A couple of months ago he was the most powerful man in the country, followed everywhere he went by a retinue of aides and a jostling pack of news-hungry reporters and cameramen.
Today David Cameron is a 49-year-old at a loose end, snapped this week sitting barefoot on a car-park wall in Cornwall, eating fish and chips and staring abstractedly into the middle distance Eating with him is a woman presumed to be his wife (though her face is obscured by somebody’s back), while three apparent strangers sit slap beside the couple, seemingly unaware that they are just inches away from the man who was so recently the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Doesn’t that photograph, taken by a passer-by on Tuesday evening, speak more than words can say about the drama of this summer, the instantaneous changes of fortune we witnessed after the referendum and the sheer ruthlessness of our political system?
Entourage No doubt police bodyguards were keeping a discreet eye on the Camerons as they ate their fish and chips in Polzeath.
It’s also possible that the three women sitting with them on the wall may have recognised the couple.
But if so, they were either too courteous to show any sign of it — or else they were remarkably unimpressed. Looking at this photograph, I can’t say I’m surprised. Indeed, it has set me thinking that if there really is such a thing as an aura of power — and I’m inclined to believe there is — Mr Cameron appears to have left his behind in Downing Street when the removal men took his other possessions away. Of course, it may be foolish to read too much into a single image, snapped when the sitter wasn’t expecting it. But to me, Mr Cameron looks diminished and deflated, a shadow of his former self — if not in girth, then at least in the sense of authority and self-confidence he exuded when he held the reins of government. This has nothing to do with his bare feet or the holiday outfit he’s wearing — the shorts and the zipped-up fleece. Indeed, we’ve seen him similarly attired, and in the same Polzeath location, many times before.
We’ve also seen him, in all those carefully staged photo-opportunities of the past, with his entourage kept out of camera-shot.
The difference is that from the moment he walked into Number 10, he looked like a Prime Minister — even when he was dressed for a holiday photoshoot like a complete wally.
There was something about his demeanour and strong physical presence that said here was a leader, at ease with himself, used to being listened to and getting his way. Indeed, it was one of his strengths as PM that he looked the part. In this, he differed from some of his predecessors, who always looked and sounded as if they had been miscast for the top job. Sir John Major springs to mind. Even after more than six years in Downing Street, he retained the air of a middle-ranking local government officer, while Gordon Brown appeared more like an eccentric, irascible schoolmaster than a head of government. Meanwhile, other former prime ministers kept their air of authority long after they left office. Margaret Thatcher, I can testify, was quite as formidable a character after she was knifed by her colleagues as before. And although it grieves me to say it, even the egregious, self-deluding Tony Blair still gives off a certain aura — albeit mixed with a powerful whiff of sulphur. Of course, you’d be more likely to find him digging into the caviar on a crooked oligarch’s yacht than sitting on the wall of a Cornish car park, eating chips. But wherever Mr Blair happens to be, you can be sure he is noticed by everyone around him. Not so Mr Cameron. Whatever intangible quality of leadership he may have possessed until a couple of months ago seems to have disappeared along with the trappings of his office.
Pride And though he hummed a nonchalant tune as he turned away from the lectern after announcing his resignation, I’ll bet he’s missing the job — and everything that goes with it — far, far more than his pride will allow him to admit. On June 23 he went to bed, recently re-elected with an overall majority and no opposition worthy of the name, looking forward to four years in which to stamp the name Cameron indelibly on the history books. But when he woke up the next morning, he was finished — washed up at 49, with only a couple of bodyguards to remind him that once he was a power in the land. How could he feel anything but bitterly frustrated, after the suddenness of his fall, by the near certainty that nothing he can do in the years remaining to him will be anything like as exciting as the life he has lived for the past six?
The amount of time we have available every day is limited. Not every entrepreneur can put in 18-hour days -- personal obligations and family life take up time, making it important that we maximize the time we do have allocated for business.
Here are five time-wasting habits that many entrepreneurs are guilty of. Eliminate these and watch your productivity increase.
1. Trying to do everything yourself.
You have to learn to delegate if you are ever going to be productive. All entrepreneurs are guilty of this at some point, especially in the beginning. You think you can handle everything -- but as tasks and responsibilities stack up the weight on your shoulders becomes unbearable and everything collapses.
