13 Common Life Problems And How To Fix Them

Heon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack Read full profile

In life, we encounter problems as we breathe. But it doesn’t get to us until we feel a major impact, and that’s when it becomes a source of concern, hurt, or sorrow.

Life problems, depending on their magnitude, can be clogs in the wheel of progress, and we may not be able to attain our full potential if we don’t learn to place our problems in the proper perspectives as suggested in Robert Schuller’s Tough Times Never Last.

In this article, I have identified some common areas where you will most likely face problems as you make progress towards reaching your full life potential. I have also suggested practical approaches in handling, managing, and solving such problems.

1. Financial Crisis

We live in an uncertain world and a financial crisis may come at different stages of life. While you should always anticipate and prepare for a financial crisis, it may still catch you off guard or the magnitude may be far more than any preparation you have made over the years.

It could be that you lost your job or a major investment, got slammed with a lawsuit that threatens your savings, or have your livelihood be affected by a major disaster. So what do you do when you are in a financial mess?


To overcome a financial crisis, you will have to come to terms with the crisis. Acknowledge and accept the situation and begin recovery by setting your financial priorities right.

The next thing to do is to identify the cause of the crisis. If it’s due to a job loss, then your effort should be directed at getting a new job. If it is having multiple debts, look for ways to consolidate your debt so that your monthly debt repayment can be consolidated into one instead of being burdened with multiple payments.

You can also sell some of your assets to raise money to save the situation, or look for a better job if you are earning less at your current job. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends if you need to.

2. Health Crisis

Another major problem that might come up in your life is a health crisis. This is not far-fetched because our body systems work round-the-clock, even when we are sleeping. As a result of this, and if you don’t maintain routine health habits, health deterioration might begin to set in. Things might even get serious if you don’t attend to it early.


When you are facing a major health crisis, the first thing to do is to consider lifestyle changes. This includes cutting down on junks, eating healthy diets, exercising, breathing fresh air, taking some sun, etc.

Apart from the lifestyle changes, you have to seek quality medical help and make sure you get different opinions about the state of your health so you can get the best affordable care.

3. Relationship, Marriage, and Family

There may not be anything as sweet as love and family life, but it can also be the source of pain for some. Human imperfections in a relationship can cause a major crisis in life. This has been a stumbling block to many on their path to fulfillment.


The best thing to do is to prevent relationship problems from happening, but if they do happen, you need to face reality and begin to take steps towards addressing them. Do your best to keep the lines of communication open as this can help in strengthening your struggling relationship. Talk about the challenges with your partner and look for common grounds.

You can also arrange to see a counselor together or read books that address the specific challenges you are facing. The worst thing you can do is to end a relationship and that’s only when you have exhausted all other options.

4. Workplace

The workplace is supposed to be a place where we dutifully render the services for which we’ve been hired.

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However, it is not impossible to face animosity at work—dealing with toxic people who would rather not see any good in what you do. It might be caused by differences in background, attitudes, and unhealthy competition that can result in personal conflicts. This can create undue stress and reduce productivity.


Be as professional as possible when dealing with toxic people. Be kind and show understanding, and try to avoid personal confrontation.

You can even try to reach out to the persons and invite them over for a coffee and get to understand their worldview. This can help you to connect with them at their level so that you can avoid unnecessary stress for yourself.

5. Career Pressure

In your quest to become more successful, you will likely encounter work-related pressure. Such can come when trying to stabilize your career or climb the career ladder. It can also come as a result of overworking and having no life. Career pressure is one of the most common life problems.

Sometimes, it may be that the promotion you are working hard to get is not coming or positions you are qualified for are being offered to others. The pressure can get more intense when you find that most of your colleagues are moving ahead of you.


Check to find if you have personal or attitudinal problems. Some attitudinal problems can put you at a disadvantaged end. It may be poor communication, poor personal grooming, or poor relationship and networking skills. If it is any of these problems, then work on improving yourself in those areas.

You can also observe your colleagues who are succeeding and take note of what they are doing differently.

6. Unfair Treatment

We are in a world where some people often think they have some privileges over others and may want to exercise this thinking and treat others unfairly. If you find yourself in an environment where you are being oppressed or treated badly because of your race, gender, or current status, this can make you feel really bad and can also affect your psyche and productivity.


There is the temptation to decry your treatment, defend yourself, and demand a change immediately, but you should really wait for the right opportunity to do that.

When the time is right, reach out directly to the person or authority involved, and make it private. Meanwhile, you should be factual about the instances of your unfair treatments. Don’t just say it that you are being treated badly; give several undeniable instances.

Once you’ve made your grievances known politely, keep being you. If things don’t change, you can cocoon yourself in that environment. If you have an option to leave, you can do so as well.

7. Emptiness and Boredom

When you are in a rut, everything becomes normal, dull, unproductive, and yet difficult to change. This can lead to feelings of emptiness and boredom. This may not seem like a serious life problem, but it can have a great impact on your life.


