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So, ensure you’re not playing mind games with yourself.
Begin your nighttime ritual by saying goodbye to your technological devices. Avoid using electronic devices after 9 P.M.
You can also switch on your phone’s red-light filter before you hit the bed to prevent brain distractions even if you unintentionally look at it
Here’s how I enable the red-light filter on my iPhone:
Go to Settings ➡️ Accessibility ➡️ Display Accommodations.
There, you will find the “Colour Filters” option. Select it.Then, enable “Colour Filters” using the toggle switch at the top of the screen. After that, select “Colour Tint.” From here, scroll down just a little further, to find the "Intensity and Hue sliders" that makes the red effect more prominent. (Both sliders should be in the far-right position for maximum redness.)
2. Soak Your Body in Warm Water
Researchers have discovered that using a warm bath to simulate the body’s temperature drop during
the night is similar to using sedatives!
So, it’s advisable to take a warm bath an hour before bed.
You will feel drowsy and calm as your body heats up from the water and cools down fast as the water evaporates.
Many hormonal changes occur during the day as part of your sleep-wake cycle.
Melatonin production, which begins in the evening, is one of these.
6. Mindfulness Meditation Aids in Managing Sleep Harming Emotions
Meditation, like yoga, can help you sleep better if you practice it regularly.
According to research, mindfulness meditation helps people relax their thoughts and manage their
emotions to fall asleep rather than worrying about not getting a good night’s rest because of their worries.
Meditation can be performed by closing your eyes and allowing your thoughts and feelings to take center stage.
Then, observe your thoughts, but don’t judge them as bad or good.
Visualize yourself, releasing them and becoming free from all the burdens.
Meditation can also be practiced through deep breathing and visualizing.
Many guided meditation exercises can be found for free on smartphone apps or YouTube.
7. Applying Lotion or Moisturizer Is Underrated but Highly Recommended
One reason to put on lotion or moisturizer on your skin at night is that it will help lock in moisture while you sleep.
Another reason is it can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
When you apply moisturizer at night, it will help plump up your skin and make wrinkles less visible.
If you want to keep your skin looking young and healthy, then putting on lotion or moisturizer every night is a good habit to get into.
The third reason is during the night, sebum production is at its lowest.
To keep your skin hydrated, your body produces sebum, a naturally occurring oily substance.
Deliberate practice and side hustle success go hand-in-hand.
In fact deliberate practice and success of any sort goes hand-in-hand.
Deliberate practice is different.
It’s what James Clear describes as ‘purposeful and systematic’.
“Deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice
requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance.”
Writing has become a practice for me.
There’s no doubt about that. In fact, it’s become a therapy; I’ll find myself falling down overthinking rabbit holes if I don’t write.
That’s a good thing.
It means I have something that allows my brain to dump its thoughts elsewhere and it feels to me, somehow, like I’m making room for new thoughts.
And letting go of old ones.
But when something becomes a therapy, a habit, a thing you always do, often what gets neglected is the effort to be purposeful.
Habits are automatic.
Tuning your brain in to think purposefully about the words you are writing is a different kettle of fish altogether.
And it can be at your creative detriment.
Dancing in a self-pity party
I think I’m practicing deliberately but I’m not.
I realised something that happens when I write.
For instance take this article.
I started this article at 6:22am.
I opened the page, rubbed my sleepy eyes and started to ponder what to write about today.
I faffed about on the internet for 10 minutes trying to find inspiration and then got side tracked by the latest political story.
I went downstairs to get a coffee and found myself TikToking.
It was only 10 minutes later when I heard my coffee machine growling that I realised I hadn’t put any water in it. 6:42am.
It was then I gave up on the coffee and went back upstairs to write.
I need to write today.
No coffee in hand, I sat back at the desk to type away.
Then to try and find inspiration once more (why don’t I write down the night before what I want to write about?).
I fell into a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram loop that started innocently but ended up, once more, with politic stories. 6:52am.
Right, I need to focus.
Writing is what I should be doing.
I found an article that gave me some guidance and started writing out the key points from an old story that I wanted to pursuit further.
