Get A Dose Of Plant Killers

First off, let’s talk about some linguistic ambiguity.

If I were to say “Russian assassin”, you’d probably think of a former KGB agent who’s skilled with a rifle and can handle their vodka.

But couldn’t that phrase also mean ‘someone who kills Russians’? As opposed to an assassin who is Russian.

Keep that in mind when I mention “plant killers”. I don’t mean something that kills plants. I mean plants who kill.

At least, that’s the literal translation of phytoncides.

Plant killers.

As in plant-based killers.

You know that smell forests have? Underneath the dampness and maybe rotting, there’s a… sort of freshness, maybe? That’s phytonicdes at work – chemicals trees release to drive away bacteria, fungus and insects.

And you know what?

It’s weirdly amazing for human health.

I normally wouldn’t recommend walking through a mist of disinfectant. But when it comes from trees, it’s apparently a great thing to do.

Something about this chemical seems to boost your mood and stimulate your immune system, or something.

Who knows, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe these phytoncides do nothing.

In which case, there must be something else about trees.

For whatever reason, forests are healing, cleansing and nurturing. The quality of the air, the colours, the sounds, the textures – it all comes together to make us feel at home.

That’s no coincidence. We evolved in jungles. Loving trees is in our blood and one of our oldest instincts.

So embrace it.

There really is something special about nature – especially trees. It’s an experience you can’t get any other way. No amount of technology or lifestyle engineering replicates it.

Your best and only option is to go for the real thing.

So that’s one way to enhance your life.

But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?

Like, say, 60 of them?

Get your hands on Three-Score Navike – the comprehensive and easy way to grow and evolve – right here:

/downloads/escape-mediocrity/

The Greatest Challenge In A World Of Jerks

Wow, the world can be a tough place, huh? It’s full of folk who seem to sleepwalk through life. They never stop to think about what they do, or why, or what they could be doing instead.

And so many of them are jerks about – in person, online or both. It’s like they’re taking out their frustrations, inadequacies and limitations on everyone around them.

If only they got to the real heart of their issues, right?

It makes it hard to get along in a world like this, I know.

Even so, it’s more than worth the effort.

My challenge to you – and it might be the greatest challenge of all – is to be kind to everyone.

Yes, everyone. Including that person who popped into your mind – the one who’ll be really difficult to be kind to.

Now, before we go on, here’s what I’m not saying:

I’m not saying welcome everyone into your home or life.

I’m not saying find everyone who did you wrong and let them off the hook.

Kindness is all about you.

Here’s an example of this in action.

When someone cuts you off in traffic or does something reckless behind the wheel, it’s natural to feel tense in the moment.

Once that moment passes and you know you’re safe, what happens then? Do you huff and curse and belittle the other driver?

If so, you’re not alone.

An alternative strategy, though:

Forgive them and be kind.

After all, they must be dealing with something themselves to be so reckless. Maybe they had a terrible night’s sleep. Perhaps no one taught them how to act in a civilised society. Either way, that’s a shame for them.

A more serious example: someone lies to your face for weeks, only to steal a huge sum of money from you.

It’s natural to be furious with them.

I recommend seeking justice if you can, and eliminating them from your life if not.

But better than anger is kindness. Because what sort of person would do something like that? A sociopath, a loser, someone who can only survive at the expense of others.

I bet no one has shown them much kindness in life. Even sociopaths learn to play nice once someone teaches them how.

That might not be your role in life.

But for less serious offenders – the minor insults and hassles we experience every day – maybe it can be.

Everyone is the hero of their own story, even when they do the wrong thing. If you peel back the surface, they’ll have a reason why they did what they did.

Meet that with kindness (and strength – no one says you have to be a pushover) and you invite folk to be better versions of themselves.

And they’ll love you for it.

It ain’t easy – believe me.

But the benefits to you and everyone around you are astronomical.

