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With Lukas Schwekendiek, Life Coach.

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Articles from Lukas Schwekendiek, Life Coach.

 

 

The 5 Steps That Turned It All Around and Made Me Love My Life

Lukas Schwekendiek

Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez on Unsplash

I used to hate my life.

 

I had a lot of superficial friends, I was studying something that was at best mildly interesting to me, I had no passion for anything and I spent most of my time playing video games just to pass the time.

 

Basically: I existed but I did not live.

 

As I scraped by in college I never truly considered the consequences of my lifestyle.

I was numbing myself with my day-to-day so much that I did not have the awareness to question myself.

When I did, however, the pointlessness of everything hit me so hard that I nearly ended my life.

 

All I remember thinking at that point was that this was not what life was supposed to be.

I was supposed to feel happy and yet I felt anything but.

 

Everything I had been doing until that moment lead me to be suicidal… which wasn’t really a strong case for the way things had been going.

 

Something had to change.

 

Problem was… I had no idea how to do it.

How do you turn it all around from that spot?

I never studied much, never did anything for longer than a couple of months, I was shy, not confident at all, and had no ambitions.

 

Today I am almost the exact opposite.

 

Now, telling you what I did over the last 4 years will take me a long time and it will likely not be ideal for you either; besides, it would be very boring to read.

Instead, I will try to limit this post to the few things that truly made a difference.

 

These are the things that, in hindsight, enabled me to turn my life around completely.

  1. I Got Help — Of course, you could do it alone, but why? Maybe it’s time you swallowed your pride and spent a little time, energy, and money so that you do not have to go through this alone. I got a coach first thing, and although I said I could work with him for only one month, it’s been over 7 years now.
  2. - A person on the outside can see the mistakes, the worries, fears, and pitfalls long before you can. Why do you think every high-performer, whether they are athletes or CEOs, has at least one person to talk to?
    - Find a coach, therapist, or even a friend that can help you by seeing your life from a different point of view.
  3. I Made a Commitment to Myself — For years I had been following other people’s advice and went on the path they wanted me to go on, and it did not work out. So when I changed I made a commitment to myself to give it my best shot. For me, the alternative was depression and suicide, and I wouldn’t go back there again without a fight.
    - Commit to yourself. You are not living for anyone else but you. These are your choices, this is your experience, and this is your life to live. If you don’t make it count no one else will.
  4. I Spent Time Figuring Out What I Wanted — It was about time I started to actually think about what I wanted. I began to write down the things I wanted indiscriminately. This was my life, these were the things I wanted and I did not care if it sounded conceited or not. But when I wrote them down, when I actually made a plan, I realized what I truly wanted from life. At that point, the path became a lot clearer.
    - Listen to what you truly want and chase it with reckless abandon. There are things you desire in this world; look for them and separate them from what others told you you should want. And once you find your own desires: never let them go.
  5. I Started — After all of that happened I decided I had to start somewhere. It really didn’t matter where as long as I did something. At that point in my life, anything was a step forward. I committed to writing 500 words for 365 days. At first, I started to write a book. But after about 10 pages worth of writing I lost all interest. Instead of clinging to the book I then switched and started to write Blog Posts. And, for some reason, that stuck with me. I knew I enjoyed writing and I wanted to help people so this was a great mix, and although I was horrible at it, I kept going (my first post was one 2-page long paragraph). I didn’t keep going for my readers or because I thought anything would develop from it; I kept going because I said I would. That needed to be enough.
    - Start somewhere, do it every day, and do it
    for yourself. No one is watching you, no one is controlling you; there is no one looking over your shoulder judging you. This is your time right now, so do it because you want to. But start! Don’t think too much about what and just start somewhere. Anywhere is good enough at first and something will develop, but you have to start to get there.
  6. I Improved — The last thing that I did was that I started to become active about making progress in my life. I went outside and talked to strangers, and to the women that sparked my interest. I learned about confidence, charisma, and self-improvement. I meditated, I journaled, and I tracked my habits. I began to work out and to treat myself and my body better. Within just 3 months I was a different person. Confident, more outgoing, and certain that I could do what I set out to do.
    - Of course, you can sit in front of the TV all day but it will not change you. If you want to improve then you have to take responsibility and do it. There are thousands of ways to grow that are free for you to take, but you have to take them and apply them. Become active and responsible in your life. After all, you are the one that pays the consequences or reaps the rewards.

 

A Simple 3 Step Routine For Productivity & Focus

Lukas Schwekendiek

Photo by Léonard Cotte on Unsplash

The best routine that helped me in being productive and focusing is very simple and does not need a lot to become habitual.

 

What helped me the most were 3 simple steps:

  1. Get Up At A Very Early Time — Preferably a time where it is still dark outside and most people are not up yet. Something between 5 and 6 in the morning or earlier.
  2. Take A Shower Before Doing Anything Else — Once you take a shower you cannot go back to bed easily and it will seem like you started the day already. Do this before anything else.
    To help with this commitment to a time by which you must have taken a shower. For example, I have to take a shower by 5:30 in the morning. I absolutely must do this and there is no way around it.
  3. Do Some Work Right Away — Don’t grab breakfast yet, don’t read the newspaper, and don’t check your emails. First, do some work for an hour, then you may continue with your morning routine.

