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How working out will make you stronger mentally

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How is exercise good for your mind?

You know that feeling you get when you sip on a good cup of coffee, the friendly yet firm kick it gives you, arousing you mentally and giving you that extra edge? It is great!

Unfortunately, as we all know, too much of the black stuff is not great for us. It can cause a lot of stress in the body.

What if there was something else that could give you this same kick as coffee, without the negative side effects?

The good news is: there is!

The not so good news is: you have to actually move – it is exercise!

Fitness and productivity just go together. No denying it.

There is no need to break into a cold sweat though. This doesnot mean you need to drop and give me 60 or sign your free time away to train for a triathlon. What it does mean is that exercising regularly is a sure way to relieve stress, enhance mental clarity, empower your mind, energise your body, help you sleep, make you feel calmer and ultimately make you more productive.

Exercise relieves stress and enhances mental clarity.

When you exercise, especially cardio – running, cycling, and swimming – feel good neurotransmitters called endorphins are released in your brain making you feel better and more relaxed.

This super happy hormone also fights against the stress hormone cortisol thus reducing stress is the body.

It is a no brainer really, exercise makes us feel better.

What usually happens when you are stressed? Do you have a cigarette? Some chocolate maybe? Does it take a glass of wine for you to decompress in the evenings? Would it not make more sense if you could relieve this stress in a healthy more constructive way? Exercise can do this. It helps to clear your mind and gives you time to process.

It empowers your mind and energises your body.

When your brain is a mush of ideas, obstacles, problems and questions, there id just no clarity. You will not be surprised to hear me say that exercise can help here too. I actually think this is one of the most significant benefits of exercise.

When I run, sometimes I think, sometimes I do not. The silence and solitude enables me to gain more perspective. It allows me to go within and look for answers or find peace. It is quite often a meditative activity.

It is also a space to think things through, outside the box, with a calmer perspective. Think about it. Concentrating on just what you are doing – running – removes the focus from the stressor.

Concentrating on the movement of your body, your feet on the pavement or the sounds of your breath helps you to remove yourself from your mind and allows you to let go of whatever it is that is causing you stress or pain giving you a fresh viewpoint on things.

We live a lot in the mind; we become our thoughts and the constant traffic of tasks. Imagine getting away from that regularly? How much more focused and in control would you feel?

I had no outlet to manage the stress that I was bringing home after a day/weeks work. My mind was often a wash with a multitude of thoughts and problems with no more ‘head space’ to think things through –  so I took up running and lifting.

While getting fitter was one of my reasons for taking up running and lifting the primary driver was stress management. Running and lifting provided me with that ‘thinking time’. Time without the ‘pollution’ of daily work/life demands.

I am the only person in my head when I am running/exercising, there are no external distractions.

I have lost count of the number of work problems I have solved when out running.

Exercise gives you the mental edge.

We all know that sluggish feeling in the morning. Your body is moving but your mind has not switched on yet. Imagine the impact on your day if you had a dose of endorphins before your morning meetings?

Exercising first thing is daunting, it is tough, but it truly sets you up for a wonderfully effective day. It gives you a positive, fresh outlook and a real head start. Adding exercise to your day means your productivity will increase because you arrive to work energised, focused and more organised than before.

You will be able to think more clearly, your energy levels will be higher throughout the day, you will be less stressed, more creative and better prepared.

Just think about it – you have done a workout, had breakfast and are up and at them, feeling amazing – and all before 9am!

Working out helps improve sleep.

Sleeping better allows you to be more productive, energised and empowers your mind. If you’re the type of person whose sleep is interrupted when stressed or busy, you have probably lay awake on numerous occasions figuring things out in your mind, going over the day, planning for the next.

Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your mood and your productivity, we all know that feeling. Would it not make more sense to process all of this mind matter during a workout, at a time when you can actually make something of those thoughts?

Regular exercise boosts your self-image.

As you become fitter you feel more confident and enjoy your body more. Your body changes, your muscles firm up; your abs might even make an appearance. You begin to look at yourself differently, you feel good and have more confidence, all of this being great news for your personal life and your libido.

Yep, exercise is proven to boost sex drive, now if that is not a reason to dust off those trainers I do not know what is!

“But I just do not have the time to work out” you say…

I have heard this too many times. My response to this is – If Barack Obama can do it, you can too! His logic is that if he has his daily work out time, the rest of his time will be more productive. Try it.

