What Is The Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation And How Can You Use Them To Your Benefit?

How come that for some tasks we are so eager to work on, but for others we are almost unable to even get started? Well, in order for your brain to push you to do something, it will evaluate whether the reward is worth the effort.

Back before civilization existed, our ancestors were in a constant state of survival. Our brain was, and still is, hardwired to limit energy waste. So it is continuously doing a risk versus reward analysis. If there isn’t a substantial enough reward in the short term, you simply wouldn’t feel like doing that task.

Today we have coined this sensation of “not feeling like it” as a lack of motivation. Although in the field pf psychology the study of motivation is much broader and more complex than a mere sensation. We now distinguish between 2 types of motivation; intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

So lets see what the main differences between them are!

What is Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation is our internal drive for wanting to put in effort to complete tasks. Whenever we are under the influence of intrinsic motivation, we are uninterested in outside benefits related to that task. Many of us do daily activities just for the fun of it without worrying about any future benefits that those activities might provide for us.

Typical examples of intrinsic motivators might be solving a crossword puzzle by yourself, or studying a subject that you are not enrolled in class for. Neither example necessarily provides a future benefit, so what is the reason that we put so much effort into these tasks? The simple reason is that you simply have some internal craving for these activities. They are pleasant to the soul and are in general a pleasant experience for the brain.

What is Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is our external drive for wanting to put effort into a certain task. It exists for the sole purpose of making the life of our future self better. Extrinsic motivation can drive us to do tasks that we have absolutely no interests in, as long as they provide some external reward when the work is done.

There are many examples of extrinsic motivation that you are probably familiar with. A classic example is studying hard for exams during your high school days. Most of us were uninterested in the courses we were studying for. Yet we put in a lot of work and effort to pass those exams. The main reason for this is that the degree we would get opened more doors for us. It allowed us to ensure we had a better life in the future. Hence the motivation we had to study for those exams was externally driven, therefore it was extrinsic motivation!

How Can We Benefit From These 2 Motivational Types?

3 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Intrinsic Motivation

1. Work On Tasks That Make An Impact On Others

Studies into motivation have actually shown that those individuals whose goals correlate with serving their community or having a direct impact on others, are powered moire by intrinsic motivation than by extrinsic motivation. These people claim that they are willing to put in the effort because they have a sense of personal meaning when they are working. On top of that, seeing the benefit of their work positively influence others and their communities caused an even bigger motivational boost!

It is clear that if you want intrinsic motivation to influence you more, you should try and find a way so that your goals, no matter how selfish, will positively influence others. This can be done by simply adapting your current goals.

Say you are an engineering student, and your main goal right now is to obtain a degree. Instead of just studying all day for that degree, use your skills to help people in need gain access to water for example. There are many summer programs where you get send to less developed countries to help those in need. Gaining such experience will re-light a fire within you to finish that degree. You will gain a massive intrinsic motivational booster from that!

If you are new to goal setting, make sure you read my article on why you should set big goals, even though you might not achieve them here!

2. Limit ‘Rewarding Yourself’

If you know that you are fueled by intrinsic motivation, then you should know how to make the most use of it! One of things you might be doing to try and help your motivation might be the very same thing that is destroying it. If you are intrinsically motivated, rewarding yourself for your actions in counter-intuitive for your body. You are teaching your mind that there is an external reward attached to the task you are doing. Over time, your motivation will shift from intrinsic to extrinsic. If your extrinsic motivational reward system is not up to scratch, you will lose a lot of motivation over time!

Just have a good look at all the goals you are pursuing right now. If you feel you are intrinsically motivated by some of them, avoid using external rewards for doing work towards that goal. It will be more beneficial for you in the long run!

Remember that intrinsic motivation comes from internal wants and needs. Hence you will be able to benefit greatly from it if the goals you are pursuing are related in some way with your true passion. Continue to go after those goals which have a personal meaning for you!

For a lot of us it can be quite difficult to find exactly what our real passion in life is. I think there are many ways to figure this out. The one method I know that really digs down to the truth is a simple mental exercise. I have already written an article on it here, so make sure you check that out!

Another method you could use is practicing gratitude on a daily basis. It is one of the best tools to dig up the past and relieve your past dreams. I am sure you will come across some sort of childhood passion you had.

If you truly feel lost in life, make sure you check out this article here, it will help you get back on track.

3 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Extrinsic Motivation

1. Continuously Set New Goals

Extrinsic motivation is all about external rewards, and looking towards the future. One way we can prepare for this is to set up more goals. If we are working towards a big goal, make sure you set smaller goals to measure your progress. Completing these smaller goals will give you a massive motivational boost when it comes to the overall effort.

A perfect example could be a coach who is trying to lead his team to win the national championships. His end goal is to win that tournament. However, he will likely set many intermediary goals, such as training 4 times per week. After every successful week of training, the coach will see the progress that the team is making, which will cause him to be more motivated to keep on pushing forwards!

When you set goals, make sure you set them big! Don’t be afraid to set astronomical goals, I actually encourage it! When you gain experience in goal setting, you will realize what levels are achievable for you!

2. Make Sure To Use A Proper Reward System

Giving yourself the proper reward relative to the work put in can oftentimes be more difficult than you think. Luckily for you, there is a tested methods out there that works brilliantly. It is called the 50/10 methods, sometimes also referred to as the pomodoro technique. You study or work for 50 minutes, then you give yourself a 10 minute break. If you use this reward system, not only will your motivation keep helping you out, you will also see your productivity spike!

Some thing you can do on your 10 minute break include:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Journaling
  • Listen to music
  • Socializing with friends
  • Going for a walk

3. Turn Your Reward System Into A Habit

Without making it a habit, trying to get yourself more motivated is an exhausting task. If we rewarded ourselves properly (as discussed in the last section) and were able to make it a habit, we would make it so much easier on ourselves. Not only that, you will actually gain more benefit from the rewards itself. If our brain knows to expect a reward is coming, it will push harder to get the job done. But before the brain truly understands the reward system, you have to make it into a habit!

Note that it can take up to 3 months for something like this to turn into a habit! So make sure you give it plenty of time to embed in your routine!

5 Things To Be Passionate About In Life

You might wish to lead a happier and more successful life, but you are not sure what you have to do to make that happen. Becoming passionate for certain aspects of your life can certainly be a good way to get started. Afterall, being passionate is something you will find in the personality of the most successful and famous people around!

I like to compare someone’s passion with their drive, willpower and motivation. Passion is what can push us to amazing results. No matter how hard life gets, if you are passionate, you will make it through. It is a crucial emotion to have in your life, and you cannot really get enough of it.

But what really is passion?

What Is Passion?

Passion is a powerful emotion that we all experience at some point in our lives. It is something within us, that cannot simply be taken away by others. It is what makes us us, and it is usually developed in childhood to a certain extent.

If you really want to succeed in an area of life, a certain level of passion for whatever you are doing is a must. It will allow you to get through the hard days when your discipline or motivation wavers.

With the pandemic seemingly coming to an end, what are some of the things we should get passionate about? How can they benefit our future selves? Let’s find out

Things’ In Life To Be Passionate About

1. Personal Development

No matter what you do in life, you will find that you have personality traits that will both help and keep you back from being the best you can be. I you want to be the best in your field, you have to get into the habit of continual personal development.

I suggest starting out by doing a self evaluation. For example, imagine a student. Their main goal is to pass their exams and graduate with a degree, but they are struggling. Firstly they write all the important skills that a successful student needs. Many things come to mind, time management, stress management, sleep routine, motivation and much more.

Then the student looks inwards, and makes a self evaluation on their own performance in these areas. One of the best ways to do this test is through a simple mental exercise, which is explained in detail here! Based on the result, this student will know what areas in their life they need to work on and improve.

Being passionate about personal development means that you are in a continuous state of improving your weakness and developing your strengths. Here at Simple Lifestyles you will find articles discussing ways to improve a variety of personality traits. Make sure you browse around and you will likely come across an article that can benefit you!

By getting passionate about personal development, you will be able to keep on growing as a person, ensuring you stay ahead of your competition at all times!

2. Learning

Learning ties in very closely with the previous point, yet differs in one fundamental way. Personal development is all about developing your personality and who you are as a person. Learning is about teaching yourself new life skills that will (hopefully) have some positive influence on your life!

It is being able to learn efficiently that will allow us to improve our personal and professional lives. If you want to make it in life, continuous learning is one of the most important character traits you can have!

That being said, becoming a more effective learner can often be quite hard to achieve, yet there are some simple methods to help you move forward. Lets go over some ways you can use to become a more effective learner:

Step out of your comfort zone

Whenever you are in the comfort zone, you are at ease. There is no hard work, no challenges and no risks to be taken. While for many, this might seem like the ideal way to live your life, it is in fact not a very stimulating and success oriented place to be.

Research has shown that our brain likes certainty, so it knows what to expect and can save energy. Whenever we find ourselves in stressful situations, our brains are forced to expend this energy. On the plus side however, our brains adapt to these situations. We learn to better handle the tough world we are in. Therefore one of the best ways to learn a new skill, is to put yourself in such a position that you are forced to adept quickly. The more stressful it is, the quicker and better you will learn!

Stepping out of the comfort zone in a character trait that is seen among most if not all of the very successful individuals among us!

Teach what you are trying to learn

I am a firm believer in the saying “If you cannot explain an idea to someone else, you simply do not understand it yourself.” If you are able to explain a certain concept to another person is a great way to see how much of it you really know. In the next section, we will get back to this.

Not only will teaching others show whether or not you know what you are talking about, it will also show you where you may lack some knowledge. Often times in university I will explain certain parts of a course to other students, they in return ask many questions, some of which I simply cannot answer. We spend the next couple of hours figuring it out together. This advances my knowledge on the topic, while helping other people.

