Category Archives: Sports

16 Ways To Calm Yourself When Life Is Getting Tough

  1. Walk: Walking helps clear your mind. It offers you a different perspective.
  2. Indulge: Take a day off to spend a whole day doing exactly what you want.
  3. Be Generous: Give something to a total stranger. Acts of giving make us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
  4. Sit in a coffee shop or a busy street and soak up your surroundings. You don’t have to talk to people.
  5. Educate yourself: research what it is you are experiencing. Arm yourself with knowledge and the resources to tackle the problems head-on.
  6. Preparation:Write the day’s to-do list the evening before.
  7. Strengths: Write down a list of 20 of your strengths.
  8. Keep going forward: Keep taking small steps, no matter what. Being stagnant doesn’t serve you.
  9. Re-visit and old hobby: If you don’t have one, create one.
  10. Prioritise: Decide what’s important right now. Say no to extra obligations.
  11. Sleep. Get enough rest. Sleep 7-9 hours each night.
  12. Be silly: Do something that you did as a child. Don’t take life too seriously.
  13. Cry: Release all that emotion. You will feel better.
  14. Check you self- talk. Negative self-talk does not serve you.
  15. Journal: Develop a habit of journaling. This will help free you mind.
  16. Remind yourself that life is a journey. Remember that what you are going through is temporary, It will pass.

5 WAYS TO WORK SMARTER – NOT HARDER

1.No Distractions

Distractions like social media, texting or even just the notification sound are proven to be the number 1 cause for low productivity at work.

Decide on a specific period of time you’re going to work to and turn off your phone, or turn on the airplane mode so you don’t have any distractions while working.

Only practising this daily takes your focus and productivity to a new level.

2. Use Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have—rather than against it. Using this method, you break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as pomodoros.

Step 1: Pick a task

Step 2: Set a 25 – minute timer

Step 3: Work on your task until the time is up

Step 4: Take a 5 – minute break

Step 5: Every 4 Pomodoros, take a longer 15-30 minutes break

3. Outsource

Find your strengths and focus on them.

Find your weak areas, and find the right person whose strength is your weakness.

For example, if you’re really good at copy writing for your business, but design is your weakness. Focus your time writing more copy and find the right person to take that copy and make designs out of it.

This will help you achieve more in less time, and maintain the highest quality.

4. The 6 Goals Rule

Aiming to finish 20 tasks in one day will probably get you to procrastinate most of your work without focusing on quality. Every single day, aim to finish no more than 6 things.

Work until finishing these for the day. Tasks that you didn’t finish will always move to the next day. So, if you finished 4 tasks, you can only add 2 for that day, keeping you list clean with 6 tasks at a time.

5. Plan Ahead – Use this formula

30 WAYS TO MAKE PROGRESS

  1. Wake up early
  2. Read daily
  3. Eat well
  4. Love yourself
  5. Judge less
  6. Be yourself
  7. Set goals
  8. Plan your day
  9. Positive attitude
  10. Have purpose
  11. Find inspiration
  12. Help others
  13. Network
  14. Save Money
  15. Automate
  16. Delegate
  17. Track finances
  18. Build a brand
  19. Fail Fast
  20. Interact
  21. Learn Skills
  22. Invest
  23. Journal
  24. Meditate
  25. Get a mentor
  26. Think big
  27. Be productive
  28. Do more
  29. Spend wisely
  30. Be ambitious

The Veblen Effect – Control the context and you control the mind.

At 23, Julius Caesar was a junior politician on the way up. But he had an advantage: confidence and brain.

While sailing across the Aegean Sea, he was captured by Sicilian pirates. They demanded a ransom: 20 talents of silver – That’s about 620kg, worth about $600,000 in today’s value.

Caesar told them they were being ridiculous. He couldn’t possibly allow himself to be ransomed so cheaply. The pirates hesitated, they were confused. Caesar insisted the ransom must be raised to 50 talents of silver – that’s around 1,550kg, worth about $1.5 million.