Do not get me wrong, I know it takes time and planning. But if you have a job you schedule meetings and tasks, why can not exercise be one of these tasks? If you want to live a balanced, healthy life exercise needs to be a major player in it.

It does not have to be a long distance run or anything too strenuous. Start slow and build up, do what is right for you, 20 minutes of exercise can have incredible benefits on your body and mind.

Practical ways to fit exercise into your life:

  • Get up earlier and fit your workout in before work. You have done it for an important meeting so you can absolutely do it for yourself. Getting up earlier is incredibly uplifting; you feel so connected and it gives you an extra edge to seize new opportunities with lots of energy and inspiration. Get into a routine and it will get easier.
  • Schedule a weekly meet with friends or a personl trainer. This becomes routine, something you do weekly like taking out the bins. When you organise to meet someone you are less likely to cancel. You are accountable to someone else which is hugely important when achieving goals.
  • Walk and talk. Are there meetings during your day that you can take outside instead of sitting in a stuffy room? Make your meetings walking meetings. When people are taken out of the usual office environment it gives space for a more relaxed and creative conversation. This is a great way to get not only the blood flowing, but the creative juices too.
  • Exercise at lunch is a fantastic way to get your workout down and energise your afternoon. Rather than feeling lethargic and sluggish after lunch you will feel rejuvenated and recharged. Get your workout in at lunch and free up your evening for personal time to have fun and rest.
  • Work out in work. Lots of companies organise corporate training which really helps to boost morale and productivity. We all know a healthy workforce is a happy one and happy people are more productive.

There’s nothing better than setting yourself a goal of working out and achieving it.

You feel like you can take on the world.

You feel so powerful and invincible afterwards.

This feeling of empowerment and strength that exercise gives transfers into other areas of life without you even realising it, giving you a more productive, positive, healthy life.

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How to be a leader

How to be a leader

Many leaders and entrepreneurs are sold on the idea that hard work and paying your dues will guarantee future success. Indeed, the idea of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is something we aspire to do.

On the subjects of leadership and success, nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Sure, perseverance and having grit have a great deal to do with being a successful leader. But that is not all there is to it. Here are lessons other lessons that true leaders always keep in mind.

1. Identify your purpose 
Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Indeed, successful leaders identify their passions and life goals and leverage them to create businesses, help people and make positive impacts on the world. By making their unique dreams and aspirations the framework around which their companies operate, leaders fulfill their missions in life without ever feeling like they are really working.

Though this seems like common sense, it may be difficult to discern what fields or interests you should pursue long-term. I suggests starting the process by asking these three questions:

1. What do you love to do, that you would do even if you do not get paid for it?

2. What do other people say you are really good at?

3. What is the one thing you want to experience, or do, or accomplish, before you die, so that on your last day on earth you feel satisfied and have no regrets in that area?

2. Use the word: No
Warren Buffett once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” Cutting the fat from both your individual actions during the work day and long-term ventures will lead to more successful outcomes.

Not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials. Not just once a year as part of a planning meeting, but constantly reducing, focusing and simplifying.

Not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but being willing to cut out really terrific opportunities as well. Few appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organizations from the very successful ones.

After taking stock of what is absolutely essential, prioritize and focus on tasks that only you can or should do. Delegate those that are urgent but do not need your full time and attention. And do not forget to take time off.

3. Listen
The benefits to active listening are two-fold. First, it will help you get a better idea of what is really going on before making informed decisions. Former chairman of IBM Lou Gerstner partially attributed the success of the company at the turn of the century to listening.

In his book Who Said Elephants Can’t Dance? Inside IBM’s Historic Turnaround, he wrote, “For the first month, I listened, and I tried very hard not to draw conclusions.” This strategy led to IBM’s success, as he was responsible for increasing the company’s stock market value by 800%.

Second, simply listening instead of reacting will allow you to build effective working relationships that help your organization reach the next level. To say that a person feels listened to means a lot more than just their ideas get heard. It is a sign of respect.

Listening is one of the easiest ways to get good karma and establish positive relationships with everyone around you.

4. Inspire 
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. Indeed, one of the defining features of being a leader is the ability to excite and motivate other people.

