<![CDATA[EVERGREEN LIFESTYLE GEMS - Blog]]>Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:33:02 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[7 Solid Ways to Motivate Yourself]]>Tue, 16 Apr 2019 08:51:34 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/motivate-yourself
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   We all have big dreams but one thing separate those who make it happen and those who don’t and that is repeated action. In order to have repeated action one must in many cases have passion or a strong motivation driving them toward it. For example, you may have a strong affinity towards writing so you may decide to become an author, or you have family members to feed so you know you can’t fool around.
 
   Based on how I am (I don’t like to stress myself), I can find it a bit difficult to take action, to motivation myself. I could start but continuing isn’t usually isn’t my forte, simply because it’s stressful, but as the saying goes “no food for a lazy man.” in my case since I eat every day, I’d say “no good results for a lazy man.”

  In this week’s blog post, we’re going to be talking how to motivate yourself or the art of self-motivation because sometimes it can be quite hard to do so but it is the underlying ingredient for success. Let’s gooo!

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  Daily Motivation isn’t Guaranteed

   Some days we wake up feeling inspired, filled with energy and feeling on top of the world! Days like those make us feel like we can do anything but… other days, we wake up feeling heavier than a ton of bricks, we don’t feeling like doing anything like the Bruno Mars song, we feel lazy and tired and don’t want to face life.

   This means that motivation is not something reliable, it is based on feelings and emotions even though we know better, in the battle for dominance on a daily basis emotions would almost always win over logic. This means that even though you know that you should be working (logic), you can’t get up from bed because you don’t “feel like working (emotion).

  BJ Fogg, who runs the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford, says “we should assume that our “future self” is going to be lazy with no motivation. We need to set up systems to make achieving our goals as easy as possible — even when our motivation is low.” In other words, “motivation doesn’t work, systems do!”

  This means you need to set up a chain of things to do where one thing leads to the next aka a routine. For example, if you want to exercise every day, your routine may include putting your exercise kit near your bed before sleeping, then when you wake up, you brush your teeth, take a shower and be on your way to exercise.
 

  How to Motivate Yourself

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    Motivating yourself goes beyond reading or posting #MondayMotivation quotes on social media, it is about setting up yourself to take action, sometimes the motivation comes before the action and sometimes it comes during the action; but having no motivation isn’t an excuse and that is why it is essential that you learn how to refuel your motivation when your tank is empty. Here are some tips on how to do so.

  1.  Remind Yourself Why You're Doing Something

   When you drive a car for a while, you have to refuel it or risk it going off. This is the same thing with motivation, motivation is finite and we can refuel it by reminding ourselves why we’re doing something. This can give us a boost to help us along with our task.

​   When you have a clear picture as to why you’re doing something you’re more likely to do it. It is important to have a strong reason for doing something because in my experience just reminding myself isn’t enough if the reason is flimsy, negligible or insignificant.

  You should regularly tell yourself the benefits of doing your tasks either by saying it loudly, in your mind or writing it down. For example, you can say “I am going to eat an apple every day because I want to eat healthier food plus it keeps the doctor away” or “I am going to write 1000 words every day because I want to be a great author who is renowned for their writing.”

   It is also important to remind yourself of the dangers of procrastination or inaction. For example, “if I don’t do this right now, I won’t be able to leave work early” or “If I don’t do this at all I’m going to feel like shit and I’ll regret it.”

  You can also set up little ways to remind yourself such as apps, a vision board, a friend, etc. One thing that I’ve learned is that when you make things easy to do for yourself, you’re more likely to do them.
 
  2.  Break It Down

  Remember when you were in maths class and the teacher used a method to solve the problem which you just couldn’t wrap your head around? What was going through your mind? Didn’t it feel like you’ll never get it and it made you weak and you probably gave up? What about when they broke it down by showing you a simpler method? Didn’t your eyes immediately light up as you finally understood what they were doing? Didn’t you feel amped to solve more problems using this simpler method? This is the same thing with trying to motivate yourself.

  One reason we may procrastinate (see 8 Practical Solutions to Procrastination) or feel unmotivated is because the task at hand may seem too big or painful to do. What you need to do is break it down into smaller bits, start with the easier tasks (because they build momentum) and work your way up to the harder ones. For example, if you have a 1000 words to write and it seems a bit overwhelming you can say “I will write 300 words in the morning, 300 in the afternoon and 400 in the evening because that’s when I usually feel inspired.”

  When you’re done with any task, check it off your list.
 
  3.  Reduce or Avoid Distractions Altogether
 
   When you have easily accessible distractions all around you then it becomes hard to focus. I was writing this blog post in my room but I had to leave because I kept using my phone so I left my phone in my room and came downstairs to write.

  Distraction is such a big deal for people like me because I’m always on my phone so sometimes I just have to put it away, because even when I’m working I may unconsciously reach for it and mindlessly scroll through like I’m going to find gold.

  There is only so much time in the day and only so much motivation so if you keep getting distracted, it is going to suck away your motivation like a leech. So, keep your phone away or put it on flight mode and get to work, you can also use a browser extension like StayFocusd to… well, I’m pretty sure the name gives it away.
 
  4. Develop Laser Focus

   In life, when we’re doing something, whatever it may be, something else may occasionally come along and BJ Fogg refers to them “competing motivations” and if we’re not careful, they make ruin our best efforts. It isn’t always our fault, we didn’t want to get distracted or get competing motivations but it becomes that way. For example, you have a kid you didn’t plan for and because you want to be responsible you may opt for getting a 9-5 job instead of chasing your dreams. Sometimes, it could be an emergency, family problems, or some other type of external pressure.

