7 Secrets To Know About Goals That Will Make You Successful

A typical goal-setting story:

  1. Get motivated.
  2. Read about goal-setting.
  3. Download the latest habit app.
  4. Take action for a few days.
  5. Quit.

But you’re not one of them… or are you?

Don’t worry. We all have been there. It’s not your fault, it’s just the fault of the human brain.

But today, let’s change that.

If you’ve read articles about goal-setting before, you might have come across SMART goals.

It’s a framework which says we should keep Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) goals to accomplish our goals.

Although the framework is useful, it’s not always helpful for all the goals in life. So, let me share with you another method of goal-setting which works wonders.

Micro Habits

So often, when we are all pumped up and inspired to accomplish big goals, we forget about the daily small actions we must take to reach closer to our goals.

Reaching your goals is the result of your habits. So, instead of shooting for a goal, shoot for micro habits and set the criteria for success tiny.

For example, if your goal is to read more books, the big goal is to read a book every week. A “SMART” goal is to read for 30 minutes every day at 8 AM. And a micro habit is to at least read a single page today. Once you finish one page, your next goal is to read another page.

A micro habit reduces the friction of accomplishing big goals, banishes ‘all or nothing’ mentality, and makes the criteria for success small. It lets you take the smallest first step towards your goal in the present moment.

It builds momentum as you build a chain of daily success. It gets you on an upward spiral of feeling good about accomplishing micro habits so you keep the habit streak running.

Behavior-based Goals

There are two ways you can track your progress:

a) Based on your behavior

b) Based on the outcome

An example of the outcome-based goal is hitting a number on the weighing scale. An example of the behavior-based goal is eating a healthy meal.

Focus on the things you can control directly. Yes, you can influence the number on the scale indirectly but to reach that result, you can eat healthy meals, which is directly in your hands.

There is nothing wrong with measuring the outcome but before that, measure your actions.

This way, we can’t blame anyone or anything but take full responsibility for our actions to reach our goals.

Expectations

Aim high, raise the expectations from yourself but lower the expectations from the results. Raising the expectations from yourself is about raising your standards.

It’s important to have self-efficacy (belief in oneself) to reach your goals. But, don’t stretch the difficulty so much that it turns into a false hope syndrome.

Also, don’t rely on results to feel happy. Many times, it takes longer to reach your goals than expected. So, don’t get disappointed. Slow progress is better than no progress. Let the micro habits and behavior-based goals be the source of your pleasure.

It’s good to “shoot for the stars” but so often, we raise the bar of our expectations from result so high only to feel unmotivated if we don’t see the result we want. It may lead to a downward spiral of negative emotions and we may quit altogether.

So, if your goal is to become better at your craft, practice it using a micro habit and track your behavior. Now, repeat that without the need to feel happy with the results. You can aim to be the best but know that it will take time and effort. Have patience and keep performing.

Delay the gratification and don’t expect a good result. As you will perform the daily grind, you will see better results, eventually. But first, you must perform with no expectations.

Flexibility

Sometimes, you don’t know what you really want when you set a goal. You may set a goal to lose the extra pounds and start running. But later, as you train your body more often, you may start enjoying strength training.

Similarly, you may pledge to meditate in the evening but you fail to do so often. Here, you can change the timing and meditate right after waking up when you can make sure to get it done.

So, don’t hesitate to change the direction of your goals or actions. Life is a discovery process. We don’t know who we are and what we want. The only way to find out what you want is to try things out.

It’s also okay to change what you want. You may set a goal to earn more money so you can buy a car. But years after when you have the money, your interest may change and you may no longer want a new car.

So, stay flexible with the approach or the goals. There is no need to be rigid with the goal-setting. But you do need to be resilient, which brings me to the next point.

Resiliency

Being resilient in the age of instant gratification is a tough job.

To become resilient, first, you must have a strong reason for your goals. Do you know the core reason you’re doing what you’re doing?

For example, the core reason to increase your productivity could be because you think there is more to life than work. You may want to spend less time working so you can do other things you want to do in your one and only life.

Another reason could be to do better quality work. You may want to make a greater impact on the world with your work or see better results because you want to thrive in life.

Second, you must practice resiliency in your daily life. Make it a habit to persevere and keep at it until you get what you want.

Take full responsibility for your success. Rethink failure. Take setbacks as opportunities to learn and improve.

Circumstances, obstacles or your environment can’t get in your way because no matter what comes your way, you will never give up.

Long-term View

As much as it’s important to focus on micro habits, it’s also crucial to have a bigger perspective of ‘what’ and ‘why’ of your goals.

Take the time to reflect on a regular basis. Do you short-term goals align with your long-term view? Are you performing the right micro goals? Are you tracking the right behaviors?

Focus on the biggest win by using the Pareto’s 80/20 principle. 80% results come from 20% of your actions. Deconstruct your goal to find out the key habits and the right metrics to measure.

Be intentional with your actions and goals. Don’t do the busy work for the sake of moving in any direction. Educate yourself to move in the right direction.

Your long-term vision doesn’t have to be realistic. A fulfilled life is more about striving than achieving. You will get hedonically adapted to achievements but you will always find meaning in life when you strive for more greatness in life.