One of the best things I did for my company was admitting to myself that there were some things I wasn’t the best at. Delegating those tasks to other people that handled them more efficiently made a significant impact. You can’t do everything yourself, and the sooner you realize this, the better off you will be.
2. Saying ‘Yes’ to everything.
One of the hardest things to do is say no. Personally, it took me a while to learn that it was physically impossible to try to accommodate every request that was presented to me. This circles around to point number one above -- I thought I could do it all. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. If I received a request for a quick 15-minute chat, I would squeeze it in.
Looking back, all those little requests were time sucks. Instead of worrying about someone saying, “I can’t believe he said no -- what a dick,” I learned to deny opportunities and requests that weren’t going to benefit my company and brand. Learning to value my time has lead to increased productivity, and while it might feel uncomfortable the first couple of times, I promise it becomes much easier after you experience first hand how eliminating time-sucking requests improve your productivity.
3. Waiting for perfection.
Perfection doesn’t exist, and if you sit around waiting for it you’re going to miss the boat. When people are hung up on a task they will often say they are trying to perfect it before moving on to the next one. They are simply procrastinating.
It’s important that you understand perfection is a unicorn you most likely aren’t going to encounter. Imagine if companies such as Uber and Airbnb waited to expand into new markets until they perfected all of the working components of the business. They would still be sitting there wasting time, scratching their heads, waiting for something that wasn’t ever going to happen. Look how fast both companies have grown because they were extremely productive.
4. Allowing distractions to constantly interrupt your day.
Distractions will only interrupt your day if you let them. You have to create a work environment that provides you with some distraction-free time, allowing you to stay 100 percent focused. Every entrepreneur is going to have different distractions to deal with. Here are a few of things I do to eliminate some distractions:
No personal text replies: When I’m working I don’t reply to personal texts. It’s a time suck, but it also tells the other person that your work time isn’t valuable. Just because someone is bored at his or her desk or on a day off, it doesn’t mean you have to entertain them. When you ignore work-time texts and begin to reply to them in the evening when you are done, you will notice your mid-day interruptions will decrease significantly.
Airplane mode: If I’m working on something extremely important that requires complete focus I’ll switch my phone to airplane mode. When I simply silence my phone I still see the notification icons and I’m apt to pick it up and check emails and messages. Airplane mode prevents this and allows me to fully focus.
Block off calendar time: I have specific time blocked off on my calendar every day. When you get into this habit, you know without a doubt that you have a period of time without meetings, conference calls or distractions. This time will quickly become your most productive daily block of time.
5. Constantly refreshing your email inbox.
If you are constantly refreshing your email inbox, you are pissing away valuable time. It can become quite addictive. I suffered from this myself, and had to create a system to check and respond to emails that wouldn’t dig into my productivity.
I check my emails at set times every day and I also have someone screen them. The screening eliminates a lot of wasted time deleting junk, unsolicited requests and spam. When I do jump into my inbox it’s in and out, as I know everything waiting for me requires my attention and I fire back replies and address each one without having to waste time identifying the emails that are important. It’s a habit that isn’t easy to break, but once you do develop a system that works for you, the time saved will be very noticeable.
A lot of people are grinding it out in jobs that make them sick. They are so unhappy or overworked or stressed that work actually makes them physically ill.
There's actually a word for it: Psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology is a field of medicine that deals with the physiological manifestation of psychological stress. In other words, the word describes how stress can really mess up the body. It’s hard to distill an entire field of medicine (not to mention a 13-syllable word) into a single sentence, but that’s it in a nutshell.
Maybe you weren’t familiar with the word psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology before today? (And I swear that that’s the last time I’ll make you read it). But I’d bet that based on your personal experience, you already know a thing or two about the link between stress and health. Am I right? Consider:
Maybe you battle debilitating exhaustion when you think about making major life changes.
Maybe your eczema flares up when you think about applying to grad school.
Maybe you get strep throat like clockwork every time the busy season rolls around and you’re overloaded with too much work. Again.
Maybe your digestive system goes haywire when you think about keeping up with the Joneses at your office.
Maybe, like me, your back goes out every time you push yourself to the limit.
Maybe you should complete the following sentence: I always get sick or injured when I ___
I hear you, my friend. Don’t you think it’s possible that your body is trying to tell you something? Perhaps it’s time you examined the link between your mental and physical health.
Obviously (but I’m going to go ahead and say it anyway), you should see a doctor for any health-related concerns. Please do that. I don’t want an angry letter from someone who thinks I’m suggesting that some deep introspection will heal a bleeding head wound.
