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The official Top 100 Personal Development Blogs is back!

Damn, I love this time of year. It’s all about setting your year up for massive success and what better way of doing that then presenting you with the best personal development blogs for 2018. In fact, we bring you the Top 100!

This is the fifth year that we have compiled the Top 100 personal development blogs and every year we see more and more blogs adding great value to people all around the world.

I must say, because of all the awesome value that everyone is putting out there on the internet, it is getting harder and harder for personal development bloggers to make this list. So if you have made the list of the Top 100 personal development blogs this year then I, and everyone else, give you HUGE congratulations!

But firstly, I hope you had an absolutely fantastic night to bring in 2018. Sylvia and I had relatively quiet one with our two daughters.

Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to regain focus on what you truly want in life and ensure you have the strategies and support you need to be successful at it too. The turn of the New Year gives us a clear time to separate the past and move forward into the future.

That’s why I love this time of year. It’s the perfect time for creating new habits, setting your goals and making real change in your life.

Being a student of the personal development industry most of my life, I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest resources to not only implement into my own life but to also share with those around me. Since I’ve been running my own business I’ve fallen more and more into the well of personal development and self-improvement and I absolutely love it! With the internet now a common place for everyone and the ‘free economy’ being born, it’s amazing to know that what was once hidden from the majority of people and limited to a select few people paying $5,000 to access information at a weekend seminar, this information is now mostly widely available for free on the internet or at least at a much more affordable price.

The key to all this information is being able to pull what’s relevant for you and being able to apply that information in a systematic and successful way that will lead you towards your desired life.

The Best Personal Development Blogs for 2018

I feel honoured to know that over the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of the blog owners in this list and share some great experiences with them. But not only that, there are so many of you making an impact in this world through your personal development blogs I can certainly say that after sifting through each and every self-improvement blog, I’m highly impressed with everyone’s work!

It is somewhat tricky putting together a list of the Top 100 personal development blogs as it can be rather subjective in nature. To avoid this, I’ve removed any of my own opinions or judgements and let pure metrics do the talking.

As with previous years, what I have created is a list of personal development blogs that rank from the most trafficked (largest number of visitors) down to the least trafficked. This list will provide you with a clear indication of how large a website is and its relative importance in the personal development blogosphere. Keep in mind, even though the blogs towards the bottom are the ‘least trafficked’, they are still within the Top 100 out of hundreds and thousands of personal development blogs out there on the internet (if not more!).

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that a larger site (a site ranked towards the top) does not necessarily indicate that the site is of better quality. Generally speaking, you will find that the larger sites have been around for longer and have more blog posts and content being crawled by Google. Because of this, they are sure to have larger audiences. In saying that, however, the top sites have lasted the test of time and continue to have strong readership so they must be doing something right!

Also, we do have a number of new blogs now ranking in the Top 100 that only started a year or two ago… massive congrats to these high achievers!

One thing to add, it always makes me smile when I see other people creating Top Personal Development Blog lists… because they’re almost an exact copy of this list! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? This is the fifth year our official list has been compiled and we continue to make it more comprehensive each year.

http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Top-100-Personal-Development-Blogs-2016.pdf

How to Use This List

This is YOUR LIST.

This is a resource that I encourage you to save and come back to on a regular basis. As we progress throughout the year we all face different challenges and often those challenges have already been faced by others elsewhere in the world. That’s when I suggest you return to this list and find the right blog to guide you.

Each personal development blog is unique and has its own style and purpose. You will also find that you will resonate strongly with some blog owners and their content and perhaps less so with others. For this reason, there is a wide variety of blogs on the list; including business, career and work, happiness, health, productivity and more. The one thing in common is that they all are themed around self-improvement.

My recommendation to you is to browse through each of the blogs below at least once and then pick out the two or three blogs that really resonate with you.

Think about the below questions as you sift through each blog:

  • Which blogs are most closely aligned to what you want to achieve in life?
  • Which author has accomplished something that you would like to accomplish?
  • Which blogs can help you right now in life and which ones might help you in the future?

Be sure to subscribe to their content and make personal development a key focus for you this year. It’s like having a free mentor or coach.

How The Top 100 Personal Development Blogs are Ranked

The Top 100 Personal Development Blogs are ranked in order from the most-trafficked (largest number of visitors) to the least-trafficked (although the smallest in this case is still a Top 100 Blog!)

There are two primary tools that have been used for determining this ranking.

Firstly, I have used the Alexa rank of the website as the primary ranking method. Alexa provides a relative ranking of each website based on the number of visitors it receives. A rank of 100,000 would mean that the site is the 100,000th most visited site on the internet. With the millions and millions of websites on the internet, such a ranking is classified as pretty good! Just so you know, Google’s rank is #1, Facebook is ranked #2 and YouTube is ranked #3.

Secondly, I have included Similar Web Rank. Similar Web is another online tool that was mentioned to me on a number of occasions as a more accurate tool for determining website traffic. Interestingly, I found that when compiling this list, the Alexa and Similar Web rankings were almost perfectly correlated.

This then led to the Average Rank. The Average Ranks is simply the average between the Alexa and Similar Web ranks.

People often question the validity of such tools, however, when comparing more generally the relative size of a website they are quite accurate and very useful indicators. Other tools might indicate that a lower-ranked blog in our Top 100 is infact larger than a higher-ranked blog, but generally speaking, the Top 10 websites will always be larger than those ranked 10-20, and those ranked 10-20 will always be larger than those ranked 20-30 etc. To sum it up, the larger and more trafficked sites will always tend to be ranked higher regardless of the tool being used.

Do you want to get really funky with the Top 100 blogs? I’m pleased to let you know that the Top 100 table is dynamic. This means that you can search for your favourite blog to see where it is ranked and sort by any column, such as page rank or alphabetical order. This is your list. Have fun with it!

The Winners

CONGRATULATIONS to every blogger that has made this Top 100 list! I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world.

If your blog is one of the Top 100, you have the honour of displaying the following badge on your site. This is the most comprehensive list of personal development blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! Simply use the code provided below to add it to your site.