Doing these things sets the tone for the rest of the day as one of urgency, productivity, and discipline, and it will transfer to the rest of what you are doing in the morning as well.

The biggest thing you must watch out for is step #2.

Do anything you can to make this an absolute must in your life.

 

Talk to friends about it, tell them you will send them a message once you have done it, or, even better, tell them you will pay for dinner every time you do not do it.

Sooner or later your wallet will also motivate you to make this a must.

Try this for yourself and adjust it as you see fit, but it will definitely improve your productivity and focus if you can make this simple routine a habit!

 

 

 
 

Why Your Life Feels So Empty & What You Can Do About It Today

Lukas Schwekendiek

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Let me guess: Right now you are staying at home most of the time, watching TV or playing video games.

 

You are waiting for others to write you that they are going places or that they have something planned and want you to go with them, are waiting for some sign that tells you where to go or for someone to ‘discover’ you, correct?

 

Essentially; you are waiting for the easy button.

 

If that at all sounds like you, then it shows your lack of responsibility for your own life.

Let me ask you this: Do you really believe any of these things will happen on their own?

Do you believe after the years of waiting, hoping, and wishing, that there is still that someone, somewhere, that will take you to places you always wanted to be at?

 

Are you really willing to put your life and happiness on the line for that bet?

To me, that seems like a very risky and unnecessary endeavor, for if you are wrong you’ll have waited your entire life for nothing.

Personally, I am not willing to take that chance.

 

If you want something to change, if you do not want to feel lonely, lost, and empty anymore, then you need to do something about it.

 

It doesn’t matter what you do, whether it’s perfect or the right path in the end.

What matters is that you do something.

What do you want to do?

Do you want to play the guitar?

Play tennis?

Go out with your friends?

Find a date?

Learn more about Physics?

Draw?

Get a better-looking body?

Feel more energetic?

Change your mindset?

 

Whatever it is you want to do decide to take charge and do something.

If you want to go out with your friends, for example, then write them, plan something to do, and be the person that puts it into action.

 

And if you do not have any friends, THEN GET SOME!

Visit clubs, talk to the people there, be the one that starts the conversation, or goes on social media and interact with people that share your interests, but make the first step!

Yes, it will be uncomfortable, but what is your alternative? Living an empty, lonely life waiting for someone to be kind enough to ask you to go out?

 

The reason you are feeling so lethargic, and loathing yourself so much is because you are not active.

You are not doing anything and instead are sitting around waiting for the world to accommodate your needs; like a spoiled prince or princess waiting for their servants to cater to their every need.

 

But you are not royalty, and even if you were you would still have to be active enough to give orders on what you would like your servants to do.

There is no one that will figure out what you want out of life, no one that instinctively understands what you want to do, and no one that can see inside and immediately understand that you want them to make the first move.

 

Many people do not understand that it is not positive feelings that cause actions, but actions that cause positive feelings which then make the next actions easier.

We already know this when it comes to fitness.

Those that get active usually start to feel better, becoming more active.

It’s even shown that exercising creates energy!

 

Use your energy to create more energy!

When you invest in a habit, a hobby, your job, or a relationship you will get more out of it.

The more you invest the more you get back, but if you only sit on your butt all day, not doing anything, then you will not get anything back.

 

No farmer reaps a harvest from sowing nothing.

Yet, as crazy as it sounds putting it like that, that is exactly what you are expecting to happen.

 

Now, please do not misunderstand this advice.

I am not telling you to do everything else you are a failure, nor that the responsibility should drive you to despair after realizing you did not take any.

 

Instead, this should lift your spirits for it should show you that there is a way out.

Do what you can, which does not mean do everything, just do something.

If you are truly feeling lost and depressed then that ‘something’ might not be much.

Maybe investing into one hobby a day is already pushing the end of your comfort zone.

If so, then that is all you need to do.

 

Remember that this is a positive spiral.

As you invest you will feel better and it will make investing again easier.

This can repeat infinitely if you just keep going.

For now, start with investing 5 minutes of your day into something.

If you can do more, do more, but if not then 5 minutes is plenty of responsibility and nothing that will be overwhelming.

 

For now: Start doing something.

  • Develop a good Habit.
  • Improve a Skill you’re interested in.
  • Meet one more Person.
  • Talk to a Stranger.
  • Get up earlier and get some work done.
  • Journal your day.
  • Work out and go running.
  • Learn to dance.
  • Etc.

If you do not believe me then test it out yourself.

Get as busy and active as you can (relatively speaking) for 7 days.

 

Really push yourself as a test and see if that makes a difference in your mood.

You will realize very soon that the emptiness and the feeling of being lost will disappear as you invest more in your life.

 

It will not be instant, but even after 7 days, you will notice a positive difference.

After 30 you will notice a lasting difference, and after 90 days the feelings of being lost will seem like a distant memory.

Give yourself a chance.

Test it out.

