You Can’t Hit a Target That You Can’t See

Well, the sentence above sounds quite obvious. However, only a few times in our life we stop and think whether or not we are heading towards the places we desire. Have you ever thought about the direction you are moving towards?

You should start doing so. Time is at the essence. It’s your most valuable resource. When you move through life without no awareness, you are sleep walking. In fact, most people go through life, without no innovative thinking. Most people do the regular things most people do. They do the same things and think the same thoughts. They don’t know that they have a choice in life. Greatness is a choice. Happiness is a choice. What should you do?

Define the things you want. I truly believe that the greatest goal is genuine lasting happiness. You should set a goal to become as happy as you can. When you start analyzing the things you do – you will see that you might need to do a couple of changes in order to get to where you want. You might need to do some work on your thinking patterns and start cultivating more positive ones. You might decide that you need a different job or another relationship. It’s up to you. After you have made your thinking, take out a plain sheet of paper and start writing exactly what you want. Define the route you need to take and don’t save on the details. Think how you will feel after you will make the change. Also, try to visualize what changes are needed from your part, in order to take this unknown route. You may need to take some risks and stare life straight in the eyes.

For conclusion, I hope that you have a well-defined target. It’s perfectly normal to change them every now and then. However, when you know your targets, you have a much better chance of actually hitting them. I wish you happiness.

Volunteering Is for The Soul

Not long ago, a few months ago to be more exact, I started to volunteer. I have set this goal 3 years ago, but only recently had the chance to fulfill it. After filling an application and going through interviews, I was accepted and got the chance to make a good impact on other people’s lives. In a way, it’s one of the more meaningful things I have done in my life, if not the most meaningful one. So, what do I do?

I volunteer in giving mental assistance (sort of a ‘first aid’ assistance), for people who are on the break of suicide (In fact, I’m still going through a 4 month intensive training period, during which I only volunteer with guidance) . For me, being raised as a pretty spoiled boy, it was quiet shocking to be exposed to some of the content during the training or some of the stories that I have seen on my shifts. Violence, sexual harassment and other great hardships are the daily reality of some of the people who arrive at our door. So why should someone get his head into all of that stuff? Why bother?

There are a few good reasons. First of all, You can make a huge difference in other people’s life and that is a true gift. Another good reason is to learn how to be more empathic and patient. Those traits are being strengthened while you volunteer and will be handy for you, when you or someone close to you feels down. Moreover, being able to totally focus on other people’s problems, that are much bigger than your own problems, causes you to be aware to your relatively good fortune in life. So, should you volunteer?

That is a good question. I don’t think that you need to volunteer in order to make a great change in people’s life. Being kind to one another, whenever possible, is a great way to make an impact. However, if you find some worthy goal you are passionate about and you are willing to contribute from your own time to promote it- I believe that you are really lucky. Contributing your time is a privilege. I feel very lucky, that I was fortunate enough to have free time to promote things that I care about. For me having this privilege is a part of successful living. I wish you will enjoy this great privilege too.

Should You Leave Your Day Job?

Not long ago, I had a 9 to 5 job. Everything was good, but something was missing. Since November last year I am self-employed and I am loving it (even though there are many challenges). In this post I will give you some guidelines, that can help those of you who are interested in leaving their day job. Taking an entrepreneurship route is not for everyone. In fact, some will claim that only 1% of the population can succeed as self-employed. I think that it doesn’t matter if you think of leaving your day job or not- it’s always good to have a plan B ready to launch. Why should you read this post?

  • I don’t think you should leave your day job, But you should definitely know that there are more ways to earn money. If you can earn some money part time, while you work full time at your day job, you can gradually build a small fortune.
  • Confidence. I think it’s a key element in work and life. When you build more streams of income part time, you will be less worried from your financial state and you will generally feel more confident.
  • If you will ever hate your day job, this post might come out handy .

