12 minutes | Apr 11, 2019
Episode 38 - Part 4: working and getting sucked in without considering your future and/or value
Episode 38 - Part 4: working and getting sucked in without considering your future and/or value Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License - I asked my boss for a raise but he said I didn't deserve it so I sent him my resignation letter. Now he is asking me to stay with a higher salary. Should I accept his offer? The experts will tell you - never - never - EVER accept a counter-offer. Your resignation has already placed you in the outer circle and you will remain there forever. Just leave. - Want to know the best way to cover this? If you know the company likes you and your work, present them with the following: “You know, over time I’ve received a lot of offers to join other companies. I’m not really interested in any of them. I’m happy here. I like the company, the work, the direction we’re going, and I know the company can’t match some of these offers. I get it. All I’m saying is, my wife and I discuss these things, and she’s aware of the money I could make at these other companies. It’s a lot of pressure. My question is, even if the company can’t match any of those offers, could the company close the gap a little? If not, I totally understand. You’re running a business and will pay me what you think I’m worth. Let me know your thoughts.” - In this, we are appealing to their priorities without threats, resignations, or ultimatums. We are recognizing their priorities while sharing a reality - other companies think I’m worth more. We’re also showing we are committed to the company’s goals - we’re not interested in leaving and we are happy here. We’re also showing a spirit of cooperation in not requiring a “match” - just a bump. "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. " -Eleanor Roosevelt - The first time I said this to a boss, I told him what I was being offered and he whistled. “We can’t match that.” - I said “I know, and like I said, I’m not asking you to. I’m just wondering if you can close the gap a little. If that’s my market value, seems you would want to take a stab at closing the gap. I’m happy here. I’m not interested in leaving.” - Every time I’ve tried this, the boss worked out a raise for me. Life went on and we went on to do a lot of things together. Non-threatening. No destroyed trust. No extortion. Asking for a raise isn’t particularly an art form. You need to think like your boss thinks - what are his priorities, goals objectives "I rebel; therefore I exist. " -Albert Camus
11 minutes | Apr 4, 2019
Episode 38 - Part 3: working and getting sucked in without considering your future and/or value
Episode 38 - Part 3: working and getting sucked in without considering your future and/or value Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License - So, what can you do if you are stuck in a dead-end job? “The most important thing is to take responsibility for your job quality and success,” Reynolds says. “Don’t blame a company for your situation. Rather assess honestly, take action and, thoughtfully, purposefully go where you can flourish.” - Here are eight additional tips: Speak up. If you’re in this quagmire and haven’t spoken up, now is a good time. Some employees avoid all challenging communications with their supervisors and could have enjoyed the upward mobility they sought. Know how much effort is worth putting forth; what will be your return on investment? - Create a personal document to examine what can be done, if anything, to improve your current situation. Beware of hastily trading one set of problems for another "Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time”, is like saying, “I don’t want to”. -Lao Tzu - Identify a compelling future for yourself and use it as a motivator to take action. A positive impetus is healthier than a resentful one. Better to move towards buying that cool car you’ve always wanted than walk away from the rust-bucket that’s literally been driving you crazy without an alternative. - Continue doing your job well. If you’ve decided to look for a new job, keep doing your best work in your current position. You don’t want to burn bridges, especially if you’ll need good references. - Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Identify the things about your current job that would be useful to take forward into your next move and write down your successes. There are always good points, learning and achievements to draw upon from any situation. Also figure out what you could improve before you start searching for new opportunities. "Dreams have only one owner at a time. That’s why dreamers are lonely." -William Faulkner - Gain experience outside of the office. If your dead-end job doesn’t allow you to hone your skills, take a class to advance and develop the ones that will benefit you in the future. Self development is key. Another way to do this: Volunteer during your down time in an effort to further develop your leadership skills and résumé. - Examine the risks that are associated with leaving your dead-end job. Be sure it’s absolutely the right decision before you make any big moves. - Do your homework so that you choose well in your next job. You wouldn’t want to end up in another dead-end position. One way to do this: During job interviews, ask the employer about career development and advancement opportunities. - If you find yourself stuck in your position, try to carve out 30-minutes a day to focus on new goals, ideas and aspirations. Jot down your goals and steps to work towards them. Many people stuck in dead end jobs have started or launched their small businesses on the side. Thirty minutes a day can be found in your commute, waiting in car lines, or traffic. - Getting unstuck from a dead-end job is not about having a positive attitude, but about positive action. Don’t say there is no room for growth. Make new doors and explore new territories. Where there is no upward growth, go for lateral moves. Don’t wait for an acknowledgement; tell them and show them that you deserve better. It’s all about awareness, initiative and positive action.
13 minutes | Mar 28, 2019
Episode 38 - Part 2: working and getting sucked in without considering your future and/or value
Episode 38 - Part 2: working and getting sucked in without considering your future and/or value Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License -You’re not being compensated fairly. If you’re made to feel fortunate to receive a paycheck or that you’re being overpaid, those are red flags "A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live." -Lao Tzu -A machine can do your job. Your role is becoming obsolete, as the skills required are being replaced by technology. -There’s no praise in sight. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to please. “If you move mountains for the company, the silence that follows is deafening” "We can see through others only when we can see through ourselves." -Bruce Lee
12 minutes | Mar 21, 2019
Episode 38 - Part 1: working and getting sucked in without considering your future and/or value
Episode 38 - Part 1: working and getting sucked in without considering your future and/or value Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License - Are you in a job where the only way to move up is to get out? Is your role becoming obsolete, as the skills required are being replaced by technology? Are your colleagues given opportunities that you’re not? If you answered yes to any of the above, there’s a good chance your career has come to a standstill. That’s right; you’re stuck in a dead-end job. "Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay." -Simone de Beauvoir - Almost everyone experiences this at some point in their career, says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job. “It is often difficult at first to discern if you’re in a stagnant position. The realization rarely happens overnight because oftentimes the employee has offered to take on more challenging assignments, but that falls on deaf ears. After hitting enough walls, however, you realize that those efforts and energy could be better placed toward a new job search.” Here are 20 tell-tale signs that you’re stuck in a dead-end job: - Your work offers no change in routine; it’s very mechanical. This is perhaps what you’d be doing five years from now, and your career goals do not align with what you currently do. - If your position feels static and you don’t see a way to earn further responsibilities or get ahead even after offering ideas on the subject, you’re probably in a dead-end job. - Your skills are not being tapped. Your supervisor doesn’t tap into your skills set or go beyond what you’ve been contributing for quite some time. You may have been passed over for promotion – or your requests to take on more challenging projects have been ignored. - They’re not interested in your career goals. You are not being asked about your professional goals or future plans "The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power." -Mary Pickford - They don’t support your career plan. You are asked about your goals and plans, but the boss pays no attention to them or doesn’t support you in reaching them. - You’re subject to unfair treatment. You notice your colleagues are getting opportunities you don’t get, says David Shindler, author of Learning to Leap and founder of social learning site, The Employability Hub. - You’re not challenged. You feel unchallenged by your job, your boss, or your co-workers with no welcome avenue to change things, Reynolds says. - Your thoughts and contributions are not valued. Your voice is no longer heard and your opinions are no longer valued, Shindler adds. - You can’t get time with the boss to move projects forward. Your projects seem to get lost in the abyss. Essentially, you are being ignored out of a job; e-mails go unanswered and you’re lucky if you catch your boss in the restroom. