4 Habits The Highly Successful Have Mastered

I have neglected this blog for several weeks due to my schedule but I continue to run across articles that interest me and this is one of them. I decided to share it here even though I didn’t write it myself. I envisioned this space as a place to share different ideas to help us all live Healthier and Happier. For many years I have studied how highly successful people accomplish so much in comparison to “regular folk”. It fascinates me to watch the decisions they make and the actions they take along the way. This article outlines 4 habits that have helped many people succeed in life. It was written by Matt Mayberry for Entreprenuer magazine earlier this year.

Whether it’s a famous CEO, professional athlete, superstar entrepreneur or anyone who is thriving at the highest level of their profession, chances are they didn’t just wake up one day and be in that position that they are in. There is no doubt about it that there are some who are ridiculously gifted at what it is they do and were destined since day one to make it to the top, but even then when you dig a little deeper, you will come to the realization that their habits is what ultimately drove and determined their success.

There may not be anything more important to ensure future success than to adopt world-class habits and master them daily.

Here are four habits that the highly successful have mastered.

  1. They use failure and adversity as a springboard to greater success.

No matter how big or small it may be, we have the choice whether or not failure and adversity is going to serve as a roadblock for lack of achievement or springboard to greater success.

The highly successful use their failures and adversities throughout the course of their life to help them grow and reach new heights of success. If you can adopt this often-challenging but greatly rewarding habit into your life, you are putting yourself in a fantastic position to win and become the best version of yourself.

  1. They are obsessed about energy management.

We hear all the time about time management and how important it is, but I strongly believe that energy management is more important than time management. You can manage your time well, but that does absolutely no good if you direct all of your energy towards low-rewarding and tedious tasks. The highly successful are fanatics about time management, but they also are even more obsessed with where they direct their energy every minute of every day.

Something that I am always looking at is ROE (return on energy), and that’s how I eventually decide what gets my attention on a daily basis. Time management is important, and I think you should constantly look for ways to better manage your time, but don’t forget about the importance of energy management. Stop wasting valuable energy on low-rewarding tasks that don’t inch you closer to the achievement of a major goal of yours or living out your purpose.

  1. They never stop learning.

The highly successful are lifelong learners. I have never met someone at the top of their game and doing magnificent things in the world who weren’t lifelong learners and always searching for ways to develop the skill set and expand their knowledge. A sad reality is that most people stop learning the second they finish their formal education. Don’t be like most people. Commit to becoming a lifelong learner, and join the ranks of a very small percentage of people that get to reap the tremendous benefits of doing so.

  1. They have an incredible vision for their life.

Having a great vision and seeing yourself beyond your current circumstances is a habit, because it is something that you must do every single day. The older we get in life, the more we experience failure and adversity. One day you can be extremely happy and then the next day you can be completely miserable. Having an incredible vision for your life must be an everyday habit that you not only incorporate into your daily life, but also work to carry out that vision every minute of every day.

The highly successful visualize themselves succeeding and achieving their loftiest goals and dreams in life way before they actually do so. Having an incredible vision for your life is only half the battle, believing that you fully can make it come true and then working daily to bring that vision to life is what brings everything full circle. Start to create an incredible vision for your life if you haven’t done so already, and then develop your self-belief while working diligently to bring that vision to reality.

Becoming the best you and reaching your full potential all comes down to your daily habits. Incorporating the above four habits into your life can be a complete game changer for you.

Matt Mayberry

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The Benefits Of Gratitude

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There are many benefits of being grateful. According to “the experts” (whoever that is) people who regularly practice gratitude have:

Higher self-esteem

Increased resilience

Enhanced empathy

Improved physical health

Enriched social life

Improved sleep

Increased immune systems

Increased overall happiness

Wow! Sign me up! Those are all qualities I want in my life. In fact, those are just the type of characteristics I hoped I could attain and help others attain when I started writing this blog. “Living Healthier and Happier” is my battle cry and these are foundational to that.

So how do we learn to be more grateful and enjoy all these benefits? Much like other positive characteristics, traits and habits, it takes discipline and practice. You knew there was a catch, didn’t you? But it’s actually very easy to add the gratitude habit to your life. Certainly much easier than exercising every morning and saying no to that glorious chocolate cake.

gratitude changes outlook

Here are 7 ways to become a more grateful person:

Gratitude Journal – This is the one that keeps coming up everywhere I look. So many people have transformed their lives by this simple practice. Many people do this just before bed to remind themselves about the many ways they have been blessed during the day. This helps you sleep better because you end the day on a positive note and have hope for tomorrow. I choose to do this in the morning while my mind is fresh and eager for new experiences. I like to pick one thing I am grateful for and just begin writing specific reasons why this is important to me and how it enhances my life.

Gratitude Jar – I see this as a variation of the Gratitude Journal. But rather than sitting down and focusing on your blessings you must be attuned to the things you are grateful for as you go about your day. Each time something strikes you as being a blessing and you are grateful, write it down and put it in a jar. At some point, many do this on New Year’s Day, pull them out and review them.

Be Social – Share your gratitude with family and friends. After all, the blessings that are the most meaningful are those involving other people. Since we are around family and friends most we should direct our gratefulness to them. You will pass on the gratitude mindset as you share your blessings with them. But even strangers we meet during the day can be the recipients of our gratefulness. If someone brightens our day and we recognize that we can, in turn, make a difference in their day as well. Of course sincerity is key here. Don’t pretend. People see right through you.

Read the Bible – The Bible is the most hopeful and encouraging book ever written and we can learn much about gratitude from the scriptures. One of my favorites is I Thessalonians 5:16-18, Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Another favorite is Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; I will say it again Rejoice. And I Chronicles 16:34, Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Prayer & Meditation – Spending quiet time praying to God and meditating on the blessings he has put in our lives is so powerful I can’t imagine not doing this on a regular basis. It will change your life by changing how you look at the people and the world around you.

Google It – Yes, you can learn a lot from Google. People share many different ways they express gratitude and it is always changing.

Send notes, cards and private messages – there is still no substitute for mailing a card to someone who you care about, especially when you can share why they are important to you and that you are grateful for them in some specific way. Again, sincerity is key.

Wake up tomorrow with only what you are grateful for

Practicing gratefulness can make a huge difference in your life. An author, Amy Morin, wrote an article in Inc. on the subject and said that if you are interested in self-improvement, mental, spiritual, and physical, and you have only 15 minutes per day, practicing gratefulness is the best thing you can do.

And it gets easier after you do it for a while. You begin to become attuned to the blessings around you and how they affect you. Living with an attitude of gratitude will certainly change your life so give it a try and begin using one of the methods above or one of your own. Let me know how it works out for you.

List Circle Gratitude

7 Foods With Anti-Aging Nutrients

This is an article from ChangeThatUp.com 

If you’re over 40 (I’m way past that) and want to defy each passing year while promoting more youthful hair, nails and skin, the below 7 foods will help you stock up on some of the most powerful anti-aging nutrients around.

1.  Olive Oil – Not only do the monounsaturated fats contained in olive oil support healthy arteries and a healthy heart, but olive oil also contains polyphenols, a potent anti-oxidant that may help prevent a number of age-related diseases.  We recommend organic extra virgin olive oil for the most anti-aging bang for your buck.

2.  Red Wine – That’s right, a glass of wine daily may indeed have a positive effect on your health due to its resveratrol content, a unique anti-oxidant that can help fight against diabetes, heart disease, and age-related memory loss.

3.  Beans – The unique proteins in beans thicken and strengthen your hair cells, so you can enjoy a full head of hair as you lengthen your years. (I’m obviously not eating enough beans! 🙂

4.  Brazil Nuts – Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, a mineral which aids in the production of the anti-oxidant glutathione to help slow down the skin aging process.  Just 2 nuts a day will provide you with enough selenium to reap its anti-aging benefits.