Being inspirational does not mean giving out awards and bonuses every year and calling it a day. It is more about instilling continuous, long-term motivation and trust in your supporters, giving them a reason to get out of bed every morning.

It is about firing up people and sparking their innate creativity and desire to innovate, even when they did not think they had the capacity. Making sure someone feels like their work is vital to achieving the company’s goals is one of the easiest ways to encourage your colleagues to be the best they can be.

5. Focus on emotional intelligence
Before you can even think about inspiring your followers, you also need to be well-versed in emotional intelligence, a mix of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill.

Having a high level of emotional intelligence is imperative to knowing how to empathize with, encourage and challenge your team members to reach their highest potential.

Daniel Coleman, a psychologist and journalist who was the first to associate emotional intelligence with leadership, found, “When I compared star performers with average ones in senior leadership positions, nearly 90 percent of the difference in their profiles was attributable to emotional intelligence factors rather than cognitive abilities.”

Travis Bradberry, another emotional intelligence researcher, identified a few easy ways to build up your emotional intelligence including being self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses, practicing self-confidence, letting go of mistakes, neutralizing toxic people and being compassionate.

6. Learn and learn
Even if you are one of the top experts in your field, staying up-to-date about new developments by reading articles, magazines and reports will keep you at the top of your game. Also, joining professional associations and local clubs and going to their events could allow you to network with other ground-shakers, get caught up with the newest technology, and learn more about issues relevant to your field.

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How to learn a new language: leverage your listening habits

How to learn a language

Languages has a lot of slang, colloquialisms and idioms. The only way to
master these is by listening. Listening will improve your speaking capabilities hugely.
You will learn the correct pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, accent, and intonation.

One can apply what you hear in your daily life.

● Make it a point to listen to the radio, or T.V. while doing random chores.
All human beings learn a language by listening. Make sure you watch a movie
without subtitles.

● Singing is a great fun way to improve your pronunciation. It can also
develop fluency.

Remember, developing your English, Spanish or French listening skill is not only important to learn a language. It is also important because a person is not going to repeat himself over and
over waiting for you to understand.

Watching a movie without subtitles will teach you
how to keep up with what a person is saying.

● Role-playing also helps in improving speech. Watch an movie in the language that
you are fond of over and over again till you understand it complete, and then
enact the movie yourself.

Repeat this exercise with another movie. This will
not only improve your speech, it will also improve your ability to listen.
Listening and repeating is the best way to learn a language.

I know people who have learned a complete language perfectly just by watching the movies and listening to the songs. Of course, this works better if the language you are trying to learn is closer to your own native language.

However, remember that English for example is a mix of a number of different languages.

How to Strengthen Listening Habits?
Now, in order to strengthen your language listening habits for an extra leverage, let us
take a look at the three types of listening one must indulge into and further ways to
improving your skills in each.

Type 1: Passive or Inactive Listening
Passive listening plays a dormant role in the communication process. The listener
simply listens and absorbs the meaning of the language and is not expected to react or
put his views across.

As a foreign learner, passive listening allows you to acquaint the
verbal form of speech and take time to assimilate what you listen. It is the most
comfortable way of taking massive input.

Here are some important aspects you can instill to maximise learning from passive listening:
Focus on understanding each word in individual sense and in correlation with the
constructed sentences.

Do not deviate your concentration in putting emphasis on
preconception of the context while listening.

● Rehearse and summarise in your mind what you comprehended from the
speech as an aftermath.

● Take note on how vocabulary is used interchangeably to get a hand on
varied ways of expressive ability.

● If possible, pen down the main frame of sentences in short hand for further
reference.

● Keep observation on the pauses used while conveying the emotion of the
context. There are clause, sentence and paragraph pauses in conversationalspeech in a rhythmic pattern which you must focus on while listening to the language you want to learn.

● As a foreign listener, at times the speech might sound out of your pace to
absorb the meaning of it. Do not get intimidated with the volume of words and
sentences while listening as it might keep you from taking whatever input you
can anyway.

● In case of listening live to a speaker, note the lip movement made while
pronouncing the syllables, vowels and consonants differently.

Type 2: Extensive Listening
Furthermore and beyond specific information, Extensive listening includes listening to
long textual narratives which in return builds the listener’s stamina to take in more and
more bulk of conversational language and understand the contextual reference in larger
lengths.

