Empowering Entrepreneurs Blog


15Dec

How to discover your passion and purpose!

"Follow your passion. The rest will attend to itself. If I can do it, anybody can do it. It's possible. And it's your turn. So go for it. It's never too late to become what you always wanted to be in the first place." J. Michael Straczynski


Life without passion for something can be a struggle. Days will feel endless and tedious and life will seem a struggle. By finding your passion for something you will discover joy, creativity, inspiration and a greater sense of freedom and well-being. You'll also discover a sense of purpose.


Here are seven ways you can discover your passion and purpose in life


Create a Vision Board

Collect images and quotes that illustrate what you want for your life. Add your goals in written and visual form. Creating a physical vision board will allow you to place it somewhere prominent where you will be able to see it frequently and it will reinforce the vision you have for the future and the life you want to live.


Make a List of Things You Enjoy Doing

Write down everything, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, that you enjoy doing. Think back to your childhood and add all of those hobbies and activities that you love and were good at. Which of these things sparks the greatest feeling of passion and joy in you?


List Your Dreams and Goals in Life

Think big. What do you really want from your life? How would you like to be remembered?


Write down all the things that you have ever dreamed of being or doing. Include those from your childhood. Which of these dreams and goals resonates with you the most? Which is the one that sings to your soul?


Think Big

Passion and purpose are meant to create a huge shift within you mentally and physically. So when trying to find your passion and purpose in life don't think small; think big. What would you like your legacy to be?


Be Inspired

Think about and list on a piece of paper, all of those people who inspire you. Then note down what it is about them and what they do that makes you feel inspired. What can you take from their examples to create passion and purpose in your life?


Get a Mentor

A mentor who is already living the passionate and purposeful life you desire can help you to model their success. Networking is a great way to find a suitable mentor so once you know what your goal is then find a way to connect with others with the same interests.


Find a Life Coach

Coaching is a really powerful tool that will help you discover yourself, your interests and create the life you really want. Investing in yourself by choosing a coach will help you discover your passion and purpose with support, guidance and encouragement.


There are many ways to discover your passion and purpose in and for life. Many are free and some will require an investment in terms of money as well time. However, if you want to live your best life then you need to take action starting now. Pick one of the activities above and create the change you want and need.


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08Dec

There are many benefits of living a life with purpose!

Instead of settling for an ordinary life, why not create a life that is focused and purposeful. One that brings you joy, excitement and fulfilment? There are many benefits to discovering your main interest, passion project or purpose in life. Don't you deserve to live a life less ordinary?


Self-Development

Identifying what interests, you and gives you purpose will motivate and encourage you to gain new skills. You'll find that you are motivated to learn and grow so that you can meet the goals you set yourself. Identifying your purpose is a powerful self-development tool in itself. Following it will provide you with the opportunity to grow and develop as a person.


Focus

Increased focus is one of the major benefits of following your passion and living a purposeful life. This is because you will have identified exactly what you want to achieve and how you will achieve it. Your goal setting and planning will be invaluable tools and help you to focus on creating positive change in yourself and your life.


Motivation

The fact that you have a purpose that drives you and is your inspiration for creating change in your life will provide the momentum to keep moving forward towards your goals. Due to the fact that you will constantly be monitoring your progress against your goals and plans will motivate you to continue to progress. You will want to feel the success of achieving targets and goals at each step of your journey.


Happiness

Living a purposeful life will increase your sense of happiness and well-being. Having goals and a reason to get up in the morning are very powerful tools and will help you feel a sense of satisfaction, encouragement and success. All of these positive emotions will help you realise that you are the master of your destiny and that you have the ultimate power to change your life.


Better Health

As you improve your situation and outlook by taking positive action each day you will begin to notice that you feel happier and that your stress and anxiety levels reduce. By giving yourself a purpose you will find that you want to take better care of yourself and your health so that you can continue working towards your goals and achieving the life you ultimately desire.


It is worth remembering that you may want to plan in regular exercise, breaks, healthy meals and snacks as well as enough sleep. That way you will ensure that you reap the maximum benefit from your new purposeful lifestyle.


Self-Knowledge

Living a life of purpose and passion will enable you to grow as a person. It will open doors to interests and networks that will stretch you mentally, emotionally and, possibly even, physically. As you follow these new paths you will discover more about yourself, your interests and needs. You will enjoy the process of creating goals and reviewing them as you progress to creating the life you truly desire.


There are many benefits to creating and living a purpose driven life. Why not think about what you really want from life and go for it, so that you can discover them for yourself?

