Do you have a busy life? What a silly question. We all do. This is the era of busy people. But you know what? I read a quote not that long ago, that ‘busy is a decision’. We create our impossible schedules and become their prisoners. And then we’re forced to answer to our friends and family: “I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m really busy.”
Have you ever wondered how you could start reading more books in the midst of your hectic life? It seems almost impossible to find time if you have several kids, a demanding job, a husband or a wife. Or maybe you have none of that, but your schedule is so full there seems to be no time for reading.
When I was a kid, I used to go to the library to choose a new book. It was always a magical time and one of my favorite activities. You go from one bookshelf to another, looking through the names of book and writers. It’s so peaceful and quiet. You’re deciding which world you’d like to immerse yourself into this time.
And then life happened – university, work, a busy schedule, new priorities, and as a result – only a few books a year.
I remember craving books. I remember being hungry for more reading. It even inspired me to take speed reading classes so I could devour more books in less time. And still, it wasn’t enough. More tasks, longer to-do lists and new responsibilities kept creeping into my life and pushing books out of it.
However, there was one decision which changed everything for me. About two years ago I made reading one of my life priorities. I set a goal to read 50 books a year, and … I read only 25. Do you think it was a failure? Not at all! It was twice more than the year before.
The next year I set a goal to read 30 books and … succeeded!!!
So, here’re a few ideas for you to start reading more even though your life gets busier every month of the year.
Make reading your priority.
It doesn’t have to be your number one priority, but at least it shouldn’t be at the end of the list. Remind yourself why you want to start reading more. Is it a relaxing time for you when you unwind and recharge? Is it important for your personal growth and professional development? Define your WHY.
2. Listen to audiobooks while running, walking, cleaning or doing other chores.
Sometimes I even listen to audiobooks when I’m brushing my teeth or taking a shower (if I don’t have to wash my hair :)). If you sign up for a half or a full marathon, you’ll have plenty of time to listen to your audiobooks during training runs.
3. Read on commute.
This is a popular advice for reading more and also for using time productively. If you have to travel by public transportation to or from work, always carry a book with you. You’ll enjoy this time more and at the same time feel like you’ve spent it very efficiently.
4. Choose small books every once in a while. Alternate between big and small.
Sometimes people take books which are too big and too boring for them just because someone said they’re good. Choose the ones which will excite you, enchant you, or fascinate you. Even if it’s an educative, self-help book, it may be absolutely engrossing if you learn something new or see a real value in it.
Alternate between big, complicated books and small easy books. Here’s the list of short classic books that won’t take much of your time but will enrich you and fascinate you. Follow this link to read the article in Huffington post.
5. Read at least 15 minutes after waking up and 15 minutes before going to bed.
Consistency is the key. If you make a decision to read a little bit, but regularly, you will be amazed by your progress. Most of the time people think: “I don’t have time now. I have to get to bed,” or “I have to go to work.” But if it’s just 10-15 minutes it will feel like nothing, and, at the same time, it will be enough to help you finish the book in a few weeks or months.
Try some of these tips and share your own advice. What helped you start reading more? What books would you recommend me? I love sci-fi, drama, historical, self-help, psychological, business and many other types of books.
Do you consider yourself a free person? Ok, let me ask you a different question then. Have you ever thought about bonds and chains that might hold you back? What prevents you from moving forward and growing? What keeps you from reaching your goals? What limits your freedom?
You know, a few days ago I read a story about elephants who were standing in a row waiting on their trainer. These huge animals were held only by a small rope tied to their front leg. A passing-by man was astonished by this fact and asked for an explanation. The trainer told him that those elephants had been held by the same rope since they were little. It had been enough for them then. As they grew up, they were conditioned to believe they couldn’t break away. So, they never even tried.
Sometimes, we have the same ropes. They are tiny. They are weak and almost invisible, but we allow them to hold us and we never even try to break free.
The first thing we need to do is to admit there are such ropes. Self-awareness is always the key. Let’s look at a few examples, and maybe you will find your own chains and ropes.
These are only a few possible chains. There might be many more. So, what are we going to do with them?
