"There are no second acts in American lives." ( F. Scott Fitzgerald )
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5 Reasons To Believe In People Again

By Tessa Ivascu | Section(s): GET... | Add Your comment 1 comments

Turn on the news and the first thing you are likely to hear about is some scam, brutal murder or identity theft. With all this in mind it is no wonder that communities don’t know each other anymore. It's not just a factor of size, it's a factor of trust.

We have stopped believing in people. This creates a vicious cycle of tension between ourselves and our neighbors. We start assuming that everyone is out to get us and, because each of us begins to harbor this mindset, we treat each other with suspicion : being treated with suspicion only confirms to the neighbor that you are hiding something, and the cycle continues. We have to stop this. Here are 5 reasons to start believing in people again.


Article by Justin Dixon from AlittleBetter
TRUST PEOPLE THE SECOND ACT

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8 Glasses Of Water A Day... Keep The Doctor Away

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QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK We should drink the equivalent of 6 to 8 glasses of water each day to increase our energy, concentration and abilities, according to nutritionists (8x8-once cups). Not to mention weight loss, a healthier looking skin, removing toxins from the body and tens of other benefits. So trick yourself into this simple routine and become an addict of the "magic potion":

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Manage Your Time Effortlessly – Forget Rules, Invent Your Own

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Good news : the fact that you read this means you are actively searching for ways to better manage your time. You have a reason for doing this : you want to move forward with your life, get out of inertia, make major personal changes, achieve success and growth. You have a vision and you have a goal. But this is not enough. You need to get on track and to stay on track. First, you need to get started.

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The Goal Progress Review With Your Goal Buddy : Ready To Use Format+Worksheet

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The goal progress review with your accountability partner is a powerful motivational tool for achieving your goal. Discover the format, questions and worksheet that will help you both to track your goals during your meetings.

GOAL BUDDIES

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Curb Multitasking By Practicing Mindfulness

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One best way to curb our irresistible attraction towards multitasking is practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness IS doing one thing at a time. According to Buddhists, it was Buddha who, over 2500 years ago, provided guidance on establishing mindfulness. However, you don’t need to become a Buddhist in order to understand mindfulness ; its practice does not have to be constrained to a formal meditation session. Any activity done mindfully is a form of meditation, and mindfulness is possible practically all the time.

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Hack Your Brain Into Productive Daydreaming

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GET CREATIVE The Second ActOne of the most undermining productivity myths associates daydreaming with laziness and lack of discipline. The common belief that mind wandering is a bad habit actually prevents us from being effective in accomplishing major life changes or successful at reaching important goals. As mentioned in the Productive Daydreaming Series, a recent study found that while we are daydreaming, our mind is actually hard at work, sorting through problems and grasping the «bigger picture». Take the 6 steps to hacking your brain into productive daydreaming or continue by learning more about the new scientific findings.

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How to get rid of excuses by visualization : my five-step method

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I am sure you've heard this many times : "visualize your goals" ! The vision of your goal will make you realize that you are capable of whatever you put your mind to. But what if, while visualizing your goal, you are feeling negative about your ability to complete it ? You don’t have the contacts, you don’t know where to start, there’s too much competition… These self-limiting beliefs will prevent you from projecting yourself into the outcome that you really want to achieve. One easy way to break the cycle of self-pity and doubt is to VISUALIZE YOUR EXCUSES and change them into images of self-confidence. Discover my five-step method bellow.

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Get Back Your Energy When You Get The Blues

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by Tessa Ivascu

Are you feeling bored ? Depressed ? Exhausted ? Sad ? Is this one of your unproductive, low motivation days ? Here are 12 ways that can help you recharge your batteries. And, who knows, even trigger the growth of new brain cells (read #10) ! The first six are clues for your mind, the others for your actions. They all depend on the flexibility of your schedules. But whatever you choose to get out of the blues, keep in mind that : a) you should not fight the blues ; b) in an unproductive day, you are more productive than you think.


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Boost your productivity with Hemingway’s hack

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by Tessa Ivascu

I have read many valuable "5 tips", "10 ways", "50 hacks" provided by productivity gurus to help you move forward when you have trouble being productive. To my surprise, none of these lists mentions an easy to grasp rule Ernest Hemingway applied to his writing process. His hack is perhaps too nonconformist to be part of the "getting things done" gospel…
The winner of the 1954 Nobel prize in Literature explains in simple words how to keep the momentum going and how to avoid writer’s block, a common affliction amongst authors. But his hack applies to any task related to an important goal. Here’s what you should do to avoid being stuck and maintain the flow state that maximizes productivity.



ERNEST HEMINGWAY

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Should you always achieve your goal ? - Part I

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THE SECOND ACT GET STARTEDby Tessa Ivascu

«Don’t start what you can’t finish», «Don’t quit until you finish what you started»… You’ve probably heard this kind of sentence many times. Of course, persistence is a positive trait. And of course, setting a goal, then completely achieving it, is a good habit to get into, especially when your life is at a standstill and you want to free yourself from procrastination in order to make a fresh start.
But be careful not to become too persistent. Your unwillingness to do «the right thing» doesn’t automatically mean that you’re weak and that you will never be able to change. Maybe the goal that you planned to reach is not the «right thing» to do.