After listening to a particular audio book on repetitive mode, you will observe
that you are consciously picking up the pronunciation and can fairly summarise the
meaning in portions.

Extensive listening is a great self tutoring method for learning
second languages. While making extensive listening a habit, keep the following points in
mind for exceptional learning.

● Use different mediums like audio books, recordings, videos,
entertainment pieces, musicals, debates and dialogues for extracting a variety
of accents, speech alterations and genres of the vocal in the language.

● To avoid hurtling up while listening extensively, pick a topic of interest and
listen through till the end.

● Since mostly you can repeat and take a pause while listening to prerecorded
mediums, list down new words and phrases you come across and
look up for the meaning of complex vocabulary to keep up with the flow of
speech.

● One of the best way to keep a log of different pronunciations while listening
to voluminous text is to pen down the words as they sound. This will give you
an edge on the phonic tone to understand what you listen better.

Type 3: Responsive Listening
In interpersonal communication, responsive listening is the half kernel of the two way
process. Now as a non native learner, getting into habit of responsive listening is a
place where you are active as a listener as well as a speaker.

Engaging yourself with this type of listening will build your grasping speed and make you spontaneous with the language. Once you start practising it as a habit, you can further optimise listening through these elements:
Responsive listening is a behavioural act. Keep the focal point on listening calmly
rather than getting anxious about how you would frame your response.
Ask the speaker to reiterate if you do not get the context clearly.

It is always betterto seek clarification rather than responding in irrelevance. Take time to apprehend what you listen before jumping to a response It is observed that very often people practice prejudiced listening and neglect the minutes.

As a settler to the foreign language you must keep a flexible and open mind while listening so as to ingest the actual meaning of what is being spoken.

“Do It Right Now”: Steps to Start Improving instantly
Step 1: Watch an movie int the language you are learning

Step 2: Make an honest list of all the words that you thought were pronounced in a
different way.

Step 3: By the end of the movie, if your list is small, your pronunciation is not so bad.
However, if your list is long, you need to work on pronouncing those words.

Step 4: If you are not sure about the pronunciation, use the help of Internet tools or
download a dictionary app on your phone to help with correct yourself.

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Why a gentleman should write a diary

Why every man should write a diary
Why every man should write a diary

Do you remember what you did last summer?

No, because in life a lot of things happen and if you do not write them down you can not remember them. Why is this bad? Well, you have a fun life with a lot of cool stuff going on.

It is not a shame to fight to experience all these things, without ever remembering them again? Just like when you get drunk and have a crazy night – without being able to remember it afterwards.

I spent yesterday reading through my diary for the past year. And it was so much fun, so many ups and downs and exhillerating moments. It is kind of like being there again. Like you experience the rush of the money made, women conquered, sports played or whatever makes you heart beat once again.

You feel everything again, and it is so much better tha watching a movie.

Where are you going?
Also, I think it is healthy to reflect on our life, where youre going, what youve been doing, how you are progressing, etc. I do not think you can do that if you do not take a pause every day. Just do it a couple of minutes. Write down what went well, what went bad, what you learned, or maybe just the highlights of your day.

Planning for success
You know how hard it is just to remember the past month, so imagine how impossible it will be to remember the past 300. But with a diary, your biography is already written.

It is all there – you can pick out the best content, publish and give value back to the world.

You will always be able to read through the diary of your life, and you will be able to re-experience all the amazing things you have done.

Your children and grandchildren can read the adventures of their inspirational forefather.

You can also use your diary to refresh the most important lessons from your life. Like homework but way more useful since you only write down what is relevant to you.

Action plan
Make it a habit to write your diary every night. Just a couple of minutes, a few notes. You can do it on the computer or in a good old notebook, it does not matter, the most important thing is to you get started and make it a habit.

Thank me later.

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How to be more productive

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Spending more time thinking about how to do things, instead of doing them? You are not alone. Let us talk about productivity, and why you should try not to be perfect.

It seems like everyone in this society is trying to be perfect and do everything the right way without any mistakes. Just look at the headlines of pickup marketing sites:

“The perfect way to get her number”
“The perfect way to text her”
“The perfect way to ask her out”
“The perfect way to get the kiss”

STOP TRYING TO BE PERFECT! YOU NEVER WILL! DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME THINKING AND ANALYZING, WHEN 95% OF THE TIME, YOU WILL GET MUCH MORE OUT OF DOING THINGS INSTEAD!

