Next autumn, when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying in a “V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stay in formation with those people who are heading the same way we are. When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing, and another goose flies point.
It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with geese flying south. Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. What message do we give when we honk from behind? Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out of the formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies; and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their own group.
We actually can learn something by just learning the habitat surrounding us, but we are usually too busy to notice all that.
The Sense of A Goose is an inspiring story. Another uplifting story is The Cracked Pot.
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Determination is all about you. It’s about making choices and taking action that helps you get the life you want. It’s about making decisions based on what you feel is right and staying the course, no matter what happens or what other people say. Having determination is important for living a life that you want to live.
That’s why these determination quotes are so important. They help you keep your resolve to stay determined and build a strategy that helps make it easier. Following are 9 important quotes about determination that you may want to use.
“Courage is waking up every day with hope and determination in an unpredictable world.” – Wasanga Mehana
Life is unpredictable. Your day is unpredictable. And that can be scary to a lot of people.
This is one of those quotes about determination that remind you that life is a day by day thing, and all you need to do is muster up the right attitude in order to face your day. It reminds you that you must maintain hope and keep working towards your dreams, no matter what is going on in the world today.
So, if you wake up and you are met with bad news or your day doesn’t go as planned, remember this quote. Remember that with hope and determination you can muster up the courage to keep doing what you need to do.
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2. Imagination And Determination Equal Accomplishments
Find inspiration from these determination quotes…
“We can accomplish far more than we give ourselves credit for. It just takes imagination plus determination.” – Ari Sytner
Your imagination is NOT a place of unrealistic dreams. It’s a place to come up with ideas that will move you forward towards your dreams. It’s also a place to come up with the dreams and goals you want to achieve based on what you have experienced and what you want to experience in the future.
When you combine your imagination with determination, you start to accomplish things you never thought you would accomplish.
The trick is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start valuing your imagination as a practical tool for helping you see the options and potential you have in life – because that’s what it is, a valuable tool.
When you view your imagination as something that helps you see real possibilities, you will start to gain the determination to go after all those amazing things that it can come up with.
3. Focus And Determination Equals Change
More determination quotes here…
“With focus and determination, you can change it all.” – Brendon Burchard
If you want to be happier in life, then change is necessary. You probably already value change if you are looking for quotes about determination. You likely want to find the resolve to stay determined enough to make changes.
But, part of staying determined is understanding exactly how important change is and holding that belief in your mind.
So remember that the key to getting the life you want is change. And the keys to change, whether you like it or not, are determination and focus. When you can stay focused and determined on whatever you have set out for yourself, change will follow.
4. People Won’t Always Understand Your Determination
“They’ll never know the love, determination, tears or sacrifices you’ve made for your dream.” – June James
Determination is a personal thing. Use it for yourself. Don’t stay determined just to show other people how determined you are. They don’t care as much as you think they do! They are more concerned with themselves than they are you.
If you are desperate for others to see your determination, they won’t see your determination, they will just see your desperation and view it is a weakness. When that happens, you will lose your determination and your life will suffer for it. So don’t try to show it off. Feel it, let it drive you to become better, and don’t worry about whether other people see it or not.
5. What Counteracts Determination?
“I know people with passion, determination, visions, talent – but that hate and envy keeps them from prospering.” – Gill Graff
Besides worrying about what other people think, hate and envy will cause you to lose determination. In fact, it can even cause you to waste your determination.
Determination requires your energy. If you are busy hating things about other people or feeling resentful towards other people and what they have or are accomplishing, you are taking away your focus from determination and you are going to make your progress very hard.
Instead of feeling hate and envy towards others, stay focused on your dreams and goals. Let other people live the life they want, and recognize that your feelings towards them does nothing to them but everything to you. You will suffer the consequences of taking your eyes off your life and staring at others for too long.
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6. Is Determination Really A Good Quality To Have?
“Your failure does not define you, your determination does.” – Lolly Daskal
Determination is probably one of the best qualities you can have. Why? Because failure is a part of life, and if you don’t have determination, you will let failure impact your health, happiness, and success.
