Free January Sale Poster Template

Howdy! It’s been a while since I last posted a freebie here on Dcandies, but today I’m back with this fantastic Free January Sale Poster Template.

Over the last six months I’ve been super busy with my new project, BrandPacks.

After becoming frustrated with the web’s lack of professional stock layouts, I teamed up with two incredible designers to bring about a whole new world of templates.

With this freebie I’d like to give you a little taste of the sort of templates we’re producing. Whereas most websites produce templates in just one format, this design comes with both Photoshop PSD and Illustrator Ai formats.

See also: Free Templates for Photoshop Category

Furthermore, rather than just provide you with a January Sale Poster, we’ve also included a smaller DL card option.

With my previous experience creating templates I was often asked for designs in multiple paper sizes. So that’s exactly what we’ve done over at BrandPacks.

Each and every template we add to our store comes in a variety of different sizes, such as A3 poster, A4 poster, A5 flyer, DL card, Trifold and more.

If you like this free set of templates, please take a moment to check out the free templates over on BrandPacks too. I promise they won’t disappoint!

Quick overview of this freebie:

  • Perfect for January sales & end of year promotions
  • Comes in both Photoshop & Illustrator format
  • 100% CMYK print ready with added crop marks
  • Includes 2 templates: A4 Poster + DL Card
  • Well organised, easy to use template files

Free January Sale Templates for Photoshop & Illustrator

Free January Sale Poster Template

Free January Sale Poster Template

Free January Sale DL Card Template

Free January Sale DL Card Template

File info:

Included in the download are two templates: an A4 sized poster template and a DL sized card template. Both designs come in Photoshop & Illustrator format to give you maximum flexibility.

As with all our freebies, these templates are covered by our Uncopyright license – so you can use ’em for anything!

The post Free January Sale Poster Template appeared first on DesignerCandies.

The Habit Guide Ebook: My Most Effective Habit Methods & Solutions

habitguidepic

By Leo Babauta

I’m thrilled to share with you my newest ebook about habits, and perhaps my best yet on the topic: The Habit Guide: Zen Habits’ Effective Habit Methods & Solutions.

I wrote this for the Kickstarter backers of my Habit Zen app (so if you’re a backer, don’t buy this, check your Kickstarter updates for links to the book) … but I also had all of you in mind. I think this is a great guide for anyone who struggles with habits

Some of the essentials from the guide:

  • The basic mechanics of forming a habit
  • The one reason we fail to stick to a habit
  • A dozen+ effective methods for overcoming that obstacle (tested by me and many others)
  • Solutions to the most common habit problems
  • A whole section on forming the most common habits: exercise, eating healthily, meditation, journaling, writing, sleeping well, beating procrastination and more.

Trust me, this book is packed as full as I could pack it with all the best methods for forming habits, ones that I’ve tested on myself and many people I’ve coached in the 11+ years I’ve been forming habits.

This book is aimed at:

  • Beginners who want a guide to forming habits
  • Anyone who has struggled with habits
  • People who are willing to put in the work to form one habit at a time
  • People who want to learn to be flexible, overcome struggle, form mindfulness

If you’re an advanced habit practitioner, you probably won’t need this. I only briefly talk about more advanced topics like quitting a bad habit or forming irregular or emotional/mental habits or other difficult practices. I’m going to put out a course in the Spring called “Habit Mastery” that will focus on these types of topics.

But for everyone else, I think this is a great guide. If you’re ready to change your life, one habit at a time, I highly recommend this ebook.

The Ebook & Two Package Deals

I’ve created a few options with this guide … the first is just to get the ebook, and the other two packages have some short videos I’ve created to go with the ebook.

You can buy just the ebook here (in PDF, Kindle & iBooks formats) for $5.99:

Buy the Ebook

The first package (let’s call it “Habit Gold“, priced at $9.99) also contains three videos to go along with the ebook:

  1. The Meditation Habit: How I’ve set up my meditation habit, what cushion I use, how I sit.
  2. Lentils recipe video: A video of me making the lentils, tofu and greens recipe I am currently eating every day.
  3. The Journal Habit: How I set up my journaling habit and what app I use.

You can buy the Habit Gold package with the 3 video downloads and the ebook in 3 formats here:

Habit Gold Package

The 2nd package (let’s call it “Habit Platinum“, priced at $12.99) contains six videos (the three in Habit Gold plus three more) to go along with the ebook:

  1. The Meditation Habit: How I’ve set up my meditation habit, what cushion I use, how I sit.
  2. Lentils recipe video: A video of me making the lentils, tofu and greens recipe I am currently eating every day.
  3. The Journal Habit: How I set up my journaling habit and what app I use.
  4. Mindful Eating Habit: How I practice mindful eating.
  5. The Writing Habit: My daily writing habit, what apps I use, how I write.
  6. Resistance Meditation: The crucial meditation on resistance described in the book, shown in action.

