Friday, 30 October 2020

Get a full eight hours of sleep

Do the same thing every day. This is a powerful way to ensure that you stay on track with all your goals. When things get busy, it's easy to forget about your goals but reading them aloud on a daily basis can prevent this from happening. Meditation provides a huge number of benefits. You can begin by spending just a few minutes each day. There are many ways to meditate, but it can be as simple as closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing pattern. Forgetting to express gratitude is a major cause of unhappiness. People tend to take everything for granted and fail to appreciate fully the little things in life (or even the big ones). At first I was surprised to see this reoccurring theme, but as we continued to work together, the reason became clear. As these men and women set out to make major changes in their lives, they needed to feel confident and self-assured. Instead they felt vulnerable. This vulnerability triggered memories of feeling powerless and awakened a critical internal voice that began to question their talents and abilities. As a result it became difficult to muster the confidence to sell themselves during a job interview. Later in my coaching practice I would see this theme reappear as my clients set out to take steps toward their most important goals. Clients wrestled with an inner critic that constantly minimized their strengths and power. For example, an extremely talented entrepreneur feared being accused of overstating his talents and abilities on his bio or resume, indicating a visit from the old I'm a fraud critic. Interestingly enough, the more talented and creative the person was, the stronger the voice of their inner critic. I remember a vivid example of this while taking an improvisational acting class early in my career. In the 1930s, Otto Rank (Rank, 1932/1989), a theorist mentored by Freud, studied how security and growth motives develop and interact over the course of the life span to influence a person's thinking and behavior. He noted that children frequently are distressed and anxious and seek relief from these negative feelings through the nourishment, safety, and comfort provided by their parents.

This means that children avoid negative emotions by establishing and sustaining a secure relationship with their loving and protective parents. This desire for security is one side of Rank's analysis of human motivation. The other side emerges when children are able to maintain that sense of security and, as a result, begin to actively and playfully explore their surroundings in ways that expand their physical, cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal capabilities. This is the growth-oriented side of human motivation. Think of a curious toddler running around a room, opening closet doors, pulling out whatever looks interesting, and trying to play with anyone who offers a smile. Rank suggested that these exploratory tendencies lead to individuation, the emergence of the child's own personality as a unique human being. Over the years, other theorists have echoed these ideas, proposing that, throughout their lives, people simultaneously seek to feel secure while also seeking stimulation and growth (Lewin, 1935; Scholer & Higgins, 2013). Practicing daily gratitude will enhance your mood and boost your motivation. For more details, refer to the upcoming section, Practice daily gratitude. Feeding your mind with inspirational material on a daily basis will help you stay motivated for the long haul. If you can't find the time to read, you can try listening to uplifting audioarticles. Taking a few minutes to reflect upon your day is a very effective way to improve yourself. When you analyze the events of your day, consider asking yourself the following questions: What did I do well today? What could I have done better? What can I learn from today? What will I do differently in the future? Daena Giardella, a well-respected acting coach in the Boston area, had developed a way to form a dialogue with the inner critic using a process called outtake. This process encouraged actors to step out of a scene and give voice to his or her inner critic.

I found it to be a telling example of what goes on in the minds of people. During one class, Daena asked a young man, a professional actor, to give an impromptu monologue. I sat waiting eagerly to hear his work, since his skits were always so funny and entertaining. In the middle of delivering an amazing monologue, he started stuttering and stammering. At that moment, Daena yelled, Outtake! I was stunned by what came out of this young man's mouth. In response to her direction, he immediately yelled out: You suck! I can't believe how horrible you are! Children's active and curious exploration of the world reflects a fundamental psychological motive for growth. Whenever we want to understand why people behave the way they do, regardless of the specific social context, it is informative to consider the influence of these two motivational orientations. For example, people want careers that provide financial security, stability, and prestige but that are, at the same time, interesting and challenging. Similarly, people seek relationships with those they can trust and rely on but whom they also find exciting and fun. We even want cars that are safe and dependable and that provide pure driving excitement! To make sense of behavior, it also helps to consider how these motivational orientations interact with each other. Rank noted that there is a complex interplay between security and growth tendencies, such that they can at times pull the person in opposite directions. In childhood, authentic desires for stimulation and new experiences often conflict with what a child's security-providing parents demand. Hence, toddlers throw fits during the terrible twos, and teenagers rebel against their parents as they seek to create their own adult identities. In adulthood, we often feel a tension between competing desires to fit in with our group, which strengthens security, and to stand out and assert our unique self, which supports growth. These days, many people spend too much time sitting and looking at their televisions or computers. Daily exercise will not only improve your physical health but also enhance your mood.

Remember, exercise is a powerful anti-depressant. Each of these seven daily habits helps create momentum and can dramatically increase your well-being, confidence and productivity. It is not far-fetched to say that a few decisions you choose to make every day are enough to turn your life around. What single beneficial daily habit could you implement in your life starting today? Trusting your future you Like most people, you probably worry about the future and are desperately trying to place yourself there in your mind. I suggest this is nothing but total insanity. You can never be somewhere else other in the now. You call yourself an actor? These people are wondering why they've wasted their time coming here today. You can't act to save your life. You make me sick! As I listened to this actor rant and rave about his disgusting performance, I was surprised by how inaccurate his perception of himself had been. He offered a poignant example of how hard we can be on ourselves. The Inner Critic Our internalized, critical voices give birth to an inner critic that constantly reminds us of our faults and imperfections. From discussions I've had with clients and audience members it seems we all share the same inner voice. Your inner critic may use different words, but the intent and effect are always the same--to rob you of your confidence and power. Should you choose the safe, reliable job, car, and relationship partner? Or should you look for more exciting and challenging alternatives?

Rank's analysis suggests two broad tendencies that have been highly supported by social psychological research over the last 60 years, much of which we will describe over the course of this article: To sustain security-providing feelings of acceptance and self-worth, people are inclined to follow the crowd, obey authority, and accept the values espoused within their own cultural milieu. However, as part of their striving for growth, people exhibit a need for uniqueness, want to express their personal views and preferences, and assert their personal freedoms when they are threatened. APPLICATION An Example of the Hierarchy of Goals: Rita and Her Shoelaces How do we turn our abstract goals into actions? To answer this question, we need to understand that any given activity can be thought of as serving many goals at the same time. Also, these goals fit into a sort of psychological hierarchy of abstraction (Carver & Scheier, 1981; Powers, 1973). Sure, you can visualize your future to help you take better action in the present, but this is not what I'm talking about. Here, I'm talking about your attempt to change your future by worrying about it. This comes from the false belief that, by doing so, you can alter your future. Unfortunately, this is not how things work. Merely worrying about tomorrow's presentation isn't going to be of much help unless you actually do something in the present to ease your concerns. Instead, I invite you to trust your future self. Your past self was able to overcome many challenges. So why worry about future problems now? Why not leave the responsibility of the future to your future self and trust that he or she will deal with those challenges effectively? Imagine how would feel if you could trust your future self entirely and allow him or her to lift the heavy burden from your shoulders. If you allow these critical voices to take charge, you'll end up living a restricted, joyless life. My public speaking career has given me a wonderful opportunity to work with my inner critic.

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