Whatever You Want, Create It Now

Steve Pavlina:

I understood that if I am to experience anything in life, I must create it in this moment. It must exist in some form right now, or it doesn’t exist at all.

(…)

The only power I have to create anything is here in the present. I adopted the mindset, “If it doesn’t exist in some form right now, it never will exist.”

This shift in thinking produced a significant shift in my priorities. I began focusing more of my energy on improving the quality of my present reality instead of projecting all those improvements into the realm of someday. I started asking questions like, “How can I experience more joy in this very moment?”

And:

What would you do if you were already set for life? Figure out what that is, and find a way to begin doing it on some level right now.

Today I’m so happy it’s almost ridiculous. I couldn’t even have imagined being this happy on a daily basis five years ago. And I certainly wasn’t depressed back then — I was at least content. But now my default emotional state is highly positive, not just neutral. I stopped seeking happiness in the future and instead looked for ways to create it right now.

Sculpting Your Character

Steve Pavlina on goals and achievement:

The point is to use goals to more fully become your best self.

When I look back on all the goals I’ve set and achieved, the real gain is how my goals sculpted me as a person. Those are the best payoffs. If I didn’t set and pursue goals vigorously, I’d be more fearful, timid, shy, and socially awkward. I’d be less energetic. I’d be lazier. I’d be less confident in myself. My self-esteem would be much lower. I wouldn’t care about people as much. I’d be more focused on survival than contribution. I’d be a hell of a lot less happy.

And:

If you see that your best self is braver than your current self, set a goal that will compel you to face your fears and build your courage muscles.

If you see that your best self is more friendly and social than your current self, hold the intention to develop better social skills. Go out more. Set goals that will compel you to socialize more. Join a club.

If you see that your best self enjoys great abundance while your current self wallows in scarcity, ask your best self how s/he got there. What goals could you set to create more abundance in your life?

The Benefits of Raw Foods

Steve Pavlina:

As many personal growth enthusiasts discover, eating a highly nutritious plant-based diet yields powerful benefits for mental and emotional health, such as increased mental clarity and focus, stronger mental endurance, better memory, higher levels of motivation and ambition, and a happier mood.

Every month at least a few people email me about ongoing challenges with procrastination, chronic negative emotions, lack of focus, low ambition, and other mental problems. They frequently assume there must be a psychological solution or mind hack that will help them, but mind-level solutions don’t yield results if they aren’t taking good care of their physical brains first. When I ask them what their diets and exercise habits are like, the response is almost always a diet low in fruits, vegetables, greens, nuts, and seeds with little or no exercise. How can you expect your mind to perform well if you aren’t taking care of your brain properly? Drink more coffee to make up for the deficiency?

And:

It’s much harder to get depressed when you eat raw because your toxic intake is much lower. It’s so much easier to get depressed when you consume a little poison each day. It’s tough to find a depressed raw foodist. I’m not saying it’s impossible… just very uncommon.

In fact, if you want a simple way to test your own mental hardware, eat 100% raw vegan for 30 days. That will give you a glimpse of what you’re missing out on due to toxicity. I often get emails from people who’ve done this challenge, and almost everyone reports marked improvements in their mood, motivation, energy, and mental clarity.

Gratitude

Rhonda Byrne, in The Magic:

If I had been asked six years ago if I was a grateful person, I would have answered, “Yes, for sure I’m a grateful person. I say thank you when I receive a gift, when someone opens a door for me, or when a person does something for me.”

The truth is I was not a grateful person at all. I didn’t know what being grateful really meant, and just saying the words thank you on the odd occasion certainly didn’t make me a grateful person.

And:

Are you grateful for your health when it’s good? Or do you only notice your health when your body gets sick or hurts? Are you grateful for your job every day, or do you only value your job when you hear there will be cutbacks? Are you grateful for your pay or salary every single time you receive it, or do you take your pay or salary for granted? Are you grateful for your loved ones when everything is running smoothly, or do you only talk to others about your loved ones when there are problems? Are you grateful when your car is there working well? Or do you only think of your car when it breaks down?

