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Self Improvement

5 Reasons Why Success Is Not Just Dependent On Self-Improvement

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5 Reasons Why Success Is Not Just Dependent On Self-Improvement

It is generally believed that success is dependent on self-improvement; where a person seeks to change their behavior and attitude in a way that will make them successful. And, if you are someone who holds such a belief, then it might come as a surprise to you that success is not just dependent on self-improvement. While it is a big part, it isn’t the main reason. Here are some reasons why it is the way it is.

1. Massive talent

If there is one thing that can exempt someone from social expectations and yet become a huge success, it is talent. People who are extremely talented at what they do can easily achieve success and fame in their lives irrespective of how their behavior is.

A famous case is that of an American writer Charles Bukowski. Usually, people expect writers to behave in a ‘good’ manner, at least, in social situations. But, Bukowski was completely different. He was an alcoholic with a foul mouth.  He would even attend author meetup events in front of the public completely drunk and sprouting expletives. Yet, he achieved incredible fame and wealth and he never had to change his behavior and attitude in order to be successful.

This was because of his talent alone. Bukowski was such a great writer that he became a cult author in the US in the latter half of the twentieth century. And, if you, too, have some talent, whether as a writer, an artist, an actor, a football player, or anything else; you also have a good chance of being successful without having to commit to any self-improvement.

2. Psychopathic Behavior

Surprisingly, and shockingly, psychopathic behavior can also make a person a big success. However, keep in mind that we are only talking about the behavioral aspect of psychopaths, not a true-blue psychopath who is out to kill everyone. This incredible discovery came as a result of research by Emory University which found that a large number of successful people tend to have psychopathic traits. Psychopathic traits like boldness, which is linked with extremely charming behavior, has been identified even in US presidents.

The author of “The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry”, Jon Ronson, also claims in the book that big business magnates and CEOs are four times more likely to have psychopathic behavior than normal people. Such people tend to come off excessively arrogant or domineering than others, and thereby, tend to end up being successful. Additionally, they achieve such success without self-improvement.

3. Networking

5 Reasons Why Success Is Not Just Dependent On Self-Improvement

Being able to develop intimate connections with successful people is also very important for achieving success yourself. No matter how focused you are on self-improvement, if you lack the skill to connect with people, joke with them, and hold long conversations with them; you are less likely to achieve success. Because, ultimately, all people tend to support those who they like. Even if your behavior is somewhat negative, if someone likes you, they will support you in your quest for success.

4. Pure Grit

Another trait that can make you wildly successful, despite making no effort of improving yourself, is pure grit. So, what is pure grit? In simple words, it is the attitude that drives you to pursue a goal irrespective of how many times you have failed or how insurmountable it looks.

For example, two people may be tasked with closing a big business deal. The first person might be a well-behaved individual who constantly reads self-improvement books and always seeks to improve his/her behavior while the second person might be someone who has a questionable lifestyle but has incredible persistence. Now, the other business party might be very hesitant in committing to the deal. This might dampen the spirits of the first person and they might give up.

But the second person will likely persist at negotiation, no matter how many times they are declined. And eventually, it is very likely that they will be successful at closing the deal. Here, even though the first person is someone who is considered an ‘ideal’ person, it is the second one who achieved success despite having negative behavior. And this difference in success is purely due to the fact that the second person had more grit to persist with the task at hand while the first one gave up too easily.

5. Extremely Hardworking

5 Reasons Why Success Is Not Just Dependent On Self-Improvement

There are people who work extremely hard for long hours at a stretch. While a regular person would work, for say eight to nine hours per day, these people will have no problem putting in 12 or 14 hours of continuous work. And inevitably, such people tend to become successful than the rest. Even if their behavior does not exactly meet social expectations of an ideal person, they are able to become successful because of their total dedication to work.

You can see examples of such people in some business organizations where a particular employee, though not seen favorably among colleagues, is provided a better pay and position by the management just because the person tends to put in a lot of effort in their work.  