You can buy the Habit Platinum package with the 6 video downloads and the ebook in 3 formats here:

Habit Platinum Package

Contents

Here’s the table of contents:

Introduction: Why Habits Are Important

Part I: How to Stick to a Habit

  • Chapter 1: Overview of Habit Mechanics
  • Chapter 2: Why People Struggle
  • Chapter 3: Overcoming Resistance & Procrastination
  • Chapter 4: One Habit at a Time
  • Chapter 5: Prioritizing Habits & Balancing Multiple Habits
  • Chapter 6: Start Small, Take Tiny Steps
  • Chapter 7: Finding Time for Habits
  • Chapter 8: Remembering — Set Reminders for the Habit
  • Chapter 9: Deeper Motivation
  • Chapter 10: Fully Commit (& the Inertia of Starting)
  • Chapter 11: Don’t Overdo Your Habit
  • Chapter 12: Accountability & Unmissable Consequences
  • Chapter 13: Facing Resistance with Mindfulness
  • Chapter 14: The Just Get Started Mindset
  • Chapter 15: Rule – Don’t Miss Two Days
  • Chapter 16: Distractions
  • Chapter 17: Overcoming Disruptions Like Illness & Travel
  • Chapter 18: Overcoming a Slump
  • Chapter 19: Create the Right Environment
  • Chapter 20: Practice the Skill of Mindfulness
  • Chapter 21: Journaling & Reflecting
  • Chapter 22: Don’t Rely on Feeling Like It
  • Chapter 23: Don’t Talk Yourself Out of It
  • Chapter 24: Getting Through the Dip
  • Chapter 25: Restarting & Re-motivating
  • Chapter 26: On Consistency
  • Chapter 27: Overcoming Adversity
  • Chapter 28: Changing Your Identity
  • Chapter 29: Dealing with Negative Thinking
  • Chapter 30: Habit Questions & Other Struggles

Part II: Quitting a Habit, Common Habits

  • Chapter 31: Overview of Quitting a Bad Habit
  • Chapter 32: Irregular or Frequent Habits
  • Chapter 33: Eating Habits
  • Chapter 34: Exercise Habits
  • Chapter 35: Discipline, Procrastination, & Motivation Habits
  • Chapter 36: Meditation & Mindfulness Habits
  • Chapter 37: Sleep & Waking Early Habits
  • Chapter 38: Writing or Journaling Daily
  • Chapter 39: Financial Habits
  • Chapter 40: Notes on Other Habits

Book Formats

I’ve written the book in PDF, Kindle (mobi) and iBooks (epub) formats. You can buy them all in one compressed file here for $5.99:

Buy the Ebook

Kindle Store: If you just want to buy the book from the Amazon Kindle store, you can buy it here for $5.99. That will only be the Kindle format, though. I would love it if you gave me a good review and/or rating! (Note: It should be available in all of the global Amazon stores.)

iBooks Store: If you just want to buy the book from the Apple iBooks store, you can buy it here for $4.99. That will only be the iBooks/epub format, though. And again, I would love it if you gave me a good review and/or rating! (Note: It’s available in all of the global iBooks stores.)

Also, the Habit Gold package includes the three ebook formats (PDF, mobi, epub) plus a package of three videos for $9.99 that you can buy here:

Habit Gold Package

And finally, the Habit Platinum package includes the three ebook formats (PDF, mobi, epub) plus a package of six videos for $12.99 that you can buy here:

Habit Platinum Package

Table of Contents & Sample Chapters

If you’d like to see the table of contents, plus the introduction and first two chapters, you can download/open the PDF here:

Table of Contents & Sample Chapters

Questions

You have questions, I have answers.

Q: What do I get when I buy the ebook?

A: If you buy it using the blue “buy the ebook” button above, you’ll get a PDF with links to the PDF, epub (for iBooks) and mobi (for Kindle) files.

If you buy from the Kindle store, you’ll just get the Kindle book.

If you buy from the iBooks store, you’ll just get the epub version.

If you buy the Habit Gold package, you’ll get the three formats plus links to download three companion videos that I’ve recorded.

Finally, you can buy Habit Platinum Package with the 6 video downloads and the ebook in 3 formats.

Q: Is there a print version? What about an audiobook version?

A: No, sorry. This is only being released as an ebook.

Q: I bought the package, but where are the video files?

A: Open the PDF file you downloaded … there are links to download the video files in the PDF.

Q: Did you do the design yourself?

A: No, I wish! The cover was designed by Dave of Spyre, and the interior was designed by Shawn Mihalik.