Forget all that and give it a go. This simple habit could be the one that changes your life forever.

So that’s one way to enhance your life.

But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?

Like, say, 60 of them?

Get your hands on Three-Score Navike – the comprehensive and easy way to grow and evolve – right here:

/downloads/escape-mediocrity/

Give Folk Hassles And Hardships

This simple exercise has it all.

It’s fun.

It gets your creative juices flowing like nothing else.

Your brain will fire hard to pull this off, if you do it right.

Even so, I don’t hear many folk suggesting this. There’s plenty of advice out there about how to sharpen your brain – for whatever reason, plenty of people overlook this one.

Not everyone, it’s true.

But this advice is rarer than it should be.

Oh, well. That doesn’t affect you anymore, as you’re about to hear it.

If you want to exercise your neurons – and I mean really put them through the ringer – then I recommend designing a puzzle.

Yep, it really is that simple.

But it works, and here’s why.

To design a puzzle, you first need to solve it. Can’t come up with a riddle unless you know the answer, right? This makes your mind work in strange and unique ways, as you calculate this or freely associate that.

You get that benefit from solving puzzles. To really kick it up a notch, you should create one of your own.

Why?

Because it forces you to balance, fine tune and think from other people’s perspective.

It’s trivial to make a puzzle that’s easy to solve.

It’s just as simple to make one that’s impossible.

But crafting one that’s challenging yet achievable?

That takes work, imagination, creativity, playfulness and grit.

All things that are worth practising, no?

Like I said above, it’s fun.

And it’s even more fun if you’re sharing your puzzle with friends, family or a small online community. Most puzzles have to appeal to a broad audience. When you create your own, you can tailor it to what they know, what they like and what they’re good (or bad) at.

You can craft the perfect puzzle for them.

And the more you practice, the better you get at this.

Plus, who knows? Maybe other folk will get in on the act. Maybe they’ll start designing puzzles for you – then you have a healthy supply of unique, bespoke problems to solve.

As for what kind of puzzles to create…?

If you’re handy with a pen, have a crack at making mazes. But not just boring old mazes – intricate, beautiful and challenging creations.

If you like wordplay, how about cryptic crossword clues? I love a good cryptic – the answer eludes you until you realise it can’t be anything but what it is.

Can you create visual puzzles, with images suggesting something other than how they look?

If you know your way around computer code, the sky’s the limit.

Even just thinking of what kind of puzzle to design is decent mental exercise. Everything else dials it up to hardcore mode.

So that’s one way to enhance your life.

But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?

Like, say, 60 of them?

Get your hands on Three-Score Navike – the comprehensive and easy way to grow and evolve – right here:

/downloads/escape-mediocrity/

You Probably Don’t Want To Do This, Which Is Why You Should

Some of you will cock your eyebrow at this self-improvement tip. You find this easy and already do it every day.

If so, take pride in that before reading a different chapter. The rest of us, myself included, are playing catch-up to you.

If you don’t already do this, then you might find this tough. You might immediately find excuses not to do it.

That’s why you should do it.

For one thing, this is a handy skill to have.

For another, it’ll expand your mind and enrich your life. I wouldn’t suggest it if it didn’t have an enormous payoff.

What it this mysterious technique?

It’s nothing more, or less, then the art of talking with strangers.

Many folk feel uncomfortable with that idea. For some, it’s a vague sense of unease. For others, it’s a stronger anxiety.

Either way, it’s worth doing.

It’s a handy skill to have. Sometimes the quickest and easiest way to get somewhere is to ask a stranger for help.

It forces you to practice basic social skills, like greetings and small talk. (Most folk aren’t as good at these as they think they are, mostly because of lack of practice.)

But I think the biggest benefit is reminding you the typical person is a decent human being. Ask them for something small, like simple directions, and they’ll gladly help.

It’ll probably put them in a good mood, at least for a little while. Feeling knowledgeable and helping folk are great ways to feel good about yourself.

