Motivation vs. Discipline

We all want to be motivated. We all want to be disciplined. You might be thinking, “What’s the difference?” But according to many self-help gurus, there are differences. Or are there?

At the beginning of the year, you’re motivated to make some changes. You’re going to find a better job, lose 30 pounds, exercise each day, and read a book each week. You’re so excited at the beginning of the year.

You purchase a gym membership, some new cross training shoes, and join Amazon Prime, because you know you’re going to be ordering a lot of books, and you’ll make good use of that free shipping.

Fast-forward to early March and you realize that you’ve only read two books, haven’t been to the gym in weeks, spent $30 on Amazon prime, $90 on your gym membership, and gained exactly one pound.

You were motivated at the beginning, but you lacked the discipline necessary to carry on when your motivation flagged.

Many believe there are differences between motivation and discipline:

1. Motivation is the emotion of wanting to do something. You might wish that you were motivated to go to the gym or to paint the spare bedroom. Of course, you’re motivated to go fishing if you love fishing. There are many ways to create motivation and motivating yourself

2. Discipline is doing the thing that needs to be done, regardless of whether you feel like doing it or not. Discipline requires discomfort. If it were comfortable, you’d already be motivated to do it.

3. You’ll never be free without discipline. If you require motivation to do something, you’re at the mercy of your emotions. There are too many things left undone if motivation is necessary for you to take action. To have real control over your life and yourself, discipline is necessary.

4. Discipline is limited. You can only force yourself to do something you don’t like for so long. Some people have quite a bit more than others, but everyone runs out eventually unless someone is standing over them with a stick.

5. Discipline is most useful for developing habits. Habit formation requires discipline at first. However, once a habit is established, discipline is no longer required. You don’t need discipline to brush your teeth, for example. Use your discipline where it can have long-lasting effects by developing powerful habits.

Another Way to Look at It

Discipline and motivation can be almost the same thing, too. Consider that discipline is largely the ability to self-motivate. You wouldn’t make yourself do a task in the first place if there were no benefit to you. You either believe you’re going to receive something enjoyable or avoid something painful.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that those people with discipline are actually those people with a high level of skill in the art of self-motivation. Those with the ability to motivate themselves can do the seemingly impossible.

The person that can drag themselves out of bed on a cold, rainy morning to go for a run is someone that is able to focus on their long-term objective. They are good at reminding themselves why they need to put on their shoes and head out the door. They focus on the benefits instead of the misery of getting up and facing cold, wet weather.

Keep the benefits on your behaviors in mind, rather than focusing on the task itself. Learning to motivate yourself is more important than any concepts of discipline, motivation, enthusiasm, and willpower.

If you can motivate yourself, any goal is within reach. Every action you take or avoid is due to some level of motivation.

Top 10 Essential Leadership Skills

It’s all about skills in the modern world. It’s never been more challenging to be a leader than it is today. Markets and entire industries are changing rapidly. For any leader to be successful, it’s important to have the proper skills.

Many of these skills are evergreen. For example, leaders will always need to be able to communicate well and delegate tasks. Take heart that your leadership skills will be valuable for a long time!

Shore up these leadership skills and protect your future:

1. The ability to motivate others. Great leaders are great motivators. Think about how you motivate yourself. It’s not that much different to motivate someone else.

2. Communication skills. Leaders must be excellent communicators. This includes public speaking, addressing small groups, and one-on-one. Remember to practice good listening skills. Fortunately, educational materials abound and there are plenty of willing victims to practice your skills upon.

3. Delegation skills. You can’t do it all alone. Many high-achievers have trouble letting go and giving up control. You must be able to trust others and use them in the most effective way possible. It’s not enough to just delegate, you must delegate assignments to the those who will excel in that particular task.

4. Create the proper culture. Leaders must create a culture that matches the industry and the employees. A Wall Street investment bank has a different culture than an elementary school or a pharmaceutical company. Even departments may have their own unique culture.

