Month: May 2021

Listen Again: Warped Reality

Original broadcast date: October 30, 2020. False information on the internet makes it harder and harder to know what’s true, and the consequences have been devastating. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around technology and deception. Guests include law professor Danielle Citron, journalist Andrew Marantz, and computer scientist Joy Buolamwini.

41 Focus Quotes to Boost Your Concentration Skills

Focus Quotes

A collection of focus quotes about the importance of focus and concentration, to awaken your ambition to boost your concentration skills.

Focus is a skill that can be learned. It enables us to fix our attention on whatever we are doing, and therefore, do it better, more efficiently, faster, and with less mistakes.

It is a skill you need if you wish to achieve your goals.

Improving your focus and concentration skills would enable you to take action without procrastination, and to maintain your attention on your goals.

Focus is the antidote to distractions and being absent-minded, and it helps us to sustain our efforts and direct our attention to our goals.

By becoming more focused, our mind thinks more clearly, and we pay attention to what matters most.

We live in a noisy world with plenty of distractions that claim our attention. A focused mind gives us the ability to control where our attention goes, and prevent noises and distractions from disturbing us.

You can improve your focus, through simple training. Even a little improvement is most worthwhile. If you are earnest about boosting your focus and concentration read the book Focus Your Attention.

Here is our collection of motivating focus quotes and focus sayings, collected from a variety of sources.

Focus Quotes and Sayings

“Focus on the possibilities for success, not on the potential for failure.” – Napoleon Hill

“Successful people have focus. They don’t get easily distracted and they ignore things that are completely unnecessary.” – Penelope Holmes

“Set your goal, don’t give up when you face obstacles, and stay focused, as the power within is truly amazing!” – Catherine Pulsifer

“Focus on your goals, not your fear. Focus like a laser beam on your goals.” – Roy T. Bennett

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” – Paulo Coelho

“When one makes the mind stick to one thought, the mind becomes rock-steady and the energy is conserved.”Ramana Maharshi

“The mind is a power, and when controlled and directed, its force and subtlety are apparently unlimited.” – Mouni Sadhu

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Focus Your Attention

Focus Your Attention
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• Do you wish to improve your concentration?

• A focused mind enables you to carry out everything faster, more efficiently, and with fewer mistakes.

• Learn how to focus your mind and attention!

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“Strive to focus on what you are doing. If distracted, bring your mind back, over and again, to what you are doing, be it work, sport, reading, cooking or cleaning. Gradually, your concentration would improve.” – Remez Sasson

“I learned that focus is key. Not just in your running a company, but in your personal life as well.” – Tim Cook

“Get motivated, stay focused and work towards worthy goals each day with dogged determination.” – Matt Bishop

“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” – LL Cool J

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.” – Steve Jobs

“Concentration is the secret of strength.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Focus on the present, because it is here in the present that life and activity takes place.” – Remez Sasson

“Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today.” – Bruce Lee

“Doing the tough things sets winners apart from losers.” – Stephen Richards

“Impressions upon brain cells become deepened by constant practice.” – William Walker Atkinson

“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.” – Bill Russell

“Be on guard. The road widens, and many of the detours are seductive.” – David Foster Wallace

More Empowering Focus Quotes

“The ability to concentrate and to use time well is everything.” – Lee Iacocca

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” – Denis Waitley

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.” – David Allen

“Once the Internet came along, I think it destroyed everyone’s attention span. Now all of humanity’s works are available to you at any given time and you’re being interrupted constantly. Our attention span goes down, our ability to focus goes down.” – Naval Ravikant

“I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.” – Venus Williams


“Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. One of the best ways we can get the most from the energy we have is to focus it. That is what goals can do for us; concentrate our energy.” – Denis Waitley

“Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short in all management of human affairs.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts.” – Síren Kierkegaard

“To produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction.” – Cal Newport

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”Buddha

“Concentrated attention is the collection of units of power on a chosen point of intention.” – James Arthur Ray

Focus Quotes for Success

“Doing the tough things sets winners apart from losers.” – Stephen Richards

“Stay focused and stay determined. Don’t look to anyone else to be your determination – have self-determination. It will take you very far.” – Justice Smith

“No matter how much it hurts, you gotta stay focused on what you’re there for and your goals, just don’t give up.” – Stephen Thompson

“Starting a business and building a product are not for the faint of heart. You have to learn to not let little disappointments get you down and to stay focused on the big picture.” – Gillian Tans