Use the below code to display this badge proudly on your website. You deserve it!:

<a href=”http://www.startofhappiness.com/personal-development-blogs/”><img src=”http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/self-help-blog-badge.png”></img></a>

(you may need to replace the inverted commas – “” on your own site for the image to work).

http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Top-100-Personal-Development-Blogs-2017.pdf

 URLOwner's NameAverage Rank
1Life HackLeon Ho2,711
2Elite DailyGerard Adams5,537
3GreatistDerek Flanzraich7,533
4The Art of ManlinessBrett McKay8,411
5Mind Body GreenJason Wachob9,139
6Brain PickingsMaria Popova13,634
7Tiny BuddhaLori Deschene19,733
8Four Hour Work WeekTim Ferriss20,349
9Darren DailyDarren Hardy26,838
10Mark MansonMark Manson32,634
11ZenHabitsLeo Babauta32,716
12Nerd FitnessSteve Kamb33,222
13I Will Teach You to be RichRamit Sethi35,668
14Good Men ProjectLisa Hickey38,679
15James ClearJames Clear38,891
16Chris KresserChris Kresser44,785
17Brian TracyBrian Tracy46,741
18The Positivity BlogHenrik Edberg46,999
19Michael Hyatt's Intentional LeadershipMichael Hyatt51,190
20Keep Inspiring MeDarcie Connell54,724
21Marc and Angel Hack LifeMarc and Angel57,256
22Addicted 2 SuccessJoel Brown62,653
23Barking Up the Wrong TreeEric Barker63,529
24Pick the BrainErin Falconer63,562
25PsyBlogJeremy Dean63,651
26Becoming MinimalistJoshua Becker66,388
27Personal ExcellenceCelestine Chua71,088
28Live Bold and BloomBarrie Davenport75,411
29Steve PavlinaSteve Pavlina76,832
30Dumb Little ManJay White81,129
31Marie ForleoMarie Forleo81,511
32Science of PeopleVanessa Van Edwards86,010
33Derek SiversDerek Sivers94,278
34Scott H YoungScott Young98,734
35Robin SharmaRobin Sharma105,027
36Bold & DeterminedVictor Pride109,823
37Steven AitchisonSteven Aitchison113,562
38ActualizedLeo Gura118,510
39No Meat AtheleteMatt Frazier120,725
40Project Life MasteryStefan Pylarinos123,111
41Daring to Live FullyMarelisa Fábrega127,960
42Success ConcioscunessRemez Sasson129,706
43Asian EfficiencyAaron Lynn and Thanh Pam144,968
44The Charged LifeBrendon Burchard148,010
45The Happiness ProjectGretchen Rubin149,010
46Planet of SuccessSteve Mueller149,186
47Penelope TrunkPenelope Trunk154,381
48Robb WolfRobb Wolf161,217
49Be More With LessCourtney Carver161,838
50Write to DoneMary Jaksch164,678
51Jack CranfieldJack Cranfield174,067
52Ryan HolidayRyan Holiday175,494
53Motivation GridCris Nikolov179,217
54Skip PrichardSkip Prichard182,262
55Everday PowerNA182,510
56Live Your LegendChelsea Dinsmore186,276
57Develop Good HabitsSJ Scott188,505
58Purpose FairyLuminita D. Saviuc193,698
59Brain BloggerShaheen Lakhan219,615
60Location RebelSean Ogle222,510
61The Change BlogPeter Clemens223,890
62A Life of ProductivityChris Bailey229,010
63Life OptimizerDonald Latumahina241,956
64chrisguillebeau.comChris Guillebeau246,361
65Prolific LivingFarnoosh Brock264,661
66Louise HayLouise Hay267,510
67RaptitudeDavid Cain270,452
68InspiyrDan Cassidy288,581
69ProductivityistMike Vardy292,566
70Time Management NinjaCraig Jarrow294,576
71Deepak ChopraDeepak Chopra302,890
72FinerMindsAndrea Vega304,550
73Wake Up CloudHenri Junttila306,517
74The Urban MonkPedram Shojai 311,049
75Impossible HQJoel Runyon324,598
76Bullet Proof ExecDave Asprey333,105
77Start of HappinessBrendan Baker337,916
78Advanced Life SkillsJonathan Wells341,905
79Good Life ZenMary Jaksch344,124
80Paid to ExistJonathan Mead355,338
81Life Long LearnerScott Britton358,581
82TynanTynan358,758
83Aha-Now!Harleena Singh360,949
84Dr Wayne DyerDr Wayne Dyer375,193
85Think Simple NowTina Su376,587
86The Emotion MachineSteven Handel396,302
87Productivity 501Mark Shead400,515
88Just Be RealTheo Ellis455,859
89Jonathan FieldsJonathan Fields456,994
90Yoga DorkJennilyn Carson489,965
91Sid SavaraSid Savara499,024
92Alden TanAlden Tan518,551
93Run to the FinishAmanda Brooks522,118
94Your Life Your WayTia Sparkles534,462
95Basic GrowthSimon Somlai544,038
96Start Gaining MomentumLudvig Sunstrom581,294
97Positive WriterBryan Hutchinson604,348
98The Bridge MakerAlex Blackwell628,018
99Thoughts on Life and LoveMandy Kloppers632,524
100Deliberate ReceivingMelody Fletcher703,681

http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Top-100-Personal-Development-Blogs-2017.pdf

Now What?

The tools, strategies and support you need to live your best year ever are all here waiting for you. Now, it’s in your power to start living out your most inspired and desired life.

Only you can make the difference in your life this year. I give you full permission to make this your best year ever and apply what you need to from these blogs into your life.

If you need some instant motivation and inspiration, then make sure you check out the Top 100 Motivational & Inspirational Quotes for 2017.

If you want to get some actionable tools that you can implement into your life right now, make sure you access our Free Toolkit.

If you’re keen to make the..

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I’m super excited to let you know that I have just opened up enrollment for the Launch Your Life Academy.

This is the perfect time of year to join. In fact, it’s the exact time of year where I go through the process as well!

What I love about the Launch Your Life Academy at this time of year is that it enables me to get 100% clarity on what I want to achieve in 2017 and also HOW I am going to achieve it.

It also gives me an opportunity to check-in with myself and ensure I am living a life true to my values and aligned with my purpose.

If you have never taken the time to think about your life and what you truly want and how to make it happen, then this program will definitely be life changing for you.

If you already do something similar but haven’t been about to achieve the level of success you desire this year or in previous years, it’s probably because you’re missing something… perhaps not finding the right mentors, perhaps not having a plan that you are committed to, or perhaps not having the right habits or support network to keep you going. If that’s the case, then you’ll love my process and this is definitely for you too.

Give yourself 21 days and your life will be transformed (that’s 1 module per day… or roughly 30-60 minutes per day).

Ready to make 2017 your best year yet?

You can join the Launch Your Life Academy here.

If you have any questions on the program, just hit “reply” and I’ll get back to you.

I hope to see you on the inside.

Brendan

The post Now OPEN! The Launch Your Life Academy is Open For Enrollment! appeared first on The Start of Happiness.

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I absolutely love this time of year!

It’s a time for celebrating and getting together with family. It’s a time for reflecting on all of your achievements for the year. It’s a time for backyard cricket and it’s a time for beach, sun and plenty of outdoor activities (at least here in Australia!).