5. Adaptability. The challenges facing leaders change regularly. Industries change. Customers change. Economic conditions change. Technology is rapidly changing the way organizations do business. Leaders have to be able to evolve to meet the changing landscape.

6. Time management. Leaders are busy. There’s always more to do than there are hours in the day. Choosing the most important tasks and making the time to complete them is paramount. Time management skills are easily learned, but don’t come naturally to many people.

7. Relationship management. Great leaders have strong relationships with their direct reports, the hourly employees, executives, and customers. The stronger your relationships, the more you can accomplish. During great challenges, your relationships can make you or break you.

8. Change management. Leading an organization or department through change is a valuable skill to develop. As companies add technology and reduce workforces, change comes more rapidly.

9. Be a good follower. Leaders have to follow, too. Leaders that don’t follow are considered dictators. Once you inspire a team, they become largely self-sufficient. It is then your job to follow and provide occasional guidance.

10. Poise. Leaders face challenges. Poise is a necessary trait for a leader to possess. Without poise, small challenges become bigger, and employees lose faith. When you’re stressed and panicked, your employees are uncomfortable. Build your poise if you want to excel as a leader.

How do your skills measure up? You can try to predict your success as a manager from this list of skills.

Build your skills and your results will be enhanced. Even with all the big changes in modern businesses, leadership skills continue to be highly valued in the workplace. Great leaders are always in high demand.

The Curious Path to Greater Self-Knowledge

How well do you really know yourself? It’s not just a question for philosophers and psychologists. If you want to learn and grow, it’s important to understand your abilities and passions.

Modern life is full of distractions, but it’s worth the effort to check in with yourself more often, because self-knowledge and self-awareness are the foundation for emotional intelligence.

Try these strategies to help you shift your focus inward.

Benefits of Greater Self-Knowledge:

1. Make sounder decisions. It’s easy to develop habits and spend much of our life on autopilot. When you examine your motives, you empower yourself to make changes and act more deliberately.

2. Enjoy more happiness. When you create a life that aligns with your values, you’ll experience more peace and satisfaction. You can go after what brings you joy.

3. Be authentic. Imagine accepting yourself and realizing that you are worthy just as you are. You can take risks and interact with others on a genuine level instead of trying to cover up your perceived weaknesses.

4. Find deeper fulfillment. Do you spend more time trying to live up to external obligations rather than pursuing what you want out of life? Knowing yourself can be the first step to honoring your own priorities and devoting yourself to meaningful activities.

Strategies for Increasing Your Self-Knowledge:

1. Evaluate feedback. Others may view you differently than you see yourself. Be open to constructive criticism, and use it to make positive changes.

2. Monitor your emotions. Your feelings may be telling you what direction to take. Pay attention to the events that make you happy or angry.

3. Recognize times of flow. Do you lose yourself in your work or your hobbies? Identify the activities that leverage your strengths and help you to perform at your peak.

4. Take personality tests. The internet is full of quizzes that promise to reveal your dream career or relationship style. As long as you take them with a grain of salt, they may give you some valuable ideas.

5. Start a journal. Memories may fade, but a written record gives you a more reliable tracking device. Writing about your daily life allows you to observe yourself and spot patterns.

6. Meditate and pray. Mindfulness helps you to still your thoughts and look below the surface. Discover the spiritual practices that teach you to understand yourself and your purpose.

Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles to Self-Knowledge:

1. Think objectively. It’s natural to have some biases when you’re looking at yourself. Challenge yourself to be brave and honest. Try to see situations from multiple perspectives.

2. Learn from experience. Mistakes are more attractive when you turn them into learning opportunities. Focus on what you can do differently next time.

3. Cultivate support. Surround yourself with family and friends who encourage you to reach your potential. You’ll probably feel more comfortable looking at yourself when you feel accepted and secure. Give each other opportunities to express your true feelings, and receive validation as you journey along your own paths.

