Famous failures – Your inspiration for success

February 27th, 2015

Famous failures – Your inspiration for successEven the most successful people suffer from massive setbacks. We explore a number of high profile people who have failed and bounced back that will inspire you to be a success.

Failure occurs all the time, be it in school, your career, within family situations or even when doing household chores. Sometimes we just want to throw our hands up in the air and give up. Instead, try to remember that if you endure and survive the ordeal, you will become a better person because of it.

Here are a few famous examples of people who can inspire you to keep going:

J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling outlined the importance of failure in a speech at Harvard. Why? She had failed too. Rowling said:

“I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”

She explained that enduring and coming out of this failure made her a stronger and more determined person, and also attributed this to her success.

Steve Jobs

Ronald Wayne, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple in April 1976. Now it’s a $2 billion enterprise with over 4000 employees. Yet Steve Jobs was fired from the company he began. The time away from the job he loved made him realise his passion outweighed his disappointment of failure. He then embarked on successful ventures with NeXT and Pixar, before he eventually returned to Apple as CEO.

Speaking in 2005, Jobs said:

“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”

Bill Gates

Bill Gates has been famously quoted saying: “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Gates is the perfect example of this – he dropped out of Harvard and co-owned a business called Traf-O-Data that failed. He champions the process of learning from failure, rather than beating yourself up about it.

If you feel you need help navigating through life’s failures, a life coach may be able to help. To find a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Lifehack article.

Become more efficient when working from home

February 26th, 2015

Become more efficient when working from homeWe explore a number of tips to add to your daily routine that will help you become an expert when working remotely.

Working away from the office can be extremely difficult – mainly due to the myriad of distractions, little communication with colleagues and less accountability for your work. But this doesn’t mean that it’s an insurmountable task.

Whether you are just working from home while you recover from an illness or work at home every day, these tips can help you get the most out of your working day.

1. Stick to regular working hours

This aims to ensure maximum productivity while working from home. It’s very tempting to get up when you want, take breaks and call it a day when you think you’ve done enough. Be your own boss – implement regular working hours (including lunch) to your day so your colleagues and customers can get in touch and so you can keep work from encroaching into other parts of your life.

2. Keep personal and work time separate

Giving yourself time off is just as important as working when you say you will. Try not to extend your working hours on too many occasions as this may put you at risk of burning out.

Compartmentalising your day to plan work and play will keep you productive when working and reduce stress when you’re not.

3. Plan your workday

Be smart and plan your workday. This can have a dramatic effect on your output so you can impress your boss when you next meet.

Consider the following when planning your day:

  • Complete tasks when you have the most motivation (usually in the mornings).
  • Plan breaks and rewards to increase motivation.
  • Attempt the high priority tasks first.

4. Dress the way you would at work

Even if you won’t be interacting with clients or customers all day, it’s important to dress for success. This will let your brain know that it’s time for work, not relaxation! Wearing comfortable joggers and an old t-shirt might be comfortable, but it might lead you to become tired, sluggish or unmotivated.

Do you have any tips to improve productivity when working from home? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Read and comment on the original Lifehack article.

How much sleep do we really need?

February 20th, 2015

How much sleep do we really need?There are varying reports that suggest eight hours is too much, not enough or that it’s just right. So what’s the recommended amount?

18 experts from the National Sleep Foundation – based in the US – examined 320 research articles to update their study titled “sleep time duration recommendations”. The articles were chosen by the strength of the studies from an original 2,142. The sleeping experts took into account both the risks and health benefits when making their recommendations.

If you suffer from a poor night’s sleep over an extended period of time it may leave you tired, depressed, anxious, unable to concentrate and if it continues, it can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. Too much sleep can also cause the same problems.

What’s the solution?

We all want to know how much sleep we need, but most advice revolves around the one-size-fits all eight hours recommendation. The new guidelines have introduced age brackets into the recommended sleep allowance:

  • Ages six to nine need nine to 11 hours, but can get away with seven to eight.
  • Teens need eight to 10 hours per night. They may be able to get by on seven hours, but more than 11 can be harmful to their health. Although they may need this amount if going through puberty.
  • Adults aged 18 to 64 need seven to nine hours sleep, but some can manage with six.
  • For people who are aged 65 or over, seven to eight hours is recommended. Although some may wake up early to have a nap later in the day.

All of the recommendations are based on an in-depth analysis on a number of quality studies. Some research included tests carried out in laboratory conditions, while others were based on how much sleep the subjects reported they had at home.

One of the experts from the study, Dr Lydia DonCarlos, added: “We spend one third of our life asleep, but we know so little about it.” But at least we now know how much to aim for to stay healthy is a good start.

How much sleep do you aim for each night? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Read and comment on the original Guardian article.

The secrets to optimism

February 19th, 2015

The secrets to optimismOptimists are thought to feel better and live longer. But what’s their secret to staying so upbeat?

Like many health habits – practise makes perfect. Here are a number of ways that can help you become more optimistic:

Expressing gratitude

Sometimes being appreciative isn’t enough. If you want to become more optimistic, you will need to learn to be grateful for the little things in life, like the sun rising in the morning or when your dog’s excited to see you. Enjoying the little things can make life much more gratifying.

Donate your time and energy

Helping out those who are less fortunate than yourself, or even a friend in need can help you feel more grateful for what you have. By helping others when you can, it can make you feel optimistic about your own life.

Surround yourself with upbeat people

If you socialise with fellow optimists, you can easily absorb their positive energy and implement it into your own life. Olympic Gymnast Mary Lou Retton explains it perfectly: “Optimism is a happiness magnet. It’s true. When you’re around people who are positive and upbeat, it brings you up.”

Ignore the naysayers

Try to remember that what other people say and do is a reflection of their reality, not yours. Try not to take the opinions of other people too seriously, especially when you hear a naysayer telling you that you can’t achieve your goals.

Try to forgive

This is easier said than done, but try to remember that the past is the past and that if you make peace with it, you will feel much better for it.

Simply smile

Smiling can produce a positive atmosphere that draws other people in. Happiness, even in the smallest of doses, releases a hormone called serotonin that adds to the feeling of well-being.

If you are looking to change your life around by becoming more optimistic, a life coach may be able to help. To contact a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Fast Company article.

Discover your inner-self while in a corporate career

February 13th, 2015

Find your inner-self while pursuing a corporate careerTaking a leap from a successful corporate profession to a career that fulfils your soul can be terrifying. We find out how you can make this transition easier.

It can take years and years to figure out what you really want to do for the rest of your life, let alone how you go about embarking on that journey. So to make ends meet, you may need to pour all of your energy into a corporate job that you might not necessarily enjoy.

Here are some tips to help you make this transition:

Don’t take part in the tea-break complaining sessions

Try surrounding yourself with like-minded, positive people. Do this both in your job and outside of work. Gaining a strong group of friends that share your outlook on life can be invaluable to the transitional process.

Start a journal

This can be a great exercise to keep your motivation up in times when your job becomes stressful or even monotonous. Try to note down the positive things you see and experience. You can then reflect on all the positive things in your life, and you might realise that your job isn’t your whole world.

Learn to enjoy your commute

Try listening to positive music, podcasts or audiobooks to kick-start your creativity for the day ahead. If you don’t have a morning commute, make the most of your free time to do the same, or even take up a new hobby.

Speak to your boss

Inform your boss about your plans. Being open and honest can take a massive weight off your shoulders, and you might even find out that your company can support you in your future endeavours. They may offer you a sabbatical so you can truly figure out what you want to do, or start you on flexible hours so you can have more time working on your passion.

Figure out what an ideal week would be

How would you approach each day in your ideal environment? Can you see yourself being happier? Plan acts that you will enjoy throughout the week to make the most out of it. Your evenings are short, so make the most out of them!

Making a career change can be difficult. If you would like some help, try contacting a life coach near you.

Read and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

Learn how to bounce back

February 12th, 2015

Learn how to bounce backWe all have the ability to bounce back from most of life’s setbacks. So why do we find it so hard?

It can be very difficult to gather your thoughts and feelings straight after a setback. Depending on the nature of it, you might feel lost, insecure and go into a state of panic. But we can bounce back when we put our mind to it! Here’s how:

How we can bounce back from:

A break-up

If you’re on the receiving end of a break up, it can release very strong feelings of panic and insecurity such as “I’m unlovable”, “I can’t cope” or “it’s all my fault”. What’s helpful to counteract these feelings is to discuss them with a friend, cook a lovely meal or organise something fun to take your mind off it. If you can’t see any way of reconciling, try to move on by asking yourself what you want out of your next relationship.

