Five Tips for Achieving Peak Performance at Work and in Life


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Achieving peak performance is vital in all aspects of our lives, both personal and professional. Included in this article are some tips that have helped me in my own personal life to increase my productivity and success. Take a look at each one of these tips and be open to the benefits of each item. After going through each tip and incorporating it within your life, if you don't feel like it provides value, disregard it. If it does provide value to your life, keep it.

Setting Goals

Goal setting is the key element in attaining your success on a day-to-day basis. The problem that many people run into is that they set TOO MANY goals during the course of the day. As a general rule, look at your list of goals that you want to achieve and only select a few of them. By doing so, not only do you keep your mind free, relaxed, and focused, but you also set yourself up for success so that you can build momentum into the next day. Start with a list of only a few goals for the day. If you complete these goals early, feel free to add 1 or 2 more to your list. The key is not to have too many things that you FEEL like you need to complete. Doing so will only increase your stress level, resulting in decreased productivity and lower quality of work.

Meditation

Daily meditation and quiet time is one of the most crucial, yet overlooked tips for achieving peak performance. Why might you ask? Throughout our day and throughout our lives, we are constantly bombarded with different messages and stressors. Whether it's family related, work related, incoming phone calls, or email, in this technological age, human beings are becoming more connected and available than ever. The primary drawback with this is that our minds and bodies are in a constant state of stress, as we tackle everything that hits us, from first thing in the morning until late at night.

At what point do we have time to recover and relax? That's where daily meditation and quiet time come into the picture. If there is one thing that you can incorporate into your daily regimen, it would be meditating and having alone time first thing in the morning. By devoting time for meditation in the morning, you start your day off on the right foot with a calm, relaxed attitude, resulting in better decision making as well as increased productivity.

Healthy Diet

Eating healthy will not only help you physically, but it will help you mentally as well. The food that you put into your body acts as fuel, which provides you with the energy needed to sustain you throughout the day. A healthy diet that consists of plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and water is beneficial for our bodies. Whenever possible, cut out as much processed food as you can. In this day in age, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cut out processed food as most everything around us is processed in one way or another. However, by doing so and making gradual changes, you will begin to reap the benefits. Not only will you be slimmer and more fit, but you'll have more energy as well.

Exercise

To achieve your peak performance physically, it is necessary to begin an exercise regimen. Exercise is beneficial both physically and mentally. Not only does it strengthen your body, but it also releases stress and tension. Make time to exercise at least 3-4 times a week. Whether its weight training, running, cycling, playing sports, or doing yoga, there are a ton of options for you to get out there and be active. If needed, go find a personal trainer that can guide you through the process. Together, you can put together a plan that covers both your nutrition and exercise regimen so that you hit your fitness goals.

Accountability Partners

Having one or more accountability partners is one of the most overlooked elements to success. Have accountability partners for different parts of your life. Perhaps you can have an accountability partner for your business that you report into on a daily or weekly basis. You can also have another accountability partner that holds you accountable for your personal life. This may include spending 'x' amount of time each day with your family or friends. It may also include blocking out time for exercise, reading, or quiet time. By having accountability partners, not only are you accountable to yourself, but you are accountable to another person. When you are accountable to another person, you are more likely to take action because somebody else is relying on you to follow through with what you said you would do.

Follow these tips above and the likelihood of success in your life is likely to increase. Ignore them and you will most likely get more of the same of what you are getting right now. Success leaves clues. Is your life leaving behind the type of clues that you want to be remembered for in life?

4 Tips for Improving Your Communications Skills


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Have you ever been to a function in a room full of strangers and found yourself lost for words? 

The art of introducing yourself to others and creating small talk may come natural for some, but most people confess to feeling shy, embarrassed and don’t know where to start. 

There are four levels of communication: Small talk, fact disclosure, share viewpoints and opinions and share personal opinions.

#1: Small Talk

In new relationships or acquaintances the safest place to start is to talk about surface issues. For instance, make a comment about the weather, current events or the surroundings you are in. 

This is called “small talk”, and is used to “size up” the other person to determine the comfort zone between the two of you. There is no need to disclose any personal information with the other person at this stage, as this initial interaction assists you to determine how “safe” they are on your first meeting. 

If you are comfortable with each other at a surface level you can easily slip into the next level of communication: fact disclosure.

#2: Fact Disclosure

Fact disclosure is slightly deeper than small talk in that you disclose facts about yourself without triggering topics of emotional interest. 

The purpose of fact disclosure is to find out if you have something in common. You can use these common areas to build a friendship. You may want to talk about your career, occupation, hobbies, or where you live. 