“You have to stay focused and be mentally tough. That’s what I’ve really learned: every day is a grind, and you have to go hard.” – Chris Gronkowski

Focus Quotes for Calmness and Living in the Now

“The powers of the mind are like the rays of the sun. When they are concentrated, they illumine.” – Swami Vivekananda

“The more control you have of your mind and thoughts, the more calmness and peace you experience.” – Remez Sasson

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”Eckhart Tolle

“Whenever something bad happens, keep calm, take a few deep breaths and shift the focus to something positive.” – Roy T. Bennett

“Pay attention to the coffee you are drinking, to the food you are eating, to the beautiful view around you. Be here and now, and your joy, happiness and calmness would increase.” – Remez Sasson

Focus Quotes

Quotes Directory >> Focus Quotes

Focus Your Attention

Focus Your Attention
• Is your attention span too short?

• Do you wish to improve your concentration?

• A focused mind enables you to carry out everything faster, more efficiently, and with fewer mistakes.

• Learn how to focus your mind and attention!

I Want More Info

Heart Wisdom – Ep. 127 – Seeing the World with the Heart of Wisdom

In this dharma talk, we explore seeing the world with the heart of wisdom and what it means when we rest in The One Who Knows. This is who you are, consciousness itself. The One Who Knows sees life is short, that human incarnation is a realm of paradox, that we really need each other. The One Who Knows understands happiness, and sees with the eyes of the beloved. This is the radical hospitality of the One Who Knows.

The post Heart Wisdom – Ep. 127 – Seeing the World with the Heart of Wisdom appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

How Reading Fiction Improves You and Your Brain

reading fiction

Reading fiction has shown to have a variety of cognitive benefits including boosting empathy, verbal abilities, moral attitudes, motivation, and social skills.


We have so much exciting technology to keep ourselves entertained and occupied (TV, movies, video games, and the internet), so it’s easy to forget the power of reading a good old-fashioned book.

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, about one in three people say they haven’t read a single book within the past year, including print, electronic, or audio form.

When’s the last time you’ve finished a book of any type (fiction or non-fiction)?

Unfortunately, many people today haven’t read a book for entertainment or pleasure since they were last in school. While reading can seem like an old habit from a past generation, a lot of new research shows that it can lead to a variety of mental benefits.

Here’s a breakdown of the mental benefits of reading:

  • Boosting Empathy – Reading allows us to see new worlds from new perspectives that we’d often never get to experience in our everyday lives. What’s it like to be a hero? What’s it like to live during a certain historical time period? What’s it like to live in a fictional world with demons and dragons? One study published in the journal Science found that reading fiction plays a key role in children’s development of “theory of mind” – the recognition that other people have different thoughts and feelings than you (which is an important aspect of empathy and emotional intelligence). Another interesting study published in PLoS ONE found that this boost in empathy persists for several days after reading fiction, especially if the reader feels “emotionally transported” into that world.
  • Improving Verbal Abilities – Reading can also help us to expand our vocabulary and improve our verbal abilities and communication skills. One study published in the scientific journal Reading and Writing shows that the more people read fiction – including mainstream novels and often derided “pulp fiction” – the better their language skills are likely to be. While it’s true that people with higher verbal abilities probably enjoy reading more, practice always leads to improvement. The more you read new books, the more likely you are to expose yourself to new words you hadn’t learned before.
  • Changing Beliefs and Moral Attitudes – Books can also shape our beliefs and “map of reality,” in the same way as TV shows and movies can influence how we see and interpret the world. Two people can have a very different philosophy about life depending on what information has shaped their perspective. Parents often like to choose books for their kids that promote moral messages. In one study published in Psychological Science, it was found that when children’s stories promote honesty in an effective way (such as in the story “George Washington and the Cherry Tree”), children showed a boost in honesty and truth-telling. Another study published in PLoS One discovered that reading a short fragment of an unpublished novel about the physical abuse of an animal made individuals more concerned about animal welfare. In general, books can influence our beliefs about a wide-range of topics, including morality, politics, religion, and philosophy.
  • Changing Brain Structure – Reading has also shown to create changes on a neurological level. In one study published in Brain Connectivity, researchers found that reading a chapter in a novel each day for nine days was associated with significant changes in two brain regions: the left temporal cortex (which is often associated with language processing and remembering verbal information), and the central sulcus (which is often associated with emotions and perspective-taking). More research needs to be done on the effects of reading on the brain, but it’s good to know that many of these changes are taking root on a biological level. These findings also corroborate with the other positive changes mentioned above, like verbal abilities and empathy.
  • Motivation and Inspiration – Books can also be a huge source of motivation and inspiration. Reading about a character overcoming challenges and succeeding at their goals can inspire us to pursue our own values and goals in life. For example, it’s been theorized that young readers of science fiction can build mental resiliency and find the strength to pursue scientific interests and hobbies. Reading can be especially helpful for certain individuals or groups that have a hard time finding role models in the real world to look up to. Even if a story takes place in a fictional universe, there are often many lessons that can be applied to one’s personal life, whether it be love, relationships, goals, or overcoming obstacles and prejudice.
  • Social Skills – Fictional books are a simulated “social environment,” where we can observe and learn from different social interactions and conversations between characters. We learn how to read different character’s motives and interests, and how those intersect with other characters. According to one interesting study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, it was found that while “bookworms” are sometimes stereotyped as being “socially awkward,” reading fiction was actually associated with greater social skills and abilities (but this was not found for reading non-fiction). Another study published in the Social Personality and Psychology Compass discovered that many readers connect the dots between how fictional characters relate to their real world lives and then use that knowledge to improve themselves.

