The Art of Hustle

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Click the link in bio to learn more about @graceamazin actress, entrepreneur and philanthropist with over of 15+years experience as a business owner.

8 therapeutic lifestyle changes that promote wealth

8 therapeutic lifestyle changes

8 therapeutic lifestyle changes

It is often said that one should not just aspire to be rich but to be wealthy.  In order to understand this, we could say, while being rich only covers the financial aspect, wealth covers every aspect of our lives. Let’s Explore the following TOP 8 therapeutic lifestyle changes.

1  Exercise

We are designed to move.

Our bodies are mechanical miracles that enable us to walk, run, lift and play. As we use them, our bodies adapt and flourish. Our muscles grow stronger, our bones tougher, our hearts more powerful. Health improves: we become leaner and fitter, and less likely to develop deadly diseases such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cancer.

Exercise also benefits the brain and mind. Scientists used to think that the brain was largely unchangeable. However, now we know that the brain is amazingly responsive and can even increase in size when stimulated by exercise or meditation or when fed a healthy diet. When we walk or workout more blood and oxygen flow to the brain, and over time new blood vessels form so that the increased blood flow becomes permanent. With exercise, the brain actually increases in size as brain cells live longer, sprout new connections, and join each other to form new neural pathways. Sounds like fun right?

2 Diet & Nutrition 

Feel better by changing your diet.

For most of human history the compelling concern of everyday life was simply finding enough to eat. Fail for a day and you felt hungry; fail for several days and you starved. Consequently, humans evolved to wolf down large amounts of food whenever it was available, and to delight in sweet tasting sugars and calorie-loaded fats.

But what is good for preventing immediate starvation is not what’s good for maintaining long-term wellbeing. Lots of sugar, fat, and calories take a toll on both body and brain, as the growing epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease make all too clear. The mind also suffers. An unhealthy diet takes a toll on mood and mental acuity, eventually resulting in greater rates of depression and dementia. On the other hand, a healthy diet enhances mental function, reduces the rates of depression and dementia, and lowers the loss of mental acuity that can occur with aging. Consequently, those of us fortunate to live in countries with large amounts and varieties of readily available foods have to consciously select our diet.

In short, the foods we choose are enormously important for both our physical and mental wellbeing.

 

3   Time in Nature

We are a part of nature and nature is a part of us.

For the first time in history we live divorced from nature. We reside in huge cities, spending most of our time under artificial lighting. We keep unnatural daily rhythms, and spend hours each day immobile in front of television and computer screens. Not surprisingly, we now suffer from new disorders with picturesque names such as nature-deficit disorder, digital fog, technostress, and techno-brain burnout.

Fortunately spending time in natural settings is healing and restorative. If you start spending more time in nature, you’ll likely feel better emotionally and spiritually, and also function better intellectually and socially.Being in nature is healing. For example, natural settings can reduce symptoms of stress, depression, and attention deficit disorder. Likewise, patients in hospital rooms that overlook natural settings suffer less pain after surgery, require less pain medication, and leave hospital sooner.

4 Contribution

Service is not necessarily a sacrifice, but rather can benefit both giver and receiver.

Service is said to serve the giver by reducing painful unhealthy mind-states such as greed, jealousy, and egocentricity while strengthening pleasant, healthy mind-states such as happiness and generosity. Psychologists agree. Their research shows that people who volunteer more are happier and healthier and even live longer. Elderly volunteers who donate their time to assist students who are having trouble at school not only feel better themselves but also display improved intellectual abilities and better brain function. The same benefits can be experienced through undertaking meaningful paid work.

Society also benefits when individuals are generous. Generosity tends to lead to more generosity, and those who witness kind, caring behavior are more likely to be kind and caring themselves. The evidence is clear: generosity and service to others improves psychological, physical and brain wellbeing. When people help others, in their work or beyond it, they themselves are helped and tend to end up happier and healthier. Contribution and service to others have long been considered essential elements of a life well lived. Now they can also be considered essential elements of a healthy life.

5 Build GOOD relationships

The idea that good relationships are crucial for both physical and mental wellbeing is an ancient theme.

Philosophers, psychologists and scientists agree. In fact, the quality of our relationships is one of the most important of all lifestyle factors in determining the quality of our lives. It is amazing just how powerful our relationships are. Rich relationships lower the risk of diseases ranging from the common cold to heart disease and strokes and of psychological disorders such as depression. Good relationships are associated with greater psychological health and happiness and with better intellectual and work performance.

