeling motivated to take action, one of the main reasons could be your fear of the unknown. You are afraid that after you poured in your effort, things are still not working in your favor.

Let me tell you this, my friend, nothing in this world comes with a guarantee. I mean the decisions you make in your life, not the kind of guarantee you get from buying an iPhone.

The action you put in today may mean nothing in the future. But there is a chance.

Taking action may not guarantee your success, but if you are not going to do anything about your dreams and goals, nothing will happen.

The fear of uncertainty is not real.

It is all created within your mind.

Most people lose motivation because they fail the results they desire in their heads long enough.

Solution: Enjoy the process and make the journey adventurous

If the fear of uncertainty is what makes you lose your motivation and stop you from taking action, what you can do is to learn to enjoy the process.

Tell yourself that it is alright even if you fail. Elon Musk once said, “If something is important enough, you should try, even if the probable outcome is a failure.”

If your goals and dreams are important and valuable enough to you, you should do it, even if you are going to fail.

Musk also said:

“Failure is an option. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

One key thing you must understand is that failure is not the opposite of success, in fact, it is part of success. Failure and success are on the same side. Without making failures, you will never learn. And if you’re not learning, how in the world are you going to improve and do better?

So don’t be afraid of the unknown. Embrace the unknown and see it as an adventure.

It is because of the unknown that life is meaningful and exciting. Imagine if everything you do is predictable and you already know how things are going to turn out, there will be no surprise, how boring is that, right?

Your future is supposed to be full of adventures and unknown. After all, it is the uncertainties that make life exciting.

Hence, take it as a challenge. Make life adventurous. And more importantly, enjoy the process and your journey.

You don’t have to be afraid of the unknown. It is the unknown that makes life great.

The feeling of inferiority or worthlessness

Have you ever feel like you’re no good and amount to nothing? You feel like no matter what you do, you will eventually fail and regardless of how much effort you have put in, nothing seems to work. You feel inferior and worthless.

This is another common reason that makes people lose their motivation. Whenever you feel inferior and that you’re no good, it instantly kills your drive and put you in a lousy state.

However, feeling of inferiority, insignificant, or worthless can be good at times.

When you see someone who is doing much better than you, you feel that if they can do it, so can you. So, it motivates you to do better.

According to psychologist Alfred Adler, the feeling of inferiority can be healthy. It makes you driven to want to learn and perform better.

The problem comes when the feeling of inferiority paralyzes you.

An extreme feeling of inferiority can make you succumb to shyness, social anxiety, feeling worthless, and prevent you from taking action.

There are a couple of reasons that can make you feel inferior in your daily life.

For example, when you’re being extremely sensitive and you care too much about what others say or think about you.

Another common reason people feel inferior is due to the idea where psychologists called “social rank theory”, where how you feel and act inside is determined by how you perceive your social status or rank.

This submissive behavior is becoming more common these days because of social media.

If you often feel no motivation to take action because you feel inferior or worthless, here is what you can do…

Solution: Build a bunker and boost your self-confidence

What you can do is to build a bunker to prevent yourself from comparing with others or letting others influence your thinking.

You don’t have to feel inferior or feel that you are “lower” than others.

Everyone has their own calling and they are meant to do something worthwhile in this world.

The famous Hong Kong actor and director, Stephen Chow, once said that everything in this world has their own function and purpose; even the toilet paper is created with a purpose to serve human beings.

Thus, the first step you need to take to prevent inferiority is to build a bunker to stop the feeling from attacking you again. If you can’t fully get rid of it, try to lower the intensity of the feeling.

For instance, if you always compare yourself with others and end up feeling inferior, stop comparing yourself to them.

The second step you can take is to boost your self-confidence. When you feel inferior, your confidence is at its lowest, and to overcome this, you must boost your level of confidence.

Here’s a simple way how you can do it – by celebrating even the smallest victories.

Give yourself a pat on the back, feel proud, praise yourself, celebrate, and reward yourself the moment you make some progress, no matter how small it is.

You want to build your confidence so that you can build momentum and feel motivated again.

And when you are motivated, you will never feel inferior. This is the time when you will say, “TRY ME”, and not “why me”.

Focus on the negative

This is another big reason why people have no motivation to act. They focus on the negative rather than the positive.

They created all sorts of negative thoughts in their head, and as a result, they self-sabotage and diminish their motivation.

I have seen this happened to many people, including myself. There are times when I lost myself in the negative thought cycle and can’t help but to keep thinking about the negative things.

I worry and afraid of things that are never real, and focus on the negative thoughts that prevent me from going forward.

