7 ways to enjoy exceptional success (and happiness)!

7 ways to enjoy exceptional success (and happiness)!

via Inc.com by Jeff Haden

In "Optimize Your Mind" and "Optimize Your Body," we looked at some awesome ideas fromChris Winfield, an Inc. colleague who originally put a version of the following together for Buffer. (Buffer lets you schedule, automate, and analyze social-media updates.)

Chris is an entrepreneur and writer, and if you like these posts, he's created a special bonus area with a worksheet and 40 powerful morning habits you can adopt.

Now let's look at his third key aspect of long-term success: optimizing your spirit.

Here's Chris:

Just as mental and physical aspects of your daily routine can elevate you and push you forward, the same is true when you tend to yourself emotionally and spiritually. Here are a few options to consider:

1. Get Quiet: Try Meditation.

OK, this is technically called meditation, but if the idea of "meditating" is a turn-off, then just think about it as spending some daily quiet time alone. I was one of those people who didn't think I could ever meditate. (Boy, was I wrong!)

Engaging in this daily practice has a lot of positive benefits. Giovanni of the Live and Dare blog points out 76 of them, such as greater focus, better decision making and problem solving skills, improved memory, and an easier time managing hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder. Meditation does this by altering your brain's structure. (It actually grows!)

Meditation also reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, according to Harvard University studies, which are even more reasons to give it a try if you haven't before.

There are so many awesome guided meditations available for free online, and for many people, this is a great way to get started (or to enhance your practice).

  • UCLA Mindfulness Research Center: These eight audio tracks are a great introduction to mindfulness meditation, which you can practice on your own.

  • The Chopra Center for Wellbeing Podcast: Deepak Chopra, MD, and David Simon, MD, run The Chopra Center for Wellbeing and put out excellent guided meditations on their podcast. The sessions focus on specific themes, ranging from gratitude to taking the plunge.

  • 20-Plus Hour Playlist on Spotify: This is a wonderfully curated playlist of guided meditations for Spotify users.

  • YouTube is FULL of guided meditations: YouTube is a goldmine of guided meditations. You can choose to watch and listen or just listen. The link above will bring you to a list of the most popular.

  • AudioDharma: This site offers a wealth of guided meditations from different teachers and on many different themes. Download them all for free or stream them directly.

Here's a great infographic that gives an overview of the different kinds of meditation, and some tips for fitting in meditation at work.

2. Find a Well of Inspiration.

Inspiration and motivation can come from many places–books, music, podcasts, videos, emails, other people. All you have to do is find the one or ones that resonate most with you and commit to engaging with them. Daily.

Research has shown that inspiration can be activated, captured, and manipulated…and it has a major effect on important life outcomes.

I have a few apps on my phone that I read daily to inspire and motivate me. They keep me centered and grounded, giving me a more stable mental foundation.

Another way to get inspired involves repeating positive affirmations, which is why I do this both in the morning and at night. In fact, researchers at Stanford University have found that affirmations have been shown to improve education, health, and even relationships.

So find a word or phrase that is empowering and motivating to you and repeat it over and over again to yourself…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE