The Stray Russian Blue


social behavior

Things I learned from re-watching the movie, Ballerina

If you could still recall, it was in January 2017 when Ballerina was released in theaters. The movie tells about the story of an orphan girl who strives to fulfill her dream to become a famous ballerina. Together with her best friend, the two began their journey as they slip away from the orphanage. I’ve been watching this movie last Saturday and guess what? That was the 5th time that I have spent my spare time for just watching it. I don’t know it has been such a good motivation for me since the day that I have watched it. It never bores me in fact, I have a couple of favorite scenes in this movie, few gems, and a little slap on the face realization that I would gladly share to all of you.


Ballerina taught me…


This movie paints a picture of a poor little girl struggling in life, lost … nobody but look at her, her persistence and courage has been her strength to achieve her dreams.


That no matter how powerful is your competitor, don’t just yield and let them win the game. Felicie, the poor orphan girl has encountered the most powerful people during her early age. She stole the identity of Camille, daughter of Regine Le Haut, the wicked sneering antagonist. Surely, it must have been so much for her to be humiliated and threatened but Felicie did not just stoop down (well, yes it damaged her self-confidence but she didn’t give up that easily), she stand up and fight for what she ever dreamed of–dancing.


Passion is the key.

Oh, we all know this. You will never do something fulfilling without putting love in it. Ballerina illuminates the people that no matter how deep are your depiction of your expertise in a certain skill, what is lacking could always be seen.


In a way, Ballerina is simply a wake up call to movie producers/directors/writers because what they are trying to draw to its viewers is quite discomforting. Here are a few points:


Ballerina wants us to know that

People usually judge based on status. Remember when Felicie coincidentally found the Opera? She was accused of stealing when in fact she was only earnestly watching a ballerina doing a little practice.

Well, it isn’t hard for someone to judge because she looks like a street children and she’s one, actually. I just hope that next time producers and writers would be able to come up with a new movie portraying a different outlook with society. This is a children movie, aren’t it supposed to teach them positive outlook not only in life but also with the people in it?


Though you cheated and lied just to achieve something, it is tolerable once you proved that you’re better than the rest. Ah…Does that even make sense?


Rich people are cruel to poor people and that only those will help them is the people who are also poor. This is clearly a red flag for children. Not all rich people are inhumane, there are also some who rich out for poor people trying to help and supply their needs.


So basically, Ballerina is indeed a good movie. You just have to supervise your children while watching it because as to what I shared with you, there are things that needed to be explained to them to avoid the misinterpretation. Ratings? 4 out of 5, not bad though and I love this movie.

Stop Consuming. Start Creating.

 Photo by Twenty20.

How to be a Doer.

After a year of hard learning lessons as a founder, I lost my company.

I then took a job as the VP of marketing for a small startup. Six months later I was unemployed.

No one wanted to hire me. I even tried a Hail Mary pass by spending the last of my savings interviewing across California. After three months of countless rejections from recruiters and employers, I was broke.

I moved into my Dad’s small apartment. Without any space, we had to sleep in the same room. He slept on the floor. I slept on an air mattress.

I was mentally exhausted from failure. I took a low-pay copywriting job to pass the time and save money.

I stopped talking to many friends and isolated myself from the world to focus on self-improvement.

During this time, I read one-hundred-and-twenty books about business, psychology, and marketing. When I stopped reading, I noticed something.

My life hadn’t changed.

Even though I felt smarter, more creative, and capable, I was in the same place.

I had taken no action to get a better job, make more money, or create something valuable for others.

It was here I began to understand the power of becoming a doer. Over the next two years, I would optimize my life for taking action.

It started with replacing my consumption activities with creation:

  • Writing over reading.
  • Shooting video over browsing YouTube.
  • Meeting people rather than spending time on Facebook.

To create more, I had to optimize my schedule.

  • I exercised at home instead of commuting to the gym.
  • I ran to destinations instead of walking to them.
  • I said “no” to 99% of meetings.

What happened?

Rather than reading over one hundred books in the following year, I wrote over three hundred blog posts and a book.

Rather than watching YouTube videos, I shot over three hundred videos in the following two years.

Rather than relying on a gym to exercise, I worked out with what I had. Now, I compete in triathlons and obstacle course races.

I’m on the left.