But it’s also a time that I use to plan ahead for the next year. 2017 is now just one week away and I absolutely love kicking off each New Year in style! I’m about to share with you a simple tool to help you make 2017 your best year ever.

If you want to get serious results in your life or business in 2017 then it’s important you are clear on what you are doing and when you are doing it and ensuring it’s actually scheduled.

Nothing gets done unless it’s scheduled.

That’s why today I want to share with you a simple but powerful tool that I use to ensure that I am clear and focused on what needs to get done in the following year.

It all starts with this 2017 calendar…

5 Steps to Scheduling the Best Year of Your Life

Scheduling your lifestyle and the activities you plan to do in 2017 will help you to forecast your income and ensure your life is balanced the way you desire it to be.

So often people have a dream and a vision for their life but they don’t spend the time to actually map out what that looks like.

  • If you want to take more holidays, schedule them in!
  • If you want to make more money by developing and selling a product or service, schedule it in!
  • If you want to  achieve major goals like completing a marathon or losing 20kg of weight, schedule the deadline in!

Here’s how I plan out my year. Feel free to copy or adjust it or add to it depending on what you’re trying to achieve in your life.

Step 1) Schedule all of the birthdays of your family and your closest friends.

It’s important to celebrate with those closest to you and having it scheduled reminds you of planning ahead to get something special and also so you keep the date free.

Step 2) Schedule all of the holidays you wish to take.

For this, start with the public holidays. If you’re in Australia, I’ve already scheduled the public holidays for you in the template. Otherwise, delete the Australian holidays and insert the public holidays for your location.

Next, schedule the time your leave from your job or the time off you wish to take from your business. Next year, I’m planning to take a break once every 3 months and take a short trip somewhere with my wife and daughter.

Scheduling holidays is super-important. It gives you something to look forward to which keeps you engaged during the time you’re working, but it also serves as a time to relax, rejuvenate and refocus on what you’re achieving in your life.

Step 3) Schedule the major business/career events that you want to achieve.

For example, I’ve scheduled the product launches, community challenges or other promotions that I plan to do in 2017 for my business. This provides me clarity on what I need to focus on and when as well as a better prediction of my income for the year.

Step 4) Schedule weekly or regular activities that you will need to complete to move you towards your larger goals.

For example, I’ve scheduled when I’m going to be publishing a blog post or video to my business. Although I haven’t yet determined exactly what each blog post is going to be about, I’ve given each date a general topic that I will be covering which feeds back to what you have asked to know more about (eg, is it Personal Development or is it Business).

Step 5) Schedule the due dates of your goals for the year or any other ad-hoc activities that you want to accomplish.

This is another great way of reminding you of the major goals you’re trying to achieve. As you have already scheduled your major work commitments, this could be any other goal related to your health, relationships, finances, personal growth, fun & recreation or physical environment.

To see how satisfied you currently are in each of the different areas of your life, do the Wheel of Life assessment. It takes 5 minutes and provides a great starting point for this exercise.

Entering the New Year With Clarity

This process doesn’t take long to do. I whipped my calendar up a couple of days ago in about an hour. Over the next few days I’ll be fine-tuning it.

Going into the New Year with clarity on how many days you’re going to have off versus how many days you’re going to be spending on creating versus how many days you’re going to be spending on promoting etc really helps you to feel calm and collected about the year ahead.

You can enter the New Year with full knowledge that your life is going to be balanced and that you will achieve the things that you have planned to do (as long as you stick to it). It will also help you to avoid getting stressed or overwhelmed.

Next Year I have 117 days scheduled to be off. This means I’m going to be working for the remaining 248 days. Now that I know this, I have a real sense of peace knowing that about 1 in every 3 days for the whole year is going to be a day that I can relax and do anything I wish to that I haven’t planned for.

It also gives me comfort that I can better predict how my year is going to unfold and how much income I’m going to make from my businesses.

Your Turn

I’ve given you the tool and the process for getting clarity on the year ahead. Now, my challenge to you is to take 30 minutes, right now, and create your year. At this time of year, lots of people talk about making the next year their best ever but few actually take the time to plan it out and make it so.

If you can’t do it right now, then schedule 30 minutes to do it in the next few days.

If you know of someone that might benefit from this tool and process, I encourage you to share this with them.

As a head’s up, I’m going to be opening up the doors to my Launch Your Life Academy next week, where you can get my step-by-step blueprint for creating your life masterplan and taking massive action.

Have a great weekend and speak to you in a few days!

Brendan

The post Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever (Free 2017 Planner) appeared first on The Start of Happiness.

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I’ve created a simple to use daily planner because I’ve been really focused on personal productivity recently.

Now that I’m building my career and my business, focusing on my health and fitness, throw in some social activities all while being a new father, changing nappies and supporting my daughters growth, TIME IS PRECIOUS!

The older I get, the more I realise that time is the most precious thing we have in our lives.

So I need to make sure I’m getting the absolute most out of my days.

To do this, I’ve been working on my own approach to planning my day. I know there are hundreds of daily planners our there, but for me, I like to keep things as simple as possible.

Recently, I’ve created a simple daily planner that is working absolute wonders for my productivity. It takes everything I’ve learned about productivity and distills it down into a nice, simple, 1-page plan that takes me less than 5 minutes to do each morning (as quick as 60 seconds).

Simple Daily Planning Template to SUPER-CHARGE Your Productivity - YouTube

The Five MUST-HAVE’s in a Daily Planner

Ok, so there are some key components of a daily planner that are absolutely MUSTS for ensuring you get the most from your day:

1. Linked to Your Life Goals

First and foremost, everything that you put down in your daily planner MUST be linked to something greater that you want to achieve in life. If it’s not part of something bigger and important to you, then why are you doing it at all?

2. Step-by-Step Activities

There is no point just having on your daily plan “Do X Project”. You need to break that down into specific things you will get done today.

For example, you could write down:

  • Email Sophie schedule for training
  • Create module 4 of training
  • Meet with Jo to confirm module 4 meets training needs
  • Upload leadership training video to Dropbox

By doing this, you remove any need to THINK later in the day. Your brain will thank you as your willpower and energy is a limited resource. This is a great tip in keeping you energised, focused and progressing on what’s important without killing time.

3. Prioritised

Your activities need to be prioritised.

ALWAYS do the MOST IMPORTANT task first thing in the morning.

Why?

Because this is when you have the most energy and willpower.

As I mentioned above, your energy and willpower are limited resources so you need to use them wisely.

Also, have you ever noticed that when you do a big, important task first thing in the morning you feel great about yourself? You feel accomplished and confident. You feel producitive. This feeling and momentum will flow with you throughout your entire day.

Conversely, have you ever noticed that when you put off your most important task that you spend valuable mental energy thinking about it throughout the day? Dreading it? Coming up with excuses? Again, this takes away your energy and also your focus, distracting you from your current tasks at hand.

Always prioritise and always do your most important task first.

4. Capture New Tasks

Throughout the day, you will always be thrown new tasks and activities to do.

Do you have to do them right then and there? Most likely not.

My rule is if it takes less than 2 minutes to do, do it right then and there.

If it’s something that’s going to takes more than 2 minutes, then write it down as a new activity to complete and then quickly get back to doing your most important task for the day.

Whatever you do, don’t get distracted by tasks that you haven’t planned for that end up taking you hours to complete. That’s a recipe for an unproductive and unfulfilling day. It will also reinforce the fact that you don’t have control in your life. You HAVE control. But you have to take ownership of that.

5. Review Your Day

This is one that, admittedly, I only started doing recently.

But I absolutely love it!

Reviewing your day enables you to reflect on what went well (it reinforces the great stuff you have done and it gives you a feeling of accomplishment and confidence) as well as reflect on what you could have done better (enabling you to continually tweak your performance for future days).

The review shouldn’t take long. It takes me about 60 seconds… sometimes a little longer if I have something deeper to reflect on.

You just need to answer 2 questions:

  • What went well today?
  • What could I have done better or differently today?

That’s it!

My Daily Planner

At the beginning of each day I open a new page in my workbook and write down 3 headings:

  1. Today (eg Monday)
  2. New
  3. Review
1) Today (eg Monday)

Under the day (eg Monday), I write down the big buckets of things I need to get done and then bullet point out the specific action steps that I need to take.

I want to try make sure that everything on this list are the big, important things I need to get done. I then order them by what I need to get done first.

I do capture the small things I need to get done too (eg book dentist appointment), but they are obviously prioritised last and if I don’t get to them I push them to the next day.

Once I have this list I get straight into my first action item. Note that prior to this, I’m always functioning best if I have had a solid breakfast, done some exercise, and have showered and dressed.

2) New

Under “New”, I capture any new action items that come up that day that I need to get done at some point (I don’t necessarily do them this day. I just capture them so I don’t have to try remember them).

3) Review

At the end of the day, I take a couple minutes to review all the items I have crossed off for the day and get that nice satisfying feeling!

Then under the “Review” heading, I write down my answers to the 2 questions above: “What went well today?” and “What could I have done better or differently today?”

Your Turn

So that’s it!

Simple, straight-forward and very effective.

Do you have a personal daily planner that you use? What do you do differently?

I encourage you to test this in your own life. Let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d love to hear your results!

Brendan

P.S. I’m currently working on a number of tools that I know you’re going to love. These are tools that you can quickly and easily use to enhance your life… perfect for coaches and perfect for individuals wanting to improve their lives. Stay tuned!

P.P.S. Click here to download my Daily Productivity Planner

The post Simple Daily Planner to Increase Your Productivity appeared first on The Start of Happiness.

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Starting a blog can change your life.

Seriously.

It’s changed my life and I know it’s changed thousands of other’s lives.

When I was working at my previous employer I knew I wanted to start something on my own. I knew that I wanted to build a business and a business that was linked to what I was passionate about.

I didn’t know exactly what that business would look like (and I’m still evolving it greatly as we speak). But I knew I just had to do something.

The Best Advice I Ever Received.

Just quickly, I want to share the best advice I ever received.

I attended a local workshop that was an introduction on how to meditate. The facilitator is a well-known personal development speaker here in Australia and I had previously attended a couple of his other workshops.

I love facilitating workshops and training others and what he was doing was inspirational to me. He had built a million-dollar business by speaking and running workshops on personal development.

Back to the meditation workshop… at the end I went up to him and asked “Hey Ben, I love what you do! I would love to do something similar to what you’re doing. How do I do it?”

I stood there waiting for his answer eagerly like this was going to be the golden words of wisdom that would completely change my life.

He looked at me and said casually “It’s simple. Just get started.”

I was a little confused.

I had already started… I was reading personal development books every day. I was focusing on my goals. I was doing stuff! I had already started!

I remember leaving and thinking to myself how lame that advice was… that’s what any Tom, Dick and Harry would say.

But over the following week I was reflecting on that advice and the more and more I thought about it the more and more it started to hit me.

It really was true.

There aren’t any barriers except the ones that I create for myself.

I just needed to get started.

I needed to start building a platform and building my expertise in an area that I was passionate about and on a topic that I would love to facilitate training on and help others.

So, it was born.

My blog – The Start of Happiness.

And since I got started, my life has changed and continues to change.

I now have 2 online businesses that have started as a blog and I am able to help over 20,000 people from all parts of the world live a more fulfilling, successful life.

It’s pretty amazing.

And it all started to happen because I started a blog.

But there are other benefits too.

Top 10 Benefits of Starting a Blog

Below, I share with you my Top 10 Benefits of Starting a Blog.

1) Clearing Your Mind

Something special happens when you express your thoughts on paper (or through a blog).

All those jumbled thoughts that are running through your head start to become streamlined. You can start to add some structure to your thoughts.

Feeling overwhelmed? Have a million and one ideas running through your head? Or not sure about how to deal with a specific situation?

The art of writing down your thoughts will give you a sense of “cleansing” of the mind.

A blog is a perfect way of doing this and the power of writing and it’s benefits have been proven in numerous psychological studies.

2) You Become Vulnerable

One of the biggest things we fear in life is being vulnerable.

That’s why public speaking is up there with death as one of the biggest fears in life. It makes you vulnerable.

It’s natural for us as humans to do everything we can to protect ourselves, our image and our reputation.

However, one of the most attractive qualities of another human is… wait for it… vulnerability!

When someone is 100% true to themselves and they express 100% who they are, you are attracted to it.

Starting a blog will help you become more vulnerable and put yourself out there more.

Even if no one reads your blog… the fact that it is on the internet and that potentially someone might read it you start to feel that vulnerability.

Vulnerability helps you grow as a person. It’s about being outside of your comfort zone.

3) Creative Expression

Blogs are a great way creatively expressing yourself.

We all need some kind of creative outlet. And the benefits of creative expression are huge.

There are a number of ways you can creatively express yourself through blogging. Obviously, writing is the most visible way. But things like designing your website and or producing videos are further ways you can express yourself creatively.

4) Develop Your Expertise

No matter what you are doing in your life, you can always learn more.

Starting a blog enables you to think about things in greater detail and enables you to structure your thoughts and what you learn (see point 1 above).