Now, the pirates didn’t know what to make of this. Normally, their captives tried to escape as cheaply as possible. They didn’t understand what was going on. But if he said he would double the ransom, why argue?

They let Caesar’s men go back to Rome to raise the money. And in Rome, in his absence, Caesar suddenly became very famous and well known. No-one had ever been ransomed for such an enormous sum ever before.

He must be very special, he must be incredibly important. Consequently, the demand for such amount of silver for ransom put Caesar on the political map and made him famous.

He had just invented the Veblen Effect. Although Thorstein Veblen wouldn’t give it that name for another 2,000 years.

Interestingly, the Veblen Effect is an effective psychological strategy that has being in use for thousands of years and generations. The best part is that despite the availability of so much of knowledge, technological advancement and information, The Veblen Effect refuses to let go.

The Veblen Effect is when consumers perceive higher-priced goods to be worth much more, simply because they cost more.

Like Rolex, Cartier, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin, Harrods, Cristal Champagne.

None of them may be actually any better than their cheaper alternatives, but the price alone makes them seem more desirable.

Caesar effectively made himself a Veblen brand. He placed a much higher value on himself than anyone in Rome. But, as far as anyone in Rome knew, it wasn’t him who had done it. It was an independent valuation. So it must be true. And because Caesar was now so highly valued, his men had little trouble raising the ransom. They returned to the island and freed him.

But Caesar wasn’t going to allow the pirates to keep that sort of money at all. As an important and famous man he had become, it was easy to raise a huge force which he used to hunt down the pirates and took back all the money, plus everything else they had pillaged, then executed all of them.

Thus, Caesar became both very rich and very famous.

And in time, with that same combination of confidence and brains, he became ruler of all Rome. And he presided over the golden age of the Roman Empire.

Expanding it from Spain to Germany, from Britain to the Middle East. Because Caesar knew that reality begins in the mind.

So the most important piece of real estate in which to stake a claim is the human mind.

How you stake a claim in the mind is by creating a perception. And how you create that perception is by controlling the context.

Control the context and you control the mind.

Control the mind and you control reality.

A good example of Veblen effect is Johny Walker Double Black!

JW Black is labelled at least 12 years aged scotch. But JW Double Black has no age statement!

JW Double Black is sold at a higher price than JW Black with a perceived notion that ‘double black’ should be much better than just ‘black’, especially since Double Black is pricier than Black! That is how the human mind works.

In reality, no one knows what is so special in Double Black, except that the label claims it to be very smooth, without actually saying it is smoother than Black!

Many believe that this is simply a marketing strategy to pass off un-aged scotch at a much higher price, through the Veblen Effect!

That’s how the Veblen Effect is a highly successful marketing strategy when correctly done.

Be Informed

Be Inspired.

There are a lot of adventures out there, waiting for us to live them!

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” — T.S. Elliot

For those who don’t know – I have a Youtube channel going by the name – jambukizee and other than enjoying visiting different parts of this wonderful continent called Africa on my motorbike, I also provide the following consultational services;

TRAVEL ASSISTANCE:

With a decade of experience travelling through Africa I’m here to assist you in planning your trip to according to your personal preferences and budget. Including advice on how to get the cheapest flights, best accommodations, where to visit for the best experience while avoiding scams and staying safe. Plus information on finding activities such as World Heritage Sites, Street Food, Nightlife, Motorsports, Historical & Cultural Centres and more. Guaranteed to save you hundreds of dollars in expenses and make your time in Africa safer and more enjoyable.

GUIDED MOTORBIKE TOURS IN AND AROUND AFRICA:

Some of the very best that Africa has to offer lies beyond the traditional go to spots. Visit ancient landscape, incredible history and fascinating flora and fauna that few get to see. What is better than to explore out of way places with a few like minded friends. From the Wet Highlands to the Arid Desert there is always something different to see, to learn about and experiences to build stories around. If you would like to go for a ride…we would love to have you along for either part of the ride or the whole ride. It’s a lot of fun!!! If you are a group organiser for your bike club, friends or travel agent we can tailor a tour specifically for you or your clients. Just tell us what you are hoping for and we’ll offer any advice you need along with making any arrangements necessary. It’ll make everything as simple as possible. Just ask! Make sure you bring your camera as we would hate you to miss something.

