Author: selhpdy

Simple Daily Planner to Increase Your Productivity

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daily planner

I’ve created a simple to use daily planner because I’ve been really focused on personal productivity recently.

Now that I’m building my career and my business, focusing on my health and fitness, throw in some social activities all while being a new father, changing nappies and supporting my daughters growth, TIME IS PRECIOUS!

The older I get, the more I realise that time is the most precious thing we have in our lives.

So I need to make sure I’m getting the absolute most out of my days.

To do this, I’ve been working on my own approach to planning my day. I know there are hundreds of daily planners our there, but for me, I like to keep things as simple as possible.

Recently, I’ve created a simple daily planner that is working absolute wonders for my productivity. It takes everything I’ve learned about productivity and distills it down into a nice, simple, 1-page plan that takes me less than 5 minutes to do each morning (as quick as 60 seconds).

The Five MUST-HAVE’s in a Daily Planner

Ok, so there are some key components of a daily planner that are absolutely MUSTS for ensuring you get the most from your day:

1. Linked to Your Life Goals

First and foremost, everything that you put down in your daily planner MUST be linked to something greater that you want to achieve in life. If it’s not part of something bigger and important to you, then why are you doing it at all?

2. Step-by-Step Activities

There is no point just having on your daily plan “Do X Project”. You need to break that down into specific things you will get done today.

For example, you could write down:

  • Email Sophie schedule for training
  • Create module 4 of training
  • Meet with Jo to confirm module 4 meets training needs
  • Upload leadership training video to Dropbox

By doing this, you remove any need to THINK later in the day. Your brain will thank you as your willpower and energy is a limited resource. This is a great tip in keeping you energised, focused and progressing on what’s important without killing time.

3. Prioritised

Your activities need to be prioritised.

ALWAYS do the MOST IMPORTANT task first thing in the morning.

Why?

Because this is when you have the most energy and willpower.

As I mentioned above, your energy and willpower are limited resources so you need to use them wisely.

Also, have you ever noticed that when you do a big, important task first thing in the morning you feel great about yourself? You feel accomplished and confident. You feel producitive. This feeling and momentum will flow with you throughout your entire day.

Conversely, have you ever noticed that when you put off your most important task that you spend valuable mental energy thinking about it throughout the day? Dreading it? Coming up with excuses? Again, this takes away your energy and also your focus, distracting you from your current tasks at hand.

Always prioritise and always do your most important task first.

4. Capture New Tasks

Throughout the day, you will always be thrown new tasks and activities to do.

Do you have to do them right then and there? Most likely not.

My rule is if it takes less than 2 minutes to do, do it right then and there.

If it’s something that’s going to takes more than 2 minutes, then write it down as a new activity to complete and then quickly get back to doing your most important task for the day.

Whatever you do, don’t get distracted by tasks that you haven’t planned for that end up taking you hours to complete. That’s a recipe for an unproductive and unfulfilling day. It will also reinforce the fact that you don’t have control in your life. You HAVE control. But you have to take ownership of that.

5. Review Your Day

This is one that, admittedly, I only started doing recently.

But I absolutely love it!

Reviewing your day enables you to reflect on what went well (it reinforces the great stuff you have done and it gives you a feeling of accomplishment and confidence) as well as reflect on what you could have done better (enabling you to continually tweak your performance for future days).

The review shouldn’t take long. It takes me about 60 seconds… sometimes a little longer if I have something deeper to reflect on.

You just need to answer 2 questions:

  • What went well today?
  • What could I have done better or differently today?

That’s it!

My Daily Planner

At the beginning of each day I open a new page in my workbook and write down 3 headings:

  1. Today (eg Monday)
  2. New
  3. Review

1) Today (eg Monday)

Under the day (eg Monday), I write down the big buckets of things I need to get done and then bullet point out the specific action steps that I need to take.

I want to try make sure that everything on this list are the big, important things I need to get done. I then order them by what I need to get done first.

I do capture the small things I need to get done too (eg book dentist appointment), but they are obviously prioritised last and if I don’t get to them I push them to the next day.

Once I have this list I get straight into my first action item. Note that prior to this, I’m always functioning best if I have had a solid breakfast, done some exercise, and have showered and dressed.

2) New

Under “New”, I capture any new action items that come up that day that I need to get done at some point (I don’t necessarily do them this day. I just capture them so I don’t have to try remember them).

3) Review

At the end of the day, I take a couple minutes to review all the items I have crossed off for the day and get that nice satisfying feeling!

Then under the “Review” heading, I write down my answers to the 2 questions above: “What went well today?” and “What could I have done better or differently today?”

Your Turn

So that’s it!

Simple, straight-forward and very effective.

Do you have a personal daily planner that you use? What do you do differently?

I encourage you to test this in your own life. Let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d love to hear your results!

Brendan

P.S. I’m currently working on a number of tools that I know you’re going to love. These are tools that you can quickly and easily use to enhance your life… perfect for coaches and perfect for individuals wanting to improve their lives. Stay tuned!

P.P.S. Click here to download my Daily Productivity Planner

The post Simple Daily Planner to Increase Your Productivity appeared first on The Start of Happiness.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever (Free 2017 Planner)

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I absolutely love this time of year!

It’s a time for celebrating and getting together with family. It’s a time for reflecting on all of your achievements for the year. It’s a time for backyard cricket and it’s a time for beach, sun and plenty of outdoor activities (at least here in Australia!).

But it’s also a time that I use to plan ahead for the next year. 2017 is now just one week away and I absolutely love kicking off each New Year in style! I’m about to share with you a simple tool to help you make 2017 your best year ever.

If you want to get serious results in your life or business in 2017 then it’s important you are clear on what you are doing and when you are doing it and ensuring it’s actually scheduled.

Nothing gets done unless it’s scheduled.

That’s why today I want to share with you a simple but powerful tool that I use to ensure that I am clear and focused on what needs to get done in the following year.

It all starts with this 2017 calendar…

5 Steps to Scheduling the Best Year of Your Life

Scheduling your lifestyle and the activities you plan to do in 2017 will help you to forecast your income and ensure your life is balanced the way you desire it to be.