Being aware of such bonds is the first step. Next, you should try to take notice every time this feeling, emotion or a thought appears and tries to take charge. Giving it place and letting it control your actions and your life is the clear way to lose freedom.
After you notice the emotion and prevent it from controlling you several times in a row, it will lose power over you. It’s like forming a good habit or getting rid of a bad habit. The first step – take notice. The next step – take action by confronting it. The third step – repeat and remember to condition yourself for future behavior.
Of course, there’s more to be said on the topic of forming good habits, but I will just refer you to an awesome Neuroplasticity course on Udemy by Gregory Caremans. He explains it in very much detail and with a lot of exercises.
So, what chains are you trying to break these days? Share in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase ‘personal growth’ or ‘personal development’? Does it make you cringe because you heard it too often? Or does it make you feel proud and hopeful because that’s what you’re working on constantly?
One morning I was running near the lake listening to a great audiobook recommended to me by my friend. It was ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi. The book is autobiographical depicting Paul’s struggles to fight cancer. He was a talented neurosurgeon and an aspiring writer. Most of his life he was studying to be a neurosurgeon or working as one but always dreaming to one day become a writer. And only by the end of his life when he knew he didn’t have much left he decided to write his first and last book.
I vividly remember the very place I was running by when I heard this quote. It was right by the benches near the lake when the narrator said: “Darwin and Nietzsche agreed on one thing: the defining characteristic of the living organism is striving.”
As a matter of fact, I am not a big fan of both Darwin and Nietzsche. I do respect their intelligence but absolutely disagree with their beliefs. However, this quote became an inspiring metaphor for me. It showed that each living being is characterised by striving. Striving to survive. Striving to grow. Striving to succeed.
Tony Robbins once said: “When we stop growing, we stop living.” Somebody else might have said it before him, but that’s not the point. The main idea is to continually develop, grow and learn.
Gregory Caremans, the founder of the Brain Academy, in his Udemy Neuroplasticity course explains very clearly why our brain must have new experiences on a regular basis and must constantly learn something new.
So, to sum up, let me give you 5 reasons why I think personal growth is an absolute necessity for each human being.
- It helps our brain grow constantly and keeps it from shrinking.
- It prevents such diseases as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- It gives us more confidence and more opportunities.
- It helps us stay alive and at the top of the game.
- Life is just more fun with it.
So, continue growing, developing, learning, acquiring new skills and habits. Life will present you more opportunities to grow as soon as you show interest in it. There’s always a chance to read another book.
What are your favorite ways of growing personally?
Have you ever seen a superhero movie? Wouldn’t you want to possess at least one of those superpowers?
I’m a big sci-fi fan and love all kinds of movies about non-existent universes and people with supernatural abilities. It fascinates me to see what human beings can do when we get in touch with our talents and strengths.
There’s one more important fact you’ve got to know about me – I’m a strong believer in the power of human potential. I believe we all have incredible God-given potential which is not realized to the fullest. We might not even know we have it and just live our life from day to day in total ignorance about our hidden ‘superpowers’.
What makes me really sad is that the majority of people don’t use their gifts and don’t work in the areas of their strengths. Can you imagine the world where all people realize their talents and develop their strengths? Just think how happy everyone would be! It’s an amazing feeling when you know you’re using your gifts.
What a beautiful world it would be!
I want to challenge you to think about your own talents, gifts and strengths. If you don’t know, ask your closest friends and family. People around you might help you uncover those gifts. As soon as you find out your strengths, start using them for the greater good, for improving the level of your own life and the life of people around you.
Let’s make this world a better place where everyone is using his or her potential to the fullest!
A great man once said: “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” Yesterday I reached the point when something new had to be done for the situation to change.
As it happened, it was Saturday and nobody else was in the office. We have a huge whiteboard on the wall which is perfect for brainstorming. We usually use it for seminars, planning sessions and meetings. ‘Why don’t I take advantage of it now, and try to brainstorm with myself?’, I thought. Nobody was disturbing me, I had the whole office for myself and enough time for such an activity.
