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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel less than great. Low, grouchy, fed-up, and bored are all words you could use to describe what I’m like on those days and I’m probably not the best company. The thing is, days like those are part of the deal with being human – it’s not an elective. There will always be off days, and that’s okay.


But what happens when you get a whole string of those off-days, maybe lasting weeks, months or even years? Too many of us say that we’re in a rut, feel stuck, fed-up, or bored and admit that we don’t want things to be that way, but we don’t know what to do to change. That’s the problem, when you’re in a rut, you don’t have the energy or motivation to change things for the better, and it’s tough to find the insight or resources you need to make that jump.


Here are five fun and easy ways you can use right now to climb, or better yet, leap out of the rut and start to get something better for yourself.


1. Do Something Differently


Life tends to run smoothly when we establish systems and routines for things, but the problem comes when things run too smoothly and we become blinded to any ideas or choices that sit outside of our routine. All the stuff we do every day becomes the norm, running on auto-pilot, and it becomes our whole world.


Start with making one or two simple changes to your day - be it at breakfast time, your radio station, gym routine, route to work, lunch routine, etc. Don’t worry about what the changes are or whether they’re right or wrong, just make a couple of simple choices that will serve you well.


Doing something differently or changing parts of your routine, instantly takes you out of the norm and allows you to shake off the things that make you feel confined. Step out of your routine and you’ll be in a position where you’re able to make different choices, see things differently and get a different result.



2. Use your Intuition


Your intuition is a powerful ally, and we all have it even though you might not recognize it. The dictionary says that intuition is:


1.a. The act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes; immediate cognition.


1.b. Knowledge gained by the use of this faculty; a perceptive insight.


2. A sense of something not evident or deducible; an impression.


One of the best friends you'll ever have in life is your intuition, and tuning into it and learning to trust it is something that can have some truly remarkable effects. Accessing your intuition is a bit like working and developing a muscle, but unfortunately it can be harder to locate than a bicep or quadricep, which tend to stay in the same place. Here are some quick tips for accessing and trusting it –


• Practice maintaining an open-minded, playful, experimental, non-judgmental attitude. This is the most fertile ground to tap into your intuition.


• Practice making wild guesses in your everyday life. Guess what a salesperson's name is, what a new person or place will look like or who's calling on the phone. Don't worry about getting it wrong, you're just working that muscle.


• Try a few simple observation exercises in your daily life. Whether you're in a restaurant, on a train, in a bar, or out shopping, practice noticing non-verbal behavior in others. Look for shifts in posture, eye movements, vocal tone or tempo, etc. Guess how they're feeling or what they're talking about.


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Creativity is a quality that we all have buried inside of us, one way or the other. It involves the invention of something new or the re-invention of something that existing to make it useful or interesting.


Some people’s creative abilities are closer to the surface and one can easily see the manifestations of them. People say that their creativity is “inborn”. For others, expressing creativity takes more time and cultivation. The important thing to note is that we can all be creative. You just have to take steps to extract it from within you. Try the following:


➡Change your perspective


You might have heard the phrase ‘Think outside the box’. You should try looking at the situation from a different point of view. Change your perspective. Consider all factors that are affected by your problem or your concern. Try to break down the problem into several elements then shuffle them. Think of what would happen if an idea is replaced. This aspect is important in enhancing creativity because it helps you remove possible fixations that may hinder creativity.


➡Mentally move away from your current location


Imagine how another person would react if subjected in the same situation. Picture how different situations would continue when dealing with the same problem. Application in different settings can also be done; and then from there, adapt a solution to the current setting.


➡Let your imagination run wild


Exercise your imagination. Modification can trigger creativity because you see things in a different light. You can also try to exaggerate or think of the extremes, be it magnification or minimization of something. Thinking of the possible differences between these two situations could produce ideas. This is the ultimate brain exercise.


➡Your comfort spot


The environment has to be right. You should have somewhere you can focus without being unnecessarily disturbed so you can give a problem your full attention. This should extend to the people you are with. You tend to do better at something when you are with like-minded people. To put it simply, hang out with creative people to help enhance your creative abilities.


Most of the time, people tend to be more creative when they are with people who are doing the same thing. It was also found that if you wish to be more creative, you should try hanging out with creative people.


➡Time, time, time


You can’t rush creativity. Hurrying does not help in the outflow of ideas. Your mind tends to go into a state of slight disarray when you are trying to force things. Studies show that results produced in this state are generally lacking. If you are low on time, then keep a list of activities like this one close to you. Go over each of the activities and exercise each one. Give it time.