The dramatic effect of relationships on our wellbeing is grounded in the very design of our brain. The new research field of social neuroscience shows that we are hardwired for empathy and intimacy. Our brains resonate with one another like tuning forks, picking up subtle emotional and social cures, enabling us to empathize with others, and to literally feel what they feel.

In every relationship and in every interaction we create an intimate brain to brain link-up. This neural link allows us to feel and affect the brain function of everyone we meet. We are not only parts of social networks but parts of neural networks.

Given this intimate link between our brains, it’s no surprise that our relationships are so important and powerful and that we affect each other so dramatically.

6 Recreation

We all benefit from relaxation, humor and play, and researchers are beginning to understand why.

Playfulness is built into our biology. Youngsters of many species—from cats and dogs to monkeys and chimpanzees—spend large amounts of time playing, and in the process they learn and grow.

For children, play is more than just a way of having fun. It’s also a way of experimenting and trying new things; of testing themselves and expanding their limits, of training muscles and developing minds. Play is also a way of learning how to live together, of learning how to compete and cooperate, to make friends and acquire social skills. Yes, play is fun, but for children it’s also an integral part of learning and growing.

Adults also benefit from play, and the many benefits are summarized nicely by the word recreation, or re-creation. With recreation and play we re-create, refresh, and revitalize ourselves. We speed our recovery from work and stress, reduce painful emotions such as anxiety and worry, and foster feelings of happiness and joy. No wonder recreation and play are so good for us both physically and emotionally.

7 Relaxation and effective stress management

Stress and challenges are an inevitable part of life.

Stress can be good: it can push us to learn new skills, stretch our limits, and encourage us to reach new levels of mastery and success.

But when stress is severe, and especially when it is also chronic, then that is another matter. Severe stress exacts a toll on both body and mind. Mentally we feel anxious and tense and can easily become overwhelmed and exhausted. Over time we can end up feeling hopeless and helpless, depleted and depressed. Physically, stress takes its toll throughout the body with effects ranging all the way from tense muscles down to disrupted functioning of our genes.

However, there are many skillful strategies and practices for dealing with it, besides meditation. These include several of the other Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, or TLCs, that we are looking at. By using one or more of them we can reduce our stress and sometimes even learn and grow from it.

8 Religious/Spirituality

Religion and spirituality are vitally important to most people. In fact some 90% of the world’s population engages in religious and spiritual practices. For the other 10%, some appreciation of the “Big Picture” – the size and wonder of the Cosmos – is invaluable.

For most of these people, religion and spirituality are especially important in coping with stress and illness. When faced with health challenges or life crises, whether their own or those of loved ones, most people the world over call on their religion for help and support. Research evidence suggests that these people do in fact feel comforted and are more likely to also be happier and healthier.
However, the kind of religious involvement makes a big difference. In general, people tend to feel better and be psychologically healthier when they are involved in religious communities that emphasize qualities such as love and forgiveness, rather than focusing on themes of guilt, sin, and punishment.

What kinds of health benefits do people receive? Research demonstrates both physical and mental health benefits. Mentally, people with regular religious-spiritual practices are less likely to suffer from psychological difficulties such as anxiety and depression or drug and alcohol abuse. They are also likely to be psychologically healthier and happier, to be more resilient, and to have better relationships and marriages.

Regular religious and spiritual practices are also associated with better physical health. Such people tend to have fewer specific health problems such as high blood pressure and to be in better physical shape overall. One of the most remarkable of all research findings is that people who attend religious services weekly tend to live an average of SEVEN YEARS longer than those who don’t. But hey, Don’t worry if you are not really religious, some people substitute Yoga or meditation as a means of spiritual connection.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH and start seeing the changes that will bring you a WEALTHY LIFE.

 

Four Ways of Fostering a Less-Than-Toxic Work World

In her recent article on our toxic work world, Anne Marie Slaughter calls for a paradigm shift in how we think about the work done outside and inside the home. She puts forth a proposal: we’ve made significant strides for the equal right to work; now we should be talking about the equal right to care.

Her article harnesses a growing body of thought leadership demonstrating that flexible, results-oriented work increases profits and improves productivity; and partners it with the well-documented phenomenon of workplace differences for working moms and working dads (see Michelle Budig’s 2014 study showing that having a child helped mens’ careers, but hurt careers of women). At the same time I was reading Slaughter’s NYT piece, a colleague (a white male engineer) pointed me to a study that backs Slaughter’s conclusion with powerful data on the transformation that happens for women when workplaces go flexible: research by Harvard economist Claudia Goldin indicates that flexible work environments result in equal pay for men and women.

