All posts in “love”

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4 Reasons You Can Forgive Someone You Love

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Written By The Rev. Christopher L. Smith
From Your Tango

Forgiveness is for you as well as the relationship – find sources in your spirituality to help do it

When you have become emotionally close to another person, you have become more vulnerable. This vulnerability opens the doors for that person to do things that really hurt, which often comes out when conflicts arise. At the same time, you can develop higher expectations about what the other person does and how they should act towards you. This also can lead to unfulfilled expectations which could result in resentment or even anger, even without the other person knowing that they have done something to hurt you.

A recent study has shown that people with increased spirituality have improved mental health, in part because of the role of forgiveness. This helps to point to the fact that the person forgiving gets as much benefit, if not more, out of the act of forgiveness as the person being forgiven. In forgiving the person that you love, you are setting aside your anger and your resentment. These are elements that can eat away at you and detract from wholeness within your relationship. In looking at this understanding of forgiveness, it is important to recognize that it does not preclude being angry or resentful, in fact recognizing and feeling your reaction to what happened is important before you are able to forgive. Similarly, there is a difference between forgiving and forgetting – forgiving is not about approving of what the other person has done but is all about how you relate with the other person, especially inside of yourself.

So, how are you able to forgive someone that you love?

1. Explore how your own spirituality allows you to be forgiven for things you have done. If you come from one of the Abrahamic traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) this may be rooted in history based on the way God has forgiven humans over time. If you come from traditions out of the Indic family of religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism) this may be rooted in an understanding of compassion and that forgiveness is cultivated from a philosophy of peace. If you come from aboriginal or indigenous religions this may rooted in the work of the spirits. Regardless of where these roots are, pay attention to the fact that at your essence you have needed forgiveness as well as the reasons why you have been able to be forgiven.

2. Explore how you, within this relationship, have needed to be forgiven for things that you have done. If you honestly reflect on the history of your relationship, you have done things (intentionally or unintentionally) that you needed forgiveness from the one you loved. What allowed you to receive that forgiveness? What allowed the one you love to forgive you? Pay attention to the fact that you have needed forgiveness, what allowed this to occur and what effect this had on both of you and your relationship.

3. Explore how not forgiving is affecting you. Is not forgiving is allowing the anger and resentment to spread or affect other areas of your life or relationship? Are you being changed in negative ways because of your emotions or focus on having been wronged? Consider whether all of this is getting in the way of being the person that you want to be. Also, consider whether you have allowed yourself to be in touch with your emotions about what has happened. Pay attention to how you are being affected and how you will be changed by letting go of your anger and resentment.

4. Explore what you can learn from the situation and how this may manifest itself in the relationship. Is the situation that is impacting you part of a pattern of comments or behaviors that needs to be discussed? Is there something that you need to do different to protect yourself from being hurt again or is there something that you need to act the one you love to do differently? Pay attention to what can be done to be less likely to have the situation recur.

Focusing on these things can help you get to the point where you will be able to forgive. Learning from your spirituality can enable you to get to the point of forgiving. When you forgive, your own mental health will be helped and you will have the possibility of restoration within your relationship. As a result, you will have been able to find the peace and wholeness that you seek.

 

Image Source: In Life School

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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.

The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.

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10 Ways Men Push Women Away — Without Even Realizing It

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10 Ways Men Push Women Away Without Realizing It Relationships don’t need to be that complicated, gentlemen.

 

Written By  James Michael Sama
From Your Tango

Relationships don’t need to be that complicated, gentlemen.

I was once interviewed for an article on Fox News Los Angeles, the author of which finds herself immersed in the LA dating scene. As you can imagine, this is quite a unique experience. 

We discussed some recent experiences she had with men, and while some of them were a little different from what I usually hear, some were consistent with issues I felt I discussed multiple times before with different women about men.

What does this mean? It means there are consistencies. There are, for some reason, mistakes that many men (probably myself included) are making when it comes to being in a relationship. In this article, I will discuss these mistakes to help all men become more aware of where they can improve, and work to become better.

 

1. He never really learned about relationships.

This has always surprised me. People (men and women) spend years of their life learning about business, history, science, and whatever subject comes our way. But when it comes to the one thing every single one of us shares — relationships — many are generally clueless.

Time is not taken to observe, talk to, or learn about the opposite sex. The more effort you put into learning about women, particularly the one in your life, the more likely you are to be in tune with her feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes.

This will, of course, lead to a smoother, happier relationship because you can anticipate her wants and needs in order to act on them. You don’t need to be a mind reader; you just need to put in a little effort.

2. He spends too much time trying to sell himself.

You spend far too much time talking about yourself and not enough time learning about her. Dating is not supposed to be a sales pitch where you try to convince the person on the other end of the table that you’re their best option.

It’s about mutual learning and figuring out whether or not you are both a match for each other. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason, so listen twice as much as you speak.

3. He doesn’t make her a priority.

I’ve had more than one conversation recently that focused on men who were either so submerged in their career, business, friends, or other interests that they barely made time to spend with their own girlfriend. As an entrepreneur, I understand the importance of focusing on business and progress, but I also understand the beauty and depth a relationship can bring to your life, and the importance of playing your equal role in it.

The woman in your life wants to feel valued. She wants to feel adored. She wants you to be emotionally present when you are with her. She doesn’t need to have you around constantly, but she wants to feel loved, just like you do.

If you stop putting in effort to make the woman in your life feel special every day, you lose your right to complain when someone else does.

4. He didn’t work to build a foundation.

A foundation of friendship and trust is essential to every relationship, much like building a foundation is essential to building a house. Without it, things may look solid from the outside, but will be crumbling from the inside.

Many men shy away from friendship with women because they’re scared of being in the “friend zone” and never having more than that with a woman they have feelings for. But it’s important to realize that many relationships are built off of friendships.

That is what keeps two people together long-term. She needs to know she can count on you, that you will be there, and that you are the real deal. 

You can have a friendship without a relationship, but you can’t have a relationship without a friendship.

5. He is inconsistent.

Another common question I get from women about men is: Why are men so hot and cold? Men can be talking about commitment and a relationship one day, and then completely disappear the next. What gives?

I understand that, as men in the social media era, we have options. We can easily X out a conversation and start a new one while easily forgetting about the last one.

It’s an unfortunate side effect of the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality that comes along with constant information overload. But one thing hasn’t changed: The fact that you are talking to real human beings with real feelings and emotions.

If you are interested in her, tell her. If you are not interested in her, tell her. A gentleman will never allow a woman to fall if he does not intend on catching her.

6. He focuses too much on her looks.

This one is pretty interesting because it may be counter-intuitive to a lot of men reading this. But that is only because most guys try to get a woman’s attention by complimenting her beauty, and put no effort into learning about her character.

Early on in my relationship I found myself not complimenting my girlfriend on her looks very often. I wanted to tell her that she’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen; I wanted to tell her that she looks just as beautiful in sweatpants as she does in a dress

I wanted to dig up every adjective I could think of that could be used to describe someone’s appearance — but, I didn’t. Why? Because I didn’t want her to think that’s why I wanted to be with her.

Yes, she is beautiful and sexy, but she is so much more than that. I actually told her once that I didn’t want her to think I only wanted her for her looks. She told me that if I’d spent too much time complimenting her beauty, that’s exactly what she would’ve thought.

The woman in your life will have much more appreciation for you taking the time to notice her character, compassion, thoughtfulness, and kindheartedness — far more than you telling her how great her butt looks in those jeans. Even if it does.

7. He gives too much, too soon.

Yes, men can be clingy, too. When we find a woman who really catches our attention, sometimes the excitement can be a little overwhelming and we may come on stronger than we intend to. This, particularly for a more independent type of woman, is kryptonite and pushes her away immediately.

Take a step back, take a deep breath, tell her what a great time you had on your date, and do your best to fight the urge to text her every 5 minutes. Don’t be worried about coming across as uninterested; you will actually likely be helping yourself rather than hurting yourself.

8. He hasn’t yet defined himself or his own path.

I know that this was a big hang-up for me for a long time. I wasn’t really sure who I was as a person, who I wanted to be, or who I wanted to become. For that reason (and others) I knew I wasn’t going to be ready for a relationship until I had at least a better grip on those questions.

In order to be happy with someone else, you first need to be happy with yourself. That is the most important relationship you’ll ever have. If that one isn’t healthy, none of your others will be either.

The idea of “you complete me” is romantic, but it’s not realistic. A relationship is not about two people who complete each other; it’s about two people who are already whole and accept each other completely.

9. He puts in part-time effort.

Healthy relationships aren’t a part-time commitment. The woman you are with is not just another option or a way to pass your time, and she shouldn’t be made to feel like she is.

When you are with her, be with her. When you are not with her, let her know you’re thinking about her. A relationship is a team, and teams fall apart when one of the members doesn’t pull their own weight.

She needs to know that you will be there for her during good times and during bad times. If you always seem to be just sort-of-kind-of committed, she will eventually realize she’s better off being single, or will find someone who gives her what she needs.

10. He’s clueless about how she’s feeling.

You also need to make sure you learn about her on a deeper level, especially about the one woman you’ve committed your time and effort to. If you don’t put in the effort to become in-tune with how she’s feeling or what she’s communicating to you non-verbally, you will never be able to form the type of deep, emotional connection that a healthy relationship should possess.

She doesn’t want or need you to be a psychic. But if you truly put in the time and effort to communicate with her, listen to her, and pay attention to the things she’s saying to you when she’s not actually speaking, you will gain a greater understanding of the woman you love and ultimately be able to bring more happiness to you as individuals, and to your relationship.