Nobody escapes failure in life. If you try to accomplish something new, there is a good chance you will experience some failure towards finding success. With determination, you will pick yourself up and keep going and you will find new ways towards your success. Without it, you will give up and settle in where you are, and you will not achieve what you want to achieve.
Determination is good for other people too. If you are determined, you can help coach other people towards their success or impact their lives positively through your determination and success. Especially if you are a role model for children who haven’t experienced a lot of failure yet and need to see that it’s not as big as an obstacle as some people make it out to be.
With your lead, they will understand that failure is a hurdle but not a dead end, and determination (combined with awareness, hope, and focus) is what keeps you moving forward through it.
7. Kids Need To Grow Up Understanding How Important Determination Is
“In addition to reading, writing & arithmetic, the best teachers teach children about determination, resilience & compassion.” – Prince Harry
If you are an adult, and you had a teacher or role model who taught you about determination, then you are lucky. Many of us were taught more about giving up in the face of struggle than making our way through it, and because of that, we are more inclined to give up and take the easy route than maintain our determination when things get hard.
But, as adults, we have an obligation to teach the younger generation differently. As Prince Harry says, teaching determination, resilience, and compassion are just as important as teaching the core courses in school. It helps kids understand that life can be hard, but they need to maintain a level of compassion and understanding towards others and themselves as they keep moving forward.
Imagine how amazing the next generation will be if they all have these traits? Imagine what they will be able to do!
8. The Only Way To Get Unstuck
“Merely “pushing” yourself won’t do it; putting yourself in a state of determination will.” – Tony Robbins
There is a difference between pushing yourself and putting yourself into a state of determination. Pushing yourself requires effort and is met with a lot of resistance. When pushing yourself, you may tell yourself that you ‘need’ to do something and then whine about it as you work towards getting it done. That will drag you down, not push you forward.
Putting yourself in a state of determination isn’t as hard as you think. It’s all about changing the way you think and developing more imagination, awareness, and positivity in life. We’ve already discussed how imagination and determination go together, but what about awareness and positivity?
Awareness is about being informed. It’s about taking in more than just a limited point of view and seeing things from all sides. Awareness helps you see that there is much more potential to your life than what you think. It helps you see the possibilities. It helps you see what other people are achieving. It helps you see the potential! And it helps you find solutions to move through issues and stay determined to reach your goals.
Positivity, or an optimistic outlook, helps you maintain hope for the future, which fuels your determination. When you can look past the ‘I can’t!’ and ‘It won’t work out!’ statements, and start saying ‘I can!’ and ‘Things are going to be great!’ you can see the potential that the future has, and that will also fuel your determination as you move forward.
So, if you want to get unstuck in life, this is one of the quotes about determination that you should post on your wall! If you ever feel like you are just pushing yourself to succeed, then it’s time to switch gears and do things to put yourself into a state of determination.
9. How To Build Determination
“Wake up every day with determination to succeed more than yesterday.” – Ethan Cramer
This is one of my favorite quotes about determination because it shows you that it doesn’t take a big move to become more determined, it just takes a day-by-day commitment to succeed more than yesterday.
Yes, it’s important to have a vision for the future, but it’s your day-to-day life that is most important. If you are always living in the future, then your determination is going to dwindle because it will become hard to celebrate the little things when you are always looking towards the end.
But, when you can take life day-by-day, and still have a sense of where you want to end up, you will find that your determination will stay strong as you will feel like you are only working towards the end of the day, not a 1-year, 3-year, or 10-year goal. This works for even the biggest and most successful people out there.
For living day-to-day, I’ve found that it’s easier to develop some positive habits. Some of the things that I’ve found work for me include:
– Decide to learn something new every day in the areas of life you want to feel determination towards. The more you take in information around those areas, the more awareness you will have and the more determination you will feel.
– Decide to do one thing (no matter how small) that helps you move forward towards your goals. The act of doing at least one small thing will help you stay determined. If you try to put too much on your plate, as many of us do while practicing determination, then your strength will start to bend and your ability to stay on track can break.