You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

 

 

 

 

End Procrastination —  Tips That Will Stop You Stopping Yourself

Lukas Schwekendiek

Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash
  1. Get Busy — Fill your schedule with things that get you out of the house, things that improve your life, activities, work, hobbies, and whatever you can.
  2. White Space in your calendar is a miracle fertilizer for laziness.
  3. Dream Big — The work to lose 5lbs starts the same way as the work to losing 100lbs, but if you want to lose 100lbs then do that. Stop cutting your dreams short because you do not think they are realistic. You want what you want. Dream about everything you desire without holding anything back and then, work for that dream.
  4. Tiny Habits — 5 Minutes a day. That is all it takes. 5 Minutes, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. No exceptions. If you can do this by brushing your teeth you can do this with the habits that get you to the life you want as well.
  5. Positive Self-Talk — How you view yourself shapes how you see the world, interact with it and the results and opportunities you get from it. Make sure you empower yourself enough to love yourself and push yourself. Be your own best friend; the one that loves you but is tough on you when you need it.
  6. Start Early — 5 a.m. is the “Hour of Power” according to Robin Sharma, but many other self-improvement experts agree. If you are not a morning person then just get up earlier. But, whatever you do, make sure that the first 2 hours of your day are strong. It is these hours that will shape the rest of your day.
  7. Exercise — Do some cardio every week and drink more water. Your mind can only function as energetically as you hold your body. Try to break a sweat every other day. This will recharge you more than you think.
  8. Procrastinate On Procrastinating — You probably have very developed techniques and thoughts that keep you from your work. These are things you say to yourself, excuses you give or ways your mind finds loopholes. Use your Procrastination techniques to procrastinate on procrastinating. When you work, before you take a break, say “Just 5 more minutes”. When you are almost out of energy say “Just let me finish this one thing”. Or simply say “Ugh… Fine! I’ll take my break after this.”
  9. Track Time — If you do not have a schedule or calendar yet, get one. If you cannot afford one, use google spreadsheets and type it up. If you do not control your time someone else will. By taking responsibility for your time you allow yourself to take control over your day, therefore over your actions, and therefore over the direction, your life will take.
  10. Improve In Other Areas — If you upgrade your life in your physical fitness, relationships or in any other area that area will pull up every other one. There is a constant tug of war going on between the parts of your life that lift you up and the ones that pull you down. Empower the areas that pull you up and they will pull more strongly on everything else, including your work ethic.
  11. Just Do It — Stop thinking so much about whether or not you should, when would be best or what you could possibly do to get out of it. Just do it and ignore all those thoughts that come after. Every thought that comes in afterward is just an opportunity for an excuse not to do it. Do not let those thoughts win.
  12. Get Out — I mean this quite literally: Get out of your house. Go to a coffee shop, sit on a park bench or go to the public library, but find a reason to leave your house. Your workplace should be different than your resting place.
  13. Accept Yourself — Look at what worked and did not work, why you were lazy and when you were not, and what often leads to procrastination, your loss of energy and your loss of motivation. There is a reason you are experiencing all of these, and most of it has to do with who you are. Stop forcing yourself to be someone you are not and instead pick yourself up from where you are at and grow from there. You are not perfect. Stop expecting that of yourself.
  14. Make Each Day Amazing — If you do all of the above-mentioned tips then it is likely you will put too much on your plate, especially too much that is supposed to be productive or valuable. You must put in fun, enjoyable and not-productive things on that schedule as well. If every day is amazing you will look forward to it instead of dreading it. That is what you should aim to achieve.
  15. It’s All For You — Remember why you want to work. You do not want to be productive for your boss or your friends, for your family or your partner, but for you. You are trying to be more effective because you want a better life for yourself. This means when you procrastinate the only one you are hurting is yourself. When will you finally say that enough is enough and hold yourself to a higher standard? When will you finally take this seriously?

 

 

How to Remember Your Life

Two strategies that will help you build memories

Lukas Schwekendiek

Image by Mesut Kaya on Unsplash.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, in particular, it felt like time went by faster than ever before.

In 2020 I was shocked at how short the year felt.

Now in 2021, it became even worse.

For one part, I fear that this has to do with getting older.

Even though I am only 21 years old, it feels like every new year goes by faster and faster.

Routine and regularity cause days to blend together. When nothing exciting happens, time flies by. We need to do new things, leave our comfort zone, and create memories.

 

But most importantly, we need to figure out how we can remember our lives.

I. Do your homework for life every night before going to sleep

A few months ago I’ve read Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks, a great book about the why and how of storytelling. In this book, he proposed the idea of homework for life.

This is a daily journaling exercise that will help you to discover and remember your life’s stories.

As a teacher, he assigns this task to the reader to do every day, for the rest of our lives.

The prompt for homework for life is simple.

Imagine you had to go on stage tonight to tell the most interesting story that happened today.

You then write down the most important keywords on a paper, or in a dedicated notebook.

 

Now, you might find yourself thinking that nothing really special happened today.

That none of today would make a great story people would be willing to hear.

But it’s not about finding a breathtaking story that happened today.

It’s about finding the best you can find.

 

Homework for life is about searching for the one moment that is most interesting or memorable today.

No matter how stale it might seem.

 

Doing this will not only help to remember more of your life, but it will increase your awareness of story-worthy, memorable moments. It will put a different lens into your glasses.

If you make homework for life a habit, you will become more aware of those moments when they happen.