To become a doer, I had to replace all my consumption habits with creation.This meant throwing out my T.V. and video game consoles, no fancy dinners, and avoiding the party scene.

At first, it’s hard. You feel withdrawal. You sit at your laptop for a half hour just trying to type one sentence. Nothing comes out except a few curse words from frustration.

You must keep moving forward because it does get better.

Gradually, you adopt the creator mindset. Ideas start buzzing in your head. It’s only a few, but as you create more, you become an idea machine. The only way you can fall asleep at night is to jot down your thoughts.

You can’t wait to start doing again to get all these ideas out in the open. When you wake up, you feel a new jolt of energy because you’re about to give a piece of yourself to the world.

From morning to night, you’re executing with almost zero breaks. You can sit at a laptop and bang out a thousand-word blog post in an hour. You begin to see opportunities in every hour and minute.

When you have a ten-minute wait for your Uber driver to arrive, you knock out two hundred push-ups. When you’re on a lunch break, you answer Quora questions.

People begin to recognize your ability as a doer.

They see your hustle and grit.

It’s true. You’re confident you can step into any situation and create value because all your actions say so.

You’ve lost all attraction to consumption.

You’re a pure doer. Nothing in life is going to stop you.

Originally posted on Quora by Josh Fechter.

How Having Zero Friends Surprisingly Made Me A Better Person

“A man is rich not by what he owns but what he can do without.” — Immanuel Kant

It was in 2014 when I carried my two luggage to head to a different country and start a new life with my future husband. It was a very exciting phase after enduring three years of long distance relationship. Behind the excitement, a huge feeling of anxiety and discomfort exist.

“Why are you leaving your career?”

“Are you willing to start all over again?”

“Are you sure about your decision?”

These are some of the questions given to me. I was 100% certain that I’m willing to embrace the life ahead of me. After all, I will be with the man I love.

It should be easy, right?


Fast forward to this date, I am still struggling in some areas. I can’t drive, so it limits me more to see people. Sometimes, loneliness is pretty unbearable.

It’s been nearly three years, and I still have ZERO FRIENDS. And by this, I mean someone that I can consider my kindred spirit.

“Let’s buy a new sofa set, so you can invite your friends at home,” my mother-in-law said. I grinned and said, “I have no friends to invite.”

On the early years, it was a hard pill for me to swallow. I volunteered to look after kids, attended crochet and gardening groups, and joined cooking contests for the hope of finding new sets of friends. But then, they are so scarce and far away from me.

Is it because of my race? Is it because how different I look compared to them? Is it because of my accent?

I eventually got tired chasing people to come into my life.

I miss the feeling of being invited to eat outside. I miss the small chit chats. I miss the feeling of having friends.

Even my friends back home were far beyond reach. I could not confide to them about my situation for the fear of adding emotional burden to them. They are all busy. I can’t swim with them anymore. I need to swim on my own.

A surprising thing happened to me on this journey.

What Having Zero Friends Taught Me?

1. No One Else Can Motivate Me Better Than Myself

“The will to win, the desire to be successful, the urge to reach your full potential…these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” — Confucius

As human, I look for others’ approval before I commit myself to something. I look for encouragement from others like my friends to evaluate if I am heading in the right direction. But nobody knows what the outcome would be.

I realized I have to follow my intuition. If there is something I desire that does not violate the law of God and nature, I go for it.

I remind myself that I can do it. There is only learning to have whether I succeed or not. I don’t need anyone’s approval. I need to hear my own voice whether I should go for my dreams or not.

In teaching, intrinsic motivation is more encouraged instead of giving bribes like stars and rewards. This will push the student to excel if there is an inner drive to help fuel the goal. It comes from within the individual out of will or interest.

2. Find Out My Strengths and Weaknesses

“If you’re being ignored, that’s a good time to concentrate on finding yourself and creating your own mystery.” — Lykke Li

When I am surrounded by people who are always willing to help me, it makes me rely on them so much. But when I have no one to ask for help, it opens new areas for learning.

I was told I am good in theories but not much on practical. My friends pampered me with tasks that require more of cognitive skills. Since no one is there to help me, I had to turn my weaknesses into strengths.

I discovered myself, even more, when there are no outside noises to dictate what I can or cannot do. It gives me the chance to know myself even further. It is a time to create myself.

