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High-Octane Positive Thinking

Positive thinking expert Jon Gordon shows you that if you change your thinking, you'll have a lot more energy to live life!

By Jon Gordon, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

WEB EXCLUSIVE

"Do you have 10 minutes?" I bet you get asked that a lot—by friends, neighbors, coworkers, bosses, even strangers. And if you're like most people, you say, "Sure, what can I do for you?"

Give away 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there, and pretty soon you've got nothing left. No wonder the Families and Work Institute reports that 54 percent of employees in this country have felt overwhelmed at some point in the past month by how much they had to do.

And according to an ongoing Centers for Disease Control survey on quality of life, the typical American adult feels "healthy and full of energy" only 19 days out of a month.

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What about the down days? Is there something you can do to pick yourself up? Absolutely. When you sense your battery running low, the key is to give yourself 10 minutes to recharge.

Try one (or more) of these easy exercises, and you'll get an energy boost right away!

Morning

1. Eat breakfast.
When you skip breakfast, your body goes into energy conservation mode. Make sure to have protein and fiber, both of which supply you with sustained energy. If possible, stick with organic whole foods, and stay away from the processed stuff.

2. Start your day with positive words.
Take a few sheets of paper. On each sheet write in big letters I LOVE LIFE. Post these sheets on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator or kitchen cabinet door, your dashboard, your cubicle at work. Let the phrase "I love life" remind you to fuel up with positive energy during your day.

3. Be a love magnet.
How do you attract the positive energy of love? Become a source of love. Start by treating yourself with love. Look in the mirror and say, "You are a beautiful person." Then say, "I love you." Do this for a few minutes. It might feel awkward, but it's important to honor yourself.

You're saying "I love you" not out of conceitedness but out of the belief that love is the essence of who you are. Your beauty comes not from the outside but from within your soul. Wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a hug, and tell yourself again, "I love you."

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4. Curtail the e-mail.
Limit how often you check your e-mail. Schedule which times you are going to check today. I used to go through my inbox 20 times a day. Since I cut down to three, I've been much more productive, focused... and relaxed.

Figure out when you are most productive during the day and make a point of not using e-mail during those times. Multitasking may appear to be efficient but studies have shown it actually takes more time in the end because you lose focus—and time—in the act of shifting from one task to another.

Afternoon

1. Have lunch with someone who lifts you up—a friend, colleague, relative or mentor.
Or call her, if you can't get together in person. There's a simple rule of life called the elevator principle: There are those who bring you up and those who bring you down. Each week, schedule time with the people who send your spirit and energy soaring.

2. Breathe for energy.
People tend to hold their breath when they work intensely. Pay attention to your breathing. Make the word "Breathe" your screensaver as a reminder.

3. Snack on raisins and nuts.
Raisins provide potassium, a mineral your body uses to convert sugar in the blood into energy. Nuts are a great source of vitamins, minerals, protein and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Almonds are the super nut (the best combination of monounsaturated fat, protein and vitamin E).

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4. Listen more.
Instead of expending a lot of energy trying to get your point across, ask questions and let other people do the talking. You will find that by talking less and listening more, you'll feel more energized. Plus, those other people will love being around you!

Evening

1. Commute in calm.
Turn off your cell phone on your drive home from work. Use that time to unwind, breathe deeply and release tension and stress.

Jon Gordon is a speaker, consultant and author of several books including the recently released The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work and the international best seller The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy which has captured the hearts of readers world-wide. Read more at jongordon.com.