Are you grateful to be alive each day? Or do you take your life for granted?

Is Your Success Predictable?

Steve Pavlina:

Try this: Make some predictions about where you’ll be in a year, but base your predictions only on hard factual evidence from the past 30 days of your life.

Take note of how you ate, slept, exercised, worked, communicated, related, created, etc. only during the past 30 days. Assume those same patterns in every area will continue for another 12 months.

If you feel the past 30 days were very atypical for you, such as if you were on vacation or traveling during that time, then use the past 90 days instead.

Use this time frame to predict where you’ll be in a year. Project those same patterns forward in time. Where will they lead if you largely repeated the patterns of the past 30-90 days for a full 12 months?

And:

Is your success predictable? Is your lack of success predictable?

The Benefits of Fasting

A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports reveals that intermittent fasting may help to boost metabolic activities, generate antioxidants, and help reverse ageing.

“Contrary to the original expectation,” says Teruya, “it turned out that fasting induced metabolic activation rather actively.”

The researchers identified 44 different blood-based metabolites significantly increasing in abundance after 58 hours of fasting, including 30 that have never before been connected to the practice.

(…)

Other previously unidentified metabolites revealed in the study signaled enhanced mitochondrial activity. This discovery adds weight to a compelling Harvard study from last year that suggested fasting can increase longevity and promote healthy aging by kickstarting youthful plasticity in mitochondrial networks.

Interestingly, three specific metabolites known to be associated with aging and longevity – leucine, isoleucine, and ophthalmic acid – all increased in levels after fasting. Prior study by the same research team revealed these specific metabolites decrease with age and are found in notably low levels in the elderly.

“These are very important metabolites for maintenance of muscle and antioxidant activity, respectively,” adds Teruya. “This result suggests the possibility of a rejuvenating effect by fasting, which was not known until now.”

Raise Your Standards

Steve Pavlina:

Maintain high standards for the quality of your output. When you’re working on something important to you, do your best work. If you aren’t willing to do your best, then switch to work that demands the best of you.

Keep shifting your work in the direction of what you love to do. This week do more of what you love than you did last week. The more you enjoy your work, the easier it is to feel motivated. This kind of hard work feels good.

Think improvement, not perfection. Keep raising your standards over time. Strive to become more dedicated to your work this year than you were last year.

High standards require commitment. You cannot maintain high standards while simultaneously tolerating low standards. Start noticing where your standards are out of alignment with your best efforts, and make some real changes. Disconnect from those who are constantly dragging you down. Dump the uninspired work that makes you feel like procrastinating instead of contributing. Brainstorm a list of 20 things you can do to increase the quality of your work output; then implement one of those items immediately.

And:

You can work smarter and harder today than you did yesterday. You can eliminate one distraction today that you succumbed to yesterday. You can do more work today that you enjoy and that matches your skills and talents. And this is all that’s required.

Make your best effort not to be perfect but to improve upon yesterday or last week. Take on one little change at a time. Find one small improvement you can make today, and do that day after day. After months and years of iteration, you’ll find your work much more productive, enjoyable, and rewarding.

And:

When you respect your work and your contribution, it’s easier to allow yourself to receive the rewards of hard work. Abundance can flow through your life with less resistance. You’ll be able to receive more rewards if you make a bigger contribution because you’ll feel you deserve it; it won’t violate your biologically pre-programmed standards of fairness. But if you know deep down that you aren’t doing your best, some part of you will block that abundance. You’ll know you didn’t really earn it.

And:

Are you doing your BEST? Not just working hard… Not just putting in the time… Not just showing up…

Are you doing your personal best to grow and improve today? Are you besting what you did last week? Are you working on the best project you can be working on to make a meaningful social contribution?

If you aren’t doing your best, how can you shamelessly expect the best in return? If you output mediocrity, expect to receive that. That’s only fair, isn’t it?

If you truly do your best, then you have good cause to expect the best in return. Time and again you’ll see that when you really do your best, the universe will back you up. Social support will come to you. Resources will arrive. Obstacles will be overcome. Encouraging signs will appear. Life will flow with grace and ease.