So why not give that gift to them?

You can start small by asking for the time. That’s easy to ask and safe enough for all parties involved.

More complicated than that are directions.

But if you want to really get a stranger thinking?

Ask them for an opinion.

Like what the best restaurant in this neighbourhood is.

Or the fastest way to get downtown.

Some folk will blow you off. That’s their loss, because the ones who engage will open up. You’re broken the autopilot everyone runs while walking around, while getting their mind to work – at least a little.

Remember, you’re doing both of you a favour by doing this. You’re practicing a fantastic attitude while they get to be the hero of your encounter.

Deprive the world of this at your peril, because we could all use a little more of this magic in our lives.

So that’s one way to enhance your life.

But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?

Like, say, 60 of them?

Get your hands on Three-Score Navike – the comprehensive and easy way to grow and evolve – right here:

/downloads/escape-mediocrity/

Remember To Remember

The art of memory has been going downhill for centuries.

A thousand years or so ago, books were expensive. Of course they were. Forget the raw materials, which can’t have been cheap – someone had to write them out by hand.

If you owned books, you were rich.

If you had a library, you must have been a like a modern billionaire.

This meant you couldn’t buy a book for a couple of dollars on Amazon. If you were literate, good books were rare and precious resources.

Which meant you were more likely to borrow someone else’s book than own your own.

Which, in turn, meant you had to make the most of it. You had to extract all its wisdom, knowing you wouldn’t be able to look it up again later.

You had to have an excellent memory, in other words.

Then the printing press came along. Folk no longer had to write books by hand, so the price of them plummeted.

Then computers came along, making it easier to store and retrieve data.

And with the internet, that became even easier.

Now there’s not as much need to memorise anything – not when you can simply look it up.

I won’t pretend there aren’t real and amazing benefits to this.

But since we don’t rely on memory as much, we don’t practice it.

Even though a good memory is a valuable asset to have, even today.

There are obvious benefits to having a better memory. Everything from complex business principles to birthdays needs you to memorise and recall information. Having the information at hand in your mind makes you faster, smarter and more effective.

More than that, though – memory exercises are great for your mind. They strengthen connections in your brain and improve your overall performance.

Even if we had cybernetic implants that stored all our memories for us, I’d still recommend memory training for this reason alone.

How do you train your memory?

Here’s the most common technique – a favourite of everyone from ancient scholars to modern mental athletes:

The mind palace.

The idea is simple enough. You think of a place you know really well. It could be your childhood home, your favourite park or the office where you work. I like to use my grandparents’ home, which for some reason is especially clear to me. As long as you can imagine it, it’s fine.

Then you think about what you want to remember, whether it’s a shopping list or a complicated mathematical procedure.

The next step is to place these items – or something that reminds you of them – in your mind palace. Walk around your location and leave these clues for yourself.

When you want to retrieve them, simply retrace your steps through your mind palace.

Now, this takes practice. Placing items in your mind palace is a skill. Retrieving them later is a separate skill. Figuring out how to represent abstract ideas in clear ways is another.

But with practice, and a few handy systems, you could memorise anything from shuffled playing cards to random digits.

You don’t have to go that far, though. Simply memorising simple things (like your shopping list) is enough to sharpen your mind.

So that’s one way to enhance your life.

But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?

Like, say, 60 of them?

Get your hands on Three-Score Navike – the comprehensive and easy way to grow and evolve – right here:

/downloads/escape-mediocrity/

Lonely? Here’s why (and how) you don’t have to be

One of the great mental health scourges of our time is loneliness. The world has never been more crowded and more connected – even so, it’s like we’re walking it alone.

Religious leaders like to blame technology for this. If only everyone ditched their smartphones, everything would be okay.

With respect to them, they’re wrong.

This isn’t a technology problem. It runs much deeper.

We humans evolved to belong to tribes. No one could be much of a hunter-gatherer alone – it made sense to team up, divide the labour and specialise.

