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The Ultimate Guide on How To Lead an Inspired Life and Work Better
Being successful has a lot to do with how we work: Our habits, discipline, and processes. Just showing up and grinding it out is not enough.
Success requires Love, Passion, Enthusiasm, Stamina, and Grit. Without these 5 elements, you risk of becoming a mouse on a spinning wheel.
Success requires Love, Passion, Enthusiasm, Stamina, and Grit.
Tools & techniques listed in this article will help you thrive. Depending on how dedicated you are to your goals, you can use them sparingly or all at once.
1. Have a Goal
Here are two simple fundamental truths:
Setting goals is key to having a purpose
Having a purpose is key to being successful
As mundane as those two sentences sound, they are your key to success.
We’ve heard them over and over again throughout our lives, yet we tend to forget some basic truths that help us succeed.
Goals can be divided in:
Ultimate Goals as in “We want to launch our product in October”
Daily Goals (or Dailies) as in “Implement the Contact-form on our website by 3pm”
Having specific Ultimate & Daily Goals is key to maintaining sanity. Without clarity in your Goals, you risk jeopardizing your resources that help you reach your ultimate desired outcome.
2. Eliminate all “Noise”
Noise is anything that is disabling you from doing your best work.
Noise can be Loud or Silent.
“Loud noises” are the most obvious audible distractions:
Distracting music (there are genres that are helpful)
Chit-chatting nearby co-workers
A broken air-conditioner, etc.
“Loud noises” can be so detrimental that sometimes consciously they’re very hard to notice. However, your subconscious will feel the continuous burden.
If you cannot completely eliminate “Loud noises” around you, consider acquiring noise-canceling headphones. They are magical even if you put them on without playing any music.
Below is a review of BOSE Noise Canceling Headphones by the famous Marques Brownlee
On the other hand, “Silent noises” are a bit harder to fight off, but with some disciplined effort you can tame the beast inside.
“Silent noises” are thoughts, stresses, rumination.
However, there are ways to fight off these anxieties and emotional build-ups.
A straight-forward way to push these negative feelings aside is to teach ourselves to focus.
As we go on our daily lives, we must train ourselves to never multi-task and always focus on the thing at hand: If you’re watching TV, watch TV only. If you’re eating lunch, eat lunch only.
These tiny little practices will carry over to your workday and make you a more disciplined busy-bee.
More on Music…
One of the ways to focus and stay inspired while you work is to listen to music that is suitable for your task at hand.
As an example, you can listen to something like the mix of tunes below. The repetitive and orchestral fusion does wonders to keep you alert and focused.
3. Be Grateful
Feeling grateful puts our emotions at ease.
Gratitude gives us a sense of fulfillment.
When we count our blessings, the universe conspires to bless us with more.
Gratitude is a powerful ally to fighting any noise, internal or external. It empowers us to reach new heights and know our “Whys?” as in “Why do I want to succeed so much in what I’m working on?”
Practicing gratitude is a great technique for pushing our stress aside, AKA “Being Grateful for everything we are and have in our lives”. “Have” as in people, relationships, love, successes.
Gratitude is best practiced in the morning, as we’re starting our day. However, it can also be repeated anytime during the day.
Practicing gratitude is not a full-blown religious event. You can simply find a quiet spot and tell yourself things you’re grateful for. You’ll notice the weight of the world instantly melting off of your shoulders.
Strengthening our body is key to a healthy mind.
Not all of us have the luxury of hitting the gym on regular basis. But, we must try our hardest to have at least 15-minutes of physical activity in the morning.
Those short 15-minutes per day can have a tremendous effect in how we feel physically & emotinally.
Over time you’ll notice you are more relaxed, respond better to daily stresses, and overall have better solutions to life’s obstacles.
“Runner’s high” is not a joke. It is an inspirational moment that helps you find solutions to life’s most pressing issues.
Running is a process that creates new neurons and neural connections. Sex and exercise are another form. Neurogenesis is linked to better health and stronger cognitive processes.
If you are traveling or pressed with time, you can do something as little as stretching to get your blood flowing properly all over your body.
With stretching you have to be careful not to overdo it. It’s just as easy to tear a muscle while stretching as it is when playing a high intensity sport.
Please, follow instructions on the video below on how to stretch properly:
5. Discuss and open up
At 9AM, as you make your way to your desk say hello to others and discuss what y’all are working on.
Share vocally and visually (if possible) what your day ahead looks like.
Even if you are in a managerial position, it’s OK to share with others what you’re working on.
Being in a leading position can turn into a lonely experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Sharing your obstacles as a manager will inspire your best team-players come up with solutions you might have never thought of.