 

II. Use Google Photos (or a similar app) to create time-capsules

Pictures allow us to capture moments of our lives in a way that allows us to experience them again. But in reality, we rarely look at the pictures we once took because we have far too many. Because we flood our galleries with images, they seized to be time-capsules.

 

I’ve discovered a simple way to turn an overflowing gallery into a chronic of memories.

This is how it’s done:

In Google Photos you have the main feed where all your photos get displayed in chronological order. You can put images into albums to create selections, but they will still show up in the feed.

There is only one exception: images that you archive won’t show up in the feed, but remain in the albums (and inside the archive).

 

If you combine those three features, you can set up the following:

  1. A chronological feed containing hand-picked images that spark emotions and submerge you in memories.
  2. A collection of albums that don’t show up in your feed but contain your other images.
  3. By setting up your gallery like this, you give your special images room to breathe, instead of burying them below screenshots, receipts, memes, and blurred photos.

The idea here is not to only collect the perfect Instagram shots.

In fact, most of my favorite and most memorable photos aren’t perfect, yet they capture the moment perfectly.

And this is what it’s all about: build a collection of memories, not photos.

 

Why Google Photos?

This method is unique because of the separation between memories and images.

Your feed of memories grows with you, allowing you to hop into a time machine to immerse yourself in your past life.

And your other images are still accessible in an instant by navigating to your albums.

 

One unique feature of Google Photos makes this possible.

When you archive a picture it will get “hidden” from the main feed.

The trick: If you add a picture to an album and archive it, it will show up in the folder (and in the archive), but not in your main feed.

  1. If you don’t own a Google account already, create one and download the Google Photos app.
  2. You now have the option to keep the images as original files (which I would highly recommend), or at HD resolution. If you chose to keep the original files, you will have 15GB of storage available until you either “downgrade” to high-definition or have to pay 1,99€ a month for unlimited storage.
  3. Chances are that your gallery is already filled with thousands of images. If that’s the case, I urge you to do a clean-up first. Start with one album and start deleting images that are dispensable. This includes blurry images, duplicates, obsolete screenshots, and everything you will never actually look at again. Do this with all albums on your phone until you have your first selection.
  4. Sync the images on your phone to Google Photos by enabling “auto-sync”, making sure that you select every local folder. When the app is done syncing, disable auto-sync. (I forgot to do this and kept wondering why the images I had already deleted or archived kept showing up in my feed. I had to disable auto-sync and start over again.)
  5. Your main feed (the tab called “photos”) now contains your images in chronological order. Starting at the bottom you will want to begin filtering and sorting images. While this might take quite some time, you will probably come across a lot of gems, so it’s worth it.
  6. Try to think of your feed as a timeline of memories. You will want to have small batches of images that remind you of that moment. This means that each memory should only have one or two pictures. Whether something small like a get-together with friends or something as big as a wedding — having too many images of one event will stop you from ever looking at it again. And by being selective, each image will have a lot more emotional weight to it.

After all, if everything is special, nothing is.

 

If you have a considerable number of images and videos that belong together, put them into one album and archive all but the most memorable few.

This will keep your feed “clean” while still allowing you to have the images accessible in an album.

 

And this sums up the purification process:

1. Delete redundant photos

2. Batch similar images into albums

3. Archive all of them but the very best.

 

I really recommend archiving all images with no “emotional value”, like screenshots of articles for example. Your feed is for memories, not for recipes or quotes.

If you have a decent amount of screenshots of ebooks or articles, consider migrating the most important concepts and ideas to a notebook.

Again: Are you really going to read the text in any of the 78 screenshots you took on Medium so far?

 

A few quality of life tips

  1. Create a backup of Google Photos once a year. Trust me.
  2. Delete the (duplicate) images from your phone so your native gallery is empty and clean.
  3. You have the option to manually change the date of images. This is helpful if an image is somehow misdated and sorted in the wrong spot in your feed.
  4. You can select the cover image of albums manually.
  5. There is an option to add a description to pictures or videos.

 

 

 

My Philosophy For A Great Life

Life is a decathlon, not a marathon or sprint.

Lukas Schwekendiek

Download Decathlon Download Free Wallpaper Images Wallpaper - GetWalls.io
 
A decathlon is quite different from most other Olympic disciplines.

Instead of having to be the best sprinter, long-jumper, or weightlifter, you have to score the most points across 10 different disciplines.

Not being the fastest is no problem because you can make up for it in the other disciplines.

Because everything gets added up in the end, you can excel in some disciplines and only do well in other ones and still win.

 

And life works the same way.

It’s an aggregate of disciplines that matter in their entirety.

 

Your goal should be to be great across all dimensions of analysis, not just the best in a single one of them.

Being rich but unfulfilled, lonely, and in bad shape won’t get you very far.

 

But being moderately successful, in great shape, and with a high-quality social circle will total a much higher “score” than being the best in one discipline but neglecting the rest.

Your knowledge, your success, your self-mastery, your happiness, your wealth, your body and attractiveness, your positive impact in the world, your social skills — those are all different disciplines of life, among many others.

 

And the great thing is that by focusing on doing well in most of them, you don’t have to deal with diminishing returns.

Having an above-average body is something you can achieve within 2 years of hard work.

But having a top 0.01 body will require a decade of dedication.

Building long-term wealth is something everyone can achieve within 10 years.

