In today’s economy, it is not unusual to see people living paycheck to paycheck. It does not mean that they are irresponsible, and it does not mean that they will never get beyond this precarious state. If you are someone who is currently living paycheck to paycheck, there are things that you can do to get a little bit of breathing room. Consider some tips to help you get your feet underneath you, and remember that consistent effort is the key to getting ahead.
Create a Budget
Creating a budget is a first and most important step to stop living paycheck to paycheck. While you may have a vague idea of how much you make versus how much you spend, it always helps to get things in black and white. Sit down with a pad of paper, a pen and a calculator, and start writing out a list of your monthly expenses. Don’t forget to sit and consider things like medications, entertainment and gas. If you spend money on it in a month, it is an expense. Then sit down and write a list of your post-tax income for each month. Compare the two columns. If your expense column represents a significantly larger amount of money than your income, it is time to cut expenses or to start making more money.
Create a Buffer
Start saving as much money as you can. While it can be hard to live at your bare bones minimum for a while, there is a short-term goal in mind. For example, simply cut out your entertainments unless they are below a certain amount or free, or save money by eating in for the month. The key is to get enough money that will last you for a month. This buffer allows you to stop stressing out about cash, and it can make you a lot more confident about many things. It takes some work to build up a buffer, but it is entirely possible.
Buy in Bulk
At first, buying in bulk will cost you more than you like. After all, buying 12 of something is a lot more expensive than buying four of something. On the other hand, when you look at the unit price, you will discover that you are saving quite a lot of money over time! Take a moment to learn more about what you buy and what you can buy in bulk. This will help you reinforce good spending habits, and it will also ensure that you can have the supplies that you need on hand at all times.
Stop Eating Convenience Food
If you can, skip the convenience food. The rule of thumb is that the more convenient it is, the more expensive it is. If you are on the way home, bypass the fast food places and go home and eat instead. If you are at the grocery store, you’ll discover that it is far cheaper to eat produce and things that need to be prepared rather than instant food. Even buying frozen produce or canned goods is less expensive than eating reheatable dinners. If you live in a food desert, however, where there are no places nearby to buy produce, your options are unfortunately limited. In this case, consider buying food that is as close to pre-processing as you can get. If you can, make long trips to better grocery stores and buy a lot of food at once.
Make a Pay Day
One way that many people get themselves into trouble is by letting things go overdue. If you have been having issues with forgetting about when bills are due, simply set a day during the month and pay all the bills then. Paying bills in a timely manner allows you to skip the overdue charges, and it also introduces more money management into your system. If you are paying your bills regularly, you will also find that different companies are more forgiving if you have to miss a payment.
Budget Your Splurges
Living completely sparsely and with no fun at all is just as stressful as living paycheck to paycheck. It is something that eventually leads to depression, and in many cases, it leads to irresponsible spending when you can’t take it anymore! Even if you have only 15 dollars or less to spare every month, consider putting some of it towards having fun. Your favorite form of entertainment might be going out for dinner, playing a massive multi-user roleplaying game online or heading out for a drink. Wanting to have fun is not something you should feel guilty over, no matter how poor you are. Budgeting for your fun helps you enjoy yourself responsibly.
If you are someone who is invested in getting out of your financial rut, it is true that it takes work. When you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, consider your current financial situation and remember that it can improve!
Jeffery Hackett is a self-proclaimed financial guru and freelance blogger writing on behalf of www.paydayloans.org.uk.
If you’ve often wondered if there’s a way to make yourself smarter and more creative, good news – there is! In fact, there are many different things you can do to enhance your creativity and increase your level of intelligence.
Never Stop Learning
If you have a life filled with learning new things, chances are your creativity and general intelligence will be higher, too. Taking a college class in something you’re interested in, or something you don’t know much about can help your mind expand in new directions.
Reading is also an important component of learning. Those who read a variety of things, from biographies and fiction to trade publications and newspapers, are more likely to have the creative areas of their brain stimulated. Reading on your own is always a positive thing, but you can also take a literature course at a local college or join a book club if you enjoy discussing what you’ve read with others.