Relationships shouldn’t be as complicated as they seem to be for our generation. They don’t need rules or checklists; what they do need is two people who are willing to learn, understand, and communicate; two people who will stand by each other when things are good, and when things are bad.

Two people who are willing to work together as a team. Because, in the end, the team wins the game.

 

Image Sources: HD Wallpapers, weheartit

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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.

The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.

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13 Old School Dating Practices We Should Bring Back, Stat!

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Written By Cassandra Guerrier
From Your Tango

It’s time for a throwback to a simpler time with some good ol’ retro romance.

Now that the “hookup culture” is on the rise, it’s hard to remember the days when people took dating seriously. From one night stands to casual flings, hooking up has pretty much become the norm. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with having a good time, but I have to admit that I miss getting concrete signs that the guy I’m seeing is genuinely interested without having to turn into Sherlock Holmes just to figure out what he’s really thinking. For some reason, there’s a major disconnect between our parents’ generation of dating and how we approach the game today. Forget about riding off into the sunset with your knight and shining armor or being swept off your feet; it’s the little things you do to show your partner that you’re in it 100 percent that speak volumes. You don’t need to be a damsel in distress to find someone who will treat you with respect or to get the love that you deserve.

If you need further convincing, these retro dating habits (that are slowly becoming extinct) will prove why we all need to stop playing it cool and just be honest about how we feel. Besides, I’d take going steady over being “Facebook official” any day.

 

 Call Me Maybe

1. The first old school ritual we need to revive? Picking up the phone! Forget about emoji wars and figure out how your date really feels by having an actual conversation.

 

 

 Dance The Night Away

2. Bring back the days when this was considered dancing…

 

 

Twerk Nation

…Instead of this.

 

 

Communicate In Person

3. Why hide behind texts when you can make your date swoon with your boyish charm in the flesh? Don’t let your smooth lines get lost in translation.

 

 

Be On Time

4. If you say you’re going to show up at a certain time, actually get there on time. Male or female, there is nothing sexy about dining at a table for one, waiting for your date to grace you with his or her presence.

 

 

Courting

5. The “hookup culture” of today is all about being physical without getting tangled in the emotional. How about we flip the script and try taking it slow? Whether it’s in the form of amorous letters or a walk in the park, make an effort to court your sweetheart the old-fashioned way

 
 

Take It Slow

6. There’s a reason why the adage “Slow and steady wins the race” is so popular. Instead of rushing into a relationship, give yourself some time to fall in love naturally.

 

Don’t Blame It On The Alcohol

7. If you’re getting first date jitters and just can’t shake off the nerves, getting through the night with a little help from your friends Mr. Jack Daniels and Samuel Adams definitely won’t help you land that second date.

 
 

Ready To Commit? Go Steady

8. We’ve become so obsessed with social media that the defining moment of a relationship is how fast we make it “facebook official”. Back in the ’50s, going steady meant nixing those mixed signals in the bud by promising to commit and actually meaning it.

 
 

Be Honest

9. Okay, Nancy Drew, you won’t need to put your facebook stalking skills to use and crack his cryptic statuses for this one. Not sure if you’re on the same page? Just ask! The only way that you’ll change your relationship status is by making it clear that you want more.

 
 

Stop Playing Mind Games

10. Old school romance was all about being transparent with your partner and showing just how interested you were. Nothing is worse then falling for someone who doesn’t feel the same.

 

 

Bring Chivalry Back To Life

11. Let’s be real. Chivalry needs some serious mouth to mouth resuscitation. For starters, small gestures (like not letting the door slam in your date’s face) should just be common courtesy regardless of gender.

 

 

Compliment

12. Hey girl (or guy), when you compliment your date, it’s always better to be genuine than superficial.

 

 

No Second Guessing

And if they have to wonder whether they should be flattered or insulted, you’re doing it wrong.

 

 

Be Yourself

13. Finally, if you seriously want to find the one, you have to love yourself first and trust that everything else will fall into place. No matter what generation you’re a part of, this rule will always trump all.

 

Image Source: Beastly Gentleman

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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.

The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.

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If You’re Feeling These 15 Things, You’re In A Dead End Relationship

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dead end Are you wasting your time?

 

Article Source: Your Tango

Relationships usually begin with high hopes and bright expectations. The key is to not waste precious time hanging onto one that is bringing up more and more question marks. Here are signs that you’re sticking with a dead-end relationship, and it might be time to move on:

1. You have more confusion than clarity. 

Time should bring important insights into your relationship, so it’s a red flag if you are more confused now than you were weeks or months ago.

2. Initial attraction hasn’t led to a lasting bond. 

Being attracted to external qualities—a nice smile, a quick wit, a confident demeanor—can hold a couple together for only so long. A romance that flames out quickly might be due to a strong physical attraction with little else to feed it.

3. Your desire for “space” is increasing. 

Everyone needs individual time—that’s normal and natural. But if “me time” has become much more appealing than “us time,” consider this a clear warning sign.

4. You work hard to improve the relationship, but the other person is not making the same effort.

A healthy union needs two people who both carry their weight and invest equally in the partnership.

5. Time has revealed a mismatch in your values and beliefs. 

Be realistic about whether your respective lives and desires are pointing you in the same direction, or whether impossible compromises lie ahead.

6. You don’t share the same level of motivation and ambition. 

Whether these include career advancement, further education, or personal development, each partner should have clearly defined objectives and a plan to attain them.

7. You’ve noticed incidents of dishonesty and deception. 

Lies destroy a crucial component of any relationship: trust. The presence of lies and the absence of trust spell trouble.

8. One person is clingy and dependent. 

Few relationships are able to survive extreme jealousy, possessiveness, overdependence, or controlling behavior. Such actions and attitudes indicate that one or both people lack a solid emotional foundation.

9. Your partner is unrealistic about what is needed for long-term success. 

In a healthy relationship, the individuals acknowledge that nobody is perfect and there will surely be problems to address. Every relationship will require hard work and perseverance.

10. It’s become obvious that your career and financial goals are not in sync. 

Ask yourselves how you envision your standard of living, income, and vocational progress into the future.

11. You have put your own needs and ambitions on hold to concentrate more on your lover’s. 

This kind of imbalance will eventually leave you feeling resentful. A healthy relationship requires equality, with both individuals feeling valued.

12. More and more you wonder if there’s someone better suited for you. 

It’s normal to have occasional doubts and questions about the long-term prospects of your partnership, but don’t ignore the warning signs if those thoughts become increasingly frequent.

13. You don’t feel like you can be “completely yourself” with this person. 

Trying to change or conceal your true self is a big tip that this isn’t a good match.

14. You’re feeling an acute sense of “time urgency.” 

Regardless of your age, you’ve begun to think that the time you’re spending in this relationship could be better spent exploring other (better) possibilities.

15. As you look ahead, the vision of your future together is fuzzy. 

You should be able to envision your relationship five, ten, twenty years ahead with joy and clarity.

 

Image Source: Thought Catalog

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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.

The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.

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6 ways to get out of the FriendZone!

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Article Source: Lifestyle Magazine

4039148916_holiday_rom_com_friend_zone_400x300_xlargeFellas, once you’re categorized in the “friendzone” category, chances are, you’re never going to get out of it. While attraction boils down to a mixture of pheromones, chemistry, energy and confidence, and no book or list of tips can teach you that -there are a few things you can do (and avoid) to minimize being labeled as her new “gay best friend”.

1. Ask her out on a date… properly

You may be afraid of “rejection” – but that looming fear of “what if” will hinder you from getting a date. Take a chance and ask a girl out on a date. But do note – there is a way about asking. “We should grab a coffee sometime,” is not asking someone out on a date. The ask is important because it implies intention. If you’re interested romantically, asking something along the lines of “Would you like to go for dinner next Friday? I know a great place <insert suggestion> that I’d like to take you to.” Why is this a winning ask? First, unless it’s business networking, typically people who have just met and want to only be buddies do not ask to take you out for dinner. Second, you are showing consideration by recommending a venue and third, you are being assertive in your ask and have provided a date in the near future. Overall, position the ask so it makes it very easy for a woman to say “yes”.

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2. Ask her for a drink, not for coffee

The time and place of the first date matters. You may think that dinner is too much of a commitment and want to test the waters first. That’s understandable, but then choose the venue accordingly. Coffee on a Tuesday afternoon = friend / business meeting. Drinks on a Friday night = date. Also, studies show that the location matters due to “transference”. For example, choosing a high-end restaurant/bar transfers the emotions evoked by the atmosphere over to the person (sophistication, wealth, etc). Choose the venue according to the type of experience and emotions you want to inspire.

3. Go in for the first kiss

There is no one “rule” on the perfect timing to go in for the first kiss. You have to be conscious of body language and pick up signs of interest. If a few dates have passed, there’s a chance she’s likely in to you – because she is choosing to continue spending time with you. If you’re deathly afraid of how she’ll react, then warm the waters by engaging in subtle body contact. A light touch on her arm or behind her back. If she’s squeamish and uncomfortable, then it’s likely not going to end very well if you kiss her. But if she’s responsive and reciprocating with her body language, then, make a first move. If you’re deathly afraid of that awkward go-in-for-the-kiss-and-she-ducks-or-gives-you-the-cheek possibility, start by a peck on the lips.

4. Make eye contact and hold her gaze

Studies show that a factor of your attractiveness to others is influenced simply if you are making direct eye contact and smiling simultaneously. Eye contact has shown to cause intimate bonds and physical arousal. Also, research suggests that when you want to build rapport with someone, you need to meet that person’s gaze between 60–70 per cent of the time. Authors Brett and Kate McKay share some signs to determine what her eyes are telling you:

If she looks down and then looks back at you less than 45 seconds later, she is almost definitely interested. This sign is so nearly fail-proof that you don’t need any smooth pick-up lines when you approach her—just offer your hand and introduce yourself.

If she looks away horizontally, she’s not sure if she’s interested in you or not yet. Smile and make eye contact again to see how she reacts.

If she averts her gaze by looking up, she’s not interested. Basically, she just rolled her eyes at you.

When you are on a date, look her in the eyes, focus and keep her gaze. Breaking gaze is natural, but if you do, look to the side, not down. Now, you need to know the difference between being romantic versus being creepy. If you overdo the eye gazing it turns into staring and you can come across too intense and intimidating.

Maya-and-Darnell1

5. Be conscious of the vibe you are (or not) exuding

Depending on experience and intuition, a woman will have varying degrees of being able to sense the energy of a man to know if he’s interested. Some men are natural at flirting and showing interest. I’ve noticed that alpha males are generally better at doing this than beta males. But, beta males don’t fret! You can give off a vibe, still be a nice guy and get the girl. The first part is confidence. You cannot fake confidence, and no book can teach you that. Being comfortable in your own skin means knowing your value and worth. If you have an underlying insecurity of feeling the need to be liked or approved by everyone, and you base your worth on the acceptance of others – this will come across in your energy. Know your value and don’t regard yourself as “less-than” anyone else. If you can’t feel and know your own value and worth, how can you expect others to see it?

6. Don’t be over eager

This goes back to confidence. It’s great to be assertive, take initiative and ask a woman out but if you come across as desperate or over-eager, it will be a turn off. There is a difference between trying and putting in effort, versus being desperate for her attention. You never want to come across that the apple of your eye is “better” than you. Do not put anyone on a pedestal and instead, see the person as an equal, no matter how amazing you think she is. Know that you have options, and if she’s not in to you, you’ll eventually meet someone else who will reciprocate your feelings. Also, people can come across as desperate when they approach relationships in a rush. There is no mad hurry for love. Timing is everything. A woman may not go on a date with you today or continue dating you not because of anything personal, but because of something happening in her life during that time. Just because she’s not pursuing something doesn’t equate to there being something wrong with you. So make an effort, try and if it doesn’t work, be patient and relaxed about it. If it’s not now it could be later. If it’s not her then eventually it will be someone else.

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Who we are attracted to on an immediate level has been wired in our brains before we are even aware of making a conscious decision about the person. Anthropologist Helen Fisher calls this our “love maps” – which are built at a very young age and set the pattern in the “type” of person we will be drawn to in our adult years. Then there’s the theory of pheromones – how each person has a certain smell, and we are naturally attracted to or repulsed by someone’s scent. Regardless of which theory is most accurate, sometimes you are just attracted to someone for no rational rhyme or reason. Attraction is a fickle thing – and it can go just as easily as it comes. It can also bloom over time or, never launch at all.

I do not suggest you alter your personality or character or engage in mind games to try to falsely attract someone. And remember, there is no one way or right way. However, if you’re want to build romantic rapport with someone, be conscious of your energy, your confidence and body language. Be attentive to how people respond and don’t respond to you. Most importantly, remember, that if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

 

Image Source: Pynk

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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.

The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.

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Being in Love is Good for You, Says Science

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Written By Dawn Chen
From Shape

Turns out, love does change you for the better. Here are four Science-backed ways to prove it.

Love makes you healthier.
A study from the University of Oxford that involved 730,000 participants has found that married women are 28 per cent less likely to die from heart disease than unmarried women. While the exact reasons are unknown, researchers speculate that the women’s spouses were likelier to encourage them to take their medicine regularly and make healthy lifestyle changes.

Love helps lessen pain.
Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine in the US have discovered that love really acts like a drug – a painkilling one, that is. They found that feelings of intense, passionate love can help to block pain. “It turns out that the areas of the brain activated by intense love are the same areas that drugs use to reduce pain,” says study author Arthur Aron.

Love makes you more positive.
Being in love helps you manage negativity too, according to research from the Universities of Jena and Kassel in Germany. “Neurotic people are rather anxious, insecure, and easily annoyed. They have a tendency towards depression, often show low self-esteem and tend to be generally dissatisfied with their lives,” study author Christine Finn explains. But when they’re in love, all that stress and worry seems to lessen. The psychologists found that being in love helped those with a more neurotic personality become more stable. They observed that over time, love also helps one deal with difficult circumstances more confidently instead of being immediately negative.

Love protects against stress and sickness.
Hugs are great, says recent research by US-based Carnegie Mellon University. Not only do they help to express love, but they can also help protect you from being stressed, and decrease your chances of getting sick. Study authors think that being hugged makes us feel like we’re being supported, and this in turn helps to lower our stress levels.

 

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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.

The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.

2

50 Life Secrets and Tips

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Article Source: High Existence

  1. Memorize something everyday.

    Not only will this leave your brain sharp and your memory functioning, you will also have a huge library of quotes to bust out at any moment. Poetry, sayings and philosophies are your best options.

  2. Constantly try to reduce your attachment to possessions.

    Those who are heavy-set with material desires will have a lot of trouble when their things are taken away from them or lost. Possessions do end up owning you, not the other way around. Become a person of minimal needs and you will be much more content.

  3. Develop an endless curiosity about this world.

    Become an explorer and view the world as your jungle. Stop and observe all of the little things as completely unique events. Try new things. Get out of your comfort zone and try to experience as many different environments and sensations as possible. This world has so much to offer, so why not take advantage of it?

  4. Remember people’s names

    so that they feel appreciated and for your own future benefit when you want something from that person. To do this, say their name back to them when they introduce themselves. Then repeat the name in your head a number of times until you are sure you have it. Continue to use their name in conversation as much as possible to remove any chance of forgetting it. If you’re still having trouble, make up a rhyme about their name: “Dan the Man” or “Natalie flatters me.”

  5. Get fit!

    It’s ridiculous to think that we have one body, one sole means of functioning, and people are too lazy to take care of themselves. Fit bodies lead to better health, confidence and more success with romantic endeavors. I’d say those are 3 very good reasons to get in shape.

  6. Learn to focus only on the present.

    The past is unchangeable so it is futile to reflect on it unless you are making sure you do not repeat past mistakes. The future is but a result of your actions today. So learn from the past to do better in the present so that you can succeed in the future.

  7. Even more specifically, live in THIS moment.

    Even 10 minutes ago is the past. If you live purely in this moment you will always be happy because there is nothing wrong in this split-second.

  8. Smile more often.

    Whenever you get a grin on your face, your brain is releasing serotonin, the happy hormone. Smiling is the natural way to force yourself to be happy. Many people even smile for five minutes straight in the morning to get themselves in a great mood for the day. It is a very powerful tool that is utilized less and less as we grow older and need happiness more than ever. Just remember that while happiness leads to smiles, smiles also lead to happiness.

  9. Drink water.

    Hydration is tremendously important for overall health. Soda has absolutely ZERO nutritional content; it’s like pouring a punch of sugar and syrup into your cup. Instead, fill it with life-replenishing water. It may taste plain at first if you’re coming off of a heavy soda-drinking streak, but you’ll soon find yourself addicted to it. 10 glasses per day is optimal, how many have you been getting lately?

  10. Don’t take life so seriously!

    Learn to laugh at the little things and this whole “existence” thing will be a whole lot easier. Be amused by your mistakes and failures and be thankful that you learned your lesson and won’t mess up like that again. And most importantly do things that you enjoy! Life is not strictly business, it can be mixed with pleasure.

  11. Think positive thoughts.

    When you find yourself thinking a negative thought, stop it immediately by any means necessary. Slap yourself in the face, yell something positive at the top of your lungs or jump up and down. Do whatever it takes to get back to a positive mindset as such is essential for continual happiness and success.

  12. Read books.

    Knowledge is power. If you’re looking for some mind-blowing books to read, check out 8 Books That Will Violent Shift Your Perspective’.

  13. Get in the sun.

    Superman was completely re-energized when he flew out to space and soaked in some rays and you can do the same right outside your front door (if you live in a constantly dreary place, my apologies). The sun feels amazing: your entire body will be coursing with warmth and life.

  14. Help others.

    I’ll just give you a plethora of reasons why this is a MUST

    • Helping people has a ripple effect. If you help someone they will feel more obliged to help someone else, and so on. Pay it forward
    • You grow by giving and helping others. It can change you in ways you never expected
    • Your relationship with that person will become stronger
    • It’s the most fulfilling thing you can do on this planet. It not only feels amazing physically, you also feel like a good person
    • You might be able to call in a favor later when you need some help
    • Karma (if you believe in it)
    • Because there are more people in this world than just you
  15. Set aside a specific time to worry each day.

    Ponder all of your problems and anxieties during that time so that they will not distract you during work or moments of pleasure. This way you can be extremely efficient with your time and avoid focusing on negative things as much as possible. If you get all of your worry out of the way and have the mental fortitude to keep from reverting back to them, you will be much happier on the daily.

  16. Be honest at all times.

    Lies lead to nothing but trouble. Being known as trustworthy is an excellent trait to maintain and essential to having integrity.

  17. Sleep less.

    Fully adjusting to a new sleep cycle can take up to 21 days so don’t give up if you feel tired after switching to 5-hour nights. The “required” 8 hour/night is for normal people. If you’re reading THIS article on THIS site, you are not normal. So figure out how much sleep YOU really need and adjust accordingly. As enjoyable as sleep is, waking existence is much more fulfilling and efficient. IF this really sparks your interest, check out alternate sleep cycles with which you can be fine off of 2 hours of sleep per day.

