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Living an Extraordinary Life Means Giving Up a Normal One

“If you want to live an exceptional and extraordinary life, you have to give up many of the things that are part of a normal one.” -Srinivas Rao

The larger mob of society will never experience true success.

Why?

Because this majority is unwilling to become the CEO of their life — they’d rather someone else call the shots.

They are unwilling to take risks, to fail publicly, and be forced to try again after getting knocked down.

They are unwilling to sacrifice what is good for what is great.

In short, they are unwilling to give up their “normal” life.

But this is what is required to live an extraordinary life. You must give up the “normal” life for something far more valuable.

Evolving is painful.

The more you evolve into the best version of yourself, the more you’ll be required to give up. You’ll reach a point where you’ll no longer be able to tolerate negative relationships. Eating bad food. Spending your time on time-wasting activities.

Giving these things up is painful. Most people aren’t willing to do what needs to be done.

Living the Life No One Else Is

“Live like no one else now, so later you can live like no one else.” -Dave Ramsey

I have only just began to take some major steps to live an “extraordinary” life. It’s been hard as hell sometimes.

The first major step for me was counseling. Over the course of 3 years, I underwent some serious emotional recovery of the wreckage of my past. My history is full of broken family relationships, sex addiction, intense shame and self-loathing; all emotional baggage I never dealt with.

I made the choice to get all this shit out in the open. To tell a therapist about the time my high school girlfriend of 2 years dumped me after I admitted I had a problem looking at pornography, and then proceeded to tell all her friends about it.

Or when members of my family favored my cousins over me because I didn’t party, do drugs, or sleep around like they did.

I realized an extraordinary life meant confronting and resolving all the shit that happened to me. Shit happens to everyone, but most people don’t deal with it. That’s the sign of a “normal” life.

The next step for me was actually attending a rehab program to overcome my sex addiction. Counseling, coupled with recovery and rehab, was the hardest struggle I’ve ever had to go through. I still struggle. But now, I can live an extraordinary life because I’ve dealt with my past and stopped letting it call the shots.

These are signs of an extraordinary life.

Everything Has a Cost

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” -Jim Collins, Good to Great

People who prefer to live a “normal” life don’t want to pay most of the costs of an extraordinary life.

Everything worthwhile in life has an opportunity cost. If you accept opportunity “A,” that means passing on opportunity “B.”

You have to give up something in order to accomplish something else.

If you want to live an extraordinary life for the long-term, you’ll need to give up some things in the short-term. Some of these things may be dear to you, which makes them extremely difficult to let go. No one said this would be easy.

For some, that means stopping looking at pornography entirely so you can start to actually connect with others.

It might mean giving up some of their favorite foods so they can finally see abs they’ve never seen before.

It might might mean seeing friends less often in order to do the worknecessary to succeed.

It might mean declining wedding invitations because the trips are too expensive. Maybe it means giving up sleeping in so you can have more time in your days. Maybe it means saying no to opportunities at work so you can remain a loving, present father to your children.

All great opportunities costs “good” ones.

An extraordinary life costs a “normal” life. You can’t have both.

You will have to sacrifice something that you value less than whatever it is you ultimately want.

Make no mistake, this is a high price to pay. In fact, many people simply decline the offer of an extraordinary life after they discover how much it would cost.

And that’s OK. An extraordinary life isn’t for everyone.

But if you want to live the extraordinary life no else is living, you’ll have to start living a life no one else does. This means giving up a “normal” life.

The 3 Things Everyone Needs to Sacrifice

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. “ -Herman Melville

Everyone has different, unique things they’ll need to sacrifice in order to begin living an extraordinary life.

But there are 3 things everyone will need to give up.

1. Security and Certainty

One of the cornerstones of an extraordinary life is giving up the safety nets, security, and guarantees of a normal life.

Maybe this is a steady paycheck at a job that will never allow you to reach your full potential. Maybe it’s the static 9–5 schedule. Maybe it’s a guaranteed retirement plan.

Of course, you don’t have to live in this scenario for the rest of your life. This lifestyle is exhausting at first — you’re always on your toes, never knowing when the next paycheck is coming in, unsure of the future.

But the extraordinary life gives you full control over your life and actions, at the cost of the comfort of having others call the shots.

This is one of the hardest parts to give up, and takes a long time to really sink in for even the most dedicated entrepreneurs, adventurers, and risk-takers.

