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PADE

Feel good and improve yourself!

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Educate yourself

Schools out. Education ends. But learning stays the key to all human achievements and the first step towards your own happiness. Learn about yourself. Study the past, observe the present, be ready for the future.
Look at our history for better understanding of today's politics.
Don't just use the internet for watching netflix or chatting with your friends.

  • Read more books.
  • Watch documentaries.
  • Learn a new language.
  • Watch videos in a second language.

As soon as you quit learning, exploring and growing, intellectual death waits on your doorstep.

In a world that, thanks to globalization and internet, isn't that big anymore, language plays an important role in both personal and occupational development.
Being able to understand, speak and write in more than your native language isn't just useful for training your memory and your brain in general. To be ready for the future of international business, note that speaking languages like English, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, French and Arabic can be a major selling point.
But even if you aren't planning to become CEO of a multinational corporation, learning a second language can be useful. Because a great deal of information that can be found online is written in English, non-native speaker like me are well advised to compensate this "handicap".

Read more
While there are many forms and techniques of learning from different sources, using different senses, reading stay's my number one pick. Nearly everything that was ever known to mankind was written down or documented and almost all information you could have dreamed of is consumable through books or the internet. If you just want a little introduction or a summary, there are other good sources, but reading stays key to getting the theoretical knowledge required for most things in life. Furthermore there is a big chance to embarrass yourself if you aren't capable of proper reading.


Watch more
Second place is clearly going to videos. If I'm new to a certain topic and start collecting information and knowledge about it, I usually start off with a few YouTube videos to get nice, simple introduction and the basic aspects in a small amount of time. If I want to dive deeper at this point, I'm switching over to reading.


Listen more
My third favorite learning resource is listening to podcasts. One thing that is really great about them is the audio-only aspect. You don't have to constantly point your eyes towards a screen, but have the freedom to do a variety of things on top. Some good examples are cooking, cleaning or exercising.


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Sleep is Key

Set up your own sleep routine, fixed alarm every morning, same time to bed every night. Keep it up at the weekend.
It can be a bit challenging for some of us to wake up at 6 a.m. everyday but if you make it a habit, your bodyclock adapts to it and getting up isn't that hard anymore.
To get out of bed faster I recommend putting your alarm-clock / smartphone out of your reach so you have to stand up and walk a few steps before you can turn it off. Stop snoozing, once your alarm rings, get up. Additionally useful is putting your smartphone in flightmode so you ain't staying in bed to check social media.

Stick to a certain order of habits before going to bed, allowing your body to calm down and prepare to sleep even if you are not laying in the sheets already. [2.3]
This could include showering, brushing your teeth, reading your priming sheet and doing a breathing exercise for a few minutes.

Neither too much ( more than 9h) nor to less (less than 6h) sleep is recommended. 7-8 hours are common for adults. Children can need up to 10 h. [2.1] [2.3]

Get quality sleep:

  • Avoid caffeine, especially in the afternoon and evening.
  • Avoid nicotine.
  • Sleep in a cold room (16 – 19°C).
  • No smartphone or television before going to bed. [2.2]
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
  • Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.

Use a filter to avoid blue light. Some smartphones have pre-installed filters and you can get software like f.lux for your desktop or laptop.
Wake up early, do your workout before breakfast and take a cold shower afterwards.
Don't work or eat in bed. Use it only to sleep or to have intercourse.

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Watch your food

Don't just eat what's on your plate.
Do the research!
There are several variables to a healthy diet and it's not easy to always stay aware of which.
Nutrition is a complex topic and there are no shortcuts to understand it. Nevertheless, here are some simple do's and dont's that you can stick to until you finished your own research. Notice that these recommendations are just guidelines and keeping your eyes on the science is important to stay up to date with your diet.

Do:

  • Stick to Water, Coffee, Tea!
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Mix animal and plant based protein.
  • Whole grains. (Brown Rice, Quinoa, Oatmeal)
  • Fiber!
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Track your meals.
  • Cooking is king!

Don't:

  • Sugar! [3.1] [3.2]
  • Processed foods.
  • Fruit juice.
  • Trans Fats.
  • Soft Drinks.
  • Fast-food.
  • Sweets and desserts.
  • Ice-cream.
  • McDonalds, Subway, Pizza Hut...