Trying to be perfect is a huge problem to many areas of life.

Getting laid
Most guys (especially guys that have filled their head with advanced weirdo pickup-theories) keep thinking about how to act the perfect way, say the perfect lines, touch her the perfect time and go for the kiss when the moment is right.

Business
Lots of people with good ideas (myself included) tend to think they have to plan their business the perfect way to get success.

Workout
People spend so much time planning and reading and thinking about the perfect way to work out and eat right and get the results they want.
Generally, I think people spend more time thinking about how to be perfect, instead of doing and learning by doing.

This is a problem because you would not be anything if you only think. You will only achieve something if you do something. What im trying to say is:

STOP THINKING SO MUCH

STOP WORRYING AND TRYING TO DO EVERYTHING THE RIGHT WAY

WORRY ABOUT ONE THING: GETTING THINGS DONE

Be productive

I just see so many people talking and thinking about losing weight or quitting smoking or whatever they want to do, and spending hours and hours on end trying to find the perfect program, instead of just getting to the gyn or throwing the cigarettes away.

I see so many guys that like a girl, but instead of asking her out, they spend hours thinking about how to do it, and before they know it, it is too late and another guy has taken her.

Try not to be perfect
I have always been a perfectionist. I tend to want to do everything the perfect way. This was a huge problem, especially when I was younger, since it was hard for me to get anything done.

When I went to school. I often stayed up the whole night perfecting the last details of my assignments, instead of just getting them done and getting some sleep.

Now it is less of a problem, since I have kind of forced myself not to be perfect and just getting things done.

I think a lot of this has to do with the way our society appears. But remember – what you see in the media and on social medie like facebook or Twitter is not reality – you are most likely overestimating everyone else – and often people on social media try to create a perfect image of themselves, which differs from their actual reality.

Worrying about the details is stupid. It is taken action that counts. The last details are not as important as you think. For instance, the first many articles I wrote for this site, I spent like 5 or 8 hours to write (and some of them I still do).

But I actually found a really cool way to get them done, be productive and get a lot of my content up. Earlier today, when I got off from work, I wanted to write an article about dieting.

What I did 
I took a walk for like 10 minutes, brainstorming and writing 5-10 keywords/headlines that I wanted the article to be built up about.

Then, instead of sitting down and trying to write the article word for word, I just took my camera, started recording, and started talking about the topic for 8-10 minutes. I talked to myself about the topic, with help from the keywords I wrote before.

After that, I sat down, and played the video while I transcribed/wrote everything down I said in the video. (I had to pause the video a few times because I talk faster than I can write).

Then I had an article, three pages written in like an hour!!
Usually I would spend six hours writing that much, so it is absolutely amazing how much faster I got this done.

Same thing applies to working out. Stop thinking, start doing.
To getting laid. Stop thinking, start doing.
To texting. Stop thinking, start doing.
To explore an idea. Stop thinking start doing.
To a sales call. Stop thinking start doing.

A habit of doing
You do not have to act the perfect way to get results in life. Usually, if you just start acting you will achieve more than the most. This has been a huge revelation for me, and it is a very important habit to incorporate in your lifestyle.

I have been lucky to learn this from my jobs and from other persons.. If I had been all alone in this world, I would still sit in some dark basement thinking and analyzing the best way to improve my life. Instead of doing it.

I am glad that other people have taught me how to get things done, and I hope this article will inspire you to get things done yourself.

Next time you catch yourself spending too much time thinking about something, or trying to do it perfectly, tell yourself:
I am better off doing it right now in a 90% quality, than never getting it done or spending three times as much time on it, because I want to make it perfect.

It would not be perfect anyway, Just do it.

 

How to be a successful creative person

How to be a successful creative person

Freddy Mercury

1. You create your own work routine 
The business day, nine to five, was designed purely so everyone was doing everything at the same time – trains carried commuters in the mornings and evenings, people would answer the phones, and everyone could work together.

Nowadays, with telecommuting, a global economy, and modern communication this is not as important. Therefore there is no real reason it should be when you work.

The most creative people in the world have almost never kept to simple 9-5 hours.

Early hours are a common theme in creative people. Emmanuel Kant got up at 5am each morning to start work, and most writers find the breaking dawn and waking mind ideal for creation.

