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“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Marcus Aurelius

The alarm bell goes off. You slowly open your eyes. A new day lies before you.

A day of unexplored potential and opportunities. How can you make it more likely to become a positive and good day?

Today I’d like to simply share 7 habits that I have used to make my mornings and whole days better.

1. Have a reminder on your bedside table.

How will you start your very first moments and minutes of the day?

One good way to get off to a good start is to have a note, a reminder on your bedside table that will be one of the first things you see after you have woken up.

A couple of suggestions for what to write down on your note:

  • A low bar for happiness. Write down: “Today I will set a low bar for happiness”. Read it and try to keep it in mind during the day. This one helps me to appreciate things more. The food, my work, the weather, the people and the small events of the day becomes not everyday stuff but something I feel happy to have. The small things or what may be something one takes for granted becomes something I now often pause for a moment or two to...

“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.”
Jose Ortega y Gasset

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

It is early morning. You’ve had your breakfast and done your morning routine.

So you head out into your day. And in a short while you’ll sit down in school or at your job and get started with your daily work.

But how can you get that work done in a way that is less stressful, less energy consuming and simply a bit smarter?

Today I’d like to share 10 tips that have helped me with that. I hope you will find something here that will help you too to simplify and relaxify your own daily work.

  1. Do just one thing at a time. It will help you to get your task all the way to done, to feel less stressed and confused and you’ll do a better job compared to if you multi-task things. And if you feel stressed and overwhelmed during your day then you can tell yourself this simple thing to regain focus and inner clarity again.
  2. Keep a minimalistic workspace. It makes it easier to keep your focus and attention in the right place and to keep your thinking clear. I keep a workspace with just a wooden desk, a chair, my laptop, a larger screen and a glass of...

Just a quick heads up today.

There’s only 24 hours left until registration for The Stop Worrying Today Course closes.

And then it won’t be open for enrollment again until the late summer or fall of 2018.

Until 1.00 p.m EST (that’s 18.00 GMT) on Wednesday the 28th of February you can still join it.

So if you are interested in that – and in getting the free bonus course on optimism worth $29 if you join the Standard Edition of the course and 6 additional bonuses plus my Smart Social Skills Course (value $37) if you enroll in the Advanced Edition – then now is the time to take action.

Click here to learn more about Stop Worrying Today and to join it before the doors close


The 7-week Stop Worrying Today Course is now open again to join.

If you join during this period you also get free life-time access to all the material in my The Invincible Summer – an 8-Week Course in Optimism as a special bonus.

The registration to join this course will only be open for 3 days this time, until 1.00 p.m EST (that’s 18.00 GMT) on Wednesday the 28th of February.

Click here to learn more and to join the course

I started working on this course a couple of years ago but it all started 10 years ago when I made a decision to not let this toxic habit limit and control my life.

And this course is filled with all the best things I’ve learned about that in the past decade.

These are the strategies, exercises and simple step-by-step methods that have helped me to stop worrying so much.

The habits that have been a true life-changer for me.

How would your life change if you stopped worrying so much?

Each week of the course you’ll get a written guide, a worksheet to help you gain better understanding of your own situation and results as you go through the course and an audio version of that week’s guide that you can listen to anywhere when you need a boost.

At the end of the weekly guide you’ll get just a few specific action-steps to take that week to minimize...

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”
Ernest Hemingway

“Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak.”

One social habit that I used to be quite bad at was to truly listen when other people spoke. I sometimes zoned out. I got distracted or my attention started to wander before they were done talking.

Or I just waited for my turn to talk again (while thinking about what I should say next).

Not very helpful. So things had to change.

This week I’d like to share 10 simple tips that helped me – and still help me – to become a better listener.

I hope they will help you and your relationships too.

1. Keep in mind: Listening is win/win.

Many may not listen that well because they think they don’t get much out of it personally.

But the better you listen, the better they will listen to you.  And the better and deeper the relationship will be. If you focus on understanding him or her and on giving value based on that then you’ll get the same thing back.

This reminder has been a powerful motivator for me to become a better listener.

2. Tell yourself that you’ll tell someone else about this conversation later on.

One of the best ways to remember something better is to know that you...

Today is Valentine’s Day.

So I would like to share thoughts about love from the people who have walked this earth before us (and from a few who are still here).

