You May Not Realize It, But These 6 Small Habits Can Block Your Way To Success

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/E_mUBcaMlDU/you-may-not-realize-it-but-these-6-small-habits-can-block-your-way-to-success

There’s a historian by the name of Will Durant who summarized an idea of Aristotle’s as, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” With that being said, often times your habits determine your success—or form road blocks. If you can find a way to rise above habits that are hindering your success, you will find that you will be able to reach the potential you’ve always had.

These six self-destructive habits are a good place to start making some changes:

1. Checking your phone during a conversation

Think about the last time you were having a conversation with someone and they picked up their phone to check a text message or glance over when a notification popped up. It’s a really big turn off when you feel you aren’t being listened to. And it’s likely that while distracted, you’re probably missing some important information. When you’re having a conversation, focus all your attention on the conversation. By putting your phone away, you will find that the conversations you have will be more enjoyable when you fully immerse yourself in them.

It’s an out of sight, out of mind type of thing. If you can’t see it, there’s a good possibility that you’ll forget all about it for the time being. By doing this, you’ll find that the conversations you have will be more enjoyable when you fully immerse yourself in them.

2. Dwelling on failures from your past

When you mess up it’s hard to not be really critical of yourself. You get those feelings of hating yourself, not feeling good enough, inadequate, etc. It’s normal to feel like that from time to time, but it won’t do you any good to provoke self-hatred by continuously dwelling on those mistakes. Try to train your mind to look at your mistake(s) as an opportunity to walk away with a lesson rather than beating yourself up and swimming in negative thoughts about yourself.

Instead of dwelling, start asking yourself questions about what led you to make the decision you made. It’s beneficial to adopt the habit of asking yourself questions about your failure rather than dwelling on the failure itself.

3. Keeping relationships with toxic people

Toxic people tend to make their mark in our lives and manage to stay there. It doesn’t matter where you work, there’s always going to be someone that just really gets under your skin. You may find that your skin cringes with even the thought of this person. By letting this person influence you to the point where it affects your performance and mood at work, you’re hindering your success. When you feel these thoughts flooding into your mind, replace them with thinking about how grateful you are for someone else in your life. It doesn’t do you any good to think about the people who don’t matter when there are plenty of people out there who deserve your attention.

4. Comparing yourself to others

Not doing this can be really hard, I know. You may find yourself doing it sometimes without even realizing it. You lose control over your happiness when you compare yourself to those around you. When you’ve accomplished something that makes you feel good and satisfied, don’t allow another person’s opinion and/or their accomplishments take away those good feelings you have. It’s nearly impossible to not let what others think of you get into your head, but over time you can learn to quickly remove that negativity and keep moving forward.

During these times, it’s important to remind yourself that your self-worth is something that comes from the inside. Keep this in mind—you’re never as bad as someone says you are.

5. Gossiping

They’re everywhere, you can’t escape them. People who love to gossip get a ‘high’ from other people’s short-comings and failures. It may seem tempting at first to engage with others and talk about someone else’s personal/professional life, but after awhile you’ll start to realize that you feel really awful about hurting other people. Instead of doing that, pay attention and talk about the positive things going on around you. People are very interesting, and there is so much you can learn from them. Have you ever noticed that a person who compulsively gossips is rarely happy with their own life? Remember that.

6. Being distracted by notification pop-ups

It’s very hard to stay focused every time a notification pops up on your phone or email. Each time your phone or computer makes a noise, it grabs your attention and causes your productivity to drop. Getting notifications multiple times throughout your day may make you feel like you’re being productive, but that’s far from the truth. Every time you get distracted, it’s taking your attention away from the things that need to be done. A task that should take you only a few hours can easily turn into an all-day affair if you’re not mindful of how distracting it can be.

To eliminate this, turn off your pop-up notifications while you’re working. Set certain times during the day when you check your phone and email. For example, when you get to work in the morning, when you take your lunch break, and then again right before you head out to go home for the day. You’ll start to realize how much more productive you are this way.

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You Only Need 20 Minutes For An Insanely Productive Day (With This Morning Ritual)

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/LEjv_odH2tk/you-only-need-20-minutes-for-an-insanely-productive-day-with-this-morning-ritual

Picture this: you start the day on the wrong foot. Say the alarm didn’t buzz. So, you take a hurried shower and have burnt toast for breakfast, the kids decide to disappear at the instant your car refuses to start, and basically everything goes south from there. It’s like Murphy’s Law: if something can go wrong, it will. The result: your plans to have a productive day go flying out of the window. The solution? A 20-minute morning routine that lets you have an insanely productive day!