   But more often than not, we just move on to something else and we end up going nowhere on either side. This is usually my case, for example I started this blog wanting to put my voice out there, help people and make money. In order to do that, I have to gain traffic, experts say you can gain traffic from Google, my email list, social media etc. The best option is email list but in order to grow that people have to subscribe and that means sending traffic that way, i.e. Google ads, influencer marketing, social media ads etc. If I go with social media, there’s Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Along the line, I became more and more confused as to what to do, I jumped from one place to another and I can truly say I didn’t stay long enough in one place to reap the benefits.

  Developing laser FOCUS and being able to put some ideas on hold is a skill that almost guarantees we make progress on what matters. It is a skill that cannot be overemphasised, the truth is many distractions will come your way especially in this social media era, there are many methods to do things but if you keep jumping around, you’re going to be a jack of all trades and master of none. In my case, I decided to stick to mainly Instagram because I prefer it.
 
  According to Ramit Sethi, you can develop laser focus by setting one big goal at a time. “Pick your number one goal. Is it earning more money? Getting in shape? Finding your Dream Job?
Grab a pen and paper and write it down. Really do this now. This isn’t a silly “thought exercise.” We’re doing this to commit ourselves to one course of action and follow through.”
 
   5. Plan for Failure

   Successful people aren’t luckier than most people. But they do try more things, and they’re willing to fail. Failure isn’t seen as a dead end or end of the journey, it is seen as a necessary path on the journey to success. For example, we know the infamous story of how Thomas Edison tried 99 times or so before finally getting the light bulb correctly.

   Almost any successful person has a similar story where they failed repeatedly, never gave up and then finally succeeded. What differentiates them from mediocre people is that mediocre people give up too early and too easily because they failed once or twice of because it’s too hard. Successful people on the other hand, are not deterred by failure and some actively seek it out because they know in the long run, the lessons from failure are more beneficial than success.
 
   According to Ramit Sethi, “BJ Fogg and I sat down and talked about how we can use failure and “motivational waves” to our advantage so when others tire out we can have a system to follow through.
 
  How you can start using the principle of “motivational waves” right now:
 -  Make a list of everything you need to get to accomplish your goal.
 -  Then, set up those pieces to make it impossible to fail.
   Here’s an example what that might look like:
   BJ Fogg wanted to drink more tea. So he bought all the tea, an electric kettle to boil water, and set everything up in easy reach on his counter. Even when he felt like drinking something else, it was right there and a no-brainer to make.”

   What is evident here is that by putting certain key measures in place, you can set up to do things that are beneficial to you whether you feel motivated or not and soon enough, it will become a habit.
 
  6. Find an Accountability Partner (AP)

   According to Paul Chernyak, “An accountability partner is someone who checks in on you time to time to see how you are doing with your goals.” This person could be your parent(s), friend, mentor or colleague. I’ll recommend a mentor because you look up to them and they are most likely teaching you one or two things.

  You should schedule meetings with your AP ahead of time so you have a certain date when you have to complete a certain task and this can be motivating. People get motivated by deadlines, university students you know what I’m talking about.

  I didn’t write a dissertation in university but I know each student who does is assigned to someone who will occasionally look through their work and give them honest feedback, you can say this person is an AP to the student.

  Your AP should also remind you of deadlines and whatnot; my mum doesn’t hesitate to remind to go and do my daily chores.
 
 
  7.  Get Rewarded

   Who doesn’t like rewards, right? Why do people participate in tournaments like The Olympics or World Cup? Why doesn’t scoring a goal or winning something make us so happy? Well, in my opinion, they are all rewards for a job well done. Rewards feel good. Penalties feel bad. And that’s why they both can work well for motivating you.
 
   According to Eric Barker, “research shows that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of why you do things.”
  An excerpt from The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People says: 
Researchers find that perceived self-interest, the rewards one believes are at stake, is the most significant factor in predicting dedication and satisfaction toward work. It accounts for about 75 percent of personal motivation toward accomplishment.” – Dickinson 1999
 
   In other words, TREAT YOURSELF! But only when you deserve it by completing your task(s) or accomplishing a set goal.

  When we were in primary school, my dad would tell us if we came in between 1st - 3rd in class he’d buy us fried rice and chicken from Mr Bigg’s (a Nigerian fast food franchise) and soon enough all of us were trying to get there so we could eat and not share with our siblings in order to make them jealous.
 
  According to Barker, if you’re having trouble finding a reward awesome enough to get you off your butt you should try a “commitment device,” that is: “Give your friend $100. If you get a task done by 5PM, you get your $100 back. If you don’t complete it, you lose the $100.”

   In conclusion, self-motivation is what will let you become successful and let you stay successful, it is one of the most powerful skill anyone can have because without it, you just won’t get the job done. Plus, you should test and adjust each method until you find the one that works best for you.

  QOTD: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommending it daily.” – Zig Ziglar


   WELL, THAT’S IT FROM ME GUYS, NOW…
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   How do you motivate yourself? Comment below. Help me and others by Sharing this on social media, SUBSCRIBE to my blog for awesome weekly content and to get my free e-books. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. See ya next time!
           Thanks.
           Ofai.

  Previous post: 5 Tips for How to Love Yourself
 

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<![CDATA[5 Tips for How to Love Yourself]]>Mon, 08 Apr 2019 20:46:31 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/love-yourself
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   As I looked at the young man in the mirror last week, I didn’t like what I had seen, I had added more weight than I expected. The thing about weight is that it seems sudden even though it’s been building up for a while, you may notice you’ve added a little weight and it may seem inconsequential and then one day it becomes very evident that you’ve let yourself go. I have been at home for about six months and this was the result, home is the least productive place for me, I always fair better when I’m away from my parents. 

   I criticized myself a lot but that’s when it hit me, learning to love myself is the most important thing, weight can always be lost if I’m ready to lose it. To be honest, weight was just a physical representation of how I felt: annoyed, tired, lazy and too comfortable, I was annoyed that I was still home, I’ve never been home this long and it pricked me.

