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Self Improvement

The Value of Becoming More Child-Like



The Value of Becoming More Child-Like

Typically, we, the adults, are the ones who are teaching and molding our kids. But what if they had some very important life lessons to teach us?


Would we listen?


I’d like to argue that we could all learn a lot from children. So let me have a few minutes of your time as I identify 8 life lessons learned from kids.

Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Children

#1 Children are Quick to Forgive


I love that kids are able to state what they don’t like and when amends are offered, they just forgive and shrug it off.  They keep playing. They continue to share. They aren’t held back by their over intellectualization of what just happened.


Can you imagine if we operated at a level like this?


Within my counseling practice, I hear people all the time telling me that they are struggling with forgiveness. And while I get that adult lives are much more complicated and often the hurts are far greater, I think there is still a lesson here.


I’m sure you have heard that forgiveness is actually for the person who is forgiving, not for the one who made offense. If we get to a point where we can forgive, the freedom that ensues is much more satisfying than staying stuck in the pain. Regardless of whether the other person deserves forgiveness or not, being able to forgive is about us and where we are at, not them. On some level, I think children get that!


#2 Children Typically Don’t Pass Judgment


The best example I can give to this happened not too long ago in my own car. I was driving with my two children in the backseat, and I had some of the windows cracked because it was a nice day outside. We approached a stoplight and while we were stopped, I heard my two-year-old son in the back say, “look mama”. I looked around and wasn’t quite sure what he wanted me to see. I then heard him say “hi”.


I had easily overlooked a homeless man standing at the corner, but my son noticed him. It didn’t matter to him what he looked like or what state he was in. He just saw another human being, waved, and acknowledged him with a simple “hi”.


The man was glowing as we drove away. Someone finally “saw” him.


Myself included, we are quick to judge others as adults. And I love that children don’t see stereotypes. They don’t care what you look like, what color you are, or how much money you have, they just see people. I need to take a lesson from my son and just start saying “hi”.


#3 Kids Seek Out Fun Adventures


Think about the last time that you had fun! If it wasn’t today, you could use a reminder that kids embrace fun experiences, and it is important that we do the same. If you look back on your favorite memories, I imagine that they involve some level of a fun adventure.


Having fun ensures that we are laughing and being “carefree” for a certain amount of time that can be replenishing and restorative.


#4 Kids Don’t Hide Their Emotions


I can admit that in some regard this can be frustrating for a caregiver of a child because children can often become quite dramatic in their display of emotions. However, in the general sense, I believe it is a positive thing that they feel so free to express themselves.


What we can learn from this as adults is to learn to express our emotions in an appropriate manner, instead of always keeping things bottled up inside and building up walls around us.


The freedom that comes from expressing our feelings will lead us to deeper connections with others. After all, you cannot connect with someone who is constantly hiding or denying what they feel. That is exactly where relationships break down. When disconnection comes into play, everyone loses.


#5 Children Make Friends Easily


I was recently at the park with my family and some of our friends with their kids. It was so interesting to watch another child walk up to one of my friends’ daughters and say, “hi my name is” and then asked if she wanted to play. They then proceeded to run around the playground, use their imaginations, talk, and laugh.


As adults though, we don’t do that! I imagine that some people would look at us funny if we just went up to them and said, “heywanna be friends’. We always assume that others have an agenda or we just immediately begin judging them for all kinds of reasons.


But what if we put our fears aside and just saw them as a potential great connection? I think we might be pleasantly surprised!


#6 Kids are Excited About Learning


I love this lesson because kids are always learning and enjoy the process of expanding their knowledge. They recognize that there is always something that they could be learning.


I want to be like that! Imagine if we recognized and accepted that we never truly “arrive” and therefore need to continue learning.


I so resonate with this because I want my mind and my wisdom to keep developing. It won’t, if I allow myself to become stagnant. What a disservice that would be to me and to all I have some level of influence with!


#7 Children Don’t Care About Impressing Others


My two year old provides a great lesson here as well. Every morning I take a few minutes to spike up his hair with some grape flavored hair gel. Usually, by the time we get to school, he’s messed it up in some way. And definitely by the time I pick him up, his hair is flat.


So why do I keep doing it? Clearly, he could care less.