Lately, later hours are more common, particularly among creative in the design industry or developers. But basically, if the option is available to you, work whenever you feel the best.

This might be early morning, or it might be throughout the night, but finding the right routine for you own creative mind is important to get the most out of your abilities.

However, I would recommend not burning the candle at both ends. Again, the most creative people throughout history have always known that it is as important for the mind to rest, and play, as it is for it to work.

Unfortunately, modern life seems to reward people who are work-machines.

We idolize those people who work all hours and focus entirely on that. Though they may be quickly successful, in the long term such people will burn out.

Your brain and body needs the time to recuperate and relax for you to come up with the best ideas and be the most creative. This may be as simple as setting a strict work routine and making sure your work stays within those boundaries, or you mind might need more reinvigoration each day.

If so, meditation is highly prevalent within the creative community. Sting, David Lynch, and Hugh Jackman are all meditators, and just a few minutes per day of contemplative thought can improve the brain’s ability to think creatively.

When all of this comes together, then the best minds get in the zone. Easily one of the most important traits that the most creative people exhibit is the ability to get lost on their work and go with the flow.

This ability to get in the zone, remove outside distractions and get on with their work is obviously important for success. But it is also one of the most difficult to master and requires a lot of things to go right.

But if you can figure out, over time, what works for you and what does not then you will start to find those moments when you look up from your work and realize the day has gone by without you noticing becoming more and more frequent.

2. You can recognize your worst and best
As important as it is to know how you work best, it is as important to recognize when you are not performing at your optimum. Highly creative people are often easily bored as their minds are always after something to occupy them.

Again, they might therefore create specific routines to make sure they always stay on task and concerned with the matter at hand. Either that, or they will build their lives and work around multiple smaller activities to make sure they do not get too bogged down and bored with one at a time.

As they can get bored easily, creative people can often be the world’s most willful procrastinators.

Though they should be doing one thing, their minds are often off on something else and they can get easily distracted. This leads to the bad version of above – when you look up from YouTube and realize the day has gone by.

Again, specific rituals and routines can abate this and make sure that they get the code, article, presentation, etc. done on time, even if it is at the last minute. After all, the greatest inspiration is the deadline.

3. You love new experiences
A theme among highly creative people is that will try and surround themselves with beauty, and can see the beauty everywhere, even in the most mundane of circumstances.

Synesthesia might give us a clue here. Synesthesia is a condition where senses get confused and overlap. Synesthetes can therefore ‘see’ sounds, or ‘feel’ tastes (One synesthete described chicken as ‘spiky’) and it is a condition prevalent in some of the most creative people in history.

The writer Nabakov  was a synesthete . For these people, every day words or objects can have different colours or sounds associated with them that are out of reach for most people.

It may be that a lower-level version of this is prevalent in most creative people, giving them the ability to see perceive objects, words, and numbers in ways that we cannot understand.

Another common theme in creative people is that their creativity is not restricted to one single outlet.

Einstein was a keen violinist and would take his beloved violin everywhere he travelled around the world. Perhaps because they have such an active mind, they need multiple ways to satiate their diet of creativity.

You should look to express yourself in as many ways as possible, and to search out new avenues for creative and artistic expression.

4. You know what you do not like
Once you know what you do like, and what gets your creative juices flowing, you should try and find out what dams your mind and stops you from expressing yourself.

A lot of creative people have issues around boundaries and rules.

In particular, they do not like to follow pointless rules and will often try to circumvent rules they do not think they need to follow.

The French impressionists of the late nineteenth century are a good example of people who did not play by the rules and did´not like the boundaries that their world was imposing on them.

Their work was so abstract by the standards of the time, that it was was shunned and rejected by the top galleries. This did not stop them however, and now Monet, Renoir, and Degas are the most famous names from the time.

I am not saying you should step out and break all the rules going, but be wary of the constraints upon you, and see where you can break, or at least bend, any rules that are hurting your creativity.

5. You take risks, you fail
Being able to fail is a big part of any creativity. No one is good on their first go, so the ability to deal with failure, and learn from mistakes is imperative if you want to succeed.

Essentially, successful people play the law of averages, choosing to try as much as possible knowing that eventually something will stick. In this way they are prolific.

Whereas most people will get disheartened after failing once or twice, successful people know that they have to be friends with failure to get through to success on the other side.