What’s Your Evening Routine?

Do you have an evening ritual to prime yourself for the next day’s success? Here’s an article where 11 entrepreneurs share their evening routine.

Ed Mylett:

Before I go to bed, I do some light stretching and take time to reflect. I then perform a gratitude prayer where I ask myself these questions: What have I given today? In what ways have I been a giver? What did I learn? How has today added to the quality of my life? How can I use today’s value to invest in my future?

Once I’ve answered the questions, I visualize my greatest goals. When I do this right before bed, it allows my subconscious to go to work while I sleep, retrieving ideas and insights to make those dreams a reality.

I also use a ChiliPad to keep my body cool while I sleep. Your body temperature corresponds to your circadian rhythm; if you can’t cool off, you won’t achieve optimal rest.

Grant Cardone:

While your morning routine sets the tone for your day, your night routine sets the stage for your morning. I spend time with my wife and kids, and if I watch TV, I avoid negative programs. I create a battle plan for the next day and write down my goals, including long-term targets that get me excited.

For example, when I lived in Houston years ago, I’d write that I lived in a beautiful house in La Jolla, California, overlooking the beach. A few years later, I made that a reality. Your bedtime routine should help you stay focused on what you want in life. Focusing on your dreams will also help you sleep better and inspire you to tackle the next day bright and early.

The Importance of Sleep

Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams:

Inadequate sleep – even moderate reductions of two to three hours for just one week – disrupts blood sugar levels so profoundly that you would be classified as pre-diabetic. Short sleeping increases the likelihood of your coronary arteries becoming blocked and brittle, setting you on a path towards cardiovascular disease, stroke and congestive heart failure.

Strikingly, all it takes is one hour of lost sleep, as demonstrated by a global experiment known as daylight saving times. In the spring, when we lose one hour of sleep, there is a 24% increase in heart attacks the following day. In the autumn, we gain an hour of sleep opportunity, and there is a 21% reduction in heart attacks. Most of us think little of losing an hour of sleep, yet it is anything but trivial.

Sleep disruption has further been associated with all major psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety and suicidality. Indeed, in my research over the past 20 years, we have not been able to find a single major psychiatric condition in which sleep is normal.

(…)

Put simply: sleep – a consistent seven- to nine-hour opportunity each night – is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day.

Depth

Steve Pavlina:

The way many people approach lifestyle design is often about breadth rather than depth. Add new experiences. Meet new people. Travel to new places. Rinse and repeat.

There’s nothing wrong with this. Breadth is great. But if that’s all you have, most likely you’ll be craving more depth – in your experiences, in your relationships, and in your work.

And:

Depth takes time and patience. It requires consistency and clear decisions. It aligns with many of the same qualities that work for investing.

If you want more depth, think about where you’re willing to invest. Where are you willing to plant some roots? In which ares of life are you willing to nurture investments over a long period of time?

And:

Addictions and other unwanted behaviors can serve as substitutes for depth. A long-term addiction is still an investment. Some people invest in substances or habits that may have negative side effects, but this may still provide a sense of connecting to something deeper, especially relative to other areas of life where long-term investments aren’t being made to the same extent.

And:

Where are you over-investing? Where are you putting in a lot of time and energy, but you aren’t experiencing much depth, fulfillment, and long-term satisfaction in return? Where do you need to withdraw some time and energy and maintain stronger boundaries?

Where are you under-investing? Which areas of life have you been neglecting, denying yourself the long-term, accumulated benefits?

Take a look at your habits, relationships, tech usage, career path, and more. Is the depth where you want it to be? Is the long-term payoff satisfying?

And:

When I see friends in their 70s and beyond who are happy and fulfilled, I pay attention to what fuels their sense of depth. In each case they’re getting the payoff from some form of investment. For some it’s engaging in creative work and contribution. For others it’s the decades-long friendships they’ve maintained. For still others it’s their investment in family. Many benefit from multiple investments across these areas, but even one close friendship can create that effect.