In Pursuit of Positive Energy (Plus Tips from Preston Smiles)

One thing I’ve realized about myself over the years is that, despite my best efforts, I am indeed very influenced by other people. Whether that’s someone else’s bad mood killing my good mood, a negative comment on social media setting off a flood of anger, or a criticism from a coworker cutting into my confidence, there are far too many times where I make choices and feel feelings based on someone else’s energy.

It’s been something I’ve been working on especially hard since entering the working world, but it wasn’t until recently that I felt like I made any great headway (even though there’s still progress to be made). I’m currently entering a time of great transition in my life. A career transition that has set off something inside of me that’s made me realize what’s truly important in life, and has forced me to reevaluate my hopes, dreams, goals… My purpose. To get there, I’ve been spending a lot of time brushing off the pressures and expectations of the outside world, and that effort has started to pay off.

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Scientifically Proven Ways to Reach Your Goals

If you’re anything like me, there have been times in your life where no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to muster up enough willpower to reach your goal. If I had a dollar for every health kick I went on I could probably buy myself a pretty nice watch by now! After the passage of a few weeks your motivation wanes and all of a sudden it seems near impossible to see yourself triumphant at the end. How is it possible to be so gung-ho one day, and then fall down the doughnut hole the next?

As it turns out, you’re normal! Stanford psychology expert Kelly McGonigal explains that basic human nature dictates that “there’s a part of you who is looking to the long-term and thinking about certain goals, and then another part of you that has a completely different agenda and wants to maximize current pleasure and minimize current stress, pain and discomfort.” While both of these parts are necessary to human survival, they can be detrimental to reaching goals that require short term sacrifice for long term gain.

So how can we avoid this most basic of human instincts to run towards instant gratification? Luckily there are a few science-based tips to help you reach your goals.

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