More research still needs to be done on the benefits of reading, but so far it is very promising.


How to Make Reading Into a Daily Habit

I never considered myself a natural reader or “book lover” growing up. In school, I was always more of a science and math person rather than a literature person.

During my college years I started going to the library more often, but mostly to read non-fiction books and do my own research into science, philosophy, and self-improvement. Since then I’ve averaged about 5-7 books each year, which isn’t too bad. Many of them I eventually used as inspiration for articles on this site.

Over the past couple years I’ve turned reading into a consistent daily habit. Now it’s something I do because it’s just a part of who I am.

In my recap of 2020, I mention how reading was one of my biggest habit changes last year. I also expanded my tastes a bit by reading more historical biographies, which was a nice change of pace for me.

Thanks to the help of a habit tracker, I now have “Reading” on my daily to-do list.

Now it’s something that’s deeply ingrained into my everyday routine, even if I only get the chance to read one chapter per day (start small and be consistent: that’s all it takes to create momentum and progress).

Here’s a recap of my progress over the past year:

I’m currently on a 150 day reading streak…

Not coincidentally, my time spent playing video games and watching TV has also gone down this year. But that wasn’t a conscious goal on my part.

This year I’ve been upgrading my reading habits further and finally starting to read more fiction. I’m mostly focusing on old sci-fi classics, which have been a great entry point for me.

When it comes to choosing what books to read, the most important thing is to find material you genuinely enjoy and sparks your interest.

To be honest, before this year I can’t remember the last time I read a fiction book since high school. I’ve never even read a single chapter of a Harry Potter book, which was tremendously popular growing up – I still get judged for that fairly regularly (please spare me the hate mail, haha!)

On a whim earlier this year, I picked up my first fiction book in a long time: The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin, a sci-fi classic from the 1970s. After only reading a couple chapters I could already feel my brain activating in new ways and opening new pathways – I immediately went on Amazon and picked up 5 more sci-fi books.

Here’s a list of the sci-fi books I’ve read so far in 2021:

  • The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia by Ursula Le Guin (1974)
  • Foundation by Isaac Asimov (1942)
  • The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (1974)
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1968)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (1968)
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984)
  • Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)

I definitely plan to expand my tastes further in the future. I’m going to start transitioning to more fantasy stuff later this year; for now, I’m really enjoying these sci-fi classics and I have a few more I want to knock out.

Every single book I’ve read so far this year has influenced me and changed my thinking in some way.

Anecdotally, I can confirm a lot of the research mentioned above. I definitely feel improvements in my vocabulary, communication skills, and social skills – and I’ve certainly discovered a lot of new sources for motivation and inspiration.

Reading has also helped me to focus more without always needing some digital device to keep my brain occupied. It forces me to use my imagination muscles, which so many of us take for granted as we get older.

When you read, you have to focus and paint a picture in your head of what’s happening in the novel. It’s a very active process compared to just sitting in front of a TV passively consuming images and sounds.

Overall I’m very grateful for my new reading habit and I encourage others to start reading more as well – the benefits may surprise you!


Stay updated on new articles and resources in psychology and self improvement from The Emotion Machine:


The post How Reading Fiction Improves You and Your Brain appeared first on The Emotion Machine.

How to Protect the Wellbeing and Happiness of Your Employees

Wellbeing and Happiness of Employees

Happy employees are more productive, and what they produce is of higher quality.