4. Embrace change. Knowing yourself is more like an ongoing process than a one-time event. Remain flexible so you can adapt to new circumstances. While your values may be constant, there are times when it’s necessary to adjust your approach.

5. Avoid overthinking. There’s a distinction between self-knowledge and self-absorption. Excessive contemplation can sometimes be a way to avoid taking action, so aim for balance.

6. Try counseling. If you feel stuck, consider working with a professional. Even a brief time in therapy could lead to a breakthrough on long-standing issues.

Take the time to explore your inner world. You’ll be rewarded with greater wisdom and more compassion for yourself and others.

How to Appear Confident When You Really Aren’t

No one feels confident all of the time, but sometimes you need to appear confident. You might be on a date, have a job interview, or attending a company function. There are times it can be helpful to appear confident, even if you’re feeling anything but. There are plenty of things you can do to appear confident.

Try these tips to convince the world you’re confident, even if you’re shaking in your boots:

1. Maintain good eye contact. Consider where confident people look while you’re engaged in a conversation with them. They aren’t looking at their feet or gazing around the room. They look you in the eye. This isn’t a staring contest, but look the other person in the eye the majority of the time.

2. Stand or sit up straight. Confident people don’t slouch. Stand tall and proud. The same goes for sitting. People that lack confidence slouch and try to appear as small as possible. Be tall and make people notice.

3. Keep your hands out of your pockets. This will reduce fidgeting. Showing your hands also shows confidence. Keep your hands where others can see them.

4. Avoid fidgeting. Your hands don’t have to be in your pockets to fidget. Avoid picking at your clothes, your face, or your hands. This is a sure sign of nervousness.

5. Smile. You’re happy and confident, so smile. Smiling puts others at ease. It puts you at ease, too.

6. Walk confidently. Watch movies to see how a confident person walks. Take purposeful strides. Look like you have someplace to go without looking like you need to get there in a hurry.

7. Speak slowly. Does James Bond speak quickly? No. He takes his time and enjoys the attention. Confident people have been shown to speak more slowly than the average person. Nervous people tend to speak more quickly. Slow down and take your time. People will assume you’re confident.

8. Unfold your arms. When you fold your arms, it looks like you’re trying to protect yourself. There’s nothing to fear, so unfold your arms, be tall, and smile. Just allow your arms to hang naturally by your side.

9. Keep your head up. There’s nothing interesting going on down on the floor. This is the human version of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand. If you’re pretending to be confident, keep your head up. By the way, an ostrich only sticks its head in the sand to check on its eggs.

10. Speak at a reasonable volume. When you’re feeling shy, you’re likely to speak too softly. It’s better to be a little too loud than a little too soft if you’re trying to appear confident.

11. Use gestures when you speak. Gesture naturally when you’re speaking. Watch your favorite actor for tips. Just ensure they’re playing a confident role!

12. Tell yourself that you’re confident. Repeat to yourself, “I am confident and powerful.” Keep repeating it to yourself. It will crowd out other thoughts, and you might even believe yourself. Try out a few affirmations and see which one makes you feel the best.

You can convince others that you’re feeling confident, even if you’re not. Adopt the mannerisms of someone that is confident, and you’ll look confident to the rest of the world. Tell yourself you’re a confident person. Pretend you’re confident and you’ll start feeling that way.

Expert Tips for Coping With a Sudden Loss of Confidence

Self-esteem can be fragile, and it’s possible to lose it. A traumatic event can also be a blow to your confidence. How can you deal with a sudden loss of confidence? Is it possible to recover and regain the confidence that is gone?

Your confidence levels can fluctuate, but there are ways to cope.

How Confidence Can Disappear

In many cases, trauma or a negative event is behind this issue.

Confidence can disappear after an embarrassing or difficult moment. For example, your self-esteem can diminish if a presentation at work is mocked and ridiculed by coworkers. Your confidence can be hurt by cruel words and laughter.

