The Battle For Focus

Have you ever gotten out of bed and just had a feeling about the day? It’s a feeling that can’t be described, but in the back of your head somewhere you just know that today wasn’t going to be your day. You get yourself prepared to start working and realize that you just can’t seem to focus on anything. Noise fills your head and every thought of things you should be doing, things you could be doing, but mostly it’s the noise of things you actually want to do. Before you know it, you find yourself drifting off into daydreams, browsing pointless things on the web and being completely unproductive.

It’s an internal battle for focus that I am in daily. The battle never really stops, but it does subside for sometime. There are so many things I could do, that might be worth it. The distraction of a funny video on Facebook or getting lost in the beauty and gifs of tumblr are just a couple of enemies of focus that hold me in their clutches. How do I compete against that?

First, get serious.

Oftentimes, the very first time you lose the battle of focus sets the pattern for the entire day. If you lose one battle, then another, it could be an indication that today is not going to be in favor for your productivity. You have given the distractions too much power already. Blocking and resisting temptation is like a muscle and the more your practice it and work at it, the stronger it will become and the easier this first battle for focus and productivity will be to win. The very first temptation you have, you must resist!

Get past the starting point.

Getting started is the hardest part of the day because, for me at least, I begin thinking about all I have to do and how long it will take. Then I begin thinking of what I could do instead which then turns into what I wish I could be doing. With all this thinking, the clock has now flown by 30 minutes and I have done absolutely nothing.

The trick is to stop thinking, start doing. Once you get past the starting point, you begin to build up momentum and you actually want to keep going. Thinking about a thing has never gotten anything accomplished. Shake the distractions out of your head once you start thinking and say,”No! Get to work!” You’ll be surprised how well this can work.

Get other people involved.

If possible, I try creating tasks or goals that involve someone else. One thing I can’t stand to do more than procrastinate is to let someone down. For example, cooking dinner. I think about how much work goes into it. I have to take out the pots, pans and other dishes. I have to get out the ingredients going into the meal, cooking for 20 minutes or more, then there’s the mess to deal with. When thinking about those things, the idea of cooking doesn’t seem so great.

To power against that, one trick I do is to think of something that is stronger than the thought of not cooking, such as my family. I begin thinking that my husband has been working all day to buy food for me to just simply not cook; he’s gotta be hungry. I begin thinking about my children and how they could be at a public school if I didn’t home school them. I say to myself, “Dana Sibilsky, you know good and well they could be eating whatever mystery meat and slop they cook that the school system says is ‘fit to eat'”. If I don’t cook, what will they eat? Cereal? Frozen dinners? Absolutely not! I start cooking because then I am driven by motivation.

For you, perhaps the secret is to find something that empowers you. What drives you? What sets your heart on fire (besides pizza)? Find something that will empower you though the distractions and use that weapon to win the battle for focus each and everyday.

The Psychology Behind The Smile

Have you ever heard that smiling changes your mood? At first, I didn’t think much about it. I have been sad and tried smiling, but alas, I was still sad. There are a few sayings and quotes that support this claim that smiling can have an affect on your mood and it all starts with the brain.  It has been a saying that has been around for many a generation that goes, “Smile for a while to make bad feelings docile.” or even in the words of Thich Hanh who said, “Sometimes joy is the reason why you smile, but sometimes your smile can be the reason for your joy.”

What is there to smile about?

Other than to be grateful that you woke up today and when you got out of bed your legs still worked, there is plenty of reasons to smile. First and foremost, the smile is a universal language that known to everyone that if you smile at them, you’re friendly, warm and welcoming. This is the reason why I don’t believe in pretending to like someone by smiling. My mother would always tell me, “Dana Sibilsky, you’re lying to their face with your face by making that person believe you are warm and welcoming to that person.” Let’s be honest here.

When you smile, you appear more attractive unless you are a man. Apparently, women find men who don’t smile as much more masculine and attractive. Being a woman myself, I dub this as false. Smiling has been recorded in multiple researches to lift up your mood and even the mood of those who see you smile because, as mentioned before, smiling makes you seem friendly. Who doesn’t feel happier when surrounded by friendly people?