Also, don’t worry if you have too many items on your bucket list. Have a long-term vision and think about what you want to do now and what you can do later in life. You don’t need any more tactics to accomplish your goals except the next (and last) one.

Focus

Success is not complicated. It’s rare because it takes relentless focus towards the most important thing in life to reach the top.

You have all the distractions in the world. Things like internet, news, social media, people, events, ‘busy’ work, food, shopping, entertainment, etc. try to steal your focus.

It has become an art to protect your vision from such distractions.

To stay focused you can:

  • Reflect on your goals daily and weekly
  • Put reminders
  • Block the calendar
  • Write down your goal and habits
  • Write a “not to do” list
  • Set accountability (personal, friend, community or coach)
  • Set stakes — punishment or reward (Do it in the beginning but ultimately, become intrinsically motivated)

Another category of distractions are the ones that look healthy on the surface but can take your focus away from your number one goal. Unlimited information (books, blogs, podcasts, courses), other goals in life, too many ideas are the examples of such distractions.

Lifelong learning is your best friend but you should know what to choose, what to skip, when to fast forward and when to slow down according to your current knowledge.

You may also have other ideas or goals in life you want to accomplish. You can pursue 2–5 goals at the same time if the goals are not difficult or if they lie in different categories. For example, you can lose weight and succeed in your career at the same time.

But for difficult goals, you must choose one at a time in your life. This is where the Follow One Course Until Success (FOCUS) principle comes in.


Goal-setting is much like planting a tree.

First, you want to set the intentions, which represents planting the seeds.

Then, you want to water the seeds, which means taking action. When it’s time to take the action, be a hero and silence the lizard brain and the chimp mind.

Last, you want to put your energy into the action which represents sunlight. Taking action is not enough. You must put in your focus and effort into the task. This is why it’s so important to manage your energy on purpose so you can give your best when it’s time to take the action.

Over to you. Go, take the first micro step towards your biggest goal now.

Want To Succeed Every Day?

Design your daily success checklist for high performance and success. Click here to download the free PDF file.

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How To Beat The 4 Enemies Of Personal Growth Like A Superhero

Your life is a movie. You are the hero. Your mission is your goal.

There’s just one problem.

There are many enemies standing in front of your goal.

Your goal could be a big life vision, to live a peaceful life or both. But no matter what your mission is, life will throw challenges at you.

Challenges may come in any shape or form but there are common enemies who try to stop you from reaching your goal.

So, who are these enemies?

Let’s meet them one by one and find out their weakness.

Energy Vampire

The energy vampire is soul thirsty. It sucks the energy out of you and leaves you hollow from inside.

It’s those people or activities in your life you must escape from.

So, how do you beat the energy vampire?

It starts with self-awareness. Notice what thoughts, activities, environments or people make your life miserable.

Check if you’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (HALT).

Once you identify the sources, you can avoid them or make a recipe to counter such situations.

Hungry? Grab some healthy food. Angry? Find peace or be grateful. Lonely? Speak with a loved one. Tired? Give your mind and soul some rest.

Another example is to balance negative thoughts with positive thoughts. When you feel cranky or overwhelmed, do therapeutic activities. Spend time alone, meditate, be grateful, breath, exercise, write, and the list goes on. Every person is different so you need to find your own recipe.

Impatient Chimp

The chimp wants momentary pleasure. It wants instant gratification at the click of a button.

It has no concern for the future consequences. It wants short-term gains even at the cost of a long-term benefit.

The problem is that pleasurable activities are simply based on chemical activities in the brain. They may make us suffer in the long-term.

The small everyday decisions set the foundation of our long-term happiness in life.

Choosing to do an important task before checking social media first may sound like a small decision but it can have big consequences. The same goes for choosing what to eat for your next meal.

To beat the impatient chimp, develop patience and strong principles.

Change your values so you can identify yourself as a strong-minded person.

Think long-term. Be patient. Feel proud and take pleasure in delaying gratification.

It’s satisfying to check items off in the daily success checklist. This way, you will feel good at the moment and make long-term gains at the same time.

Lizard Brain

“The lizard brain is the reason you’re afraid, the reason you don’t do all the art you can, the reason you don’t ship when you can. The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.” — Seth Godin

The “lizard brain” is the Amygdala region of the brain. It is part of the limbic system and processes emotions.

It is responsible for the fight-or-flight response. When it senses danger, it amplifies and gives you all the reasons to ignore positive thoughts, emotions or actions.

Steven Pressfield calls it as resistance. You can identify its presence when you procrastinate, avoid discomfort, or find excuses.

The lizard brain can stop you from becoming the best version of yourself. So how do you deal with it?

Simple. You ignore it and take the action anyways.

Make the first step tiny to get the ball rolling. Once you have the momentum, taking further steps becomes easier.

Another way you can get over resistance is to perform a pre-performance ritual.

Lastly, craft your environment so you can beat the lizard brain every time it creeps up.

Let’s say you’re procrastinating on an important but difficult work on your computer. The lizard brain may give you multiple reasons to avoid the work.

Here, you can drink a big glass of water as pre-performance ritual. Then, you can break up the task and take the first smallest step.

