<![CDATA[Your Independent Future - Let The Better Life Begin]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 06:33:35 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[How Tootle Can Kick - Start Your Child's Journey To a Better Life]]>Fri, 29 Apr 2016 02:44:09 GMThttp://yourindependentfuture.com/let-the-better-life-begin/how-tootle-can-kick-start-your-childs-journey-to-a-better-life08/06/2015 03:05 pm ET | Updated Aug 06, 2015
Christina Larmer
Nobody likes a smug parent, let’s be frank. There’s really nothing more blood-boiling than a ‘back-seater’ telling you how to raise your own, but I have to confess I came scarily close to morphing into one at a doctors’ surgery one summer’s day.
I was flicking through a trashy woman’s magazine, waiting patiently for my GP to finish up with an old bloke and his worrying cough, when a man walked in with a boy who looked about 10 years of age.
After taking their seats across from me, the boy began to fidget, then twiddle his thumbs and glance about. Within minutes he was up and helping himself to one of many books that had been piled high on a bright red, plastic side table just for kids. I recognised the book instantly, it was Tootle by Gertrude Crampton, an oldie, but a cherished childhood favorite of mine. I gave him a wide smile, which he returned as he settled back into his seat.
Not so his dad.
“What’re you reading that for?” the man grunted. The boy looked up from the bright, inviting pages towards his father’s dark frown. “That’s a baby book. You’re too old for that crap.”
The light in the boy’s eyes instantly extinguished. He glanced at Tootle, almost as though hoping the rebellious locomotive might whisk him off into the wild meadows beyond, then slowly shrugged, closed the book and put it back where he found it.
Then he sat down, empty-handed, and began fidgeting again. And so he remained for the next 20 minutes, doing nothing, reading nothing, staring blankly at the wall.
Never before have I wanted to cry out with such anguish as I did that balmy summer’s day. Never have I felt so aggrieved for a child. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. Did a father really belittle his child for reading a book?
Okay, sure, it’s a Little Golden Book, and maybe his son was capable of readingWar and Peace, I don’t know. And yes, the moral of the story is questionable—whocares if a little train goes off the rails from time to time—but here’s something I do know: reading anything, even a ‘baby book’ about an anarchic choo-choo, has to be better than reading nothing but the disappointment on your father’s face.
What kind of a person does that?

Sure, it’s not child abuse, not in the textbook sense, but in my book it comes pretty damn close. Books are not just a dreamy concept for chardonnay-swilling bleeding hearts or authors like myself. Endless studies have proven that books of any kind help create smarter, happier, more socially competent human beings. A 20-year Nevada University study, for instance, found that no matter what a parent’s background—rich, poor, illiterate or an Oxford graduate—those who have plenty of books in their house help boost their own child’s education levels.*1
It’s a fact.
Other research shows that reading to your child not only increases their brain activity, even wordless picture books can enrich a toddler’s language while all books can help children struggling with genuine social issues.*2
Boys in particular need an extra nudge, and I could bore you senseless with even more studies that show how far boys lag behind girls when it comes to books and reading, the gap only widening when the hormones kick in.*3
The haves and have nots
We tend to take literacy for granted in Western society and often waste time waxing lyrical about the ‘right kind of book’ for growing minds, yet reading of any kind can make an enormous difference to a young child. This stuff matters! A new Grattan Institute report from Australian teachers revealed that there can be as much as a six-year gap in any one classroom between students’ educational levels.*4 Six years! That’s staggering.
I know from my own experience, that when my eldest son started Kindergarten, his teacher, a veteran of 30 years, told me she can always spot the child who lives in a house without books. Not only were they behind on all literacy markers, some, she said, had no idea what to do with a book, which way the pages turned or what those funny scribbles were all about.
That breaks my heart, and not just because I’m a bleeding you-know-whatsie. Books aren’t just educational bellwethers, they’re bloody good fun! As a mother who grew weary under the piles of books my sons insisted we get through before lights out, it astounds me that some houses don’t actually own one.
What do they do at bedtime?
How do they soothe a crying child?
How do they entertain, terrify, intrigue and delight?
At my place, you’ll find books scattered in every room, including the kitchen and toilet, as well as stacked high in the garage, floating about in both cars, and on every digital device, because, yes, books don’t even need to be of the paper variety. If your child refuses to visit the library for some freebies, try downloading a bunch of ebooks onto his iPod. You’ll find some for under a buck. Call into your local charity shop, ask the empty nester living down the road. At the very least, the local school/church should have some. It might take a little bit of effort, but the rewards are exponential.
Something to laugh at
Books don’t need to be award-winning, they don’t even need to be appropriate. According to another expert, this one in children’s literature at the University of Illinois, comic books are just as sophisticated as other forms of literature in providing all the same benefits.*4 It’s all about providing stories in which your child can live, learn and get lost.
So the next time your child opens a Batman comic, thumbs through a surf mag, or, heaven forbid, a ‘baby book’, don’t discourage or criticize. Be thankful they’re improving their brain, having fun, and becoming better members of society. Surely that’s better than blasting someone’s head off on PlayStation or twiddling your thumbs doing nothing?
Looking back
I never did pull that father up that day, but I did go home and make a solemn oath to the tiny little being that was nestled in my womb that summer. I swore I would offer him a wide and wonderful range of stories to read, and never complain when he chose something else entirely—even if that ‘something else’ was not to my liking. Then I sought out my tattered copy of Tootle and read aloud to him in the womb while his older brother nestled in happily beside us. But this time I left Tootle lolling in the meadow with his new mates. (No-one says you can’t be creative!)
That unborn child is now my vivacious 11-year-old, roughly the same age as the boy in the surgery that day, and his favourite thing—off a soccer field, that is—is books. I cannot satiate his desire. His library card is chockers, his iPad overloaded, the school librarian is struggling to keep up.
Am I a smug mother? Sure I am, but I can’t really take any of the credit. I give that to the likes of Gertrude Crampton and Tootle. Sure, the story’s not perfect—I mean, come on, people, let the poor train play!—but who knew a steam engine with training wheels could be so powerful?
And as I watch my son get lost in the latest book of his choice (which these days centres around wimpy kids and psycho bums, it has to be said), I often wonder about the little boy in the surgery that day.
I dearly hope he managed to find his own pathway back to books before he became a father himself, with a loathing for books and a very tiny mind.