To overcome boredom and emptiness, break out of your routines, and deliberately create a new experience for yourself. If you can’t leave your job to find a new one, start doing other things that reflect your true passion. Sometimes, the things that give us the needed drive in life are not our day jobs.

8. Confusion

Confusion is described as a change in mental status in which a person is not able to think with their usual level of clarity.[1]. It is inherent in forgetfulness and lack of concentration.

It can be caused by different things including medical and environmental factors. It can also be due to the experience of a loss, a heartbreak, or abuse.


Don’t allow the situation to deteriorate into something more serious. Try to snap out of whatever experiences you have had that is causing confusion. Seek medical help if necessary or talk to a psychologist.

9. Friendship Problems

We need friends in our lives to rob minds and hang out together and even help us when we run into trouble. But many people have found themselves in serious trouble as a result of the company of friends they keep. They’ve experienced jealousy, backstabbing, and betrayal of trust. Some friends have even used the information freely provided in times of friendship to betray trust.

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Don’t open up on everything to friends. Keep some information only to yourself. If you notice that a friend is working against you, confront them with the truth. Limit your interaction with them or get rid of such toxic friends completely.

10. Haunting Past

We all have pasts, and we might have done some crazy stuff in the past before we begin to live a more civilized and decent life. But sometimes, the past comes back haunting. It’s even worse when life problems of the past haunt you back and become problems of the present.

It may be that what you have done is now striking your conscience, keeping you awake at night. Or someone who knows about it is trying to use it against you, and it is standing in the way of your progress.


Be true to yourself and forgive yourself. If it is an issue with another person, you can reach out to the person to settle with them. If it is a secret that is now being leaked out, own up to it, take responsibility, and move on.

11. Safety and Security

You may find yourself in an environment where there have been unexplained murder, gun violence, police brutality, insurgencies, and other life-threatening situations. This can make you feel like you might be the next victim. What should you do in this situation?


Ensure that you watch where you go and keep your home secure. You can also get involved in a neighborhood community watch to collectively find solutions to the threat. If the situation persists, you can move to a more secure location.

12. Failure

Failure can bring disappointment and can also slow the pace of progress. But failure is also part of life, and we have to learn to deal with it. But what do you do when an experience of failure weighs you down?


You can read a book or biography to get inspired by other people’s success stories.

13. Grief

No one loves to grief but we can’t totally shield ourselves from it. The loss of a loved one is painful and, if not properly handled, can lead to an emotional breakdown.


Take your time to express emotions. You can also pen an emotional tribute to the individual. Writing can help us bring out the feelings that cannot be expressed otherwise, and it helps us breathe a sigh of relief.

You can also cope with your grief by helping them to realize some of their unfulfilled dreams or do something in their honor. Lastly, while you think about your loss, you will still have to move on, accepting the fact that life is transient.

The Bottom Line

Problems are what make life worth living. They help us adapt to become tougher as we adapt to different situations. Always remember that whatever problem you are facing has a solution or, at least, a manageable approach.

Therefore, never allow your challenges to stop you from fulfilling your true potentials in life.

How Helping People Affects Your Brain

Research shows why it’s physically better for us to give than receive.Helping others impacts brain activity in ways that promote better physical health. Getty Images

Thanksgiving is an important time of year for Amy de la Fuente.

Her grandmother passed away on the holiday so it’s a tradition for the 26-year-old’s entire family to come together in Santa Ana, California, and honor her memory.

Yet, de la Fuente made a conscious decision to skip Thanksgiving this year. Instead, she spent the holiday helping survivors of California’s devastating Camp Fire.

As a volunteer for the American Red Cross, de la Fuente registered shelter residents at the Butte County Fairgrounds and loaded supplies… for two exhausting weeks.

And when an elderly woman whose oxygen tank was malfunctioning grabbed de la Fuente and begged her, “Please, don’t leave me,” she knew just what to say.

“I put my hand on top of hers and told her, ‘I’m not going anywhere,’” de la Fuente remembered.

“What I do might not change the world,” de la Fuente said, “but at least one person’s world will be changed.”

However, it’s volunteers like de la Fuente who are changed the most in these moments.

While being the recipient of a gift — be it a holiday bonus, new computer, or glitter macaroni necklace your kindergartner made just for you — feels awesome, research shows it truly is better to give than receive.

How your brain lights up when you help

During a recent study, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh gave 45 volunteers an option: They could complete a task that benefited themselves, a charity, or a particular friend in need.

Afterwards, a brain scan showed a noticeable — and fascinating — difference based on their choice.

Not only did the participants who chose to help a particular person display increased activity in two “reward centers” of their brain, but they had decreased activity in three other regions that help inform the body’s physical response to stress through blood pressure and inflammation.

A second study from the University of Pittsburgh, this time utilizing nearly 400 volunteers who were asked to self-report their “giving” habits, showed similar results.