By focusing on a particular topic for your blog you will notice that you start to develop a deeper understanding of that topic. You will start exploring other blogs in your niche and you will consciously (and subconsciously) become better and more knowledgeable.

Not only that, but people will start to recognise you as an expert on that topic.

I started my journey by reading personal development books and attending personal development seminars. Now people come to me for advice on productivity, happiness and business… and this is just because I have developed my expertise (and showcased this) through blogging.

5) Develop Productive Habits

This is one of my favourite things about starting a blog.

I’m a nutter for high-performance. I love doing anything and everything possible to help me perform at my best. And blogging is one of those things that will help you develop productive habits.

Blogging will create discipline in you.

Whether you decide to stick to a regular blog schedule or not, it doesn’t matter. The art of writing and knowing that you have the blog and committing to it being updated will create all-round discipline and this will have positive flow on effects to other areas of your life.

6) Develop Relationships With People You Admire

One of the most amazing things I have experienced since I started my blog is just how easy it is to get in contact with and how willing to help all other bloggers are.

It’s like this great, big, community feel of people making a difference in the world.

But it’s not even just bloggers. Its entrepreneurs. Its speakers. It’s anyone trying to build their brand, expertise or business. It’s anyone trying to better themselves.

When I first started focusing on happiness it was amazingly easy to setup a coffee conversation with Dr Tim Sharp, Australia’s leading happiness guru and a Skype conversation with Alexander Kjerulf, one of the world’s leading happiness experts. This is before I even had any kind of brand or influence. This is just one example of many I’ve had over the last few years.

7) Become a Better Communicator

Now that I have been blogging for some time, I have noticed that I’m much more aware of how I structure my sentences and my language.

This is not just with the written word, but with my spoken word as well.

Writing emails and writing articles has helped me focus on how I can get my teaching point across while also keeping you engaged as a reader.

It’s all about engagement and influencing others and blogging has certainly helped me here.

8) Build a Business

When I first started The Start of Happiness I knew that I wanted to make an income from the blog but I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to go about it.

Four months after starting I added a link to one of my blog posts to another bloggers product (see point 6 above) for a product on making friendships. It was for an ebook that he was selling for $34. Someone purchased his ebook after clicking through from my link and I was paid a 50% commission.

I made $17!

Amazing.

This was just the start. From this point onwards I knew it was possible to make an income from a blog.

Since then, I have grown The Start of Happiness to have 4 streams of income (Launch Your Life Academy, First 1000 Subscribers, Google AdSense and Affiliate Promotions) all while focusing on providing massive value to you as part of my community.

I was also inspired to build a more traditional business and used a blog as the primary driver behind this. I launched Gradrecruit – a graduate recruitment business and this is another area of life that has developed because of starting a blog.

Having a blog will help you start and grow a business, create leads, give you a platform to promote products to and generate an income.

9) Live a More Intentional Life

When you have a blog, you have a sense of purpose.

As you start to put yourself “out-there” more (see vulnerability in point 2 above) you will notice that you start to live more intentional.

You will start to focus on how you can provide more value to those that are reading your blog.

You will start to reflect more on your own life and how you are living and demonstrating the things that you are teaching through your blog.

Ultimately, you will feel more of a sense of accountability and intention for what you are doing with your life.

10) Make a Difference

This is the biggest one for me.

When I’m on my deathbed I want to know that I have put in 110% and made as much of a positive impact in this world as I can.

Having a blog will enable you to reach out to and communicate with people that are interested in what you have to say.

You have knowledge and life experience that can benefit others. You have a fantastic opportunity through blogging to be able to impart your knowledge and experience on others and make a difference in their life, whether you know them or not!

That’s a powerful thing.

3 Quick Steps to Start Your Blog Now

Here are the three things you need to get started with a blog right now.

Step 1: Get a domain name and hosting with Bluehost

The first thing you need is to get a domain name and hosting. You can do this all in one go with Bluehost.

It will take you about 15 minutes to get fully setup with your WordPress blog installed.

Simply goto Bluehost, click on Get Started Now and follow the prompts. Easy!

Step 2: Choose a great-looking theme from Studiopress

To stand out from the millions of other blogs on the internet you want to make sure you have great design.

Studiopress themes run on the Genesis Framework. The framework is simply the “skeleton” or backend of the theme. Why is this useful? The Genesis Framework is widely considered the fastest, most responsive and cleanest code available. It’s second to none and with the sexy themes from Studiopress you will stand out like a rockstar and Google will reward you with higher search rankings. You can purchase a theme and the Genesis Framework together.

Step 3: Get an email service provider – Aweber

To be able to capture email addresses and build a community and make a difference in others lives, you need to have an email marketing program.

Aweber is widely considered the best option for starting out. It’s cheap, it’s easy to use and you can start building an email database in minutes.

I have used Bluehost, Studiopress and Aweber from the very beginning and I still use them today. I’ve never had any issues and they have been instrumental in allowing me to build my online platform.

Over to You

Do you have a blog? If so, what benefits have you experienced?

Are you thinking of starting a blog? If so, what is the main reason you want to start a blog?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

BB

P.S. Next week I’m opening the doors to my First 1000 Subscribers course. This will give you the proven blueprint to skyrocketing your subscribers. Stay tuned!

The post 10 Ways Blogging Will Change Your Life appeared first on The Start of Happiness.

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The official Top 150 Travel Blogs is here!

What an exciting list to pull together.

I’m proud to say that this is the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of travel blogs anywhere in the world today!

As North America and Europe head into Summer, and Australia and New Zealand head into Winter, it’s a fantastic time to explore opportunities for travel. What better way of doing this then to bring you the absolute best travel blogs currently online… in fact, we bring you the Top 150!

There is so much useful information here. The key to all this information is being able to quickly find the blogs that resonate with you and have information and advice on places that you desire to go to (or didn’t even know you desired to go to!).

The Best Travel Blogs for 2016

Many of these bloggers set out with the intention to simply keep a diary of their travels online and to share their experiences with those interested. Some of these bloggers are now full-time travelers and their blog is their primary source of income. Amazing right? After sifting through all of these travel blogs, I can say that I am greatly impressed with everyone’s work!

It is somewhat tricky putting together a list of the Top 150 travel blogs as it can be rather subjective in nature. To avoid this, I’ve removed any of my own opinions or judgments and let pure metrics do the talking.

What I have created is a list of travel blogs that rank from the most trafficked (largest number of visitors) down to the least trafficked. This list will provide you with a clear indication of how large a website is and its relative importance in the travel blogosphere. Keep in mind, even though the blogs towards the bottom are the ‘least trafficked’, they are still within the Top 150 out of hundreds and thousands of travel blogs out there on the internet (if not more!).

