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Fixed Or Grown? How Your Mindset About Intelligence Determines Your Success


Of all the beliefs we carry about ourselves, Carol Dweck argues there is one that stands out among the rest. After 20 years of research, she concluded that the way we approach the acquisition of intelligence actually carves out whether or not we’ll be successful. There are two particular mindsets people have, “incremental” or “entity.” Incremental is the belief that intelligence and skill can be grown and developed; entity is the belief that intelligence and skill is fixed, and you either have it or you don’t.

In the “fixed mindset,” our character, intelligence and creative abilities are static givens. They cannot change or evolve at all, and success is how the world validates that inherent intelligence, or how well it measures up against the world’s fixed standard. In this mindset, people strive for an image and idea of success at any cost, as they belief that failure indicates they are not skilled or intelligent.

In the “growth mindset,” character, intelligence and creative ability are evolving aspects of who we are – your skill will develop in proportion to how much work you do. People with this mindset see failure as feedback, something that informs them of what doesn’t work so that they can then adapt to what would.

mindset growth fixed

These mindsets are typically adopted at a very young age, and determine not only our behavior within business, but also marriage, personal relations, and ultimately, our capacity to experience happiness.

For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value. How does this happen? How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?

Believing that your qualities are carved in stone — the fixed mindset — creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character — well, then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. It simply wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics.

There’s another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush when you’re secretly worried it’s a pair of tens. In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way — in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments — everyone can change and grow through application and experience.



5 Reasons Why Emotionally Intelligent People Are Happier

Joan Moran       Creative Thought Leader, author, blogger, creative thought leader, wellness expert       09/28/2015 

On my way to New Orleans last December, I sat next to a man who was a project manager in northern California. Since I was about to embark on writing a speech about business leadership, I asked him what he thought were the best practices for managing a business. He advised me to read a book called, It’s Your Ship, by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff. The subtitle was even more intriguing: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy.

It’s Your Ship Captain Abrashoff assumed command of a ship that was rated the worst in the navy. He believed that human beings are the capital of a ship, just as individuals are the capital of a corporation. In two years, Captain Abrashoff’s ship was on the cutting-edge of ship performance and productivity. It was rated no. 1 in the Navy.

Within months, Captain Abrashoff got to know each and every sailor aboard ship, knew what they were good at, found sailors who wanted to lead by example and challenged each crew member to be the best they could be at their job. Because the Captain knew everything about his crew, including birthdays and babies, he inspired loyalty, trust and happiness on board. The Captain’s slogan was: It’s your ship.

It’s Your Life According to Daniel Goldman, author of Emotional Intelligence Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, this empathic response, modeled in the case of Captain Abrashoff, as a form of emotional intelligence – is the ability to manage and reflect the emotions of others and of self. Emotional intelligence is not just a management skill, but it is a necessary life skill for creating strong and committed interpersonal relationships, which leads to greater happiness.

Dr. Goldman suggests that emotional intelligence is linked to everything from decision-making to academic achievement to having an impact to children’s developmental learning. The study of emotional intelligence has also paved the way for a slew of follow up business tools, indicating a paradigm shift from the importance of hard tools to the necessity of soft tools worldwide.

It’s annoying and frustrating when feelings, disappointments, frustrations and sadness are not acknowledged to those who are hurting by the challenges of life. Telling your “best friend,” your lover, your mother about how you are feeling and finding that an empathic response is not forthcoming makes you feel worse or even angry. Why aren’t your feelings being reflected back to you in your husband’s supportive words or hugs? Where is your father’s warm and loving reply to your sadness? Where is that supportive embrace and concern for real communication from your lover? You want someone to listen, someone to feel what you feel with mindfulness and connection.


The following are five reasons why emotionally intelligent people live a happier and more fulfilling life:

1. They are more self-aware Emotionally intelligent people power up their emotional antenna and pay closer attention to their surroundings and how they fit into a social circle. Conversation, the give-and-take of energy, fires up the neurotransmitters and keeps people mindful of the contextual involvement. That conscious awareness leads to a greater collective feeling of happiness.

2. They manage their emotions In order to manage emotions, it is necessary to understand what emotions are being expressed and what emotions are being felt. That means being fully conscious and aware of what’s going on inside of you so the outside actions can match the inside emotions. Stay present and happiness results.