<![CDATA[15 Things To Start a Better Life With]]>Sat, 23 Apr 2016 01:07:46 GMThttp://yourindependentfuture.com/let-the-better-life-begin/15-things-to-start-a-better-life-withPosted on October 30, 2015 by janarooheart
It is obvious that to change your life, you need to do something. However, many people simply don’t know where to start. Here are 15 tips on how to change your life bit by bit and to start enjoying and appreciating what you have.
  1. Start spending time with the right people
Right people are those whose company you enjoy. These people appreciate you and support you when you want to change your life for good. They make you feel alive and accept you for who you are and who you want to become.
  1.  Be honest with yourself
Basically, you are the only person you can always rely on. So why should you lie to yourself? Be honest about what’s right and what’s wrong in your life. be honest about your achievements and who you want to be. Learn to understand who you truly are; have no illusions.
  1.  Make your happiness a priority
Your needs are very important. If you don’t respect yourself, don’t take care of yourself and don’t think your desires are important, you only make your life harder.
Remember: you can take care of yourself not neglecting other people’s wishes and needs. And when your own needs are satisfied, you’ll be able to help other people.
  1.  Learn to capture the moment
Right now miracles are happening. Now is the only moment in your life you can be sure of. Now is life!
So stop thinking about the huge things you will accomplish in the future and stop worrying about what you did or didn’t do in the past. Learn to be here and now.
  1.  Enjoy the things you have
The problem of many people is that they think they’ll become happy when they get to the certain point in life, for example, if they will get promoted, get married or buy a new house. These things take time and the truth is that when you have them, you think of new things you cannot be happy without. Thus, you’ll work your whole life to achieve something and eventually won’t enjoy any of it. Learn how to relax and to be happy about the things you already have.
  1.  Believe that you are ready for the next step
You are ready right now, actually. You have everything for your next little step forward. Accept the opportunities that come on your way and agree to changes. It is a gift that helps you move forward.
  1.  Compete only with the past you
Get inspired by other people, appreciate other people, learn from them, but don’t compete! It is a waste of time. You always compete with only one person – you. You compete to become a better you. Have a goal to beat your own achievements and you’ll be fine.
  1.  Learn to be happy about other people’s victories
Start noticing what you like about other people and tell them that. Acknowledging that you are surrounded by nice people leads to the best things. Be happy for those who achieve something. Wish them best and those people will do the same for you.
9.  Start forgiving yourself and other people
Sooner or later everyone feels bad about their own decisions or other people’s mistakes. It is normal to feel this way, but sometimes it lasts too long. We relive these memories over and over again making this unpleasant time in our life even longer.
The only cure here is forgiveness. it doesn’t mean you forget about what happened. It means that you let the pain go away and see it as another life experience.
  1.  Start taking care of others
Show compassion to others, guide them if you feel you are competent. The more you help other people, the more they help you. Love and kindness always come back. The most important thing, of course, is to take care of your family. If you have kids, you should protect them in any way you can. Many parents today undergo much less stress about their kids by installing android or other parental control programs on their phones so that they can always know where their children are. Taking care of the close ones is as important as taking care of yourself.
  1.  Watch out for stress!
Calm down and breath in. Stop and take some rest if you feel you are overstressed. When you are overwhelmed with work, a small break can refresh your brain and increase your productivity. Besides, short breaks allow you to look back and to make sure your actions are leading you to your goals.
  1.  Start noticing the beauty of small events
Instead of waiting for big events, such as weddings, promotions, anniversaries, etc., look for happiness in small and sometimes even invisible things that happen every day. A cup of coffee in the early morning, delicious smell of home-made food; the happiness to share a moment with people you love are all the precious things in your life. Start noticing these little pleasures and your life will become more meaningful.
  1.  Move towards your goals every day.
Whatever you dream about, start moving in that direction not missing one day. Every little step, every small action and tiny achievement make you closer to your goals.
  1.  Be more open with your feelings
If you are hurt, give yourself some time to get through it. Don’t shut it down deep inside you so that it can explode one day. Talk to your friends, let them know how you feel and they’ll comfort you. This easy step is actually very important and will spare you numerous psychiatrists in the future.
  1.  Concentrate on the things you can control
You cannot change everything. Wasting your energy, talent and emotions on the things that are out of your control is the best way to feel helpless and disappointed. That is why you should turn your efforts only to those things you can change.

Read more at http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/15-things-start-better-life/#e21o3Thm4upRX8sL.99
<![CDATA[20 Tips For Living A Better Life]]>Sun, 13 Mar 2016 09:32:21 GMThttp://yourindependentfuture.com/let-the-better-life-begin/20-tips-for-living-a-better-lifeAdrian Wesley
I sat down this morning to write out the top 20 things I have learned in my life so far, but after writing down four items, I started to cry deep, intense tears. I released the emotion and it felt amazing. Writing this blog reminded me of the pain and suffering I had endured to awaken to this wisdom.
This is my gift to you.

Here are my top 20 tips for living a better life.

Love yourself first and magic happens
This is the most important message you need to know to move from surviving to thriving in your life. Figure out how to give yourself unconditional love first, before anyone else, and MAGIC HAPPENS. True abundance, joy, happiness, and peace cannot enter your life without unconditional self-love first and foremost.
Know that you are good enough
Most of us have been programmed by society to think that we are not good enough. Most people I speak with say this internal message is the one that causes them the most discomfort. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH. You are pure love and perfection just the way you are.
Create who you truly are
Your true self is within you bursting to bloom like a flower in spring. Unfortunately, a lot of people decide who they are based on what other people think they should be. They let fear stop them from being their true self. In my opinion, you will never experience the glories of being alive as a human unless you create who you truly are! Proclaim your beauty to the universe.
Find your passion and live it daily
When you allow yourself to be who you truly are, you awaken the energy of passion. You start to identify what it is that makes you excited and joyful. Immerse yourself in your passions and eventually you will make money from them. Live a life of passion and you very rarely go to "work." Find your passion and unleash it to the universe.
Remember that love is the answer to all problems
I am convinced that if you examine all conflicts on this planet, you will come to the conclusion that love was missing from the equation. When love enters the room, darkness, anger, and violence fade away. Lack of self-love is the root of almost all your suffering.
Every challenging situation is an opportunity to grow
When I look back on my life, I realize that the most painful episodes were also the greatest gifts because I grew so much internally as a person. Try to re-frame every challenging situation and find the positive. Face whatever it is head on and you will see how your light starts to shine even brighter.