Avoid topics like marriage, divorce, politics, sex and religion in this second level of communication. If you find a topic of mutual interest you may want to progress to the next level of communication: sharing viewpoints and opinions. 

#3: Share Viewpoints and Opinions

Once you have established that the other person is “safe” through small talk, and have found areas of common interest, you can build rapport by sharing your opinions and viewpoints. 

By sharing your viewpoints and opinions you allow yourself to become vulnerable to the scrutiny and objections of the other person. Enter this level of communication once you are comfortable that you both share positive feelings through the first two levels. 

Be prepared to listen to the opinions of your new friend. This will enable your friendship to survive. 

Make sure you don’t use your opinions as a form of “character assassination” of other people. You may be thought of as a negative person and this may cause your new friend to distance himself/herself from you. 

The fourth level of communication is sharing personal feelings. Solid friendships over time usually enter this fourth level of communication. 

#4: Share Personal Feelings

After building upon trust, finding things in common and listening to the viewpoints and opinions of others, you may be able to share your personal feelings. This is when an acquaintance becomes a genuine friend. 

Things of deep value to you can be shared without feeling threatened. You listen closely to each other without the need to “solve” your friend’s problem. You are happy to reflect their feelings back to them – forming a bond of empathy and compassion between the two of you. 

At this level of communication, it is important that you provide a little distance between yourself and your friend. If the distinction between yourself and your friend becomes unrecognizable, it is possible for your relationship to go sour. If you know how to handle your own feelings, attitudes and behaviors while maintaining your friendship at this level, you will build a successful friendship that can last a lifetime.

3 Simple Ways To Achieve True Happiness In Life


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Having a happy life is a goal most people have, but lets face it, many will never achieve it. Why is this? Personally, I think there comes a time to stop analyzing the reasons why we are not happy because it usually makes us feel miserable. Instead if we all focused on how to be happy and spent our time working towards that happiness we would all be happier people!

This article contains 3 simple ways anyone can start to achieve true happiness in life. None of these steps cost a penny.

#1: Have A Purpose In Life

Know your goals and how to achieve them. People are happier when they have sense of direction. Learn about what are your goals. Think of the ways to reach what you are aiming for. You can achieve happiness if you will find that one ultimate dream that you wish to have. Go to the place where you wanted to be. Write down that purpose that you have to make it more real. 

Plan the steps ahead to get there. Have pictures you can find in order to see yourself acquiring those things. Don't underestimate the power of visualization. By merely looking at that written plan, you will feel more alive and happier. You will have a focus and something to work towards. Life is not a destination it is a journey. Lets make our journey a joyful and fulfilling one.

#2: Eat Well, Sleep Well and Get Active

Your health is your wealth. It is difficult to be happy if you don't feel and look well. Be on a healthy diet. Starving yourself or overeating will never make you happy in the long run. Treat yourself with a chocolate bar. It will boost up your endorphins which is the happy hormones that will give you the feeling of being in love. 

Get enough sleep to feel well rested. It will give you more energy and you can do more things that way. Your mind and body will be more alert with a good nights sleep. You will feel more positive, more able to change your life. Be active and try out some simple exercise. It will also help not to feel sleepy or lazy all the time. If you feel inactive and lazy you will not be able to feel good about yourself. The healthier you are, the happier you feel.

#3: Surround Yourself with Positive People and Have a Positive Outlook in Life

It is true that people are easily influenced and affected by their surroundings. If you have happy people around you, you tend to be happy as well. Surrounding yourself with negative thinking people will ultimately turn you into a negative thinking person. Always try to look at the brighter side of everything. A positive outlook in life will create the happiness that you are looking for.

So try to smile or laugh as much as you can. It's free. Happiness is something we feel on the inside. It allows us reach our potential and life the life we want to live. When we are happy we are confident, positive and comfortable with who we are. Material wealth, physical beauty and material objects will never make us happy. They will make life easier but not happier! If you like who you are you are a long way along the road to life lasting happiness.

Remember if you are unhappy with your life or feel depressed, seek help. With the right help people can and do make recoveries from depression and go on to lead their best lives imaginable.

Stress Management: 10 Simple Ways to Relax Fast


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Why should you learn how to relax fast? Because stress is more than just unpleasant. It's also dangerous. Many diseases are now known to be caused by or made worse by stress, but you can do something about it. Just try these relaxation techniques today, and use them whenever you feel that tension coming on. 

#1: Breath Deep Through Your Nose

Just close your eyes and pay attention only to your breathing while doing this. Five slow deep breaths is like a mini-meditation.