But to become one of the richest people in the world would require you to dedicate your life to it.

The law of diminishing returns doesn’t serve those who strive for 1st place in any discipline.

 

The moral of the story is this: focus on being above-average in every dimension of life.

There is no better way to live an amazing life than to be a well-rounded person, thriving in every area of life without having to be the best.

 

 

 

How to Regain Your Ability to Concentrate

By using the force-focus technique.

Lukas Schwekendiek

 

Deep concentration is a skill that most people have unlearned as a result of constant distraction and stimuli.

 

It’s no secret that our attention spans have decreased greatly.

This might explain why the short video formats like TikTok, IG reels, and YT shorts blew up.

Now, entertainment and social media platforms capitalize on it by keeping us hooked with an endless stream of novelty.

 

But the consequences are for the individuals are severe: people are unlearning how to focus on ONE thing for an extended period of time.

This is a big deal.

Meaningful work that is paid well requires one thing more than anything else: deep concentration.

 

In the past, I used to struggle with concentration too, so I know how frustrating it is.

So for this reason, I developed the following technique that you can use to TRAIN your ability to focus.

But keep in mind that just like with any other skill, it will take weeks and months to make progress.

 

First of all, you have to understand this: the focus is something you do, not something you have.

It requires INTENTIONAL effort.

 

Now, the force-focus technique is very simple, but through repetition, it becomes a great tool. It goes like this:

Sit down with whatever you want to concentrate on (a book, your work, a lecture, etc.).

 

Your objective is NOT to get a specific result, but ONLY the following:

Keep your attention on the subject as long as possible, and as soon as you “catch” your thoughts wandering off, bring them back to the subject.

 

This is crucial.

Focus is NOT about not getting distracted, it’s about becoming quick at bringing your attention back.

And by doing this exercise, you train that skill like a muscle.

But not only that.

You also tell your brain by bringing back your attention that it should concentrate on the task at hand.

 

It might take you 5–15 minutes of bringing your attention back whenever you get distracted for your brain to realize: this is what we are focusing on now.

Once that happens, you enter flow and concentration becomes effortless.

Try it for a month and you will never look back.

 
 

Own Your Time - Part 2

In this “Own Your Time” series, I’ll share tools I’d rather not live without because they allow me to focus on what matters most to me.

Part 2 is about how your calendar can serve you better.

Today, I’m sharing some insights on using your calendar to develop a better relationship with time based on the content of the second online program I’m working on: Own Your Time, Get to focus on what matters most to you.

Because I’m a nerd when it comes to being organized and I believe that my mind space is best equipped to think critically, creatively and to connect seemingly unrelated dots rather than remember all my appointments, I thought I’d share, in this and a few upcoming newsletters, some of the tools and practices I use that really help me own my time and that might help you.

 

The same way your to-do list reminds you of your daily or weekly priorities, your calendar tells you where you need to be, when, and with whom.

If you’re anything like me, those are things you choose not to have to remember from the top of your head or want to take the risk of forgetting.

1. There are different types of events I have on my calendar:

  1. Work-related meetings
  2. Including guests so they receive a calendar invite (particularly useful when you’re in different timezones so you minimize the risk of meeting at the wrong time)
  3. If virtual, the invite includes the video conference details
  4. If physical, the invite includes the address of the meeting and additional information in the description (i.e. floor, port entry code, name of the meeting room, etc.)
  5. If relevant, the agenda is included in the description as well

2. Time allocated for important, though usually not urgent, priorities. This is focused work time.

3. Personal appointments (e.g. doctor, hairdresser, massage, etc.)

4. Time with friends and family

5. Time allocated for things that have to be done (laundry, house chores, shopping, etc.)

6. Me time (e.g. walks in nature, working out, reading, learning, etc.)

7. Unscheduled time to give yourself space to think, be creative, do things at the last minute and be flexible (an average of 50% of your working hours is ideal)

 

Depending on your method to keep track of your to-dos, it can be useful to have them visible on your calendar so you can more easily visualize if you are reasonably allocating your time between the tasks you have prioritized for today and the appointments you have scheduled.

 

If you have multiple calendars, make sure they’re all synced into one space where you can see all of them, ideally on your laptop and your phone.

No duplications, no mixups, just one platform where you can see and edit all your appointments.

 

At the end of every day or first thing in the morning, go through your to-dos and appointments and evaluate if you’re setting yourself up for success.

Shuffle things around until you do.

In what ways could you better use your calendar to improve your relationship with time?