To craft your environment for momentum, you can

  • Use Pomodoro or any other custom timer technique.
  • Listen to classical, video game, ambient or other music which does not distract you.
  • Block all distractions using an app or a web extension. Put your phone on airplane mode. Become unreachable.

Act first and think later. As you take the action, the lizard brain will quiet down.

Inner Demons

Inner demons are the deeply rooted fears and insecurities.

It’s how the imposter syndrome operates. Here are the common inner demons and ways you can beat them:

Fear Of Failure

Even if you fail, you win. Because you learn what not to do and now you can do your next experiment. Failure can become a friend if you embrace it.

Do your best. Pivot. Repeat.

Don’t expect success with every action. Success feels so much better when it’s unexpected.

Fear Of Rejection

It comes from ego and lack of self-confidence. When you accept yourself 100% and you’re comfortable with yourself, you don’t need an approval to feel confident.

Yes, approval does feel good and makes you more confident but don’t let rejection hurt you. It’s not about you. If you lack skills, develop them over time. If you’re not a good fit, find something else.

Become vulnerable because only you hold the key to your esteem.

Fear Of Success

Many people see success as something only ‘successful’ people can achieve. They think they don’t deserve success. They are afraid of reaching their full potential because they are afraid of giving up an ordinary life.

What’s stopping you from succeeding? Who are you NOT to achieve great heights? You don’t need to chase success, but if success follows your actions of growth, let it come.

Stop coming in your own way. Let yourself succeed. Success is not impossible. It just takes its time.

Fear Of Uncertainty

Nobody knows what will happen in the future. You don’t need to fear the unknown. Part of life’s adventure is to get lost and find your way back.

Be open to new things. If you don’t like it, try something else. But if you never try, you never know what you may experience and what you’re capable of.

You have only one life to lose or gain anything. Make the most out of it. Face the fear of uncertainty now or suffer in regret for the rest of the life.

Fear Of Change

Many people stop themselves from growing because they worry about what others might think of their ‘new’ identity. Or they form a negative opinion about themselves.

They think — “I’m a fat person so I overeat.” or “I’m shy so I can’t be good at social skills.”

Your identity is who you want to be. If you want different results, you must embrace change at every step. Let go of who you or other people think you are. Raise your standards. Recreate yourself every day.


“Do one thing every day that scares you.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Live your life in offense mode. Don’t defend against the inner demons. Face your fears to conquer them.

Fear is not always bad though. There is the good fear and the bad fear.

If you’re afraid of losing your freedom, work your butt off every day to attain freedom. If you’re afraid of ill health, make healthy lifestyle decisions every day.

So, fear can be good if you use it as a fuel to make a positive difference in your life.

Conclusion

The difference between success stories and an average person’s story is that the people who succeed, get good at beating the enemies of personal growth in their life.

Turn your life story into a thriller movie by rising like a superhero and beating energy vampire, impatient chimp, lizard brain, and the inner demons every time they strike.

It’s not a one time battle. It’s an ongoing series of episodes in your life where you repeatedly have to overcome them to fulfill your life mission.

Now, it’s up to you to craft your movie.

Do you have the courage to take the role of the hero?

Want To Succeed Every Day?

Design your daily success checklist for high performance and success. Click here to download the free PDF file.

Life Out Of Balance? Here’s What You Need To Create An Epic Life.

I used to play all the time.

In fact, I was addicted to playing. All I thought and talked about was about playing.

Before video games entered my life, I was only drawn to outdoor and indoor games.

When I started playing video games, nothing was better than the feeling of make-believe and adventure.

I was hooked.

So much so that I could not study during my school time. At school, I would talk about video games with my friends. At home, I would play video games most of the time and when I tried to study, I could not focus because all I could think about was video games.

I did not realize how much addicted I was. It was not only destroying my academic life; it was also influencing my social life.

A few years later, when it was time for college, I enrolled in a game design course because games had become my passion.

As college started, I found the study of games fascinating. I could finally take an interest in the studies.

But as the study of games became my work, I stopped playing.

Then, I was hooked on learning.

Even when I played games, I played them to study them. I rarely played games for leisure.

All my focus was gaining as much knowledge as possible.

Later, I realized that learning and working are two different things. To convert knowledge into wisdom, learning has to be balanced with implementation.

Being a content consumer helped my life so much until I needed to take responsibility for my life. I had to practice skills instead of endlessly learning about them.

Then, there was a time in my life when I stopped playing and learning because I had too many items on my to-do list. I thought I was not ‘productive’ enough.

I’ve experienced extreme play, extreme learning, and extreme work. Like my past self, most people spend their lives in either of the three states.

Kids are given full freedom to play. Young people are told to study until they find a job and adults are supposed to work until retirement.

This system may have worked in the past but it’s not sustainable anymore.

Today, an average person is deprived of play, curiosity, and creativity.

Lack of play leads to stress and depression. Lack of curiosity leads to plateau and mediocrity. Lack of creativity leads to addictions and dissatisfaction.

If you’re reading this, chances are that you want more from life. You want to live a good life filled with growth and peace.

The Importance Of Play

“The opposite of play isn’t work. It’s depression.” — Jane McGonigal

Kids play with zero worries in mind.

