What We Need In An Era Of Accelerating Change !

We are, as we often hear, living in an age of transition. All over the world, there are massive changes that are shaking up millions of lives and virtually every industry. And not surprisingly, these changes are causing no shortage of pain and anxiety. But the answers we see being offered in our global conversation often don’t take into consideration the fact that people respond very differently to adversity. Some are overwhelmed by it, while others can grow through it. So what we all need in an era of accelerating change isn’t just new job skills, but deeper life skills–the ability to navigate not just sudden hardships that change our lives, but the process of constant change itself. 
Nobody is immune from the certainty of change. “I don’t know anyone who has been handed only roses,” Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant write in Option B. “We all encounter hardships.” But as they also write, the question is, “When these things happen, what do we do next?”
How you answer depends on your resilience, which Sheryl and Adam aptly define in the book as “the strength and speed of our response to adversity.” And as they also point out, science has proven that resilience isn’t fixed – it can be nurtured and it can grow. “It isn’t about having a backbone,” they wrote. “It’s about strengthening the muscles around our backbone.”
And one of the things that strengthens the muscles around our backbone is regularly recharging ourselves. For me, this became abundantly clear when I had so completely exhausted myself that, on the morning of April 6, 2007, I collapsed, hit my head on my desk, and found myself coming to in a pool of blood. Option B, as it always does, asserted itself. I was left with a broken cheekbone and several stitches over my eye. But I also learned a life-changing lesson. 

Looking back at my life, I could clearly see how often I had reacted emotionally to challenges, overreacted to the inevitable hardships of life, and all too often lived in a fight-or-flight state. So what I Iearned the hard way–why do we keep learning lessons the hard way?!–is that when I replenish my own resources I can get through these setbacks much faster. And we can all do this by, as Sheryl and Adam write, avoiding what psychologist Martin Seligman calls the three P’s: personalization–thinking that it’s our fault, pervasiveness–thinking that one event affects everything in our lives–and permanence–thinking that these temporary hardships will last forever. That is, if we’re always connected to our inner resources of strength and resilience, we can move much faster beyond blaming ourselves, assuming we’ll always feel bad and allowing the adversity, whatever it is, to permeate our whole lives. 

But lessons of resilience are not just about life’s big, painful challenges, but also about the everyday setbacks that throw us off completely disproportionately to their significance. People have meltdowns because their flight is delayed, or someone cut them off on the freeway.

 How we relate to these everyday petty challenges and how quickly we can embrace Option B dramatically transforms the quality of our lives.

Every day we have a thousand opportunities to stress out and lose it. But if we’ve taken care to replenish our resilience reserves–to sleep, to breathe, to put things in perspective–we don’t. And that’s good, because there are going to come times of real crisis–divorce, illness, losing a job, or, as Sheryl writes about, losing a spouse. And that’s when we really need our resilience. 

“Tragedy does not have to be personal, pervasive, or permanent, but resilience can be,” write Sheryl and Adam. “We can build it and carry it with us throughout our lives.”
And as the pace of change itself accelerates in the coming years, building and carrying that resilience is going to be more important than ever. And the more we practice building our resilience muscle in our daily lives–being mindful about dealing with small setbacks–the better positioned we’ll be to deal with the big ones. Which, as Sheryl and Adam say, will surely come. “Life is never perfect,” they write. “We all live some form of Option B.”
So make sure you choose Option A for dealing with Option B. Prioritize your well-being, even when you think you don’t need to. Take care of yourself because at some point, we all inevitably need to.

Founder and CEO at Thrive Global

Arianna Huffington

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Six Steps To Downsizing

Downsizing a home can lead to lots of stress and anxiety for anyone who loves their belongings but hates living in clutter. Seniors, empty nesters or people moving from a suburban home to a city apartment all face the challenge of creating a new living space with limited room for furniture, accessories, clothes and collectibles. But if you come up with a plan before you downsize, you can create a comfortable and stylish environment made for daily living.

Here are six tips for organizing and/or downsizing your life to live comfortably in a cozier space.

TIP 1: Plan ahead

Don’t wait to make decisions. Start planning your downsizing early and set goals. For couples and families, make sure everyone is on the same page to eliminate conflicts and hurt feelings down the road.

TIP 2: Determine your lifestyle needs

It helps to ask yourself some questions. Think about what lifestyle you want to embrace as you move forward, suggests professional organizer Mary Dykstra, CPO, president elect for NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and owner of Within Reach Organizing Services.

Do you have room for oversized furniture in your new space?

If you are moving, how much smaller is your new home?

Do you feel you should keep something just because you spent a lot of money for it?

