To thine own self be true


Polonius:
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!

Laertes:
Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.

Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82

 

This is an excerpt from Shakespeare’s hamlet that contain classical wisdom that “To thine own self be true.” While it is possible to lie to others, always be honest with yourself. Never lie to yourself. So many people lie to themselves and live in delusions of who they are of what they have and what they are capable of. In the advent of social media people are able to amplify their personal and project false images to others, However, always remain true to yourself. How then do you ensure that you are honest and true to self. Here are 5 suggestions on being true to self:

How then do you ensure that you are honest and true to self. Here are 5 suggestions on being true to self:

 

  1. Set aside some time each day for self-criticism. Maintain a record of your own personal failures and weaknesses. The intention of doing this is to be aware and to have heightened awareness of your own personal weaknesses. If you do this, you will not feel bad if someone criticizes you or points out your weaknesses. You will already be aware of your weaknesses and failures.

 

  1. Seek small battles to win in private life. Once you have identified the weaknesses identify ways in which yon overcome these weaknesses in private.

 

  1. Prepare and constantly update an inventory of your skills and capabilities. Each one of us have skills and capabilities identify and take inventory. You will find that you have more skills and capabilities.

 

  1. Examine how you spend time. To be true to oneself, one must realise that they have got finite time and true self manifests in how one spends resources and specifically time. “Where your treasures are, there your heart is.” So where your time is spent is where your heart is. This will help you identify what you treasure and value.

 

  1. Share emotional, moral struggles and conflicts with close associates. Let those close to you know that you are not superhuman and you have your own weaknesses. You will not be pressured to live a double life.

 

Adapted from Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s 10 Commandments of Business and Life and Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

5 Ways of Stopping Negative Thoughts


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Everyone struggles and fights with negativity at some point in life. The negativity breeds insecurity, irritation, low self-esteem, low motivation and eventually depression. Negativity affects productivity and sense of self-worth. Sometimes negativity breeds from the environment we are in. Other times, it emanates from people close to us who think that were are not good enough and sometimes it breeds from our failures and inability to meet our expectations.

Negativity is normal and is part of thought process. However, negativity becomes toxic when it becomes dominant thought that is lingering in the mind. It becomes a problem when you are always seeing the glass as half empty all the time. The main problem with negativity is that it leads to poor decision making. Negativity breeds stress, fear, indecision, worries about what others are thinking and eventually slows down one’s productivity. On the contrary positivity enhances productivity. It increases enthusiasm and makes one to exploit their full potential.

This article is meant to show you 5 mental hacks and tricks that can eliminate negativity and promote positivity.

  1. Affirmations

Negative thoughts emanate from repeated focus on negative events and feelings. The more you feed the mind with the information, the more it produces negativity. To stop this, you have to feed the mind with positivity through affirmations.

Affirmations help to reprogram the mind from focusing on negativity to focusing on positivity. Affirmations involve telling yourself positive things loudly enough to hear yourself saying it. For example, you can tell yourself loudly “I am loved! I love myself! I am the best! I am awesome! I can do it!”  Then repeat more than 20 times until you can feel it from your heart. Repeat this process daily and the affirmations will sink into your mind and reflect in your thoughts and actions.

 

  1. Spend time with a person who is positive

The same way negativity can be contagious, positivity can be contagious.  Everyone is the average of 5 people who they spend time with. If you hang around a negative person you will come out with feelings and thoughts of negativity. Similarly, if you hang around a positive person you are also likely to have positive thoughts and feelings.

Find a person who is fulfilled and happy with their life and spend time with them. They will certainly make you feel lot better. Actively search for  positive people. They will certainly infect you with positivity.

  1. Help Someone

Doing a good deed is a huge positivity booster.  You can never do a good deed for someone and feel bad. It is simply not possible. Whenever you do acts of charity for someone without expecting anything in return, it fills one with positive thoughts.

The acts of charity are very easy and less complicated. For example, you can open door for someone, you can pay coffee for the person behind you, you can shop for someone you know or help someone less fortunate. The more you do it the more positivity fills your mind.

  1. Be Grateful

Oftentimes we look for things which we lack and ignore what we have. This creates a negative mindset especially when we constantly focus on what we lack.  Gratefulness is the art of appreciating and actively feeling happy for you have. It involves making reflections and actively identifying what one has. The possessions don’t have to be assets or things that have financial value. Things to be grateful about can also be immaterial such as great friends, great family, peace, health, and motivation to work each day. The value of the immaterial is sometimes higher than the material. Make it a habit to frequently write 5 things you are grateful for every day in the evening. This will slowly eliminate negativity as you will realise that you have much more than you think.

5. Spend quality time with family

Family is a unit that many people assume and take for granted. Family is viewed as lender of last resort. A refuge only at extreme times of need. Family is very important and should be given attention. If you have brothers, sisters, Dad, Mum always keep in touch and spend time with them. If you have wife and children, let them know you attach much value to them and you will be surprised at how the environment around you will be positive and repellent to negativity.

 

Once you have done the above, you will be on a path to positivity, productivity and realisation of your potential. Thank you for reading.

Circumstances versus Choices


To sail  against the wind you have to make choices that go against the circumstances.

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I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.

–Stephen Covey

 

Most of the times it feels good to flow with the wind but sometimes you have to sail against the wind. You have to go against the grain and make tough and unpopular choices. If you want to curve your own path and do away with the status quo then you must make choices  that are against the prevailing circumstances.

5 ways of increasing work productivity


 

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  1. Prioritize important tasks

At the commencement of each day, ensure that you have a list of tasks that are important and urgent. Ensure that priority is given to most important task that will have most outcome or influence on your goals. Prioritizing helps to identify most important tasks in order to do those tasks as soon as possible.

  1. Have a schedule of the important tasks

Always have a notebook where all important tasks that come to mind are written down. The aim of this is to identify as many tasks as possible that require your attention. Schedule or assign time to do the task based on priority and goals. Tasks which do not contribute to the immediate goals can be postponed or scheduled to be done after the most important tasks are complete.

 

  1. Have Deadlines

According to Parkinson’s law time expands to fill the available time. The longer the deadline, the more the time it takes to accomplish the task because the task expands to suit the time that it has been allocated. Whenever there is a task that requires completion, always assign a realistic deadline and stick to that deadline. This helps one to do more tasks as deadline creates limits and ensures that tasks do not take long to be accomplished.

 

  1. Do not procrastinate

Ensure that tasks that you have assigned yourself are completed on time. Do not postpone doing tasks that you can complete within the day. Procrastination is a productivity killer. It wastes time and energy. To avoid procrastination, stick to one task until you are done before moving on to the next.

 

  1. Avoid Multitasking

Avoid doing more than one task at any given time. Each task should be done with undivided attention until it is complete. Multitasking divides the energy and focus. It makes every of the tasks being multi tasked take longer than the scheduled time.

 

How to attain what you think is unattainable  


1. Believe that there will always be a possible path.
What you think is attainable is just a function of what you know at the moment. Once you start your pursuit you will learn a lot especially if you triangulate with others. Paths that you had never seen will become clearer.
2. Create great expectations
Great expectation create greater capabilities.
If you limit your goals to what you know you can achieve, you are setting the bar too low.
3. Have flexibility and self accountability. 
Flexibility is accepting and adjusting to reality. It is essential as it teachers one to accept reality. Self accountability on the other hand puts pressure on self. It views non achievement as personal responsibility and avoids blaming others for failure.
Adapted from Ray Dalio’s Principles.
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