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Archive for the ‘Self-Improvement’ Category

REVIEW: Sardonic Humor in Glass Menagerie (Guthrie Theater) – Twin Cities Arts Reader

Posted: September 28, 2019 at 5:44 pm


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Grayson DeJesus (as Jim OConnor) and Carey Cox (as Laura Wingfield) in the Guthrie Theaters production of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, now playing at the Guthries Wurtele Thrust Stage in Minneapolis. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

Memories are a tricky thing. As recounted by Tom in the prologue toThe Glass Menagerie, they are sentimental, not realistic. If you look up sentimental in Merriam-Webster, however, youll find that director Joseph Haj has not gone with the common definition of the term. Instead, the Guthries new production of Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie follows the alternate: having an excess of sentiment or sensibility. This excess is expertly mined from opening to ending, yielding much sardonic humor.

This derisive, disdainful quality is the lifeblood and throughline of this production. Jennifer Van Dycks Amanda Wingfield becomes an avatar of Southern vigor and lost causes great and small, constantly grabbing at, poking, and manipulating Remy Auberjonois ever-more-frustrated Tom towards misdirected self-improvement. Its really fun to watch, and laces each scene with ticking time bomb after ticking time bomb ofschadenfreude and dramatic bloodsport.

Effective sardonicism, like satire, requires a commitment to cause and character to truly resound. While the broader motions may be exaggerated by that filter of excess, Hajs talented cast holds back from outright parody, creating a tension that wraps successive layers around action and reaction. Watch Auberjonoiss Tom tremble on the cusp of an apology and see Van Dycks Amanda delight in an old dress and you start to sympathize with the characters, even as you laugh at them.

As splendid as Tennessee Williams writing is, every production ofThe Glass Menagerie hinges on the Gentleman Caller scenes. Hajs design team saves many of its choicest touches for the extended encounter between Laura (Carey Cox) and the Gentleman Caller Jim OConnor (Grayson DeJesus) a scene as poignant and magical in its delivery as it is, ultimately, tragic in the narrative. If Toms quest for his own space and privacy is the overarching narrative, this is the alternate counterpoint. Together, theyre a powerful pair.

The Glass Menagerieruns through October 27 at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN.

Basil was named one of Musical America's 30 Professionals of the Year in 2017.

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REVIEW: Sardonic Humor in Glass Menagerie (Guthrie Theater) - Twin Cities Arts Reader

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September 28th, 2019 at 5:44 pm

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Letter: From a fifth year to all first years be brave – Ubyssey Online

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I spent the majority of my degree scared and complacent. I decided that spending two years taking science courses and getting terrible grades was the greater alternative to admitting that I may be better suited for arts. Why? Because everyone makes fun of arts degrees, so I let that stop me from admitting that Im creative a dreamer with skills that are better suited for arts. Now, Im a psychology student and my grades and my soul sleep better.

If I could offer you one piece of advice, something I wish someone had drilled into me when university started is this: be brave. I know, I wish it was something more mind-blowing and complex. But being brave in itself is difficult. Its so general, so let me try and break it down for you.

Be brave and seek out new experiences. Dont be afraid to be uncomfortable, embrace it. Growth and self-discovery are facilitated by stepping outside your comfort zone. So go join clubs, attend parties and first-year events. Be proactive and make the effort to do things that scare you. Dont do what I did and pretend to be too cool for novel experiences. For so long, I wondered why I felt like I hadnt grown since high school. It wasnt until I started getting involved in the community that I started to feel that sense of self-improvement I had longed for. I was and still am so afraid to try new things because I didnt want to fail. Now, Im constantly forcing myself to operate outside of my comfort zone and its scary but great.

Be brave enough to value your own opinion and gut feelings above others. Only you know whats best for you. Dont spend years studying something that a) you werent good at and b) you didnt enjoy. If theres something that feels off, dont let the fear of judgement prevent you from staying true to yourself. I know its clich and I still find myself struggling to adhere to this, but do your best not to care what people think. Doing what you think you should do rather than what you want to do is overrated and not in service of yourself.

So whats the difference between being open and trying new things? To me, the difference is in passivity. When I suggest being open to experiences, I mean going with the flow, letting things happen and sticking around long enough to watch them play out. You never know who you may meet, memories you may make and experiences you may be exposed to. Try not to write things off right away and keep an open mind. I shut out so many experiences because I thought it wasnt something Id be interested in. For example, I had no idea how interesting writing for virtual reality was until I took a creative writing course. Rather than turning my nose at it because Ive never been interested in video games, I kept an open mind and it really sparked an interest in me.

Be brave. Its something I have to tell myself everyday. If youre not pushing yourself, youre not growing. I know its only the first few weeks of school, but time flies. I remember being in first year, I couldnt see the end of my degree it seemed impossibly far away. Now, Im here and its unreal. Truth be told, I wish I had realized and implemented my own advice years ago. So heres me, doing my best to reach out and pass on what I consider to be the greatest thing Ive learned over my years at UBC. Good luck and be brave!

Adry Yap is a fifth-year psychology student.

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Letter: From a fifth year to all first years be brave - Ubyssey Online

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September 28th, 2019 at 5:44 pm

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Learn Self Improvement | Free Online Courses | Class Central

Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:45 am


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July 12th, 2019 at 11:45 am

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8 Best Industries for Starting a Business Right Now | Inc.com

Posted: May 12, 2019 at 3:52 am


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8 Best Industries for Starting a Business Right Now | Inc.com

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Best Industries 2018

The time is right

Got the entrepreneurial bug? Think about launching in these sectors, based on analyst data and interviews with industry experts, investors, and entrepreneurs.

