Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

The Five Enemies of Self-Discipline

October 30th, 2011 No comments

In his excellent book “Self Discipline in 10 Days, Theodore Bryant outlines the five reasons why people fail to enact change in their lives.  These negative mental habits combine to thwart even our best efforts at change.  Some act quickly, stopping us right out of the gate.  Others act more slowly over time, causing us to quit even when things are headed for the better.  Combined, they easily fit the description Bryant used: Poisons.

After you read this list, you’ll realize that one of them isn’t actually a word.  But don’t let this negativity affect your assessment of this fantastic summary of mental poisons.

  • Cynicism – Questioning the value, appropriateness, timing, or effectiveness of any potential solution.
  • Negativism – Focusing on the negative aspects rather than the positive aspects, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Defeatism – Finding a reason why something cannot work, and letting this keep you from trying.
  • Escapism – Diverting your attention to other activities, typically those that bring more short term pleasure.
  • Delayism – Introducing something as a roadblock or hurdle to prevent action towards your goals.

Any one of these items might be enough to stop your plans for change and self-growth.  A combination of several is usually enough to kill your efforts outright.  I suggest making a set of 3×5 cards or post-it notes with each of these items.  On the back, write the antidote.  Keep them with you as you try to change your habits, and learn to recognize the effect they have on your day-to-day activities.



Categories: Goal Setting, Psychology Tags:

How can I motivate myself?

March 30th, 2011 No comments

Hand reaching for the sun

Are you motivated?

Real, long-term, consistent, positive motivation, begins with YOU.

It’s more than what your parents wanted, what your boss wants, what your partner or spouse wants.  It’s about who you are and what stimulates and inspires you.

Even more than that, it is YOUR responsibility to motivate yourself.  While other people might help you from time to time, you cannot expect them to do this indefinitely.


So, do you know how to motivate yourself?

You probably do in some areas of your life already, even without thinking about it.  Doing it intentionally, however, especially for something hard, may take a more deliberate approach.
The first step is to get to know who you really are and notice things that generate a positive internal response. If you know even a few things that excite you, you’re closer than you think.  This excitement is an indicator that you’ve found something important to your psyche.
Once you have this knowledge, you can use it as desired.


Most people never really think about it.

Because you’re here, reading this page, you’ve already moved beyond average awareness of self-motivation.  You’re now on the way to a level of self-discovery that most people don’t even consider.  Knowing that you respond to an idea, an image, or a song is incredibly powerful!  You can use this to create your own motivation by feeding yourself only items that excite you.


How does this work?

We interact with the world via our senses.  We have many ways of perceiving things.  We tend to allow information to pass through our senses more readily if the information generates a personal response.  This includes both positive, motivational responses and negative, depressing responses.

There are distinct advantages to living in the digital age.  Movies, pictures, and songs are all readily available.  The amount of information is immense!  To create your own motivation, you need to be deliberate in choosing what information you feed to your senses.  This is a big request, but don’t let it overwhelm you.

Start by listing your dreams and goals.  Not just what you’re doing today, but everything you’ve ever wanted to do! Next, find images that inspire you to each goal.  When you want to motivate yourself to work towards that goal, break out the image and stimulate your brain.

That’s all there is to it!  The better you understand what motivates you, the better your chance of achieving your dreams.


Is there an easy way to do this?

Organizing your goals and assigning images takes a bit of work.  This is where single-step motivational software can help you out.  It provides the structure you need to organize and use all the information we described above.  It gives you a way of looking at the various aspects of your life and how they fit together.  It also helps you to look at your goals, your motivation towards reaching the goals, and your priorities to get there.


Categories: Goal Setting, Psychology Tags:

How does music affect your brain?

February 14th, 2011 No comments

Ever wonder why a particular piece of music was so engaging for you?  Here’s a brief article on the neurological response to music.

How does music affect your brain?

Categories: Psychology, Science Tags:

Instantly Improve Your Life

February 13th, 2011 No comments

Ok, admittedly, some of these things aren’t going to to show immediate gains, but it’s still a great list, and you can make the decision to apply them instantly.

Instantly Improve Your Life

Categories: Psychology Tags:

Increase your confidence

February 8th, 2011 No comments

Simple tricks to help you re-frame your perspective.

Increase your confidence.

Categories: Psychology Tags:

Prod Your Thoughts

February 3rd, 2011 No comments

Here is a list of 25 thought provoking questions around various areas of life.  Accompanied by stimulating pictures, this is a fun way to spend your five minutes today.

Thought Provoking Questions

Categories: Inspirational, Perspective, Psychology Tags:

Distorted Thinking

January 29th, 2011 No comments

Do you have any thought habits that prevent you from being as effective as you could be?  It is very likely you do, as we all tend to have aspects of this to some degree.  Here is a great list of cognitive distortions that we should all be aware of, and wary of, in our day-to-day processing.

Distorted Thinking

Categories: Psychology Tags:

Anger – the why and how

December 19th, 2010 No comments

Tis the season to be jolly.  But how can you really help yourself get happier?  Here are some simple, practical tips for letting go of anger and giving yourself an attitude adjustment.

Overcome Anger

Categories: Psychology Tags:

How much of your brain do you actually use?

December 7th, 2010 No comments

Turns out, you use all of it.  Click here for the details, along with the truth behind some other misconceptions.

Common Misconceptions Explained

Categories: Psychology Tags:

The real difference between rich and poor

July 31st, 2010 No comments

The Economist has an interesting article on wealth, poverty, and compassion.  A study shows that the wealthly are actually less inclined to give to others than the poor.  An odd twist, however, is that when made to feel poor, the weathly give more.  Contriwise, when made to feel wealthy, the poor give less.  Read more here:

The real difference between rich and poor

Categories: Big Questions, Psychology Tags: