3 Major Tips To Better Your Relationships

Relationships are the most important part of our human lives. When you turn 80, you won’t think about how much more time you should’ve spent online, how much more you should’ve travelled or how much more you should’ve worked, it won’t be any of these things. What you will think about is to what extent you have lived the life you wanted to live and how much more you should’ve spent with the people you love, which is a considerable amount in most cases if you think about how much time people spend working a 9-5 job. Thus I decided to give you 3 major tips that will improve your relationships, which I found in my readings and that I personally applied. Read through them carefully, customize them to your current situation and apply them accordingly.

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#1 Always Look For People’s Strengths

In any kind of interpersonal connection, if it’s the first time or if you’ve known the person for years, always focus on their strengths. So many people, including myself, have made the mistake of looking for downsides in others. Not only it ruins your perception of the other person, but it will make your relationship rot. Your conversations will turn into arguments and the only emotion you will receive from the time spent with the other person will be negative. However, if you make an active decision to look for the positives in others, your relationship will blossom. You will understand how amazing the people around you are. You will see their good side and you will be happier yourself. If you’re having trouble in setting your mindset off in a certain direction, utilize the power of your subconscious. To find out how to do that, give this an article a read.

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#2 People Should Leave You Happier Than They Were When They Came

This is a no-brainer, yet most of us don’t appreciate this quality enough. You want to be the kind of person whom people meet and get happier during the time they spend with that person. When people come to you, being happy at 4 (from 1-10, 10 being the happiest), they should be leaving you at least at a 6 or a 7. How can you do this? Tell them how much you love them, how much you appreciate them and how proud you are to know them. Little things matter. Did your friend get his first A in Chemistry? Appreciate it and congratulate him, tell him how proud you are of that friend. It might seem awkward if you’re not used to it, but it will revolutionise your relationships. Next time when you talk to your mom, tell her how much you love her, how much you appreciate what she does for you, even though you feel like she could do more. Speak it and it will happen.

#3 Pay Attention

One of the most annoying things you can do to others is ignoring them. When you meet your friends, when you talk to your parents or other close people or when you speak with your colleagues in your line of work, pay attention to them. Ignore that phone call. When you’re having lunch with someone and you pull out your phone, it means that that message or that phone call is more important to you than the person you’re talking to. Pay attention to the details and mention them, ask about them next time you see the person. You can not imagine how much people appreciate it when you’re paying attention to what they say and when you actually remember small details that you then ask about. They love it! Pay attention.

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Break Them Bad Habits

Quite a while ago, we have published an article on habits and habit creation called Habits 101. In this article, we talk about how habits work and why they are super beneficial for our lives. What we don’t talk about in depth is how to get rid of the very bad habits that have been ingrained into your mind when you were young and that you’ve carried with you throughout your whole life. This is something that is a huge part of the whole process. You can never instantly forget your bad habits. You can’t simply delete them. What you need to do is to start minimizing the bad stuff and maximize the good stuff. It’s a matter of substitution and correction rather than eradication. In this article, I will talk about how you can begin restructuring your habits by minimizing the bad stuff.

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The 4 Steps

If you’ve read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, you might see that the 4 steps I’ll be talking about are in essence the inversions of the 4 steps you have to take to create a habit. The 4 steps I’ll use are not necessarily interchangeable, but some of them might not occur in your solution. I’ll list them in the usual order below. Do bear in mind that these steps require some sense of creativity from your side. Although I will mention some examples, you will have to take these general steps and apply them on your own case.

Step #1 Make It Invisible

For the sake of explanation, I will use a very common habit of all of us. Our reaction to our phone notification. First, you see/hear it make a sound. This connection focuses your attention on the phone – your attention leaves whatever you were focused on before the phone rang. It logically follows that if you want to get rid of this bad habit (constantly checking your phone when working) you have to somehow make sure that your phone is away from you so that you can’t see it, but you also want to make sure that you can’t hear it ring. This is applicable, like most of the steps, pretty much everywhere. You need to somehow make that trigger disappear.

Step #2 Make It Unattractive

The second step in our phone notification scenario is making it unattractive to check the phone. This could mean placing it somewhere high or far from you so getting up and reaching for the phone would be almost annoying. In more general terms, you need to make the bad habit you’re breaking super unattractive. Another example could be – lots of people have bad eating habits. Stick that fat person picture on your fridge. Stick that picture of a fat extraction operation on your fridge. It will make you feel at least a bit disgusted.

Step #3 Make It Difficult

In our phone notification scenario, you could lock the phone somewhere so that you’d have to first look for the key and then unlock the case with the phone. It is a bit extreme (you could figure out some super annoyingly hard method of unlocking your phone), but it makes it difficult to reach for the phone – it also makes it unattractive. In more broader terms, you simply have to make it super hard for you to take the action (in terms of the bad habit). Put that candy high up and lock it down. Put a really long password on your computer so it is difficult to go through every single time.