EAST AFRICA RELOCATION:

Consultation Services are also available to those looking to relocate to THE EAST AFRICA COMMUNITY to retire, invest or work remotely. This includes helping you decide what area of the region is best for you, how to find the best deal on a condo, information on Visa options, and much more. This is guaranteed to make your transition into your new life in AFRICA as cost-efficient and smooth as possible by helping you prevent the mistakes most new expats make.

Interested – email me me on joseph@shopmarkaz.com and ‘let’s build castles in the sky

Subscribe to my channel : https://www.youtube.com/c/Jambukizee

Cheers!

A Wollan Shatta!

Be strong, be kind, be free

Do things that make you proud of yourself

Surround yourself with people who bring out the best qualities

and distance yourself from people who do the opposite

Be true

True to yourself and true to your morals

Stand up for yourself

Don’t let people take advantage of your kindness and soft heart

Don’t take sh*t from anyone and don’t put yourself down

Believe in yourself and believe in your journey

Be good to yourself

Be unapologetically you

Embrace your imperfections

Accept the fact that when you grow sometimes you loose people and that’s okay

Celebrate your every success and learn from failure

And most importantly, never, ever let anything stand

in the way of the person you are becoming

The Sweet Spot: Passion, Profit, and Value!

The Sweet Spot – The Intersection of Passion, Profit, and Value

Passion, profit, and value is the key to sustainable results:

  • Passion.  Your passion is your fuel for making things happen.  In today’s skill-for-hire economy, one of your most important assets is your passion.  It’s you’re staying power, and your get up and go, especially when you get knocked down.  It’s how you get up again.  Passion is also a proxy for your values, strengths, and purpose.  Strengths can be skills, but in this case, I’m also thinking about your natural strengths … the stuff that comes easy for you, but might be tough for others.   We tend to love what we’re awesome at, and, our passion tends to help us get awesome to begin with.
  • Profit.  This is about how much you can make.  Just because you create tons of value, doesn’t mean you can make a profit, especially in an economy where free is the new price, and your competition gives away what you try to sell.  How do you know what’s making a profit?  You ask.  This is where your network comes in.  Also, your friendly neighborhood accountant might be the perfect source for knowing what’s making money, and what’s not.
  • Value.  The idea here is that if you’re creating value, you have a better chance of getting rewarded.  Value is in the eye of the beholder.  This means staying aware of what the market values and knowing that the market doesn’t always drive the right thing.  This also means being aware of intrinsic vs. market value. Intrinsic value is what something is really worth, while market value is what people are willing to pay, which could be wildly inflated.  Personally, I like to optimize around providing value for basic needs, and I’m cautious when market value and intrinsic value are out of whack … market corrections can be painful.

To give you an example of the passion, profit and value intersection, I have a passion for making others great.  There’s a certain market value to that.  I already do it for free, but if I wanted to profit from it, I would take on certain clients.  For example, if the President wanted me for his results coach, I’d give him my special presidential discount, but I would still expect to profit from the value I create.

OK, fine, I’d do it for free, so it’s not a great example.

Cutting Questions to Find Your Path

Here are some cutting questions to help find and test your paths …

  • What would you do for free?
  • What’s the minimum you need to make?
  • What’s your minimum and ideal life style?
  • How much do you need to fund your ideal life style?
  • Who has the job that you want that you can model from?