Another common cause of low confidence is arguments. Fights with your significant other or family members can make you feel unsure and unhappy about yourself. They can lead to doubts about your abilities and skills.

How the Loss is Manifested

The loss of confidence can appear differently for each individual. You may react to it in several ways:

* Some people deal with a loss of confidence by freezing and not being able to make decisions. They’re scared of making another mistake, so they avoid all decisions.

* Others deal with a loss of confidence by becoming defensive and argumentative.

* Another ineffective coping mechanism is to pretend nothing is wrong.

If you feel like your confidence has been shattered, try these strategies to restore it:

1. Step back and evaluate. Experts recommend stepping back and evaluating the situation in a calm manner. It’s important to examine the situation without letting emotions take over.

* Why did the loss of confidence occur, and how can you prevent the same issue from repeating itself?

* You may benefit from talking to a therapist or good friend about the event and your loss of confidence. Get an unbiased opinion, so you can start to see the patterns.

* Often, childhood issues are behind confidence losses. There may be deep rooted issues that need to be resolved.

2. Finish something else. Finishing a task that has been left undone for a long time can boost confidence.

* Experts share that finishing a chore or work assignment can give an instant self-esteem boost. This is caused by the brain realizing that you can still accomplish great things.

* Find something on your to-do list that is easy to complete.

3. Get help. Sometimes it’s necessary to get outside help to deal with low self-esteem. Be honest about your situation and sudden loss of confidence. You can’t receive help unless you’re open to it.

* Look for local therapy groups that deal with confidence issues.

* Consider going to a therapist and setting up weekly or monthly appointments.

* Find a close friend or family member who can serve as a confidante.

* Keep in mind that some people may need more help than others to regain their confidence. Don’t be discouraged if your confidence doesn’t return right away.

4. Review past accomplishments. After a traumatic experience or embarrassing moment, it’s easy to think that you’re a failure. However, remembering past accomplishments can serve as a reminder that you’ve done many things.

* Go back and look at old rewards from school or college.

* Talk to your parents or siblings and ask them to share something positive about your childhood.

* Go through your old photo albums or journals to remember happy moments. Dig through your attic archives to unearth treasures from the past.

* Try to remember that you have made a positive impact on the world.

It’s normal for your confidence levels to vary over time. Avoid letting a temporary situation turn into a permanent loss of confidence! Actively pursue strategies that can bring back the self-esteem you’ve been missing.

Change Your Thoughts and You Can Change Your Life

When you follow the same recipe, you get the same results. Likewise, changing your behavior is the only way to change your life. However, changing behavior directly is extremely challenging.

Look at how hard it is to lose weight or to stop smoking, yet both have simple solutions: eat less and stop putting cigarettes in your mouth.

While behavior is hard to change with sheer willpower, it can be changed quickly with a change in perspective.

For example, you might find it impossible to lose weight under normal circumstances. But suppose your child needed a kidney transplant to live, and you were the only possible donor. However, the doctor won’t do the operation until you lose 50 pounds. Do you think you could do it?

Not only could you do it, but you’d do it easily. A simple change in perspective made all the difference.

You don’t need to be forced to make inner changes. You can choose to change your beliefs and perspective to something more useful.

Imagine what you could accomplish by making a few inner changes!

Consider these ideas:

1. Outer changes in your life are the result of changes in behavior. Changes in behavior are most often the result of inner changes. When your thoughts and beliefs change, your behavior is also altered. For example:

* Suppose you decided that helping others was important. You might start volunteering. While you’re volunteering, you meet new people and learn new things. You make new friends and perhaps date someone you never would have met otherwise. You might even get a job.

* All of this began with making contribution a priority.

2. Examine your current beliefs. Are your current beliefs holding you back? Are you certain that the things that you believe are true? Are you aggressively and enthusiastically pursuing your goals each day? Everyone has limiting beliefs. What are yours?