2. Fear of Judgement

“The worst part of success is to try to find someone who is happy for you.” -Bette Midler

If you post a status on Facebook that says, “I got the job!” you’re likely to get dozens, even hundreds of likes.

But if you post a status that says, “I finally started my own business!” you’re likely to experience little engagement at all.

Which brings us to the next requirement of an extraordinary life: letting go of your fear of judgement.

Trying to explain your extraordinary life to others will begin to seem like a lost cause. Most people are afraid you’ll achieve the dreams they never did, and so they attempt to protect themselves from that failure by bringing you down.

The extraordinary life looks crazy to an outsider. They don’t understand it, and they’re afraid of it. To an individual living a “normal” life, the characteristics of an extraordinary life seem foolish, stupid, and unrealistic.

They don’t understand why you go to the gym even when you’re exhausted. They don’t understand why you’d wake up at 6am on the weekend when you could be sleeping in. They don’t understand why you’d prefer a wild, inconsistent, frightening life full of uncertainty when you could choose the comfort and safety of a normal one.

So they judge you. They criticize you, condemn you, and ostracize you by singling you out as stupid, naive, and silly.

You must ignore this.

You will never succeed if you continue to take more stock in what your critics say than what you belief about yourself.

This is another extremely difficult thing to give up. Separating ourselves from the herd is scary, and the criticisms and warnings from others might even sound wise.

Let it go. This is your life, not theirs.

3. Other People’s Definition of Success

In the words of Srinivas Rao:

At some point, I realized that I had to give up other people’s definition of success. This is one of the most difficult things to give up because it is so deeply embedded in our cultural narratives that it becomes the standard by which we measure our lives. Even as entrepreneurs we have collectively agreed that fame and fortune are the markers of success.

But, giving up other people’s definition of success is incredibly liberating and ultimately leads to the fullest expression of who you are and what matters to you. It’s not a one-time thing. It’s a daily habit of comparing less and creating more.

“Success” doesn’t just mean what the larger mob of society says it means: “lots of money, fame, and fortune.” Many people with fame, fortune, and lots of money have terribly empty, imbalanced lives.

Your success isn’t defined by what other people say.

“Success is continuously improving who you are, how you live, how you serve, and how you relate.” –Benjamin P. Hardy

No one can define your success but you. If you continue to let others tell you what success is, you’ll never reach it. Even if you did, it wouldn’t be a true success, because it’s not what you really valued.

No, living an extraordinary life means defining your own version of what success is. You can begin to spend your time on what really matters to you.

Do you really want 100,000 Twitter followers? Do you really need to be in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list? Do you really want to be a New York Times Bestselling Author?

Or is your version of success more narrowed, more focused, more specific?

If you want to live an extraordinary life, your definition of success must be your own. If we are always chasing what other people tell us to, we’ll never experience true success.

Let go of other people’s versions of success. Define your own success, and achieve it.

That is true success.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, it’s up to you what you’re willing to sacrifice to achieve an extraordinary life. There is no formula. But one thing is certain: you will need to sacrifice.

It will be hard. It won’t be pleasant.

But the life you’re achieving — the extraordinary life — will be more rewarding than a normal life could ever be. Your relationships, finances, health, knowledge, passion, and purpose will all reach levels higher than ever before.

The cost of an extraordinary life is great.

Is it worth it to you?

 

This blog was originally published by Anthony Moore. See original post: https://theascent.biz/living-an-extraordinary-life-means-giving-up-a-normal-one-222f37972c32

45 Things That Might Help You Be A Better Human

A short list of ways to improve your life and maybe even the lives of others.

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I’ve started a (nearly) annual tradition of writing about things I’ve learned or observed about life on my birthday (I try to write as many things as my age, so yeah, I’m 45). I don’t write these because I’ve mastered life or am an expert on anything, but mainly as a reminder and challenge to myself that I need to grow and learn and change.

Hopefully you’ll find something interesting, amusing, or even helpful for your life.