So often people have a dream and a vision for their life but they don’t spend the time to actually map out what that looks like.

  • If you want to take more holidays, schedule them in!
  • If you want to make more money by developing and selling a product or service, schedule it in!
  • If you want to  achieve major goals like completing a marathon or losing 20kg of weight, schedule the deadline in!

Here’s how I plan out my year. Feel free to copy or adjust it or add to it depending on what you’re trying to achieve in your life.

Step 1) Schedule all of the birthdays of your family and your closest friends.

It’s important to celebrate with those closest to you and having it scheduled reminds you of planning ahead to get something special and also so you keep the date free.

Step 2) Schedule all of the holidays you wish to take.

For this, start with the public holidays. If you’re in Australia, I’ve already scheduled the public holidays for you in the template. Otherwise, delete the Australian holidays and insert the public holidays for your location.

Next, schedule the time your leave from your job or the time off you wish to take from your business. Next year, I’m planning to take a break once every 3 months and take a short trip somewhere with my wife and daughter.

Scheduling holidays is super-important. It gives you something to look forward to which keeps you engaged during the time you’re working, but it also serves as a time to relax, rejuvenate and refocus on what you’re achieving in your life.

Step 3) Schedule the major business/career events that you want to achieve.

For example, I’ve scheduled the product launches, community challenges or other promotions that I plan to do in 2017 for my business. This provides me clarity on what I need to focus on and when as well as a better prediction of my income for the year.

Step 4) Schedule weekly or regular activities that you will need to complete to move you towards your larger goals.

For example, I’ve scheduled when I’m going to be publishing a blog post or video to my business. Although I haven’t yet determined exactly what each blog post is going to be about, I’ve given each date a general topic that I will be covering which feeds back to what you have asked to know more about (eg, is it Personal Development or is it Business).

Step 5) Schedule the due dates of your goals for the year or any other ad-hoc activities that you want to accomplish.

This is another great way of reminding you of the major goals you’re trying to achieve. As you have already scheduled your major work commitments, this could be any other goal related to your health, relationships, finances, personal growth, fun & recreation or physical environment.

To see how satisfied you currently are in each of the different areas of your life, do the Wheel of Life assessment. It takes 5 minutes and provides a great starting point for this exercise.

Entering the New Year With Clarity

This process doesn’t take long to do. I whipped my calendar up a couple of days ago in about an hour. Over the next few days I’ll be fine-tuning it.

Going into the New Year with clarity on how many days you’re going to have off versus how many days you’re going to be spending on creating versus how many days you’re going to be spending on promoting etc really helps you to feel calm and collected about the year ahead.

You can enter the New Year with full knowledge that your life is going to be balanced and that you will achieve the things that you have planned to do (as long as you stick to it). It will also help you to avoid getting stressed or overwhelmed.

Next Year I have 117 days scheduled to be off. This means I’m going to be working for the remaining 248 days. Now that I know this, I have a real sense of peace knowing that about 1 in every 3 days for the whole year is going to be a day that I can relax and do anything I wish to that I haven’t planned for.

It also gives me comfort that I can better predict how my year is going to unfold and how much income I’m going to make from my businesses.

Your Turn

I’ve given you the tool and the process for getting clarity on the year ahead. Now, my challenge to you is to take 30 minutes, right now, and create your year. At this time of year, lots of people talk about making the next year their best ever but few actually take the time to plan it out and make it so.

If you can’t do it right now, then schedule 30 minutes to do it in the next few days.

If you know of someone that might benefit from this tool and process, I encourage you to share this with them.

As a head’s up, I’m going to be opening up the doors to my Launch Your Life Academy next week, where you can get my step-by-step blueprint for creating your life masterplan and taking massive action.

Have a great weekend and speak to you in a few days!

Brendan

The post Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever (Free 2017 Planner) appeared first on The Start of Happiness.

Top 100 Personal Development Blogs 2018

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Best Self-Help Websites

The official Top 100 Personal Development Blogs is back!

Damn, I love this time of year. It’s all about setting your year up for massive success and what better way of doing that then presenting you with the best personal development blogs for 2018. In fact, we bring you the Top 100!

This is the fifth year that we have compiled the Top 100 personal development blogs and every year we see more and more blogs adding great value to people all around the world.

I must say, because of all the awesome value that everyone is putting out there on the internet, it is getting harder and harder for personal development bloggers to make this list. So if you have made the list of the Top 100 personal development blogs this year then I, and everyone else, give you HUGE congratulations!

But firstly, I hope you had an absolutely fantastic night to bring in 2018. Sylvia and I had relatively quiet one with our two daughters.

Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to regain focus on what you truly want in life and ensure you have the strategies and support you need to be successful at it too. The turn of the New Year gives us a clear time to separate the past and move forward into the future.

That’s why I love this time of year. It’s the perfect time for creating new habits, setting your goals and making real change in your life.

Being a student of the personal development industry most of my life, I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest resources to not only implement into my own life but to also share with those around me. Since I’ve been running my own business I’ve fallen more and more into the well of personal development and self-improvement and I absolutely love it! With the internet now a common place for everyone and the ‘free economy’ being born, it’s amazing to know that what was once hidden from the majority of people and limited to a select few people paying $5,000 to access information at a weekend seminar, this information is now mostly widely available for free on the internet or at least at a much more affordable price.

The key to all this information is being able to pull what’s relevant for you and being able to apply that information in a systematic and successful way that will lead you towards your desired life.

The Best Personal Development Blogs for 2018

I feel honoured to know that over the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of the blog owners in this list and share some great experiences with them. But not only that, there are so many of you making an impact in this world through your personal development blogs I can certainly say that after sifting through each and every self-improvement blog, I’m highly impressed with everyone’s work!

It is somewhat tricky putting together a list of the Top 100 personal development blogs as it can be rather subjective in nature. To avoid this, I’ve removed any of my own opinions or judgements and let pure metrics do the talking.

As with previous years, what I have created is a list of personal development blogs that rank from the most trafficked (largest number of visitors) down to the least trafficked. This list will provide you with a clear indication of how large a website is and its relative importance in the personal development blogosphere. Keep in mind, even though the blogs towards the bottom are the ‘least trafficked’, they are still within the Top 100 out of hundreds and thousands of personal development blogs out there on the internet (if not more!).