Nutrition is not static. Look at different eating styles (Low carb, keto, veggie, vegan, ...) and reconsider the supplements you are using. Trying to fast for a few days can be a interesting and challenging experience that is reported to have several benefits to your body composition, overall health and mood. During the time trying it, I also experienced an increase in productivity. If you think about fasting, keep in mind that it's only recommended for healthy individuals and double checking with your doctor is a good idea.

An interesting way to implement a healthy diet into your life without starving at work is meal prepping. Meal Prepping a whole week is cheaper and healthier than eating out everyday. You pick one day, sunday for example and cook a large portion of a healthy meal, enough to eat it at lunch for the next days. I recommend splitting the week to cook on sunday for monday, tuesday and wednesday and on wednesday for thursday and friday. Doing it that way, you can have more balanced meals and don't have to eat the same all week.

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Goals and Responsibilities

Set yourself high goals and chase them.
Choose life goals which seem impossible to achieve and start planning small steps towards them.
Think about what you want for your life.
Self-improvement leads to a much happier life and creates opportunities to improve the lives of other people as well. Keep track of the progress, reward your efforts.

  • Get your money right.
  • Get yourself motivated.
  • Crave your goals as bad as your body craves breathing.
  • Mindset is everything.
  • Keep your promises.

If you ain't growing, it's just a matter of time before you start shrinking.

Many people might understand that having and achieving goals is important and can be very pleasant, but can't find an own goal to reach towards. A good tip, provided by Jordan Peterson is to take a look at your own sphere of influence and search for small things to change to the better. Cleaning your room or helping your friends and family. If you keep on improving the world around you and getting more disciplined with it, there is a greater chance to get an idea about what you want to do with your life.

Responsibility has fallen into disrepute lately. The concept of living young, wild and free seems to interfere with responsibilities and excluding being ambitious and hard working. Some people miscredit others as stupid, outdated and sheeps of the meritocracy, because they're striving towards a better life for themselves, their family and society. While living from day to day and don't giving a shit about the future seems really easy and appealing at first, there are stages of mental wellbeing and happiness which can't be achieved by ducking away from important decisions and avoiding responsibility. You don't have to be a CEO, responsible for hundreds of people. But everybody needs to start somewhere. Some things that might seem obvious to most of us are still improveable.

Easy responsibilities:

  • Keep your promises.
  • Don't drink and drive, don't text and drive.

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Exercise your Brain, Exercise your Body

A healthy body is key to a healthy mind. A healthy mind is key to a healthy body. Exercise is important for both of them. [5.1]

Including benefits like:

  • Help you control your weight.
  • Reduce your risk of heart diseases.
  • Help you quit smoking.
  • Improve your mental health and mood.
  • Improve your sleep.
  • Improve your sexual health.

Do some kind of weightlifiting or bodyweight training. Do cardio, your cardiovascular system will thank you! [5.1]
Swimming, jogging, rope skipping...
Learn judo or karate or boxing or...
Train your mind-muscle-connection.

Try the Wim Hof method:

  • Take cold showers daily.
  • Try an ice bath.
  • Meditate daily.

Meditation reduces stress, alters the way you are thinking and calms your mind. [5.2] [5.3] [5.4]

Play chess to educate your strategic thinking.

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Addiction adds up

Discipline is key to most of the concepts in this list, addiction kills discipline. High rewards vs. Fast rewards. Addiction manipulates your brain's reward system. [6.1]
Get yourself help. Create a why! Learn everything there is about the substance you want to quit.

Look inside studies showing risks and create a collection of evidence that this drug is dangerous to your health and dreams. Keep this first aid kit on your phone and anytime you can't resist the withdrawal symptoms anymore, look at your list and remind yourself why are you trying to quit.

  • Quit sugar.
  • Quit alcohol. [6.2]
  • Quit smoking. [6.3]
  • Quit internet porn. [6.4]
  • Quit gambling. [6.5]
  • Quit all other drugs.
  • Limit the time, using your smartphone.

