10 Scientific Keys to Changing Anything In Your Life

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Changing your behavior is hard.

Luckily, there is a scientifically proven way to do it that gives you the best chance of success.

Anyone who is trying to change their behavior without understanding this science needs to stop, now. Read up on the science. Learn to do it the more effective way.

Then, start again, with better strategies, and create the life you’ve always wanted.

Here’s the other thing you should know: behavior change is hard. Hard like algebra. You will work on it for “a while” before you get to that dream-life. What is “a while”? Years.

But that’s okay. The secret of self-development is that everybody has to work hard and put in a lot of work, if they want to achieve something great.

It just so happens that here at Fierce Gentleman we believe that every man is destined for greatness.

So, below we give you the keys to greatness: 10 scientific keys you need to change anything in your life.

Of course, information alone does not lead to life change. (That’s one of the keys.)

But never before has so much high-quality, scientifically-validated information been available for free, to anyone, to get their path started:

10 Scientific Keys to Change Any Behavior

  1. Willpower is weak. Environmental influences are much more important than willpower. (1,2)
  2. Information does not lead to action. Emotions lead to action. (Tweet this) This one is harder to back up with scientific studies, but it has long been my personal experience….over 8 years of studying both my own behavior, and the behavior of others who I’m trying to help. Information allows us to know in which direction we can go, but ultimately, emotions motivate us to take action. See also (2)
  3. The Internet destroys your ability to focus. Unless you’re reading higher-level long-form articles, like this one. Read the book The Shallows by Nicholas Carr.
  4. Facebook makes you unhappy. Delete your account (unless you’re using it for business.) (3)
  5. Today’s processed foods are engineered to flood the reward centers of your brain, and potentially trigger food addictions that will wreck your health and wellbeing.Eat vegetables instead. (4,5)
  6. Exercise makes your brain bigger. It also gives you more self-control, lifts depression, and stamps out anxiety. (6)
  7. Meditation makes your brain bigger. It also gives you more self-control, lifts depression, and stamps out anxiety. (7)
  8. Give up alcohol. The breakdown of alcohol in your body creates toxins that the body has to remove. It is also extra calories that will contribute to extra fat storage. The additional toxic load can make you sick. And drinking and driving or just being out around other drunk drivers can kill you.  Give up alcohol. (1o)
  9. Take time off work. Overwork drains your willpower and makes you stressed and sick. (Personal experience, common sense.)
  10. Maximize neurotransmitters oxytocin, GABA and serotonin. Minimize activities that have you “chasing the dopamine dragon.” Activities that stimulate dopamine: shopping, gambling, pornography, binge eating. Activities that stimulate serotonin, oxytocin & GABA: getting a massage, swing in a hammock, spending time with loved ones, meditating, praying, listening to music, reading. (See The Willpower Instinct.)

 

Written by: Drew Long Source: Fierce Gentleman


23 Scientifically Backed Ways to Reduce Stress Now

By Kate Morin

Whether it’s related to an issue at work, a fight with a friend, or problems with family, everyone feels stressed sometimes. In fact, 54 percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their daily lives. And while therapy can help (come on, everyone’s thought about laying on that infamous doctor’s couch at some point), most solutions (think talk therapy or medication) are dealt with in the long-term. So what can be done in the next five minutes to reduce — and prevent — stress? Here’s our list of the Greatist ways to decrease stress right now.