   In this week’s blog post, we’re going to be exploring how to love yourself, in other words how to practice self-love. Let’s gooo! 

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    What is Self-Love Anyway?

    These days we hear a lot about self-love or loving yourself especially on social media but do we really know what it means? Society hammers into us the importance for loving others but it seems be to willfully ignorant when it comes to self-love even though humans are selfish beings. 
To me, with all things being equal, self-love is the ability to acknowledge and appreciate oneself, be honest with oneself and to correct oneself and ultimately to continuous improve oneself. You can dumb it down to say it is the ability to always take care of yourself.  

   Why is Self-Love So Important?

    Time and time again, I’ve heard stories both from family members and others who talk about people they give money regularly to and when they don’t give them one time for any reason, they become ungrateful and it seems they get selective amnesia about all the money they’ve been given before. Suddenly, you’re a wicked person, like my mum said when you have money you have to sort out yourself first before you think about others.

    Loving yourself is probably the greatest thing you can do for yourself and for those around you. Self-love with yourself boosts your self-confidence and esteem levels (see 12 Tips to Boost Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem), increases your self-worth, minimises your self-doubt (see 5 Amazing Ways to Deal with Self-Doubt) and it will generally help you feel more positive. It may even become easier for you to genuinely love other people if you’ve learned the art of self-love.

   Furthermore, according to Katherine Hurst from The Law of Attraction, “If you can learn to love yourself, you will be much happier and will learn how to best take care of yourself. When you are truly in love with yourself and happy, you should stop comparing yourself [see Stop Comparing Yourself! It’s a Losing Game] to others so much and should find yourself more confident, not worrying as much about what others think.”

  Some additional benefits of self-love include: increased love, acceptance, and compassion for yourself and others; more tolerance of your flaws and weaknesses; enhanced self-forgiveness and self-trust; healthier mind set; improved ability to discover and fulfill your purpose (see 7 Methods to Help Find Your Life Purpose); improved relationships and friendships; improved work life; increased access to new opportunities; improved mental health (see 11 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health), etc.
 
   What You Need to Keep In Mind

  Self-love isn’t selfish. Why? Because without taking care of yourself, you are incapable of truly taking care of others. Self-love actually is beneficial to yourself and to others around you. When you are able to genuinely love and accept yourself, you are able to love and accept others much more fully.

  To use an analogy, how can an empty jug be used to fill up someone else’s glass? It’s not possible! In the same way, it’s not possible for us truly give love when we are empty ourselves because we cannot give what we don’t have.

  You are most definitely the most important person in your entire world. This is absolutely essential to keep in mind. This is true because no one can care for you as much as you can and people don’t really care as much as we think they do (see How to Stop Caring What People Think).

  Your entire life is experienced through yourself and nobody else, you cannot truly live through someone else. It is always important to remember that you’re your own person, even if you’re a twin your fingerprints are different from your twin and that shows your uniqueness. When it comes to your understanding of reality, you’re the only thing that matters. This means that your reality depends on how much you love and take care of yourself.

  Your relationship with yourself is the most defining factor in shaping the kind of life you live. It becomes a problem when you cannot love the person who you will live your entire life through, you cannot swap bodies with people, this is not Freaky Friday. The less you love, listen to, and understand yourself, the more confused, angry, and frustrating you will be and the reverse is true as well.

How to Love Yourself

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   How do you treat the people you love and respect? Aren’t you kind to them, patient with their thoughts and ideas, and you forgiving when they make a mistake? (SeeWHO HURT YOU?? How to Forgive & Let Go). Don’t you give them space, time, and opportunity? Don’t you make sure they have the room to grow? Don’t you tell them to take care of themselves?

   Now think of how you treat yourself…

   Do you give yourself the love and respect that you might give your loved ones? Do you take care of your body, mind, soul and needs; Such as sleeping properly, bathing and exercising regularly, eating healthy, meditating, expressing gratitude, having fun, accomplishing your goals? (See How to Set Your Goals and Smash Them).

   How many of these daily activities do you allow yourself? And if not, then can you say you truly love yourself? The truth is that you can’t truly say you love of yourself if you don’t spend ample time taking care of yourself and actually take your own advice regularly. At the end of the day, self-love surpasses a mind-set, it goes well into the actions you take and the decisions you make. So, without further ado, here are some tips for how to love yourself, body, mind, soul and all.

  1.  Learning Regularly

    Learning regularly is a very strong part of personal development. There is so much knowledge in this world that no matter how much time you spend learning you will never learn or know everything. This does not mean that one shouldn’t learn, in fact it’s the opposite, as human beings, learning new positive things regularly is good for our mind and soul, knowledge is food to the mind and soul. Plus, if you don’t learn regularly, you will be left behind, we all have things we are naturally better at and those are where our main focus should be but we should also try to learn things in several fields.
 
   Ultimately, what I’m preaching here is skill acquisition, skills are necessary tools we need to build the future we need, the fact that you’re reading this on a device means that humans used skills they acquired and improved over the years to build it. If they can, you can also use your skills to do something meaningful if you decide to learn on a regular basis. For more info, read my two blog posts on skills, 21st Century Survival Skills and 7 High Income Skills You Can Learn Online for 2019.
 
  2.  List Your Positive Attributes and Reflect on Them Regularly

   If you habitually look down on yourself and think negatively of yourself this can be difficult but it’s not impossible, it is important to know that self-love can be difficult and it takes a lot of work. According to Trudi Griffin from wikiHow, you should “try to find one positive thing about yourself to add to the list once a week. At the end of each day, reflect on your entire list.” She gives some guidelines on how to go about making your list.