 

 

 

The 15 Most Productive Habits You Can Have

Lukas Schwekendiek

  1. Wake up at the same time — Weekends, Holidays, Birthdays included. Regardless of when you went to bed. Your body will eventually let you know if you get too little sleep.
  2. Start Strong — The first 2 hours of your day set a tone for the rest of it. Get something big done right away and you will set an amazing one.
  3. Listen to an Audiobook/Read a Book on your commute — Make the most out of the boring time and learn something.
  4. Write down your Goals before you go to bed and after you wake up — Think about your dreams and goals all day and night by priming yourself right.
  5. Take Great Breaks — Do not leave your breaks to chance. Plan what you want to do and fully commit yourself to that break. Shut down completely. Recharge. Refresh. Restart.
  6. Journal Once A Day — Take some time to reflect, reconsider your day, and to put awareness on what you can do the next day.
  7. Decisive answers — Either it’s a “Hell yes” or a “No”. Everything that is not a clear yes defaults to a No.
  8. Keep a To-Do List with you — Whenever something bothers you in your head, write it on that list. Set a specific time and date for when you will accomplish it so that you don’t keep thinking about it.
  9. Remove Useless Apps, Tabs and Clothes you do not wear — Every 3 months clean your desktop, cell phone, and your closet of unused items. It will make you feel much better.
  10. Spend 5 Minutes a Day Cleaning — That’s often enough to keep a relatively neat environment that will guide your productivity.
  11. Keep a Schedule/Planner — The only way to get the most out of every 24 hours you have is to record, analyze and optimize that time. A little every day, because how you’ve spent your time is all that matters in the end.
  12. Challenge Yourself — Truly invest yourself in one area of life every day. Create a situation that is challenging and give it you're all. Do this at least once a day to create a sense of Pride.
  13. Engage with at least 1 Person further than you — Someone that is further towards a similar goal to yours. Engage with them, learn from them, and allow yourself to be pulled along with them.
  14. Stick to your Choices — Not all will be great, and you will always miss out on something. Stick to the choice you make, suffer the consequences and learn to make better choices rather than avoid bad consequences. This will keep you streamlined to positive results.
  15. Laugh — Once a day, in some way, laugh as hard as you can. Watch a funny video, look at jokes online, or be childish and weird when you are alone. Seek to laugh at least once a day as happiness and productivity correlate quite a bit.
 

 

Tips & Tricks To Improve Your Mental Health Immediately

Lukas Schwekendiek

Photo by Total Shape on Unsplash
  • Meditate Learn to let go of all the thoughts that do not matter.
  • Do Something That Scares You Do 1 thing every week that scares you to do.
  • Talk To A Professional Studies show that talking to a professional helps over 70% of people that go to them. Many people do not talk to anyone because they believe their situation is uniquely terrible. The ironic thing is that this includes everyone in that 70% as well.
  • No Drugs Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking all affect how quickly your mind deteriorates.
  • Eat Something Spicy Spicy food raises Endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that can give you that mental kickstart you need. (Dark Chocolate works too).
  • Find Positive Friends Keep people around that are positive, lift you and challenge you to become better. And never let go of the ones that call you out on your own crap.
  • Let Go Of Negative People Let go of those people that only complain, worry, and never act.
  • Drink More Water 2L at Minimum, 4L at Maximum + 1L for each hour of cardio.
  • Dance Put on some uplifting music and dance & sing along.
  • Act Do something. Thinking helps but alone it does nothing to make life better. Do what is necessary. Even if you do it without thinking about it you will go much further much faster.
  • Eat More Fruits & Vegetables They are the healthiest source of nutrition.
  • Clean Declutter your life and you will declutter your mind.
  • Come To A Decision Making a choice, even if it turns out bad, is much better than being in that murky ‘in-between’ zone. Nothing gets done there and you only stress yourself out over time. For now, it is time to make more choices.
  • Exercise Regularly 2–3 hours of cardio a week + 5 hours of weight-lifting is a very good balance.
  • Keep A Schedule You already know what things are that help your mental health but you do not do them because you forget. Help yourself.
  • Become Optimistic While Pessimism has a time and place, it most often just weighs us down.
  • Get Fresh Air A walk a day at least. 10 Minutes of fresh air does wonders.
  • Learn About Self-Improvement While not needed, Self-Improvement is designed to help in all regards of life. Why not add a little extra?
  • Dress To Impress Dress to impress yourself. The way you look does shape your thoughts.
  • Imitate Mental Health “Fake it until you make it”. Imagine aspects of mentally healthy individuals and copy their mannerisms, thoughts, actions, words, and whatever else you can. There is a reason they do what they do and no reason for you to re-invent the wheel.
  • Love Yourself Affirmations of love & gratitude about yourself are crucial for a healthy mind. You spend 24 hours a day with yourself, which means you should be the person that loves you most.
  • Say ‘Yes’ Especially to things that are new, unique, and those that scare you just a little bit.
  • Say ‘No’ If you do not want to do it, then don’t. You do not need to justify making choices in your life but you do have to make them.
  • Hug Someone Pets may be included.
  • Avoid Chronic Habits Masturbation, Netflix, YouTube, Social Media… Anything that you do uncontrollably will lead you to feel worse.
  • Compliment Someone Be nice to others and you will feel better for it.
  • Get A Massage Sometimes it is the physical tension that we misinterpret as mental tension.
  • Break Out Of Comfort Break out of your normal comfort zones and try different things every day. Keep your mind engaged in new and unique ways as often as possible, even if it is just a small difference.
  • Improve Daily Every day has something to be proud of and something that makes you feel like you are progressing in at least one area of your life. Become 1% better in one area every day.
  • Laugh Laughing is the best medicine. Besides, life is too short to spend it worrying.
 

 

 

5 Sentences That Will Motivate You Instantly

Lukas Schwekendiek

Photo by Morgan Housel on Unsplash

The most important thing in motivating yourself is that you feel something when you speak.

Only repeating random affirmations or motivational tips will not do anything unless you can personally relate to them.