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that a larger site (a site ranked towards the top) does not necessarily indicate that the site is of better quality. Generally speaking, you will find that the larger sites have been around for longer and have more blog posts and content being crawled by Google. Because of this, they are sure to have larger audiences. In saying that, however, the top sites have lasted the test of time and continue to have strong readership so they must be doing something right!

Also, we do have a number of new blogs now ranking in the Top 100 that only started a year or two ago… massive congrats to these high achievers!

One thing to add, it always makes me smile when I see other people creating Top Personal Development Blog lists… because they’re almost an exact copy of this list! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? This is the fifth year our official list has been compiled and we continue to make it more comprehensive each year.

[sociallocker id=”5127″]http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Top-100-Personal-Development-Blogs-2016.pdf [/sociallocker]

How to Use This List

This is YOUR LIST.

This is a resource that I encourage you to save and come back to on a regular basis. As we progress throughout the year we all face different challenges and often those challenges have already been faced by others elsewhere in the world. That’s when I suggest you return to this list and find the right blog to guide you.

Each personal development blog is unique and has its own style and purpose. You will also find that you will resonate strongly with some blog owners and their content and perhaps less so with others. For this reason, there is a wide variety of blogs on the list; including business, career and work, happiness, health, productivity and more. The one thing in common is that they all are themed around self-improvement.

My recommendation to you is to browse through each of the blogs below at least once and then pick out the two or three blogs that really resonate with you.

Think about the below questions as you sift through each blog:

  • Which blogs are most closely aligned to what you want to achieve in life?
  • Which author has accomplished something that you would like to accomplish?
  • Which blogs can help you right now in life and which ones might help you in the future?

Be sure to subscribe to their content and make personal development a key focus for you this year. It’s like having a free mentor or coach.

How The Top 100 Personal Development Blogs are Ranked

The Top 100 Personal Development Blogs are ranked in order from the most-trafficked (largest number of visitors) to the least-trafficked (although the smallest in this case is still a Top 100 Blog!)

There are two primary tools that have been used for determining this ranking.

Firstly, I have used the Alexa rank of the website as the primary ranking method. Alexa provides a relative ranking of each website based on the number of visitors it receives. A rank of 100,000 would mean that the site is the 100,000th most visited site on the internet. With the millions and millions of websites on the internet, such a ranking is classified as pretty good! Just so you know, Google’s rank is #1, Facebook is ranked #2 and YouTube is ranked #3.

Secondly, I have included Similar Web Rank. Similar Web is another online tool that was mentioned to me on a number of occasions as a more accurate tool for determining website traffic. Interestingly, I found that when compiling this list, the Alexa and Similar Web rankings were almost perfectly correlated.

This then led to the Average Rank. The Average Ranks is simply the average between the Alexa and Similar Web ranks.

People often question the validity of such tools, however, when comparing more generally the relative size of a website they are quite accurate and very useful indicators. Other tools might indicate that a lower-ranked blog in our Top 100 is infact larger than a higher-ranked blog, but generally speaking, the Top 10 websites will always be larger than those ranked 10-20, and those ranked 10-20 will always be larger than those ranked 20-30 etc. To sum it up, the larger and more trafficked sites will always tend to be ranked higher regardless of the tool being used.

Do you want to get really funky with the Top 100 blogs? I’m pleased to let you know that the Top 100 table is dynamic. This means that you can search for your favourite blog to see where it is ranked and sort by any column, such as page rank or alphabetical order. This is your list. Have fun with it!

 

The Winners

CONGRATULATIONS to every blogger that has made this Top 100 list! I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world.

If your blog is one of the Top 100, you have the honour of displaying the following badge on your site. This is the most comprehensive list of personal development blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! Simply use the code provided below to add it to your site.

best-personal-development-blog

Use the below code to display this badge proudly on your website. You deserve it!:

<a href=”http://www.startofhappiness.com/personal-development-blogs/”><img src=”http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/self-help-blog-badge.png”></img></a>

(you may need to replace the inverted commas – “” on your own site for the image to work).

[sociallocker id=”5127″]http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Top-100-Personal-Development-Blogs-2017.pdf [/sociallocker]