5.  Tomatoes – Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which has been shown to support heart health and healthy cholesterol levels as you age.  Lycopene also acts as a natural sun block to keep skin youthful and protected from harmful UV rays.

6.  Raspberries & Blueberries – These two berries contain important anti-oxidants to help offset inflammation and oxidative stress that contribute to skin aging and wrinkles.  Just one serving of either or these berries contains more anti-oxidants than 10 servings of most other fruits and vegetables!

7.  Organic Eggs – Despite the bad rap eggs get because of their cholesterol content, which is based on completely erroneous science, eggs are rich in biotin and iron which help to promote healthy, youthful skin and hair.

To Your Youth,

Change That Up

6 Benefits Of Eating Chocolate

 

Ghirardelli-Intense-Dark-Chocolate

My last post was about the health benefits of eating broccoli. I like broccoli and have always known it to be healthy. Making better choices every day to slowly improve our health and happiness is what this blog is all about and broccoli, fixed different ways can be one of those smart choices.

But, believe it or not, chocolate has some of the same healthy properties as broccoli. Don’t get too excited though. I’m not talking about those milk chocolate kisses or the solid chocolate bunnies we all love on Easter morning. I’m talking about Dark Chocolate. And not just anything that says “dark” on the wrapper.

When selecting chocolate, look for higher cacao and lower sugar content. In general, the darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao content. For health benefits, choose chocolate with a cacao percentage of 70 or higher. I like the Ghiradelli Midnight Reverie with 86% cacao. A 45 gram (about 1 ½ oz) serving contains only 5 grams of sugar. And also contains 3 grams of protein. As a comparison the same serving of Special Dark Hershey bar contains over 21 grams of sugar. Needless to say the Hershey bar has very little of the health benefits shown below.

Since cacao is bitter, the higher percentage cacao, the more bitter it is. Most manufacturers add sugar to make it palatable so it is a balancing act to make it taste good and still retain the healthy properties. I would say it is an acquired taste but if you have cut back on your sugar intake like I have recommended a little sugar goes a long way.

Here are the six benefits of eating dark chocolate:

  1. It lowers blood pressure by increasing circulation and blood flow due to the flavonoids as well as increases blood vessel elasticity and slightly reduces LDL. This also improves eye health due to increased blood to the retina and brain.
  2. Contains antioxidants (more than green tea) which fight the free radicals in our bodies
  3. Contains reservatrol which is a strong anti-inflammatory and shields nerve cells from damage. This property also
  4. Contains polyphenols – this is what makes it bitter. Theobromine suppresses appetite and increases body’s ability to break down fat
  5. Lowered Insulin resistance which helps prevents diabetes
  6. Phenethylamine causes our brain to release dopamine which helps put us in a good mood

A bonus tip is that by combining dark chocolate with apples the healthy properties of each are enhanced so that the two foods become healthier than just eating them alone. Apples contain high antioxidant flavonoids and dark chocolate is rich in antioxidant catechins. The combination have been shown to break up blood clots and reduce risk of stroke.

Now I have finally given you something you can really sink your teeth into and enjoy. But, of course moderation is the key, especially if you are working on losing some weight

6 Benefits Of Eating Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of those vegetables that I hated when mom put it on my plate when I was growing up but have learned to enjoy as an adult. Especially since I know it is “good for you” and I actually like the taste. Certainly better than spinach which really needs to be prepared just right before I’m interested in taking the risk.

But is it really “good for you” and why? I have identified six benefits of eating this interesting vegetable.

