Write less and say more

Smart Brevity is based on the fact that people rarely finish long texts, they skim (if you’re lucky) and then leave. Write short texts and people will read them.

In How to write less but say more Politico and Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei shares what he’s learned leading two media companies — and how to radically rethink the way you write to keep people’s attention in a distracted digital world.

1. Stop being selfish. Audience first.
2. Grab their attention.
3. Keep it simple.
4. Write like a human.
5. Stop when enough is enough.

Mel Robbins on Why Motivation Is Garbage

Mel Robbins has an interesting view on motivation, it’s garbage. “You are never going to feel like it.” Below is a short video where Mel Robbins explains why she sees it that way.

My post Motivation Is Garbage is about a 50 minutes long interview / conversation with Mel Robbins. She talks about why motivation is garbage. Mel Robbins also talkes about her 5 second rule which is a really interesting concept.

Video: Mel Robbins on Why Motivation Is Garbage

You can watch the 5 minute video below or at YouTube Mel Robbins on Why Motivation Is Garbage.

Start your day better, change your morning routine

I came across two posts today about how to start your day better. It’s simple actions, integrate them in your morning routine and your days (and nights) will be better.

The first one is Brighten Your Day With a Morning Routine!. There are six tips on that page, I highlight these ones.

Start the night before. Don’t wait to plan your day until after it’s started! By writing out your to-do lists and goals for the next day the night before, you’ll already have a plan in place when your feet hit the floor.

Another benefit of writing things down is that it clears our mind. It’s on paper (or in your computer) so there’s no longer any need to think about it.

Hydrate, right away Overnight is (hopefully) the longest period of time you go without drinking water. No one is trying to get in the way of you and your coffee, but chug some water while you wait for it to brew.

I start my day with a glass of water, before doing anything else. It’s a lesson from Ayurveda.

Set your intention. Negative thoughts never lead to good things, especially first thing in the morning! Set an intention for the day, even if it’s just making a note to smile. If you start to feel negative, remember your intention and refocus your energy toward staying positive!

Our intention and mindset matters a lot. Get it right and the day turns out better.

The second one is 6 One-Minute Morning Routines That’ll Make Starting Your Day Easier. Out of the six tips on that page, I highlight these ones.

For the Person Who Can’t Stop Pressing Snooze: Hydrate Instead According to The Huffington Post, hitting snooze only confuses your body more and can negatively affect you for two to four hours after you wake up. So, rather than pressing the button, try chugging a cold glass of water to rehydrate yourself—trust me, it works.

For the Person Who Always Wakes Up Stressed: Practice Mindfulness

For the Person Who Wakes Up Feeling Meh: Practice Appreciation Practice appreciation and you’ll be happier, simple as that. One study by the University of Manchester had subjects spend a couple minutes each day writing down three things that they were grateful for. As a result, each subject improved his or her quality of sleep and felt overall more refreshed!

Expressive writing

I often recommend writing, using pen and paper, as a way to get things out of our head. We get a distance to what we’re thinking about, it’s now outside ourselves. It’s also a way to gain clarity.

The article This Simple Task Can Help Curb Your Constant Worrying says “Previous studies have shown that expressive writing can help individuals process past traumas or stressful events. This study suggests it also provides applications in everyday life.”

If you’re worried about a task, for example, write down your worries 15 minutes beforehand. “Get everything out and don’t hold back,” says Schroder. “You don’t have to share your thoughts with anyone, and don’t worry about spelling and grammar. Getting worries out of your head through expressive writing frees up cognitive resources for other things.”

This technique is also helpful for people who feel like they’re overworked or in a slump, adds Moser: “Expressive writing makes the mind work less hard on upcoming stressful tasks, which is what worriers often get ‘burned out’ over, their worried minds working harder and hotter,” writes Moser. “This technique takes the edge off their brains so they can perform the task with a ‘cooler head.’”

Read more

How to handle your worrying

How to handle your worrying

As a way to deal with worrying I recommend writing down everything you worry about. The article This Simple Task Can Help Curb Your Constant Worrying has the same message.

“Writing down your thoughts and worries makes you feel lighter because you’re getting rid of those worries that are weighting you down.” You’re also getting distance from them. “When you take a look at what you’re worried about, it’s often unrealistic things,” says Schroder. “Getting the thoughts out of your mind and out on paper is helpful.”