 URLOwner’s NameAverage Rank
1Life HackLeon Ho2,711
2Elite DailyGerard Adams5,537
3GreatistDerek Flanzraich7,533
4The Art of ManlinessBrett McKay8,411
5Mind Body GreenJason Wachob9,139
6Brain PickingsMaria Popova13,634
7Tiny BuddhaLori Deschene19,733
8Four Hour Work WeekTim Ferriss20,349
9Darren DailyDarren Hardy26,838
10Mark MansonMark Manson32,634
11ZenHabitsLeo Babauta32,716
12Nerd FitnessSteve Kamb33,222
13I Will Teach You to be RichRamit Sethi35,668
14Good Men ProjectLisa Hickey38,679
15James ClearJames Clear38,891
16Chris KresserChris Kresser44,785
17Brian TracyBrian Tracy46,741
18The Positivity BlogHenrik Edberg46,999
19Michael Hyatt’s Intentional LeadershipMichael Hyatt51,190
20Keep Inspiring MeDarcie Connell54,724
21Marc and Angel Hack LifeMarc and Angel57,256
22Addicted 2 SuccessJoel Brown62,653
23Barking Up the Wrong TreeEric Barker63,529
24Pick the BrainErin Falconer63,562
25PsyBlogJeremy Dean63,651
26Becoming MinimalistJoshua Becker66,388
27Personal ExcellenceCelestine Chua71,088
28Live Bold and BloomBarrie Davenport75,411
29Steve PavlinaSteve Pavlina76,832
30Dumb Little ManJay White81,129
31Marie ForleoMarie Forleo81,511
32Science of PeopleVanessa Van Edwards86,010
33Derek SiversDerek Sivers94,278
34Scott H YoungScott Young98,734
35Robin SharmaRobin Sharma105,027
36Bold & DeterminedVictor Pride109,823
37Steven AitchisonSteven Aitchison113,562
38ActualizedLeo Gura118,510
39No Meat AtheleteMatt Frazier120,725
40Project Life MasteryStefan Pylarinos123,111
41Daring to Live FullyMarelisa Fábrega127,960
42Success ConcioscunessRemez Sasson129,706
43Asian EfficiencyAaron Lynn and Thanh Pam144,968
44The Charged LifeBrendon Burchard148,010
45The Happiness ProjectGretchen Rubin149,010
46Planet of SuccessSteve Mueller149,186
47Penelope TrunkPenelope Trunk154,381
48Robb WolfRobb Wolf161,217
49Be More With LessCourtney Carver161,838
50Write to DoneMary Jaksch164,678
51Jack CranfieldJack Cranfield174,067
52Ryan HolidayRyan Holiday175,494
53Motivation GridCris Nikolov179,217
54Skip PrichardSkip Prichard182,262
55Everday PowerNA182,510
56Live Your LegendChelsea Dinsmore186,276
57Develop Good HabitsSJ Scott188,505
58Purpose FairyLuminita D. Saviuc193,698
59Brain BloggerShaheen Lakhan219,615
60Location RebelSean Ogle222,510
61The Change BlogPeter Clemens223,890
62A Life of ProductivityChris Bailey229,010
63Life OptimizerDonald Latumahina241,956
64chrisguillebeau.comChris Guillebeau246,361
65Prolific LivingFarnoosh Brock264,661
66Louise HayLouise Hay267,510
67RaptitudeDavid Cain270,452
68InspiyrDan Cassidy288,581
69ProductivityistMike Vardy292,566
70Time Management NinjaCraig Jarrow294,576
71Deepak ChopraDeepak Chopra302,890
72FinerMindsAndrea Vega304,550
73Wake Up CloudHenri Junttila306,517
74The Urban MonkPedram Shojai 311,049
75Impossible HQJoel Runyon324,598
76Bullet Proof ExecDave Asprey333,105
77Start of HappinessBrendan Baker337,916
78Advanced Life SkillsJonathan Wells341,905
79Good Life ZenMary Jaksch344,124
80Paid to ExistJonathan Mead355,338
81Life Long LearnerScott Britton358,581
82TynanTynan358,758
83Aha-Now!Harleena Singh360,949
84Dr Wayne DyerDr Wayne Dyer375,193
85Think Simple NowTina Su376,587
86The Emotion MachineSteven Handel396,302
87Productivity 501Mark Shead400,515
88Just Be RealTheo Ellis455,859
89Jonathan FieldsJonathan Fields456,994
90Yoga DorkJennilyn Carson489,965
91Sid SavaraSid Savara499,024
92Alden TanAlden Tan518,551
93Run to the FinishAmanda Brooks522,118
94Your Life Your WayTia Sparkles534,462
95Basic GrowthSimon Somlai544,038
96Start Gaining MomentumLudvig Sunstrom581,294
97Positive WriterBryan Hutchinson604,348
98The Bridge MakerAlex Blackwell628,018
99Thoughts on Life and LoveMandy Kloppers632,524
100Deliberate ReceivingMelody Fletcher703,681

[sociallocker id=”5127″]http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Top-100-Personal-Development-Blogs-2017.pdf [/sociallocker]

Now What?

The tools, strategies and support you need to live your best year ever are all here waiting for you. Now, it’s in your power to start living out your most inspired and desired life.

Only you can make the difference in your life this year. I give you full permission to make this your best year ever and apply what you need to from these blogs into your life.

If you need some instant motivation and inspiration, then make sure you check out the Top 100 Motivational & Inspirational Quotes for 2017.

If you want to get some actionable tools that you can implement into your life right now, make sure you access our Free Toolkit.

If you’re keen to make the Top 100 for next year, you might be interested in registering for my course: First 1000 Subscribers (currently open for enrollment but closing shortly).

Over to You!

Do you have a favourite blog on the list?

Which blogs do you find you get the most value from?

What other personal development resources do you use to live a better life?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Here’s to making 2018 your best year yet!

Brendan

P.S. Do you know of someone that would love to see this list? Please share this list using one of the buttons below. You’ll most likely make their day!

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Lots Of Thoughts In My Mind + R.I.P. My Grandma

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Written by Alden Tan

I wrote this last week when my grandma passed on. I shared it on Facebook first and I figure I’d put it up here now. Hope you guys find some meaning in it.

It is with a tinge of sadness and tons of thoughts on my mind now that I type this to you.

The last couple of emails I sent were regarding my grandma being admitted in the hospital due to a fall she had. After being in a coma for 6 days, she peacefully passed away around midnight on the first day of Lunar New Year.

One could say it was the fall that caused her death. One could say it was the fainting spell she had and hence it was coming because of her old age of 85.

One could say many things. I know I want to. Here are all my thoughts laid out:

. My biggest concern in this period would be for my mom. My heart sank when I saw her speak into my grandma’s ear during the coma, telling her it was time to wake up and go home. My heart broke after my grandma passed on and I saw my mom cry, saying, “You’ve gone” in hokkien.

. But my mom is strong. It’ll be painful, but she is not self-destructive. She has after all, seen my dad go, her own dad go and now her mom. It is unfair if you think about it. It is honestly hence one of my biggest fears that me or my brother dies first before. She does not deserve to see her family go like that systematically.. My mom is so strong. It makes me feel bad for the times I was just annoyed with her for stupid, petty shit.

. I guess we all knew my grandma had to go before us, but one is never prepared for the death of a loved one. No one ever is.

. It is effectively a death sentence for any elderly folk to fall down and hit their head. Please be safe and please take measures to protect your elders in your family.

. The wake will be held at my grandma’s home for the next 4 days, followed by the funeral.

. In Chinese/Buddhist tradition, the wake is held such that some of us guys in the family will be keeping watch, making sure everything is in order and receiving guests. We do this even past midnight to sort of guard the coffin. . This, I honestly enjoy. This is when the boys unite and get together, like men doing their duty. Me and my cousin always stock up booze and drink the night away.
. It’s true what some people say, that death unites people.