Guideline for Getting Results

Some guidelines for results …

  • Find the intersections of your passion, profit, and value.
  • Passion, profit and value are sliding scales … this gives you a lot of flexibility as well as trade-offs.
  • If you’re creating all value, and no profit, that’s a charity, and that won’t pay your bills.
  • If you’re playing to your passion, but creating no value, that’s a hobby.
  • If you do what you hate, you’ll suck your life force dry.
  • Find the job you love, or love the job your with.
  • You can love the job you’re with, by by changing your why or changing your how. 
  • Some hobbies can be turned into profit, if they create value.
  • Sometimes the key to unleashing your profit potential, is simply finding the right channel or platform.
  • Be careful what you get paid for, because if you externalize your reward, you can kill your passion.
  • Knowing the market demand and the profit potential can help you follow the money.
  • Money is a means, not an end.   When you’re below the line, it means everything.  Once you’re above the line, happiness is doing what you love and service to others … you know, the stuff Maslow taught us.

One important point here is that life’s not static and neither is the market.

One strategy is to follow the growth.  This includes following the growth in the market (think biotech, green, … etc.) as well as following paths that lead to your own personal growth.

It’s one way to keep the skills that pay the bills.

50 life changing chess nuggets

THE GAME OF CHESS

After reading “Little Book of Chess Tips” by Peter French i sought my own interpretation of the same and how the rules can apply in our day to day lives. Enjoy………………………….

Things may not be as they seem!

  1. Pay close attention to every move your opponent makes – figure out the reason behind the step in life.
  2. When you see a good move, wait – look for a better one! – try to find the best move you can in every single position.
  3. Always have a plan in mind – what are you trying to achieve in a few years time.
  4. Remember value according to the type of position – strike where it hurts the most by optimising chances.
  5. Avoid repeating mistakes – analyse your games to understand better your opponent’s plans.
  6. Time is a vital element in chess – establish yourself in the strongest possible way using as few moves as possible.
  7. Control of the centre – everything flows from the heart, guard it with all your might.
  8. Never compromise or neglect your king – stick to what is most important and never derail.
  9. Know when to swap – difference between hoarding and spending relies on both timing and wisdom
  10. Weaken your opponents pawn formation – don’t miss an opportunity of tackling your problems and shuttering it’s structure.
  11. Consider the endgame – envision the end from the beginning.
  12. Concentrate all the time – remain frosty till victory is established at the very end of the game.
  13. If you are losing in the endgame, set stalemate traps – restrict your opponent as much as possible so as to increase chances of your victory.
  14. Be much more alert to your own attacking possibilities – be readier to defend against future threats or even to remove them completely.
  15. Relieve the pin/tie as soon as possible – be aware of any issues that may be tying you down as they narrow down your options to succeed.
  16. Moving to discover a threat from another piece – ensure you consider every potential move your opponent can make.
  17. All games are eventually decided by tactics – the most advantageous weapon that you can carry into a fight is tact.
  18. Always be on the lookout – search for indicators/red flags that may reduce your chances of winning or increase your opponents chances of losing.
  19. Reasons for making a sacrifice – be mindful in order to maximise your gains and limit your opponents options.
  20. Defend with the weakest available piece – wherever possible, use pawns to defend as much as possible.
  21. The knight is the weakest defensive piece – your game is as strong as your weakest link.
  22. Exploit overloaded pieces – read into your opponents game and take advantage of any mishaps.
  23. Don’t spend all your practice time learning opening theory – in any case, a thorough grasp of strategy and tactics is a far greater asset in the opening than mere book knowledge.
  24. When you are not sure of the best plan – improve the position of your worst placed piece.
  25. Balance pawn moves – thereby creating your opponents weakness that will be exploited later in the game.
  26. If your king is under attack – sometimes the best defence is to retreat and evaluate yourself, plan, strategize and come back with a better tactic.
  27. Never begin with insufficient material – the intensity of an attack should correlate with the resources available to execute the same.
  28. If your king is castled behind unmoved pawns – don’t put all your eggs in one basket in regards to defence.
  29. Look for the Greek gift sacrifice – sometimes death of a team member is necessary for the sake of the team’s survival.
  30. Look for opportunities – at times it may need you to make a calculated sacrificial tactical move that can win immediately.
  31. Never attack unless and until – only commence aggression when you have a tangible positional advantage.
  32. Do not attack on the flank unless – the centre should be strong, impenetrable and infallible.
  33. Spend time studying endgames – understanding the endgame makes the player more likely to win when the opportunity presents itself.
  34. Do not underestimate the king in the end game – do not hesitate to use your best resources at your disposal at the time when they can be fully optimised.
  35. The knight should stay as close to the king as possible – keep your priorities in life straight.
  36. Aim to exchange so that when the endgame is reached it is your opponent not you, who has the pawn – foresight is key.
  37. If you are defending the king against the king and pawn – strategy and tact is vital to draw the end game.
  38. When defending with a rook against pawns – sometimes you have to lose some to get some.
  39. To build batteries on files or diagonals – working together will yield a stronger result than the sum of its parts.
  40. Consider playing a system – the more things change, they more they stay the same.
  41. If winning beware of exchange into an opposite coloured bishop endgame – stay on your toes until the last victory whistle.
  42. Consider playing your opponent, not the board – assess as far as you can what type of problem you have and seek to frustrate it by all means necessary.
  43. Never neglect your control of the clock – it is essential to invest you time wisely, and conserve it for when you really need it.
  44. Don’t give checks for the sake of it – every resource should be used frugally in a nifty fashion.
  45. Do chess puzzles – always look for ways to expound your critical thinking ability.
  46. Use a good chess computer program – constantly seek to challenge yourself in order to grow.
  47. Do not fall into the habit – seek virtues rather than vices in all your deeds.
  48. Do not forget to look for traps – nothing is for free, always question and be suspicious.
  49. Play your best game all the time – let your lifestyle reflect your *A* game in all your endeavours.
  50. Remember that chess is a game – be generous to your opponent when you win, and never, ever be a bad loser. Play to win, play aggressively by all means, but treat your opponent with respect!

