11 Powerful Mind Muscles You Need To Train For A Strong And Happy Mind

Your brain is plastic.

It doesn’t mean it’s made of plastic. What I mean is that it can change throughout your entire life.

Neuroplasticity is how we learn new things and train our brain to think or act in a way. Whenever you learn something new, the brain forms new connections between neurons (the brain cells).

Each time you practice or revisit your learnings, the connection becomes stronger as it becomes part of your thought process. The information then transfers into your subconscious mind which works even when you’re sleeping.

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” — Earl Nightingale

Like we practice skills and train our muscles, we must constantly train our brain to perform at an optimal level.

1. Stress Tolerance

Keeping calm under pressure is a skill which can be developed. Most people can’t handle stress and when they face high-stress situations, they burn out and make poor decisions.

If you develop stress tolerance, you not only stay relaxed under such situations, you can use the stress for high performance.

Not all stress is bad. The good stress, called as eustress is often acute. It helps you grow and achieve life satisfaction. Distress, on the other hand, makes you worry or anxious. Chronic distress can lead to a wide range of health problems.

Another difference between eustress and distress is how we perceive the stressor. With eustress, we associate the cause of stress to be helpful. Distress makes us feel terrible, and it leads to burn out.

Yerkes and Dodson created a curve and stated that we need the right amount of arousal for optimal performance.

Wikipedia

The amount of arousal depends on an individual so you must find your own balance. Try to stay within your range and if you have to go outside your comfort zone, use your superpower of stress tolerance followed by a period of recovery. Don’t fear stress. Visit the discomfort zone and face stress when it can help you grow.

To increase your stress tolerance, perform High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), take cold showers, speak in front of public or take challenges outside your comfort zone.

2. Mental Stability

We are emotional creatures. One nasty comment from a stranger can easily ruin our day. This is where mental stability comes into place.

Everyone has a threshold after which their mood turns down. But, like any other mental skill, mental stability can also be trained.

To increase your mental stability, notice how you react to negative events or thoughts. Keep a mood log if you have to and notice how you allow outside events to ruin your mood.

I know it is hard to stay sane especially when people who are closest to us upset us. It is normal to have a few expectations from close relationships. But, each time you get upset, remember it is your problem that you set the expectations in the first place.

Besides, people are too busy to think about the consequences of what they do or say to you. They often don’t even realize how some actions or words can harm us. In an ideal world, everyone should behave in the best way with each other but we are not perfect. We all make mistakes. Some people realize it and some don’t and it’s okay if they don’t. There is no need to hold grudges.

Maybe someone was going through tough times when they misbehaved with you. Give people the benefit of doubt for your own peace of mind. Be empathetic and look things from their perspective. Most things won’t matter in the long term. You always forgive yourself in the end, so why not forgive others? We all are humans, after all. Be kind, forgive, and move on.

Stop blaming other people and take full responsibility for your expectations. If they don’t meet your expectations, lower them down. And if they do better than expected, be grateful.

The same goes for life. When life is good, be grateful and when it throws unexpected challenges at you, respond with kindness and take it as an opportunity to train your mind. All your life, you’re either at peace or you’re training your mind. Both are necessary and good for you.

There are plenty of reasons why our mood worsens, but the principle remains the same. Identify the cause, adjust your reaction, and choose to look at the brighter side.

Stop judging yourself, other people or your life situation. Choose love and kindness. Love life as it is. Love yourself as you are. Love others as they are.

Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.

3. Passionate Work

Life’s drama steals many people’s vision from them. But the drama is not the enemy, it’s rather your friend. It’s a test you must pass to prove how strongly committed you are. If it were easy, everyone would get what they visualize — like magic.

Law of attraction says you get what you focus on. While it can be true, I don’t agree with it 100%. It’s not a law. We hear the law of attraction success stories only from the people who succeed. Nobody knows how many failed while using the law of attraction.

So, instead of thinking of it as a law, think of it as a principle. It’s a tool. It can be true if you work hard enough to reach your vision. Focus on your number one goal and give your 100% to it.

Practice excellence. Give 10x efforts. Keep commitments. Be on time. Do what you said you’re going to do. Focus.

Remind yourself what success means to you. Set daily intentions and take regular actions even if the steps are small. And most importantly, enjoy your journey by celebrating small wins.