  Make your list very specific: Instead of using general adjectives to describe yourself, try listing specific actions or attributes that describe who you are and what you do. For example, instead of simply saying "I’m a kind hearted person," you can write "I regularly volunteer at the local orphanage and I give them some of my used clothes. This makes me a kind hearted person." As you read and reflect on your list, remember that each item on the list, however insignificant it may seem, is a reason that you are worthy of respect and love.

  3.  Learn to Discern Your Thoughts

  You will hear a lot of things throughout the course of your life, you may be conscious to some and unconscious to others. You will be told that you’re too fat, too slim, too ugly, too short, too dark, your personality is too bland, you must be perfect, putting yourself first is selfish and preposterous blah blah blah. 

   Not all of these untrue and unhealthy perceptions will be apparent but soon enough, you may end up absorbing some of these unhealthy perceptions into the river of your mind-set and belief system, thereby polluting it like a toxin. In fact, many of these toxic perceptions probably have already been absorbed by us.  This brings me to an interesting quote by Gary Vaynerchuk which keeps coming to mind: “If your voice in your head is mean to you, remember that someone manipulated that voice and instilled it in you. Kill that fake voice and find yours. I love you, now love yourself.”

  Discernment is such a huge factor when learning how to love yourself, it helps separate the lies and the truths you tell yourself because loving yourself involves unlearning a lot of things that you thought were true or useful.

  According to Aletheia Luna from Loner Wolf, “To learn how to be discerning you need to question everything. Yes, this can be tiring, but it is worth every ounce of your effort. Why? Because being discerning will help you to sort through a lot of mental rubbish, antiquated beliefs, and harmful ideals. Learning to say “NO, that’s not true” helps you to discover what the truth actually is. And the truth is always grounded in love (but again, you will have to discover this for yourself). The more clarity you have, the more you will be able to support and stick up for yourself.”
 
  4.  Leave Your Comfort Zone

   Our comfort zone can be very tempting, it can seem like an oasis in a desert but in reality, it is a mirage, it’s just more barren land because nothing really grows there only mediocrity. You cannot truly love yourself if you don’t step out of your comfort zone and take risks, it’s even riskier to constantly stay in your comfort zone. As humans we can’t really experience true happiness if we don’t step out of our comfort zone and try new things (see 06 Ways to Live a Happier Life).

  If you’re struggling to love yourself, then you’re staying in your comfort zone way too much. Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean you must go sky-diving if you’re scared of heights or anything scary like that, sometimes you just gotta put one foot out of your comfort zone and slowly take your whole body out of it. What I mean is that you can take it one step at a time and gradually step out of your comfort zone by doing the little things, little things that are new and can make you nervous, it’s all about taking the first step! (See 3 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone).

   So, how can you leave your comfort zone behind? First, write down what you want to do, it can just be one thing and then out and do it. Soon enough, you go about doing many things you could only dream of and then you’ll believe in yourself and the power you within you.

  5. Be Your Own Bestie

   Many people are their worst enemy because of how harshly and negatively their self-talk is. If you were step into this kind of person’s river of thoughts, you’ll soon discover that you’re like fish in poisoned water, too toxic to survive in. It makes you wonder how they themselves can survive in such a toxic mental environment.

   If most of us spoke to others the way we spoke to ourselves or others spoke to us the way we speak to ourselves, we would be friendless! You are with yourself 100% of the time, through all the ups and downs so it becomes very essential that you become besties with yourself, it will make your life much easier and simpler.

  To really practice self-love, it is important for us to consciously change our relationships with ourselves, and treat ourselves with compassion and consideration just as we would with a best friend. This involves being there for yourself when it’s hard, motivating yourself, having fun with yourself, rewarding yourself when you deserve it and a whole lot more. More importantly, it’s about learning to trust yourself more. The way to start doing this is to spend more quality alone time getting to know yourself and discovering what makes you, you.

   Conclusion

   Self-love isn’t always easy, some days you messed up and may feel so bad that it may feel like you can’t love yourself, some days you feel on top of the world, other days you just feel like you’re in the middle of it, this is all part of the process. Self-love isn’t always constant or on the same level, it’s like a hill or waves of the sea, sometimes it’s high, sometimes it’s low. You may lose friends on this journey and it will hurt you but you should remember that if they truly cared about you then loving yourself wouldn’t be an issue.

   My article is kind of shallow and doesn’t do this topic enough justice, if you want a more in-depth article on self-love you can check out Aletheia Luna’s article, How to Love Yourself More.

  QOTD: “Self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness, concern, and support you’d show to a good friend. When faced with difficult life struggles, or confronting personal mistakes, failures, and inadequacies, self-compassion responds with kindness rather than harsh self-judgment, recognizing that imperfection is part of the shared human experience.” - Kristin Neff 

  WELL, THAT’S IT FROM ME GUYS, NOW…
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   In what ways do you show that you love yourself? Or do you have any extra tips for how we can love ourselves more? Comment below. Help me and others by Sharing this on social media, SUBSCRIBE to my blog for awesome weekly content and to get my free e-books. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. See ya next Monday!
           Thanks.
           Ofai.

   Previous post: How to Stop Caring about What People Think

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<![CDATA[How to Stop Caring about What People Think]]>Mon, 25 Mar 2019 08:03:04 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/stop-caring
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Credit: Party Flvrs
  
   It is a human desire to be liked, loved, respected and held in esteem. So, naturally because we are social beings we care what others think of us, how people see us is important to us, we don’t want to be judged or criticised. This means that we can act in ways to put up a front and it isn’t always healthy. We care about how we’re viewed so much that we tend to suffocate ourselves, and don’t live true to ourselves and it can have adverse effects on us. All that being said, there will always be exceptions. 

  In this week’s blog post, we’re going to be looking into how to stop caring about what other people think of us and start living better lives. Let’s gooo!

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  Why do we do things, or not do things, because of how we expect others to react?