“Humans are born especially vulnerable and dependent on others,” explained Tristen Inagaki, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh who led both studies. “As a result, we require a prolonged period of intense caregiving following birth in order to survive.”

That instinctive desire to help others may depend on those specific areas of the brain. They guarantee more supportive behavior.

“The same mechanisms that ensure giving to others may also contribute to the long-term health effects we see from giving,” said Inagaki.

And there are plenty.

People who volunteer get sick less often and live longer.

Helping has also been shown to improve a person’s self-esteem, foster a rosier view of the world, decrease risky or problematic behaviors, and stave off depression.

Plus, the more you help others, the more you want to keep helping.

“Helping others takes the mind and emotions off the self, allowing the mind to move past anxieties and rumination,” said Stephen G. Post, PhD, director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. “Even when helping others as only external action, our emotions over time tend to shift to joy and kindness, especially with good role models.”

This isn’t news for David Braverman.

The 73-year-old retired market research executive used to consider volunteering but didn’t feel he had the time.

However, an acquaintance persisted and eventually Braverman found himself visiting patients at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center for up to four hours every Monday.

“At first, I’m sure it was more about my ego: ‘Look at what I am doing for others,’” Braverman admitted. “However, it very quickly became about the people I was visiting, making smile, doing small deeds for, and just being company to others who don’t have visitors.”

It’s been over four years now and “I’ve met some of the most wonderful people of all faiths, cultures, and races,” said Braverman. “I’ve shared stories and talks about food, sports, literature, travel, and even religion. I’ve learned about my Judaism from Catholic nuns and priests. I’ve learned and talked about Islam with some. I’ve heard firsthand about living in the inner city of Baltimore.”

The bottom line, said Braverman, is “while I do think I bring something to those I visit, it turns out that in fact, it’s about me leaving the hospital on Mondays feeling better than when I get there in the morning.”

“So,” he adds, “I guess it is about me after all.”Helping has also been shown to improve a person’s self-esteem, foster a rosier view of the world, decrease risky or problematic behaviors, and stave off depression. Getty Images

What makes a “giver”

About one-third of people take to [giving] behavior “like a duck to water,” said Post, who is also author of “Why Good Things Happen to Good People.” “Genetic set points, psycho-social-environmental factors, and one’s own attitudes all come into play.”

For instance, while children have strong empathic tendencies, “adverse childhood experiences can repress this tendency, but good parenting styles and role models enhance it,” he noted.

Being kind can be learned, too.

“It’s all about transmission, about passing the torch from one person to the next with lots of attention given to observed details like tone of voice, facial expression, minor actions, [being] present, and listening,” Post noted.

For the past 3 years, Kerrie Klein, 48, has volunteered for the National Runaway Safeline, offering help to youth in crisis who call, email, or connect via online chat.

“When someone’s feeling overwhelmed, they might not be able to see clearly what to do next — I know I’ve felt like that in my life at times,” said the Chicago resident. “Sometimes all it takes is having someone listen and help talk you through the options available, to be able to see which way to go forward.”

How she feels after her weekly two-hour shift: “Fulfilled.”

“When you feel like you’ve helped someone, it’s the best feeling in the world,” said Klein. “I can be having the worst day and not want to come into the call center, but sometimes helping someone else gives me clarity about my own challenges.”

Volunteering “gives me a different perspective on what really matters,” Klein explained. “It also makes me more motivated in other areas of life — to stop and take time with people in my life, and take care of my own health. And it’s definitely helped me to listen more to others, which is important.”

“I don’t want to look back and feel like I didn’t take any action to make the world a better place,” added Klein. “One person can make a difference, and I want to be one of those people.”

How you, too, can help

In our crazy-busy lives, time is a precious commodity. Which begs the question: Is simply pressing a “Donate Now” button online as beneficial as “boots on the ground” volunteering?

“Studies do show an effect on the mesolimbic [“reward”] pathway and degrees of increased happiness through making a donation, or even thinking about it, actually,” Post said, “but the giver needs to be thinking kindly and not just filling in a number.”

In other words, envisioning how your $20 will help put Hatchimals under the Christmas tree for kids who desperately want them — not zoning out like you do when you pay your monthly bills.

Still, despite your shortage of time, consider lending a hand this holiday season.

If you’re not sure where to begin, Points of Light and VolunteerMatch can connect you with local causes. Kids That Do Good, an online database founded by kids, lists local, regional, and national volunteer opportunities that are appropriate for children. And the Red Cross relies on volunteers to carry out 90 percent of their humanitarian work.

“Sometimes we can be overly concerned with ways that other people help us or about what we’re getting out of any given situation,” Inagaki said.

But by helping others, she points out, we truly help ourselves.


Are you someone who likes to grow? Do you constantly seek to improve yourself and become better?

If you do, then we have something in common.