If this is happening to you, don’t worry, we’re human beings and we tend to gravitate toward negative news. All you need to do is to be aware and then get yourself out of there.

People are more interested to discuss and talk about negative things. When an email headline expresses negativity, the open rates will be higher. Studies have proven this and I have tested this fact myself too.

People will slow down or stop to check out an accident on the highway, but not many people will slow down or stop for the beautiful flower by the roadside.

In other words, negativity sells. But in this case, negativity can kill your drive and put you in a low or no motivation state to take action.

“Failure defeats losers. Failure inspires winners.”

Robert T. Kiyosaki

Solution: Be conscious of your thoughts and switch your focus

This is often easier said than done. It is a little difficult to stay conscious of your thoughts and be aware of what you think about most of the time.

It is hard for angry people to be aware that they are being controlled by their anger. The same goes for negative thinking.

When you are in the negative thinking cycle, it is difficult to be aware that you are thinking negatively. Unless something catches your attention, such as if someone tells you about it and you start to gain awareness.

What you need to do is to switch your focus. Rather than thinking negatively, focus your thoughts on something else.

There are a few ways how you can do this.

First, you can create triggers like using motivational posters to keep yourself in a positive state.

Or you can also review your goals each morning to make sure that you start your day strong and maintain positive energy throughout the day. A vision board can also work the same.

Besides that, you can build a supportive team or find an accountability partner. This is why every successful athlete has a coach. Their coach not only trains them but also encourages them to do better.

The key is to stay aware of your thoughts and whenever you find yourself thinking negatively, switch your focus and think something positive.

You can also revisit your goals, your dreams, and also your purpose why you want to achieve them. Better yet, learn how to set goals and so you can focus on your goals.

Having absolute clarity for what you want clears out all the negative and the uncertainties that stop you from moving forward.

When you know exactly what you want to achieve and you are constantly holding the thought in your head, nothing can stop you. Your motivation will be high and your action will be purposeful.

Being too contented with life

First, if this is what is happening to you, I must congratulate you. You’re feeling contented because you’ve accomplished something and you are satisfied with your current result, which can be a good thing.

However, if you’re not doing anything about it, you stop improving, you stop challenging yourself further, and you stop venturing out of your comfort zone, the feeling of contentment can kill your motivation and stop your progress.

There is also known as false contentment. It is self-deception that makes you believe that everything is great where actually, it is not.

When you fall into the trap of false contentment, you will feel lazy and totally unmotivated to take action.

Feeling contented is good, but if it is stopping you from progressing and improving, then it is bad.

Don’t get me wrong, feeling contented and being grateful can be great feelings, but never let these feelings stop you from becoming your best.

Oftentimes, people lack motivation because they succumb to their current situation, without having the desire to break through and get out of their comfort zone.

You have to understand what kind of satisfaction and contentment you are experiencing. Feeling grateful is awesome, but feeling contented and never want to improve is not ideal.

Solution: Reignite the fire and set more challenging goals

If you want to know whether you are making progress or stuck, just take a look at your life. Do a review and compare yourself with your previous self. Are you making any progress?

If you are living this year the same as last year, perhaps, you are not making much progress.

Now, I’m not saying that repeating each year and producing the same result is bad, but as human beings, we should aim to improve and get to higher ground, right?

This is especially true if you are in business. You will never know what will happen in the future. Look at Motorola and Nokia, both were once the market leaders in the mobile industry, but because they were slow to adapt to the changes, the competition put them out of the game.

You definitely don’t want that to happen to you, right?

Therefore, reignite the fire within you and set more challenging goals.

To smash the feeling of contentment is easy, just compare yourself to someone better than you.

If you are earning $10,000 a month and the financial stability and the comfort kill your motivation, talk to someone who’s earning $1 million a month. It will open your mind and widen your perspective.

Of course, this is just an example and you don’t have to be materialistic. Perhaps, you can motivate yourself by thinking about how many lives you can touch and inspire. Or how many good things you can do to the world.

Tony Robbins has a great quote:

“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.”

Set challenging goals that inspire you. Stop living in your comfort zone and it is time to reignite your desire to achieve more.

This is exactly what you need to do when you have no motivation because you feel overly contented.

Burnout, physically and mentally

Motivation has a lot to do with energy, and in order to keep your energy level high, you must maintain a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally.

A lot of people thought that motivation is all about getting the mood up and it is all about the tricks, but a large part of our motivation actually comes from our physical and mental energy.

