Find Your Life Anchor – How to Stay Consistent When Life Happens

There is a question I have been always struggling to answer… What is the most common reason why people give up on their goals & dreams? However, in the last few months, I have been slowly uncovering the answer to this question. Now, I think I have finally found it. People give up because life happens. We all have our own goals & dreams, but we also have our own hardships & struggles. We always account for the hardships that are on the way leading to the target we’ve set up for ourselves. What we fail to account for are the hardships that happen outside of that path, in life. The fact that is the hardest to accept is that we can’t accurately predict and account for these issues. You can’t possibly account for a disease occurring in your family or for a financial bankruptcy of your close friend. Things like this will happen in life, so how can you prepare yourself for them so that you will be able to maintain your consistency on the way towards your dreams?

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Find Your Anchor

To successfully prevent our failure to cope with such issues, we need to create something in our lives that will hold us to our path and keep us accountable to ourselves. A something that makes you stick to your path no matter what, a something that helps you overcome any unexpected but inevitable issues that will occur in your life. We need to identify an anchor in our lives that will help to hold us close to our ambition, exactly like the anchor on the picture above holds the boat stuck to the bottom of the sea. In the next part of the article, I will talk about a few ways you can make this a reality for yourself.

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Find a reason why you should make it to the finish line

In many, many of our articles we mention the concept of the why. Why? Because it is the number one, central, most important concept that will make you stick to your path. Put very simply, if you know why you’re doing it, you are very likely to stick to it. This obviously involves many aspects of reminding yourself of your why and developing it further. Visualisation, spoken word and mentorship are a few aspects of this that will help you understand your why and stick to it.

Find someone you will be accountable to

In addition, mentorship not only provides you with the opportunity to cooperate with and learn from an already well-experienced individual but also to stay accountable to him. This is very well visible in many gyms, where you can get a personal coach. They will not only come up with a gameplan for you, talk to you about your goals and motivate you, they will also serve as an anchor for you. When you feel down, when you feel like you don’t want to work out today, you will think of your coach/mentor and you will make it happen. Assuming that you are a responsible and mature human being, the sense of accountability will keep you grounded and moving.

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Develop a daily routine of self-development

Having a strong habit in place that helps you grow as a person and that keeps you moving forward is something incredibly powerful. It keeps you grounded and motivated to move forward. What is the greatest issue with that? Many people have an issue developing this habit in the first place. So when their life starts going downhill, they don’t have anything to stick to. Dig your well before you’re thirsty. Develop a habit of reading, listening and associating with positive individuals every day. This will keep you on your path no matter the scale of the hardship you might be going through is.

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Always remember that the strongest anchors come from within. Your internal motivation beats your external motivation every second of the day. That’s a fact. Find your anchor and grow it. Screw safety plans, burn the ships and develop anchors instead. Move forward and never look back. And know that if you do, your anchors will turn your face forward again.

Set Yourself Up For Success

Most of us know what kind of movies they like, some of us know what subject in school they enjoy, few of us know what they want to do as a job and most of us don’t know how they want to live. This is a major flaw in modern society. It is clearly a fault of the tradition. We are led to think about the “what” rather than about the “why“. This is something that cripples us in the long run and makes most people regret not having done what they’ve dreamed of doing in their lives. This flaw has a further crippling consequence. We are unaware of where we are and what we should do next with our time. Why do you think many teenagers end up drunk every weekend? Do you think they would still do that if they understood their direction and the reason why they’re taking that path? In this article, I will be talking about a few steps you can take to set yourself up for success in the long run.

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Step #1 Find Your Direction

As I have mentioned many, many times before, it is not important what you do, but why you do it. Why do you go to school? Why do you go to uni? Why do you workout? Why do you wake up early? Why do you procrastinate? Why do you read books? Why do you not read books? Begin with the end in mind. Become outcome-focused, not process focused. Why? Because processed focus people never actually achieve what they want. Even more, they don’t understand what they want, they don’t understand the outcome. They only understand the process. If you know that you have to go to university, but you don’t know why, how are you going to feel? Will you study just to “get it done” or to actually learn and grow, so that you can utilise that knowledge in the long run?