Ride the waves of life and go with the flow
I had an epiphany one day that riding a surf board on the waves was a great metaphor for how to get through life. If you fall off, you regroup and get back on the board. When riding the board you need to remain loose, calm, and alert, but not stressed out or you will surely fall off. Go with the flow!

Understand that to be truly free you have to live in the now
I encourage you to read my last blog, "I Challenge You To Live In The Now For 30 Days." Living in the now is the only way to truly thrive. The now is all we really have.
Remember: whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve
Most of the barriers and limits you experience in your life are created by you for you. The only thing standing in your way of creating your dreams is you. Choose love over fear and allow yourself to dream big. Believe that you can create this dream. Take action and achieve what you desire.

Give to and serve others as much as you can
At the lowest point in my life, I volunteered at a soup kitchen and I became friends with a disabled brain injured man. Serving others is pure bliss and takes you away from your personal life stresses and connects you with a loving source energy. Our true purpose as human beings is to love ourselves first and then to love and serve other beings.
Find your personal gateway to your higher self/soul and use it daily
12 years ago I discovered that yoga and deep breathing transported me to a place within myself that I can't describe with words. You need to connect with your higher self/soul daily to stay connected to that source of energy.

Exercise, exercise, exercise
I was a pharmaceutical representative for two years, and have met with over 500 doctors in Western Canada. I have an inside view into what is making Canadians unhealthy, and I have worked the front lines of the busiest natural health products and supplements store in the country. Trust me on this one: exercise, exercise, exercise if you want to stay healthy.

Know that you can change how you feel and who you are
I here this a lot: "People don't change." This is so not the truth. People can change, but most don't want it bad enough so they never even try. It is too easy to keep it status quo. If you want to change your life, you will have to do things differently -- and that takes effort, discipline, and hard work. YES! You can change.

Allow yourself to bloom
You are from nature and are connected to nature. Your true nature is to flower, to shine, to express who you truly are. You can find your way from surviving to thriving, but you must do things differently if you wish to see changes in your life. You are here on this planet to shine your bright light and proclaim your beauty to the universe. Do it!

Find your power from within
The problem most people have is that they look outwards for their power, not within. They look to material objects like houses, clothes, and cars to feed them power, and this does not last or work. Go within or go without is one very powerful golden rule!

Surround yourself with family, blood or otherwise
We need our peers to boost us through the down times as well as celebrate the ups. Family is one of the main reasons life is so beautiful. If you are lonely and don't have a family, you can create one. Get out there and meet other people. One way to do this is pursue your passions and join social groups aligned with these passions.
Conduct your relationships with trust, loyalty, open and honest communication, unconditional love, compassion, empathy, friendship, and shared values and goals
I am amazed at how many couples I see being dishonest with each other and it makes me sad. Human unions can be so magical, but there must be trust and loyalty. No tribe survives without this.

Believe that nature has all the answer
I had a shoulder injury five years ago and I was forced to stop and sit in total stillness. I would sit by Stanley Park and the Pacific Ocean on a park bench and watch nature. I learned more in those three months than in all of my 17 years in school. Watch nature and mimic her in your own life. She will save you.
Water, nutrition, sleep, oxygen, and self-love make up the foundation of your whole health
Most people never give their body enough oxygen because they are upper lung breathers. Every cell in the body is oxygen deprived, and a huge percentage of Canadians live their lives dehydrated. And yet we wonder why so many suffer from anxiety!? If the body does not get what it needs, it sends you messages through headaches, anxiety, depression, stomach aches, etc., trying to alert you to the fact that something is not balanced. It all starts with loving yourself enough to learn how to provide yourself with what you need to thrive.
Recognize that the world would be a brighter, better place if everyone gave themselves and others unconditional love
Most people love with conditions. If you do this I will love you, or if you don't do this I will love you. Hug and pet a dog or cat to observe how to love unconditionally. Start by learning to love yourself unconditionally. Nothing changes until you do things differently.
I feel truly blessed to be alive and to have the ability to share this information with you.
Your friend on this journey,
Adrian Wesley

<![CDATA[Everyone Deserves a Chance To Build a Better Life]]>Sun, 06 Mar 2016 09:13:56 GMThttp://yourindependentfuture.com/let-the-better-life-begin/everyone-deserves-a-chance-to-build-a-better-lifeMarc DeCourcey
Economic growth starts with an individual. They might be an entrepreneur looking for capital to start a dream business, a young student seeking technical training to land a better job, or a returning veteran looking for new opportunities in the country they just defended. These individuals seek to improve their lives—and thereby give greater opportunities to their families and communities. Many private sectorcompanies, which we highlight in this report, are identifying and advancing individuals who need a little extra support to achieve a lifetime of opportunity.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) believes that every person in the world deserves an opportunity to better his or her economic situation. With an estimated 1 billion people living in extreme poverty by 2015, and persistently high global unemployment, the CCC knows that we have our work cut out for us. There are four chapters of this report, which describe unique private sector approaches to economically improving an underserved demographic in the world:
  • Advancing Beyond the Base of the Pyramid
  • Fostering Entrepreneurship and Diverse Supply Chains
  • Job and Life Skills Training for New Markets
  • Making Impact through Innovative Partnerships
The CCC has primarily focused our economic empowerment program on women, who make up 70% of the world’s poor, own 2% of the world’s assets, and own small- and mediumsize enterprises (SMEs) with an estimated $285 billion credit gap. Around the world, women face significant societal, cultural, and legal hurdles to achieving economic prosperity. In keeping to this focus, we have included articles about how the private sector economically empowers women in their business operations, in their supply chains, and in their communities. Qualcomm will share how its Wireless Reach program in Southeast Asia has helped thousands of women access financing and mentoring—critical components to business expansion. The second chapter discusses how the partnership between the Citi Foundation and Vital Voices has brought year-long fellowship opportunities to 50 women entrepreneurs in six countries.
In addition, Intel demonstrates how its research into the digital literacy gap laid the foundation for the She Will Connect program, which aims to get millions of African girls and women online. In addition to discussing the global challenges, this report also recognizes the challenges we face at home in the United States. PwC shares how its foundation is teaching teachers how to train young students in the poorest  America communities in financial literacy. Deloitte shows that with ingenuity and data, its work is helping veterans physically recover, improve their education, and get high-performing jobs. Alcatel-Lucent and MGM discuss how their diversity programs have supported thousands of diverse SMEs to become suppliers to multinational corporations, increase their competitiveness, and achieve significant economic growth.
This case study report shows that many companies, with support from their partners, are acting  intelligently to give support to those who need it most. We believe that these chapters provide excellent examples of how the best companies strive to make the world a better place.