Not only will you learn a variety of new things about stuff you thought you knew everything about, but you are also benefiting your social life as well!

Test yourself

Learning can be all fun and games, but at some point we need to know whether we actually remembered most of what we have studied. Testing yourself will show you how much you know, and it can be a great tool to expose more gaps in your knowledge.

One of the easiest ways of testing yourself for most skills is to simply explain what you know to another person. If you are struggling to make someone else understand your thoughts, you might want to spend some more time learning.

Bringing it back to the topic of passion, learning can oftentimes help you discover new passions in life. You could decide you want to learn a new language, and in the process discover that you really like embracing new cultures. It really opens up your life to a world of new opportunities!

Note that not everything you will set out to learn will be a success. We all have different capabilities and hence will experience different results when we try new things. The only way to find out is to get started!

I have written a much more in-depth article on the art of learning and unlearning, so if you feel like you could use some more insight on this topic, you can find that article here!

3. Your Relationships

From personal experience I can say that the people you surround yourself with will determine whether or not you reach your lifetime goals. They simply have such a big influence on your life, that you cannot ignore the impact that your social circle has on your life.

Prioritizing your meaningful relationships should be on your priority list when it comes to things to be passionate about. Whether you want to improve your relationship with your partner, parents, or best friend, you have to ensure these relationships are healthy and meaningful.

If you have a passion for relationship building, you will find yourself in the middle of a great support network. You will certainly benefit from this sooner rather than later!

Now for some of us creating new relationships can often times be difficult, or almost seem impossible. For us introverts, being social simply isn’t fun. But there are ways we can make it more fun! Let’s discuss some of those ways.

Talk about what you want to talk about

One of the main reasons why social interactions can consume so much of our energy, is that we spend most of the time talking to other people about topics that are not of interest to us. Often times we will not feel a real connection to that person, because we are not emotionally involved in the conversation.

It can often seem hard to talk about whatever you want to talk about, because you might come across as controlling or uninterested in the other person. One of the best ways to not seem like this, is to listen very attentively what the other person is talking about. The moment they mention something that could be of interest to you, ask them more about it. This will allow you to steer the conversation in a direction that will also be beneficial to you.

Avoid any unnecessary stress

A lot of the enjoyment that we can have with social interactions is often times quickly dissipated by stressful moments. The classical example is that you are taking a ride with your friend to a party. Most likely you will also have planned to go back with that friend.

Now say you are not really enjoying the party anymore. After all, you have been there for many hours and you simply want to go home. However, your friend has no intention of going home yet, leaving you stuck at that party of an unknown amount of time. Not only will you have a bad time, you will likely never come to such a party again because it brings up so many negative memories.

Now if you had found a way to get there yourself, you could have left when you got bored. Meaning you would likely attend again next time, since it wasn’t a stressful situation anymore.

Getting rid of such stresses through proper planning can make stressful social situations seem a lot more relaxed. Therefore you will enjoy them more!

If you want more information regarding ways to enjoy being more social, make sure you check out my dedicated article to that topic here!

4. Your Career Or Studies

One of the areas where most people have some sort of passion is in their studies or career choice, and there is a reason for that. We spend most of our time and energy into our studies and jobs. When we make these our passion, we ensure that this time and energy is spend towards something that we really love.

On top of that, having a passion means that you enjoy your work. It becomes almost effortless. You find the work rewarding and fulfilling and you will never be bored in you’re passionate about what you are doing. This can work wonders on your stress levels and mental health.

What tends to hold people back in terms of creating a passion for their careers is that they are working in the wrong field. It is hard to become passionate for something you simply have no interest in. So if you find that your career is not in-line with your passion, then you may wish to look for any possible alternatives.

If you are curious about ways to become more passionate about something, keep and eye on my most recent posts or archived posts, as I will soon write a dedicated article on that topic!

5. Creativity

Creativity is a fundamentally misunderstood concept. Most of us have been asked whether or not we are creative individuals, and some believe they are not. Everyone has the capability to be creative, it is one of the deciding factors that separates us from animals.

Creativity isn’t linear, there are many ways a person can be creative. You just have to find what you enjoy and what you are good at. Becoming more passionate about your creativity will have many benefits in your life. Such as:

You become a better problem solver

We tackle many problems in our daily lives, and they are often quite repetitive. Being a creative person, allows us to solve the same problem in different ways. Having this experience can be crucial in coming up with solutions to new problems that will inevitably show up in our lives.

Using your imagination to think outside the box is much like a muscle that can be trained to get stronger and better. Out of the box thinking becomes a more and more searched after skill. If you are creative, you will be able to think of more ways to solve a problem. Then you can proceed to solve it in the most efficient way possible. In business or any other competitive area of life this will give you a major advantage over your competition!

It relieves stress

Research has shown that perform a creative activity, such as drawing, coloring, or journaling is an incredibly effective method to decrease stress levels. They are particularly effective if you are experiencing high levels of frustrations or anger. I journal in the evenings after I have a hectic day at university and it really works wonders.

Looking back at the previous point, being a more creative person allows you to come up with new ways to decrease your stress levels!

There are many other good methods to decrease stress levels, one such article you can find here!

Final Thoughts

If you have set big goals for yourself, you will need a certain amount of passion for whatever you are hoping to achieve if you want to become successful. Without it, you will be much more likely to quit when the going gets tough if you do not have the discipline to carry you through. In the future I will write a more detailed article on ways you can cultivate passion, so make sure you check back again and subscribe yourself via email below.

I hope you enjoyed the read, and wish you all the best in life!

11 Rules To Live By For A Happier And More Successful Life

Happiness is the real success! You should not envy anyone else, except for those who are truly happier than you are! Being genuinely happy is how you tap into your brains top levels of motivation, focus, productivity, and discipline.

Not only that, but being in a happy state is incredibly healthy for your emotional and mental health. Studies have proven that our brains simply operate better and more efficiently when happy than compared to in a crappy mood or being all stressed out.

However it is easier said than done to just ‘be happy’. There are of course multiple ways to become a happier and more successful person. I have compiled 11 of the biggest methods I know to achieve this. So let’s get right into them!

1. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

With the majority of the world connected to each other via social media, we are exposed to every kind of lifestyle there is. It becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between truth and lies. Most people will only post their best moments on their social media’s, so that is all you will see!

Don’t get discouraged when you see an amazing Instagram profile. The people that seem the happiest on social media can be some of the most frustrated and sad people! Social media does not equal reality. Stay away from living an aesthetic life!

That being said, you also have to understand that everyone is at different stages in life. On top of that, we all have different ambitions in life. Don’t get discouraged by someone else’s success if it is not in the same thing in life you are working towards.

2. Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

It is always ill-advised to follow whatever someone else said without first thinking about it for yourself. Gossip can be a fun things, but it is always hard to find the real truth behind it. Always come to your own conclusions on any topic!

This is also a great way to determine how truthful people really are. If you keep this the ‘Don’t believe everything you hear’ tip in mind, you will be able to determine the honest folks from the liars and cheaters.

3. Treat Others How They Want To Be Treated

Being emphatic is an incredible character trait to have, and it can get you very far in life! Everyone is different, and being able to deal with people on a case by case basis will make you well liked in both your personal and professional life.

Be sensitive to the needs of others and help them out in their time of need. When you hit a rough patch in life, those same people you helped will more than likely be willing to help you out!

A great way to become a more empathic person is to continually ask yourself, how would he/she want me to handle the situation. For example, if you know your partner loves a certain kind of candy and they ran out. Next time you are at the store buy it. It is not for you, but you had the other person in mind. A perfect example of being empathic!

4. Stay Positive

Studies have shown that an optimistic attitude will yield a lot more success in life than a pessimistic outlook. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘you are what you think’? If you spend the entire day with negative thoughts in your mind, you will be on the receiving end of a lot of negativity in your life!

In order to become more positive about life, there are several things you can try and do. Firstly I would suggest to stop taking everything you do super seriously. If what we do is serious to us, we tend to get stressed about it and become nervous during important moments. Secondly, stop worrying about things that are not under you control. If something isn’t under you control, then every second you spend worrying about it is not only a waste of time, but also a waste of energy.

5. Don’t Fear Failure

Society has taught us that failure is wrong and bad. In schools all over the world kids are getting punished for making mistakes. Few people seem to realize that failure is the ladder we all have to climb in order to reach success. If we don’t make mistakes, how are we to ever fully understand what we are trying to do. Failure is the one thing in life that allows to personally figure out what works and what doesn’t! You can spend 3 days studying for an exam only to fail it. Well now you have figured out that you probably need more time to study for any future exam! Having someone tell you what works can be really beneficial, but nothing will stick as much as failing yourself!

The only real scenario where failure is bad, is if you fail to start something. However even then, the regret some time later can bring you insight in how it would have benefited you if you had started. Fearing anything in life can also be due to low confidence and self esteem levels. I recently wrote an article on 4 mental hacks to become a more confident and happy individual, you can find it here!

6. Celebrate Small Wins

I am sure that we all celebrate our big achievements. After passing exams or getting that new job, we often go out with friends to party, or reward ourselves with a nice movie night. But often times we do not take the time to celebrate our small wins. There are ways to celebrate small wins, here are just a few:

  • Share your success with a good friend or family. Talking about it is a great way to give yourself the recognition you deserve
  • Write them down in a journal, and read your success list every evening
  • Order your favorite meal or go see a movie

Celebrating a small win can be so easy and have such rewarding benefits to boot. Celebrating them releases a feel good chemical called dopamine, helping you with your motivation. On top of that, they can also be turned into major wins over time. A series of small wins will often times add up to you achieving your lifetime goals!