. My grandma led a great life. She had 3 kids, 6 grand kids, and 3 great grand kids.
. It’s not like I was very close to her. I couldn’t communicate that well with her as my mandarin and hokkien suck, but I had known her my entire life.

. Randomest point here: After my grandma passed on in the hospital, me and my mom got home at about 230AM. We were greeted by two gigantic piles of dog shit my dog crapped out, one in my toilet, one in hers.

. I honestly cannot help but think, “It’s only February in 2019 now and all of this already happened.” This by the way, is the first time in my entire life that we did not do visitations to my grandma’s place for Lunar New Year. Wow man, just wow. First time, ever.

. Yes, I am overwhelmed somewhat and I fear for my future.

. I did not write about this before, but late last year, I made the decision of wanting to get a job. It was a big decision by me as, since I started the blog, I always felt this was it. I wanted to make a living writing on my own terms. After 6 years, the struggle, lessons, going broke multiple times over and emotional toil has really taken a toll on me. I am very tired. I made the decision last year when I tried to write something and I realized I wasn’t happy anymore. I wasn’t having fun. Everything was annoying me. I have to be honest and say that despite writing about self-help/self-improvement and having the intention of wanting to help my readers, I really wasn’t feeling it anymore. So yes, I am looking for a job. January showed no luck so far, but it’s okay. As said, I am just wary of the future given what is happening now.

. I’ve mad respect for nurses working in hospitals. They must see death like it’s Netflix, not that it’s their favorite show.

. Death is absolute. Really, it is. When my dad died 13 years ago, just when I was going to turn 21, it made me realize how real death is.
. It’s the end game. There’s no going back. It’s permanent and entirely irreversible.

. I distinctly remember how upset I was with myself for wasting my time with toxic assholes. I wondered why I was making myself unhappy with such nonsense.

. This is why I have an absolute point of view when it comes to dealing with people and making the right friendships. I am rather harsh as through going with my gut and own judgement, I don’t give second chances to most people.

. I urge you to do the same. Way too many people make up excuses for assholes.

. I wrote this email with tears in my eyes as I thought about my own mother crying.
It’s moments like this. Truly, it’s moments like this.
No one gets to see me like this.
But this moment, is special to me.
I am writing and I am crying.

. When I turn my neck to the right, I see my dog sleeping on my bed.

. This is who you truly you are. Just because no one sees it doesn’t mean it’s not real. If you’re feeling it deep down in your heart and in every (whatever word you can come up with) in your soul, that means it’s real, important and powerful. Never let anyone take it away from you. All my life, and I bet your life, people have been telling me what is right and what is important, so much so I forget the important moments in my own life. It’s easy to get lost in their messages and forget yours. But you get reminded. Be it through sadness, anger or lustful joy. You remember.

. Never forget who you really are even if it gets lonely at times.

That’s all I have to say in this email.

I hope it finds you well and that you’ll be happy for one thing today, just one thing.

grandma

(Ah Gong & Ah Ma, reunited at last.)

Peace,
Alden

P.S. Buy my book here, 100 Days Of No-Bullshit Happiness (http://www.Alden-Tan.com/100-days)
. And this is my last point: Look what I did there? I slotted in a link to my book. It’s only $10. I was thought before to ask for the sale through a powerful story because it makes money. But yet, it makes me uncomfortable, like should be capitalizing on emotions?

. Yet at the same time, if I don’t ask for the sale, I won’t make money and me being a blogger is a joke.

. What a trip huh? It’s the artist in me that made me feel fucked up about making money. Ah well. Check out the book. I wrote it years ago and I feel it can help. I’d appreciate your support. If not, it’s cool too.

P.S.S. Love you Grandma. Rest In Peace, And Power.

The post Lots Of Thoughts In My Mind + R.I.P. My Grandma appeared first on Alden-tan.com.

10 Signs of Money Phobia

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Could you be having a money phobia problem? When dealing with personal financial matters, do you approach them calmly or do you tend to avoid them? What’s it like for you when it comes to filing tax, for instance? Do you start to feel dizzy, sweat profusely or sick in the stomach?

It was not clear to me that I had huge money phobias, at first. It would even sound ridiculous since I had worked in a bank for many years previously. There was a stage when I had to handle lots of physical cash when serving high net-worth individuals. Later on, I realised that while I was able to advise others on what to do about their investment portfolio, it was different when it comes to handling personal money matters.

In the past, I would give tons of excuses on why “now is not a good time” and would often delegate money related matters to the last in my to-do list. By making them low in priority, it meant that I almost rarely had to deal with them! If I should ever get to them, I would feel anxious, stressed and low in energy. The result was that I neglected managing my funds properly and wisely.

Luckily, all these have since changed for the better. I no longer have a bad brain fog that prevents me from addressing personal money matters. Nor do I allow any emotional discomfort to stop me from getting calculations done. What’s great is an increased ability to make difficult financial decisions in a way that is calm.

I have been finding out that I am not alone. Many women (more so than men, perhaps) tend to display money avoidance behaviour. They would find excuses or a way to dodge financial discussions.

Having dealt with a lot of my money phobia issues, I believe that releasing the disruptive energies is key in a better way forward. Recently, I have had the privilege of helping clients in this area. After working together, they reported to experiencing fewer headaches and stress-related symptoms when filing their income tax or reviewing credit card statements. Funny enough, that they were able to work through their personal financial blocks eventually translated to major breakthrough results for them, in terms of money. A truly empowering experience!

Ready to do this for yourself too? Let’s first address what a phobia is about.

What a Phobia Means

A phobia arises due to excessive fear. With a phobia, you are prone to react in a way that is not proportionate to the issue at hand. And usually, the fear is irrational. For instance, watching too many movies with sharks as dangerous harmful creatures can have a negative effect on you. You develop a fear of swimming even in safe waters altogether.

“Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.” German Proverb

feed the wolf fear

Having a money phobia problem is going to create negative consequences. Do realise that it’s virtually impossible not to have to handle money matters in this day and age. You can’t run away from them. For stress reduction, finding a better way forward is key!

Irrational Behaviour with Money Phobia

Money phobic women tend to have confused ideas about finance.