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." -Abraham Lincoln - No change in pay, title or tasks. You have been doing the same work for more than one or two years without a promotion, increase in pay, or increased responsibility. While some people may enjoy working on the same tasks, a tell-tale sign of a dead-end job is employees who are not being offered advancement or new training. - You get that Monday morning feeling nearly every day. What you used to enjoy doing is no longer enjoyable. No enthusiasm to get up and go to work is a sign you’re in a dead-end job. - Attempts to change or improve your job are not welcomed. If you’ve tried reinventing yourself at the company, modifying your job description or proposed a lateral move to no avail, then it’s time to look elsewhere. - Your values and the firm’s values are not aligned. Maybe there are cultural differences; clashes in environmental aspects of its operations; civic responsibility or work ethic issues, et cetera. You’re not an asset to your team or department. You don’t feel like an important part of your team. "To be truly positive in the eyes of some, you have to risk appearing negative in the eyes of others." -Criss Jami - They hire outside talent. You realize that the corporate culture is to bring in outside talent when high-level positions open up, instead of promoting from within - You see favoritism or bias in management practices. If you’re not on their good side, you’ll probably be stuck doing what you are doing without any promotion in sight. - Your employer is sinking. You research and discover your company is not doing well. Profits are stagnant or down. The industry is not growing. Also, if your company is conducting numerous layoffs, and your desk is looking too clean from a lack of projects due to no fault of your own, you might be in a dead-end job.
11 minutes | Mar 15, 2019
Episode 37: Part 5 - Invest in yourself and your brand - who are you, like really?
Episode 37: Part 5 - Invest in yourself and your brand - who are you, like really? Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://www.thebalancesmb.com/creating-and-growing-personal-brand-2295814 - Personal branding is the process of developing a "mark" that is created around your name or your career. You use this "mark" to express and communicate your skills, personality, and values. - Why Personal Brands Are for Everyone. Personal brands should be important to everyone. Personal brands are not only for the entrepreneur that owns their own business. It is the secret sauce that can make you stand out of a stack of resumes. "A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer's decision to choose one product or service over another."– Seth Godin - A strong personal brand will impact your ability to get the right jobs, promotions, and increase your ability to attract talent and capital. So, let's look at these tips that can help you in creating your own personal brand: - Build Your Platform. If you are going to have a personal brand, you will need a website to create your virtual platform. Your website should be your name. You will also need social media accounts that represent your brand. You will use these platforms to share your voice. - Identify Your Uniqueness and Your Strengths. Think about the characteristics and strengths you've built in your career. If you are stuck, think about that "one thing" that everyone says you rock at. If you're still stuck, ask others. - Own Your Space. Once you've identified your uniqueness and strengths, perfect them. Learn all that you can and become the expert in that area. You can never stop learning. Read, absorb, and teach. "If you want to be truly successful, invest in yourself to get the knowledge you need to find your unique factor. When you find it and focus on it and persevere your success will blossom." -Sydney Madwed - Share Your Knowledge. It's not enough to learn it; you have to teach it and share your knowledge by helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and gain exposure from doing so. - Be Yourself. Find your own style. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing and just follow the crowd. Use your style and uniqueness to attract the jobs and clientele that you desire. Find your own style and create a new set of footprints for others to follow in.? "Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort, time and energy needed to develop yourself." -Denis Waitley - Identify Your Values and Set Your Priorities. It's important to have a clear picture of your personal and professional goals, both short and long-term. This will help you to not only identify the most important things to spend your time on but will also have something to align new projects with. - Identifying your emotional appeal. What are your personality features? This can be as easy as saying you have a crazy sense of humor or that you are obsessively organized. Take a few moments, why do you think people are attracted to the brand of you? Describing yourself. When it comes to your brand who are you and why do people enjoy working with you? "At the center of your being you have the answer: you know who you are and you know what you want. " – Lao Tzu -Building a personal brand takes time and effort, but it's worth it. The need for a personal brand will continue to increase. It's the one thing that no one can take away from you, and it can follow you throughout your career. "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." - Henry Ford
11 minutes | Mar 7, 2019
Episode 37: Part 4 - Invest in yourself and your brand - who are you, like really?
Episode 37: Part 4 - Invest in yourself and your brand - who are you, like really? Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://www.thebalancesmb.com/what-is-personal-branding-4056073 - It used to be that creating a personal brand meant you had a bunch of business cards made up—and if you were really creative, you hired a graphic designer to create a logo for you. But, with the development of social media and an increasingly individualized society, the brand you build around yourself is perhaps the single most important way you can stand out in your spheres of influence. If you're just beginning to think about your personal brand, it's crucial that you understand that personal branding is the means by which people remember you. "Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead." -Morihei Ueshiba - It's more than a trademark or a stunning logo—it is how you present yourself online and offline to potential clients and customers. Your brand image is what you create to help build your business. Your personal brand centers around you as an individual. - Defining Your Personal Brand Means Knowing Your Audience. If you're looking to define your own personal brand, first you need to consider the kind of impression that you want to build and the market you want to target. Where do the two intersect? What does each look like and what does each want? What problems do they have? If you can build a solid personal reputation as someone who cares and truly wants the best for their clients, you'll succeed. "Personal development is a major time-saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals." -Brian Tracy - Work the Offline World. Personal branding isn't bound to the internet. When you leave your home and interact with people around town, make sure you maintain a positive and professional appearance in keeping with your brand. Carry business cards with you at all times, and keep an eye out for potential clients. People love to support local businesses and other professionals, and if you make a good impression they'll be more eager to look into your services—and hire you or refer you to someone who will. "As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do." - Andrew Carnegie - Consistency Is Key. One of the key components of successful of personal branding is staying true (i.e., consistent) to your brand. Clients will start recognizing your brand once they've encountered it several times. And, if you change your image mid-stream, clients will get confused, and ultimately not know (or trust) you. If you're using multiple platforms (e.g., a website and glossy color brochures), you need to keep your overall image and appearance the same. One way to accomplish this is to make sure your color schemes, logos, personal mottos, and your overview business look and feel are the same. "Once you realize that you have identified a passion, invest in yourself. Figure out what you need to know, what kind of experience and expertise you need to develop to do the things that you feel in your heart you will enjoy and that will sustain you both mentally and economically." -Martha Stewart
12 minutes | Mar 2, 2019
Episode 37: Part 3 - Invest in yourself and your brand - who are you, like really?