3. Learn Anything My Heart Desires

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” —Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Since I have no one to seek counsel with, I opened myself to more room for learning. I read books more than I ever did in my entire existence. I attend courses and seminars. I join conferences to improve myself.

My situation gave me a limitless perspective. In the past, I had no interest learning other areas because my circle of friends is the same. I never wanted to get out of my comfort zone.

But since I have no choice, I found out it is exciting to try and discover something new. Who would realize that reading philosophy books are fun? How would I know I can actually learn how to sew? How will I know I have the courage to join a cooking contest and win the 2nd place?

I found out that I can learn anything if I have the determination and persistence to do it. I don’t need other people’s go signal to try something new. Learn without guilt. Try without reservations.

4. Discover A New Set Of Imaginary Friends

“Power may be produced through friendly alliance of minds.” — Napoleon Hill

Well, the truth is I have friends. It’s just that they don’t exist physically. But they sure come up to me when I need them. They give me pieces of advice that sometimes are very hard to swallow when I need one. They don’t sugar coat their messages. They hit you right at the core just like real friends do.

I met my new set of friends from books I read, documentaries I watch and seminars I listen. I study them carefully. I try to get to know them better day by day. I write down all the important messages they have for me.

Sometimes they keep me awake at night. When I try to solve my problems, they are there seated on a round table brainstorming for the great plan. They never fail to give me the right message. They always remind me of my goals and dreams.

Even Napoleon Hill has his own Master Mind Alliance. Napoleon Hill is one of my great friends. Would you believe that lots of famous presidents, entrepreneurs and people belong to this set? I trust them, and I believe they have my best interest in mind.

Who said friends should only be physical, right? I define them as people who push me to become better and aid me when I need them.

5. Have Stronger Faith Than Ever

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” — Saint Augustine

Having no friends right now helped me to strengthen my faith more than ever. It reminds me that everything happens for a reason. It is a belief that tomorrow is going to become better than today.

Most importantly, my faith in myself became stronger. It constantly reminds me that I can do it and can push myself even further.

When there is no one to cheer me around, I need to be my own believer. It removes doubts and fears of the unknown. It inspires me to take that brave step that even real friends won’t think I can. It fuels my determination to soar higher than my current situation.

6. Develop My Relationship With My Husband

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” — Henry Ford

Having zero friends around helped me to become closer to my husband. I learned the value of giving and taking. I appreciate the time I spend with him. He gives the right advice without any reservations.

He always believes in me. I learned the real meaning of “trust.” When friends are scarce, that’s when I realize the importance of people in my family. The ones who never left me and accepts me for who I am.


Having friends is fun, of course. Having someone to share happy moments with. Having someone to shed a tear with. Having someone to laugh with the silliest jokes ever.

I cried several nights wishing I have some. But circumstances make it more difficult to find them.

While I’m hopeful that I will meet them at the right time, I am also thankful they aren’t here right now. This phase helped me value the importance of friendship, but it likewise helped me to see that to be a better friend, I have to befriend myself first.


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Most of what we think of as “love” is bullshit

Here’s how real love does and does not go.


“Young man, why are you eating that fish?”

“Because I love fish,” the young man answers.

“Oh, you love the fish. That’s why you took it out of the water and killed it and boiled it. Don’t tell me you love the fish. You love yourself, and because the fish tastes good to you, therefore you took it out of the water and killed it and boiled it.”

So much of what we think is ‘love’ is really this.


Romantic Love

When I was breaking up with my boyfriend of five years, he responded with a heartfelt, “but I want to be with you!”

As though that makes sense as a rebuttal.

As though his needs alone were enough. As though saying that would somehow make me forget my own dissatisfaction, like “oh! well damn, aiight.” As though that was an appropriate, loving response.

I sighed. And then I asked him “why do you want to be with me?”

And he looked me in the eye and actually said to me, “because you’re beautiful.” Full stop.

And that’s how he broke my heart and confirmed my decision in about 1 second flat.


“Whenever someone tells me I’m beautiful, they’re telling me they love themselves. They’re telling me that they want to be around people and things that give them pleasure, and that my physical appearance gives them pleasure. But, they’re not telling me that they care about me.” — Emma Lindsay, Fish Love


So many women are ready and willing to accept “beautiful” as the highest compliment; embrace it as the pinnacle of their person. But it’s not.

That comment really says nothing about you.

