10 Stupidly Simple Ways to Think Like a Genius

Fotolia_51998016_XSYou’ve been in the situation where there are several TV programs airing at the same time but you can’t tune in properly to any of them because there’s too much noise going on in the background mixing each one up.

Well, in terms of personal development this situation is similar to the way our minds react when we’re trying to think. It’s frustrating to say the least. But wouldn’t it be great if you were able to just tune in and think clearly whenever you needed to (without all that background noise going on)?

Here are ten of the most effective ways of achieving exactly that:

1.    Improve your sleep pattern

Sleep requirements vary, but the minimum is typically at least five hours a night. Research suggests that once this minimum quantity is met, sleep quality then becomes ever more important for a normally functioning brain.

2.    Avoid sugars & simple carbohydrates

These cloud your thinking. To demonstrate this, try eating a sugary snack (prior to food) and then performing mental arithmetic thirty minutes later. Performance is typically worse.

3.    Avoid alcohol

Moderate amounts may appear to be contributing to creative thinking for some, however, research consistently indicates this as being bad for longer term brain health.

4.    Organize your workspace

It’s rare for anyone to work more efficiently in a mess. An organized workspace has the added benefit that you won’t keep being distracted trying to lay your hands on things.

5.    Practice meditation

Rather than thinking you haven’t got time for this, try closing your eyes and focus on your breathing, for just 5 minutes. Prepare for your mind to drift, but consistently return your focus to your breathing.

6.    Go for a walk

Just down tools and go do it. Come back refreshed and with a revised mindset.

7.    Free your mind of annoyances

There may be a telephone call you have to make or an appointment you keep postponing. Allow yourself to identify such stressors and take action so you can release them. Even identifying a problem, then accepting there’s nothing you can do to solve it right away will often reduce or eliminate subconscious worrying.

8.    Decide confidently and quickly

Nothing will inhibit your clear thinking as much as a cluster of unmade decisions. At the very least, decide when you’re going to make those decisions.

9.    Consistently meet your body’s needs

It’s more difficult to think clearly when you’re hungry or thirsty so try to eat regularly and always keep hydrated,

10. Fill your lungs with fresh air, breathing in deeply through the nose

Combining that with the walk outside I mentioned earlier will make a measurable difference.

 

You may be thinking that you already know all this stuff, that it’s obvious. Well, ‘knowing’ isn’t the same as ‘doing’, so why not go and put a few of these into practice right now. When you’re ready, please feedback and let me know how you’re getting on by posting a comment below.

Don’t Waste Another Second – Do It Right Now

Fotolia_16713777_XSIf ever you feel the pressures of work and life are coming at you so fast that you can barely breathe, try this quick one-minute exercise to help realign your mind and body.

Voice coaches commonly teach this exercise. Practicing it daily will help you to stay centered and connected to the authentic qualities in your voice whenever you’re required to make formal presentations. Take a moment now to practice it and see how it can work for you:

  1. Stand straight with both feet about a shoulder’s width apart. Your knees should be bent slightly, with arms gently relaxed by your sides
  2. Exhale once, rapidly
  3. Inhale with a very wide yawn
  4. Hold the air in your lungs for about 5 seconds
  5. Then slowly breathe out through gently pursed lips. As you do this, focus on your feet starting to feel more and more ‘rooted’ to the ground.

Repeat this exercise a couple of times (breathing in via a wide yawn, holding the air in your lungs for 5 seconds, then slowly breathing out through gently pursed lips, whilst feeling your feet becoming more ”rooted to the ground).

Can you notice any difference after that?

Make this quick, simple practice a natural part of your everyday routine. Then you’ll have a health and wellness habit in place that will help you think clearly, prioritize and achieve the results you’re after with minimal effort.

Go on, give it a try and tell me how it’s going by posting a comment below.

Fail Like a Pro: Here’s Why You Should

Fotolia_57020084_XSI’ve wasted more money than I care to remember on ideas that didn’t work and I know what it’s like to go round and round in circles. It can happen to any one of us at one time or another. The important thing from a personal development point of view is that I came through it.

There are two major lessons I want you to take away from this article:

1. Fail Quickly

The quicker you fail, the quicker you’ll realize that something isn’t going to work, in turn the quicker you’ll find something that does work. It’s much better to find out now, rather than never. Just drop it; learn from your mistake(s), then move on.

2. Fail Properly

If a person loses absolutely everything (their home, their clothing, their possessions, their dignity) they become someone who’s really got nothing else left to lose. With nothing left to lose, we have a person who has got everything to gain.

And, two home truths:

  1. The harder you fall, the higher you bounce.
  2. No one is immune to failure – including celebrities, politicians, gurus or anyone else for that matter.

Wherever there’s an opportunity for success, there’s also an opportunity for failure. So if you’re serious about your goals, your business, your dreams, then you must scale it up; otherwise you may just as well go back to what you did before.