Episode 37: Part 3 - Invest in yourself and your brand - who are you, like really? Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://www.huffingtonpost.com/megan-tull/top-10-ways-to-invest-in-_b_8406130.html - 4. Invest in building your confidence. People who know their value, have something to say and others will listen. You can invest in yourself by developing an understanding of the value that you possess and offer others. Learn to have the courage to speak your truth. The more you love yourself and own the value that you offer, the more confident you will become in sharing it with others. - Develop your skills. Improving your skills doesn't always mean investing in higher education, though that's surely an option, and perhaps a necessary one depending upon your career field. Investing in your knowledge and skills can take many forms. In addition, expanding your level of knowledge and skill isn't limited to the business arena and doesn't necessarily need to be formal. There are many “skill investment” avenues. - Advance your education – extra classes, advanced degrees, relevant certifications, are all valuable investments. Take classes, either in person or online. "Invest in yourself first. Expect nothing from no one and be willing to work for everything." -Tony Gaskins - Attend seminars and workshops to expand your knowledge and skills in your business and/or personal life. This will also give you the opportunity to meet and interact with individuals who are like-minded. -Take care of your health. Eat right each day, fueling your body with nutrients. When you focus on eating organic and healthier choices, you will feel better and have more energy. I know that the unhealthy burger or cupcake gives us instant gratification, but if you're like me, you regret it later, because you feel lousy afterwards. Exercise daily. Do something every day to get moving and get your heart rate up, even, if it's just walking the dog. Exercise gives you the energy to take on the day with confidence because of how it makes you look and feel. - Read – anything and everything. Explore culture – attend performances, listen to different style of music, travel, or join an organization or group comprised of people from different backgrounds. Open your mind – engage in conversations with those who disagree with you. Look at an argument and try to make a case for the opposing point of view. Keep your mind active – play word games, (yes, even Words with Friends counts,) board games that include strategy, or try using your brain to perform simple calculations rather than relying on a calculator. "Income seldom exceeds personal development." -Jim Rohn - Polish the exterior – translation: take care of the outside too. Many people dismiss this as frivolous and self-indulgent, but it's not, as long as you don't go overboard. We're not talking about facelifts and Botox, we're talking about getting a fabulous haircut, and wearing clothes that make you feel confident and attractive. "It hurts like hell when the world won't invest in you. But it's excruciating, almost more than you can bear, when you don't believe and invest in yourself."-Julia Cameron - Choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice. Happy people choose to focus on the positive aspects of life, rather than the negative. They are not held hostage by their circumstances. They look at all the reasons to be grateful. “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”- Abraham Lincoln - Work on your bucket list. If you don't have a bucket list, then it's time to start one. Your bucket list is meant to be a list of everything you want to achieve, do, see, feel and experience in your life. Your list may be ongoing, but you can start by writing 100 things down. Then each month or so, make sure you're knocking out at least, one of the items on your list. - Invest in a coach. A coach can assist you in putting all of these strategies into action. A coach is your partner in success. It is their job to assist you in creating and implementing your success plan, so you can become the best that you can be. "Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment." -Stephen Covey
11 minutes | Feb 21, 2019
Episode 37: Part 2 - Invest in yourself and your brand - who are you, like really?
Episode 37: Part 2 - Invest in yourself and your brand - who are you, like really? Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://www.huffingtonpost.com/megan-tull/top-10-ways-to-invest-in-_b_8406130.html - There's a wealth of benefits that can be gained from investing in yourself. Here's a look at just a few: Satisfaction. When you take the time, or make the time, to invest in yourself, you will be rewarded with a tremendous sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Whether you invest in fitness, health, or creative pursuits, the sense of accomplishment that comes when you achieve or finish something can be extremely beneficial and can do wonders for your mindset. - Confidence. Deep down, we're often afraid to say yes to self-investments because we feel that we don't deserve it, or that we won't be able to experience the full benefit. But saying yes and making that initial investment in yourself—whether it's signing up for a workshop, going in for that checkup, or hiking that mountain—can boost your confidence tremendously; improving your outlook as well. When you have confidence, you can achieve more things than you ever thought possible, and will be able to set your sights higher, and reach those goals that you may have once thought out of reach. - Stability. When you invest in something that will benefit you mentally—whether it's learning something new, or refining your skills, you'll be able to help to add more stability to your life. For many of us, we invest a lot in our employer, doing tasks that benefit them, at the expense of neglecting our own skills. But it's important to remember that no job is guaranteed. By developing and deepening your skills can work to create a more stable future. "The best gift, and investment, you can give your child is your time." -Kevin Heath - Connections. Investing in yourself can open the opportunity to forge new connections. Investing in relationships and people who mean a lot to you can help to deepen and strengthen others as well as yourself. Never underestimate the power of a good friend! - Top 10 Ways to Invest in Yourself 1. Set goals. Learn how to set personal and business goals for yourself. If you're not taking the time to set goals it's like driving in the dark with the headlights turned off. You will not know where you're going and you will waste precious time. Be sure to also set some time frames in which to meet them. Your goals should be SMART goals -Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. "Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked." -Warren Buffett - 2. Honor your intuition. You can show yourself love by trusting your gut and honoring the message that it's sending. Listening to your intuition, will allow you to make better decisions. Valuing your intuition, by not allowing the thoughts, feelings or statements of others to take away from what you know to be true is very empowering. By paying attention to how you feel, it will help you to make better, smarter and quicker decisions. - 3. Invest time in your creativity. Our creativity doesn't have to diminish as we get older. In fact, it is believed that the peak of creativity in most people is around 30-40 years old. (Lindaur, 1998, Marisiske &Willis, 1998) Creativity can be the catalyst in the manifestation of continual learning and lifelong activity. It allows us to be inspired, have fun and appreciate the beauty in the world. "Old men are always advising young men to save money. That is bad advice. Don't save every nickel. Invest in yourself. I never saved a dollar until I was forty years old." -Henry Ford
12 minutes | Feb 14, 2019
Episode 37: Part 1 - Invest in yourself and your brand - who are you, like really?