Mindfulness

5 Things About Self-Love That You Need To Know Right Now!

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Who is the first person that comes to your mind when you talk about love? Is it your family, a friend, or your significant other? But, what about you? Self-love is important to lead a happy and healthy life in a world that keeps growing stressful and demanding by the day. However, this concept is often overlooked and misunderstood. So, here are the 5 most important things that you should know about self-love.

Must, Read Best Ways to Deal With Self-Doubt

5 Most Important Things About Self-Love

1. Self-Love Cannot Be Attained Overnight

When you’ve lived a major portion of your life disregarding your needs and value, then giving yourself the care and love that you deserve might take some time. Just like loving others, loving yourself is like a journey and a consistent process. Also, don’t overemphasize your flaws. All humans have flaws and those flaws are what make you humane and unique.

2. Self-Love is Important to Practice

Practicing self-love will inculcate a better mindset that opens more doors for you to give and receive love. According to psychologists, creating a healthy relationship, full of care and understanding, with yourself will help you form the same kind of relationship with others as well. Also, maintaining healthy boundaries is very important too.

3. Finding the Sources to Heal Is Difficult

If you are in the process of healing and are taking the necessary steps to heal, then you should be proud of yourself. Healing takes time, is quite complex, and is not that easy. Becoming overwhelmed during the process is normal and while you do become so, know that you’re not alone. Digging deep into past wounds or even reoccurring ones could be quite overwhelming.

It might be tempting to keep pushing but remember that self-love also includes acknowledging your boundaries. So, you need to step back from healing for a bit when it becomes too much to handle.

4. Give Permission to Be Compassionate Towards Yourself

One of the biggest sources of strength is being able to be kind towards yourself in life. Society makes us blame ourselves when things go wrong. As a result, time and again we make ourselves believe that we aren’t good enough or qualified enough. Rather, we should try to objectively examine the situation.

Suppressing yourself for the sake of others could be brutal towards your self-esteem. You need to consciously accept that you deserve understanding and kindness. And while you do that, your self-esteem and confidence will keep growing.

5. Do What Your Heart Asks You To

Have you ever felt as if you have to do something because others were pressurizing you to? Committing to something you don’t want to such as taking a certain career path that you don’t like could be dangerous. This might seem to resolve differences with others for a short while, it might leave you unfulfilled later on.

Loving yourself also includes allowing yourself the right to follow your own dreams and desires regardless of what others might say. That will make you happy and fulfilled.

Final Thoughts

Self-love could also seem difficult at times. It does what is best for you and you might not feel excited about it all the time. For example, sleeping early because tomorrow is an important day or not meeting your friends because you have to finish an assignment. Setting down and respecting your own boundaries is a great thing.

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Self Improvement

Four Realistic Ways to Stick to Your New Year Resolutions

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We have all been there: the festivities of December roll around and bring along with them oodles of reflection over the past year. If you’re like most people, you’ll be met with a strange mix of disappointment and inspiration.

From diet and exercise goals to breaking free from damaging habits, from creating extensive reading lists to vouching to handle finances better, the turn of the year sees all kinds of resolutions being made. However, it is not long before old habits rear their ugly heads again and all those starry-eyed promises fly out the window. If you want to break this vicious cycle once and for all and make long-lasting changes, read on for four ways to make sure that you see your New Year 2021 resolutions through!

Define your purpose and discover your ‘ikigai’

More often than not, we half-heartedly commit to ideas and decisions without taking the time to understand whether or not they are things we want to invest our energy and precious time in. As a consequence of this lack of interest and purpose, the burnout sets in pretty quickly and we end up feeling worse than before.

Do Read Guide to Goal Setting

To avoid this, firstly, choose your goals for the right reasons.  Instead of being vague about why you have set out to achieve your objectives, think and try to internalize your purpose and imagine how it sustainably fits into the larger scheme of your life.