Disaster relief

A spate of natural disasters andmanmade emergencies has increased the demand for services and boosted startup funding. Revenue for the disaster relief industryis expected to jump to $11.2 billion in 2022 from $10.1 billionin 2017, according to IBISWorld.

Alternative-protein food products

The technology is now available to meet consumer demand for great-tasting foods that use proteins from nontraditonal sources. The market accounted for $4.2 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow 6.8 percent between 2017 and 2022, according to Research and Markets.

eSports

Amazons $970 million acquisition of Twitch and the possibility that the NCAA will support collegiate gaming is driving enormous growth ineSports. The industry is expected to reach $1.7 billion in 2020, upfrom $1.1 billionin 2018, according to SuperData Research.

Influencer agents

These startups represent social-media stars who need help turning Instagram followers into cash. As social medias influence continues to surge, revenue for the industry isexpected to increase to $10.8 billion in 2022, a 2.2 percent jump from 2017, according to IBIS.

Beauty tech

The integration of tech and the beauty businessis resulting in a wave of new,innovativeproducts. It's ahuge opportunity: The overall beauty market is expected to jump to $27.8 billion in 2022 from $22.1 billion last year, according to IBIS.

Womens reproductive health care

Startups are helping women take control of their reproductive health with fertility-tracking apps and other services. A2015Harris Williams study estimatedthe U.S. fertility market's value at between $3billion and $4 billion.

Canned wine

The product inside hasnt changed, but the new packaging is gaining acceptance, especially among Millennials. Total U.S. sales for canned wine jumped to $32.3 million last year--a $29 million increase from 2014, according to Nielsen.

Elderly care

Businesses are findinginnovative ways to care for the large population of aging Baby Boomers. The industry generated more than $50.7 billion in revenue in 2017, a figure IBIS expectsto increase by about42 percent by 2022.

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8 Best Industries for Starting a Business Right Now | Inc.com

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May 12th, 2019 at 3:52 am

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Best Articles: 20 Articles That Can Change Your Life …

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There are enough articles on this site to fill two books, so it can sometimes be daunting to know where to start. Below are what many consider to be my greatest hits, the articles that have been the most popular, the most shared, or had the greatest effect on readers lives.

Ive listed the best 5-6 posts in four different categories below: Self Improvement, Life Choices, Dating and Relationships, and Culture.

You can also sign up for my newsletter below and get a free ebook, 3 Ideas That Can Change Your Life. I send out occasional updates with new articles and stuff Im working on. Your information is protected and I never spam.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck The most popular article on the site. And for good reason.

The Most Important Question of Your Life Best post to start with to understand the underlying philosophy of my work.

Stop Trying to Be Happy Why pursuing happiness just pushes it further away from you and how to get around this problem.

In Defense of Being Average A much-needed defense of the unexceptional which is pretty much all of us.

Screw Finding Your Passion You already know what you love to do. Youve just forgotten how to do it.

The Four Stages of Life The phases of life that we all travel through and how they define who we are.

10 Life Lessons to Excel In Your 30s A crowd-sourced article from my older readers on what they all wish they knew when they were 30-years-old.

10 Life Lessons I Learned From Surviving My 20s A look back right before my 30th birthday on all of the life lessons I learned in my 20s.

7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose A fun, yet serious, look at how we can derive more meaning and importance from our lives.

How to Quit Your Day Job and Travel the World How to leverage your terror of going broke to achieving greater success and autonomy.

No, You Cant Have it All A realistic look at the necessity of choosing what to give up in our lives.

Fuck Yes or No The most important rule of dating and relationships. Everyone must understand this.

Love is Not Enough Why we idealize love, make it something more than it is, and how that ruins many of our relationships.

1,500 People Give All the Relationship Advice Youll Ever Need A crowd-sourced article with advice from people who have been in relationships for a long time.

Maybe You Dont Know What Love Is A sober look at what love often is and what it should be.

6 Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Normal Find out if what you think is normal romantic behavior is actually harming your relationship.

6 Healthy Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Toxic The follow up to the above article describing what you should be doing, but probably are not doing.

10 Things Americans Dont Know About America Viral internet sensation. My perspectives on the US after spending four years outside of it.

In the Future, Your Attention Will Be Sold My take on new technologies and how theyre not necessarily ruining society, just our attention spans.

The American Dream Is Killing Us Some commentary on why I think the American Dream isnt just dead, its actually being used against us.

A Dust Over India A raw look at some of the more jarring experiences I had on my trip to India.

5 Life Lessons from 5 Years Traveling the World I spent five years traveling around the world to more than 50 countries. This is what I learned.

How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings An article written in response to the UCSB shootings in May 2014, but also covering numerous other shootings throughout North America and what they actually mean about our society and culture.

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May 12th, 2019 at 3:52 am

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Most of us are too busy to be better: the lazy person’s …

Posted: March 5, 2019 at 10:47 pm


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I am lying on a mat, looking up at the bright blue of the skylight above me. I exhale purposefully, then let my lungs reinflate of their own accord. I am trying hard to concentrate on this slightly counterintuitive way of breathing, but the voices in my head are distracting me. They are telling me about business regulation, specifically about the inhibitory effect of hairdresser licensing in Utah.

