“Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.”
― Deepak Chopra
To meditate means to bring your awareness to the present moment by getting rid of all the unnecessary thoughts in the mind. In the modern world, a lot of people are living their lives in past resentments and future despair. Meditation is the only way to align your thoughts with your life’s purpose and live a happy and fulfilling life.
A lot of people are missing out by not practicing meditation on a daily basis. Luckily for you, there are some clear signs that can let you know whether you need to add meditation to your daily routine or not. In this post, I have discussed 5 reasons why not doing it is hindering your success in life.
Following are 5 points that will help you determine whether you need to add meditation to your daily routine or not.
1. You have no gratitude
Gratitude is the feeling of gratefulness or thankfulness for the things that you have in your life. Everyone is born with certain fortunes and misfortunes, strengths and weaknesses, wealthy or poor, etc and we have no control or choice over that. Being grateful means to be aware of your current situation and choose to look at the brighter side.
Meditation helps you be present in the moment and enables you to see the world the way it is. For instance, a lot of people return feeling renewed and reinvigorated after a weekend of meditation retreat; this feeling is very important if you want to be grateful for what you have. Most people are too busy achieving their goals or working very hard to pay their bills– which are very necessary things– but without taking strategic breaks, life can get very monotonous.
Since the year 2000, scientists have done a lot of studies on how positive emotions work. And they found that having gratitude creates a sense of well-being and brings maturity in one’s life. With recitation of positive affirmations, this sense of well-being slowly increases and we become happier and peaceful.
So, grab a piece of paper and write down five things you are grateful to have in your life. Read and repeat it every morning and start your day on a positive note.
2. You get caught up in emotions
As humans, we are evolved to respond to our emotions more than logic. This worked perfectly fine until 300 years ago. But in modern times, it’s detrimental to rely only on our emotions and feelings. A balance of emotion and rationale is needed.
Daily practice of meditation can help achieve that balance, and you can live your life without being an emotionally fragile person. Imagine, no more anger or lashing out on your loved ones, handling your clients and co-workers with ease, and no more getting angry at your current circumstances. All this is easily achievable by changing your old habits and adding meditation to your current routine.
A recent study done by Michigan Technological University suggests that just an hour of mindfulness meditation session can help reduce stress and anxiety. Dr. John J. Durocher also confirmed that anxiety in the participants was significantly less after a week of daily meditation practice.
You don’t have to meditate every day for one hour if time is of the essence; just fifteen minutes of mindfulness meditation can help you overcome the emotional blockage. Furthermore, if mindfulness does not suit your liking, there are many other types of meditation techniques available that can also help achieve the same result.
3. You don’t get much work done
Do you feel aversion towards things that need to be done? Do you put work off and distract yourself with things that don’t add much value to your life? It is natural to find ways to minimize effort as we want to use our energy conservatively. But sometimes we knowingly procrastinate and cause ourselves harm in the long run.
You can read books on productivity and how to work smarter etc., but at some point, you need to get your hands dirty and do the actual work. Not meditating can keep you permanently in the beginner phase where you are just thinking about doing something but never attempt to do it.
Meditation increases productively by calming the mind so that instead of worrying about things that can go wrong you can focus on the task at hand and see it through. It gets your attention from your mind to your body. Combined with exercises like yoga or Tai Chi, meditation can increase your productivity by ten folds.
It is best to get your mind right by meditating before work but some people prefer doing in later in the night to alleviate the damaging effects of stress.
4. You don’t sleep well
Does the continuous stream of thoughts stop you from falling asleep at night and you have to resort to coping mechanisms like overeating or binge-watching television series until you fall asleep? And I am sure as a result of staying up late at night, you must have trouble waking up in the morning as well. These are common problems faced by living a stressful and competitive life; which most of us are used to living.