  18. Read “Bringers of Light” and “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch.

    These books will help you decide what you want to do in this life and how to get to that point. They will also profoundly change the way you look at the purpose of existence. Read them!

  19. Figure out what your goals and dreams are.

    So many people wander aimlessly through life simply go for whatever small thing they want moment by moment. Instead, decide what your perfect life consists of and begin to put the steps in motion to reach that place. The most satisfying thing in the world (yes, better than sex, much better) is overcoming a challenge and reaching a goal. We are the happiest when we are growing and working towards something better.

  20. Start your day off right.

    Wake up and set aside an hour for personal development activities (meditation, self-introspection, observing nature, etc.) Do the things that make you feel blissful, optimistic and empowered so that you can set a positive tone for your day. I guarantee that once you start doing this, your days will be more enjoyable and fulfilling. Today is going to be the best day of your life.

  21. Utilize ‘The Burning Method.’

    Whenever a fear or worry or complaint comes to mind, close your eyes and imagine writing down the thought on a piece of paper. Then proceed to light the paper and fire and watch it disintegrate. Even better, actually write it down and burn it. You won’t have any problem ridding your mind of the thought after doing this.

  22. Travel. 

    Anyone who has ever gone anywhere will tell you that traveling is one of the most exciting and life-changing activities that you can do. Observing a different culture will expand your mind while making you further appreciate the life you already live. This goes back to becoming an explorer: this world is your jungle so go explore! Who knows, maybe you’ll find a place you love so much that you decide to move. Imagine the positive repercussions a new environment could have on your life.

  23. The Rubber Band Method

    This is the third and final way to rid yourself of negative thoughts (hopefully by now you have figured out that this is very important!). Place a rubber band around your wrist and snap it against your skin anytime a negative thought finds its way into your head. This operant conditioning technique associates a slight pain with negative thoughts like Pavlov associated food/salivation with the sound of a bell. Sounds a bit cruel at first but it only stings for a second, I promise. Plus the outcome, having only positive thoughts, far outweighs a little slap on the wrist here and there.

  24. Learn to be unaffected by the words of others.

    Most people get very upset when they are called negative names by others, but there is a simple trick to overcoming this. Here it is: If I went up to you and called you a fire hydrant, would you be upset? Of course not. Obviously you are not a fire hydrant, you are a human being. The same concept applies to when someone calls you something that you know you are not. They are foolish for saying such things, so why would you react with such anger? The only exception is when someone calls you something that is true! In this case, you should thank them for alerting you to a weakness, one that you can now work on changing.

  25. Read “Zen and the Art of Happiness” by Chris Prentiss.

    This book will give you the knowledge and instruction to be happy at all times regardless of the circumstances. Yes, this sounds like an oversimplification of happiness, but I assure you that this book will change you in an amazing way.

  26. Develop the ability to forgive.

    Forgiveness is something that most people fail miserably at even thought it’s so simple. Grudges only bring more misery to those who hold them and prevent good relations with the target. YOU makes mistakes all of the time so why not have mercy when other do? Remaining angry feels horrible while forgiving someone brings a refreshing sensation to the mind and healing to the relationship.

  27. Be the person that makes others feel special.

    Be known for your kindness and sympathy.

  28. Learn to lucid dream

    or to realize when you are dreaming so that you can control your dreams. Sleep feels good, but it’s rather boring and unproductive. With lucid dreaming under your belt, night-time can be even more exciting than when you are awake. You can do anything: fly, travel to other planets, party with a celebrity, get intimate with your dream boy/girl, etc. Many lucid dreams have also reported being able to speak directly with the subconscious during dreams by demanding to be taken to it after becoming lucid. For those that know a thing or two about your subconscious, that is a BIG deal.

  29. Visualize daily.

    It has been said and proven time and time again that what you focus on is what you get. If you complain all of the time, you will run into more of the things you complain about. The same goes for good things like health, wealth and happiness. So spend some time in the morning imagining yourself achieving whatever it is that you currently desire. Focus is key in this exercise, so choose a quiet environment where you won’t be disturbed. If you’re having trouble focusing and continually find that your mind has wandered to something else, read about meditation in the following life tip. There is a lot more to this concept, so check out the full article on visualization and the law of attraction here.

  30. Meditate everyday for at least 20 minutes.

    In this modern world where everyone is so connected to everything else via cell phones, TV and internet, most people rarely enjoy the beauty of silence. The ability to quiet your mind and relax your body is an art and skill that everyone should develop. Simply sit somewhere, preferably in nature, and focus on your breathing or try to think about nothing. This is going to be extremely hard at first! You might find it boring or just plain impossible to think of nothing, but you will get better and you will learn to love it. Post-meditation, you will feel extremely clear-headed and.. well, just plain wonderful. The only way to really understand this sensation is to try it.

  31. Learn to control your mind.

    What kind of skilled human are you if you cannot even control your own thoughts? While the human mind is described as being a stream of consciousness, that does not mean you can’t decide where your stream flows. Techniques like meditation and the 3 ways to flush out negative thoughts will aid you immensely in learning to control your mind.

  32. Learn to control your emotions.

    The only person that can make you unhappy is you! You are the one that decides to be affected by the words and actions of others. Realize this so that the next time you experience a negative emotion, you can find the strength within yourself to overcome it.

  33. Take a class in speed reading.

    Books are full of information that can enhance your knowledge-base, vocabulary and yourself as a person. Speed reading is an easy way to get at this info faster so that you can have more time for other endeavors.

  34. Relax!

    This one is for you workaholics out there (myself included). Yes, work is very important and productive but you need to take some time to chill out everyday or you are going to burn out faster than a candle with no oxygen. Additionally, you need to reward yourself for a job well done. What’s the use of doing all of that work if you can’t have a little fun from time to time anyways?

  35. Work on making good first impressions.

    Practice a strong, firm handshake and the small talk that generally goes along with meeting someone for the first time. People won’t know what to think of you if you have nothing more to say beyond “My name is _______, nice to meet you.” Also make sure you remember names, as mentioned previously. Who knows, you may be going into business with or marrying this person you’re meeting for the first time if you make a good impression. Be sure and make an excellent one.

  36. Learn to use your eyes to their full potential:

    •  Make constant eye contact when in conversation. Looking away (especially down) is a sign of inferiority and uncertainty. Instead, look at your conversation partner dead in the eyes and keep them locked on
    •  Master the piercing stare. You know when someone looks at you and it feels like they can see into your soul? Well that’s not a hereditary characteristic, it just takes practice. Work on sharpening your gaze in the mirror. You’ll know you have it when it’s intimidating to continue looking at yourself
    •  Master the one-eyebrow raise. This one isn’t necessary by any means, but hey, why not? Pick a brow to learn with and go look in a mirror. Raise both of your eyebrows but use your hand to hold down the brow that you want to stay down. This will probably feel very stupid at first but if you keep trying, you will eventually pin down the muscle you need to flex to get that one brow up
  37. Be mysterious.

    Don’t let off everything about you and definitely leave out some major details. There is something both alluring and mesmerizing about someone who no one knows fully about. I’m not saying to confide in no one or to alienate yourself. Just think James Bond.

  38. Come up with a life mantra.

    You know, like “Carpe Diem” or “Live life to the fullest,” but not as cliché. Make it something that really hits home with you so that you will actually stick to it. Make sure it’ not so specific that it rarely applies but also not so general that it’s not personal.

  39. Get good at something.

    Call it a hobby or a passion, whatever it is, just get damn good at it. Your occupation does not count! Make it something that you can practice often enough to excel at. Examples: Magic tricks, surfing, ping-pong, creating short films, and unicycling. It can be anything but I would recommend choosing something that: 1) You are passionate about 2) You can bust out at any moment to display your skills for any discerning crowd. My mind goes immediately to aerobatics and break dancing, but that’s just me.

  40. Work out those abs.

    Above any other muscle group in the entire body, the abs are the most important. They constitute your core, the center point of your body. Your ability to balance comes almost completely from the strength of your abdominal muscles and balance is vital to performance in any physical activity. Summary: they’re very important. For more info on how to work out your abs, check out this video.

  41. Keep your brain sharp.

    The majority of people are stuck in ruts. They go to the same job everyday, hang out with the same friends and eat at the same places. While that may feel safe, it’s not the most stimulating lifestyle for your brain. Those synapses have been built up enough, so try something that you do NOT know how to do! Buy a model car kit, master the art of sudoku or crosswords, or go pick up another major at your nearest college. The point is you need to be learning new things to keep your brain honest. Form new synapses by forcing your mind to work in ways it has not worked before. Just like physical workouts, doing too much of the same exercise will eventually give no results. Switch it up!

  42. Read something inspirational right before bed and after waking.

    This will set get you in a great mood for sleep and for the day. Read anything from a famous speech to your favorite self-improvement book. Try to read something that get’s you really excited in the morning especially so that you’ll leave your house beaming with energy and wonder.

  43. Do what you love.

    There is a huge difference between making a life and making a living; which one are you making right now? So many spend their entire lives trying to make as much money as possible so that they can afford to do what they really want later. It makes no sense to settle in life until you’re 65 so that you can retire and do what you want when you’re already WAY past your prime. We only live life once so why wouldn’t you want to spend it pursuing your bliss? To do anything else would be a tragic waste of the freedom you are allowed if you are reading this right now. Follow your bliss and you will be a thousand times more happy than your retirement date and 40+ years younger. But first you need to figure out what you love to do…

  44. Choose your friends wisely.

    You are affected far more than you think by the people you spend your time with. Do your friends share your values? Do they encourage you when you speak of your goals and dreams or do they scoff? Make sure the people around you are conducive to the lifestyle you want to lead or you will find yourself being dragged again and again into behavior that distances you from your desires. Friends with a habit of producing negative thoughts will especially hinder you. This can be a hard task to follow through with if you realize you good friend is one of these saboteurs, but you must be firm! Don’t let anyone get in the way of you being all that you can be.