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01Dec

Discover your passion - find your purpose - get your best life!

If you want to live your best life, then you need to find your passion and follow it. Sounds easy doesn't it? It actually isn't that hard so it's surprising that so many people don't do it and seem happy to exist rather than living a life of happiness and success.


To change your life for the better and create a future, you can look forward to then follow the five steps below.


Step 1: Dream Big

Everyone has big dreams. What have you done with yours? Do you think about them, act on them or hide them away?


If you want to find your passion and purpose, then it's time to dream big. List all of those big dreams you've had from childhood to today. No matter how wild or funny, write them all down.


Which of those dreams resonates most with you? Which makes your heart sing and inspires you the most? Is it realistic and achievable? If you've set your sights on being the first full-time resident of Mars, then you'll probably need to take another look at your list and find something that is more realistic and achievable but almost as exciting to you!


Your big dream doesn't have to be outrageous or huge. It just needs to be big enough to push you out of your comfort zone and willing to commit to making changes in your life so that you can achieve it. You need to want it. It needs to spark desire and passion in you.


Step 2: Set Goals

Once you've decided what your ideal or dream is then you need to set goals. Your end goal is what you want to achieve; your dream. There will be other, smaller goals, that you will need to achieve along the way. You need to note these down as well.


Step 3: Plan Your Way

Now that you know what you want and need to achieve, it's time to plan what you need to do to get there. Think about what action you need to take, resources you will need and anything or anyone that can provide help and support.


Step 4: Take Action

You know what you want, how you can achieve it and the steps to take. It's time to take action. Remember you are looking for a passionate life. One that fills you with excitement, joy and success.


Step 5: Live Your Best Life

Once you’ve started taking action on your goals and plans you will find that your life starts to improve. Instead of dreading each day you’ll look forward to it with excitement and anticipation. Your best life is the one that gives you happiness, success and achievement through living your passion and purpose.

If you want to find and live your passion, then you can follow the five steps above. You can do it on your own or you can give yourself a helpful boost by using a coach or mentor.

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24Nov

Your emotions affect your energy!

If you want to start feeling more energetic and getting more done then it is important to think about the way you are managing your emotion. Emotion and energy levels are intimately linked and understanding this connection is the key for many people who want to feel more awake and productive.

Why Emotion Affects Energy

The brain is essentially a large web of connected neurons which psychologists call the 'connectome'. This connectome fires as we experience various things in the world or as we remember certain things and this then creates a variety of different subjective experiences for us.

At the same time though, our brain's unconscious processes pay close attention to the nature of what we're focused on and then produce neurotransmitters accordingly. If what you're seeing is important then your brain will produce things like dopamine which make us more motivated and help us to remember things better. If what we're seeing makes us scared and is at all associated with pain or bad things happening, we'll produce norepinephrine (adrenaline) and become more focused and anxious.

These same things then in turn affect energy levels. When we're alert and focused, this triggers changes in the sympathetic nervous system that increase our heartrate, our circulation and muscle tone all to make us more switched on and productive.

On the other hand, when something seems dull and uninteresting, our brain tells us we're safe and able to go back to relaxing. Thus, it will produce GABA and melatonin which settle us down and make us sleep.

The Optimum Emotional State for Energy

Boredom then is fatal for energy levels. If you find your energy flagging one of the very best things you can possibly do is to switch up your environment or make the task you're performing more interesting. This will immediately tell your brain something interesting is going on and you'll become more alert and awake again.

This is also why depression and sadness are so bad for your energy levels. When you're depressed you struggle to be interested in anything or to care about anything. By doing something that makes you happy you can produce serotonin and oxytocin which will make you more positive and interested again. This is why spending time with friends, laughing or even exercising are so energizing.

Understand this link and change the way you perceive certain events and you can raise your energy levels throughout the day!


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17Nov

Your environment can make or break you!

Our environment dictates how we will behave. If we live in a bad neighborhood, we will always be on the watch for crime. Crime can happen in good neighborhoods too, but the chances are less. Environment plays an important role when trying to set up a positive self-image. The wrong settings will make it much harder to accomplish. Use the following to create an environment that raises your chances of success.

Meditation

Although more of a mental environment setting, meditation can be a great way to clear your mind, focus on good mental images, and reduce stress. The benefits of meditation are numerous. For instance, people who meditate reduce their risk of disease. They tend to be less depressed and have less anxiety. But perhaps one of the most important benefits of meditation is control of mind. This is a crucial aspect of maintaining a positive self-image. Your mind is clearer, your memory is better, and you can focus more easily.