A case study
My good friend Sidonie asked me yesterday : « Should we always finish what we started ? » She is a senior official in the French Civil Service, an « Inspector General », charged with missions to inspect Social Security services and provide government officials with advice regarding them.
Now, this is quite a job ! Also a frustrating one at times, when the « advice » she’s paid to provide ends sleeping in somebody’s drawer. Besides, the reports she has to write don’t allow her to use her imagination or express her feelings, to say the least.
ACHIEVE YOUR GOALThat is why Sidonie decided to write books in her spare time. A few years ago she published an unhappy-ending romance novel, after a painful break-up. Then she published an essay on the misuse of statistics by Civil Service officials, after some stormy debates with her boss on the matter.
Now, she wants to write a book about the shortcomings of psychiatry in mental illnesses treatment (after a particularly difficult inspection in hospitals for the mentally ill). Writing a book is a great achievement. But why are the topics of her books so different with one another ? Why does she ask herself (and me) if she should finish the book she just started writing ?
What is her true goal ? Writing about psychiatry ? Writing a book, any book, because she needs to prove to herself and to family, friends and coworkers that she can do better than write reports ? Or is it the need to let off steam after a particularly difficult period of her life ? And in that case, is writing a book the best way to let off steam ? What do you think ?

3 questions you need to ask yourself
Whenever you feel unable or unwilling to take the necessary actions to achieve a goal, ask yourself :

1. Is your goal consistent with your values ? Or is it « the right thing to do », according to the standards of the society you live in, according to your family or your friends’ expectations ? Or maybe you want to surpass a « rival » by doing something he doesn’t expect you to do ? Maybe you’ve been told you « must » do this before getting old ?
Remember that, even if we adopted most of our values unconsciously, they influence each and every one of our decisions and reactions. If your reaction is uneasiness, check your goal against your values. If you don’t see any core value in the goal, you definitely need to rethink it.

2.What are your feelings when you think about your goal ? I’m not talking about what you expect to feel after you’ve accomplished your goal, but about what you actually feel when you try to complete it. Do you feel :

  • A sense of meaning ?
  • Renewed drive and motivation ?
  • Excitement about the future ?
Or :
  • A sense of inadequacy?
  • Unwillingness and anxiety ?
  • Lack of inspiration ?
Of course, in order to complete a goal, you need to move out of your « comfort zone ». But if pushing yourself beyond your current limits doesn’t make you feel good and proud about yourself, you should rescale, reschedule or simply skip your goal. Keep in mind that the key to a successful life is not enjoying the destination but enjoying the ride. It's about happily achieving rather than achieving to be happy.

3. Will your accomplished goal change your life ? Go to Should You Always Achieve Your Goal - Part II and discover a quick and simple method showing you how to find the answer and what to make of it.

Share your experience with us :
- Did you ever rescale or skip a goal because it was not in alignment with your values ?
- What do you feel when you leave your « comfort zone » in order to complete a goal ?
- Do you focus more on the ride or on the destination ?

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Should you always achieve your goal ? - Part II

By Tessa Ivascu | Section(s): GET... | Add Your comment

THE SECOND ACT GET STARTEDby Tessa Ivascu

In Part I, we dealt with two of the three questions you need to ask yourself whenever you feel unwilling to take action to achieve a goal : 1. Is my goal consistent with my values ? 2. What are my feelings when I try to complete it ? The next step consists in finding the answer to the question : Will my accomplished goal change my life ? This quick and simple method will show you how to find the answer and what to make of it.


Hypothesis #1 «What will happen in my life if I do not achieve this goal
Write down the benefits and the costs to your life if you do not achieve this particular goal.
Try to think of all the important aspects of your life. You can make a list or draw a chart, like the one below. I included only four aspects, because my chart is just an example of how you may want to draw one for your use. Whatever shape and words you choose for it, your list or your chart should include some of these aspects :

  • family and household
  • money and career
  • health and personal growth
  • recreation and community
Hypothesis #2 «What will happen in my life if I achieve this goal
Write down the benefits and the costs to your life if you achieve this particular goal.
Make an identical list or chart, including the same aspects as in the first one. In both cases, try to write down the benefits and costs as fast as you can while remaining legible and focused on your task.

Do not :

  • pause to reread what you’ve just written
  • try to refine your first thoughts
  • self-censor your expression
Above all, DO NOT JUDGE. The aim is to be as honest and spontaneous as possible. Do not welcome or reject any thought or image because it is too optimistic or pessimistic, or because it is too «shameful» . If you think that one benefit of achieving your goal is to be more successful than your husband, or to humble down your sister, write it down. If you don’t see any benefit or cost in some of the listed life aspects, write «none».


Click to enlarge

Review your two hypotheses and underline the benefits and costs which would bring a notable, long-lasting, change in your life ; which would mean «good news» or «bad news» not only for you but for other people.

If the benefits of achieving the goal outnumber the benefits of giving it up; if the costs of giving up the goal outnumber the costs of achieving it, you know what you have to do : make a plan, a timetable, get rid of excuses and start working.

If the difference between the two hypotheses is negligible, it does not mean that you should give up your goal. It means that the accomplishment of this particular goal is not a priority. Perhaps the goal you set is not really a goal, only a part of a broader design, like a river flowing into a larger one. Perhaps you don’t know there is a larger river.

The method above helps you to discover the major goal, the one you really want to reach, behind the apparent goal. Consequently, the «minor» goal becomes no more than a step, that you can choose either to accomplish or to skip, on the road leading to your «major» goal.

Whatever the answer, now you can take action without questioning whether you do «the right thing». In practice, you will be able to allocate the proper block of time to the completion of the tasks related to your goals. If you know your motivations, discipline will come naturally.
(Back to Part I).

Share your experience :
- Did you ever achieve a goal only to find that it meant nothing to you ?
- Can skipping a goal prove to be the good decision ?
- Do you think in terms of "benefits" and "costs" before taking action ?

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