There was a study conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the US, and the study was also mentioned in the best-selling book by Charles Duhigg, “The power of habits”. The study states that:

A study published in 2010 conducted by Jonathan Leval, Shai Danziger, and Liora Avniam-Pesso of Columbia and Ben-Guron Universities looked at 1,112 judicial rulings over the course of 10 months concerning prisoner paroles.

They found that right after breakfast and lunch, your chances of getting paroled were at their highest.

On average, the judges granted parole to around 60 percent of prisoners right after the judge had eaten a meal. The rate of approval crept down after that. Right before a meal, the judges granted parole to about 20 percent of those appearing before them.

The less glucose in judges’ bodies, the less willing they were to make the active choice of setting a person free and accepting the consequences and the more likely they were to go with the passive choice to put the fate of the prisoner off until a future date.

This means that our willpower and energy deplete as we go through our day.

For instance, I use my morning to write content like this article. In the afternoon, I found that it is difficult for me to concentrate and I’ll be easily distracted. I guess it is because I have used up most of my willpower and drive in the morning for creative writings.

In life, we’re tempted to skip lunch, breakfast, or eat junk food to keep our stomach full. We have never thought that this is actually a bad move because it affects our productivity and also our level of motivation.

Not only food but physical exercise too.

If you find yourself having no motivation to work because you lack willpower and energy, perhaps it is time to change your lifestyle.

Solution: Take breaks and live a healthy lifestyle

There are reasons why highly successful people are active people. They practice an active lifestyle where most of them choose to exercise in the morning before they start their day.

  • Billionaire Mark Cuban gets at least an hour of cardio per day.
  • Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg works out three times a week.
  • Respected entrepreneur Richard Branson exercise, play tennis, and surf almost every morning.

So, make exercise part of your routine. Furthermore, eat healthily and consume nutritious foods.

More importantly, keep your willpower strong by taking regular breaks throughout your workday. And get enough sleep.

When your energy level is strong, you will find that you are more motivated to do things.

Feeling trapped and going nowhere

Have you ever had the feeling where you’re trapped and whatever you do seem to amount to nothing and you’re like going nowhere?

And because of this feeling, you lose your motivation and choose not to do anything at all?

Perhaps, you have a dream of running your own business and becoming your own boss, but somehow, you tried, and you failed. Eventually, the feeling of being trapped and going nowhere grow stronger and now you lose your motivation and are afraid to take action again.

If this describes you, don’t worry, here’s what you can do:

Solution: Model other successful people, go-slow, and then reignite your desire again

When you’re feeling trapped and are going nowhere in life, one of the best things you can do is to read books. Reed success books about how others who have gone through a similar situation like you, manage to bounce back.

For example, if you start a business and fail, and you have lost your motivation, go and study other successful businessmen who have gone failed many times but did not give up.

What you need here is a new hope. You need to reignite the possibility into your life and believe that your dreams are possible again.

Therefore, commit to reading books each day.

Go and network with other successful and positive people. Let their thinking influence you and make you believe in yourself once more.

Take all your setbacks as feedback. They are the experience for you to grow. Just like what Tony Robbins says:

“Success in life is the result of good judgment. Good judgment is usually the result of experience. Experience is usually the result of bad judgment.”

The key to living a great life is about learning from your mistakes. Always remember, failure is NOT the opposite of success, it is part of success.

You definitely need to go through some failures before you can discover the success you want. It is not whether you are going to make mistakes, for mistakes are inevitable.

The question is, what are you going to do when you fail? Are you going to learn from it and bounce back higher? Or are you going to let the failure stop you from going further?

It is all up to you my friend. You don’t have to feel stuck or trapped. Your journey doesn’t end where you are, pick yourself up and move on.

Loss of meaning, purpose, and passion

This is another common reason people lose their motivation. They started strong, but somewhere down the road, they lose the meaning, purpose, and passion. And they find it difficult to keep up because they have no more motivation to continue.

When what you do does not serve your purpose, you will have no motivation to do it. This is why having a strong, clear, and emotional purpose is important in achieving what you want in life.

If you want to build a successful blog, but you have no motivation, most likely, it is because you don’t have a strong purpose to support that goal.

Why do you want to spend hours each day, writing content, do something that you dislike, where it does not serve your purpose, and you have to give up your leisure time to do it, right?

This is why you need to have a purpose and passion for what you do.

Without meaning, purpose, and passion for what we do, we will never do it. Just like what Steve Jobs said in an interview. He said that success is so difficult that people who have no passion and don’t love doing it will quit the moment things become tough.