Even if you could forage by yourself, you couldn’t have children that way. If you didn’t belong to a tribe, your genes would die out eventually.

We carry that instinct with us today.

The problem is we don’t need close-knit communities to survive. You can work alongside folk you barely know, buy groceries from strangers and pay your bills to faceless corporations.

You can survive without a sense that anyone needs you.

And that’s how you can feel lonely while being surrounded by people.

Once you know that, the solution appears before you – find a tribe that appreciates you.

There’s something strange and powerful about finding Your People. A group of folk who “get you” can make all the difference in your life.

There’s the loneliness side of things, of course. Belonging can make you happy – happier than you’ve felt in a long time.

It can also be useful in more practical ways.

The more folk you know – and who like, trust and respect you – the easier life becomes.

Need a place to stay for a night or two?

Looking for a new job?

After some advice or guidance?

The bigger and better your tribes, the more likely you are to find what you need.

That’s why you should find a new tribe. Let’s talk about how.

You can make a list of everything you are and do. Maybe you like politics, gardening, movies and supporting the local community. That’s at least four tribes right there – probably many more.

Find groups of folk enthusiastic about each of these. There are probably plenty within spitting distance of you. After all, you’re not the only one looking for connection.

And if you can’t find the group you want?

Consider starting one.

Figure out the group’s purpose, capture that in a little spiel and start promoting it online or at a community centre. Chances are you aren’t the only one with your interests.

So that’s one way to enhance your life.

But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?

Like, say, 60 of them?

Get your hands on Three-Score Navike – the comprehensive and easy way to grow and evolve – right here:

/downloads/escape-mediocrity/

The Opposite Of Gratitude (But In A Good Way)

Gratitude might sound like some New Age, insipid nonsense.

Or a great way to cripple your ambition. After all, if you appreciate what you have, why aspire towards anything greater?

The science is in: neither view is true. Gratitude strengthens your mind, both from a mental health perspective and a raw brainpower one.

It trains your mind to focus on ways you’re already succeeding. Even if you’re a million kilometres from your dream life, you’re still doing something right. Pay attention to that and you’ll get more and more of it.

Before long, you’re living the life of your dreams.

So, yes, gratitude is powerful.

And so is its opposite.

By “opposite”, I don’t mean ingratitude. That’ll derail your personal growth faster than almost anything.

I mean opposite in a different sense.

Think about it this way: gratitude is appreciating what you already have. One opposite of this is appreciating what you don’t have yet.

You could call that anticipation – and it’s darn powerful too.

A handy exercise to train your gratitude is, before going to bed at the end of the day, reflect on what went well. What did you do right and how did you succeed today?

The mirror of the exercise, which you can do as well, is to begin the day with anticipation.

What do you think you’ll do well today?

What are you looking forward to?

Is there anything you hope to achieve or accomplish?

It’s an insanely powerful way to begin each day.

By focusing on what you want, you prime your mind to achieve it. You start to look for ways to reach it – both consciously and unconsciously.

In a way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You see yourself doing something amazing, which makes you more likely to do it.

It’s quick to do – you could do this in no more than a minute.

And you don’t need any special equipment. Your imagination will suffice.

Don’t let this get in your way. It might be quick, simple and easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t life changing.

It’s not an impressive, cutting edge, expensive, difficult or awkward technique.

Which means it takes discipline to do. The smallest things are the easiest to drop.

Add it as an appointment in your calendar. Stick with it until it becomes a habit.

And commit to anticipating fantastic things every day.

You might notice the benefits on the first day. If not, it won’t take you long to approach your life with renewed vigour.

So that’s one way to enhance your life.

But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?

Like, say, 60 of them?

Get your hands on Three-Score Navike – the comprehensive and easy way to grow and evolve – right here:

/downloads/escape-mediocrity/

What’s The Opposite Of Petty Jealousy?