Don’t chase vision as a means to happiness. Escape the rat race. Happiness is now. Reaching your vision will only amplify your sense of fulfilment. Make your journey the reward and you will never waste a day of your life.

4. Belief

Trust that everything is happening for you.

Trust that everything will be okay.

Trust in your ability to figure things out.

Trust in the higher version of yourself. You’re much more capable than you think you are. You can develop any skill you want. You can improve no matter where you are in life.

Trust alone is not enough though. In his book, Good To Great, Jim Collins explains the Stockdale paradox, and it goes like this:

“You must retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties. And at the same time… You must confront the brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Be brutally honest with yourself and do whatever it takes to turn your dreams into reality. Work on your strengths, fix your weakness (if you need to), and make the sacrifices you need to make.

Take bold steps and keep moving forward to build self-efficacy. Silence the naysayers (including your stupid mind). Learn skills and get feedback. Never stop growing.

Fear is the enemy of trust. Fear keeps you in a prison and stops you from following your heart. Don’t let that happen. Trust.

The beautiful thing about following your heart is that whether you succeed or you fail, you always become someone you never expected to become in your comfort zone.

By visiting the discomfort zone and failing a million times, you become a different person. Your character transforms. You gain clarity on what you want to do in the future.

5. Patience

Patience is the ability to persevere even when things take longer than expected.

Life has its own way. Sometimes, you’re surprised by your performance and other times, you get disappointed due to unexpected obstacles in your way.

If you stay patient, you can achieve anything you wish because you’ve made a pre-commitment and you can’t back off no matter if it gets dirty, boring, or harder than expected. You’ve burned the bridges and now the only option you have is to stay patient and keep taking action.

You can practice being patient by fasting, performing endurance activity or meditating.

Be resilient, be relentless, be determined, be stubborn, and never give up.

6. Service

Your purpose in life is to create yourself, become better, and have the courage to be yourself. But, your life mission is different from your purpose.

Your mission is how you serve the humanity. It does not matter how small or big your mission is. It’s your duty to serve to the best of your ability as you can.

So often we make everything about ourselves. We focus on our goals, our growth, and our happiness. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But, if you never take out the time to help, support, and serve others; you will feel disconnected from the world.

Even after reaching big accomplishments and titles, you will remain unfulfilled. So be part of a mission and contribute. Give, give, give and when you’ve nothing else left to give, give more.

Giving involves donating your time, money, attention or energy. And when you’re giving, don’t keep a score of how much or how many times you’ve served.

Practice being in giving mode. When you give, give with all your heart with zero expectations of getting anything in return (not even praise, love, attention or affirmation).

7. Mindfulness

Self-awareness is one of the top skills you need to live a complete life and mindfulness is the essence of awareness.

Being aware requires practice. Take notice of what you’re thinking. Observe how you think, feel, and act in response to different circumstances.

What biases do you hold? 

What logical fallacies do you fall for?

When do you misbehave?

What triggers negative thinking in you?

Mindfulness not only helps you to become aware, it also builds your focus. You get better at concentrating on the task at hand. As you get better, you identify when you get lost in thoughts and you direct your attention back to the task.

The best way to practice mindfulness is meditation. You can also practice it during short periods of mundane tasks such as washing dishes, cleaning, cooking, eating, drinking or walking.

With mindfulness, you’ll feel, think and see what most people never experience in their lives. It’s easy to get lost in the busyness of life. But, it requires wisdom and a child-like perspective to switch to the beauty filter of life.

8. Integrity

Always do the right thing. The ‘right’ thing depends on your principles and values. To develop integrity, the first step is to define your guiding principles and values in life.

Once you’ve done so, act accordingly even when no one’s watching. You can fool other people but you can never trick yourself. Be a hero in your own eyes.

Integrity makes you an authentic man or a woman. Being authentic doesn’t mean you never lie to people. Sometimes, you have to lie for the welfare of others and yourself. But you must never lie to yourself.

Practice integrity every day when you get the opportunity to make a reasoned choice. Examine your actions and ask yourself if you did the right thing. Are you acting on impulses? Or are you acting in alignment with your principles and values?

9. Rejection

Who doesn’t hate rejection? We are wired to avoid rejections because we used to live in small tribes and getting rejected from a tribe could be the difference between life and death.

Today, the situation is different. There are plenty of people on Earth and through the internet, we can reach more people than ever before. If we were to seek approval from everyone, we’d end up miserable.