Timeless thoughts written down and spread throughout the decades, centuries and, yes, even millenniums.

Thoughts not only about happy, romantic love but also the love between friends and family. And about the love that is often neglected or pushed to the side: the love you have for yourself.

This is 78 of the most inspiring, touching, thought-provoking and helpful quotes on love.

  1. “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
     James Baldwin
  2. “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
    —  Lucille Ball
  3. “Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.”
     Rainer Maria Rilke
  4. “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”
     Morrie Schwartz
  5. “Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey.”
    — Lord Byron
  6. “If I know what love is, it is because of you.”
    — Herman Hesse
  7. “I love you not because of who...

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
Marcus Aurelius

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Abraham Lincoln

“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
Chinese Proverb

Saying no is often the easier way out.

When you say no you can safely stay within your comfort zone. You don’t have to fear failing or being rejected. The scary unknown and sometimes difficult change can be avoided.

But if you say yes your life can expand and deepen. The yes allows you to open up your life to more happiness.

Today I would like to share 10 things that I have said yes to and that have helped me to become happier in my life.

Pick one of these that resonate the most with you and focus on making it a part of your life.

1. Being imperfect.

Trying to be perfect is setting the bar too high. It will be impossible to reach. And so you’ll lower your self-esteem. You may not feel very happy about how things are going in your life. Even though they might be going very well indeed.

Perfectionism is mindset that...

“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.”
Albert Camus

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
Anne Bradstreet 

Up here in Sweden the winter is dark, cold and often comes with a mix of rain and snow. And spring is still far away.

It is not easy to keep the energy and optimism up like in the bright and warm summer days.

So today I’d like to share 5 habits I use that make it a lot easier to stay positive even throughout this dark and often grey season.

1. Find one of your biggest energy sucks.

Ask yourself: What is the biggest energy suck in my life right now?

You may for example find that it is a person in your life that is very negative. Or that the report that you have been meaning to finish for a month now is dragging you down.

Then you follow that up with asking: What is one thing I can do about this?

Maybe you decide that you want stop hanging out with that person. Or at least spend less of the time you have in a week with him or her and more of that time with the people that give you the most energy.

Perhaps you can just set off 5...

Frustration. It winds you up and can take so much out of you.

Because it not only sucks energy but also distracts you and can steal quite a bit of time.

So what can you do?

Well, sometimes that frustration can actually be a positive and can give you a new idea or angle on things. Or it can give you the power to keep going just a little bit more until you reach your goal.

But when you start going in circles, when the frustration just makes you mad or your mind foggy and the day is starting to slip through your fingers then there are steps you can take.

There are ways to turn such a state of mind or day around.

Into something better. Into something more helpful. And into something that will make you feel better again.

Step 1: Be here now.

When you are frustrated then you are often somewhere in the future in your mind. Somewhere you wish you would be. Or you are reliving a stumble or failure from your past.

Snap out of those headspaces and calm down by focusing your mind and attention on what is now, right here at this moment.

You can do so by for example:

  • Focusing on your breathing. Sit down, close your eyes and just focus on the air going and out of your nose for 1-2 minutes. Take calm and slightly deeper breaths than usual...

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”
William Shakespeare

Self-doubt can be a troubling and persuasive voice that holds you back.

It holds you back from seizing your opportunities.

It makes getting started or finishing things harder than they need to be.

Sure, it can sometimes be useful as it helps you to soberly see your current limitations or simply recognize a half-baked or bad idea. But mostly, it holds you back in life.

So how can you get around that, how can you overcome those times of self-doubt so that you can move forward once again?

In this article I’ll explore 13 tips and habits that have helped me to decrease that destructive inner voice.

1. Say stop.

First, when your inner doubts bubble up, be quick. Don’t let them spin out of control or grow from a whisper to a stream of discouraging sentences. Instead, talk back to that doubtful part of yourself.

In your mind, say or shout something like: No, no, no, we are not going down that road again.

By doing so you can disrupt the thought pattern and stop that inner self-doubter from taking over.

2. Look to the past and awash yourself in the memories.

Be real with yourself and ask yourself:

How many times when I doubted myself or feared something would happen did that negative thing come into reality after I still took action?

The answer...

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights”
Hamilton Wright Mabie

This year is coming to an end. Just a couple more days to go.