3. They are more socially aware Emotionally intelligent people can manage their emotions in social situations and, at the same time, react in a positive manner to the emotional needs of others who want attention and connection. They have the ability to cheer up or calm down others whatever the context. It’s an easy transition to a happy mindset.

4. They have more empathy For some, it’s difficult to stay emotionally connected to others and imagine themselves feeling as others feel. However, for those who have emotional intelligence, it’s possible to connect their emotions through their senses and intuition, and, as a result, they usually develop deep responses to those who are in need of consolation or reinforcement.

5. They are more engaged Emotionally intelligent people have the ability to connect with others by using their emotional awareness to promote cognitive activity that result in understanding the dynamics of others. They have an ability to prioritize what they pay attention and react to, thereby, responding with appropriate feedback to the needs of others.

Emotionally intelligent people improve the quality of their relationships, cultivate leadership skills and garner the respect and love of others, all leading to greater personal happiness. And what’s even more amazing is that it’s possible to learn the emotional communication skills necessary for establishing, maintaining, and deepening relationships at any age.

Joan Moran is a keynote speaker, commanding the stage with her delightful humor, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. She is an expert on wellness and is passionate about addressing the problems of mental inertia. A yoga instructor and Argentine tango dancer, Joan is the author is Sixty, Sex, & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer.

Visit her website: http://www.joanfrancesmoran.com     Follow Joan on Twitter: @joanfmoran   http://www.twitter.com/joanfmoran

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10 Common Myths About Emotions (and Why They’re Wrong)

How well do you understand your own emotions? Nietzsche (link is external)once said that we are often most clueless about what is closest to us. Nothing is closer to us than our own emotions; nevertheless, we do not understand them.

Following is a list of some common misunderstanding about emotions:

1. You can’t help how you feel.

Emotions are forms of judgment . A person’s emotional experience typically results from a subjective interpretation (appraisal) of an event rather than the event itself, even though the appraisal (beliefs) involved may not be accurate. Different individuals can interpret the same event differently: For example, grief about someone’s death represents a judgment about that person’s importance to the person. For a joke to be funny, it has to be perceived as such by someone. When there is no appraisal, there is no emotion. The appraisal is like discovering the black box of a plane crash that recorded flight data just before the crash. Without a “psychological autopsy” into someone’s interpretation we are in the dark. Cognitive therapy is based on the idea that much of the emotional pain is caused by distorted (irrational) thinking.

2. Emotions cannot be expressed in words.

It is true that our language is not developed for “inner experience.”  But it does not follow that emotions are indescribable. As noted above, emotions are judgment—describable and analyzable in considerable details. Parents and teachers frequently ask young children to “use their words” when they are upset and emotional, and research shows that describing anger and fear would be helpful to self-control.  The simple act of putting feelings into words activates the brain’s control system (inhibition) and diminishes emotional reactions.

3. Emotions are feelings.

Neuroscientist Damasio writes that feelings are a bodily experience provoked by an emotional response. Feelings require some element of awareness. In other words, they register in consciousness and they are not merely intellectual (like thinking). If we were to think of an emotion as a simple bodily feeling, there would be no obvious role for reflection. We can tolerate the feeling like an itch or a headache (or diminish it with booze). What we feel is just a small piece of the picture.

4. “The hydraulic metaphor.”

As the name suggests, if emotions are denied expression, they will leak somewhere else. And we need to express our emotions to feel better. For example, we often talk about anger in terms of “heating up,” “simmering,” or “boiling over.” The metaphor represents passivity, against the view that emotions can be cultivated and educated. Research in emotion regulation  has shown that there are a variety of ways that inappropriate emotional reactions and experiences can be disrupted by making use of our human ability—reinterpretation and distraction. For example, we often use humor to block anger or fear to resolve tension.

5. “I know exactly what you did to upset me.”

People are often mistaken about their own emotions. They misread and misname them. And, of course, they misread other people’s emotions, particularly when their perception is colored by their own preferences or prejudices. Consider the emotionally complex situation of divorce. Experts note that husbands’ reactions are often dominated by anger, an emotion that allows them to maintain confident and dominant position. A therapeutic goal is to help men recognize that some of their negative affect may come from sadness, hurt feelings, and fear, emotions that are more painful and scary and that they may be motivated to avoid. Misattributions usually disappear when people are made aware of the true source of their affective states.