To take a detour from our self-improvement journey, take a moment to imagine someone… well, someone you’re not aspiring to become.

Someone seething with bitterness, resentment and jealousy.

Someone who hates the success of others and wants nothing more than to tear them down.

Pop quiz for ya:

Is this person happy, do you reckon?

You don’t know anything else about them, but one thing you can bet solid coin on – they ain’t happy.

And they ain’t improving much either.

It’s a funny quirk of human nature. Spend your time tearing other folk down, and all you really do is undermine yourself. My theory? Your unconscious learns how to treat you based on how you treat others. Look for flaws everywhere and it’ll find them inside you.

That’s the curse of petty jealousy – it makes you weaker over time.

Not fun for anyone.

So here’s an alternative approach.

What if, instead, you looked for the good, the virtuous and the successful in others?

What if you took a moment to admire someone’s achievements?

Instead of cursing and muttering how they got there through luck, how would things change if you chose to admire them instead?

Because you can celebrate the success of others. You can admire them when they get what you want.

The benefits of this are clear.

On a surface level, you become much happier. Instead of tying yourself up in knots of resentment, you smile, shrug and move on.

Also, if you ever meet this person, they’ll pick up on it. If you’re bitter, they’ll probably run the other way. If you’re genuinely happy for them, they might spend some time with you. Maybe even give you some assistance.

But the real benefits run much deeper.

It trains your mind that the successful person is in a desirable situation. What they have is what you want.

And when you start to do this, you change from the inside-out.

It’s a strange thing, but soon you begin to see opportunities you would have missed otherwise. You spot something and some quality of it reminds you of what you admire.

So you move towards it.

You explore it.

And suddenly it becomes a big and interesting thing.

Exactly what this looks like depends on you, your circumstances, what success looks like and a hundred other factors.

But you’ll know it when you see it.

In fact, you’ll struggle to ignore it.

Celebrating the success of others attunes your inner mind to it. Once that happens, it’s weird how “lucky” you suddenly become.

So that’s one way to enhance your life.

But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?

Like, say, 60 of them?

Get your hands on Three-Score Navike – the comprehensive and easy way to grow and evolve – right here:

/downloads/escape-mediocrity/

You can’t have a healthy self-relationship without this

Let’s talk about your relationship with yourself, shall we?

Folk spend a lot of time talking about it.

“It’s your most important relationship.”

“Make sure it’s healthy and positive.”

Okay, you got it.

But… how, exactly?

Well, that depends on what your relationship with yourself really is.

Until you understand it, it can’t be healthy.

There are a few ways to think about it. Personally, I think all these are valid. You are everything to you, which means you encompass all these styles of relationship:

Coach/Mentee

You could think of yourself as your own coach and the person you’re coaching. Why not, right? A coach doesn’t know all the answers – just enough to take you to the next level.

That describes you. You know what you need to do next – you just need a little guidance.

And that guidance can come from within.

That assumes you’re a skilled coach, of course. What if you’re the sort who bullies, berates and insults your mentee? Is that the best way to motivate them?

Unlikely, right?

An effective coach is an iron fist in a velvet glove. You won’t tolerate laziness or a bad attitude. Genuine mistakes and individual needs, though? You’re all over that.

Parent/Child

The coach/mentee relationship doesn’t push it far enough. Sometimes, the power imbalance is more intense – like a parent with a baby.

When you try to improve, you’re like a baby learning to walk. You fall down a lot. You don’t stay there, though. Whether from curiosity, frustration or a deep natural instinct, you’re compelled to try again.

And you don’t stop til you master it.

What’s the parent doing this whole time?

Offering support, guidance and love.

They don’t walk for the child, but they might hold their hand. And clear obstacles from the path. And offer love when they fall down yet again.

That’s how you need to be with yourself.

Lovers

I’ll let your imagination fill in all the ways you’re your lover.

Some are literal.

