Tag Archives: goals

Power of small changes

I really like autumn and the moment when it happens that one day you wake up, look out the window, and there you are greeted by burning red leaves. When did that happen, when did summer turn to fall? It seems that yesterday you were surrounded by greenery and September cobwebs. Well, it didn’t happen overnight. The trees changed colours imperceptibly, day by day. How does this apply to our lives? We, too, should change things slowly.

Whenever it comes to life transformations people prefer big changes. They like to see big shifts fast and when they don’t see it they feel like they have failed. This applies to every type of goal we set, from tiny to those really big ones; losing weight, getting fit, getting rich or changing career patch – we want it all and we want it now. If we do not see a significant change now, it is more likely that we will quit.

Little actions lead to big things

Everything takes time. Just as we need time to grow, learn, and improve our skills, our goals need this time to be fulfilled. There is an incubation period for everything. Actions we are taking today lead to results in the future, and depending on what we’re talking about, that future may be distant. And here the patience of a Zen master would come in handy, but how to develop it in yourself?

I think it will be helpful to look at everything from a distance and realize that time is working in our favour. We have a certain number of hours to use every day – it might seem that it is not much, because in twelve hours you will not lose 10 kg, you will not write a book or graduate from university. But if you spend even a small fraction of these twelve hours doing something, and you repeat it regularly, you will see the result in a while.

Let me illustrate it with an example. Writing a book can seem tedious and overwhelming (and it often is;)). You won’t sit down and write the entire book at once, but writing 5 pages a day already seems more realistic to achieve. Now think – 5 pages a day for sixty days is 300 pages. This is how little actions taken every day lead to bigger things.

The problem is that we often don’t see the results right away, so we won’t stick to our decisions.

It is very difficult to change your eating habits overnight, but let’s say just giving up eating a chocolate bar every day will make a difference in weight after a while. Same, you won’t become Hendrix right away, but practising even half an hour a day can make you play the guitar at a decent level. The same goes for learning a language, improving in some field, mastering meditation techniques, yoga – you name it.

People underestimate how everyday small actions and choices can affect the bigger picture of their lives. The secret to success lies in being consistent in your daily activities. Because there’s no such thing as an overnight success.

Focusing on a small change will help you with this dreadful feeling of disappointment when you don’t see big results instantly. If you are losing your patience and self-confidence waiting for the big thing to happen, try to see things from a slightly different perspective. Look at it in a way that your goal is in a development state. Small changes added to each other come together in a big change.

Read more about making changes here.

Things you do to not achieve your goals

Probably you have a bunch of dreams that you wish to come true and probably you’ve set up your goals while ago. But months, years passing and you are not even near there. Why is that? Why, despite the huge ambitions and even bigger resolutions, you are still in the place you don’t want to be? Why do you still feel like you are sitting on the bench during the match of your life? It’s not because you’re too lazy or too stupid. It’s because you’re doing too many things that drive you away from the goal.

Stop talking and start doing

People talks, people love taking and this is ok. The problem is that in most cases they talk more than they do. I have a friend who always says action, not talking. And this is the essence of what you have to hold onto to get something valid in your life.

I know many people who love to talk about their achievements, even if a bigger part of those exist only in their heads, or on social media bio. You know, athletes with obesity, writers without a book or businessmen without a business. They live a success that has not yet happened.

People sometimes deceive themselves to feel better or add a certain “surplus” to their lives to improve their image in the eyes of themselves and others. They telling you that they work on some big business project, but in fact, they just scrolling through Forbes articles all day. They’re telling you how amazing their new business website will look, but the only thing they manage to do is upload another selfie on Instagram.

What things you’re doing to not achieve your goals?

Lots of these issues come to motivation, but you know – motivation directed in the wrong way. Because sometimes you can be more motivated to eat a cake than to do yoga, am I right?

Look at your average day, everything you do and spend your time on. What are the things you are not doing to get a dream job, more money or a better relationship?

Achieving your goals will be very difficult until you define that one thing: what drives you towards the goal and what pulls you in a different direction.

Why doesn’t anything change?

You get in your life what you focus on. Fulfilling yourself is difficult when your attention is drawn to the things that stand in the way of achieving your goal.

Sometimes you can avoid doing certain things because you are scared; you scared of the outcome, you’re afraid it won’t come out the way you want it to. When I’m right before ending a writing project I’m terrified that I will blow it. So I start to cook dumplings or learn to bake a cake, which I never normally do. Just to avoid doing the right thing, because I’m afraid it won’t turn out the way it should.

You see my point here. If I want to be a writer, I must focus on writing, not training my culinary skills. This applies to all of us. If you dream of a specific goal, do what will bring you closer to it, not distance it.

