Prioritize More if you Want to be Successful

priorities

Why does Organization help Success?

When you want to be successful, you have to prioritize. This often means that some things get overlooked and unfortunately, sometimes they are things that you don’t want to overlook. But you have to make sacrifices if you want to achieve your goals and that means deciding what is most important, and working on it first and foremost.

The reason for this is simple: we want too many things. Human beings are famous for wanting too much. It’s like our motto, especially here in America. More, more, more. This is true in the food that we eat, it is true of the things that we buy and it is true of the money that we make. Of course, it is also true of the things that drive us and the goals that we have, and that’s not a bad thing.

The Problem

The problem is, when you have too many things that you want to accomplish, you aren’t going to have time for them all, and unless you prioritize, you are probably going to end up doing the things that are the most fun rather than the things that are the most important.

Example

Let’s look at an example of this. Meet Richard. Richard is trying to make a list of the things that he wants to accomplish over the next five years. Here is what he has written down.

  • Learn 5 new languages (1 per year) – Spanish, German, American Sign Language, French and Italian
  • Learn how to play musical instruments like a pro – first guitar and then piano
  • Learn how to do my own taxes and keep track of business taxes
  • Start my own business – some kind of retail store that is unique and fills a need
  • Volunteer more – do some church work, homeless shelters, give to charity
  • Become more organized so that I never miss appointments and always know where stuff is
  • Lose 50 pounds and get in shape like I was when I was in my 30’s
prioritize

We’ll stop here because you probably get the idea. Richard wants to do so many things, but accomplishing them will take up far too much time. For example, learning a new language in a year will take about 30-45 minutes each and every day. If you added up all of his stuff just from this partial list, half the day would be gone.

That’s why prioritizing is vital. If you cannot choose what is most important and work on it first and most often, you are going to accomplish very little.


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How to Become Brilliant & Make it Work Towards Your Success

brilliant

How Do You Become Brilliant?

No matter who you are and what you want out of life, your brain is a critical component. You are going to be using your brain in a variety of ways if you want to achieve success and just like athletes spend years building up their muscles before they go out and use them in competition, you can build up your brain and become more brilliant to help you be successful faster. Here are some great tips on how to do that.

become brilliant
  1. Stop watching television. Studies have shown that TV actually does reduce your brain power. It isn’t working your mind and eventually it will atrophy.
  2. Don’t abuse alcohol or drugs. Another thing that has been scienced a lot over the past few decades is the effect of drugs and alcohol on the brain. Here’s a spoiler: it damages it.
  3. Read. Reading is something that most successful people have in common. Read lots of self-help books and anything else that holds your interest.
  4. Actively seek out things that challenge your brain. For example, doing crossword puzzles or playing brain games online will give the old cranium a great workout.
  5. Play board games. Believe it or not, playing board games can do a great deal to work your brain. The more complicated the board game the better, and there are a lot of them out there to choose from these days. Talk to a comic book nerd or visit your local gaming shop.
  6. Eat healthy. Have you heard the term “brain food”? It isn’t just a funny name. Some foods really do have an effect on your mind and improve your brain cells.
  7. Exercise. Exercising can release endorphins and increases the blood flow to your brain (and other organs) and can go a long way towards becoming more brilliant.
  8. Be curious about stuff. If you see something that you don’t understand, take the time to look it up and figure it out. Be curious about the world, about how things work and learn as much as possible.
  9. Go back to school. Take some classes at your local community center or even the college in your town. You might be surprised how much you enjoy them as an adult.
  10. Learn a new language. Learning a new language requires a lot of brain power and it can train your brain for all kinds of other learning.  

The Life Cycle of a Major Achievement

success

Life Cycle?

One of the common problems that people have when they are first starting on the road to success is seeing how a major achievement will actually work. It is difficult to see more than the very beginning and the end result – the success. We are going to take an example here, and go through the entire life cycle of an achievement so that you can see how it is actually done and it should motivate you by making the end result much more realistic.