<![CDATA[17 Effortless Ways To Live a Better Life]]>Tue, 01 Mar 2016 18:53:19 GMThttp://yourindependentfuture.com/let-the-better-life-begin/17-effortless-ways-to-live-a-better-life
Have you been stuck in a rut lately, feeling like genuine happiness is virtually impossible to obtain? Take a deep breath, we've all been there at one point or another. Whatever trials you are facing at this very moment will surely pass. The sun will always come out when the storm is over, and if you're lucky, perhaps you'll see a rainbow along the way. That's the beauty of life - nothing lasts forever. Not the tragic, earth-shattering moments, and not the wondrous, celebratory moments either. Somewhere along the route on my pursuit of happiness, I realized something monumental. Happiness is right before our eyes. It is in the smile of a stranger passing by, in the laughter of a child blowing bubbles in the street. I know it is not always easy to see when we are busy drowning in our sorrows, but it's there. After a harrowing year that involved a break up from a two-year toxic relationship, the unexpected loss of my father, and getting into a new relationship to find out that this new guy not only lied but cheated on me in the months following my dad's death, I needed to find peace somehow. Here are 17 simple ways to seek out happiness in your every day lives, and how I managed to keep my sanity during a period of turmoil:
1. Get outside.
It has been scientifically proven that being outdoors helps alleviate feelings of sadness and depression. Speaking from my own personal experience, whenever I am feeling sad or anxious, just the feeling of being in nature can help calm me down. Try to notice things you wouldn't typically take the time to observe, like birds chirping from a nearby branch of an oak tree, the lovely aroma of roses, or a butterfly gliding past your face. Sit for a while and pay close attention to your surroundings; I guarantee you'll soon be reminded of the beauty of life.
2. Forgive and forget.
Holding grudges serves absolutely no purpose in life. We've all been bruised before, some worse than others, but no matter the situation, you will always be better off leaving it in the past. Now this isn't to say the person deserves another chance, as this would really just depend on the circumstances. If not for their sake, forgive them for your own.
3. Take up yoga.
Not only is this a great workout (you'd be surprised at how many calories you actually burn after a session), but it is a great method of relaxation. Learning to take slow, deep breaths is not just good for your physical health, but mental, as well. This is also a great way to make friends!
4. Reach out to loved ones.
Tell your friends and family that you love them. Life is incredibly precious and as cliche as it sounds, we never know when our time on Earth is going to end. Take a minute to look through your contacts in your phone - although I'm sure there are many that you talk to on a regular basis, I bet there's a significant amount that you haven't spoken to in quite some time. Shoot them a text and ask them how they're doing. Let your loved ones know that you care, even if it's been a while.
5. Find your passion.
Whether it's writing, drawing, playing sports, or learning to play an instrument, find something that makes you feel alive. Something that you are constantly striving to get better at. Having a passion that you can turn to when you are struggling will undoubtedly make you feel better on those rough nights.
6. Stop eating junk food.
....seriously. Eating McDonald's should be a sin. Do you have any idea what you are actually putting into your body? It's 2015 and they make healthy frozen dinners that you can throw in a microwave and have ready in less than ten minutes. You really have no excuse not to take care of yourself. Trust me, your mind and body will thank you!
7. Volunteer.
Kindness never goes out of style, and that is a fact. Making others smile can go a long way for your own sense of happiness and fulfillment. The holiday season is coming up, and this is a perfect opportunity for you to reach out to someone less fortunate than you.
8. Wake up early
Use your time wisely and plan your day accordingly. I especially struggle with this one, but one thing I've noticed is that the earlier I wake up, the more I get done. Drink some coffee, splash water on your face, go for a brisk jog - do whatever it takes to get yourself up in the morning.
9. Surround yourself with positive people.
Your vibe attracts your tribe. If you make a point to surround yourself with kind, caring, and goal-oriented people, these qualities are bound to rub off on you. My favorite type of people are the ones who always seek in the good in everything - when you find one of those, you should never let them go.
10. Stop caring what others think.
You might think people are watching and judging your every move, but in all honesty, they probably care less than you think. So you shouldn't care either.
11. Stop worrying.
Most of the time all those horrible, traumatic scenarios that we concoct in our heads never end up happening. Save yourself the trouble and stop worrying, especially if it's something you have no control over.
12. Make mistakes. Learn from them.
Here's something I learned from school that actually applies in the real world: you never fail until you stop trying. As long as you are making mistakes and learning from them, you are on the track to success.
13. Disconnect every once in a while.
Turn your phone off for a week and tell me you don't feel more alive. Seriously. If you can't go as far as to cut all ties with technology, at least take a brief hiatus from social media.
14. Laugh. As much as you can, as often as you can.
I'm a firm believer that laughter can cure most ailments. I have modern day medicine backing me up on this one, as laughing actually stimulates production of serotonin, nicknamed the 'happy hormone'. Go see that romantic comedy you've been meaning to watch, hangout with that hilarious friend from high school, laugh until you cry.
15. Get a good night's rest.
This is truly imperative to your well being, not just physically, but mentally, as well. You should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night, if not more. If you find yourself catching less shut eye, make a conscious effort to turn off all electronics (yes, that includes your iPhone) an hour before bed so you have some time to relax & unwind.
16. Make it a goal to make someone smile every day.
It doesn't have to be something extravagant. It truly is the little things that mean the most in life - such as smiling at a passerby, complimenting someone on a feature or outfit, or even holding the door open for the person behind you.
17. Start a gratitude journal.
In the words of Albert Einstein, "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle." I've realized that if you live like the latter, you truly start to appreciate life for what it is -- a miracle. Write down five positive things that happen to you each day, and five things you are looking forward to in the future. At first, this task might seem difficult, but it forces you to dig a little deeper and really see the beauty in your every day routine.
I know that if you are truly struggling, happiness will not happen overnight. However, if you work to implement these positive life changes each and every day, I guarantee things will eventually get better. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here, we might as well dance.

