How to be more productive at work: Urgency vs. intensity

How to be more productive at work: Urgency vs. intensity

We all have endless todo lists, deadlines, and obligations. We are always searching for how to be more productive at work and how to be more productive in life, period. But some part of us wants to simply relax, to actually enjoy life, and to chip away at our personal bucket list. This tug of war creates its own stress, on top of the stress that comes from trying to complete all those items on our todo list. 

Personally, I have found stress to be something we create for ourselves. There actually is an answer to everything, if we apply ourselves and are patient about it. A sense of urgency actually distracts us from success; rather than focusing on the task at hand, it puts the emphasis on a negative thought: “I don’t think I can pull this off! What if I don’t make it?” 

In fact, a certain kind of focused intensity solves many problems, at work and at home.  Read more

How to reduce stress: The lost art of comforting yourself

How to reduce stress: The lost art of comforting yourself

How to reduce stress: The lost art of comforting yourself

You don’t see anyone comforting anyone else much anymore, anywhere, unless you are addicted to watching videos where someone super nice rescues a terribly neglected animal, or those videos where animals are snuggling up to people. And every so often, something like this pops up. But overall, it seems that so many are too rushed, too stressed, and too distracted by glowing screens to comfort others. There just aren’t very many good examples. That’s a shame, because the best answer to “how to reduce stress” is learning how to comfort yourself.

I think this is especially important now that we have so much bad news hanging over us. There is strife all around, and many of us are isolated in ways we never were before. If you learn how to comfort yourself, those “terrible” things become minor inconveniences that we know we will overcome. No matter what happens, we will have a friend at hand, ready to help us feel better and carry on. The peace you feel, once you have mastered this skill, will change your life.  Read more

How to Always Have Enough Money | Kristin Zhivago

How to always have enough money

How to Always Have Enough Money | Kristin Zhivago

There are plenty of articles on the subject of budgeting, living within your means, and how to have enough money to live comfortably. They all basically say the same things: Don’t spend more than you make; create a budget and stick to it; learn how to say “no”; and always save a portion of what you make. 

All absolutely sound advice, which, when taken, can help you meet a large part of the challenge. These things keep coming up because they work.

But I want to come at this from another angle. I want to talk about where money actually comes from, and how to make sure that you’re putting yourself in a position to earn enough. If you are not earning enough, even with careful budgeting and sound financial habits, you will always hear the wolf panting at the door.  Read more

How to live life to the fullest even though the world is broken

How to live life to the fullest even though the world is broken

How to live life to the fullest even though the world is broken

My husband sums it up this way: “The world has always been going to hell in a handbasket. The trick is to stay out of the handbasket.” He is so right. And this great advice is at the core of, as they say, “living life to the fullest,” which is cliche talk for “how to have a great life.” 

If you spend just 5 minutes a day catching up with the “news,” you can get really bummed. The news, by its very nature, is filled with seemingly unresolvable turmoil. That’s what makes it news; there is a problem that has not yet been solved, and needs to be. 

Problems that have been solved are pretty boring.  Read more

The two keys to success in life: Kindness and common sense

The two keys to success in life: Kindness and common sense

The two keys to success in life: Kindness and common sense

What does “success in life” really look like? It means that you are happy more than you are not; that you love and are loved; that you achieve what you set out to do; and you have very few disappointments. In fact, if you focus on the two main aspects of life that make everything else work, you may end up with no disappointments at all. 

The two key aspects are kindness and common sense.

Kindness rocks

Civilization literally breaks down when there is a lack of kindness. Life as we know it depends almost 100% on people being kind to each other. 

What is kindness, really? Read more

Dealing with difficult people: Beware the soul suckers

Dealing with difficult people: Beware the soul suckers

Dealing with difficult people: Beware the soul suckers

I’ve written about jerks before. I define a jerk as someone who makes life more difficult for others (nice people spend their lives trying to do just the opposite). But on the subject of dealing with difficult people, there is also a certain type of person who will suck the life out of you if you let them. They are not good for us, but for some reason we keep trying to work it out—to help them or “resolve” them. 

Usually it is from some sense of obligation (which they definitely encourage), or a vow or promise we made in the past about our relationship with this person. Or, they are related to us or someone close to us, and it is very difficult to avoid interaction.

Whatever the reason, we stick it out, and over time they literally suck the life out of us.  Read more

How to stay sane and happy when those around you are not

How to stay sane and happy when those around you are not

How to stay sane and happy when those around you are not

If you are the least bit empathetic and prone to want to help others, it is very easy to be pulled into another person’s dysfunction. It can be especially detrimental if they are stuck in a Groundhog Day universe of their own making, where they refuse to see that the problem keeps recurring because they refuse to make the required internal changes. In those cases, sometimes it’s better to walk away. But sometimes you can’t; sometimes the other person is a family member or someone you work with, and walking away is out of the question. So what do you do? How do you stay sane and happy when those around you are not?

You don’t internalize their dysfunction. 

You stay calm as they rant and rave. You empathize, but you don’t internalize. You understand, but you don’t internalize. You want to help, and you do what you can, but you don’t internalize. Read more

woman sitting by her mac book stressed

How to live a stress-free life

woman sitting by her mac book stressed

Stuff happens. Good stuff and bad stuff. All day, every day. To everyone. No one is immune. And when it comes to the bad stuff, there are two kinds of people: Those who stress about it and those who don’t. Those who stress about it get anxious, worried, insecure, angry, and paralyzed with fear. Those who don’t stress just deal with the bad stuff and keep moving. What do they know that the others don’t? Why do they know how to live a stress-free life?

The answer is simple. They see stress for what it is and decide that they won’t take part in it. 

So what is stress? Read more

how to be happy alone

How to be happy alone

how to be happy alone

I have a couple of dear friends who are deathly afraid of being alone. They worry about it. They cry—hard—when they think about it. The source of this fear started when they were very young; their parents were not loving and literally made them feel worthless. That feeling of worthlessness stayed with them into adulthood, and affected all of their decisions and relationships. 

What does this have to do with “learning more to earn more”? A lot.  Read more

But You Don’t Live There Anymore

But You Don’t Live There Anymore

kristins wisdom

Bad stuff happens to good people. Bad stuff causes the victim to make a vow.

“I’ll never trust anyone again.”

“I’m never going to let anyone get close to me.”

“I’m so disappointed in [someone]. I won’t let anyone do that to me again.”  Read more