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Step #2 Identify Where You Are

The second step is slightly easier than the first one, but its biggest challenge is your subjectivity. To understand how far we are from the desired outcome, we need to set up some framework that will make it easier for us to clear up some confusions created by the subjectivity of this matter. What I would suggest is setting up a scale from 1 to 10. 10 would be that goal of yours, maybe the life that you want to live. It is “the why” you came up with. Now it is important to take some time and think about how far you are from where you want to be. The scale helps you to specify it for your reference. You can set up some points where you’ll be stepping up one number. If your dream is to live the life of a judge, not for the sake of being one, but for the sake of imposing justice, one of your steps could be graduating from a law school. Which leads me to the third step…

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Step #3 The How

After you have figured out how far you are from your goal, from the final point, you should start planning out the “how” in terms of how you are planning to get there. What are the steps you have to undergo to achieve that goal? What are the experiences and learnings you have to go through to live that life? How will you grow to your success? This is the time for you to find the right platform that will deliver the results for you. In order to do this, a very helpful aspect of your focus should be a person. A someone who is closer to that 10 than you are or a someone who is already past it. Pursue them and learn from them. That will cut your path much shorter than it would be otherwise.

Finally, understand that your 10 is not a static point. It is very likely that as you grow and as you start approaching it, it will expand. It will shift and you will find yourself sitting on a 5 even though you were on a 7 before. Why? Because you have grown, you have expanded your dream and your 10 became an 8. This should not disappoint you, it should excite you. It is a sign of you developing a growth mindset – understanding that there is always some space for growth and improvement.

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The Overlooked Power of Praise

The present generations have grown up in the world, where we are told what we shouldn’t do, how we shouldn’t behave or how negative our lives are. Hearing all these negative phrases and criticisms inevitably leads to something we call negative conditioning of our mind. We are lead to negativity by default. This is one of the reasons we tend to overlook something all of us can do, we tend to overlook the good stuff in others. We look for the negatives in people, we criticise. What we do very rarely is praise.  In this article, I want to focus on the power of praise, its effect on our relationships and more importantly on our own mind.

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The Negative Conditioning

As I mentioned in the introduction, most of us have been brought up in a negative environment. We go through our youth learning what is not meant to be done, what can never be achieved and what we need to focus on, although it might be something we really do not enjoy. The way modern society is set up is very alarming. In school, in the workplace, you are criticised whenever you do something that is outside of the norm (in a bad way). You are led to think inside the box, to follow the tradition and to keep your head down. Try to look back, how often have you been criticised for making a mistake? How often have you been praised for performing well? Most of us tend to focus on the negatives to “improve” our behaviour, but we fail to praise the positive, which is actually the factor that influences us the most.

The Power of Praise

So what should we change? According to the books Whale Done and How to Win Friends and Influence People, we need to start looking for the good people around us do and we should start bringing it up more often. Look for the good instead of the bad. Look for the small accomplishments you can praise people for and praise them! It is very unnatural for us since that is not how we have been taught to behave, but it brings miracles. How do you feel when someone tells you how amazingly you’ve completed your task? It feels great. And even more, it makes you want to improve and grow! Praise supports growth and improvement, thus it is a very good idea to praise even slight improvement because it will multiply the original result in the future. Additionally, the more positive you look for, the more positive you will see. The more positive you will see, the more positive you will accept into your life. The more positive you will accept into your life, the more positive you will attract. It is simple, the more you praise, the more will people want to be around you and the more you will want to be around yourself.

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Regarding the practical side of this concept, I have discussed different kinds of responses in this article. In short, there are different kinds of responses. You either ignore, you criticise, you praise or you redirect. The most common response is ignorance. The most useful responses are positive and redirection. Why redirection? Because it allows you to take the negative and turn it into praise.

Look for the good in people and in their actions. The greatest challenge for most of us will not be reducing criticism but strengthening praise. We love to ignore the positive, now we have to take a step forward and start praising it.

3 Kinds Of Education You Should Know About

We have all gone through some sort of process of education in our lives. Most of us went through elementary schools, many of us through middle and high schools and some of us through university systems. A group of us could actually say that they have been through some steps of this process multiple times. When we finish this massive 20+ year process, we are supposed to be “educated” and we are supposed to start “living the life.” What does that actually mean? How would you define “educated?” In this article, I will focus on the 3 major kinds of education we should all be aware of and I’ll make an argument around which kind we should focus on and why.

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3 Faces Of Education

Throughout our lives, most of us get to experience 3 major educational streams. The first one being the academic education that is meant to “prepare” us for life. The second stream follows after academic education. This stream focuses on framing us into the employee our bosses would prefer. In short, this education is meant to make you “successful” in the workplace. The 3rd stream, which we are advocates of in The Real Life Education, is the real-life education itself. This stream focuses on growing you as a person. You are the centre of this stream and you will benefit from utilising it.