Smartphone and social-media addiction is a topic that often gets not enough or way too much attention.
The new world the internet has created is often demonetized by older generations and praised by millennials. Like always the truth lies in the middle. On one hand communication around the world is much easier thanks to instagram, twitter and facebook and many great movements have emerged on their expands. But on the other hand, browsing instagram for 3 hours straight is a habit that steals our most valuable resource: Time.
I'm not saying that quitting social media is the best and only thing to do, but cutting back to a maximum of one hour of social media per day can gift you with up to two extra hours a day. Time you can invest into your self-development or your real social life.

One good thing to do when trying to limit smartphone consumption is tracking. There are many apps and even built-in functions and smartphones that can monitor your daily use and can provide you with data to work with. You can't quite believe the time you waste on your phone everyday. Analyze your use for a week or two and think about what you could have done with so much time otherwise. If you want to step up your game you can also use apps like “stay focused” to block some apps entirely for important time periods or set a time limit for apps like Instagram. To give an example: I'm trying to keep my daily smartphone usage to not more than 1 hour a day. Additionally my Instagram app locks itself after 15 minutes of use and is fully unavailable between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. This prevents me from staying in bed every morning, scrolling timelines. 

Don't miss your routine check-ups.
Many problems and diseases can get diagnosed long before they do any harm or just in time to prevent the worse.

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Self-esteem, soft skills and self-development

Work on your confidence. What are your strengths? Improve them!
Know and compensate your weaknesses while staying aware of them.

How could someone ever love or accept you, if you neither love or accept yourself. Grab a sheet of paper and write down how you want to be in the future, what you want to achieve, what you want to possess and what you want to keep. The last part is important as well. We all got some flaws to work on, but we also have character traits and things in our lives we can be proud of. Improving yourself is not about becoming a new person, but about developing your personality in a way that embraces the cards you were given by life to the fullest. Every morning after waking up, every evening before you go to bed, read this sheet out loud to yourself. Feel what you wrote down and use this autosuggestion to prime your mind towards reaching your goals.

Keep track of your progress! Your mind plays you tricks if you are trying to fight self-doubt. Use something objective to measure your improvement. It's important to write things down. Your mind has a harder time messing around with facts written down black on white. Ask a family member or friend for help.

If you want someone to do something for you, look what you can do for him. Love, respect and honest are door openers.

  • Smile!
  • Listen!
  • Leave your comfort zone!
  • Do things you are afraid of!
  • Seek discomfort!

It's always easy to say that you have to work on your confidence and many people know that it is important to overcome fear in order to improve your life. But how should I overcome fear if I start sweating, quivering and stuttering every time I try to escape the comfort zone.
The number one thing I recommend is breathing. Sure, it doesn't solve social anxiety by itself, but it has tremendous effects. Many actions and reactions of your body and mind are linked to simple parameters like heart rate, temperature or food intake. By forcing yourself to take deep, calm and slow breaths through your nose, you can suppress your fight or flight response and calm body and mind.

Self-development can be an important game changer in your career as well. Getting successful is a lot about advertising / promoting yourself. Improve your ability to speak in front of people. Study the psychological components of negotiation. How can I shift someone's opinion? How can I spot someone's true intentions in his facial expressions, his gestures and his choice of words?

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Ponder

Don't just do things, because you always did them.
Try new things.
Rethink your habits.
Take a moment to evaluate your daily activities. Is there something you do, that doesn't has a real purpose? Sure, not everything you do in your life has to aim towards one goal. Are there habits than not just have no purpose, but that are even proven to do mental or physical harm to you? Like an addiction or an unhealthy relationship? Are you ready to stop lying to yourself?

Think about climate change! [8.1]
Don't vote the guy screaming loudest. Consider the promises he made and the actions he took. Put light upon your view of the world. Are your beliefs backed up with data?

Hate and anger are energy-hungry. Racism, sexism, homophobia and every other form of group-focused hate are not just a sign for anxiety, low self-confidence and sheer stupidity, they also prevent you to get new insights into other cultures and world-views. Peace and love are the easiest, safest, fastest ways to get what you want and keep it long-term.

  • Update your world-view.
  • Check if facts are speaking against your opinion.
  • Take multiple perspectives into consideration.
  • There are no easy solutions to complex problems.
  • Be curious!
  • Be questioning!