The Harvard-trained happiness researcher and New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage Shawn Achor recommends a morning ritual that will increase your positivity levels and give you a happiness advantage.

What is the Happiness Advantage?

When you raise your positivity level, your brain feels happier. A happier brain, drunk on positivity, is better equipped to handle stress as well as everyday situations. This is true simply because the brain becomes more intelligent with a dose of positivity. A happier brain also makes your body’s energy levels rise and makes you move about more proactively. A brain fed on positivity makes your day far more productive, according to Achor. Your productivity can go up by about 31%. So, let’s talk about that 20-minute morning routine that will promote an insanely productive day.

1. 2 Minutes to Relive the Most Positive Moment of the Past Day

The brain can be tricked – it does not realize the difference between experiencing a high and visualizing one. So, take two minutes to write down the happiest moment of your past 24 hours and to relive all its great moments. This will make your brain feel more positive. A more positive brain, as we have just seen, basically makes you far more productive in everything during the day, be it work, chores, or hobbies.

2. 2 Minutes to Send a Positive E-Mail

Sending someone a positive email full of nice things will make two things happen. One is that it will make you feel pumped because you’ve done a good deed. The other is that it will make you stronger in interpersonal relationships. And being popular will certainly make you and your brain happier, thereby making your brain and you far more productive than normal.

3. 2 Minutes to Express Gratitude

Jot down three new things that you are thankful for on an everyday basis for at least 21 consecutive days. This will train your brain to become more optimistic and to look for positivity everywhere instead of negativity. Thinking of all that you have makes you feel good about your life. Instead of seeing the glass as half empty, this way you can train your brain to see it as half full. An optimistic view of the world is an infinitely happier one. And happiness, as we have seen, puts you on the path towards more productivity!

4. 10-15 Minutes to Exercise

Exercise affects the brain in two ways. Vigorous exercise, even if it’s for just 10 minutes, floods your brain with endorphins, aka the “happy hormones” that reduce stress and make your thinking tank function optimally. Secondly, by taking a little time to exercise and do something for yourself, you train your brain to think that you matter. The positivity carries through the day and through everything you do. Completing an exercise routine is one way to train the brain to get through something with perseverance, and so it makes your brain more productive too.

5. 2 Minutes to Meditate

Finally, even if it’s just for two minutes, sit and internalize your thoughts, meditating on nothing but your breath going in and out. This improves the focusing mechanism of the brain and makes it more accurate, as well as increasing positivity and lowering stress levels. Sharper concentration means you let your brain focus on the job at hand, and this makes it more productive.

This routine can be done in 20 minutes a day, or it can be stretched a little more on days you have time. It will make you and your brain more positive, and definitely more productive too.

Featured photo credit: Pixels via pexels.com

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The Biggest Communication Problem Is That We Listen To Reply, Not To Understand

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/TfQNAcskXrA/the-biggest-communication-problem-is-that-we-listen-to-reply-not-to-understand

George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Picture this: someone is speaking to you, expressing their thoughts carefully for you to understand. You wait for the breaks in the conversation, when you think they’ve finished talking, and then you interrupt with your own piece of information or repeat what was just said. “Oh, I know just how you feel,” you say, or “I had the same thing happen to me. Let me tell you about it!”

You fail to listen. You create your own ideas. You miss the message and the opportunity to understand. It’s about your agenda, not theirs. Have you ever experienced this?

Often, you think you’ve understood what was said, but the reality is that you spent the whole time formulating a reply and forgot to actually listen. Arguably, listening is the most difficult skill in communication, and we’re getting worse at it.

What We Hear Vs. What We Understand

There is a lag time between hearing and understanding. This lag time varies from one individual to another. The lag time can be a few seconds to up to a minute, and this is where the trouble begins. It’s during this lag time that we drift off and start listening to ourselves and not to the person speaking to us. This is when we lose concentration and comprehension.

What causes this lag time? It could be our emotional state. It also could be our physical state. However, the most likely offenders are our own thoughts and judgments. One example is confirmation bias, our habit of picking out facets of a conversation that reinforce our values, perceptions and pre-existing beliefs.

The gap between what is said and what we hear is also linked to how slow or fast a person speaks. The average person speaks 175 to 200 words per minute, but most people are capable of listening to and processing 600 to 1,000 words per minute. Because of this, our brain is not always fully focused on what someone is saying and goes off in different directions. This prevents us from understanding what is being said.

Another phenomenon is called competitive listening. This is when we have a negative reaction to what is being said because we don’t agree with the other person. We immediately stop listening and the conversation is over.