#2: Have A Laugh

Of course, you know from experience that this helps you relax, right? Find the guy that knows all the best jokes, or just find something funny in front of you.

#3: Have A Hot Shower

The hot water relaxes your muscles, and the break from more stressful activities helps too.

#4: Take A Walk

Walking is one of the best relaxation techniques if you have at least ten minutes to spare. Find a pretty place to walk while you're at it.

#5: Watch Your Mind

If you can spot the stressors lurking just below the surface (hunger, worry, a phone call you need to make), you can resolve them and feel more relaxed.

#6: Go Somewhere Else

This really helps if the things stressing you out are in the room or associated with it. Why not get out for a little while?

#7: Have A Cup Of Chamomile Tea

Chamomile seems to have a calming effect on the nerves, and hot drinks in general can help you relax.

#8: Give Someone A Hug

As long as it's from somebody you don't mind hugging, this really can be very relaxing.

#9: Pets

It’s hard to feel stressed when looking into the loving eyes of an animal.  Take a little break from whatever is stressing you out to play with your pet or if you don’t have one, hang out with a friend’s pet.

#10: Interrupt Your Routine

Stop to talk to that guy sleeping on the bench, or eat lunch on the roof. Anything that breaks you out of your habitual patterns can relieve stress.

Over time you can change yourself, and be naturally more relaxed. Of course, if the thought of the work involved in this just stresses you more, you might want to take it slow. In the meantime, the relaxation techniques above really aren't difficult, so why not try a few, and learn today how to relax fast.

Anger Management: How to Deal with Anger in 8 Easy Steps


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What is Anger?

Anger is not one emotion but a cocktail of emotions connected to our brains and behaviour. Once anger starts, we start to experience change through the body. And that change prepares the body to face threat or what it perceives as threat. The feeling of anger originates in the limbic system of the brain, around the mid part of the brain. Amygdala, which is part of this system stores emotional memories and this actually triggers angers from the past on top of what you are experiencing in the present. We cannot control the amygdala from sending you “old anger” but we can control our respond to it.

Angry feelings are “hard-wired” in humans. It is part of survival. It is part of our protection dating back to the days when our ancestors were hunting for lunch and running the risk ending up as lunch themselves. It is impossible to never get angry not to mention absurd and that is not anger management.

Anger management is about choosing our respond to the situations that makes us angry. Anger management is about harnessing the energy released by anger into something useful. Those who manage their angers enjoy a healthy relationship with others and get more of the needs fulfilled.

Mastering anger is not easy but with the right help and guidance it can be achieved. The eight steps described below are helpful tips to manage anger.

#1: Recognize Stress

Stress is the usual trigger that changes our mood from feeling calm and peaceful to being angry. Whether the cause of stress is internal or external, our brain activates an old powerful defense mechanism, the “fight or flight” response. Thus it important to recognize stress and bring it under control before it anger creeps in.

#2: Learn to Empathize

Remember that everyone is fighting their own battle in life. Be aware of the mood of people around you and their feelings on certain subjects. The ability to accurately sense emotions around us helps us to make positive and enriching connections with our fellow humans.

#3: Don’t React But Respond

Do not react to situations. When you feel a rush of blood to the head, pause and think. Remember that you have a choice. And you are in charge. You will find that feeling of not letting others control; you liberating.

#4: Change the Self-Talk

An important tool in managing anger is the way you talk to yourself. Learn to change the self –talk empowers you to effectively deal with anger in terms of how strongly you feel and how you express your anger.

#5: Use Assertive Communication

Being assertive is not the same as being aggressive. Being assertive communicator means using the right words, tone and body language to effectively and honestly convey our feelings to others. This is far more powerful than being aggressive.

#6: Be Realistic

When you set your expectations too high and find that it is not met, more often than not you will find yourself angry. Learn to be flexible in your expectations and always be alert of the realities of life.

#7: Learn to Forgive

Most anger management coach will tell you that this is the most important step in letting go of angers. Learning to forgive others who we feel had hurt us demands a lot from us and it is never easy. But we have to learn to forgive for our own sake and peace of mind.

#8: Retreat, Relax and Ponder

The daily grind of life can take its toll on the human body and soul. It is important that you retreat and learn to slow your mind and ponder upon your life. You can do this daily before retiring every night or weekly, but whatever your preferred method, do not miss it.

You must keep in mind that anger can cause you to live a life full of regrets and to lean to manage it is utmost important to the quality of life you wish to lead.

The 5 Key Ingredients to Happiness


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Happiness is different things to different people but there are common threads that run through the achievement of happiness for most people. These threads can be broken down into five ingredients. If you have all five of these you will be happy.