  1. Improves Bone Health – Broccoli is high in Vitamin K which is vital in building strong bones. Just one cup of broccoli provides 92 micrograms of Vitamin K, well over 100% of your daily requirements. Consuming Vitamin K improves absorption of Calcium which is also necessary for strong bones.
  2. Anti-Aging Properties – Broccoli is packed with Vitamins C, A, and E which fight skin damage caused by the sun, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of Collagen, the main support system of the skin. It also contains Glucoraphanin which the body converts to Sulforaphane which helps rebuild skin cells and stimulates a variety of antioxidant defense pathways in your body that can reduce oxidative stress and slow down the decline in your immune system. This slows down the aging process.
  3. Cancer Fighter – This same Sulforaphane can inhibit the enzyme Deacetylace which is known to be involved in the progression of cancer cells. It has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, striking at the root of tumor growth. Sulforaphane is especially effective in preventing melanoma, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. Broccoli also contains the Vitamin Folate which has been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer.
  4. Detoxification – Broccoli is a great source of fiber which promotes healthy digestion. This not only lowers the risk of colon cancer but aids in cleansing our bodies of all the toxins which we ingest. It also contains three important phytonutrients with really long names which support our body’s detoxification process.
  5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties – Inflammation is a natural way our body heals. When you get a wound on your skin your body creates inflammation to that spot to enhance healing. But, due to the stresses of our lives as well as the toxins in our food, water and air our inflammation system works overtime and this has become the root cause of many chronic diseases. Broccoli aids in reducing inflammation due to the flavonoid Kaempferol. It also contains Omega-3 fat which helps control our inflammation system.
  6. Heart Health – Broccoli contains B-Complex vitamins which can make a major contribution to our cardiovascular health. It also reduces cholesterol levels. The fiber-related nutrients contained in Broccoli bind together with some of the bile acids in our intestines in such a way that they simply stay in the intestine and pass out of our body rather than getting absorbed into our blood stream. When this happens our liver draws upon our existing supply of cholesterol to accomplish its goal of replacing the lost bile acids and, as a result, reduces our cholesterol level. Broccoli also contains Lutein which may help prevent thickening of your arteries.

Bonus – Two carotenoids found in broccoli, lutein and zeaxanthin, play an important role in the health of the eye. In fact, no tissue in the body is more concentrated with lutein than the area in the outer portion of the retina. In a similar way, zeaxanthin is concentrated in the macula near the central portion of the retina. These substances reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Bonus 2 – Many people are deficient in Vitamin D to the point that diet alone cannot supply their needs so they must take supplements. Broccoli does not have Vitamin D but it is high in Vitamins K and A. These two Vitamins keep our Vitamin D metabolism in proper balance so if you take in too much Vitamin D Broccoli will balance that out and control the overdose.

So stop pushing the little tree-like veggies off your plate and, instead, pile them on for good health. They are one of the best foods to keep us healthy.

What To Eat To Make The Most Of Your Workout

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I enjoy my morning workouts and I feel much better when I stay active. Whether I am walking the dog, working in the yard, or playing basketball with my son I enjoy staying active and being outside as much as possible. My workouts have transitioned more towards strength building and less cardio. At my age I need to retain as much muscle as possible. I try to supplement my workouts with plenty of activities that get my heart and lungs going. I have found that nothing is important enough to squeeze out the time I have set aside for workouts and physical activities. It just isn’t worth it.

But like everyone else, I want to make sure I get the most from my workouts since I am investing the time and energy for it. I have discovered that the food, vitamins and minerals I take in before and after my workout make a huge difference in how I feel and in the results I get.