My favourite take away from this book is “The winner of the game is the player who makes the next – to – last mistake”

Do not be afraid to take risks even though they make your stomach churn – they may just be worth it!

Credit goes to the author of the ‘Little Book of Chess Tips’ by Peter French

How To Think Like Bill Gates

bill gates

10 Ways to Think Like Bill Gates
While I don’t think Bill will lend you his brain, you can do the next best thing. You can take some of this thought patterns and practices for a test-drive. Here are ten patterns to get you started:

  1. Prioritize. “What’s the next best thing you should be thinking about?” It starts here. Time is your most limited and precious resource. This is about asking whether the problem is even worth your time. Before you throw cycles at it, figure out whether it’s worth it. Is it significant? How much time should you spend on it? For an example of how Bill Gates figures out how to prioritize.
  2. Ask smarter questions. If you want better answers, ask better questions. Rather than getting stuck in one line of questioning, such as “what’s wrong with this?” or “what’s right with this?”, you can explore your thinking more deeply, by asking a range of questions. One of the skills we learn at Microsoft is Precision Questions / Precision Answers. In this approach, there are 7 categories of precise questions: 1) Go / NoGo – Do we need to talk about this? 2) Clarification – What do you mean? 3) Assumptions – What are we assuming? 4) Basic Critical Question – How do we know this is true? 5) Causes – What’s causing this? 6) Effects – What will be the effects? 7) Action – What should be done?
  3. Make data-driven decisions. This is one of the toughest switches to make. By default, most people make emotional decisions and then find data to support the decision. This means asking questions like, “what’s the data say?” This means getting informed, before you make your decision. This means evaluating the sources of data. It’s an extreme exercise in emotional intelligence to pause your emotional response, while you check your logic and critical thinking.
  4. Divorce your ego. This is where you separate yourself from the problem. This is also about separating yourself from the solution. Instead, you hold the problem or solution out in your hands and inspect it from different angles. Rather than focus on whether you’re right, it’s about whether the solution is right. It’s about being able to beat up the thinking, without taking it personally.
  5. Frame the problem. Framing a problem is simply how you look at a problem, just like how you frame a picture. It’s about choosing what to focus on, what’s in and what’s out. When you frame the problem, you bound it. Framing also helps you get a better perspective on the problem, as well as share the problem more effectively with others. Some questions to help frame a problem include: Who’s the customer? What are their needs and priorities? What’s happening in the market? What are competitors doing? What are our options for responding? How do we differentiate? How is technology changing and what possibilities does it offer our customers? What are the priorities for our business?
  6. Get perspectives on the problem. This means being able to switch your perspectives. Rather than see the glass half-full or the glass half-empty, you should see both. Challenge yourself to switch back and forth from finding flaws to finding opportunities. If you only know how to play the Devil’s advocate, you have a limited view. Like a mulch-faceted diamond, you should be able to look at the problem from different angles. This also means being able to broker in experts and get other people’s perspective on the problem. Problem solving is a team sport. It’s also about leveraging smart people without domain expertise. For example, you can take a dev manager in consumer devices and have him/her move into the enterprise or business applications.
  7. Model the problem. By abstracting the problem into a model, you can think about it in simpler ways, without being bogged down by the implementation details. One of Bill Gate’s favorite tools is his whiteboard. A whiteboard makes it easy to sketch out ideas and visualize them. A whiteboard can help whether you’re trying to map out the problem or draw a solution. Keep in mind that George Box taught us that, “all models are wrong, but some are useful.”