   In reality, there are many times when we act or react based on how we think others will think or say, we think to ourselves “what will they say if I do this?” Due to this question we often ask ourselves, we don’t end up doing or not doing what we want all because we’re afraid of what other people may think. Having this mentality isn’t completely bad or wrong, in fact it is useful when we’re thinking doing something crazy or risky.

   The opinion of a trusted person or a professional can go a long way in helping you out, for example, if you want to drop out from university, it’s best to ask what will others think and then talk to someone about it before making your final decision.

   The issue is that we also care about the opinion of others who aren’t all that important or don’t understand our situation, for example classmates and colleagues who are only acquaintances if anything at all. It’s even worse when we catch feelings or prevent ourselves from doing what you want because of haters.
   
    There are times when the people’s supposed opinions you care about are your friends and family and that stops you from acting true to yourself, it isn’t always easy especially when they won’t understand so that shouldn’t stop you, I know it is easier said than done but it can still be done!

   Reality Check

   Many people don’t care nearly as much as we think they will, this is because we’re self-absorbed beings, we’ve got our own issues to deal so why should we care about you all that much? If you keep trying to live up to other people’s expectations, you’re gonna get tired eventually because you won’t be able to keep up and your true self will cry.

   Many times we expect people to have a greater opinion over our choices than they do, this is probably we’re looking at ourselves through how we think they see us rather than how they actually see us and this can make up overly harsh on ourselves. Think about it, do people always notice when you get a new haircut, buy new shoes or wear new clothes if you don’t tell them?

   Next time you find yourself being self-conscious or worried about what someone else may think of your choices, remember that you’re probably making a mountain out of a molehill. Don’t allow fear of the what-ifs prevent you from doing the things you want to do.

  You should also keep it in mind that life is better when you live it on your terms and don’t necessarily concern yourself with how others perceive you.  According to Nia Shanks, “There’s great freedom from doing what makes you happy; being authentically yourself. Whether this is something as simple as how you dress, the career path you choose, or anything else. When you’re true to yourself and don’t allow the assumed thoughts of others dictate your choices, life possibilities expand, and your joy increases.”

   The people that should care about public opinion or perception are politicians and other public figures because it can help keep them accountable but even that should have its limits. 

 5 Tips to Help You Stop Caring What Others Think


  1.  Know Your Values

  Knowing what’s important to you cannot be overemphasised, having values and principles we live by make us better people. There’s so much power in knowing who you are, what matters to you and what you want; they help you make decisions and other thinks. Once you have this strong sense of self, what others think of you stops being a concern or a priority. People will always think whatever because they lack 100% context, only you have 100% context of your life.  
 
   When you know your values, you'll start saying no to some things and you will put yourself first because others won’t. When people pressure you to for example, drink, go out or do them a favour you won’t feel the guilt of saying no or the need to say yes. It will also help you fend off distractions and help you stay focused on what’s important to you. When you start putting yourself first, you’ll lose people but at least you’ll gain a better quality of life.

  2.  You Only Live Once

  When most people are about to die, most of their regrets aren’t materialistic, it’s about the opportunities they didn’t take or things they didn’t do because they cared about what others would think whether it’s their loved ones or random peoples. Ultimately, they wish they lived happier lives (see 06 Ways to Live a Happier Life).

   As we live our lives, it’s important to remember we’ll die soon, it could be today, tomorrow or years from now but however long it may take, death is inevitable. When we are able to accept our fate of eventual death, it can liberate us, we will stop worrying and start living because YOLO, you only live once and nobody can live your life for you! We should strive to live with as little regrets as possible, take the opportunities when necessary, strive for self-improvement, etc.

 3. Only Value Few Opinions

 
As much as there’s liberty in being yourself and not caring about what others think butttttt it doesn’t mean you should become unhinged and do whatever you like. Like I said before, you need people to check you when you’re about to do something risky, crazy or new.

    In essence, it is important to value some people’s opinions. You should have people to confide in who have your best interests at heart, but you should take their advice with a grain of salt because some of it might be out of fear or complete context.

   How many times would you let the unsolicited opinions of strangers get you down? Why should you feel bad when people you don’t give a fuck about tell you how much weight you’ve added or something else? Some people are going to dislike you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

 4.  Stop Trying to Make Everyone Like You

   
It is impossible for everyone to like you, you can’t be everyone’s piece of pie, and not everyone likes pie. Some people will always hate on you, not because of you but because of they are insecure (see How to Overcome Insecurity). Instead of caring about those who don’t like you and trying to convert them, focus on personal development for those who like you and who matter.

    It helps to remember the same way you can’t make everyone like you, it’s the same way that no one can; Jesus was betrayed and crucified and he didn’t hurt nobody. You have to be your own friend, be compassionate to yourself and stop bending over backwards trying to please people because you’re only going to be taken for granted and left disappointed (see How to Deal with Disappointment).

   As Nia Shanks advises, “Spend your time and energy living an awesome life and using your talents, gifts, and abilities to make the world and people around you better. Let other people like you not because of who you’re trying to be, but because of who you genuinely are. Or, as I like to say … I’d rather be hated for who I truly am than loved for something I’m pretending to be.”

   There are people who will appreciate for who you are even if your friends and family don’t, they are called your tribe or community, they understand your situation and perhaps they can relate; so go find them! When you surround yourself with these people, you feel safe and well-nourished internally.
 
 5.  Stop Chasing Perfection

    Many of us are under the impression that if we do things a certain way or if we become a certain way or become “perfect” that everyone will love, praise and respect us. This is a wild goose chase or like build castles in the sky, it’s all an illusion.

     For example, if you follow dreams and become a success, your old friends or neighbours may say “you’ve changed” or “you’re proud” or “you think you’re the shit now, huh?” and your new friends will be happy for you. At the end of the day what becomes evident is you can’t be the same person if you want to be successful and change is just part of the process. There’s no point where you can be perfect enough for everyone to accept you, you will only be compromising.