Seriously, consider all of the things that are going on with your physical health, especially any recurring issues. Only you and your doctor can determine what might be causing these symptoms. But if you have an unresolved chronic issue, or recurring health issues or multiple health issues, it’s possible that some of that is rooted in some neglected stress. Don’t you think?
Consider what some of your root stressors might be. They may include fear about the future, financial strain, a crappy job, uncertainty, perfectionism, fear of judgment, unhappiness in your relationship, the feeling that you have to "people-please," overanalysis of every situation, overwork or any number of other things.
The question you've got to answer is, what is my body trying to tell me?
Maybe your body knows that you need to quit your job, or start your own business, or reenter the corporate world, or move across the country, or leave your relationship, or have a child, or stop trying so hard to be liked, or slow the heck down, or start your MBA, or quit your MBA and go to film school instead.
Whatever personal insight you glean from your body, resist the urge to push it back down. There’s nothing more painful than realizing an uncomfortable truth and then trying to repress it. That genie won’t go back into the bottle.
Now, knowing what the problem is and knowing how to fix it are two different things. Figuring out the fix will likely take some time. But, if you know exactly how to make that happen, do it. If not, that’s okay.
Now is the time of year when we are all looking ahead with hopeful and determined eyes. “This is going to be my year. This is the year that I become my best self.”
We get to be a little selfish and ask ourselves, “What do I want?”
You might be looking at articles on how to set effective goals. These articles are likely telling you the same thing: Make the goal actionable and achievable. Give yourself a deadline. Reverse engineer the steps it will take to get there.
That's solid advice. However, in the hundreds of articles I’ve seen fly by my screen on this topic, none of them mention a vital element to your goal-creation process.
You’ll read a lot about the when and how of setting your goals. But don’t forget the who.
Arguably, very few goals are accomplished by you and you alone. No person is an island, as the saying goes.
On your journey to success, there are four different types of people you will need. These people are the ones who will aid you in your endeavors. But if you don’t know to look for them, they might just pass you by. So, who are the people who can help you with your personal success?
1. The mentor
As Joseph Cambell famously points out with The Hero’s Journey, all great heroes have a mentor. Luke Skywalker had Yoda. The Karate Kid had Mr. Miyagi. Katniss Everdeen had Haymitch Abernathy.
A mentor is someone who has been there, done that and got the T-shirt. He or she is someone you can turn to, ask questions and get advice. If you want to grow your business, align yourself with someone who has succeeded with a similar business model. If you want to lose weight, you could get a personal trainer or you could reach out to a friend who has already succeeded in his or her weight loss journey.
Identify who has already walked the path you're on. Build or strengthen a relationship with them. Your mentors will help you achieve your goals in less time than it would take to figure it all out on your own.
2. The mark
In my coaching and speeches, I refer to “a mark” as a shorthand way of saying “the person you want to influence.” A mark is the person you want to hear “yes” from. Everyone has marks. Your husband could be your mark while you convince him to take a vacation at a ski resort. Your co-worker could be a mark while you motivate them during a project.
Your mark is the one who can say “yes” and make your dreams come true, or they could say “no” and all efforts could feel lost. For your goals, who do you need to hear "yes" from? A big-name client? An investor? Your co-founder?
Get clear about your mark. How can you make your idea most appealing to him or her?
Related: Try This Exercise in Giving to Grow and Strengthen Your Network
3. The sidekick
We all need sidekicks. Batman is better with Robin (or Alfred, depending on how you look at it). Neo needed Trinity. Doctor Who isn’t himself without a companion. (Am I getting too nerdy for you?)
The point is, we all need someone on the sidelines to cheer us on. But if you haven’t identified who will be your supporter for when you hit the bumps in the road, then you won't know who to turn to when they happen. Identify your sidekicks, reach out to them today and give them appreciation now for being and staying in your corner.
Also, don’t forget to consider sidekick groups. Group settings can be just as empowering. If you’re wanting to lose weight, then become a regular in gym class. If you need to clear out some mental baggage, support groups can be a safe haven for exactly that. If you want to express your artistry, sign up for a weekly painting class.
So who will you bring on your team? Who will keep you accountable?
4. The connector
This is, by far, the most overlooked “who” in the goal-setting process.