Just as you have to be friends with failure, you have to be ready to take risks if you are to be successful creatively. They do not limit themselves and go out on a limb, seeing that the reward is often worth taking this risk.

A common theme with successful people in any sphere of human endeavor is the ability to step up to a challenge. Whereas most people will shy away from obstacles in their life, successful people will see these as challenges to overcome and will push themselves.

These highly creative people often is life as something to be grabbed and challenged rather than something to shrink away from.

They are good at not giving in and stubbornly pressing ahead, even after failure. You might call this pigheadedness, or you might call it optimism, but it is vital if you want to succeed.

After any failure you have to move on quickly and not dwell on issues or problems.

Though you should not set yourself up for failure, you should embrace it when it comes. The learning experience from mistakes is important for your next idea and to fuel your creativity.

6. You daydream
Daydreaming has negative connotations in society. Daydreamers are seen as unproductive and unintelligent. But daydreaming is one of the most important habits that we have, especially for creative people.

Daydreaming is just allowing your imagination free rein within your brain. When you allow your brain some downtime, it can significantly improve your creative abilities.

It might even improve your memory. Never be worried or ashamed that you daydream, as what you are really doing is allowing your brain to do what it does best – think.

Sometimes even thinking is frowned upon. But highly creative people usually enjoy just thinking. We often see it as weird if someone is content to sit there, quietly, just inside their own head, but creativity requires this focus and thought to germinate.

These kind of people are also the type who think for fun. You might find that they enjoy a puzzle or a crossword, and you are likely to find them at the local pub on quiz night.

So let your mind wander and see what it comes up with.

7. You embrace your surroundings 
When they are not daydreaming and letting their minds work, they should be watching the world go round and fueling the fire of creativity. Curiosity is paramount for a highly creative person.

Painters will understand how people move, and writers will understand how people speak. They take in their surroundings and draw inspiration from anything and everything around them.

Personal experience is important as well.

The more you do in in your life, the more your mind will be able to create.

New experiences are really opportunities for creative people, more inspiration to draw on. Though you might prefer to sit at home in front of a computer, notepad, or canvas, it if better to first go out and experience something new so that you have adventures to describe.

8. You are confident
Though the concept of creativity is often closely linked to the arts, and only a handful of people are considered creative within society, I actually think that almost everyone has significant creative capacity, and it is only a lack of confidence that holds them back.

Usually this confidence is eroded early in life when they were told their ideas just were not up to snuff, but however it happened, most people have zero confidence in their own creative abilities.

The people that do are the people that succeed. Having confidence in your abilities is also closely linked to the capacity to fail.

If you are confident that you are on the right track, then you are more likely to be able to take criticism and negative feedback well and to learn from your mistakes.

Of course, you also need the confidence to push ahead with your ideas even in the face of criticism, and this is a fine line to tread. But, again, it doesn’t matter if you fail, just as long as you learn from the failure for your next idea.

For a highly creative person, this ability to trust themselves, and to trust that they know what they are doing and to be able to perform each time, means that they can keep going, even when others are telling them to stop.

They also know that sometimes they are their own worst enemies. Sabotaging yourself with procrastination or anxiety is very common and an issue that more creative people get past.

This might be through changes to your routine, or the simple ability to learn from mistakes and to see how you are getting better with each new idea.

9. You ask questions
You have to be curious if you are to be creative. Creative people are always asking questions and asking the right questions. Whereas they might spend a lot of time in their own heads, they also need to understand what is in other peoples.

This is can often be the difference between success and failure. The best understand that they need guidance and are humble – they do not know it all and understand their own limitations.

Part of this might be realizing when other people can do something better than you. Building the best team to attack the task at hand is a much better strategy than trying to attempt everything yourself.

Top companies built by luminaries such as Steve Jobs at Apple, Bill Gates at Microsoft, or Elon Musk at Tesla or SpaceX are testament to this. They may all be highly creative individuals, but they know that to really succeed, they need the brightest minds around them.

Having teams or collaborations is not just a matter of filling skills gaps either. Teams allow you to see more connections and to bounce ideas off other thinkers, meaning more problems can be discovered, and ultimately solved.

Creativity grows with knowledge and you need constant fuel for the creativity fire. The more questions you ask, the smarter you are going to get, and the better ideas you are going to have.