6. Emotions are stupid.

Emotion and reason are not competing forces but complementary processes that interact and influence each other. Accumulated evidence  shows that emotion is part of the mechanism of reasoning, and so a lack of it is detrimental to decision-making. For example, children with autism  lack the emotional capacity to grasp other human beings’ feelings or motivations. People rely to some extent on their feelings and hunches in order to make successful decisions. Emotional reactions provides a critical summary of our past experiences with a situation or event, and this summary is experienced as “gut” feeling that can make decision-making process more efficient. It is not enough to know what should be done; it is also necessary to feel it.

7. Emotions are irrational.

Rationality is maximizing our well-being. Our emotions are rational insofar as they further our collective as well as personal well-being. For example, envy is an irrational emotion. At the heart of envy is a resentful comparison (“he has it, I don’t”). Grief at the loss of love one is rational. Guilt is seen as one of the moral emotions, linked to the interests of other people and motivating concerns for others. Love is irrational, when one knowingly goes after what one cannot have, driving oneself insane in the hopeless pursuit of the impossible (e.g., dating a married person).

8. Emotions happen to us.

Most of our emotions, most of the time, are not entirely beyond our control. It is a pattern of behavior chosen and practiced over time. Some discover, for example, that anger is an effective way of intimidating people, and so they allow themselves to get angry at the slightest provocation. Some cultivate sadness, perhaps because they earn sympathy that way, or because feeling sorry for themselves allows them to withdraw and be irresponsible. Love is a process of willful escalation we work our way into.

9. “I will always feel this way.”

Typical emotions are essentially transient. What comes up often comes down. As Socrates remarked, “The hottest love has the coldest end.” A typical emotional response involves a quick rise lasting for a few minutes, followed by a relatively slow decay. For example, anger usually lasts for more than a few minutes, but rarely more than a few hours. However, people tend to mis-predict the short duration of emotional response. For example, after a romantic breakup, heartbroken people are unable to anticipate the decay of their emotions. One of the reasons for adolescents’ high risk for suicide is because when they feel pain, they lack the life experience to know it is temporary. After a while the change becomes a normal and stable situation.

10. Moods are hard to reverse.

A variety of studies have demonstrated that adopting facial expressions of emotion can lead to the corresponding emotional feelings. In other words, “Fake it till you make it.” An expression of pride produces determination. Projecting pride motivates people to try harder in problem solving. We feel sad if we sit in a slumped posture or talk in a slow and low voice. For anger management, Buddhism advises us that we should force ourselves to relax our face and soften our voice, that our internal state will soon come to resemble our external state, and that our anger will dissipate. It’s reported that the late fashion designer Oscar de la Renta believed in beauty, not for beauty’s sake, but because he understood that elevating the outside could help elevate the inside.

The take-away: If we look into our emotional lives with the idea that our emotions are forces beyond our control that happen to us, we are inclined to accept bad behavior that otherwise might be controlled. By taking responsibility instead, we will no longer feel like the victim of our own emotions.

Oct. 16, 2015       Shahram Heshmat Ph.D.

Shahram Heshmat, Ph.D., is an associate professor emeritus of health economics of addiction
at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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The Most Overlooked Quality Needed for Relationship Success

Susan Winter    01/18/2016 

How do we know if the person we’re dating is the right choice for our long-term happiness? What steps can we take when the partnership we have is becoming less rewarding?

Picking the right partner is essential to a relationship’s success. Most of us understand this foundational principle, and enter the dating scene with clarity of purpose. We know what we want. We know our end goals. And we know the qualities we desire in a mate.

Enjoying the partner we have demands realignment, creativity and growth. We often need to readjust our attitudes and behaviors in order to recapture the vibrant feelings of earlier times.

Yet, there’s one crucial element that’s routinely overlooked in picking a mate, and keeping our love alive. It’s the factor that guarantees our relationship’s survival and its ongoing contentment.

Disposition is the key to relationship success.

How do we know if the partner who has our desired qualities is capable of meeting the challenges of daily living, with us? Disposition is the central determinant in deciding whether the partner with the qualities we need is also the partner who’s capable of creating an environment for long-term happiness.