Meditating just before going to bed can help you fall asleep faster. Any kind of deep breathing technique done correctly at night time will not only help you get relaxed sleep but also help you quickly get out of the bed in the morning. It’s very common to feel tired after getting up in the morning especially if you worked very hard the day before. Daily meditation practice will help you wake up in the morning well-rested and relaxed.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a technique practiced very widely in western countries by people who need a quick and easy way to fall asleep. In this technique, the person suffering from insomnia is supposed to lie down in a sleeping position and focus on each of his/her muscle group by slightly tightening and relaxing them. It is based on the fact that the mind can only be calm if each part of the body is relaxed and loose. Moreover, it doesn’t take too long to be done. With this type of meditation, you can easily feel deeply relaxed after just ten minutes of doing it.
5. You consume too much caffeine
Do you start your day with a cup of coffee? Can you go without having coffee for a week? How will it affect your day? Most people who habitually drink coffee or any other caffeinated beverage to get their day started will find it almost impossible to quit. Caffeine definitely provides a quick burst of energy upon its immediate consumption but the effects are very short term and also harmful if the intake is unregulated.
Moreover, the sudden crash after the effect of caffeine wears off is unbearable for most people and it makes them crave more caffeine. This is a very common side-effect of most of the spot-fixes that seem to help for a while but are detrimental in the long run.
Meditation can help you become free from the dependence on coffee to get things done. As you will be naturally feeling fresh and energetic, you will feel less need for things like coffee, cigarettes, soft drinks, etc.
To summarize this post, meditation is definitely not the be all and end all solution to all these 5 problems. But with meditation, you can gain enough consciousness to resolve them with a calm and composed mind. Meditation can be performed for 20 minutes in the morning or at night before going to bed, or even both times.
5 Ultimate Advantages of Not Chasing Perfection
Perfection has somehow become a term we use to measure our expertise in something. Rather than focusing on learning as well as we can and as much as we can, we tend to focus on achieving perfection.
While striving for perfection isn’t wrong, because that means we expect the best from ourselves, chasing perfection surely is futile.
Because perfection isn’t exactly a measurable term, we can’t be sure if we have achieved the state of perfection. What you can call perfection when you learn something is knowing all the ins and outs of the subject matter, even then there will always be something new to learn.
“Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.”
Perfection takes time. Time is something that most of us scared to invest. You either invest your time or you elude it trying to save it. From the time we start understanding words and achievements, we are inspired to chase perfection. By the time you realize that there is no such thing as ‘perfection’ in this world, you have already wasted a lot of your learning years chasing it.
While looking for a perfect job, a perfect career, a perfect relationship, a perfect moment – we often forget to cherish the things we have or be thankful the opportunities we have been given – we end up losing what we have.
“Perfection cannot be defined or seen; it can only be found in your heart.”
Everyone has their own definition of things. Because everyone has a different perception of things, different priorities, different dreams – there is no one thing that can sound perfect to everyone – that is what makes ‘perfection’ a very relative term. What sounds perfect to one person, might not even be worth considering for someone else.
If you don’t realize that perfection is nothing but another societal norm we have been working to achieve that isn’t realistic, you will be chasing a dream nonstop with no end to it whatsoever. It is like rolling off the hill, you will only keep tumbling downwards until you reach rock bottom.
Chasing perfection also leads you to a state of analysis paralysis rendering you to inaction. Whenever there is a huge change to be made or a big risk to be taken, we tend to overthink a lot. Yes, research is important. Yes, giving enough thought to your decision is essential. The problem arises when we try to get our solution to the state of perfection. Under the pretence of working on perfecting your course of action, you somehow get stuck and are often too late to be taking any action.
You can only think about so much, you can only do so many things to ensure everything goes smoothly, you can only think about so many risks that you can counter – unless you actually get down in the water you are not going to learn how to swim is basically my point. You aren’t going to be a national level swimmer when you start and that shouldn’t be your goal either. Your goal should be getting better than you were yesterday.
Let’s talk about the impact you will have on the way you work and the way you approach things once you stop chasing perfection.
“It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached.”
1. You Feel More Happiness and Gratitude
When you are in the pursuit of happiness, you often feel powerless because nothing brings satisfaction. No matter what you achieve, no matter what perks you get, no matter the heights you reach – you will always be chasing more instead of taking a moment to be thankful for what you have and be happy of the things you have managed to achieve.