Episode 37: Part 1 - Invest in yourself and your brand - who are you, like really? Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License http://www.blog.daydesigner.com/invest-in-yourself/ "The best investment you can make is in yourself." -Warren Buffett - Why It's Important to Invest in Yourself and Why You're Not Doing It. When it comes to investments, one of the best you can make is in yourself! But all too often, investing in ourselves is a low-priority item; something we think about doing someday. Why is investing in yourself so powerful? Investing in yourself, sends a powerful message to yourself and the world. The message is: - Time and money are among the top reasons that we give for putting off things that would enrich our lives. But while it's true that you may not have a lot of extra time or money lying around, it's important to realize that often, we cite those reasons not because we really can't afford it or couldn't find time for it, but instead because we fail to recognize the real value in investing in ourselves. "Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune." -Jim Rohn - Whether it's because we feel that we won't benefit enough to make the investment worthwhile, or if we're telling ourselves that we're just not worth the risk—those are tremendously sad reasons when you think about it! The fact is that we are worth it, and if we don't venture out on a limb or try new things, we'll never be able to grow as a person. "Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self." -B. R. Ambedkar - Investing in Yourself: Where to Start? There are plenty of ways to invest in yourself and there really is something for everyone and every budget. Here's a look at a few worthwhile investments that can produce excellent rewards: Fitness Education Experiences Reading more books Spending time in nature Creative pursuits—Writing, sculpting, painting, drawing "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." -Ernest Hemingway "An investment in education is an investment in our future." -David Wasinger
11 minutes | Feb 8, 2019
Episode 36: Part 3 - Procrastination: Time and tide waits for no one
Episode 36: Part 3 - Procrastination: Time and tide waits for no one Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License http://time.com/5322514/stop-procrastinating-tips/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-procrastination-is-good-for-you-2102008 https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_96.htm - Procrastination is the habit of delaying an important task, usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable, and easier activities instead. It is different from laziness, which is the unwillingness to act. Procrastination can restrict your potential and undermine your career. It can also disrupt teamwork, reduce morale, and even lead to depression and job loss. So, it's crucial to take proactive steps to prevent it. -But giving in to this impulse can have serious consequences. For example, even minor episodes of procrastination can make us feel guilty or ashamed. It can lead to reduced productivity and cause us to miss out on achieving our goals. If we procrastinate over a long period of time, we can become demotivated and disillusioned with our work, which can lead to depression and even job loss, in extreme cases. "You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."- Abraham Lincoln - Step 1: Recognize That You're Procrastinating. You might be putting off a task because you've had to re-prioritize your workload. If you're briefly delaying an important task for a genuinely good reason, then you aren't necessarily procrastinating. However, if you start to put things off indefinitely, or switch focus because you want to avoid doing something, then you probably are. - Step 2: Work Out WHY You're Procrastinating. You need to understand the reasons why you are procrastinating before you can begin to tackle it. For instance, are you avoiding a particular task because you find it boring or unpleasant? If so, take steps to get it out of the way quickly, so that you can focus on the aspects of your job that you find more enjoyable. Poor organization can lead to procrastination. Organized people successfully overcome it because they use prioritized To-Do Lists and create effective schedules . These tools help you to organize your tasks by priority and deadline. "Don’t wait. The time will never be just right."- Napoleon Hill - Step 3: Adopt Anti-Procrastination Strategies. Procrastination is a habit – a deeply ingrained pattern of behavior. This means that you probably can't break it overnight. Habits only stop being habits when you avoid practicing them. Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past. Studies show that self-forgiveness can help you to feel more positive about yourself and reduce the likelihood of procrastination in the future. Commit to the task. Focus on doing, not avoiding. Write down the tasks that you need to complete, and specify a time for doing them. This will help you to proactively tackle your work. - If you're procrastinating because you find a task unpleasant, try to focus on the "long game." Research shows that impulsive people are more likely to procrastinate because they are focused on short-term gain. Combat this by identifying the long-term benefits of completing the task. For instance, could it affect your annual performance review or end-of-year bonus? "If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done." - Rita Mae Brown - At the same time, it can be useful to reframe the task by looking at its meaning and relevance . This will increase its value to you and make your work more worthwhile. It's also important to acknowledge that we can often overestimate the unpleasantness of a task. So give it a try! You may find that it's not as bad as you thought, after all! "It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up- that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
12 minutes | Jan 31, 2019
Episode 36: Part 2 - Procrastination: Time and tide waits for no one
Episode 36: Part 2 - Procrastination: Time and tide waits for no one Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-procrastination-is-good-for-you-2102008 - Life seems to happen at warp speed. But, decisions, says Frank Partnoy, should not. In his new book, Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, Partnoy claims that when faced with a decision, we should assess how long we have to make it, and then wait until the last possible moment to do so. Should we take his advice on how to “manage delay,” we will live happier lives. Historically, for human beings, procrastination has not been regarded as a bad thing. The Greeks and Romans generally regarded procrastination very highly. The wisest leaders embraced procrastination and would basically sit around and think and not do anything unless they absolutely had to. "Neither a wise nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him." – Dwight D. Eisenhower - The idea that procrastination is bad really started in the Puritanical era with Jonathan Edwards’s sermon against procrastination and then the American embrace of “a stitch in time saves nine,” and this sort of work ethic that required immediate and diligent action. If you look at recent studies, managing delay is an important tool for human beings. People are more successful and happier when they manage delay. Procrastination is just a universal state of being for humans. We will always have more things to do than we can possibly do, so we will always be imposing some sort of unwarranted delay on some tasks. The question is not whether we are procrastinating, it is whether we are procrastinating well. - Some scientists have argued that there are two kinds of procrastination: active procrastination and passive procrastination. Active procrastination means you realize that you are unduly delaying mowing the lawn or cleaning your closet, but you are doing something that is more valuable instead. Passive procrastination is just sitting around on your sofa not doing anything. That clearly is a problem. - Lehman Brothers had arranged for a decision-making class in the fall of 2005 for its senior executives. It brought four dozen executives to the Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue and brought in leading decision researchers, including Max Bazerman from Harvard and Mahzarin Banaji, a well-known psychologist. For the capstone lecture, they brought in Malcolm Gladwell, who had just published Blink, a book that speaks to the benefits of making instantaneous decisions and that Gladwell sums up as “a book about those first two seconds.” Lehman’s president Joe Gregory embraced this notion of going with your gut and deciding quickly, and he passed copies of Blink out on the trading floor. The executives took this class and then hurriedly marched back to their headquarters and proceeded to make the worst snap decisions in the history of financial markets. -Question one is: what is the longest amount of time I can take before doing this? What time world am I living in? Step two is, delay the response or the decision until the very last possible moment. If it is a year, wait 364 days. If it’s an hour, wait 59 minutes. Most of us would say that a professional tennis player is better than an amateur because they are so fast. But, in fact, what I found and what the studies of superfast athletes show is that they are better because they are slow. They are able to perfect their stroke and response to free up as much time as possible between the actual service of the ball and the last possible millisecond when they have to return it. "Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in."– Napoleon Bonaparte - Most people are taught that you should apologize right away. But I was surprised to find that, in most cases, delayed apologies are more effective. If you’ve wronged a spouse or partner or colleague in some substantive, intentional way, they will want time to process information about what you’ve done. If you acknowledge what you did, and delay the apology, then the wronged party has a chance to tell you how they feel in response, and your apology is much more meaningful. - Just take a breath. Take more pauses. Stare off into the distance. Ask yourself the first question of this two-step process: What is the maximum amount of time I have available to respond? When I get emails now, instead of responding right away, I ask myself this. We need a shift in mindset away from snap reactions toward delay. Innovation goes at a glacial pace and should go at a glacial pace. "The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate, but once you’ve made up your mind–jump in."- Charles R. Swindoll