And then thoughts about the day came flooding into my brain, thoughts about yesterday started pouring in, everything was spiralling into a self-pity party even thought there was a clear task at
40 minutes later the page was blank.
My mind was empty.
It had not gone to plan.
Miscalculations that destroy your side hustle potential
Cartoonist Lena Bonzler tells her tale of getting her cartoons into the New Yorker.
It started with a gross miscalculation of the time she was putting into the craft. And I think we’ve all been there.
“Besides, there was a miscalculation: those 8 hours a day I was planning to dedicate entirely to becoming a cartoonist got reduced to approximately one hour, since the rest of the time was spent
on doubting myself, criticizing myself, comparing myself to other cartoonists, loathing myself, pitying myself, and trying to get myself out of that emotional black hole I’d gotten myself into.
Therefore, instead of three and a half years, it would take me almost thirty years to master that darn skill!”- Lena Bonzler
Deliberate practice is just that.
It’s sitting down and typing, building, creating.
It’s doing the do.
It’s moving forwards.
All the time you spend worrying, dreaming, self-loathing is time you are not spending working.
It’s time that you think you are dedicating to your craft but in reality you are fooling yourself.
If you’re not doing the do you’re not deliberately practicing.
Mindful side hustling is a power state
Meditation is tool that many people use to combat intruding thoughts.
It’s what successful people around the word use as a way to arm themselves against, well, themselves.
Someone somewhere worked out that constantly beating yourself up isn’t the best use of time so they decided to do something about it.
I heard Mel Robbins talk about it once:
“A thought comes into my head and I’ll just go ‘oh there’s a thought’ and I’ll laugh at it.”
Imagine every single time a negative thought flows into your consciousness you laugh.
It would be incredible.
Being able to bat away negative thoughts with a simple chuckle.
Can you imagine how powerful you’d be?
I have negative thoughts all the time.
Just writing this article I’ve had 5.
I shouldn’t be writing about side hustles, I only make $250 a month on mine.
I need to be writing about ‘real’ stuff.
I’ve been doing this for 1.5 years, maybe I should give up, I’ve not had much success.
My views are down, maybe that’s a sign of what’s to come.
I could be making more money doing something else.
I tried laughing at those thoughts.
It was weirdly encouraging.
Sometimes those thoughts can be paralysing.
You can feel stuck in the thought loop.
Stunned by your own negativity.
Sometimes it can make you stop altogether and reassess.
Instead of doing you end up searching for answers, as if there are any. You question everything.
It ends with this
Deliberate practice is the only way to move.
Focused attention on improving your creative pursuit to achieve the goal you want to.
How might you do that better than today?
Well, reducing the time spent allowing your thoughts to create a pity party is a good start.
This article took me 1.5 hours to write instead of the 30 minutes I hoped.
That means I’m taking 3 times as long to produce the same output because I’m spending 66% of my time thinking about stuff that won’t push me forwards.
What to do instead?
Laugh at your thoughts as they enter your mind.
Chuckle and move on.
It’s the way to allow yourself to purposefully and systematically get better.
If you're reading this, it is likely that you're emotionally unavailable and you want to know how to change that.
You may not be able to change your past, but there are some things you can do right now that will help you start to let go of your emotional baggage.
Being emotionally available doesn't mean being…
You can start on the road to emotional availability by working on these steps:
What Does It Mean To Be Emotionally Available?
Emotional availability is a state of mind, not an absence of feelings.
It's the ability to be open and honest about who you are and what you're feeling, and it doesn't mean that you'll never have bad days - it just means that you're willing to share your experiences
If you want to be emotionally available, start by working on these seven steps:
1) Practice self-love.
2) Practice self-awareness.
3) Communicate openly and honestly with others.
4) Don't make assumptions about other people's emotions or intentions.
5) Be assertive when someone tries to take advantage of you.
6) Give other people the same benefit of the doubt that you would want from them.
Why Is Emotional Availability Important?
The first step to becoming emotionally available is understanding why it's important.
If you were to ask people what they want most in a relationship, they would probably say someone who is loving and caring.
Emotional availability is about being open and honest with yourself and your partner.