I’m very passionate about personal growth. It was just 4 years ago when I discovered my passion for growing and helping others grow. At that time, I was 22 and in my final year of university. As I thought about the meaning of life, I realized there was nothing more meaningful than to pursue a life of development and betterment. It is through improving ourselves that we get the most out of life.

After a year and a half of actively pursuing growth and helping others to grow through my personal development blog, I realize there is never an end to the journey of self improvement.

The more I grow, the more I realize there is so much out there I don’t know, so much that I have to learn.

For sure, there is always something about ourselves we can improve on. The human potential is limitless, so it’s impossible to reach a point of no growth.

Whenever we think we are good, we can be even better.

As a passionate advocate of growth, I’m continuously looking for ways to self-improve. I’ve compiled 42 of my best tips which might be helpful in your personal growth journey. Some of them are simple steps which you can engage in immediately. Some are bigger steps which takes conscious effort to act on. Here they are:

1. Read a book every day.

Books are concentrated sources of wisdom. The more books you read, the more wisdom you expose yourself to.

What are some books you can start reading to enrich yourself? Some books I’ve read and found useful are Think and Grow Rich, Who Moved My Cheese, 7 Habits, The Science of Getting Rich and Living the 80/20 Way.

When you’re reading a book every day, you will feed your brain with more and more knowledge.

Here’re 5 really good books to read for self-improvement:

2. Learn a new language.

As a Singaporean Chinese, my main languages are English, Mandarin and Hokkien (a Chinese dialect). Out of interest, I took up language courses in the past few years such as Japanese and Bahasa Indonesian.

I realized learning a language is a whole new skill altogether and the process of acquainting with a new language and culture is a totally a mind-opening experience.

3. Pick up a new hobby.

Beyond just your usual favorite hobbies, is there something new you can pick up? Any new sport you can learn?

Examples are fencing, golf, rock climbing, football, canoeing, or ice skating.

Your new hobby can also be a recreational hobby. For example, pottery, Italian cooking, dancing, wine appreciation, web design, etc.

Learning something new requires you to stretch yourself in different aspects, whether physically, mentally or emotionally.

Here’re 20 hobbies to get you some new ideas

20 Productive Hobbies That Will Make You Smarter and Happier

4. Take up a new course.

Is there any new course you can join? Courses are a great way to gain new knowledge and skills.

It doesn’t have to be a long-term course – seminars or workshops serve their purpose too.

I’ve been to a few workshops and they have helped me gain new insights which I had not considered before.

In fact, anyone who wants to be a smarter learner should take this 20-minute FREE class: Spark Your Learning Genius. It will help supercharge your learning ability and pick up any skill faster!

5. Create an inspirational room.

Your environment sets the mood and tone for you. If you are living in an inspirational environment, you are going to be inspired every day.

In the past, I didn’t like my room at all because I thought it was messy and dull. A few years ago, I decided this was the end of it – I started on a “Mega Room Revamp” project and overhauled my room.

The end result? A room I totally relish being in and inspires me to be at my peak every day.

Photo credit: Source

6. Overcome your fears.

All of us have fears. Fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, fear of risk… All our fears keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing.

Recognize that your fears reflect areas where you can grow. I always think of fears as the compass for growth.

If I have a fear about something, it represents something I’ve yet to address, and addressing it helps me to grow.

Learn How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding).

7. Level up your skills.

If you have played video games before, especially RPGs, you’ll know the concept of leveling up – gaining experience so you can be better and stronger.

As a blogger, I’m constantly leveling up my writing skills. As a speaker, I’m constantly leveling up my public engagement abilities. What skills can you level up?

8. Wake up early.

Waking up early (say, 5-6am) has been acknowledged by many (Anthony Robbins, Robin Sharma, among other self-help gurus) to improve your productivity and your quality of life.

I feel it’s because when you wake up early, your mindset is already set to continue the momentum and proactively live out the day.

Not sure how to wake up early and feel energetic? These ideas will help:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

9. Have a weekly exercise routine.

A better you starts with being in better physical shape. I personally make it a point to jog at least 3 times a week, at least 30 minutes each time.

You may want to mix it up with jogging, gym lessons and swimming for variation.

Check out these 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

Photo credit: Source

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10. Start your life handbook.

A life handbook is an idea I started 3 years ago.

Basically, it’s a book which contains the essentials on how you can live your life to the fullest, such as your purpose, your values and goals. Sort of like your manual for your life.

I started my life handbook since 2007 and it’s been a crucial enabler in my progress.

11. Write a letter to your future self.

What do you see yourself as 5 years from now? Will you be the same? Different? What kind of person will you be?

Write a letter to your future self – 1 year from now will be a good start – and seal it.

Make a date in your calendar to open it 1 year from now. Then start working to become the person you want to open that letter.

12. Get out of your comfort zone.

Real growth comes with hard work and sweat. Being too comfortable doesn’t help us grow, it makes us stagnate.

What is your comfort zone? Do you stay in most of the time? Do you keep to your own space when out with other people?