As we become adults, play is replaced by work. You learn that you need to make money. You need to become successful. You need to take responsibilities.

All that is true. But, it does not mean the end of play.

Play is essential. Play brings fun to life. It eliminates negative thoughts, stress, and anxiety. It improves relationships. It keeps you young and creative.

So many adults these days are play deprived. They burn out because of workaholism. They don’t take time to rest their mind and recharge their soul.

We are only humans and we need spaces of unproductive times in our life. Staying ‘on’ all the time is a recipe for disaster. It leads to low willpower and motivation when we need it the most.

However, if you schedule spaces of unproductive or play time, you will come back disciplined and focused when you need it during the time of work. 

Life is not all about accomplishing big goals. Learn from children. They show us how being happy looks like.

So, take some time out and play for a while.

The Importance Of Learning

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

The old times are gone.

Before, you could stick to one job without the fear of losing it if you kept doing average work.

Today, the world is changing at the fastest rate than ever before. The theory of evolution says that we need to adapt to the changes in order to survive.

So, you must stay up to date with the new tools and become a student over and over again.

Become a beginner and follow the pursuit of lifelong learning to excel at work and life.

Lifelong learning keeps your brain active and curious. It helps you to learn new skills or improve your current skillsets. It can take your personal and professional life to the next level.

Learning once, twice or thrice is not enough.

I don’t know about you but I don’t remember 95% of what was taught to me in school.

Learning happens when repetition happens. We can’t expect to see results if we keep consuming content without repeated practice or learning.

Our subconscious takes time before it can digest information.

Create short summaries or notes when you learn something and use them to revisit the main concepts. Also, you can consume the work of other people on the same topic to get new and fresh perspective.

The Importance Of (Creative) Work

“Your work is to discover your work, and then with all your heart, to give yourself to it.” — Buddha

If you want to make a living by doing something you love, you must become a creator. And if you love your work, it can be the source of fulfilment in life.

But if we don’t let creative habits be the source of dopamine production in our brains, we can become addicted to unhealthy habits.

It has become so easy to consume drugs, smoke, alcohol, junk food, porn, etc. It leads people to use addictions to produce dopamine in their brain whenever they want. And then, they need more of the same behavior to produce the same level of dopamine.

To escape the addiction cycle, learn to express and become a creator.

Creating and expressing are the best things you can do to serve your audience and your soul.

When you do creative work, you don’t need external motivation, apps or tactics to stay on track. You do the work because that’s your home.


Creating crappy content is easy. But masterpieces are the result of play, learning, and devoted work.

My best work comes out when there’s a balance between play, learning, and work in my life.

If I skip one of the three, my life falls out of balance. At the same time, I make sure I don’t overindulge in any of the three.

What’s one thing that is lagging in your life? Or are you overindulging?

I’m lacking some play in my life and I’m probably consuming more content than I need to create balance in my life.

What about you?

Want To Succeed Every Day?

Design your daily success checklist for high performance and success. Click here to download the free PDF file.

5 Ways You Can Raise Your Standards That Will Upgrade Your Life


“If you want to change your life you have to raise your standards.” — Tony Robbins

The quality of your life is the reflection of your standards.

You could make millions and still stay poor in your mind. Being poor is not about making less money.

Being poor is a mentality. It’s a choice to live a low standard of life.

When I say low standard, I don’t mean the luxuries and pleasures that rich people can afford.

You can raise your standards regardless of how much money you make. It’s not about money, it’s about mindset.

Different people have different values. We can have high standards in some area of our lives while we may avoid the other areas.

The five major areas of life where you can raise your standards:

Health

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four adults had two or more chronic health conditions in 2012.

In 2015, 79% of adults did not meet recommendations for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity. Over 1 in 3 adults (about 92.1 million) had at least one type of cardiovascular disease.

Clearly, an average person is a not a healthy person. Getting diagnosed with diseases has become a common thing.

Smoking, excessive drinking, eating unhealthy foods and a sedentary lifestyle are the major reasons for such an epidemic.

Your health and fitness have to rise above an average person if you want to live well and feel good in your body.

Raise your standards by eating healthy foods, training your body, sleeping well and relaxing on purpose.

Wealth

If you want to raise your wealth standards, learn to manage your finances. Spend money wisely, track your expenses, save for the rainy day, negotiate and invest.

You can live a frugal life without being a miser by buying things, services or experiences that truly enhance your life. Avoid impulse shopping for yourself but don’t hesitate to spend money on the people you love.

You can also make more money by making yourself invaluable and ask for what you deserve.

Being invaluable means doing extraordinary work. Constantly seek opportunities to learn and improve your work. Keep making progress and don’t settle for average work.

When you raise your work standards, you get a better outcome. As a result, you love your work. Average work leads to lousy results, and that’s when we hate our work.

“We only get what we believe that we deserve. Raise the bar, raise your standards and you will receive a better outcome.” — Joel Brown

Develop strong work ethic, keep your commitments and over-deliver to stand out from the crowd. Find your strengths and develop upon them to provide value to the world.

Average work will be replaced by the machines. Develop creativity and thinking skills to secure your place in the future workforce.