Try Progressive Relaxation All the way from fingers to toes– tense and then release each muscle group in the body (lower arm, upper arm, chest, back and abdominals, etc.). Once the body is relaxed, the mind will be soon to follow!
Try Some Light Yoga The combination of deep breathing techniques and poses makes this activity work to reduce stress, too.
Meditate The “mental silence” that goes along with meditation may have positive effects on stress (especially work-related stress).
Breathe Deep Taking a deep breath has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. Studies suggest deep breathing can also cause a temporary drop in blood pressure.
Spark Some Scents Studies suggest aromatherapy can be a good way to relieve stress. Certain aromas (like lavender) have been consistently shown to reduce stress levels.
Listen To Music Research points to multiple ways in which music can help relieve stress, from triggering biochemical stress reducers to assisting in treating stress associated with medical procedures.
Laugh It Off Laughter can reduce the physical effects of stress (like fatigue) on the body.
Drink Tea One study found that drinking black tea leads to lower post-stress cortisol levels and greater feelings of relaxation.
Exercise That post-exercise endorphin rush is one way to sharply cut stress.
Try Guided Visualization Visualizing a calm or peaceful scene may help reduce stress and ease anxiety.
Join A Religious Community Surveys have shown a major underlying reason people practice religion is for stress relief. One study even found that college students who practiced a religion were less stressed than their non-religious counterparts. And other research suggests religious people are less likely to experience stress-related mental illness.
Chew Gum Studies suggest the act of chewing gum can reduce cortisol levels, helping to alleviate stress.
Get A Massage Getting a good ol’ rub down may do more than alleviate physical pain. Studies suggest massage may also be beneficial for fighting stress. It may also help improve body image.
Try Self-Hypnosis Research suggests hypnosis can help reduce anxiety. Plus, it’s a great self-mediated technique for stress-relief.
Talk About Sex, Baby Studies have shown sex can actually decrease the physical symptoms of stress, like lowering blood pressure.
Take A Nap Napping has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which aids in stress relief.
Hug It Out. Hugging may actually reduce blood pressure and stress levels in adults.
Hang With Your Pet Or, as we’ve put it before, just get a dog. Dog owners have been shown to be less stressed out — most likely thanks to having a buddy to cuddle.
Do An Art Project Art therapy can potentially reduce stress-related behavior and symptoms.
Write It Out Keeping a journal may be one way to effectively relieve stress-related symptoms due to its meditative and reflective effects. A gratitude journal can really help us put things in perspective, so pick a time every day to write down a few things that make you happy.
Take A Walk A quiet, meditative stroll can do wonders for stress relief, especially when we step outdoors. Try not to rush, and take whatever pace feels most natural.
Kiss Someone! Research suggests kissing releases chemicals that ease hormones associated with stress, like cortisol. Forming positive relationships is also a key way to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Don’t Write A List Of The Top 23 Ways To Reduce Stress!


10 tricks to become a loving, positive person

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It’s one thing to wax eloquent on positivity, but quite another to be a positive person at heart.

Despite believing to have a positive outlook, we invariably weigh the cons first, consider several times before sparing a compliment, and broadcast only the odds when someone counts on us for advice. What’s more, we prefer needless sarcasm for humour, manage a wry smile when something is genuinely funny, and believe deep down that the glass is actually half empty.

We live in denial of our inherent negativity for the most part, and often wonder why the world around is so mean and reckless. At work, we never fail telling our juniors how meeting deadlines can be a tough proposition, and not to think too ‘out of the box’ to impress the boss. In short, we never tire telling all concerned how tough things can be! Unlike dogs we may not be born eternal optimists, but positivity is something that can be imbibed even if a tad forcibly; such as by trying to tweak our sense of humour, the way we react to a given situation, by being more pleasant and believing others too have a mind, and by smiling each time somebody says ‘thank you’.

While positivity is a state of mind, the answer lies in our perspective. Clinical psychologist and lifestyle advisor Dr S.K Sharma shares his ideas on how to be a positive person everyday.

Have the desire: First thing first, to become a positive person one must have a strong desire to be positive. And the desire will come only if you are convinced that becoming a positive person will enhance the quality of life. Positivity is like an aura, and you know you are a positive person when people start trusting you, random people become polite with you, colleagues at work start patronising you, and you start building rapport easily.

Be realistic: Do not try to become a saint. Becoming a positive person does not mean you can never have any negative emotion or encounter any negative situation. It is the overall attitude that matters. Don’t get bogged down by failure, and disappointed when your expectations are not met. Mentally, you should always be calculating a way out of difficult situations come what may.

Experiment: Be a keen observer. Use everyday life incidents to see how you can manage them in a more positive manner. These will serve as perfect instances to turn your outlook more positive. For starters, contemplate how you could have better handled a situation by being less hostile and more indulgent. Come up with five ways that could have saved the day, and learn to take things at face value sometimes. Remember, your ability to trust the other person also reflects your genuineness.

Speech and body language: Try and make positive words a part of your daily lingo, and work on your body language in way that you come across as friendly and approachable. Look amused when something is amusing, laugh when something is funny, congratulate when someone’s bought something new, and give others a chance to narrate their side of the story. Never think you are the only interesting, knowing one around.

Company: One way to becoming positive is to seek positive company as both positivity and negativity are infectious. If the people you spend most of your time with are grumpy or have a pessimistic standpoint, you’ll find yourself mirroring the same emotions before a different set of people inadvertently. In order to inculcate positivity it is imperative that your friend circle is a positive, energetic, and a happy bunch. You’ll find yourself carrying the same positivity everywhere you go.