7. Practice Gratitude Daily

Practicing daily gratitude has been linked to experiencing more positive emotions. Psychological research has shown that those who practice gratitude experience not only greater happiness than those who don’t, they are also less likely to be emotionally stressed out. It will give you a more optimistic outlook on life, and therefore make you a more successful individual!

There are many ways that we can incorporate gratitude into our busy days. One of my personal favorites is during setback moments. Whenever I find myself in a situation that negatively affects myself in some way, I still try and see the positives in it. For example, if I find out I have a test next week, I remind myself that even though I will likely not be able to go out with friends this weekend, that I will be learning the material better which can come in handy in the future. Always trying to see the positives in life can be a great mental health boost!

8. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

When you spend your time doing activities that you find “comfortable” your brain is not being pushed to really learn a new skill. If it knows what to expect, it can rest. You have zero stress and you simply cannot grow as a person. Stepping out of your comfort zone is all about taking risks and taking part in activities you have never done. It is what allows us to grow!

It allows us to become more creative for example. Learning new skills allows us to solve old problems using new methods. It helps us to think outside the box. That being said, do not push yourself too far. For example, don’t run a marathon after only a month of training, as you will simply injure yourself! I will be writing a more in-depth article on stepping out of your comfort zone in the future. So make sure you keep an eye out on my most recent posts and my archived posts page!

9. Work Towards Your Passion

It is hard to explain, but when you are working on your passion, you will be a happier person in life. You will feel this intrinsic sense of fulfillment when you are making progress in a passionate area of your life. A lot of people stress about not doing what they truly love doing. They are always asking themselves if this is the job they want to do for the next few decades of their lives. If you are working on your passion, you will never have these moments of worry and unhappiness.

On top of that, you will make your dreams become reality. Working on our childhood dreams often times rewards us with more focus and dedication to our work. It will also make you more persistent! These are all character traits that the most successful individuals have in their personalities!

10. Stop Overthinking

It is very useful to think a lot about the things going on in your life. But once you come up with a solution for your problems, you have to leave it at that. Overthinking simply doesn’t help anybody, and it can oftentimes be quite damaging to yourself!

It becomes very difficult to make decisions when you overthink something, simply because you have so many options running through your head you will end up doubting yourself. On top of that you will also miss on opportunities that could turn out to be great solutions to your problems simply because you spend so much of your time overthinking. As a result overthinking will drain your happiness!

11. Stay Focused On Your Goals

If you have set proper goals for yourself, focusing on them will lead you to a life of happiness and success. The goals you set will determine your future, and you must stay focused on them. Every week you should sit down with yourself and ask yourself if you are still chasing your dreams. If the answer is no, then you have to get back on track.

If you are feeling lost, or if you have lost interest in the goals that you have set for yourself in the past, then I can redirect you to a more detailed article here. It explains some methods you can get back on track and to recover your lost happiness in life, so make sure to check it out regardless if you’re on track or not!

Final Thoughts

There are infinitely more rules to live by in order to lead a successful and happy life, but these are some of the most important and generalizable ones. For a lot of the above mentioned rules I have written more in-depth articles, so make sure you go through the simply lifestyle website and continue your path of personal progression.

The Art Of Learning And Unlearning

The covid pandemic of 2020 has hit the world in a way we have not seen in recent decades. Our world has always been evolving, but COVID has only accelerated this. In this new age, the only way you are going to keep up is by learning, unlearning, and relearning. There is a very beautiful quote written by Alvin Toffler that explains this just so well. He said “The illiterate of the world will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Learning is what allows us to build ourselves in both a professional and personal setting. But it is our ability to unlearn that allows us to adapt in this ever changing world. We are all human, and are prone to negative habits and bad behaviours. Yet it is up to us to change these for the better. This can often be easier said than done. That is why I wrote a little bit about how you are able to keep ahead of the game in the 21st century!

Why Should We Unlearn?

When I started university as an engineering student, one of my professors said “Whatever you will learn here, by the time you graduate, over 75% of that information will have become outdated”. He went on to say that if you cannot adapt, the engineering world is not for you, in fact, the world is not for you.

We all have dreams and hopes, but we also have negative habits and behaviours that are holding us back from achieving these dreams. If you want to become successful, you need to be able to unlearn old and useless information. Here is how!

How To Unlearn

Unlearning is becoming a more and more important skill to master in the modern world. Your ability to unlearn bad behaviour and negative habits is just as important as being able to learn new ones.

Unlearning can oftentimes be difficult for people, especially if they have exhibited those behaviours and habits for as long as they can remember. That being said, it is definitely not impossible for anyone to unlearn those behaviours and habits. There exists a structured way to unlearn habits, and there are several methods you can employ to unlearn negative behaviours.

Let’s start by talking about our behaviours.

2 Ways To Unlearn Toxic Behaviours

Unlearning behaviour differs from that of habits in the sense that they are not triggered by certain events. Your behaviour is a part of your personality, and it will always exist within you. Often times it is very hard for someone to recognize the negatives of their own behaviour, while for habits this is generally not really an issue.

Once we have discovered what behaviours we would rather get rid of than keep, there are several methods we can employ to get rid of them. I will go over 2 ways to unlearn toxic behaviours here, but I wrote a much more in-depth article on unlearning already! So make sure you check that out if you are interested in diving deeper into this topic!

Talk to your friends and family

As mentioned before, it can be hard for someone to discover their own behavioral faults. But it can oftentimes be quite obvious for the people around you to tell you your flaws. Ask a close family member or a trusted friend for advice and help. Not only will they be able to tell you exactly what negative behavioural traits you have, they will also play a crucial role in your ability to unlearn them.

If you let your family and friends know that you are trying to unlearn a certain behaviour, they will be able to let you know where you need to make changes and as well call you out whenever you are repeating that bad behaviour.

It is an overall great feedback loop that will lead you to success!

Do a reflective journal

Reflection on our behaviours is a great way to truly understand them. We are able to learn when they manifest, how they affect the people around us and how they affect ourselves. Once we truly understand the scope of our toxic behaviour, we can come up with a proper plan to unlearn it.

If you find it hard to recall the moment in which your behaviour acted up, try something like this simple mental exercise. Apply it to your behaviour, and then you can come up with the main cause!

Unlearning Negative Habits

For unlearning negative habit, there is a more structured path you can follow. All habit exist in the same form. A habit is always started when you are exposed to a trigger of some kind. Then the habit is activated and a reward is received at the end.

A typical example of a negative habit is a student being distracted by social media during their studying time. They will be sitting at their desk studying when suddenly their phone vibrate and a notification pops up on the screen. Without even thinking, they reach for their phone to check on the notification. All this took space in just a few seconds, but it derailed them completely from their studies.

The trigger here was the vibrating of the phone and the notification pop-up. The habit was reading the message, and the reward was the dopamine rush your brain got after reading the message. Habits don’t have to be complicated to be destructive. No matter the complexity of the habit, the following method will work if applied correctly.

  • Accept your negative habit
  • Know what triggers your negative habits
  • Replace your negative habits with positive ones
  • Stay committed
  • Keep track of your progress

If you are curious for a more detailed explanation with examples of the method to unlearn habits, then make sure to read my more in-depth article regarding unlearning here!

How To Become A More Effective Learner

Once we have unlearned our bad behaviours and negative habits, we have to learn new ones to replace those we unlearned. Your ability to learn, and your willingness to continue to learn will determine the heights you are able to reach in life.

There are 2 main aspects to learning. Both the speed at which you learn and your ability to remember that what was learned. It is great if you are able to learn how to cook, but if it took you 4 years to get there, you have been very inefficient in your time! If you do not progress fast enough, you risk being left behind. If you are able to learn twice as fast as your competition, then you are at a serious advantage in the game of life!

That being said, speed reading a book in 1 hour but not being able to remember the most important details is just as wasteful. In the next part I will go a little bit more in-depth on how to put yourself in situations that will not only allow you to learn quicker, but also allow you to remember that which you learned.

4 Ways To Become A More Effective Learner

1. Become Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The comfort zone is a space in life where you feel relaxed and at easy. There are no risks and challenges for you here. As the name implies, it is a very comfortable place to be. Unfortunately, it is not a very stimulating and success oriented zone. Classic examples of the comfort zone would be your couch, or doing activities that you have been doing for years, which now have become 2nd nature to you.

Studies have shown that our brain likes certainty, hence why it is so hard for us to leave the comfort zone! That being said, the same studies reported that when we face ourselfs in new and stressful scenarios, our brain quickly tries to adapt to the new situation. It actually encourages our brain to learn!

Regularly stepping out of your comfort zone is actually a trait exhibited by many successful people. It is what separates them from everyone else, simply because it brings them so many more skills. By continuously putting yourself in new situations, you are bound to learn something new!

Lets go over some ways you can step out of your comfort zone!

Know when you’re out of your comfort zone

The first step is actually figuring out whether or not you are in your comfort zone. Stepping out of your comfort zone means you are nervous and slightly stressed at the thought of doing it. One of the methods I like to use is simply asking myself a question. For example, I will ask myself “Am I struggling, is this a challenge for me, or am I getting through this task with relative ease?”.

If you are not struggling, and getting through your day without breaking a sweat, you are stuck in your comfort zone.

Push yourself in your normal life

Even though we step out of comfort zone, these activities will become stress free for us over time. Hence we find ourselves back where we started. One easy solution for this is to try and make them more challenging. I’ll take a personal example.

I have been doing mixed-martial arts for a while now, but I have never truly sparred with anyone. In case you are unfamiliar, sparring is when you fight someone else, albeit with protective gear not found in a professional fight. That being said, it was still a scary experience, because the guy I fought was an amateur boxer.

Since training MMA was becoming the norm for me, I had to find a way to challenge myself, hence I decided to step in a ring and test my skills. Since then I have been training harder than ever. I would really suggest you try something similar to whatever goals you are working on!