What you don’t do to achieve your goal is all that involves sabotaging yourself. It’s your lack of persistence and effort avoidance. Everything you neglect and put aside. All the days that you say, “I’ll start tomorrow”.

Your reason for being

In Mann’s “Magic Mountain” young Hans looks at the family memento on which the names of his ancestors are engraved: father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather and so on…His mind is slipping out of the present. Time acquires a different dimension, more tangible, yet fleeting. This is the essence of our being – we are like bubbles appearing on the surface of boiling water only for a short moment; we disappear quickly, but are we really? After all, we are making up this boiling water.

We are part of something bigger, something that we cannot comprehend

Our life depends on what meaning we give to it. We are only a tiny part of the universe, but each mechanism is made up of small parts that interact with each other. Every particle matters.

What is your reason for being?

During your life, you change, grow up, learn, evolve. It is not uncommon that you are completely reinventing yourself at some point. Sometimes it may seem that you are completely different than you were years ago. That’s good. It just means your journey continues.

You don't have to be a fully formed individual by reaching some age defined by social standards. Forget about it. You are closest to the essence of reality and your purpose as you grow, develop and change.

That’s why it’s so important to look inside yourself.

I’ve always partially known why I was here, in this world. Which does not mean that I was doing anything in that direction. Because sometimes, even if you have glimpses of what you would like to do with your great goal, you are scared, insecure, and full of doubts.

So you procrastinate, you tell yourself that you are not ready yet (ha! you never will), you wait until you become better, more experienced, perfect. You are paralyzed by how other people perceive the thing you want to do. And so years go by and it’s getting harder and harder to get started.

I knew my purpose (well, a bigger part of it) a long time ago. It took me many years to do anything to orient my life in a direction that I wanted for myself.

I was afraid that I will suck at it.

But I’ll tell you one thing – don’t be afraid to suck. We all do sometimes. I think one of the greatest life skills is to know how to deal with rejection.

One of the most widely read writers of our time, Stephen King has often talked about how his work was rejected by publishing houses and magazines. He hung each refusal on a nail on the wall at his desk and continued to work. When asked for advice on how to finally achieve success, he said: You need a bigger nail.

Because success is a bigger process and refusal is a part of this process.

Try to find that sacred place within yourself, a place where divine part of Universe whispers to you in a language you understand only. While listening to that voice, start doing your part. Even if sometimes you will suck at it. This is the way of things – you learn all the time. At some point, this suckiness will turn into something miraculous.

How to stop struggle with self-discipline

I am the type of reliable person. If I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it. Not necessary now. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe in ten years.

As a person endowed with a hedonistic curse, I’ve always thought that self-discipline was almost impossible to master. Why? Because there was so many more pleasurable stuff to do around me. And another thing is that inurement of self-discipline can be unpleasant and painful.

And that’s what it is – because changing and leaving your comfort zone hurts like hell.

What are the mistakes we make when approaching self-discipline?
First, is to treat it as forcing ourselves to do things we don’t want to do. You can say: Hey, but isn’t that the case? I will put it this way – forcing yourself to do things you don’t want to do, would be eating a can of worms. It’s something different in case of struggling with discipline in relation to your goals. After all, you want to do it. You just don’t want to do it right now.

Deferred gratification is the key to self-discipline

Building self-discipline is more like overcoming the momentary reluctance and focusing on gratification, which we will not receive immediately. The impulse for an immediate reward is natural and it is because our organisms recognize it as something related to survival. (There is a reason why self-control seems most difficult in the case of food and sex).

According to Baumeister self-regulation theory, there are five domains of gratification delay: food, physical pleasures, social interactions, money and achievement.

There’s no easy way to dealing with a habit of instant gratification. Initially, we do have to force ourselves to something. To make things a little easier, do it with a vision of the end, with a vision of what you want to achieve.

How can you help yourself with that? Here are a few things that helped me climb out of a dark hole of laziness:

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH VISUALISATIONs OF THINGS YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE

It can be printed photos of a place you want to go, so every time you are tempted to siphon off some of the money you are saving for your journey, you might think twice. You can change your screen saver to a picture including a version of yourself you want to become. I must admit that I myself signed my photo “a writer” and every time I was tempted to do something else, I thought about what Aga the writer would do. Then I sat down and started working on my project. My second book will be published next year, so I’m sure this tactic works! Same like putting a picture of a terribly obese woman on a fridge door while I started to spiral into another never-ending sugar high.

The thing is, you need to feed your mind with a vision that will absolutely kick of motivation.

START SMALL

Don’t overwhelm yourself with big tasks if you struggle with even doing your bed in the morning. Set one small thing for yourself and focus on it. Then gradually add more. If you want to write don’t throw yourself into a goal of 30 pages per day, you’re not fucking Stephen King! Make it real and achievable. for the start will be enough if you just sit and write something every day. No matter how long, it can be only a few sentences. The only important thing is that you did it. These are the foundations for your new, emerging habit.