It’s well-known that taking risks in your daily life can make you smarter and increase your creativity. When you get out of your comfort zone, you’re more likely to learn new things, interact with people who challenge your assumptions, and see problems from a different, more creative point of view. Consider getting a new, more challenging job, traveling somewhere you’ve never been before, applying to get a master’s degree in a new field of study, or taking a course in a language you don’t speak.
Go Somewhere New
It’s said that your environment can greatly affect your creativity and intelligence. If you’re in college or will be in the near future, consider studying abroad. The change in environment and all the little things associated with being in a completely foreign culture is a great way to expand your mind, making you smarter and more creative. If you can’t make such a bold move, think about moving to a different part of town, or taking a new job in a different city. The increase in your intelligence and creativity from such a small change could be surprising.
Take Good Care of Yourself
Sometimes, your brilliance and creativity will suffer because of your physical, mental, or emotional health. To achieve greater intelligence and creativity, it’s important to take care of your body. This means getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, exercising regularly, and eating food that is healthy and nourishing. If you have mental or emotional issues that are causing you problems, it’s important to address them with a licensed therapist or counselor who can help you deal with those issues. If your body and mind aren’t healthy, then it’s difficult to make yourself smarter or more creative.
Terry Southerland is a career counselor and content contributor for thebestdegrees.org, a site featuring lists of accredited online degrees and specialty field endeavors such as early childhood education degree programs.
Who does not crave for wealth? Everybody I guess. But those you are stuck in a mammoth debt, their dream of building wealth often go in vain. However, what if I say, with a little discipline and a few tricks one can transform his overwhelming debt into wealth. It might sound simply outrageous but it is true that with time and consistent efforts, one can transform debt to wealth and can save for his retirement, children’s education and other future expenses.
Nevertheless, it would be unfair to expect an overnight change and drastic transition from debt to wealth; it is only if you stay patient and persistent in your efforts you can attain this coveted result.
Before you start the wealth building processes if required opt for a debt consolidation service and relieve your monthly payment to some extent. Read on to know a few steps that smoothen the journey from debt reduction to wealth creation.
Step #1: Spend less, save more
Your first lesson is to remember spending more than you earn trailed by debt and earning more than you spend is rewarded with wealth. Get a clear estimate of your monthly income and expenditures. For this, take into account the past records of your bank statements, credit card bills and checkbooks. Deduct your expenses from your income and make sure you save the leftover each month as your personal monthly cash flow.
Step #2: Priority list
Now that you have a clear idea of your spending, categorize your expenses between essentials and non essentials. Electric bill, utility bills, monthly mortgage, groceries and your minimum credit card payments all come under essentials whereas expenditures for entertainment, drinking or flaunting purpose come under non- essentials for the time being and therefore you must curtail them as much as possible. Sum up your essentials this time and subtract the total from your income. This extra money should be devoted to pay off you due bills every month.
Step #3: Time to pay off
Slay your bills in every possible way. Credit card has the highest APR than any other unsecured debts. You should first stop using credit cards and start using cash and debit card instead. If possible Get a 0% introductory rate credit card and consider a balance transfer. Turn down the offers of higher credit limits right away. If you have private vehicle, then plan your routes to lower gasoline expenditures. A big reduction in the annual mileage can ensure a reduction in the premium charged by the insurance company as well.
Start saving in rent, utility bills and all sorts of home related monthly bills. Once you embrace frugal living you will start to see a reduction in your monthly bills and eventually in the outstanding amount you owe. This is just the beginning; it will continue to accelerate even further if you consistently pay more in future.
Step #4: Accumulate Wealth
If you start reducing your loan amount, it means you have accomplished half of the task already. Eventually you can generate more disposable income and accumulate wealth. You might have heard about the term leverage which is like getting a loan to buy something that will generate future income. It is all about finding some income generating assets like rental properties, investments, stocks, starting a new business or buying an existing one.
You can simply purchase an index fund that mimics the S&P 500 and can consistently contribute to that fund on a monthly or quarterly basis. The best part is that you can evade paying tax and can save a considerable amount here. Make sure you have a good credit rating and sound knowledge in the respective subject to make the most of this wealth building strategy.
To conclude, depending on your current financial status, it can take a little longer to come out of the debt maze and actually start the wealth building procedure but if you remain determined to make your dream of wealth creation a reality, nothing can get in the way.