Smiling is catchy

Probably something that is more contagious than the flu or a common cold, smiling ranks up higher on the list. If you smile at someone it’s a normal reaction for people to smile back and if they don’t then it’s simply because they have made an effort not to return a smile. The reasons why it’s catchy are in the mind.

Happy smiling brains

It’s all in your head. No, literally it’s all in your head. Studies found that the stress fighting neuropeptides are activated when you smile. These little guys are what help the body understand that we are happy, sad, stressed, angry, etc.. Other chemicals are brought into play just by spreading a smile across your face such as endorphins, dopamine and serotonin which help you feel good—especially the endorphins, which are most powerful pain reliever known to man and they are natural! That doesn’t mean you’ll get a rush of endorphins to end your pain just by smiling.

In conclusion, there is plenty to smile about and with this information, there are many more reasons to smile and smile big. Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” a smile will bring you up to where you should always be.

Birds of A Feather Flock Together

There’s an old saying that goes, “Birds of a feather flock together.” This saying is basically meaning that you are who you choose to associate with. Thinking back to where I was years ago, I’m surprised and thankful for where I am now. We have all been there, haven’t we? Maybe you’ve been in the presence of bad company or perhaps you still are.

One of my favorite quotes I heard from a respectable businessman is that your income with be the average of the top 5 people you hang out with most. When I was first starting out in life, my income from my minimal wage job was 116 a month. My friends weren’t exactly the best people to look up to for advice in advancing forward through life and I was the only one working out of the 3 of us. You know what happened next? You guessed it—I surrounded myself with losers with no aim or direction in life and they sponged off me. I paid for the gas and the food. It was very soon that I noticed I was becoming just like them…Broke!

When I met my husband, I learned there is more power in who we associate ourselves with we might think. The people you surround yourself with molds your beliefs, morals, standards, perspective on life and as we have learned recently, even your money. How did I fix this? The answer is very simple: Dana Sibilsky had to pull the plug. That was the plug that connected me to a lot of people that I learned were not good for my future. I had to learn I have a life to live and if you’re not going forward with me, you will be left behind. I had to stop living to please people.

Now, let me clarify. I’m not saying stop caring for people. Absolutely not! I’m saying through time, you’ll learn which people can be helped and which people will sponge off the blessings you give them. Those who make an effort are those who want to better themselves. You might want to keep these people around.

Are You Dead?

 

What are you passionate about? Have you taken the time to  think about it lately? Chances are, if you are among the masses, your passion died out just shortly after high school. I would say not to worry and it’s completely normal because it happens to so many people, but passion is kind of a big deal and if you have no passion, you are dead. Allow me to explain. Benjamin Franklin once said,

“Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.”

What do you think he means? He’s talking about your dreams, your passion, your fire. He’s talking about that special something that gets you up in the morning or maybe it keeps you up all night filled with energy or even excitement. You see, there is no such thing as a low-energy person and there is no such thing as a high-energy person. Each one of us knows one or the other or even both types of people.

The person who seems to laze around all day with no drive, no ambition, no sense of urgency is the person who has no energy. This person has no aim or direction and it’s been so long since they have been inspired or motivated you could say they have given up. They are dead. Once your dreams and your passion die, what is left of you?

The high-energy person is eager, excited, driven and you might even say they come off as annoying or even overbearing. They have their goals and steps to get accomplish each one ready for the next day. This person might even say, “I just don’t know if I can go on, but I have to.” This is a person who has passion. Passion is energy. When your burning desire is strong enough, you will somehow find the motivation and energy to do what absolutely must be done. This person has not let their fire inside the die and it is these types of people that inspire even those who are dead.

How to prevent from becoming a zombie

If you don’t want to end up like everyone else, going from day to day with no direction, You could take good ol’ Dana Sibilsky‘s advice and get with a life coach, a mentor. Find someone who has in life what you want and study that person. The more dreamers and successful people you are around, the more you come to life and you LEARN how to dream again.