Activities: Do not remain idle and brood. Take up positive activities with others or in isolation. Share a joke, narrate a pleasant incident, take part in sporting activities, go for a run in the evening after work, have healthy sex, and you’ll find yourself bubbling with positive energy.

Take it easy: Everyday life is bound to give you shocks. Be prepared to minimise impact and shrug it off. For instance, you may get too hassled everyday while driving to work or trying to park your car. When you accept the fact that certain things cannot be changed, you’ll be more at ease with yourself and those around too.

Learn yoga: Says yoga teacher and nutritionist, Abhilasha Kale, “Do pranayam everyday as it lets you focus and meditate. Not only does it secrete happy hormones but also creates a sense of awareness within you.” With the help of yogic asanas you control your breathing, and by way of it, control your mind from wandering. Every time you do yoga, you feel a surge of positive energythrough your body that calms your nerves, soothes your mind, elevates your mood, and not to mention enhances your level of tolerance.

Maintain a diary: Instead of recounting all events of the day, filter out only the positive ones and make a note of them. It could be anything trivial from your bus arriving on time, your mom cooking a delicious breakfast, to remembering to pay the bills on time. When we look for positivity in the little things that make our lives worthwhile, we leave no room for negativity. “Try consciously practising this for 10 days, and at the end of day ten when you read your diary back you’ll only have memories of all the good things that happened to you,” she asserts.

Say ‘thank you': Thank god, thank your parents, friends, and thank yourself for all the hard work you did, for everything you achieved. Says Abhilasha, “Saying thank you frequently makes you humble, and a humble person is seldom cynical.”

Try these methods, and you’ll be surprised when others notice the change in you.

 

 

Written By: Anwesha Mittra
Source:10 tricks to become a loving, positive person


Top 10 Personal Habits To Have

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Successful people have a regular routine of daily or weekly habits that reinforce the things that are most important to them.

By practising a set of personal success habits, they maintain a positive outlook, keep focused on their priorities, have more energy, and a greater sense of satisfaction with life.

As you read this list of the top ten personal habits, you might think that most of these are nothing new. And you’re probably right. These are pretty basic habits – not rocket science. The key to personal success habits is that you do them consistently.

How many of these habits do you do on a regular basis?

Eat well.

Practice the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time, make very good nutritional choices. The rest of the time go ahead and indulge yourself.

Exercise.

Move it or lose it. Choose physical activities that you love keeping in mind that a well balanced exercise program includes flexibility, strength and cardio components.

Practice personal reflection.

In quiet moments you are more able to hear your true self speaking. Take time to create a regular practice of reflection through meditation, journaling or prayer.

Volunteer.

Connect with your local or global community to contribute your time, energy, and/or resources. You get to feel good making a difference and others reap the benefits. We’re all part of the same interconnected world.

Get enough sleep.

Most people are in a state of sleep deprivation. During sleep your body rests and repairs itself so you are better able to take on the joys and challenges of life.

Declutter physically & emotionally.

Clutter depletes your energy. Regularly sort through and get rid of stuff that is getting in your way. This includes relationships that are no longer satisfying and fulfilling.

Create a success circle.

Surround yourself with people who will support, encourage and challenge you to be your best. These are the people you can go to for brainstorming, advice or a good old kick in the pants when you need it.

Listen to music.

Music has the power to relax, entertain and heal. Build your music library and use it to support your other success habits.

Indulge your creativity.

Besides being a way to express yourself, creativity increases your problem solving abilities. You can explore your creative self not only through the arts, but also through activities such as cooking, gardening, photography or decorating.

Read.

Expand your mind with both fiction and nonfiction books. Even if you are not a “book” person, you can still get the same intellectual stimulation through audio books.

Laurel Vespi, certified life coach and the creative energy behind stone circle coaching, ignites businesses & individuals to new levels of CHANGE. Laurel works with clients internationally, providing unconventional yet practical tips that make the seemingly impossible… possible!

SOURCE: http://www.stonecirclecoaching.com/free-stuff/how-to-articles/top-ten-personal-habits/


12 Ways to Attack Any Challenge

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Whenever I’m discussing a challenge—okay, fine, whenever I’m whining about a problem—my wife eventually interrupts and says, “Yeah, yeah. I get it. So what are you going to do differently?”

Her response would be fairly frustrating if she wasn’t right. Discussing—okay, fine, whining—never helps. The only way to overcome a problem is to do something differently.