My mind has been in stress lately, trying to figure out everything I have to accomplish, all the deadlines and all the challenges. First of all, I needed to clear my mind and organize my thoughts. The best way to do that is mind-mapping.
If you’re not familiar with the technique, check it out here: https://litemind.com/what-is-mind-mapping/
I wrote the main challenge in the middle and started connecting it with potential solutions and ideas how to reach my goal. At first those words and phrases didn’t seem particularly new or special, but soon they started to shape into a good plan.
Here’s what I came up with after about half an hour of brainstorming.
My Tips for Mind-mapping
If you’d like to try this very effective technique, here are a few tips:
- Find a place and time when nobody can disturb you.
- If you can use any kind of board, it would be great. You can use a white, green or black board, a flip chart or a pin board.
- After writing a few goals take a short break, walk away from the board to let your mind get distracted. It will help your brain move from focused into diffused mode and come up with new ideas.
- While thinking and writing, stand close to the board, and then walk away to look at it from the distance. It will help you see new angles and new perspectives of your challenge.
- Take notice of those items that get the most connections. They are the ones that deserve your most attentions. In my case those were ‘discipline’ and ‘absence of distractions’.
- After you finish, write an action plan based on all your goals and connections.
Based on my new discoveries, I wrote a new schedule for myself and have already started putting it into life. I hope this example and these tips will be helpful for you and will inspire you to take action too. Want changes in your life? Start doing something you’ve never done before.
For more information on creativity development check out my FREE 7-Step Guide to Finding Ideas and Solutions
So, let me know in the comments how you like to brainstorm and organize your thoughts.
Stay positive and enjoy your life!
When was the last time you watched a movie and were greatly impressed by the rich imagination of its creators? You watched it once and needed to watch it again to grasp every detail and digest every thought. You finished watching it and walked for days under the strong impression of its depth, amazing beauty, creative twists, or genius ideas.
What movie was that? What genre? I am sure we all have our own lists depending on our preferences and specific things that spur our creativity. These three movies impressed, mesmerized, fascinated, and puzzled me. Some parts were gruesome and disgusting, but it made them even more powerful. Some stories were tragic and sad, but it made them even more memorable.
So, here’re my top three most creative movies. I hope you can share your list in the comments below.
Christopher Nolan, the director of this movie, has always been known for his unique way of storytelling and labyrinthian plots. However, I think, he surpassed even himself in Inception. The movie is a piece of art! If you watched it only once and decided, it’s nonsense, do it again. It needs to be watched at least twice.
When I was watching Inception the second and the third time, it was like listening to an orchestra perform an amazing piece or observe an artist paint his best portrait. The beauty of every scene enchanted me and left me deep in thoughts.
2. The Lord of the Rings
This movie has been my favorite one ever since it was released. I even watched an uncut director’s version of it and all documentaries on how the trilogy was created. Peter Jackson is another genius and The Lord of the Rings truly is a masterpiece!
The music, the scenery, the character depiction – all of it was created with so much love, so much dedication that it can’t be overlooked. J.R.R. Tolkien created a new world and Peter Jackson made this world come to life again.
3. The Matrix
Remember when The Matrix just came out? It was something unbelievable! Don’t think about the second and the third one. Let’s pretend they didn’t exist. However, the first movie was absolute sensation. It confused us, fascinated us, and broke our paradigms. It was like nothing ever done before, and it practically ‘blew our minds’.
Let’s sum it up!
Do you think these movies were created by some people from another planet? No, they are regular human beings, just like you and me. We call them creative geniuses only because they didn’t bury their talents, didn’t think their dream was too big, and because they were brave enough to act on their dreams. They worked hard and weren’t afraid to fail!
You can create too. Maybe it won’t be a movie or a portrait, but it will be YOUR masterpiece. You ARE creative! It’s a part of your nature. Just like you were born to walk, not crawl, you were also born to create! Would you like to develop the skill of creativity? Would you like to learn how to think ‘outside the box’ and generate ideas on demand? Join my Creativity Power Course, the enrollment closes TODAY!
Don’t delay your decision, this low price will never be available again! Enroll here.
Also, I would like to hear what your favorite creative movies are. What are your top 3 or top 5?