#1: Faith

Happy people have faith that they will achieve the destination that their challenge requires. They have faith that they have the mental and spiritual strength to take on their challenge and to grow in whatever way they need to grow in order to succeed.

They have faith that every experience has its purpose and that something positive can be gained from it, even if the experience is a bad experience or a setback.

Unhappy people are lacking in faith. On the surface they are seeking happiness but they don't really believe that they will ever find it, and they are right. You can't find happiness if you don't have faith.

#2: Challenge

Happy people have a challenge that they are pursuing. It could be a purely spiritual challenge such as finding enlightenment or it could be a commercial challenge such as building a successful business. It could be a sporting challenge such a winning a medal in the Olympics or it could be a career challenge. 

The important ingredients of the challenge are that it is in the area of the person's passion and that it is big enough to be inspiring but not so big as to be overwhelming.

The unhappy person avoids challenges. They are waiting for someone or something to give them happiness. They believe that happiness is outside of them and that any form of challenge is work to be avoided.

#3: Passion

Happy people are passionate people. It could be a passion for knowledge. It could be a passion for success. It could be a passion for helping others. It could be any passion at all, as long as it truly inspires the person to become more than they are now.

The unhappy person is devoid of passion. They are complacent or apathetic. They have no inspiration in their life, nothing to urge them to evolve and grow into a more developed person. As a result they tend to go around in circles; each year is similar to the year before. They are in a spiritual rut.

#4: Journey

Happy people are on a journey to their challenging destination. They have a purpose for getting up each day. They have a purpose for the things they do each day. They are doing the things required to follow their passion and they take joy from that fact.

Unhappy people are stagnant. They are not on any journey to anywhere. They are milling around, marking time. They are waiting for the world to give them happiness and they will have to wait forever because happiness requires you to take action, to grow, and to move forward in life.

#5: Gratitude

Happy people are grateful and appreciative of what they have, whatever that may be. They always find something good and positive in their circumstances. This attitude of gratitude is the foundation stone on which happiness is built.

By way of contrast unhappy people are not grateful or appreciative of anything in their world. They are constantly focused on the fact that there is something that they don't have. They live in lack and as a result their spirit is lacking. Nothing ever makes them truly happy.

Happy people have all five ingredients; faith, challenge, passion, journey and gratitude. They may be Buddhist monks on the road to enlightenment following a path of poverty. They may be billionaire business owners following a path of commercial empire building. They may be musicians dedicating their life to mastery their instrument. They could be following any of an infinite number of paths but they all have the five ingredients of happiness.

8 Simple Ways To Change Your Life Today


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Each of the groundbreaking items below should tell you how to life your life in a more fulfilling and meaningful way. Making choices to change your life will help you to live a better life and have a greater impact on the world around you. It is not too late to make a choice to change, and you can alter your life course regardless of how old you are.

#1: Exercise More

You want to exercise more and make your life more energetic. Exercising does not mean that you will be filled with energy constantly, but you will have more energy than you have had in a long time. The best thing for your self improvement is to make sure that you are doing some kind of exercise to ensure your body is pleased with you.

#2: Read More

You don't have to read long books one after another, but you should always do a little bit of reading that is pleasing to you. People enjoy all kinds of books, and you should make sure that you are reading something everyday that you like. You may peruse the newspaper every morning or read a news website, but you should do kind of reading because it is typically very relaxing.

#3: Learn More

It is never too late to go out and learn something. You don't have to go back to college or learn a new language, but there are many things you can do to make sure that you are still learning even if you are well past your school days. People who want to can go back to school and get another degree or make a change.

#4: Change Jobs

Self improvement advice always skips over this part of the column because people don't want to tell people to quit their jobs, but changing careers may be the best thing for you. You can actually make your life much more enjoyable if you changed jobs or changed careers. You are not stuck in the career that you had to choose when you were 18, and you have many years to enjoy a new career once you make a change.

#5: Change Your Schedule

You may not get enough time at home when you are working, but you should think about changing your schedule so that you have more time at home, more time with your family or more time with your spouse. You cannot work your whole life and not expect to be fatigued. If you carve out more time for your family, you are bound to have a more positive outlook on life.

#6: Don't Be Afraid Of People

Your boss is not someone you should be afraid of.  If they get a paper cut, they bleed just like you. This means that you need to makes sure that you do not deify people. When you allow someone to become larger than life, they can take over your whole life and make you miserable.