As such, please take my favorites below with a grain of salt.

Adjust them or change them if that creates a stronger sense of emotion and just use them as inspiration.

 

Also, note that anger can be a good motivator, it is not necessary to draw motivation from positivity.

Whatever creates the strongest emotion will often lead to the strongest drive.

 

That being said, here are my favorites:

  1. I chose to be productive. I know I do not have to be. I am fine with the way my life is right now, but, in spite of that, I chose to be productive because I want to be and that is all the reason I need.
  2. I am proud of myself for everything I’ve done so far. Sometimes it is best to take the edge of the amount of pressure I put on myself. I am proud and grateful of everything I have done, including all the mistakes and failures. Whatever I do from here on out is a bonus not a requirement, and as such, I am free to do it because I want to, not because I have to.
  3. I want a better life. The truth is, I want a better life for myself. I do not know where that desire comes from but it is there and a part of me, so I will chase that. I could lie to myself and settle for something less but that would serve no purpose.
  4. I will be my own hero. When I say this I have a certain image forming in my head of what a “hero” looks like. And while I often try to act that way, I am not perfect yet. Not that I will ever be perfect, but ignoring that perfection does not exist and striving for it anyway will allow me to stay on this journey forever. To me, that is exciting!
  5. No excuses. Sometimes, all the positive self-talk is worthless. Sometimes, all I need is tough love. That means I have to put it in my mind that I will do what I set out to do and nothing can keep me from it. It is a must, not a choice, a fact, not an option, something that will happen regardless of what excuses I come up with because I value myself enough to do it for me.
  6. BONUS: I want the best for myself. The truth is that everything I have done, every moment, action, and every consequence, was all for me. I can say it was for others, but there is no such thing as a selfless act. Everything was so that I could lead a better life. And while this may sound egotistical or arrogant to some, it is about self-love more than anything. Love yourself enough to treat yourself better than anyone else because you deserve a good life too!
 
 

17 How To Best Deal With Angry People

Lukas Schwekendiek

Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

“Just calm down, it’s not that bad.”

 

You turn to your friend in disbelief.

Did they really just say that?

You were angry before, but now you are fuming.

 

What’s worse than their words is that look in their eyes when you turn to face them.

The concerned look, the slight, arrogant smile on their face, and their raised eyebrows make one thing very clear: They have no idea how you feel.

 

Telling someone to calm down, that things are not that bad or saying that they shouldn’t feel this way shows that the person cannot accept something outside their own reality.

To them, in their experience, point of view, or from their angle, the situation is just not that bad and they cannot place themselves in your shoes.

 

The reason people get angrier when you say things like this is that you are basically telling them to deny themselves!

 

Think about it this way: What would you do if someone told you to stop being yourself? To

stop being happy, to stop being sad, and to stop being angry?

 

You would think that you are not good enough.

 

If someone tells us to “calm down” we feel as though we are not taken for who we are. We believe that we are less because we are angry or frustrated about the situation.

When a person feels strong emotions they do not want to be judged; they want to be understood!

 

That means you should first acknowledge the way they feel rather than even trying to fix the situation.

 

“I am sorry you feel so angry.

I do not know what made you this angry but it must be something really intense.

And I am sorry for that.

Would you mind telling me what made you so angry?

Would you mind helping me understand how you feel?”

 

Many people do not go down this path, thinking they know better or being so sure of their own point of view that it does not make sense to them to take on another point of view.

The problem with this is that the person across from them does not feel the same way, and therefore will see the situation from a completely different angle and through emotionally-tinted glasses.

 

The best thing to do in a situation like this is to accept the way they feel first.

 

Their feelings are a definite reality to them and what is making this situation so much more intense than it may objectively be.

Accept what they feel, acknowledge them, and try your best to understand them.

Assume that they are telling the truth and that what they feel is a non-negotiable fact.

From there you have many more opportunities to aid this person in resolving their anger.

Notice, however, that I used the word “aid”. You can only help someone with their emotions, but never force them to feel differently.

 

You can offer solutions, but they have every right not to take those solutions.

For while you may logically understand them you will never be truly able to know what they feel or why they feel it.

 

Acknowledge their unique experience and take them from where they are, not from where you wish they would be.

 

When you do that you will be able to calm down people much more effectively and even raise them up.

P.S. This also works incredibly well when you treat yourself this way.

 

 

The 5 Steps That Turned It All Around and Made Me Love My Life

Lukas Schwekendiek

Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez on Unsplash

I used to hate my life

I had a lot of superficial friends, I was studying something that was at best mildly interesting to me, I had no passion for anything and I spent most of my time playing video games just to pass the time.

 

Basically: I existed but I did not live.

As I scraped by in college I never truly considered the consequences of my lifestyle.

I was numbing myself with my day-to-day so much that I did not have the awareness to question myself.

When I did, however, the pointlessness of everything hit me so hard that I nearly ended my life.

All I remember thinking at that point was that this was not what life was supposed to be.

I was supposed to feel happy and yet I felt anything but.

Everything I had been doing until that moment lead me to be suicidal… which wasn’t really a strong case for the way things had been going.

 

Something had to change.

 

Problem was… I had no idea how to do it.

How do you turn it all around from that spot?