But before we step through that doorway I’d like to quickly share one last article with 3 of my favorite questions of all time that can help you shape 2018 into 365 days that will be simpler, happier and self-kinder.

Stay safe, enjoy your New Year’s celebration and see you next year!

1. Is this useful?

It’s very easy to spend a lot of time on things that do not really matter much. To spend hours, days or even weeks on being angry at someone, replaying a mistake or failure in one’s mind or to dwell on something negative and feeling more and more like a victim.

So I try to ask myself this question as often as I can to question and confront my own thoughts.  To catch myself and to wake myself up when I get stuck in negative thought loops going round and round.

By doing so I:

  • Suffer less.
  • Waste less time on going round in circles.
  • Spend more of my time on finding a practical solution.


“May you have warmth in your igloo, oil in your lamp, and peace in your heart!”
Eskimo proverb

The holidays are upon us.

A time of needed relaxation and more time with the people closest to us.

A time of stress and worries. A time of not all the joy you may have hoped for or been promised by upbeat advertising and movies.

It can be a time of mixed feelings.

So today I would like to share 5 powerful and timeless tips that can help you to make these holidays a more joyful and peaceful time.

1. Slow down.

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.”
Lily Tomlin

First, slow down. Even if it may feel silly and if you have to force it a bit. Slow down your body, move and walk slowly.

Breathe slower and more deeply with your belly (and focus on doing just that for two minutes and see what happens).

Slow down your eating (this will not only help you to relax, it will also help you to not eat too much during the holidays since it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full).

Slow it all down and pay attention to what you are doing. Be here now and focus on doing just one thing at a time. By slowing down, by being here now, by not having your focus split between many things you – your body...

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.”
Herman Hesse

“One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.”
Michael Cibenko

I often write about finding lightness in life.

It can come from an unhurried but effective day at work.

It can come from uncluttering and simplifying both your home and life.

Or from letting go of distractions or huge mental burdens (that can also become physical as stress and worries pile up).

Learning to let go of something in your past, of something that is just an unimportant distraction or of trying to control what you cannot control can free up huge amounts of the energy and the time you have to use for something better and more fulfilling.

It is not always easy. But it can be life-changing.

In this article you can find five steps that have made it easier for me to let go over the years.

I hope they will help you too.

Step 1: Know the benefits of not letting go.

Why is it sometimes hard to let go of something?

Well, to be honest, there are advantages and benefits to not letting go. At least for instant gratification and in the short run.

  • You get to keep feeling like you are right. And like the other person is wrong. And that can be a pleasant...

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
Benjamin Franklin

“If I don’t train enough, of course I’m nervous.“
Haile Gebrselassie

It starts with just a little tremble within. Then a pressure builds up.

A hand or foot starts to fidget. Your palms become moist and you start to feel not quite like yourself anymore. The inner calmness you felt has flown out the window.

Nervousness is back, like an old friend you didn’t want to see.

Just in time for that date you had been looking forward to for the past week. Or the important meeting at work or your presentation in school.

So what can you do at this point?

Back down, come up with a poor excuse and cancel (as your self-esteem plummets)? Plow through the meeting or date while being not quite your best self?

It is certainly possible. I have done both.

But an even better approach has in my experience been to find strategies and develop habits that help me to handle this challenge.

Here are 7 of my favorite habits for dealing with and overcoming nervousness.

1. Prepare if possible.

A bit obvious. But doing your preparation in time and not at the last minute and doing the preparation well – without trying to do it perfectly – rather than somewhat sloppily make a big difference.

You’ll feel more sure of yourself and relaxed about what you...

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
G.K. Chesterton

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
Robert Brault

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

This week many of my readers will celebrate Thanksgiving.

So I thought it would be a good time to share a handful of my favorite tips for making thankfulness a daily part of life.

Because being thankful for what you have is one of the simplest and easiest ways to lift your mood. To give your motivation a jolt. And to live a happier life.

No matter who you are or where you live in the world.

1. Pause and look around yourself.

A simple first step to being more thankful is to pause during your day and ask yourself these two questions:

  • What are 3 things I can be thankful for in my life today?
  • Who are 3 people I can be thankful to have in my life and why?

If you don’t come up with 3 people and 3 things each day then that is OK. One thing or person is great too.

But if you can, try to not repeat yourself...

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

One of the best ways to create a happier life for yourself is to make other people happier.