I do not, as a rule, make New Year resolutions. As an anxious person, the 12 months that lie ahead of New Years Eve do not fill me with excitement or anticipation. I just wonder what else could go wrong. I am as susceptible as the next person to notions of promise, to the idea that, with the right effort, I could become fitter, smarter, happier, better. But each new December, as I coast towards the end of the year on squeaky wheels, I find myself feeling the same way: older, wiser, worse.

Its the time and effort involved that puts me off most kinds of self-improvement. Many years ago, I signed up for an online life-coaching course, and when I complained about the difficulty of one of the exercises Id been sent I was meant to make a list of my qualities, keeping to the strict format I am (quality) the instructor immediately replied by email, saying, Yes, this is REAL WORK, isnt it? I thought: I already have a job, thanks.

I am drawn to the quick fix. Could it be possible to cram a years self-improvement into a few minutes of effort a day?

In recent years, however, a new school of selfimprovement has sprung up, one that seems to recognise that, frankly, most of us are too busy to be better. Books with titles such as The 10-Minute Millionaire, The 5-Minute Healer, 10 Minutes To Better Health and 10 Minutes A Day To A Better Marriage represent, if not a global revolution in self-improvement, at least a reliable publishing trend.

I am ineluctably drawn to the quick fix. Could it be possible to cram a years self-improvement into a few minutes of effort a day, to get the whole business out of the way before the end of January? It cant do any harm to try, can it?

***

My first self-improvement guide is a new book called 15 Minutes To Happiness by Richard Nicholls. My first thought is that 15 minutes sounds a lot, especially when somebody else is promising to make me a millionaire in 10, but Nicholls book is full of quick exercises interspersed with longer explanations of why and how they work. Some of the exercises are designed to fix problems I dont think I have, so Im pretty sure I can skip ahead.

Nicholls posits a model for happiness that I find reassuring. He stresses the value of negative thinking. He says that actively seeking happiness can often end up making people feel less happy. On page 49 he writes: Be open to the possibility that you bought this book and you dont actually need it. This, I think, is my kind of self-help.

Here and there Nicholls inserts a quick happiness boosting idea, designed to give you an injection of contentment as and when you need it. In the chapter on gratitude, for example, he suggests you take a moment or two to send a text message to someone thanking them for being a part of your life. I embarked on a preliminary challenge: trying to find someone anyone in my list of contacts I could send a text like that, without having to send an immediate follow-up apology text: Sorry about that I was only following orders.

Heres another: Put your town name into JustGiving.com and see who is raising money for a good cause in your local area. Even if you dont donate anything to anyone, spending time looking at the good thats going on in your town will dilute any doom and gloom youve picked up from elsewhere.

I tried this one it was incredibly easy, and it did make me feel slightly happier. It ended up costing me 30 (donated anonymously, because thats the kind of person I am now), but the feeling lasted for almost four hours.

A dozen years ago, I had an hour-long session with a yoga instructor, and when I asked what sort of benefits I could expect, he promised that yoga would bring me joy. I hadnt even considered this possibility, but I liked the sound of it. I will try this yoga, I thought. And when I get my joy, everyone else can go to hell.

Then I went to one of his classes in a London studio, full of supple people in leggings, and found the whole experience nerve-racking and humiliating. It wasnt relaxing at all. It was like auditioning for Cats.

So Im done doing yoga in front of people, but a book called The 10 Minute Yoga Solution raises the possibility that I could get my joy in the privacy of my home, quietly and quickly. The author, Ira Trivedi, makes a lot of bold claims: she says that 10 minutes of yoga a day will not just make me calmer and more physically fit, it will improve my eyesight, control unhealthy eating habits and cure a multitude of hair problems (its all about blood flow to the scalp). She also mentions joy, if only in passing.

The book itself has very few words in it. It is simply a collection of illustrated poses or asanas with instructions, grouped into workouts tailored to specific requirements. Again, I find myself in a position to skip bits: yoga for women, for kids, for weight loss, for fasting, for binge-eating. I like the sound of yoga for lazy people and yoga for hangovers, but for the moment I am concentrating on yoga for beginners: eight poses, 10 minutes in all.

I wasnt sure what to expect from a basic, self-administered yoga programme, but I hadnt expected it to hurt quite so much. Sitting cross-legged hurts. The seated spinal twist hurts. Even the shavasana, the so-called corpse pose lying flat on your back, arms and legs spread, palms up, toes pointing out hurts. I am, I discover, a collection of small aches. As instructed, I contract the muscles in my feet and then relax them. My toes refuse to uncurl. Ten minutes begins to seem like an age.

***

There are, of course, a lot of self-improvement podcasts available I found one titled simply You Suck: Be Better. Another, created by a former lawyer, suggested that I think of my time as if it were broken down into billable hours, so I learn to prize it more. Id rather use my headphone time to acquire some actual information. Ive got the happy book and the yoga routine already. What I really require is a little knowledge.

There is a solution: it turns out you can just speed a podcast up. At first I thought: who would do this?

Ive always resisted the idea of learning more about economics. It was a passive resistance I just wasnt that interested in the subject but maybe, armed with the right podcast and a decent set of headphones, I could enter into a new phase of passive learning. By common consent, NPRs Planet Money is one of the best economics podcasts going. I havent listened to many well, any but Planet Money is entertaining, informative and aimed squarely at the layman. Its not a primer, but more of a fun way to engage with what for many remains an off-putting subject. I encounter no mathematics.