You have a goal and you know you need to hear a “yes” from a mark, but you give up when you realize you don’t have direct access to that mark. How can you get a “yes” when you can’t even get a “hello”?
It’s not over yet.
If you run into this realization, then your next question is, “Who do I know who is connected to that person?” Our world is flatter than ever. Our marks are often just a LinkedIn connection away. The connector is the person who can introduce you to your mark. He or she makes the connection so you can make magic happen.
Remember the persuasive process -- observe, connect, influence. In this instance, you will go through the process twice -- once for the connector and once more for mark.
As you create your goals, remember to include the people who will help you on your climb up. Goal setting isn’t a one-person show. Success is always achieved in numbers.
There is a trend I have noticed among people who seek help in marriage and couples’ counseling. Both partners usually have the best of intentions. Both usually want to save the relationship and make it better. But often people end up in marriage counseling because they are engaging in five selfish behaviors which prevent good communication and understanding for each other to take place.
1. During a discussion or argument, thinking more about your rebuttal and less about what your partner has to say.
This is the number one issue I see among couples seeking counseling. Partners will do a fine job of expressing their frustrations, but then become defensive when the other partner begins to talk. They begin forming their defense while the other person is talking thus missing important information their partner is trying to convey. This usually goes back and forth, and I often see that both partners contribute to this barrier to communication by also personalizing (more on this later) and becoming more defensive as emotions escalate. I suggest to my clients to practice listening by paying careful attention to the message their partner is trying to send and repeating back what they are hearing, without any sarcasm or rudeness. It is also sometimes helpful to write down what you hear your partner saying to keep your attention more on his message.
2. Not telling your partner about issues, both individual and in the relationship.
I have yet to meet a human being who can read another’s mind, and your partner is not an exception to this rule. It is selfish to assume that she should know exactly what is wrong and how you want her to help. It may be stress at work, worries about finances or behaviors your partner is engaging in that bother you. The list can be long, and not talking about it will breed resentment and irritation with each other. Often I see couples taking out stresses and irritations on each other. Talking and listening to each other can remedy a lot of what is bothering you.
3. Making assumptions: It’s not always about you!
The flipside to the previous selfish behavior is making assumptions about your partner’s behavior and taking it personally. When human beings experience stress, we tend to react in ways that are not always helpful or nurturing to a relationship. I often see that a partner will be short tempered with her beloved. The beloved then takes these actions personally and becomes irritated or angry. Ideally, the partner experiencing the stress would communicate to his partner (as was outlined in the number 2 behavior). But since none of us is perfect, it may be up to the offended party to bring this behavior to her partner in a way that is gentle and kind, while communicating how this behavior made him or her feel. When doing this, be careful to put assumptions aside. In other words, don’t assume that your partner intended to attack you and had malicious intentions. Instead, remind yourself that he is still the person you chose and the person you love.
4. Worrying about your sexual needs and ignoring the sexual needs of your partner.
Sex is an important part of marriage and an issue that almost always comes up in couples’ counseling. Usually the issues with sex come down to partners having different sex drives, desires and expectations of what is normal and healthy in a marriage. It is important for each partner to talk about these issues. It’s OK to state what you would like to see as far as sex goes in the marriage. Once those things are said, try to then consider what your partner has said and consider his needs and how you can accommodate and respect them. Communication is extremely important in this area, and it will need to be an ongoing discussion.
5. Only considering the quirks and mannerisms about your partner that bother you, and not the things you are doing that may be bothering your partner.
I cannot tell you how many couples’ sessions start with “He does this” or “She does that.” These statements usually go on to describe some behavior or personality trait that drives the other person crazy. Instead of focusing on what the other person is doing, I encourage both partners to focus more on their own behaviors, particularly those that irk the other person. I don’t ask people to change who they are, but I do ask that they become more self-aware and willing to make adjustments to make the relationship better.
The very best thing about going on vacation is chilling in a pristine hotel bed. The feeling of being swaddled in white sheets sends our senses directly to relaxation mode.
Why do we love beds so much?
Well, for starters, we spend roughly 26 years of our lives asleep. It’s only natural our original bae was bed.
Still, we should stop and think about what we’re spending so much time lying on. Our beds are cesspools of filth, no matter how often we wash the sheets.
Believe it or not, the number one culprit behind bedhead and bad skin is the pillow.
Bugs call your pillow home.
Here’s a fun little stat to share on your next Bumble date.