Relationships

“Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.” — Mandy Hale

Meeting new people is great. But, if you’re not careful about people who you surround yourself with most of the time, you may get stuck in a mediocre or stereotypical thinking patterns. Don’t lower your standards to fit in with other people. Find people who raise the bar and help you improve.

Watch out for the people who show jealousy, selfishness, passive aggression, dishonesty, or narcissism. Such people are energy vampires.

Surround yourself with people who accept you, respect you and inspire you to become better.

These people will not be perfect but they should inspire you in one way or another. Every person is different and has flaws. Learn to accept them if both of you help each other grow and are compatible with each other.

Raising your relationship standards also means connecting with each other by giving your full attention, love, and effort. It involves making sacrifices, caring for other’s needs, making others feel loved, and not taking others for granted.

Self-discipline

You raise your standards every time when you —ignore the lizard brain, say no to distractions, delay gratification or choose voluntary discomfort.

Daily small choices set the foundation for your standards. Stop reacting to temptations. The urge to open social media, check notification, eat unhealthy foods, skip workouts, buy unnecessary stuff, dwell on the past, or waste time will always be there. It is your duty to recognize them and kill them before they kill you.

Temptations are immature. They seek the momentary pleasure and disregard the future. You don’t have to act on your urges. Making right decisions in the face of strong urges is the sign of true wisdom.

When you’re faced with urges, acknowledge them and do the right thing anyway. You will feel proud and your self-confidence will become unshakable.

You don’t have to give up all the pleasures in life. You can enjoy pleasurable experiences in moderation. Find a healthy balance for yourself but don’t indulge beyond your allowance.

Mindset

Your thoughts determine your actions. If you want to put quality thoughts in your mind, you must craft your environment in a way that most thoughts in your mind are useful or helpful.

Destructive thought patterns lead to depression, worry or anxiety. Your internal self-talk is the way to speak with your subconscious. Make sure you talk to yourself from a higher perspective.

Become your own life coach. Use the power of self-affirmation to feel powerful and inspired to become great.

What beliefs do you hold for yourself?

Most people never recognize what they are capable of because they think too small and lack self-efficacy.

If you raise the standard of your mindset, you will not be shattered by the failures or setbacks. You will see obstacles as an opportunity to learn and grow. You will get inspired instead of getting jealous. You will participate in healthy competition instead of comparing yourself with others.


“What changes people is when their shoulds become musts.” — Tony Robbins

Identify where your standards are lacking and commit to raising the bar. Think about the cost and consequences of not raising your standards. Change your limiting beliefs and take action to silence self-doubt.

Raising your standards is not about being an egomaniac. It’s about having a healthy level of self-respect.

Take inspiration from mentors or the best work in your field and add your own touch to create the best work you can at the moment. Your work will only improve if you set a high expectation for yourself. This, however, should not stop you from shipping your craft because quantity brings quality.

Sometimes, you will find that your current standards are lower than the standards you wish to have. That’s okay as long as you recognize the gap and work to make the gap shorter.

Run your own race and continually create, learn, reflect and improve. Eliminate all the excuses. Take full responsibility for your life.

You know you’re on the path of growth when you’re working to raise your future standards and when your present standards are higher than your past standards.

“Let your actions prove that you’re committed to living life on a new level. Get rid of the people and thoughts that confine you to an average existence. Raise your standards and aim for greatness.” — Tony Robbins

Want To Succeed Every Day?

Design your daily success checklist for high performance and success. Click here to download the free PDF file.

The Ultimate Guide To Managing Your Energy On Purpose So You Can Thrive At Work And Life


You know that feeling when sometimes you’re all fired up and focused to work. While sometimes, you’re too tired to even do simple math.

Like physical energy, your mind also has a capacity. You can only create, consume or learn so much in a day.

Before I didn’t understand my energy, I would depend on my energy to dictate my actions. While such an approach helped me to stay sane, it was not the best way to optimize my work and life.

If you ask a creative person, they will tell that they don’t rely on their motivation to create. Most of them have a routine and they get the job done even when they don’t feel like it.

Showing up is half the battle won. But to win the other half of the battle, you must manage your energy.

Before I explain how you can understand and manage your energy, let’s have a quick look at the concept of time management.

The simple rules to effectively manage your time are:

  1. Manage short-term crisis and problems (Important and urgent work)
  2. Focus on long-term strategic goals (Important but not urgent work)
  3. Avoid distractions and interruptions (Urgent but not important)
  4. Limit time-wasting activities (Not important and not urgent)
Time Management

This approach is great to manage your tasks, but it falls short as it does not consider how well you perform the tasks.

To understand your energy, you need to analyze yourself first.

One of the big five personality traits is the scale of extraversion.

If you fall more towards the introvert side of the spectrum, you’ll recharge by spending time alone. But if you’re more of an extrovert, you’ll recharge by being around people.

Find out activities that fuel you.

For extroverts, it could be having a meal with friends or family, doing small talks throughout the day, working in open workspace (but still having boundaries for no distractions while working), etc.

For introverts, activities could involve reading, painting, journaling, spending time in nature, working in an isolated environment, etc.

Being an introvert or extrovert is not all black and white. We have traits of each personality type. Many people fall closer to the middle of the scale which makes them a mix of both.

No matter what your personality is, don’t use it as an excuse to limit yourself. You can always develop skills of another personality type if you work on it.

Having said that, embrace your nature and find ways to recharge your unique self.

After doing the self-analysis, let’s learn how you can manage your energy for optimal performance.

Here are the 4 types of activities:

1. Mentally Soothing & Soul Recharging

Activities may vary according to your personality as discussed earlier. Regardless of your introverted or extroverted nature, picking up a hobby or doing enjoyable tasks which require less mental effort fall under this category.

2. Mentally Stimulating & Soul Recharging

Activities involve creating, learning, working on a passion project, problem-solving, etc. This is the space when you need to thrive and perform with high energy levels.

3. Mentally Soothing & Soul Sucking

It involves not being your authentic self, doing things to please others, over-consumption of negative news, useless drama or social media, etc. These activities may not seem to affect you in that moment, but they result in wasted time and energy. They may occupy your mind for a long time and make you unfocused when it’s time to perform.

4. Mentally Stimulating & Soul Sucking

This is the 9–5 job that you absolutely hate (not all jobs are like that but you know the ones I’m talking about). When you’re forced to work and solve problems with no purpose or aspiration, it not only depletes your mental resources, it also crushes your soul.

Another example of such a situation is being in relationships with wrong people. They may take you for granted and ask for favors but never show up when you need help. They can influence you negatively, bring you down and leave negative vibes when you’re around them.

The worse is when they pretend to be your friend but they don’t want the best for you. Beware of such people because they will not only suck the soul out of you, but they can mentally keep you busy with their never-ending needs and demands.

Energy Management

Perform Soul Recharging Activities

In an ideal world, your goal is to do the activities that recharge your soul. These activities could be common or they can be unique that work for you.

You can switch between mentally stimulating and mentally soothing activities to manage your mental energy.

If you’re stuck in a situation where you have to perform soul sucking activities, then try your best to change your perception. Find meaning in the smallest things and take it as a challenge to overcome. It could become your story of struggle that you can embrace and share.

Energy Hacks

Some activities can charge you up so well that you can use them as a pre-performance or recovery ritual. Some energy hacks can fix a dopamine, serotonin or oxytocin deficiency in a healthy way. They can boost your motivation, help you manage your mood, keep you focused and calm.

Here are few options you can try out and see which energy hacks work for you:

Listen To Music

To enhance your focus while doing deep work, you can listen to background sounds or music — Nature, cafe, classical music, video game music, etc.

When you want to feel pumped up, listen to musics with high energy to boost your motivation.

You can also listen to music for leisure as a mentally soothing and soul recharging activity.

Sleep Or Take A Nap

Sleep is the ultimate way to rejuvenate. Get 7–9 hours of sleep every day and notice the magical transformation in your energy, focus, and mood.

If you fall short on sleep, you can also take power naps in the afternoon to wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

‘Coffee nap’ is a hack many high-performers use to boost their energy levels. In this method, you drink coffee right before taking a nap. By the time the caffeine kicks in, you will wake up super recharged in about 30 minutes.

Just make sure not to drink too much caffeine regularly. You want to avoid getting dependent on caffeine for energy. Also, avoid taking a nap or drinking coffee in the evening or at night so you can get quality sleep at night.

Deep Breathing Or Meditation

Deep breathing signals your brain to relax. It supplies oxygen to the brain and helps us to regain focus.

Observing your thoughts is another way to hit the pause button and watch yourself from an outside perspective. Notice the thoughts entering your mind and then let them go one by one. The thoughts will come back or new thoughts will enter your brain but your job is to simply observe and let them go.

Another approach is to daydream or do nothing. Because we live in the age of the internet, we spend a lot of our time in front of a screen. Our brain hardly gets any chance to rest.

To improve your creativity, give your brain some time to wander. Give it some private space where there is no external stimulation from people, phone or computer.

Move

Physical movement has proven to improve memory, cognition function and beat depression. Choose how you want to exercise — Lift weights, do bodyweight exercises, run, swim, or play a sport.

For best results, move often, do resistance training (through weights or bodyweight) and do some cardiovascular exercises.

On the days when you don’t get the chance to workout, try to keep your body active by switching between standing and sitting while working. You may also do jumping jacks or walk a few steps between the sitting time.

Stretching, yoga, tai chi, qigong, and self-massaging by using a foam roller are good ways to loosen up the body and decompress the spine. Inversion (hanging upside down) or holding handstand position improves blood flow to the brain. You can use a wall to support yourself while doing a supported handstand. But only perform the move once you have enough strength to hold your own bodyweight.

Cold Showers

The benefits of cold showers are similar to physical exercise for cognition and energy. It energises you, makes you more alert and improves your mood.

Eat Well And Hydrate

I can’t emphasize the power of nutrition enough. Eat nutrient-dense foods to get an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

Keep your body and brain healthy by drinking enough water, eating enough protein, colorful vegetables and fruits, healthy fats and other healthy foods that your body digests well.

The key is to listen to your body. Notice how it reacts to different foods and adjust accordingly.

Avoid simple carbs and sugars to not get blood glucose spike and crash. Keep your blood glucose stable by eating fiber-rich complex carbs which will maintain your energy levels.

