Cheer Up in 60-seconds: Use this…

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Life is full of highs and lows, ups and downs. It’s human nature.   If life was excellent all of the time, we’d appreciate it less. But, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have a quick remedy to cheer ourselves up, right? Well, I’m going to share a method that is at our fingertips all the time and in unlimited supply! Here’s the remedy: the moment you find yourself lingering in negative / unhappy / low energy thoughts… stop what you’re doing for a moment, close your eyes and think of three or four things that you are grateful for in your life. They can be big or little things, tangible or intangible, relationships, friends, opportunities, experiences, health, fitness… anything. There are so many things in life that we can appreciate. We all have a list and it has nothing to do with monetary wealth.Read More »

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 »

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 »

Beyond Your Comfort Level

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In almost all cases, it is more rewarding, interesting and enriching to challenge yourself instead of maintaining some sort of familiar routine. At the same time, it’s common to feel safer and more comfortable when keeping familiar routines, avoiding new experiences, people and places. The Smarter Sooner guy, however, will challenge this and push beyond his comfort level at every opportunity. In the past few years, I’ve done this with greater frequency and have gained so much. I only wish that I spent less time cautiously staying too comfortable and more time pushing myself earlier in life. Opportunities to challenge yourself happen all the time and can be big or small things. We know we’re challenging ourselves when we feel a sense of discomfort or nervousness associated with new experiences and undertakings. When we feel this slight discomfort, we are ‘pushing beyond our comfort level’ and here are some common examples.Read More »

What Exercise Teaches Us

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When we are forced to focus, we actually clear and calm our minds, which is the fundamental discipline of meditation. So, when this ‘focus’ happens during exercise, whether you realize it or not, you are actually experiencing moments of meditation. And, as documented by hundreds of books, experts and web sources, meditation is VERY healthy (link to one of the many documented meditation benefits given below).   Many sports including cycling, trail running, mountain biking, water skiing, snow skiing, snowboarding, surfing (and others) are ways that we calm our minds without even trying. Here’s why… Read More »

One Nice Deed a Day

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What actually is a “Random Nice Deed”? Simply defined, it’s anything (big or small) that you do that makes somebody else smile and/or say thank you (and it’s even better when it’s unexpected).   Think of the last few days for a minute. During this period, do you recall either a time(s) when you went out of your way to do something nice for another and/or do you recall a time(s) when perhaps you could have done something nice? And, can you remember a time when somebody unexpectedly went out of his / her way for you? Whether or not you did ‘a random nice thing’ in the last few days or were a recipient of a nice deed, know that the impact is larger than you might expect. It’s one of those extremely simple things that has a disproportionately large impact because it takes so little effort to do it. Read on and I’ll explain why it’s Smarter Sooner to be conscious of this and do it as much as possible.

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Can Sadness Actually Make Us Happier?

Happy_Sad_copyHow Periods of Unhappiness Can Actually Make You Happier…

I know this seems odd, but it’s actually true when you consider the following premise: Feeling unhappy from time to time helps us truly sense and appreciate the opposite — when we feel happy.   It’s the contrast that makes the difference. If we only felt one emotion (whatever it is) without any contrast or change in emotion, that emotion would be meaningless and mundane. In this example, if we never knew the feeling of being unhappy, how would we truly know what happiness is, and in the same sense, how would we truly appreciate being happy if being happy was all we felt? (The same applies with many other contrasting feelings or experiences we have in our lives.)

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