The Zig-Zag Strategy

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When most people ‘Zig’, try to ‘Zag’. That’s the Zig-Zag strategy – short and simple.   The idea is to try and structure your life in manner where you can do MORE of what you want to do (and what makes you happier) instead of what you’re supposed to do. If you’re forced to ZIG (move with the masses) all of the time, you’ll feel refreshed and liberated when you can ZAG (do what you want vs. what you’re conditioned to) from time to time. The key is to get creative / innovative and find these ZAG methods. Obviously, there are times in our lives when we have to do certain things – sticking to strict schedules at work, school, etc. I don’t suggest being irresponsible. But, take a moment to see where there might be opportunities to liberate yourself with some less common, less standard, less conformist methods.Read More »

A Simple Way to Expand Your Mind

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I’ve always felt that I should be reading more books, but somehow, despite the best intentions, find myself with little time to actually crack open a book and focus. I often buy books (physical and kindle books), read sporadically, make very slow progress and become frustrated knowing I’m missing so much richness by not reading more. It nags me.   Does this sounds familiar to you?   15- years ago, this posed a problem, but not any more!. Enter Audio Books and Podcasts, which offer a rich supplement (or complete alternative) to reading – something that I wish I started using sooner. Trust me — once you start accessing the libraries of audio books and podcasts, you’ll be amazed. I was.

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Leverage

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Another important life efficiency concept, distilled by Tony Robbins and others, is Leverage. Leverage is critical because, if used correctly, it frees us to spend more time doing: 1) things that we want to do and, 2) things that are simply a better use of our time. In simplest terms, leverage suggests that we reduce our own personal burdens, workloads and general time commitments by delegating to and utilizing other people and resources in our lives as much as possible. In other words, don’t constantly feel like you have to do everything yourself. Delegate, share, and diffuse the burden. Think how it might feel to reclaim some time back in your life.Read More »

Proximity

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The people we spend time with on a regular basis, or those with whom we are in close ‘proximity’, are ultimately the people that influence us the most. It’s a very simple concept, but one that has substantial repercussions (good and, at times, bad).  Some of the smartest thinkers of our times, including Tony Robbins, emphasizes this concept on a regular basis. Thankfully, we are ultimately in control of with whom we keep company and that gives us power. Think about all the applications of this in your life, and, importantly, your ability to control it. It’s very simple: if you want positive change and inspiration in your life, surround yourself with the people who embody those things (and, simultaneously, distance yourself from people who influence you in a undesirable ways).Read More »

Work More or Retire Early?

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If you were given the option to retire early from your career (and could afford it), would you? This seems like a dumb question as most people would jump at the opportunity to quit work.   But, is retirement really better than a working career? After being away from work for almost 2-years now, I would argue that leaving your working career too early might be a mistake.   Now that I’m a bit Smarter Sooner, I suggest carefully contemplating work vs. retirement because it has a lot of implications, well beyond the most obvious factors: free time and money.  Here is my perspective…Read More »

Life Goes Fast!

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We all know that time seems to move faster and faster as we age. The older we get, the more the days and weeks literally seem to rocket by. The biggest marker of this for me is how fast the seasons change. When I was in school, I recall feeling that school holidays like spring break or Christmas break were quite lengthy. Today, 3 summer months feels more like 3 weeks with the leaves beginning to change in fall before I’ve even properly settled into the summer. Then the holidays hit and then the winter. Then another year gone.   What does all this suggest?  Read More »

5 Ways to Feel More Productive

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Productivity is something that I’ve grappled with as I’ve gotten older. The tricky thing with this concept is that feeling productive can be very fleeting and subjective, and it’s different for everyone. It is, however, human nature to NEED to feel like we’re doing something of value in our lives. And, productivity is a component of happiness. But, what does this really mean? Read More »