• Self-Discipline Doesn’t Work – Try Self-Indulgence


     

    Abstract:
     

    Our society tends to celebrate self-discipline. People who are seen as disciplined are shining examples, whilst we look down on those we perceive as undisciplined.
     

    Your mission is to find out which type of person you are in terms of self-discipline, and what you can do in order to be more successful.
     
     

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    Task 1: Which type are you?

     

    a) Iron discipline. You push yourself relentlessly, without regard for yourself. You’re probably very successful and have achieved a lot in life. Typically, this type also has at least one area in their lives where they’re incapable of discipline. This could be anything, such as food habits or needing a glass of wine to relax.
     

    b) No discipline. These people don’t even try anything that requires discipline. They describe themselves as lazy or failures. What they often overlook, is the dedication and consistency they apply when they’re truly interested in something: They know their favourite books by heart, or know every last detail about their favourite movie or band.
     

    c) Attempting discipline. These are people who have the nagging feeling they should be more disciplined. Every now and then, they pursue a goal with a lot of discipline. Typically, this won’t last very long and then their self-confidence takes a beating.
     

    Self-Discipline
    Photo by Ugur Akdemir on unsplash.com

     

    Task 2: Self-discipline or self-indulgence?

     

    There’s a better way! You’re not a machine. Our lives aren’t meant to be led like a military operation, they’re meant to be lived.
     

    Instead of self-discipline, try self indulgence: Ask yourself what you truly need and want at this moment, and provide it. Take your own needs seriously. Do what lights you up.
     

    Whenever you fail at discipline, it’s because the voice of your own true needs has won. Once you regularly listen to that voice, your needs are fulfilled and you’ll have the capacity to develop discipline in the areas where it’s needed.

  • The Power Of Silence


     

    Abstract:
     

    Many years ago, I cycled through Connemara in the West of Ireland. I went across a stretch of moorland that was so deserted, I didn’t hear a single bird. It was the first time in my life that I “heard” absolute silence.
     

    Silence can be almost impossible to come by these days. Your mission today is use the power of silence to skyrocket your productivity, your happiness and even your longevity.
     
     

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    Task 1: Unplug (literally)

     

    Noise doesn’t always come in terms of volume. Sometimes it’s the amount of distraction and the relentless firing of impulses to our senses which causes stress.
     

    We’re surrounded by screens and neverending newsfeeds all day. Make a point of switching off (not just muting) all electronic devices occasionally. At night, disable all WiFi, which has been proven to disrupt sleep. Feel the power of silence.
     
     

    Task 2: Entertainment

     

    Music, TV, Netflix… we have an endless supply of movies, songs and albums at our fingertips these days. I love music, but it can get to a point when it becomes a constant background noise.
     

    Switch off everything and sit in silence for a while. Try meditation if you feel uncomfortable at first (no, you needn’t empty your thoughts altogether. Try gazing at a candle flame for 10 minutes). Increase to at least an hour a day. No distractions, except something quiet like readin knitting or similar.
     

    Power of Silence
    Photo by Virgílio Antunes

     

    Task 3: The power of silence in nature

     

    You may not find a deserted moor, but even just the absence of modern human life noises counts. Try and get to a place where the only sounds you can here are natural: Birdsong in the forest, waves on the beach – but no cars or building sites.
     

    Do these three tasks for at least a month and notice the difference. The difference it makes can be profound.

  • Make 2019 Your Year (Exact Steps Inside!)


     

    Abstract:
     

    Some people are happily making resolutions for the New Year, others are cynical. In fact, while resolutions are often unrealistic, setting goals is very effective, as studies show.
     

    Your mission today is to get clear on whether you achieved what you wanted for 2018, and what to do to make 2019 your year.
     
     

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    Task 1: Look back at your year

     

    Think back to late 2017 or early 2018. If you have written goals from that time, take a moment to review them.
     

    Write down what you achieved and plan a way of celebrating your successes. Also write down what’s in still a work in progress and determine your next steps.
     

    Then note what you didn’t achieve, or gave up on this past year.
     
     

    Task 2: Ingredients

     

    Success is like cooking from a recipe. Look at the things you didn’t achieve in 2018 and check these goals against this list of “ingredients”. Which one was missing during your year?

    • A goal that excites you and makes you a little tingly (as opposed to, something you feel you “should” do or that someone else expects of you).
    • A supportive environment. Perfection isn’t necessary, but you need conducive circumstances – time, finances etc – that’ll support your goal.
    • Plenty of rest and time for self care.
    • Support for yourself.

     

    Your Year
    Photo by Baehaki Hariri on unsplash.com

     

    Task 3: Make 2019 your year

     

    Now it’s time to ensure that 2019 will truly be your year. Take a little time to write down a dream, a vision of your life. Don’t worry if it isn’t “realistic”. If it would make you happy, write it down.
     

    Then determine what you can do now to move closer to that dream. Organise it into goals, using the ingredients list from task 2.
     

    If you do this without skipping a single step, and review regularly throughout the year, you’ll be flying by this time next year.

  • Holiday Serenity Meditation


     

    No matter which holiday you’re celebrating, this time of the year can be stressful. It’s usually an emotional and busy time filled wtih high expectations. All we want to do is spend time with the people we love, but the reality doesn’t always match our hopes and expectations.
     

    To help you ground yourself and return to the here and now, I’ve created this short guided holiday meditation for you. Do this is as many times as you need to, perhaps even daily for as long as you need it. The actual holiday meditation starts at around the 2-minutes mark.
     
     

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    Holiday Meditation
    Photo by Joshua Fuller on unsplash.com
  • What Do You Fail At?


     

    Abstract:
     

    I used to be really bad at sports in school. Every time we made teams for something, I was the last to be picked. I was clumsy, uncoordinated and inflexible. Unsurprisingly, it was my least favourite subject.
     

    It took me decades to overcome the shame and feeling of failure and realise that I could be good at physical exercise. School had never taught me how, so I had to discover it for myself. Today I’ll share this insight with you.
     
     

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    1. Task: What are you bad at?

     

    Almost everyone has something they refuse to even try because they know from experience that they’re bad at it. Your task is to determine what that thing is for you (it could be more than one as well).
     

    Can’t dance to save your life? Are you rubbish at scheduling and managing your time? Or your money? Bad at driving? Find at least one thing you avoid because you fail at it.
     

    What do you fail at?
    Photo by Brooke Lark on unsplash.com

     

    2. Task: Once more with passion

     

    The secret that allowed me to find I could be good at sports, is passion. I found physical exercise I loved, and that motivated me to get fit. I don’t even have to kick myself to work out every morning, because I know I’ll need shoulder and back muscles to do archery, and I need endurance to dance.
     

    A friend of mine started to enjoy cooking when she became passionate about her health. She used to hate cooking, but creating foods that make her feel radiant and taste good, was suffient incentive to start learning.
     

    Find something about the thing you fail, that you’re passionate about (or something related to it). Once you’ve got your passion-fuelled “Why”, you’ll easily have the energy to get past any initial failure and spark you into sticking with it until you get proficient.

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