– Decide to make the most of your day and avoid time wasters. This will really help you do things that keep your determination to achieve success high. Remember, you only have so many hours in the day and how you spend them will determine how you feel about yourself and what your future will look like.
– Take time to do the six phase meditation by Vishen Lakhiani every morning. You can look this up on YouTube. I do this meditation daily, and the impact it has had on my determination in life has been huge.
The meditation addresses areas in life that matter, such as connection, gratitude, forgiveness, vision, and being present. And, when you start to focus on these areas of your life daily, you start to feel better, dream bigger, and move forward in life with a determination that feels amazing.
These four habits are easy to add to your life. And the best part is that the more you commit to them, the more determination you will feel.
These determination quotes make us realize that life is too beautiful to give up. We need to take our step forward. Find inspiration from these determination quotes for your everyday hustle. Let these determination quotes be a guide for your daily decisions. You’ll find more determination quotes from other resources but for now, make these determination quotes here be enough.
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When we practice being grateful every day, the world becomes a better place. Here are 10 mantras to practice being grateful in our daily lives…
Gratitude is a powerful tool that we can use to live a more meaningful, compassionate life. The amazing thing about gratitude is that you can actually cultivate more of it by simply acting more grateful.
Along the lines of “fake it ‘til you make it,” the more we practice gratitude, the more grateful we actually become.
One of many studies that has proved just this concept was completed by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough when they compared the well-being of participants who kept weekly accounts of what they were grateful for versus those who kept lists of things that irritated them.
As you might expect, the gratitude-focused participants improved their well-being and it was concluded that, “a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.”
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, try placing your hands over your heart, closing your eyes and repeating any of these simple phrases to yourself.
1. Every experience I have is perfect for my growth.
This Louise Hay affirmation can remind us that we are exactly where we need to be in each moment and that every experience we face is contributing to our growth.
2. Nowhere to be, nothing to do, nothing to fix.
I love using this little reminder especially during times throughout the day when I’m trying to relax and can’t seem to turn my brain off, like at the end of a Yoga class or while unwinding from a long day of work.
3. I have everything I need and I practice being grateful.
In this exact moment, is there anything wrong? Anything that you truly need right now? Most likely you have everything you need in this moment.
4. I appreciate the abundance in my life and I allow myself to expand in gratitude, success and joy everyday.
Try this simple exercise:
Sit in a comfortable position, place your hands over your heart and close your eyes. Bring to mind one thing that you are truly grateful for right now. Breathe into that person or thing and focus on the sensations in your body that arise from gratitude and joy. What does gratitude feel like in your body?
Take a few deep breaths, continuing to concentrate on these sensations of gratitude or love. Then with every exhale imagine this feeling expanding in your body.
Keep expanding the feelings of love and joy as you exhale until it completely surrounds you and finally grows so big to touch everything around you. Continue breathing and imagining the light of gratitude surrounding your whole town or city and until it expands around the entire planet.
5. Dhanya Vad
This sanskrit phrase meaning “I am grateful” can be used as a mantra throughout the day to naturally calm your mind.
6. Thank your food, and thank it well.
Before every meal is a beautiful time to practice gratitude. Whether you say a prayer or give thanks in your own way, take 1 minute to tune into the food on your plate.
Really become mindful of the colors and texture and reflect on all the hands who contributed to bringing it to your plate. From the farmers to the truck drivers to the person who cooked, give thanks.
7. Being grateful brings me into a harmonious relationship with the good in everyone and everything that surrounds me.
Gratitude has to ability to naturally lift you up, bringing you to a higher vibration and attracting a higher quality of energy, so remind yourself of that!
8. Life is a dream. Everything I am looking for is already on its way.
This sweet reminder is a beautiful affirmation to use when first waking up in the morning or right before falling asleep.
9. In this very moment I am grateful for…
Set aside a moment in your day, perhaps before starting the workday to contemplate about one thing you are grateful for. This easy exercise will immediately take you out of your busy routine and help you drop into a place of fulfilment.