But theres a lot of it: two years worth, with a new episode posted every couple of days. Where to begin? Whats more, the average length of each instalment is close to 20 minutes, which, in todays self-improvement environment, is positively leisurely. There is a solution: it turns out you can just speed a podcast up. At first I thought: who would do this? But lots of people do it. My own children, it transpires, routinely listen to sped-up recordings of their university lectures in order to save time. I had to download a new app to acquire the facility, but I can now listen to Planet Money at three times the original speed. Actually, I cant its pretty well unintelligible at that clip but I soon find that if I spend a few minutes trying to keep up with the podcast at double speed, it then sounds perfectly normal at a more relaxed one-and-a-half times. Within a few days, Ive worked my way up to 1.8x. Over the course of a week, I grow increasingly impatient with the pace of actual human conversation. Spit it out, I want to say.

My impersonation of a corpse is so convincing that I worry about my wife walking in and finding me

A week in, I rise (10 minutes) early and run through my yoga positions, beginning with some breathing: inhale the future, exhale the past, as the book says. I move on to the spinal twist and the shoulder stand. The corpse pose no longer hurts; in fact, my impersonation of a corpse is so convincing that I worry about my wife walking in and finding me. He died doing what he loved, she would think. Express yoga.

I listen to a podcast about robots taking over our jobs on my way to and from the shops; about 1.6x makes it the right length for the journey. Back at home, I sit down to settle on my next 15-minute happiness task. Deciding often takes longer than 15 minutes, because I reject a few out of hand. Going through Nicholls book, I come across the following passage: If were grateful for life then we cant be fearful, which means that any anxiety we experience gets processed as excitement instead. If were grateful, then we act out of a sense that we have enough rather than out of a sense of scarcity or envy.

He goes on to suggest spending 15 minutes writing about some positive things that have happened to you. I am extraordinarily resistant to this idea. I only like writing about bad things that have happened to me, in part because I know I will never run out. At first, I cant even think of any recent positive experiences, but after a few minutes, I recall a long and mostly tedious drive to Exeter the previous week.

Time is becoming an issue. It occurs to me that I might double up on some of this improvement

I was thinking about nothing but my destination when I came upon Stonehenge at sunset, the stones glistening in the low, pink light. At that moment, traffic slowed to a crawl, enabling me to get a long look. This is free, I thought. A wondrous thing to marvel at, and I havent driven an inch out of my way. After 10 minutes, the traffic cleared and I was off again, feeling strangely moved. And then I forgot all about it.

The exercise takes 20 minutes from start to finish too long. I recall that email from the life coach This is REAL WORK, isnt it? I begin to think of my time in terms of billable hours.

***

Time is becoming an issue. Ten minutes of yoga is one thing, but when you add in a happiness exercise and the 12 minutes it takes me to listen to a 20-minute podcast, youre talking about nearly a whole hour. It occurs to me that I might double up on some of this improvement.

There is a certain amount of natural overlap. Both 15 Minutes To Happiness and The 10 Minute Yoga Solution stress the importance of breathing, and the exercises are not dissimilar. But focus is the key to both, and the focal points are different. Its harder to mix mindfulness and stillness than it sounds. Add in a podcast explaining what GDP is, and the whole thing becomes an exercise in frustration. I am reminded, to my eternal disappointment, that there are no quick fixes.

After a fortnight of this, I would have to say the improvements have been marginal: some extra flexibility here, a little more gratitude there, a lot more to say when the subject of GDP next comes up at a dinner party. The Nicholls book is worth a read even if you do none of the exercises, if only to come away with the knowledge that the successful pursuit of happiness mainly involves not trying too hard. Its not unrealistic to think that in stopping trying to be happy, you can find that youre happy enough already, he writes. Paradoxically, it could be that the only reason for you being unhappy is your relentless attempt at trying not be.

And Ive learned the lesson I was always going to learn, only faster: stop making New Year resolutions. Again.

Commenting on this piece? If you would like your comment to be considered for inclusion on Weekend magazines letters page in print, please email weekend@theguardian.com, including your name and address (not for publication).

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March 5th, 2019 at 10:47 pm

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Employee Rewards Programs, Loyalty Reward Program

Posted: January 26, 2019 at 8:43 pm


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Assure Sales Success Using IncentivesHas this happened to you: You create a great sales and marketing strategy thats enthusiastically endorsed by the management team, but fails because your sales team and your customers didnt buy into it! If only they had been as excited as you were, the plan would surely have succeeded.

Whats In It For Me (W.I.I.F.M.) What sales incentives do successful managers use to create positive buzz and excitement with employees? How do winning sales managers make sure their customers are excited about doing business with them?

Give them something to get excited about. Customer and employee rewards, tied directly to contribution, assure buy in and success. Help your target audience answer the question: Whats In It For Me? Their next question will be: What Can We Do For You?

Affordable Programs That Fit Any BudgetFor decades, Capitol Marketing has been one of the industrys largest, most successful incentive marketing company because we customize programs to fit the precise needs of each customer. Programs are designed from the ground up to achieve the exact goals of our partner-client.

The Capitol Marketing Goods Hands ProgramYoure in good hands with Capitol Marketing, from start to finish. First, a team of professionals is assigned and introduced to you. Our team follows the program throughout and is responsible for your success. Your CMC team is assigned to you because they are experienced in the type of program you are running and have experience in your industry, as well.

Rely On Capitol for Sales Incentive SuccessWed like to talk with you and show you how we can help. We are available to consult with you on a no obligations basis whenever you need us.