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that a larger site (a site ranked towards the top) does not necessarily indicate that the site is of better quality. Generally speaking, you will find that the larger sites have been around for longer and have more blog posts and content being crawled by Google. Because of this, they are sure to have larger audiences. In saying that, however, the top sites have lasted the test of time and continue to have strong readership so they must be doing something right!

One thing to add, there have been numerous other top travel blog lists over the last couple of years. Never before has a list been this comprehensive and never before has it been shared with a personal development audience.

http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Best-Travel-Blogs-2016.pdf

How to Use This List

This is YOUR LIST.

If you are currently travelling or you are thinking about taking a holiday somewhere, then this is a resource that I encourage you to save and come back to on a regular basis.

Most places in this world have been explored before and it’s easy to follow the beaten path. However, many of the bloggers on this list have had incredible experiences in places I never knew existed. There are so many secrets to the world among this list of blogs… I encourage you to explore destinations and activities that you have never even thought of before (or never even thought possible that there were such places on Earth).

As you travel around or when you’re planning your next adventure, I encourage you to come back to this list and find the hidden gems of destinations, places and activities that these bloggers have exposed for you.

Each travel blog is unique and has its own style and purpose. You will also find that you will resonate strongly with some blog owners and their content and perhaps less so with others. For this reason, there is a wide variety of blogs on the list. The one thing in common is that they all are themed around travel.

My recommendation to you is to browse through each of the blogs below at least once and then pick out the two or three blogs that really resonate with you and are linked to the destinations you would like to visit or the experiences you would like to have.

Think about the below questions as you sift through each blog:

  • Which bloggers have traveled to destinations I would like to travel to?
  • Which bloggers have traveled to the place that I am currently in?
  • Which bloggers have had the kinds of experiences that I would like to experience?

When you find something you like, be sure to subscribe to their content and stay informed.

How The Top 150 Travel Blogs are Ranked

The Top 150 Travel Blogs are ranked in order from the most-trafficked (largest number of visitors) to the least-trafficked (although the smallest in this case is still a Top 150 Blog!)

I have used the Alexa rank of the website as the primary ranking method. Alexa provides a relative ranking of each website based on the number of visitors it receives. A rank of 100,000 would mean that the site is the 100,000th most visited site on the internet. With the millions and millions of websites on the internet, such a ranking is classified as pretty good! Just so you know, Google’s rank is #1, Facebook is ranked #2 and YouTube is ranked #3. The Top 150 Travel Blogs are ranked by Alexa scores (as of January 2016).

People often question the validity of such tools, however, when comparing more generally the relative size of a website they are quite accurate and very useful indicators. Other tools might indicate that a lower-ranked blog in our Top 150 is infact larger than a higher-ranked blog, but generally speaking, the Top 10 websites will always be larger than those ranked 10-20, and those ranked 10-20 will always be larger than those ranked 20-30 etc. To sum it up, the larger and more trafficked sites will always tend to be ranked higher regardless of the tool being used.

Do you want to get really funky with the Top 150 blogs? I’m pleased to let you know that the Top 150 table is dynamic. This means that you can search for your favourite blog to see where it is ranked and sort by any column, such as page rank or alphabetical order. This is your list. Have fun with it!

Without further ado, let me introduce you to the Best Travel Blogs for 2016!

The Winners

CONGRATULATIONS to every blogger that has made this Top 150 list! I personally give you a high-five and want to say you’re having an impact on others by going off the beaten-track!

If your blog is one of the Top 150, you have the honour of displaying the following badge on your site. This is the most comprehensive list of travel blogs on the internet and I’m honoured to have you as part of this! Simply use the code provided below to add it to your site.

Use the below code to display this badge proudly on your website. You deserve it!:

<a href=”http://www.startofhappiness.com/travel-blogs/”><img src=”http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/best-travel-blog-badge-300×300.png”></img></a>

(you may need to replace the inverted commas – “” on your own site for the image to work).

http://www.startofhappiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Best-Travel-Blogs-2016.pdf

