1. Tough times never last, but tough people do. - Robert H Schuller
2. The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them. – Unknown
3. Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines. -Leroy Satchel Paige
4. A problem is a chance for you to do your best. – Duke Ellington
5. I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders. – Jewish Proverb
6. If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. – Mary Engelbreit
7. When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always get worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better. – Malcolm S Forbes
8. Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it. - William Hazlitt
9. Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity. – Lou Holtz
10. I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. - Thomas Paine
11. If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? - Unknown
12. The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity. - Ulysses S. Grant
13. The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity. –Seneca
14. Adversity is a fact of life. It can’t be controlled. What we can control is how we react to it. – Unknown
15. The true test of a person character is how they stand during test of adversity - Unknown
16. The hardest struggle of all is to be something different from what the average man is. – Charles M Schwab
17. He knows not his own strength who hath not met adversity. – William Samuel Johnson
18. In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive. – Lee Iacocca
19. Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus
20. One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity. – Albert Schweitzer
Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
by Henrik Edberg
1. The 80/20 rule.
This is one of the best ways to make better use of your time. The 80/20 rule – also known as The Pareto Principle – basically says that 80 percent of the value you will receive will come from 20 percent of your activities.
So a lot of what you do is probably not as useful or even necessary to do as you may think.
You can just drop – or vastly decrease the time you spend on – a whole bunch of things.
And if you do that you will have more time and energy to spend on those things that really brings your value, happiness, fulfilment and so on.
2. Parkinson’s Law.
You can do things quicker than you think. This law says that a task will expand in time and seeming complexity depending on the time you set aside for it. For instance, if you say to yourself that you’ll come up with a solution within a week then the problem will seem to grow more difficult and you’ll spend more and more time trying to come up with a solution.
So focus your time on finding solutions. Then just give yourself an hour (instead of the whole day) or the day (instead of the whole week) to solve the problem. This will force your mind to focus on solutions and action.
The result may not be exactly as perfect as if you had spent a week on the task, but as mentioned in the previous point, 80 percent of the value will come from 20 percent of the activities anyway. Or you may wind up with a better result because you haven’t overcomplicated or overpolished things. This will help you to get things done faster, to improve your ability to focus and give you more free time where you can totally focus on what’s in front of you instead of having some looming task creating stress in the back of your mind.
Boring or routine tasks can create a lot of procrastination and low-level anxiety. One good way to get these things done quickly is to batch them. This means that you do them all in row. You will be able to do them quicker because there is less start-up time compared to if you spread them out. And when you are batching you become fully engaged in the tasks and more focused.
A batch of things to do in an hour today may look like this: Clean your desk / answer today’s emails / do the dishes / make three calls / write a grocery shopping list for tomorrow.
4. First, give value. Then, get value. Not the other way around.
This is a bit of a counter-intuitive thing. There is often an idea that someone should give us something or do something for us before we give back. The problem is just that a lot of people think that way. And so far less than possible is given either way.
If you want to increase the value you receive (money, love, kindness, opportunities etc.) you have to increase the value you give. Because over time you pretty much get what you give. It would perhaps be nice to get something for nothing. But that seldom happens.
5. Be proactive. Not reactive.
This one ties into the last point. If everyone is reactive then very little will get done. You could sit and wait and hope for someone else to do something. And that happens pretty often, but it can take a lot of time before it happens.
A more useful and beneficial way is to be proactive, to simply be the one to take the first practical action and get the ball rolling. This not only saves you a lot of waiting, but is also more pleasurable since you feel like you have the power over your life. Instead of feeling like you are run by a bunch of random outside forces.
Have you ever heard of The Curse of the Traveler?
An old vagabond in his 60s told me about it over a beer in Central America, goes something like this: The more places you see, the more things you see that appeal to you, but no one place has them all. In fact, each place has a smaller and smaller percentage of the things you love, the more things you see. It drives you, even subconsciously, to keep looking, for a place not that’s perfect (we all know there’s no Shangri-La), but just for a place that’s “just right for you.” But the curse is that the odds of finding “just right” get smaller, not larger, the more you experience. So you keep looking even more, but it always gets worse the more you see. This is Part A of the Curse.
Part B is relationships. The more you travel, the more numerous and profoundly varied the relationships you will have. But the more people you meet, the more diffused your time is with any of them. Since all these people can’t travel with you, it becomes more and more difficult to cultivate long term relationships the more you travel. Yet you keep traveling, and keep meeting amazing people, so it feels fulfilling, but eventually, you miss them all, and many have all but forgotten who you are. And then you make up for it by staying put somewhere long enough to develop roots and cultivate stronger relationships, but these people will never know what you know or see what you’ve seen, and you will always feel a tinge of loneliness, and you will want to tell your stories just a little bit more than they will want to hear them. The reason this is part of the Curse is that it gets worse the more you travel, yet travel seems to be a cure for a while.
None of this is to suggest that one should ever reduce travel. It’s just a warning to young Travelers, to expect, as part of the price, a rich life tinged with a bit of sadness and loneliness, and angst that’s like the same nostalgia everyone feels for special parts of their past, except multiplied by a thousand.
- Have a firm handshake.
- Look people in the eye.
- Sing in the shower.
- Own a great stereo system.
- If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.
- Keep secrets.
- Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen everyday.
- Always accept an outstretched hand.
- Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
- Avoid sarcastic remarks.
- Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery.
- Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
- Lend only those books you never care to see again.
- Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.
- When playing games with children, let them win.
- Give people a second chance, but not a third.
- Be romantic.
- Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
- Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
- Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for our convenience, not the caller’s.
- Be a good loser.
- Be a good winner.
- Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
- When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.
- Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
- Keep it simple.
- Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
- Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
- Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets
- Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
- Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
- Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.
- Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
- Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes.
- Begin each day with some of your favorite music.
- Once in a while, take the scenic route.
- Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’
- Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
- Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
- Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
- Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.
- Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.
- Become someone’s hero.
- Marry only for love.
- Count your blessings.
- Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home.
- Wave at the children on a school bus.
- Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people.
- Don’t expect life to be fair.
Developing good habits is the basic of personal development and growth. Everything we do is the result of a habit that was previously taught to us. Unfortunately, not all the habits that we have are good, that’s why we are constantly trying to improve.
The following is a list of 30 practical habits that can make a huge difference in your life.
You should treat this list as a reference, and implement just one habit per month. This way you will have the time to fully absorb each of them, while still seeing significant improvements each month.
- Exercise 30 minutes every day. Especially if you don’t do much movement while working, it’s essential that you get some daily exercise. 30 minutes every day are the minimum recommended for optimal health.
- Eat breakfast every day. Breakfast is the more important meal of the day, yet so many people skip it. Personally, I like to eat a couple of toasts in the morning along with a fruit beverage.
- Sleep 8 hours. Sleep deprivation is never a good idea. You may think that you are gaining time by sleeping less, when in reality you are only gaining stress and tiredness. 8 hours are a good number of hours for most people, along with an optional 20 minutes nap after lunch.
- Avoid snacking between meals. Snacking between meals is the best way to gain weight. If you are hungry, eat something concrete. Otherwise don’t. Update: for clarification, I mean don’t eat junk food between meals, but eating real food it’s ok.
- Eat five portions of fruits and vegetables every day. Our body and brain loves getting vegetables and fruit, so I highly recommend eating as much of them as possible. Five portions is the dose that’s usually recommended by many health associations.
- Eat fish. Fish is rich of omega 3 and other healthy elements. At least one meal per week of fish should be enough for getting all these nutrients.
- Drink one glass of water when you wake up. When you wake up, your body is dehydrated and needs liquid. Make the habit of drinking one glass of water after you wake up in the morning. Also, drink more during the day.
- Avoid soda. Soda is often one of the most unhealthy beverage you can find. Limit your consumption of soda as much as possible and you’re body will be grateful for that.
- Keep your body clean. I don’t advise spending your day in front of the mirror, but a minimum of personal care does never hurt.
- If you smoke, stop it. There’s no reason to smoke anymore, and quitting is possible.
- If you drink, stop it. Same as above. Don’t think that alcohol will solve your problems. It never does. The only exception is one glass of wine per day during meals.
- Take the stairs. This is just a hack that forces you to do a minimum of exercise. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs.
- Use an inbox system. Make the habit of keeping track of all the ideas and things that comes to mind. You can use a notebook to do this, and then sync everything on your computer.
- Prioritize. If you have a list of things to do, where do you start? One way is to prioritize your list. If you are in doubt, ask yourself: “If I could only accomplish one thing today, what would it be?”
- Plan, but not too much. Planning is important, and you should decide in advance what you are going to do today or this week. However, planning for more than a few weeks is usually inefficient, so I would not worry too much about that.
- Wake up early. Waking up early in the morning is a great way to gain extra time. I personally like to wake up at 5 am, so that by 9 am I have already accomplished what otherwise would have taken me many days..
- Check your email only twice per day. Email can easily become an addiction, but it’s usually unnecessary to check it every 10 minutes. Make an effort and check your email only once or twice per day, see if the world will still rotate as before after you try this.
- Eliminate unimportant tasks. Being busy all day does not mean you are doing important stuff. Eliminate every activity that’s not important, and focus on what really matters.
- Clean off your desk and room. Having a clear room and desk is important to maintain focus and creativity.
- Automate. There are a lot of tasks that you need to perform every day or every week. Try to automate them as much as possible.
- Set strict deadlines. When you do something, decide in advance when you’re going to stop. There’s a rule that states that you will fulfill all the time you have available for completing a task, so make an habit of setting strict deadlines for maximizing your productivity.
- Take one day off per week. Instead of working every day, take one day off per week (for example sunday) where you are not going to turn on your computer. Use that time for doing recreational activities like going for a walk.
Personal Development habits
- Read 1 book per week. Reading is a good way to keep your brain active. With just 30 minutes per day you should be able to read one book per week, or more than 50 books per year.
- Solve puzzles. Quizzes, word games, etc. are all good ways to exercise your brain.
- Think positively. You are what you think, all the time.
- Make fast decisions. Instead of thinking for one hour wherever you are going to do something, make your decisions as fast as possible (usually less than 1 minute).
- Wait before buying. Waiting 48 hours before buying anything is a tremendous money saver, try it.
- Meditate 30 minutes per day. A great way to gain clearness and peace is through meditation. 30 minutes are not a lot, but enough to get you started with meditation.
- Start a blog. Blogging is one of the best way to put your word out. It doesn’t have to be around a specific topic, even a personal blog will do.
- Build a portfolio. If your job is creating stuff, building a portfolio is a great way to show what you are capable of. You can also contribute stuff for free if that applies to your work.