#7: Don't Trust Everybody

When you feel that nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach that tells you that someone is not what they seem, you need to take that advice and run with it. Do not trust everybody. You cannot insulate yourself from society, but you can make sure that you are not putting your trust in people who do not deserve it. You can distrust your boss and be productive if you decide from day one that you have take what they say with a grain of salt.

#8: Don't Be Afraid Of Change

All of the changes that are mentioned above are changes that people feel dramatically. You do not need to be afraid of changes. Sometimes, changes can make your live bearable again. This means that you need to take every change in stride and try to figure out why that change happened. You might have a couple lean months if you quit your job, but you change your whole life if you get away from a job that you hate.

When you want to improve yourself, you need to make sure that you are doing as much as you can to make your life better. Do not stop with just one step. Do everything you can to make life grand.

Self-Esteem Booster: 15 Things You Can Do to Boost Self-Esteem


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You weren't born perfect - nobody is. But you can do something to make your life a lot better than what is experienced by the average individual. The people who are the happiest with their lives are those who can learn to love themselves just the way they are. 

Here are some suggestions on how to place yourself up on that pedestal and laugh at negative energy.

#1: Pay Yourself A Compliment

Give yourself a compliment at least once a day. It could be something like "I really liked the way I handled that situation," or "I love how my hair falls softly onto my face today". The compliment can be deep or superficial. Whatever it is, it should help keep your mood up, even if only slightly. Highlight the positive aspect of every situation you encounter. If you practice this often, you're on your way to liking yourself a whole lot better.

#2: Make Yourself Over

Grab your closest friend and get all dolled up. Put on your best attire, dab on a little make-up and get your hair done (not necessarily by a professional), then grab a camera and snap fun and funny photos of each other. Once you've had the photos printed, discard those that make you look drab and keep only the shots were you looked your best. Whenever you feel down, you can just go look at these pictures to remind yourself that you are good-looking and that your life is fun.

#3: Forgive Yourself

It’s very difficult to accept yourself as you are. Try to look at your weaknesses, on the other hand — turn them into strengths, into something you could be proud of. Sincere forgiveness for inconsistency with one’s own ideals is the first step on the ladder leading to success

#4: Get Physically Fit

You don't need to achieve a supermodel-like physique. Simple daily exercises to boost your bloodstream every morning will do. You'll feel better, your mood will be more positive, and the more congenial you will be with other people. If you give out positive energy, the more beautiful you become - and the more people will be inclined to return positive vibes to you, too.

#5: Express Gratitude

Express gratitude for the person that you are. For instance, cultivate an appreciation for your strengths and gifts. Also, feel a sense of gratitude that you are alive and well, and fully capable of making a difference in your life.

#6: Change Your Body Image

If there's something in your body that you dislike, find out what's causing you to smirk at it. Chances are, the reasons are very shallow and superficial. The realization of this will help you attain a better self-image and teach you to appreciate yourself more.

#7: Treat Yourself

Set aside time once a week to do something just for you. It could be anything from watching a cheesy movie to walking your dog in the park. As long as it's time for you in doing what you want to do.

#8: List Your Good Points

Without looking at the mirror, make a list of all the things you appreciate and like about your body - things like, "I have great hair" or "I have a nice set of teeth". Keep this list in your wallet or wherever you can see them and whenever you feel terrible, just take out this list and read it to yourself.

#9: Handle Mistakes And Failures Positively

Failure is a part of life. Even the most successful people have failed many times.

#10: Silence Your Inner Critic

Practice becoming aware of the inner voice that sabotages your self-love. When you start to think that you can’t do something, that you’re lazy, no one likes you or anything else of the sort, consciously tell the voice to stop and come up with a better phrase instead.

#11: Get Away From People Who Put You Down

You know these kinds of people. They simply can't stand the fact that you're okay with your life and will always try to dampen your mood. Avoid them at all cost, because they'll never make you feel good about yourself. 

#12: Refrain From Comparing

Low self-esteem can be caused by your environment. Everybody is different and you have qualities that no other person has. A general sense of self-worth should be built without comparing oneself to other people.

#13: Do A Good Deed

Do something good for someone else. You will find that things like volunteering at a homeless shelter or even a simple thing like helping somebody who is lost by giving proper directions will make you feel good for the rest of the day. You'll be doing something worthwhile and when you see how badly off some people are, you'll start to appreciate your life more and be grateful for what you have. 

#14: Trust Yourself

Have confidence in your abilities. Know that you have the ability to make important changes for yourself, for as long as you put your heart to it. You can also support yourself by visualizing desired outcomes.

#15: Ask For Help

Reach out for assistance when you need it. Let others know what they can do to help you resolve any challenging situation. Relationships are about give and take.