Take Full Control of Your Mind

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog” (Mark Twain). Our mind can be our ultimate weapon, or it can be our ultimate weakness. Nobody can affect your mental state more than you. You are the ultimate master of your mind, that is if you know how to control it. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of this and keep on flowing through mood and anxiety swings. I realise that this is one of the core issues of the modern society, but I feel like it has been sort of a taboo subject. I feel like many perceive anxiety and depression as something abnormal, something crazy. It feels like most people think that having anxiety or depression is a sign of insanity. Well, let me tell you – it’s not. Anxiety and depression is a common mental problem many, if not most people deal with earlier or later during their life. What I want to focus on in this article is my experience with anxiety and on some tips to reduce it or to get completely rid of it. Bear in mind that I am not a professional psychiatrist. What I will be talking about is my personal experience and the methods that I have read about and personally applied in real life.

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Everybody Is Judging Me

It is almost impossible to not experience the feeling of being judged by everyone. Especially in the era we live in. We are constantly exposed to the examples of how we should look like or how we should behave. We live in the information time, where media is the core of everything. From the moment we open our eyes when we wake up to the moment we fall asleep, sometimes even when we’re sleeping, we are exposed to some kind of digital input. This ranges from the social media on our phones, the news in the tv or on the billboards in the streets. We can never escape it unless we really, really try. Now this can have its upsides, but it also has its downsides. If you know how to utilise this fact, you can make an enormous impact on peoples’ lives, but if you don’t know how to protect yourself, you can fall into that judgment trap of the modern society very easily. Why do we care so much about what others think? Because we are led towards that concept. Social media is based on people caring about others. That is what drives it. Most people spend loads of time on social media, thus most people consume this kind of culture. What do you think happens once you step out from your house? You will instantly feel judged like you do on social media. Only that now you can’t filter stuff. You are you, the real you. When I was younger, anytime I would step outside I would feel like people would instantly start judging me. I would not necessarily think about it, it was more of a subconscious feeling, something you think that your can’t control, unless you know that you can. As a result of this, there is huge amounts of people feeling insecure, looking into the ground when walking on the street. Or on the other side, people feeling insecure, running their egos high by insulting others to make themselves feel better. Yep, you heard it. If you laugh at others, you are only giving in to your own insecurity. This is something I have realised only a short while ago. The people who bully and offend others are themselves very insecure, sometimes even in pain. But they don’t know how to communicate it, so they choose to hide it and try to push others down to raise their  self-impression higher.

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Can I Control Anxiety?

As I mentioned above, anxiety is something that comes unconsciously. It’s not like we consciously decide to be anxious… Does that mean we can’t control when it comes, or whether it comes at all? Not really. We can control it, it is only that most of us have no idea how. There are quiet a few methods I have studied and applied to control the state of my mind, which has helped me maintain its clarity. Let’s first look at some ways I personally use to control both my conscious and subconscious mind.

The Spoken Word

The way I speak to myself is probably the most effective way I use to control my mind. Show me what your words are now and I will show you how your future looks like. You become what you speak. When I spoke negative, I got negative – both in the physical world and in my mind. However, when I started speaking positive and good stuff into my life, I started seeing a positive change not only in the way I thought, but also in everything that has started happening to me. When I realised the power of this, I have started utilising it. I have started speaking gratefulness into my life, I have started speaking my goals as if they have already happened. And guess what, they actually started happening. I started talking about my business growing, I started speaking about me building other leaders who want to do the same – make this world a better place. And the law of attraction has started kicking in. In short, you need to speak not what you have that you don’t want, but what you want that you don’t have. And you need to speak it in the present, as if you already have it. “I love the people around myself, I respect them and they respect me back. I love my life and the people in it. I am so lucky, because (…) and that is why I am grateful to be where I am, alive.” Create something like this sequence and speak it out loud many times a day. I know mentors who have scheduled their alarms for every hour of the day just to consciously speak out a few sentences like that. Why so often? Because what you do consciously regularly will be embedded into your unconscious. Make that happen and you will see the results. To learn more about the power of the spoken word, check out this article of ours!