Patricia Briggs is a guest columnist, blogger, author for various websites and communities including Oak View Law Group, CCHFA, CSCDA etc . She loves to write articles during her free time especially on topics like bankruptcy, debt consolidation service, investment opportunities, monetary policies, etc
Adversity is something nobody can elude forever. Whether you’re a risk-taker or someone who likes to play things safe, life will inevitably throw challenges in your direction.
That could be something in your professional life (maybe you missed out on a promotion or you lost your job after years of dedicated service). It could also be something in your personal life (maybe you were the victim of a traumatic crime or someone close to you just died).
Often, people experience a sense of injustice or hopelessness when something bad happens to them. We wonder “why did this happen to me?” or “how will I cope?”
Whilst it’s important to work through the emotions that these episodes provoke, it’s also important not to wallow in self-pity and despair.
The first step to turning adversity into opportunity is acceptance. You need to accept the reality of what has happened, and accept the fact that this isn’t something you can go back and change. Reliving past events and allowing yourself to become consumed with disappointment, anger, guilt or regret is not a healthy process.
You should never deny the reality of what has happened or the emotions this has stirred, but rather than worrying about what you could have done differently, you should start thinking about what changes you want to make moving forward. At the same time, you should accept that there are things beyond your control, and allow yourself to let go of any fear of the difficulties you might face in the future. Otherwise, you will end up living in a state of paralysis.
When adversity strikes, people often feel like victims, and this becomes a kind of archetypal role that they assume. People like to be able to find someone to blame when things go wrong in their lives, and find some sort of transient comfort in the notion of their own innocence or misfortune. Ultimately, however, this is not a constructive way to approach the situation.
In some cases, such as the death of a loved one from natural causes, there really is no-one to blame. In others, such as losing a job, you may be able to identify someone who could have treated you differently, but focusing on that person won’t get you anywhere.
Whilst the situation may be something you could never have prevented, the way you respond to it is something you can take responsibility for. The way in which you handle negative experiences is up to you, and once you realise that, you will be empowered to find positive ways of channelling your energy.
Recognising what you have learnt
If you have managed to accept the unpleasant experiences you have endured, and you have taken responsibility for the way you react, it’s important to stop and reflect on the ways in which that journey has affected you. Has it made you a stronger person, better prepared to take on challenges in future? Are you wiser now, more comfortable with your place in the world? Perhaps you will even be able to pass on the insights you have gained to others facing adversity of their own.
Identifying new goals
There is no better time to take stock of the direction in which your life is heading. If you lost your job, this is the time to be honest with yourself – were you 100% happy with your career path so far, or does your passion lie elsewhere? If you lost a parent to a preventable disease, you could use this to motivate yourself to live a healthier life. Or you might just be more grateful for the time you’ve got, and think of new things you want to achieve, places you want to see, or experiences you want to have.
Pursuing your dreams
Once you’ve set some new goals for yourself, remember how active you are in dictating your own destiny, and follow your dreams!
Are you feeling angry, frustrated or stressed out? Those negative feelings have more impact than we could ever imagine.
It is no wonder that philosophers, spiritual leaders and physicians tout the benefits of living an optimistic life. Even individuals stuck in a negative mindset believe an alternative way of viewing the world would be beneficial. But putting this upbeat thinking into practice is another story.
Even if your glass is half empty, there is hope. Here are six simple steps to help kick the grouch out of your life.
Recognize Your Inner Grouch
Awareness is a key component to eliminating negativity. While it may not be easy to accept blame for your pessimistic tendencies, when you recognize the problem you will have taken an important first step to addressing and correcting the issue. Blaming others may seem an easier way to cope, but it will never change the situation. Remember, what you resist, persists.
Count and Replace
Grouchiness is not an isolated problem. The average person has 40,000 to 65,000 thoughts a day and 95% of those thoughts are negative. If you do not believe you have a tendency to walk on the grumpy side, try counting your negative thoughts for 15 minutes. The next step is to replace negative thoughts with empowering messages. Instead of saying, “I need to lose weight” try saying something more empowering such as “I love how empowered I feel after I exercise.”