   Instead of chasing perfection, you should chase excellence, perfectionism is the enemy of excellence! If you wait for things to be perfect, you will never do anything, for example, the perfect time to do something doesn’t exist, you create the time to do it. Try to be excellent because you can attain that and so can others.

    I make Instagram videos almost every day, I love doing it but I make a lot of mistakes, I get tongue twisted, I forget my lines etc. I do a lot of retakes but when I’m satisfied that I’ve said what I need to at the 1 minute mark I upload it. The videos are by no means perfect and I make mistakes but they get the job done and that’s what matters to me.
It’s important to keep this in mind, “Whenever you’re trying to get better at something, there will always be a “gap” at first. Meaning, you’re not as good as you’d like to be.”

   Perfectionists are more vulnerable to feelings of shame and embarrassment. Especially, when they’re trying to be perfect in the public eye. People who chase excellence are not as susceptible to such vulnerability and honestly, perfectionism is just very stressful!

   In conclusion, the opinions of others should be lord over your life because you’re going to keep suppressing yourself, as long as you’re not hurting nobody or doing something illegal, you should live true to self. It is usually refreshing to see people who really don't give a fuck in the right way! For more on this topic, you should read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson and follow Gary Vaynerchuk.

   QOTD: “Every second you spend on other people’s opinion on what you’re doing is wasted on your ability to take that same time and use it to execute on your actions to win the debate in the end.” – Gary Vaynerchuk  

   WELL, THAT’S IT FROM ME GUYS. NOW…
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   When was the last time you didn’t do what you wanted because you cared more about what other people would think? Or when last time you didn’t care and did what you wanted? Comment below. Help me and others by Sharing this on social media, SUBSCRIBE to my blog for awesome weekly content and to get my free e-books. Follow me onInstagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. See ya next Monday!

        Thanks.
         Ofai.

   Previous post: 06 Effective Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

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<![CDATA[06 Effective Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills]]>Mon, 18 Mar 2019 10:17:10 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/communication-skills
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   Communication is an integral part of the human experience, given the fact that we are social creatures. We communicate in a million and one ways through speech, body language, music, instruments, art, books, etc. plus, we have thousands if not hundreds of thousands of languages which we speak throughout the world.

   Having all this in mind, a clearer picture is painted as to why effective communication skills is like having the master key that can open almost any door of opportunity in life whether in work, dating, relationships, networking, family, etc. For this week’s blog post, we’re going to be looking at how to improve our communication skills. Let’s gooo!

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   Communication
   According to Gale McCreary from wikiHow, “Communication is the process of transferring signals/messages between a sender and a receiver through various methods (written words, nonverbal cues, spoken words). It is also the mechanism we use to establish and modify relationships.”

    We communicate with each other all over the world in both similar and different ways, the same words and gestures may mean different things in different cultures. So, it is important to be culturally sensitive especially when you’re in a different country.

   You don’t even have to look beyond a different language to even get how some words may be used differently in different contexts, take a look at slang. For example, in proper English, “sick” means not being healthy but in slang term, it means something crazy, surprising or cool. In a similar way, “bad” is used to connote something positive. This means that “context” is what gives communication proper legs to stand on and without it, a lot will be lost in translation.

   When you’re in another country, body language and hand gestures can go a long way especially when you’re learning their language or you can’t speak at all. For example, if you walk into a store asking for something, you’ll say the name and use your hands to describe it and hopefully, the person understands what you’re looking for. 

How to Improve Your Communication Skills


  1. Learn Non-Verbal Communication

    Our words say a lot but our body language says even a lot more; the world may not have one language but our body language all across the world is very similar. For example, if you’re talking to someone and they keep looking away, it usually means they’re not so vested in what you have to say.
   
    A study showed that non-verbal communication accounted for 55% of how an audience perceived a speaker. Obviously, this shows that your body language accounts more for communication than speech and it can be a dead giveaway for when we’re not feeling confident.


   According to Deep Patel from Entrepreneur, to communicate effectively and confidently, you’ll have to adopt proper posture and use hand gestures. Avoid slouching, looking down, folding your arms or making yourself appear smaller than you are. Instead, pump up your chest, slightly lean your shoulders backwards, keep your arms open (think of your favourite hero like Superman, how does he stand?) Fill up the space you are given, maintain eye contact, smile, face your chest to whoever you’re talking to, if possible, move around the space you’re in and if you have to shake anyone, give them a firm handshake.

 2. Listen and Listen Well

  
 Richard Branson says “listen more than you talk.” When communicating with others, it’s tempting to talk all through so you can get your point across or even interrupt others as they reply to you. This usually causes the other party to be irritated or even to misunderstand you. 

  To really communicate effectively, you must listen to others, and not just to reply but listen attentively to understand, don’t listen with only your ears, listen with your eyes too so you can catch non-verbal cues. After all this, you can give a thoughtful answer which displays your understanding of what they said. Furthermore, you should keep this in mind “when you talk you learn nothing new, when you listen, you learn something new.”


  3. Take Note of Who You’re Talking To

   
We can’t talk to everyone in the same way, we don’t talk to our parents same way we talk to our friends or siblings nor do we talk to kids the way we talk to adults.  This means we take note of who we’re talking to and adjust according. For example, you can use acronyms and informal language when texting your friend, but if you are emailing a potential employer or your boss, you should use formal language not “wassup” or “what’s good bro” or “ttyl.” You shouldn’t assume that your boss knows what “ttyl” means and even if they do, it has no reason to be in a formal email. It may also be the case that some acronyms have different meanings to different people, I’m pretty sure you’re not trying to be misunderstood.

   According to Right Management, effective communicators target their message based on who they are speaking to, so try to keep the other person in mind, when you are trying to get your message across. For example, when talking to a bunch of kids, you can use simple and informal language but when talking to adults you can expand your vocabulary.