<![CDATA[Stop Comparing Your Life.Start Living It]]>Tue, 01 Mar 2016 18:24:20 GMThttp://yourindependentfuture.com/let-the-better-life-begin/stop-comparing-your-lifestart-living-itWRITTEN by JOSHUA BECKER
Envy is ever joined with the comparing of a man’s self; and where there is no comparison, no envy.” —Sir Francis Bacon
Most of us understand the foolishness of trying to compare ourselves to others. We would readily admit that no good ever comes from it. Yet, whether we are comparing our home size, paycheck, physical features, or any number of measurable (and even unmeasureable) things, we do it all the time.
Even though we know there are inherent problems contained in the process:
  1. We most often compare the wrong things. Because we can most easily compare the things that we can objectively measure, we live in a world that is great at measuring and comparing externals. Somewhere along the way, we decided that we could determine who is living a more valuable life by comparing clothes, cars, homes, paychecks, beauty, or Twitter followers. But externals are rarely a good measure. Net-worth has never been a good indicator of self-worth.
  2. We always compare our worst with their best. Comparing your life with others is always a losing proposition because there will always be people who “appear” to be better off than you and seemingly live the perfect life. After all, we always compare the worst of what we know about ourselves to the best assumptions that we make about others. Be advised, their life is never as perfect as your mind makes it out to be.
  3. There is no end to the comparison game. There is an infinite number of categories upon which you can compare yourself… and an almost infinite number of people to compare yourself to. Once you start down that road, you will never, ever find an end.
  4. Life isn’t graded on a curve. How you measure up against others holds absolutely no importance in your life anyway. It simply makes no difference. The goal of life is not to be better than 50% of the other people on the planet. The goal of life is to be the best you that you can possibly be.
  5. Comparison puts your focus on the wrong person. You can control one life – yours. When we consistently compare ourselves to others, we waste precious energy focusing on other peoples’ lives rather than our own.
  6. Comparison robs you of joy. Comparing yourself to others will always cause you to regret what you aren’t, rather than allow you to enjoy who you are. It will always steal the joy and happiness that is within your reach… and place it just outside of your reach instead.
Many a contented life has surely been stolen by the unhealthy habit of comparing ourselves to others. Comparing ourselves to others will always rob us of gratitude, joy, and fulfillment.
But even more than than, it prevents us from fully living our lives. It calls us to envy someone else’s life and seek theirs rather than ours. It is robbing us of our most precious possession: life itself. And while the temptation to compare may never be completely eliminated, there are certainly some practical steps that we can take to move past it. Consider a few of these:
1. Recognize the inherent problems in comparing yourself to another.Take a good look at the list above. Why would we want any habit in our life that promotes feelings of inferiority? Or consistently promotes envy, competition, and strife with no end in sight? Sometimes, just a reminder of the foolishness contained in the habit is the most important step in overcoming it.
2. Celebrate who you are. There are many wonderful things about your life. You are an artist… or a businessman… or a mother… or a good listener… or a generous soul. You have much to celebrate and are entirely unique. Any comparison between you and another person is like comparing apples to oranges. They aren’t living your life, you are. Therefore, you should expect the results to be completely different.
3. Focus inward. Value generosity, humility, goodness, kindness, and love. Begin to focus on developing the inward qualities of a simplified life and the externals will lose their beauty. And the quicker we find beauty on the inside, the sooner we’ll stop comparing things on the outside (skin-deep beauty, paychecks, or power).
4. Realize life is not a competition. There may be times when competition is appropriate, but life is not one of them. We have all been thrown together at this exact moment on this exact planet. And the sooner we stop competing against others to “win,” the faster we can start working together to figure it out.
5. Remember that nobody is perfect. We live in a society that glamorizes perfection. Consider that magazine racks are full of models and celebrities with perfect faces telling one-sided stories of great triumph and fulfillment. One important step to avoiding the lure of comparison is to remember that one snapshot in time never tells the whole story. The story is never told of the hours in a make-up room or the photo editing technique to cover the blemishes. The story is rarely told of their insecurities or failures (except to mention how they overcame them). That story doesn’t sell nearly as many magazines. But the truth remains: there are no perfect people – including you and including me.
6. Live as intentional as possible. Too many people live their lives without intentionality or thought. They rarely find a quiet moment to sit in meditation or solitude and examine their life – who they are and who they are becoming. As a result, lives are lived as a reaction to the events around them. But when a life is lived intentionally and thoughtfully, the comparison game becomes less attractive.
As humans, it is in our nature to compare ourselves to others. But nothing good ever comes from it. So let’s stop comparing ourselves to others. We were not born to live their life. There is no sense wasting our life (or energy) being jealous of theirs. Instead, let’s start living our lives. Let’s determine today to be good at it. After all, we only get one shot.

<![CDATA[The Psychology of Happiness:13 Steps to a Better Life]]>Tue, 19 Jan 2016 06:59:16 GMThttp://yourindependentfuture.com/let-the-better-life-begin/the-psychology-of-happiness13-steps-to-a-better-lifeby J.D. Roth
We think we know what will make us happy, but we don’t. Many of us believe that money will make us happy, but it won’t. Except for the very poor, money cannot buy happiness. Instead of dreaming of vast wealth, we should dream of close friends and healthy bodies and meaningful work.

The psychology of happiness
Several years ago, James Montier, a “global equity strategist”, took a break from investing in order to publish a brief overview of existing research into the psychology of happiness [PDF]. Montier learned that happiness comprises three components:

  • About 50% of individual happiness comes from a genetic set point. That is, we’re each predisposed to a certain level of happiness. Some of us are just naturally more inclined to be cheery than others.
  • About 10% of our happiness is due to our circumstances. Our age, race, gender, personal history, and, yes, wealth, only make up about one-tenth of our happiness.
  • The remaining 40% of an individual’s happiness seems to be derived from intentional activity, from “discrete actions or practices that people can choose to do”.
If we have no control over our genetic “happy point”, and if we have little control over our circumstances, then it makes sense to focus on those things that we can do to make ourselves happy. According to Montier’s paper, these activities include sex, exercise, sleep, and close relationships.

What does not bring happiness? Money, and the pursuit of happiness for its own sake. “A vast array of individuals seriously over-rate the importance of money in making themselves, and others, happy,” Montier writes. “Study after study from psychology shows that money doesn’t equal happiness.”