Solution: Rediscover your passion and purpose

If you want to find your purpose of why you want to achieve your goals, just ask yourself questions such as:

  • “Why do I want to achieve this?”
  • “Is this why I’m passionate about?”
  • “Am I willing to sacrifice my leisure time to do this?”
  • “If I win the lottery and have $100 million in the bank, will I continue to do this?”

Make your goals as exciting as possible. Make what you do so exciting to you that you will want to jump out of bed early in the morning to do it.

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed

Solution: Don’t overestimate yourself, take breaks, and chunk your work

First, do not overestimate yourself.

I plan my day and write down the things that I need to get done on my list. I discovered that the most I can do are about 3 to 5 items. If the list gets longer, my day is going to be crazy and I won’t be able to complete the tasks.

Hence, I keep my list short, about 3 to 5 items to work on each day.

Maybe you can work faster and more efficiently than me, but whatever you do, don’t overestimate yourself. More is not always merrier.

You want to get the most important and high-impact work done here, not just any work. So keep your list short and do what is most important to you first.

Then, schedule and take regular breaks. You want to have time to recharge your energy and keep your motivation strong.

Finally, chunk your work. Try to focus on the bite-size rather than trying to accomplish the big task at once.

A good way to handle this is to use the one – minute rule, where you focus on doing your work for just one minute.

Remember, Rome was not built in a day. The same goes for the success you desire.

Success is not a sprint, but a marathon. You can go-slow, but don’t stop. Make progress each day and I’m sure you will get there eventually.

You don’t believe in it

Yes, one of the most common reasons people don’t feel motivated is because they don’t believe what they want to do or accomplish is possible.

Think about it, if you don’t believe your dreams are possible or that you have the capabilities to achieve your goals, do you think you will go all out to achieve them?

No, not at all. This is why some people treat their business like a hobby. They do it with a halfhearted attempt. They do it for the sake of getting the work done.

When you don’t believe in something, like your goals, vision, or the work you involve in doing, you will hold yourself back and never go all out.

The reason is simple, if you don’t believe you can be successful deep inside, why bother trying, right?

Just like buying the lottery, why do people do it? Well, they believe that they stand a chance to win the prize, isn’t it? If you don’t believe you stand a chance to win, will you bother buying the tickets in the first place?

We do things because of our beliefs. When we don’t believe something is possible, we will never do it with our best ability. We hold ourselves back and reserved our efforts.

This is why people don’t feel motivated.

If you don’t believe you are going to win the competition, do you think you will have the motivation to train?

Successful people always believe in what they do. They believe in their goals, their visions, and themselves, and this is why they are so motivated to take action.

They see themselves successfully achieved what they want rather than picturing themselves fail at what they do.

Do you get it? If you want to have the motivation, you must first believe that what you want to do achieve or what you do is possible.

Solution: Believe in yourself and in what you do

You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them. You can’t achieve great success if all you think about is failure. You can’t get rich by thinking poor.

No matter what you want to achieve in life, in order to stay motivated on the course, you must believe in it.

People lose motivation and give up in the end not because it is impossible, but because they choose to NOT believe that it is possible.

When you doubt yourself, you will start to lose your hope. And when you lose hope, you lose your motivation and you will start to lose interest in what you do. This is when your motivation will fade and eventually, you will give up.

Never let this happen to you. Choose to believe in yourself, your dreams and goals, and choose to believe that it is possible that you can achieve what you want. Read this guide:

When you truly believe, the motivation will come.

Depression and other similar mental disorder

When you are depressed, you will have zero motivation to do things. In fact, chronic depression and other mental illness can take away not just your motivation, but also your focus, self-esteem, decisiveness, and more.

If you allow it, depression can drain your energy and even take away your will to live. It can be a serious problem and must be dealt with.

One thing though, don’t mistake depression and lack of motivation for laziness.

This is often where the depressed person can be, mistakenly, thought of as lazy or apathetic. A depressed person’s lack of motivation is not the same as laziness.

When someone is lazy, they don’t want to do work or do unpleasant tasks, even when they have the energy to do so. They may be motivated just fine, they simply don’t want to exert themselves in any way.

The person who is unmotivated due to depression usually wants to work and do other things, but feels as if they can’t. This is a key difference between laziness and depression.

Solution: Get active, socialize, and celebrate your victories

It is important to maintain an active lifestyle. Getting out of your bed and go for a walk is a great idea to overcome depression. Exercise helps your body to release endorphins, which makes you feel good.

Also, be active and socialize with others. You don’t have to cage yourself and shun from meeting others. You can meet with positive people and socialize with them.