  1. Actively put limits on yourself. Try not saying more than 100 words in a day. Wake up in the morning 10 minutes earlier every day for a week.
  2. When you find yourself feeling angry when speaking with someone, shut up and just listen.
  3. When you encounter a new thought or idea, accept it as truth for 24 hours. Not because you’ll eventually believe it but because it’ll change your perspectives and allow you to understand others (and I lied, sometimes it will change your beliefs).
  4. Take one of your existing beliefs (or assumptions) and question it’s validity. Read about opposing views. You will get defensive, even angry. Do your best to suppress your desire to attack. This is almost the same as above. Together, this is the only way to adapt, grow, and evolve what you understand and believe about yourself, others, and the world.
  5. Constantly experience life as if you’re searching for a moment to photograph.
  6. Don’t become so consumed by your career, or family, or hobbies that you neglect personal relationships because one day when your kids are grown and you’ve moved away and your career is over, you’ll find yourself old and alone and regretting that you didn’t purposefully invest more time into your friendships.
  7. Create an alternate reality version of yourself where a major milestone in your life that didn’t happen. How would your life be different? Would it be better or worse?
  8. Try communicating for a day using only emojis.
  9. Spend a day sending notes (via Facebook or Twitter or Snapchat or email or even a letter) purposefully and specifically praising those who are important to your life (at least once a year).
  10. Invest in some non-traditional socks — the uglier and crazier the better.
  11. Make a playlist of songs from your childhood. Mine would include “Baby Elephant Walk” — I can vividly remember dancing around in our living room, moving the coffee table out of the way, and pacing the floor with my body bent down, holding my arms together as they dangled in the air like a trunk — more Barry Manilow than I care to admit, and “Little Nash Rambler”.
  12. Find some puppies and let them devour you in their furious furry love.
  13. Every year (on your birthday, since it’s an easy date to remember, hopefully) go through all the things you own and donate anything that you haven’t worn or used in that entire year (I also highly suggest you do this with your kids and their toys).
  14. Support whatever you believe in, whether financially or volunteering.
  15. Find somewhere that makes you happy and peaceful — that doesn’t cost money, that you can get to quickly and easily, and where no one you know will interrupt you — and just sit in silence for 15 minutes (for me, it’s on the banks of the Ohio in downtown Cincinnati when I get to work in the morning).
  16. Play laser tag (mostly because it’s really fun to shoot kids — oh you know what I mean).
  17. Find an interesting topic and try and learn as much as you can about it in 60 minutes (it’s why the internet exists!), like rubber bands, switchblade combs, vinyl records, or those three-legged, small, table-like contraptions they put in the middle of pizza so the boxes don’t crush into your food.
  18. Buy a headlamp. They’re cheap and you’ll be amazed at how often you’ll need to see in the dark while also having both hands free.
  19. For fun, think about a name you wouldn’t mind changing to. But take it seriously (would you really want to be called Chavez Dumplings? That’s for me, because that’s a stupid online alias I used to have). Would you be different than you are now?
  20. Buy two pairs of your favorite shoes (because there is no guarantee that they will always exist).
  21. Find a simple, non-linear (meaning something you can stop and start at any time) game that you can play or do as a family while eating dinner. For us, it is (was) Akinator.
  22. Go to a movie alone. Get your favorite movie foods. Preferably a movie that you really want to see but would be ashamed to admit.
  23. Collect something (preferably inexpensive), perhaps enamel pins, interesting coffee mugs, branded coasters, or velvet clown paintings. I collect well-designed playing cards.
  24. Ask yourself “is this the most important thing I can be doing right now?”
  25. Visit a local art museum. Find a painting you love. Observe it for 10 minutes. Every year go back to that same painting for the same amount of time and try to find something new.
  26. If you feel stuck on a problem or a thought or a fear, get some crayons and color in a coloring book, or work a challenging puzzle, or play Solitaire. Engage your mind in something completely, and you’ll find that a solution for a problem will surface, your anxiety will vanish, and you fear will dissipate.
  27. Get a tattoo. Find a local tattoo artist whose work (and style) you love. Tell them about who you are — where you’re from, what you do, who you love, etc — and let them create something for you.
  28. There is no tomorrow. You will never reach the horizon. Don’t live for the unknown and unknowable.
  29. For the love of God if you’re not listening to podcasts, then start. There are so many amazing podcasts. When you find a favorite, write to them and tell them you love what they do.
  30. If you aren’t intrigued by a book by the first chapter, stop reading.
  31. Get a favorite hat. Mine is this one made from Wire And Twine (hat by Legacy Athletic, so so so comfortable). Why? Because everyone needs a comfort blanket.
  32. Learn a curse word in a foreign language.
  33. Practice finding positive attributes in people you really (really) dislike. This doesn’t mean you will suddenly like, tolerate, or forgive them, but it will help assuage your hate (and hurt).
  34. Learn one new fact a day. This is a great place to start or here or here. For example, today I learned about this.
  35. Whenever you find yourself wanting to skip a minor action — like hanging up a towel, putting socks in a drawer, putting dishes into a dishwasher, cleaning up that spill — take the extra few seconds it would take to do it and do it.
  36. Slow down. Always. The flow of life traffic will tempt you to keep up and before you know it, everything is going by in a blur.
  37. Always keep a package of bandaids, a stain remover pen, and a spare shirt and pants somewhere quickly accessible. You never know when you’ll be eating lo mein that splatters over all your shirt.
  38. Learn something new about your parent(s) while you can.
  39. Find a new way to say something you’re feeling. Rather than saying “I’m furious” say “I’m filled with the bubbling rage of a cat wearing a sweater” or instead of saying “No thank you” say “I’d rather bathe in a tub full of bacon grease”.
  40. Stop watching the news. Substitute that time with reading. Or eating. Or even just looking out the window at that one squirrel who seems to have lost his mind. There are so many things better than watching TV news.
  41. Allow auto-complete to write your sentences. I’m now about ethics at half year things — that was me trying to type “it’s not as easy as you’d think”.
  42. Eat a vegetable you don’t like once a week for a year. Prepare it in different ways. I guarantee by the end of the year you will like that vegetable (like how I love Brussels sprouts to the point of obsession).
  43. Watch and listen. Wherever you are — at home, in a mall, at Costco, on the street — stop for just a few minutes and observe people in what they do and say and act (obviously don’t be creepy about, don’t ask for an autograph or inject yourself into their conversation or start clapping).
  44. If you have appliance that breaks, see if you can repair it yourself. For example, the ice maker in our refrigerator broke, so I researched the brand on YouTube, watched several repair videos, found the part online and replaced it myself. It’s an amazing feeling. I know it’s meaningless, but in a world where everything is a hidden disaster solving even the most insignificant problems is fulfilling (and therefore meaningful).
  45. Challenge yourself to write a list of things you’ve learned about life based on your age (I’m kidding, don’t do it, it’s nearly impossible).