Capitol Marketing Loyalty Reward Programs deliver sales success and ROI for our clients.

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Employee Rewards Programs, Loyalty Reward Program

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January 26th, 2019 at 8:43 pm

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Self-improvement | Define Self-improvement at Dictionary.com

Posted: October 14, 2018 at 12:44 pm


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[self-im-proov-muhnt, self-]

ExamplesWord Origin

First recorded in 173545

Dictionary.com UnabridgedBased on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2018

Another said just the act of spending money on self-improvement made him determined to break out of his shell.

Education is a series of hoops to jump through, not a process of self-improvement or self-discovery.

When first genomics started, we figured the result would be self-improvementliterally.

On the Limits of Self-ImprovementVanity Fair, October 2007 There's an entire micro-economy based on the pursuit of betterment.

Forget Oprahwe should all be watching Pixar movies in our quests for self-improvement.

But self-improvement is a dull game when there is no one to applaud your score.

The rest of his life was occupied in study, in self-improvement, in piety, and in good deeds.

It was from the Gurneys he caught the infection of self-improvement.

Fifteen minutes a day devoted to self-improvement, will be felt at the end of the year.

Quin's desire for self-improvement soon became an obsession.

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Online Etymology Dictionary, 2010 Douglas Harper

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October 14th, 2018 at 12:44 pm

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20 Self Improvement Tips That Will Change Your Life …

Posted: July 29, 2018 at 8:41 am


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I say all of the time that if you arent focusing on self development, you are just sitting on the sidelines of life.

So the question becomes, are you happy with your life? Regardless of how you answered, you have the power to make your life better than it is today.

The power to do so lies within each of us. All you need is a little nudge to get started. Because of this, I have compiled a list of 20 self improvement tips for you to start making a part of your everyday life.

Why 20 self improvement tips and not 3 or 5? The reason is because everyone will start with what they feel most comfortable with first. If I were to only list 3 tips, some people might not be interested in trying any of them.

But with 20 self growth tips, chances are you will find something to start with to improve your life. From there you can move on to another tip and another, and so on.

The great thing about this list is that all of the tips I list to better your life are easy to start doing. It wont take you weeks or months to begin applying them into your daily routines.

So what are you waiting for? The first step to your best life begins now!

The first self improvement tip is learning to love yourself. Unfortunately for many, this is easier said than done. You have to learn to accept who you are and that you are beautiful just the way you are. Youre not supposed to look like Brad Pitt or sing like Adele. You are supposed to simply be you.

All throughout our daily lives we have others put us down for who we are, what we wear, or what we believe in. They are against you. You need to be for you. If you are against you, there is no hope of living an amazing life. Learn to become your own ally and not your worst enemy.

Tell yourself how special you are every day. It may be hard at first, but as time goes on, it will become easier. Learn to recognize what talents and qualities you have that are special and believe me, we are all special in our own way.

For me, this tip was tough. I started out looking in the mirror and telling myself how great I was. It felt weird. I didnt believe it. But a funny thing happened. After doing this day after day, I did begin to believe it. It felt good to say and soon I was excited to do this step.

It has had a major impact on how I see myself and carry myself. I encourage you to follow through on this tip and experience the power of it.

I make it a point to exercise a few times a week. When I do, I feel great. Working up a sweat and lifting weights makes me feel good about myself and improves my mood. Not surprisingly, when I am busy and cant make it to the gym, I find I am less motivated in general and my mood sours.

If you go to the gym and dont feel anything, I encourage you to lift heavier weights, to put yourself beyond your comfort zone. Many people go light either because they dont think they can lift as much as they really can or because they fear they will get big and bulky.

I am here to tell you that you can lift more than you think and you wont get big and bulky, unless it is in your genes or you are taking some artificial supplement. Ive been lifting heavy weights for 15 years. I am nowhere near big and bulky.

When you lift heavy weights, your body exerts more effort and you release more endorphins into your system. This is what makes you feel better and improves your mood. When you just go through the motions, you body doesnt respond because it isnt being worked.

With this said, if you are brand new to lifting weights, definitely go light to start so that you dont injure yourself.

If you are going to work out, you might as well eat well too, right? I find when I am working out, I eat better. When I stop working out, I eat poorly. Its a simple cycle really. I lift weights, I feel good about myself, I eat well and the cycle repeats.

Most times you are feeling like crap because you are eating highly processed, sugary foods. Try to eat healthy just for a week. Limit your sugar intake and eat more natural foods like fruits and vegetables.

The first day or so might be hard, but give your body time to adjust and you will be amazed how much better your life will be. That drop off of energy in the afternoon you always experience will no longer happen. You wont wake up tired any longer. You just have to give yourself a few days to adjust.

For me, I started out with a goal of just eating more fruits and vegetables. I didnt have a set goal, other than to figure out how to increase my consumption of these foods.

I added a banana to my breakfast and I put some shredded spinach into my eggs. I was scared at first, but you really cant taste the spinach.

For snacks, I would eat an apple. At lunch and dinner, I would add in more vegetables. I dont think I am anywhere need what the food pyramid calls for with these food groups, but this strategy works for me.

Just play around with it and figure out what routine works best for you. Even if you just make it a point to drink water instead of soda and skip out on a doughnut for an apple you will be doing yourself a world of good.

We are all creatures of habit. We follow the same routines, day in, day out. This makes life easier for us, but also makes us lazy. To spice things up, you need to change your habits. Im not talking about refraining from brushing your teeth, but maybe brush with the opposite hand.