The guidelines to leaving your day job:

  1. Build a steady stream of income, while you are working at your day job. How to do that? Well, there are many ways to earn money part time. If you have a certain talent or a unique skill, I would probably think at that direction. However, if you don’t, in today’s economy and the rapid pace that everything is moving- I would focus on the Internet. How can you earn money online? There are serval ways- joining affiliate programs (if you don’t know what it means, you can read in this Wikipedia), blogging and more. If you are a beginner, I would recommend blogging on a subject you are passionate about. By getting a loyal audience of readers, you can gradually increase your income (that will come from putting advertisements and banner ads in your blog). Bear in mind that if you wish to earn money online, you will need to learn a few subjects- seo, html, css, ppc and more as the time goes by.
  2. Think long term. Some of the projects I did part time are very small, yet today they run on auto pilot. Each one of them gives me a little stream of income, but that is a steady income, that is added to each month’s earnings. You should think of things that can produce you some amount of money on a steady basis, with not much effort from your side. From that reason, I think that a good internet site, that truly gives value to its visitors, is like a good real estate piece. They both produce money each month on a steady basis. A good website that you own is a property and that’s good to remember.
  3. Go to work on your part time fortune. If you have a day job from 9 to 5 pm, you still have a lot of time to invest in developing your part time streams of income. You will gradually become better and better at your part time work. “Success is doing ordinary things extraordinary well” Jim Rohn.
  4. Really think of giving more value to other people. Think of the people that will gain from your new part time activity and make the best you can do. Zig Ziglar said it so well (this quote is hanged on my office door): “If you help enough people get what they want, you can have everything you want”.
  5. Don’t think of quitting your day job, before you can double your salary part time. Yes, you need to double it. When you can make significantly more money at your part time work, you will have some money saved on the side and a reasonable amount of confidence that you can make it on your own. Only when I doubled my salary, I thought of quitting my day job and I think that’s the only way to go.

Good luck!

Thinking Long Term – Building Assets

Well, a lot have happened for me lately. After I had a great few months in work, I had the worst 2 months of my career. I knew from the start, that being self-employed, had two sides. I can sometimes make a lot of profits and I can sometimes make none or even lose money. There is absolutely no guarantee… I wake up in the morning and I know that I’m the only one that is in charge of my performance, no one else, no boss, nothing.. When I am doing great it’s great, but when things are going wrong, I am the only one to blame.. Fortunately, every weak period, forces me to think what went wrong and how I can become better in the future. This period yielded some conclusions for me..

  1. Being focused– I love the famous saying “don’t count your chickens before they are hatched”. I think that being down to earth and to keep working diligently, no matter what, is the best antidote for weak periods in life/business. Weak periods will come in the future, that’s for sure, but being focused keeps them as short as possible.
  2. Being Humble– it is easy to brag, yet it’s a lot more challenging to consider your words and see if they are really useful. Even though I consider myself pretty humble most of the time, there were a few times when I bragged about my work and I regret those. I believe the saying “the tree that has the most fruit is the tree that bends to the ground”. I intend to implement it more in the future..
  3. Thinking long term and building assets.I think that having assets, that produce income whether you work or not, is a very important aspect in business. I know that in the last two months, even though they were not successful at all for me as far as my business went, I still had a little stream of income going in from a few assets I have (a couple of websites and services online). Building more assets is one of the ways to become more successful and I plan to keep doing so. I know it requires a lot of work, since every new project needs time and attention. However, I intend to keep planting seeds for the future.. In general, I believe in building assets, not just in business- I think that when you think long term you can benefit from it. I have goals written in my calendar for twenty years from now and I hope to achieve them. Some of them are financial, some of them concern my loved ones, some are related to my hobbies or to other causes that I see as worthy (for me it’s instructing Karate, to keep volunteering etc..). I just think that it’s good to think for the long term from time to time  . I love this quote “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant” Robert Louis Stevenson.

Some of My Favorite Quotes

A great quote contains a wealth of wisdom in a single line. Here are some of my favorite ones…

“Nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.” Thomas Edison

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it- and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. It will never sit down on a hot stove lid again- and that is well; but it will never sit down a cold one anymore.” Mark Twain

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” Peter Druker

“Be the change that you wish to see most in your world.” Gandhi

“It is not enough to be busy, so are the aunts. The question is what are you so busy about?” Thoreau

Have a wonderful day.

How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety?

All of us experience fear from time to time. Certain situations can arouse anxiety in some of us. The question is how can we overcome those uncomfortable emotions?