KEEP A DIARY

Write down everything that needs to be done and tick off what you have done at the end of the day. You’ll see that your ego will want you to tick off everything from the list, so after a while, your “to-do ” list will be DONE every day.

Every day set one goal you absolutely must do and do it even if the world collapses. Just do this one thing and the rest will be easier.

TELL OTHERS ABOUT IT

If you commit yourself to something by telling others about it, it will be harder for you to get away from it. How would you feel telling your friends about your new ‘fit resolutions’, and then being get caught eating fast food? Not so great, right?

Self-control is a very extensive topic, so here I focused on what worked for me. And you have to know that I’m not an easy case;)

At the end one thing I’ve read somewhere and it sticks to my mind:
Be stronger than your strongest excuse.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Prioritizing sleep is the best self care

I’m sure many of us get trapped in vicious circle of ‘pursuit of success’ (whatever success mean to you). I notice that recently productivity is so trendy that there is no better answer than “busy”, if someone ask how are you? There would be nothing wrong with it, if not for the fact that by imposing too many things we are really moving away from what we want to achieve. When we can’t keep up with everything, we try to save time somewhere. Usually by cutting sleep. Same, we pay a high price, because lack of sleep is a grave sin.

According to National Institue of Neurological Disorders and Stroke quality sleep is as essential to survival as food and water. Therefore it’s really frightening that so many of us underestimate its salutary influence on the quality of life.

Are you in sleep debt?

Do you happen to not sleep enough few nights in a row, and sleep off over the weekend? Do you sometimes get an hour or two out of your sleep pool to finish something or watch something late at night? If so, I have bad news for you. Lost sleep cannot be simply made up. This debt – accumulation of lack of sleep from sleepless nights – is difficult to pay back. And it’s something more than a fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Why is it so?

First of all, we can’t just get the body accustomed to sleeping less. Even if you think that you are totally fine with your 5-hours sleep night, you may not be aware that you have a debt of sleep. It manifests itself in disordered metabolism of sugars and glucose and the beginning of any negative changes in the body.

The impact of sleep on our lives is multifaceted. Sleep is primarily a time to regenerate brain function. It also affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

With insufficient sleep, our body cannot function normally.

Lack of sleep disturbs certain biological mechanisms. I am talking about functioning of the immune and nervous systems and the operation of long-term memory.

You must sleep to work efficiently

According to Jerome Siegel, from University of California, evolutionary roots of sleep go much deeper. In his research he points out that sleep is primarily to increase the body’s energy efficiency, as well as to optimize time and strength. Due to the fact that we sleep, we are able to use the active phases of life more effectively.

Skimping on sleep can make more damage than we can imagine. Studies shows that the group of effects related to lack of sleep include: increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, loosing brain tissue, decrease in concentration and creativity, anxiety and depression.

Do you see how huge this is?

You can’t miss the connection from poor sleep with anxiety disorders especially in the Western world.

What happens when your brain does not sleep?

Quoting Mark Rosekind “Every aspect of who you are as a human, every capability is degraded, impaired, when you lose sleep. What does that mean? Your decision-making, reaction time, situational awareness, memory, communication, and those things go down by 20% to 50%.”

But wait, there’s more. On the top of that we can add distraction, brain spasm and brain damage, memory loss, creation of false memories, anger, neurosis, impaired wit, hallucinations.

By now you have realized that proper amount of sleep is vital to lead a healthy and fulfilled life. We cannot live up to our full potential if this area is somehow disturbed.

The importance of sleep in motivation and productivity is undeniable. Sleep is a very important thing on the road to success. But that’s not all, because in addition to sleeping, dreams are also significant.

Bare with me now, so I can lift the veil for you.

What's happening in our dreams can give us tips on important issues in life
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Sleep and dreaming improves the ability to accurately analyze the situation and solve problems. It’s boosting creativity. This is illustrated by research done by prof. Robert Stickgold from Harvard Medical School. He woke up during the REM phase of sleep and asked them to provide associations connecting two words. He asked the same thing students who remained fully aware. It turned out that the first group gave less obvious and original associations. And according to him this is creativity in its pure form.

It is worth watching what we dream of because dreams are closely linked to what is happening in our lives.

According to Professor Mark Blagrove, the function of dreams is to alleviate the strong emotions we experience while awake and to train before events that may occur.

You can see more in dreams

Dreams draw our attention to what we may not see. Hidden fears, needs we are ashamed of – it can be anything.

Jung discovered that dreams reveal the cause of our disharmony and emotional anxiety, reveal hidden potential and brings a creative solution to everyday problems.