According to Arthur Tucker, principal clinical scientist at St. Bart’s and the London Hospitals, over a third of your pillow’s weight is comprised of dust mites, dead skin and bugs.
What’s worse, these gross things live inside of the pillow.
Body temperature makes pillows the perfect place for bugs to Netflix and chill, especially when we sleep on top of them all night.
Plus, pillows cause wrinkles.
How many times do you find yourself waking up with your face planted into your pillow? Turns out, that can contribute to your wrinkles.
Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetics and clinical research at Mt. Sinai Hospital told Allure that, “Anecdotally, I see patients with more wrinkles and general flattening on the side of their face that they sleep on.”
Zeichner suggests sleeping on your back, as that’s the best option for combatting aging.
A cotton case is a terrible idea.
A cotton pillowcase strips moisture from your locks, making them dry and frizzy.
Your best bet is a satin pillowcase. Sure, it’s not as fluffy, but it’s way nicer on your hair. Because satin is so smooth, your hair won’t get tangled if you’re lying against it.
Cotton also creases your skin, giving you that oh-so-sexy cheek crease when you wake up. Satin will help you avoid that kind of overnight “tattoo.”
And it could be behind those weird pimples.
Did you know your phone is straight up the dirtiest thing you own?
Studies show your phone can be a key contributor to your acne. A horrifying combination of oil, makeup and bacteria is constantly pressed up against your skin.
Do you think your pillow is any better?
It only makes sense pillows are just as f*cked up as phones. After all, they’re squished against your face during the few hours you’re not using your iPhone.
Try changing your pillowcase as often as you can.
That bald patch? Blame your pillow.
Your hair rubs against your pillow as you sleep, right? That’s not a good thing.
According to American Hair Loss Association, the contact point at the back of your head is prime territory for bald spots.
Try using a silk pillowcase, as it reduces the amount of friction to your follicles.
The scars are internal.
When it comes to abusive relationships, it isn't always just physical abuse. While this isn't meant to detract from the issue of domestic abuse that far too many women have suffered (and still suffer), it's to address the fact that emotional abuse can be just as damaging, but in completely different ways.
When you're in an emotionally abusive relationship, it's not always noticeable right away. You don't bear the bruises of a physical attack, but you're still scarred in many ways, and that scarring leaves an imprint that can affect every future relationship.
It's hard to love again after you've been manipulated, put down, controlled, belittled, and made to feel worthless by someone who was supposed to love you and care about you.
As someone who's been emotionally abused in the past and can now clearly see it, I'm also able to see how it changed my idea of relationships and my approach to love. Here are seven ways those of us who have been emotionally abused love differently:
1. We keep our distance longer than most.
Even if we think we're really into you, we're going to keep our distance. We'll keep you at arm's length, might not text you back immediately, and definitely won't want to spend too much time with you. We just don't want to get too close.
2. We play it close to the chest.
After you've been emotionally abused, being able to open up freely is painful. We don't want to put ourselves in a vulnerable situation again and when you open up about yourself, that's exactly what you're doing. You're exposing the bits and pieces of you that all of a sudden make you a target. For us, it's safer if we just keep some things to ourselves.
3. We take it slow.
I don't mean just physically slow, but emotionally and mentally slow. Like a wounded puppy, it's hard not to proceed with caution. It's just an instinctual way of protecting ourselves from further harm.
4. We're overly-suspicious.
When you've been with someone who's put you down over and over — saying you're no good and are worthless — you just can't help but wonder why anyone would want to be into you ever again. If you tell us you love us and we look at you weird, it's not that the feeling isn't mutual; rather, we're still a bit unclear as to what about us might be appealing or lovable to someone else.
5. We're hesitant about getting to know the people in your life.
When you start to get to know the friends and family of the person you're in a relationship with, it means things are getting serious. It also means that your lives are becoming more and more intertwined. It can feel a bit scary, so we proceed with caution.
6. We're affectionate, but on our own terms.
When I first met my husband, he was baffled by how little affection I gave him. Even at the height of our love, I had to be affectionate on my own terms. If he cuddled up to me, sometimes I'd pull away. It wasn't that I didn't want to be close to him, but after the relationship before where affection was so minimal, it took me a long time to learn how to cuddle again and to enjoy it.
7. We assume the worst (but hope for the best).
When you've been mistreated by someone you love, you automatically build up a wall around your heart. You become guarded, protective, and you hand out your love in pieces, bit by bit. Because this is the case, we naturally assume that things won't last or that we'll be hurt again.