Q: I’m hugely disappointed and want my money back!

A: I’m sorry to hear that. There’s a 100% money back guarantee on all my books. Just email support@zenhabits.net and we’ll give you a full refund. I don’t want unhappy customers.

Posted in: Uncategorized |

Holiday ReleasingFest (Free)

Learning Strategies is hosting a free audio streaming event this week, based on the Sedona Method. It’s intended to help you destress and enjoy the holidays more, and it covers overcoming various limiting beliefs and inner blocks. It’s called ReleasingFest and runs for six days, from Nov 28 to Dec 3.

I’ve gone through a lot of Hale Dwoskin’s material myself, and he’s also created some free Sedona Method audios just for this community. Hale and I met several years ago and have attended some leadership retreats together. He’s a really playful, heart-centered guy with a lots of deep experience helping people overcoming emotional blocks. If you’ve had some heaviness in your life lately, and you’d like to lighten your energy more and create a better sense of possibility, I’d recommend giving this Fest a listen.

You can access this via your web browser or phone, and each day there’s a new lesson for you to listen to. The first two lessons are already online, so you can listen to them now. It actually started on Monday, but you can still access Monday’s session for a short time.

All six days of the Fest are free, with new sessions posted each day. Each session can be streamed for free for a limited time. There are also some free Paraliminals you can listen to as well, which is especially nice if you like meditation.

Get free access to ReleasingFest, and enjoy! 🙂

The post Holiday ReleasingFest (Free) appeared first on Steve Pavlina - Personal Development for Smart People.

Posted in: Uncategorized |

Video: How We Get Hooked, & How to Unlearn Our Patterns

By Leo Babauta

In more ways than we often realize, we get caught up in our stories, and get latched into mental patterns that leave us frustrated, angry, full of resentment … or cause us to procrastinate.

In other words, getting caught up is the cause of lots of our problems.

I recorded a webinar this weekend for my Sea Change members about how we get hooked into our patterns of fear, reaction, resentment, and more … and how to start changing our patterns to something new.

I’d like to share this video with you because I believe it will be helpful for many. If you’re interested in more on this topic, join my Sea Change Program today to take my newly launched video course, the Path of Fearlessness.

I’ve broken this webinar recording into two parts:

  1. Part I: My talk on the patterns of getting hooked, how to interrupt them, and how to form new mental habits.
  2. Part II: I answered questions on practicing at work and elsewhere, forgiving yourself, big past fears resurfacing, and more!

But if you want to watch or listen to the full webinar in one piece, you can download the full video here, or the full audio here.

Part I: Leo’s Talk (with notes)

You can download this video here, or download just the audio. Or watch below.

Here are the notes from my talk (video is below the notes):

  • Fear has so much power over us because it happens when we don’t notice, and we just immediately get caught up in it.
  • We procrastinate, we lash out, we get caught up in anxiety, we hide in our comfortable activities.
  • It’s a mental habit, of running from discomfort and running to comfort or pleasure. It’s hoping for something better, and then fearing we won’t get it.
  • Instead, we can be present with what is right in front of us … opening up to the task, to the situation unfolding, even to our feelings of fear and resentment and frustration.
  • There’s a feeling of getting hooked, and then going into a chain reaction of thoughts … the initial feeling of “I don’t like this” and then building up a case against the other person, against the situation we don’t like, or against ourselves.
  • It’s a physical feeling, this “getting hooked,” and we can learn to notice it. Spend the day today trying to catch yourself getting hooked, and pause. Notice how it feels. Try to become familiar with this, just as you start to get caught up in the chain reaction.
  • When you notice yourself getting hooked … and you learn to pause … you can actually change your patterns.

For me, I’ve noticed patterns of:

  • Procrastinating and wanting to avoid or run from discomfort
  • Anxiety
  • Rushing
  • Resentment
  • Comparing myself to others

In the webinar video, I talk about some of the replacement patterns I’ve been trying to form instead of these patterns.

Part II: Questions and Answers

You can download this video here, or download just the audio. Or watch below.

Questions answered in this video:

  • How to best remind yourself to pause and interrupt the patterns? It happens so automatically and fast. The idea of a practice day is great–but what about at work etc?


  • Besides focusing on the breath and pausing, is it helpful to ask ourselves “How can I best help this feeling in my body?”


  • I get especially hooked when there is some truth in “the story”. Any thoughts on this?


  • I like the idea of going below the story and I’ve done this and it works. Do you also find that sometimes you have to use the story to better understand the harmful patterns/attachments?


  • How do you go about forgiving yourself for automatically getting hooked in the past – for so much of your life?


  • The more I contemplate my fears, the more I seem to uncover. Am I missing something, or is this normal?