As your share, two things will happen:
You may think of a new supporting idea (vocalizing your thoughts has a tremendous effect on new thinking patterns)
The person you are talking to, will say something that may inspire you to find a better solution to your challenges
6. Take a break
As a rule, you should not allow your body to be in a sitting position for more than 60 minutes.
Sedentary life leads to a myriad of health issues.
Even though 60-minutes may sometimes be too quick to stop, you must do everything you can to get up after 90-minutes of sitting down.
A friend of ours Taulant Sulko, a designer based in Toronto, Canada says that what inspires him is: “Going out for a walk to clear my head. Works every time. It is very meditative.”
You can walk around the office/block or you can do jumping jacks and inspire your co-workers to join you and do the same.
A few laughs will get everyone’s adrenaline pumping, which you can ride on for the rest of the day.
If you work in an office with client’s walking in all the time. Seeing your staff do jumping-jacks together, will make you more human and increase their trust in you and your company.
How about some stand-up comedy?
If you are taking a lunch break and you find yourself alone in the kitchen, you can even watch/listen to a stand-up comedian brighten the rest of your day.
Aziz Ansari, could be one of the comedians you might find funny:
Basically, laughter makes us feel great and less judgmental, which may help us “Get out of our heads” and be in the zone. Alice G. Walton explores a few ways on how to “get out of our heads” in this Forbes article.
7. Plan your finances
When our money is in check, we feel safer about our future.
Whatever your current financial situation, you must plan ahead.
There’s nothing worse than feeling immobilized because of your financial situation.
Having a simple Excel sheet of your upcoming expenses and incoming payments, will give you a peace of mind and translate positively to your overall motivation.
The Richest Man in Babylon is a great anecdotal tale on making a comeback, paying back everyone you know, making a financial plan, and taking advantage of compounding interest.
When your finances are solid and sound, your overall outlook is improved since you’re not worried about future financial struggles that may come up.
8. Be in a beautiful state
I know this one is a bit abstract.
This thought is best explored by Tony Robbins who says that every morning he chooses to be in a beautiful state.
“Being in a beautiful state” can mean many things to different people.
To you it could mean that you will be bold, respectful, excited, interested, curious, kind, just — whatever empowers you to be your best.
Being in a beautiful state helps you attract beautiful impulses around you.
The point here is to be in a state that empowers you to guide your day in an elated state. To end suffering through a “90-second rule”.
Tony’s “90-second” rule gives him the power to snap-out of his frustrations and move on, almost instantly.
To succeed, each and everyday we must progress a tiny little step forward.
As we mentioned above, planning our day ahead is great. However, sometimes things happen during the day that lead us astray.
To avoid helplessness, find that space-time in your day to at least finish a part of the task. You will quickly start to experience a snowball effect, which will lead you to the next chapter of your success.
The trick is to “fool” yourself into starting small, regardless of your circumstances.
Start big, think small
Lets say, your goal is to write a novel. Starting with a blank page can be daunting. Start big instead and work your way from the outside-in.
Write about your overall tone
Start to think about ideas you want to cover
Think about each chapter with its specific sections inside
Breakdown sections into smaller ideas
Let ideas guide your writing
Once you have your broader strokes ready, you’ll realize that starting out is a piece of cake.
10. Motivate others
We all have days when we literally cannot move the dial. They feel as if nothing is moving forward.
It’s Ok to let go and drop everything you’re working on.
Remember: quitting for a day, doesn’t mean you’re quitting forever.
Regardless of every little tool we’ve used to move forward, sometimes we feel tired and must let go.
To get the ball rolling, we can drop everything and try to help someone else instead. Seeing others succeed, especially because of our input, can help us gain momentum. A momentum which we can leverage to move forward.
Seeing others succeed, especially because of our input, can help us gain momentum.
Be a mentor to someone just starting out in your office. Help them succeed.
Their success will inspire and motivate you to work better.
11. Watch motivational videos
There are plenty of motivational videos floating on You Tube. Some of the best are a mix of video and voiceover.
There is a great motivational video with 1M views at the time of this writing: WINNERS MINDSET
12. Make your goals public
In our quest to turning our goals into a reality, we experience many obstacles.
Sharing our goals publicly makes us more vulnerable to criticism, but it also opens up our minds to what is possible.
By letting others know what you’re up to, you set the tone.
You are making a statement that you have arrived. You are inviting other likeminded people to join you.
In your office setting, get a giant board and list your company’s ultimate goal. State your North Star.
There’s nothing more inspirational than seeing a group of people work towards a single goal for everyone’s benefit.
13. Surround yourself with positive people
This is a big one.
It’s imperative to surround ourselves with people who are motivated.
If you find yourself amongst those who complain for no apparent reason and you cannot influence them to think positively, simply move away and find people who match your energy.
Being around people who feel great about themselves, will influence you positively.