Avoid Negative People

If you are constantly surrounded by negative people, it is going to be difficult not to be sucked into that negativity. The best solution for this is to avoid these people altogether. This may be easier said than done when you have no choice but to deal with them, sometimes on a daily basis. But you have to do your best in minimizing contact with these people.

Increase Exposure to Positive People

If you cannot avoid negative people, try increasing your exposure to positive people, which you should do anyway. Positive people are easier to hang out with. They will be helpful to you and will make you happier overall. They can also point out when you are making negative statements and help you adjust back to positive ones. Their positivity becomes addictive.

Get Your Financial Situation in Order

One of the biggest stresses in life comes from not having your financial situation in order. Take the steps necessary to make sure that this is not an issue with your life. If it means working more hours or taking on a second job, that is what you should consider. Keep in mind that when you gain a more positive self-image, your work situation and prospects for employment are going to improve. So you will not have to work extra hours for any extended period.

Setting up the foundation that is the most optimal for creating a positive self-image will go a long way in helping you provide a better life for you and your family.

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10Nov

Don't let your bad habits rob you of a good life!

We’ve all been unhappy at one time or another. Yet, when you look back at an unhappy time in your life, did you really want to be there? Did you actually want to be unhappy? You see, unhappy people do not want to be unhappy. They are just the same as successful people. They want to achieve goals and get to where they want to be. They want to make their dreams a reality and change their own personal circumstance in the process. In short, unhappy people want to be happy. So, why aren’t they?

The main reason is that unhappiness produces stressful and unhappy emotions. This stress and these emotions combine to cause unhappy people to take actions that are designed to keep them stuck in the very situation that makes them unhappy. They actually begin to develop the habit of being unhappy. Yes, you read that correctly. Unhappiness can be a habit. So can under productivity. So can failure. Any negative emotion can and will become habitual if experienced long enough. Negative thoughts produce negative actions which cause negative results. These negative results, in turn, produce more negative thoughts that reinforce the process. The end result is a habitual and cyclical negativity.

Habits occur because the brain loves to be economical. You see, thinking about something costs calories. Habitual behavior is largely unthinking behavior. So, when habits form, the brain becomes more efficient in how it uses energy. This is a biological imperative that developed back in the days when we hunted and gathered food that was scarce. The more you can “autopilot” behavior, the less likely it is that you’re going to starve.

Breaking negative habitual behaviors isn’t hard if you approach the problem correctly. The first step is to recognize the negative behavior for what it is. Remember, habits are ingrained, unthinking behaviors. Many times, people with bad habits don’t know they have them. To find a negative habit, you have to look for repetitive actions. Are there things you do, time and time again, that always turn our badly? There’s your negative habitual behavior.

Once you identify the bad habit, you begin to take conscious steps to modify the negative behavior. This means that you act contrary to the way you usually act under the circumstances. In other words, if you usually turn right in a given situation, you force yourself to turn left. You do the opposite of what it is you usually do. The end result is that you begin to break the habitual behavior that has been causing you so much trouble.

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03Nov

Using your mind can help control your emotions!

Mindfulness has a great many uses and is often prescribed by self-help gurus, doctors, writers and others as a tool anyone can use to improve their mental health.

Often this focusses on the long-term benefits of being more present and aware. At the same time though, mindfulness can also be used like a scalpel to deal with more acute problems. Here we will look at how it can be leveraged for instance to tackle specific emotions as they arise.

Turning Towards Emotions

Normally when we experience negative emotions, we react either by trying to ‘fight them’ or by trying to suppress them. This can be described as almost ‘turning away’ from our emotions to try and deny them their power over us.

Unfortunately, this ultimately tends to result in our becoming more stressed or upset as the emotions bubble under the surface, or as we frustrate ourselves in trying to fight them.

Instead though, mindfulness teaches us to turn towards our emotions. What this means, is that you are going to listen to the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing and then simply acknowledge them. Now you say ,‘I am stressed’, ‘I am embarrassed’ or ‘I am upset’. Don’t be ashamed or upset that emotion exists but simply recognize that you are currently in that state.

People get upset sometimes. People get angry sometimes. But if you’re simply aware of your condition, then you can be aware that perhaps the thoughts you’re thinking aren’t completely objective. What’s more, you should keep hold of the knowledge that emotions aren’t permanent. In other words, you’re feeling angry right now and as such your thoughts shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But in a few hours, you will likely feel better and then the world will seem like a brighter place again.