A study conducted by Oxford University’s Said Business School (in collaboration with BT)found that happy employees are 13% more productive.

You can read more on the study here: SSRN Does Employee Happiness have an Impact on Productivity?

We know that people perform best when they are well-rested and encouraged-feeling fulfilled within their work.

How can you as an employer ensure that your team enjoys an outstanding work-life balance contributing to their happiness?

Big Picture Little Details

Treat each of your employees like they matter because they should-each member of the team, form part of your company picture.

Allowing your employees to make a real difference in the company is essential.

Regular internal communication detailing new initiatives, encouraging feedback (acting on that feedback), and the company vision creates a synergy within your team.

Work-Life Balance

Not every employee has the freedom to arrive early, leave late, and stay for Friday night drinks. Some employees have more going on outside of work than you are aware of.

A workforce that feels secure within their position is going to work harder and produce their best work – because it is safe to do so.

Creating an environment where staff aren’t worried to take time when they need it keeps the work-life balance healthy. They can rely on you, and you can rely on them in return.

To do this, you will need to understand more about what your staff value. Do they value the ability to work from home often? Do they appreciate flexible working hours?

Ask, then act on the feedback.

Rewards

Reward well, and reward often. If your rewards are significant and usually given in a single ceremony, that won’t last very long. Not even for the recipient.

Smaller rewards given with greater frequency keep the morale and the drive higher.

Ron Friedman, the author of The Best Place to Work, notes that “most employees respond better to small doses of reward every few days”.

Rewards for hitting targets should be as standard. This is for two reasons.

  • 1.Humans respond positively to setting and meeting goals; it makes us happy.
  • 2.You can create a reward/voucher program that works with your business goals.

Offer rewards for reaching targets, and you will quickly see an increase in output and morale.

Manners

Manners cost nothing and mean everything. If an employee is happy in their work, there is a very slim chance that they will leave – even if the money isn’t great.

If an employee feels unappreciated, no amount of money can keep them there.

Unappreciation will grind down their enthusiasm for what they do, and their work will reflect it.

Cultivate a positive workplace environment.

This step you can only do by leading by example. Personally saying thank you, please and acknowledgement of your team.

These gestures cost nothing, and they can mean a lot. Ensure that your entire company is built on those two words – thank you.

Fun Stuff

Some employees will live for the Friday afternoon beer and burger type catch-ups. Other employees will give it a miss.

You should take the time to understand what sort of gatherings or work events will be best for your team.

Some might like family picnic days; others will enjoy something active, others will prefer nothing.

Create a space where introverts don’t feel pressured to come but always feel welcome.

Elevation

Helping your staff to increase their knowledge and skills is a big plus for many employees.

Discussing how your employees see their future will give you a clear indicator of the opportunities you should be providing.


Create career paths throughout your company. If you cannot provide promotions in a traditional sense, you have to look for personal development.

Mentoring, training, skill development and personal development growth can all be achieved through communication.

Happiness and positivity are some of the most powerful tools you have to create a productive and high-achieving staff.

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

The Ultimate eBook on Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking
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• A positive mindset makes you believe in yourself and in your abilities.
• It encourages you to take action.
• It motivates you to persist and not give up.
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Adenomyosis – Endo’s lesser known, but just as feisty relative

Adenomyosis – Endo’s lesser known, but just as feisty relative

Like endometriosis, diagnosing adenomyosis can be a long and emotional process for many women. The symptoms are similar to other gynaecological conditions and the medical testing can be quite invasive, so we often see women living in pain for many years before seeking help or reaching a diagnosis. Properly tailored exercise can reduce the impact of your symptoms and improve general mood and wellbeing to support you to live your best life!

What is Adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis is a chronic health condition affecting approximately 1 in 10 people assigned female at birth. It is common to see adenomyosis co-occur with endometriosis however, there is a distinct difference between the two. Endometriosis is when the lining of the uterine wall is found outside of the uterus, usually within the pelvic region whereas, adenomyosis is when this tissue is found within the wall of the uterine muscle itself. Just like the lining of the uterus, this tissue bleeds during your menstrual period which often results in pain, fatigue and low mood.

Symptoms of Adenomyosis:

  • Lower back and/or pelvic pain
  • Dyspareunia (painful sex)
  • Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
  • Pain during or after bladder/bowel movements
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Infertility
  • Low mood, decreased work productivity, anxiety, depression

How and Why Should I Exercise?