  45. Don’t burn bridges.

    By that I mean maintain your relationships with people even if you think you are never going to see them again. For example, if you are quitting your job, don’t chew out your boss before leaving! You might run into him/her again later and life and wish you had never severed ties so harshly. You never know when you might need the help of someone you knew in the past. Plus there is already too much hatred in this world, why add more towards the people you interact with?

  46. Keep a journal/diary.

    It sounds like a very monotonous habit at first, but when you get into it, that little book will become a great way to organize your thoughts and track your growth over the years. Most of us already stay awake in bed at night pondering the events of the day anyways so why not document those thoughts in an organized fashion? That will allow you to look back and observe how your way of thinking has changed over time.

  47. Read “New Pyscho-Cybernetics” by Dr. Maxwell Maltz.

    This book will explain why the content of your thoughts has such a profound effect on your life through religious, philosophical and scientific arguments. A must read for completely understand who this life thing works.

  48. Learn to use and trust your subconscious/intuition.

    When you spend time in silence everyday, listen not for words but for a feeling that tells you to do something. Do not mistake your own reasoning and thoughts for those of your subconscious. If you can track where the thought came from, (this thought led to that thought which led to this thought, etc.) then it was not from your subconscious. Learning to accurately discern between the two will allow you to tap into knowledge that you don’t consciously have.

  49. Develop a charismatic personality.

    You know, the kind of personality that is surrounded by people constantly and is the life of the party. Start visualizing yourself as THAT person. Maybe take a short course on dynamic speaking and learn some jokes. Take the time to learn some party tricks and sleight of hand. Most importantly, believe that you already are charismatic even if you fail at being the center point of the next party. Lie to yourself constantly and tell yourself that you are more warm and gregarious than Ronald Regan. Belief is the first step! Reality will come soon after.

  50. Love is all there is.

    If you truly want to be a master of life, let love be in your every action. Love your friends, family and enemies alike. This is the most difficult thing to do out of this entire list, which is why it is listed at #50. But if you accomplish this, you will be seen as a leader among everyone that allows hate, envy, disgust and all other negative emotions into their lives. Think Gandhi. Love is so rare in this world when compared to the massive presence of hate that by exuding love, you will immediately see yourself and the people around you change. Love. Love. Love.

 

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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.

The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.

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25 Best Books on Self-Improvement You Need to Read Before You Die

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Written By Martijn Schirp
From HighExistence

I remember the first time I got my hands on a self-improvement book. I was baffled. At that moment I realized my fate was not set in stone. I could become my own drill master and coach. The books I read would set out the training course for me to overcome. All I had to do was listen to that voice that aspired to climb higher and higher. Every time I committed to a new challenge I knew it was going to be outside my comfort zone, but after enough iterations, I also knew it will not just be part of my repertoire, it will be part of me. I just turned 25, and while I acknowledge some inherent dangers in the concept of self-improvement, I still believe in the beauty of self-directing your life. This is why I am sharing with you 25 Best Books on Self-Improvement You Need to Read Before You Die!

 

1. Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations – Seth Godin

This book is a masterpiece, and unlike most self-improvement books, this one targets an infinite array of areas in which you can, and ultimately must, improve. With its ruthless honesty and genuine inspiration, Godin makes you ponder the difficult questions you wouldn’t ever dare to ask yourself. The result is a completely new perspective of the world- a fresher, more vibrant perspective, packed with new and bold possibilities. If you need a friend that understands, a boss that forces you to venture deep in your non-comfort zone, a wise guru that tells you what needs to be left behind and a sage that proclaims the coming of a new age, then look no further; you will find these shrewd voices all tied together in this magnificent book. Make sure to get this one.

2. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Perhaps it is the fact that randomness played such a significant role in my years as a poker player that I find this book utterly important. We often attribute skill where there is only luck; we confuse correlation with causation and we underestimate the incredible effect small changes can have. This book and my time at the tables gave me a perspective I unfortunately rarely encounter in others: you can do everything right and still lose, or do everything wrong and still win. It is thus not about the outcome; it is about your actions that have lead you there. This important message is central to many of my decisions I make in my life and this book by Taleb helps you develop such a perspective so you will be able to live in a world one cannot fully understand, where the results are not always clear markers of performance and where chance seems to play games with our fates. Stop being fooled by randomness!

3. The 48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene

I read this book in a time where I thought power was something I should attain. Power for power’s sake. And while I disagree with my former self on this point, the fact remains that power is very real, it forms the invisible scepter of all hierarchical relations around us. I still recommend this book; I believe it is important to know how people use power for their own benefit and what to do to protect yourself from certain abuses of power. Besides the fact that all stories in this book gravitate around power, it contains many life lessons, amazing historical anecdotes and, if read in a certain light, the ability to use power for good. From Caesar to Goethe, Sun-Tzu to Machiavelli, this eye opening book spans a wide range of human development. If you, like me, would rather be interested in something less egotistical, perhaps Greene’s latest book Mastery will suffice (I haven’t read that one myself). Another great book in the same style, but this time around, covering a wider scope, and, perhaps, something that will make the world make a better place.

4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Stephen. R. Covey

The title of this book doesn’t capture it all. Covey shares with us seven habits one should adapt to become truly effective in whatever you would like to achieve. Of course, it is not as easy as it sounds. He stresses the fact that we need to go through a paradigm shift – a fundamental change in how we perceive the world and ourselves. This book can be read as a guide, with practices and everything, to go through the stages in order to make such a shift happen. Part shock-therapy, part ageless spiritual wisdom, Covey’s book is packed with wisdom that actually makes a difference. And, as I mentioned, don’t let the title of the book fool you; it is about much more than just becoming more effective. It is about becoming a whole integer person who not only seeks the best in oneself, but also in the people around her. A must read for anyone who feels there is always something left to learn.

5. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys – James Fadiman

While finding a book on psychedelics in a list of books on self-improvement might come as a surprise, I believe any metaphysical distinction between tools such as books, meditation or molecules hold no ground and they should all be solely judged on their merits. And the merits of certain chemical keys, used in a constructive way, are perhaps bigger than any book in this list. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide will teach you how to prepare yourself and your surroundings, what and how much to take, and what do do when something goes wrong, so you can safely enhance your thinking, creativity, introspection and emotional balance. This book contains everything you need to know about using psychedelics as a tool for self-improvement while drawing on extensive scientific literature and personal wisdom. A must have for the beginning and experienced psychonaut alike.

6. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time – Brian Tracy

We all know how that destructive downward spiral feels. We have to do some big task, of which the thought alone triggers resistance, not sure how and where to begin and feeling overwhelmed before we start; we get easily distracted to get rid of that feeling, only to suddenly realize that hours went by- precious hours- and then find ourselves in the same position as before, still not knowing where and how to begin, but now, feeling guilty on top of it which expresses itself in more craving for distraction. Ad infinitum. To break this spell of procrastination before it paralyzes us, Tracy advises us to Eat That Frog, to set our priorities straight, deconstruct larger tasks into smaller ones, learn when to tackle the big frog first or to start out with something else. Tracy is truly a motivational writer, and while I wished he had gone a bit deeper into the psychological reasons why people procrastinate, it is still a must have for anyone who wants to break the spell and get shit done.

7. Think and Grow Rich: The Original 1937 Unedited Edition – Napoleon Hill

A from 1937, this book by Hill is a masterpiece. Don’t bother with the edited versions since they all omit important and controversial information: some historical, and some pertaining to the goal of the book, which is to think and grow rich. The word rich might imply that this book is all about material gain, and while it certainly covers that area, it is about much more than that. Perhaps the first explicit mention of positive thinking, on how to care not just about the cash in your pocket, but also the thoughts in your head, this book has been able to withstand the destruction of time. It covers all the basics from planning, decision making and persistence, to the more advanced techniques as auto-suggestion, transmutation and what we can learn from fear. This is not a grow rich book, but a timeless guide to find out what actually matters. As it says clearly in the beginning ‘Riches can’t always be measured in money!’

8. The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind – Alan Wallace

In a world that is dominated by ever stronger technologies designed to grab hold of your attention, a way to empower yourself is to bring that attention back to where you want it to shine. This book offers just that; in The Attention Revolution, Wallace describes the path to attaining Shamatha, a buddhist meditation state of mind that is free from any flickering of distraction. It is a hard and long path, probably not possible for us to reach in this lifetime. However, even getting to stage two or three will make everything in life easier. A wonderful introduction to meditation, The Attention Revolution will inspire you to take on the challenge and see what training your mind can actually achieve. Once you have achieved such a level of focus you can put it to use to open your heart with the practice of The Four Immeasurables or deepen the practice with this wonderful commentary by Dudjom Lingpa, both by Alan B. Wallace.

9. The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health – John Durant

In the last 10,000 years or so it seems we have been propelled into an ever faster paced world forged by our own hands and minds. Only recently have we been able to reconstruct our journey and reflect back upon our humble origins. This amazing book is such a reflection. It goes back to the paleolithic searching for answers to health and longevity. Between science and his personal experiments, Durant weaves a mind blowing story that will convey the importance of an evolutionary perspective on how to live well. It covers everything from nutrition to exercise, from sleep to fasting, from ancient practices to modern biohacking and even has an outline for a vision of the future where depression and obesity have become obsolete. If you only have room for a couple of books on this list, make sure this one is included.

10. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation – Daniel J. Siegel

As my Burmese meditation teacher often proclaimed, ‘Mindfulness alone is not enough!’ Siegel seems to have taken this to heart and made an unique synthesis between meditation, psychoanalysis and neuroscience which he calls Mindsight, as he says himself, a potent combination between emotional and social intelligence. All of us deal with some disorder or another, something that seems to disturb the very core of our being at ease, and while it might not always be the best strategy to want to get rid of it, it certainly helps to understand and have compassion for that little aspect that upsets that perfect image of ourselves. Brimming with techniques, insights and epiphanies, this book contains everything you need to know to reprogram your brain and to optimally use its capacity of neuroplasticity. A great book for spiritual seekers and scientists alike.

11. How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie

This is the first self-improvement book I have ever read and it is also probably one of the oldest in this category. Written in 1937, mainly for the door to door salesman of that era, this book by Carnegie can truly be called a classic. It shows what we all intuitively know: it doesn’t matter what your line of work is or what you want to achieve- if you are doing business of any kind, you need to make it about the other person. Being nice helps, a lot. And while I might not fully defend the premise of this book, because it doesn’t distinguish between genuine interest and faking it to get what you want, it still contains a treasure chest full of timeless wisdom. Everybody wants to feel appreciated, and rightfully so. Learning to take a small effort to make someone’s day will make the world run smoother, no matter what your goal is. I still spontaneously remember some of his guidance, and perhaps this quality is the reason why this book still draws millions of readers to this day.

12. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy – David D. Burns

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most effective therapy used by psychologists today; it consists of identifying thought patterns that have a detrimental effect on your self-image and mood, and deconstructing these in order to break out of these destructive cycles. If you want to know how this works, which moods are central in your life, what thought patterns are causing your depression, how to overcome self-judgment and guilt, how to defeat approval and love addiction and how your self-perfectionism is hindering you, then don’t look further; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped millions of people and it can help you, and this is the best book for the job. Packed with scientific research, exercises and examples, this is the best improvement your self is going to get.

 

13. Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life – Maxwell Maltz

What can a plastic surgeon tell us about happiness? By dealing with his patients, Dr. Maxwell Maltz experienced firsthand that having your expectations come true doesn’t automatically result into a more positive life experience. Their outward appearances did indeed change but their inner insecurity remained. This caused him to find other means to help his patients, resulting in visualization techniques. He found a person’s outer success can never rise above the one visualized internally. This book carries a very honest and humbling story, loaded with fundamental truths about our psychology and how our own philosophy affects us, all told by a very compassionate writer. Of some books it can be said that it will be valuable for years to come, and I am absolutely positive that this is one of them.

14. Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman

This brilliant book by Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman is a lucid account of all the amazing research he has done over the years. He is the founder of behavioral economics – the way our psychology affects our decisions – and explains in simple prose how our thinking is divided in two systems: one fast and one slow. The fast one is almost instant; it consists of the hardwired instincts that govern emotions, a remnant of an evolutionary past, an unconscious irrational machine. The slow one is deliberate, self-reflexive and logical, but can easily be distracted and takes a lot of effort. Both play a large role in our lives and Kahneman explores when the fast system fails and why the slow system is often not utilized. Packed with mind blowing examples and sharp analyses, this book teaches you how to learn to make sound judgments, and use the best of both systems.

15. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything – Chris Hadfield

A few extraordinary people journey to the edge of our world and come back with a unique story to tell. Colonel Hadfield is such a person, and his story is perhaps the most important one in this list. While the other books in this list teach you to be independent, visualize your future and dream big, this astronaut’s guide turns these all upside down. A truly remarkable book, overflowing with mind-blowing stories that illustrate the life lessons he learned as one of the most accomplished astronauts that ever lived. Full of compassion, warmth and genuine self-reflexive humor, he conveys to us to be prepared for the worst and never let yourself be swayed from enjoying every moment. Part action story, part no-nonsense hard truth and part timeless spiritual wisdom, this book makes you feel like you stepped onto a rocket ship and experienced what he did while learning these most valuable lessons on the way.

16. Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat – Paul Jaminet & Shou-Ching Jaminet

No self-improvement list is complete without a nutrition book and the Perfect Health Diet is arguably the best diet book on the market now. If you are overweight or not, feel sick, or just looking for an extra boost in health (and keep it this way), then look no further. From reading decades of studies the authors construct the optimal way to eat, destroying popular food fads in the process. They explain in sufficient detail the optimal macro-ratios, which starches are safe, which vitamins and supplements to take and what foods, or what they call toxins, to avoid. This book is a great supplement to the Paleo Manifesto as it shares its basic evolutionary perspective; we were evolved to eat non-toxic, high fat, moderate protein and carbohydrates. And, sometimes, going around with no food at all, can be a very healthy thing. If your body is not in optimal health, then it is almost no use to read the other books. Make this your priority number one.

17. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success – John C. Maxwell

At one time or another, we will all fail. What matters most is how you deal with it once you do. Will you give up? Or will you use it as a stepping stone for success? I recently read an article about new start-ups in silicon valley. Its hypothesis was the more you had failed in the past, the more likely you were going to get funding. Why? Because failing teaches you invaluable lessons, and if you decide to continue after you hit the pavement, the more you have it in you to deliver. Now, this is not in anyway our instinctual reaction to failing. Most of us dread it, avoid it or refuse to fail at all costs. All three are by far sub-optimal. It is far better to accept failure where it arises, to accept responsibility and use it as a way to learn about yourself and your weaknesses. Only when you are absolute honest with yourself with respect to failure can you hope to grow. This wonderful book will teach you how to do exactly this. A honest book for everyone searching for a clean mirror.

18. The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now hardly needs any introduction. It is perhaps the book that has had the most impact on our collective consciousness in recent years. It inspired millions of people all over the world to live a more fulfilling and compassionate life, all through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness consists of moment to moment non-judgmental awareness. It is a technique that alleviates depression, increases emotional intelligence and develops compassion- and only recently has come to the west, which remained weary and skeptical until science had validated a wide array of its claims. The brain can be trained. The Power of Now teaches you how to release your attachment to certain thoughts and states of mind, thereby clearing the mind to fully embrace the present moment. If you already have read this book and are looking for deeper understanding, read Wherever You Go, There You Are.

19. The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch

At some point or another, almost all of us has come across The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. (If you haven’t, watch this powerful message here.) What would you say when you only have a few months left to live? This was probably Pausch’s question he posed to himself when he had to deliver his lecture a week later. But being confined to an academic setting and short time frame he felt he had more to share, thus marking the birth of this book. Filled with stories about his childhood, it is a very down to earth exploration of what it means to chase your dreams, to be a good person and live a life that gives value to others. A beautiful mixture of humor and optimism, his tender voice will be a source of inspiration for everyone who will take the time to listen, something he tried to impart on his readers. A very lovely read. And don’t forget, ‘It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.’

20. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brené Brown

I love Brené Brown’s books. She writes about an insight that I have found to be scary but true at the same time. Vulnerability, unlike we have been taught, is not a weakness, but a power to be tapped. Growing up with the idea that we have to hide certain parts of ourselves, to look strong and persevere at all costs always seemed a facade to me. And now she has the research to back that up. From that place of vulnerability comes a sense of worthiness, which for most of us, needs to be cultivated every day. Only if we get in touch with that tender spot of our hearts can we connect with others and develop genuine compassion, which are prerequisites, Brown tells us, for living a ‘wholehearted life.’ The reality, however, is that we often close down, feel neglected and misunderstood, and rather want the vulnerability and perhaps even ourselves to disappear. This book is an amazing antidote for that common instinct. Want to be truly convinced? Check out her amazing ted talk here.

21. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark – Carl Sagan

We all find UFO’s fascinating. We all really want to believe in magic or visiting aliens (surely the crop circles are conclusive proof!) and some of us believe the government is poisoning us with chemtrails. At the same time we are fascinated by the progress made by science, by all the new technology and medicines and the fascinating discoveries being made on a daily basis. Clearly, for the average person, it is quite hard to make a distinction between one claim or another – most of us are scientifically illiterate. Carl Sagan fought his whole life against such unreason and claimed that missing this ability to distinguish valid claims from hogwash could plunge us back into the dark ages. This book is perhaps his best on this subject, filled with examples and his eloquent mesmerizing voice, The Demon-Haunted World is a How To guide to arm you against manipulation masked as information. A must read for anyone who still feels the temptation to click sensationalist sophistry.

22. Philosophy for Life – Jules Evans

As philosopher Sloterdijk puts it; ‘philosophy is a beautiful child of an ugly mother.’ Philosophy first arose when the old Greek polis states were at the brink of destruction. Philosophy, according to Sloterdijk, was not just a way to make sense of the world, to come to knowledge or truth, but to serve as a psychological immune system. This book is an amazing expression of this perspective. From the stoics to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Jules Evans writes about some of the amazing philosophical techniques we can use to train and improve our cognitive immune systems. He weaves ancient stories with modern applications, from heroism to cosmic contemplation, Philosophy for Life a beautifully written book that makes it easy to understand the practical nature of philosophy. Perhaps the book would have been better if he would have gone deeper into the subject matter, but nonetheless he captures the essence of what philosophy can mean for the modern person. A must read.

