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Be Inspired

Simple ways to practice gratitude   

Gratitude is such a powerful emotion which can give a more optimistic view towards life. Yet so few of us practice it on a daily basis. Things tend to get a tad too complicated, and we want to change that, creating a positive attitude towards the practice of gratitude .

Practicing gratitude is often dismissed, because it involves too much commitment. Like writing a journal every day, that´s not for everyone. Nevertheless, there are simpler ways to make gratitude a part of everyday life. But let us first consider why we should practice more gratitude:

  • It can help us lessen our longings for more all the time. Creating more awareness to what you have, not what you want.
  • It strengthens relationships, reduces stress and makes us in general more appreciative.
  • It sets things in perspective and helps us see the goodness in what we usually take for granted.

So, how do we practice gratitude? Let´s start simple, because why make small, positive things so damn complicated, right?

  • Tell someone you love them.
  • Nurture your friendships. Maybe time to book in a friend-date or tell a friend that you appreciate him or her.
  • Smile more often. The power of a smile is truly underrated!
  • Be kind, always. Include an act of kindness in your daily routines.
  • See the growth opportunity in your mistakes.
  • Be thankful when you learn something new.

Small, but effective steps. Notice your life from a point of gratitude and you will quickly see how it will affect you in a positive way.

By: Henriette Danielsen

Be Inspired

The road to success

Success; something many of us dream about and work very hard for. But achieving it is a totally different story and often involves a long and bumpy road.

It is in fact a topic that has been equally discussed by experts, older and younger, men and women. Some argue that only talent and hard work lead to success, some that the factor of happiness is crucial, some that the story of every successful person is unique and different.

In this article, I will share some factors I think can ease your way to success. Nevertheless, don’t forget to enjoy whatever you do, because the greatest success in my opinion is to be happy.

Now let´s take a closer look:

Having a clear and defined goal
We should know how, why and in what way we will achieve our goal. We all have many different desires, but often our goals aren’t clearly defined and therefore we don’t know how to achieve these desires. Without a defined goal, we don’t know in which direction to go and our vision becomes unclear. The success criterion is always the achievement of the goal we set.

Positive motivation
With a clear defined goal, motivation grows, which drives us and makes us work towards achieving our goal. Unfortunately, we are often ambivalent when it comes to the goals we have chosen. We want something and at the same time we are afraid of it, and this will affect our reduction of positive motivation. What more affects the reduction of positive motivation is the fair of failure. Fair of failure occurs when we identify ourselves with the goal and create a pressure that is expressed through fear. Positive motivation is growing with the reduction of fear of failure so stick to positivity!

Many say that persistence this is the key factor to success. Persistence implies that we don’t give up when we are confronted by obstacles, but instead we are making extra efforts to overcome them. When we really want something, we are persistent and we work long and hard, until we succeed. Being persistent doesn’t mean the same as being stubborn though. Stubbornness is resistance in a negative direction, opposed to persistence.

To avoid being stubborn and persistent in something that doesn’t bring us profit, we need to be flexible. For success in life we need to constantly grow and develop, adapt to new circumstances and changes. This is necessary because the whole world around us constantly changes and if we are not ready to follow it, we will not succeed in the long run.

That means willingness to take risks. Success always involve risk. So, the bigger the goal is, the greater the risk will be. The willingness to risk implies that we can rationally assess the risk even when we feel fear and uncertainty. Courage doesn’t imply the absence of fear, but precisely the opposite, it means you are ready to make rational decisions and take action when it is the riskiest. Here also flexibility comes to expression. It is sometimes wise to think carefully and give yourself enough time for important decisions and sometimes it needs to be an impulsive reaction. Risk strategies should be customized in line with the given situation.

These are just some of the factors that can ease our way to success. If this interests you I recommend you to listen to some of these amazing TED Talks to learn more about what success is and the road to getting there.

 By: Sonja Josipovic / Photo cred:

Be Inspired

One bad day doesn’t make a bad life

Sometimes when the rain is pouring, it´s important to remember that there is sunshine hiding behind those clouds. And it’s going to shine again.

We all have those days. The ones when nothing goes your way and staying in bed under the blanket might be the best thing to do. Sometimes it’s easier to deal with and other times it can be a real nightmare. But, no matter how bad things may be, it is always important to remember that it’s just a phase, and like anything else in life, it too shall pass.

From stress, to hormones, and things not working out as you hoped, there are many factors that can turn your mood sour. A bad meeting, not getting the job you wanted, traffic jam, family drama, heartbreak – the list can go on and on. Some days it may be none of it. Maybe you are just in your PMS or the Mercury is retrograde and you are not feeling it.

When the bad mood sets in, be extra kind to yourself

When the bad mood comes, with or without a specific cause, it is crucial to be extra kind to yourself. Instead of being harsh, try to be your own best friend. Play your favourite song, treat yourself to some ice-cream, light some candles, get a glass of wine or do whatever it is that gets you to relax.

Cry it out if that helps, or call your best friend and confidant that you know will listen to you and try to cheer you up. Sometimes just talking it out can do wonders. Be extra attentive to yourself and give it some time.

Even when the bad day stretches into two or three, just know that it all must end and better days are awaiting just around the corner.

By: Ivona Josipovic

Be Inspired

The strive for perfection

Surely you have called or heared somebody be called a perfectionist? This is often taken as a compliment, but in the tendency of perfectionism actually hides insecurity, shame and negative self-image.

Perfectionism is the unrealistic aspiration of a person to be perfect, especially in those aspects of life that are important to him or her. Such a person is chronically burdened by his/hers behaviours.

Perfectionists are never satisfied with themselves, no matter how much success he or she has achieved and how many compliments they may have received. Despite all the efforts and good results, they strive for more. Perfectionists aren’t suitable for team work either, since they don’t trust anyone and always doubt others competence, always convinced that only they can do the work properly.