Plus, volunteer and help out. Helping people who are in need can improve your mood.

Celebrate all your wins, no matter how small they are.

Now you know the common causes of why people have no motivation to act and the solutions to overcome it.

However, before you go, I would like to share a secret with you.

Do you want to know the ultimate solution on how to get your motivation back?

Execution and action!

My friend, motivation comes when you act; when you are in motion. If you choose to stay on the ground and are not making a move, guess what, you will continue to have no motivation because nothing changes.

No matter what you have learned here or what tricks or techniques you have learned, the key to getting motivated is in the execution.

Get yourself moving. Do something, anything.

When you have low or no motivation, do something, even if it is a small act, it will build your momentum and the motivation will come automatically.

Now you know the secret to motivation, so do it.

Can you be 1% better today than yesterday?

Most of us have areas of our lives that we would like to change for the better. That could entail making more money, exercising more, having more free time, experiencing less stress, losing weight, starting that business we have always dreamed about, making more friends, or eating healthier. No matter what we want to achieve, there is a simple rule that works effectively: being one percent better today than we were yesterday.

Having lofty goals is wonderful. We should aim high because we are capable of so much more in our lives than we think. Whether our goal is to successfully run a marathon, create a multi-million dollar business, lose fifty pounds, or travel the world, we can indeed achieve it if we remember one simple rule: we need to take steps in that direction each day, even baby steps, and be at least one percent better than we were yesterday.

Have you ever been inspired to chase a dream, only to have that feeling of inspiration dissipate over the next few days? Well, you are not alone. So many people experience moments of inspiration and motivation and plan to make big changes in their lives, only to discover that the ‘pumped-up’ emotions they experienced slowly wither away over the next few days or weeks. They revert back to their old ways and get stuck in a state of inertia. All of us have experienced this at some point in our lives.

Why do so many people experience that initial burst of inspiration and motivation yet fail to achieve their goals? There are three main reasons for this:

  • They set ambitious goals but lack a daily plan detailing how to go about it. Once the initial euphoric feeling of inspiration wears off, they look at the mountain they want to climb and get overwhelmed. Without a daily plan, they freeze with fear when they think about the lofty goal they want to achieve. Instead of taking small steps and moving forward, they over-analyze their goals (paralysis by analysis) and get scared. Suddenly, that 26.2 mile marathon seems too far, the fifty pound weight loss too daunting, or running that successful business too difficult.
  • They set ambitious goals but lack a daily plan detailing how to go about it. Once the initial euphoric feeling of inspiration wears off, they look at the mountain they want to climb and get overwhelmed. Without a daily plan, they freeze with fear when they think about the lofty goal they want to achieve. Instead of taking small steps and moving forward, they over-analyze their goals (paralysis by analysis) and get scared. Suddenly, that 26.2 mile marathon seems too far, the fifty pound weight loss too daunting, or running that successful business too difficult.
  • They set ambitious goals but lack a daily plan detailing how to go about it. Once the initial euphoric feeling of inspiration wears off, they look at the mountain they want to climb and get overwhelmed. Without a daily plan, they freeze with fear when they think about the lofty goal they want to achieve. Instead of taking small steps and moving forward, they over-analyze their goals (paralysis by analysis) and get scared. Suddenly, that 26.2 mile marathon seems too far, the fifty pound weight loss too daunting, or running that successful business too difficult.
  • They set ambitious goals but lack a daily plan detailing how to go about it. Once the initial euphoric feeling of inspiration wears off, they look at the mountain they want to climb and get overwhelmed. Without a daily plan, they freeze with fear when they think about the lofty goal they want to achieve. Instead of taking small steps and moving forward, they over-analyze their goals (paralysis by analysis) and get scared. Suddenly, that 26.2 mile marathon seems too far, the fifty pound weight loss too daunting, or running that successful business too difficult.

So what is the answer to achieving success in anything? Small steps that lead to constant improvement. Forget trying to lose those fifty pounds in a month. Instead, take baby steps and strive to be one percent better than yesterday. Start by exercising for one minute today, then slowly increasing the exercise duration each day, say by fifteen seconds. Write one hundred words of that book today and increase that by one percent the next day. Meditate for five minutes (300 seconds) today and add a mere three seconds tomorrow.

Slow and steady is the way to go when it comes to achieving your goals. There are no secret shortcuts or magical pills. The magic lies in making small, incremental improvements over time. All you need to do is to be one percent better than yesterday. That’s it! A small, one percent! All of us can do that.