Others are more metaphoric.

If you want a fun exercise, make a list. (Though maybe keep it private – that might be tough to explain.)

Business Partners

When two business partners come together, they aren’t the same person. Sometimes they don’t even like each other.

That doesn’t matter.

Each knows they win when the other wins.

They complement each other’s skills and lift each other up.

Creating a team that’s more than its parts.

Each becomes essential to the running of the franchise. And the better they specialise and work together, the more profitable it tends to be.

You have different elements in your mind. You have patience and impulsiveness. Discipline and gluttony. Vision and action.

When you bring different pieces of yourself together – and invite them to work together – you begin to transform.

Creative Rivals

Friendly creative rivalries are fantastic to see.

One throws down a challenge. They create something and share it with the world.

The other sees it, takes it and responds. Maybe they make the same thing, only better. Maybe they take it in a whole new direction. Either way, it wouldn’t have existed without the original.

Then the first person sees the response and creates something new again.

Back and forth it goes.

They aren’t working together – not in the traditional sense.

But they are.

Each is essential to the other. Without their rival, they would be lesser versions of themselves.

You can recreate this in yourself. The next time you create something, don’t dust your hands and walk away.

Can you take it and make it better?

Can you use it in a new way?

Does it inspire anything inside you?

Use it not as a final product but as raw inspiration. With practice, it’ll supercharge your creativity. And suddenly you’re working on something you never would have dreamed of otherwise.

So that’s one way to enhance your life.

But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?

Like, say, 60 of them?

Get your hands on Three-Score Navike – the comprehensive and easy way to grow and evolve – right here:

/downloads/escape-mediocrity/

Self-Hypnosis vs Meditation – Which is better?

I’ve talk a lot both meditation and self-hypnosis.

What’s the difference?

Which one is better?

Great questions.

Here’s my opinion – although many folk will disagree with me on this.

Both are incredibly powerful ways to train your mind. With meditation, I shed off a lot of anger in my youth. I didn’t like who I was – someone so quickly frustrated, cranky and irritable with the world.

So I turned to meditation and it worked for me.

Then, much later, I learned self-hypnosis. It was like opening the doors to my mind. Suddenly, I could see what used to be invisible to me.

It would take a lot more than this article to explain everything it did for me, so I won’t go into it.

All I’ll say is self-hypnosis is, by far, the most powerful self-improvement technique I’ve ever used.

No exaggeration, no hesitation. For me, it’s king.

What makes such a strong difference?

The great thing about meditation is it requires you to focus on the moment.

The worst thing about meditation is it requires you to focus on the moment.

It’s a useful skill to learn. In fact, it makes your self-hypnosis much better, too.

But here’s the difference.

It’s hard to hold your attention for so long – for most of us, anyway. To get the real benefits of it, you need to focus for a long time over months and years. Then, almost out of your control, you begin to access more of your mind.

Self-hypnosis isn’t as strict as this. The more you focus, the better you’ll do… but you don’t need to be a mental rockstar. If you’re prone to distraction, it can still work. If you’re not prone to that, self-hypnosis is still easier and more powerful.

In fact, with practice, you can use the distractions to your advantage.

That’s why I hold the opinion that self-hypnosis is the better of the two. You can get better results in less time and less effort.

Now, when I say ‘less’, I still mean ‘lots’.

You’ll need to learn more self-hypnosis than I covered above.

It’ll take you months, maybe years, to see real results.

But, hey, you won’t need to spend ten years in a monastery.

If you want to learn enough self-hypnosis (and meditation, and other things) to let you rebuild your mind from the inside out, you’re in luck.

I’m highly experienced with it. The product below – Monster Mind Edukaré – only exists thanks to my years of training and self-work.

I grok self-hypnosis and I know how to teach it.

If you want to learn, check out this page. It’ll show you more self-hypnosis that you ever thought you need to know:

http://www.guided-thought.com/monster

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