I find this a helpful post, whenever I found one I always want it to share to my lovely readers. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do. Check out the original post here:  https://medium.com/@wiseacre/45-things-that-might-help-you-be-a-better-human-875ace9c5b16

The Ego And The True Self (or, Three Great Quotes About The Inner Life)-Dan Pedersen

In his book Fear of Life: The Wisdom of Failure psychotherapist Alexander Lowen wrote that it is the fate of modern men and women (particularly in western society) to become neurotic.

The Oxford Dictionary of Current English defines Neurosis as “a mild mental illness involving symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or obsessive behavior.”

Lowen had this to say as part of his introduction:

“The neurotic individual is in conflict with himself. Part of his being is trying to overcome another part. His ego is trying to master his body; his rational mind, to control his feelings; his will, to overcome his fears and anxieties. Though this conflict is in large part unconscious, its effect is to deplete the person’s energy and to destroy his peace of mind. Neurosis is internal conflict. The neurotic character takes many forms, but all of them involve a struggle in the individual between what he is and what he believes he should be. Every neurotic individual is caught in this struggle.”

As a way of dealing with this inner struggle we tend to idealize ourselves, rather than see and accept ourselves as we really are. Or as another psychoanalyst put it:

“No one dealing with analytic psychology can fail to be struck by the tremendous and unnecessary burdens which man has placed upon himself, and how greatly he has increased the difficulties of adaptation by his rigid intellectual views and moral formulas, and by his inability to admit to himself that he is actually just a human being imperfect, and containing within himself all manner of tendencies, good and bad, all striving for some satisfactory goal. Further, that the refusal to see himself in this light instead of as an ideal person in no way alters the actual condition, and that in fact, through the cheap pretense of being able only to consider himself as a very virtuous person, or as shocked and hurt when observing the “sins” of others, he actually is prevented from developing his own character and bringing his own capacities to their fullest expressions.” ~ Beatrice M. Hinkle, from the intro to Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl G. Jung

The ego keeps us focused on a false self, an actor we create who fulfills a role in society’s play. But the true self has no desire or need to do things to improve itself or others, it lacks nothing, it is at perfect rest.