  4. Speak Clearly

   
 This is one area I have problems with, it’s not like I can’t be audible but it’s become a bad habit, sometimes I’m just too lazy to talk audibly. Anyway, that aside, when speaking to others, you should speak clearly and don’t mumble. It’s annoying for people to keep asking you to repeat yourself, if that’s the case try to do a better job articulating yourself in a better way.

  It is not just about speaking clearly, you should also slow down your speech like you’re approaching a speed bump. People will think you’re nervous and unsure of yourself if you talk fast plus, you’ll get dry lips quickly and nobody wants that. Just because I said you should slow down your speech doesn’t mean you should be as slow as a turtle where people have to speed you up or finish your sentences, you’re not effectively communicating, you’re just being boring!

   Another element of effective communication through speech is your tone, don’t be monotone or use the wrong tone when talking about different topics. For example, if you’re talking about various topics such as the best day of your life and the worst, you can’t use the same tone throughout or use a high pitched and happy tone when talking about the worst day of your life especially when someone died and then use a low pitched and sad tone for the best day of your life. When talking about tone, your volume matters as well, you should speak softly when you’re in closed personal spaces and speak loudly when talking to a crowd.


  5. Use Humour

    Humour is always a way to break the ice when talking to strangers or people you don’t know that well. If you’re on a first date for example, humour can help you secure a second and even more subsequent dates. Laughing is the best medicine and it releases endorphins that can help relieve stress and anxiety. We like to laugh and we are naturally attracted to people who can make us laugh because they make us feel good.

   Effective communicators are not afraid to employ humour when talking to others but they pay attention to where they are and who they’re talking to. For example, sexual jokes and innuendos may be great for some first dates but may not be appropriates for others or at a job interview. Humour can be a powerful communication tool as long as you know when and how to use it.

  6. Tell Stories

   Stories are what humans like a lot, you cannot overestimate the power of stories, whether it’s in movies, books, etc. or just a person to person interaction, stories go a long way to communicate a point effectively to someone else. It is a way to make yourself relatable to others and to find common ground with them. For example, if you go on a date with someone, you usually won’t connect with them properly until you teach each other stories about yourselves, laugh and have fun.

  Effective communicators use stories to connect with their audience all the time, it’s not necessarily what you’re saying that matters but how you say it, your delivery, your timing and how long you can keep your audience engaged in what you’re saying. Great examples of these are stand-up comedians such as Trevor Noah who tells us about his life experiences, Kevin Hart who talks about his relationships, Dave Chappelle who talks about politics, celebrities, etc. and Basket Mouth who talks about his experiences as a married man, Nigerian pastors, etc.

  Bonus
  Practice
  It goes without saying that to improve your communication skills and to become an effective communicator, you must practice the above tips and more on a regular basis. Practice makes permanent so get to work! In no time you’ll become very effective at communication and you will see how it improves your life.

 QOTD: "Communication - the human connection - is the key to personal and career success." - Paul J. Meyer 
   WELL, THAT’S IT FROM ME GUYS. NOW…
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   Do you have any extra tips on how to communicate effectively? Comment below. Help me and others by Sharing this on social media, SUBSCRIBE to my blog for awesome weekly content and to get my free e-books. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. See ya next Monday!
                            Thanks.
                             Ofai.

   Previous post: 06 Ways to Live a Happier Life
   
Related post: Easy Ways to Approach Public Speaking or Presentation

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<![CDATA[06 Ways to Live a Happier Life]]>Mon, 11 Mar 2019 09:01:15 GMThttp://lifestylegems.com.ng/blog/happier-life
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    Happiness is one of the things we all chase after, maybe if we get a little richer we’ll be happier or maybe if that girl says yes we may be happier or perhaps if we change jobs we might be happier. Whatever the case is, one thing is clear, in our minds, if we achieve something, reach a point or mark something off our checklist we will be happier.

   While this may be the case, we often find ourselves in “unhappy” situations, maybe we’re broke or worse, poor, maybe that girl said no or just “wants to be friends” or perhaps we can’t quit our job because there’s no job somewhere else and we have bills to pay and family to feed. 

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     Happiness is a Choice?

​    They say happiness is a choice but it’s not a choice we all know how to make at all times and in all situations or circumstances, sometimes we want to complain because life is hard and we want to feel the pain of it. If I understand it, it is because we may not have control over events, circumstances or situations but we have control over our reactions to such events so you can argue that happiness is about perspective and our outlook. Why would a rich person “suddenly” commit suicide while a poor person can dance and be so full of life? He has nothing so why should he be happy when the rich man is so sad?  Those are questions I cannot really answer myself but I can give you some tips on how to live a happier life.

 How to Live a Happier Life


  1. Avoid Debt

   Debt is one of the biggest thieves of happiness for the average person. Debt is like walking into a river with weights tied to your ankles and the more debt you accumulate, the deeper you go into the river and more weight is added. Just getting a debit alert is annoying especially when there’s no money coming in, being broke is even worse enough but being in debt is the worst! It makes you feel less than, you feel imprisoned or uncomfortable, you feel insecure or like the person has control over you, you also become evasive especially when you can’t pay back when you should. For example, you may start avoiding your creditor’s call.

   Debt can ruin one’s life especially if the interest rates are high like in the case of borrowing from Nigerian banks, if you borrow to get a mortgage or to buy a car or start a business then if you can’t keep up, your collateral will not be given back to you and some additional privileges might be taken away from you. It isn’t always possible but as much as you can run away from debt like it’s the plague and you will live a happier life, try to live on a budget especially from a young age (see 06 Costly Budgeting Mistakes You’re Probably Making).