  • In the Fearless Sessions, I’ve been focusing on current fears, but after those seem less powerful, old big past fears are surfacing. I thought the old were gone, so does it ever end?
  • I learned that there are many people that are unenlightened and attempt to try to deny my importance. Am I justified to ignore them?


  • When we have the pattern of comparing ourselves and our ways of doing things with ours and when we feel better, sometimes I feel I can help others by telling them my/our way is better. But how can I tell whether my way is really better or I just feel so?




30 Days of Disneyland – Day 30

On Day 30 (Wednesday), Rachelle and I decided to finish strong, so we spent a full 16 hours at Disneyland. I was really tired at the end, but it felt good to finally cross the finish line.

The next morning (Thursday) we met a friend for breakfast at Whole Foods and then drove home to Vegas. I was delighted to see the lights of the Vegas Strip as we came in, knowing that those lights weren’t the lights of Disneyland.

During the last 4-5 days of the experiment, I got a cold, and I’m still recovering from it. That’s why I didn’t post any new blog entries during the last week. Fortunately the illness was mild, so I was still able to spend many hours at Disneyland each day without missing any days. Some of those days were really exhausting though. At one point I even took a nap in the Tiki Room while all the birds and flowers were singing. Rachelle had to wake me up when it was over.

After spending a whole month in a fantasy environment, real life doesn’t seem quite as real yet. There was so much packed into these 30 days that it overwhelms my analytical mind to think about it. There were layers upon layers of lessons. It may take me a while to feel grounded again.

It’s almost hard to fathom that Christmas is still a month away. At Disneyland it’s been Christmas every day. It’s like I spent a month in a timeless world, and now I’m trying to transition back to a world where the clock ticks forward and the calendar has meaning. Part of me worries that it’s going to be Christmas forever.

There are two things I’m especially grateful for: the chance to eat healthier food and the opportunity to be away from all the loud music and screaming. I really appreciate the quietude of my Vegas neighborhood, but my ears are still ringing a bit, probably from the constant exposure to Disneyland’s noises. My hearing isn’t as good as it was at the start of this experiment, so I hope my ears recover.

It feels strange not being surrounded by hordes of people today. I feel almost naked away from the crowds now. This might sound strange, but part of my mind is simulating being in a big crowd with lots of people passing by, even as I type this. It’s like when you drive for too many hours in a row, and then when you finally stop driving, you can still see the road racing towards you when you close your eyes. Some part of my brain is still simulating the experience of being at Disneyland.

Engineering Emotionalism

During the last ten or so days of this experience, I really began to see how the different pieces of Disneyland come together. I saw how the shows and parades arouse emotions in people with respect to the Disney characters, and then people buy loads of merchandise based on those characters in the nearby gift shops. By the end of the experiment, when doing Disneyland had become my daily routine, the experience felt less fun and spontaneous to me and more engineered.

As I began to see this, I got less caught up in the emotional aspects of the place. I largely stopped going on rides for fun, and I began studying them in different ways. What was the purpose of each attraction from Disney’s perspective? How was it designed to shift people’s emotions? Which gift shops or food stands were we directed towards after each ride? What did Disney expect me to do next?

Obesity

I dare say that in the past 30 days, I saw more obese and morbidly obese people than I ever have in any prior 30-day period of my life, including entire families. That’s because I saw more people in general during those days.

Lots of people seemed to waddle around the park, shifting their heavy bodies from side to side to get around instead of walking like a healthy human. Sometimes I tried walking that way to see what it was like, but Rachelle made me stop.

Many overweight people used electric wheelchairs to get around, perhaps because they lack the stamina to walk all day. I saw obese couples wheelchairing their way around the park together. One of them had to reserve a restaurant table for four people since they couldn’t fit their personal vehicles at a table for two.

It seems like the world of Wall-E, where obese humans are wheeled from entertainment to food and back, is already here.

Of course Disneyland has adapted to the growing obesity epidemic, such as by putting fewer people on the boat-based rides to accommodate the heavier loads. Sometimes when getting off a ride, I’d see 20+ people lined up at the exit – i.e. those in wheelchairs and their parties. I found it interesting that Disneyland rewards its wheelchair-bound guests by giving them shorter lines, and apparently obesity is just another disability. Many rides also have special cars designed to accommodate wheelchairs, so people can take the whole wheelchair on the ride with them.

In general I found that Disneyland basically tries to hide the ugly parts of society. On multiple occasions, I saw cast members redirecting traffic around unpleasantness, such as a child who vomited. They don’t tell you what happened or why you’re being rerouted. They just tell you to go this way instead of that way. Sometimes they effectively form a human shield around a problem, so it’s hard to even see it. I think of them as guardians of the fantasy. Whenever something happened that could disturb the fantasy, such as a woman sitting on the curb receiving medical attention, I saw these guardians pop up and divert traffic, as if to say, “Keep moving… nothing to see here.” It reminds me of how Monstropolis reacts when a child gets into their world in Monsters, Inc.