Remind yourself that there are many people just like you. Find your community and stick with them. You don’t need the opinion of people who don’t matter to you.

Besides, every rejection is not about you. Even you can’t accept every request from everyone, right? So, expect to get rejected and be okay with it. With rejection, comes feedback or a lesson. Take it and trust that there are better things waiting for you.

Practice rejection by using your negotiation skills every once in a while. Difficult conversations have high chances of you getting rejected.

10. Detachment

People talk about minimalism a lot. Most people associate minimalism with owning less stuff, which is true. But, there’s more to it than that. It also means letting go of emotional attachments.

Letting go is hard. But it’s part of life. The sooner we learn it, the better off our life will be. Things, people, happiness, sadness, pain, love — all come and go. Life gives what we need at the right time. Accept the gifts from life and learn to let them go.

Start by letting go of small physical and digital stuff. As you practice the skill, you’ll be able to let go during the hard times in life. Let go of the people or stuff that no longer serves you. Let go of distractions that stand in the way of your vision.

When you get good at letting go, you don’t rely on things to be happy. You stop dwelling on the past. You become less anxious about the things you can’t control. You’re able to release the toxic thoughts and emotions from your mind. You become independent. You become free.

11. Recovery

If you want to work hard, you must learn to relax and recover. If you don’t recover, you will burn out, perform poorly at work, become a workaholic, and cause serious damage to your wellbeing or your relationships.

I see relaxation as an art. It takes skill to quite down and truly enjoy the time without being ‘productive’ for a while.

On the other hand, some people overindulge and lose track of the purpose of relaxation. Then, they crave even more rest because they start getting addicted to it.

You must find the right balance and take the right recovery dosage you need. Find out what relaxing means to you and make sure your method recharges your batteries.

Another important skill to practice for recovery is your humor skill. Don’t take things personally, find silly reasons to laugh, and make others laugh without insulting anyone.

Lastly, some of the best ideas come up when you’re not working. Allow your mind to wander. Take inspiration from different sources. Train your mind to think divergently. Let your mind wander by setting it free.

Conclusion

“Busy your mind with the concepts of harmony, health, peace, and good will, and wonders will happen in your life.” — Joseph Murphy, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

The school never taught us how to train the mind for optimal living. But, now you know what skills you can teach your brain if you keep practicing the skills in your day-to-day life. These skills are:

  • Stress Tolerance
  • Mental Stability
  • Passionate Work
  • Belief
  • Patience
  • Service
  • Mindfulness
  • Integrity
  • Rejection
  • Detachment
  • Recovery

Be honest with where you are at right now and start making progress. Save this post, set a reminder and revisit it to reflect on your progress. Keep reminding yourself of the skills and live your legendary life.

Success is a result of daily actions…

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

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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.

Use emotions at your own will

When I was a kid, I used to get angry all the time. I had no control over my emotions and I let my emotions rule my actions and thoughts. Everything I did was based on an impulsive emotional reaction. As I grew up, I learned to control my emotions and now I try not to let anger control me.

We are emotional creatures.

Our actions are not only determined by our thinking, but we transition between different moods and emotions.

Most of the time we let our emotions guide or control us. Sometimes, it leads to a good outcome but at times, it can also lead to an undesired outcome. We then regret our actions which were based on short lived negative emotions.

We all know the power our emotions have on us. But what if we switch it the other way around? What if we use emotions to empower us in the way we want?

Most of us develop a constant personality. Some people are perceived to be funny, some are serious and some seem to be always smiling.

Every emotion has its place and time. Preserve your feelings and channel them when you need them. An overdose of any emotion can result in undesired outcomes.

If you stay happy all the time, you’ll hide and suppress all your negative emotions which are unhealthy for your mental and spiritual health.

If you stay funny all the time, you might not take some things in life seriously and not take actions that you need to be taking.

If you stay angry all the time, well, you know the consequences.

Every emotion has its use and all of them are natural. So instead of masking our emotions or keeping our emotion same, we can start to channel our emotions according to our needs and situation.

  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed, bring positivity to life and smile.
  • If you’re taking life too seriously, bring humor to life.
  • If you’re working out at the gym, bring anger to life and switch to the beast mode.
  • If you’re about to do something outside of your comfort zone, bring courage.
  • If you’re feeling uncertain, turn it into positive anticipation and embrace the current situation.
  • If you’re feeling hatred, bring love and kindness.