Figure out what works for you

Different methods yield different results for people. Some are comfortable with making small changes to their daily routines and lives every day. Yet others feel that committing to a clean break makes things easier and more effective for them in the long run. In the end, it’s about what works best to serve you and your aims.

Make a clear plan with key milestones/markers of progress

Avoid being vague. Set yourself up for success by charting out a clear, well-defined path instead of being misguided by abstract ideas of progress. Create tangible trackers and markers of growth like pros and cons lists, vision boards, journals, and progress photos that you can look back at and reflect upon how much you have achieved.

Find support or relevant resources

Remember that many other people are on the same journey as you and have goals and struggles similar to yours. Reliable support from family and friends can boost you up in moments of weakness and push you to achieve what you originally set out to achieve. Staying accountable and truthful to yourself is also a crucial factor.

If you need an external community for advice, mentoring, and sharing your journey, turning to the internet is a great idea! There are countless resources and forums online on Facebook, Instagram, and also specialized apps ranging from diet and fitness (Nike Training Club, Adidas Training, MyFitnessPal) to meditation and wellness (Headspace, Calm), etc.

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Self Improvement

Pomodoro Technique for Time Management

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Pomodoro Technique

In the 1980s Francesco Cirillo developed the Pomodoro technique to get more studying done while he was in university. He named the method after his timer clock shaped like a tomato (Pomodoro is Italian for tomato). 

This technique caught on quickly and became popular because of how easy it is for anyone to implement and get started. All you need is a simple timer to get started on having undistracted, focused bursts of energy. 

This time management technique combines intense short sessions of focused work with short breaks to avoid getting mentally saturated.

Is Pomodoro for me?

If you’re the kind of person who finds themselves distracted during a workday even though you have the best of intentions to do work, you’re probably going to benefit from Pomodoro. 

You may also be experiencing some of these roadblocks:

  • You have trouble focusing. Even if you sit down at your workstation, fully equipped with everything you need, you end up getting distracted in a few minutes. Next thing you know, one youtube video led to fifty, and it’s been two hours of unproductivity.
  • You feel a lack of motivation to start. You know from past experiences that you end up getting in the flow and actually enjoying yourself every time you do start. However, starting seems to be the most challenging part. You can spend a vast majority of the day just postponing starting your work. 
  • Have trouble being realistic with goals. If you keep taking on endless tasks and spend all your time updating your to-do list and barely completing 10% of this list every day: your problem might be that you take on too much work responsibilities or don’t know how to assign work for the day. 
  • You tend to work too hard, getting enthusiastic about your work and spending hours together until you feel burned out (headache, eyes hurt) and have to take an extended break to recover. Your motivation also tends to run out at this point of burnout, it feels like your brain just doesn’t work anymore!
  • You quickly get emotionally overwhelmed. Do you start your work on a positive note and then glance at the sheer volume of work you’re supposed to do and just crumble? Work is emotionally taxing, and you always feel there’s too much of it. 
  • Have work to do that is a daily process. Whether it’s your day job, learning a new language or a passion project, lots of work needs to be done every day, and just can’t be put off for the last day to ‘cram’. You feel the lack of a daily system that forces you to get a daily input in. 

The Pomodoro technique can help people facing all of these issues because it gives you a reliable system to fall back on when work can feel overwhelming, you have trouble focusing or lack the motivation to get started on your own. 

What is the Pomodoro technique?

When Cirillo, the founder of this technique, struggled with work and assignments, he began to challenge himself to just focus for around ten minutes, and then take a break. He then tweaked the numbers and found the most effective (for him!) to be a 25-minute work session, immediately followed by a 5-minute break. 

All you need to do is to procure a timer. You can also use your inbuilt phone timer, but it’s suggested that you keep your phone switched off or on airplane mode. There are plenty of Pomodoro apps available that will alert you when your work session time is up as long as you enable notifications. I use this nifty website for my Pomodoro work sessions! (In fact, I’m using it right now to write this article!) 

