How to Keep Your Mind Sharp and Help Your Inspiration & Creativity

There are several factors in life that can make you feel as dull as a brick.

And the sad thing is that by the time you realize it, it’s very hard to returned to that focused state you remember you once had. Repeating curriculum, long periods of inactivity due to illness or other reasons may render a person not entirely able to function the way he or she once did.

Thus the need is born – to keep your mind sharp at all times. This stimulates your creativity and allows you to be inspired more easily.

The Underlying Factors

Ever notice how as soon as you passed elementary school you stopped doing math by hand, and started using the calculator?

Suddenly, you never multiplied anything using your brain anymore, and the next time you actually tried (after several years, no less) you could barely remember how it was done, let alone manage to pull it off quickly.

Same thing happens in many other spheres of life – your brain stops to work at full power once you find quick workarounds.

Doing lots of menial tasks and having a gray and monotonous everyday schedule can contribute to that too. These are things you should avoid at all cost.

Some Useful Tips to Promote a Sharp Mind

Here are a few valuable tips you can use to keep your mind sharp all the time.

  1. Take Care of Your Body

Most of us don’t have the time, resources or good will to be health nuts, however there are some simple things nearly everyone can do to keep their body fit to a certain extent, which will help the mind as well.

Romans used  to say that one should  have a “A healthy mind in a healthy body”, and to keep up to that proverb you can do a few simple things –  dedicate half an hour once or twice weekly for jogging, walk to work if that’s an option, or at least walk a mile every day, in whatever pace you want.

Reduce caffeine intake 4 to 5 hours before bed – this will make your sleep quite a lot healthier and will make you more productive in the morning.

  1. Read, Read, Read

A piece of advice you likely see quite too often.

It’s very likely that you’re already doing it, as you’re reading this article right now. But to keep up the good work, try finding lots of information and sifting through what might be relevant and interesting for you. Don’t be afraid to dig further into complex topics.

The other way is also an option – read less and more general information but for a variety of different topics. Once you explore lots of different things, you’ll be able to cross-reference and abstract them in your head, allowing for better creativity.

  1. Give Your Mind Some Rest from Time to Time

Leading psychologists suggest dedicating ten minutes per day to doing absolutely nothing.

That’s right, basically staring at the ceiling!

One might wonder what the purposes of that would be at first glance, but when you think about it , this is actually the most primitive form of meditation that anyone can do!

By doing this you’ll help prevent your mind from overloading.

  1. Find New Challenges, New Hobbies and New Tasks

An old proverb says that the mind is like the blade – it gets rusty if it’s not used. So to keep your mind from “catching rust” you’ll need to present it with a variety of new difficulties and challenges.

What better way to do that than to learn how to play an instrument for example? Or start a new hobby, like knitting, origami or any sort of applied art.

There are a plethora of tutorials and helpful communities online, and for most hobbies you’ll need to invest only a little money on the basic necessities you’ll need at first.

You can also find a pen pal to help you learn another language.

The opportunities are all around you!

Conclusion

In conclusion, following some kind of loose schedule can help direct your mind to becoming a more productive machine, or rather a furnace for new ideas and creations, making you a person who can derive inspiration from nearly everything around him.

Biography

Zohaib Akhlaq is the founder of HowEntrepreneur.com where he teach entrepreneurs and startup owners something new daily. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

 

 

Are you struggling in your life? You don´t need to anymore. There´s a way to further excel and simplify your life. Get in touch with us here for an initial dialogue about how our successful 12-steps process can help you succeed too!

1-Minute Playbook: How To Manage Your Time Wisely, part II

Keep track on your timeHow do you manage your daily tasks for maximum effectiveness and efficiency? Here are some easy-to-implement tips that will allow you to create a realistic daily task list.