You may not see tangible results in the short run, but I guarantee you that you will see significant progress and results if you follow the one percent rule. One key point to remember is that, similar to placing your savings into a compounding interest bank account, the small successes will compound and lead to ever-increasing success levels. You will continuously build upon your previous success and the positive results will become exponentially more significant. The mistake that most people make is giving up early in the game when they do not detect tangible results.

Success is not a destination, it is an ongoing process. Successful people know that improving by a mere one percent each day leads to a 365% improvement over a year, and that is without any compounding! Just think about where you will be and the level of success you will attain if you simply improve by one percent each day. That is where the magic happens.

So, ask yourself this: how can you improve by one percent today?

Questions that motivate me and help me persevere!

Like everyone else, there are times when I feel no motivation and I just want to do nothing. Being a solopreneur is not easy. You’re all on your own. When you lack the discipline and when you don’t have the motivation to work, there is no one there to encourage you. You need to do something to drive yourself up.

I’ve been very consistent with this blog since March 2021. And most of the articles I published are over 1,000 words. There are many times I feel like giving up and just don’t want to write.

But somehow, I manage to find ways to motivate myself back up again and just keep writing and publishing content here.

Whenever things are not going smooth for me, when I don’t feel motivated, and when I feel like procrastinating, there are 3 questions I will ask myself.

These questions work like a lighthouse, they show me my dreams and the goals I want to accomplish. They remind me of my purpose in life and the future that I wanted to create.

You can ask yourself these questions too whenever you’re feeling like giving up.

Well, these questions have been working for me, but I’m not sure if they are going to work for you. Perhaps, you can also customize these questions and make them meaningful and empowering for you.

Here are the questions I ask myself to keep me on track:

Is it so difficult to?

This is a simple question, yet, it gives me a lot of power and drives me into taking action.

For example, when I’m feeling no motivation to write, I will ask myself, “Is it so difficult to write an article?”

This question leads me to think about writing isn’t something so difficult. Comparing to those people who work in the construction site and under the sun, writing can be an easy task. You just need to write like you are talking to someone.

Whenever I think about it this way, it makes me feel like I’m lucky and that I should be grateful for my career as a blogger and a content marketer.

I get work by sitting on my comfortable chair, writing articles while enjoying a cup of my favorite coffee. Most people have to work really hard to earn a living. Hence, I always feel proud of myself that I’m able to make a living online.

So, whenever you don’t feel like doing something but you want to, ask yourself this question, “Is it so difficult to (ACTION)?”

  • Is it so difficult to get up early?
  • Is it so difficult to write an article a day and publish it on my blog?
  • Is it so difficult to walk 10,000 steps a day?
  • Is it so difficult to exercise for 15 minutes every morning?

    Is it so difficult to read for 30 minutes each day?
  • Is it so difficult to meditate for 10 minutes before you sleep?

After you ask this question, make a comparison and think about those people who have to work harder to make a living.

Do you know that there are many others who have faced even more difficult situations than you, yet, they didn’t give up and choose to hustle on?

Is it really so difficult to achieve your goals? I don’t think so. You just need to work on it.

Is this the kind of life I want to live?

Another question I often ask myself is whether I’m creating the life I wanted to live.

Every time when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to work, I will imagine what will happen if I procrastinate. And then I will forward the picture into the future and see myself being a failure. I see myself fail to achieve my goals, living in poverty, not able to take care of my family, etc.

As a result, the fear I generated in my mind forces me to take action and work on my goals right away.

When I’m slacking off and procrastinating, I will envision myself living the future that I don’t want to live, and then ask myself, “Is this the kind of life I want to live?”

The answer is an obvious no. This question creates fear in me. I don’t want to fail at my goals. I want to live a better life. I can’t continue to procrastinate, play games, oversleep, or not contributing, that is not the kind of life I want.

Thus, I will reconnect with my goals and start taking action, right away.

Remember, your future is created by what you do right now, not tomorrow. So, don’t wait for tomorrow only to take action because there is always a tomorrow.

What you need to do is to take immediate action. Stop giving yourself lousy excuses why things are not going to work or why you can’t.

Be courageous and face the hard truth that you have to work to make your dreams a reality. Hence, take action now.

Do you want to live like a failure in the future? If you don’t, then, take action now.

What is the one step I can take now to get me closer to my goal?

This is another question I commonly ask myself whenever I’m feeling lost and not sure what to do.

After I ask this question, I usually able to come up with one action step that I can take right away, and I will just do it.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a big plan or a complete blueprint to achieving your goals and dreams, you just need to take one small step.