* Your beliefs are like your software. If your software is faulty, you aren’t operating efficiently.

* Examine each belief you have and determine if it is serving you or holding you back.

* Look at your behavior for clues regarding your inner world. What must you believe to be behaving the way that you do?

3. Inner changes change your habits. When you change your thoughts and beliefs, your habits will change, too. When the things you do each day are altered, your results are altered.

4. Envision the life you want to lead. When all you think about is your current life, you get more of the same. Spend some time each day imagining yourself in your new life. When this type of life begins to feel normal to you, you’ll start to make outer changes in your life, too.

* The first step is making the big decision about the type of life you’d prefer. Most people never make definitive decisions. Vagueness won’t work. Be specific.

5. Monitor your thinking. Negative thoughts bring poor results. If you spend most of your time thinking worrisome thoughts, how can you have a positive life experience?

* Each time you find yourself having a negative thought, change it to something positive.

If you want to experience outer changes in your life, start by making inner changes.

Inner changes can be challenging, but they are under your control. As your inner world changes, your behavior will change. As your behavior changes, your outer world will change, too. Try it! You’ll enjoy the results.

Address Your Attitude and Enjoy More Favorable Results

Why resist the current situation in which you find yourself? It’s reality. When you fight reality, you lose. When you stew over how you think things “should” be or how you want them to be, you’re using up time and energy that could be spent on making your life great.

When you deal with anything other than reality, you’re working from a false premise, and your solutions will be less than optimal.

The key to accepting your current situation is your attitude. A negative attitude brings about negative thoughts and, more often than not, a poor outcome.

Use these strategies to maintain a positive attitude and deal effectively with the real situation:

1. View life as a game filled with challenges. Your job is to find a way to keep all of your plates spinning while you find a way to solve your unique challenges. It’s a tough game. Enjoy the challenge of trying to solve it.

2. Spend time with others that have a positive attitude. Your attitude, beliefs, and habits are affected by those you spend time with. If you want a more positive attitude, fill your social circle with those who can uplift you with their positive perspective.

3. Take care of your business. Life is more stressful when you have things hanging over your head. When you manage your life responsibly, your attitude will become more positive. Procrastination and avoidance negatively affect your attitude.

4. Keep your mind in the present moment. Thinking about the past and the future can cause regret and worry. Keep your mind right here where you need it.

5. Practice gratitude. It’s easy to feel down when things aren’t going your way. One way to feel even worse is to focus on your challenges and what is currently lacking in your life. Instead, make a list of all the good things you experience each day. Remind yourself of these things when your attitude takes a nosedive.

6. Keep your self-talk positive. If you’re not on your side, who will be? Say something nice and encouraging to yourself.

7. Enhance your environment. Fixing up your environment can boost your attitude. Clean up a little. Paint the walls. Get outside and enjoy a nice day. Plant a tree in the front yard. Hang a few photographs. Control the things you can control, like your environment.

8. Expect the best. Being optimistic is more enjoyable than being pessimistic. Why not enjoy yourself? Holding negative thoughts will create pessimism in your life. Try to see the positive side of every situation and expect good things to come your way. You’ll be surprised how often you’re right!

9. Monitor yourself. Notice when your attitude begins to drift. Notice where your thoughts are directed. Are you dealing with the situation at hand, or feeling annoyed that things aren’t the way you’d like them to be?

Our beliefs and attitudes cloud our perspective. A clear, open mind is much more likely to view a situation accurately.

Keep tabs on your attitude and be more accepting of what life has to offer. Your resistance does nothing but prolong your misery. Once you’re practicing acceptance, your situation becomes easier to alter.

9 Techniques to Help You Manage Anger

There are many disadvantages to feeling anger. It’s a quick way to damage relationships. It also disengages the part of your brain that’s used to make rational decisions. We often do and say detrimental things when we’re angry.

How many times do you wish you could take back something you said? It only takes a few seconds to cause a lot of damage and pain. Avoiding this type of situation is a good enough reason to work on your anger management skills.