The Chinese philosopher Confucius noted the link between negative thoughts to an unhappy life in his famous quote:
Watch your thoughts they become your words
Watch your words they become your actions
Watch your actions they become your habits
Watch your habits they become your character
Watch your character it becomes your destiny
Start each day with a positive affirmation. It can be something simple such as “It is great to be alive.” After all, think of the alternative. However, there are many great quotes, sayings and positive words that can elevate your mood. Pick a positive message and recite it every day. Over time your brain perceives your affirmation as the truth. A good generic affirmation is, “I am happy, healthy and prosperous.”
This simple action can reap huge rewards. When you smile people will react more positively to you and feel more inclined to smile back. Even if you have to fake your grin, the act creates an internal attitude shift . In time your smile will feel less forced and reflect your more optimistic view on life. For those days when you feel out of sorts, stand in front of the mirror and smile for one full minute. Don’t be surprised if the irony of the smiling and grumpiness makes you laugh.
Beware of External Grouches
Your happiness is an inside job, but pessimistic people can have a negative impact on your outlook. When you have a choice of who to associate with, seek out the folks who make you feel better and avoid the ones that do not. This is especially true with new and existing friends. Use your intuition. If you feel lighter around someone, this is a good sign. A sinking feeling in the stomach is generally a sign of trouble.
A quote from Malachy McCourt states, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Nearly all major religions, as well as hundreds of philosophers and medical specialists attest to the benefits of forgiveness as an important factor in overall happiness. It is not simply a compassionate act, forgiveness is a healthier alternative as well.
Happiness does not mean an absence of problems. No one goes through life without facing obstacles. It is not so much the problems, but the attitude you take while facing these difficulties that shapes how you view the world. However, by taking a few steps each day to erase negativity, you will be on your way to kicking the grouch out of your life and making room for a happier future.
Sally Marks is the president of Marks Public Relations and the co-author of the self-help book, Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within. For more information visit www.erasenegativity.com.
A slow walk down the aisle, the careful ascension to a stage: the time has finally come. A diploma is offered to you: you have earned it through years of mastery and the exchanges of ink and opinions. You’re graduating, soon to leave a campus behind and seek a career. The world must now be conquered, industry must be claimed, and you’re… terrified.
A ceremony seems far less appealing than it did mere minutes ago.
New graduates often find themselves overwhelmed by the future. The thrill of a degree is undone by the worry of employment. Searching for a job seems to be the most unlikely of tasks — with all former friends becoming new rivals for the same positions, battling for success. It’s a challenge to be noticed among the many; it’s a strain to discover chances; and individuals can quickly fall into despair.
You don’t have to.
Instead you can learn to take advantage of social sites and online aids, allowing yourself to find the career you’ve always desired (even if you aren’t certain what that desire truly is):
A collection of peculiar talents, a wealth of strange courses: an education has been defined by unexpected pursuits; and, while these were fulfilling once, they seem to be pointless now — unable to offer any obvious careers or goals. You think you’ve wasted your time. You haven’t.
Less than typical credits (which could never be cobbled together for anything more than pleasure) can be used to your advantage. Visit Experience, an online organization that offers students the chance to explore their interests and learn how they can be applied. Resumes are examined. Talents are understood. It’s a unique notion of tailoring a job to you, rather than changing yourself for a job.
LinkedIn and Ready
Confusion dominates the moments after graduation — when the joy has faded and all that remains is panic. You’re no longer a child; you’re instead proof of an education; and you must seek a career. But choosing your path seems to be impossible. There are too many potentials and too few certainties.
With LinkedIn, however, those certainties are magnified. Offering the chance to connect with employers, this site enables graduates to discover opportunities. Networks are available, listing companies, positions and information. This is essential in erasing worry and gaining trust in the future. The site even features a Career Explorer option, which can map out possible paths, providing details and essential resources.
Familiar miles and easy distances, your world has been shaped to the too-traveled borders. A campus was once your universe; now it’s becoming a memory, replaced to wanderlust. Finding a career abroad is a notion you’ve considered often. Such a notion can finally become a reality, however.
With iHipo, you can seek out international listings, internship opportunities, accelerated study programs and more. The site specializes in foreign placements, and for those needing an adventure it can prove to be ideal. Understand all options and seek them out.