Though it is seen as a sign of weakness to ask questions and admit “I don’t know”, actually it requires a lot of confidence to submit to another. But the more you do it, the more questions you ask, the more creative you will become.

10. You follow your dreams
You are far more likely to be creative in an area that you truly enjoy and love, rather than in a job that you have no real desire for. Though you can definitely find love for any work you do, most creative people choose to follow the path of their passions, no matter how difficult that might be.

You might be told to get a real job, but if you choose to follow your true passions, then that is more of a real job to you than anything else could ever be.

Over to you

Though highly creative people do many things differently, it is not that they are doing anything special. The ability to think and act creatively comes down to having good knowledge of yourself and the best working practices for you, and to have the confidence to challenge yourself.

It is also about deciding to take those risks, follow those dreams, and to learn to deal with failure. No one like to fail, but it is a vital process in learning and as long as you can learn from mistakes, then you are always progressing.

If you want to push yourself into the highly creative category, then know your weaknesses and know your strengths – from there, as long as you have genuine creative wanderlust and want to ask questions and explore the world, you will have the right recipe for creativity.

How to get people on your side

How to get people on your side

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When you wish to draw people to your side of an argument, a discussion or a sale, you probably spend a lot of time and energy thinking about what you should say. That is  an important skill to acquire.

But ultimately it is wasted if you say the right things in the wrong way.

It is not just what you say but how you say what you say. These eight rules can serve as a foundation for saying things right:

1. Listen
A Clark Gable type was asked about the source of his charm with the ladies. “They think I’m a great conversationalist,” he said.

What does it take to be a great conversationalist? “Knowing how to be a great listener” was his reply.

In too many conversations, there is silence when there should be acknowledgment. There is replying when restating is warranted. There is interrupting and rushing – and mind wandering.

Do not do those things. Instead, pay attention and acknowledge explicitly what the other person has said.

2. Body language
Your posture and movements are as revealing and expressive as your spoken words. Study yourself in the mirror and learn which body language creates a good impression and the expressions that betray boredom, disagreement and dismissiveness.

For example, folded arms say, “I’m not buying that.” Poor eye contact indicates, “I’m not interested.” And fidgeting says, “You’re boring me.”

3. Communication etiquette
The word etiquette may be old-fashioned but true politeness has not gone out of fashion, and the less people see of it in day-to-day interactions, the more they appreciate it.

Say please and thank you. Do not be afraid of superlatives or of showing extra respect and concern for another person. Do say things like “May I ask if you have any questions?” or “I do hope I was clear.”

Try “Thank you, that was interesting. You make a good point.”

4. From the heart
It is said that sincerity can not be taught and if you do not feel it, you can only deliver your best facsimile. I sincerely disagree. Showing sincerity is a trait that is as learnable as any other virtue.

Speaking from the heart also gives you credibility with a listener. People who sell things or have to keep repeating a message can start sounding robotic. Speaking from the heart can avert that danger.

5. Voice smile
Your smile is detectable in your attitude and your voice. Research has indicated that a smile triggers measurable activity in the area of your brain where happiness is registered.

Since just smiling seems to make people happier, how could the sound of your smile fail to have a salutary effect on the person hearing it?

Your smile is one of your most powerful communication instruments. Enlist it to calm fears, soothe anger, express sympathy, soften resistance and engender confidence.

6. Tempo
What is the right tempo for a conversation? Fast? Slow? Remember, communication is an art. So I will simply say, It depends. If you talk too fast for your listeners, you might leave them behind or, even worse, be perceived as insincere.

Talk too slowly and you might bore a listener or sound bored or unprepared. The right speed evinces energy and interest. In addition, by varying your tempo as appropriate, you prevent monotony.

7. Visualize  your superman
You want to exude a positive attitude and self-confidence and you can not do that if you are mentally criticizing yourself. Try imagining yourself as completely composed, organized and productive.

Visualize your goal. If you are trying to satisfy a customer, visualize yourself delivering perfect service. If you are in a management situation, see yourself delivering great coaching.

In peer interactions, imagine yourself receiving respect and cooperation.

8. Prepare
You would not say things right if you are fearful and hesitant. Anxiety is the price you pay for an unprepared mind and mouth. So prepare. Find a partner to role-play with or just use a mirror.

Practice applying the rules above. Role-playing can reduce your fear of rejection and failure. It gives you confidence and poise.