But there’s no reason to wait until you’re forced to make a bad situation better. There’s a better approach. Why not be proactive and turn average into awesome?

Especially since it’s easy: Just employ one of the Five As of Awesome. (Wait—did I just channel my inner Tony Robbins?)

All you have to do is pick one of the following things to do differently:

Accept

Be who you are. I would like to ride a motorcycle like this guy. Or climb like this guy. Or run a company like her. Or change the world like him.

I won’t.

And, for the most part, I’m okay with that, since I can always be a better me. I can ride faster or climb better than I do now, and I can make a bigger difference in the lives of my family and friends.

Think about the people you admire and pick a few of their qualities to emulate, not their accomplishments.

You can’t be them.

The cool thing is, they can’t be you.

Let others be who they are. Your customers, your vendors, your suppliers… they aren’t going to change. Don’t expect them to.

Pick one source of frustration and decide what you will do differently, including, possibly, walking away.

When you stop focusing on negatives you may start to notice the positive qualities you missed. Rarely are people as bad as you make them out to be—and if they are, it’s up to you to make whatever changes are necessary.

They won’t.

Assist

Help an employee. Don’t wait to be asked. Pick someone who is struggling and offer to help.

But don’t just say, “Is there some way I can help you?” Be specific: Offer to help with a specific task, or to take over a task for a few days, or to work side-by-side.

A general offer is easy to brush aside. A specific offer not only shows you want to help, it shows you care.

Help a superstar. Counterintuitive? No way.

Compared to others, the best-performing people don’t need help so they rarely get it. As a result they’re often lonely, at least in a professional sense.

Offer to help with a specific task. Not only will you build a nice interpersonal bridge, some of their skills or qualities might rub off on you.

Help anyone. Few things feel better than helping a person in need. Take a quick look around; people less fortunate than you are everywhere.

For example, I conducted an interview skills seminar for prison inmates (after all, who needs to know how to deal with tough interview questions more than a convicted felon?) It only took an hour of my time and was incredibly rewarding.

Most of the prisoners were touchingly grateful that someone—that anyone—cared enough to want to help them. I got way more out of the experience than they did.

Analyze

Change measurements. Over time we all develop our own ways to measure our performance.

Maybe you focus on time to complete, or quality, or end result. Each is effective, but sticking with one or two could cause you to miss opportunities to improve.

Say you focus on meeting standards; what if you switched it up and focused on time to complete?

Measuring your performance in different ways forces you to look at what you regularly do from a new perspective.

Change benchmarks. If you develop apps it’s fun to benchmark against, say, the success of Angry Birds. Setting an incredible goal is fine—if you don’t aim high you won’t reach high—but failing to hit a lofty goal can kill your motivation.

So choose a different benchmark. Look for companies or people with similar assets, backgrounds, etc. and try to beat their results. Then, after you do, choose another target.

Aim for the heights, but include a few steps along the way. The journey will be a lot more fun.

Approach

Go opposite. If you haven’t reached a goal then what you’re currently doing isn’t working.

Instead of tweaking your approach, take an entirely different tack. Pick one goal you’re struggling to achieve and try a completely different approach.

Sometimes small adjustments eventually pay off, but occasionally you just need to blow things up and start over.

Drop one thing. We all have goals. Often we have too many goals; it’s impossible to do 10 things incredibly well.

Take a look at your goals and pick at least one that you’ll set aside, at least for now. (Don’t feel bad about it. You weren’t reaching your goals anyway, so what’s the harm in dropping a few?)

Then put the time you were spending on that goal into your highest priority. You can’t have it all, but you can have a lot—especially when you narrow your focus to one or two key goals.

Change your workday. Get up earlier. Get up later. Take care of emails an hour after you start work. Eat at your desk.

Pick one thing you do on a regular basis, preferably something you do for no better reason than that’s the way you always do it and therefore it’s comfortable, and do that one thing in a different way or at a different time.

Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt. Sometimes familiarity breeds complacency, and complacency is a progress and improvement killer.

Adopt

Choose a new habit. Successful people are successful for a reason, and that reason is often due to the habits they create and maintain.

Take a close look at the people who are successful in your field: What do they do on a regular basis? Then adopt one of their habits and make it your own.

Never reinvent a wheel when a perfect wheel already exists.

Choose someone to mentor. I learn more when I teach than the people I’m trying to teach. (Hopefully that says more about the process of teaching than it does about my teaching abilities.)