The ability to manage your emotional states is a valuable skill that will serve you well throughout your lifetime.

Practice these strategies to become a master of your anger:

1. Monitor your mental state. Notice when you’re starting to feel agitated. Anger is much easier to control if caught early. Once you’re in the middle of an episode of full-blown rage, it becomes more challenging.

* Monitor all your negative emotions. They’re all easier to manage when they first appear. As they gain strength, the tools available to manage them become less likely to work.

2. Learn to let go and avoid holding a grudge. Grudges are a great way to keep yourself primed to feel angry with little provocation. Let go of your anger and forgive. You’ll feel better and life will be more enjoyable. You’re only hurting yourself when you hold a grudge.

3. Take a deep breath. In fact, try taking 10 deep breaths. A slow, deep breath while thinking the word “relax” can make a difference.

* The quicker you can catch your anger, the better this technique will work. As soon as you feel yourself becoming angry, take a few deep breaths. This requires practice.

4. Give yourself a timeout. You don’t have to be a child to take a timeout. You have the luxury of giving yourself a timeout regardless of your age. A few minutes of alone time can be just the ticket to managing your anger successfully.

5. Think. Consider the long-term ramifications of what you’re about to say. This is incredibly challenging. Anger makes it much more difficult to think and be rational. Again, the quicker you catch yourself becoming angry, the more likely you’ll be able to use the technique.

6. Be more flexible in your views. What causes anger? It’s caused by others failing to do what you think they should do. They’ve said or done something that fails to meet your expectations. The more open minded you are, the less likely you are to get angry.

7. Be a good listener. It’s hard to become angry if you’re doing a good job of listening. It’s only when you take your attention off the other person that you have the opportunity to think and generate anger. You’re also less likely to jump to the wrong conclusion if you’re listening intently. Work on your listening skills.

8. Learn to share your thoughts and feelings in a calm manner. Assert yourself and let people know what you’re thinking without becoming more emotional than necessary. Start by being more assertive in common matters of your daily life.

9. Get professional help. If you’ve tried everything you can think of and you’re still struggling to manage your anger, get help from an expert. You hire experts to fix your car and manage your legal issues. There’s no reason not to hire someone to help with your anger issues.

Taken to the extreme, anger can be dangerous to those around you and yourself. Even mild anger can be harmful to relationships and your career.

Avoid allowing anger to make your life more challenging. There are many tricks and tips you can use to manage anger yourself, but seek professional assistance if you’re failing to make sufficient progress.

6 Ways to Boost Your Mood in an Instant

Do you ever feel like you just got up on the wrong side of the bed? Or maybe you started out the day great, but then something happened that spoiled it for you. You might be thinking that the day is shot. But you don’t have to let that ruin your whole day!

Luckily, you can uplift your mood – without drugs or other substances – just as quickly as it went downhill.

Try these methods to turn that frown upside down:

1. Find something to fix. Do you have some household chores that can be done? Is a faucet leaking in the kitchen or bathroom? Physical activity combined with fixing something around you can be a powerful way to lift your spirits.

* Whether you fix a broken door handle, leaking faucet, or sew on a button, these simple fixes matter. They’re distracting, easy, and fulfilling at the same time.

* Even changing a lightbulb can make you feel accomplished and boost your mood quickly.

2. Reach out to an old friend. Talking with an old friend can bring back positive memories. Get in touch with a friend online or over the phone.

* Catch up with them and talk about your past. Relive some of the memories you had together.

3. Cross something off your to-do list. A long to-do list can feel intimidating and weigh you down. Try to cross off at least one thing on the list and be proud of what you’ve done.

* Start by picking the easiest and fastest task on the list. Finish it quickly.

* Then, cross off the task with a bold marker or pen. This physical act can help boost your mood.