Allow Yourself to Understand

Let’s face it, we’re not going to agree with everything everybody says. That is part of life, and we need to accept it. Instead of falling into traps like confirmation bias and competitive listening, let’s try to concentrate on understanding by becoming a little more empathetic when we listen. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Open your mind to what is being said. Don’t judge, just listen. If you have a problem focusing, repeat what is being said in your mind.
  2. Forget the details and listen for the big picture. It’s important to get the overall point of the conversation first. Statements can be easily misunderstood, especially when they differ from your own opinions and cause you to listen competitively.
  3. Don’t interrupt until the other person has finished speaking. You can always ask the speaker to repeat himself or herself, but do it in between sentences.
  4. Don’t jump to conclusions. Let the speaker articulate his or her point of view completely. This will give you time to think it through before formulating a response.

Remember, it’s perfectly OK to disagree with someone, but you need to first understand their message. Ask yourself why their message may be true and what circumstances would make it true. Asking this will put you “in their shoes,” so to speak, and will make it more challenging to argue with them.

In summary, most of us have never been taught to listen, so it’s really not our fault. Effective listening is skill-based and must be learned and practiced. You must approach listening with a positive attitude and the intent to understand the other person completely. This paradigm is completely different from the usual paradigm. It gets you within the other person’s reality. You put yourself in it so that you can see things the way the other person sees them and understand the way they feel. Your reply will then come from a basis of complete understanding.

Featured photo credit: Tord Sollie via unsplash.com

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Everything Is Going To Be Fine In The End. If It Isn't Fine, It Isn't The End.

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/r6EyYo-ABR8/everything-is-going-to-be-fine-in-the-end-if-it-isnt-fine-it-isnt-the-end

Sometimes a situation may seem terrible, but eventually it will end. Everyone will go through difficult times in their life; maybe your relationship has ended, maybe you have lost a loved one or maybe you are unhappy in your career and unsure about what to do next.

Many people believe that negative experiences are emotionally damaging, but this isn’t true. In reality negative experiences will make you wiser, stronger and more compassionate. If you are currently going through a difficult time, don’t worry – everything is going to be fine in the end. If it isn’t fine, it isn’t the end.

Here are four things you can do to improve your current situation.

1. Acknowledge That You Don’t Feel Fine

When we experience pain, such as losing a loved one, it can be tempting to ignore your negative emotions to focus on something else. You don’t like the idea of crying or feeling terrible, but in reality putting it off will make the problem worse. The negative emotions won’t pass until you feel them, and if you ignore them they may turn into anger and resentment. Let yourself feel the sadness, even if you are worried that it will overwhelm you. You don’t have to rationalize your feelings; just accept that they are part of life’s journey.

2. Talk It Out

Lots of people who are sad struggle to express their sadness to their loved ones. Their partner will ask how they are feeling, and instead of being honest they will claim to be fine. This can make the problem seem bigger as you are dealing with it alone, without any help from the people around you. If you can relate to this, try to talk it out with someone you love and trust. Another perspective is normally very helpful, and simply talking about the problem will make it seem smaller and more manageable.

3. Focus On Your Mindset

Life isn’t perfect for anyone, and everyone experiences difficult times. The only thing that really matters is how you choose to deal with problems. Some people bury their heads in the sand and ignore their problems; if their relationship is failing, they will avoid their partner rather than trying to fix the problem. This attitude may make you feel better in the moment, but it will soon make all of your problems worse.

Try to have a positive attitude towards your problems so that you can actually solve them. It may seem like a big challenge, but in reality it is a simple choice – either you can deal with your problems or you can avoid them.

4. Deal With Today (And Don’t Worry About Tomorrow Or Yesterday)

When you are going through a difficult time it can be hard to focus on the present. Lots of people focus on past decisions that they regret, and they constantly worry about how their current problem will affect the future. This negative attitude doesn’t benefit anyone, and it will make you feel more anxious and stressed.

Forget about the past and future so that you can focus on the present moment, and you will find that it is much easier to be positive and optimistic. Spend time with your loved ones and enjoy their company, and smile when something amuses you. You may still feel sad, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy happiness when you find it.

We all go through difficult times in life, and you should embrace the negative things that have happened to you. This will help you to accept the situation so that you can deal with the problem and find happiness. You may not feel fine now, but everything is going to be fine.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pexels.com

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8 Tips to Lose Water Weight (Fast and Safely)

source from: http://www.loseweightbyeating.com/8-tips-to-lose-water-weight/

Water weight is the extra water that’s stored throughout your body. Sometimes your body retains too much water. This condition is called edema or fluid retention, and is a common side effect of chronic inflammation. (1) Excess water retention is caused by many things, from poor diet, lack of sleep, and sometimes disease. It’s normally a temporary condition, and often comes after overindulging in food and drinks. Women often suffer from fluid retention during their menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Although it’s not serious, excess water weight can cause some people to feel sluggish, uncomfortable, and can have a negative effect on their appearance and quality of life. So whether you have a big event coming up, feel extra bloated, or just need to drop a few pounds quickly, losing water weight is one of easier things you can do. It may just be temporary, but sometimes it’s the difference between...