   Benjamin Franklin said, “Rather go to bed without dinner than to rise in debt.” I’m not saying you should go hungry or anything but if you’re going to be in debt make sure it’s for something meaningful not just because you have some spending cravings you want to satisfy. All that being said. Being in debt can also motivate you to work harder and smarter so you don’t have to be in debt again.

  2. Understand and Invest in Yourself

   You’re your biggest asset. Since that is the case, you should put in all your resources to build yourself and add value to others and in turn you will get rewarded with income, respect, recognition, etc. As Norman Vincent Peale said, self-knowledge is the beginning of self-correction or someone more recent, Drake said “know yourself, know your worth.”

   There is a strong emphasis on knowing yourself, what you can and can’t do, your preferences, your history, etc. these things inform your person and are thus essential on a conscious and unconscious level, when you know who you are you will be happier because you won’t bother yourself on things you shouldn’t.

   This means spending some quality alone time, having conversations will yourself, trying new things, leaving your comfort zone (see 3 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone Today!), etc. Most importantly, you need to do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis on yourself, capitalising on your strengths brings opportunities, working on your weaknesses reduces to your susceptibility to temptation, taking action on your opportunities allows you to do progress in life and overcoming your threats gives you thicker skin and more confidence so you should be vigilant and watchful of your threats and plan how to deal with them.

   Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need to spend money to invest in yourself at least not with any and everything. The most necessary ingredient is that you invest your time and effort into self-improvement or personal development, because humans are creatures of progress, working towards something gives us a sense of purpose which in turn gives us happiness.

   Remember that before you can effectively help others, you have to work on yourself, so keep this bible verse in mind “…first get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”- Matthew 7:5

  3. Find a Passion

  Passion doesn’t always come knocking on your door. Passion is a continual action we can carry out  without getting bored or tired. So that means, passion is action based and not necessarily nature or talent based. Even if someone has more natural talent than you but you’re more passionate and hard-working you can surpass them, you know the saying “hard work beats talent when talent don’t work hard enough.”

   You may not be passionate at the moment but find something that interests you and keep at it and it might just morph into a passion! A lot of people chase money, but to be happier, you should chase the intangibles like adding value in people’s lives by creating solutions.

  Merely chasing money is a vicious cycle and as Benjamin Franklin said, “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one. If it satisfies one want, it doubles and trebles that want another way.”

   From my understanding, merely chasing money without a more glorious goal behind it is a vain effort, it’s not always that motivating based on my experience, if you don’t find something worthy to attach the chase of money to then it’s unsustainable.

   My hope is that as you find and chase your passion for greater fulfilment that you don’t get complacent or lazy because as Burna Boy said “Dangote still dey find money.” (The richest man in Africa still works hard every day and that converts to riches).

   4. Find Hobbies

   Hobbies are like part-time interests or  passions. They should evict you from real life scenarios so they can be a means of escapism however, you shouldn’t depend solely on hobbies. They should be regulated and shouldn’t last too long or they may render you unproductive if you overindulge. Hobbies or recreational activities helps you take out stress and thus create more room for happiness in your life.

   There is the popular advice about hobbies going around on Instagram and I totally agree with it “find three hobbies: one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to keep you creative.” So a good example is that you can learn how to do graphic design or photography which will earn you money on the side, then you can go for a run or join a dance class to keep you in shape and you can paint, write or sing to keep you creative.

  5. Don’t Waste Your Time

   Persistence is one of the tenets of success but we should become adept at discerning what we should keep at or what we should move on from. Many of us have gotten it mixed up and persist where it does us no good, we should stop trying to raise dead things back to life.

    Sometimes, we’ve invested so much time and energy into these things that even though we know it’s a sinking ship we spend even more time trying to salvage what we can at the expense of our own “safety” or happiness. For example, instead of moving on from an unrequited love, we end up trying so much thinking we might end up with the person if we just tried one more time and we get disappointed when they get with someone else.

   There are other ways we waste our time and that is through procrastination (see 8 Practical Solutions to Procrastination), we move things to later which should be done now and it can lead to all sort of problems.

  For example, as a student you’re given coursework to do which should be submitted after a month, you procrastinate until the night before and you start panicking “oh my God, the deadline is tomorrow and I haven’t started” you rush into it and end up doing a sloppy job and you fail. Who do you blame? As much as you can try not to procrastinate on what’s important and watch how happier you will become.

  6. Invest in Relationships and Experiences

   It’s no doubt that experiences and relationships make us happy. Establish relationships will like-minded people that motivate you to do better. Your company should reflect a part of you, like the famous saying goes “show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are.”

  Hanging around the wrong people is destructive, it’s like spraying herbicide on a grass and expecting it to grow. You know the saying “bad company corrupts good morals” so you should regularly take stock of those around you, are they propelling you forward or hindering your progress? If it is the former then stick with them but if it’s the latter, cut them off (see How to Make & Keep Friends).

   It is also important than when interacting with others you should establish boundaries, there are things you shouldn’t tolerate, for example someone using a term of endearment when you just met especially in professional settings.

   Another vital aspect of relationships is networking, connecting with the right individuals allows you to explore opportunities and experiences that you otherwise wouldn’t which may lead to achieving greater achievements (see Networking Basics: The What, Why and How).

   In the romantic sense, try to get in with someone who values you and who you value greatly, it’s 2019, stop putting yourself in toxic relationships as much as possible. Finally, spend quality time with loved ones and do quality activities with them and you will be happy.

   QOTD: "Happiness consists more in small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.” – Benjamin Franklin

   WELL, THAT’S IT FROM ME GUYS! NOW…

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   How do you think we can live happier lives? Comment below, Share this on social media and 
SUBSCRIBE to my blog for weekly updates and free e-books! Follow me on InstagramFacebookTwitter and Pinterest. See ya next Monday!
                             Thanks.
                             Ofai.

   Previous post: 8 Solid Tips for Moving On After a Break Up

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