Dreams are the way to subconscious

Dreams often show what we do not allow into consciousness and satisfy the desires we suppress. By looking at our dreams we can understand ourselves on a deeper level.

It’s a good idea to keep a dream diary that you can analyze. If you are struggling with any problems this way will definitely prove helpful in solving them. Moreover, knowing that the subconscious is really ruling us, it is worth following what is going on in it.

The messages that dreams bring are needed for our development. We often dream about what we lack and what we need, and realizing this makes our path to fulfillment much easier.

Prioritizing sleep is the best you can give yourself

All this shows us how dangerous it is to neglect the sphere of sleep. Isn’t it great that such a simple and pleasant thing can have a significant impact on our lives? So sleep tight and hope your dreams come true! (only the good ones )

Good life is about achieve right perspective

Your current life is the sum of your decisions once made. Whatever they were – right or wrong – if you made other decisions, your life would look completely different now. You can think about it in butterfly effect categories.

Every action taken leads to some effects, and the same applies to actions you never took.

Your day consists of 86400 seconds. Each separately may not mean much, but put together they create your decisions, successes, memories – your whole life. So stop underestimating your time. This is the most precious thing you have.

All your life depending on one decision – what you decide to do with the time you have.

So how to make the right choices?

You really thought I was going to tell you that? No, there’s no right answer here. There is only one thing you can be sure – your actions matter. Because you become what you do. Take action even if you are not sure what to do. Take action, even if it requires extra-human effort. Take action even if you will change your mind after some time. Your life quality depends on it.

There’s a bunch of people out there who never did anything because they were paralyzed by fear, uncertainty and perfectionism. At the end of the day, they don’t feel that fear anymore, they are sure that nothing bad will happen to them and they don’t need to be afraid of being imperfect – because they did not do anything! They gained nothing but an illusory sense of comfort that doesn’t lead to anything. If you want your life to be like a beautiful dream fuck that all and let yourself to feel that fear, let yourself to be imperfect! In the process of creating a big life, it will not have any meaning!

Comfort zone is a bitch

Things you could do doesn’t matter. What matters is what you really did. Trust me, I’ve been myself in that dreamland where are so many possibilities ( talents, occasions), but because of some mean higher power (perfectionism, fear of being judged, impostor syndrome – you name it), nothing ever happens.

Waiting for things to be perfect is like waiting for a last episode of those long TV series. It just never happens!

Whatever is the thing you want to do, but you’re afraid, start – even despite yourself. Then somehow it will go. If you’re terrified about all things that might go wrong, think about the worst-case scenario. Then imagine that it really happens. And how are you feeling about it? Not so great, but you’re still alive and the world did not end. So is it really worth wasting energy on worrying?

Image by Gerd Altman from Pixabay

Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do

Each of us has a set of features that distinguish him from others. Many factors contribute to success – mindset, personality, talents or the right moment. Not everyone can become a new Elon Musk, but anyone can become someone. If you are focused on what you lack, like money, acquaintances, a super-efficient body, or mathematical genius, you’ll never leave this vicious circle called „I can’t”. Instead of tormenting yourself with what you do not have, or cannot do, think about what you can do.

You can always be a better version of yourself. Don’t compare your life with people who succeed – everyone has a different background and things are different for each one. Do what you can do in the situation you are in now.

Value your time and energy

Think about the time and energy you have like you think about money. You don’t waste them on things you don’t need, you don’t give them away to anyone who asks for it, and usually, you plan to spend it, right? So why don’t you treat your time and energy in the same way?

When you wake up every day you have a certain amount of time and energy to dispose of. Don’t waste it. Don’t do things that lead nowhere. If you know what you want to achieve focus on it. Don’t get distracted by things you don’t feel like doing, but it’s hard for you to refuse. This applies to things and people. Sometimes, on a way to your dream life, you’ll learn that the most useful word is NO.

Because you will have to say ‚no’ to everything that takes you away from your goal.

Writing a book r

Why we are not who we want to be?

Have you ever wondered what your life will look like in five, ten years? And do you remember that version of yourself from a few years ago, who wondered what it’s gonna be like in the future? What would you think of the person you are now, seeing yourself through the eyes of five or ten years younger you?

Most of us, unfortunately, would not be happy, and certainly there would be those whose such self-image would fill with horror. Why is it happening so often that we becoming someone we did not want to become?

Sometimes, despite being stuck in a situation that doesn’t suit us, we are not able to even change the state we are in. We forgetting about the dreams we once had, and we are not believing anymore that we can ever make them come true. We loosing ourselves in boring everyday life, we postponing life for later. As a result, we are not who we really would like to be, and we don’t do what we would like to do.