23. Man’s Search For Meaning – Victor. E. Frankl

If I had to pick one book from this list for mandatory reading I would choose this one. For three years Viktor Frankl labored in four different Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. He tells us about his experience and that of his fellow prisoners. Both chilling and uplifting, confronted with the idea that they would be trapped there for the rest of their lives, he gives us an account of those who found meaning and those who succumbed to nihilism. A blend between a memoir, a psychological investigation and a self-help book, Frankl delivers a powerful message: finding meaning lies at the core of being human. From his own experience as a psychiatrist combined with anecdotes from his time in the concentration camps, he tells us how important it is to find meaning in our own lives and what we can become if we don’t. Suffering, he conveys to us, is inevitable. But as to how we cope with it is dependent on ourselves. If we can find meaning, even in the worst acts our species has ever inflicted upon his fellow man, we will be able to move forward with renewed purpose.

24. Simplify – Joshua Becker

This is a fun little book written by Joshua Becker, a big proponent of minimalist living. We all know that quote from Fightclub: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” Well, this is ending. Slowly we are outgrowing an era where the unquestioned mantra ‘more is always better’ dictates our behavior. Rather, we now find ourselves, our lives and our homes cluttered with too much information, too much stuff and just too much shit we don’t need. This simple book helps you become aware of the freedom gained from living with less. It is a small book, easily read under an hour, but it carries a persuasive punch to start living live in a very different way.

25. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It – Kamal Ravikant

The fundamental ground upon which all true self improvement is build is called self-love. Because in the end, no matter which way you turn, if you don’t love yourself, you will sabotage yourself at one point. You will think that, for some reason or another, you are not worthy. And if you think that, why would you truly want to achieve anything? And this is not just about achievement. This is about how you approach yourself every day; this is what you see when you look in the mirror. We make so many snap-judgments about ourselves- often without being conscious of them- that are filled with negativity, haltering us before we can even begin to heal. This powerful book shows you the antidote. Self love. Not to be confused with creating some narcissistic image of ourselves that some previous books in this list implicitly endorse, but self love, that inner gratefulness that no external condition can take away. Self love, that infinite source you can share with others.

Which one is your favorite?

Is a book missing in the 25 Best Books on Self-Improvement You Need to Read Before You Die?

Thank you for reading :)

 

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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.

The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.

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5 Things Super-Happy Couples Do Every Day

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Written By Ty Wenger
From WebMD

Lord knows this is not the sort of thing guys brag about. But my wife and I have a ridiculously happy marriage. Really, it’s almost disgusting.

We paw each other in public. We goof around like a pair of simpletons. We basically act like giddy newlyweds in the middle of happy hour. Sometimes we’ll do something so revolting, like sitting on the couch and drawing smiley faces on the bottoms of each other’s feet, that we’re forced to make hacking, gagging noises to maintain our dignity. Actually, this happened just last week.

See, I told you it was disgusting.

It hasn’t always been this way. In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit that our current marital bliss is the result of almost a year of counseling, a desperate effort undertaken several years ago, when we appeared destined for doom. What we learned then is something all happy couples eventually discover: A good marriage is a bit like a pet boa constrictor: either you feed it every day or bad things happen. Daily habits are extremely helpful in forging solid marriages, says couples therapist Tina Tessina, author of How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free. “If you’re really interested in making your relationship work, little rituals are a great way to do it.”

Want examples? Look no further than Tessina and her husband, Richard, who have developed an array of daily relationship builders during their 19 years of marriage: Every morning, they repeat their wedding vows to each other; they hold regular state-of-the-union meetings; and (my personal favorite) Tina routinely leaves Post-it Notes for Richard (“Hi, honey! Have a great day!”) stuck to the underside of the toilet seat (think about it).

“Every marriage has what I call a relationship reservoir, or the stored-up emotional energy of the relationship,” says Tessina. And although these daily habits are all very simple things, they help fill that reservoir. When there’s a lot of positive energy there, you give each other a little pat on the butt or say, “I’m so glad I’m sharing my life with you,” and you’re storing it up. Then when the relationship is under stress, you’ll have the energy you need to get through.

We asked happy couples across the United States to tell us about marriage-strengthening solutions they’ve developed. Try your hand at incorporating a few into your daily life and maybe you can be as ridiculously, embarrassingly, revoltingly happily married as I am.

Want to know the one thing that’s most important to a successful marriage? That’s easy. Walk up to your husband and surprise him with this one-question relationship quiz:

You: “Honey, what do you think is the one thing most important to a successful marriage?”

Him: “Umm, uh did you say something?”

And, well, there you have it.

Happily married couples typically say their relationships work better when they can sit down and gab one-on-one, like thinking, feeling adults. But who’s got time for that? Actually, anybody who sleeps at night, if you follow the lead of Julie and Thom and their nightly visits to their “igloo.”

“It all started one winter night years ago, when Julie had had a really bad day,” says Thom, 33, a marketing director in Columbus, Ohio. “We were huddled under the covers of our bed, and Julie was describing how all the people who made her day miserable were ‘bad polar bears’ and how she didn’t want any of the bad polar bears coming into the bedroom and how the bed was our refuge from them. You realize how embarrassing it is to admit this, right? Anyway, that’s when we started calling the bed the igloo.”

“The igloo is a place to retreat to,” says Julie, 31. “It’s our little sanctuary; only nice things happen in the igloo.”

Eventually Julie and Thom began holding a powwow in the igloo at the end of every day, making a nightly excursion that Julie says has become a vital part of their five-year marriage.

“It’s funny, because I always thought that when you lived with somebody, you’d automatically know everything that was going on,” she says. “But we find that if we don’t take that time to connect with each other, it’s really easy for life to get in the way. The igloo offers one of the few times in the day where there’s not a whole heck of a lot else going on, so you’re able to focus on each other in a deeper way.”

Of course, you don’t need to christen major pieces of furniture with cute nicknames to improve the communication in your marriage. You simply have to set aside a few minutes every day to remind each other of why you got married in the first place. And there are as many ways to do that as there are marriages in America.

Lori and Joe, who are happily married in Philadelphia, have a nightly ritual they call crook time. That’s when Lori cuddles up in the “crook” of Joe’s shoulder and they talk. “The name’s a little sappy,” Lori admits, “but it’s always a nice way for us to catch up.”

Every night, Angie and Bob walk their pet Chihuahua, Chachi, through the streets of Brookline, Massachusetts. In addition to keeping Chachi from picking dogfights he could never win (“He has a bit of a Napoleon complex,” Bob says), they use the time to strengthen their 11-year marriage.

It may be going a bit far to emulate Tim and Jill, a Connecticut couple who somewhat sheepishly admit that they check in with each other from work “six, maybe seven times a day,” Tim says, “sometimes a dozen times when we’re really being crazy.” (Jill says, slightly more defiantly, “He’s just my best friend, and our marriage is a great partnership, and there’s no one I’d rather talk to.”)

Then again, if you’ve been married 10 years and still want to talk to each other 10 times a day, you must be doing something right.

Back when you were 14 years old, you probably figured that once you got married, you’d have sex just about every day. (Well, maybe teenage girls don’t think that way. But let me tell you, 14-year-old boys sure do.) And why not? Sex is free. It’s fun. And it doesn’t require the purchase of any equipment, besides the occasional bottle of vegetable oil and about 20 feet of nylon rope.

But as they get older, most couples realize that having sex every night isn’t possible, let alone a worthy goal. Indeed, a 1994 University of Chicago survey of Americans’ sexual habits found that only about a third of adults have sex more than once a week. Granted, that number might have been higher if all the couples having sex more frequently had stopped to take the surveyor’s phone call, but clearly, sex for most married couples is far from a daily reality.

That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t at least talk sexy every day, and that’s the approach that Ed and Stephanie have taken in the more than six years they’ve been together.

“It’s funny,” says Ed, a 33-year-old San Francisco cab driver, “because we know plenty of married couples who fight, a lot, about how often they have sex. The wife’s upset because all he ever wants to do is have sex; the husband’s upset because he doesn’t think they have sex enough. But this has never really been a problem with us, and I think it has a lot do with the fact that we’re always talking sexy to each other.”

“Absolutely,” says Stephanie, a 32-year-old massage therapist. “We’re always complimenting each other, tossing out fantasies, telling each other we’re hot. He gets to feel like he can have sexual feelings, and I feel like I don’t have to have sex all the time to appear attractive.

“Let’s put it this way: The way I see it, sex is like chocolate cake. After five days of eating chocolate cake, even chocolate cake doesn’t taste that great.”

“Right,” Ed says, “but after five days of talking about chocolate cake?”

“That cake tastes damn good.”

Eavesdrop on a conversation between Bob and Angie concerning their favorite shared pastime.

“We are so disgusting. This is so pathetic. It’s like a sickness.”

“But it makes us happy!”

“It’s so stupid it makes us laugh.”

“We’re yelling at people. High-fiving each other.”

“Look, we get a kick out of it because it’s so ridiculous. It’s our guilty pleasure.”

Forgive them if they seem somewhat shy, but they’re merely ashamed to admit that the daily ritual that brings such joy to their 12-year marriage is none other than reality TV. That’s right. They lived and died with Survivor. They’ve adopted Big Brother. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? They do. Not to mention TemptationIsland, The Weakest Link, The Real World, Chains of Love, Fear Factor, The Mole (yes, really, The Mole).

“Honestly, I think we just need to be dumb for a while,” says Bob, 37, a shoe designer for Reebok in Boston. “We’re both very into our careers. And when you’re at work, with any job there’s going to be a certain amount of professional stress. You like to come home sometimes and, for that lousy hour or whatever, kick back and relax.”