Therefore, don’t worry about not know what to do, you just need to make progress and the path will unveil itself.

Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. And all you need to do is to take that one step right now.

So, ask yourself, “What is the one step I can take now to get me closer to my goal?”

Once you have identified the action step you need to do, do it right away. And once you start making progress, the momentum and motivation will come.

These are the three questions I often ask myself whenever I don’t feel motivated, wanted to procrastinate, and not sure what I should do.

You can use these questions, or you can also create your own version to help you. The key is to direct your mind to think empowering thoughts that will pump you up and help you make progress.

How to leverage small success to build bigger ones? – second part

If you want to be successful and achieve amazing results in life, you must leverage the success cycle to build bigger success.

No matter what you are trying to accomplish in life, the first step to achieving the result you desire is the most difficult.

Just like if you want to build a blog and earn $1,000 from it each month, the first earnings that take you from zero to $1,000 is the most difficult. However, once you got a breakthrough, things will become easier.

After you have made your first $1,000, earning your next $1,000 is not as difficult as it seems. Somehow, you have done it before and you just need to repeat or double the effort to earn $2,000, right?

The same thing is happening in every area of your life. The first step to achieving whatever goals you desire is the most challenging and tough. But once you managed to produce some successes, things will become easier.

This is how the principle of momentum is at work.

Newton’s First Law states that an object in motion stays in motion and an object at rest will stay at rest.

The same principle can be applied to your business, career, and life. If you are moving and gaining ground, you are likely to keep reaping the rewards and keep moving forward.

On the other hand, if you are stuck, highly likely, you are going to remain stuck and going nowhere. Unless you do something and pour in serious effort, things are going to remain the same.

How success works?

I love the way how Tony Robbins explains the success cycle.

He said that we all have a certain belief and a certain potential in us. And because of what we choose to believe, we take action according to our potential.

And as we take action and do something, we will get results. Whether it is a good result, a bad one, or no result, it is an outcome. And our outcome will affect our beliefs again.

Your belief system

We all have been raised and nurtured in such a way that we have formed a certain set of beliefs within us.

We believes that there are things that we can do. And we also believes that there are certain things that we cannot do. And our beliefs greatly impact how we live our lives.

Highly successful people like Elon Musk believes that he has the potential to change the way human lives, and he believes that colonizing Mars is possible.

For most people, they don’t believes that going to the Moon can be something like a leisure travel, let alone colonizing Mars.

As you can see, your beliefs shape your life. Whatever you choose to believe, you will do and act in a certain way.

Your action will always be in sync with your beliefs.

Your potential

We know that we all possessed unlimited potential and that we are destined for big success. Just ask yourself this question:

“What is the potential of a human being?”

The answer is unlimited.

Regardless of your circumstances and situations, we all possess the same unlimited potential to make a positive change and impact in life.

The problem is that most people are not living to their true potential.

Imagine how you have gone through last year. Did you do your best? Did the results you get portrait your potential?

If you are setting the same last year’s goals this year, it says something about you; that you are not living to your potential and you did not do your best. And that is why you have to re-set your goals again.

Our beliefs determine our potential. And our potential will determine what we do in life.

The action you take

Your potential will affect your action. When you believes that you have little potential to make things happen, you will take very little action.

On the contrary, if you believes that you are truly destined for big success and that whatever business you venture into turns to gold, trust me, you will do whatever it takes to start a business and make it a stellar success.

The problem is that most people don’t truly believe in themselves. They say that they want to be successful and they believes that they can do it, however, what they say and what they truly believe are often two different things.

The majority of us are not taking enough action to make our dreams a reality because we don’t really believes that we can be successful. And this affects our potential, and thus, our actions.

It all starts with what you believe. And hence, your beliefs will affect your actions.

Elon Musk truly believes that it is possible for interstellar travel and he is certain that living on Mars is possible. That is why he acted.

The same goes for your dreams and goals. When you don’t believes that you are able to achieve them, you will never do anything about them.

Hence, if you have been living the same life over and over again, craving for your dream life but you’re not progressing forward, examine your belief system.

The thing that stops you from getting the success you want and living the life you desire is none other than yourself.

The results you get

After you have taken some form of actions, you will receive a report card, your results.

Whether you achieve success, fail, or did not receive any result, it is still a result that you must accept.

And your results are going to affect your beliefs.

If you make a poor decision in stock investment and you lost most of your money there, it can lead you to believes that stocks investment is a lie or that you simply don’t have what it takes to become a great investor.