First step- Don’t deny your fear or anxiety. Keep in mind that denying an emotion isn’t going to make it go away. When you know that fear is a natural response to certain situations in life, you become more tolerate towards it. You wish it to vanish, but in order for that to happen, you shouldn’t fight it. Recognize that there is a fear and accept it. This fear can’t hurt you in any way and therefore there is no need to fight it. In most cases, we choose to fight our feelings and get angry at ourselves. This approach can only intensify the unwanted emotion. Example- let us assume that you are headed toward a job interview and that you are eager to get the job. You are excited and you fear whether or not you will get the job. You know that you need to think clearly and impress the interviewer in order to get this competitive position. One possible response is to get angry at your fear. You try to reject your fear and calm yourself for the interview, but the harder you push against your fear only intensify it. The second possible response is to accept that there is a fear. You can remind yourself that it is only natural to have a certain amount of fear before an interview. You can also remind yourself that no matter what happens, you will still remain the same and the people who love you, will continue to love you, no matter what. When thinking at this manner, it is possible to diminish the fear and have a much more positive attitude towards the interview.

Second step- Analyze the situation. Is there really a reason to be afraid? You should analyze the situation. Remind yourself that a job interview, a date, an important test or any other situation that might cause you to be afraid, can do no harm for you. On the other hand, a hurricane, a tsunami or an earth quake can sometimes cause a lot of harm. In those cases a certain amount of fear, can help the person that is in danger to function more rapidly. The “fight or flight” response that is felt during fear or anxiety, was supposed to help us survive dangerous situations. When encountering a real danger, the “fight or flight” response that we feel, can make us ran more fast or do anything much more efficiently. Therefore this response was “designed” to help us. The problem is that in our days, we seem to see many situations as fearful ones. We need to stop and think, if there is really something to be afraid of.

Third step- You need some positive thinking. It is well known that positive thinking is an efficient antidote for fear. When you see all the positive aspects of your life and give thanks for them, you will feel that you are lucky. Feeling this way will cause you to seek more proofs for being lucky. That will cause you to see your life as an adventure with good surprises, instead of a long route with bad things that might happen to you on the way. It is all a matter of perspective and you can choose in which manner to see things. Becoming more positive isn’t something that is done instantly. But, cultivating more and more positive thinking can help you see your life in a much brighter perspective.

For conclusion, I can only wish you success and happiness. You can read more on bad habits and how to get rid of them. Feel free to write your opinion in the responses.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

It’s quite funny, we desire to get more and more comfort, But the true freedom is found outside our current boundaries. Protecting your comfort zone may seem as the most reasonable thing to do, but taking risks and moving out of that zone, can bring you many great gifts. So where to start your journey?

I believe awareness is the first step and it precedes any major change in your life. I think that spending some time alone each day in order to reflect can really put your life on the fast track. In today’s culture we rarely have a few minutes for ourselves to sit and think quietly. Thinking and being aware to what you are currently doing in your life is one of the best formulas to get better. I try to spend half an hour a day reflecting, thinking what am I doing right and what am I avoiding from doing, just to protect my current comfort zone.

Put it a goal to do the things you know you need to do, whether you like it or not. When you put on a new pair of shoes, they are not so comfortable at the beginning and it may take some time for you to get use to them. The same way goes with every new habit you try to adjust for your life. Undergoing some discomfort for a short period of time can bring you great rewards for the future- the question is what do you prefer? The best thing about getting out of your comfort zone is the sense of “high” that you get every time you manage to do something that was considered impossible by you.

I want to share a short story from my past. A few years back, I needed to give lectures from time to time. I must say that only thinking about standing in front of a large crowd made me very nervous. Anyhow I knew only one thing- my goal was to get out of my comfort zone (which in this case was avoiding as much as I can from giving lectures). I didn’t make it a goal to give the best lectures in the world. I made another goal- to tackle my fear, to face the discomfort and win. I set a goal to make as many lectures as I could and to take each chance I have to acquire more experience. The first time I was nervous, the second time was much better and after 10 more times It felt pretty natural for me. I don’t know what stops you and where are the boundaries of your comfort zone, but you should make it a goal to expand those boundaries and to aim to act as if you have no restraints.