TIP 3: Find purpose

“The biggest issue is people don’t edit,” says designer Jane Hamilton of JAC Interiors. “They want to bring too much stuff with them and don’t realize every little corner should have a purpose or function. With some planning, a shelf can become your whole home office or a corner becomes an art studio.”

“Be conscious of what you let into your mind, life and environment, and how you choose to spend your time and resources moving forward,” says Dykstra. “This is the secret to feeling whole and living well.”

Regarding sentimental items, take photographs of your old home and belongings to preserve memories. This can be especially helpful for children who don’t want to let go of an old stuffed animal or dolls.

TIP 4: Keep clutter out

Edit your technology. Use a printer that connects to Wi-Fi to eliminate extra cables and choose a TV that mounts to the wall, so you don’t need a media center that takes up valuable floor space.

Use smart storage solutions in your smaller space. For example, a table cloth can re-purpose an older table and give you a way to “hide” things from plain sight. Or use a piece of your china collection that seems too large to store as a pencil holder in your home office or for makeup storage in your bathroom.

TIP 5: Think quality and multipurpose

Hamilton says you need to go for quality over quantity. Choose a great piece of furniture that makes a statement, instead of trying to squeeze too many pieces into a single room.

If you’re investing in new furniture when you downsize, choose multipurpose furniture pieces. Go for nightstands with open and closed storage and ottomans with tops that lift to offer space inside for blankets or extra pillows.

Look for durable fabrics, since a smaller home often requires flexible spaces that have to do double duty as an office, extra bedroom or playspace.

TIP 6: When in doubt, get an objective opinion

Accept help in sorting and packing your belongings. Consider hiring a professional organizer who can offer an objective opinion when you’re trying to decide what you really need to eliminate or donate to charity.

10 steps to make the most of every day

“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things.” – Booker T. Washington
Our lives are a large collection of single days one right after the other. The sun rises, the sun sets, and it rises again. And in the end, the lives we chose to live will be determined by how we choose to spend each day.

Unfortunately, for most of my life, I embraced little intentionality in my days. I survived each new day, but made little effort to make the most of it. Instead, they simply just came and went… and many were wasted.

But over the past few years, my views have changed. I have begun to view each day as an important gift. I have sought to embrace each one individually and discover the potential that it holds. After all, some may get more days than others, but each of us have been given this one. And we ought to be making the most of it.

Here are 10 simple steps I have personally found helpful to make the most of every day:

1. Rise early. It was this article about becoming an early riser that motivated me to make this significant change in my sleeping habits. And I’ve never looked back. Early mornings are quiet, peaceful, productive, energizing… and my favorite part of the day.

 2. Eat right. The food we put into our bodies becomes the fuel on which it runs. We are wise to make sure it is the right kind of fuel at every meal. Just be sure to include some protein in your breakfast, your mind will be sharper and clearer because of it.

3. Exercise. According to recent studies, people who exercise regularly report to be happier, calmer, and better equipped to handle whatever the day decides to throw at them. Interestingly enough, the study seemed to indicate these benefits were experienced on a day-to-day basis, which means you can begin to experience them today by choosing to exercise just 20 minutes.

4. Accomplish one big task. We all have projects, work, and requirements for our time – things that we need to accomplish. Likely, your to-do list is longer than you can accomplish in one day. But to make the most of this day, choose one big thing on your list and do it first. If you finish, move on to the next.

5. Do one thing that you love. Apart from the day-to-day requirements of living life, you have dreams, goals, and hopes. You have hobbies that you love and activities that breathe life into who you are. Embrace these life-giving opportunities. And do one thing every day that you love.

6. Rest effectively. Rest is as essential to our bodies as food and water and air. Our bodies need to be refreshed on a daily basis and a weekly basis. Don’t neglect to schedule rest. And don’t feel guilty about it when you do.

7. Be present with others. Put away distractions. Engage in conversation. Ask questions. Give time for answers. And look people in the eye when you do. Their eyes reveal far more than their words.

8. Give to someone else. Your fullest joy in life will not be found living it selfishly for yourself. Rather, the periods of greatest joy and fulfillment are found in the moments and motivations when we are choosing to give to others. Invest your life in someone else everyday. Mentor a child. Help a co-worker. Fund a local charity. Or just make that phone call to a friend who needs to hear from you.

9 Nurture your soul. Our lives are more than flesh and blood. They are also mind and heart and soul. Find time each day to feed your soul by embracing gratitude, laughter, hope, and faith.

10. Reset. Tomorrow is another day with great potential and opportunity. You’ll want to begin it with a clear slate and a fresh start. Take 10 minutes each evening to clear the clutter and refresh your home for the next day. Tomorrow’s self will thank you for it.

Today is among the greatest gifts we have ever been given. Let’s use it wisely and refuse to waste a single one.
 JOSHUA BECKER