Slaughter’s central concern is that today’s workplaces aren’t built to support co-earning parents–our workplaces operate as if half of its employees don’t have a family to care for when they get home.

“We can, all of us, stand up for care. Until we do, men and women will never be equal; not while both are responsible for providing cash but only women are responsible for providing care.”

Last week Slaughter’s husband wrote that his wife’s career was only made possible because he slowed down his own career to be their family’s lead parent. I commend the two of them for putting forth their example as a cautionary tale for change. Some of the NYT comments critique for Slaughter painting with ideals that are out of touch with implementable solutions. My husband and I have acheived co-parenting balance, and as a CEO of a software company, my workplace has accomplished a results-oriented work environment where working parents can thrive. I can tell you how we’ve executed:

1. We encourage flexible work. At Unitive, every employee follows whatever combination of work-from-home with in-the-office time that best suits their personal life responsibilities. As a rule, standing meetings are scheduled after 10 a.m. and before 4 p.m.

2. Performance is measured by results — not facetime. Digital and productivity tools like Slack and project trackers have reduced concepts like “facetime” to an archaic vestige. The measure of each of my employees comes down to the quality of the work they contribute.

3. We have no limit to vacation days. Our vacation policy is simple: take whatever time you need it whenever you need it. No strings attached. The natural effect of flexible, digital work environments are workdays that go beyond an 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. window. Vacations are critical to employee satisfaction and mitigating burnout.

4. We value transparency. I’ve found flexible work setups operate most seamlessly in environments in which employees are also encouraged to bring their full selves to work. While employees are comfortable being as open or closed about their non-work selves, our leadership’s job is to foster a workplace that is inclusive to all individuals and lifestyles.

While we are still in the midst of our journey, our mantra of flexibility has been pivotal to the development of our corporate culture. Whether they’re male or female, a parent or non-parent – affording my employees the right to live their lives gives each of them the opportunity to contribute on equal terms and ensures that a variety of perspectives arrive – and stay – at the table. My company’s success hinges directly on this paradigm shift. The success of the American workforce is no exception.

5 Ways to Keep Employees Happy & Working Hard for You

If your employees are dragging and giving less than they’ve got, it might be a matter of motivation. It’s your job as business owner to inspire your staff, keep them happy, and fuel them to do the best job possible for your company. Here’s how.

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1. Listen to Them
When employees vent, do you get caught up in their words or do you hear the underlying problem? If they are unhappy, and it’s a reasonable request, do your best to fix it. If an employee’s issues have started to affect their attitude, you need to fix the problem before it spreads or before that employee hands in her notice.

Let your employees know they can speak to you candidly. When they do come to you, make sure you have your listening ears on. Sometimes they want a problem solved; other times, they just want a sympathetic ear. Figure out which they want and act accordingly.

2. Be Supportive
Many entrepreneurs think that support is a one-way street, in that employees support the business and not the other way around. Understand that you have an important relationship with your employees and, if you foster it properly, you can create satisfied employees that help your business grow quickly.

Consider how you can support your team. Educational development and training, motivation programs, and incentives can show that you care about each of your employees and make them feel more vested in contributing their all to your business.

3. Encourage Employee Development
Employee development sounds like it must be expensive, but it can be done simply too. It can range from setting up an informal book club to sharing thoughts on the latest developments in your industry to lunch-time lectures from one employee to the rest of the team.

It is important to give each employee the chance to shine by sharing his or her knowledge, passions or hobbies. Your receptionist can teach your team about using the phone system more effectively or your lead designer could share how to enjoy her favorite hobby – knitting – in the break room over bagels and coffee.

4. Nurture Their Growth
Offering your staff an environment where they can develop discipline, foster growth and cultivate sustainable habits will help them grow with your company. Do your best to treat your employees as equals, not minions, and encourage their capacity to grow. If you know a particular employee has grown out of his current position, don’t hold him back; consider him for a promotion or give him additional responsibilities to take on.

5. Show Your Appreciation
Gestures and words of appreciation always brighten someone’s day. While I’m sure the creator of Administrative Professionals’ Day had her heart in the right place, celebrations of this sort can feel hollow if the boss is unpleasant the other 259 days of the work year.

Build appreciation into the culture of your company. While buying a cake for the birthday boy or in the office may seem fun (unless that person is on a diet), instead, let the employee choose how to celebrate their special day. Stick a Post-It note on a staffer’s desk with a cheery note of appreciation. Give your staff a half-day off after they’ve met a particularly grueling challenge.