So I invite you to try this technique out. Don’t let your hidden emotions poison you. Channel them and take them out when the right time comes.

Instead of letting your emotions guide you, guide your emotions as you need them. A simple hack you can use to make it easier for yourself is using music. Have different types of go-to music for different situations that will help you shift your emotions when you need or don’t need one.

Emotions are your friend. Use them wisely and your life will be much better.

8 things you need to know if you’re a college student

If you’re in college or if you’re soon going to enroll in a college, you’re at the right place at the right time. I’m soon going to graduate and I wish someone had told me the things that I’m going to tell you.

1. Detach yourself from your grades

At first, my level of happiness was directly proportional to my grades. From A+ to C, I’ve received all kinds of grades.

I’ve understood that 10, 5 or even 1 year from now, I will never care about any of my grades. They don’t mean anything in the realm of real life.

In fact, the time, effort and energy you will spend in trying to get an A from B can be used for more important things in life.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t care about your career. But bare in mind that grades are not your career. The only things that you want to attach yourself are the skills and knowledge you gain. Follow your curiosity. Do what excites you and keep learning.

2. Focus on personal growth

You’ve been gifted with a mind and a body. It’s your responsibility to take care of it. No one else will do it for you.

College is the ultimate opportunity to develop life skills. For example, emotional intelligence, living a healthy lifestyle, clear thinking, stress management, time management, personal finance, leadership,  friendship and relationship skills are the skills that are far more important than your grades.

Personal growth is the path that will help you live a fulfilled life.

3. Dare to be different

For your own sake, stop looking for approval. College life is the stage when so many people fall into the trap of looking ‘cool’ and being accepted by others. They lose themselves and they have no idea who they want to be.

Once I took the 16 personality type quiz. The results said that my personality type was INFJ-A which is less than 1% of the population. I’m so glad to know that I’m unique.

Don’t be afraid of not doing something that majority of the people are doing.

Don’t be afraid of doing something that majority of the people are not doing.

We are social creatures and we all are looking to be part of a tribe. So, we look for people’s approval. While it’s normal to be part of a community, it doesn’t mean that you need everyone’s acceptance. You only need a few like minded people to be your friends.

Instead of making 1000 friends, make 2-5 close friends who have similar values or character traits as you. You could also have friends from different backgrounds. It will keep your mind open and you’ll be able to see things from different perspectives.

4. Know/find/create yourself

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-awareness is a topic that deserves a separate post. So I’ll keep it short here.

It’s easy to get lost in the world that is filled with people who are already lost. Don’t exist and wait for death. Live until you have the opportunity to create yourself.

Define who you want to be and what you want in life. Your values and desires may change over time so keep moving towards them and change when you need to.

Embrace the change and the everlasting journey of self-awareness.

5. Plant seeds for future

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

95% of the college students don’t realize the value of their time. If you have a clear vision of what you want or who you want to be, then don’t waste a second. Work towards your future desires. You will thank yourself later in life.

The seeds can be in the form of learning, creating, practicing, etc. Develop 2 or 3 skills or knowledge about a topic. Then combine them and you will be better than 99% of the population on Earth.

6. Know the difference between job, career, and vocation

Jobs are roles that you take and you get paid to do that. Career is a series of jobs that lead to growth in your field.

Vocation, on the other hand, is a passion or a calling. But sadly due to stereotypes, society’s expectations, or our own excuses, most of us don’t pursue them.

It’s possible to have all three in one situation but for most of us, it takes some time and effort to reach there. If jobs can help you to eventually pursue your vocation then have patience and a clear vision of your vocation.

7. Fail, make mistakes and get rejected

Life is not always rainbows and sunshine. We all face adversity and there will be times when you’ll feel down. Practice the art of managing your emotions when you feel that way.

Failures and mistakes are not the opposite of success. They are part of success. As long as you keep learning and reflecting, you’re on the right track.

Rejection is also a phase that we need to practice. We need to realize that rejection is okay. It’s normal to feel bad after getting rejected, but don’t let it break your confidence.

Keep getting up and keep moving forward.

8. Stay present and enjoy

College is once in a lifetime experience. You don’t have as many responsibilities compared to an adult. Don’t stress out too much about your future. Stay in the present as you enjoy planting seeds for future and your personal growth journey.

Be grateful. Live fully. Laugh freely.