Instead of taking the same way to work every day, try a new way. Make Tuesday nights family night. Find simple ways to change things up in life.

The more you can do this, the more you keep your mind and body on its toes and it has to keep learning. Going back to the exercise point above, its the same idea. If you never increase the weight you lift, your body adapts to the exercise and is no longer being challenged and not growing.

Another great way to change your habits is to start your days off right. Learn how to master your mornings and you will see a positive impact on the rest of your day.

Little daily self improvement goes a long way towards achieving success in life. It doesnt seem like it at the time, but these small changes compound and add up over time.

While you change your habits, you should also focus on setting goals for yourself. Where do you want to be in one year, or three or five years? Dont just write them down, but visualize these goals. Make the goals a part of you.

I have some long term goals for myself. Ive gotten so good at visualizing them that I can see specific details. For example, when I was visualizing my dream house, I could see blades of grass when I closed my eyes and thought of the house and yard I wanted to own.

Dont get upset if you cant do this right away. Start small and just begin to visualize.

The key to setting goals is making them manageable. I used to set annual goals and would fail miserably. I started to break them down into smaller, monthly goals instead.

For example, if my goal was to save 25% of my income this year, I would divide this amount by 12 and my monthly goal would be to save this amount.

If I were trying to pay off my debt, then I would have an amount I would want to pay off each month to hit my annual goal.

By focusing on the shorter time frame, my goal never got lost in the day to day of life.

Newsflash you are going to fail. You are going to fail many times in life. Failing is OK. In fact, you should embrace failure. When you stretch beyond your comfort zone, you are growing as a person. It is only natural that you will fail. Dont fall for the lie that failing is bad.

Think about failing when you were little. As a toddler, we have to learn to walk. If you ever watch a toddler learning to walk, she falls down many, many times. In other words, she fails countless times. Why is a child failing to learn to walk OK but you failing to learn a new skill as an adult a bad thing? At the end of the day it is still failure.

Dont believe the lie that failure is a bad thing. It is only a bad thing if you never learn from it.

Be willing to try new things, give it your best shot and if you fail, take the time to step back. Reflect on the reasons that led you to fail and try again. As you progress, you are growing as a person.

This is my favorite of the tips to improve yourself. You need to know who you are and what you stand for. In other words, you need to create a personal mission statement. Dont mull over creating the perfect mission statement here. Just come up with something that identifies who you are and what you are about. As time goes on, you can modify it.

My mission statement talks about being a healthy person that always looking for the positive in life. Again, nothing complicated and there is room for improvement, just like with life.

If you need help with creating your personal mission statement, click here.

The next of the self improvement tips is that you need to be thankful for all that you have. Why are so many people living in debt? Because they are chasing happiness. They think that happiness comes from things. They dont realize that happiness comes from within.

Its the same with the quote success leads to happiness. It doesnt. Happiness leads to success. Be happy with all that you have. Odds are you have it better than the majority of people.

Try to take a few minutes at the end of each day and think back on what happened and acknowledge the positive things in your life and be thankful for them.

They dont need to be important events either like scoring a raise at work. They could be as simple as getting to run around outside with your kids. Whatever it is, large or small, important or seemingly unimportant, be thankful for it all.

The more you do this, the easier they will be to identify.

Learning a new skill breeds confidence in ourselves. When we learn something new, we get excited and are eager to learn more. This increases our self confidence and we grow and want to learn more. Its a cycle that fuels itself.

So what is it that you have always wanted to learn but always put off? Write a short list of things and then start working on learning those new skills.

Dont be fearful of how difficult it may be. You can easily learn new skills on the internet watching videos, taking free courses or workshops at community colleges and stores, or by reading some books.

If you are an introverted person, challenge yourself to be more social. Im not suggesting you try to change yourself from being an introvert, but having social confidence is a great skill to have.

Challenging yourself is a great tool when it comes to self development. By learning new things, you grow as a person.

How will you find time to learn those news skills you wrote about above? Easy, stop wasting time. I bet you could easily carve out a few hours in your day to learn a new skill. Its all about shifting things around. Most notably, stop watching so much TV! Studies show that too much TV watching is harmful to our health.

How do you stop watching so much TV? For some, you will have to take drastic measures, like canceling your cable. For others, delaying the show works. Delaying is what works for me.

My wife and I have a DVR. We set up the DVR to record all of the shows we want to watch. Surprisingly, we never watch half of the shows on the DVR. Not because we watch other shows, but because we really arent that interested in watching them.

Take some time to understand how you waste time and become more productive with your time. Read more. Learn about something new. Spend more time with loved ones. These are self growth activities that will lead to happiness and success.

Reading stimulates the mind. Do you know how many books I read two years ago? Zero. That falls in line with the numbers from 2015 that show 27% of Americans didnt read a single book.

This year so far, Ive read 5. How do I find the time to read? Simple. I turn off the TV 30 minutes before bed and read. I dont miss anything important on TV and it helps me to prepare for a good nights sleep.

To get started reading and to stick with it pick out some books in niches that interest you. If you like mystery novels, then search out some short books in that niche. You can also check out my resources section for a list of my personal favorites.

The goal isnt to read as many books as you can, but rather to get into the habit of reading. If it takes you two months to read a book, then so be it. The goal is more about reading than the number of books you can complete.

Along with learning new skills and reading, you should fill up your new found free time by meditating for 10 minutes per day. Some may think that meditating is a waste of time, but I find that clearing my head of all of my thoughts and just being present has a huge effect on my mood and happiness.