Keeping employees motivated and working hard for you doesn’t necessarily require that you pay them the highest salary in town. It’s the small, thoughtful ways you manage your team that help them become loyal to you and keep them happily motivated.

5 Ways to Get Personal Time Approved When Your Boss Isn’t On Board

Sure, the summer may be over, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re done with beautiful weather. Whether or not September and October bring beautiful days of Indian summer and you enjoy a day off here or there, chances are your personal time bank may not necessarily be empty.

According to Fortune, employees in the U.S. squander approximately 429 million paid vacation days every year. That’s worth repeating: 429 million days of unused paid time!

Data from a new Monster poll shows 22 percent — that’s nearly one out of four — U.S. employees don’t exactly have the easiest time getting to enjoy the actual paid time off, better known as PTO. Chalk it up to a difficult approval process, boss and/or challenging culture, the point remains: Some workplace environments may not necessarily be supportive of well-deserved and well-earned time away from the office as in unplugged, logged off and enjoying life. Here’s what you can do about it.

Start small: Ask for one day off.
If your boss isn’t the most receptive when you ask for a week off, break it down. Tack on a day here or there so you have long weekends to check out the foliage, get a head start on holiday or shopping or to simply enjoy a staycation in your backyard.

And when you’re offline, stay offline. Ask yourself if the entire company will collapse just because you’re out of sight, out of mind for eight hours. Have a back-up contact in place for your OOO and provide colleagues with your cell phone number if they don’t already have it so you’re reachable in case of a true emergency. Sometimes even a mental health day where you do nothing more than clean out the garage is just what the doctor ordered. Hopefully when you return to work your boss will realize it’s definitely not a bad thing you were absent. In turn, you will hopefully get more green lights to take PTO.

Be cognizant of when you’re asking for time off. If you’ve consistently asked for time off during your department’s busiest time of the year, as 2015 heads into the home stretch, be aware of asking for time pegged to your most hectic time of year. There may be a reason why, valid or not, your boss has not been on board.

That said, sometimes the time for PTO isn’t exactly in your control, especially when there’s a family commitment like an out of town wedding. You can say something to reference that you realize it isn’t the best scenario and that you also have time left which will likely go unspent. Illustrate how you’ll prepare your colleagues ahead of time.

Be aware of how you’re asking. Communication styles matter. If your boss hasn’t been on board, maybe email isn’t the best way to get a quick, curt response. Have a conversation instead and mention you’re entitled to time off and it won’t significantly impact your department.

Sometimes one of the biggest barriers we have to overcome is ourselves. Once you convince yourself wholeheartedly that you deserve this time off and leadership created this policy for a reason, respect and honor it, then figure out how to approach it based on your boss’s preferred communication styles. Plus, realize you’re setting a positive example for others in the group about the importance of taking care of yourself. In turn, that will hopefully make a positive impact on your office even though it may not be culturally accepted to do so.

Accept time off as a job requirement. When I worked in recruiting, while extending job offers, salary and title were the first points to communicate, the personal day policies followed soon thereafter. It’s no different, really than viewing it as your employer’s potential 401(k) match or health insurance — items available with implicit assumptions to be utilized to the fullest extent. These items are an all or nothing approach — why shouldn’t PTO be viewed the same way?

While some employees may bank their days since they don’t know what lies ahead, keep in mind many companies have policies in place so you can leave your personal time intact. For instance, if there’s an unfortunate death in the family, that may be tacked onto a bereavement policy of a day or two or more. And if you’re in the hospital with a loved one, perhaps there’s leniency to work remotely instead of tapping into your PTO.

Remind yourself, and your boss, of the value added when taking a break and returning to the office refreshed. If you’ve ever been burned out, you know the feeling. And in this day and age with technology, it’s harder and harder to unplug but here’s why you should: The Harvard Business Review commented on an EY study revealing that for each 10 hours of vacation employees actually took, employees’ performance ratings landed better feedback on their performance reviews the following year.

Feel free to remind both yourself and your boss that people who take time off return to the office refreshed, creative, productive and, according to the data, with an 8 percent higher performance rating!

Find a better job. Many times a boss and/or corporate culture that are unsupportive of taking a break and returning to work refreshed may be reflective of bigger, underlying issues. If you discover there isn’t a work-life balance and instead, it’s all work work work, it may be time to pause and wonder about a recurring theme as to why you’re constantly getting push back on time off that you’re entitled to. Constant push back is a sign your boss isn’t ever going to be on board. This may provide inspiration to seek a better job externally with an employer placing an emphasis on its people and their time off.