When you mentor another person you accomplish more than just helping someone else. You build your network—and more importantly, you learn a few things about yourself.

Source: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/12-great-ways-to-turn-average-into-awesome.html
Written By: Jeff Hayden


30 Practical Ways to Improve Yourself

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By Angel Chernoff

  1. Maintain a positive attitude. – Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  The mind must believe it can do something before it is capable of actually doing it.  So be aware of your mental self-talk.  We all talk silently to ourselves in our heads, but we aren’t always conscious of what we’re saying or how it’s affecting us.  Start listening to your thoughts.  If you hear negative thoughts, stop for a second and replace them with positive thoughts.  As the Dalai Lama once said, “The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.”  For some practical positive thinking guidance, I recommend reading The Power of Positive Thinking.
  2. Be kind to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?  The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.  You must love who you are or no one else will.
  3. Embrace problems as a natural part of growing. – Part of living and growing up is experiencing unexpected troubles in life.  People losejobs, get sick, and sometimes die in car accidents.  When you are younger, and things are going pretty well, this harsh reality can be hard to visualize.  The smartest, and oftentimes hardest, thing we can do in these kinds of situations is to be tempered in our reactions.  To want to scream obscenities, but to be wiser and more disciplined than that.  To remember that emotional rage only makes matters worse.  And to remember that tragedies are rarely as bad as they seem, and even when they are, they give us an opportunity to grow stronger.
  4. Create your mission statement. – Mine was simply “To translate what gives me joy, fulfillment and makes me genuinely happy into a career that will allow me to work for myself and spend more time with my family.”  This meant starting my own business as a coach to help individuals and small business owners get what they want out of their life and business.  Formulating this sentence allows us to create a short mission statement that summarizes exactly what we want from life, which will help to keep it in the forefront of our minds when we’re making important decisions.
  5. Exploit the resources you do have access to. – It’s not about having access to countless resources; it’s about exploiting the resources you do have access to.  Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has 25 Grammy Awards to prove it.  What resources do you have access to that you are not using?
  6. Help others when you are able. – In life, you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.  Love and kindness begets love and kindness.
  7. Narrow your focus. – Concentrate your efforts on smaller and smaller areas.  When your efforts are diffused over a wide area they won’t have much of an impact.  So focus on smaller areas and your efforts will be felt more fully.  It could take time for change to happen, but keep that focus narrow.
  8. Stretch your comfort zone by trying new things. – Doing the same exact thing every day hinders self growth.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Growth happens when you change things – when you try new things – when you stretch beyond your comfort zone.
  9. Create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals. – Successful people are objective.  They have realistic targets in mind.  They know what they are looking for and why they are fighting for it.  Successful people create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals.  S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  When you identify S.M.A.R.T. goals that are truly important to you, you become motivated to figure out ways to attain them.  You develop the necessary attitude, abilities, and skills.  You can achieve almost any goal you set if you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.  Goals that once seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.
  10. Make your own needs a priority. – Stop putting your needs on the back burner.  The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  11. Learn and practice one new skill every week. – Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life.  To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades.  Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.  And besides, learning new skills is fun.  Check out this articlethis article, andthis book.
  12. Stop procrastinating. – Start taking action and making changes.  Action and change are often resisted when they’re needed most.  Get a hold of yourself and have discipline.  Discipline is choosing what you really want over what you want right now.  Putting something off makes it instantly harder and scarier.  What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.  And there’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of an unfinished task.
  13. Forgive people and move forward. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.  Remember, the less time you spend hating the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you.
  14. Excel at what you do. – People watch what you do more than they listen to what you say.  Be someone worth emulating.  Most people are inspired by GREAT musicians, writers, painters, speakers, entrepreneurs, engineers, mothers, fathers, athletes, etc.  There’s only one thing they all have in common: They excel at what they do.  There’s no point in doing something if you aren’t going to do it right.  Excel at your work and excel at your hobbies.  Develop a reputation for yourself, a reputation for consistent excellence.
  15. Identify the lesson in every situation. – Everything is a life lesson.  Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc.  They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’  Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way.  If you don’t get a job you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting.  And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.
  16. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re going to have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
