Monday Spark: Eating chocolate makes you smarter!

eating chocolate makes you smartI do love to be the bearer of good news.

Anyway, it’s official. Chocolate makes you smarter. It really does.

In a recent research study, just published by The New England Journal of Medicine, it was shown that there is a direct correlation between a country’s chocolate consumption and the number of Nobel prize winners it produces.

That’s right. The more chocolate you eat, the more likely you are to become a Nobel laureate.

Here is a quote for you, from the study.

“The principal finding of this study is a surprisingly powerful correlation between chocolate intake per capita and the number of Nobel laureates in various countries. Of course, a correlation between X and Y does not prove causation but indicates that either X influences Y, Y influences X, or X and Y are influenced by a common underlying mechanism.”

Never mind the X and Y stuff. Just focus on the chocolate.

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Monday Spark: Dogs like treats, and so do we.

freelancer treat yourselfAfter lunch each day we give our two dogs a small treat. Just a small dog cookie each.

It’s not much, but it makes their day. They look forward to their cookie at the first sign that lunch time is approaching.

Afterwards, they get into some serious playacting, trying to persuade us that we had, in fact, forgotten to give them their cookie five minutes before. One time in a hundred this actually works. I can only imagine the level of satisfaction this gives them. Two cookies, and fooling the man, both on the same day.

The point is, it doesn’t take much to make their day.

And I think the same is true for us.

A small treat can turn an OK day into a great day. Or a rough day into an OK day.

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Monday Spark: Sit down and do the best you can each day [VIDEO]

creative inspirationYour job is to sit at your desk each day and do the best you can.

This applies to managing your time, being productive and, above all, doing your best work, whether that be writing, designing, coding or anything else.

Will the “muse” be with you every single day? In other words, will you be at your most creative every day? Almost certainly not.

But as Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, says in this video, “I would like the record to reflect that today I turned up for my part of the job.”

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Monday Spark: If you’re not doing CRAZILY energetic work, you’re not trying hard enough.

high energy creative with two cellosMost of us set the bar way to low when it comes to believing what we are capable of.

We do good work. We are productive. We put energy into our work.

But how often do you do CRAZILY good work?

How often are you CRAZILY productive?

How often do you put a CRAZY amount of energy into what you do?

We can all do it. It just that we don’t reach up that high very often.

If you want a little inspiration, take a look at what these two guys do with their cellos…

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Monday Spark: In awe of nature.

The feeling of awe is a powerful thing. We can feel it when watching a gymnast performing some incredible feat, or at the birth of a child, or in nature.

That moment of awe has a profound effect on us. It’s a little like a reset button, allowing us to view everything afresh. All the jumbled up worries and thoughts in our minds are swept away.

For myself – perhaps because I don’t have easy access to gymnasts, and have just the right number of children already – I find awe in nature.

This isn’t my video, but I bet if I had been in that canoe, I would have felt a profound sense of awe. Even watching the video, I feel a sense of quiet amazement, and peace.

Take a moment, and enjoy.

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

NOTE: If you want help in moving your business forward, or launching it, check out my coaching service for freelancers.

About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach.

Monday Spark: Stretch Yourself.

Here is a story from when I was about 11 years old.

At my school, in England, we used to put on a full-length play by Shakespeare once a year.

I was a hopelessly timid kid, but somehow landed the part of Cassius in the play, Julius Caesar. I didn’t think I could learn hundreds of lines for the play, and I didn’t think I could get up on the stage in front of an audience.

But I did. And playing that part changed my life.

My teacher gave me the opportunity to really stretch myself, and to discover what I was truly capable of.

Now we fast-forward a generation to when my children were at school at about the same age. When I went to see their school “plays”, my kids were asked to learn maybe ten lines.

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