A loss of confidence at work

There could be a number of reasons why you have lost confidence in your working environment. It could be because of your home life, your health or relationships.

Try asking yourself if you’re happy with the way your career is going. Do you have a sense of purpose? Have you done a task well for so long that you don’t get recognition for it anymore? These are the questions you should ask yourself to find the source of the problem, and then you can address the situation.

Feeling depressed

If you’re feeling very low, the first thing you want to do is to retreat to your comfort zone until the moment passes. This can be helpful if you reflect on your situation, but extended periods in this bubble can worsen feelings or symptoms.

Diet and exercise can play a massive part in boosting your mood. Try going outside at least once a day – on your own or with a friend – to boost your mood. When you get back, make a healthy meal that will give you all of the energy to last the rest of the day.

The death of a loved one

There will be a whole host of feelings you will go through when you lose a loved one. They might include incredible sadness, disbelief and anger. You just need to remember these feelings are normal within the first year of your loss – everybody else goes through the same thing.

A loss of trust

Being unable to trust anyone only keeps you stuck in one place where you won’t be able to develop relationships or experience life to its fullest. Start by trusting yourself, and then you can start building relationships with others.

If you think you could use some help to bounce back from a setback, a life coach may be able to help. To contact a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Psychologies article.

Five ways to stop being late

February 6th, 2015

Six ways to stop being lateEvery one of us has a horror story about being late to work, a wedding or another important function. So how would it feel to never be late again?

You’re not alone. Let’s be proactive about our timing by acting on these five tips:

1. Transitional activities

Consider traffic, parking, children walking to school … anything that might get in the way of you getting to your destination on time. We typically take Google Maps’ journey estimation as gospel – but we shouldn’t. Always allow extra time for complications.

2. Beware of “I’ll just do things quicker.”

It’s very tempting to press snooze when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep, or you might need to fit one more task before work. This rarely ever works; it simply makes us more frantic (and late). So you really do need to get up on time.

Try reorganising your evening so you get to sleep earlier, or fit in ‘morning tasks’ before you go to bed. This will help beat the rush and ensure you get to work on time.

3. Change your perspective

Instead of thinking “we need to be there at 7:30”, try “it starts at 7:30”. There’s a massive difference between arriving early and arriving dead on time and then frantically looking for a parking space.

4. Get there 10 minutes early

Punctuality only works if you get it right. If you aim to get to your destination with one minute to spare, you’re not giving yourself enough time for any errors. This can increase your stress levels. If your event starts at 12:00, aim to get there for 11:50 instead of 11:59.

5. Think ahead

Plan your journey. If you need to get to a job interview in a part of town you haven’t visited before, plan a route and expect things to go wrong. This way if your route is blocked by road works, you can easily revert to your contingency plan or reroute the Sat Nav.

If you think you need help with certain personal development issues, like your punctuality, a life coach may be able to help. To find a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Huffington Post article.

How to stop making bad choices

February 5th, 2015

How to stop making bad choicesWe are all faced with trials that require decisions to be made. How we come to these decisions however, is the thin line between success and failure.

When we make bad choices, typically we are overwhelmed by emotions such as worry, hopelessness, stress and fear. These end up being the driving force of the decision-making process, when really they shouldn’t.

Here are a number of situations that lead to bad choices:

  • Your inflated ego and self-image blocks you from taking any encouraging input on board to make the right choice.
  • You cling to the fear of failure, which outweighs the greater reward.
  • You focus on the negative outcomes rather than the positive.
  • Your obsession for being in control often affects your choices.
  • Your hidden intention to fail overpowers your decision process; you shy away from taking on the extra responsibility.
  • You act on impulse, not taking enough time to weigh up all options.

To rectify these actions we need to look inward and explore our emotions, and then understand the process of these decisions. Here are a few ways to we can do this:

Discover your state of awareness

To make changes in your life you need to understand how your thoughts are limiting you and causing you problems. When you are truly self-aware, you will be able to tell how you are feeling, what assumptions you are making, what expectations you have and how the things you are doing are affecting your core beliefs. Knowing all of this takes a great deal of honesty.