“Finding someone beautiful is not love, it is self love. Because finding someone extremely pleasurable is not love, it is self love.”


I still struggle with what to do when being called “beautiful.” Most days (and it is most days, being a bartender) I can brush it off a little and laugh; I can accept this low level of discourse from someone across the bar, who doesn’t know me, never will, and, frankly, isn’t invited to; for whom I’m paid to be how they want to see me, “beautiful” included.

But part of me still bristles every time a partner or potential partner says this, especially because they always fucking list it first.

Every time it happens, the music stops for me a little, like: oh. yeah. that’s right.

I have to triage — either push through it; ask and look for other things; deliberately stack things in their favor regardless of their indiscretion; do the work and paint a prettier picture for us both… or pretend and look the other way.

Because “beautiful” is never, ever love. We romanticize this culturally, but we’re wrong.

“If you spend your life looking for love by trying to find someone who thinks you’re crazy beautiful, you won’t find love. If you spend your life trying to find someone you think is beautiful, you won’t find love.”

If someone thinks you are beautiful, but doesn’t care about your feelings or your reality — or, more specifically, if they prefer that your feelings and reality simply mirror their own or otherwise be uncomplicated for them — then they do not love you. They like you as fish.

Same goes for being liked for “security” or any number of other major features you may offer.

“If you believe you can be nourished by this kind of love, you will be disappointed.”

Parent-Child Love

Every time I break up with a boyfriend, I break my mother’s heart a little too.

And sure, it’s partly because she “just wants me to be with someone” (an inclination that we’re all so quick to chalk up as “love” when it isn’t, given that it directly usurps my own, actual life decisions) but mostly because: the woman just can’t fucking deal with change.

She gets to know someone and suddenly thinks I owe her their permanence in my life and hers. And when that ceases to be the case, she piles more emotion onto my breakup than I do, clinging to my exes and continuing to stay in touch with them (sometimes for years), occasionally turning to me and saying things like, “you messed up; you made a mistake.” Even when it was bullshit love and, knowing that, I’m better off without them. Mama, she don’t fuckin care.

My mother also hates it when I change jobs. She hated when I dropped my startup — because she just “liked telling people” I had my own business. Nevermind it wouldn’t scale and wasn’t what I wanted in the longterm.

How she fails to see that any of this is a far cry from real love astounds me. Maybe she just doesn’t care. That I can believe.

We think this sort of shit is okay — endearing even; “motherly” — simply because “all moms” think and act this way. But that’s just our societal (and, frankly, women’s “Feminine Mystique”-esque) insecurity speaking.

And it sure as fuck isn’t love.

I care for her, but I’m also pretty sure I tolerate this simply because I choose to honor my social obligation to.

I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth. I love you
According to my bond, no more nor less.

— Cordelia, King Lear

And I think she fails to realize how quickly I will cease to tolerate it the minute that scale tips in favor of “zero fucks.”

We think the parent-child relationship somehow saves love — maintains it in some pure form — but we’re often wrong. Every reason to have a child is fundamentally selfish or socially-construed, and everybody lives with this dynamic hanging over them from a parent.


Is like the pinnacle of fish love. A wedding is the frying pan; all the years after, the plate. (Divorce and falling out, perhaps, the disposal.)

“I’m gonna make her my wife,” we say, and accept as the measure of romantic achievement.

Because we want to mark them as our own; want some legal binding to make this thing more like “forever.” God forbid they continue to roam the earth as an individual, with no legal obligation not to stray. God forbid we love them as their own person without a sense of ownership or agency over them.

With our goal first being marriage, and the person only being the means. Or with another person being the object of our desire, and marriage being the vehicle through which to get that shit on lock down. And sure, it isn’t always the case — I know there are people tightly tethered to their own True Love Story, who will get defensive about the Real Romance that they have, and that’s fucking fine. But, outside of you two Genuine Lovebirds, this shit is often fish.


It’s not that self-love is wrong. In fact, genuine love requires you to first love yourself. The problem is that too many of us don’t self-love using ourselves, and we instead use other human beings to achieve it.

And the even bigger problem is that that’s the only way so many of us seem to know how to interact, and it’s perpetuated by what we see from other people, media, and society.

So often we approach other living and breathing human beings looking to reduce them to a set of characteristics; pick and choose how to see them and collect from them what makes us feel good and keep us company on a Friday night.