I sense it must be a real challenge for Disney to maintain its fantasy-based business within the world of real human beings, but they seem to be pretty adept at hiding that which would break the fantasy.

Dream Big, Princess

One morning when Rachelle and I were queuing in the security screening line – all guests have to undergo mandatory bag searches just to enter the park each day – we saw a girl wearing a backpack with a couple of Disney princesses on it and the words Dream Big. We wondered what that was supposed to mean. Are girls supposed to dream of someday becoming princesses? Are they supposed to dream big like a princess does? What exactly is a big dream for a princess?

On many days when Rachelle would enter the park, the ticket checker would call her Princess. However, no one ever called me Prince. If they called me anything at all, they’d call me Steve because my name is written on my annual pass. Sometimes the same employee would call me Steve, and then he’d call Rachelle Princess. Rachelle can’t recall if a female employee ever called her Princess, but she knows a lot of male employees called her that.

The only time I was called anything other than Steve was when one ticket checker called me Jedi. When I told Rachelle that, and later on she got called Princess by a different employee, she said she’d prefer to be a Jedi. The guy seemed amused.

Many girls wore princess costumes in the park. Elsa costumes were especially popular. There’s an area in the Disneyland castle where girls can get their hair and makeup done to look like Disney princesses. We’d see them come out looking all sparkly. I couldn’t find any equivalent place in the park where boys were converted into princes, however.

Lost Items

During our 30 days, Rachelle and I found a number of lost items, including two wallets, a purse with a wallet and cell phone, car keys, a backpack, an earring, and probably a few other items I forgot. In each case we gave the items a nearby employee and asked them to put it in lost and found, and they assured us they would. In one case we were able to find the owner of a wallet shortly after she left it behind, so we returned it to her directly. She was relieved and grateful… and perhaps a bit shocked that she almost left her wallet on top of a Fastpass machine.

Hopefully the other lost items will find their way back to their owners. Disney has a lost and found section at the front of the park (but outside of it), which often has a very slow-moving line. I can only imagine how many lost items they have to process each day.

Hope

In the final days, my feelings about the experience kept oscillating between disappointment and hope. I saw plenty during these 30 days to make me fret about humanity’s future. On multiple occasions I wondered how intelligent this human species really is… and if I really want to be associated with it. It seemed like the Disney corporation was just manipulating people’s emotions for profit, and most people didn’t seem to notice or care. Many Disney properties promote the idea that if you’re dumb and naive but kind-hearted, just focus on being emotional and taking risks, and everything will work out okay. Of course such a lifestyle is more likely to lead to a wheelchair than a princess-like existence, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Plenty of people still want more.

I could also bemoan the fact that people are spending so much money on Disney-branded, Chinese-made trinkets and health-damaging junk food instead of on their education and self-development. But the flip side is that if people are willing to do this sort of thing, it’s points to massive opportunities as well. If Disney can get people thinking that a $20 Mickey Mouse Xmas ornament or a $35 Star Wars T-shirt is a good value – not to mention a $100+ admission ticket – then there must still be vast opportunities for starting businesses that provide people with more intelligent sources of value.

I ended up feeling really judgmental about certain aspects of society but also really grateful that I don’t have to engage with those aspects on a daily basis for the rest of my life. I think that if I continued to remain in that environment though, I could easily end up feeling depressed, jaded, and hopeless. But by diving into it and stepping back out again, I mostly feel inspired.

I feel especially lucky that the bulk of my normal communication (outside of this Disney experience) is with smart, growth-oriented people who want to make a positive difference in the world. I love and appreciate these people even more now.

30 Days with a Partner

This was a rare time when I did a 30-day experience with a partner, in this case my girlfriend Rachelle. Most of the time when I do a 30-day trial, I do it alone. But as Rachelle reminded me, I wouldn’t have done this one alone. Spending 30 days at Disneyland by myself seems like it would have been pretty dull, so this was intended from the get-go as a couple experience.

It’s hard to say how this experience may have affected our relationship. It was a truly odd thing to do together, and I’m grateful to have a partner who’s willing to do this sort of thing with me. We had some moments along the way when we each started to crack a little from the sheer insanity of what we were doing, especially in the Day 10-20 range, but mostly these resulted in giggle attacks where everything seemed absurd and nonsensical. Once we reached the point where the remaining days were down to single digits, it seems a lot easier to make it to the end.

We packed in so much during those 30 days that the whole thing is a bit of a blur. We’ll have to review our photos just to remind ourselves of some of the details. I think it’s a cool reference experience to have gone through such an unusual stretch experience together.