  • You see it. You’ll feel happier as someone’s face lights up with joy.
  • You did a good thing. You’ll feel happier because you feel you have done a good thing. And so your self-esteem shoots up too.
  • You get what you give. In the long run you tend to be treated by others as you treat them. Plus, the way you treat and think about others also tends to be the way you treat and think about yourself.

So how can you make someone happier?

Here are 24 quite quick things you can start doing today. Pick one and see how it can affect someone in your life.

  1. Give a sincere compliment. Many positive things tend to go unsaid. So give someone a sincere compliment today. It can mean especially much if it’s for something that is close to the other person’s heart. Or something he or she has been putting in a good effort with like getting into better shape for the last few months.
  2. Let someone into your lane while you’re driving. It can unstress his or her day quite a bit.
  3. Hold the door open for a few extra seconds. It doesn’t...

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

There is only one time and place where you can be and have any control over.

The present moment.

But most of us still spend a lot of our regular days lost in memories, reliving a sunny vacation or maybe more commonly repeating an old conflict or negative situation over and over in our thoughts.

Or we get lost in scenarios about what could happen in the future. Maybe through wishful daydreams. Or maybe by building monsters in our minds as thoughts go round and and round and create scary and dangerous mountains out of molehills or just air.

Or your thoughts may become split and unfocused between several different things and tasks.

If you spend a lot of your everyday moments and time in the future or the past or you have difficulty focusing and you feel this may have a negative effect on your life then maybe you want to learn to live more in the present moment.

Here’s what works for me to do that. Just a few simple things that I use in my normal day.

1. Single-task not only your work.

I and many others have often written and talked about the importance of single-tasking your work to get it done more effectively.

I have found that it becomes easier for me to stay present for more...

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Howard Thurman

“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
Jack London

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut. Maybe for a day or two. Or as weeks bleed into months and nothing much happens.

You just trudge along. You go through the motions, life is on autopilot.

It feels OK. But at the same time you have a small voice whispering at the back of your mind.

It says “It’s time to make a change”. Or “When will I start to truly live my life?”.

In this article you’ll find 30 suggestions and reminders that can help you to stop going through the motions. To disconnect the autopilot and to come alive again.

In both bigger and smaller ways.

I hope you’ll find something here that truly resonates with you.

  1. Appreciate what you have. When you are stuck in autopilot then it is very easy to forget to be grateful for what you actually have. The basic fundamentals that so many people lack, the people who like or even love you and the amazing wonders of the world.
  2. Find the optimism. Become more aware of the negative thoughts you have and don’t let...

“The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life.”
Peace Pilgrim

“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.”
Wayne Dyer

The daily life can be busy, hectic and at times overwhelming.

It may sometimes feel like bringing just a little more inner peace and calmness into your life is a hopeless wish.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Small and smart changes can over time make a big difference.

So today I’d like to share 15 of my own favorite tips for finding more peace and calmness in everyday life.

  1. Set limits. If your life is overfilled you may need to set some limits. So stop doing some of the least important things, the things that honestly don’t matter that much. Set a limit for how many times you will check inboxes, Instagram, Twitter etc. per day. And say no if you really don’t have the time.
  2. Find a relaxation technique that works for you. I like belly breathing and working out to release tensions and recharge during the day. What works for you? Long walks, music, yoga, meditation or going for a swim? Find out and do that.
  3. Don’t make mountains out of molehills. This can create a lot of unnecessary stress....

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”
Wayne Dyer

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Zig Ziglar

“I was thinking one day and I realized that if I just had somebody behind me all the way to motivate me I could make a big difference. Nobody came along like that so I just became that person for myself.”

Some days you wake up motivated and ready to go. And some days things feel heavy as you arise and it is hard to get going and find that inner drive.

At least in my experience.

So over the past 10+ years I have found some simple and smart strategies that work for me to get back into the right groove and to get things done.

Here are 27 of my favorite tips and habits for doing just that.

  1. Just get started and let the motivation catch up with you. You don’t have to wait for motivation to get started. If you want to work in a consistent way every day then sometimes you just have to get going anyway. And the funny thing is that after I have worked for a while things feel easier and easier and more fun and the motivation catches up with me.
  2. Start small if big leads you to procrastinating. If a project or task feels too big and daunting don’t let that lead you into...