10. I clearly see all there is to be grateful for in life. I acknowledge the blessings I have received in my life with gratitude.
You might be thinking that much of this is obvious, yet throughout our days we so frequently forget to tune into this type of understanding. Instead of noticing how many blessings already surround us, we usually fall into patterns of feeling lack and desire. We hope you use these ten simple reminders or mantras to keep you grounded in gratitude throughout your day.
Having these mantras everyday molds us to being grateful in life. Once we are being grateful, we make it easier to deal with anything every single day.
Original article by Sophie Heller. A World nomad, an extrovert who’s exploring my introverted side, sunset/ sunrise lover.
We all need to set limits in order to protect ourselves. We do not need to feel guilty when we learn how to set limits for our own good. Let us all learn how to set limits without ever feeling guilty about it.
Do you struggle to set boundaries? Well, you’re not alone!
Mental health professionals and self-help gurus put a lot of emphasis on boundaries because they’re the foundation of healthy relationships and a strong sense of self-worth.
Boundaries tell others how you want to be treated (what’s okay and what’s not okay). Boundaries protect you from being mistreated.
Boundaries create a healthy separation (physical and emotional) between you and others. Boundaries allow you to have your own personal space and privacy, your own feelings, thoughts, needs, and ideas. They allow you to be yourself rather than an extension of someone else or who someone else wants you to be.
If you didn’t grow up with clear and consistent boundaries or expectations (this often happens in enmeshed, alcoholic, or otherwise dysfunctional families), they probably don’t come naturally to you. You may feel guilty or unjustified in asking for what you want or need.
But you can untwist your negative beliefs about boundaries and learn to set them without feeling guilty. These five tips can help you get started.
5 tips to help you set limits and not feel guilty about it:
1. Set limits and be clear about what you want.
Before you set a boundary, you need to get really specific about what you want and why it’s important. This will help you communicate your needs clearly and stay the course when it gets tough. When you’re preparing to set a difficult boundary, you may find it helpful to write down exactly what you want and why. Some people find that writing a script and rehearsing what they’ll say and do, helps reduce their anxiety.
2. Be direct and don’t apologize for your needs.
When communicating your boundaries, it’s most effective to be direct and succinct. If you couch your boundary in excessive explanations, justifications, or apologies, you water down your message. Notice the difference between these two statements:
“Hey, Ethan, I’m sorry but it turns out that I’m not going to be able to work for you next Saturday.”
“Hey, Ethan, I’m really sorry, but I can’t cover your shift on Saturday. I really want to, but, you know, my son has his last baseball game. I feel like I should be there for him. I know I told you I could work, but I forgot about the game. I hope you’re not mad at me. I know I need to put things on my calendar. I’m so forgetful.”
The second example reinforces the notion that it’s wrong for you to say no. Instead, just keep it simple and remember that you have the right to ask for what you want/need – you don’t have to justify it with a “good” reason.
3. Expect resistance and don’t let it deter you.
When you start setting boundaries, some people will respond poorly. This is common – they’re usually the people who have been benefiting from your lack of boundaries, so they don’t want you to change. Some people may just need time to adjust to your new behavior. While others will use anger to try to manipulate and coerce you away from setting boundaries.
One of the most common reasons for not setting boundaries is a fear of conflict. You don’t want to upset or anger people, so you sacrifice your own needs and wants to keep the peace. It’s tempting to return to passivity when others don’t like your boundaries. However, even when your boundaries provoke anger or resistance, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set them.
It means that you need to ask for help and take steps to keep yourself safe (such as not being alone with a person who is threatening, aggressive, or volatile). Sometimes it helps to remember that when people resist your boundaries, it’s confirmation that the boundaries are needed.
You aren’t responsible for how others react to your boundaries. You don’t have to make them feel better or take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. You are only responsible for your own feelings and actions.
4. Setting boundaries is an on-going process.
If you’re a parent, you know that you have to repeatedly set rules (a form of boundaries) and tell your kids what you expect from them. Setting boundaries with adults is the same. We need to continuously set boundaries; we can’t just set a boundary and be done with it. You may need to set the same boundary repeatedly with the same person. And as your needs change, you’ll need to set different boundaries.