Of course, we hope it won't be reminiscent of the past, but we do assume the worst longer than most. It's simply a coping mechanism, and one that works for many of us.
Why do we fall out of love?
It’s one of those questions that keeps haunting us.
How come two people who seemed so perfect for each other and so in love end up breaking up?
We see it everywhere: our parents, our friends and the celebrity power couples who seem to have everything.
But more importantly, we’ve all felt it.
We’ve all experienced what it’s like to find ourselves one day looking at the person we used to love as if he or she was a stranger.
It’s confusing and devastating.
So, how does that happen?
Over time, a lot of specialists have tried to crack this particular nut.
Lack of communication or taking the partner for granted were some of the reasons ranked high on the list of answers.
However, I have always felt there was something missing in the pursuit of the root cause.
For me, some of the answers the specialists gave were still open for debate.
Here are three reasons I came up with as to why we fall out of love:
Change is the only constant in our lives.
One of my teachers used to say,
In every type of romantic relationship, there are four parties involved: you, your partner, the future you and the future partner.
It was then I realized what was the hidden reason behind falling out of love: We continually change.
If there is one constant for human beings, it is that we constantly develop ourselves and adjust the way we see the word.
As the psychologist Dan Gilbert proves in one of his famous TED Talks,
Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.
We change because we have new experiences, we learn new things, we meet new people, we live in different environments or we fully develop certain personality traits that were dormant before.
So the two people who entered a relationship one year ago are not exactly the same people they are now.
Of course, there won’t always be radical changes in the way we think or in what we hold important, but there will be small shifts that will make the difference in still being interested in our partners or not.
Isn’t this how falling out of love actually happens?
Doesn’t it start with small steps, creeping up on you until one day, you realize your partner doesn’t make you tick anymore?
Love patterns change as well.
To understand falling out of love even better, it is very useful to go back to the start of the relationship to see how falling in love actually happens.
We all have a list of requirements that a potential boyfriend or girlfriend needs to check in order to capture our attention and make us fall head over heels for him or her.
Even if we aren’t always fully aware of it or verbalize it, there is always a list.
One woman wants her man to be good-looking in a manly, robust way, intelligent, passionate about sports, serious, reliable and sweet.
Another woman looks for a stylish, outgoing, fun man with a sense of humor and an artistic personality.
All these requirements put together form love patterns.
Once we meet a potential partner, we overlap our pattern with his or her personality.
If most of the points are aligned, we have a match.
Now, because we constantly evolve as individuals, our love patterns change over the time.
If an artistic personality is what we valued the most in our early 20s, it may not hold the same importance in our late 20s.
Also, the requirements become more nuanced.
If a few years ago a woman appreciated the hectic artistic life of her partner, she may now prefer a more stable life with a creative mind.
It’s not you, and it’s not your partner.
This perspective brings in more good news.
It also answers daunting questions like, “What is wrong with me?” “Why did she leave me?” and “Why doesn’t he love me anymore?”
Please read this over and over again: There is nothing wrong with you.
But, this also means your partner isn’t to blame for leaving you.
So, forget about the famous expression, “It’s not you; it’s me.”
There is nothing wrong with either of you.
You are wonderful human beings who happened to grow in different directions and took different paths in life.
Your love patterns just do not overlap in the most important points anymore.
The world would certainly have less broken hearts if we all said this in the beginning of each relationship:
I love you for who you are now, knowing there is a future you who may or may not walk the same road as my future self.
Love is a tremendously powerful feeling, yet like all feelings, it lives in the present.
This is why the most beautiful words of all times — “I love you” — should be seen for what they truly are: They’re an incredibly touching declaration, but not a promise.
Some of us may grow in the same direction as our loved ones, but for others, a new journey is just about to begin.
Enjoy every minute of it.
Motivation can be hard to come by, especially in the face of challenges or difficult work. When you’re thinking about implementing that new idea, or starting that new company or beginning that new regimen -- this is the new year, after all -- it’s easy to talk yourself into procrastinating. Or worse, avoiding your goal altogether.
Thoughts are powerful, and negative thoughts can prevent you from achieving your goals. The flip side is that positive thoughts can be just as powerful. The next time you feel unmotivated, use any of these 50 positive thoughts to reenergize yourself. Really: They work!