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Step #4 Make It Unsatisfying

The reason we take action on bad habits is the feeling of satisfaction. This is the final battle. If you successfully apply the 3 previous steps, you will most likely not have to do this. But if you fail to take action on the first 3 steps, you need to figure out how to make the habit unsatisfying. The best example I can come up with at the moment is putting pepper on the sweets you really want to eat before you start craving them. Get rid of that satisfaction in advance so that when you encounter the problem, you will have put a solution on the table.

These steps, if applied properly (which means no cheating) will help you break your bad habit. Please do bear in mind that habits take around 30 days to form, thus breaking them might take even longer. It is a long term pull, not a one day push. If you mess up once, you start all over again.

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Dreams, dreams, dreams…

Dreaming is a very specific concept in itself. It’s the ultimate way for us to experience our subconsciousness almost consciously. What does that mean? When you sleep, you are sometimes able to perceive your subconscious. In rare cases, you can actually remember consciously what happened in the dream. However, this is not the kind of dreams I want to focus in this article. What I want to focus on are the dreams that you have consciously in your mind and you need to get them into your subconscious. Your dreams are the reason why you do, what you do. That is, if you’re not a sheep blindly following the crowd. Your capacity to dream ultimately determines your future success and its scale. In this article, I want to focus on specifying your dreams (your direction in life) and on the methods that can help you install them into your subconscious.

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Why Do I Need to Do That?

As I already mentioned, your dream is your WHY. Your dream is the purpose you have, it is the reason why you do what you do. It is the best guide in life you will ever have, it is your direction and your internal motivator. Why do successful people succeed? They have the capacity to dream big and then follow their dreams. When you have a strong dream, everything becomes clear. You need to start asking yourself why? instead of what? How do you handle this deep stuff? Dream visualization is the way to go. You always need to keep your dream in front of you, you always need to remind yourself of your dream. Only this way will you be able to hold on to it and go past all the distractions in your life, which is one of the greatest challenges we all have these days. There is also another benefit to dream visualisation that has to do with your subconscious. Constant visualization of your dream will leade to a passive installation of that vision into your subconscious mind, which will in return make you act in the proper way without consciously realizing. Our brain is like a computer, what you look up most often it will do. For instance, if you really want to become a millionaire, you constantly need to remind yourself of that dream and you will subconsciously start behaving in a way that will lead you there. This is obviously not the only method of getting there – you still need to do loads of conscious stuff to get there, but this will support you mentally in a great way.

Dream Visualization (installing into your subconscious)

There are many ways you can visualize your dreams. The first way you should already know about is your spoken word. If you have no idea what this is about, give this article a read. What I want to focus on now are two other, more straight forward methods. The first one involves writing your dream essay. What you want to do is sit down at a quiet place and write down a story of your life – exactly how you want it. Go from short, all the way to your long term dreams. How do you want to live when you’re 10 years older than now? How will these 10 years look like? What is the design of that new beach house you want? What about the car you always wanted? How many people do you want to help or lead? How big will your business grow in the next few years? All these questions and many more can be a part of your essay. What you want to do then is, review the essay every week and correct, update and improve your dream. Shape it in your way. The second method allows you to build on this one and take it a step further. Draw, look up and print your dreams. Look up a house that you really like and print it! When you have the physical picture, put it somewhere you can’t miss it! A fridge, a door or a ceiling above your bed are all very good spots. This really helps you to visualize that dream and installs it into your brain (subconscious).

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Do It Now!

What is the best direction of action you can take now? Start writing. Start writing your dream essay and don’t take it lightly, be very serious about it. It will impact the shape of your future life in a great way.

 

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The 5 Second Rule

The most important part of success, the one part everyone talks about yet many people fail to apply. Taking action. Many people, including me, have believed for a long time that knowledge is power. However, in the recent few months, I experienced a major shift in my perspective on this issue. I realised that knowledge might be the beginning, but your behaviour is the finale. What is the use of having a wide range of knowledge without applying it? How can you solve a problem by thinking? If you have a roadblock in front of you, it is necessary that you make a move to overcome it. Thinking won’t solve it. This is also a major challenge for most. Taking action at the moment. Thinking and planning action is a very useful part of success. However, what makes the major difference is whether you actually make your move or not. Mel Robbins wrote a very useful book called “The 5 Second Rule” talking about this, where she came up with a very useful psychological trick to overcome that moment of doubt.

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The Moment of Doubt

For the sake of the explanation, let’s use an example of approaching a stranger you want to talk about. Your aim is to connect and deepen the conversation. Sounds simple right? Well, it is very easy to think about it, but actually doing this is fairly complicated for most of us. How come? We all have this slight sense of anxiety built into us – be it because of the way social media and digital communication affects us, be it because of our introverted personality or due to any other reason. The few seconds of doubt when we start thinking about approaching that new person is usually the few seconds it takes to persuade us to back up. This issue doesn’t only appear in this case, but also in many other areas of our daily lives. A few more instances include getting out of the bed, raising our hand in a meeting or starting a workout. It’s the little snaps of doubt before you do something that hold you back.