Taking the time to stop and think pays off, to analyze why we do what we do and what stops us from doing or achieving what we want. I try to take the time and find new ways to get better in my life- to challenge myself, to stretch and getting where I want. It’s an endless road, but it’s rewarding- getting out of your comfort zone demands a lot of courage and persistence, but the satisfaction and happiness that come along with it make it all worthwhile.

Put on Your Running Shoes

I love to exercise. In fact, I do it on a daily basis. How often should you exercise? Do you have enough time to exercise? Where can you get some workout? Here are a few simple things I do on my daily routine.

Well, exercising shouldn’t be too complicated…I have a skipping rope next to my computer, when I am bored or I need to clear my mind- a few jumps and that’s all I need. It takes me 5 minutes and afterwards I can be much more clear and sharp when I work.

Stretching is simple and effective. This pose is one of my favorites, it looks like this. I am much less flexible than the person in the picture…

Walking helps me to think. Whenever I need to think of new ideas, I get outside for a short walk. It is one of the best forms of exercise and it helps me to boost my creativity.

Putting your running shoes and getting outside for a run, can be pretty rewarding. For me running is a kind of a psychological challenge, I try to stretch my limits and make the best of this activity. I usually run 10 km once a week.

Well, for conclusion, my advice for you is to get some exercise and on a daily basis. You don’t need to look for some exotic solutions, you can simply try one of the described exercises above. Good luck!

Are You Doing Your Best?

A good question to ponder is are you doing the best you can do. It’s good to ask yourself from time to time, are you really making the most out of your career, out of your relationships… Are you leaving a legacy behind you, are you doing the things that really matter to you? Taking the time to ponder on these questions, can yield a lot of benefits.

I guess that there are always some areas of life where you can stretch yourself more. Put more effort, challenge yourself. You might ask yourself why go through all this discomfort, why work so hard? Why try to be the best you can be at work? Why try to make the most out of your relationships with your close ones? Why go through all that effort? If you think about it for a second, Why not? That might be the best answer. This is the best time to do all the things that are really meaningful and important for you.

It’s a bit ironic that we might strive to become better and earn more money, only in the hope that our lives will become more comfortable. Comfort might be important for some extent, but it can’t bring us more happiness after a certain amount of it. We sometimes confuse comfort as some measure that defines the quality of our lives. Our happiness and our general well-being aren’t so effected from our level of comfort in life. In fact, it’s in the times that we are less comfortable that we tend to grow and develop. Those not so pleasant times can be the best times for our inner growth, for developing a better self-esteem and feeling generally happier. This is also why it’s important to challenge yourself all the time and not feeling too comfortable.

In conclusion, when you take one of your next breaks, take some time to ponder alone. Ask yourself some questions and take the time to think about them. You are not in a race, but you are definitely been given a rare opportunity to do what you want to do in life. So just take the time to see if you are doing what you really want and where you might improve things a little more. Good luck

Seeing the Bigger Picture

There are many boring little things that I find myself doing during the day. This post is dedicated to those boring moments, to those moments that are part of work but not the part I like.

There are better days in the office and there are worse. There are days where you are packed with enthusiasm trying to do something new and there are other times when you sit and do the same things you have been doing over and over in the past and you don’t particularly like. In a day like this, you might sit next to your desk at work and ask yourself why you do what you do. You might even ask yourself what is the meaning behind what you are doing? good questions, let’s try and answer them.

First of all, you need to know that those questions make the process of doing a job you don’t like much tougher. This is why it is important to resolve them and try to get them out of your system. When facing a boring task that makes it hard for you to get motivated, try to see the wider picture. Remind yourself that any business large or small has many tedious works that need to be done. When you keep in mind the big picture and you remind yourself that these boring tasks are the ones that lead you and the business to its goals, the task becomes more possible to manage.

You can also see the benefit and the value you bring to the world by doing your task. Maybe your work seems totally irrelevant and not important, but if you get paid it’s a good sign that you are adding value somewhere, you are helping someone, whether you see it or not when you sit next to your desk. If you try and focus on all the positive things that your work might yield, as boring and not meaningful it might seem at first glance, you can manage all the less pleasant times in your day much more easily.

For conclusion, seeing the bigger picture and trying to see the meaning in your work can serve you. It can motivate you to go to work when you are not too enthusiastic and it can help you pass less cheerful moments, which everyone has from time to time..