Goal Life Cycle Example

Increase annual income by $12,000 So, your goal is to increase your income by $12,000 a year. Let’s suppose that you give yourself three years to do it. So, here’s what the timeline might look like if you start from scratch.

January Year 1

You spend the month researching ways that you can make money online. You check out each lead carefully until you find one that you have the time, money and skills for. By the end of the month you have chosen one – in this example case, you have chosen to start a niche review site online about the latest electronics and use Amazon’s affiliate program to make money.

life cycle
Conceptional chalk drawing – SMART Goals

March Year 1

You have developed a website and added all kinds of products to it, and you have outsourced a couple of hundred reviews. Your traffic is starting to trickle in.

December Year 1

You have spent the past few months creating backlinks and going after non-competitive keywords and have come up with a pretty steady stream of traffic. You are making around $1000 a year so far, which comes to about $85 a month.

May Year 2

Your income is going up. All of the content you have ordered has started bringing in huge traffic for long-tail keywords. But your income has only increased to $150 a month. You aren’t sure why.

November Year 2

After several weeks of research, you realize that your site’s buying links were difficult to find. You changed them and increased your conversion rate by 500%. You’re now making a little over $4000 a year.

December Year 3

You have been continually adding content and getting backlinks to your site. Now, you have grown to be one of the most well-respected TV review sites on the web. You have been able to make almost $14,000 this year.

The life cycle of a goal is important to visualize and set up in order to keep your eye on the prize!


How Bad Habits Become Good Habits

bad habits

You may be familiar with the idea that you cannot get rid of bad habits – you need to replace them with good habits instead. The reasoning behind this is that your mind thinks that you are taking something important away when you stop a bad habit; but when you simply start a good habit that pushes the bad habit out of the way, then you feel like you are giving yourself something.

So, what is the actual process in which bad habits become good ones? This is an important thing to understand, because it can help you get rid of all of your bad habits eventually. This article will go through the process step-by-step, using example bad and good habits.

Example Bad Habit: Skipping Breakfast

Example Good Habit: Having a Healthy Breakfast

So, you want to replace the habit of skipping breakfast with having a good, healthy breakfast instead. There are numerous reasons to do this, and studies have proven that people who eat breakfast are healthier, get more accomplished and are happier. Let’s go through the process of replacing the bad with the good one step at a time.

  1. Sit down and create a list of breakfast foods that you like. Then go out and buy them and keep them stocked in your kitchen.
  2. Stop eating food at 5:00PM each day. That way when morning comes you are hungry enough to eat something.
  3. Write down the benefits that come with eating breakfast and then post them somewhere that you will be able to see them when you get up in the morning.
  4. Make a habit out of going to the kitchen and looking at the food that is there. You don’t have eat anything at first. Just be aware that some good foods are stocked in your kitchen.
  5. Start small. Cut an orange into segments and eat one segment per day.
  6. Increase this until your body actually starts looking forward to having that orange every day.
  7. Don’t skip any days once you start eating. You may revert back to your old habit of not eating breakfast.
  8. Create a breakfast trigger. For example, as soon as you finish your first cup of coffee, then make something for breakfast.
  9. Increase the amount of food until you are having a full, healthy breakfast.
  10. Write down any benefits you notice from eating breakfast.

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How Anxiolytics Work (And Whether You Should Take Them)

What are Anxiolytics?

Anxiolytics treat anxiety and panic attacks. Whether you regularly find yourself having panic attacks or you simply find yourself feeling stressed from time to time, then you may have been recommended anxiolytics by your doctor. These medications work in a number of ways to help combat both the psychological and physiological symptoms associated with it.

But how do they work?

Neuroscience

All anxiolytics work by changing the release of neurotransmitters and hormones that are associated with stress or anxiety. Stress is essentially caused by the ‘fight or flight’ response, which is our body’s chemical response to danger. When we think we’re under some kind of threat, we release adrenaline, norepinephrine, dopamine, cortisol and more and this leads to an increase in our heartrate, dilation of the pupils, dilation of the blood vessels and even increased blood viscosity. The muscles become stronger and we become more alert but the immune system and digestion are suppressed until we become safer.