There are various forms of mediation, so you are sure to find one that is right for you. As you start out with meditation, take things slow. For some people (myself included) it took some time before I was able to clear my mind and really get good at meditating.

What ended up sticking for me was starting off very slowly with a short amount of mediation time and making my sessions longer as I improved.

For more tips for beginning meditation, check out this post.

Once you get the basics down regarding meditation, you will be amazed at the positive impact it has to improve your life. It quickly resets your mind and emotions and you come out of a mediation session feeling fresh and revived.

I mentioned in a previous tip about learning to love yourself. You will always have critics, including yourself. You need to learn to deal with any negative thoughts and emotions you have.

At first, you may find this difficult to do. But over time, controlling your thoughts will become easier.

Understand that negative thoughts will always be with us. They create a problem when we allow them to fester inside and ruin our day. So there was bad traffic this morning. Instead of letting it fester inside and taking that anger out on others, learn to brush it off. Dont allow it to ruin your entire day. Its a day you will never get back.

The same idea applies when others are rude or short to you. You dont know what is happening in their life. Maybe they got into a car accident. Maybe they are getting divorced.

Most times that arent angry at you, they just take it out on you because they havent dealt with the issue effectively enough. Dont let their actions ruin your day.

You will fail. You will struggle. Life will be hard sometimes. But you have to keep pushing through. This builds character. When you push through a hard time, the next hard time you encounter will be easier to get through. Why? Because you proved to yourself that you can get through anything.

That belief is a huge part of daily self improvement.

Another tip to help push through tough times is to take it one day at a time. Too many times we go through a rough patch and think this is what our life will be from now on. This isnt the case.

Take things one day at a time, and try to focus on the positive things from that day. In time, the tough times will pass.

As mentioned above, part of pushing through tough times is all about accepting change. Nothing in life is forever. Things are constantly changing. We age every day, the seasons change every 3 months. Its part of life. The sooner you can accept that change happens, the sooner you can begin to be the best you possible.

While it isnt always easy to accept change, the sooner you do, the happier you will be.

Along the same lines of accepting change is also learning to accept the past. What is done is done. Nothing you can do now will ever change the past. Its part of history. The only thing you can do is learn from the experience and move on, push forward. Forgive and move forward.

If you cant learn to do that, you will never become the best person you can be. You will be focusing on the wrong things, the things you cant change instead of the things you can change.

Let go of the past and focus on the good things you have now and the great things in store for your future. Your past made you who you are today, but it doesnt have to define who you will be in the future.

Part of self improvement is giving without obligation. When you give, be it food, time, your money, you show that the world is a decent place. You also increase your self-esteem and feel good about yourself and the world in general. Learn to pay it forward.

Note that I mentioned giving your time in addition to money. Volunteers are always needed to help out. Dont think for a second that you cant afford to give. You have the most valuable asset of all to give, your time.

We all have those we look up to. Find a mentor who is successful at what you want to do and learn from them. Many successful people are more than willing to help out those who ask for help and are happy to take you under their wing.

By doing this, you will get great insight into what traits and habits make a person successful and what things you might be doing now that are holding you back.

Just be certain you work hard. While many people are willing to mentor, they dont want to feel like you arent trying. So be sure to give all you can so you can learn everything you can.

Of all the tips to improve yourself I list, this is the one that is the toughest to begin using.

The old saying, you are the company that you keep, is true. If you are always hanging around with unmotivated people, you too will be unmotivated to succeed in life. On the other hand, if you hang around with successful people, you too will find success.

I have personal experience with this. I knew of a person in college. When I visited them over the summer, they were lifeless and uninterested in doing anything. It turns out all of her close friends at home were just skating by in life. Many of them dropped out of high school.

But when she was in college, with people that were motivated to become something in life, she was inspired, successful, and the life of the party. After college, she moved back home, isnt using her degree and is just skating by.

The theme was her friends. The company she kept dictated how she was as a person. She finally got the courage to move away from home and her life changed. She got a great job in her field, met a great man, and now is Vice President of the company and has an amazing family.

Are there people in your life you would be better off no longer spending time with? I understand that pushing people out of your life is hard, but it is your life and you need to do what it best for you, regardless of how difficult it may be.

At the end of the day, reflect on what happened. Was it a good day? Even if bad things happened, find ways to spin them into something positive. In other words, dont let the negative thoughts take root in your mind. Be thankful for all that happened to you today and vow to be an even better person tomorrow.

Start out noticing big things that happened since they will be the things in the front of your mind. But dont overlook the little things like the amazing weather, the person that let you go ahead of them in line, etc. All of these things are things to be thankful for.

When you do this, you remember things that happened, that in the moment seemed insignificant. But these events had an impact on your overall day. By reflecting on them, you keep them in the front of your mind and can use them to improve yourself.

If you can follow these 20 self improvement tips, I am confident that you will become a better, more confident person in life. What have you got to lose other than how your life is now? Isnt a better life worth the risk?

As I mentioned at the start of this post, take your time with these tips and cherry pick a few here and there to start with. Dont overwhelm yourself by trying to tackle every tip at once. That is a recipe for failure.

Start small and slow and build other tips into your daily life as the weeks progress. Before you know it, you will start to see a change for the better. This will motivate you to keep pushing forward, improving yourself and improving your life each and every day.

Youll come to find you have more energy, are happier and are more successful, all thanks to a few self improvement tips.