5. Boundaries are for your own wellbeing, not to control others.
Boundaries should never be an attempt to control or punish others. They’re actually a form of self-care – something you do for your own wellbeing (although others benefit as well). Boundaries protect you from being taken advantage of, overcommitting, overworking, feeling overwhelmed, and physical and emotional abuse or harm.
Of course, we all want people to respect our boundaries, but we have to accept that we can’t make them. We should set boundaries as a statement of who we are and what we need. Your boundaries say, “I matter. My feelings matter. My ideas matter. My health matters. My dreams matter.
My needs matter.” And if others won’t treat you well, you have options. You can emotionally detach, physically distance yourself. or end the relationship. Boundaries are about doing what’s right for you, not about forcing others to do what you want.
Setting boundaries is a skill that takes practice and I hope these five tips make setting boundaries a bit easier. If you’re just beginning to set boundaries, you may feel guilty and perhaps even selfish or mean. This is because it’s new, not because you’re doing something wrong. Your needs are valid and setting boundaries will get easier the more you do it!
We need to set limits in order to know ourselves better. Whenever we set limits for ourselves, we need not feel guilty. We have to keep in mind that it is okay to love ourselves first. It is essential to set limits in our lives. Once we learn to set limits, we will know where we stand at all times.
“Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.”—Mahatma Gandhi
I’ve been standing on my early rising soapbox for a while, but don’t expect me to come down soon. You can’t imagine the beauty found in the early morning hours until you’ve locked it in as a habit. It takes weeks of consistent trial and error to make it routine, but when it sticks, you get to enjoy the world each day before phones and emails, before other humans are up and making noise, and before your mind starts a-chatterin’.
The first hour of my day is my favorite. In this solitude, I can think clearly and hear messages from my deepest core.
Who gets up early?
Richard Branson (Virgin), Oprah, Tim Cook (Apple), Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo), and Jack Dorsey (Twitter, Square) all get up before 6 a.m.
2. Run, walk or bike.
“My imagination functions much better when I don’t have to speak to people.”—Patricia Highsmith
Physical exercise is solitude’s best buddy. When you strap on your shoes or climb onto your bike and leave the house to explore the world, your mind quiets and you get a new perspective on your life and all of its complications. You can’t get this sitting at a desk.
To ensure your exercise generates the solitude we’re seeking:
Don’t listen to music or audiobooks.
Leave your phone at home.
Get into nature if possible, away from others.
Skip the treadmill or stationary bike—it’s a chore compared to exploring the outside world.
Who runs, walks and bikes?
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Jay-Z run, Dennis Muilenburg (Boeing) and Brent Bellm (BigCommerce) bike, and Dennis Woodside (Impossible Foods) takes it a step further by doing Ironman triathlons.
3. Daydream and find peace
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” —Albert Einstein
It’s not just for kids anymore! Scientists now agree that daydreaming is a normal and positive brain function. When our mind wanders, “it’s really doing a tremendous amount,” says Marcus Raichle, a neurologist at Washington University.
Daydreaming will take us away from the task at hand, but while we’re in this state, our brain is working on other goals. It allows our subconscious, the seat of much of our wisdom, hopes, dreams and drives to be heard. On the other hand, hyperfocus can prevent us from “generating fresh solutions and ideas,” says researcher Jeffrey Davis.
Our subconscious mind is the source of much of our creativity, and tapping into this inborn talent is really the only way to do great work. Not convinced? A 2012 study showed that people who took a break from hyperfocus were better at solving demanding problems—41% better, in fact.
Albert Einstein was legendary for his prodigious use of his wandering mind. At age 16, he imagined scenarios that led him to create his special theory of relativity: what he would see if he could travel at the same speed as a beam of light.
4. Drive alone.
“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.” —Aldous Huxley
If you’re a competent driver, you’ve experienced getting into your car and ending up at your destination with no memory of the journey. In that solitude, your mind went elsewhere.