We All Have Something

You are special, but not in this sense. Everyone has their own issues and you are not an exception. We all have something we are insecure about, something we are not proud of. The difference between the people who are anxious about it and the people who are not is that the people who tackled anxiety learned to be proud of their weaknesses. They understand that we all have something and that the only person who decides how we deal with it is us. At the end of the day, you are the only one who determines whether you can handle anxiety or not. It is completely in your hands, but it is a long-term fight. You can’t shift your mindset in a period of a few days. It takes a continuous effort and consistence.

They Actually Don’t Care

When you step out of your room and you feel like everyone is constantly judging you because of your acne, your new jacket that you’re not used to wearing or some other external thing, you need to understand that most people actually don’t care. Look at is from your own perspective. When you see someone on the street who has a funny hairstyle, how long do you think about it? Probably like 5 seconds and then you mind your own business. This is true for most people. The people who see you with that new jacket will probably think about it for a few seconds and then will forget about ever seeing it. Like I said before, everyone has their own issues that they care about much more than about what kind of clothes you wear.

Woman sleeping in a bed

A Little Tip on How to Calm Down When It Comes

But what if it comes before I learn how to control my mind? How can I “escape” that feeling in the moment? There is a technique I personally find super useful not only for anxiety attacks, but also for getting my body to fall asleep. It’s called the 4-7-8 breathing. It essentially helps you calm down and reduce your breathing frequency and pulse by oxygenating your body. Click here to learn how to use it. WARNING – don’t use this if you already have a slow pulse.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is, we all have something to be insecure about and most people mind their own business. At the end of the day, not many people on the street really care about how you look like or what you do. You define you, you are loved, you are important and you are amazing! Focus on yourself, grow as a person, learn to control your mind and laugh. Who doesn’t laugh doesn’t live.

 

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Master Task-organisation with The Eisenhower’s Principle

We live in a society where everybody is supposedly always “busy.” Way too many people complain about the enormous amount of tasks they have to finish and how stressful the whole process of finishing these tasks is. Even worse, the way people do stuff throws them into this never-ending cycle of constant stress and anxiety. The culture of finishing tasks in the last minute has been ingrained in most people’s minds when they were young students. This is caused by many factors such as the education systems we go through or the way we are brought up and essentially “programmed” by the people that we surround ourselves with. In this article, I aim to provide you with a very useful method to escape this cycle of anxiety and to create the peace of mind you might be looking for.

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Eisenhower’s Principle

This principle is focused on helping you use your time not only efficiently, but also effectively. It is aimed to help you identify the areas you need to put your focus on, as well as the areas you can take less seriously at the moment. Going through this analysis of your tasks will help you escape the cycle I spoke about in the introduction. It will help you finish your tasks at the correct time and it will save you all the unnecessary worries and stress you have to deal with now.

Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle

Prioritise Your Activities

As you can see in the graph above, you need to prioritise your tasks first. Eisenhower uses the importance and urgency of the task as the measurements of priority. Different combinations of these two factors give you different levels of priority. You can see that the tasks you need to prioritise are the tasks that are both important and urgent, while the tasks that are neither important nor urgent should be allocated the least of your focus at the moment.

Where in The Matrix Should You Aim to Stay?

The most desirable quadrant to occupy in the matrix is the non-urgent, important one. Why? Because you are working on important things, but you don’t have to rush them. You don’t need to stress about getting them done on time. Most people live in the urgent, important quadrant. That is the reason why they stress so much about everything they do. It is as simple as that. If you do things in the last moment, you will be stressed and anxious about the results. However, if you work through things progressively with time, you will most likely not even realise that you’ve been working hard. How come most people live in the urgent, important quadrant? Procrastination.

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Procrastination

I wish I could take my eyes out and put them into your head. Procrastination is something you can never come back to when you find out what it really does to you. When you find your why, you will see procrastination as a simple waste of time. It will become so obvious that you will never even consider it as an option. However, most people still have a big issue with procrastination. What does that lead to? It leads to staying in the “cycle” of the urgent, important quadrant. You finish things last minute, you get stressed while doing it and the results you produce are not even close to the results you could’ve had if you would’ve stayed in the non-urgent, important quadrant and did everything progressively.

