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Lifehack: Confidence and Risk-Taking

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.

-Napoleon Hill

 

Whether you’re building your network or pitching a product or angling for a raise or launching your own business, there is one thing you will inescapably have to face: risk. Whether the risk is social ridicule, failure of a product, the inability to repay a loan or loss of credibility, the prospect of failure can be a terrifying one for many people. That’s understandable. Failure affects not only our own lives, but the people around us. If your belief in yourself is low to begin with, you might not be able to cope with the impact of failure well enough to try again.

Unfortunately, failure is also how we learn. The people who’ve succeeded the most are generally speaking also the people who have failed the most. Except for one thing: they don’t call it failure. It’s simply experimental data that needs to be adjusted for. That’s the difference between a setback and a defeat.

What’s the one key to defeat-proofing yourself? For that, you need an almost ridiculous reservoir of confidence and optimism.


Longevity Secrets of the World’s Longest-Lived Cultures

 

What is the key to a long life? Is there one decisive factor, or are there many?

Twin studies have shown that genetics play a relatively small role in longevity, but we also know there are societies in the world that radically outperform us in lifespan. So what is their secret?

It turns out that there is no one distinctive feature that we can point to and say “Aha! That’s the fountain of youth!”  Instead, a constellation of significant factors pervades their ways of life.  A lot of these are familiar, yet unfamiliar.

It’s not about how much you exercise in the Western sense. It is about how much you move. It isn’t about going on a diet as we understand it. It is about what sorts of things you subsist on and how much.

But perhaps more importantly, it’s about a healthy emotional life, enjoying the work you do, having lasting friendships, participating in a community, not getting caught up in anger. It’s about a sense of purpose.

It is also about the difference between our society and the societies that are outperforming us in longevity.  The totality of how they view and engage in life and how they respond to aging embodies a balance that is very difficult for us to master.

 


Financial Resilience: Having a Game Plan in Business and Life

 

Some of you know from personal experience that launching your own business can be one of the most hazardous, frustrating and, potentially, rewarding experiences of your life. The difference between a successful business and a flop is a sound and realistic plan.

Whether or not you are in business or have any plans to be, business planning skills are extremely valuable in planning your personal finances and in any workplace where you have to manage a budget.

What the Plan Does for You

Even if you’re writing a plan in order to secure financing or for some other external reason, you should write it for your own benefit first. Your plan is what will take your passion and turn it into a viable strategy.

One of the best introductions to business planning we’ve ever seen was given by Mark Cawley of the Ottawa Community Loan Fund. As he put it, the difference between the OCLF, a public-private investment partnership, and a bank, is that the bank doesn’t care how sound your business plan is when they finance you- they’re getting their investment back one way or the other. It’s in your interests to make sure that you have a plan to put your money to good use, over and above what anyone else wants from your plan.

In business, that means you have to regard every expense as an investment that you will leverage in order to build your company. If you’re making a financial plan for a larger company, government department or charity, you have to go in with pretty much the same mindset. Don’t just try to cover your operating costs- look for the leverage points that will make your endeavour more successful.

In business, building a sound plan will force you to figure out in detail:

– What you know and what you still need to learn about your field
– How to build a knowledgeable and capable team
– Which Point of Pain you’re initially attacking for which target market
– How receptive that market is to your solution
– How to sell that product to them
– Your marketing and distribution models
– What resources you need to implement and market your products
– Price points and expected earnings
– Next steps

Who to Listen To

A lot of people have said a lot of things about business planning and budgeting. Basically, there are two kinds of people you should listen to- those who have succeeded in your position, and those who have invested their own money in your field. If you know what you need to look for in order to succeed and what investors would want to see in order to secure their investment, chances are you’re on the right track.

Be Adaptive

Every plan has to be adapted and tweaked over time. Chances are, your first plan will need to adjust for new things you learn along the way, so there has to be a constant process of feedback and adaptation. The important thing is not to lose sight of the big picture to the degree that you lose track of your financial goals.


Best of Fitness: Frank Medrano’s Bodyweight Calisthenics

 

Are you looking for bodyweight exercises to supercharge your fitness and tone your core? Frank Medrano may be your man. This video represents the easiest and least impressive of all the amazing calisthenics workout videos he’s put out there, and it’s still pretty hardcore.