The happiness paradox
Writing in The Washington Post last June, Shankar Vedantam described recent research into this subject. If the United States is generally wealthier than it was thirty or forty years ago, then why aren’t people happier? Economist Richard Easterlin of the University of Southern California believes that part of the problem is thehedonic treadmill: once we reach a certain level of wealth, we want more. We’re never satisfied. From Vedantam’s article:

Easterlin attributes the phenomenon of happiness levels not keeping pace with economic gains to the fact that people’s desires and expectations change along with their material fortunes. Where an American in 1970 may have once dreamed about owning a house, he or she might now dream of owning two. Where people once dreamed of buying a new car, they now dream of buying a luxury model.

“People are wedded to the idea that more money will bring them more happiness,” Easterlin said. “When they think of the effects of more money, they are failing to factor in the fact that when they get more money they are going to want even more money. When they get more money, they are going to want a bigger house. They never have enough money, but what they do is sacrifice their family life and health to get more money.”

The irony is that health and the quality of personal relationships are among the most potent predictors of whether people report they are happy — and they are often the two things people sacrifice in their pursuit of greater wealth.

Why aren’t rich people happier? Perhaps it’s because many of them are workaholics, because they’re more focused on money than on the things that would bring them joy. A brief companion piece to The Washington Post story notes that researchers have found that “being wealthy is often a powerful predictor that people spend less time doing pleasurable things, and more time doing compulsory things and feeling stressed.”

In general, rich people aren’t much happier than those of us in the middle class. Yes, money can buy happiness if it elevates you from poverty, but beyond that the benefits are minimal. So why do so many people believe that money will make things better?

Gilbert says that because humans can plan for the future, we naturally want to structure our lives in such a way that we are happy, both now and later. But how do we know what will make us happy? We don’t. In fact, we’re surprisingly bad at predicting what will bring us joy. Gilbert asks:

Which future would you prefer? One in which you win the lottery? Or one in which you become paraplegic? Which would make you happier? [...] A year after losing their legs, and a year after winning the lotto, lottery winners and paraplegics are equally happy with their lives.

The problem is impact bias, the tendency to overestimate the “hedonic impact” of future events. Put another way, the things that we think will make us happy usually don’t make us as happy as we think they will. Winning the lottery isn’t a panacea. Having an affair with your hot new co-worker won’t be as thrilling as you imagine. And losing a leg isn’t the end of the world.

It turns out that humans are able to synthesize happiness. Many people look outside themselves for fulfillment; they expect to find it in things, or in relationships, or in large bank accounts. But true happiness comes from within. True happiness comes when we learn to be content with what we have.

3 steps to a better life
What does all this mean to you? If money won’t bring you happiness, what will? How can you stop making yourself miserable and start learning to love life? According to my research, these are the thirteen actions most likely to encourage happiness:

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others. Financially, physically, and socially, comparing yourself to others is a trap. You will always have friends who have more money than you do, who can run faster than you can, who are more successful in their careers. Focus on your own life, on your own goals.
  2. Foster close relationships. People with five or more close friends are more apt to describe themselves as happy than those with fewer.
  3. Have sex. Sex, especially with someone you love, is consistently ranked as a top source of happiness. A long-term loving partnership goes hand-in-hand with this.
  4. Get regular exercise. There’s a strong tie between physical health and happiness. Anyone who has experienced a prolonged injury or illness knows just how emotionally devastating it can be. Eat right, exercise, and take care of our body. (And read Get Fit Slowly!)
  5. Obtain adequate sleep. Good sleep is an essential component of good health. When you’re not well-rested, your body and your mind do not operate at peak capacity. Your mood suffers. (Read more in my brief guide to better sleep.)
  6. Set and pursue goals. I believe that the road to wealth is paved with goals. More than that, the road tohappiness is paved with goals. Continued self-improvement makes life more fulfilling.
  7. Find meaningful work. There are some who argue a job is just a job. I believe that fulfilling work is more than that — it’s a vocation. It can take decades to find the work you were meant to do. But when you find it, it can bring added meaning to your life.
  8. Join a group. Those who are members of a group, like a church congregation, experience greater happiness. But the group doesn’t have to be religious. Join a book group. Meet others for a Saturday morning bike ride. Sit in at the knitting circle down at the yarn shop.
  9. Don’t dwell on the past. I know a guy who beats himself up over mistakes he’s made before. Rather than concentrate on the present (or, better yet, on the future), he lets the past eat away at his happiness. Focus on the now.
  10. Embrace routine. Research shows that although we believe we want variety and choice, we’re actually happier with limited options. It’s not that we want no choice at all, just that we don’t want to be overwhelmed. Routines help limit choices. They’re comfortable and familiar and, used judiciously, they can make us happy.
  11. Practice moderation. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. It’s okay to indulge yourself on occasion — just don’t let it get out of control. Addictions and compulsions can ruin lives.
  12. Be grateful. It’s no accident that so many self-help books encourage readers to practice gratitude. When we regularly take time to be thankful for the things we have, we appreciate them more. We’re less likely to take them for granted, and less likely to become jealous of others.
  13. Help others. Over and over again, studies have shown that altruism is one of the best ways to boost your happiness. Sure, volunteering at the local homeless shelter helps, but so too does just being nice in daily life.
Remember: True wealth is not about money. True wealth is about relationships, about good health, and about continued self-improvement.

<![CDATA[10 Ways You Can Start Creating A Better Life]]>Tue, 19 Jan 2016 06:55:20 GMThttp://yourindependentfuture.com/let-the-better-life-begin/10-ways-you-can-start-creating-a-better-lifeby MARTIN on OCTOBER 23, 2013
There are proven steps people take to get from where they are, to where they want to be in life. In many cases, these steps are pretty simple. It’s just a matter of doing them consistently.
Today I have a short list of 10 simple but powerful ways to get yourself started creating a better life for you and your family.

I urge you to put in some serious thought about each one. Then make the decision to adopt these steps, and hold them close to your heart. Because when you do, you’ll harness the same power that thousands of successful people have harnessed before you, to design and create the lives they want to live. Here we go…

1) Start Writing Down Your Goals - If you’ve been paying attention to my Waiternomics principles, you know why this step is listed as #1.

You see, if you don’t write down your goals, you don’t have any goals. And it’s really simple to get on track with this today. Just write down your goals for the next month, for the next year, and for the next 5 years. Then pick up your “goals notebook” once a month to review your goals, and see how much progress you’re making.

This is the path to getting things done, and creating the life you want to live. Which brings me to our next success principle…

2) Get Clear About What Your Ideal Life Looks Like - You’ll never be able to design and create the life you want to live, if you’re not clear about what your Ideal Life looks like.