In addition, if the approval process is complex and you need several rounds of approvals and find you’re having to justify what you’re doing while you’re out of the office, like if it’s a cruise it’s worthy but if it’s a matter of spending time spring cleaning, it’s not, then it’s definitely time to pause and seek a better culture that values its employees and most importantly, their well being. All paid time off is created equally whether or not you’re doing something fun or doing chores at home. You’re still entitled to take it.

8 Things Entrepreneurial People Do Differently

Entrepreneurship goes beyond Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Garrett Camp, and it embodies something bigger than Twitter and WhatsApp. Entrepreneurship is a mindset, an attitude, and a lifestyle adopted by people who aren’t satisfied with the status quo.

It’s an approach to life that favors creativity over conformity and action over inaction. Bestselling author, investor, and entrepreneur James Altucher says that for him, “Being an ‘entrepreneur’ doesn’t mean starting the next Facebook. Or even starting any business at all. It means finding the challenges you have in your life, and determining creative ways to overcome those challenges.”

So, even if you’re not tinkering away at the next world-changing invention or looking to set up shop in Silicon Valley, there are aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset that will enrich your work and life. Here are 8 things entrepreneurial people do differently.

They’re brave enough to commit to their dreams.

walt disney quote

Entrepreneurs choose to forego the security and familiarity of a ‘regular job’ to live an uncertain and insecure lifestyle. It takes a lot of bravery to make that tradeoff, but for icons like Walt Disney, the potential reward is worth it.

They think of their customers more than themselves.

einstein

Entrepreneurs are rarely out to seek fame for themselves. Instead, they’re more concerned with the people they want to help or the problem they want to solve. This infuses their task with a layer of meaning that can be the difference between success and failure when things get tough. In his book, APE – Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, former Apple chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki writes, “In your darkest, most frustrated hours, remember the value you are trying to add to peoples’ lives, the satisfaction you’ll feel, or the cause that you’ll further.”

They never stop learning.

branson quote

Since they’re in the business of creating new products and inventing new ways of doing things, much of what entrepreneurs do can’t be taught in a classroom. They know that the most important lessons are learned through living, so throughout their lives, they remain open, flexible, and curious in order to absorb as much as possible.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, started off with a small student magazine, before eventually growing a string of record stores, a music label, an airline, and now even a commercial spaceflight company. Rather than becoming an expert in one area, he continued to learn and adapt throughout his life.

They never give up.

lombardi quote

Rarely does an inventor or entrepreneur succeed on the first try. To create something lasting and worthwhile, it usually takes years of hard work, focus, and dedication; an idea is just a starting point. Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, a spoken word poet and the founder of a production company, believes this level of persistence is a critical element of entrepreneurship. “That’s what it means to be an entrepreneur: to really focus on that one thing that does not exist yet and keep working towards it until it becomes real,”she says.

They love failing.

factory

For most of us, the fear of failure is entirely paralyzing, but for entrepreneurs, failure is something to embrace. It’s an indication of pushing the limits, and inevitable when one is constantly trying new things.

They find and fill a need of the world.

aristotle quote

Entrepreneurs want to do more than indulge their own interests — they want to solve a problem or create a product that satisfies a need.

Some started businesses because of frustration with an inefficient or defective system. Others were moved by a personal encounter with poverty or misfortune. Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, started his business after traveling to Argentina and seeing kids who didn’t have shoes: “An absence that didn’t just complicate every aspect of their lives — including essentials like attending school and getting water from the local well — but also exposed them to a wide range of diseases,” he writes inStart Something That Matters.

They take old ideas and make them way, way better.

hock quote

While one might think that entrepreneurs are focused mainly on never-seen-before ideas, they often revamp an existing model or upgrade an outdated product. Sometimes, these reinvented ideas change the way we exercise, read, or eat.

And once in a while, they revolutionize ice cream.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, started out in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont, before growing a globally recognized brand that features unusual flavors like ‘Cherry Garcia’ and ‘Hazed & Confused.’ They’re also pioneers in the socially responsible business movement, speaking often about how business can give back to the community and earning Ben & Jerry’s a B-Corporation certification.

Above all, they act.

goethe quote

Entrepreneurs execute when for many others, an idea simply fades into the past. They are masters of turning the abstract into the concrete. This seemingly simple action is one of the great challenges of life and in the end, it’s what defines an entrepreneur.

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