➡Get help…communicate your ideas to others


A different view of the problem could help. Better yet, many different views! Never be shy to ask. Diversity is very helpful in relation to creativity. Organize a brainstorming session. The spontaneous generation of new ideas helps in formulation of more ideas. The products of brainstorming can be the raw material in the construction of the idea.


Remember that in brainstorming, 4 rules are followed for it to be successful:

  • There should be no criticisms. Criticism hinders the free flow of ideas. This can be postponed until the session has ended.

  • Combining and/or modifying ideas are encouraged.

  • Quantity is preferred over quality in brainstorming.

  • Weird or strange ideas are encouraged.



These are just some ideas to get your creative juices going. They can be adapted to suit each individual. A large amount of it is up to you. How inventive can you be? How open are you? Remove the boundaries from your mind and you will find your creativity will increase.




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From time to time, each of us will find ourselves in a rut of boredom and disinterest. We seem to lose our zest for life and feel tired, irritable and unmotivated. We want to hide under the covers rather than face the day. Perhaps you're feeling overwhelmed by work, or sad about the pain and suffering in the world, or just bored with the routine of your daily life.


You are not alone. We all go through periods like this at some point. The good news is that we can do something about it. Here are some tips to help break out of the rut and feel excited about life again:


Take a "Time Out" - Prolonged stress can wear us down and zap any enthusiasm we once had. Before doing anything else, take a few minutes to breathe and just BE. Empty your mind of all stress and worry. This takes practice, but don't give up! As thoughts come into your mind, gently push them back out and continue to keep your mind empty and calm. Take slow, deep breaths and let all of your muscles relax. Sit quietly and recharge your batteries. Try to do this daily, or even twice daily (morning and night). We need quiet time as much as we need anything else in life. Give yourself the gift of inner peace.


Get Inspired - Read something motivational, inspirational or uplifting. Look at some beautiful nature photos, or read something humorous. Consciously move your thoughts to a more positive place. Focusing on nothing but work and our daily tasks in life can leave us feeling pretty uninspired. It's easy to turn it around if we want to. We just have to seek out things that will lift our spirits and our moods. Make it a point to laugh, be happy, joyful and lighthearted each day. Don't wait for inspiration to come knocking on your door, go out and find it, or create it. Conjure up some funny or touching memories. Write them in a journal so you can go back and read them when you're feeling down.


Get Excited - Think about the things you have planned for the day, and rekindle the enthusiasm you once felt for them. When we first begin a new project, or start a new job, we are excited about the possibilities and eager to get moving! Over time, we can lose that enthusiasm for a variety of reasons. Travel back in time for a moment, and think about what got you so excited at the beginning. What made your heartbeat a little faster? Recapture that feeling and hang onto it! Even if your tasks aren't anything to be really excited about, at least think of some positive benefits to doing them. For example, list the ways they will benefit your children, your spouse, yourself, your job or your home. Identify the payoff, and focus on that. Even mundane tasks have some benefits. Sometimes it's just a matter of switching our mindset to see the positive side.


Baby Steps - Sometimes the hardest part is actually getting started. A project seems so monstrous that we cringe at the thought of all that time and energy we'll have to expend. Instead of overwhelming yourself, start small. Set a timer for 15 minutes and just start working on it. Allow yourself to stop after 15 minutes if you really want to. But most often, once we actually start working on something, we won't want to stop. Don't focus on the big picture, look at the smaller details and take them on one at a time. Any large task seems manageable once we break it down into smaller steps.


Care of the Body - Sometimes our feelings of fatigue are caused by physical deficiencies, not mental. Be sure you are getting enough rest, eating food that nourishes your body, drinking enough water, getting enough exercise, etc. Especially when we're very busy, we tend to grab the quickest, easiest meals, which aren't always the best choice for our bodies. Eating a lot of highly processed foods and sugar is like putting watered-down gasoline into our cars. In order for our cars to run smoothly, we need to maintain them properly, and so it is with our bodies also. Remember, the body is the vehicle for the mind and soul!


Finally, remember to reward yourself from time to time, and be gentle with yourself! There will always be things that "need" to be done. But some of us take on way more than we can handle, and our lives turn into a pit of drudgery because of it. Try to eliminate the things that truly don't bring you joy, or at least minimize the time you spend on them. Do what you can, and let the rest go. Or ask for help. Don't feel you have to do everything yourself.


Remember that motivation, just like happiness, is something we CHOOSE. We may need to give ourselves a little push at the beginning, but once we get into the right mindset, it's simple to stay there if we choose to.

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