I must add that we’re both really looking forward to some relatively quiet, non-Disney time together for the rest of the year. Neither of us intend to renew our annual passes when they expire next month, even though Disney is offering a small discount for doing so – not quite 6% off. Even if they offered it for 75% off, I wouldn’t want to renew.

Could I handle going to Disneyland again? I don’t intend to return anytime soon, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility. Maybe if they changed a lot of it and I got curious to see how it was continuing to evolve, I might consider it. But I think I’ll take 2017 off at the very least.

Emotion

Because Disneyland is clearly designed to be an emotional experience, one of the biggest shifts I experienced from spending a full 30 days there was to reassess my own relationship with emotion. When I saw how Disney deftly manipulated emotion like the puppeteer at the beginning of the Pinocchio ride, I began paying more attention to my own emotions and how Disney was trying to trigger me to feel a certain way.

This was like a form of meditation, but instead of observing my thoughts, I observed my feelings and the triggers that gave rise to them. The more I observed my feelings, the less they seemed to influence my behavior.

For instance, it was fun for a while to keep raising my Astro Blasters score. My personal best during the 30 days was 984,500. But after a while I stopped caring, and it didn’t matter what my score was. One time I put the gun down and didn’t bother shooting after a while. I just observed the other players instead.

On our last night there, we watched the World of Color light and fountain show. I watched the various Disney characters flashing by in animated scenes with booming Disney music. I saw the giant Mickey Mouse behind the water, probably placed there deliberately to help people associate these emotions with one of Disney’s most recognized brands. But mostly I observed the crowd. I watched and listened as people oohed and aahed. And I thought, Wow… Disney really owns these people. The level of submission is impressive.

I left having a changed relationship with my own emotions. After being blasted with so much emotionalism for a month, the oversaturation seems to have brought me to a new place of emotional calm. I’m not sure if this will last, but presently I feel less motivated by the desire for emotional stimulation now.

This experience invited me to look at how much of my life was driven by emotional conditioning. Every toy I’ve ever owned, every TV show or movie I watched, any album I bought – they’re all driven by emotionalism and the desire for stimulation.

I’m not sure this will lead yet. Like many transformational experiences, this one will probably take some time to sink in. I feel very centered now, and I have strong motivation to dive into other goals. But this time the motivation feels different. I feel less interested in the emotional stimulation of the goals and more drawn to the learning process and the results that can be achieved.

This was not an easy experiment, and I was one the fence about this one for a long time, but now that it’s over, I’m glad I did it. I find that by exploring the extremes of life, I learn a lot about myself because those extremes squeeze and bend me in ways that I’m not used to being squeezed and bent, causing hidden lessons to emerge.

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The Mental Habit of Feeling Rushed & Overwhelmed

By Leo Babauta

As we dive into the holiday season, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, rushed, even irritated by family members and others around us.

I’d like to encourage you to try a mindfulness practice.

Here’s the practice:

  • Notice each time you feel rushed, anxious or overwhelmed. Try to develop an awareness of it throughout the day. The sooner you can catch it, the better. Make it a game: try to see it when it happens, as often as you can.
  • When you feel rushed, catch yourself and pause. Notice your mental habit of rushing, rushing to the next thing. Don’t let yourself waste your time with that habit. Instead, try building a new mental pattern: pausing, relaxing with the feeling that’s in your body, and then doing the single task in front of you, letting that be your entire world. Trust that you’ll be able to handle the next task after it without worrying about it right now. Enjoy the doing of the task in front of you.
  • When you feel anxious, catch yourself and pause. Notice your mental habit of letting anxiety carry you off into a chain reaction of worry. Don’t let yourself waste your time with that habit. Instead, try building a new mental pattern: pausing, relaxing with the feeling that’s in your body, and then trusting that you can handle the uncertainty in front of you. Embrace the uncertainty and smile at it, relaxing into it.
  • When you feel overwhelmed, catch yourself and pause. Notice your mental habit of thinking about all you have to do and feeling anxious about being able to do it all. Don’t let yourself waste your time with that habit. Instead, try building a new mental pattern: pausing, relaxing with the feeling that’s in your body, taking things one task at a time, breathing and enjoying that task. Trust that you’ll be able to do everything you need to do, and that you’ll be OK.

This is the practice. As you can see, it’s basically the same for all three (related) mental patterns, and it takes practice. You’ll mess up, but that’s OK. Smile and enjoy the practice.

Posted in: Uncategorized |

just two pieces of bread

I heard a saying from India,“All you need are two chapattis a day.” It doesn’t literally mean you should subsist on two pieces of bread a day, but is a reminder of how little we actually need.