I never studied much, never did anything for longer than a couple of months, I was shy, not confident at all, and had no ambitions.

 

Today I am almost the exact opposite.

 

Now, telling you what I did over the last 4 years will take me a long time and it will likely not be ideal for you either; besides, it would be very boring to read.

 

Instead, I will try to limit this post to the few things that truly made a difference.

 

These are the things that, in hindsight, enabled me to turn my life around completely.

  1. I Got Help — Of course, you could do it alone, but why? Maybe it’s time you swallowed your pride and spent a little time, energy, and money so that you do not have to go through this alone. I got a coach first thing, and although I said I could work with him for only one month, it’s been over 7 years now.
  2. - A person on the outside can see the mistakes, the worries, fears, and pitfalls long before you can. Why do you think every high-performer, whether they are athletes or CEOs, has at least one person to talk to?
    - Find a coach, therapist, or even a friend that can help you by seeing your life from a different point of view.
  3. I Made a Commitment to Myself — For years I had been following other people’s advice and went on the path they wanted me to go on, and it did not work out. So when I changed I made a commitment to myself to give it my best shot. For me, the alternative was depression and suicide, and I wouldn’t go back there again without a fight.
    - Commit to yourself. You are not living for anyone else but you. These are your choices, this is your experience, this is your life to live. If you don’t make it count no one else will.
  4. I Spent Time Figuring Out What I Wanted — It was about time I started to actually think about what I wanted. I began to write down the things I wanted indiscriminately. This was my life, these were the things I wanted and I did not care if it sounded conceited or not. But when I wrote them down, when I actually made a plan, I realized what I truly wanted from life. At that point, the path became a lot clearer.
    - Listen to what you truly want and chase it with reckless abandon. There are things you desire in this world; look for them and separate them from what others told you you should want. And once you find your own desires: never let them go.
  5. I Started — After all of that happened I decided I had to start somewhere. It really didn’t matter where as long as I did something. At that point in my life, anything was a step forward. I committed to writing 500 words for 365 days. At first, I started to write a book. But after about 10 pages worth of writing I lost all interest. Instead of clinging to the book I then switched and started to write Blog Posts. And, for some reason, that stuck with me. I knew I enjoyed writing and I wanted to help people so this was a great mix, and although I was horrible at it, I kept going (my first post was one 2-page long paragraph). I didn’t keep going for my readers or because I thought anything would develop from it; I kept going because I said I would. That needed to be enough.
    - Start somewhere, do it every day, and do it
    for yourself. No one is watching you, no one is controlling you; there is no one looking over your shoulder judging you. This is your time right now, so do it because you want to. But start! Don’t think too much about what and just start somewhere. Anywhere is good enough at first and something will develop, but you have to start to get there.
  6. I Improved — The last thing that I did was that I started to become active about making progress in my life. I went outside and talked to strangers, and to the women that sparked my interest. I learned about confidence, charisma, and self-improvement. I meditated, I journaled, and I tracked my habits. I began to work out and to treat myself and my body better. Within just 3 months I was a different person. Confident, more outgoing, and certain that I could do what I set out to do
  7. - Of course, you can sit in front of the TV all day but it will not change you. If you want to improve then you have to take responsibility and do it. There are thousands of ways to grow that are free for you to take, but you have to take them and apply them. Become active and responsible in your life. After all, you are the one that pays the consequences or reaps the rewards.
 

A Step-by-Step Process to Figuring Out What You Want In Life

Lukas Schwekendiek

Photo by Илья Мельниченко on Unsplash

Part 1: Brainstorming

  1. Find 15 minutes of Quiet Time.
  2. Get out a Pen and a Piece of Paper.
  3. Set a Timer for 10 Minutes.
  4. Start the Timer.
  5. Write down everything you want.
    All sentences must start with “I want…”
    DO NOT write the words “but”, “because”, or “if”.
    Keep the sentences as short as possible.
    It does not need to be possible or plausible.
  6. Stop writing only when the Timer goes off, not before.
  7. Review what you wrote down and circle everything that makes you feel something.
  8. That is your starting line.

Part 2: Experience

  1. Pick 3 Things you circled.
  2. Ask yourself what goal you want to reach in each of these things.
  3. Develop a habit that would if done daily, eventually get you to said goal.
  4. Bonus: Create some checkpoint goals along the way.
  5. Follow the habits for at least 90 days. Afterward you may exchange one habit for another if it no longer suits you

If you follow the steps listed above you will have a starting line for what you want to do with your life, as well as a testing method for each of them.

 

Obviously, this list will not include everything right away, nor will it remain a truthful list forever.

 

Things change, you change and your desires will change as well.

 

Therefore, you should follow these steps about once a month to see if what you want is still the same or if something new came along that makes you feel stronger.

Most of the time you will find out that what you have written down is in the right area, but it is not the exact thing you want.

That’s okay!

 

Keep pursuing the things you love and the ones that excite you so that you can start to narrow down that list to the few things that really matter.

 

When you run after the things you think you want, you will get a clearer image in your head about what it really is you do want.

 

It might take some time, but if you do this then you will know exactly what you want sooner or later!

The point of this exercise is to give you a general idea and a starting point, but most of the things you really want to do you will only find out in your pursuit of joy.