This creates a subtle but powerful shift. No longer is the world a terrible place and thus you are upset, now you are upset and thus the world seems like a terrible place. The difference is that you now know that belief is not true.

Debriefing

What’s more, being aware and accepting of your emotions in this way will allow you to assess them in a kind of ‘debriefing’ and to look at what triggered them, how you dealt with them and what they made you think and do. The more you break down and intellectualize your emotions, the more you will find you gain control over them.

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27Oct

Becoming more efficient may lower your stress!

When you learn how to be more efficient, you get more work done, and you tend to do it better, all things being equal. This makes your boss happy which means you won’t get in trouble for not getting your work complete. You may be given more responsibilities as a result, but as long as you maintain your efficiency, you should be able to add those to your workload.

Efficiency also means getting others to help you out. As you prove your effectiveness and your responsibilities increase, you should be able to get support for having others pitch in. When you get support from your boss, it will be more difficult for your colleagues to resist your authority. Besides, when you show them how to be more efficient, it will get them on board. They will likely ask others for help when that happens.

This increase in efficiency is going to mean more work gets done, but it will take less time. You will constantly look for ways to do things better, whether it be via automation, or use delegation, etc. Since you are getting more done with less, your stress levels will decrease, and you will be happier at work.

There will be some managers who don’t see the forest for the trees and the more work you get done, the more they see it as an opportunity to increase your workload. This can get to the point of adding to your stress levels if they don’t support you. For instance, if they discourage you from delegating these new responsibilities, or they don’t give you the tools you need, this will overwhelm you and add to your stress. If talking it out with your manager won’t help, it may be time to look elsewhere. The good news is your increased skills in being efficient will help you land a new job quicker.

When you learn how to be more efficient, you have greater control of your workload. Most people find they actually free up time when this happens due to economies of scale. This free time gives you breathing room, and you won’t be so flustered all the time. You won’t be scrambling to get your work done by the deadlines.

Efficient people tend to have more opportunities available to them, in their current employment situations as well as outside the organization. They will always be in more demand. The great part about this is it won’t add to their stress levels.

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20Oct

Can you fake it til you make it?

Have you ever put a smile on your face when you just weren’t feeling it? It’s hard to do, but the results are much better than if you frown. There are events and periods of time that truly test our strength and threaten to destroy the happiness that took so long to find.

Although the word, “fake” implies that you’re being deceitful, it may be a good tactic to use when you’re feeling down and out and need a boost to your well-being.

Most of us aren’t comfortable with not telling the truth, so faking happiness may not appeal to you at first. But, going through the day with a positive outlook – even though you may feel the opposite – can actually bring feelings of happiness.

It could be because of the way others react toward your demeanor. If you’re sad and downcast, others will treat you differently than if you approach them smiling and self-confident.

Several phrases that have developed over time seem to validate faking happiness to achieve it. “Grin and bear it,” and “Turn your smile upside down,” are just a couple of cliché phrases that indicate you should smile when you don’t really feel it – but eventually the feelings will be real.

Dozens of studies have been performed on the subject of happiness. One telling study had persons holding a pencil in their teeth causing them to smile – while other persons held the pencil with their lips, mimicking a frown.

Then, both groups were asked to look at cartoons. Those with the fake smiles rated the cartoons much funnier than those with frowns, indicating that even fake smiles can cause a higher level of happiness.

A recent test on those whose abilities to frown were impaired by Botox injections were happier than those who could frown easily. That study also indicates that even a fake smile is better than none at all.

Those who lack confidence are sometimes told by counselors and life coaches to fake self-esteem and confidence – just to see how it feels. Those who act more confidently than they feel are better able to project confidence to others.

Know that you don’t need to be happy all the time. Having periods of being unhappy can better help you focus on what needs to be changed in your life so you can recognize happiness when you do find it.

Finding a “happy balance” is a better way to pursue happiness and help you cope with anything that comes your way. By recognizing the emotions you’re feeling, you’ll become much better at coping with them.

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13Oct

Become Curious George and ask questions to develop relationships!

Have you ever notice that people don’t like to ask questions? It’s understandable when those questions are personal. You don’t want to offend anyone. But, most people willingly give answers to questions asked of them. So why are we so afraid to ask?

When you ask questions, you have the tools you need to be a better listener. It’s indirect and subtle, but it works. When you ask questions, you listen for the answer. You aren’t spending your energy trying to think of what to say after the other person is finished speaking.