Instead of being grateful for the feat you have pulled right now and giving yourself credit, you will start planning what more you do to do it better the next time. While striving to be the best isn’t wrong, not being appreciative of what you have managed to do is. When you do not give yourself credit, you start losing confidence in yourself.
When you don’t appreciate your efforts, there is no feeling of happiness or contentment to come by. You jump to your next course of action in the next heartbeat without giving yourself time to relax and cope.
“I think what is interesting in life is all the cracks and all the flaws and all the moments that are not perfect.”
But, when you stop chasing perfection, you give yourself a chance to feel happy about yourself, your work, and your efforts. Gratitude is a feeling that helps you stay humble. When you are humble, you are pleasant to work around and you don’t let your pride or ego ruin your hard work.
2. You Get an Optimistic Outlook on Life
When you let yourself bask in the positive feelings surrounding you, you create a positive bubble for your thoughts. When you are happy, your thoughts are happy. When you feel gratitude, you appreciate the things you have and the opportunities you have been given. Being thankful allows you to have an optimistic outlook on life.
When you are chasing perfection, it is somehow lost. You start finding faults in all your achievements, stopping yourself from being happy about them. This leads to negativity clouding your thoughts and as a result, you start pouring the same negativity in your life.
Letting go of negativity is one of the important steps that help in unleashing your full potential. The more negative you are, the more your mind festers in the feeling, and the more it reflects in the way you carry yourself and your work.
When you let go of the notion of perfection, you allow yourself to relax and be proud of your achievements. This action triggers positive emotions within you, helping you become optimistic toward the next stage of your life.
3. You Start Feeling More Confident
Now, that you have are happy, feel thankful for what you have, and have a positive mindset – it is natural to start feeling confidence seep into your every step. A happy mind will help you achieve a lot more than you could have ever imagined.
When chasing perfection, you never stop to look at your achievements as achievements, instead, you jump to the next stage of doing it better, getting it to perfection. This never gives you the time to analyze what you have done and derive confidence in yourself from the results.
Acknowledging your achievements is as important as learning from your failures. When you don’t give yourself time to feel good about the things you have managed to do and focus on only what you could have done better, it will eat away your self-confidence and that will take you a step back rather than a step forward.
Giving up on the notion of ‘perfection’ lets you develop confidence in yourself and your work. So, after a little wait, when you do go for betterment, you will know that you can do it and that will help you move faster toward your goal.
“If you chase perfection, you often catch excellence.”
4. You Strive to Achieve More
When you chasing perfection, you most likely are aiming too high. When you are told to take a moment to praise your own achievements, it is not only to help your pride. It also helps you learn what worked and what needs more work. When you are content enough with your current accomplishment is when you can look at it objectively to understand how to be better.
Because this thing you did gave you a positive feeling and boosted your confidence, you are more likely to feel motivated to achieve more. Setting the benchmark too high because you are hell-bent on achieving perfection makes the very thing unachievable or at the very most you feel unsatisfied even if you do end up achieving it.
You have to know your skills and your limitations when you set goals for yourself so that you can give yourself ample room to put your best foot forward. When you have realistic expectations and see real results, it pushes you to achieve more as a result.
5. You Feel Content
When you are striving to reach the stage of perfection, you let that idea hold you in its clutches. Your idea of perfection can stop you from admiring something wonderful that is present right in front of you. Chasing what is out of your reach can lead you to reach what is in your hand.
“We adore perfection because we can’t have it; it would disgust us if we had it. Perfect is inhuman because human is imperfect.”
When you let go of that perfection ideology, you free yourself from your own expectations tying you down. You start feeling content with your life and with the pace you are going. Being content with what you have, frees you from feeling pity and sympathy for yourself, giving you a boost to go ahead with all your focus. You learn to use your resources to the fullest and make the most of your circumstances.
