How To Smile

Have you noticed that when people relax in their facial muscles then the corners of the mouth turn downwards? That often happens when you are very concentrated about something and it is quite natural, but think about if it is suitable for the situation. When the corners of the mouth turn downwards you look grumpy and distant. It does not mean that you are grumpy and distant but the world around you will perceive you like that.

If you feel depressed you do not feel like smiling, but do it anyway because smiling will make you feel better. People around you will seem more kind and happy to see you. If you have to ask someone about something, then who would you rather ask, they grumpy one or the smiling one? If you want other people to care for you, to notice you, to do something for you or to listen to you, then smile and you will get all that. Your smile will make other people happy and they will return the smile and make you happy.

You can smile by turning your corners of the mouth up a bit. They do not have to turn upwards, just make them at least straight. It does not take much effort; practise this in front of the mirror and you will see the massive change it makes to your face and attitude. You also have to pull the muscles at the corners of your eyes, just a little bit. It does not take much energy or effort, just practise this in front of the mirror and be aware of your smile when you are among other people.

I will give you two exercises that helped me:

  1. Do 100 smiles in front of the mirror every day. You need to tighten the muscles completely. It makes you look funny, but I will strengthen the muscles you need to smile.
  2. Collect smiles: Walk through town and catch peoples eyes while you turn your muscles a bit to straight or upward. Notice how many will smile back at you and notice the feeling inside yourself. It will give you self-confidence.

Are You Ready For Success?

To get something you need to know what you really want. If you go to a store you do not buy random items, you go to the store because you have a need for a specific item. You pick up the item and go to the counter because you have to pay for that item. Logically you need money to pay and if you do not have money then you cannot buy the item. Your money is part of your foundation; it is your economical foundation.

Thus, to get something; to reach a goal, there are certain parts of your personal foundation that need to be stable first. There are different parts in you foundation that you constantly need to work on. If your overall foundation is unstable then you risk that the foundation will crack and you will not reach your goals. Imagine that you need to buy something in a store and you have to walk five kilometres to get there; if your legs are too weak they cannot carry you and you will not be able to get to the store.

These examples are simple but the same goes for everything you want in life. First of all you have to fortify yourself in both body and mind. Then you have to figure out what you really want in life and where to get it. Split your wants into small easy goals and reach them one by one while you constantly work on fortifying yourself.

To fortify yourself you have to exercise to get stronger; you have to think about nutrition to rebuild you body; you need proper rest to be focused. These are the basics of you personal core foundation. Take a test to see if your mental foundation is stable and see what you can do to get it stronger.

How To Exercise

If you want to keep your body tuned to overcome the daily challenges successfully, then make your exercise schedule comply with the rules of thumb I have set up below. Keep in mind that vacuuming, taking the stairs or working is not exercise. I agree that doing your daily activities is much better than sitting in your armchair doing nothing, but it is just not enough if you want a body for success.

If you want to stay in shape and be vital then you need to exercise all your life; make exercise part of your lifestyle. You need to exercise all aspects of your body.

  1. Exercise 3-4 times a week
  2. Vary your training
  3. Focus each training pass on cardio workout, strength training or stretching.
  4. Do specialised training (e.g. swimming technique or rowing or martial arts) Specialised training will help you setting and reaching goals.
  5. Meditate
  6. Be consistent – attend training even if you do not feel up to it. Usually you will feel better during or after training.
  7. Read and philosophise to exercise your brain.
  8. Have fun exercising (e.g. play games)

I attend swimming twice a week and go to the fitness centre as often as possible and I run 7 km once a week. I can recommend the fitness centre because it offers different work out classes that makes it easy to vary training.

If you are thinking: “I do not have time for all that” or “I am to tired to do all that exercise” – then it is time for you to get started because you will realise that you will get the time and energy to do it. You will feel more energetic and efficient in your daily routines.

Exercise prevents heart disorders, stress, workplace injuries and mental disorders.


How To Get An Attitude For Success

Your attitude is the most important factor to your success. People judge your actions by your attitude and no matter how good you are at something you will not succeed unless you have an attitude that is accepted by other people. I once had a teacher in English, he was very good at English but he was always angry; he yelled at the pupils all the time accusing them for being lazy. The result was that we did not make our homework and we all got bad grades.

Later in life I had different jobs but usually people were not happy with me and I did not understand why because I was so good at doing the job. I realised what was wrong when a project manager at a cultural initiative faced me said it straight to me: “Erik! I do not like your attitude!” I quit the job and felt extremely hurt but actually he helped me. It was my attitude that hindered my success.

I took this experience and learned from it. Later I started my own business and to have an income the first couple of years I took an extra job on the side. At a glance it looked like a boring job, but I decided that I would keep a positive attitude and be happy about everything at that job. No matter how silly and stupid things I had to do I chose to do it with an exaggerated positive attitude. I thought to myself that it did not matter if things were boring it was not a job where I needed to succeed – but I did! It turned out that no matter how bad things are, they will not fire me and they were always happy to see me. I had managed to change more than I could ever imagine even though I did not try to.

People want to listen to people with an engaged and positive attitude. Thus, if you want success: Be happy and positive about absolutely everything! You will discover that your attitude will affect your own perception as well.

How To Sleep

Your body regenerates during sleep and to optimise your sleep I have set up a simple sleeping guide. The body needs sleep on certain hours of the day to feel re-energised and to function well on the day that follows. I do not believe in such thing as B-persons or A-persons; if you live a well-balanced life and have a solid foundation, you will go to sleep at 22.00 – 23.00  (i.e. 10pm – 11pm) and wake up at 06.00 – 07.00 (6am – 7am). If that does not apply for you then there is something in your life that is out of balance.

The body follows a natural cycle that is connected to other natural cycles (e.g. night and day). When it is dark the body rests and when there is light it awakes. The body has a gland that can detects night and day; it is called the pineal gland and it produces melatonin that is important to prevent a number of disorders (e.g. cancer, ADHD, Alzheimer, migraines etc.)

The liver is also in need of rest at night in order to process proteins. If it is disturbed it will not do a proper job and you will not re-energise. If you fail to get a proper sleep your body will degenerate because of the many functions of the liver.

  1. Do not consume proteins after 19.00 (7pm)
  2. Go to bed no later than 23.00 (11pm)
  3. Get up no later than 07.00 (7am)
  4. Sleep in total darkness and quietude
  5. Exercise and eat healthy during the day

It is important to keep this cycle – also in weekends and on days off!

Food for thought: We spend one third of our life in bed but how much time do you spend in your car? How much did you pay for your car and how much did you spend on your bed?