2. Practice What You Know

Learning new information is crucial in 2022. However, having only theoretical knowledge of something just isn’t going to cut it. To truly understand anything in life, we must practice that which we are trying to learn. You cannot learn to play football by sitting in a classroom and learning the rules or watching others play. You simply have to walk onto the pitch and start playing!

The same goes for anything in life. If you are struggling with math as a student, you just have to make more exercises. Practical experience is severely underrated! Whenever you plan to learn something new, make sure you find a clear way to gain practical experience. It will not only make you learn that new skill much quicker, you’ll also learn it in much more detail!

3. Be Willing To Teach What You Know

Albert Einstein, arguably one of the the greatest physicists ever, once said that “if you can’t explain something simply, then you do not understand it well enough”. Being able to explain a certain thing to someone else is the perfect way to gage your understanding of the subject. We will get into a little bit more detail in the next section.

On top of that, teaching what you know to others is a great way to reinforce the information that you have already learned. It is a simple yet brutally effective way to better remember information. It will also help you with your social life as well!

When you spend time teaching others, often you are able to learn something new as well. I recently helped a friend with an idea, and they asked a few questions in return. These were questions that looked at the subject in a way I hadn’t considered before. So we spend sometime figuring it out, and my knowledge about the subject expanded as a result! With this kind of feedback, we keep the informed and we are even able to expand that knowledge.

I am still a student at the time of writing this article, and this is one of the things I always try and do to understand my courses better. It is brutally effective!

4. Test Your Knowledge

Learning is great, but your time is limited! Knowing when you have truly mastered a skill is a skill in itself. One of the easiest ways to know if all your learning has payed off, is to test yourself. I have found that testing oneself oftentimes shows gaps in our knowledge. Knowing this, you can work to close to gaps and become better at that skill. On top of that, research has also shown that testing yourself is also a great way of remembering information better. You will be able to strengthen your long term memory this way.

As I mentioned above, explaining a subject to someone else is a perfect way to gage your skill level. You will very quickly find out if you lack in any areas. If you are able to explain everything in perfect detail, then you know you have mastered this skill. You might even get a motivation boost out of it too!

If you want more tips to become a more efficient learner, I have written a more in-depth article on the art of learning here!

Final Thoughts

Learning, unlearning and relearning is a continuous process. You should be following it until the day you die. If you are able to manage, you will stay ahead of the competition and will no doubt see the success you have dreamt of in life. I hope you were able to learn something from this article and that I was able to positively influence you in some way. See you next time!

5 Smart Goals For Students

Your years in college are all about building a skillset that will last you a lifetime in the real world. It is the most important time period of your lives! Whether you focus on specializing in a field you dreamt of as a child, or you choose to make the world a better place for others, college is a time to put in the work!

With a new year underway, it has only gotten more challenging for students. The whole pandemic situation hasn’t made it any easier. Going through my first engineering masters year at the time of writing this article, I know all about the struggles of these times. That being said, despite the shape of our classrooms changing from lecture halls to our very own homes, the fundamentals of what it means to be a student haven’t changed that much.

This is still a time where we build our character and our knowledge. Just some of the methods to get there have changed! In this article I will go over a few of the goals that I have set for 2022 that have yielded me great results in the past. So let’s get right into it!

1. Time Management

One of the most crucial tips I can give to new students is to learn how to manage your time! Time is one of the few things in life that you simply wish you had more of in your student years, so make sure you are able to get the most out of it!

Proper time management skills are not only important for getting good grades in school, they will allow you to have the successful career later on in life that you dream of! On top of that, good time management skills induce more confidence, better organization skills as well as decreased levels of stress. All of which can be incredibly beneficial in life, let alone during your extremely busy student days!

So how exactly can we better manage our time?

Create an overview schedule

An overview schedule is simply a week by week plan where you dedicate specific times for certain tasks. For example, if you don’t have class tuesday afternoon, they you can most effectively spend that time working on all your courses.

Using an overview schedule also allows you to time your social and sports activities. You can block off your monday and thursday evenings because that is when you will go for a run.

This is an excellent way to prioritize your tasks. In the times of the pandemic, it also gives us structure to follow, which because an increasingly important concept as your studies get harder!

Keep a journal

As a student, we are always confronted with new tasks and deadlines to complete. It can often times be an absolute nightmare to keep track of! Keeping a personalized journal, you can write down all the homework and upcoming test dates down. Then when you get home, you are able to dedicate time slots in your overview schedule to get them done!

A journal can also be used for many other things, such as mindfulness journaling or setting goals. In the future I will write a more detailed article about all the productive things you can use an agenda for, so keep an eye out on my recent posts as well as my archived topics!

Plan your projects

Whatever study choice you make when you get to university, you will be working in teams quite often. When working on large projects, make sure you plan these out properly. I have wasted hours and hours of my time on poorly planned projects. You will be working tirelessly on a certain topic, only to then have someone else say we are not required to talk about it. Plan ahead who is going to do what, I promise you it will save your life!

One of the best ways to plan for such projects is to make use of a Gantt chart. I have used them all throughout my engineering studies and they have been a great aid in saving time! Learn how to use them and apply them to your planning as soon as possible!

I have written a more in-depth article about general time management skills. If you feel like you want/need some more information, then you are more than welcoming by checking it out here!

2. Budgeting

Learning how to budget your money is a must know skill for both students and non-students alike! Budgeting is arguably one of the most important financial habits that you need to develop. Budgeting is so important because it teaches you to control your money. People with good budgeting skills will track their expenses in detail, have a list of how much they can spend on what area of their life, and are thus able to make smarter financial decisions.

On top of that, it also ensures that you do not spend money that you don’t have. Credit card debt is skyrocketing in the developed world, and it really sets people back. It can often be difficult to realize that you are overspending. That won’t be the case when you budget your monthly allowance!

Budgeting however is only a small part of financial planning, as we will discuss in the next point. For now however, let’s go into some ways that you can budget better!

Assign amounts to your needs

The most basic needs everyone has is to pay rent, and to buy groceries. These are expenses that you can easily assign an amount too. your dorm rent might be $400, and you might spend $350 on food every month. Now you can take your allowance and subtract those values. All the money you have left you can then further subdivide into other categories of your choosing. You might say you want to invest 40% of the remaining money. This is not a financial blog, so I won’t go too in-depth on this.

Don’t worry about others

Comparing yourself to others who might have a bigger budget than you is one surefire way of going into debt. Comparison is not only the thief of joy, it will also steal your hard earned money. Do not worry how others spend their money, make smart investments and don’t spend your money trying to impress other people.

In the social media society this becomes even more difficult. We are continuously confronted with people on Instagram and Snapchat showing off their “amazing” lifestyles. Do not be fooled by this aesthetic life! Focus on you!

3. Reading

Getting into the habit of reading, even for just 30 minutes to an hour per day, is one of the best habits you can adopt into your character! I always suggest you spend time reading books about topics that you are not currently studying in your university, but that will teach you important life school. For example, I am an engineering student, but I spend a lot of my time reading both philosophy as well as financial books. They teach me a great deal about aspects of life I have had no educational exposure too. I feel that it makes me a more complete person.

There are many other reasons why you should start reading, here are just a few:

Fits into a balanced life

If you want to live a balanced life, a daily reading habit is an absolute must! Reading can be an incredible way to decrease your stress levels. Students are constantly put under stress, whether its before project deadlines or examinations. Spending just 30 minutes a day reading will put your mind of your stressful life, which can be a real mental health boost.

One of the best times to read is right before bed, not only is this great to reduce stress before you sleep, it is also a great way to limit your exposure to blue light before sleep. I will talk more about sleeping routines in the next point, so make sure you keep reading!

Makes you smarter

As I mentioned in before, reading about topics that you have little exposure too can really open a world of opportunities for you. It doesn’t matter if you read fiction or non-fiction books, you can learn a great deal from books.

Another great alternative to reading is audio books. Especially if you have to commute to and from your classes everyday. Driving while listening to an audio book can be a very efficient way to acquire new knowledge. My personal preference is to still read the books yourself, but we must all play the cards in life we are dealt!

4. Create Sleep Routine

Most, if not all students will at one time in their study career complain about the lack of sleep they have been experiencing. There are stressful moments, where we simply have no other option but to grind out the work, at the cost of our sleep. That being said, there are plenty of ways we can reduce the amount of sleep we lose over these stressful moments in your life.

If you create a proper sleeping routine, you will get the most out of your nighttime sleep. I personally need around 8 hours of sleep to be able to efficiently study for a day. This includes a 20 minute nap after lunch. When I go to bed, I am someone that when my head hits the pillow I am already asleep. I then promptly wake up about 5 minutes before my alarm goes off. It won’t take you long to achieve this kind of a sleeping routine! If you follow a plan, i’d say maybe 2-3 weeks!

Lets go over some of the most important aspects of a good sleep routine!

Be consistent in your bed time

The one tip that has helped me the most, is that you have to go to bed and wake up at the same time every single day. If you are someone that expects to sleep in on the weekend, then you will never have a truly good sleeping schedule! You have to stay consistent, else your body will never fully understand your sleeping pattern.

Note that it doesn’t matter when you go to sleep and when you get out of bed, as long as they are at the same time everyday! So if you study well in the late evening and early morning and want to go to bed at 3 am and wake up at 12 the next day, then in terms of your sleep you are golden! Just don’t miss too many classes :D!

Limit daytime naps

As i mentioned before, a quick 20 minute power naps does wonders for me in terms of my productivity! Without that, I will almost fall asleep over my books, and am just not efficient at all. That being said, sleeping for more than 20 minutes will affect you night time sleep quality by some margin!

