People striving for life success can never underestimate the power of positive thinking. It’s the mindset to achievement, and key to building your skills, boosting your health and improving your work
It’s more than just being outwardly happy or displaying a buoyant attitude to create real value there needs to be a calmness, a feeling of peace within yourself and understanding your priorities so as to not put yourself under pressure.
Taking just a few minutes a day can put you in the right frame of mind.
The value of taking a breather is well documented and proven by the many successful and busy people who have been practising these arts for years. It enables a decluttering of the mind and stops it faltering.
Writing:Diary writing is no longer the domain of teenage girls with angst. Reinforce your aims with a regular blog, online or in a journal, congratulating yourself on what you’ve achieved.
It takes a lot less muscle power than frowning! If you’re stuck for inspiration, give yourself permission to Youtube the funniest cat video, the soppiest dog, hiccupping babies, whatever gives you the giggles or elicits an outright belly laugh!
Surround yourself with positive people:Stimulate your mind and creativity at least once a week The participants in a creative writing course found that their eclectic conversations in the pub after the lesson created a buzz that continued into the next day, leading to increased positivity and subsequently, increased productivity.
Help someone else:A proven way to feel good and it doesn’t have to involve a lot of time or money, it could be as simple as replying to an email with more than just the answer to a straight question. Go the extra mile to send a link or provide details of another source that will give added value. The recipient’s purpose will be boosted, encouraging them to continue seeking knowledge and you’ll experience satisfaction when they thank you.
List 3 things you’re grateful for:
Health, family, home. Not difficult, is it? They’re the obvious but what about your next door neighbour, giving you a bump start one morning? A work colleague popping a cup of water on your desk during a particularly long phone call when your voice was cracking? The tiniest things can make a difference.
Sing and dance:
Take 5 minutes to listen to your favourite ‘happy’ song and dance around the room to it. This is a double whammy as you’re working out both mentally and physically.
Mind your language:
If you’re constantly telling yourself that you can’t do something, it’s highly likely you’ll begin to believe it. Instead, concentrate on doing your best and trying your hardest and use language that reflects this; I am, I will, I can!
Or try the popular mantra promoted by the successful entrepreneur, Penny Power, OBE:
“I am free, I am brave. I am in control and I am achieving.”
If you’re a stay at home mum or dad, or you work from home, the chances are that you can always find something to feel guilty about. Does a day go by when you haven’t thought, “I could really just shut my eyes for ten minutes and relax.”; but you don’t because the dishwasher just stopped and it needs emptying and it can’t wait, can it?
The answer of course, is ’Yes, it can wait’. It can wait until its allotted time to be emptied even though it takes willpower to do that, so getting into a routine will not only keep your organised, it will allow time for yourself leaving you happier and healthier at the end of the day.
A schedule for everything
Hacks don’t need to involve complicated computer programmes or specialist equipment. Some of the most productive tools are the simplest: An A4 'page a day' diary, a pen and five minutes before going to bed.
1) It’s simple and effective: at the top of the page, list all those things that absolutely have to be done. i.ie. the school run, lunches, work, swim, meals, washing. Then list everything, even the smallest, quickest task because they all add up. And as you quickly see, you need to also include your own activities such as, swimming or gym class, that are essential to your wellbeing. It could easily be reading, or walking, remembering to stop once in a while to smell the roses.
2) And from the bottom up, list those things that you’d like to get done that day if possible. These could be simple errands, such as picking up dry cleaning, or clearing out a wardrobe for charity.
Identify the most opportune moment to do each of those tasks. Clearing the dishwasher, for example, could be part of the dinner ritual, while you’re waiting for the oven to warm up. School lunches are probably the first priority in the morning. Dry cleaning can be picked up on the way home from work or school.
3) Then work your way down the list, crossing tasks off as you go. In the section in between both lists, add things that crop up unexpectedly that you deal with immediately such as an unexpected phone call or visitor, And don’t forget to cross them off. Allow a certain amount of time for each task the Promodoro Technique suggests you set an alarm so you don’t go over that time. That way, you take natural breaks from working to give your eyes a rest or stretch your legs.
There will inevitably come a time when you get to a task that you absolutely hate. You want to put it off even though you know it has to be done. So simply make a start and walk away. This way you often actually continue and get stuck in and then pretty soon the nasty task is done, gone and finished with… ta da!
The 2 Minute Rule
Another good trick is to do everything on your list that takes two minutes or less. Set aside a short allocated period of time to do as many as you can. See your se3lf as being in competition with yourself and you will very quickly see your list shrink in size which is a great motivator to tackle some more complex jobs after.
In just 15 minutes you could lose half a dozen tasks from your list.
Then at the end of the day, instead of being stressed at the things you didn’t do, take pride in that list of things that you did do. And anyone who dares to utter that immortal phrase “What have you been doing all day” can soon be shown the error of their assumptions.
Audrey Hepburn wasn’t just making a play on words when she said this. Its profound message was full of intent; as she demonstrated throughout her life.
Although, these clever words show that she not only had intelligence, but she also had wit.
She became a film star with considerable talent, whose image of demure beauty and sophistication has endured long after her death, but she also had a hugely successful second career as a Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund UNICEF. How did one small woman achieve all this?
Audrey Hepburn was the daughter of a Dutch baroness and an English banker who were both Nazi sympathisers. A child during World War 2, she was taken from Britain to Holland to avoid the conflict; however, she experienced, the German invasion of Holland and witnessed executions and deportations to concentration camps. Her uncle was executed, and her half-brother was sent to labour camp and she was starved along with the rest of the population when Germany’s blocked supplies.
Her famous thin physique came as a result of her malnutrition during her formative years but despite all this, and being only a child, there were times when she was motivated to risk her life to raise money for the Dutch resistance by giving ballet performances at a time when public events were banned and was sometimes a courier for the resistance.
Audrey Hepburn’s motivation to use her talent and position to help others was strong throughout her life and this ‘mission’ continued after her retirement from her successful film career. She became equally successful as a Goodwill Ambassador and spokesperson for UNICEF for which she achieved the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992.
In 1990, she summed up. her ability to face insurmountable obstacles during an interview with Phil Donahue. When faced with harrowing scenes of extreme famine and death in her role with UNICEF; “… you deal with it by doing something about it.”
Her enduring motivation to help children came from her deep belief, not necessarily in herself, but in action and taking continuous steps towards achieving the outcomes that benefit others. So according to this an inspiring woman, we can deal with the ‘impossible’ when we also believe ‘I’m possible.’