Love is care, not consumption. It is about first loving yourself; having a whole existence with enough sustenance that you do not need to pull love off of those around you.

And when we finally direct our attention at others, love is about give and not take.

Love is not a feeling. Love is an act.

We’ve all heard this and some of us even believe it, and yet when we’re asked why we love our beloved, we continue to dumbly reply: “because she/he is___.”

i.e., we love them because of what they represent for us — and provide.

But good love has nothing to do with what they are or what we harvest from them. Good love is the way in which we love them — it’s us loving their very being, us loving their essence, us loving their ups and downs and imperfections and dumb complaints and irritations and short-comings and differences, for fucks sake, us loving their decisions — each day.

We fail to realize that the answer to “why?”, in true love, is something more like “because I choose to.”

And that the bigger question in love is more like “how” we’ll love as an act so hard and fast and deep, and less about “to whom” or “why.”


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I so love this article. Often times we mistakenly thought of LOVE as something very ideal, perfect but truth to fact, LOVE is one of a kind. Love is unconditional.

Why do we have to let go?

photo credits to the owner.

Letting go is never an easy thing. It cuts as deep as hell and hurts so bad out of your expectations. Some may think that letting go is just part of our life and that we must get used to it but there were also some that could not believe with it. Why? Because they have never tried doing so which isn’t that bad if they think it is the right thing to do.

But generally, why do we have to let go?

To depict a picture on the essence of letting go, I would like to share this writing that I’ve read from Ceeart publication in Medium by Artchelle Arcillas titled “I have let go”.

I have let go…

Ofthings I know I cannot handle, I have come to the realization that it is God who will be there for me whenever I needed help the most. That it is only him who won’t get tired of listening whenever I vent out my thoughts. Reaching out to him every night before I end each day helps me to start the days with hopes away from worries, Yes, my problems are still there behind me, some are just in front of me waving ‘hi’ bugging my mind but I notice that they no longer trouble me that much. It actually strengthens me to wake up each day and work to be able to finally get rid of them. It just doesn’t pain me at all unlike before.

Ofpessimism. I realized that only when you filled your mind with positive thoughts, positive energy will come and surround you. I remember when I was on my way home, I saw myself staring impassively on the window and that time I caught myself thinking of scenarios that are not even happening. That’s the triggering part there, once I’m in the midst of in-depth thinking I knew that that over-thinker Artchelle is awake and I need to immediately snap and be present again. I would like to thank Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now for being one of the reasons why I was able to be conscious of how my mind works.

‘Listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence.’

a quote from the said book. After I’ve finished the book, I began to try to be the watcher of my mind, guiding my energy on the things that will deliver optimism on my being. I didn’t know if it will work at first but when I notice the changes that I had by simply staying conscious in the present, there I continued the practice.

Ofneediness in relationship. I admit that I am an avid fan of sweetness, I really am, so when that situation came where my partner quite change and he’s no longer that man who has the sweetness all over, I was quite astounded…I began to long for that ‘him’ who showers me with captivating deeds, it’s hard to adjust to the situation, to be honest. There was a time when I almost give up, I no longer feel appreciated, I feel like I was taken advantage which I despised the most in a relationship. I hate it so bad that there was never a night that I didn’t cry about it. I keep on thinking about his situation as well but then I realized why it has to affect ‘us’. Why do we have to get hurt? I almost have given up and I am grateful that in the midst of suffering like this God did not let us on the edge. I believe that he’s the reason behind our talks that has resulted to our enlightenment. Now, we were aware of each other’s side and it is now clear between us. We have pledge that from now on, it will be God and Jesus Christ our savior, be the center of our relationship. Neediness and being clingy won’t do anything good in a relationship. It will only hinder you to grow in any aspects and I won’t allow that to happen to us.

Offaking. I am now allowing myself to admit that I am unhappy when I really am. I no longer mind if it might hurt them or what for it is my right to let them know that I was hurt or saddened or bliss by their doings, I believe they deserved to be aware. This is one way to keep an inner peace within me and I wish for them to do the same. I’ve been faking my feelings every time I’m sad. I often say I’m okay though obviously I’m not. I don’t know, what I know is that I’m using the words I’m okay as defense mechanism, to avoid misunderstanding. I have stopped faking my emotions. It doesn’t even making me feel better.