Academic Education

Academic education is considered as the “traditional” stream of education. You go through your elementary school, middle school, high school, university and finally you get a job. This stream is sold to us as the education that “prepares us for life.” The only issue is that the level of standardisation has reached unbelievably stupid levels and “the life” stands for “the average life of an employee.” Millions of kids go through this stream every decade. They are all taught in a very similar way, they are taught very similar stuff and they are assessed on the same scale as well. How can this be effective? Furthermore, academic education that is supposedly there to “prepare you for life” actually does very poorly in that. Academic education teaches you to do what you’re told. It teaches you to be a generalist and to follow the crowd. When you enter real life, you will learn how useless this is in terms of any greater success. Just to give you a perspective, according to Shana Lebowitz from Entrepreneur.com, the average GPA of 700 studied US billionaires was only 2.9 (out of 4). Which is considered a very low standard – people usually get around 3-3.5. The academically smarter kids go over that limit all the way to 4. I personally was a valedictorian in my high school back in Beijing with a GPA of 4. What use is that going to be in the future? Not much.

Professional Education

Professional education is directly connected to the academic stream. When you go to uni, you are meant to look for internships and work experiences because that is the starting point. When you graduate and (hopefully) find a job, you will be constantly told what to do, how to do it, when to do it, etc… You will see yourself following orders from 9 to 5. You will be framed into an obedient employee. Most people live this life and some enjoy it. Would you? I wouldn’t.

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Life Education

Life education is something that has changed my life. When I got in touch with my current mentors, I have started discovering a brand new world of knowledge. I started learning about myself. I started understanding how my mind works, how my body works and more importantly, how other people work. As my mentor once said, technical skills will take you only so far, but people skills will make the world your playground. This is also the mission of The Real Life Education. We are here to spread the word of life education, we are here to ensure that you have an efficient source of this stream and that you can benefit to the maximum extent and maybe one day become one of those millionaires I’ve mentioned above. (Hint: You will not make it with only the first two streams. How many employee millionaires who have the time to live how they want do you know?). Focus on this stream and you will see a huge change in your life. You will find yourself becoming happier and happier and you will find yourslef gradually outperforming everyone around you.

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Be An Ambassador For Positivity

In our daily lives, we encounter situations where we have a choice to make. It’s a choice of response. In your workplace, what do you do when your team screws up? In your household, what do you do when your kids don’t do their homework? What do you do if they finish it well? All these situations might seem boringly common, but the reality is that the majority of people makes the less correct choices in such situations. How many times have you been yelled at in work? How many times have you been yelled at when you were a young rebellious kid? All of these experiences have framed your way of thinking. The truth is, most people have got a very bad understanding of how they should behave in such situations exactly because of the way they have been brought up. In this article, I want to utilise one of the concepts that is developed in a book called Whale Done, where the author tells a story of a manager who learns about how he should “motivate and treat” the people around him (including his team and his family) and how he should build healthier and more positive relationships.

 

Your Response

According to Ken Blanchard, there are 4 ways we can respond to any situation. No response, negative response, redirection and positive response. The two very well known responses would be the positive and the negative one. However, Blanchard argues that these are too simplistic and that there are 2 more responses that are less easily observable.

The first one is no response. The reason behind the complexity of this response is that it is the most frequent one we use without realising that we do. In most cases, when people do something well, they tend to be ignored, but they should be praised. This is a very common issue because the only way you can motivate someone to grow and perform better and better is through a very careful choice of your responses. We need to understand that no response is also a response. It creates a very passive behaviour of the subject because he or she did something well but is not seeing any appreciation – the subject does not treat the consequence of his/her behaviour with any special care and thus might not utilise it for the future. This is not how we should treat people when they behave well. They need to be praised and rewarded – they need to see our positive response.

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The second less understood response is the redirection. Redirection is a method of handling a negative situation by redirecting the energy or the attention of a person or an animal in a positive direction. What you can imagine behind that is trying to teach a og how to stay by your side. He sees another dog and there he goes. He has not stayed by your side. What you should not do is you should not scold him, you need to redirect his attention to something positive. You utilise other things you have practised before, you get to him and you show him a treat. You make him stick to you and you make him come a few steps with you. Then you give him a treat or you praise him. You have ignored his bad behaviour and you’ve turned the situation around. This is a very simple example. In the human case, you might have someone messing up in your work. What you should not do is you should not scold the person. You speak to him, you calmly explain that there has been a mistake and you take responsibility. After that, he will feel more comfortable and you can start focusing on how he can improve his performance. Scolding people does not work most of the times. Redirecting their attention is a different kind of story.

For a more detailed explanation, I highly recommend that you take a further look into the book Whale Good. In a very short summary, make sure that you understand that any reaction that you have will affect the person’s state of mind and your relationship. Focus on building a good relationship through positive responses and redirections and watch your relationships improve.

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