Why dispositional compatibility determines a relationship’s success:

Shared goals and values are the bedrock upon which rewarding relationships are formed. Certainly, we need to be with somebody who wants what we want, and wants that with us. But within those foundational constructs lies the manner in which we interact with each other on a daily basis. It’s the lives we live inside of our relationship that account for our happiness, or despair.

Challenges will occur in every relationship. Issues will arise. This is a reality of life, and love. Therefore, we need to choose the type of partner whose disposition allows us to be our best, even at the worst of times. Long-term contentment is founded on dispositional alliance, as it allows for harmony to continue with the partner we’ve chosen.

Disposition is the unique characteristic that determines how we handle each other while handling our issues. Having mutually agreeable dispositional traits can help a couple effectively manage life’s challenges with optimism and grace.

In my 20s, I didn’t understand the importance of dispositional compatibility. Though my boyfriend was loving and kind, he was an inherently disillusioned man. He bore his disdain for humanity with pride, as proof of his superior intelligence. My optimism couldn’t lift the weight of his attitude. Our only balance was found by adjusting myself downward. I left with the knowledge that love alone is not enough. It must be coupled with an environment that’s conducive to our version of happiness.

If we repeatedly find we’re not able to be our best selves, then we’ve chosen a partner who’s not our best match.

Fortunately, life is here to assist us. We live. We learn. And we grow from every experience. We realize that our concept of love is evolutionary. We can ask more of ourselves, and more of our partner. Love must be cradled in a relationship that supports our better selves.


A partner who’s a good choice is:

• One who knows how to handle our ups and downs, and can manage both aspects. • Nonreactive to non-issues, yet able to prioritize true concerns needing adjustment. • One who understands why we do what we do, and believes our feelings have merit.

In the process of looking for a mate, consider the role their disposition will play in the long run. What is your prospective partner’s basic philosophy on life?

• Do they tend to be positive or negative? • Do they seek a solution or stay steeped in the problem? • Do they have a sense of forward movement in finding new solutions with you? • Do you feel that you’re growing as a couple, while handling life’s challenges? • Are you able to be honest? • Are you comfortable being every side of your self?

One of the hallmarks of feeling loved is the freedom to be ourselves with our partner. That means choosing a mate who understands your mentality and emotions. Look for the partner who’s able to work with you, and bring out your best qualities.

Established partnerships that survive and thrive:

Many couples start off with a good dispositional mix. They get along well with their mate. Yet in time they can develop a combative quality. If resentments are allowed to build up and issues go unresolved, the very thing that was so wonderful can be the thing that tears them apart. When the dispositional positions shift, both individuals become polarized as a couple. Their former compatibility is eroded by anger and resentment.

Reestablishing a good dispositional blending with your mate involves:

• Acknowledging your partner’s hot buttons and knowing how to defuse them. • Encouraging your mate to be open to better options for conflict resolution. • Adding constructive correction when needed, given with love and diplomacy. • Hearing their side of an issue, without voicing justification or defense. • Saying “I’m sorry” when you’ve been in error.

Taking these actions allows your prior connection to rekindle. The qualities you loved are still there, but were obscured by resentment and anger. Look to find the beauty you once knew, and allow it to serve as the balm that keeps everything moving smoothly.

If you’re in the selection process, look at your partner’s disposition carefully when choosing a potential mate. If you’re partnered, work with what you have. Seek a level of common ground that’s higher than before. Find new solutions to old problems if you become polarized. And keep your sights on issues that matter.

In courtship, we pick our mates. In love, we pick our battles.

Follow Susan Winter on Twitter: www.twitter.com/susan_e_winter


How to Change Your Life, Even If You’re Terrified to Do It

by Shannon Kaiser     January 24, 2016

This post is part of a series by Shannon Kaiser called Live Your Life — a primer on finding your passion and living with purpose. Each day this week, we’ll post one article offering the foundational elements you need to go deeper in the search for your life’s true meaning. When you’re ready to take the next step, check out Shannon’s course: Get Unstuck: How To Find Your Calling & Live A Life With More Meaning.

I spent my twenties in a career that I thought I wanted, but eventually it suffocated my soul. I was climbing the corporate ladder in advertising, but my life lacked real passion and meaning. I was terrified to change my life. I thought, “What would I do for a living? Everything I worked for led me here; this is what I wanted. Now, I have to tough it out and go through the motions.”

I continued this path until I couldn’t ignore the truth any longer. It took a formal diagnosis of clinical depression for me to wake up and see that I needed a change.

