5 Ideas For Self-Improvement, Motivation and Happiness

At any given time, we are striving to improve some part of our life.  We are either trying a new diet, or trying a new exercise program, or learning a new skill.  All these self-improvement activities needed discipline.  Discipline in one part of life usually leads to discipline in other parts of life.  There is no point in eating ice cream and potato chips after you put in an hour at the gym hoping to get fit and reduce weight.

Here are a couple of self-improvement articles to make you think, and succeed in attaining your goals.

The Surprising Power of The Long Game (fs.blog)

In every choice we make in our life, we play a short game or the long game. Short games give you immediate gratification – for example, checking Instagram instead of doing your homework assignment.  In the long game, there are no immediate payoffs. Imagine going to the gym for months, and not seeing results.  In the long game, results take time but they are worth it. The article notes that the areas of your life that are most suitable for the long game are knowledge, relationships, and finance.

When You Don’t Feel Like It, You Often Produce Your Greatest Work (Medium)

Some days, you are in flow. Work comes easy and you are motivated to work. On other days, work is such a chore.  You drag yourself around, procrastinate, and sometimes give up.  What if you find out that your best work comes when you apply yourself to your work when you are not really motivated?  On these tough days, you just do it without expectations.  The work you produce will exceed all expectations.

The 1 Percent Rule: Why a Few People Get Most of the Rewards (James Clear)

The Pareto, also known as the 80/20 rule says that most of the rewards will accrue to a small number of people.  For example, at one time in Italy, 20% of people owned 80% of the land. But how do those rewards accumulate to the few?

The article talks about how you need to be only slightly better than your competition.  But if you compound that advantage over time, you will realize outsized rewards. To build this cumulative advantage over time, you need to build good habits that make it easy to keep you ahead of the competition.

Blue spaces: why time spent near water is the secret of happiness (The Guardian)

Spending time by the water is good for your body and mind. Benefits include higher levels of vitamin D and better relations with people.  Even a visit to a body of water like a beach twice a week makes a big difference in your well-being.  There are a few reasons why these benefits exist – the environment by the water is less polluted, people are more active around water,  and finally the water environment has restorative effects on humans.

Having an Answer to “Where Did the Time Go? (Psychology Today)

This is an excellent article on our perception of time. As we grow older, our “future time” is limited and we are more likely to perceive time passing quickly when engaged in productive activities that pay off in the future. It is perfectly normal to judge the passage of time but there we can reduce the frequency of such thoughts by being in the moment. Being mindful allows you to experience good moments and make them memorable while allowing you to control your emotions while going through tough situations.

 

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