Read success books from well-known coaches such as John C. Maxwell, which is one of my personal favorites. You will find yourself in the books you read and the people you associate with. This would be one of the greater things you’ll ever do for yourself. Remember: Don’t ask yourself what does the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive because the world needs people who are alive.

The Choice of Happiness

In all my many years on this Earth, I’ve come to find that in regards to happiness, you are going to be about as happy as you make your mind up to be. What does this mean? A lot of people believe happiness is dependant on what happens to you from day to day.

Happiness comes from the root word “happenstance” and so it is highly understood why someone would think this way. Happiness, however, isn’t dependant on what happens to you or how someone treats you. If your happiness is dependant on events that happen in your day to day life and the outcome of your interaction with others, you’re going to be a very miserable person.

In conclusion, I, Dana Sibilsky, know that happiness is indeed a choice. You have to decide to be happy. Have you ever seen the movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith? What he says in the beginning of the film is powerful and I shall leave you with his quote. “It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?

Life And Blessings

When I first started this blog site, I knew I wanted to get into writing. All throughout school I had always been told how good of a writer I was, but I never really thought much of it. We never take too seriously what positive things other people tell us, do we? With my blog up and running, I knew what that I wanted to write about topics that people wanted to read about, so, the idea the blog would be based on would be life, family, health and happiness.

If you search through Google, you’ll see a lot of the postings have to do with the things that people care most about. Life, happiness and love are some of the higher ranking keywords. These are topics that are at the top of every person’s list. When it comes to life, you can’t doubt there is a spiritual part of it, in fact, that part is a big part! There is a difference in the spiritual and religion, so let’s not confuse the two. Of course, there are those who may say they are not into the the spiritual belief, however it doesn’t matter if they are or not. As Rob Bell once said, “You cannot deny what is central to your makeup as a human being.”

We have all been blessed in one way or another and in multiple ways. We have homes, jobs, cars, family, friends, clothes to wear and food to eat. Think about it, have you ever been without food? Haven’t your needs always been met? Haven’t you always been sheltered and clothed? In my opinion, the best way to show your appreciation for the blessings you have is to bless someone else. What is the point of being blessed in life if we don’t give them to others to enjoy? We are all in this together.

I was walking with my sister a couple weeks ago on the sidewalk between the road to my right and a long stretch of stores and restaurants to my left. Suddenly, a old man black male with very few teeth approached us. My sister continued walking because I suppose she knew what he was going to say. The old gentleman looked at me and said, “Listen, I know how annoying it is to have a stranger come up to you and start talking, but hear me out. I’ve been laid off for a while. I keep bouncing from one job to another and nothing is working out.” He then steps back and continues, “I’m going to step back, because I don’t want you to think I’m trying to mug you. Just please, I’m hungry. Is there anything you can give?” My sister was gesturing me to follow her and leave the man, but my heart went out to him. Without hesitation, I pulled out $20 and gave it to him. Shocked and overwhelmed with humility, he gives me a hug and continues to thank me over and over.

Now, I’ve heard two types of responses from people when I tell this story. One response is praise for being so kind. The other response I get questions my actions and judgment. I have heard, “Are you serious? What if he just takes the money and buys alcohol or drugs?” It’s absolutely none of my business what this gentleman does with money I give him. All I can do is what I can control. I gave him a resource. I did my part in being a blessing to this man. If he was lying, what goes around comes around and justice is always served at some point in time. I don’t think about that. I think, “Here is my chance to serve someone today and make an impact in their life.” It reflects on my life motto: “The whole reason of being blessed is to bless others in life.”

Introverts & Extroverts Have Different Brains: Which One Are You?

fyp-psychology:

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Scientists have discovered that the brains of introverts are actually different from those of extroverts. This isn’t too surprising, especially considering all of the research now coming out of the field of neuroplasticity. It refers to various changes that can take place in the brain (including changes in neural pathways and synapses) as a result of shifts in things like: a person’s behaviour or environment; their perception of the environment around them; neural processes; the way they think and feel and more.

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