  • Avoid the usual time wasters – these are the normal obstacles to productivity and efficiency.
  • Ensure efficiency through organization and preparedness. By bringing together the right people and necessary materials to the right place – and by acquiring required information – the action will flow better.
  • Manage unexpected problems by solving the immediate problem and buying time to find the best solution.
  • Avoid or management interruptions. Interruptions are inevitable but their impact does not have to be inevitable.
  • Improve productivity by deliberately taking time away from the task at hand. As counterintuitive as this may seem, this is a very powerful technique to avoid brain fatigue.
  • Measure how well you manage time by helping to identify areas in which you are doing well and areas in which you need to improve. Tracking these areas over time can show how you are improving—or not improving—your time management skills.

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Improve your transparency skills with these easy tips

house-wall-113541_1280The skills of being transparent is the key to developing authentic relationships with your team – and with other people. Being transparent is about sincerity, honesty, grace and composure.

Transparent leaders are authentic and respected. They are true to themselves and know their team members well. They share of their knowledge and information, instilling trust and understanding amongst their associates.

Here are some easy tips on being transparent:

– Own up to mistakes.
The act of owning up to a mistake demonstrates humility and a genuine desire to do the right thing.

– Responsibility share true opinions and emotions.
Be responsible for the manner in which you share your opinions with others. For example, express your concern but without contempt.

– Ask for feedback on your own performance.
Ask those who you respect for feedback and accept it with an open mind.

– Communicate both good and bad news.
Do not sugarcoat bad news to make it sound better and don’t downplay good news. Simply tell the truth with a touch of compassion when necessary.

– Create meaningful connections with your team.
Don’t force an unnatural or uncomfortable bond with your employees. Instead, go out of your way to get to know each person on a real level.

How do you practice transparency in your organization and your life? Is there something you can do to improve even further and if so, in what way?

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The 25 Best Blogs of 2015

Get some great inspiration for growth from 25 of our favorite life and leadership blogs (in no particular order). They are a mixture of “famous” medalj-guld-stor-500x500blogs and less well known but great blogs. What they all have in common, is that they all aim – and succeed – to inspire and advise on all matters related to personal and professional growth.

Read and be inspired!

1. Leadercast

2. Success

3. The Upwards Leader

4. Scott Hansen

5. The Chief Happiness Officer Blog

6. Michael Hyatt

7. Motivational Memo

8. Tiny Buddha

9. The Dream Catcher

10. The Secrets of Success

11. Lolly Daskal

12. Happy Melly

13. Michael Lee Stallard

14. Ying Ying Shi

15. Imperfect Spirituality

16. Limitless

17. The Muse

18. Your Life YOUR way

19. The Grasshopper Blog

20. All Business

21. Pam Grout

22. Rebel Brown

23. Strategies Blog

24. Gretchen Rubin

25. Daring To Live Fully

Are you afraid of losing your job or are you really afraid of failure?

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Many Americans only take half of their paid vacation because they are afraid of losing their job if they are away longer. In the UK a fifth of employees fear job loss. And in Sweden employees are afraid of speaking up against wrongdoings because they fear they will be replaced, even though they have a legally protected right to their job.

But does it really have to be this way? Are you simply a victim of external forces, a global culture where there’s no job security to find? Or could it be that the fear of losing your job is a sign that you are not fully living the life you should be? There’s an easy way to find out.

Ask yourself, are you doing what you most want in your life right now? How would you live if you had no fear at all? If your answers are not the way you are living your life right now, take an honest look at why you haven’t changed that. What is it that you’ve been afraid of?

“Fear and ‘pain’ are touchstones for all spiritual growth.”

The most common explanations people give for not stepping up and changing something, is fear of failure. However, being afraid to fail is in reality an excuse in disguise for your failure to work through your fear. Fear is a powerful instinct that serves a valuable purpose in some circumstances, but it can also misfire badly in situations. Fear tends to paralyze most people or at the best, slow us down to the point of non-action. Remember that fear and “pain” are touchstones for all spiritual growth. Make friends with your fear and learn to use it as an indicator for action!