Have you ever experienced such a feelings? If you say yes, you know very well how much it sucks. And how difficult is to break free from it. However, it doesn’t mean that the changes are impossible, but before you try to make them, first try to find out why you stuck in this personal shit hole.

Once you realize what holds you back, you will be able to create and implement a dream vision of your life. And of yourself, because your life is reflection of what is happening inside you.

You are waiting for something that will happen by itself

Don’t we all waiting for some miracles? But you know what? Nothing will happen by itself! You don’t live in a fairy tale in which beautiful prince will come to save you and make you happy for the rest of your life. You are also not the lucky one from an old movie, where someone might notice your great talent and make you famous and rich. The only fairy you can count on in your life is YOU!

To get anything from life, you first have to give something of yourself. Perhaps some dedication, attention, time, patience and perseverance.

It depends only on you how your life will go. If you have a dream based on your passion, devote yourself one hundred percent to it, and it will definitely pay off. What is the thing that you really want to do? If you already know, I have one simple piece of advice: DO IT! Even if you have to start small and uncomfortable. Everyone started somewhere.

Lack of motivation and bad habits

Finding motivation is not easy, and maintaining it at the same level seems impossible at all. That is why it’s very important to develop proper habits. Achieving goals (we can also call them dreams) often requires tedious work, effort, dedication and time. Successful people go through this difficult path because they can control themselves. Self-discipline is the key. It might seems too simple, but just think about it: if you were able to control yourself to such an extent that every day, but absolutely every day, you would do the tasks you set for yourself (it could be anything: learning a language, training, playing the guitar, learning how to draw, programming, singing etc.), how far would you be today? By devoting some part of the time every day (or almost every day) and being systematic we are able to bring almost any skill to the master level. We just need to control our desire to switch to Netflix + pizza mode, which is not an easy matter.

Two deadly “P”

Procrastination and perfectionism are two words that you will have to cross out from your dictionary. Forever.

Procrastination, that is tendency to postpone everything, is the killer of our dreams. Be honest with yourself, how often you use a phrase that you’ll do something ‘another time’? Well, I will tell you one thing whatever your answer is. Too often. Another time is mythical land that doesn’t exist, is a cold space where dreams die. Another time it won’t be better, easier or otherwise. Another time there will be less time to do, what you can do now.

Next hideous ‘P’ is perfectionism, which often destroys our effort from the very beginning. When we start doing something, it is obvious that we are not perfect at it, and the awareness of it may deprive us of the motivation to try at all. We are not perfect even when we do something for a long time, and it does not mean that we do not do it right.

As Sheryl Sandberg said Done is better than perfect. You don’t need to be perfect to be great. You can achieve amazing things by being wonderfully imperfect. And this way is more fun too. It’s totally enough if you’re becoming better than yesterday, wherein you compete only with yourself, not with someone else.

Look at people who are successful in the field in which you would also like to do something, they are not perfect in what they do. Many great musicians having bumps on the stage, many writers creates things that are not always worth the Nobel prize, many active actors have a failed role in their achievements. None of them are perfect, but each of them is great. You can be too.

You are tired of life

You get up very early so you don’t won’t be late for work. Work you don’t like. You are in too much of a hurry to enjoy your morning coffee, and you quickly swallow breakfast, so that you “don’t waste” too much time – a time you want to use to do things that you don’t enjoy anyway. At work, you count the hours to the end. Returning home, instead of thinking about a free afternoon / evening, you think about all that you MUST do. Shopping, supplies, cooking, washing, setting up the laundry, cleaning the bathroom, replying to e-mails, calling the bank … over and over again. Well, to feel a bit better, please realize that you don’t have to do anything! Think in terms of choice rather than coercion.

If you’re burned out you don’t have the strength or even the desire to fulfill your dreams and goals. If you are tired, let it go and just relax. In the multitude of obligations that we often impose ourselves, it is very easy to lose a healthy approach to life. If you do not vacuum the apartment once, but instead you’ll be lounging in a hot bath reading the most inspirational novel, will something bad happen?

The above thoughts are the harvest of the fights with my own inner lazy demons, and it doesn’t mean that I won the fight. Sometimes I win, sometimes I loose. The fight is still going on. You know what helps me to keep going? To refresh my dreams from time to time, so I’ll never forget what I’m standing for.

How positive thinking leads to success

Hey, do you know that you can achieve better life just by tuning a few things in your mind? Sounds too good to be true? Maybe naively? So I have to tell you there is more in you that you ever suspected. Do you really think that the brains we have been provided with are just an unsightly piece of flesh? Make no mistake about – we are equipped with powerful tools that are able to provide us with what we want. And they’re all in your head. How astonishing is that?