Mostly, they prefer to leave all the money talk to their spouse or partner. They react in ways that do not best serve their financial well-being. They may also show up with erratic behaviour; such as going through periods of raking up huge credit card bills and then periods whereby they hoard excessively. Their erratic behaviour is also contributed by having little awareness of how much they have in the bank and an inability to manage their emotions tied to finance.

The medical term for the fear of money is Chrometophobia. Symptoms can vary from person to person. In a phobia, you may experience the following symptoms: shortness of breath, nausea, stomach churning, irregular heartbeat and shaking. However, for most people, the signs are more subtle. Hence, you may not even know that you have a phobia until you start to pay attention to your relationship with money.

10 Signs of Money Phobia

Not sure if you have the signs of a money phobia? Here are possible tell-tale signs…

1. Procrastinate filing tax because you can’t bear to look at your personal financial statements.

2. Actively divert any serious talk about money and finances to shoes and shopping.

3. View any mention of large sums of money as unreal.

4. Find taking any form of financial planning or action a bore.

5. Experience anxiety whenever your credit card statement arrives.

6. Glazing your eyes over the finance section of the newspaper even though some knowledge of these can be beneficial for you.

7. Can’t keep a close watch on spending and a refusal to budget.

8. Do not know exactly how much you earn.

9. Leaves your spouse or partner to handle every financial aspect that affects you and turning a blind eye.

10. Experience a brain fog every time money matters are being discussed.

Consequences of Money Phobia

It is possible to be challenged by a dramatic life event that forces you to undertake financial responsibility.

This can happen in a divorce, death, loss of a job and so on.

Let’s take divorce. A few friends I know floundered in confusion after their marriages collapsed. Prior to the relationship breakdown, they had trusted their spouses to be take care of all financial matters for the family. However, after the collapse in the marriage, they had to learn money management – especially if there are kids involved – and understand all legal financial implications.

It was when they began to realise that avoidance had been the worst thing to do. One girlfriend managed to unearth secrets about money amounts that were siphoned away by her ex-husband. A sure wake up call!

Where there is money phobia, it pays to address fears quickly. Don’t procrastinate before your money phobia behaviour cost you dearly! There is nothing to lose. On the contrary, there is everything to gain.

Face Your Fears

Avoiding money matters is not helpful. Never wait for a catastrophic event to happen before taking charge. As billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, says, “the most important investment is in yourself”. And, the first step to investing is less about learning how to make more money but more about mastering your fears.

Understand that fears are not real. As it is often metaphorically alluded, refrain from making the “wolf” bigger than what it truly is. Ask yourself what your phobia is about. Did your fear come from a childhood event or belief? Do you have limiting beliefs that you are “too slow” or “stupid” to take charge of finances? If needed, seek appropriate assistance to address any money phobia.

 

Becoming mindful about your physical and emotional reactions help to let you know what your blocks are. When you put any money phobia out of the way, learning financial management becomes a whole lot easier. With clear thinking, you are able to make better and wise decisions about personal money matters.

Love and Abundance Always,

Evelyn Lim

Abundance Life Coach for Women

P.S. Do take a moment to share this post on social media, if you find it helpful. Thank you in advance 🙂

Share Your Thoughts

If you have any thoughts to share to my above post, please do so in the comments below….

The post 10 Signs of Money Phobia appeared first on Abundance Life Coach for Women | Evelyn Lim.

17 Ways To Trick People Into Thinking You’re Sophisticated As Fuck

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Written by Alden Tan

This is to prove that you don’t really need to be super smart or honest to (mis)lead people into thinking that you’re a cool, sophisticated person who looks as if he’s got his shit together and leading a meaningful life.

It’s all about drawing attention from the outside, not the insides.

And this shit works, cause I was duped into thinking some so-called friends were really cool people when in reality, they were nothing but insecure losers.

1) Travel to one country and talk about that country only

travel the world

Nobody gives a shit about how many different stamps your passport has.

Then, use words like “culture” and how you absorbed the shit out of it. This is to prove to others that you’re beyond going to touristy places for shopping, partying and meaningless shit.

Also, tell them that your favorite activity is “people watching” and how you made observations in the area of body language, mannerisms and fashion.

2) Go to some scenic place and tell them you found yourself

eat pray love found myself

This is where you regale your ultimate “Eat Pray Love” tale. You HAVE to tell people you found yourself! Wherever the fuck you’ve been.

Use words like “spirituality.” Say, “It made me realize there’s more to life.” You then have to talk about how you there’s a “passion deep within you that’s dying to come out.” It is however, okay to say that you’ve not found your passion yet. This is to give the illusion that you’re now purpose-driven and have a goal in life.

You should then add that money is not everything and that your new hobby is meditation and yoga combined.

3) Get all your answers from Yahoo! Answers

Yahoo-Answers-Logo

Or Quora. Or basically, anywhere on the damn internet.

Learn one fact or answer. Memorize it and regurgitate the same thing to everybody you meet. Be vehement in the way you answer. This is to make people think that you’ve a world view and that you’re making a stand.

It is even better if the topic is controversial, like politics or how vaccines causes autism (bullshit of course.) Read that shit up and then blatantly bring up the topic to your circle of friends.

4) Your diet must include being a vegan, gluten-free and paleo, and your form of exercise is crossfit only

gluten-free1

Nothing beats the power of vegan and being gluten-free as fuck! Add in paleo and crossfit and you’ve got a winner in the game of sophistication.

Keep talking about it. Don’t shut up. Be sure to reveal this from the get go without even being asked.

5) Carry a fucking bottle of mineral water wherever you go

fiji water

Buy Fiji. That’d make you look both hydrated and sophisticated.

6) Say you’re on a sabbatical even though you’re actually lazy as fuck

finding my muse

Are you a lazy, unmotivated asshole who only likes to complain about his job? Congrats! You’ve a winning formula in showing others you’re sophisticated right in your hands.

However, do not just tell them you quit your job. Instead, say you’re on a sabbatical.

This is where you, again, get to tell others you’re in the fulfilling journey of finding yourself. Or better yet, tell them you need time off to find your muse!