The more honest you are with yourself, the greater ability you have to make choices with clarity.

Take a step back

When you encounter a problem, pause for a moment and try to envisage the solution. Most of us never jump the first hurdle, we think about the negative – the enormity of the task, the difficulty, what else is involved etc. We then make decisions out of anxiety, fear and frustration. So try to expand your perspective and focus on the solution to get past the inevitable obstacles.

Find the ambiguity of the situation

There are positives and negatives in most situations. Think of a negative scenario that you’ve encountered in the past, were there any positives that came out of that situation? Also, have any negatives issues arisen after a positive choice? This makes us more aware of how our decisions affect us, and will give us a great base for decision-making in the future.

If you feel like you are constantly making bad decisions, a life coach may be able to help you get back on track. To find a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

Obtaining a better work/life balance

January 30th, 2015

Obtaining a better work/life balanceIn the fast-paced office life, companies sometimes overlook a positive work/life balance for their employees. But they do this at their own peril.

You might love your job or you might hate it, in either case you shouldn’t be over-dedicating your time to work. You need to spend time relaxing and pursuing other interests and hobbies that help you switch off once in a while.

In some cases over-dedication to work can cause increased amounts of stress, weight gain and resentment towards your job or employers.

So in the daily rush of office life, try these three tips to start reaping the benefits of having a positive work/life balance.

Take time for yourself, both inside and outside of work

Do the things you enjoy to relax, be it reading, exercise, video games… anything to take your mind off the job. Taking a five-minute break inside work to talk about the latest film you saw or book you’re reading can give you that bit of motivation you need to push on for the rest of the day.

Don’t focus on the parts of your job you don’t enjoy

If you gain extra responsibilities that you don’t particularly enjoy, try not to only focus on them. Think about the other parts of your job that made you happy in the first place – these small ad hoc responsibilities need to be done, so just do them! The quicker you do them, the more time you have to do other things both inside and outside of work.

Keeping your company happy

A positive work/life balance needs to permeate throughout all levels of the company to truly be beneficial. So if you believe you company could benefit from extra facilities such as a staff room or simply an extra sofa to unwind at lunch times, suggest it! These small things can help boost productivity for both you and your colleagues and help maintain a positive work/life balance.

If you would like more advice on how you can maintain a positive work/life balance, a life coach may be able to help. To find a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Inc. article.

Eight ways to overcome procrastination

January 29th, 2015

Eight ways to overcome procrastinationProcrastination isn’t only linked with laziness – it can be caused by fear of failure and anxiety. So here’s eight ways you can overcome procrastination.

To stop the stressful feeling of not getting things done, try these solutions to get you back on track.

1. Understand how it affects you

How does procrastination affect your life? Try to think about the habits that often cause it.

This insight can prevent you from feeling inadequate and can help you understand the causes of your procrastination.

2. Plan your time

Create estimates of how long it will take you to complete a task and then compare your accuracy across multiple days.

This can become the start of an effective platform for working. It can also improve the quality of work and relieve stress.

3. Change your perspective

Find something about your task that you enjoy and focus on that. Look beyond the monotony and identify personal goals.

Identifying these personal goals can improve engagement. Also, reassessing a task can make it seem less intimidating.

4. Work in a productive environment

Choose who you work with and where, wisely. Try to avoid places that have distractions which promote procrastination.

This removes a number of obstacles that can hamper getting tasks completed.

5. Be realistic

Set reasonable targets so you can measure your success. But try to be patient, as success won’t happen overnight.

Beware: unrealistic goals can feed procrastination, so bear that it mind when trying to achieve difficult tasks.

6. Swiss-cheese tasks

Dedicate small chunks of time to a big task. You can then try to achieve as much as possible in those small spaces of time without feeling any pressure.

7. Counter obstacles

Create a list of possible obstacles that might crop up when you’re completing a task. You can then plan countermeasures to effectively overcome the procrastination.

8. Give yourself rewards for progress

Create a reward system to celebrate certain goals. You could also arrange small punishments if you miss them.

This provides you with the incentive and drive to complete your tasks.

If you are struggling to overcome procrastination, a life coach may be able to help. To find a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Entrepreneur article.