Anxiolytics
Blackboard with the chemical formula of Alprazolam

Most anxiolytics work by increasing the amount of a substance called ‘GABA’ or gamma aminobutyric acid. This is an ‘inhibitory’ neurotransmitter. The purpose of an inhibitory neurotransmitters is to suppress activity in the brain and communication between brain cells. This leaves us feeling less alert and less anxious which in turn causes those anxiety-related neurotransmitters to subside. Essentially it works by sedating us slightly. Other anti-anxiety medication works by increasing serotonin. Serotonin is the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter and when there’s lots of it in the brain, we feel happy and cheerful. Increasing this can therefore reduce feelings of anxiety and dread.

The Challenge with Anxiolytics

anxiolytics

The problem is that both these methods can lead to unwanted side effects as well as addiction. When you increase or decrease specific neurotransmitters, the brain responds by reducing its natural production of those chemicals. They also reduce its ability to respond to them (by removing ‘receptors’). Thus you can develop to the point where you need stronger doses of the medication to get the same results. Likewise, you can find yourself feeling even worse when you’re not using the medication. This is called ‘tolerance and dependence’.

Furthermore, using medication like this does not address the root cause of the problems. The root is the thought processes that lead to that chemical change. While anxiolytics might be useful in the short term for preventing the on-set of an attack, it’s important to use other methods in the long term to solve the problem.


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Quick Tips That Will Help You to Get More Done in Less Time

Less Time? I Need More Time!

Want to be less stressed at work or running your business? Often it comes down to simply getting more work done more quickly. If you can be more efficient with your workflow, then often you’ll find that your job is far more manageable and much less stressful. And there are tons of tips out there on the wide web that can help you to be more productive.

Here we will look at some of the easiest and the most effective…

  • Want to keep yourself productive and optimistic? Try using a positive affirmation as your online password!
  • Multitasking has been shown in countless studies not to work. Work sequentially by moving from one task to the other.
  • Always focus on the ‘why’ of what you’re doing. If you remember why it matters and you think about your long-term goals, then you’ll be far more likely to stay focused.
  • Priming is a psychological technique you can use to put yourself in the right mood for what you’re about to do. For instance, you can prime yourself for work by watching a clip from a film you find inspiring.
  • Listening to white noise can help you to be productive! Other good things to put in your ears are background chatter (try ‘coffitivity.com’) and also music tracks on loop.
  • Want a quick energy boost? Try consuming honey! This contains fructose and sucrose and the combination provides both long-term and short-term energy.
  • Don’t have your first tea or coffee until you’ve done something productive. Likewise, don’t check Facebook until you’ve completed another task. This keeps you motivated and prevents procrastination.
  • A smartwatch can prove to be a great way to get e-mails without losing yourself in Gmail.
  • Want to really focus on writing or coding? Unplug your mouse. By making browsing less difficult, you reduce your chance of doing it.
  • Try moving your working day forward one hour. We naturally ‘crash’ at 4pm, so don’t try and work through this natural lull.
  • If you’re prone to procrastination, try starting your to-do list with a task that you’ll enjoy and that isn’t too stressful. This way, once you’ve completed the first item, you’ll be into the ‘swing’ of work and you’ll be feeling much less stressed.
  • Another one: leave one task half-finished when you leave work. We hate ‘unfinished business’ and this will compel you to start right away the next day.
  • Joy makes you work faster, make sure you add some humor to your day. Less time for fuss more time for play!
less time

Why You Should Replace Television with Books

books

Read for Success

Did you know that one of the things that some of the most successful people in the world share in common is that they read books – mostly books on how to improve themselves in a variety of ways.

If you want to follow in the footsteps of people like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, then you are going to want to read books just like they did. That means shutting off the black screen in your living room, removing the Netflix shortcut from your desktop and getting rid of the TV or movie apps on your phone or tablet. Then download a Kindle or an e-reader.