1. I can do anything. It’s a simple phrase, but it helps to remind yourself -- you really can do anything you set your mind to.
2. This is why I can. Instead of giving yourself reasons why you can’t do something, give yourself reasons why you can.
3. I deserve more. You deserve a better life -- whether that means a better job, a healthier body or more money. Work for it.
4. It’s never too late. No matter how old you are or how many opportunities you’ve passed up before, it’s never too late to make a decision and get a fresh start.
5. There will always be challenges. No matter what you do in life, there will always be challenges -- don’t let one set get the better of you.
6. There’s no "perfect" time. If you’re waiting for the perfect moment, forget about it -- there’s no such thing.
7. There’s no perfect plan. There are some definite flaws in your plan -- but there are in every plan.
8. Everybody starts somewhere. Nobody is born successful. Everyone starts somewhere, and usually from the bottom.
9. One step at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once. Reduce it to baby steps.
10. It can only get better. If it’s hard at first, it can only get easier.
11. Failure is temporary. If you fail, you’re in good company -- most successes come only after several rounds of failure.
12. Mistakes are learning opportunities. If you mess up, you can only become better for it.
13. Today is all I can control. Forget about what you did yesterday. Today is what matters.
14. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Nothing worth doing is easy.
15. “Someday” is today. If you’re like most people, you use the word “someday” to describe your goals and desires. Make today that someday.
16. Negative thoughts can’t stop me. Your negative thoughts are just thoughts -- nothing more.
17. I’ve done harder things. Think back to a time when you succeeded against the odds.
18. Everything has to be earned. You can’t get anything in this life unless you work hard for it.
19. Action is a better regret than inaction. Making the wrong decision is always preferable to regretting never having done anything at all.
20. I don’t need anyone’s permission. If people think you’re crazy, so be it.
21. I’m in control of my own destiny. You can decide whom you want to become.
22. There is no pass or fail. Nobody is grading you. You can’t objectively “fail” at life unless you never try anything.
23. Boring decisions get boring results. Make an exciting decision.
24. The risk is worth it. Know that risks are real, but the potential benefits are worth them.
Related: The 10 Biggest Motivation Killers and How to Fix Them
25. Discipline feels better than regret. Discipline is hard, but it’s easier to deal with than regret.
26. Many good ideas seem crazy or impossible at first. Yours is no different.
27. I’ve got support. Friends, family, colleagues -- even if they think you’re crazy, you can always find support in networking groups, support groups and other community resources.
28. Experience is always valuable. Even if your mission doesn’t turn out the way you'd expected, you’ll walk away with experience.
29. Hard work is its own reward. You’ll feel good just for making the attempt.
30. Every day counts. Today, tomorrow and the next day are all steps toward your end goal.
31. What I see matters more than what others see. Forget about what others think -- prioritize what you think.
32. There is no problem that can’t be overcome. Everything can be solved or worked around.
33. Ordinary actions make an ordinary life. Nobody wants to be ordinary. Don’t let yourself be.
34. Everything can be improved. Even if you start out rough, you can always make improvements to your approach.
35. I can learn whatever I need to know. Free resources are plentiful.
36. I can master whatever I need to do. Practice can make you good at anything.
37. Willpower is all in my head. You can have all the willpower you want -- you just have to want it.
38. I know what I want. Know what your end goals are, and visualize them.
39. Feelings are the product of thoughts. If you’re scared or unsure, know that these are feelings generated by your thoughts; then you can control them.
40. Trying and failing is better than doing nothing. This is universally true.
41. I am whomever I want to be. There’s nothing stopping you from being whom you want to be.
42. I can’t win unless I try. Effort is the only way to get results.
43. My life is a product of my decisions. Make the ones that matter.
44. I’m better than I was yesterday. You’re older, wiser and more experienced than you’ve ever been before.
45. Nothing great happens overnight. Work and patience are your friends.
46. Once I get started, it will be easier. You’ll feel more motivated once you get rolling.
47. I’ll reward myself when I’m done. Even small rewards can be great motivators.
48. I’m doing this for more than just me. Maybe it’s for your family or community -- whatever "it" is, external motivation can be powerful.
49. There are always more chances. If you screw up, you can always try again.
50. If nothing else, this will make for a good story. You’ll walk away with great memories and interesting anecdotes.
The power of positive thinking isn’t just an adage -- it’s scientifically proven that positive thoughts (and the elimination of negative self-talk) can improve your mood, feelings, and performance. These thoughts should get you started doing whatever it is you need motivation to do. The rest is up to you.