Finding a career doesn’t have to be a terror. It can instead be simplified. Use the benefits of virtuality to understand yourself, your talents and what you ultimately desire.
Outsourcing has received a lot of bad press lately, but if you are a small business it may be a lifesaver. Contracting work out is any easy way to save yourself a lot of time and money because you don’t have to hire skilled long-term employees that often call for high salaries and you can still find people that specialize in the skills you need to get the job done.
Using Freelancers to Save Time and Money
You’ve probably heard about the business of contracting if you haven’t participated in it yourself. Essentially, all it means is that Business A pays Business B to do something Business A requires. Do you think every business builds its own buildings? No, they don’t possess the skill to do so; therefore they hire a contractor to do it.
It’s the same thing with freelancers. If you run a website but do not have the time or skill required to make it the best, you have to outsource if you want it to be top notch. Fortunately, there are some websites in place that make it easy to find these individuals and protect both you and them against fraud.
Elance.com, Guru.com, and GetAFreelancer.com are the top three freelancer websites, in that order. Elance has the deepest and most skilled talent pool, Guru is a step behind, and GetAFreelancer lags behind due to a lack of freelancers for whom English is their primary language. While this may not be a huge problem for your project, here we are assuming that your project requires a grasp of English because that is the language in which we are communicating. Regardless, always keep in mind that you always get what you pay for on these websites and while that $50 job bid may look enticing, you may end up paying a second freelancer to clean up the first one’s mess.
The best thing about using freelancers:
- Saving time – Freelancers can devote themselves totally to your project without worrying about ancillary issues with your business. This gives you time to handle all the other facets of your business.
- Saving money – Freelancers do not come with the burdens that employees do, i.e. benefits and long-term salaries. This allows you to put the money you save back into your business.
Getting What You Need
Whether you need a data entry clerk or a web designer to build your business’ perfect site, you can find a freelancer that can handle it for you. Though many freelancers are entrepreneurs working out of a home office, many are actually firms unto themselves. If you have a large job, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the freelancers bidding on it. Many data entry companies, for example, are comprised of many individuals functioning under a single profile on one of these freelancer sites. Such companies often advertise this fact on their profile page to let possible providers know that no job is too big for them. You can also find teams of web designers, writers, and illustrators functioning in the same fashion.
Ray T. Lewis lives just outside of Dallas, Texas with his wife and three children. He reads extensively, and he’s worked as an editor and writer for askdeb.com for a little over two years. His goal is to give you realistic advice when it comes to finding information about data entry jobs. Visitors to askdeb.com can expect to find extensive, detailed answers to reader-submitted questions.
Success isn’t quite as elusive as people think. It’s more a matter of developing strengths and skills, gaining experience and learning how to be successful. A good analogy is a professional career. The “broad brush” approach is your best guide to creating a successful career. For instance, if you’re looking at a career in Occupational Health and Safety Management, you need to learn about everything from self insurance for businesses to how to set up an entire OHS management system.
1. Success- Getting through the obstacle course- Starting out
In all professions, success is based on a combination of talent and marketable skills. Start looking at your strongest skills, the ones you can rely upon to get you somewhere and where your performance is going to be good. You need to look for qualifications and experience in these areas. You’ll find the work is a lot easier for you, too, and these are portable skills.
2. Finding a direction for yourself- Navigating your career
The other major advantage of following your preferences and talents is that you start with a much better knowledge base. Many people find that following a career path in areas where they’re not particularly talented means constant discouragement. In any occupation where you’re naturally interested, the work isn’t even really work. You can achieve a lot in this environment.
3. Learning your job market
Whatever career you choose, you must understand how your career dynamics operate. All careers have their own special job markets, and “career mobility” isn’t just a buzzword. To succeed, you must know how to develop career opportunities and where to look for them.
(Never just assume career opportunities will present themselves. You can achieve more, much more quickly, by selective job moves.)
4. Specialize, or not?
In some careers, like OHS, the top of the profession is safety management consulting . This is a generalist role for experts in OHS. In IT, specialization can be a big positive, but it can exclude you from other roles. The choice whether to specialize or not is quite difficult, and you really need to weigh up your options.