On top of that, make sure you do not take any naps in the evening, especially not as a routine! I take my naps after lunch, which means there is plenty of time between my nap and my bed time at night!

I wrote a much more dedicated article on ways to improve your sleep. If this is something that you are struggling with, then make sure to give that article a look here!

5. Focus On YOU

University is a time where you create a skillet for life. It might sound self-centered, but it really is a time to focus on you! Of course I am not saying you shouldn’t make or have any friends. In fact, your social life can have massive consequences for your mental health! All I am saying is that you should never sacrifice your ability to build your character and your skills to go and waste time with others.

There are many benefits that come with focusing on yourself that a lot of people will never really discover in their lives!

You’ll realize your purpose in life

There is no one out there that can straight up tell you what your true passion or purpose in life is. If you want to discover that, you are going to have to look inward and dig deep. Focusing on yourself means spending a lot of time doing different things. You are bound to come across something you like, and delving deeper into this will often times bring our what you want to do with the rest of your life!

Finding purpose can often times be difficult. I am planning to write more in-depth about this topic in the future. So make sure you keep an eye on my most recent posts, as well as the list of all my topics here!

You’ll master life

If you make yourself your number 1 priority, you will learn one crucial life lesson. You will learn exactly what you need, and what you don’t need in life. Your views on friendships, family and relationships will change. You won’t spend time around others if the relationships is not beneficial in a mutual way. You won’t put up with BS anymore.

You also come to understand that you are in control of your life. Many people play the blame game, but you will learn ways to discover that most of the time the only person to blame is you. To get you to this point faster, check out this mental exercise!

Final Thoughts

Being a student will be one of the most wonderful times of your life, despite many not realizing this until much later on in your life. You are young and are therefore able to take many risks. Study what you are passionate about, and if you fail exams and have to redo a year, don’t stress it. You have plenty of time in your life to build a good career!

If you adopt all of the smart goals in this article, I am sure you will have a wonderful 2022! I hope you learned something and enjoyed the read! Until next time!

5 Characteristic Traits That Will Make You Successful

We all have dreams and hopes, and we all have some sort of idea what we want for our future. Knowing what you want out of life is great, and I hope it closely correlates with your true passion! Yet what does our success of actually making that vision become a reality depend on? Your success depends upon the person you become.

So what can we do to increase our chances of success in this complex world?

Well, we simply have to ensure that we possess positive character traits, since they ultimately determine what type of person we are going to be! Lets go over some of the best and most success oriented character traits to have!

1. Be Honest

When it comes to any meaningful relationship, honesty is the foundation of the strength of that relationship. We have all heard the saying that honesty is the best policy, and it is certainly true!

It can take years to develop a reputation as an honest person, but only 1 small lie can destroy it forever. It is definitely a fragile character trait. It is for this very reason that it is such an admirable quality in a person!

There are plenty of reasons why being honest is so important in your life, so lets go over a few

It makes you reliable

Being known as a honest person makes you trustworthy. People will know that whatever you say, is exactly what you think. So if they need your opinion on something, they know you will say what you really think. Being honest shows people that you value your own thoughts and opinions. That makes you an incredible reliable person.

It makes you authentic

It is easy to pretend to be someone you are not. All your friends say they enjoyed the party, and you don’t want to “be a downer” so you agree. That is a lot easier than to speak your mind and say you didn’t really enjoy it. You don’t only seem more authentic to others, you also become authentic for yourself!

It makes you consistent

If you are consistently honest, you have become a consistent person. You know what it is like to always exhibit a certain behaviour, and that is very important. See the next point why!

Other people will recognize that you are a reliable, authentic and consistent person. These are all great qualities to possess, and can all be achieved by being a honest individual!

2. Be Consistent

A consistent individual is someone who always performs the same actions and behaviours, no matter how hard life becomes. You go to the gym everyday, even when you feel tired, when it’s cold outside, or when your friends ask you to come over for a drink. You pursue your goals with a relentless drive. It is a very important trait to have if you want to become successful in life! There are many advantages being a consistent person.

It develops discipline and self control

Teaching yourself to consistently perform a difficult task (like going to the gym for example) will increase your self-control ability and will cultivate discipline within you. Being consistent simply doesn’t allow you to get off track of what you are doing,. You have to stay focused on your work so that you can make incremental progress towards your lifetime goals!

It makes you stand out as a hard worker

When you see someone always working towards their goals, you’ll likely see them as a hard working person, and that is because they are! When your friends are out partying, but you choose to get work done and join them later, they will see you as a hard worker.

On top of that, being consistent for a long period of time will yield you results that others who aren’t consistent simply won’t achieve. It will then become easy to differentiate yourself from those who don’t chase their dreams with a flaming passion!

3. Be Responsible

Being a responsible person entails many things. You can be responsible in many areas of your life. You can be a responsible person for yourself. Meaning that you deal with the consequences of your own actions. If you make a mistake, you own up to it. If you succeed, then you take the credit for it! You can be responsible for someone else as well. Say your friend is going through a rough time, and they are not able to focus on their school work as much. If you are a well-rounded reliable individual, then you will take responsibility and do whatever you can to make sure your friend is able to get back on track with their life.

There are many benefits for being a responsible person that will see you become successful, lets go over some of those points!

You’ll be able to create more meaningful relationships

Taking responsibility for your actions is a huge attribute for relationships. Whenever you make a mistake, you have to acknowledge it and apologize to those it negatively affected. This is a staple of making friendships and relationships work. You come across as a good friend if you take accountability for your actions.

As I mentioned earlier, taking responsibility for your friends and families well being when they are in a rough spot is also a must for any meaningful relationships. This builds large amounts of trusts with the people around you. But beware, trust can take months and years to develop, but can be broken in a single day!

You become an empathic person

Responsibility and empath are often closely associated. As mentioned in the previous point, a responsible person cares about the people around them. In order the better help those in need, we naturally become more concerned with how that person is feeling at a specific moment in time. Hence it makes us more empathic.

On top of that, using your empathic skills to help out another person makes you quite compassionate. I have written an in-depth article about whether or not being compassionate is a good thing, so make sure you read this article here to find out more about it!

4. Be Curious

You will not achieve success if you are not able to come across and take opportunities. If we are just stuck doing what we always do, we are limiting ourselves to the millions of possibilities out there. Be a curious person, if something new at work pops up, instead of shying away not wanting to do more work, embrace it. Be curious about what you could learn taking on that extra work. Be curious to the opportunities that that extra work might bring to your life. There are plenty of other reasons why a curious person is on track to become successful!

It makes your mind more active

Doing school work or office work can be rather repetitive at times. As a consequence, our brain switches into a passive mode. It does the tasks presented on autopilot, and over time, you will find that it becomes hard to take on new work. You simply find it easier to do what you have always been doing. This is not a recipe for success.

By being a curious person, you are always actively looking for a challenge in life. Your mind will get used to working hard and to seeking opportunities in life. You will become mentally stronger, which can have many other benefits in life!

It makes your life more enjoyable and worthwhile

Always looking for new things to do or new ways to solve a problem is far from living a boring life. It is quite different than living a routined life, which also has many benefits however! Since you are always discovering new things, you are bound to come across activities and people that you really enjoy. You will discover new ways to live, which can replace old and negative habits in your life.

This all can make your life more enjoyable and worthwhile, which can be a massive motivational and mental health boost!

5. Be Humble

Being humble ensures that you stay with your two feet firmly planted on the ground. Often times when people come across fame and riches, they destroy their lives because they lose view of themselves and the world. They go down this eternal spire of thinking they are the best, and will lose most if not all of their meaningful relationships along the way. They are ultimately left with nothing to live for.

Staying humble allows us to keep progressing in life, and to keep healthy relationships which are so important for a successful life! There are a few other reasons why being a humble person is important for your future success!

People will feel accepted around you

When you are a humble person, the people around you won’t feel like you judge them for not reaching the levels of success you have. Not only that, it will attract people to you. Since you are humble, you listen to everyone’s struggles, and people feel heard. This makes them want be around you! Attracting lots of people also means more opportunities in your life!

It helps you in an uncertain world

As I mentioned before, being humble means you have your two feet planted on the ground. That means when a big shift happens in your life, you will be able to recognize the consequences of that big shift. Your arrogant peers might have the attitude of “Nothing can stop me”, which will eventually be their downfall. Staying humble allows you to recognize your vulnerabilities in life, so you can plan for the worst!

How Can We Adopt Character Traits?

Adopting these character traits will take some time and effort, but it is certainly possible. Like anything in life, something worth achieving will take time and effort. There are no shortcuts for true growth and success!

The best way to adopt new character traits, or to simply adjust some already existing once, is to pretend like you already have that trait in your personality. Research has shown that changing a personality trait can be achieved by simply embodying that trait. The same study showed that the most success was found if people made a list of all the behaviours they wished to achieve.

An example was as follows. A person is very introverted, and wants to make more friends. Hence he will have to adopt an extroverted character trait. By making a simple list of behaviours such as:

  • Saying good morning to everyone in the office when you walk in
  • Calling an old friend to go to lunch
  • Inviting people over for a party

people were able to be considered extroverted in about 4 months!

Take one of the character traits mentioned in this article. If you want to become a more curious person, spend one hour of your day learning a new skill. As you delve deeper into that skill, you are likely going to become more curious about some aspects. Over several months, your newfound curiosity for certain aspects of life have made you a more curious person.

If you have spend months trying to adopt a certain successful individual trait but haven’t succeeded, then maybe therapy might be a good option for you! Therapists are often able to write a unique game plan catered to your specific needs. Following that is will massively boost your chances on changing yourself in a positive manner!