Shake your routine up. Do something different.

By exposing yourself to a new context, you’re literally growing as you learn to act in new circumstances.

13. Put someone up to a challenge.

Competition is one of the best ways to grow. Set a challenge (weight loss, exercise, financial challenge, etc) and compete with an interested friend to see who achieves the target first.

Through the process, both of you will gain more than if you were to set off on the target alone.

14. Identify your blind spots.

Scientifically, blind spots refer to areas our eyes are not capable of seeing. In personal development terms, blind spots are things about ourselves we are unaware of. Discovering our blind spots help us discover our areas of improvement.

One exercise I use to discover my blind spots is to identify all the things/events/people that trigger me in a day — trigger meaning making me feel annoyed/weird/affected. These represent my blind spots.

It’s always fun to do the exercise because I discover new things about myself, even if I may already think I know my own blind spots (but then they wouldn’t be blind spots would they?).

After that, I work on steps to address them.

15. Ask for feedback.

As much as we try to improve, we will always have blind spots. Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective.

Some people to approach will be friends, family, colleagues, boss, or even acquaintances, since they will have no preset bias and can give their feedback objectively.

Learn more about how to ask for feedback and become a fast learner here!

16. Stay focused with to-do lists.

I start my day with a list of tasks I want to complete and this helps make me stay focused. In comparison, the days when I don’t do this end up being extremely unproductive.

For example, part of my to-do list for today is to write a guest post at LifeHack.Org, and this is why I’m writing this now!

Since my work requires me to use my computer all the time, I use Free Sticky Notes to manage my to-do lists. It’s really simple to use and it’s a freeware, so I recommend you check it out.

17. Set Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs).

I’m a big fan of setting BHAGs. BHAGs stretch you beyond your normal capacity since they are big and audacious – you wouldn’t think of attempting them normally.

What are BHAGs you can embark on, which you’ll feel absolutely on top of the world once you complete them? Set them and start working on them.

Learn How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life.

18. Acknowledge your flaws.

Everyone has flaws. What’s most important is to understand them, acknowledge them, and address them.

What do you think are your flaws? What are the flaws you can work on now? How do you want to address them?

19. Get into action.

The best way to learn and improve is to take action.

What is something you have been meaning to do? How can you take action on it immediately?

Waiting doesn’t get anything done. Taking action gives you immediate results to learn from.

20. Learn from people who inspire you.

Think about people you admire. People who inspire you. These people reflect certain qualities you want to have for yourself too.

What are the qualities in them you want to have for yourself? How can you acquire these qualities?

21. Quit a bad habit.

Are there any bad habits you can lose? Oversleeping? Not exercising? Being late? Slouching? Nail biting? Smoking?

Here’s some great advice from Lifehack’s CEO on hacking your habit loop to break bad habits and build good ones:

How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop

22. Cultivate a new habit.

Some good new habits to cultivate include reading books (#1), waking up early (#8), exercising (#9), reading a new personal development article a day (#40) and meditating.

Is there any other new habit you can cultivate to improve yourself?

If you’re wondering how to make good habits stick, check out these tips:

18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick

23. Avoid negative people.

As Jim Rohn says,

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.

Wherever we go, there are bound to be negative people. Don’t spend too much of your time around them if you feel they drag you down.

Not sure who are the toxic people in life? This article can help you:

10 Toxic Persons You Should Just Get Rid Of

24. Learn to deal with difficult people.

There are times when there are difficult people you can’t avoid, such as at your workplace, or when the person is part of your inner circle of contacts.

Learn how to deal with them. These people management skills will go a long way in working with people in the future:

How To Deal With Negative People

25. Learn from your friends.

Everyone has amazing qualities in them. It’s up to how we want to tap into them.

With all the friends who surround you, they are going to have things you can learn from.

Try thinking of a good friend right now. Think about just one quality they have which you want to adopt. How can you learn from them and adopt this skill for yourself?

Speak to them if you need to. For sure, they will be more than happy to help!

26. Start a journal.

Journaling is a great way to gain better self-awareness. It’s a self-reflection process.

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As you write, clarify your thought process and read what you wrote from a third person’s perspective, you gain more insights about yourself.

Your journal can be private or an online blog. I use my personal development blog as a personal journal too and I’ve learned a lot about myself through the past year of blogging.

27. Start a blog about personal development.

To help others grow, you need to first be walking the talk. There are expectations of you, both from yourself and from others, which you have to uphold.

I run The Personal Excellence Blog, where I share my personal journey and insights on how to live a better life. Readers look toward my articles to improve themselves, which enforces to me that I need to keep improving, for myself and for the people I’m reaching out to.

28. Get a mentor or coach.

There’s no faster way to improve than to have someone work with you on your goals.

Many of my clients approach me to coach them in their goals and they achieve significantly more results than if they had worked alone.