Or as Angie, 36, a marketing executive, says, “Life is serious enough, isn’t it? Sometimes you need to do something stupid. And if you can’t be stupid with your husband, who can you be stupid with?

So hold on, then: Is domestic joy found in partners smothering each other in obsessive daily rituals (“Honey, don’t forget, at 7:15 we have our nightly cuddle, followed by the affirmation of our vows, our 7:35 spontaneous flirtation, and then, of course, a new episode of Moesha at eight”)?

Hardly. In fact, Tessina says that sleepwalking through a series of hollow routines (although probably an apt description of your day job) is worse for your marriage than having no routines at all. The solution, she says, is to also make a daily habit of getting away from each other.

“You know that old saying, ‘How can I miss you if you don’t go away?'” Tessina asks. “Doing things separately gives you a chance to fill in the blanks that your partner can’t fill in for you, for example, one of you likes classical music, the other one likes sports. Plus, taking a break from each other gives you more things to talk about, because when you’re joined at the hip, what’s to talk about? You’ve already seen it all.”

The point, naturally, is not to make space for each other in that I-can’t-wait-to-get-away-from-you sort of way but to pursue your own hobbies and interests. It’s a distinction that Joe tried hard to make to Lori during their delicate pre-engagement negotiations four years ago.

“As a woman, you get this message that when you get married, you spend every single waking second with your husband and you’re so unbelievably happy,” says Lori, 34. “And my parents actually do spend every single waking second together, and oddly enough, they are happy. So that’s how I grew up thinking you were supposed to be. But when I told him this, Joe was like, ‘I-don’t-think-so.'”

“Because I watched my parents,” says Joe, 29, whose parents divorced when he was 22, “and yeah, they spent every moment together, but they spent every moment together at each other’s throats.”

“So Joe had to convince me that having our own lives was a good idea,” Lori explains. “I’m thankful he did.”

These days Lori and Joe are practically poster children for the power of independence. Joe, who works for a nonprofit agency, spends his nights taking painting classes, building youth centers, and recording his guitar sessions. Lori, a college professor, spends hers directing community-theater musicals and indulging in trashy movies on cable television, a passion that Joe (go figure) doesn’t seem to share.

“It all brings a freshness to our marriage because we both continue to grow as people,” Joe says.

“Plus,” says Lori, “getting out of the house and out of each other’s hair keeps us from going crazy.”

And — we asked the experts, so we know — going crazy is definitely not one of the secrets of a happy marriage.

In another University of Chicago survey, this one of married couples, 75 percent of the Americans who pray with their spouses reported that their marriages are “very happy” (compared to 57 percent of those who don’t). Those who pray together are also more likely to say they respect each other, discuss their marriage together, and — stop the presses — rate their spouses as skilled lovers.

Not to say that prayer is a cure for all that ails you (were that the case, my beloved Oakland Raiders would have won the Super Bowl years ago). But whether they’re talking about a simple grace at dinnertime or some soul-searching meditation, couples routinely say that a shared spiritual life helps keep them close. And as Doug and Beth say, even couples who are on different sides of the theological fence can benefit from praying together daily.

“We have been married for seven years, but praying together is something we didn’t start doing until about a year ago,” says Doug, a 32-year-old Salt Lake City biochemist. “In the past, whenever we faced big decisions, we’d have discussion after discussion about them, but we’d never really come to a resolution.”

After two 1,000-mile moves, the birth of three children, and two job changes, all in the past four years, those difficult decisions had begun to take a toll. So when Beth asked Doug, a nonreligious and self-proclaimed man of science, to try praying with her, he figured they had nothing to lose.

“I soon found that praying together brings out a real sense of selflessness and humility,” Doug says. “When you’re praying for each other, not yourself, you’re focused together and speaking from the heart on a whole different level. I would never have predicted this for us, but it really works.”

“As bad as any problem may seem at that moment,” agrees Beth, “prayer always helps us see beyond it. It doesn’t have to be a long-drawn-out scripture reading, just a few minutes a day. When we pray, it brings another level of honesty to our conversations. I think it’s the most intimate thing you can do with another person.”

Now they pray together every night, once the “urchins” are in bed, which puts them in the company of the 32 percent of American married couples who say they pray together regularly. It also puts them in the company of Julie and Thom, when the other couple isn’t holed up in their igloo, of course.

“It’s pretty short and not at all scripted,” says Julie about their giving thanks before each meal. “We just join hands and let it rip. Whether we’re asking for forgiveness or giving thanks, saying it out loud holds a lot of power.

“Besides, regardless of religion or spiritual preference, I think that most marriages require a ton of faith,” Julie sums up. “You’ve got to believe that somehow the two of you are going to make it through things. You’ve got to believe that you’re being blessed with this person. And even if the power we feel just comes from the strength of our love, even if we don’t believe that it’s God who is helping us, I still think that it’s good to acknowledge that there’s a force between the two of us that’s helping us out.”

 

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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.

The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Drew Canole and Fitlife.tv claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.

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20 Bad Habits That Could Hurt Your Relationship

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Written By Laura Schwecherl
From Greatist

Romance isn’t just about a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day. A satisfying relationship can also make people feel happy and healthy . But keep in mind that successful relationships aren’t just about rainbows and butterflies—a healthy partnership requires communication, respect, and plenty of good habits from both people. So when dating that special someone, avoid stalking their ex on Facebook, keeping feelings bottled up, and splitting the double cheeseburger every night . These (and 17 other) bad habits could make a great relationship take a turn for the worse.

Save the Spark—Your Action Plan

1. Trying to improve him/her.

News flash: There’s no such thing as a perfect person, so don’t expect unrealistic changes. Reminding him or her to make the bed is one thing, but trying to radically change shyness or anxiety is another—and could be ignoring the underlying causes for those issues in the first place.

2. Finding faults with the fam.

The ’rents may be harder to handle than your significant other. But even if there’s some clashing of heads, don’t focus on the family’s faults. Getting criticism from family members can make people feel depressed and hostile—which means some tense holiday dinners . Besides, the situation can’t be worse than what Gaylord went through.

3. Engaging in constant PDA.

Getting it on in public can not only make bystanders uncomfortable, it may also compensate for a lack of real communication. Stick to hand-holding and quick kisses, and save the rest for the bedroom (or the cell phone?).

4. Fighting in public.

As if PDA weren’t bad enough. Arguing in public can embarrass the couple and make everyone around feel awkward, too. Talk it out in private, please.

5. Avoiding fighting.

Love isn’t all good, all the time. Disagreements are bound to happen, and arguments can be a healthy part of a relationship. Never having conflict may make compromise impossible. Just don’t make fighting an all-day affair.

6. Not talking it out.

If something is wrong, the other person probably can’t read your mind. When a problem comes up, speak up at the right time. One study suggests young couples are less stressed when they talk out their issues than when they keep their feelings bottled up. And don’t forget to say, “I love you.” Expressing emotions—positive and negative—can benefit that bond .

7. Forgetting to forgive.

People make mistakes, and holding on to grudges may not only hurt a relationship—it could also cause unwanted stress and anxiety. Sympathy may be easier to give if we realize it will benefit our health .

8. Timing discussions badly.

Conversations about important issues, like relationship expectations and financial blunders, all have their time and place. Don’t bring up serious topics when someone’s stressed, like at the end of the workday or right before hosting a party. Set up a time to talk when both people are relaxed.

9. Keeping score.

Sure, relationships should be about give and take, but don’t keep track of every little detail (For example: I paid for the last six dinners, and you only paid for five!). It can cause unnecessary tension.

10. Being melodramatic.

No relationship is perfect. So don’t create unnecessary drama in every scenario. If a mate forgets to take out the garbage, there’s no need for a scene. Take a few breaths and address the problem calmly.

11. Spying.

When two people want to make it work, trust is key . Have confidence in your mate and respect their privacy: Don’t snoop through texts, emails, or bedroom drawers. (Definitely don’t use this!)

12. Allowing jealousy to take over

. Doubting your partner may be a symptom of a larger problem: relationship insecurity. And women who feel insecure in their relationships may be at greater risk for health issues like a weakened immune system . Some advice for reducing envy, at least temporarily? Stay off Facebook and other social networking sites.

13. Letting go.

Sometimes when partners feel too secure with each other, they end up putting on a few pounds, possibly because they’re less physically active . Try being a power couple to stay both happy and healthy.

14. Constantly comparing.

Forget the ex and stop comparing a current partner with a person from the past. This could lead to unrealistic expectations.

15. Doing everything together.

Everyone needs some alone time (yep, even hopelessly devoted couples). Solitude may even enhance relationships, making time together more valuable.

16. Lying.

Little white lies can add up and ruin a relationship that should be built on honesty. There is wiggle room, of course: “Sweetie, that homemade dinner tasted great…”

17. Not being honest with yourself.

Don’t just be honest with a companion. Stay real about what you need in order to stay satisfied. Is a long distance relationship really worth the work? Is it okay that they’re working all the time?

18. Lacking self-confidence.

Not feeling confident in a relationship can really do some damage: Low self-esteem is sometimes linked to low sex drive, which could make things less heated in the bedroom. Getting active, setting goals, and even smiling can improve self-confidence. But don’t forget that an unhealthy relationship can actually cause low-self esteem, so steer clear of someone who makes you feel less than great.

19. Forgetting why you’re in it.

Remember to ask yourself why you two are dating, and what you want out of it. Does a partner want to put a ring on it while you want to remain casual? Being with someone for the wrong reasons is one slippery slope!

20. Taking him or her for granted.

Always remember why you love that special someone. Showing gratitude and paying attention to that good person by your side will only make the relationship stronger .

 

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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.

The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

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