Complicated driving requires the higher executive functions of your brain (i.e. your attention), but on monotonous routes the task is punted away from your brain’s frontal lobe. Always drive with care, but know that on long drives you can do some great thinking.
Highway driving is especially monotonous—and a perfect place to find solitude. In university, I would drive two hours every second week to visit my long-distance girlfriend. That time alone with my thoughts still constitutes some of my favorite memories. I was able to solve a lot of problems through those quiet reflections.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck, at 58 years old, took a road trip of 10,000 miles. The book he wrote about that time alone with his dog went on to be a best-seller.
5. Make a reservation for one.
“Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.” —Hans Margolius
My mom loved telling the story about how she once walked into a restaurant, asked for a table for one, and the host told her with a frown, “Oh I’m so sorry.”
Oh, how we still laugh about that one.
For unknown reasons, having dinner alone carries stigma. But when I was building a renewable energy company in Zambia, my favorite thing to do after weeks in the villages was to go to a movie by myself, then splurge on a steak dinner and glass of wine. I still do the same when I know my wife will be out for the night.
It may be unusual, but taking the person who you love most in the world (hopefully yourself) on a date is a great act of self-care. The next day you’ll feel refreshed and ready to do your best work.
Who eats alone?
Daniel Radcliffe (yes, the Harry Potter), Renée Zellweger, Tom Hanks and even Bill Clinton have been spotted by the paparazzi eating alone. Their whole lives were built on their popularity, but even they need a solo date once in a while. You have permission to do the same.
6. Go camping by yourself.
“I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” —Henry David Thoreau
Several years ago, I was stuck. My business was barely breaking even and I was trying to sell credit card processing machines part time, door to door to make ends meet. No matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t make progress.
On a whim, I rented a car, drove into Algonquin Provincial Park and spent two nights in the wilderness alone, miles from people. I watched the steam rising from the lakes, stared into the campfire for hours and listened to bullfrogs as I drifted to sleep.
Without the city’s distractions, my mind cleared. I saw exactly what I had to do. When I returned home, I dropped the sales job, which made me thoroughly miserable, and liquidated my company assets, saying goodbye to a business that was not bringing me toward my highest purpose.
Now I take solo camping trips each summer and have epiphanies about my life every single time.
You’re not the outdoors type? Change that. We evolve by stepping out of our comfort zone. Your first time doesn’t need to be a hardcore 35 km, 3-day hike. Start by finding a quiet campsite you can park on for a night. Or just go for the day. Nature is too important to miss out on. Don’t have wheels? Many cities have shuttle bus service into parks.
Who solo camps?
Henry David Thoreau, a most celebrated philosopher and writer of the 19th century, spent two years, two months and two days living in the woods. The book he wrote about his experience, Walden, is an all-time classic work that I return to year after year to remind myself of the empowering effects of nature’s solitude.
We’re all too damn busy, plain and simple. We fill up our lives and brag about it, but how many of us are curing cancer or working for world peace? Most of our activity is fruitless because we haven’t taken the time to think about what it is we really desire in our short lives.
Solitude has the answer. Carve out quiet time for yourself and your heart will tell you the same.
You need a quiet time for yourself. Find peace and you’ll keep yourself grounded. If you are working hard, the more you need to find peace. It keeps you productive. We all need to find peace. It matters for our well-being and personal growth.
Follow these simple ways to find peace. you can do these things daily.
Original article by Michael Pietrzak. He is a mindset and habits coach to entrepreneurs. He founded So You Want to Write? Inc., which helps writers improve and get published. Michael is passionate about weightlifting, great books and playing guitar.
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When we get to busy in our everyday routine, we can’t help but feel overwhelmed. To free yourself from overwhelm, here are some powerful practices that we can use…
When feeling overwhelmed is normal, we need to make sure we know how to overcome our busy schedules.
I had just finished a dizzying round of work deadlines, responsibilities for my kids’ school, and a nauseating bout of the flu. My systems were firing on all cylinders, and though I’m usually capable of handling the juggle, it seemed lately I had actually gone out and joined the circus.