Author Jim Palmer put it this way in one of his blog posts:

“In the depths of our true Self we are peace, freedom, well-being, and contentment. On the surface of our lives there is drama because of our preferences, attachments, and not seeing things as they truly are. Your true Self is undisturbed and undisturbable. But this Self is masked by all the drama we are creating on the surface of our lives as we seek to attain happiness in ways that can never produce it.”

Indeed, a great post. Check the original post here: https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-ego-and-the-true-self-or-three-great-quotes-about-the-inner-life-74e7afe25294

5 Zen Principles To Live By

Practical wisdom that instantly improves your life

I love practical advice that you can immediately apply to your life. And Zen, a school of Mahayana Buddhism, is full of practical wisdom.

When I tell my friends, colleagues, and people I work with that I like reading about Zen Buddhism, they often make remarks like: “When are you going to grow your hair, walk around bare feet, and talk about yoga all day?”

That’s the hipster way of life. Not the Zen way.

What is Zen, actually? To be honest, I don’t know. It’s not a religion, belief, or piece of knowledge.

I started reading more about Zen when I learned that legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson is very into Zen and used the concepts to coach Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

And especially Kobe, a person who I have immense respect for, embraced Zen principles. When I found out about that, I wanted to learn more about Zen.

Phil Jackson also mentions a Zen quote in his book Eleven Rings (which is about the championship runs of the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers):

“Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” — Wu Li

My interpretation is that matter what happens in your life; you must keep doing your task. I live by that philosophy too. You can replace enlightenment with any life goal. Nothing changes once you achieve something. You still have to do what you’re meant to do.

Over the past few years, I’ve read more about Zen and everything that’s related to it. What I’ve found is that it’s not a smart thing to get hung up on definitions, movements, and groups. Buddhism, Taoism, Zen — they share many of the same ideas. To be honest, I also don’t care what is what and who invented certain ideas. I’ll leave that to the pseudo intellectualists of this world.

All I know is that many of the Zen teachings are very useful for living a peaceful and happy life. So I’ve made a list of 5 practical Zen lessons I’ve found very beneficial for living a useful life. Here we go.

1. Find Your Meditation Technique

The most important part of a Zen monk’s life is meditation. I’ve tried sitting meditation in the past. It’s not for me.

So I’ve turned running and strength training into my meditation. The most important thing about meditation is this: Practice being in the moment.

I’ve found it doesn’t matter what type of activity you use. Sitting meditation, yoga, running, strength training — you can MAKE it work for you. Make sure you’re one with your body, clear your mind, and do it regularly.

One note: Meditation doesn’t work when you try to do six thousand things at the same time. I’ve recently learned to do one thing at a time.

I’ve stopped doing things like listening to audiobooks and podcasts when you’re working on something important, or when you’re exercising.

Ever since I quit that type of multitasking behavior, my workouts have improved dramatically. These days, I completely focus on the task at hand: Running, lifting weights, my muscles, the way breath, etc. I still like to listen to music because that easily moves to the background. You don’t have to focus on it.

2. Enjoy The Moment

This quote from Thích Nhất Hạnh, a Vietnamese Zen Monk, says it all:

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves — slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

Look, you don’t have to do groundbreaking things to live a meaningful life.You don’t need to be the youngest person to climb Everest. Actually, you don’t need to be the first person who does anything.

Just makes sure you enjoy most moments of your day. I say most because you’re probably way too busy to enjoy every moment. That’s not realistic unless you’re a Monk. But stopping for a few seconds a day, and enjoying the moment, that’s something everyone can do. No excuses.

3. Happiness Is Closer Than You Think

We often look at outside sources for happiness: Travel, a new job, moving to a different city or county, a new partner, more experiences, etc. But if you’re unhappy now, you will probably be an unhappy person with new experiences.

A quote from the Japanese Zen Master Dogen explains it well:

“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?”

Don’t look for happiness in other places. Find it right where you are. Once you become happy, it’s easier to stay happy.

4. Focus On The Process

Zen Monks and Masters don’t care about results. They focus on habits, rituals, and processes that support the Zen way of living.

Too often, we stare blindly on the results we want to achieve that we forget why we do something in the first place.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to achieve things. You don’t have to give up everything and move to a monastery.

But make sure you develop habits and rituals that support what you’re trying to achieve in life. When you focus on the process, the outcome will follow automatically.