Nobody is perfect! That’s the truth we all know so well.

At the core of perfectionism there is an attempt by a person who tries to compensate the negative image of themselves. With a thought of being worth enough if only they achieve whatever goal they have set. Unfortunately, no matter how successful and good a perfectionist might be, he or she will never feel better because of just that.

So, what can you do? First of all, perfectionists don’t want to change this tendency, so its important to work towards strengthening the positive self image and accepting and overcoming shame. Working on these aspects helps a person to get rid of the need to do everything perfectly.

Nobody is perfect! That’s the truth we all know so well. And, of course, it’s okay to try to be good at everything we do, but not always strive for perfection when we all know that it does not exist. Do your best and that is more than good enough.

 By: Sonja Josipovic

Be Inspired

Building up self-confidence

Failures and negative experiences are big challenges for our self-confidence. The good news is that self-confidence can be rebuilt.

It doesn’t happen overnight and it takes energy and patience. We need to say goodbye to old habits and start developing new ones. Negative thinking is the biggest obstacle to building self-confidence. Recognising negative thoughts and turning them into productive positive ones requires a lot of commitment, but is a necessary effort.

Listing our qualities instead of our flaws is a very good exercise. If our self-confidence is already strongly shaken up, we will often have difficulties coming up with qualities or we will feel anxiety or shyness when writing. In that case, it helps to turn to family members, friends or colleagues, who will be quick to remind us how many wonderful qualities there we possess. When our list is finished, a tip is to read it often in order to train our positive memory!

A lack of self-confidence can be a passing phase in our lives which, with a little effort and work, can be conquered. All we have to do is remind ourselves of how much good we really have in us. By being patience and working on yourself you will become a person who radiates self-confidence.

By: Sonja Josipovic / Photo cred: iStock 

Be Inspired

Learn to love Mondays

Not everyone is jazzed about Mondays, and for some it seems pretty unrealistic to look forward to the first day of the week. Let´s do something about that.

Dread Mondays and that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Love Mondays and Mondays will love you back. It´s as simple as that (ok, ok, don´t kill me quite yet!)  Here are some great and simple ways to inject some fun into your Monday, making it a good one.

Get organized
Most of us are usually in a hurry getting out of the office on a Friday afternoon, leaving a lot of loose ends that are left to be picked up Monday morning. By organizing your desk, write a to-do- list, highlight the projects you need to work on and answer all emails, coming in on Monday mornings feels more enjoyable.

Dress up
Dress up in your favorite clothes and/or accessories and feel like a million bucks all day long. Never underestimate the power of some red lipstick and high heels (or a tie and nice suit for that matter).

Monday morning playlist
Music people, there is little more motivating than that. Put together a feel-good playlist and blast the music in the morning. It will definitely get your mood up.

Get your body moving
Endorphins my friend, enough said. And what better way to start the week then “getting the workout over with”. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment AND you will get tons of energy and get in the right mood to tackle the day.

Plan something fun
Pack your favorite lunch, meet a friend for an early breakfast, plan an awesome activity after work or just go home and cook a nice dinner and drink a glass of wine. By planning something fun you give yourself a little something to look forward to, making Mondays a little less hard to handle.

It may seem like nothing, but give it a go and see if it helps. Monday is here and it is time to sparkle and shine peeps!

By: Henriette Danielsen  

Be Inspired

Sprinkle the love

Having a bad day? What better way to brighten it than receiving some good vibes from the people around you? Or even better; spread some positive vibes yourself.

There is little out there making me happier than seeing people sprinkling some love. Except dogs, dogs make me all mushy and in love. Nevertheless, my point is; simple acts of kindness, like smiling at others, helping a stranger or hold the door for someone, are small actions that do not require great power, but that can give so much to those who receive.  And being compassionate does not only benefit others, it is also good for your own health. It actually improves your mood too.

So here are five simple, yet impactful ideas how you can sprinkle some love and emit good vibrations:

Greet people
“Hey, I already do that”, you might think! A basic rule of courtesy, right? I am not only talking about greeting your partner, colleague or friend. I am talking about your neighbour, the busman, the old lady in the line at the bakery. Most of us are so stressed or so lost in our phones, we often don’t even notice the people around us. So, lift your head and greet people with either a warm look, a soft smile or a loud “good morning”.

Always smile to the people you meet. Whether it is a stranger walking by you in the street or the stressed man at the post office. A smile always creates positive feelings and is very contagious! And we´re not talking a polite, half ass smile, I am talking about the kind of smile that makes the corner of your eyes crinkle slightly and your lips curl upwards. What the heck, why not go crazy and even laugh a little.

Applaud others
Applaud the achievements of others! Impressed by your colleagues Power Point presentation? Tell him/her. Did your friend get an A on his/her assignment, take a round of applause. By applauding the achievements of others, you make others feel appreciated and seen, which in return generates a positive feeling.

Listen without interrupting
Ever been to a meeting and a colleague or your boss interrupts you, mid-sentence? Or been at a social gathering, eagerly sharing a story, when suddenly somebody interrupts you?  I think if we are honest with ourselves, we can find times we even did that to others too. Learn to listen without interrupting. It makes a person feel good and important, which again creates a positive vibe.

Share genuine compliments
See a lady at the store in a nice dress, tell her! Envy someone’s beautiful hair, tell them. Meet someone who has a cute dog (yep, sorry can’t seem to let the dog go), compliment them on their cutie pie. Buy a coffee at the coffee shop and think it tastes good, tell the barista. Complimenting someone is so simple, yet we do it so little. At least to strangers.

So, greet the day and sprinkle some love! The world definitely needs more of it <3

PS; You rock!

By: Henriette Danielsen