11 minutes | Jan 24, 2019
Episode 36: Part 1 - Procrastination: Time and tide waits for no one
Episode 36: Part 1 - Procrastination: Time and tide waits for no one Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License http://time.com/5322514/stop-procrastinating-tips/ - From time to time, everybody leaves a task lingering on their to-do list for a few hours — or days, or weeks — too long. Procrastination is a normal, near-universal phenomenon — which makes it all the more important to understand why it strikes and what to do about it. “Procrastination is not just avoiding or delaying a task,” says David Ballard, head of the American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence. “It also has to include an aspect that’s counterproductive, irrational or unnecessary.” - Those triggers typically fall into one of four camps: expectancy, value, time or impulsivity, says Alexander Rozental, a procrastination researcher and a clinical psychologist at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. In other words, “People procrastinate because of a lack of value [associated with the task]; because they expect that they’re not going to achieve the value they’re trying to achieve; because the value is too far from you in terms of time; or because you’re very impulsive as a person,” Rozental says. Strategies for overcoming procrastination will vary depending on why it happens in the first place. "It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end."- Leonardo da Vinci - If timing is the issue: Many people are inherently more productive at certain times of day. Ballard recommends working around these natural productivity ebbs and flows when you schedule your days. “If you know you work better in the mornings on certain kinds of tasks, schedule it for then,” he says. “Don’t try to do it at a time when you’re tired and it’s harder for you to do.” - If you get overwhelmed by big tasks: Many people procrastinate because they’re anxious about the outcome of a project, don’t think they can complete it well or fear failure, Rozental says. If that’s the case, it may help to break it into smaller sub-tasks. - “If you don’t believe in yourself enough to actually conduct a particular task, you can try to do it in smaller and more manageable parts to increase your self-efficacy,” Rozental recommends. - If you struggle with delayed gratification: Some people have a hard time thinking of a project as important or rewarding unless they’re squeezing it in just before a deadline. In this case, too, breaking a long-term assignment into multiple smaller ones may help, Ballard says. “Find ways to reward yourself along the way,” he recommends. You can even schedule your most frequent diversions — think checking social media or completing non-urgent chores and errands — for the gaps between these smaller chunks to get a quick hit of an enjoyable activity, Ballard adds. “You get those activities done, you get a break and you can shift your mindset for a few minutes,” he says. "You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last-minute panic."- Bill Watterson - If you’re easily distracted: First, Ballard recommends optimizing your environment. “Put your cell phone away, turn off notifications on your computer and don’t have 10 tabs open at the same time,” he says. - If you’re struggling with something larger: Sometimes, what looks like procrastination may actually be a symptom of something more serious, such as depression, anxiety or attention problems, Ballard says. If your behavior is causing you distress or significantly affecting your performance at work, school or home, don’t be afraid to consult a professional. “Get some additional support and help from a professional who can help you manage those so it’s not getting in the way of your job performance or functioning,” he says. "Procrastination is the bad habit of putting of until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday." - Napoleon Hill - If you’re simply hitting a wall: Even the most efficient workers have days when it’s harder to finish tasks. With any luck, these lulls will strike when you don’t have a deadline looming and you can “cut your losses and take a break” to focus on taking care of yourself with sleep, exercise, proper nutrition and enjoyable, non-work-related activities, Ballard says. "My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time."- Charles Dickens
13 minutes | Jan 18, 2019
Episode 35 : Part 4 - Finding your passion: Searching for the holy grail?
Episode 35 : Part 4 - Finding your passion: Searching for the holy grail? Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License www.oprah.com/supersoulsunday/the-secret-to-finding-your-passion-hint-its-not-what-you-think_1 - The last thing you want to do is live an unfulfilled, passionless life. A life where you hate your work, take the stress of a crappy job home with you each day, and bide your time until you can retire and be free of the monotony. Avoid the following seven mistakes when trying to find your passions: - Assuming Passions are Reserved for Experts. Who comes to mind when you think of somebody who has a passionate career? If you’re a sports fan, maybe you think of a professional athlete. If you’re a literature buff, maybe you think of a great writer. If you’re a tech nerd, maybe you think of Steve Jobs. It’s true that we’re more likely to enjoy doing something we’re good at, but nobody is born an expert at something, so don’t write off the interests that excite you even if you’re a novice. "Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark." -Henri Frederic Amiel - Overlooking Your Biggest Fans. Real quick: name one of your best friend’s passions. Your friend may never have told you that the thing you named was her passion, but you just knew. Yet it’s difficult to pinpoint our own. One huge mistake you may be making as you search for your passions is overlooking your biggest fans – the people who know and love you. If you can’t pinpoint what you are passionate about, ask your family and friends what they think your passions are. - Thinking of Passion as a Verb. You probably think of somebody who is passionate about something active, like painting or sports. This is a mistake. When you’re searching for your passion to pursue work you love, you tend to get stuck on the idea that your passion has to be something that you do, rather than something you believe in, so knitting or playing hockey or painting come to mind. Your passion doesn’t have to be something you do. It can be something you believe in. "Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things." -Denis Diderot - Believing That Passions Last a Lifetime. Close your eyes and picture yourself ten years ago. How much have you changed between then and now? How much have you grown and evolved? Chances are, you’re not the same person as you were back then. Yet we tend to expect that we’ll stick with the same passions throughout our entire lives. We humans are fluid and ever-changing, and the notion that our passions are something we are passionate about for life is misguided. - Rejecting Passions Because They Seem Frivolous. We want to be the type of people who pursue passions that could change the world. We’re good people, so we want to pursue passions around social causes. And you probably are passionate about a certain social cause. But a less philanthropic passion is just as worthy, and just as you can’t pick your family, you can’t choose what lights that fire for you. Don’t reject your passions because they don’t conform to a set of standards you’ve set. "You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out." -Steve Jobs - Expecting Too Much from Passions. You have a specific idea of what a passion does.Passionate people teach us that passions make our hearts beat faster, get us up in the morning, and consume us completely. So you want your passions to motivate you and drive you to the finish line. But sometimes, your passion is just something that quietly tugs at you. - Discounting Your Personality. Have you ever looked at somebody who was clearly so fired up about something and wondered whether you’ll ever feel the same way? Why? Well, because you are not that person! You may have passions but never recognize them as passions because, in comparison to others, you just don’t get as excited about them. We have the tendency to compare ourselves to others in almost everything, but especially people who are front and center. "Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort." -Franklin D. Roosevelt - Go Grab Your Passions by The Horns. When you’re trying to find and pursue your passions, you can easily drown in a sea of voices louder than your own about what passion should look like. "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." -Theodore Roosevelt
12 minutes | Jan 10, 2019
Episode 35 : Part 3 - Finding your passion: Searching for the holy grail?