I know you’ve probably heard about positive thinking so many times, that you rolling your eyes every time you see another article about it. But have you ever really delved into this concept and tried to unravel the rules behind it? I don’t want to duplicate content that appears everywhere, but I think it’s worth summarizing and refreshing what we know about it. And maybe add something on the top of that.

The thing is simple – positive mindset is based on the assumption that no matter what, I’ll be fine. As with many of the things I talk about on this blog – it’s simple but not easy. So let’s look closer.

First thing you need to realize is that you are capable of achieving things. If you don’t believe it, why would you even bother? Faith is first, indispensable ingredient of a positive mindset. You can achieve anything if you believe it is possible. Now, I know what you thinking – not everything is possible, and you are damn right! Some things, like becoming king of Thailand, build your dream house on the Moon, or become better rock band that Iron Maiden, will never happened 😉 What I mean is that you are able to obtain things, that are already achievable for others, like become successful in some fields, whatever attracts you. Thing about it – if other people managed to gain something, why you can’t? Are you missing something or were you born defective? In 99% answer is no. You are full, you are gifted and totally capable to attain your dreams. If you look at successful people there is one thing they surely have in common – a clear believe that they are able to achieve what they decide to achieve. Sometimes if you read biography of excellent person you might notice that their life is not perfect. Oftentimes they struggled with many obstacles. But things like dysfunctional background, no financial support or physical inconveniences did not prevent them from achieving success. They believed in themselves and they were right! Why? Here comes another thing hiding behind positive mindset idea – a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve" - N.Hill

Self-fulfilling prophecy is a psychological phenomenon compounded in 1948 by Robert K. Merton, also known as ‘Oedipus effect’. It’s like a thought or expectation that manifests in life because it has been thought. Simplifying, we get what we expect. This conception is clearly merged with the so-called law of attraction, according to which our thoughts are manifested in reality. So whatever believes you hold about yourself they will influence your actions, performance, behavior and practically whole life.

by Peter Fogden

In assumptions of the discussed theory we distinguish the Pygmalion effect or aureole effect, based on the usurpation that we achieve the results we expect, that awaited success appears in our life. It is about fulfilling a positive expectation towards someone because we have created this positive expectation. A similar process works in the opposite direction in the case of low expectations. And this applies not only to ourselves, but to the world around us and to other people.

Let me illustrate this using example of classic experiment from 1950, wherein social psychologist, professor Harold Kelley told one group of students that the next class would be led by a lecturer who is warm, progressive, critical, practical and determined.
In the second group, the word “warm” was replaced by “cold”. The result? New lecturer was assessed by the first students as independent and flexible, and by the second – as intolerant, explosive and stiff in beliefs. Sound impressive, right?

Now you know how important is to create a self-suggestion that will meet your goals. Here you really need to forget about all bullshit that keep you from the life you want. Don’t you even dare thinking that you are not enough educated, brave, creative, attractive, clever, ingenious. Fuck it, who told you that? Parents, teachers, other people? Fuck them to! If you think this way about yourself, what you need to do is replace that thinking with thoughts that will make you feel better! It’s not easy and quick process, but once you start you will discover a great difference in your life. So manifest it, use affirmations and imagine yourself the way you would like to see yourself. If you change the image of yourself in your head, your whole life will change.

While you are working on your own positive mindset you might wonder how is possible to stick to it, while you experiences some difficult times. I want you to memorize, repeat, keep in mind forever and if you still don’t get it, tattoo on your forehead:

there are no failures, only lessons.

Yes, we all fail, but it is our attitude that decides whether failure is failure. For people with positive mindset it’s always a lesson. If you learn something from the defeat, it’s not defeat anymore. Sometimes it might be a blessing we just need to look at everything from a different angle. I can tell you from my own experience that if my article were not rejected by newspaper, I would never start to focus on decent writing. Or if I had not been missed at the promotion, I would never have motivation to changed my job for one I really enjoy. The fact that something didn’t work out is just a hint of what you still need to work on. Think about it, how else should we learn and improve?

Your point of view, approach is the only thing you have control over. Even emotions are formed by behavior, and you have influence over it. Likewise life satisfaction is a matter of attitude, hence it is so vital to develop a sense of gratitude. Gratitude is like a magic spell which changes everything. Once you realize how many things you can be grateful for, you can instantly not only boost your mood, but gradually feel more satisfied with life. My life has changed since I began to be grateful for all these little things like peaceful morning with good book and coffee, beautiful sunset I could watch from my bedroom window, favorite song that I can listen over and over again on my phone. And all this leads to greater happiness, because our life consists of such small things. If you are reading this now on your laptop or phone I can assume that you belong to the lucky ones who are not in danger of war and misery, so even if you think that you have nothing to be grateful for, stop right there. You’re alive. You have a whole universe of possibilities in front of you

Your mind is powerful tool, it’s like the greatest, phenomenal computer created by nature. And it can work in your favor.Your job is to make sure you have the right ‘software’ – positive mindset. Feed it with beautiful thoughts full of gratitude, love and faith. Remember that all your thoughts are shaped by your attitude, and eventually you become what you think.