It is far too easy in the current pace of our world to succumb to overwhelm. We have become increasingly accustomed to the feeling of overwhelm, and we tend to walk right on the edge of the line between “I’ve got this,” and “I can’t take another minute.”
When I saw The Power of Agency by Paul Napper and Anthony Rao, I had just finished an unusually chaotic morning and was looking at a full afternoon. I decided to look through the chapters and see what I could glean from a title that promised to help me “Conquer obstacles, make effective decisions, and create a life on your own terms.”
While I normally feel mostly in command of my life, lately things have gone a bit off the rails. It could be that having two teenagers with active lives of their own adds a certain level of unpredictability to the whole situation.
Napper, an executive coach, and Rao, a cognitive-behavioral psychologist, have spent dozens of years working with clients who experience significant levels of overwhelm—think leaders of large corporations and executive directors of major non-profits. I was hoping to gather a few new tools to help me through this (hopefully) temporary moment of feeling like my life had gotten away from me.
We live in a world where anxiety has become an increasingly common emotion, with one in five Americans diagnosed with anxiety disorder (according to the World Health Organization.) If you’ve ever felt even a mild amount of panic, you can imagine how many of us are experiencing an unhealthy level of anxiety, worry, and fear, even without any clinical diagnoses.
According to Napper and Rao, there are seven principles that will help you regain a sense that your life is under control. The three Behavioral Principles are described as “the easiest to learn and develop.”
The next four are Cognitive Principles, and require an intense level of engagement, requiring a deep dive into how we work with our thoughts and emotions. I decided to start with the principles of behavior, bringing them into my daily awareness and practice.
Here are powerful practices to free yourself from overwhelm in your daily lives:
We allow our attention to be hijacked far too often. Sometimes we choose it by going onto social media, and sometimes we let in by leaving our ringers on and checking emails at all hours of the day and night. Napper and Rao present various methods for keeping a rein on what we allow into our awareness.
They suggest creating a quiet space, setting our focus, turning off anything that could distract us, and being completely focused on one task at a time. One useful state that most of us are no longer comfortable with is boredom. They contend that “time devoid of stimuli is a precursor to more intentional, deeper, and more creative thought.” Spending more time in this level of awareness would be useful for all of us.
Increasingly, studies show that who we spend time with has a huge effect on many aspects of our health and wellbeing. Napper and Rao stress the importance of noticing how you feel around the people you spend time with, setting clear boundaries, and consciously creating a positive community that is aligned with your values.
By becoming aware of those who are hostile or excessively negative and letting go of unhealthy relationships, we can make space for deeper relationships that bring growth for all involved.
I remember as a teenager that when my life felt particularly out of control, movement gave me an outlet that brought me back to a feeling of normalcy. Running laps after soccer practice in the misty rain gave me the perspective I was looking for.
Rao and Napper insist that learning to listen to your body, to have a cycle of movement and rest, including being sure to move at least every thirty minutes if your work keeps you sedentary, and spending time in nature are crucial for keeping our minds at an optimal level of functioning.
They include the importance of feeding our bodies wholesome meals, taking breaks, and sleeping enough. While these aspects of our wellbeing seem obvious, it’s surprising how quickly they fall to side when we are caught up in the demands of our everyday life. These are the basics of self care, and they are not a luxury, but rather a requirement to keep us at our best.
We constantly have choices to make in our lives, even when we feel caught up in the currents that swirl around us. We must be aware enough in the moment to recognize that we get to choose.
As Napper and Rao remind, “the next time you sense something happening around you — or within you — that doesn’t feel quite right, don’t ignore it and reflexively press on. Exercise the discipline to stop. Pay attention to that signal. If the path you are on doesn’t seem right, pause, reflect, and get off. Put yourself on a better path.”
The ways to free yourself from overwhelm are easy. These tips can be handy in our daily lives. Free yourself and you make a happy soul. These powerful practices to free yourself from overwhelm are essential to make life worth living.