It is currently unknown whether exercise has a direct impact on the adenomyotic tissue itself, however we do know that exercise can improve your symptoms and quality of life. Common medical treatments for adenomyosis involve hormonal therapies, pain medication and/or surgery, all of which come with many side effects. Fortunately, these can also be managed by moving your body regularly!

Myofascial Stretching/Release

When faced with chronic pain, the body can ‘tighten’ as part of a protective response. Flowing stretches for the pelvis, hips and torso can assist in reducing tension and improving pain. Try gentle yoga or stretches that feel good. Ensure you can maintain your usual breathing throughout and gently move in and out of the stretch rather than holding it for greater benefit.

Low-Moderate Intensity Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular based exercise involves any repetitious movement which increases your heart rate and makes you a little puffy. To start with, try something gentle that you enjoy like bushwalking, swimming, cycling or dancing. Aim for a moderate intensity which is when you are able to talk but you cannot sing. This type of exercise has been shown to improve mood, productivity, fatigue and overall health and wellbeing. It also improves blood flow to the uterus which can manage pain and cramping.

Strength Training

Lifting weights doesn’t need to look like what you might see in a typical gym. Completing resistance exercises in a slow and controlled manner can promote lengthening which can assist in managing pain. If you’re new to lifting weights, try completing bodyweight exercises first before progressing into machine or free weights. If it doesn’t feel right, contact your local AEP to find which resistance exercises will suit you most!

Pelvic Floor Downtraining

Pain and tension in the muscles which make up the pelvic floor is common in women with adenomyosis. These muscles help to support our internal organs and play a vital role in bladder, bowel and sexual function. Specific exercises can be recommended by an Exercise Physiologist to lengthen and elongate these muscles. There are also specific tools and techniques that a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist will be able to prescribe.

Remember that you might have to try a few different types of exercise before you find what works best. If you’re unsure where to start or would like help building your confidence with exercise and movement, your local Accredited Exercise Physiologist will be able to help!

To find an Accredited Exercise Physiologist in your area, click here.

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Written by Elisha Silcox. Elisha is a Women’s Health Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Pear Exercise Physiology

Why You Need a Vacation: 5 Benefits of Disconnecting


Are you among the 55% of Americans who don’t take their allotted vacation time from work? That may not be such a good move for your health, happiness, or productivity. There are important reasons why you need a vacation instead of burning the candle at both ends.

Because I travel so much for all the seminars, workshops, trainings, and speeches I give — as well as all the time I spend writing books or recording new online courses and video blogs when I am home — my wife was becoming upset about the lack of time we were spending together.

She suggested we take a month-long vacation together to reconnect and deepen our relationship with each other. So we rented a house on the ocean in Maui, Hawaii, for a whole month.

At first, I was nervous about being away from my work for a whole month, but with the success of our online programs that don’t require my live presence every week, and the ability to prerecord video blogs and social media messages, it turned out fine.

I made an agreement with my wife that I could write and handle critical emails for a maximum of two hours a day, and the rest of the time I would spend with her.

As I reflect on the month, here are five valuable insights and lessons that I learned about the value of disconnecting through taking a vacation. Hopefully, they’ll help you discover why you need a vacation too.

Disconnecting Brings Balance to Your Life

The first is that once we made it a priority and made the decision to do it, I was able to find all kinds of ways to make it work.

My fears (of getting too far behind on my emails and writing projects, not being there to make important decisions for the future of the company, being bored without my work, and so on all turned out to be unfounded.

I was able to delegate more of my work to others, realize that some things simply didn’t need to be done, practice saying NO to more people than I usually would, and see that my high standards of perfection were sometimes getting in the way of having more time to simply be and enjoy life. I was able to live with the belief that sometimes “good” is good enough.

I’ve been home for over a month now, and I am still living a more balanced life, getting more sleep, exercising more, saying NO more often, and delegating more. My life is much more balanced.

Absolute Beauty Can Be Just Beyond the Jagged Rocks

Another big lesson I learned came the day we drove over to the south side of the island to go to Makena Beach. We had heard about a place called La Perouse Bay just a little beyond Makena that was a great area for snorkeling, so we decided to explore it.

When we arrived, it was around 2:30 in the afternoon, and it was partly cloudy and a strong wind was blowing, and there was a pretty strong surf. Plus the entrance into the water required walking barefoot over a lot of uncomfortable-looking rocks, not sand.

My wife Inga was all gung ho to go into the water anyway, but I decided to stay on the beach and read while she snorkeled. My reluctance to get into the water was further strengthened as I watched her struggle walking over the rocks as she got into the water.