“Perfection’ is man’s ultimate illusion. It simply doesn’t exist in the universe…. If you are a perfectionist, you are guaranteed to be a loser in whatever you do.”
-David D. Burns
Instead of chasing perfect, strive for improvement and excellence. When you focus on becoming better than you were yesterday, you automatically open doors for yourself. You surround yourself with positivity – inside and out – making it a much-needed fuel to keep working toward your goal.
7 Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make for a Meaningful Life
A meaningful life holds a different meaning for every single person out there. My definition of a meaningful life will vastly differ from yours. There’s no right or wrong answer here. Everyone feels satisfied with different things, everyone has a different purpose.
One common thing that we can all agree upon is that our lifestyle dictates how we go about our life. Whether we add meaning to our lives or just exist from day to day is promptly defined by our lifestyle choices.
The basic lifestyle choices are all in tune with our basic needs. Our basic needs are usually what we overlook in the process of getting things that will fulfil our basic needs – it is ironic, really.
Here are a few of the most important and down to the element changes that you need to make to live a healthy life and to increase the quality of your life. Most of these are entangled with one another. When you work on one, you are bound to have started working on another. So, let’s talk about them.
1. Wake Up Early
This is one advice that is the beginning of bringing about a lot of good changes in your life. There’s something delightful and serene about the morning time. The environment we are in affects our mood – waking up early is a great example of that.
Not only our productivity is at a peak, but nature is also at its finest, especially if you live in a city. The air around you hasn’t had the chance to be tainted with pollution, and the sound is filled with happy chirping than loud horns blaring – thanks to the morning traffic not having polluted everything yet.
“Life is too short,” she panicked, “I want more.” He nodded slowly, “Wake up earlier.”
Being in a calm environment helps you focus better. Studies have shown that you have reduced stress levels in the morning which makes you more energetic. Having high energy and better concentration helps boosts your speed, which in turn helps you complete any task in lesser time than it would take otherwise.
This is the perfect time to get your biggest task done, or as I call them, your big rocks or MITs (most important tasks). Starting early lets you wrap up early, meaning you get more time for yourself and your family.
2. Get More Sleep
When you make waking up early a routine, you start going to bed early. This lets your internal clock adapt to the routine, resulting in better sleep quality. Having no sleep pattern messes up the body, but now that your body gets to get the rest it needs, you will see a lot of aches and pains go away.
When we think about working hard, we often misconstruct it as late nights and early mornings, meaning no rest whatsoever. In the whirlwind of getting as much as you can get done, it is easy to start focusing on being busy rather than being productive.
“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”
Another reason that people have difficulty falling asleep is excessive use of screens in their daily life. Scrolling through social media with fear of missing out (FOMO) lingering over our shoulders have become a common phenomenon.
Worrying about life and whatnot already reduces the hours of sleep we get drastically and add to that spending hours scrolling through various apps. It doesn’t only impact your physical health negatively, your mental and emotional health is affected too.
Going to sleep late is considered cool but your body would like to disagree. Not getting adequate sleep not only leaves you feeling tired, but it also develops a lot of health risks. Instead of trying to pump yourself full of coffee to get through the day, work on getting adequate sleep.
3. Limit Screen Time
As discussed, being on our devices is one of the major reasons for us going to bed late at night, mainly social media. You should go on social media detoxes from time to time to help yourself spend less time online.
Phones are one of the biggest distractions right now for a majority of people, taking measures to eliminate the distraction caused by your phone is an important step toward increasing your productivity. Studies have proven that using electronic devices before sleep makes people have trouble falling asleep. It is advised to not use any kind of screen at least 30 minutes prior to bed.
4. Have a Balanced Diet
“The little energy you obtained from your breakfast can ignite your willingness to kick start. Don’t overlook the little energy you have now by fixing eyes on a supposed magical influence farther away!”
As we go on working on our goals, our diet takes a backseat along with our sleep. We sort of have started taking pride in the meals we are missing – it is somehow meant to show how hard we are working. At the end of the day, it is helping no one. One of the meals, that is commonly missed, is the breakfast, it sort of ties to us not waking up early and not having enough time to do everything we need to do before we start hustling at work.