Episode 35 : Part 3 - Finding your passion: Searching for the holy grail? Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/how-to-find-your-passion.html - So what should you do? How to find your passion in life? Here are some suggestions: Ask yourself: Is there something you already love doing? Do you have a hobby, or something you loved doing as a child, but never considered it as a possibility? Whether it’s reading comic books, collecting something, making something, creating or building, there is probably a way you could do it for a living. - Find out What do you love to talk about, learn about and/or teach others about? With nearly 7 billion people on the planet, chances are that there's a market out there hungry for information, products or resources on your topic. Or there's a company looking for someone with your unique set of gifts and interests to join their team. If you're having trouble coming up with ideas, ask close friends and family (the honest ones) what you never seem to shut up about. - Brainstorm. Nothing comes to mind right away? Well, get out a sheet of paper, and start writing down ideas. Anything that comes to mind, write it down. There are no bad ideas at this stage. Write everything down, and evaluate them later. Notice any themes? What subjects are you constantly gravitating toward? What are you already spending your time, money and energy on? What theme(s) have been recurring in your life again and again? "There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." -Nelson Mandela - Ask around, and surf for possibilities. Ask other people for ideas. See what others have discovered as their passions. Look all over the Internet for ideas. The more possibilities you find, the more likely your chances of finding your true passion. - Love everything you do. From this moment forward, if you don't like something, you've got two choices: stop doing it (quit, delegate it, hire it out) OR love it with all your heart. Anything else is madness. Remember, we human beings are creatures of habit. You can't be whiny, complainy and miserable for 80 percent of your day and expect to be enthusiastic and passionate in the last 20 percent. And if you're feeling really stuck on this whole "finding your passion" thing, this is the fastest way to get your motor running. Know this: Truly successful people are never the victim of their circumstances. They realize they have ultimate power in any situation and take responsibility for their experience. - Give it a try first. It’s best to actually test your new idea before jumping into it as a career. Do it as a hobby or side job at first, so that you can see if it’s really your true calling. Don’t quit your job just yet. If you find your calling, your passion, don’t just turn in your resignation tomorrow. It’s best to stay in your job while you’re researching the possibilities. If you can do your passion as a side job, and build up the income for a few months or a year, that’s even better. It gives you a chance to build up some savings (and if you’re going into business for yourself, you’ll need that cash reserve), while practicing the skills you need. - Do as much research as possible. Know as much about your passion as possible. If this has been a passion for awhile, you may have already been doing this. At any rate, do even more research. Read every website possible on the topic, and buy the best books available. Find other people, either in your area or on the Internet, who do what you want to do for a living, and quiz them about the profession. How much do they make? What training and education did they need? What skills are necessary? How did they get their start? What recommendations do they have? "If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion." -Mia Hamm - Practice, and practice, and practice some more. Don’t go into it with amateur skill level. If you want to make money — to be a professional — you need to have professional skills. Get very good at your future career and you will make money at it. Practice for hours on end. If it’s something you love, the practice should be something you want to do. "A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position." -John C. Maxwell - Never quit trying. Can’t find your passion at first? Give up after a few days and you’re sure to fail. Keep trying, for months on end if necessary, and you’ll find it eventually. Thought you found your passion but you got tired of it? No problem! Start over again and find a new passion. There may be more than one passion in your lifetime, so explore all the possibilities. Found your passion but haven’t been successful making a living at it? Don’t give up. Keep trying, and try again, until you succeed. Success doesn’t come easy, so giving up early is a sure way to fail. Keep trying, and you’ll get there. "The only way to do great work is to love what you do" - Steve Jobs
11 minutes | Jan 3, 2019
Episode 35 : Part 2 - Finding your passion: Searching for the holy grail?
Episode 35 : Part 2 - Finding your passion: Searching for the holy grail? Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/how-to-find-your-passion.html - How to cultivate a “growth” mind-set in the young, future-psychology-experiment subjects of America? If you’re a parent, you can avoid dropping new hobbies as soon as they become difficult. Beyond that, there’s not a clear way to develop a growth mind-set about interests, other than knowing that it’s a valid way to think, and that your passion might still be around the corner. “Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman -The Legend of Baggar Vance—a movie about a down-on-his-luck golfer who enlists the help of an inspirational golf caddy (Baggar Vance) to perfect his game. In one of the scenes, Baggar says to the golfer: “Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing. Something we were born with. Something that’s ours and ours alone. Something that can’t be taught to you or learned. Something that got to be remembered.” Your passion—your one true authentic gift—has to be remembered. "I would rather die of passion than of boredom." -Vincent Van Gogh - For so long, we have been searching, trying new things, exploring jobs, careers, and “attractive” passions outside of myself—without ever trying to remember what passions have been with us all along. But how could a passion be so…plain? Aren’t passions supposed to be artistic, exotic, or inspirational? Aren’t passions supposed to wow people?So if you’re struggling to find your passion, even after trying what feels like doing everything, do this: sit down, open your journal, pour a cup of tea, and try to remember your passions. "I have to face life with a newly found passion. I must rediscover the irresistible will to learn, to live and to love." -Andrea Bocelli - Think back on your life, and remember things you wanted to be, the habits you developed naturally, the games you played, the books you read, and see how they may apply to your life and career today. You might be surprised by the connection points that have been right under your nose all along. - If you dread going to your job, or find yourself constantly lacking motivation, or find what you’re doing dull and repetitive, you need to start looking for a new job. Staying in your current job will not only continue to make you unhappy, but you are not realizing your full potential in life. - Imagine this instead: You get up early, jumping out of bed, excited to go to work. You might put in more hours than the average person, but it doesn’t seem difficult to you, because your work hours just zoom right by. You are often in that state of mind, often referred to as “flow,” where you can lose track of the world and time, losing yourself in the task at hand. Work is not work as many people refer to it, but something that is fun and interesting and exciting. It’s not a “job” but a passion. If you’ve got a job you dislike, or even hate, this will sound like a pipe dream to you. And if you never put in the effort to find what you’re passionate about, you’re right: such a thing will never be possible. - But dare to dream, dare to imagine the possibilities, and dare to actually search for what you love, and it is not only a possibility, but a probability.