4. Watch a comedy. Do you have a favorite funny movie that always makes you feel better? Consider having a comedy night at home. Turn on your favorite movie or TV show and relax. Turn it into a real movie night with fresh popcorn and dimmed lights.

5. Spend time with pets. Research studies have shown that simply petting a cat can calm you down and make you feel better.

* Take your dog for a walk at a local park or around the neighborhood.

* Spend time cuddling with your cat and rubbing its stomach.

* Talk to your pets and forget your troubles.

* Get out your pet’s’ favorite toys and play together.

6. Change your diet. Sometimes small changes in the diet can have a big impact on your mood.

* Talk to your doctor and get tested for nutritional deficiencies. Find out if you need to take supplements such as calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, folate, chromium, or vitamin D. They can all influence your mood.

* Eat some carbohydrates or chocolate (in moderation, of course).

* Whole foods such as vegetables and fruit can also help your brain.

* Eat more fish. Salmon, sardines, tuna and other types of fish can improve your mood. Research studies show that they have omega-3s that affect the brain. They increase the levels of chemicals that make you feel happy.

* Drinking more tea is also linked to a better mood. Black, green, and other varieties of tea have been connected to happier moods. They can also help you focus and feel more alert.

You can boost your mood quickly with these tips. Try them and find your favorite method. You can make this your go-to strategy for whenever you want to uplift your mood.

11 Ways to Stimulate Personal Growth

The mere thought of personal growth is enough to make many of us feel discouraged. It’s challenging to make meaningful changes. But if you want to make a difference in the world, or even just your own life, you’ll have to try something new.

Live your life to the fullest and make the most of your time and energy with these personal growth strategies.

Stimulate your personal growth and attain a new level of success:

1. Spend time with a new group of people. When you spend time with the same group of people all of the time, you aren’t exposed to new thoughts, ideas, or conversations. Get a fresh perspective by interacting with a new group.

2. Read. There’s more information available than you’re likely to ever need. Why reinvent the wheel when someone else has probably already walked the path that interests you. Investigate what’s available to you and learn from those that have already been successful.

3. Learn to take action quickly. You’ve had the experience of being excited for a moment about a new idea, only to talk yourself out of it within the first 15 seconds. The key is to take action before you give yourself a chance to think about it. Make a list, a phone call, or sketch out a quick plan.

4. Learn to embrace discomfort. One of the characteristics of successful people is they don’t allow discomfort to derail their efforts. On the other hand, underachievers are easily discouraged by discomfort.

5. Avoid changing too much at once. Your brain cringes at the mere thought of change. You’ll have better luck if you go slowly and strive for consistent progress. Think how much progress you would have made over the last three years if you had just spent 20 minutes each day on a single project.

6. Write. You experience a different perspective when you write your thoughts. It also makes a greater impression on your brain. If you want to do something, think it, say it, write it, and read it.

7. Eat nutritiously. Garbage in – garbage out. Give yourself effective fuel for your efforts. Your body and mind run better when you eat healthy foods.

8. Learn from your experience. The truth is that we are all our worst enemies. We commit the same mistakes over and over. Learn from your past.

9. Evaluate each day. At the end of the day, take a few minutes and write down what you did well and what you could have done better. Over time, you’ll find yourself taking more effective actions and fewer actions that don’t support you.

10. Set a few goals and review them each day. Write down your goals and read them a couple of times each day. Ask yourself at the end of the day what you’ve done to move yourself closer to your goals.

11. Exercise. Your brain functions better if you get some exercise each day. Without exercise, your brain falls into a rut. Use your muscles and get your heart beating for at least 20 minutes each day.

Life is easier if you learn something new each day and avoid repeating your mistakes. If your life hasn’t changed for the better over the last few years, that might be a sign that you could use some more effective strategies.

Personal growth is challenging. In fact, any change is challenging. But you can overcome the challenge and step onto a path that takes you where you want to go.

A new level of personal growth is around the corner. Use these tips as a way to get started on your quest to grow yourself and enrich your life.