I actually recommend the following process.
1. Write down everything, big and small, that worries you. Use pen and paper, that stimulates more of your brain.
2. Read the Serenity prayer, it’s excellent guidelines.
3. Cross over those items on the list that you can not change or that are unrealistic.
4. Take a look a what’s left. Are they all things that you can change?
5. For each item that’s left, set a date when you shall act on them. Our brain lets go of things that have a date attached to them.
6. Act on the items that you can change.
Repeat the process above each time you worry too much.

More about worrying

Do You Have A Problem In Your Life?
Worrying gets you nowhere

A Ting about listening

Active listening is a key to great communication and a required part of coaching that works.

In a group on Facebook Kasia Gurgul mentioned that the Chinese character Ting nicely sums up what’s needed for that kind of listening. I of course got curious and I found two images that describes the Ting character in slightly different ways.

The first image comes from Mastering Ting: the Ancient Chinese Listening Secret. It’s a long interesting article about listening.

Based on the Ting-character there are six elements/areas that are important. I rank them different from the article, all are important.

  • Be present. With body and mind.
  • Undivided Attention. Focus on the conversation and what the other person says.
  • Hear what’s said and how it’s said.
  • Mind, keep it open.
  • Eyes.
  • Heart, feel.

The article linked above also describes “The 3 Levels of Listening”
1. The Internal Broadcaster
2. The Attentive Listener
3. The Universal Listener

The second image comes from Mindful Listening. I like that it also mentions mindful listening. Mindfulness is about being present in the moment and situation.

A related approach is ‘mindful listening’, a concept taken from Buddhism and applied by the language educationalist Stella Ting-Toomey, to situations of intercultural conflict. She informs us that in the Chinese alphabet, the character used for ‘listening’ (as opposed to ‘hearing’) embodies ‘attending to the other person with your eyes, ears and heart’. The act of patient and deliberate listening is a sign of generosity, and an acknowledgement that you are taking the speaker’s needs seriously.

Udemy courses and discounts

I am a big fan of Udemy and their wide range of courses. There’s probably something for everyone. The amount of video in the courses vary a lot. I have courses in the range from 30 minutes up to 28 hours.

Discounts and tips

Before buying a course, check out the preview videos. Does the teacher work for you? Does the course seem to keep what the sales text promises?

After you’ve bought a new course, start the course a.s.a.p. and invest 30-45 minutes to really check it out. If the course doesn’t match your expectations then use Udemy’s 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.

Udemy regularly runs campaigns with big discounts. There’s rarely a need to pay the full price for a course you want. I’ve only seen a few courses I’m interested in that sticks to list price. My average price on courses I’ve bought is 7% of the list price.

My courses

I had a pent up desire to study and I’ve signed up for 55 courses in four months. Out of those 16 courses are free. I have finished 39 of my courses, 7 courses are in progress. Here’s a list of topics I have courses on.

Professionally I have courses on:

  • Business ideas
  • CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Coaching
  • Habits
  • Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy
  • Influence and Inspire
  • Leadership
  • Mentoring
  • NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming
  • Neuroscience (Brain)

Personally I have courses on:

  • Buddhism
  • Creativity
  • Drawing
  • Languages, so far German
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Writing

Storytelling and photos

The article Six Photographers Took The Same Man’s Picture, What They Captured Will Make You Think popped up in my Facebook stream today. I’ve seen it before and it’s really worth watching.

Six photographers were told to photograph the same man but each of them was told a different background story about who the man was. For example, one of them was told he was a self-made millionaire whilst another was told he was an ex-convict. In reality, he is none of those things. The results of how the man was portrayed in their photographs was mind blowing and very revealing to say the least

We all have a tendency to label and judge people. What we believe affects how we see people and things, whether the belief is true or not.

The video is an excellent example of how powerful storytelling is. It, for good and bad, affects how we see people and the world. You can view the video below or on YouTube at THE LAB: DECOY – A portrait session with a twist.

Our own story

We are affected by the stories we tell ourselves about us. What’s your own story?

Can you rewrite that story and change how you view yourself?


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