Final Thoughts

A lot of the information in this article contains links to the creation and maintenance of meaningful relationships. I am a firm believer that without a proper support network around you, life will become infinitely harder. All of the above character traits in some way positively influence your ability to not only create new relationships, but also to maintain them.

I hope this article was able to provide you some more insight into personalty traits. I also hope you were able to learn something new, and this it will positively influence your life in one way or another in the future. Thank you for reading and see you next time!

4 Stress Reducing Habits

It has been a stressful 12 months, that’s for sure. The way the world is looking right now, 2022 doesn’t seem like it will take it easy on us either. It is becoming increasingly important to become resourceful in today’s society. With the world becoming more complicated by the minute, we have to be able to keep a balanced life.

Being able to manage our stress is a large part of living a balanced life. One of the most efficient ways to manage stress is to create habits that positively impact your stress levels. Once these habits are created, you almost don’t have to think about your stress levels anymore, you will be managing it on autopilot!

What Is A Habit?

We all utilize a multitude of habits throughout our day, whether we realize this or not. Habits are simply behaviours that we perform without thinking. Common examples of this include brushing your teeth before bed, getting dressed for work and even smoking. Our brain makes use of these for a reason. Having a lot of habits creates a lot of free time for our brain to do work on other more complicated tasks, like reasoning and emotional control.

But if we all make use of such habits, how did we get them? Once we have them, is it also possible to get rid of them? Well the answer can get complicated, but there are examples out there that help explain the formation of habits pretty well.

One example that you might personally relate to is being distracted by your phone doing work. Take a student that is sitting in a library and working on their course material. They have all their pens and books neatly laid out on the table, as well as their phone. As they are working, a notification pops up on the screen of the phone, and without even thinking about it, the student reaches over to check on that notification. It turned out to be a simple message from mom, so the student quickly replies. But he decides to also check up on his facebook page, as well as his Instagram. 30 minutes later, the student realizes he has just wasted a good chunk of his study time.

A habit is always triggered by something. In the case of the student, the habit was picking up the phone to check social media, while the trigger was the notification pop-up or the vibrating of the phone. Once we are exposed to the trigger, we continue on to the habit. At the end our brain expects some kind of reward. Taking your mind of a difficult task like studying to go and enjoy some social media browsing is a big dopamine rush for your brain. Hence the final reward was the dopamine rush.

In the case you want to unlearn bad habits such as in the example of the student, make sure you read my article about unlearning habits and behaviours here! Let’s go into some more detail in how we can actually form habits!

How To Form Positive Habits

The basis for forming new habits is a lot of patience and persistence. Habits can take more than 30 days to solidify into your personality, so if you give up after just a couple of days, chances are your newly created habit just won’t stick! That being said, there are some tips to make it easier for you so that you are able to stay motivated long enough to successfully create your new habits!

1. Start with a small habit

With the new year 2022 quickly approaching, we are seeing a wave of new year’s resolutions. Just like the previous years, the same mistakes continue to get made! People simply start out too big! When you want to create a habit of getting in shape, do not start of by expecting to go run everytime you come home from work. The motivation to keep this up will last about 3 days, and then you’ll never go back to it again. If you want to make something a habit, remember that it can take up to a month before that habit sticks. So make sure you are able to stay motivated for a month!

Instead of trying to go for a 5k run every 2nd day, start out small. Say you will go for a walk around the block 3 times per week. Now do this for a month! Simply going for a walk is no big deal, and you’ll easily be motivated and disciplined enough to stick to it if you are really looking for a change!

2. Build your habits up slowly

Building up on the previous section, now that you have been going for a walk 3x per week for a month, now you can begin to start increasing the difficulty. Your body and mind are used to go outdoors now. It is now the time to increase the intensity of the time spend outside. Replace the walks with jogs, and make sure you find a healthy way to train to reach your 5k goals!

3. If your habits get too complex, break them up

Once habits start to get very complicated, make sure to break them into chunks. After successfully running 5k, you might want to go for a triathlon. This also includes biking and swimming. Don’t expect to train all of these other sports with the same intensity as your running. Now you have to spend 1 month going to the pool 3x per week to just swim some casual laps. Now that your mind is expecting you to go swim on a weekly basis, you can begin to increase the intensity of your training. The same goes for the biking part.

4. Keep track of your progress

An incredibly important part of habit forming is that you are able to keep track of your progress. Everybody makes mistakes, doesn’t matter if it is your neighbour or the world’s best athletes. People miss training sessions, make mistakes, or simply fall of their path for months. The only way to catch yourself making errors, is to keep a progress file in which you are able to see your history.

Don’t expect to fail, but plan for failure. Before you start a habit, analyze the things in life that can happen to stop your habit from materializing. Going back to the running example, expect an injury to occur. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on trying to make this a habit! You just have to make sure you are as consistent as you can be, but don’t beat yourself up over mistakes or missed opportunities.

How To Reduce Stress Using Habits

1. Get in the habit of exercise

Exercise is known to be one of the best methods to relieve stress, so turning it into a habit can be really advantageous for us. Exercise is able to do this due to its ability to relieve tension, anxiety and anger. All of which are closely related to stress. But how do we know how much and what kind of exercise we need?

Well the American Heart Association recommends an average of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week. By moderate aerobic exercise, they mean training such that your heart rate is approximately 65% of your maximum heart rate. If you have no access to a heart rate monitor, you can also do the talk test. When you are doing your workout, you should still be able to hold a conversation with someone else, while breaking a sweat of course! A light jog or going for a bike ride are both excellent options.

Simply doing this for 50 minutes a day for 3 days a week is perfect for relieving you of stress! I hope you were able to follow the 5k runner example in the previous section. If you did, then you should know how to make this into a habit. Remember to start slow and to keep at it! You will feel relieved as quickly as the first workout! However, if you want to combat chronic stress, you have to ensure you keep up your exercise regime!

2. Mindfulness meditation & journaling

Mindfulness meditation and journaling is all about feeling the present moment and the world around you as it is. Mindfulness teaches us to let go of all the stressful things in life, and simply focus on the now. The classic technique used in meditation sessions is the breath.

You are told to focus on the rise and descent of your chest as you breath. Focus on just that, and do not let your mind run away. Sooner or later, you will find that your mind has wandered into thought, and you are daydreaming about whatever is on your mind at that time. Once you realize you got distracted, you have to come back and focus on your breathing. This strengthens your ability to live in the now and in the present moment. This can be an excellent technique to make use of when you find yourself worrying about the future. Just bring yourself to focus on the moment, and let go of all those stressful thoughts.

Not only that, the meditations themselves are incredibly stress relieving. There are several ways mindfulness helps with stress:

  • It increases your focus: Mindfulness allows your emotions to ‘cool down’. It gives you a moment of peace where you are able to make up your mind about what you plan to do in a rational way, without acting purely on your emotions.
  • It allows you to see perspectives: During mindfulness journaling moments, you are able to reflect on your current state of being. This allows you to see conflicts in your life from different side, which can offer up new solutions and opportunities!
  • You become more aware of your emotions: Becoming more aware of our emotions means we are able to work on ourselves in a more focused manner. Therefore we are able to decrease our emotional stress using specific techniques.

Turning this into a habit is actually quite simple. All you have to do is to do a mindfulness meditation for 10-15 minutes before you go to bed, or after you wake up (preferable both). Like I mentioned at the start of this section, just focus on your breathing, and when you notice that your brain goes into thought, bring it back to focus on your breathing. You should start to feel more relaxed after a couple of sessions!

3. Create good sleeping habits

Sleep is probably one of the most powerful stress reducers we have. Sleep is the primary way that our brain is able to recharge energy. On top of that, it also allows our mind to regulate our emotions. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can can negatively affect our bodies ability to regulate stress hormones. It is very clear that getting a proper 7-9 hours of sleep per night is crucial if you want to be able to manage your stress levels.

Therefore creating a good sleeping habit is vital if you wish to decrease your stress levels! One of the best sleeping habits to create is a proper bedtime routine. Here is a quick list of some of the things this bedtime routine should consist of:

  • Go to bed and wake up at consistent times
  • Limit your day time naps
  • Avoid blue light devices for 1 hour before bed
  • Avoid heavy meals 3 hours before bed
  • Avoid caffeine 7 hours before bed

I wrote a much more in-depth article on how to sleep better. It goes over numerous things you can do during the day that will positively affect your nighttime sleep. You can find that article here!

4. Learn deep breathing techniques

Taking deep breaths is a great technique to use when you find yourself in the middle of a very stressful moment. It sends a signal to your body to calm down, your heart rate lowers, and you become more focused. This allows you to be more rational, and rely less on your emotions. All of which will help you to destress.

There are several types of breathing techniques you can utilize, but my personal favorite is to make use of belly breathing. It is a basic exercise that can be done anywhere at any time. Utilize this when you feel stressed out, and it will surely calm you down!

  1. Sit down in a comfortable position, or lay down on your bed. (Laying down might be advised for beginners)
  2. You place one hand on your stomach, and the other on your chest.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Note that the hand on your chest should move as little as possible, but the hand on your belly should rise and descent with your breath.
  4. Breath out through pursed lips (mimic whistling motion).

Repeat this exercise about 10 times and see how you feel after. It will have given your mind sometime to calm down, and you should feel a little bit more relaxed.

You can easily make this a habit by doing this before every meal. Before you decide to cook at home or eat out, take a few minutes to get these breathing techniques in!

Final Thoughts

Finding stress relieving techniques that suit you is a must. It is safe to say that not all the aforementioned methods may work for your particular situation, yet I am certain that some of them certainly will. After all, life is all about self discovery and I am hoping that you are able to learn something by reading this article here today.

I wish you all the best in life and hope you enjoyed reading this article, until next time!