*Photo by Edu Lauton

Master your focus

This is the thing that everyone want us to do, but nobody ever showed us how to do it. Nobody even explained what it is – this wonderful, almost unattainable physical state. Focus. Think about this – since early stages of our life, through school, college and work, we hear all the time that we need to focus. But how the hell, can we do it? It would be great if someone would kindly show us, right?

In simple word focus is ability to eliminate distractions. Like with many other things – it’s simple, but not easy. The question is – why we struggle so much achieving clear concentration? Is it a matter of some kind of flaw? Or maybe our brains refuse to obey? Let’s find out.

It turns out that most people can’t manage themselves in the right way. We are not aware of how our brain, mind and our attention work. One of my personal You Tube guru, Dandapani, says:

“(…) most people can’t concentrate today for two reasons; one is we’re never taught how to concentrate, and second is we don’t practice concentration. So how can you do something if you never taught how to do it? And how can you be good at something if you don’t practicing? (…) let’s say on average we are practicing a 13 hours of distractions a day, seven day a week, and then you’re wonder why you’re so good at it. That’s the law of practice (…) we become good whatever is we practice.”

Simple as it is – we become all these things to which we devote our attention. When we divide our attention to many things at once, we’re losing. Divided attention is not attention. It’s distraction. And as Dandapani saying, it’s not enough if you sit once a day for 10 minutes meditation practice, while for the rest 1440 minutes your mind is distracted! Do you see where we are going with this?

Unwavering focus is is something you need to practice.
Not for ten minutes a day, but all day. Wonder how? Let’s gets things under way.

  1. Myth of multitasking

First thing you need to remember: multitasking is bad! I mean really bad, ugly and shabby. From now on I want you to think about multitasking like you would think about your older’s brother stinky pair of socks, or pineapple on pizza, or polish disco charts. Or preferably all of them at once. I know what you want to say right now, I really hear your voice  ‘Why?Multitasking is great, it save your time!’ Keep that voice down please, cause this is not the case. Why? Here it is: multitasking forces your brain to switch your focus back and forth very quickly from one task to another. And what is wrong with that? Our brain cannot seamlessly transit from one task to another. Those switches costs you mental price. This is more harmful than you might think and have real negative impact on your productivity and creativity. What it means is that multitasking stops you from getting into a state of flow, which is the best condition for creating any work. Also, it impacts your short-term memory, even leads to increased anxiety. So do one one thing at the moment. Only one.

2. Turn notifications off

Get rid of that stimulating buzzz sound while you working on something important. Seriously, do you need to know who liked your instagram selfie, or what your bestie uploaded in her latest story? No,you don’t! All you need is do you task – that’s all matter. There will be time for all emails, texts, facebook, missed calls. But later, when you finish. Such bullshit really weakens concentration and motivation. You know yourself how much willpower requires you to concentrate, so don’t waste it because of  some stupid notification bells.

3. Try pomodoro technique

This method, developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s., uses a timer to break down work into not long (originally 25 minutes, but you can decide for yourself), timed intervals spaced out by short breaks. Pomodoro is one of the simplest and most effective productivity tools – requires only a timer and simple rules. For this 25 minutes you must really work, without bullshit. After a while you will see that it works. And there’s more – with time it can even help improve your attention span and concentration. Definitely worth a try. You can also try focus music (you can just find it on you tube) while you working on something – it will keep you into what you doing.

4. Be mindful

Learn how to be totally aware of yourself. Try to pay unwavering attention to whatever you do at the moment. Practice it.  Not for ten munutes daily, but all the times. When you speak to someone, pay all attention to that person. While eating contemplate the taste of food, notice its smell and consistency. Be attentive even with trivial activities, such as washing dishes or vacuuming – treat them as a practice of your mindfulness. Practice concentrating on every little thing you do during the day. You’ll find out how good you will be after some time.

(...) If you practice something over and over again, you become really good at it. And that's why people are so good at distraction - because it's what they practice." - Dandapani

5. Meditate

You expected that, right? What can I say, meditation is a thing! It’s the best what you can do for yourself. It can help you grow on so many levels. More or less you know what this is about. Of course this topic deserves more attention and space, and I’ll back to it in future posts. For now, I want to highlight how significant may be bringing this practice to your life. And don’t say that you can’t or you don’t know how – meditation is a process you can learn. Like any other skill.