  8. Think of the system and the ecosystem. Bill Gates has an engineering mind. He can see the problem as a system. You can map out the system by asking yourself questions along the line of, what are the bits and pieces? … How does it work? … How do the bits and pieces work together? … what’s the flow through the system? … what are the inputs and outputs? After you have a handle on the system, you can ask yourself about the ecosystem or the system of systems.
  9. Think of the problem over time. It’s easy to look at the problem and just see it as a static snapshot. The challenge is playing out the problem or your solution over time. Time can dramatically change what it looks like. Consider the impact of trends. Consider sustainability. Some things that look good only temporary, and really break down when you apply time to them. Sometimes time is on your side. You might find that there may be better windows of opportunity.
  10. Think strategically. Strategy guides your actions. You can think strategically along different lines. Consider the core of what you do (mission, vision, values, and goals.) Consider internal analysis (strengths and weaknesses, resources and capabilities, and benchmarking.) Consider external analysis (competitive analysis, opportunities and threats, and industry conditions.) Consider the organization design (structure, controls and incentives, culture and people.) Consider execution (roles, responsibilities, resources, action plans, measurement, and accountability.) Consider functional strategies (marketing and sales, operations, human resources, and R&D.) Consider strategic choices (corporate strategy and business strategy.)

Here’s to the crazy ones-a tribute to Steve Jobs

 

Here’s to the crazy ones. 

The misfits.

The rebels.

The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.

And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,

disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.

They invent.    They imagine.    They heal.

They explore.    They create.    They inspire.

They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

 

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail.  The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle.  In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep  more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals.
Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist.
When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good.
Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve.  As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential.  People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit.
Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty.  Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs.  Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point.  In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it.  People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have.  If that describes your own thinking …. well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong.   As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed.  Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

8. Don’t tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.
If you want change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

Remember, you don’t need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It’s never what you are, but what you do.

Difficulties in Life

There are few positions in life in which difficulties have not to be encountered. These difficulties are, however, our best instructors, as our mistakes often form our best experience. We learn wisdom from failure more than from success. We often discover what will do by finding out what will not do. My dad used to say that he had become all the better acquainted with the country from having the good luck sometimes to lose his way. Great thoughts, discoveries, inventions have very generally been nurtured in hardship, often pondered over in sorrow and established with difficulty.

Outlook

Forget each kindness that you do
As soon as you have done it.
Forget the praise that falls to you
The moment you have won it.
Forget the slander that you hear
Before you can repeat it.
Forget each slight, each spite, each sheer
Wherever you may meet it.
Remember every kindness done
To you, whatever its measure.
Remember praise by others won
And pass it on with pleasure.
Remember every promise made
And keep it to the letter.
Remember those who lend you aid
And be a grateful debtor.
Remember all the happiness
That comes your way in living.
Forget each worry and distress;
Be hopeful and forgiving.
Remember good, remember truth,
Remember Heaven’s above you,
And you will find, through age and youth,
True joys and hearts to love you.