  17. Savor the joy of simple pleasures. – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best things in life are free.  They come in the form of simple pleasures and they appear right in front of you at various locations and arbitrary times.  They are governed by Mother Nature and situational circumstance and captured by mindful awareness.  It’s all about taking a moment to notice the orange and pink sunset reflecting off the pond water as you hold hands with someone you love.  Noticing these moments and taking part in them regularly will bring unpredictable bursts of happiness into your life.  Read The Happiness Project.
  18. Stop caring about what everyone else wants for you. – Unfortunately, just before you take your first step on the righteous journey to pursue your dreams, people around you, even the ones who deeply care for you, will usually give you awful advice.  It’s not because they have evil intentions.  It’s because they don’t understand the big picture – what your dreams, passions and life goals mean to you.  They don’t understand that, to you, the reward is worth the risk.  So they try to protect you by shielding you from the possibility of failure, which, in effect, also shields you from the possibility of making your dreams a reality.
  19. Make small, positive changes every day. – How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  The same philosophy holds true for making changes in your life.  Making small, positive changes – eating a little healthier, exercising a little, creating some small productive habits, for example – is an amazing way to get excited about life.
  20. Read great books. – The Web is grand.  With its fame for hosting informative, easy-to-skim textual snippets and collaborative written works, people are spending more and more time reading online.  Nevertheless, the Web cannot replace the authoritative transmissions from certain classic books that have delivered (or will deliver) profound ideas around the globe for generations.  Read books that are packed with wisdom capable of igniting a new understanding of the world.
  21. Keep an open mind. – Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right.  The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know.  We all have our own unique path and feelings.  When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.  It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.
  22. Don’t rush intimate relationships. – Love is not about sex, going on fancy dates, or showing off.  It’s about being with a person who makes you happy in a way nobody else can.  You don’t need a perfect one, you just need someone who you can trust – who shows you that you’re the only one.  If you haven’t found true love yet, don’t settle.  There is someone out there who will love you unconditionally, even if it’s not the person you were initially hoping for.
  23. Embrace change. – If nothing ever changed there would be no sunrise the next morning.  Most of us are comfortable where we are even though the whole universe is constantly changing around us.  Learning to accept this is vital to our happiness and general success.  Because only when we change, do we grow, and begin to see a world we never knew was possible.  And don’t forget, however good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.  So embrace it, and realize that change happens for a reason.  It won’t always be easy or obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
  24. Choose to smile more often. – A smile is a choice, not a miracle.  Don’t wait for people to smile.  Show them how.  A genuine smile makes you and everyone around you feel better.  The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy.  And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins.  This reaction has been studied since the 1980’s and has been proven a number of times.  Bottom line:  Smiling actually makes you happier.
  25. Let go of the past. – Don’t let the past steal your present and future from you.  Accept the fact that the past in not today.  You might not be proud of all the things you’ve done in the past, but that’s okay.  The past is not today.  The past cannot be changed, forgotten, or erased.  It can only be accepted.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.
  26. Face your fear of failure. – You might fail.  And that’s OK.  Failures are simply stepping stones to success.  No matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Either you succeed or you learn something.  Win-Win.  The biggest mistake you can make is doing nothing because you’re too scared to make a mistake.  If you can’t handle failure, then you can’t handle success either.
  27. Be proud of yourself. – Being proud isn’t bragging about how great you are.  It’s more like quietly knowing that you’re worth a lot.  It’s not about thinking you’re perfect – because nobody is – but knowing that you’re worthy of being loved and accepted.  Boost your self-esteem by recognizing your accomplishments and celebrating them.  Acknowledge your positive qualities, and when you come across a quality in yourself that you aren’t proud of, don’t sulk in your sorrows, proactively work on correcting it.  Read Today We Are Rich.
  28. Be attentive to your stress level. – Slow down.  Breathe.  Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose.  When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity.  These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.
  29. Let go of regrets. – Follow your heart.  Be true to yourself.  Do what makes you happy.  Be with who makes you smile.  Laugh as much as you breathe.  Love as long as you live.  Say what you need to say.  Offer a helping hand when you’re able.  Appreciate all the things you do have.  Smile.  Celebrate your small victories.  Learn from your mistakes.  Realize that everything is a lesson in disguise.  Forgive.  And let go of the things you can’t control.
  30. Keep learning and nurturing your personal growth. – Achieving higher consciousness comes from your commitment to personal growth.  You’re a totally different person compared to who you were at this time last year; next year will be no different.  How much you grow and who you become is up to you.  But remember, the acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing; growing happens when what you know changes how you live.

ARTICLE SOURCE: http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/06/18/30-practical-ways-to-improve-yourself/
Written by: ANGEL CHERNOFF