  1. Carbohydrates – your body needs quick energy during your workout and carbs get you there. Carbs are especially important before your workout to give you energy to provide you the energy needed to give it your all. The best, of course, are complex carbohydrates. If you work out first thing in the morning like I do, a great option is whole wheat toast or pita, stone-rolled oatmeal, non-fat Greek yogurt, a few strawberries or a banana. If your workout fits your schedule later in the day you may be more in the mood for most any kind of beans, sweet potatoes, corn, whole grain breads or brown rice. I generally grab a banana and go. Probably not enough. But one thing in for sure, you don’t want to your gut to be too full so just a quick snack is best.
  2. Fat – this is especially helpful to sustain your energy levels during a long exercise routine such as long-distance running, cycling, and swimming. Carbohydrates give you quick energy but fat keeps you going for the long haul. This is due to the high calorie density, one gram of fat equals nine calories. It burns off slower so it fuels your body for a longer period of time compared to carbs. For this reason, fat doesn’t really help for shorter, high intensity workouts. These include avocados, eggs, nuts, olive oil, and fatty fish such as tuna, sardines and trout.
  3. Protein – this will sustain you through your workout and will help build the muscle you need. Protein will help rebuild the muscle that is broken down in weight training exercise so it is best to take in extra protein immediately after your workout and for the next 12-24 hours. Without the protein your muscles need you will not get the full results you have worked so hard for. Lean meat is a great source of protein. This includes chicken or turkey breast, lean cuts of beef steak (top or bottom round), and pork chops. Fish is also a good source with Halibut, Salmon, Tilapia and Tuna being the best. Eggs, Greek yogurt and cheese are also great options.

Also, especially important before, during, and after your workout is to stay hydrated. Drink filtered water so your body can process the nutrition you have taken in as well as rebuild your muscles. As I have said before, water is superior to any of the so-called fitness drinks on the market.

If you are going to sacrifice your time and put in the effort to exercise you should want to get the most out of it and nutrition is very important. Most serious body builders find it is necessary to augment their food intake with high quality nutritional supplements. I am a believer in the products offered by Advocare. This great company offers a wide range of the highest quality products anywhere and you can find what fits your lifestyle and your needs. I will dig deeper into which of these products enhance your workout and exercise routine soon.

Seven Steps To Success-John Maxwell

Daily Success John Maxwell

The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. – John C. Maxwell
Who doesn’t desire success? It may seem peculiar to ask that question, yet most of the people you know will never achieve success. They’ll dream about it. They’ll talk about it. But most of them won’t possess it. Most people don’t understand success. It isn’t the lottery. You don’t wait for success to strike. Nor is it a place you find when you reach some magical time of your life. Success is not a destination thing – it’s a daily thing. The only way to achieve real success is to do it one day at a time.
Seven steps to success:
1.     Make a commitment to grow daily. Success doesn’t come from acquiring, achieving, or advancing. It comes only as the result of growing. If you make it your goal to grow a little each day, it won’t be long before you begin to see positive results in your life. As the poet Robert Browning said, Why stay on earth except to grow?

2.     Value the process more than events. Specific life events are good for making decisions, but it’s the process of change and growth that has lasting value. If you want to go to the next level, strive for continual improvement.

3.     Don’t wait for inspiration. Basketball great Jerry West said, You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good. People who go far do so because they motivate themselves and give life their best, regardless of how they feel. To be successful, persevere.

4.     Be willing to sacrifice pleasure for opportunity. One of the greatest lessons is: Pay now; play later. For everything in life, you pay a price. You choose whether you will pay it on the front end or the back end. If you pay first, then you will enjoy greater rewards in the end – and those rewards taste sweeter.

5.     Dream big. It doesn’t pay to dream small. Robert J. Kriegel and Louis Patler said, We don’t have a clue as to what people’s limits are. All the tests, stopwatches, and finish lines in the world can’t measure human potential. When someone is pursuing their dream, they’ll go far beyond what seems to be their limitations. The potential that exists within us is limitless and largely untapped.
When you think of limits, you create them.

6.     Plan your priorities. One thing that all successful people have in common is that they have mastered the ability to manage their time. First and foremost, they have organized themselves. Henry Kaiser, founder of Kaiser Aluminum and Kaiser Permanente Health Care, says, Every minute spent in planning will save you two in execution. You never regain lost time, so make the most of every moment.

7.     Give up to go up. Nothing of value comes without sacrifice. Life is filled with critical moments when you will have the opportunity to trade one thing you value for another. Keep your eyes open for such moments – and always be sure to trade up, not down.