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It gives you the energy you need to start the day. Not having a proper breakfast is another reason why people fill up on caffeine. We have forgotten the importance and need of having a balanced diet. In our fast-paced, busy lives – out of sheer convenience – we have started relying more and more on fast foods and instant, processed food.
The processed food we consume isn’t necessarily healthy and doesn’t help our pocket either. Try to prepare batch meals on weekends that you can eat throughout the week. If you are super busy and don’t even get weekends off, then start with having at least one home-cooked meal every day. Your body will be really thankful for the nutrients it is getting.
Always focus on getting a balanced diet. Include whole foods that are filled with minerals, proteins, dietary fiber, fatty acids, and vitamins, meaning nutrient-rich. Include eggs, yoghurt, milk, fruits, oatmeal, whole-wheat toast, wheat pasta, mixed nuts, etc.
5. Practice Self-Care and Meditation
Chasing our dreams doesn’t mean we have to forget ourselves. Taking care of yourself should definitely be on your to-do list – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Being busy is no reason to neglect your health. Even when you are busy, you can slip in moments of self-care. Practising self-care fills us with optimism and helps us gain a better hold on our lives.
Meditation is a good form of caring for ourselves and making a stronger connection with ourselves. It helps you relax your mind and helps increase your focus. Self-care can mean a lot of things like lighting candles and reading or using bath bombs while having a bath or lighting incense sticks while exercising or doing yoga, or even listening to music while cooking – it all depends on what makes you feel like you are being taken care of.
“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.”
Anything that helps you feel relaxed and at peace is considered as self-care. It is supposed to help you live your life to the fullest without the exertion taking a toll on your body. Give your body time to recover from all that you put it through.
6. Listen to Podcasts
Most of us spend hours traveling to either work or college or someplace we need to be. This time isn’t usually ideal for getting work done, so it is sort of free time you get with yourself. Why not do something productive with it while still relaxing.
Our busy minds instantly start to roam and worry, stress about things that need to be done or things that are out of our control. Listening to podcasts on subjects we enjoy gives us something to do and helps pass the time by doing something productive. I usually listen to podcasts to help boost productivity. There are so many podcasts to choose from. If you want, you can also listen to audiobooks.
7. Get a Hobby
Having a hobby is important to give your passion a chance to flourish. It is a great way to learn new things and also relax while doing things that make you happy. Spending some quality time with yourself and doing things that mean something to you – is something that can’t be measured in value.
“It is in our leisure hours that we are permitted to follow our “hobbies,” and it is in them that our truer selves find expression. Many of the greatest men in the world’s history achieved their fame outside of their regular occupations in the spare moments of time which most people think are of no serious use.”
Not having a hobby, or not doing something just because you like it can have negative effects on your emotional health. Gain isn’t only monetary, you can spend time on things that build your emotional wealth. Hobbies get you a chance to figure out your passion if you haven’t already.
With an increase in work from home culture, you anyway spend a lot of time looking into your screen. Try to invest in a hobby that keeps you away from the screen. Get out in nature, spend time with friends and family, get your creative juices flowing.
Making positive changes in life is not about making drastic changes – it’s about taking small steps and being consistent about it – little changes that leave a significant impact are what we are working toward. We are creatures of habit. Breaking a pattern isn’t easy, we try to fight change. Try to ease yourself into things that will help transform your life for a better tomorrow.
5 Meaningful Steps to Help Transform Your Life Through Self-Discipline
Whenever we think about transforming our lives, change is the first thing that comes to mind. Change is the only thing that is fair about our lives, everyone goes through a myriad of changes in their lives – some similar and some completely different.
Chane helps us get new experiences and pushes us to be a better person. Transforming your life works on the same philosophy as well. You can’t expect to get a different result by doing the same things over and over again. To transform both your personal and professional lives, you will need to make changes in yourself, your habits, your process, and the way you work. All of these simmer down to how disciplined you are.