 WEBSITEOWNER'S NAMEALEXA RANK
1Nomadic MattMatt Kepnes17,893
2Messy Nessy ChicVanessa Grall26,041
3The Expert VagabondMatt Karsten35,074
4Y TravelCraig Makepeace45,634
5The Planet DDave and Deb56,135
6Adventurous KateKate McCulley56,222
7MigrationologyMark Wiens65,935
8A Luxury Travel BlogPaul Johnson74,800
9Young AdventuressLiz Carlson82,010
10Alex in WanderlandAlex Baackes88,102
11The Blonde AbroadKiersten Rich90,184
12The Savvy BackpackerJames Feess96,938
13Our Awesome PlanetAnton Diaz98,879
14The Poor TravelerYoshke Dimen & Vins Carlos100,544
15The ExpeditionerMatt Stabile101,093
16Johnny JetJohn DiScala103,402
17Never Ending FootstepsLauren Juliff107,461
18Just One Way TicketSabrina Iovino108,472
19Map HappyErica Ho111,733
20Goats on the RoadNick Wharton & Dariece Swift113,941
21Everything EverwhereGary Arndt119,072
22Uncornered MarketDaniel Noll119,220
23Legal NomadsJodi Ettenberg120,766
24A Dangerous BusinessAmanda Williams122,802
25Nomadic SamuelSamuel Jeffery128,062
26The Travel HackMonica Stott128,429
27LandlopersMatt Long131,576
28Wandering TraderMarcello Arrambide132,542
29One Step 4WardJohnny Ward134,504
30Out of TownMelo Villareal135,534
31Hecktick TravelsDalene and Pete Heck136,667
32Go BackpackingDavid Lee137,195
33Nomad RevelationsJoão Leitão138,197
34Travel DudesMelvin Böcher138,933
35Pinoy AdventuristaMervin Margasian141,700
36The EverywhereistGeraldine DeRuiter141,801
37Solo TravelerJanice Waugh142,080
38Never Ending VoyageSimon Fairbairn & Erin McNeaney144,467
39I Am AileenAileen Adalid147,037
40Leave Your Daily HellRobert Schrader149,985
41True NomadsJustin Carmack150,516
42Be My Travel MuseKristin Addis152,589
43Francis TaponFrancis Tapon153,933
44Breathe Dream GoMariellen Ward153,951
45Wandering EarlEarl Baron158,187
46Extra Pack of PeanutsTravis Sherry158,221
47Almost FearlessChristine Gilbert160,696
48Travel With BenderErin Bender162,655
49Brendan's AdventuresBrendan Van Son162,909
50Twenty-Something TravelStephanie Yoder169,499
51Where's Sharon?Sharon170,405
52Travels of AdamAdam Groffman173,524
53The Cheapest DestinationsTim Leffel175,014
54Green Global TravelBret Love185,839
55Velvet EscapeKeith Jenkins190,847
56Keep Calm and TravelClelia Mattana196,453
57eTrampingCezary Krol196,794
58Bucket List JourneyAnnette White198,053
59Ordinary TravelerChristy and Scott198,969
60Grrrl TravelerChristine Kaaloa199,143
61Off the PathSebastian Canaves Vives203,771
62Travel O CaféLaura and Cipri203,777
63Vicky Flip Flop TravelsVicky Philpott207,132
64Hole in the DonutBarbara Weibel207,706
65My Tan FeetYeison and Samantha208,105
66GoNomadMax Hartshorne211,357
67The WandererSiddharta Joshi215,628
68Wanderlust and LipstickBeth Whitman216,228
69Time Travel TurtleMichael Turtle217,943
70Inside the Travel LabAbi King222,355
71Budget TravellerKash Bhattacharya222,849
72Never Stop TravelingJim Ferri228,801
73Turkish Travel BlogNatalie Sayin230,098
74The Barefoot NomadCharles and Micki Kosman231,541
75A Little AdriftShannon O'Donnell232,082
76Amateur TravelerChris Christensen232,825
77GloboTreksNorbert Figueroa237,964
78Hither and ThitherAshley Muir Bruhn238,620
79Fox NomadAnil Polat241,021
80Finding the UniverseLaurence244,512
81OttsworldSherry Ott244,573
82Camels and ChocolateKristin Luna250,126
83The Vacation GalsKara Williams250,857
84Globetrotter GirlsDani Heinrich251,131
85TriphackrClint Johnston251,169
86Man on the LamRaymond Walsh254,280
87Dave's Travel CornerDavid Thompson259,241
88Crazy Sexy Fun TravelerAlexandra Kovacova271,526
89Traveling CanucksCam Wears279,830
90Have Baby Will TravelCorinne McDermott291,714
91Monkeys and MountainsLaurel Robbins300,199
92Bacon is MagicAyngelina Brogan300,359
93Wild JunketNellie Huang307,214
94The Constant RamblerKenin Bassart316,237
95The GypsyNesterVeronica and David James324,524
96Go See WriteMichael Hodson325,227
97Travel MamasColleen Lanin327,244
98Vagabond JourneyWade Shepard333,880
99Uncovering PAJim Cheney341,220
100Ken Kaminesky PhotographyKen Kaminesky343,813
101Women on the RoadLeyla Giray Alyanak357,250
102The Lazy TravelersAshley Chalmers358,285
103Runaway JunoJuno Kim358,801
104Geotraveler's NicheLola Akinmade Åkerström363,460
105Nomadic NotesJames Clark366,203
106Heather on Her TravelsHeather Cowper379,622
107Souvenir FinderKristin Francis403,857
108Just TravelousYvonne Zagermann409,461
109The Professional HoboNora Dunn410,503
110Changes in LongitudeLarissa and Michael412,372
111Tips for Family TripsAllison Laypath423,183
112Wandering EducatorsEd Forteau424,913
113Ever In TransitCassie Kifer427,817
114Delicious BabyDebbie Dubrow438,540
115My Travel AffairsMarysia Maciocha445,236
11612 HoursAnna Peuckert450,520
1171Dad1Kid
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Historically, the term ‘introvert’ has been considered as being largely negative. Introverts are often the victims of fundamental misunderstandings, however, as others confuse them as being shy, overly analytical and in some instances entirely bereft of empathy for others.

Not only are these perceptions false, but they also disguise the fact that being an introvert offers many potential advantages. This is particularly true in the workplace, where many introverted character traits lend themselves to being a more responsive and effective employee.

8 Advantages of Being an Introvert at Work

So what exactly are the major advantages of being an introvert at work, and how can you capitalise? Let’s explore this further:

1. Introverts are Great Listeners

One of the core strengths of an introvert is their innate ability to listen, and there are several reasons for this. To begin with, introverts are more comfortable listening than holding court within a conversation, while they are also more thoughtful about what they say and often use the responses of their conversational partners to influence their input.

This can highly beneficial in the workplace, as introverts have an opportunity to absorb knowledge and insight from those around them in a bid to progress their careers. This is in stark contrast with extroverts, who often use professional conversations as a stage to promote themselves without listening to what is expected of them.

To make the most of this opportunity, be particularly attentive to your colleagues and those in positions of seniority. Above all, make sure that you process any information that can help you perform better as an employee and identify opportunities for growth.

2. Introverts Can Be Relied Upon by Leaders

On a similar note, listening is a skill that helps to build trust and respect within the workplace. This is why even charismatic, extroverted leaders tend to recruit introverts in position of power, as they can be trusted to listen attentively to concise instructions and implement these with a minimum of fuss.

While I have seen numerous individuals with introverted personalities attain promotions at work, it is still important to use your initiative where possible within your role. This will help you to take further steps into leadership while and build your confidence as an employee.

3. Introverts Make for Thoughtful and Open-minded Leaders

One of the main perceptions surrounding introverts is that they do not make good leaders. This is largely untrue, however, as while those with an introverted persona may lack charisma they are thoughtful and open-minded when developing strategies, considering innovative ideas and recruiting staff members.

The latter point is particularly important, as extroverts can be insecure and competitive in their nature and this may cause friction with certain, successful members of staff. You must therefore take steps to show your open-mindedness and thoughtfulness in the workplace, while also avoiding any conflict or petty competition with colleagues.

4. Introverts are Empathetic Employees

As a general rule, introverts boast an extremely high level of self-awareness and are extremely sensitive to the needs of those around them. This is an unusual philosophy in the workplace, where so many are preoccupied with their own issues and the desire to progress their careers.

Introverts can capitalise on this, however, simply by being themselves and showing consideration for colleagues, teammates and employers. This will help you to stand out as an individual, especially if you are willing to be flexible in your role when pressure is created by long-term absences and sickness.

5. Introverts Tend to Have a Better Work-life Balance

If there is one lesson I have learned from work, it is that the daily interaction with colleagues and employers can be extremely draining for anyone with an introverted personality. This is something that introverts are conscious of at all times, meaning that they have an innate appreciation of the need for a positive work-life balance that can empower their personal lives.

With recent research suggesting that jobs paying an annual salary of £37,000 per annum tend to serve a tipping point in terms of the balance between sacrifice and reward in the workplace, having an appreciation of your limitations can help you to improve your life no end. Over time, this will make you a superior colleague without impacting negatively on your recreational time outside of work.