5. The Meaning Of Life Is To Be Alive

Alan Watts was a British philosopher who was introduced to Zen in 1936, when he attended a conference where D. T. Suzuki spoke. Suzuki, a Japanese author, singlehandedly influenced the spreading of Zen in the West.

And ever since that moment, Watts (21 years old at the time) was fascinated with Zen. He wrote many books. One of the most popular books is Way of Zen. Watts also built a large following in the West. And I have to say that I like his work a lot.

Especially his perspective on the meaning of life. He said:

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”

This sounds fucking obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway: Instead of thinking, spend your life living. Make yourself useful, solve problems, add value, and most importantly: Enjoy it.

Don’t rush life. Before you know, it will all be over. To me, that’s the true Zen way of living.

This blog is originally published on medium. Check out this link: https://medium.com/art-of-practicality/5-zen-principles-to-live-by-da680870f838

What it means when you can’t answer the question, What do you want to be when you grow up? — ideas.ted.com

Not all of us are born with one main interest — and we should see that as our biggest strength, not our weakness, says Emilie Wapnick, a writer, coach, artist (and then some). Do you remember being asked, as a little kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up? When I think back,…

via What it means when you can’t answer the question, What do you want to be when you grow up? — ideas.ted.com

Why it is vital to embrace the art of being alone?

People come and go. We all know that every single thing God or man-made is indeed temporary, that even the closest person in your life may leave anytime they want or any time life would asked them to, and the fact that at the end of the day it is still ourselves alone whom we could rely on to. Probably, you once asked yourself, can I live without this human beside me? Or am I still going to be this eager once this friend of mine left suddenly and leave me hanging? Chances are you can but you know for a fact that it is never that easy.

So, why do we need to get used of being alone? Why is it essential to do so?

When you have yourself alone, you could talk to yourself. Have you ever tried talking to yourself through your mind while walking? I did and surprisingly, it soothes me. In my case, I talk to myself when I’m down or sad. I am used with being alone since I really don’t have much friends so being in this state is no longer new to me. I’m neither sad about it nor regretful. Aside from having the capability of being soothe, Science Daily said that talking to oneself has a cognitive benefits like having an in-depth focus.

Moreover, being alone means appreciating the beauty of the things around you. I want you to think of the last time you walk, probably last night or this morning. Have you notice those blooming flowers that you just pass-by? What about the newly painted wall that was vandalized by street children have you recognize its new appearance? Probably no, I’m not talking about these things alone. I’m referring with the things around you that you supposed to notice only if you’re alone focusing on your environment and not with your company. If you did, then you’re certainly alone at that point of time because you were more observant than when you’re walking together with someone. Ask yourself, isn’t it nice to walk alone, listening to your playlist and preparing yourself to start the day without the need to talk and communicate for a while?

Research says, fear of being alone and having fear in doing things in your own way can lead to anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, depression and even suicide. The only reason why they feel that way is because on the very beginning of their childhood, they get used of people having their backs when things went wrong which is undoubtedly unhealthy. It begins with a person feeling empty and isolated with its surroundings including the people he/she once get closed to. How are you going to handle that situation?

I suggest, you start by having a peace of mind. You need to begin reminding yourself that having a company is good. Yes, we all could agree to that. But what about when you need a break, when you’re tired and you just want a peaceful day without hearing anyone uttering words near you? Think of it. Try to picture it out in your mind. Can you feel the relaxation that it brings? Every time you feel exhausted, simply remind yourself that being alone helps you to think clearly. It gives an unexpected peace due to the absence of others judgment. You’ll be surprise with the result.

As has been noted, keeping a company is not a bad thing. In fact, people most of the time spend days and hours with their respective companions to unwind and de-stress. BUT. You must never forget the art of being a lone wolf. Soon, it’ll be you who’s going to face life alone, not them. They may help you. Yes, possibly, but for how long?

gif alone 2.gif

Keep in mind that even your hair is temporary. It falls and soon regrows, like the humans around you who come and go. Food for thought.

 Originally posted on medium.com/a.arcillas

Signs that your BFF is just so toxic

 

We truly love our BFFs, right? But when that time comes her presence is no longer a delight to be around, then that is when you have to question yourself “What is really happening in here?”

 

So, IS YOUR BFF A TOXIC KIND OF BES?

If you’re quite clueless about it, I’ll help you figure it out.

 

  • Your BFF is pessimistic.