If you’re at all serious about fitness, you’ve probably heard people in the fitness world associate vegetarianism and veganism with extreme difficulty in getting fit. One fitness instructor of our acquaintance has said that just about every vegan that’s come to him has lacked the endurance, the energy and the basic protein level to stick with it. But clearly, Frank is doing something that works for him.

For more on Frank’s program, visit his site at http://www.thefrankmedrano.com/.


Brain Resilience: 5 Steps to Healthy Gray-Matter and Avoiding Alzheimer’s

 

We all talk about slowing down as we get older, but Alzheimer’s and other brain-degenerative conditions don’t have to be part of the package. Far from being part of the natural ageing process, Alzheimer’s, as with every other dementia and memory loss is an acquired condition with definite contributing causes. Don’t believe it? Then check out this article after reading this blog post. Here are some simple approaches you can take to maintain the health of your brain.

 

Free Radicals

 

No, we’re not talking about anarchists. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that are produced naturally in the metabolic process and that the body uses as part of the immune system. Your body has mechanisms to neutralize excess free radicals, but when too many of the molecules build up, that system is overwhelmed. Because of their reactive quality, free radicals tend to destroy cells, including those in the brain and nervous system.

 

Sources of excess free radicals in the modern world include:

– Radiation from x-rays and microwaves;

– Toxic metals such as aluminum and cadmium in food preservatives, cosmetics, antiperspirants, aluminum cookware, and even public water supplies and flu vaccines; autopsies on Alzheimer’s patients often reveal abnormally high levels of aluminum;

– Chlorine and fluoride in drinking water, toothpaste etc.;

– Cigarette smoke;

– Hydrogenated oils, such as shortening, deep-fryer oil and non-dairy creamers; these fat molecules have been modified through long-term exposure to heat or chemical process. They act like a silver bullet going right to your brain and nervous system, where they oxidize much more quickly than ordinary fat molecules, releasing free radicals at a rate that kills or damages the host cell.

 

What can you do besides limiting your exposure? Antioxidants are nature’s counterbalance to free radicals. Vitamins C and E, Beta Carotine, D3 and B complex, as well as certain amino acids either act as antioxidants or stimulate antioxidant production. The herbs ginko and ginseng and the spice turmeric likewise have antioxidant effects, and certain fruits, such as wild blueberries, are high in antioxidant content. Increasing your vegetable intake also helps.

 

 

The 3-6 Balance

 

Your body needs a certain amount of dietary fat. Unfortunately, modern diets tend to be weighted toward Omega 6 fatty acids rather than Omega 3, while our bodies are designed for the opposite. This is of particular concern, because there is evidence that one particular kind of Omega 6 molecule is associated with memory loss and neural degeneration. Arachidonic acid overstimulates the brain’s nerve cells. We get Omega 6 from grain-fed factory-farm animal products, but especially from vegetable oil (corn, sunflower, canola and soybean), which is the main source of this imbalance in our diet. These are present in most processed foods.

 

Conversely, Omega 3 is quite important for brain health. It can help to break down the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s and reduce brain inflammation. Dietary sources can be supplemented by krill oil or fish oil capsules, but beware of eating too much fish, as fish in our food chain is often contaminated with mercury.

 

Exercise

 

Exercise plays a major role in regenerating the brain and nervous system. Less active people are much more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s. By exercising three to four times a week, you can promote cell and tissue repair mechanisms in your body, as well as increasing production of compounds that protect the nervous system. It increases the flow of blood in your brain and improves the health of your cardiovascular system.

 

Sleep

 

Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to memory, as you know if you’ve ever been a university student. There is also evidence that a healthy circadian rhythm is critical to the long-term health of your brain. Working nights over a long period does serious damage to the health of your brain, since it is that regular biochemical cycle that keeps your neural pathways in good working order.

 

 

The Diabetes Connection

 

Diabetes and insulin-resistance have a very high correlation with Alzheimer’s. Diabetics have up to a 65% higher chance of developing the disease. As such, the same approaches you’d take to avoid diabetes, such as reducing your sugar and grain intake, are also helpful in promoting brain health. Going to a diet richer in proteins is one of the first steps recommended to Alzheimer’s patients by natural health experts.

 

 

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger


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