6. Introverts are Self-reflective and Excellent at Error Correction

We have already touched on the fact that introverts are excellent listeners, and this means that they are able to take on considerable feedback regarding their performance at work. Not only this, but those who are introverted also have a self-reflective mind-set that enables them to process this information and turn into action steps for their own, personal development.

Such a philosophy also allows introverts to excel when correcting their own errors, as they take their mistakes seriously once they have been highlighted and commit themselves to reverse these openly. When you consider that making mistakes is an inescapable element of being human, your natural outlook as an introvert offers you an advantage as a conscientious and thoughtful being with great integrity.

7. Introverts Enjoy More In-depth and Meaningful Proffesional Connections

We live in the digital age, where professional networks are driven by real-time chats and single line introductions. While this enables extroverts to build vast and often vacuous networks, however, it is well known that introverts crave the kind of in-depth and meaningful connection that drives genuine understanding.

This can actually be beneficial to introverts in the contemporary workplace, where intimate relationships based on knowledge and trust stand out while driving greater levels of collaboration. You can also your need for in-depth connections to build rapport with colleagues and clients alike, strengthening your position within the firm while also contributing to increased revenues.

8. Introverts Make Considered Rather Than Impulsive Decisions

Whether you are a leader or not, you will most likely have to make decisions in your professional life. While introverts are often criticised for over-analysing decisions to the point where they suffer a paralysis of thought, this is a gross exaggeration that disguises the benefits of forming well thought-out and informed decisions that have been considered from multiple angles.

In fact, the capacity of introverts to give due consideration to every aspect of a decision can benefit businesses greater, as it helps to avoid the type of impulsive mistake that can destroy even established ventures. From your own perspective as an introvert, you should therefore stay true to your inner thought processes when making a decision and resist the suggestions of those who want you to act quicker.

These are just some of the many benefits of being an introvert in the workplace, while these examples can help you to develop your career ahead of those with greater charisma and charm. If you would like to suggest any ideas that we have missed, feel free to leave your comments below!

The post 8 Advantages of Being an Introvert at Work appeared first on The Start of Happiness.

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Putting in long hours at work doesn’t always mean you’re productive.

You’re exhausted and spread thin, and you’re probably miserable to boot. You’re only going through the motions of working. You may get the job done but your output isn’t exactly your best work.

Citing a decade’s worth of research, Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer — authors of The Progress Principle — pointed out: “People are more productive and creative when they have more positive emotions.”

Employees shouldn’t rely on the benefits and incentives that their employers give. As business owners, you can be proactive about finding happiness.

Happier You, Productive You: What You can do to be Happier NOW
  1. Be an Optimist

People are too busy these days, that’s why they’re always stressed, both in their work and private lives. Positive people not only spread good vibes, but they’re also quick to see failure as a ‘new start’ or a plot twist in their lives, instead of a reason to despair and give up.

Of course, being optimistic doesn’t mean seeing rainbows all the time. It just means that you’re focusing on the positive side of things instead of dwelling on what’s going wrong. A research at the University of North Carolina also showed that optimists see more opportunities compared to negative and neutral thinking people.

  1. Don’t be Superficial

You shouldn’t rely on material things to lift your spirits. You won’t be successful finding happiness that way. Get to know yourself and confront the issues that you feel are preventing you from being happy. Then, strengthen your bonds with the people who matter to you by spending time with them.

  1. Establish Work-Life Balance

You can’t live in your office or keep taking work home. Even if you enjoy what you do, there has to be a time for you to “disconnect” from the demands of your job so you can enjoy being with your family and friends.

When you feel that you’re overworked, just think of what writer Anne Lamott said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” So, by all means, go on vacation. Money is important but not at the expense of your well-being.

  1. Secure Your Finances

Stop living from paycheck to paycheck. Come up with a strategy to save money so you can invest in things that matter to you.

Just be careful you don’t turn into a stressed out money miser. Money is important, but it’s not everything. You don’t need to have tons of cash. You just need to manage what you have the best way you can. Living within your means is a good start.

  1. Chill Out

Don’t be a slave to the clock. Learn to go with the flow and go on spur-of-the-moment adventures once in a while. I learned this three years ago, when I was a slave to the deadlines of the articles I’m writing. Even if I decreased my workload, I still felt burned out because all I did was work. Not surprisingly, all this changed when I took a 1-week impromptu vacation.

You don’t have to confine yourself to a strict routine. You can be spontaneous. For instance, you can decide to cancel your not-so-urgent meetings for the rest of the day so you can go home earlier to cook dinner for your family. You can also go for a quick ice cream break with your co-workers in the middle of the day. As long as you don’t neglect your tasks, you can have a little fun at work.

  1. Surround Yourself with Positive People

Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of 5 people around you.” Being around people who like talking about their problems without doing anything about them will spoil your mood.  Even if you say you can block them out or ignore them, their toxic vibe could still infect you.

Instead, hang out with people who are supportive of your dreams. Seek out those who inspire you to be the best version of yourself.

  1. Pay it Forward

Think outside of your own little world and do something for others. According to research by Christopher A. Morrissey and Jessica L. Collett of University of Notre Dame, when you pay it forward without expecting anything in return — even an ego boost — you’re more likely to feel happy about yourself and minimize your risk for anxiety attacks.

Do volunteer work for an organization that’s helping at-risk kids. Help out at an animal shelter. Donate to your neighborhood’s soup kitchen. Doing these good deeds will give you a sense of fulfillment that’s not related to work.

If charity isn’t your thing, find a couple of small or startup entrepreneurs you believe in. Perhaps it’s a sustainable and eco-friendly yoga mat, or connoisseur coffee beans picked by farmers protected by fair-trade practices. If you believe in what they’re doing, support them. Yes, it’s not 100% charity. But your small contribution will help someone else’s dream of changing the world, while giving back to the community.

Live a Rich and Diverse Life

While it’s important to excel at what you do, your job should not be the end-all and be-all of your existence. It’s just a job, after all. It should not be a substitute for your personal dreams.

Do other things that you genuinely enjoy or try doing the things that you’ve always wanted to do. You can learn to play an instrument. You could train for the one of the world’s largest marathons such as the Boston Marathon or the Tokyo Marathon. You can even get a sideline job. If you’re an accountant who’s always dreamed of being a chef, go and sign up for culinary school!

There’s no such thing as “too late” when it comes to what makes you happy. Remember that while your career may be a big part of your life — it’s not your entire life. You’ll be a happier and more productive person if you enrich yourself with experiences and encounters that will resonate with you long after you have left the office.

The post 7 Traits of Happy and Productive People at Work appeared first on The Start of Happiness.

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