I’ve found this saying useful lately, as I’ve had urges to eat delicious food, buy more clothes, and more. It stops me and reminds me that I need very little, even if I want a lot of things.

It amazes me how often we want things we don’t need at all. The idea pops into our heads, the urge to make that idea follows it, and we have a mental habit of just following the urge. The idea might have been put in our heads by something we read online or heard from a friend or watched on a TV show. It doesn’t matter where the idea came from … we instantly want it.

I know I’ve gotten it into my head to take a trip, or train for an event, simply from the mention of the idea by someone else. All of a sudden, I’m hooked on this idea, and am changing my life to make it a reality. I’ll book a trip and spend time planning it and going on the trip, simply because the idea came into my head. I’ve trained for physical events (like a triathlon, ultramarathon, the Goruck Challenge) for months, simply because the idea came into my head.

The same goes for food: I get a craving for a food, and I’m suddenly on the hunt for it. Food is in front of me, and I can’t resist eating it even if I’m not that hungry.

What if we stopped ourselves when the idea comes into our heads? What if we noticed the urge at its outset, and just took it for what it is: an impulse that arises in us like a thousand other thoughts and feelings do all day long.

We don’t need to be slaves to our impulses. We can see them with mindfulness and just watch them with curiosity. We can remind ourselves that we only need two pieces of bread, and return to our normal programming. We can make choices not based on urges but on our bigger intentions. And I think we can find happiness in very little, because the happiness comes not from fulfilling our urges but realizing there’s good in us and in every moment of our lives.

The Fearless Challenge

By Leo Babauta

There’s a big part of all of us that doesn’t ever want to face our fears.

The fears operate in the backs of our minds, affecting our lives in so many ways: we procrastinate, lash out at others in frustration, hold ourselves back from connecting with others in a meaningful way, stop ourselves from finding our purpose or creating work that matters, and much more.

But we don’t face the fears, despite their power over us, because we don’t like even thinking about them. We don’t want to acknowledge them. And this is what gives them their power.

Today, I’m challenging you to change this.

I’m challenging you to take a small action each day to face your fears. To become fearless, one small step at a time.

From now until the end of the year, commit to a daily Fearless Session.

What’s a Fearless Session? It’s a few minutes of courage:

  1. Sit for a few minutes (3-4 minutes) simply facing your fears. Notice the fears that have been arising in you, and see how they affect your body. What feelings do they arise in you, physically? Be brave enough to sit with them as long as you can (feel free to stop if it gets too intense).
  2. Try to look at the fear with compassion. You are stressed or hurting in some way. Wish for an end to your stress or pain. Wish for your own happiness. Give yourself some love.
  3. Sit for another minute and try to see the goodness in yourself, underneath the fear. This takes practice, but start to see how wonderful you are, underneath everything. This goodness is always present, but we don’t often look at it. See the love, compassion, beauty, good intentions, kindness, that are inside of you all the time.

It should only take about 5 minutes total, though you can start by doing just a few minutes. I recommend starting a timer for 5 minutes (or 3 to start out if you want).

Then every Saturday, make a brief report on this form (anonmymously). This will keep you honest and help you learn from the experience.

Join my challenge today: post about committing to the Fearless Challenge on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the #fearlesschallenge hashtag, or just tell your close friends that you’re doing it.

Why This Matters

Why bother doing this challenge? Because fears control us, but we don’t have to continue with that pattern. We can find the courage to face our fears, in small doses, and find compassion for them. This can help melt the fears and change our mental patterns, so we’re not so caught up in our stories about them.

Over time, you might notice yourself catching your fears during the day, when you’re not doing a Fearless Session. You might see the fear starting up, and then stop yourself from builidng it into something bigger. You might stay with the physical feeling of it starting, and then all of a sudden you’re back to the present moment, awake to what’s going on right now. This waking up in the moment of starting the fear train is a really valuable skill.

The last part, of seeing the goodness in yourself, is a fascinating exercise. This goodness is in all of us, all the time, but we don’t often notice it. It’s underlying everything we do, even the fear — we have good-hearted intentions, and we fear they won’t come true.

If we start to see the goodness in ourselves, that’s there all the time, we start to have confidence that we’re good enough. We doubt ourselves less, have less fear that things will go wrong, because we have a basic confidence that we’ll be OK no matter what situation arises.

Think about this: if you fear messing up, and hope for success … what happens if you are confident in your goodness and think you’ll be OK no matter how you do? You can just do the job, make the presentation, take on the project, without fear that things will not go the way you want. Because even in that case, you’ll be fine, you’ll figure it out from there.

Stopping our mental patterns, finding compassion for the pain of fear, and seeing our basic goodness — these are the antidotes to fear.