Why do we waste so much time on doing and being something that we hope others will find impressive? I know that part of the reason I like to have my kids looking good is because I just thoroughly enjoy their cuteness, but I also believe it reflects a part of my personality.


I think the same is true for us, but I think we take it to the extreme. I love how people want to display themselves, but let’s learn to do it because we enjoy it and want to be known, not because we want to be solely impressive.


#8 Kids Don’t Worry About Things They Can’t Control


How much of our mental capacity is wasted on things that we can’t control? I know that we all fall victim to this mentality, but it really is giving us undue stress.


I love that children have trust that whatever they might begin to worry about is going to be taken care of by someone they can rely on. And again, I realize that our lives are much more complex than a child’s but some of the things we worry about we literally can’t control, so why allow the anxiety to take hold of our emotions?


It doesn’t serve us any purpose, except for raising our blood pressure and sucking the joy out of our daily encounters.


So next time you feel yourself worrying about an issue that you can’t control, take a second and identify if you can make a small change that could alleviate any of your concerns and then be satisfied that you are doing what you can.


If there’s literally nothing you can do, take a deep breath, and let that thought pass.


Let’s learn to take our lead from those little people who are great at embracing joy, as well as shrugging off the gloom.


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Self Improvement

Couple Entrepreneurs: How to Make It Happen With Your Partner



Partners entrepreneurs


Have you always dreamed of having success as an entrepreneur? Thoughts of working for yourself, doing things you’re passionate about, and not worrying about working for someone else may linger in your mind most of the time. If you’re married, there is a chance that your partner has some of the same goals, and that means the two of you could eventually become a pair of successful entrepreneurs who motivate one another, continually work hard, and reach all kinds of goals that will get you both further in life.


How to Make It Work


Although you may like the idea of becoming a successful entrepreneur while your partner does the same, it’s not uncommon to have some concerns about the situation. You may worry that you’re both going to take on too much and not have enough time for one another, but that isn’t always the case. It’s all about prioritizing work, setting a schedule, and being there to support one another through the ups and downs that will eventually occur.


Before working together to achieve goals, sit down and have a full conversation about the goals you’d like to achieve and the role you’ll each take on. Both of you will need to come to an agreement to keep work and the relationship separately while being respectful to one another. You can’t expect to have success with your partner if neither of you are respecting one another or collectively sharing ideas. You’ll need to focus on communication and compromising at times to make things work on a long-term basis.


Prime Examples of Successful Entrepreneur Couples


If you’re in need of motivation and encouragement because you’re not sure how to get your start in a specific industry with your partner, it may be best for you to learn a bit more about some of the successful entrepreneur couples out there. These couples work hard to achieve their goals and they support one another in various business ventures. They put forth the effort that is required of them to consistently achieve their goals.


Chris Sacca is a successful billionaire who once was fired from a job as a lawyer and then moved on to Google where had more opportunities to learn, invest, and become the success he is today. He is now the owner of a successful venture capital fund, known as Lowercase Capital. Although he’s had much success in his career, Chris Sacca’s wife, Crystal English Sacca, is a successful entrepreneur in her own right. She’s spent most of her career creating compelling and engaging commercials as well as digital advertisements for various companies. She’s worked for several of the most popular brands, including Sprint and HBO. In addition to these accomplishments, she works as an art director. While these two individuals aren’t doing the same things, they’re a married couple supporting one another while they each work hard to achieve their own personal goals.


In addition to Chris Sacca and his wife, Stewart and Lynda Resnick are another good example of a successful entrepreneur power couple. They currently have a net worth of 3.9 billion dollars. So, what is it that they’re selling? There is a good chance you’ve consumed at least one of the many products they own and distribute, such as Fiji Water or Halos oranges. The pair met when Lynda started her own ad agency and was assisting Stewart with a project for the business he was running at that time. Over time, they started working collectively together to invest and sell assorted products to the public, many of which are naturally good for human consumption.


Do What You Love and Respect One Another


There are plenty of entrepreneur couples out there. Some are just getting started while others have been in business for decades and continue to achieve a high level of success. Although you may be focused on figuring out your passion and what you want to do to get further in life while making a decent income, it’s important to understand that it’s possible for you to achieve the same level of success as some of these people who are earning millions of dollars each year. Most people don’t become a success overnight but figuring out what you want to do and how you’re going to make it happen is a great way to get started.