Before you fire up your question engine, be sure to keep a few tips in mind. The first is to be relevant. If you are all over the place on your topics, the other person is going to suggest you switch to decaf, because you are too wound up. Keep your questions relevant to the topic of discussion. You can transition into other topics, but try to keep them related.

Another tip is, don’t try to ask questions for the purpose of tricking someone into an answer or trying to show how smart you are compared to him or her. The idea is to connect with people by listening to their stories. In fact, a better approach is to ask questions that you know they will be able to answer. Sometimes, you may already know the answer. But it’s the process you are after as well as the answers.

It’s okay to ask questions that relate to you somehow, but try to keep the focus on the other person. People love to talk about themselves, and when they find people who are good listeners, they will open up to you.

Good questions can also steer the conversation. This can be an asset when you converse with someone who is overly chatty. If they are going on and on about a topic, use questions to reel them in. It’s a focused approach that gives you the control while moving the conversation forward.

If you aren’t one who typically uses questions, it can take a bit of practice to learn what to ask. But, you have plenty of opportunity for that practice in your day to day interactions with people. If you commute via public transportation, for instance, try to strike up a conversation with someone next to you. This isn’t as easy as it used to be with people self-absorbed with their smart devices. But, if you try, you will find many people are responsive.

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06Oct

Be true to yourself and you will find happiness!

If you let the standards of society drive who you are, you are not living your own life. You are living as a drone or a robot. While you have to abide by the laws set out by society, you don’t have to listen to its guidelines. You will be happier when you define how you want to live. No one ever stands out by being the same as everyone else.

When you make the decision to live life as you see fit, you will find that it is a very freeing feeling. Your parents wanted you to be a lawyer and they sent you to law school. But you have always wanted to do something else. What usually happens? You either stick with it and hate what you do or you move on to find something more fulfilling.

How do you determine what is going to make you happy? To answer that question, the next time you find yourself daydreaming, try to pay attention to what it is you were daydreaming about. If the same thing comes up frequently, this can be a great clue as to how you want to live.

This doesn’t just work for your career. It can be for any aspect of your life. If you continually think about areas of your life that seem empty, ask yourself what it would take to fill that emptiness. That is what you would then focus on. Taking action will help you lead a more rewarding life. You will be happier as will the people in your life. When your happy, they will notice and will return the happiness.

You should expect resistance from some people that think they know what’s best for you. Just remember that it’s your life and you are the only one that can live it. There will be those that want to see you fail because if you are successful, you take away their excuses and make them look bad. You just have to fight any negativity that is sent your way. Think about the long-term benefits you will get when you live life on your terms rather than theirs.

Nothing will change if you don’t take action towards living your own life, one on your terms. You will be stuck living on the expectations of others and you will look back on your life when you are older and wonder why you didn’t do the things you always wanted to do.

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29Sep

Don't let your emotions ruin your negotiations!

When you enter into a negotiation of any kind, one major ally will be keeping your emotions in check. It’s the one time when it makes a big difference. If your counterparty sees any signs of emotion, he or she will be sure to capitalize on it by using it against you.

Excitement is the first emotion to manage. Don’t let the counterparty know that you will do whatever it takes to make the deal. Do you want that beautiful new sports car in red? Show the dealer that you have no problems walking away if you don’t get the right deal.

An exception to the excitement rule is when you enter the negotiation with someone else with the intent of playing “good cop/bad cop.” In this instance, one of you should be overly emotional about making the deal, while the other puts a damper on the whole thing. The key is to get the counterparty as excited as you are and in turn, spend a lot of time in the process. The counterparty becomes shattered when the “bad cop” player says no to the deal. But the time has already been spent, and it is worth it for the counterparty to make a deal at that point.

Another great tactic when negotiating is to use silence to your advantage. People hate any uncomfortable amount of time passing with nothing spoken. The longer you wait it out in silence, the more you can get the counterparty to break. Being silent is not easy for anyone to master as most of us are used to quick exchanges when we converse with others.

If you find you are not good at negotiation, seek out someone who is. You may know someone who is great at it. If not, you can look for people who you can pay to negotiate on your behalf. Many times, these people will be willing to do it for a percentage of the amount saved in the negotiation. The savings will prove their skills. If they are unable to save you anything, they don’t get paid.

Using these tips can help you become a better negotiator. However, the best tip is to practice at it. Only through practice will you learn what works best for you and gives you the ability to experiment with new methods or techniques. If you have others negotiate on your behalf, be sure to pay attention to the methods they use.

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