Flash-forward to today: I am living my dream life as a writer, coach, and course leader. I am depression-free, and I live a life with passion and purpose.

It can be terrifying to move forward and make a change. I get it. I’ve been there. But the reality is that you don’t have to change all at once. All you have to do is be brave enough to make one small change, one day, one moment at a time. Courage is what will pull you into a happier life.

There are certain small steps you can take today to help you change your life and make a better tomorrow, right now.

It’s important to identify the difference between change and transformation. As psychotherapist Teri Cole says, “We all say we want change, but with change you can always change back. What we really want is transformation.” When you transform, you’ll never go back to your old way of living. So as we sail gracefully into the new year, let’s begin our transformations with these easy steps:


1. Clear out clutter.
Stuff can pile up and add unnecessary stress to your life. Physical stuff, emotional stuff, and even mental clutter can prevent you from moving forward. Remember, one small change one step at a time can make a profound difference for you, so as Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, suggests, ask yourself if your stuff brings you joy. If you don’t feel happy, it’s time to chuck it. This includes people, jobs, habits, and objects.

2. Nourish the nudge.
You may feel stuck, but focusing on the negative won’t fix anything. If you want to truly change your life, start to pay attention to the inspiration and insights you get — nudges from our inner guide cluing us into what to do next. Even if you don’t know what you want, focus on nurturing and nourishing the nudges that come to you. This could be as simple as following through on the inspiration to go to a bookstore and get a new book, look at YouTube channels, or call a friend and ask for advice.

3. Follow your joy route.
My pivotal moment of transformation came when I decided to make joy my priority. I asked, “What brings me joy?” and made sure I did it every day. This led me to adopt a dog, who helped to pull me out of depression and inspired me to leave the corporate world and work from home. I pulled out my bucket list, updated it to include only things I really cared about, and decided to start checking things off. As I checked things off, I discovered more about my authentic self.

4. Visit your future self.
Visualizing yourself happy and healthy is a key component to manifesting. When I first left my corporate job, I would fall asleep picturing myself as a published author and a travel writer working and writing from all over the world. Today this is my reality. You have to picture it and believe it is possible in your mind before you can achieve it.

5. Find a mentor.
Finding a person you respect and admire to help light the path is key to long-term success. Look for people who have what you want — they can show you the way there. The world’s top life coaches, authors, and CEOs have mentors, coaches, and experts helping them. Mentors help us learn the way on the way, and propel us forward much faster.

If you feel stuck, paralyzed by fear, know that it will evaporate when you take action. Action brings clarity and confidence. The more action you take, the less fear you’ll feel.


10 Spices & Condiments To Keep In Your Kitchen

by Rocco DiSpirito  January 22, 2016

Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito’s latest book, The Negative Calorie Diet, is all about eating whole foods to fuel your metabolism. In this excerpt he talks spices — and the best ones to incorporate into your diet for maximum benefits.

Spices offer a variety of fat-burning and health-promoting benefits.

Here are my favorite “negative calorie” condiments and spices:

1. Cayenne pepper
Regarded across various cultures as a medicinal food for at least 9,000 years, cayenne pepper can rev up metabolism and boost fat-burning by up to 25 percent. Just remember: A little goes a long way!

2. Black pepper
This kitchen staple has a thermogenic effect and has been shown to help alleviate sluggish digestion. I strongly encourage you to keep a pepper mill filled with peppercorns and grind your pepper fresh for each use.

3. Turmeric
This bright orange spice has been valued for its medicinal properties for centuries. It has been shown to reduce triglyceride levels, boost fat-burning, keep blood sugar levels steady, and fight inflammation in the body.

4. Mustard
Whole-grain mustard (not honey mustard or any other sweetened mustards) adds flavor to many dishes and helps you feel full. Among condiments it has one of the highest metabolism-boosting effects.


5. Horseradish
Oh, the things you can do with horseradish. I love it in a Bloody Mary, paired with roast beef, and stirred into cocktail sauce. I love it even more now that I know it can help to increase my fat burn and boost my metabolism.

6. Cinnamon
This sweet spice may delay the rate at which your stomach empties, meaning it can make you feel fuller for longer. It also lessens the production of insulin after you eat.