Life’s Tug Of War

Life can seem ungrateful and not always kind.
Life can pull at your heartstrings and play with your mind.
Life can be blissful and happy and free.
Life can put beauty in the things that you see.
Life can place challenges right at your feet.
Life can make good of the hardships we meet.
Life can overwhelm you and make your head spin.
Life can reward those determined to win.
Life can be hurtful and not always fair.
Life can surround you with people who care.
Life clearly does offer its ups and its downs.
Life’s days can bring you both smiles and frowns.
Life teaches us to take the good with the bad.
Life is a mixture of happy and sad.
SO…
Take the life that you have and give it your best.
Think positive be happy let God do the rest.
Take the challenges that life has laid at your feet.
Take pride and be thankful for each one you meet.
To yourself give forgiveness if you stumble and fall.
Take each day that is dealt you and give it your all..
Take the love that you’re given and return it with care.
Have faith that when needed it will always be there.
Take time to find the beauty in the things that you see.
Take life’s simple pleasures let them set your heart free.
The idea here is simply to even the score.
As you are met and faced with Life’s Tug of War.

Always Be

Always,
Be understanding to your enemies.
Be loyal to your friends.
Be strong enough to face the world each day.
Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone.
Always,
Be generous to those who need your help.
Be frugal with that you need yourself.
Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.
Be smart enough to continue learning.
Always,
Be willing to share your joys.
Be willing to share the sorrows of others.
Be a leader when you see a path others have missed.
Be a follower when you are shrouded by the mists of uncertainty.
Always,
Be first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds.
Be last to criticise a colleague who fails.
Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not tumble.
Be sure of your final destination, by setting your goals along the way.
Above all,
always be yourself.

It Isn’t Costly

Does the grouch get richer quicker than the
friendly sort of man?
Can the grumbler labour better than the cheerful
fellow can?
Is the mean and churlish neighbour any cleverer
than the one
Who shouts a glad “good morning,” and then
smiling passes on?

Just stop and think about it. Have you ever
known or seen
A mean man who succeeded, just because he
was so mean?
When you find a grouch with honours and with
money in his pouch,
You can bet he didn’t win them just because
he was a grouch.

Oh, you’ll not be any poorer if you smile along
your way,
And your lot will not be harder for the kindly
things you say.
Don’t imagine you are wasting time for others
that you spend:
You can rise to wealth and glory and still pause
to be a friend.

 

Lifting and Leaning

There are two kinds of people on earth today,
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the good and the bad, for ’tis well understood
The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift-flying years
Brings each man his laughter and each man his tears.

Not the rich and the poor, for to count a man’s wealth
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life’s busy span
He who puts on vain airs is not counted a man.

No! The two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

Wherever you go you will find the world’s masses
Are ever divided in just two classes.

And, strangely enough, you will find, too, I ween,
There is only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load
Of overtaxed lifters who toil down the road?

Or are you a leaner who lets others bear
Your portion of worry and labour and care?

Time to Breathe

If you only knew the reason, For the sudden change in season. For the trouble that was caused, And the life you put on pause. Halting this life in such a way, Made it hard to see a new day. Burning this day in my skull, Made it hard to reach even for a pull. Almost losing all of my grasp, Not much to grab on to nothing to clasp. And in the end the message is clear, With much to lose but nothing to fear. Even though at times with nothing to see, Strong perseverance will set you free.

May You Have

May you have……

Enough happiness
to keep you sweet,

Enough trials
to keep you strong,
Enough sorrow
to keep you human,

Enough hope
to keep you happy;
Enough failure
to keep you humble,

Enough success
to keep you eager,
Enough friends
to give you comfort,

Enough wealth
to meet your needs;
Enough enthusiasm
to look forward,

Enough faith
to banish depression,
Enough determination
to make each day better than yesterday.