Join my challenge today: post about committing to the Fearless Challenge on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the #fearlesschallenge hashtag, or just tell your close friends that you’re doing it.

Then every Saturday, make a brief report on this form (anonmymously).

My New Course: The Path of Fearlessness

I highly encourage you to join me in my Sea Change Program for one of the most important courses I’ve ever offered: The Path of Fearlessness.

It’s a six-week video course that’s a part of my regular Sea Change Program (free for 7 days, $19/month after that), and consists of:

  1. 2 video lessons per week
  2. A Fearless Challenge: Do daily 5-10-minute Fearless sessions
  3. A live video webinar with me
  4. Daily challenges on the forum (optional but recommended)
  5. Questions about the course can be asked on the forum

Sign up here: Sea Change Program

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The Path of Fearlessness

By Leo Babauta

The more I work with people who are struggling with habits or life problems, the more I see how fears are holding us back.

Fears stop us from building healthy and productive habits. Fears cause us to procrastinate, keep us from finding work that is meaningful (or doing that work if we’ve found it). Fears keep us from finding friends or connecting with people on a deeper level. Fears keep us from being happy in each moment.

Underlying all of those fears are a few key fears:

  • Fear of failure or being unprepared
  • Fear of uncertainty
  • Fear of being inadequate or being rejected

The two key fears are the fears of uncertainty and not being good enough, and in my experience, they’re both the same thing. We’re afraid of the uncertain future (and uncertain situations) because we don’t think we’re good enough to handle whatever might come out of the chaos.

These two fears (uncertainty and inadequacy) affect our lives in so many ways, and yet we rarely face them. We don’t want to feel these fears, so we run. We distract ourselves. We keep busy instead of being still to feel them. We find comfort in food and smoking and alcohol and TV.

In the end, the running doesn’t work, but only makes things worse.

There’s an alternative: the Path of Fearlessness.

Three Keys to Developing Fearlessness

What would our lives be like if we didn’t have fear holding us back?

We might find the freedom and joy that comes in being present with each moment.

We might find the underlying goodness that’s always there in each of us.

We might be able to finally live the lives we’ve always wanted to live.

So how do we walk this Path of Fearlessness?

Three practices to work with:

  1. Facing the fear mindfully. The truth is, we rarely allow ourselves to feel our fears. We run from them, pretend they aren’t there, distract ourselves, lash out at others, trying to find control. But we don’t even admit we have these fears, most of the time, let alone actually allow ourselves to feel them. So the practice is to just sit there when you notice yourself feeling any fear, and see if you can stay with it for awhile. Don’t stay with the story about the fear in your head, but rather how it feels in your body. See that it is stressful or painful or uncomfortable. Notice the particular physical feeling of this fear, this time. See if it changes. See what you can learn about it. See if you can be compassionate with it.
  2. Seeing your underlying goodness. As we sit in meditation, we can see that this moment is actually pretty wonderful. And this moment includes ourselves. We are part of the unconditional goodness of every single moment, and if we sit still we can start to feel that. There is goodness in our hearts, all the time, if we allow ourselves to feel it. There is the ability to appreciate and wonder, to feel and to love, to be present and to be grateful. Start to appreciate this, and you’ll start to develop confidence that you’ll be OK, even in uncertainty, even if you’re being judged, even if you put yourself out there with vulnerability.
  3. Embracing the joy of groundlessness. Uncertainty is scary because we don’t like the feeling of not having stable ground under our feet. We want certainty, control, stability, permanence … but life is filled with uncertainty, impermanence, shakiness, chaos. This causes the fear. Instead, we can start to embrace this uncertainty, see the beauty in impermanence, see the positivity of groundlessness. This uncertainty means we don’t know what will happen, which means we can be surprised by every moment! We can be filled with curiosity about what will emerge. We can reinvent ourselves each moment, because nothing is set, nothing is determined. There is joy in this groundlessness, if we embrace it.

No, these are not easy practices. But you can practice with them right now, and set aside a few minutes each morning to practice. You’ll see your confidence emerge, your fears dissipate a bit, your ability to appreciate each moment and yourself grow.

The Path of Fearlessness is one of mindfulness, of daily practice, and of finding the courage to face and push past the fears into joy.

My New Course: The Path of Fearlessness

I highly encourage you to join me in my Sea Change Program for one of the most important courses I’ve ever offered: The Path of Fearlessness.

It’s a six-week video course that’s a part of my regular Sea Change Program (free for 7 days, $19/month after that), and consists of:

  1. 2 video lessons per week
  2. A Fearless Challenge: Do daily 5-10-minute Fearless sessions
  3. A live video webinar with me
  4. Daily challenges on the forum (optional but recommended)
  5. Questions about the course can be asked on the forum

Sign up here: Sea Change Program