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Mind-Reading Is Detrimental To Your Relationship: 5 Actions You Should Take Instead

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/GFQ8jOr1x9w/mind-reading-is-detrimental-to-your-relationship-5-actions-you-should-take-instead

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships” ~Henry Winkler

Most people realize that it is unreasonable to expect others to read their mind, yet they still feel hurt and outraged when their innermost, unexpressed thoughts go unheard. In intimate relationships, there exists a fallacy and erroneous expectation that mind reading [1] is not only a legitimate supposition, but that a partner who fails to adeptly interpret thoughts and to take appropriate action is unloving.

Mind Reading: Don’t try this at home

Effective communication that is clear, concise and transparent is the best way to avoid the missteps and pitfalls of faulty assumptions. Communication often goes awry when partners expect each other to pick up on hints, innuendos and veiled messages.

Here are five common mindreading mistakes and things to do to avoid making them:

1. Saying something without actually saying it.

You know people who do this–they use words that are veiled and vague to communicate something to you without directly saying it. You are supposed to “get” the message. And most times you don’t. People believe that saying something without directly saying it is a gentler way of communicating something that may be considered rude, politically incorrect or even hurtful. The truth is–it’s not. It leaves people confused and left to come up with their own interpretation of the message and could be much worse than intended.

If you have something to say–say it. No mixed messages, no hidden meanings–be honest and have the courage to say exactly what you mean as clearly as possible.

2. Equating romance with mind reading

These two are not synonymous. This ideology originates from romance novels, romantic comedies and fantasy land where unicorns are the official mascot and it rains pixie dust year round. Kill that type of thinking. A spouse or partner who deeply loves and cares about you cannot guess your innermost desires. The truth is determining your own thoughts and desires is difficult so expecting someone else to do it is plain ludicrous.

The most romantic thing in the world is telling your lover your exact desires at that moment and having them hear you and give you what you verbally expressed. It doesn’t get any sexier than that.

3. Believing that an attentive spouse knows your needs

This is an easy mistake to make. You believe that as you and your mate grow closer and your relationship solidifies, your significant other knows you–inside and out. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As humans, we are constantly evolving and changing–daily. Life experiences, maturity, and the accumulation of wisdom change who we are and how we think. There is no way your partner can know exactly where you are emotionally and intellectually, anticipate your needs and deliver precisely the right thing in that moment. You must articulate what you need–every time–and then assist your mate in making it happen.

4. Dropping hints

If you want something–ask. It is so simple, yet so hard for many people to do. We believe that asking for things is somehow wrong and being direct is unattractive. Do you know how much time, energy and brain strain you could save your partner if you simply took them to the store and pointed to the exact item you wanted–and said I want that exact thing right there? Being direct saves so much hassle for everyone and frees you to move on and tackle bigger things.

5. Assigning meaning to their actions

You have no idea why they did what they did. None. So, instead of manufacturing your own reason, which is always much worse than the truth, just ask. Then be open and accepting to the response. Most things are not as calculated and intentional as we believe they are. Your mate’s mistakes are probably a simple error in judgment or an oversight of some sort and not a well-organized conspiracy to hurt you.

Your mate is not a mind reader. Your mate’s ability to read your mind is colored by their own emotional state and perspective–and therefore is inherently flawed. You are responsible for telling them exactly what they need to know.

Reference

[1] Mind Reading: Psychology Today
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If You Want To Book The Cheapest Flights, You Can't Miss These 22 Secrets

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/2WA3Ck33KCQ/you-want-book-the-cheapest-flights-all-the-times-you-cant-miss-these-22-secrets

There comes a time in life when it happens: The travel bug has hit, and there is a stomach-rumbling urge to cure it. Your body cells are vibrating away as you search the routes to your next destination. You need to get there. You just need that flight confirmed. You’re ready to hop on the plane; but then you see the price.

Don’t worry, there are enough cheap flights; you just have to know the methods to find them! Here are 22 secrets to finding cheap flights.

1. Opt for private browsing

If you repeatedly search for a particular route, then flight prices increase. This is a tactic to make you book quickly, before the price leaps. If you browse privately, then you won’t lose your sanity if flight prices change.