Insulin is the hormone that turns excess sugar into fat. Tamping down insulin production can mean less weight gain. Cinnamon is a natural way to sweeten your food, too, so you don’t have to rely on added sugar.

7. Ginger
In research, ginger has been shown to enhance thermogenesis and reduce feelings of hunger. Fresh is best. I prefer young ginger, which is just-harvested and moist with a pink tinge and mellow flavor. Look for it in Chinese markets in the spring and early summer. At other times, any fresh ginger from the supermarket will do.

8. Garlic
This common cooking ingredient is thermogenic, and thus helps speed up your metabolism. It can also cut blood pressure and does so by generating a substance called nitrous oxide, which can relax vessels, leading to decreased blood pressure in people with normal blood pressure and those with hypertension.

Garlic also helps normalize cholesterol; it acts like a natural detergent in the arteries by breaking up fat molecules.

9. Cardamom
This is a terrific detox spice. Cardamom, which can be bought ground or in pod form, has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a natural detoxifier, as a digestive aid, and even as an immunity booster. It tastes like a cross between citrus and pepper and is delicious in baked goods and Indian dishes.

10. Cumin
Popular in Indian, Mexican, South American, and Middle Eastern cuisines, cumin is one of the spices you will find in any curry blend. It has long been used as a digestive aid and adds a delicious, mildly spicy flavor to many dishes.

Excerpted from The Negative Calorie Diet


7 Free Ways To Fight The Effects Of Aging

By Dr. Agnes Frankel    October 3, 2014 

The essence of anti-aging medicine is not only prolonging one’s life span, but to ensure that we are experiencing life while being our best, most vibrant, energetic and healthy self — whether in our 20s or 60s.

Think of your body as an ocean full of beautiful underwater life. When the water is dirty there is no way the colorful fish will stay healthy and vital. The same goes for your cells and organs — when their environment becomes polluted they get weaker and die prematurely, meaning they AGE!

That’s why the key is to be focused on proactive actions that will help your body and mind stay balanced in their best and most optimum state. Let me share with you some easy yet powerful tips that, when implemented, will set you up to win and thrive every single day of your life.

1. Stand up.

Sitting for too long is harmful to your health. Be proactive! Make it a habit to move and stretch your body for five to 10 minutes for every 50 minutes you sit. Just think how many “sitting” activities you could approach differently and use as an excuse to stand up, like a phone conversation, reading, or drinking your favorite cup of tea. There are even different phone apps that can help you keep track of your break routine.

2. Move it!

It’s been said over and over, but somehow so many people do little to no physical activity. If you’ve read about the positive effects of sports on your body and mind, but never actually put yourself into the position to do it, NOW is the time! Think of it as the greatest gift you can give yourself.

Start out by exercising three times a week for an hour. Schedule the time as a “necessary appointment” with yourself to make sure no one will interfere.


3. Finish in “last place” in the meal marathon.

You want to take your time when having meals. If you eat in a rush, it’s likely you don’t chew properly, and you overeat. As a result, your body does not extract all the essential nutrients, plus you burden yourself with too many calories.

When you take a five-minute break, it’s much better to drink some fresh juice than taking huge bites just to finish quickly. Remember — that’s the race you DON’T want to win!

4. Be on a mission.

Setting clear goals about what you want to achieve will boost both the quality and length of your life. If you haven’t done it already, ask yourself: what is your purpose? What do you what to give and achieve while being here? Give yourself time and space for this reflection. Write your thoughts down or make a vision board. This is significant, so don’t push yourself if you don’t have the answer straight away. Stay focused and be patient: it will come!

5. Connect.

You’re not a lonely island, and you shouldn’t be. So get out there! Never underestimate the time spent with your colleagues, family, and friends. Make it a daily habit — even a five-minute talk during a busy day will make a huge difference in the quality of your life. Don’t limit yourself only to Internet connections; go offline and experience the real world. There’s nothing more refreshing than a face-to-face interaction.

6. Be the director of your own life.

In life, not like in the movies, you can be successful only when you act to your own script. Don’t let anyone else write it for you. Don’t wait. Live your life according to your own rules. And remember: today is the best day to start!

7. Be happy!

You can’t change everything that surrounds you. Nonetheless, it’s always up to you what you focus on. Yup, the glass can be either half full or half empty. Make sure to find empowering meanings in every situation. The more you exercise this, the more organic it will become for you! And when doing that, of course, smile!