I have not wished anything in life but happiness. But after all the things that happened every day, I realized that you cannot wish for happiness to come. It won’t come because it is already there. We just need to learn to appreciate things, things we have and the people we have. The decision is ours if we really want to be happy. I always think that it is ‘appreciation’ everybody has to learn in this life full of humans who take advantage.


Based on what I have understood, clearly, there are things that we should learn to let go. Letting go does not always pertain to a person but also on the other aspects one’s life. The way one perceives life is just one of those. If you think and you’ve proven that your outlook in life hinders you from attaining happiness and mostly inner peace to yourself then you have to examine your mind. What do you have to let go? What are the things that must be change to attain peace of mind?


‘Listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence.’



19 Tricks To Shift Your Mind Toward Optimism  

In all facets of life, your personal attitude plays an enormous role in your success. Bad and good outlooks become self-fulfilling prophecies — if you’re looking for something to go wrong, you’ll only see the negatives in a situation, which can drain your energy and motivation. Optimists, on the other hand, tend to find the positives more easily and stay motivated enough to reach their goals.

If you think pessimism and optimism are traits you’re born with, think again: Although it takes effort, positive thinking is something that can be learned and practiced. Members of the Forbes Coaches Council offered 19 habits, practices and behaviors that can help shift your outlook from negative to positive.

Members of Forbes Coaches Council discuss how to get in the habit of looking at the glass half full.

1. Become Aware Of Your Frame

It starts with the acknowledgment that perception is reality. The next step is to become aware of the frame you are using to form your perception. The third step is to check if your frame is engaging, empowering and motivating. If not, choose a frame that augments possibilities and provides an optimistic outlook. Finally, ask yourself what you can do that is in your control to support the new frame. –Valerio PascottoIGEOS

2. Stay Grateful

Identify three things you are most grateful for in life. Why are you most grateful for them? Ask yourself how your current outlook is hindering you from focusing on these three things. Develop a plan. Find three things you can do every day to help you shift your focus on the negative things in life to the things that matter the most. It’s powerful when you actually write them down and do it! –Amy ModglinModglin Leadership Solutions

3. Focus On What You Do Have, Not What You Don’t

To be more optimistic, learn to be grateful and focus on what you do have, not what you don’t have. A famous actor who was paralyzed had a positive outlook on life. When asked how he could be happy despite his physical limitations, he stated that he focused on what he did have (a loving family) rather than on what he didn’t have (use of his limbs). It is all a matter of perspective. –Rebecca Bosl,Dream Life Team

4. Visualize The Steps To Reach Your Goals

Set a personal goal and think of life as an escalator: Believe that this step is moving even when you don’t see the gears moving. Celebrating all you’ve done; this helps to visualize doing things differently. What would it look like to believe in your dream? Keep your dream in front of you with a screensaver or text reminder to think differently! Expand your network with optimists! –Meredith Moore Crosby,Leverette, Weekes & Company, Inc.

5. Get The Temper Tantrum Out Of Your System

I know a leader who gives her team 10 minutes to holler, wine, complain, moan and fully express a temper tantrum. Then once this is out of their system, the individuals come back together and look at the opportunity with a more optimistic outlook. To the level you are authentic in your challenging and complaining, the more likely you will be able to support and see what’s possible. –Dean Miles,Bridgepoint Coaching & Strategy Group

6. Notice What’s Going Well

I start each coaching session by asking my client, “What’s going well?” The more we focus on what’s working, the more we notice how much is working for us. Quick tip: Each morning for a week, list three things you’re looking forward to that day (versus what you “have to” do). You’ll quickly see positive results in your personal and professional life. –Gina Gomez,Gina Gomez, Business & Life Coach

7. Look At Your Accomplishments

Document your history of success. I mean actually write the list. Name all of things that have worked out well — your achievements, your best moments, little things and big things. Now ask yourself how you can duplicate them or add to them. Next, look at a current negative situation and ask how you could apply any past methods to new challenges. History can repeat itself! –Patrick Jinks,The Jinks Perspective

8. Practice Happiness

Happiness is a skill you learn. Tools include practicing gratitude, helping others, savoring past, positive moments, laughing at a funny movie, exercising, meditating, and many more. Add these to your routine and you will flourish. You’ll need many more positive moments than negative to thrive — our brain exaggerates negative emotions as a survival tool. –Sandi Leyva,Sandra L Leyva Inc.