Here’s where you can have some fun today, by sitting back, relaxing, and just letting your mind take over. With the intent of seeing yourself living the life you want to live, in your mind’s eye.

Getting clear on what you want out of life, where you want to be, and what you want to be doing, is critical to living a better life. Including being absolutely clear about what you don’t want in your life. The things you may not like about your life now. When you’ve done this, it’s time to…

3) Set Aside Time To Create The Life You Want To Live - This is where the rubber meets the road. Actually doing something to make a better life for yourself. Millions of people say they want a better life, yet only a small percentage ever do anything to make it a reality.

Those that do start taking action, often run into problems with finding the time, with the busy lives many people live. The bottom line is this: you can build the life you want to live. You just have to set aside time every week to make that happen.

Right now, you may be like a lot of people, and spend a lot of time doing nothing much. Some call it “killing time”… which is a terrible thing to do. Since time is the one thing we will never get more of. Once today is gone, it’s gone. And if you say “I’ll do it tomorrow”… you never know what tomorrow brings. We’re not here forever. Make the most of the time you have. Like the US Marines say… “Seize the day!” Next, it’s time to…

4) Save A Portion Of What You Earn Every Month - Part of living a better life is doing away with worries about money. The fact is, when you have money in the bank, life is not nearly as stressful as when you don’t.

People who are “living the good life” are in that position partly because they put away a portion of what they earn on a regular basis. And I advise you to do this too, if you’re not already.

It’s as simple of defining a certain percentage of every dollar you make, that you’ll save each month, be it 5% or 10% or 20%. Whichever fits you best right now, just do it. Once you get used to this discipline, you won’t even miss the money. And you’ll feel great knowing you’ve got money in the bank, at least enough to cover your living expenses for 4 to 6 months. And while you’re doing this…

5) Give A Portion of What You Earn Every Month - If you’re not tuned in to the real “laws” of nature, and the way the world around us works, you need to be. Because the act of giving, and the effect it can have on your life, and those who you give to, is profound.

You may have heard the phrase “Pay it forward.” Well this is talking about the power of giving, and how you stand to gain in the future for the giving you do today.

But your giving must not have that intent. Your intent must be to help others, who need the help. And feel good about doing it. While NOT expecting anything in return. Give with a good heart, and you will live your Ideal Life.

6) Eliminate Fear From Your Life - Nothing stops people in their tracks more than fear. Whether it’s taking the leap into entrepreneurship, getting involved in professional sports, or even finding the right life partner.

Past US president FDR said it best… “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Fear is one of those things that has no basis in fact. It only exists in the minds of people who allow it to exist.

The #1, most effective “fear-killer” you can use today, to break-free from the “mental chains” that hold you back from doing and getting what you want out of life is…. taking action! When you do, it’s a very liberating feeling. Knowing that you actually can achieve anything you want. Going forward with purposeful action, and leaving your imaginary fears behind forever. Then you’re ready to leave another imaginary force behind, that interferes with millions of people living a better life, when you…

7) Eliminate Guilt From Your Life - As long as you are living a good life, helping others, giving regularly, and bringing value, you have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.

Unfortunately, many flavors of organized religion have used guilt through the years as their tool to keep “the flock” in fear and controlled. Which is a shame, since most people do live a good life. And then are burdened by imaginary guilt for their entire lives, for no reason at all.

Then there are some people who feel guilty inside, because they intend to make a better life for themselves and their families, but never seem to make it happen. Which leads to a way you can leverage to make your dreams reality, instead of only having empty dreams that leave you feeling disappointed and hopeless…

8) Decide To Stop Making Excuses From Now On - Even though people can have the best of intentions when it comes to creating a better life for themselves, so they can live life on their terms, many find it easier to make excuses, rather than just going out and making things happen for themselves.

The fact is, many successful people came from underprivileged, unfortunate, or even horrible situations in life. Yet they decided to rise above all that. To take the bull by the horns, and make a better life for themselves. Without excuses about why they couldn’t do this, or couldn’t do that. Like they didn’t have the time, or didn’t have the money, or didn’t have the education.

Instead, they decided that they would not stop at anything, to get what they want. They would not make excuses. Instead, they decided to move forward and…

9) Do Something Which Brings Value To Others - This is how the world works. This is how prosperity happens. The simple trade of something that has value to someone, for monetary compensation for the person who is providing the value.

We’ve already talked about giving and helping others in this post. Well helping others to get what they need or want brings value to their lives. That’s why the main vehicle for Escaping the Employee Trap is building your home business “on the side”…

That you grow so it replaces the income you make at your job now, so you can finally be your own boss, and live life on your terms.

All made possible by you providing value to others. Remember the Strategy of Preeminence from my friend and marketing legend Jay Abraham. Your goal is to become a value provider. One that delivers more value to someone than you get back as financial value. Creating “win-win” scenarios for all involved. And if you think that you can’t be in the position of a trusted “value creator”… you must make it a point to…

10) Remove All Boundaries And Limitations From Your Mind - If you embrace the last 9 ways to start creating a better life, you will already have eliminated limitations inside you that come from holding on to guilt and fear for no reason.

Next, it’s time to take a look at your “self image.” How you see yourself. What you think of yourself. And how you compare yourself to others.

First of all, you should never, ever, compare yourself to others. Everyone is unique, and you don’t have to live up to the standards of any other person. Just your own high standards.

You see, you are perfect just the way you are. There is no need to improve you. You just need to improve what you think about, how you think, and what you do each day.

When you can see yourself as a person of strength, instead of a person of frustration and weakness… you will have made great gains with your own “self image.”

If I were you, I’d print this list and hang it in your office or kitchen or bedroom. As a reminder that these are the 10 ways that will get you from where you are now, to where you want to be.

A better life for you and your family. Doing what you want to do every day. Living life on your terms, not someone else’s, for the rest of your life.

At the very least, I suggest you read this post again, in it’s entirety. Then make some time to really think about what I just shared with you.

<![CDATA[5 Simple Tips To Start Living Better Today]]>Tue, 19 Jan 2016 06:53:29 GMThttp://yourindependentfuture.com/let-the-better-life-begin/5-simple-tips-to-start-living-better-todayBy Sinead Duffy 6th August 2012
1.       Achieve More with Less.It is easy to confuse hyperactivity for productivity or growth, however being busy all the time does not necessarily mean progress.  If you find yourself mindlessly clocking up hours yet not making the progress you had hoped for then, maybe it is time to review your goals and priorities.  With clarity and focus, you can achieve more in less time.