  1. Set the timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work session. Once you start working, try your best to stay focused. If for any reason you get distracted, stop the clock and take a five-minute break. After your break, re-start your work session and begin again. 
  1. Make sure you have everything you need. If it’s the right time of day, a cup of coffee or drink to sip on, water, your laptop charger. The aim is to limit the times you have to get up for any reason. 
  1. Keep a blank notepad and pen next to you. You could also open a Note taking app on your phone or computer, but since devices can be distracting, it’s better to opt for the paper and pen.
    Every time you get distracted and break your work session, make a note of what distracted you, whether it was a physical sensation, a social media notification or someone else interrupting your workflow. Noting down the nature of distraction does two things: you acknowledge the distraction, and your brain registers it. You also can reflect later on how to avoid these distractions in the future.

    What often happens when we begin working is random thoughts and things to do come to our head. They can even be essential things, such as realising you didn’t take out the trash today or forgot to brush your teeth. It could be more benign, as you suddenly think about a cool music video you want to watch. Whatever the thought is, write it down on the paper so that you can get to it later. You’ll also experience a sense of relief that you’ve dealt with the thought. 
  1. Take your break! Ensure that you don’t stay at your workplace, try getting up and walking around the house, or getting a stretch done. Don’t make it more difficult for yourself by checking your phone, we all know it’s a trap! We suggest sticking to the Pomodoro clock even if you’re in the flow of working. A five-minute break will rarely ever break your flow, and it will usually refresh you and increase the chances of another uninterrupted 25-minute session. This is your time to refill your water, use the bathroom, or call back a missed call (only to tell them you’re busy!)
  1. If someone calls you during your work session, follow Cirillo’s advice and don’t ignore them. It will only cause more anxiety that you have something to deal with later. Let them know this isn’t a good time, offer to call them later in the day and make a note to call them after you’re done with your sessions!
  1. After you’ve done four Pomodoros, take a much longer break of 15-20 minutes. This will help you feel refreshed and avoid burnout. You can indulge in a light activity this time, maybe eat a snack or step outside for a short walk. You can even reward yourself by listening to your favourite song. Congratulate yourself on completing 100 minutes of focused work!

Tasks and Prioritization

While the Pomodoro technique closely deals with time management, it’s also integral to having proper goal setting and planning involved. If you made an extremely rigorous to-do list for yourself, even ten undisturbed work sessions wouldn’t be enough, and you’d be disheartened. 

Make sure that you prioritize important tasks over the unnecessary ones. An excellent way to do this is to first write down all the important tasks that you want to accomplish in the day, in any order. 

Then close your eyes and envision which one of the tasks is the one that will give you the most anxiety if you don’t complete today. 

Usually, the most important tasks are also the ones that give us the most anxiety. That’s why it’s the easiest to identify them because we’re usually trying to avoid or put off working on them. 

I found myself in an odd unproductive rut recently. Every time I sat down to do an important task, I would complete the other small, unimportant tasks on my to-do list. For example, if I had an important work project, I would put that off and clean my house instead. This way, I could tell myself at the end of the day that at least I did something good and useful instead of watching T.V. 

Don’t let yourself put off the important and uncomfortable tasks with less important and less uncomfortable ones. At the end of the day, if you ignored your work project by cleaning the house or watching T.V, it’s still unproductivity!

Why Pomodoro works

The Pomodoro technique makes it easier for you to just start. Rather than getting overwhelmed with the workload, it helps you motivate yourself by just starting with 25 minutes. If you think your focus is difficult to train, start out work sessions with 15 minutes instead. Either way, the technique is nothing but a template to hack your own time management!

Telling yourself sternly not to get distracted doesn’t always work. You start to do something, and then the distraction pops up. You think it’ll only take a minute, but it usually takes longer than that. Having a designated ‘Distraction Sheet’ where you note them down and a designated five-minute break to complete those desires enables you to continue concentrating. 

Good luck!

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