Application

Take the two diagrams, draw them out and use them to analyse your current tasks. This is the chance for you to start “fresh.” This is the chance for you to escape the cycle of anxiety, make good use of it.

 

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How to Stop Overthinking and Start Getting Quality Sleep

“I can’t sleep, because of what has happened to me today… I just can’t stop thinking about it, it keeps me awake for hours before I fall asleep.” I bet there is loads of you out there who can relate to this. It is a great struggle when you try to get your lifestly right, you go to sleep on time and you set your alarm to go off after the next 8 hours. Everything is working out perfectly, you wash and go to bed on time. But the moment you lie down your mind goes off. It starts thiking about the things that have happened to you and sometimes even starts coming up with possible scenarios. In short, you will not be falling asleep anytime soon. You wake up the next morning all destroyed thinking that the scheduled 8 hours turned into 6 or 7 hours very easily. What can we do to prevent this from happening? How can we prevent overthinking in the nights we should spent sleeping? That is what we’ll be talking about in this article.

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Clarity of Mind Vs Overthinking

This is a never ending battle for some of us. The moment we stop actively thinking about stuff, our minds go off in an uncontrolled directions. This is a result of many factors, including lack of direction in life. What is my why? How do I want to live my life? Where am I heading? What is my focus? What do I need to do to get there? These questions can help you make your direction clearer. Bear in mind, you need to answer them in the correct order (the order respected above). Answering this kind of questions provides you with two very important things. First, you become focused. You know where you’re heading thus it is natural for you to think about that specific direction, that specific goal. Second, it gives you the tool to reduce the amount of decisions you need to make, because once you have your goal, making decisions really becomes black and white – either it gets you closer to your goal or further away from it. This means that you need to think less! That saves you some time and energy for getting things done, instead of trying to figure out what you should do next, or what might happen if you do A or B. Clarity of mind is one of the reasons successful people are where they are, they know what they want and they have learned how to focus on it.

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Meditation and It’s Effects on Your Mind

But when we want to sleep, we don’t want to think about a single issue, even if it relates to the goals we’ve set up for ourselves. When we want to go to sleep, we’re looking for the calmness of our mind, we want to empty it and soundly fall asleep. How can we do that? The method that has worked for many and that has changed my nights as well is meditation. It is something that helps you put your thoughts on a pause, or limit them to the extend that allows you to fall asleep fairly quickly without any greater overthinking. It is a way of clearing your mind of any thoughts, which leads to an emotional balance, which is also one of the necessities when it comes to sleep. There is way too many people out there who are supper excited or quiet sad on that evening when they want to sleep, which is directly linked to their thoughts and thus keeps them awake. This is something you might’ve experienced when you were younger and you had a school trip the day after. You got so excited that you let your mind go off and you couldn’t fall asleep for hours because of that.

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How to Meditate 101

Meditation needs to be started from the beginning, like any other activity. It is a matter of learning how to reach the state where you literally feel your thoughts going away and where you feel that your mind is completely separated from your issues. This is something only you can discover and only you will know once you’ve reached it. The way I personally started was, in my eyes very creative. What I did is that I found a quiet and comfortable place to sit in, closed my eyes and imagined empty boxes with labels on them. For example, one of the labels said relationships, another one said school, another one said business etc. Then, I would collect all the issues regarding that specific topic and I’d put them in the boxes (in my mind). Once I did that, I’d close the boxes and place them in a room, which I would then close. This is how I mentally separated my thoughts from my mind. After a few weeks I started having this feeling after I’ve put the boxes away. It was a very strange and unfamiliar feeling, but it felt super calm. That’s when I realised that I’ve found the state I wanted to get in. Now I don’t need to use the box method and I can get into that state pretty much without any problems, I’ve learned to get get my mind into that state directly. The lenght of your meditation also depends on you. You can mediate for 5 or 50 minutes. It’s your choice. But bear in mind that if you’re a beginner, it will take time to get used to it. Start with 3 minutes for a few days. The increase progressively until you reach your desired point. Sometimes I like to listen to some traditional chinese music, or ZEN music. It can help calming down your mind and creating a more peaceful environment.