7) Carry a fucking book wherever you go

carry a fucking book wherever you go

Have a book like Antifragile by Nassim Taleb in hand. That shit would impress the shit out of others. You don’t even need to talk about it. Just make sure you put it at a place with the cover facing up.

Also, remember to attach a bookmark somewhere in the middle. If you’ve reading glasses, put it on top of the book too. Be sure to tilt your head and take them off in a very prominent way as you look up from your book as others try to get your attention.

“Sorry. Just give me a minute to finish up this chapter” is what you should say.

8) During the World Cup or Olympics, memorize the scores of one event

cristiano ronaldo

Are you sports fan? It doesn’t fucking matter.

During these events, just memorize the scores of some event from the news to show others you watch this shit. Memorize the name of the star player or underdog too.

9) Drink red wine

Smells-like-you're-being-an-idiot

 

from dailydesigninspiration.com

What is that shit you’re sniffing? HazelNutBerry? You don’t even know what that is, but who the fuck cares? Did you let that bottle breathe too? You need to smooth them tennins, or tennants. I don’t know.

What’s that you said as you smack your lips after you sip that shit? It has a nutty finish? Well, that makes you sound like you’ve balls in your mouth, but that’s okay. It’s to show people you know what nutty finish means and how it “brings you back.”

Also, be sure to loudly correct other non-wine drinkers, “Excuse me, it’s not pronounced Mer-LOT.”

10) Have a gay friend

gay pride flag

Not that you should objectify gay people, but nothing screams sophistication and tolerance better than having a gay friend!

11) Have a bunch of Instant Messaging apps installed in your phone

instant messaging apps

Line. Whatsapp. WeChat. KaoKaoTalk. Make sure you download the shit out of them!

Why? Because each app is more popular in different countries. This will show others that you’ve a shit ton of foreign friends and hence by association, you’ve been to their countries and absorbed their culture like a blob. It doesn’t matter if it’s real or not, cause nobody knows for certain!

12) Tell people you just had a meeting with a friend to discuss business

business meeting

“Oh sorry I’m late. I had a business meeting with a friend” said you as you arrived an hour late.

Whoa! What the fuck? You’re definitely ahead of the human race as you reject the 9 to 5 lifestyle. You have a world-changing idea that’s going to change the way people see whatever of course.

Did you do your research? Did you validate your idea with a prototype? Do you carve a niche for yourself so you can find your spot in the market? Do you even have capital? It doesn’t fucking matter! You just need an idea you pulled out of your ass.

Then tell others you were busy from having so many meetings to talk about that idea. You don’t have to follow up shit.

13) Tell people you read the book before the movie came out

read the book before the movie

Then keep making comparisons. Don’t let up! The director really took some unnecessary risks and you definitely could have done a better job.

14) Borrow one element of the Hipster culture so you can say you’re not a hipster

hipster

For example, all your songs in your phone should be remixed from that obscure guy you discovered on YouTube.

You definitely aren’t that mainstream, but you are not cool enough to want to be a real hipster, at which point you should vehemently assert yourself saying that you are definitely not a hipster.

15) Choose to only eat at places with an all-day breakfast menu

all day breakfast eggs benedict

You’re so fucking sophisticated that your meals transcend the essence of time itself.

Who cares what time it is? Eggs benedict for every god damn meal. Then tell them this reminds you of the time you had a full English breakfast set at wherever the fuck you went.

16) All your Instagram photos should be Throwbacks

throwback thursday

Don’t have the time or money to travel again to show off? Never fear. Just hashtag the shit out #Throwback on your Instagram account. Then talk about how you miss that fucking place so much.

Shit! You’re so sophisticated you throwback every god damn day!

17) Learn some stupid phrases in a foreign language

learn a language

Then tell others, “Yeah I know a little [insert foreign language]. Self-taught.”

Can you hold a proper conversation in that tongue? Fuck no. But who cares? Just spam that shit.

I can’t teach you to be a pretentious bitch. I can only teach you how to lead a meaningful life. Click here.

The post 17 Ways To Trick People Into Thinking You’re Sophisticated As Fuck appeared first on Alden-tan.com.

Formal vs. Informal Power: Two Paths to Social Success

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Social success has a lot to do with attaining and maintaining a position of power within a group, from which you can exert a large amount of influence. But not all power is created equal. When talking about this topic, I find it useful to make on crucial distinction: the one between formal and informal power.

Formal and Informal Power: Definitions

Formal power comes from the official position one holds within an organization or social structure. It is properly recognized by some type of written contract or official agreement, and regulated by a strict set of rules that everyone in the organization or social structure knows and must obey.

Formal forms of power exist in politics, business, religion, but also in social structures like a sports team or a student’s club. The manager of a company has formal power. So does the captain of a football team. This type of power changes as one’s official position within a structure changes, which is why many people compulsively seek to better their position.

Informal power comes, not from an official position, but from the respect and appreciation one has earned from the members of a group. This respect and appreciation allow the individual to influence his or her peers in a way that others within the group cannot.

Informal power comes from a person’s internal qualities. An employee may gain informal power in his department by being known as very competent and skilled in what he does. A person may gain informal power by having integrity and being trustworthy. And another person may gain informal power by being likable and charismatic.

The Power of Informal Power

Making the distinction between the two kinds of power is essential. Because many people simply aren’t aware of the existence or influence of informal power, and they blindly compete with others for the limited amount of positions that provide formal power. They wanna be managers, and leaders, and bosses, and CEOs. However, informal power is not only real, but it can often be much more valuable than formal power.

Here’s an example I’ve seen transpire many times while coaching clients within companies and corporations.

There is a manager of a department of a company, and he has formal power in that department, stipulated by his job description. In the same department, there is also a guy who is a simple employee, but who is known to be very skilled at his job. Everyone goes to him for advice, and he is eager to help. He is friendly and likable, he encourages others, and he knows everyone by name, while the manager doesn’t bother with such ‘details’ and acts more like a dictator than a manager.