There are good reasons to get rid of television and replace it with reading material. Of course, you may not want to get rid of television completely, although many people who do say that they are much happier afterward and everything they thought they would miss seems of little importance. Television doesn’t do much in the way of education. Most of the programs on television are fictional stories, and many are so predictable and formulaic that they do not tax your brain cells at all.

Why Read Books?

Even when television isn’t fiction it is often the same news stories that repeat over and over, or sensationalized real events that bear little resemblance to fact. Let’s not even get started on reality TV. The point is, there is very little on television that is going to teach you something that will allow you to better yourself. In addition, science has shown that TV really does “rot” your brain – or at least your brain power weakens over time from television watching.

read books

Books on the other hand, have a number of advantages. For one thing, you are reading and not watching. This simple difference means that you are using your brain in other ways. You are reading, figuring out the definition of words and forming pictures in your imagination. Plus, there are so many books out there that actually help you improve yourself – hence the entire section of books called “Self-help” or “Self-improvement.” There are books on reaching goals, achieving financial independence, starting a business and learning everything from a new language to a musical instrument.

The bottom line is that books are better if you want to be successful. You don’t have to give up TV entirely if you don’t want to, but you should definitely read more if you want to achieve success.


How Distractions Prevent You from Success

distractions

Distrac…..OH SHINEY!

Distractions are all around us. You probably get distracted by something a thousand times a day. Most people get distracted every few minutes and have to return to the task that they were working on. People with ADHD can get distracted for an hour or more without even realizing that they were off task.

But these kinds of distractions are not the ones that are keeping you from success. There are other distractions in your life and you are probably going to have to get rid of them to achieve your goals. In this article, we are going to discuss four distractions that are preventing you from achieving the success you want.

Online Distractions

The first distraction that we will be discussing is online socializing. If you are like most people, you waste an incredible amount of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and various other social networks that do nothing for you except tell you what your friends had for lunch. Social media can be important to your success. If you are using social platforms to build a group of people that could buy something from you later, then it is fair to spend some time on social media. Otherwise, limit yourself.

distractions

Friends and Family

Your friends and family may be distracting you from success. It is perfectly fine to spend time with friends and family, but if you are constantly committed to helping them out, going places with them or putting off your work for other people, then you need to pull back and realize that your success is just as important as your relationships.

Power Lunches

Lon lunches are distractions. In corporate American, power lunches are definitely one of the ways that work relationships are built and deals are brokered. But if your power lunches and other functions are not contributing to your personal success, then you need to stop worrying about them and focus on what is really important.

The Siren Song of Possessions

distractions

Finally, you want to avoid the siren song of things. This is the urge to spend money on the things that you think you need in order to be successful. Maybe you think that if you had a faster computer you could get more done. In most cases, that simply isn’t true. You don’t need to spend money on things to become successful and you may need to make some short-term sacrifices in order to achieve your goals.


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Art Therapy: Introduction to Paints and Painting

art therapy

Visual Arts and Feelings

People have been expressing themselves through painting for thousands of years.  Even the cavemen showed great hunts or other events with paints made from berries and plants. There just seems to be an innate need to show others our thoughts, feelings, and ideas through pictures.  The phrase “ A picture is worth a thousand words” is so very true.

With colors and design you can express every emotion you feel.  Whether it is a woman in a garden waiting for her lover or an old barn set in a field of wild flowers, the subject bring memories and feelings to the fore front of the viewer’s mind.  All of this being accomplished on a blank canvas with paint.

There are some basics the beginning artist should know.  Although you may have been sketching and drawing for years, the first time you pick up a brush it will seem foreign to you. This is fine.  You will become very familiar with each of the brushes and the strokes they can make.  They will soon be as comfortable in your hand as the charcoal pencil you use on the sketch pad.

Paints

Paints can add style and creativity to an art piece. A single tear drop on the face can take on a totally new dimension by adding color.  Paints allow you to do this with ease.The types of paint you use will also allow you to be more creative.