11 minutes | Dec 27, 2018
Episode 35 : Part 1 - Finding your passion: Searching for the holy grail?
Episode 35 : Part 1 - Finding your passion: Searching for the holy grail? Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://tinybuddha.com/blog/try-this-if-youre-struggling-to-find-your-passion/ "Passion without purpose is like a shot without a target."- Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha - Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, remembers asking an undergraduate seminar recently, “How many of you are waiting to find your passion?” “Almost all of them raised their hand and got dreamy looks in their eyes,” she told me. They talked about it “like a tidal wave would sweep over them.” - What Dweck asked her students is a common refrain in American society. The term “Follow your passion” has increased ninefold in English books since 1990. “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is another college-counseling standby of unknown provenance. "Vision without action is a daydream; action without vision is a nightmare" -Honda Soichiro - That’s why he and two co-authors—Dweck and Greg Walton of Stanford—recently performed a study that suggests it might be time to change the way we think about our interests. Passions aren’t “found,” they argue. They’re developed. In a paper that is forthcoming in Psychological Science, the authors delineate the difference between the two mind-sets. One is a “fixed theory of interests”—the idea that core interests are there from birth, just waiting to be discovered—and the other is a “growth theory,” the idea that interests are something anyone can cultivate over time. - The authors then repeated a similar procedure, but they had students read first about either the fixed theory of interests or the growth theory. Again, those who learned that interests are fixed throughout a person’s life were less captivated by an article that mismatched their interests. The authors believe this could mean that students who have fixed theories of interest might forgo interesting lectures or opportunities because they don’t align with their previously stated passions. Or that they might overlook ways that other disciplines can intersect with their own. - People who have a growth mind-set about their own intelligence tend to be less afraid of failure, according to her research, because they believe smarts are cultivated, not inherent. Interests are related to, but distinct from, abilities, the study authors told me: You can be interested in something but not very good at it. “I’ve been playing guitar for 25 years, but I can’t say that my abilities have gotten that much better in the past 10 years,” O’Keefe said. "Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work" - Aristotle - The authors also had students learn about either fixed or growth theory and then exposed them to a new interest: Astronomy. First, they had them watch a video made by The Guardian for a general audience about Stephen Hawking’s ideas. It was easy to understand and entertaining. Then the authors had the students read a highly technical, challenging article in the academic journal Science about black holes. Despite saying just moments ago, after viewing the video, that they were fascinated by black holes, the students who were exposed to the fixed theory of interests said they were no longer interested in black holes after reading the difficult Science article.
11 minutes | Dec 20, 2018
Episode 34 : Part 4 - Bad habits - Fighting and overcoming them
Episode 34 : Part 4 - Bad habits - Fighting and overcoming them Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://www.developgoodhabits.com/break-bad-habit/ https://www.mindful.org/simple-way-break-bad-habit/ https://mayooshin.com/how-to-break-a-bad-habit/ How to break a bad habit. - Use the words “I don’t” instead of “I can’t.” Surprisingly, the researchers found that the students who used the phrases“I can’t” chose to eat the chocolate candy bar 61% of the time. Conversely, the students who used the word “I don’t” only chose to eat this 36% of the time. Another similar study was also conducted on a different group of 30 participants split into three groups. This time the same experiment would test the impact on the phrases on their health goals. After 10 days of research, they found that only 1 out of 10 in the “I can’t” group were able stick to their goals. In contrast, 8 out of 10 in the “I don’t” group were successful in meeting their goals. - I cant, i wont. Breaking bad habits. Next time you catch yourself saying “I can’t [bad habit],” reframe this word and say “I don’t [bad habit]” instead. This way you’ll give yourself a psychological edge to make a better choice. "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." – Aristotle - Use an “If-then” plan to replace the bad habit with a good one. Having a goal to break a bad habit is not enough. If you want to permanently stick to a good habit, an intentional plan of action is required. One way to do this is to use an “if-then” plan of action. An “if-then” strategy requires you to be as specific as possible on where and when you will take a given action. "If you don't learn how to control your thoughts, you will never learn how to control your behavior. Focus on the good habit you want to do, not the bad habit you don't want to do. Overcome the bad with good." - Joyce Meyer - Here’s how to create your “if-then” plan. Step 1: Identify the scenario that usually triggers your bad habit. For example, your friend offers you a pizza. Step 2: Specify a different response to the trigger. Ideally, this should be a good habit that would replace and prevent you from falling into the temptation. For example, you ask for a piece of fruit instead of the pizza. Step 3: Combine steps 1 and 2 into an “if-then” format i.e. “ If on Saturday evening my friend offers me a pizza, then I will answer: I prefer a piece of fruit instead.” Using an “if-then” plan makes it easier to react to your cravings and replace them with a good one because of the prepared automatic response. "The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit." - Bryant McGill - Honestly, you’re probably not going to break your bad habits overnight. But, you could use these three strategies to give you that extra boost of self confidence and self control required to change. The process of finally breaking free from your bad habits is a little bit like learning how to ride a bicycle. There will be some days where you’ll climb on the bicycle and ride around easily. There will also be days where you struggle to get on the bike and keep falling over and over again. "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama
11 minutes | Dec 13, 2018
Episode 34 : Part 3 - Bad habits - Fighting and overcoming them
Episode 34 : Part 3 - Bad habits - Fighting and overcoming them Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201108/5-steps-breaking-bad-habits https://www.developgoodhabits.com/break-bad-habit/ - And what did they notice? Mindful smoking “Smells like stinky cheese and tastes like chemicals. Yuck.” - Now the prefrontal cortex, that youngest part of our brain from an evolutionary perspective, it understands on an intellectual level that we shouldn’t smoke and it tries its hardest to help us change our behavior, to help us stop smoking, to help us stop eating that second, that third, that fourth cookie—we call this cognitive control, we’re using cognition to control our behavior. Unfortunately this is also the first part of our brain that goes offline when we get stressed out which, isn’t that helpful. - When we get curious, we step out of our old, fear-based reactive habit patterns. This isn’t to say that, poof, magically we quit smoking but over time as we learn to see more and more clearly the results of our actions we let go of old habits and form new ones. The paradox here is that mindfulness is just about being really interested in getting close and personal with what’s actually happening in our bodies and minds from moment to moment. "Even the most fickle are faithful to a few bad habits." -Mason Cooley - This might sound too simplistic to affect behavior, these are bite-sized pieces of experiences that we can manage