In addition to figuring out what you’d love to do for the rest of your life, you’ll need to remember to always respect your partner throughout the process. The thing about these successful couples is that they’re willing to provide support and guidance, they know how to communicate, and they believe in one another. If you don’t have respect, trust, and support in the relationship, it’s going to be difficult to have success as entrepreneurs together.


If you’ve always dreamed of running your own business with your partner by your side, it’s not a dream that is too farfetched. In fact, there are lots of successful couples that are working hard, reaching goals, and living the life they’ve always dreamed of having.

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Self Improvement

How Does Sleep Affect Your Mental Health?



Sleep and Mental Health

Sleep is our body’s repair mode. Our cells, tissues, muscles, and hormones are all replenished during the deepest phases of sleep. This ensures that we are operating at our best the next day.

Experts recommend about seven (7) hours of sleep a day for an average adult. This is keeps you mentally and physically focused. But what happens when you don’t get enough? Is there a link between sleep and our mental health?


The Link Between Sleep and Mood

Even someone who isn’t an expert on the subject can appreciate how active they feel after a good night’s sleep. In contrast, one can feel exhausted, irritated, and distracted after not getting enough the night before. That’s because sleep plays an important role in your mood and performance.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study in which the subjects were restricted sleep to only 4.5 hours each night. After a week, the subjects reported greater levels of negative emotions and mental tiredness. Once they were allowed to sleep normally however, there was a sharp improvement in their mood.

Just as sleep impacts your mood, your present state of mind also has an equivalent effect on the quality of your sleep. If you’re anxious or stressed, your body will release hormones that force you to stay awake through the night, depriving you of much-needed rest. The result is a cycle of stress and lack of sleep.

Research suggests that around 15-20 percent of people who are dealing with insomnia (an inability to fall asleep) go on to develop serious mental depression. While research is still being conducted about the exact nature of the relationship between sleep and depression, there has been enough progress to indicate a strong correlation between the two.

People who suffer from insomnia are at a significantly greater risk to develop depression or anxiety. In fact, the onset of these conditions can be accurately predicted by studying the patient’s sleep patterns.


The Link Between Sleep and Learning

In addition to your mood, sleep also appears to impact your mind’s ability to learn. Three separate processes govern learning in your brain: acquisition, consolidation, and recall.

Acquisition entails receiving information and storing it in your neural circuitry. The second process, consolidation, strengthens the neural connections in your mind so that the memory is stored in an optimally useful form. Recall is when the brain accesses this stored memory when it is needed.

Poor sleep compromises all three of these processes. However, it is acquisition and recall that are most affected by sleep deprivation. Recent research has also demonstrated that a lack of sleep can reduce the brain’s ability to consolidate information it is presented with.

Students take note: inadequate sleep may negatively affect your chances of passing that exam. Indeed, you may even find yourself forgetting how to do simple tasks. If you’ve ever been involved in back-to-back all-nighters during exam week, you may already have experienced forgetting a solution to a simple problem – even after you’d done it half a dozen times!


Dealing with Sleep Problems To Improve Mental Health

If you’re experiencing emotional apathy, anxiety, depression, or irritability, one of the steps you can take before seeking a professional is to assess your sleep situation.

Treat sleep as a ritual. Similar to reading to a child before putting them to bed, a habit that helps one disconnect from gadgets and put their mind in a relaxed mood can go a long way towards ensuring a restful, wholesome, sleep experience.

Making time before going to bed is a good idea. Avoid exposure to bright lights (such as those emitted by computer screens and smartphones). Try not to consume caffeine or alcohol, as all of these can be detrimental to the quality of sleep (and may even prevent the onset of sleep completely).

Obviously, the way you’ve set up your bed (and your entire bedroom) will also play an important role in how well you’re able to sleep. For example, memory foam mattresses are often recommended for individuals who sleep in awkward postures that can cause back pain. For some good reviews, check out The Sleep Judge.

If you can’t get rid of thoughts buzzing around in your head, you may want to listen to some natural background sounds, such as rainfall or wind rushing through trees. This will ease your mind away from distractions, helping you drift off to sleep. If you get the recommended amount, see how replenished you feel the next day!


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