Wandering from day to day only caring for things that exist in the present and your geographical location is an act of egoism that is sold to you as a way of living. At first it seems logical that if everyone thinks about himself, everybody is thought of. But if you aren't blindfolded you may have noticed that all humans have individual resources, skills, personalities, character traits and needs.
If everybody only got his own back, we cannot reach balance in these parameters. If all of us would share what we need and what we have to give, without having to fear being discriminated against, we wouldn't have to use violence to get what we want and the earth would be a better place.

So think about what you can do to make this world a bit better. Ask others what you can do to make them happy and tell others what they could do in order to improve your life.

Being curious and questioning is often displayed in a negative manner as or as something bad in general. In my opinion it's important to question everything you do and everything you are told to do by others.
For me there is no problem with taking orders or doing your duty, in case of a soldier for example, if you consider the consequences of your ordered actions beforehand.
That will seem obvious to most of us but it's common practice to blame others for actions that they ordered you to do, denying your own responsibilities.
Ask yourself:

  • Why?
  • What are the possible outcomes?
  • Who benefits?
  • Who loses?

At first it can be rather confusing to question the intentions of others at all time while you are making friends with anybody, treat them with respect and fulfill their needs.
A link between this two sides is dialog.
If you have serious concerns about orders or tasks you were given, communicate them on a respectful bases, while staying solution-oriented and give the other side a chance to save face.

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Create

Creativity is like a muscle, just because they never used it, people think they don't got it.
Wrong. Everybody has unique thoughts, impressions and memories which lead to unique sources of creativity hidden in the subconscious part of the mind. Creativity and imagination are major components of higher intelligence, playing a key role in a future where robots doing most of our physically demanding labor.
If you never dig a hole, there is no treasure to be found.

  • Train your craftsmanship.
  • Write a poem.
  • Draw something.
  • Take pictures of things you like.
  • Write a blog.
  • Create your own website.
  • Create an instagram account.

Art don't need to be displayed in the Louvre or be a bestselling book or song. Even if you are the only one who ever is aware of the existence of the products of your creativity, it can still be valuable and has a right to exist.

Social media is a good tool to fuel, promote and share your creativity if you use it with caution. Browsing #art for hours doen't make you an artist.
Another way of creating and publishing what you like is making your own website. For little money you can buy a domain and some webspace and start using html, css and javascript to assemble your homepage. You can use a homepage builder, but I recommend doing it by yourself and from scratch. Once you learned how to do most stuff, and know where to find help with stuff you don't know jet, you got way more options.
I build this website just by learning from YouTube and websites like this, and I believe everybody is able to create an online stage for their hobbies and projects.

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Share

  • Spread this message.
  • Support your family and friends.
  • Help others.
  • Give something back.

In developmental psychology there is the concept of needs, ranging from basic needs like food, water or safety to self-fulfillment needs like goals, parenting or achieving one's full potential.
Above a certain level of fulfillmant you discover that there is no sense in selfishness anymore and that helping and supporting other people brings peace and happiness to your heart.

The world is packed with anger and hate to a degree where good news don't make it to the media because dread is the better advertiser and online bubbles are developing in which extremism, negativity as well as fear of terrorism and refugees destroys every dialogue.
Especially in times like this, its important that people with open minds and peaceful intentions, try to convince as many hateful people as possible, not to blame others for problems they could have avoided with some self-cousiousness and self-development. We all need to work together to create a better world for us and future generations.

  • Settle old fights.
  • Forgive your enemys.
  • Say thank you more often.

Take quality time with your loved-ones. Despite all the work you have to put in to achieve your goals it is important that you make time for your family. Time is next to health one of our most worthy resources and not unending. Our parents, partners and children don't going to stay with us forever, so use all your power to make the most out of your life and share your happiness with others.

We got a ton of problems all over the world and the solving of a few of them could decide whether or not our children are going to have a world they can be born into.
There are many people of different age in different parts of the world, seeming to not know or just not care about the threats to, not just our existence, but to the existence of our whole planet.
Although there is great progress in various fields of life, including medicine, education and poverty, we ain't going to have a future if we keep dividing the world in "west and the rest" or "us and them" and ain't starting to look beyond the problems in our own country.
So make friends all over the world and show foreigners that there is no reason to be scared of a different culture or religion as long as everybody spreads the message of peace and respect.
Working together this way, will save our future!

^