When you are doing your lifework, you will no longer be governed by fear of losing your job. The courage to live consciously will far exceed any fear of loss. You will be living with the knowledge that you will be taken care of, regardless of the circumstances. When you are living your true purpose and are of service to others, there will always be “more to come” positively for you. So step into action, be courageous, take charge of your life and live your purpose!

 

How To Get Unrivalled Employee Engagement

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Imagine a workplace where employees take full ownership for their team’s performance and where the culture fosters innovation and interaction. Where transparent, honest and uplifting conversations take place between employees and leaders. Picture a workplace where employees are fully supported and where the culture has gone beyond ‘empowerment’. And then imagine achieving this, so that the organization has unmatched commitment, attendance, performance and customer satisfaction.

The spirit of employeeship

Does it sound too good to be true? It’s not. This is the spirit and the reality of employeeship. This simple, yet fundamental approach to transforming attitudes at work has provided outstanding results in Scandinavia. And now the rest of the world is catching on fast too.

Leaders and employees who have been engaged in employeeship see their role as much more than just the carrying out of formal instructions passed on from the leader to team members. They see it as a way of helping individuals grow, professionally but even more so in a deeply personal way. And since employeeship is about aligning individuals’ innermost values to what they do every day – in relation to their work and to the people they work alongside – they experience increased well-being in life.

Organizations that have successfully implemented a culture of employeeship not only get better everyday conversations between managers and co-workers but they also gain deeper knowledge of employees’ skills and talents. Furthermore, they experience a much greater sense of engagement and responsibility amongst their employees.

It’s not a program or project – it’s a culture

It’s important to remember that employeeship is not a development program or a project. It’s a work culture. One that is not implemented by simply improving employee engagement with suggestion boxes, “employee of the month”-awards or different bonus programs. It goes much deeper than that. It’s like empowerment on steroids – without negative effects.

Leaders and employees act together as partners in the workplace. That means acknowledging and taking responsibility for your part as a team member as well as standing up for what you believe is right. It means going beyond what is required in your job description. Employeeship is doing what is in the best interest for the team, the organization and foremost, for the customers. In its essence it is about placing yourself in a position where you act as a co-builder of the organization you belong to. Where you are part of something larger than yourself and your work isn’t just a job but a meaningful experience. How can it possibly get better than that?

If you want to know more about employeeship or about how to implement this fundamental game-changer in your organization too, get in touch with us for a dialogue on how we best can be of help to you.

Saturday’s Wisdom: There’s no room for a queen on the team

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It’s not personal

Each of us comes into this world with a particular mission, written within our souls. I have myimages own mission as you have yours. We might cross paths as our individual missions in one way or another may interact with eachother’s – however each and every single one of us will still be alone on our own spiritual journey in order to fulfill our own particular mission. And we all have our lessons to learn…our experiences and wisdom to gain. This means that we once or a couple of times in life say or do things that aren’t in the best of interest for our own spiritual growth nor for anyone else – it is however a step that needs to be taken on our journey as we mature and, like a baby taking it’s first steps, are navigating and trying to master something that is so much greater than ourselves. So don’t take anything anyone else’s doing personally as it is not you who are the Star of their show, it is themselves.

If you manage to master this blessing you’ll be able to share of your love imagesCAGT5V9Qbut still not be a target for someone elses harmful words or actions. You won’t need to put your trust in what other people do or say as you will not be affected by it – each and everyone must owe up to take responsibility for their own reality. You can choose to follow your heart always no matter what as no one will be able to harm you – enabling you to focus on how to share of your greatest gift, love.

If being faced with feelings of hurt, instead of choosing any of the “easier” options like feeling sorry for yourself, “paying back” or feeling resentment towards the one who “caused” you pain – in fact inflicted pain on him or herself – ask yourself “How am I going to grow from this? How can I use this to make me my most Divine self? What can I now contribute that I couldn’t have if I had never had this experience?” Embrace the experience – I know it ain’t easy every time but try –, vision the greater Divine picture and learn from it. Always remember, it really really isn’t personal!