She is the editorial director at Spirituality & Health. She founded Maui Mind and Body to support women’s health, and is the creator of Mind Body Booty Camp. Kalia loves to explore the fascinating intersection of fitness and mind-body health, and to share inspiration for your movement practice from the research emerging from this intriguing field.
We need each other. In this lifetime, we can not live alone. The best thing to do for one another is to give comfort. Give comfort as needed and the world is going to be a happier place for us all.
“We rise by lifting others.” — Robert Ingersoll-
Real comfort can be found in the context of daily living. It is grace. We just need to open our arms and receive it.
Comfort is a shelter, a warm blanket, a refuge. Fortunately, we do not need to do anything extraordinary to produce comfort, because it is something that already exists within each of us and all around us. Real comfort can be found in the context of daily living. It is a grace. We just need to open our arms and receive it. We just need to open our arms and give it.
Recently, on a warm Sunday afternoon, my husband and I were spending time in our garden, pruning plants, watering flowers, and sweeping up dry leaves. We began talking about my mother and father, who had passed away during the last decade.
My husband and I were very close to both of them, and considered them to be important elders in our adult lives. As our hearts filled with memories and love for them, tears ran down our cheeks. They were tears of loss, of love, and of comfort in sharing these memories and feelings together. Sharing comfort with one another deepens the human experience.
How can we offer the gifts of comfort and compassion to ourselves, our family, friends, and communities, as well as to the world around us?
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, from Spirituality and Practice, write “Giving comfort to ourselves and bringing comfort to others is what we call the spiritual practice of nurturing.”
How can we offer the gifts of comfort and compassion to ourselves, our family, friends, and communities, as well as to the world around us? In simple and practical ways. We share what we have to give. We offer a kind word, a smile, a hug, a caring heart, an expression of gratitude, and an open ear.
We can share comfort in very immediate ways—when we stop and listen to another person, read a book with a child, take a moment to call an elderly parent, laugh with a friend, take time to pray for someone, or donate time and resources to help those in need. Simple actions. Deep resonance. Wide ripples.
We are all messengers of comfort, called to bring comfort and compassion into the world.
In our need for comfort, we find solidarity with one another. It only takes our mindful attention to connect to the power of comfort in our daily lives, and to allow compassion to be a healing presence in our world.
In this way, we touch the depth in our human experience, and we realize we are not alone. We are all messengers of comfort, called to bring comfort and compassion into the world.
7 Simple and Powerful Ways to Give Comfort Every day
Slow down and be more present.
Today when you ask someone, “How are you?” take the time to be present. Listen to another person without any pressure to give advice or solve a problem. Sometimes all another person needs is the comfort of being listened to.
Encourage someone to take a comfort break with you.
Together, take time to enjoy a walk, see an art show, pray or meditate, watch a funny movie, listen to music, or put your feet up and do nothing!
Find simple ways to give comfort in your home.
A comfortable home benefits everyone who lives there and everyone who visits. Put fresh flowers around, cook your favorite meal, clear out a closet, and take time to say thank you to the people you live with.
Imagine a thread connecting every human being.
Connecting yourself to the web of life can provide comfort. We are not in each other’s way, but we are the way for each other. We are the sources of comfort for one another.
Give something of yours to comfort someone in need.
It could be a book, a picture, a figurine, a rosary, or a soft sweater. Offer this gift as a sign of support and caring.
Let your daily routines be a continual source of comfort.
Savor and relish the rituals in your day. Enjoy the pleasure and comfort you receive from your first sip of tea or coffee in morning, from reading an inspirational book, from a regular prayer or contemplative practice, or from giving a hug to a loved one.
Send a card, text, or email to comfort someone.
Remember a special occasion, acknowledge an accomplishment, express gratitude, or offer support during a difficult time or transition. Gratefulness.org has a warm and comforting selection of eCards to share.
We all need to feel special. We need each other. In order to give out harmony, we can give comfort to peaople in need. Once we give comfort to one another, it is easier to find love. These ways here are easy to do and powerful enough to give comfort to someone.