You should never be afraid of failure – accept it for what it is. Pick yourself up, grit your teeth and get on with it.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this and post a comment below.

Your 5 Drop-Dead Simple Choices for Staying Healthy

Fotolia_48241505_XSMany decisions regarding your health and wellness are in your hands.

To potentially make yourself much less prone to developing serious illness (stroke, heart disease, liver problems, lung problems, diabetes, specific cancers etc.), there are some simple, actionable changes concerning your lifestyle that you should consider.

Here’s a mental checklist I’ve prepared to help put these actionable choices into perspective:

CHOICE ONE:  Don’t Smoke
  • Quitting smoking is the most effective thing you can do to minimize your risk of contracting future illness
  • The risk level to your health drops dramatically when you stop smoking (it can take a few years before the increased risk is removed completely)
  • If you find it difficult to stop smoking, then seek medical advice through your local doctor
CHOICE TWO:  Perform Regular Physical Activity
  • Any activity that leaves you slightly out of breath and somewhat sweaty (jogging, swimming, cycling, heavy gardening etc.) is good
  • A brisk walk every day is also good. You should aim to keep whatever activity you choose as vigorous as possible so you get maximum benefit
  • You should consistently perform at least 30 minutes of physical activity on as many days as possible. If 30 minutes is too long two shorter activity bursts (two 15 minute bouts) is better than not doing anything at all
CHOICE THREE:  Maintain a Healthy Diet
  • Eat at least five portions, and ideally seven to nine portions, of varied fruit and vegetables every day
  • The majority of your meals need to be starch-based (wholegrain breads, cereals, potatoes, pasta, rice, etc.) together with fruit and vegetables
  • Keep fatty foods (fried food, fatty meats, cheeses, butter, full-cream milk, etc.) to a minimum and go for low fat, mono-saturated or poly-unsaturated spreads
  • Eat several portions of fish each week. Where possible, at least one portion of these should be the ‘oily’ type (sardines, mackerel, pilchards, kippers, salmon, fresh tuna or herring)
  • If you’re a meat eater, stick with poultry (for example, chicken with skin removed) or lean meat
  • When frying foods use a vegetable oil such as rapeseed, sunflower or olive oil
  • Avoid adding salt to your food, and limit the intake of salty foods
CHOICE FOUR:  Lose Weight if You’re Overweight or Obese
  • If you’re overweight you’ll get measurable health benefits from losing just 5-10% of your body weight
  • Typically this is about 5-10 kg (10 kg is approximately half a stone)
CHOICE FIVE:  Cut down on Alcohol
  • Women shouldn’t drink more than 14 units* in a week (and a maximum of 3 units* over any one day)
  • Men shouldn’t drink more than 21 units* in a week (and a maximum of 4 units* over any one day)
  • One unit is equivalent to approximately half a pint of (normal) beer, or two thirds of a small glass of wine, or one pub measure of spirits

 

Perhaps you’d like to share your thoughts and experiences on what’s working (or not) for you. Please feel free to post a comment below.

Airbus Heaven: Make Business Trip Preparation a Breeze

Fotolia_5814625_XSDespite all the technology there are still times you need to get on a plane. But it needn’t be a drag to get organized and can be made more comfortable and reassuring by following these simple tips:

One Small Bag Makes Traveling Easier

Trying to remember everything you might need is kept much simpler if you keep a small toiletry or cosmetic back pre-packed. That way, should it be necessary for you to travel in a hurry your ‘travel bag’ is always at the ready and can be simply thrown into your carry-on.

Sensory Protection

Ensure you pack items to help you sleep when you need to, or at least ‘switch off’ from other distractions. Include a pair of soft sealing earplugs together with a comfortable memory-foam sleeping masks.

Hydration Protection

Flying dehydrates your skin and is made worse by being exposed to an overly air-conditioned and dry environment. Carry a small (hotel-sized) bottle of moisturizer in your travel bag together with a tube of lip balm to prevent and soothe the discomfort of dry skin.

Medicinal Protection

Pack ibuprofen or aspirin like analgesic for use in the event of headache or other bodily pain. A pack of antacid in chewable or liquid sachet form can be helpful in the event of a bad reaction to food. Also include cold/flu decongestant tablets which will tide you over until you can get to a local pharmacy or supermarket.

Sanitation and Health Protection

You may not always have easy access to soap and water so a miniature pack of hand sanitizer or sanitary wipes is a good idea.

Miscellaneous Essentials

Keep a supply of small zip lock bags for going through security checks. Keep your lotions, balms and other items in a zip lock bag within your travel bag. That way they can easily be taken out and displayed for security. Gum is also useful for freshening your breath and relieving pressure in the ears that can build up during flight.

 

Use this checklist as a starting point for adding other essential items if appropriate. Having this small bag on stand-by at all times will help ease some of the hassle that comes with business travel.

If I’ve missed out your favorite tip please let me and others know by posting up a quick comment below.