If you’re looking for a mentor, don’t miss these tips:

What to Look for in a Good Mentor

29. Reduce the time you spend on chat programs.

I realized having chat programs open at default result in a lot of wasted time. This time can be much better spent on other activities.

The days when I don’t get on chat, I get a lot more done. I usually disable the auto start-up option in the chat programs and launch them when I do want to chat and really have the time for it.

30. Learn chess (or any strategy game).

I found chess is a terrific game to learn strategy and hone your brainpower. Not only do you have fun, you also get to exercise your analytical skills.

You can also learn strategy from other board games or computer games, such as Othello, Chinese Chess, WarCraft, and so on.

31. Stop watching TV.

I’ve not been watching TV for pretty much 4 years and it’s been a very liberating experience. (Here’re 10 Reasons To Turn Off Your TV)

I realized most of the programs and advertisements on mainstream TV are usually of a lower consciousness and not very empowering.

In return, the time I’ve freed up from not watching TV is now constructively used for other purposes, such as connecting with close friends, doing work I enjoy, exercising, etc.

32. Start a 30-day challenge.

Set a goal and give yourself 30 days to achieve this. Your goal can be to stick with a new habit or something you’ve always wanted to do but have not.

30 days is just enough time to strategize, plan, get into action, review and nail the goal.

33. Meditate.

Meditation helps to calm you and be more conscious. I also realized that during the nights when I meditate (before I sleep), I need lesser sleep. The clutter clearing process is very liberating.

Have a try with this 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime.

34. Join Toastmasters (Learn public speaking).

Interestingly, public speaking is the #1 fear in the world, with #2 being death.

After I started public speaking as a personal development speaker/trainer, I’ve learned a lot about how to communicate better, present myself and engage people.

Toastmasters is an international organization that trains people in public speaking. Check out the Toastmaster clubs nearest you here.

35. Befriend top people in their fields.

These people have achieved their results because they have the right attitudes, skill sets and know-how. How better to learn than from the people who have been there and done that?

Gain new insights from them on how you can improve and achieve the same results for yourself.

36. Let go of the past.

Is there any grievance or unhappiness from the past which you have been holding on? If so, it’s time to let it go.

Holding on to them prevents you from moving on and becoming a better person. Break away from the past, forgive yourself, and move on.

Just recently, I finally moved on from a past heartbreak of 5 years ago. The effect was liberating and very empowering, and I have never been happier.

37. Start a business venture.

Is there anything you have an interest in? Why not turn it into a venture and make money while learning at the same time?

Starting a new venture requires you to be learn business management skills, develop business acumen and have a competitive edge.

The process of starting and developing my personal development business has equipped me with many skills, such as self-discipline, leadership, organization and management.

38. Show kindness to people around you.

You can never be too kind to someone. In fact, most of us don’t show enough kindness to people around us.

Being kind helps us to cultivate other qualities such as compassion, patience, and love.

As you get back to your day after reading this article later on, start exuding more kindness to the people around you, and see how they react.

Not only that, notice how you feel as you behave kindly to others. Chances are, you will feel even better than yourself.

39. Reach out to the people who hate you.

If you ever stand for something, you are going to get haters.

It’s easy to hate the people who hate us. It’s much more challenging to love them back.

Being able to forgive, let go and show love to these people requires magnanimity and an open heart.

Is there anyone who dislikes or hates you in your life? If so, reach out to them. Show them love.

Seek a resolution and get closure on past grievances. Even if they refuses to reciprocate, love them all the same. It’s much more liberating than to hate them back.

40. Take a break.

Have you been working too hard? Self-improvement is also about recognizing our need to take a break to walk the longer mile ahead. You can’t be driving a car if it has no petrol.

Scheduling down time for yourself is important. Take some time off for yourself every week. Relax, rejuvenate and charge yourself up for what’s up ahead.

41. Read at least 1 personal development article a day.

Some of my readers make it a point to read at least one personal development article every day, which I think is a great habit.

There are many terrific personal development blogs out there, some of which you can check here.

42. Commit to your personal growth.

I can be writing list articles with 10 ways, 25 ways, 42 ways or even 1,000 ways to improve yourself, but if you have no intention to commit to your personal growth, it doesn’t matter what I write.

Nothing is going to get through. We are responsible for our personal growth — not anyone else. Not your mom, your dad, your friend, me or Lifehack.

Make the decision to commit to your personal growth and embrace yourself to a life-long journey of growth and change. Kick off your growth by picking a few of the steps above and working on them.

The results may not be immediate, but I promise you that as long as you keep to it, you’ll start seeing positive changes in yourself and your life.

So here you are, 43 solid ways for self improvement. Pick one or a few to start doing today.

If you want to see yourself improving, you must take some actions.