 

Lead with awareness

Great leaders lead with awareness. That means that they aren’t only using their knowledge, experience and intelligence as foundation for theirpersonal_growth leadership. Leading with awareness is something more. Leading with awareness is about how to use all the three mentioned qualities in an ethical and moral way – it’s about leading with your heart. Leading with a servant mindset. Awareness is what we gain as we throughout our entire life put our thoughts, ideas and values to the test, and by that get a deep insight of what we find to be right and wrong as well as good and bad. Not only for ourselves but for others – many individuals actually come to the conclusion that what provides meaning to life is really not when it’s all about “me” but about “them”.

Yet awareness isn’t what our “modern” world seem to seek, or even truly appreciate. Not in our society and not as desired qualities in our leaders. What we do seem to appreciate however is money, fame and power – all three which are considered as “signs of success”. The more money, fame or power that we can get or achieve, the more successful we “are” or consider ourselves and others. Money, fame and power are something that’s truly sought after in our society. And it seems to be a fact that once we gain either money, fame or power – or some or all of them – we can not get enough of it. We just crave more and more of it – to fill a void of something that we can not put our finger on. Like an addiction.

“Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A quest for money, fame and power isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. King Salomon said that “money are great servants but bad masters” and there’s certainly a great deal of truth in that. Money, fame or power are not goals in themselves but resources to use wisely in order to serve others! Money can absolutely create great possibilities, fame can most definitely open doors and power can be well used to create long-term values in a selfless, servant and compassionate society. But only if we as leaders are courageous enough to move beyond our ego and lead from our heart, with awareness of what’s going on around and within us. By taking advantage of our experience and combine these with our own core values, our inner wisdom can work as a compass which at all times will guide us right – not only in our leadership but also in our own life.

But how do we do this? How do we, as leaders who want to grow not only in our leadership but also as human beings, lead with awareness? How do we in the best way lead and serve others with our heart as the guiding light? These questions will be discussed further in Gusto Life Group’s Servant Leadership-article series during this year. You are very welcome to share your thoughts, ideas and insights on this subject with us – either via the comments section or by e-mail.

Put people first and the money will follow

Most organizations claim that their employees are their most important asset. Or at least that’s what it says in oneimagesCAPEOUR2 of their policies, although some might not live up to their words. Either way, there’s an increasingly raised awareness that the employees – and other stakeholders – are the ones making all the difference in an organization. This awareness has brought with it a shift of focus in many organizations, from an organizational culture previously focused on ‘money’ to instead being focused on ‘people’.

This is not to say that ‘money’ doesn’t matter for these organizations. Of course it does. But these organizations broaden their perspectives and offer more. People-centred cultures are dedicated to create good relationships with stakeholders and by that deliver a better value than any competitors. And as with any other work culture this is naturally reflected in leadership behaviours.

imagesCAYPC6VDPeople-oriented leaders share a set of beliefs and values that are about “putting people first”. Such leaders are constantly learning and adapting to “people”-requirements yet still, or maybe because of that, adapt effectively and swiftly to competitive conditions. Put simply, people-oriented – or servant, service or personal – leaders know that by putting the people first the money will follow.

I want to share two great videos with you in which the featured speakers are taking about what I call servant leadership:

– In the first video one of the most inspirational women I’ve come across, Colleen Barrett at Southwest Airlines, talks about the importance of making employee and customer satisfaction the highest priority: Servant leadership I 

– The second video features bestselling author Tom Peters, talking about what happens when you treat your employees like customers – and when you don’t: Servant leadership II

What’s your thoughts on servant leadership? Do you think it makes any difference to the bottom-line how you percieve your employees, customers or other stakeholders? And do you think it makes any difference to your employees or in your recruiting efforts?