5. The New Economy approach to success- Freelancing and contracting options
Some people actually create two careers. They’ll have typical day jobs, but develop their range of career options through freelancing. This also provides a second income stream, and can pay for a lot of career upgrades like qualifications, equipment, etc.
6. Business skills- Yes, you do need them!
In any career, basic business skills are particularly important. At some point, particularly at management levels, the only way to progress is to have actual business qualifications. You need to learn the language, and you really must understand the business processes in your interest.
7. Networking is both social and business
Networking is a basic career practice. People form natural social networks, and the best business networks are also social networks. The people you meet from training and basic steps onwards are your base network. Make your network a real career asset.
Success isn’t a matter of luck. It’s a matter of skills and understanding. Use your skills, develop your understanding, and you’ll do well.
How did I manage to earn a Black belt in Karate (training begun 4 years ago), start a successful minimalist blog, write a powerful ebook that has changed many lives already (The Radical Minimalist), written a 50,000-word novel in 18 days, started and ended a corporate career, painted over two dozen large, studio-quality paintings and read 70+ books, all in a span of less than 1 year?
Am I superhuman? A frenetic workaholic that doesn’t sleep, drinks too much coffee and is constantly on the go, iPhone always on and ready?
No. In fact, I enjoy peace and simplicity in my minimalist life.
Ironic? Strange yet fascinating? I need you to focus right here, right now, at what I’m about to say:
The difference between me and the average Joe is I have harnessed the incredible power of learning how to focus and drown out all distractions around me and within me and I’m going to teach you how to do the same too.
What This Is Not About
This post is not necessarily about goal-setting. Though it’s for a blog that is dedicated to goal-setting, my thoughts on it and methodology vary considerably, and it is only fair to you, as an intelligent and capable reader, to weigh all options before jumping upon one method as your surefire way to achieve all that you want to achieve.
What This Is About
This post is about focusing on what matters and eliminating all the rest.
The Focus Imperative
We need to focus now more than ever. Why is that?
Just listen and observe. During the few minutes you’ve spent reading this blog, your mind has probably wandered to all corners of your brain, scavenging for the forgotten tasks you were supposed to do, things to pick up at the grocery store tonight, the lunch meeting you need to schedule with your business partner, the phone calls you have to return, your kid’s football game this weekend, and the list goes on.
All the while, external distractions are calling for our finite attention. Incoming text messages and phone calls. Voicemails. New e-mails demanding a response. New tweets on your Twitter feed. Facebook messages. Coworkers stopping by to ask a pressing question. Your spouse and/or kids asking for your help.
It can get so demanding you may just want to throw your hands up and say, “Argh! I just want to be left alone!!”
Short of going crazy and pulling all your hair out, there are ways to focus, in the here and now.
4 Ways to Focus On What Matters:
Calm down and stop chasing every activity/hobby/endeavor that looks enticing. For now, focus simply on your breathing. One deep breath in. One deep breath out. If you can’t even focus on this vital act that is a necessary vehicle in order for you to receive oxygen, is it any wonder you cannot focus on anything else?
Realize your life is amazingly abundant, without your running around all the time, attending to everyone else’s needs but neglecting yourself all the while. Slow down and breathe.
2. Be in the present.
Right now is all that matters. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next year.
Remember, tomorrow is never a promise made to us and next week is no guarantee. Live your life fully and as best as you can in the time that you have. Don’t fret about all your things you have to do on your massive To Do list.
In fact, rip your To Do list to shreds. You don’t need it and the world will not end if you don’t do everything that’s on that list. You will survive.
3. Let go and say no.
Let go of all those commitments which bring you no joy, happiness and value in your life.
Do not feel guilty or pressured into doing something which you really do not want to anymore. Like that committee your coworkers are pressuring you about. Or that organization in your local school board. Or another pointless meeting at work which does not add any meaning to your current projects. It’s okay to say no.
Quitting is not the same as giving up. These are two distinctly different endeavors.
Quitting means you are just re-prioritizing your attention and energy to what matters most. A habit or job which is destructive has got to go. Quit. Your life is a precious one that cannot be wasted on fruitless undertakings that don’t take you one step closer to living the full and extraordinary life you’ve always wanted for yourself.