There’s an artistry to texting.
Simply put, the best texters are masters of their craft. Good texters have perfected the aspect of timing – where their replies are not too quick, yet never overly delayed.
Their use of emojis is not annoying in the least, and never obnoxious – but rather serve as the cherries on the top of their conversational ice cream, so to speak.
Satisfactory texting is a skill, and – like anything else – when it’s present in someone, it’s usually plain to see. Having said that, when one isn’t all that well-versed with regard to virtual conversation… it’s usually equally as obvious.
But, hey, converting your voice into “chat bubbles” isn’t an easy task – and when women become involved, it ain’t gettin’ any easier.
Take it from me, I’ve seen some of the smoothest texters crumble under the pressure of sending a text to a girl they’re interested in.
And if the women you’re courting is “skilled in text,” and tries testing you with the waiting game? Prepare to sweat like pre-weight-loss Jonah Hill in a Russian bath house.
Try and keep composure, the reply will come – IT ALWAYS COMES (except for those times when it doesn’t). But until then, I’m sure your stream of consciousness resembled something like this.
1. Aight, I sent that text like half an hour ago – what’s the deal?
2. Eh, I guess she could just be playing hard to get.
3. Everyone knows answering texts in less than five minutes is a warning sign of desperation.
4. I respect it.
5. Having said that, if she doesn’t answer my text before that clock strikes 10 pm, I’m going to be forced to think she’s f*cking someone else.
6. I mean, It’s the only logical deduction.
7. What in God’s name else could she be doing right now that she wouldn’t be able to answer her phone?
8. Driving, I suppose.
9. Or showering.
10. Yep, she might be in the shower.
11. But for like 45 minutes? I doubt she still has hot water…
12. Not to mention – how f*cking dirty could she be?
13. All right, I’m over this.
14. Nevermind, I’m not.
15. She thinks she’s got me wrapped around her finger, I’m sure.
16. HA. If she ever does answer, I’m gonna wait like two f*cking weeks to ask “what’s up.”
17. Knowing my luck, I’ll get a “nmu” as I’m dropping my kid off to college.
18. I have like sh*t to do today – I can’t be sweating next to my phone all day like Jack Bauer trying to defuse a bomb.
19. Damn, she just favorited a tweet.
20. WTF, @Harry_Styles?
21. Is she f*cking kidding me?
22. Harry Styles thanks Amsterdam for his last concert, on Twitter, and that warrants a favorite.
23. I buy her dinner last night, and I can’t even get a f*cking text back.
24. I’m onto you.
25. I mean, she’s clearly using me.
26. That’s the problem with being a “nice guy,” you get taken advantage of.
27. Or maybe she thinks I’m a dick.
28. I knew I should’ve gone without the mousse.
29. Maybe her mom called her, and she’s having an extended conversation with her parents.
30. Yep, that’s probably it. She probably even asked her mom to “put the dog on the phone.”
31. She’s cute like that.
32. SHE’S DEFINITELY F*CKING HER EX RIGHT NOW.
33. HE’S LURKING, I SEENT IT.
34. Maybe I’ll hit my ex up, too.
35. At least she always answers.
37. …but in another few minutes and I won’t be.
38. Maybe I’ll just run over there.
39. I’ll make it seem like I lost something.
41. That’s the ticket!
42. SHE PROBABLY LOST HER PHONE.
43. Oh my God, I hope she’s OK without it.
44. I know how she gets when she’s not able to scroll through Instagram for a few hours…
45. She probably needs me.
46. Yeah, I’m just gonna run over there myself.
47. Oh, it’s snowing?
48. F*ck that then.
49. I’m paranoid, but not that paranoid.
50. I guess I’ll check the forecast, though, because when this snow does subside – I should probably head over.
51. Why does this sh*t always happen to me?
52. Like, I don’t get it. She can’t even bear to see my name pop up on her iPhone?
53. HOLD THE PHONES. What is this???? A Snapchat?!
54. PHEW. She’s in bed. I knew she had to be napping.
55. Wait, what the f*ck is that shadow next to her.
56. Judging by the trajectory of the lamp on her bedside, that physically cannot be her shadow.
57. F*ck this. Enough is enough. Where the hell are my snow boots?