Chances are, if you are feeling Beautiful already, you are more than likely to attract people similar to your wavelength.
13. Eat healthy
Eating well has a tremendous effect on how we feel. Gut bacteria are crucial to our well being & mental health. A study on Gut microbiome by Paul Bertrand, Amy Loughman, and Melinda Jackson (RMIT University), goes into the topic even further.
Certain foods can alter our mood in a positive way.
There are centuries-old simple practices that can improve our health:
Starting our day with a glass of warm water mixed with a few lemon slices, can help flush our digestive system and get our gut ready for the day.
Having garlic, honey, cinnamon, dark chocolate, olive oils, throughout our day will help maintain our good energy levels and keep us healthy in the long run.
Drinking soup before every major meal is thought to fulfill our appetite and cut calorie intake. Results of a Penn State research paper may suggest just that.
Also, applying herbs to our meals, like rosemary, helps improve brain functions.
People in the village of Acciaroli in Italy, where 10% of inhabitants are centenarians, are said to have blood circulations of the likes of 20-30 year olds. Their daily intake is a mix of home-reared rabbits and chickens, olive oil, home-grown vegetables and fruit, as well as rosemary and other herbs. Read more about this joint study by Sapineza University and the Sandiego School of Medicine.
14. Take a quick vacation
Working non-stop for long periods of time is bound to make us dull.
Refreshing our perspective with new surroundings gives us a new wave of energy we can ride on for a while.
As a rule, it’s best to get away every 3-months. Even if it’s a weekend getaway, it will help our brain recharge and rewire by being influenced with new surroundings and navigational obstacles.
While our brain is trying to readjust to its new surroundings, it is processing its previous engagements, thus helping us become more creative upon return.
We have the power to alter our outlook in life and allow ourselves to excel.
16. Have self-control
To succeed, we must control our impulses and do things that lead us towards our goal. It’s Ok to let go on the weekends, but if you’re involved with something you truly love, it’s Ok to make it a part of your life and your family.
Our families can be a great resource of inspiration.
Work and life are not two different things. They are the same manifestation if we are willing to invite success in our lives.
Practice self-control to achieve your wildest goals, like Nathan DeWall did (Professor of Psychology and Director of Social Psychology Lab, University of Kentucky). Professor Nathan taught himself to run +100-mile marathons. Something so outrageous considering his sedentary life up to that point.
Summing it all up
This entire article explored tools and techniques on how to bring ourselves in an inspired state so we can perform better in our daily lives.
Among other things we talked about were:
Setting Goals: Ultimate goals and daily tasks
Eliminating noise: External and internal
Music: Using music as motivation
The power of being grateful: Shifting weight from our shoulders
Exercising: Running and neurogenesis
Sharing your obstacles with others: Bouncing ideas
Taking a break and walking around: Letting go (for a day)
Laughing: “Getting out of our heads”
Financial planning: Planning to succeed
Being in a Beautiful state: Feeling empowered
Compartmentalizing: Starting big and thinking small
Inspiring others towards success: Seeing others succeed
Making our goals public: Telling everyone we have arrived
Hanging out with positive people: Feeling the good energy
Eating healthy: Maintaining our good energy
Traveling: Feeling inspired
Forgetting: Learning the lesson and moving on
Practicing self-control: Grit as our main weapon
Besides the broader undertakings from above, there are a few more tricks which we can utilize to help ourselves succeed.
Nothing will stop us when we’re fully dedicated to having a successful presence in the world.
Mindful breathing has numerous benefits. Among others, it increases happiness, improves sleep, regulates cortisol (our body’s stress hormone), strengthens our immunity, and more. Emma Seppälä, PhD has a full infographic on all benefits of mindful breathing.
Push-ups are not just for speedo-wearing men. The benefits of a push-up are numerous. Just to name a few: It increases vitality, improves our posture, it improves and prevents lower back injuries (perfect for all of us chair-sitters), it enhances our blood circulation, and it’s FREE.
Gardening is one of those activities that helps us witness first hand “What you sow, you will reap”. Gardening is meditative, physical, thoughtful, caring. Experiencing these emotions makes us feel great about our well-being. Conspiring with nature to help a seed grow into a fruit producing plant is a life altering moment.
Everything we do in our daily lives must have a purpose that fully benefits ourselves and our loved ones.
Although there are times when we’re engaged with something less than ideal, it’s imperative that we work towards a better tomorrow.
Working hard and having a positive outlook is magical.
It costs nothing to visualize our dreams as if they’re real. The more we “feel” our goals as real, the sooner our actions will turn them into reality.
Our clients are constantly in touch with us, not just about Invoice Station, but asking about our advice regarding their day-to-day business challenges. Even if we don't know the answer to every question, we know how to point you in the right direction.