Why Unlearning Is An Important Skill To Have

The only certainty in life is that life is uncertain. In the last 2 years we have all realized how quickly the world can be turned onto its head. Within just a few months, the pandemic spread and permanently changed the world. Not only that, but it has accelerated the need for the world to adapt. Both businesses and people have had to find new ways to make do, and this has been to the advantage of the quick learners.

The world has always been a fast evolving place, but now even more so. When I started my engineering degree in 2017, we were told that when we graduated 5 years later, 40% of what we would have learned in our studies would already have become outdated. This meant that we had to be quick on our feet, and be adaptable to an ever changing environment. The pandemic has only accelerated this.

When we find ourselves in a rapidly changing world, unlearning outdated ideas and tasks becomes just as important as learning new things! In school we are taught how to learn new material, but seldomly does the topic of unlearning make its way into the classroom.

What Is Unlearning

Unlearning is all about replacing outdated information in our brains with more up-to-date and relevant information. It can be that we have to unlearn bad behaviours, such as procrastinating important work, or that we have to unlearn toxic habits, such as throwing our clothes on the floor instead of folding them back up and putting them in the closet.

Unlearning is not about forgetting those behaviours and habits, but about replacing them with something more positive. Let’s discuss how we can unlearn negative habits and behaviours.

How To Unlearn Habits

Your ability to unlearn bad habits can be even more important than your ability to create positive ones. Often times it is our bad habits that get us into trouble. Think about the student that spends hours per day on instagram and other social media sites instead of studying for their exams.

These negative habits prohibit you from being successful, and in the worsts cases can even damage your physical and mental well-being!

Do not worry, there is a great structured method out there that will help you unlearn these terrible habits. Let’s go through the steps of what it takes to unlearn these bad habits.

1. Accept your negative habits

Having negative habits is similar to having an addiction. If you are able to realize you have a problem, you are already 50% of the way there to solving your problem! Once you know what issues you have, you are able to devise a plan to get to a solution.

Note that now the hard work starts!

2. Know what triggers your habits

All of your habits are kick started by some sort of trigger. The moment you walk into your kitchen, you suddenly start to crave for a snack. Your snack craving is the bad habit, while your entry to the kitchen was the trigger.

Unlearning bad habits all surround the trigger. There are 2 paths you can take. You either remove the trigger, or you replace the habit, but utilize the same trigger. Often times it can be hard to get rid of the trigger. You can’t just expect yourself to stop walking into the kitchen! Yet for simpler examples it can be done!

For example, you have a habit of being distracted by your phone during study. Whenever you see a message notification pop up on your phone, you reach over for it without even thinking about it. The trigger here is the notification pop-up. In this example it is very simple to get rid of the trigger. simply turn over your phone or put it away!

3. Replace negative habits with positive ones

Alternatively, you have to replace the negative habit with a positive one to make it go away. If we look at the snack and kitchen example again. The moment you walk into the kitchen, you crave a snack. Now this simply means the mind wants some kind of treat, and it expects food. If you replace your chocolate bars with healthy options such as pieces of fruit, you will have replaced a bad habit with a good one.

You will still crave something when you walk into the kitchen, except this time you will actually eat food that is beneficial for you! Here we have simply replaced the bad snacking habit by a healthy fruit eating one!

4. Stay committed

Note that just because you ate a banana once doesn’t mean that the negative habit has been erased from your mind. It will take over 1 month of continually telling yourself to eat that piece of fruit to change your mindset and habit.

You have to continue to stay committed to building up that habit. A habit is a lot like trust between people. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to build up, and it can be destroyed in seconds. So make sure you never replace those fruits by chocolate snacks, or you will be back on the negative habit bandwagon!

5. Keep track of your progress

Keeping track of your progress is absolutely crucial if you want to succeed in unlearning your negative habits. As I mentioned in the point above, it can take a month or more for a habit to set in. If we don’t asses our progress, we are prone to forget about wanting to change our habit. This will inevitably cause the negative habit to return once again. Do not let this happen to you!

5 Ways To Unlearn Behaviours

Behaviours differ from habits in the sense that they are not triggered by certain events. Behaviours are part of who we are, and manifest themselves in our daily lives willingly. It can often be very hard for an individual to recognize their own negative behaviour traits, while negative habits can be easily found using a quick mental exercise!

That being said, once this negative behaviour has been found, there are several tips I can give you to be able to deal with it and improve it. After all we do not want these to affect our loved ones, nor do we want to miss out on any valuable opportunities because of certain behavioural characteristics.

1. Journal and reflection

Journaling is a great way to reflect on our behaviors. Writing about situations in which that behaviour manifested can really bring us to the origin on what causes it. Furthermore we can explore just how it affects people around us.

Journaling and mental reflection is a great way to explore these complex issues. It provides us with a clearer picture. Once we truly understand the issue at hand, we are able to come up with am efficient plan that will bring us a satisfactory solution to unlearn!

2. Practicing mindfulness

Mindfulness teaches us to be present and more aware in the moment. It is an excellent tool that allows us to understand the effect of our current actions. Because mindfulness is so good at making us live in the present, it also gives us the ability to be able to understand our own behaviour. We simply become better at understanding ourselves through midnfulness practices.

Understanding yourself is a big step to solving and unlearning your behavioural problems. Mindfulness can be practiced in 2 forms. One of them is through meditation and another is through journaling. I have written a little bit more in-depth about mindfulness here!

3. Get feedback from peers

As I mentioned before, it can often be hard for an individual to find their own behavioural flaws. However, these weaknesses can often be very clear to the people that know you the best. As your family and close friends for tips on how to improve your behaviour. They will likely not only be able to tell you what behaviour needs to be fixed, but they will also provide you with ways you can unlearn that behaviour.

After all, these are the people you spend the most time with. So if you truly want to unlearn a toxic behaviour, your family and friends will need to support you in this until the end!

4. Be empathic

Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings experienced by another being. If you have a strong sense of empathy, then you will understand how your behaviour affects others. Understanding this will allow you to tweak your behavioral characteristics as much as needed to ensure that you don’t negatively affect anyone or anything.

Becoming a more empathic person is easier said than done. I will write a more detailed article on empathy in the near future, so make sure to check out my most recent articles and my archived list!

5. Practice gratitude

Gratitude is another great way of understanding our past. A daily practice of gratitude shares light on how much others have helped us. Not only does it teach us the positive behavioural traits of other people, but it can inspire us to become more like them. In the process we tend to unlearn certain behaviours!

Final Thoughts

Unlearning is a skill that you will need to develop in the next years. With the rise of new technologies, the world will become an ever changing place. Those who do not adapt will fall behind and will be consumed by those who can adapt. Make sure you are on the right side of history!

I hope you enjoyed the read and were able to learn a little bit from this article. I wish you all the best on your journey throughout life!

3 Extrinsic Motivation Styles To Help You Get Motivated

Motivation is what allows us to get work done, and is instrumental in deciding our future. Therefore it is only natural that we want to be able to understand and develop our motivation. Motivation in itself is a much too broad topic to discuss in one article, so we will narrow it down to just extrinsic motivation in this one.

One of the key drives in our lives is the want to create a better world for ourselves, also known as extrinsic motivation. So let’s get right into it!

What Is Extrinsic Motivation?

Extrinsic motivation encompasses all the motivators based on some external reward, such as food, money, recognition etc. It is a type of motivation that we are all familiar with. We have all studied hard for our exams in high school & university even though most of those exams covered subjects in which we had absolutely no interest. We studied so hard and put in so much effort because passing those exams was a prerequisite to obtaining our degree. This degree is what gave us the opportunity to build a successful life for ourselves, which was the main motivational driving force for putting in all that work for those exams.

Extrinsic motivation exists with the sole purpose of making our future life better. It sacrifices our current time, in exchange for a future reward. People who are able to sacrifice instant gratification for future benefit utilize their extrinsic motivation very well. We will get into ways you can use to be able to delay instant gratification and to become more motivated to work for your future self!

Just like intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation can also arise out of negative situations. For example, you might be motivated to bully another student, so that you will fit into the ‘cool kids’ group at your local school. For this reason we should be cautious and conscious of why we do what we do. One of the best ways of understanding extrinsic motivation is to look into ways that we can use to increase the effect of extrinsic motivation on ourselves, as well as discussing the different styles of extrinsic motivation.

So let’s delve right into 3 ways to increase the effect extrinsic motivation has on us!

3 Ways To Increase The Effect Extrinsic Motivation Has On Us

1. Make Sure To Use Proper Rewards

It can often be quite difficult to find the reward-to-work completed ratio. The right kinds of rewards depends on the type of person you are. For me personally, I use the 50/10 method to spike my productivity. This means that for every 50 minutes that I work, I allow myself a 10 minute break. Note that what I am allowed to do in my breaks is limited. For example, I do not go browse social media. I answer any urgent texts that need to be answered, but else I’ll just listen to some music, or go outside for a small walk.

Other strategies that are often employed by other students could be that they allow themselves to eat a piece of candy after every 10 pages studied. I am personally not a big fan of these food goals. While I do appreciate their effectiveness, they bring with them negative diet effects. In a lot of my articles I stress the importance of a healthy diet for many reasons!

Whatever strategy system you use, make sure it will allow you to keep living a balanced life. Use reward systems that positively influence your health on all aspects. Another example could be that you are allowed to take a 20 minute nap after 4 50/10 sessions. If you are curious what this 50/10 method is, make sure to read more about it here!

I will list some more examples of reward systems for completing both short term and long term goals.

Short term goal reward system:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Socialize with friends
  • Read in your favorite book
  • Journal about your feelings

Long term goal reward system:

  • Book a dinner reservation at your favorite restaurant
  • Go on a day trip to your favorite city
  • Treat yourself to a good night out with friends

2. Continue To Set New Goals

Make sure you have a succession of goals lined up for yourself to pursue. This helps you see the bigger picture of what you are really trying to achieve. Once you start seeing how much progress you are making towards the realization of your dreams, the more your motivation to keep pushing will increase!