from moment to moment rather than getting clobbered by this huge, scary craving that we choke on. Everyone has at least one bad habit. - They started with chronic lateness: When you consistently fail to show up on time for social engagements or meetings, are you actually trying to exert control over those you keep waiting? They now are living on your time, not theirs. "Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change." – Arthur Burt - Decide that you really want to change and convince yourself that you can. You can only change what you decide you want to change. All psychological models of change emphasize the importance of commitment as a necessary first step. If you don't see a problem, you won't work on changing your behavior. - Once you've decided you want to change, convince yourself that you are able to achieve your change goals. You need to strengthen your sense of self-efficacy, or belief that you can accomplish what you want. Seeing other people change successfully is inspiring, but you need to see yourself as having what it takes to make those changes in yourself. "I think that you can fall into bad habits with comedy... It's a tightrope to stay true to the character, true to the irony, and allow the irony to happen." -Ben Kingsley
11 minutes | Dec 6, 2018
Episode 34 : Part 2 - Bad habits - Fighting and overcoming them
Episode 34 : Part 2 - Bad habits - Fighting and overcoming them Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201108/5-steps-breaking-bad-habits https://www.developgoodhabits.com/break-bad-habit/ - Change the larger pattern: Here we are widening the context that surrounds the habit-pattern. By looking at and changing the larger pattern you are actually not only making it easier to tackle the core habit, but are practicing putting your willpower in place on smaller, easier pattern-breaking behaviors. This can add to your sense of empowerment. - Use prompts: These are reminders to help you break the pattern by creating positive triggers and alerts to keep you on track: Putting your running shoes at the side of your bed so you see them first thing in the morning, or putting an alert on your phone to leave for the gym, or check-in with yourself and gauge your stress level on the way home before it gets too high and out of your control. - Get support: Get a running buddy, or a party buddy, or someone you can call, or an online forum you can tap into when you those cravings start to kick in and you are struggling. "My bad habits aren't my title. My strengths and my talent are my title." -Layne Staley - Support & reward yourself: At some point in your efforts to break a habit you reach a day or point where you go: Why am I bothering to struggle with this? You are feeling discouraged, you feel you are emotionally making your life seemingly harder, and there is little payoff. - Be persistent and patient: That’s the name of the game, of course: realizing that it will take time for the new brain connects to kick in, for the old brain-firings to calm down, for new patterns to replace the old. Don’t beat yourself up for slip-ups or use them as rationales for quitting. Take it one day at the time. - Consider getting professional help: If you’ve done the best you can and you are still struggling, consider seeking professional support. This may be a doctor who can prescribe meds for the underlying anxiety and depression, a therapist who cannot only help you unravel the source and driver for your habits, but also create some steady support and accountability. "Most people don't have that willingness to break bad habits. They have a lot of excuses and they talk like victims." - Carlos Santana - A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit: Studies show that even when we’re really trying to pay attention to something like maybe this talk—at some point, about half of us will drift off into a daydream or have this urge to check our Twitter feed. What’s going on here? It turns out that we’re fighting one of the most evolutionarily conserved learning processes currently known in science, one that’s conserved back to the most basic nervous systems known to man. - The Habit-Forming Brain: This reward based learning process is called positive and negative reinforcement and basically goes like this: We see some food that looks good, our brain says, “Calories! Survival!” We eat the food: We taste it, it tastes good. Especially with sugar, our bodies send the signal to our brain that says: “Remember what you’re eating and where you found it.” We lay down this context-dependent memory and learn to repeat the process next time: see food, eat food, feel good. Repeat. - Trigger, behavior, reward. Simple right? Well after a while our creative brains say, “You know what? You can use this for more than just remembering where food is. Next time you feel bad, why don’t you try eating something good so you’ll feel better?” Each time we do this, we learn to repeat the process and it becomes a habit. "The habits that too years to build, do not take a day to change." -Susan Powter - Curiosity Killed the Cravings: What if instead of fighting our brains or trying to force ourselves to pay attention, we instead tapped into this natural reward based learning process—but added a twist. What if instead we just got really curious about what was happening in our momentary experience. "Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones." -Benjamin Franklin
11 minutes | Nov 29, 2018
Episode 34 : Part 1 - Bad habits - Fighting and overcoming them
Episode 34 : Part 1 - Bad habits - Fighting and overcoming them Music: “Just A Blip” by Andy G. Cohen From the Free Music Archive Released under a Creative Commons Attribution International License https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fixing-families/201712/how-break-bad-habits https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201108/5-steps-breaking-bad-habits - It's easy to think of habits falling into black and white categories -- exercising good, biting your nails bad. But habits also sit on a continuum in our ability to exercise control over them: Some are mild, like taking off your shoes and dumping in the middle of the living every night. Habits become hard to break to because they are deeply wired by constant repetition into our brains. - But habits are also patterns of behavior and it is the breaking of patterns that are the key to breaking the habits themselves. Usually there is a clear trigger to starts the pattern. Sometimes the triggers are emotional — the wanting a drink or cigarette or nail-biting driven by stress. Other times the trigger is more simply situational and environmental. "All bad habits start slowly and gradually and before you know you have the habit, the habit has you." -Zig Ziglar - But these patterns are also usually wrapped in larger ones: This is where are routines come to run our lives. Overall these auto-pilot habit / routine behaviors are evolutionary-wise and practically a good thing; They keep us from having to re-invent the wheel of our daily lives by making an infinite numbers of decisions all day long, which in turn, provide us with more brain-space to think about more important and creative things. The downside of these routinized patterns comes when those patterns land more in the bad-column than the good. "I have the same friends and the same bad habits." -Nate Silver - As a quick recap, our habits are driven by a 3-part loop in sequence: Trigger (the stimulus that starts the habit) Routine (the doing of the habit and behaviour itself) Reward (the benefit associated with the behaviour) The reason why it can be so hard to break a bad habit, is because there are parts of your brain that associate your cravings with the bad habits.  - So if you have habits you want to break, here are some steps to get you started: Define the concrete behavior you want to change or develop "Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken." - Warren Buffett Identify the triggers Deal with the triggers Develop a substitute plan - The key here is mapping this out before that triggers have a chance to kick in. "The secret of change is to focus all your energy NOT on fighting the old but on BUILDING the new." – Socrates