Here are some steps that will help you bring about the changes in your life that can help you transform it for good, all of them need you to have self-discipline which will then lead to accountability and commitment.
1. Recognize Your Weakness
Knowing your weakness is really important to bring meaningful changes in your life. When you recognize the areas you need to work on, it gives you a direction to follow. Identifying the problem is said to be 50% work done.
When you know your weaknesses, you start questioning your actions. This lets you think rationally. Critical thinking helps you change your life for the better. You will know whether what you are doing is because it is the right thing to do or you simply are afraid to take action. You will find out what things you need to give up to live a successful life.
2. Create Positive Habits
When you know what your weak points are, the next step naturally is to start making changes to turn those weaknesses into strengths. One step to doing this is reinforcing good habits. Introducing good habits in your life needs sheer determination and consistency.
The kind of habits you have dictates the quality of your life. The way you live your life has a huge impact on how you work, and it does not require a genius to figure out that how you work has a huge impact on your success.
“I have learned that champions aren’t just born; champions can be made when they embrace and commit to life-changing positive habits.”
The changes we make in our daily routines, our habits, have the power to change the narrative of our lives. They directly contribute to the outcome of the work we do, the progress we make. It is crucial to recognize the areas we need to work on and then find ways to make it right.
It is also in your best interest to create habits that will help you attain your goals. These habits have to be developed by identifying the various ways which will be used to achieve your end goal – like said before, turn your weaknesses into strengths.
3. Use Rewards
Healthy Reinforcement is a great way to make a new habit stick around and also get work done. Rewards are a sure way of getting work done because it gives you something to look forward to at the end of the task. It is a sweet driving force. When you can see something for yourself in the end, you feel more motivated to complete the work. Say you want to watch a new episode of your favorite show, then use that as motivation.
Keep watching an episode of the show a reward for completing the report you have been putting off for months. Trust me; it will work like a charm for the things you need that little extra push to the finish. This motivation is the most lucrative one to oneself. The activity that you usually do to procrastinate can be used as a reward instead – killing two birds with one stone.
Incentives or rewards are a great way to motivate yourself to finish the task at hand. When you have something to look forward to, it becomes easier to run the last mile. When you work on your business, the results aren’t often quick. No sight of results can dim your mood, and you can feel demotivated, everything can seem pointless. You have to avoid that feeling, and that can be done by setting rewards for yourself for completing a difficult task or achieving a small milestone.
4. Self Realistic Deadlines and Personal Standards
Working with a deadline requires discipline. You have to use that aspect and apply it to your business and yourself. Set non-negotiable deadlines for the most important tasks. This will help you learn how to manage tasks effectively, how to multitask, and how to get a job done no matter what.
If just setting deadlines is still not helping you focus completely. Set strict restrictions on yourself. Do not allow yourself to deviate from the task at hand. If you have the urge to stop working and check your phone or play a game or listen to one song, stop yourself. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Tell yourself that you will be able to do whatever you want, guilt-free when you get your work done.
While you are doing this, don’t forget that the deadlines need to be realistic. Take into the account the time you require to finish the work along with breaks. Breaks are as important as working with dedication. Don’t set standards that are too high to meet for you consistently. This will make you feel demotivated because you won’t be able to achieve your deadlines.
5. Make Constant Adjustments and Changes – Be Flexible
Being flexible is a great tool when you are trying to learn anything or are trying to cultivate a new habit. You need to recognize the shortcoming in your current plan to build your routine accordingly. If something isn’t working, change it. Just because something worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it has to work for you too.
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
-George Bernard Shaw
Make changes as you go, your strategy for anything is only going to work when you aren’t rigid with it. You will realize that often times it becomes necessary to make changes throughout the journey. Don’t be afraid to completely change your course of action either.
Seld-discipline is a massive help when it comes to good qualities in us. It will help you sail through a lot. Whatever you wish to achieve and whatever you are doing with that will usually boil down to how strong your resolve is. At the end of the day, it is all about what you want, how much you want it, and what you are willing to do to achieve it.
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