The Rule

The rule is fairly simple, which makes it super useful and effective. It consists of 2 parts. In the first part, you essentially want to identify the target (eg. I want to talk to that person). In the second part, you want to start counting 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and then move. It is super, super important that you physically move when you get to 1. This is because what this method focuses on is overcoming that doubt in your mind. Thus, timing is crucial. You want to really integrate this in order for it to work perfectly. When you get that idea of talking to someone or doing something that requires some kind of stepping out of your comfort zone, you instantly want to start counting and then take action when you say 1. If you don’t, your doubt will come and it will put you in that disgusting situation where you start arguing with yourself. Eventually, you will identify a logical excuse that will hold you back. It is important to execute this with precision and focus.

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Bearing that in mind, it will obviously take time to practice this rule. Overnight success is simply not a thing in the area of personal growth. You can not imagine how many times I made a fool out of myself before I got it right… You will mess up and you will be challenged. The only way you will succeed is through consistent and persistent practice and failures.

Why do you count from 5 to 1 and not from 1 to 5? This is very simple. The reason is purely psychological. If you count from 1 to 5, your mind will feel like counting further and prolonging the process. That is what you do not want. Since you count from 5 to 1, there is nothing following, thus the only step remaining is to move. Do bear in mind that you can play with this rule a little bit. You can make it a 3-second rule if you feel like 5 seconds is too long. It is up to your personal preference.

I strongly recommend you read the book mentioned above. It is one of the books that will make a change in your daily life. It also includes loads of testimonies and experiences of the people who follow the rule every day… So useful!!

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Should You Plan Your Days in Advance?

There are a few questions that pop up a lot especially when we talk about successful habits and a successful structure of one’s day. Should I make a plan of my day? Why should I do it? Is it really worth it? Many fail to finish what they wanted or in worse cases had to finish during their day and then pull the so called “all nighters” in order to catch up. Is that really something you want to do? When people say, work or study when others sleep, does that mean that you need to cut on your sleep or does it mean that you need to go to bed early and wake up early so that you get that sweet hour or two of absolutely uninterupted peace for yourself? In this article, we’ll look at why you should schedule your day and I’ll also give you some examples on how to make a good and simple plan.

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Why Do I Need to Schedule My Days?

To answer this question, you first need to look at how you can become the most productive you can become. The number one thing you can do to become more productive is to cut on the decisions you have to make during the day. An average human being makes approximately 35,000 choices every day. This means that you need to put a lot of energy into all of them. These obviously include your unconscious choices, so the best you can do is to focus on your conscious choices first. The most successful people, like Jeff Bezos, are known to make no more than 3 important conscious choices every day and the rest is delegated. Why is that? They understand that in order for them to make high quality decisions, they need to put a lot of focus and energy into making them. How come they can make only this few choices though? They work on habits and routines (unconscious automatized choices). Morning and evening routines are indispensable, as well as is their daily plan. Making your daily plan allows you to stop thinking about what I need to do next at that specific moment (ie. it cuts down the amount of decisions you need to make). It gives you the ability to prepare yourself in advance and then simply look at your plan and take action.

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Daily Tasks Plan

The first and the most simple as well as the most flexible version of your plan I’ll talk about today is your daily tasks plan. This is usually a plan most beginners use to get used to the idea of cutting down their decisions without any extreme change. In essence, you need to figure out what is it that you want to finish during the day and you need to write it down. Then you need to look at it and rank it from the most important tasks to the simplest tasks. When you figure that out, you write the tasks down in correct order from the most important one to the least important one. And you get them done one by one. This is the most flexible and simple plan – it doesn’t require much experience and it is fairly easy to make. It also allows you to understand your goals and values better as you have to “evaluate” your tasks on daily bases before you start writing down your plan.

Daily Schedule

The second step, after some time, is your daily schedule. It is a second step, because you need to have a certain level of experience in terms of how to evaluate tasks and how much time to assign to each of them (which you learn through your Daily Tasks Plan). What your Daily Schedule includes is a specific plan of your daily tasks and the times you assign to them. It is really up to you how specific you get (I like to go into half-hours). For instance, I wake up at 6:20, 6:20 – 7:10 is my morning routine, which never changes; 7:10 – 9:00 is my workout (which changes depending on which day of the week it is); 9:00 – 10:30 is the time I assign to the first task I need to finish, be it a blog article like today, content creation for our Instagram page or some studying I need to get done; 10:30 – 12 is the time I cook and eat my lunch. This is how my mornings usually look like (the morning routine and workout is always the same, the rest varies based on what I need to get done). This is my way of doing this, which is based on my experience  and on how I function. The more experienced you get, the better you become with your time. It is the exams period now – everyone around here at uni is stressing out while I’m in peace getting tasks done based on my schedule. It is really as simple as that. And the best part is, I know it so well that it takes me 2-3 minutes to come up with the schedule. Not too much of a big deal ey?

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Be creative

Your plan or a schedule is yours for a purpose. You know how you work and you need to adapt your schedule to that. Some people like to plan a week ahead, some like to plan a day ahead. Some people need colours, some are fine with a pen and paper. Some people need digital apps, some are fine with paper. It is all up to you, make it work for yourself. Play with it when you start and find the best method that works for you. When yo do, you’ll know it!

 

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