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20 Self Improvement Tips That Will Change Your Life ...

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July 29th, 2018 at 8:41 am

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Be Your Own Life Coach: 10 Ideas for Self-Improvement …

Posted: July 1, 2018 at 12:45 am


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The thought of transforming yourself into a better person can be daunting especially if youre older, and youve had several interventions, and you do not feel as energetic as you were when you were a fresh-faced (or pimply-faced, as the case may be) teenager. Dont fret. Even if you take it a day at a time, you will find that the opportunities to become better than you are, right now, are actually, right there. These are just 10 ideas to help you on your way.

1. Think positive.

Start your day, your week, your month or your year on a positive note. Think of all the things you can accomplish. Dare to dream. Every new milestone is a beginning: take stock and give yourself a pat on the back for what youve accomplished so far.

2. Finish what you start.

Read a book: finish a chapter a day. It could be a subject youve always been interested in but has nothing to do with your work or your daily information-gathering. Attempt a home project something you can do over the weekend that will clearly improve your home. Complete your shopping and chores early, and get instant gratification for a job well done.

3. Leave the comfort zone. Face your fear.

Confronting a fear is one way of challenging yourself. Doing something that you are afraid of every day is a way of pushing yourself to grow. It doesnt have to be dangerous (like skydiving) but it has to be something you know will be hard for you to do, but will also be good for you (like public speaking).

4. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.

Youve heard about the benefits. Now its time to experience them. Exercising will not only make you healthier and stronger, it will make you look good, and you will also feel good.

5. Meditate.

Exercise your mind. Meditation helps you tackle your inner demons as well as readies you to face the world. If you want to battle depression, anxiety, sleep disorder, and personality issues, meditation is one effective remedy.

6. Quit a bad habit.

You know that there are some activities you engage in that are bad for you (such as smoking or binge-drinking), and that there are some people who bring out the worst in you (toxic frenemies, the gossip girl, the enabler buddy) now is the time to let go of them. Surround yourself with people who bring out the good in you, or who, like you, are seeking to improve themselves via healthful action.

7. Find your passion. Fall in love.

A surefire way to be happy is to fall in love and be passionate about something or somebody. Give yourself license to be in love. There are only so many years in a lifetime, and it would be nice to spend some of it with people or a significant person whom you love. There are only so many waking hours of the day, so do something that you love and that makes you happy.

8. Make someone else happy.

This can be a daily recurrence, or a big-time once-in-a-blue-moon deal. Either way, making someone happy is the surest way to feel good about yourself, to feel youve made a difference. It could be as simple as finding a way to compliment someone every day, or doing someone a favor for the week, or orchestrating something major that you know you can do, with some effort, and you know will be most appreciated.

9. Save a life.

Some of us first responders such as firemen, cops, and medical personnel are in a unique position to save another persons life. But it should be noted that even those in unlikely positions are also given the opportunity to save a life the passerby who pulled a youngster out of harms way, or the friend who refused to let her drunken companion drive, or the kid who adopted a stray cat or dog. When its your turn, step up and do your part.

10. Be grateful.

Its so easy to forget that there are so many reasons to be grateful to be alive. At the end of each day, look back, and say thanks. End on a positive, life-affirming note.

Learn about the limitless benefits of meditation, & how precisely designed brainwave technology (EquiSync) helps enable a deep, super-pleasurable, extremely beneficial state of meditation quickly, safely, & easily. Upgrade your life.

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The power of your subconscious & unconscious mind are incredible. Here, we show you the vast benefits waiting under the surface, and how meditation is the best way to dive in, explore, and harness your deep mind. See detailed chart.

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Why is meditation such a powerful anxiety reliever? From building neurotransmitters, to quieting mind chatter, to cooling the amygdala, this highly in-depth article discusses why anxiety is no match against meditation.

Known as the worlds happiest people, scientists love studying meditators' magnificent brains. From transforming psychology, to fully rewiring thought, to massively upgrading physiology, here we discuss why meditation dominates depression.

Even if you get the recommended eight hours each night, you may not be sleeping deeply enough to fully recharge your battery. Here, we discuss why so many of us have insomnia, and why meditation is the best solution to sleeping like a log.

Why dont meditators have addictions? From urge surfing, to masterfully dealing with stress, to uprooting deep seated emotions, to giving us a natural high, to unplugging naturally, here we discuss why meditation eradicates addiction.

Understand the degree to which meditation dramatically upgrades your body's stress response, effectively making you immune to anxiety, depression, addiction, and more. What is the secret to reaching deep, highly beneficial meditation? EquiSync.

Through a process called "Neurogenesis," doctors have discovered that our brain's "neuron count" is not set for life. Meditations well-proven ability to generate a "neuron fortune" has massive implications & big benefits.

Brain Power, Memory, & Focus

Did you know that your brain power, intelligence, memory, & focus can be dramatically upgraded, no matter who you are? Here, we discuss why scientists keep studying the marvelous meditating brain, and how you too can tap these awesome benefits.

Learn how precisely designed brainwave technology (EquiSync) helps enable a deep, super-pleasurable, extremely beneficial state of meditation quickly, safely, & easily. Charts included. Upgrade your life.

How can meditation transform your life? With links to detailed articles, here we have compiled more than 141 benefits of meditation. No stone left unturned.

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Be Your Own Life Coach: 10 Ideas for Self-Improvement ...

Written by admin

July 1st, 2018 at 12:45 am

Posted in Self-Improvement


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