Express Gratitude

Practice the skill of happiness by being grateful. Stop the negative chatter and switch to a beautiful state.

Do Random Acts Of Kindness

Leaving a kind review or a comment, helping a stranger, answering a question on Quora, writing a thank you letter are some ways you can do it.

The positive impact on others will recharge your soul.

Experience Novelty

Work in a different environment, take a different route, hop on a random bus, go to a new place, meet new people, learn or try something new and the list goes on.

Even when you’re doing things out of routine, try to notice new things. Sometimes, I give myself the task to notice ten new things on a path which I’ve walked thousands of time.

Connect With Friends & Family Members You Love

Share your experiences and lessons. Listen to others. Give support. Ask for help. Laugh. Hug. Love. Forgive.

Connect With Nature

We are more disconnected from nature than ever before. Being in nature and listening to the natural sounds can make you feel peaceful.

The vitamin D from sunlight helps in many hormonal functions in our body. It beats depression and keeps you in a good mood.

Play

Animals and kids play all the time. It’s only us, adults, who have forgotten the joy of playing.

Let yourself immerse while playing and forget all the worries for a while.

Watch Documentaries Or Movies

Watching documentaries and movies is an amazing way to expand your knowledge, experience thrill or get inspired.

Read

Read nonfiction for learning and fiction for pleasure. Switch off the world for a while and get lost in a book.

Express Creativity

Write

Writing is a therapy, an expression and a way to share ideas or lessons with the world.

Even if you’re not a writer, you can journal to let thoughts come out of your mind. It will make you feel at peace and help you let go of the worries.

Draw

I have zero drawing skills. But still, I doodle or color often to feel calm.

If you draw well, do yourself a favor and paint or draw for the sake of your soul.

It doesn’t even have to be drawing. You can knit, create a collage, decorate or find other ways to express creativity.

Sing or dance or play an instrument

It’s another form of expression. Let that voice, music or those moves come out.

Clean, Declutter, Organize or Simplify

Reduce the number of useless decisions you make to avoid decision fatigue. It reduces your mental energy which you can preserve for important tasks. Routinize the day-to-day activities in your life so you don’t have to make too many decisions on the fly. This way, you will give your brain some time to rest.

You can also make bulk decisions on one day of the week. For example, you can make a list, buy groceries and prepare or plan meals in advance for the next few days.

Zoom out and remove all the tasks you don’t need to do. Don’t sacrifice your sanity for the sake of ‘productivity’. Postpone, delegate or delete tasks from your to-do list.

Organize or declutter closets, files, documents, browser tabs, emails, etc.

Delete. Uninstall. Sell. Donate.

Practice the joy of less. Desire less stuff. Let go.


When you feel overwhelmed, distracted or disconnected, use the energy hacks to get back on track all refreshed and recharged.

It’s wise to step back, unplug and recharge on purpose to do your best deep work.

As you learn to manage your energy better, your productivity and focus will improve; and you’ll enjoy your life as you hustle for your dreams.

Want To Succeed Every Day?

Design your daily success checklist for high performance and success. Click here to download the free PDF file.

I Stopped Chasing Success And Happiness. Here’s An Alternative To Make The Most Out Of Life.

Liars.

They told me that if I find success, I will be happy. And some told me that life is all about happiness and enjoyment.

I disagree with both.

You can achieve so much and still feel hollow from inside. In the same way, you can feel happy and still perform unhealthy or destructive activities. It may also lead to being settled or ignorant of your capabilities.

Success is about achieving more. Happiness is about being content with what you have.

If you desire less, you suffer less. Thus, you become happier.

If you desire more, you suffer more. But, you may become more successful.

So which one should you choose?

You can choose both.

We all suffer in one way or another. But the question is — What are you willing to suffer for?

The problem is that most people desire too many things at one time.

The more things you desire, the more you have to suffer.

So, what’s the solution?

Desire less, but desire strong.

We go about desiring things all day long and then wondering why we’re unhappy. So, I like to stay aware of that because then I can choose my desires very carefully. I try not to have more than one big desire in my life at any given time, and I also recognize that as the axis of my suffering. I realize that that’s where I’ve chosen to be unhappy. — Naval Ravikant

When we desire a lot, we may remain unsatisfied with life.

The reason is that no matter what we achieve, we still have unmet needs which will stop us from giving ourselves permission to be happy. So, we stay unfulfilled and unhappy.

Even if you have a huge bucket list of things you want to do before dying, focus only on checking a few items first instead of trying to do all at once.

Pick your priorities and desires carefully and then let them be the source of your suffering.

Borrow happiness from the appreciation of what you’ve already achieved and then desire a few things strongly.

Once you get what you want, take the time to appreciate and move on to your next achievement.

Kill Regrets Before Death

Regrets can either come from desiring too many things or not having the courage to follow your inner voice.

What do you enjoy doing?

What are you willing to struggle for?

What sacrifices are you willing to make?

How do you want to be remembered?

These are the key questions you must answer to avoid the biggest regrets in life.

Don’t chase what success means to other people. Define what success means to you.

Take the time to define your values, core desire, deeper purpose and a vision.