Whenever you get into a problem, relationship, family or what, he/she constantly compares his/her experience about it, insisting that the outcome will be just the same. He might also conclude that whatever it is that you are suffering is your fault and that; you really can’t do something about it. Oh okay, so you’re saying apples and oranges are the same. What a support, bes.

 

  • If BFF is a bad listener.

I don’t get it when every time I’m telling how my day went you keep on interrupting me sharing yours like “hey, I had a better or worse day than you do. You must listen to this first.” Come on, if your BFF never give a **** listening or even letting you finish anything you say, GOODNESS! That is a red flag. Confront your beloved BFF before you lose your temper.

toxic im.jpg

  • If BFF keeps on judging all the people that you encounter.

First, you have to ask yourself or him\her directly if it makes sense judging them at all and for what purpose because if he/she was not able to give out a reasonable reason for it then that is clearly his/her habit. Let go of toxic humans.

 

  • If BFF can’t accept that they’re wrong.

We’re just humans so how come your own BFF couldn’t accept their mistakes. Obviously, this BFF always have to be right. This is disappointing because people like this sometimes even fight for their belief no matter how troublesome it brings as long as they have proven that they are right. Have you ever had an argument with your BFF because he/she keeps on insisting that you’re wrong and he’s right? (Or you guys were both wrong? Kidding.)

 

  • If BFF reacts poorly to criticism.

It is indeed a normal thing to be criticized especially when a person cares for you. This toxic BFF is not seeking for a healthier friendship but is only aiming for a shallow one where he/she gets all the praise and good reactions alone.

rival

  • They’re subtly (Or Not So Subtly) Competitive

For me, it is normal to have competitions with your BFF in terms of career and studies it is because rivalry (See: https://thestrayrussianblue.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/why-your-rival-plays-a-big-role-to-you/) motivates me to do my best and simply work harder than the usual. But once that rivalry or competition has resulted to envy, that’s a call to stop and create an open forum.

 

  • They’re Masters of the Put-Down.

“You look like an awful pig. Haha! No, I’m just kidding, girl!”

Cracking jokes on friendships are so mainstream and pretty normal that sometimes we no longer think whether they really mean it or not. You will only realize that there is a problem once it hurts you and he/she insists that it was a joke, making you feel like it was your fault if you got offended. It is an absolute red flag for your friendship because this BFF is obviously TOXIC.

 

There are reasons why this kind of people exists. It may vary but whatever it is, you have to work on keeping your friendship. Confront your BFF if you think he/she is being toxic and is beginning to be a burden in your life. I suggest you work on it as soon as possible because once toxic people get used to their attitude, it is nearly impossible for them to change and be enlightened.

Social Anxiety Sucks, Isn’t it? But will you let it consume you?

 

Have you ever feel like being uneasy every time you’re surrounded by the crowd whether in a party or in your workplace, also in any situation where you feel like you don’t know what to do or say? Are you afraid of rejection and disapproval?  If that’s so, then we shared the same condition.

As defined by Psychology Today, Social Anxiety Disorder or social phobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and of being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work, school, or other activities. And you know the horrid part of this anxiety disorder? — Overthinking.

Yes, once several “What Ifs” clogged your mind during a social situation…ifs.png

  • What if no one talks to me?
  • What if they find me ugly?
  • What if I don’t really belong here?
  • What if I have nothing to say?
  • What if I’ll get rejected?

 

…it is proven that you are overthinking.

 

I mentioned earlier that I am also suffering from this disorder and that I think I probably need help. I took up an anxiety test, got my results and was able to get connected with one of their therapist through emails. She emailed videos and notes that would help me to start my recovery and totally eradicate my anxiety. There were times that I did follow them but there were also times that I wasn’t able to do so because of some reasons: work, hectic schedules and the likes. One of the things that she shared to me (By the way, her name is Rachel Ramos) recently is the Ten Commandments of Social Anxiety wherein she wanted to encourage not only me but everyone to open your mouth because life gets easier and more fun when you do and right, I believe things started in a simple small talk but with us, people suffering in anxiety, this isn’t an easy thing. Just thinking about it made us cringe. Furthermore, Rachel also mentioned that “The people you brush past every day are not your enemies, nor are they your judges or critics. They are potential friends, lovers, collaborators, teachers, or employers who you are missing out on because of your anxiety.” Thus I gain the motivation to at least try not to be uncertain and overthink.