Giving up means when the going gets tough, even though it’s part of your trials you must endure when working for something admirable and worthy (like your dreams and passions), you choose the comfortable route rather than the edgy one that will not feel comfortable (especially in the beginning) but which the rewards far outweigh any shortcomings and heartaches you may experience at the beginning.
Quit but never give up.
No One Holds You Back But Yourself
I’ve been told that people wish they can have the focus and determination that I have to live the incredible life I’m living. And I respond back to them, you can have an amazing life. Nothing’s stopping you and holding you back … nothing and no one but yourself.
Do not be your own worst enemy and critic. If you find you cannot focus right now, let it go and stop berating yourself. Take a calming walk outside. Take care of some laundry, do the dishes. Pick up a book and get lost within it. Make a nice, soothing cup of tea or invigorating cup of delicious coffee and be mindful when drinking it.
You are gifted in myriad ways. Go easy on yourself, at first, but don’t be lazy.
Focus. It is an imperative.
Nina Yau is the author of The Radical Minimalist and is the minimalist blogger at Castles in the Air. As a radical minimalist herself, Nina is leading a minimalist revolution in order to invoke positive change in our world. Follow Nina on Twitter.
I have a deep rooted belief that you can do extraordinary things with your life when you are happy with yourself. As a communication coach, I’ve constantly seen a correlation between these two factors.
People who are happy with themselves are more authentic and more sociable; they have more initiative, take more risks and bounce back from failure faster. All these traits create a context where success and fulfillment happen a lot easier.
Being happy with yourself is certainly a wonderful condition, but it is also not very common. I find that most people struggle with limiting beliefs and self-image issues that prevent them from being in this condition.
If you want to be happy with yourself, chances are that you’re gonna have to work for it. Here are the most important ideas I think you want to apply:
1. Know Your Strengths
People who are displeased with themselves often believe that they have nothing of quality to offer. This is of course, baloney, but since they are unable to see their strengths, it seems like the truth to them.
For this reason, it’s important to know your strengths. We all have strengths, natural qualities that we are born with or we have developed. Unfortunately, many of us are not very aware of them. One of the best things you can do is to commit yourself to discovering your entire personality and clearly understanding your strengths.
2. Discover the Qualities under the Flaws
I’m frequently told that I’m stubborn. At one point, I thought this was a big flaw of mine. Eventually, in my quest for self-knowledge, I’ve realized that it was actually a quality that others labeled as a weakness: most of my opinions and decisions were based on solid logic and facts, and I knew this, so I was very firm in them. This came off to many people as stubbornness.
Many qualities are often labeled by ourselves or by others using words that reflect weaknesses; but if you look at the practical effects they create, you will notice that they are in fact, qualities. Take a good look at what seem to be your flaws: could some of them be strengths in disguise?
3. Annihilate Perfectionism
You cannot be happy with yourself if you ask of yourself to be perfect, to have no flaws and to make no mistakes. Perfectionism will kill your self-esteem and keep you in a perpetual cycle of self-hate.
It’s fundamental to realize that you don’t need to be perfect and perfection is an insane expectation, even if it’s very common. Don’t just know this at a conscious, rational level; let this idea sink in and make it a part of your very psychological fabric.
4. Learn and Grow Constantly
While perfectionism is insane, wanting to learn and grow is a very healthy thing. Psychologists believe that our most complex and our defining trait as human beings is the need for self-actualization: we want to be all that we can be. In order to do this, we need to constantly learn and grow.
Set specific personal development goals for yourself and work on achieving them. Read books, take classes or work with a coach; practice consistently all that you find valuable. When you know that you’re always improving and becoming a better person, you naturally tend to be very happy with yourself.
Do not expect for a miracle method that will make you love yourself forever. Reaching and maintaining a state of happiness with yourself requires just like growing in any other area, consistent practice. On this journey, you will find perseverance and the ability to have fun with it to be your best companions.
Enjoy yourself and keep walking!
Eduard Ezeanu provides communication coaching and helps people put their best foot forward in communication. He also writes on his blog, People Skills Decoded, and you can follow him on Twitter at @EduardSays