Many artists use the oil paints for extend projects.  The oils do not dry as quickly and can be rejuvenated with a little turpentine or mineral spirits. This allows the artist to continue the project another day.The brushes you use with an oil painting must be cleaned extremely well.  If you allow them to sit in the cleaning solution they can loose their shape.  This means you may not be able to use certain brushes to achieve a particular brush stroke.

paints

When the artist uses acrylic paints, the dry time is extremely fast. Many times, a project which is being done in half an hour or so will be done with acrylic paints because of the ease of use.  Clean up with soap and water is a quick task. The brushes wash up quickly and cleanly.  Allowing them to dry either on a flat surface or standing with bristles up will keep their original shape.

Explore and Experiment with Paints

The best thing to do when first beginning canvas painting is to experiment.  Try using oils.  Become familiar with acrylics.  You will eventually choose which medium you prefer to work with.  By playing with each, you can determine how the paints mix, get a feel for how they flow onto the canvas, and become familiar with blending.  These are all important for the novice artist to consider.

Another factor is the type of canvas you will want to use.  There are stretch canvases, rolled canvas, canvas boards, and canvas mats.  Each one can be used for different styles, artwork, and even paints.  Which one you use will be determined by which one you feel more comfortable painting upon.


Glossary

The information can become overwhelming when you start painting on canvas.  Getting to know the terminology will help clear some things up a little bit. 

Abstract – abstract art depicts the subject by using form and color.  You may see a resemblance to the original piece.  However, the subject is generally represented in more geometric shapes than the natural setting. 

Accent – Giving exceptional detail to a certain object in the painting to bring attention to it.

Acrylic – A type of paint which dries quickly.  It can easily be cleaned up with mineral spirits.

Alla Prima – Meaning “at the first” in Italian, this phrase means the painting is completed with just one sitting.

Cool colors – Colors associated with the cold such as blue.

Color Wheel – Any full spectrum circular diagram which represents the relationships of colors.

Composition – The arrangement of the elements in an art piece.

Medium – The type of pain being used to create a work of art.  It can also mean the binder, usually an oil.

Palette – The painter’s board where colors can be mixed and and different hues can be created.

Perspective – Being able to reproduce the same height, depth, and distance perception in a two dimensional medium that the human eye would perceive.

Pigment – The colored substance created by natural elements and synthetic ones  which are mixed with certain binders to create paints.

Primary colors – A color which can not be created by mixing other colors.  The only three primary colors are red, blue, and yellow.  With these three all other colors can be created.  (White is not a color. It is the absence of color.  Black is the combination of all colors.)

Secondary colors – Any color which can be created from mixing the primary colors, such as violet, green, and orange.

Warm colors – Hues which represent warmth such as orange, red, yellow.


Ear Seeds … Discreet Little Patches That Can Help You Chill

ear seeds

Ear Seeds for Mental Health?

Struggling with depression?  Dealing with anxiety that interrupts daily life?  Trouble focussing?  None of these are what would be considered “rare” and yet how many of us struggle with any/ all of these, more frequently than we care to admit?  Or perhaps more accurately … feel ashamed to admit?

Often times, whatever the trigger or triggers are that initiate a bout of anxiety, depression or the inability to focus, they seem to happen at the most inopportune time.  For instance … being hit with a panic attack right before you are about to give a speech.  You’ve practiced, you’re ready, you’ve been ready for weeks.  Yet NOW … anxiety, the little bitch that she is, decides to show up.

And in that moment, it’s not like you have a lot of options available. Or is there?

Ear seeds!  What, you’ve NEVER heard of them?  Okay, stay with me …

Ear seeds are used in what is also known as Auriculotherapy, and it’s not a new practice.  Auriculotherapy has been practiced in Asian cultures for the last 2,000 years.  It has only recently caught on in western culture in the last 40. How ear seeds work is, they apply acupressure to specific reflex points on the ear.  The “ear seeds” are tiny and discreet; so unless someone is invasively all up in your business, no one is going to see them. When you need to calm yourself, focus and just feel more centered, simply press on the seeds for 5-10 seconds to activate the pressure points. 

ear seeds

No needles, no need to have your acupuncturist by your side 24/7 and no need to put your life on hold … just your ear seeds that can be worn for up to a week at a time.


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