 

Now, here are the Ten Commandments to stop overthinking social situations. Rachel made a pretentious title to it so people could take them seriously.

 

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS TO STOP OVERTHINKING IN SOCIAL SITUATIONS

I. No one is watching you approach and judging you for it. They are just as worried about being judged and criticized as you are.

 

II. Don’t worry if you’re shy or nervous when approaching; people will be nicer to you because of it.

 

III. Let go of your outcome. If you want nothing out of the interaction other than to speak to someone else, you have a 100 percent chance of succeeding as soon as you utter something.

 

IV. A rejection is not a comment on who you are as a person. It is simply feedback on something you did.

 

V. Instead of being outcome dependent, be learning dependent.

 

VI. No one will say anything as insulting, mean, and cruel about you as the things you tell yourself.

 

VII. Know that wherever you go, you are accepted. And if you don’t know it yet, then act as if it’s true until experience proves it.

 

VIII. More people than you could possibly imagine are looking to meet someone just like you.

 

IX.  The only failure is not approaching. Because the pain and disappointment of letting yourself down is much greater than anything someone else can say.

 

X.  And, finally…life is more fun when you open your mouth!

 

No matter how sucks social anxiety is, always remember that it is a treatable condition. You don’t have to forever feel the same the way. If you really wanted to recuperate, of course, you need to help yourself to be able to recover. Do not sulk into things that bother you a lot instead think of something that would hinder you from doing so.

Cheer up and live well.

 

© to the owner of the comic.

 

Thoughts on Improvements (being MORE CREATIVE than usual)

If you think you’ve got everything in line to be that creative human being, I’m pretty sure you can relate to this “10 tips to be more creative” thing that I got from When In Manila. But why do we need to be MORE creative than usual? Aren’t we satisfied enough with what we have become? Or we just wanted to have some improvements with ourselves?

It says here that in order for you to be more creative you have to:

gif-read

  • Read more. Why read more when you think you’ve known enough? Nope, if that is your perspective, I’ll tell you what, you still need to because even the most intelligent person on this earth reads to gain more. Reading boosts intellectual quality: vocabulary, way of thinking and imaginative skills. You can now put creativity in relevance to this as an addition.
  • Listen to people’s success stories. To inspire yourself as simple as that. Start to feign their strategies because there is nothing wrong to that. This is most applicable to people who were lost for a long time. It doesn’t just improve your creativity but your path as well.thumb-student-groups.jpg
  • Don’t stop practicing. And here goes again the phenomenal quote when it comes to this matter, the “Practice makes perfect” inspirational saying. True to fact, it takes a lot of practice and patience to achieve things and most of them end up perfect or if not, satisfying. So keep on practicing and don’t stop.
  • Write/Draw your idea. To be able to have a precise and efficient output, you need to come up first with a neat structure of your ideas in that way you will be able to conceptualize better.
  • Make mistakes. We should always remember that committing a mistake leads us to unveiling new knowledge. The less you make mistakes, the less knowledge that you’ll garner.
  • Be curious. Curiosity triggers you to discover new things that would lead you to improve not only your creativity but also your critical thinking skills.thecurios.jpg
  • Be open to criticism. Some people tend to get insulted when being corrected or being criticized. Maybe because they thought that they’ve mastered their line of work or what or probably they’re just not used to it. But let’s be real, criticism will develop your creativity especially when it comes to works that you do. You just have to be open to it.
  • Take breaks. Because you’re not a bot, everybody needs a break.
  • Break the rules. Spice up your mind. If you are seriously practicing to be more creative get out of that comfort zone and break the rules. More experiments, more outputs.
  • Love what you do. Because you should.wounded_heart_by_darkrone-d5nbpce.jpg

 

Now, let me tell you. In my opinion, I do not find any issues regarding one’s improvements but here’s one thing. If you are to seek an improvement with yourself, be prepared with the consequences that you are about to face. What am I talking about?

Improvements take a lot of sweat to work on to because there is no such thing as magic acts wherein you just have to wave a wand and then voila! You have improved. No. Improvement takes time to achieve. You just have to be prepared and aware that for you to be able to improve, you need to learn the hard way. If ever you chose to be more creative than usual, there is nothing wrong to that. That is good to know but again, it takes a lot of sweat, most especially needs a lot of perseverance.

” We cannot learn without pain. – Aristotle”

 

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