So I felt very content to find a place to sit on a log that had been washed up onto the rocky shore and read.

After a few minutes, she had swum quite a distance, and then she started waving and screaming “You have to come in; it’s amazing!” I just waved her off with a “No way” waving of my hands.

Then, she swam all the way back to where I was and said it was the most amazing snorkeling ever. She said, “It’s like being inside an aquarium; you have to come in!”

Because she had taken the time and effort to swim all the way back to convince me, I decided to brave the rocks that I had to walk and stumble over to get in. (And in fact, it did turn out to be extremely uncomfortable.)

And am so glad I did it.

I had never seen so many different varieties and sizes of fish. There were so many of them — sometimes in schools of 100 or more.

Some of the fish were two feet long and so colorful. The coral reef itself was amazing in its size, its colors, and its different kinds of coral.

We must have spent more than an hour swimming around in this magical wonderland, and I have to say that it was one of the top visual experiences of my life — and I almost totally missed it due to my not wanting to experience the discomfort of the rocky entrance into the ocean.

Good Things Await Us Outside Our Comfort Zone

Another lesson I learned from this is how many times I have said NO to something I was invited to do because of how I assumed it would be uncomfortable or it wouldn’t be worth time and effort.

My wife is almost always up for any kind of adventure. She is always hiking, swimming in the ocean, going on spiritual pilgrimages to India, Nepal, and Bhutan, and coming back with great pictures and amazing tales of her experiences.

As a result of that day underwater, I have made a commitment to step outside of my comfort zone and by saying YES more often and assuming something good will come from it.

Knowledge Is the Antidote for Fear

Another thing I learned during our month off was more about how to deal with fear.

Whenever we went snorkeling, which we did a lot, I would always have the fear of sharks come up. Unfortunately, years ago I had seen the movie Jaws, and sometime later a friend of mine had told me, “Whenever you enter the ocean, you enter the food chain.”

So whenever I would get into the ocean, I would be aware that a fear of sharks would emerge unbidden into my consciousness. To make matters worse, while we were on Maui for the month, a man was bitten by a shark while swimming in the ocean and bled to death. SO it would seem a fear of sharks made rational sense as well.

Two things changed that.

The first is that I was seeing a chiropractor two or three times a week while we were there. Turns out he is an avid surfer and had been surfing nearly every day for about 20 years. When I asked him if he was ever afraid of being bitten by a shark, he replied, “NO.” He said, If you know the rules, you’ll be fine. So what are the rules?

Simple, don’t swim in the morning and around sunset and after. That’s when the sharks feed. Don’t swim too far from the shore. Sharks are basically fearful so they attack when things are murky and you can’t see them coming.

Don’t swim in the estuaries where there is runoff from a stream entering the ocean. The muddy water makes it hard to see the sharks. And you’re safer when you swim in groups.

The man who had been bitten by a shark and bled out had broken three of the four rules. He was 60 yards out in the ocean, swimming in the early morning and swimming by himself.

By following all of those rules, I felt much safer swimming in the ocean. Gaining more information about the reality of any risk rather than letting your imagination run wild, always lessens any fear.

Positive Thoughts Silence Negative Ones

The other thing I noticed when I focused on increasing my awareness was that any time I was scared in the water, it was because I was thinking about or imagining a shark.

Based on what I know about fear, which is that it is created by imagining something bad happening in the future, whenever a thought or image of a shark came into my consciousness, I simply refocused my awareness back to the present moment and on the beautiful fish and coral that were all around me.

After a few days of that intentional practice, along with following the rules my chiropractor taught me, I always felt totally safe in the water.

If the fear had continued, I could have also used tapping, which I have talked about in previous videos, to release the fear, but I never had to do that.

Consider Why You Need a Vacation Too

Anyway, I hope what I have shared with you will inspire you to say YES more to the potential adventures in your life, and to not let fear stop you from having a lot more fun and success in your life.

Think about the benefits that you can personally gain from disconnecting. What potential learning and fun have you been saying no to because you thought it might be too uncomfortable or scary?

What connections can you make with the people you love by spending more distraction-free time with them?

Take the time to plan a vacation each year and receive the benefits it brings to your personal and professional life. Remember that everything you want that you don’t have is right outside your comfort zone, and you have the power to step outside it any time you wish.

To learn more about these principles, download my free Positive Thinking Guide. And remember, everything in your life will only change for the better when YOU CHANGE first.


As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!

Image courtesy of Mateusz Dach.