When you build an online business but it did not work out, it can lead you to believes that you don’t have the skills or that internet business simply doesn’t work.

Your results can affect your beliefs. And your beliefs influence your potential, which determines your actions. And again, your actions lead to the results you get.

This is how success works. This is why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is how successful people continue to achieve more success and why the unsuccessful continue to live in mediocrity.

Success breeds more successes

Can you see how the success cycle works right now?

Belief –> Potential –> Action –> Result

Here’s an example of how the success cycle can work AGAINST you:

Lousy beliefs –> low potential –> less or no action –> less or no result –> even more lousy beliefs –> even lower potential –> even less action –> failure

Everything works like a chain-link that affect and influence each other. And here’s a good example of how the success cycle is working FOR you:

What you believe –> you have the potential and maybe you can do it –> you put in some effort –> receive small positive results –> have confidence and build stronger beliefs –> exert more potential –> take more actions –> receive even better results –> continue on to build more success.

The most important question you should ask yourself right now is this, “How can I make the success cycle to work in my favor?”

The answer to the question above is simple. Here are a few things you can do to leverage the success cycle to build bigger successes in your life:

Start small, get positive results, build your confidence, and strengthen your beliefs.

Change is necessary, but that doesn’t mean that you should do everything all in one go. You can always start small and grow.

We are wired to resist change. And when you try to do something too drastic and too much, it will backfire and make you fall back to your original state.

What you have to do is to take small actions that will give you positive results. When you receive positive results and you see small successes, you gain confidence and momentum.

As a result, you started to see the possibility that you can do it. This strengthens and builds your belief system. And when you develop a stronger belief, you will tap into higher potential and take more action.

And with more action comes more and better results. And it keeps going.

This is why you should always start small.

And don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should dream small or even try to set small goals. I’m saying that you should start small with tiny actions.

Rome was not built in a day, my friend. Apple did not turn out to be a multi-billion company overnight and Elon Musk did not start with Tesla and SpaceX straight from the beginning.

Start small, and grow.

Celebrate your progress no matter how small it is!

The next thing you want to do to make the success cycle work for you is to celebrate your progress no matter how small it is.

Please read correctly, I’m saying that you should celebrate your progress, not just your victories.

Celebrating your wins and victories are important, but so is the progress that you have made.

Most people know that they should celebrate their wins, but most have no idea that they should also celebrate their progress.

As long as you have taken some actions and make progress, you should celebrate.

For instance, I celebrate every time I completed a task. I give praise to myself that I followed my plan and acted on it. I give a pat on my back after I wrote my articles. I tell myself that I have made progress, and I’m getting myself closer to my goals and dreams.

This makes me feel good and that I want to take more action or continue to take action again the next day.

So, celebrate your wins, and also your progress.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate”.

Oprah Winfrey

Commit to growth and always improve for better results.

When you first start something new, the learning curve is steep and everything can seem difficult for you. However, as you learn, grow, and do more of it, things become easier and you are able to produce better results.

This is how successful people achieve extraordinary achievements in their lives. They commit to constant and never-ending improvement. They do their best to learn, improve, and grow their skills as much as possible.

In the sport’s industry, professional athletes train every single day. They know that the more they train, the better they become, and the better results they will get. And when they win or play a better game, their level of confidence will soar, which makes them train even harder.

If you want to build a successful internet business, but you have no idea how to do it, things will be difficult. You may face a lot of roadblocks and you have no idea where to start.

However, if you attend a workshop, read a book, or have someone to guide you on your journey, things will be easier. When you see yourself getting small positive results, you feel good and this strengthens your beliefs. You tell yourself that you can do it and you take massive action, producing even more successes.

Therefore, commit to CANI, what Tony Robbins called, “Constant-And-Never-ending-Improvement”.

The only way to achieve greater success in life is through growth and improvement. If you don’t work on improving yourself, there is no way you can produce better results.

Here’s what you need to know: You don’t get what you want. You get who you become.

In other words, your success is in alignment with who you are. When you become someone worthy of success, success will come to you, automatically.

Condition yourself to believes that you have a huge potential to achieve greater success

Do you know you can consciously condition yourself for success? There are many things you can do.

Talk, network, and mix with other successful people so that their success mentality can influence you.

Study and read the biographies of successful people. When you do so, it strengthens your beliefs that if they can do it, so can you.

The same goes for every other things in life. If you want to build a profitable internet business, learn everything about it, mix with other successful internet marketers, learn and read as much as you can, and actively condition your mind with positive info about internet marketing.

When you do so, you will eventually grow into the person worthy of the success you desire.