2.       Avoid Negative Relationships.Do whatever is necessary to break away from the people in your life who don’t make you feel good about yourself. You know who I’m talking about. The people who don’t appreciate your worth, who undermine you, who constantly moan and complain. I call this type of person a “Small Mind!”  A Small Mind holds you back, sabotages your growth, diminishes your self-esteem and, often without your realising, makes you feel bad about yourself. Starting today,  be aware of who you choose to spend time with and seek out those who bring positive elements into your life, rather than drain them away.

3.       Get The Happy Hormones Going!If exercise isn’t already part of your daily routine, now’s the time to change that. Alongside all the physical benefits of exercise–better sleep, weight loss, bone and muscle strength, cholesterol and cardiovascular health–there are numerous mental benefits, such as reducing stress, elevating moods, developing brain power, and lifting depression. Find a physical activity that fits your personality and schedule and then start turning it into a habit.

4.       Keep It Simple.Clutter brings chaos. This applies for both physical and mental clutter. The more stuff you have, the more difficult it is to manage. As you grow, you’ll discover how much more free and meaningful life can be when it isn’t weighed down by material things. Plus, when you consume less on a regular basis, you’ll develop a keener sense of appreciation for those items that are worth keeping around.

5.     Ditch a Few Rules.Rules are like road signs. Following a few can help keep you on track and keep you safe. Too many, though, and life becomes a hectic mess as you try to sort out which ones to follow where, until you’ve totally lost track of your original path. Not to mention all the stress and guilt that piles up while trying to follow all these demanding–and sometimes conflicting–rules at once. Cut loose from these rigid ways and experience the incredible freedom of a life that goes beyond the tyranny of rules.

<![CDATA[11 Practices For A Better Life]]>Tue, 19 Jan 2016 06:52:07 GMThttp://yourindependentfuture.com/let-the-better-life-begin/11-practices-for-a-better-life
Most of us want to improve our lives—laugh more, stress less, follow our bliss—but the *how* of transformation can feel overwhelming. Here are 11 practices you can start doing *now* to live a deeper, happier, and more meaningful life.

1. Let your imagination run wild. Close your eyes and imagine your dream life. What does it look like? Where are you? What does it feel like?

You can’t live your dream if you haven’t given yourself the space to create it. You have this one life and you get to choose how to live it. Dream big.

2. Practice gratitude. We’re so busy talking about what we want, we forget to feel grateful for what we already have. What are you thankful for?

3. Pay attention. There’s a chance you’re driving through life on cruise control. Start paying more attention to your daily routine. Listen to the birds chirping, enjoy the smell of your freshly brewed coffee, and feel the cozy, softness of your pajamas. Relish the sights, smells, sounds, and feelings of your daily life.

4. Be real. We all wear masks—pretending and posturing our way through dinner parties and interviews and cocktail hours. But releasing all that phoniness and asserting your authentic self will feel like a breath of fresh air. And watch out, it’s infectious: when you’re real, you’ll notice those around you get real, too.

5. Surround yourself with positive people. You may have heard that you’re a product of the people with which you spend the most time. So pick the right crowd. Stick with the upbeat, optimistic people in your life; their company will nourish you. Avoid those that drain your energy, leaving you exhausted and unhappy.

6. Embrace change. Change is the only constant, so it’s time to start welcoming it. Stop dreading it, avoiding it, denying it, or fearing
it. Start seeing change for the possibility, fun, inspiration, and growth it can bring.

7. Trust your gut Your intuition knows what’s best for you and it will encourage you to live your right life. Your job is to honor that inner voice—you’ll be happier for it.

8. Enjoy joy.What do you love to do? What makes you laugh? What makes your heart swell with happiness? Give yourself permission to do that, often.

9. Be gentle.No one’s perfect, we all make mistakes. Go easy on yourself.

10. Get enough sleep.In a culture that seems to celebrate those that pull all nighters and work until they drop, it’s sometimes hard to value rest. Sleep isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity.

11. Find your own success.Contrary to popular belief, success isn’t a corner office or a fat paycheck. Real success won’t just look good, it’ll feel good too. Chase your own success.

  1. Awareness: is the first step to the resolution of any problem.
  2. Beauty: Physical beauty is great but it doesn’t last. Inner beauty, on the other hand, stands the test of time. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t improve our physical beauty – we should focus on being beautiful, both on the inside and out.
  3. Beauty, #2: There is no one standard of beauty. Beauty comes in all shapes, all sizes, all forms, all colors. You are beautiful as you are. Stop trying to conform to the image of beauty constructed by the society and embrace the beauty that is you.
  4. Being yourself: It is better to be a first rate version of yourself than a second rate version of someone else. (Judy Garland)
  5. Beliefs: Your beliefs affect your life more than you think they do. If you want to have the best life experience you can ever have, switch out your dis empowering beliefs with empowering ones.
  6. Beliefs, #2: Half the things you say are usually more to do with your internal beliefs and issues than to do with other people.
  7. BlameWhenever you point a finger at someone else, there are three other fingers pointing back at you.
  8. Business: In business, being the cog in the system also means you are the clog in the system. Learn to have your business run without you, be it via automating or outsourcing. Even if you still want to work on your business after that, that’s fine – it’s important that you work on the business and not in the business
  1. Change: Just because you have realized something doesn’t mean the world around you will change right away. It takes time for your thoughts to ripple out and effect the reality because the physical world is denser than the spiritual one. So don’t be hung up with what’s on the outside but stay true to what’s inside you. Be focused. (Refer to #33: Focus)
  2. Change that lasts: It’s better to create sustainable change than change that is quick but does not last. Stop going for the easy way out. Learn how to create lasting change instead.
  3. Changing people: You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself.
  4. Comparing: There is no need to compare because everyone is different. Your goal is not to be like others but to be yourself. Stop comparing with others and focus on being yourself instead. (See #11)
  5. Competition: The only competition you have is yourself.
  6. Conditional things: Something that is conditional can never stand the test of time. For example, if your partner wants to be with you only if you do X, Y and Z, whereby X, Y and Z are not things that you believe in. Or say, if a parent will only love his child if he aces his exams. These are relationships rooted in fear and not what you want to be a part of.
  7. Confidence: is a quality that comes from knowing oneself. It can’t be manufactured regardless of how many material objects you own or what statuses you have