 

When Should I Meditate?

The reason why you want to meditate is also the answer to this question. Do you want to enter your day with a clear mind? Meditate in the mornings. Do you want to use meditation to improve the quality of your sleep? Meditate before you go to sleep. Do you want to use meditation to calm yourself down when something negative happens? You can do that. It is absolutely your choice.

 

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The Instant Gratifiaton Trap and Why You Need to Escape It

In the modern society, especially among the youngsters, it is a very common value that enjoying your life as much as you can now, being happy now and “living your life to the fullest” now is something that everyone should do. There is nothing wrong with these values, however the ways we understand these phrases are significantly corrupt. To enjoy your life, to live it to the fullest and to be happy is many times connected to the actions that lie inside our comfort zones, or simply to the things that make us feel better. How come? Doesn’t living your life to the fullest mean growing as a person and reaching for your goals and dreams – working towards them every day? That is what it is meant to mean. But if you ask an average person why they go out drinking 2-3 times a week, spend money on alcohol and spend time, the most valuable commodity we all have, in clubs and then in bed trying to get rid of the hangover instead of reading books, exercising and growing every day, the answer will be – “This is what makes me happy, I want to live my life to the fullest.” My next question would be, what about you in the next 5-10 years? How do you want to live your life in the future and what are you doing for it? Most people are not able to answer. So what’s wrong about this and why am I bringing this up? What went wrong is, most people in our society live on something called “instant gratification,” which is essentially focusing on their short-term happiness and completely forgetting about the longer run.

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Instant Gratification

This concept is something that is so engraved in the traditional way of thinking that it is almost a taboo talking about this. How come? This is because all the brands such as Mc’Donalds, KFC, Marlboro, Hennessy etc. are all based on this fundamental preference of many people. Let’s take the example of Marlboro. Marlboro is one of the most famous cigarette brands valued at 26.6B$ . Actually, we can take this a step further. The whole tobacco industry is based on instant gratification. What does that mean? It means that all their products are based on how they make you feel at the moment you use them.  They make people feel good at that specific moment, but they make them feel terrible in the long run. So how come people still use these products even though they know they will feel awfully bad later on, maybe even die as a result of using these products? The answer is – instant gratification.

This is how most people think, this is how most people’s brains are programmed. They want to feel good now and forget about the future and the brands like the ones I mentioned realise this fact and use it to their advantage. This is the reason we’re dealing with a huge amount of lung cancer patients that wouldn’t have to be so desperate if they would’ve understood the concept of instant gratification and how dangerous it really is.

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Delayed Gratification

So what should we do about this? How do I escape the trap of instant gratification? To start with, as with everything we teach, you first need a strong reason, a strong why you want to escape this trap. Be it your health, be it your dreams and goals, you need to figure out something that can motivate you internally, because external motivation can only take you so far. But what really matters is why you want to do this. Once you have figured out a strong why you should be able to see why trading long-term happiness for instant happiness kills your dreams in the long run. It is immensely important to understand that what you really want is usually something that takes lots of work and more importantly lots of personal growth.

Delayed gratification is the understanding of the fact that you need to do the hard work now in order to live the life you want to live later. This doesn’t mean that your next 5 years will be full of suffering. It means that your next 5 years should be years of growth and self-development. You can still hang out with your friends, if that is something that you feel like will personally develop you and push you towards your goals. But if you want to become the superstar football player and you want to train tomorrow in the morning, if you friends ask you to go out tonight you can guess what the best answer is (hint – sorry, I’ve got some goals to hunt). The concept of delayed gratification allows you to understand that each decision you make now needs to be made for the greater benefit in the long run. This is something we spoke about in one of our recent posts. If you want to learn how to make successful decisions, definitely do give it a read.

Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.

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Getting In Control of Your Days

Day in, day out we stress about our productivity, about procrastination, we have mood swings, we simply fail to be consistent with our performance. What’s more important, we fail to sustain our growth, sometimes we even regress. Why does that happen? Why are people so inconsistent with their days? Why are we uncapable of keeping it all together and making high quality decisions throughout our day?

The reason is the amount of decisions we make. An average person makes about 40 thousand decisions every day, most of them unconsciously. When you make them unconsciously, how can you control them then? Step number one – habit creation, which we’ve already covered in one of our recent posts.  Step number two, however builds on the first step. Step number two is your morning and evening routine.

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Why are these two routines so important?

As I have mentioned above, the major issue people absolutey fail to cope with is the amount of decisions they have to make every day, which include the morning and the evening as well. How can you focus on what is important for you when you have to think about all the little things like what to eat, when to work out, whether to first take shower or do your reading? These tiny little decisions not only take away your precious time, but also your space for quality decision making. The two routines are crucial, because they allow you to use your time and focus on the things that need it the most.

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Your morning routine

Your mornings ultimately determine how your day looks like. Your mornings determine whether you finish everything you plan to finish, whether you’ll be grumpy or positive, whether you will have enough energy or not. Your mornings are the fundamental stones of your success. You will not make the most of your day, if you won’t make the most of your morning.

Every morning has its value that you need to learn to capture and utilise. I would personally suggest early mornings because of the great feeling of being awake and productive while everyone still sleeps. But that is purely my personal preference. I know loads of people who can never make this work. Thus it is necessary for you to set up your day based on your personal preferences. The time after you wake up is the time when you are the brightest and the most capable of productivity. From my personal experience, it is also the best time to finish the hardest task of the day. Whether it is a workout, a reading, or a report for your boss, getting the toughest thing out of the table first thing in the morning is the best thing you can do for your day. It will take off the pressure and motivate you for the rest of the day.

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The length of your morning routine can range from 10 minutes to 3 or more hours, it is really up to you. What’s important is that you make it a habit – you repeat it consistently. What this does for you is it helps you save some of the decisions you would have to make in the morning, because you will make them unconsciously, based on your habit. You will be able to fully focus on the tasks ahead of you and you won’t feel stressed or rushed.

Your evening routine

Many, many advisors talk about morning routines. But what they forget about is something that precedes our mornings, our evenings. Your “cool-down” routine or an evening routine, as you may, is a very important part of your day without which your morning routine wouldn’t work properly. Why is that? Let’s speak in terms of your common sense. What happens if you go to sleep late? What happens if you go to sleep and you’re still thinking about that stressful report for tomorrow? Or even worse, what happens if you go to sleep drunk? The short answer is, your next morning will be ruined, which is logically followed by the catastrophic day full of nothing. Your evenings decide how your mornings look like.

It is good to decide when your evening starts, so that you are clear on when your evening routine begins. Evening routines are usually shorter than morning routines. They usually take up to 30 minutes (or more if you’re the kind of person who spends an hour in the washroom). For me personally, it includes washing up, visualizing my goals and writing them down, making a note of what I am grateful for that has happened that day and a short meditation. This createts the needed peace of mind when I go to sleep. I don’t overthink anymore, I rarely have late nights when I can’t fall asleep and most importantly, I am ready to hit it in the morning next day.

When my evening routine begins, I don’t need to think about what to do next. It all hapens automatically, subconsciously. It is a habit of mine that I have created and that  allows me to keep my morning routine working precisely and effectively.

Before you start, write it down!

Writing the routines down is at first necessary, because you have not yet programmed your brain in that way. You need the regularity first, which usually takes from 20-30 days to be put in place. After a while (you’ll know when), you won’t have to think about it anymore, you won’t have to read it anymore, it will just happen.

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Just a side-note, it is better to go to sleep early and finish your marking in the early morning than to stay up late. Don’t be like Amanda (or whatever you’d like to name her) above 🙂

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