How a 1-Day Conference Helped Me Come to Grips with what Truly Matters

When you get an invitation to an event that promises to help you “live the life you love”, you would immediately say yes and pack your bags. And that’s what April Bell Research Group did last January to attend the "Think Better, Live Better” event in Austin.

We were invited to the event by one of our favorite online “productivity experts”, Asian Efficiency. The event was hosted by Marc and Angel Chernoff, professional coaches who “hack life”. They both have spent the past decade writing about and teaching proven strategies for finding lasting happiness, success, love, and peace.

The full day session was packed with topics and tools that reduce stress and increase positive results in 4 core areas:

- Personal/Professional Happiness
- Motivation/Focus
- Successful Results
- Life Balance and Relationships

Throughout the event, there were several key learnings that the team felt was relevant in our daily work-life.

The Beliefs that Hold You Back & The Questions that Will Set You Free (Marc & Angel Chernoff) We keep hearing people say that "questions become thoughts, thoughts become words, words become actions, and actions become character". And when we encounter challenges, it’s the strength of our character that sees us through. Now, who doesn’t experience obstacles in life? Marc and Angel shared Self-Inquiry Process tips to do a raw brain dump or questions to ask yourself when we feel we are in a bad space:

- Is it true? Can it be scientifically proven?

- When I think this thought, how:

        - Does it make me feel?
        - Do I treat others?
        - Does it make me deal with the situation?

- If I completely erase/remove this thought, how:
        - Do I feel?
        - Do I treat others?
        - Do I deal with the situation?

This session helped us become aware of our inner dialogue and attitudes - to stay positive and focused in challenging situations. It taught us a new way to think about our project work but also with our spouses!

Overcoming Procrastination & Roadblocks to Do What Matters (Joshua Becker) All too often, I find myself running out of time; I find myself saying that 24 hours isn’t enough and if I could just have 1 more hour to do this or that. This session talked about uncovering the secrets to "making time" vs. "finding time". Joshua shared tips on how to simplify life, eliminate excess, and rediscover lost time to focus on things that truly matter to you. Here are some of my biggest takeaways:

- Your Possessions - yes, having too many can complicate our lives. They drain our bank accounts, energy, and attention. Investing time to remove nonessential possession will considerably make us feel lighter.

- Your Time Commitments - if your calendar looks like a never-ending Gantt chart, it’s time to release yourself from time commitments that are not in line with your greatest values.

- Your Goals - yes, I thought that having a long list would make them more achievable. Reducing it to 1 or 2 will give you more focus and better success rates so list down things you want to accomplish and choose the 2 most important. When you finish 1, add another from your list.

- Your Connections to the World - yes, relationships with others are good but constant streams of distraction are bad. Learn to focus on the important, not the urgent.

Conquering Mental Fatigue (Courtney Carver) Growing up in an era of open innovation, I always found it very interesting how creative minds work but over the years, I realized that the market is complicated with so many new products and takes a toll on my decision making process. Not that innovation is bad but there are times when we just want one less decision to make in a day. Courtney shares some tips on how to minimize decision fatigue and help people make the right decisions.

- Simpler meals

- Perimeter grocery shopping (if you can!)

- Pretend the internet is broken (ha!)

- Her Project 333 helps create a decision free closet (33 items inclusive of clothes, shoes, jewelry to wear in 3 months). 

- Habit stack your morning routine

- Simplify! Just get rid of things that do not matter in your life.

The same holds true for work –to avoid that early morning stress of trying to figure out what task to complete first, create time blocks for when you want to focus on your task list and eat your frog too!

Indeed, choices can be debilitating rather than liberating so eliminate distractions to minimize decisions. It’s easier to make the right choices and decisions too if you only have a handful to choose from.

Living The Perfect Day (Karl Staib ) Who doesn’t want to do that? But with all the distractions, this seems unattainable. I used to think that perfect days don’t exist especially because so many things are just out of our control. Karl’s session made me realize that this mindset is causing my imperfect day. He says that to live a fulfilling life, we need to define what the ideal version of our life is, one day at a time. How? By:

- Designing our day

- Getting feedback

- Building on feedback

This session motivated our team at April Bell Research Group to improve each day and work like a well oiled machine by designing our days individually, respecting boundaries, and staying resilient when there are unexpected surprises.

At the end of the full day session, I realized that when you redefine what’s already in front of you (or what's possible), living the life you love isn’t farfetched at all. These topics have already paved the way to a more realistic plan to keep improving. They are indeed inspiring lessons to live a more positive and productive life!