When your daily actions reflect who you are and what you want to become, you will feel calm and fulfilled. And once you achieve your goals, you will feel immense joy and gratitude.

After success, you have to realign and check with yourself if you’re moving in the right direction.

Misalignment with yourself keeps you unhappy even after achieving your goals.

Integrity keeps you happy on the path of success.

Your decisions and action must be aligned with your values. The moment you betray your values, you will feel unsatisfied.

Alternatives To Success and Happiness

Instead of chasing success, chase growth. And instead of chasing happiness, chase peace.

Being on a path of continuous growth and passion helps you live a meaningful life.

Don’t tie your happiness with your goals. Pursue goals for continuous growth, not for a set destination.

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. — Benjamin Franklin

While suffering, you may not find success or happiness. But you can always find growth and peace in any situation.

The combination of growth and peace leads to a life of fulfilment.

So, don’t settle. Change the things you don’t like about your life but also accept the things you can’t change.

Success may involve comparison with others whereas growth is about the comparison with your past self. Happiness is just a state of mind whereas peace is a way of living.

People think delaying gratification for future success is to delay happiness. But it’s not true.

The act of delaying gratification can become joyful if you treat it such way. When you’re intrinsically motivated, the struggle becomes the joy.

Keep pushing your boundaries and take the time to appreciate your growth.

Stay curious about how much you can grow and learn. (Hint: There is no limit)

An Analogy…

Hedonic Treadmill

It’s a rat race where beautiful moments are forgotten and the present is based on misery. It leads to burnout and then we may find unhealthy ways to make ourselves feel better.

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Trek

It’s a walk towards the top of the mountain. You can look back to appreciate your achievement. You can feel the beauty in the present moment. You keep moving forward. You stay focused on your vision. Here, you intentionally make time for rest, relaxation and recovery.

On this pursuit, success tastes much better than achieving success on a hedonic treadmill. And after achieving success, what do you do? — You appreciate and move forward.

adventure-1850912_1920

Skip the hedonic treadmill, go on a trek instead.

Conclusion

Suffering is inevitable, and it’s important for success. Misery is when you suffer for the wrong reasons.

Suffer for the right reasons and enjoy the pursuit of growth and peace. Success and happiness will come along.

Remain grateful and strive for what truly matters to you.

Looking for more alternatives to happiness and success?

Read: There’s more to life than happiness and success (3 min.)

Want To Succeed Every Day?

Design your daily success checklist for high performance and success. Click here to download the free PDF file.

A Practical Hack To Combat Negative Thoughts In 2 Minutes Or Less

According to National Science Foundation, an average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts.

If we repeat those negative thoughts, we think negative way more than we think positive thoughts.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapists have a term for it — ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts).

All negative thoughts are not bad. Being alert can help you survive but most negative thoughts are useless. They only create imaginary drama in your mind.

Let’s break this pattern. Do an exercise with me.

Step 1

Take out a piece of paper or open a writing software on your computer or mobile.

Step 2

List every negative thought you have. Once you’ve listed everything down, don’t stop. Dig deeper and write more thoughts about:

  • Your fears
  • Your insecurities
  • Your losses
  • Things that stress you out regularly
  • Things that irritate you about other people

Step 3

Make another column or a separate list.

Now, for every negative thought, write at least one positive thought.

  • If you fear failure, write one instance when failure helped you to learn a lesson.
  • If you’re insecure about your skills, write how much you’ve improved since you started.
  • If you’ve lost a relationship in the past, write about the beautiful time you spent with each other.
  • If you stress about work, write how your work is serving other people.
  • If you don’t like your coworker’s behavior, write about one positive thing about that person.

Shifting perspective sounds easy. But it’s not.

It takes practice.

This is why I want you to do this exercise right now. Once you do this exercise, your mind will remember it.

It will become part of your thinking process. Whenever you think of a negative thought, counter it with a positive one

Nervous about giving a speech in public? Think of the positive impact you will make.

Lost money? Think of one thing you have remain.

Feeling jealous? Appreciate one thing about yourself.

Make it a habit. Give yourself a one day challenge to balance your thoughts.

The aim is to make this habit part of your subconscious. Once it has become part of your thinking process, you will shift your perspective like Tony Robbins does.

Tony says we live in either of the two mental states — A beautiful state or a suffering state.

A beautiful state is when you feel love, joy, gratitude, awe, playfulness, ease, creativity, drive, caring, growth, curiosity or appreciation.

A suffering state is when you feel stressed out, worried, frustrated, angry, depressed, irritable, overwhelmed, resentful or fearful.

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Tony was not born optimistic. He practiced it. He put in the effort.

You can do the same.

Your thoughts are the roots of your destiny. Your next action results from your next thought. You owe it to yourself to improve the quality of your thoughts.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” — Lao Tzu

Take action

Do the exercise and give yourself a one day challenge to get started.

It takes a cue, routine and a reward to form a habit. The cue here is an automatic negative thought (ANT), the routine is a positive thought to balance it out, and the reward is how you feel.

Repeat until it becomes part of your thought process.

Comment below and let me know how it goes.

Want To Succeed Every Day?

Design your daily success checklist for high performance and success. Click here to download the free PDF file.