Self Improvement

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The Power of Gratitude
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How to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself
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What Is Curiosity and Why It Is Most Important for Success
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I am sure you have heard the phrase ‘let go’, more than a few times. What does letting go mean? What do you let go? We usually use this phrase, when we see someone re-living in his mind past pains and failure…

Self-Acceptance – What Is It?
We hear so much about self-acceptance from people, who study or teach personal growth methods. What is self-acceptance? Does it mean accepting your weaknesses or negative habits and doing nothing about them…

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Anger comes out as a response to feelings of dissatisfaction, frustration and unhappiness, which usually arise when we dislike a person, a certain object, or a situation…

Top Best Online Courses to Take for Business Development in 2020

It looks like it took a virus to teach us how useful online courses are. We all knew they were out there. We all knew how important it was to learn about business development, so we would get the foundational knowledge for our practices. But we never had enough time. Now that most of us are spending a lot of time at home, we have enough space to take some online courses. That’s a good idea! Business development is not easy. It’s not like you can start a brand and grow it in no time. Learning from experts will help you trace its way to success. I’ll list a few paid and free online classes that all business owners should take.

Business Foundations Specialization If you’re looking for free online classes, Coursera is the best place to get them. This specialization is provided by the Wharton School of Business. It teaches you how to solve realistic business problems, which you’ll definitely face throughout the development of your brand. It’s a beginner course that helps you build a knowledge base in marketing, accounting, finance, and business operations. The specialization takes around seven months to complete. But you can start learning for free, and you’ll pay to continue only if you like the program and you’re sure that you’ll get value out of it.

Data Science & Analytics Career Paths & Certifications: First Steps The LinkedIn Learning platform became a major source of knowledge for beginner entrepreneurs. No; you don’t have to get a certificate in data science to run a home-based business. But understanding the basics of data analytics will definitely help you to build a more successful brand. This is a beginner course that doesn’t require any previous knowledge and preparations. You’ll get into the history and importance of data science, and you’ll understand how it’s used in network security, fraud detection, and marketing.

Writing with Flair: How to Become an Exceptional Writer Not many business owners realize that writing is a huge part of business development. Just think about it: you need an outstanding website with clear product descriptions, a detailed blog that would show up in the top Google results, a well-planned email marketing campaign, and consistent calls to action via social media. All those aspects of brand maintenance require good writing skills. This course is available via Udemy, and it costs only bucks. It’s provided by a former Wall Street Journal editor, who knows what type of content works for today’s audience.

Online Marketing Foundations This is one of the most popular courses on LinkedIn Learning. It’s provided by Brad Batesole, CEO at Madecraft and a marketing thought leader. Digital marketing is a broad niche. The more techniques you explore, the less you understand what works and what doesn’t work. That’s why this is one of the most important business development courses to take. You’ll learn a lot about the top three digital marketing strategies, which are proven to work for most brands.

How to Start Your Own Business This specialization is provided by the Michigan State University via Coursera. It’s an elaborate program that demystifies the process of business creation and development. It takes around eight months to complete, but keep in mind that you’ll gain in-depth knowledge once you complete the program. If you still haven’t started your business and you’re looking for the best source of information that would get you ready, this specialization is everything you need. After the -day free trial that Coursera enables, you’ll pay some money per month to continue with the course. You’ll earn a certificate when you complete the specialization.

Digital Marketing: Generate Leads & Convert Them to Sales If you don’t have too much time for online courses and you want to focus on the essential ones, this is one of them. Many people have great business ideas, but don’t know how to impose their products and services on the market. This course, provided through the Udemy platform, prepares you for that challenge. You will learn how to use different online marketing techniques to get people’s attention and turn them into paying customers for your brand.

AltMBA If you’re wondering how to grow business, Seth Godin may be the right person to ask. He developed this -week intensive program with the intention to teach people how to accomplish their goals. It’s not a specific business course, but it can be part of your personal development that leads to a successful business. It’s a project-intensive program based on workshops. As a student, you’ll have to complete assigned projects, which will be published on the official site. Keep in mind that if you want in-depth knowledge to grow business, this is the right place to get it.

The Personal MBA: The Foundation of Effective Business Maybe an MBA degree is not necessary for starting a business, but let’s face it: the knowledge you gain through such a program definitely prepares you for the challenges you’re about to face. This online course is tailored to give you the knowledge you’d gain through an MBA program, but in a much more digestible way. It’s provided by Josh Kaufman, a well-known business author. If you sign up for a membership on the CreativeLive platform, you’ll gain access to this course.

Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator This is one of the best free online classes available on Coursera. It’s provided by Yale University, and it’s completely free if you don’t want the certificate. The title of this course explains what the program is about. You’ll learn how to be a Master negotiator. Throughout the development of your business, you’ll negotiate with employees, business partners, and customers. You’ll encounter conflicts that you’ll have to solve. This online course prepares you for those situations.

Art of the Start: Turning Ideas into High-Growth Businesses This course is available through Skillshare. It’s provided by Guy Kawasaki, and that fact alone is enough to prove that it’s one of the best online classes to take. Guy teaches you how to turn a thoughtful idea into a productive business. You’ll get video lectures that inspire you to grow your idea, attract investors, and make it attractive for your target audience. Skillshare has a great trial period of two months! You don’t even need to provide banking information to get started.