9. Acknowledge And Deal With Burnout

It is difficult to be optimistic when experiencing burnout or exhaustion. Be honest with yourself and take a break so that you can evaluate it again once you’ve rested. Our perspective tends to be fresh when we step away from a challenge and come back to it with a vigor for solving it. –LaKisha Greenwade,Lucki Fit LLC

10. Do A ‘Shift’ Exercise

The fastest way to change your psychology is changing your physiology. Every time you feel pessimistic, do the 100-burpee challenge (a pushup with a jump and clap above your head). At the end, you will experience a shift in your mind due to the energy you are creating in your body. You will also feel proud of what you can do. –Raul Villacis,The Next Level Experience

11. Stop The Downward Spiral

One of my favorite coaching questions is, “If success were guaranteed, what would you do?” Too often, we’re afraid of the possible outcome, and we focus too much on the downside risk, instead of the upside potential. Flip yourself out of the downward spiral by giving yourself permission to believe that the outcome really is possible. Then, you can imagine the steps that will get you there. –Doy Charnsupharindr,Berkley Executive Coaching Institute

12. Choose Opportunity

Taking an optimistic view is a choice. Make an everyday commitment to making a conscious choice to look at the optimistic side. Author Dan Custersaid: “Today is a new day. This moment, this day, is as good as any moment in all eternity. I shall make of this day, each moment of this day, a heaven on earth. This is my day of opportunity.” So which will you choose? Opportunity or negativity? –Jenn Lofgren,Incito Consulting

13. Focus On The Small Things

Every day you wake up, someone else took their last breath. That alone is a reason to have a positive outlook on life. Get into the practice of writing down three things you are grateful daily. You’ll start to realize that you have more reasons to smile than to frown. Share those things with others and ask others to share with you. Being grateful for little leads to attracting much. –Maleeka T. Hollaway,The Official Maleeka Group, LLC

14. Think About Your Attitude’s Impact

Both optimism and pessimism reside in you and are highly contagious. Imagine yourself as an active carrier of one or the other. Then ask yourself these three questions: Which would you rather be recognized for passing on to others: hope or despair? Which would you prefer to be passed back to you? Who is most valued in life, the one who discourages others or encourages them? Now choose, and be. –Hayward Suggs,Commonquest Consulting

15. Give Your Pessimism A Name

Come up with two names, one that represents your tendencies to have a disempowering outlook of life and one that represents the more resourceful attitude you wish to adopt. For example, Mr. Negative versus Strong Director. Use the first name to quickly catch yourself when you fall into pessimism or other self-defeating patterns. Then ask, “How would a Strong Director look at this?” –Mehrdad Moayedzadeh,Life Is Important

16. Practice Self-Care

Start small. Each morning wake up and ask yourself, “What will make me happy today?” Whether a humble or ambitious thing, you will be honoring yourself and taking care of you. Self-care is not selfish. When you’ve taken care of yourself, you have energy available to help others, which builds on optimism. The more you practice this self-care thinking the happier and more optimistic you become. –Kelly Meerbott,You: Loud & Clear


17. Ask Different Questions

A pessimistic outlook is reinforced by the questions we ask about our circumstances, like, “Why me?” or “Why can’t I ever…?” First, stop asking why or why not — it’s rarely a useful question. Instead ask, “How can I think about this differently?” “How does this work to my advantage?” “What can I do now to make this better?” “What did I learn from this that helps me going forward?” –Debra Russell,Debra Russell Coaching, LLC

18. Picture And Compare the Worst Case Scenario

Comparing your current situation against a more catastrophic and/or depressing alternative can help you realize that things aren’t as bleak as imagined. In my experience, evaluating your life outlook using this “worst case scenario” filter can reduce your level of pessimism and place you on the road to flat-out optimism. –Virginia Franco,Virginia Franco Resumes

19. Evaluate Your Circle Of Influence

As humans, we are highly influenced by those we keep close to us. It is important to take inventory of those closely within your circle of influence to measure the energy they are exuding into your thoughts. Reevaluate the influencers that may be draining you from a steady flow of positive energy and limit your time with them. Give particular advantage to those individuals who seem to lift you up. –Rachel Lourdes Mestre,Rachel Mestre LLC

Originally published on Forbes.

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.


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:

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.


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:

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:

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