In such a situation, the manager has formal power, but this employee has a lot of informal power. So much informal power, in fact, that it may be worth more than the formal power of the manager. For instance, this employee may have such good relationships with his colleagues, that if he leaves to another company, half of them would follow him. And his manager knows this. Such influence is no small thing, and a smart manager would make sure that such an employee is treated well, because otherwise he might do some real damage.

It’s just one type of situation, but informal power can trump formal power in many ways, in all kind of organizations and social structures.

Leveraging the Two Types of Power

So, while formal power is good and not something to ignore, after this analysis I hope it is clear that many times, informal power is even more desirable.

Ideally, you wanna have both forms of power within a structure. Also, achieving informal power first is often a great way to then acquire formal power as well. But even if you can’t acquire formal power due to heavy competition and political games, you may be better off by acquiring informal power anyway.

How do you attain informal power? It takes three key ingredients, to which I’ve already alluded above:

1) Competence. There is no doubt that people respect competence, especially in a field relevant to them. Members of a debate club respect good debaters; members of a sales team respect good salespeople. So getting good at what you do within an organization or social structure is a great way to earn respect, and thus informal power.

2) Character. Great leadership books and courses regularly talk about the value of character. But its role is much more important in acquiring informal power than formal one, because, like competence, in triggers respect, as well as trust. Being honest, having integrity, being fair, having confidence, being resolute, this kind of character traits will get you far within any group.

3) Social Skills. Your social skills play perhaps the most important role. You wanna be able to engage people in interesting conversations, be witty and funny, and make them enjoy your presence. If they like you, they are much more eager to follow your lead. You also wanna be able to speak in a way that persuades, inspires and motivates people, which directly gives you more informal power over them.

Fortunately, you can cultivate these 3 traits and use them to gain informal power incrementally. Each day you can put in some work, and each day you can see your informal influence rise.

For top practical resources to help you develop your character and social skills, first I recommend you check out this video presentation I created, in which I’ll share with you some top-notch techniques for boosting your social confidence and social skills, based on my 8+years of experience as a confidence and communication coach.

Also, join my free social success newsletter, to get regular advice from me on improving your social competence, career and social life. I’m certain you’ll learn a lot from it.

Why Trying to Look Cool Fails and What to Do Instead

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A lot of people wanna be cool, and even more people want at least to appear cool to others. This is probably why much of the self-help advice out there focuses on how to adopt the external demeanor of a cool person, in order to create the perception of being cool.

It’s not an entirely bad strategy; a “fake it till you make it” approach can work sometimes, in some situations. However, there are some serious problems with trying to look cool, which I’ve discovered both through my own experience and those of my communication coaching clients.

So I wanna talk about these problems, and provide a much better alternative to trying to look cool. The major problems are three in number:

1. Improper Social Calibration

Successfully appearing cool is not only about adopting a set of edgy behaviors; it’s also about using them at the right time and at the right intensity. These behaviors need to be properly calibrated to the social situation you’re in. And if they don’t come from the inside, good social calibration is very hard to pull off.

It’s very common for men and women trying to look cool to go over the top with some actions and gestures. For example, many guys read online that, in order to look cool or “alpha”, they should take up a lot of space, especially when sitting down. But they’ll seriously overdo it. That’s how you’ll see some guy at a party, stretching on a sofa like a pancake, taking up three spots, and thinking he’s being cool. He’s not being cool; most likely he just looks like a weirdo.

2. Behavioral Leakage

Behavioral leakage is a very interesting psychological concept, which says that if you try to act out of character, your true character and emotional state will tend to come out in subtle ways. They will leak out, and do so repeatedly, despite your desire to repress them.

For instance, during a conversation with a member of the opposite sex, maybe you act confident and cool, and maybe they buy it for a few minutes. But at some point they make a teasing remark about you (maybe comment on your beer belly or something), and for a few seconds, your true insecure self involuntarily comes out. It can be something subtle like breaking eye contact, fidgeting, or nervous laughter. Either way, the person will probably tell that you’re actually not as confident as you initially seemed. Even if you get back into your act really fast, your insecurity has leaked out.

3. The High Energy Drain

Since trying to appear cool through deliberate actions entails playing a role, it will be very demanding on your mental and physical energy. It’s hard to keep up an act, even for a short while. Many of my coaching clients have shared with me that when they were acting out of character, even a 45-minute conversation with another person for a coffee was exhausting.

Since the energy drain of trying to look cool is high, it means you can’t keep up the act for too long. Eventually, the large part of your real self will come out with bells and whistles, especially as you interact repeatedly with someone and you end up having longer interactions. And even if you can keep up the act, it takes all the fun out of socializing.

So, due to improper calibration, behavioral leakage and the high energy drain, trying to appear cool to others is not a good strategy. What’s the alternative then? There is a very good one, which takes more time, but has a huge return on investment.

Develop the Mental State of Cool

Our mental state influences our behavior to a large degree. People who naturally behave and look cool do so because they are in a mental state conducive to that, which I call the mental state of cool.

What does this state imply? First and foremost, I’d say it implies feeling confident and composed in social situations. That’s the main thing. It also involves liking yourself and having a positive self-image, which relates closely to social confidence. And it’s also about feeling okay being yourself and expressing your unique side in social settings, while at the same time seeking to stay connected to other people’s needs.

When you have this kind of a mix of attitudes, your social behavior simply oozes cool. And it’s not the kind of superficial cool that comes with having the latest fashionable smartphone; it’s the kind of meaningful cool reflected in a centered, expressive and appealing demeanor.

Developing the mental state of cool does not happen overnight. It takes some time, and perhaps some guidance. You need to work on your beliefs system and automatic emotional reactions to reach a perpetual mental state of cool. But it is definitely worth it; because actually being cool is 100 times better than just pretending to be cool.

I’ve been helping people develop their social confidence and the state of cool for almost a decade now. If you wanna learn how to do it, I encourage you to check out right now this instructional video I created, in which I’ll share with you some of my top psychology advice for building social confidence and becoming a cool, charismatic person.

Also, join my free social success newsletter, where I share regularly tried and tested techniques for improving your confidence and your social skills.

Personal development usually works best from the inside out. Build your social confidence, learn how to manage your mental state in social situations, and the right behavior and right results will follow naturally.