Once I had tat silly idea about meditation. I don’t know where it came from, but I was expecting something extraordinary from meditating. And by extraordinary I mean flashes, visions, enlightenment, or I don’t know what else, maybe a journey to another dimension. I expected some extreme changes of consciousness. Like after strong joint, or something. Well, forget about it. Meditation can change your consciousness, but not in this junkie-hippie-stoner way some might think of.

Meditation clear your mind and allows you to see things on a deeper lever. It allows to look inside you and to see the connections between all things in reality. And it’s better than being ‘on high’!

There are many apps out there that might help you enter the process and learn it. I can recommend Calm or Headspace, both you can try out for free.

Instead of ending:

This is the second version of this post, the first containing about 1000 words, I ‘accidentally’ deleted. It shows how inattentive you can be when writing about focus…Ironic. I got annoyed, you can imagine, but them I remembered that once ‘accidentally’ I deleted my bachelor’s thesis written in 90 percent. Two weeks before deadline…I realized this time it’s not so bad – I just need to focus more! So I took a shower, grabbed a beer and back to my desk . And here it is. Maybe not so polished, but I wrote what I wanted to write.

Stay calm. Stay focus. Stay mindful.

Small big things

What are all the self-development blogs, books, vlogs, talks, methods used for, and why their popularity is still increasing? Why we are so crazy about the constant improvement of ourselves and everything around us? What is this holy grail of self-development? Well, in short, we want to be happy. Yeah, whatever that means. But really, what does it mean?   

If you happened to experienced a sudden feeling of fullness, maybe while sitting in a cosy armchair reading a favourite magazine and sipping steaming tea, or while having super tasty lunch with your bestie, or maybe when you’ve forgotten about the whole world while playing with your pet, you might get the point of what real happiness is.

Happiness is not created of super epic stuff like conquering the world. It’s rather like seeing the wonder in every little thing. True happiness resides in the realm of small things.

I’m sure you’ve heard about blue zones determined so by Dan Buettner. In his research, he identified the longevity „hotspots” of the world. The zones are Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Icaria in Greece and the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California. People living in these places share not only longevity but also a great sense of happiness. You must be wondering what a great secret lies behind it. Well, the trick is to live simple. People from those places share common lifestyle characteristics. Simplifying we can bring them to a sense of community, balanced diet and awareness of spirituality. Buettner breaks it down to nine following points:  

Moderate, regular physical activity

 Having a life purpose 

Controlling the level of stress 

Moderate caloric intake

Plant-based diet 

Moderate alcohol intake

Engagement in spirituality or religion

Engagement in family life and social life 

I can almost hear you thinking Is this for real? How the hell this can have such a significant impact on an overall sense of happiness? Well, the answer to this is that happiness is a very simple thing. Simple, but not easy. Like lots of things in our life which are simple, but not easy. Let me break this down for you: if you wanna lose weight you know what to do – you need the right diet and a dose of regular exercise. We can agree that this is simple. But…is it easy? We all know the answer.

Small things lead to great happiness

It seems to me that everything starts in gratitude. Happiness begins when we realize that there are so many things that we should thank the Universe.  How do I know? Because this is how I started my path to a better life. And you know what? Gratitude works, bitches.

Think, that there is somebody out there who is happy with less than you have. And think about all things you are grateful for, all the good things that happened to you, all amazing people you’ve met on your way, all chances that were given to you. And also think about all those opportunities and beautiful moments which are yet to come. Do not focus on all the material things you have, they are relevant, but not the most important. Of course, you should be grateful for them too, but turn your attention to what really matters. I’ve been getting rid of excess stuff for some time and I have to say that I feel good about it. I feel lighter. Still have many books, however those I know I won’t read again I donate to libraries. And perfumes, for which I have no excuse. But I won’t buy more. Promise.

My point is I do not own a lot of stuff. But I own lots of love for my boyfriend, my family, my pets and those few friends that I have. I own lots of joy with having a walk in the forest or with a glass of bordeaux in the evening. I own lots of passion for my favourite books, music, movies, art, poems. I own lots of satisfaction with my writing and drawing. I own lots of beautiful memories of great moments and great people. I own lots of hope and faith, and I own an incredible amount of dreams and goals that I know will be fulfilled. It’s so little and so much at the same time. 

I think having a goal is the basic driving force of everything.

To be happy you need to have a reason to get out of bed every day. This is another thing that people from the blue zone have in common – they never stop working, in a sense that they have bigger and smaller things to do. Everyday. Think about all those people, not only retirees, who lead aimless living filled at most with the waiting for the next episode of the TV series. Do you think they are happy? Well, how can you be happy being dead inside? Your goal, your mission is something personal, only you decide what it is. There’s no importance hierarchy here. For one it can be changing the world, for others creating something small but satisfying. 

We are all here for various reasons and they all are important.