Start Learning! Business growth is not just about following your instincts. It’s about having the knowledge that warns you if your instincts are right. It’s about getting direction for implementing strategies that are sure to work. There are plenty of affordable and free online classes to explore. Use this opportunity to gain knowledge that takes your business towards growth. James Dorian is a technical copywriter. He is a tech geek who knows a lot about modern apps that will make your work more productive. James reads tons of online blogs on technology, business, and ways to become a real pro in our modern world of innovations.

Gardening: Improve your soil to increase productivity

A tradition garden

As we move from dreaming to planting, we all want to offer our plants the perfect soil. This leads some gardeners to buy a big bag of liquid fertilizer and sprinkle it heavily on everything. For others, manure or compost is the answer to increasing soil productivity and plant health. And then there are bagged minerals, organic bagged fertilizers, rock powders and more. Scientists agree that plants need minerals for good healthy plants. Nitrogen N for promoting green growth; phosphorous P for better roots and promoting flowers, seeds and fruits; and potassium K for strong cell walls to survive drought and cold weather. These three elements are often called “the big three” and listed as percentage by weight on fertilizer bags –, for example. Chemical fertilizers have just those three elements, plus inert fillers which would be in the example cited. Additionally, there are elements that are needed in smaller amounts including magnesium, calcium and sulphur. In very small amounts plants need iron, chlorine, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum and nickel. None of those are found in chemical fertilizers, but are present in unlisted amounts in bagged organic fertilizers, and in good compost.

Compost ready for application in the garden

Bagged organic fertilizers are made from natural ingredients, things like ground oyster shells and seaweed, or dehydrated chicken manure, or cotton seed meal and peanut husks. Added to the mix are minerals such as rock phosphate a good source of slow-release phosphorus and green sand a source of potassium from the sea. These are slow-release fertilizers. Most of the ingredients are not water soluble, but are broken down and utilized in concert with bacteria and fungi in the soil. That is good, as they are not washed away in rainy times the way many chemical fertilizers are.

There are different types soils, but if the soil acidic due to acid rain, adding limestone is good for getting the soil near neutral. But not all plants need the same things in the soil. Blueberries, for example, need very acidic soil. Instead of lime, they may need sulphur to make the soil more acidic. A simple soil pH test kit can be purchased at a much cheaper price, or you can send a sample to your agriculture extension service for testing. Go online and search for soil tests in your location, and you will learn how to collect the soil, and where to send it. A basic soil test will tell you much in addition to the soil pH. I have been adding finely ground granite dust to my soil for years or so, and a commercially prepared rock and mineral soil supplement called Azomite for nearly as long. This can be done side-by-side trials of plants with rock powders and without them, and they can produce dramatic differences.

Soils with rock powders have helped plants survive drought, and have increased crop yield in most gardens. The mechanism by which rock powders work is unknown. I interviewed a soil scientist who pointed out that every, years or so we’ve had glaciers come down and deposit ground rock, distributing obscure minerals in the soil. Maybe the rock powders I add are just mimicking what the glaciers have done — though not recently. What about compost? It is pure gold, from a soil perspective. It has all the minerals needed by plants and good compost also has literally millions of beneficial bacteria, fungi and other living things in each spoon of goodness. Beneficial organisms in compost work with your plants, sharing minerals with your plants; they benefit from sugars exuded from the roots each night. That’s right, over eons the plants and microorganisms have developed a mutually beneficial system. I should explain that compost is not high in nitrogen. But most vegetables and annual flowers don’t need a lot of nitrogen.

Application of fertilizer

Nitrogen will make veggies like peppers or tomatoes grow big plants, but often those big plants do not produce a lot of fruit. Most annual flowers do not need much nitrogen. How much compost should you use? I have been putting an inch or two over my vegetable beds every year, and working it in. If you are buying it by the bag, even half an inch is good — with some extra in the hole with each tomato. What about trees and shrubs? Most do not need fertilizer or those tree fertilizer spikes sold at hardware stores. Mother Nature does not provide fertilizer, she adds organic matter to the soil over time as leaves decompose and living beings of all sorts die and add to the soil. That said, if you live in a new subdivision, your soil may be nothing but sterile subsoil with a thin layer of “topsoil” spread by the contractor. Adding organic matter to the soil in the form of compost will help it become biologically active. It will add minuscule amounts of the less common minerals. Mulch all your beds with ground leaves, grass clippings, mulch hay or straw. These will break down with time, and add organic matter to the soil. Breakdown of that mulch is done by bacteria and fungi. Treat your soil to some compost at planting time. And if you use fertilizer, don’t overdo it — more is not better. Read the directions of anything you add to the soil.

Thank you for reading. If you find this useful, you can donate any amount that will keep this blog up and running.

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