I have always been of the opinion that you should set big goals for yourself. When you start to gain experience in setting goals, you will know what kind of goals you should be setting that are perfect for your level.

It is also important that you break your goals down into smaller bits. Take for example a university student. They will all have the goal to graduate and obtain a degree, but if they leave it at that, they are very unlikely to succeed. Goals have to be practical. What will it take to achieve that goal? Set goals such as, I will study 2 hours every evening after class. If that goal is achieved everyday, you will surely end up with that degree!

3. Make Your Extrinsic Reward System A Habit

To be able to get the most out of your intrinsic rewards, you have to turn it into a habit. Turning this into a habit will teach your brain that there will be a reward every time it completes that specific action. This solidifies that extrinsic motivation in yourself.

Note that It can take up to three months before a habit is embedded into your routine, so make sure you give it plenty of time before relying on your autopilot to do the job for you!

What Extrinsic Motivation Styles Work Best For You

Now that we have discussed how we can make the most out of extrinsic motivation, we should go in-depth and discuss what kind of styles there are. If we are able to understand the different scenarios in which extrinsic motivation can arise, we are more likely to be able to rely on it happening.

So let’s get right into 3 extrinsic motivation styles and see which one you can use and when to use it!

1. Fear

Fear can be a very powerful external motivator, and it is something we have all experienced before. At some point in your highschool and/or university career, you have studied like a true madman for a quiz or an exam. Often times simply out of fear from knowing that your parents would punish you if you failed!

Many of us attribute fear to be a negative emotion, but it can have a positive side as well! Fear of something bad happening can be one of the most powerful motivating forces in the world. It is also what powers our flight or fight response! That fear of being hurt has such a powerful effect on our bodies that it can make us do unnatural things. Think of the classic example where a mother lifts up a car because her child is underneath it and in distress.

If you are worried about your future, focus on that fear, and let it overcome you. Don’t hide from it, instead make sure that you acknowledge its existence. It might be a scary thing to do, because that fear can be used to get to work and ensure your future is full of happiness and success.

2. Social

All humans are innately born as social creatures. We all look for human connections and aim to build meaningful relationships, some of us to a higher extent than others. The internal need to form these connections can be a huge motivational drive for us. We want to be accepted by a group or community, so often time we are motivated to change who we are just to fit in. Imagine how powerful this social effect is if we are ready to change who we are just to fit in!

We can also make a close link to the previous point of ‘fear.’ A fear of missing out (FOMO) on social activities can be a real problem for certain individuals. They will spend their entire day worrying about missing out on activities with their friends. This is a prime example of negative extrinsic motivation.

Individuals with FOMO often times live an aesthetic lifestyle. Make sure you try and stay away from the kind of life!

3. Incentive

The most common type of extrinsic motivation is incentive based. You go to the gym 5x per week because you want to look good. You study hard for your exams not because the subjects interest you, but because you want a high paying job that the degree offers you upon graduation. These are some example of incentive driven motivational forces.

They are not fear driven or socially motivated. You are purely motivated to put in the work now because it will make your future life better and easier. The main drive here is the thought of yourself in the future having already accomplished that goal. That simple daydream of already having that reward and result can be a powerful motivating force!

Final Thoughts

Extrinsic motivation is a major factor in our lives, and we should all understand it to make the most use of it! I hope you learned a little bit more as well as enjoyed yourself by reading this article! I wish you all the best for the future!

14 Signs That You Are Doing Better Than You Think You Are

We all have those moments in life where we focus on the things we haven’t achieved. We become immensely creative in thinking of ways how we could have been doing a lot better. It is very easy to feel like we are not doing the best we can. Often times this happens when we compare ourselves to others. Your best friend might have a better job than you, or you neighbor drives a nicer car.

Very few of us will actually stop and think just how much they actually have accomplished this year. If you really think about it, you have probably done quite a bit! So take a deep breath, and let’s get right into 14 signs that you are doing a lot better than you think!

1. You Value Your Meaningful Relationships

Human beings are social creatures, and having meaningful relationships can bring real happiness and prosperity into our lives. We have all experienced those low moments in our lives where the help of a close friend or family member saved us. Similarly we all know what it is like to be surrounded by toxic friends or people. They tend to bring us down and steer us of our goal path.

From these experiences we are able to understand that the quality of a relationship can be so important for our lives. If you refuse to spend time around those who add no meaning value to your life, you are on a great path to success!

2. You Are Grateful For What You Have

If you have been practicing gratitude, you have been able to understand how lucky you really are in life. It is one of the best ways to truly understand just how much we have to live for. If you have discovered gratitude this year, you have acquired a skill that will provide countless benefits to you later in life.

If not, then you can check out my article on practicing gratitude here. I detail the importance of daily practice and give you some good tips on how to make practicing gratitude a daily habit!

3. You Learn From Failure

Failure is the ladder we have to climb to reach success. If you have failed the past year and learned from it, you are doing better than a lot of people. We as a society have associated failure with a negative connotation, which is just wrong. We have to fail in order to succeed!

Learning from your mistakes puts you ahead of the curve and will allow you to reach your lifetime goals no matter what!

4. You Do Not Live An Aesthetic Lifestyle

There is so much more to life than materialistic living. With the major reach social media has created for us, we are often exposed to the “amazing” life of others, especially on apps like Instagram and snap chat. People often portray their lives to be a lot better than it is in actuality. All photos have special filters on them, and some even go so far to photoshop themselves. All of this is done for recognition and likes.

If you are not living this kind of life, and if you are not worried about comparing your current situation with those of others on social media, you are doing great in life! It means that you value the right things, and are more focused on living your life for yourself, then to live for the recognition of other people!

5. You Have A Job

Having a job has tremendous amounts of benefits in life. It allows us to pay all our monthly bills (A huge achievement in its own right), and ensures that we make a useful contribution to society. It could be that you are not currently in your dream job. That being said, having any job is helping you get to where you want to go.

It might be teaching you the experience you need to reach a certain goal, and it will likely fulfill some of the social requirements that you have. Even if you dislike your job, simply having one ensures that you are able to live a life according to your rules!

6. You Are Following Your Passion

If you are doing work related to your passion, you are in a great position in life! Not only are you working on something that make you happy, working on your passion also has many benefits outside of that! You are more likely to be motivated, and will suffer a lot less emotional stress!

All of the most successful people in the world are following their passion. If you have managed to get in a position in which you are able to pursues your passion, you are doing a lot better than most people!

7. You Have Time To Do Things You Enjoy

Having freedom to do in life whatever you want, is so much better than being stuck worrying what others might say or want. You are free to do any activity without fear of being judged. If you have been able to learn to not worry about what other people think, you are a lot better off than you could possibly imagine!

8. You Have Grown As A Person Compared To Last Year

This year was a tough year, and if you were able to make strives forward as a person, then congratulations! A lot of us have experienced failures and downfalls, but if you had the strength to pick yourself up afterwards, then you have to recognize the incredible amount of resilience it took to do that.

Experiencing all these failures has only gotten you closer to success. You have not only added value to yourself, but also to the people that surround you!

9. You Are In Good Health

Having both a healthy mind and a healthy body is an incredible blessing, especially these days. So many people have suffered under this pandemic. If you have managed to stay healthy all this time, this was a great year for you!

Caring for your health is one of the most important items on this list. Even if you just managed to stay healthy, you are already doing great. Keep up the good work!

10. You Have The Ability To Say No To The Things You Don’t Want To Do

Having the ability to say no when you don’t want to do something means you are confident in yourself, and you are in a position in life where you value your own mental health and happiness over the need to pleasing someone else! This is a very important skill to have, and will save you from a lot of stress in your life!

11. You Don’t Worry About The Things You Can’t Control

I have written in many of my articles about why worrying about things out of our control is a waste of energy and can often times negatively impact our lives. So I won’t go too in-depth about it here.

That being said, if you have been able to not get stressed out about the little things and about the things you cannot control, you really are doing better than you could possibly imagine. You have been able to limit emotional stress, as well as make yourself a more productive person!

This is not an easy skill to learn, but if you can truly say that you are not stressing about things you can’t control, you are acing it!

12. You Live A Balanced Lifestyle

Living a balanced life is not all about achieving goals and material success. It means that we aim to life our life with the aim of ensuring positive emotional and mental health. Everyone is different in their way to live a balanced life. Some of us practice mindfulness meditations, others prefer to read books and have an excellent sleeping routine.

I wrote a lot more in depth about the aspects of a balanced life here if you are interested in learning more. All I can say is that if you live a balanced life, you will reach your goals no matter what!

13. You Are Valuable To Those Around You

Life is not all about ourselves, it is also about those around us. We all have had support from friends and family, but we often do not think about the support that we have given to them. If you have made a positive impact in the lives of another person, you are serving your community well.

Remember that if we help out others in need, they will likely return the favor when we need them!

14. You Strive For Self-Improvement

The more we are able to learn from life, the better it will become. No one is perfect, and no one will live a mistake free life. But simply trying your best to become a better human being means you have understood one of the fundamentals of what it means to live. If you have truly understood that things will get better so long you work for them, you will conquer the world.

You may not be in the place you want to be right now, but if you work on yourself, improve yourself, you will see positive changes sooner than later. If you are striving for self-improvement whether successful or not, you are really doing better than you think you are!

Final Thought

It is alright if you can relate to just a few of these points! Most of the things written in this article can be quite hard to achieve, so even if you did just a few of them you are most certainly doing good in life. Keep growing as a person, and you will get to wherever you want to go in life. I hope you enjoyed the read and wish you all the best!

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