The way to get past this is searching in a mode of private browsing, or incognito, to be able to view the lowest flight prices. In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by pressing Command (or “Control” if using PC) and Shift at the same time, then hitting the “N” key. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control”) and Shift, then “P.” This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search.

If you have an older OSX version, open Safari and click on private browsing. Your cookies will then reset every time you open a window in incognito mode. This will be a clean slate for each search.

2. Check for changes in price after booking

Once you book a flight, remember to check the price the next morning. If the airfare lowered the price, cancel and rebook without a penalty.

3. Check for price cuts

Airlines usually cut prices when they cannot fill a plane for a weekend trip. Sign up for price alerts to be aware of price cuts.

4. Fly on Wednesday

According to FareCompare.com, flying on Wednesday is cheaper for domestic travel. The best time for a booking is the Tuesday 6 weeks before your flight.

5. Keep an eye on social media

Airlines experiment with social media, but you have to act very fast, as deals can disappear in a few hours. If you find one, grab it.

6. Frequent Flyer memberships

Frequent Flyer memberships allow you to build a relationship with an airline. You will be cozy in your personal choice of an airline with incentives and rewards.

If you are a member of a  frequent-flyer program, or you have linked your credit card to a specific airline, you get automatic preference. The airline will tailor the price for you. Credit cards that are linked to airlines offer perks like free checked bags, and priority seating and boarding. This makes it worthwhile to dedicate yourself to one airline.

7. Keep an eye on airfare-watching sites

AirfareWatchdog.com is a site that can get you excellent deals on lower prices. Real people scout for the deals, not computers, so some good offers will turn up.

8. Know the flight search engines

Get familiar with sites that offer the best prices, such as Skyscanner, AirFare Watchdog, MomondoJetRadar, Google Flights, and TripAdvisor. These are some search engines that do not include budget airlines, so do additional searches for budget airlines in certain regions. Use a combination of various search engines to ensure that you do not miss results.

9. Use a travel agent

Travel agents have special rates that are inaccessible to public domains; yet, this does not always ensure that you are getting the best price. Do your own research, find the cheapest flight you can, and present this to the travel agent to see if they can beat or match that offer. This could possibly lead to huge savings,

10. Look for airline error fares

Mistakes with postings can lead to huge discounts. These happen because of technical glitches, mishaps with currency conversions, or human error. Get in the know-how of searching for errors, and you could save yourself buckets. Secret Flying and AirFare Watchdog are great resources for sourcing mistakes in prices. Search Skyscanner for a full month and spot reduced fares.

11. Book with different airlines

Mixing and matching are worth a try. Airlines have one-way tickets at reasonable prices, so one airline may be cheaper for an outbound and another airline for the return. Check it out.

12. Choose the morning flights

The early bird hours are cheaper than lunch or dinner time flights.

13. Book 6 weeks in advance

According to a study by the Airlines reporting corporation, the best time to purchase a flight is six weeks in advance.

14. Search a variety of sites

Do not rely on just one site. Open up to options. For airlines, it is about getting you to pay the highest, which is not what consumers want, according to Joe Brancatelli, publisher of JoeSentMe.com, a travel website. On a single flight, he adds, there can be more than a dozen pricing categories; “On a 150-seat plane, there could be 50 different prices,” he says.

15. Be flexible with your trip length

Business Insider recommends adding extra days to the trip and be flexible. Adjusting around peak travel times lowers the fare.

16. Check the price on the actual airline site

When you get the listing of the flights, double check with the actual site of the airline. You might find better rates reserved on the website.

17. You will save yourself the most if you fly when nobody else does

Even though you aspire to dream away summer in Paris, everyone else does too. And the airlines? They capitalize on this.  So holidays, festivals, major events, or school breaks need to be noted, as airlines will raise prices accordingly.

18. Do not always take direct flights

It is better to be flexible with destinations and dates on the route you plan to take. It may be cheaper to take a connecting flight. There are many budget carriers that will make your savings worth it.

19. Student discounts

If you happen to be a student under 26 years old, there are discounts available. Agencies like Flight Center help you find a cheap ticket.

20. Subscribe to a mailing list

No one likes their inboxes to clutter, but by joining airline mailing lists, you get regular updates and last minute specials and deals.

21. Do not search for group tickets

Airlines show higher ticket prices for group tickets. Search for tickets per single person instead of as a group.

22. Keep an eye on currencies

If a currency you have access to is stronger in comparison to others, search in countries where the currency is weaker compared to others around the world. This method may help you find a cheaper ticket.

If you think traveling is expensive, think again. There are insider tricks, and deals that can save you money. It is possible to afford trips with more time traveling, and less planning!

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