It comes from the understanding that nobody wants to feel lonely or vulnerable all the time.
Being emotionally unavailable can lead you into trouble, which is why it's important to be aware of your own behavior and how it affects those around you. You will then be able to work on changing
it for the better.
How Can I Fix My Emotional Unavailability?
You can start on the road to emotional availability by working on these seven steps:
1. Learn about yourself.
What is your family like?
What do you find attractive in others?
This will help eliminate any potential roadblocks for what you want in a relationship and what you need from a relationship respectively.
2. Understand where your fears come from and how they can affect your relationships.
For example, if fear of rejection is holding you back, then reach out to people and ask for what you want – even if it's just saying hello – and see how they react.
3. Share with someone close to you what troubles you so they can offer support or at least understanding as well as connect with them more deeply—a great way to improve intimacy with another
person is by sharing something emotionally
The Seven Steps To Start Becoming Emotionally Available.
1. Consider the idea of emotional availability for a few minutes to see what comes up.
2. Accept that you are not perfect and will make mistakes, but that you are willing to learn from them and try your best to change your ways.
3. Stop playing the victim and blaming others for your unhappiness; take responsibility for your situation and work on it instead.
4. Start small by taking care of yourself first, practicing self-love and being kind to yourself in any way you can think of before you reach out to others for help with their problems.
5. Take a break from social media—it is a breeding ground for comparisons and unhealthy comparisons can lead to feeling inadequate or bad about yourself in an attempt to compete with others'
perfection when in reality, no one has it all together all the time.
6. Practice mindfulness so when feelings of anger or frustration start bubbling up, they have somewhere to go besides outwardly at someone else or inwardly at yourself — mindfulness can help
diffuse those feelings before they turn into something more harmful like depression or substance abuse
Let Go Of The Past
To become emotionally available, you have to let go of the past.
Sometimes, this is easier said than done.
It may help to read a book about emotional baggage and how to cleanse it from your life.
You may also find that meditation or yoga helps you move on from the past.
If you can't let go of the past, it will always hold you back from living in the present and growing your future.
Accept Your Feelings
Everyone has feelings, and there's no need to be embarrassed about them.
In fact, by the time you reach the point where you're emotionally unavailable, it is a given that you've made a habit of not dealing with your feelings.
It's important to accept that feeling your emotions is nothing to be ashamed of.
It takes courage to admit that you're having a difficult time and allow yourself to feel those emotions. By accepting these emotions, you'll be able to work through them.
Be Open And Honest
The first step in getting too emotionally available is opening up to yourself and the world. It might be difficult at first, but it will get easier.
You'll need to learn how to put your feelings into words and to be honest when you're talking about your feelings with someone else.
Being open and honest doesn't mean sharing everything in your life with everyone you meet: it means being open and honest with someone who's important in your life and feels the same way about
Connect With People
People want to be in healthy, fulfilling relationships.
If you can connect with others and share who you are, it will help you become more emotionally available.
It doesn't matter if this is in a work setting or personal relationship, connecting with people will make you more likely to get what you want out of life.
Share Your Emotions
The first step to being emotionally available is not bottling up your emotions.
When you feel strong emotions, share them with the people you care about.
Don't expect other people to guess what you're feeling or want because it will only lead to frustration. By sharing your emotions, you are acknowledging the person's worth and validating their
feelings. You'll also be able to receive help from the person, whether that means receiving a hug or getting advice on how to handle a situation.
Signs You Are Emotionally Unavailable And How
To Fix It.
If you are emotionally unavailable, it can often be hard to recognize that you are not being open.
You may feel that your lack of emotional availability is justified because you're too busy or too tired. However, if there are signs that you are emotionally unavailable, you should take some time
to work on them now.
Emotional availability is an important quality for any partner to have.
It has been linked to having more successful relationships and being happier in general.
Here are some signs you may be emotionally unavailable:
-You don't want commitment
-You try to avoid conflict
-You use your job as a shield against getting close to people
-You are often too busy or too tired for intimacy with your partner
If any of these apply to you, it's time to work on changing yourself for the better.
You get into a car accident with no insurance coverage.
The person you want isn't interested in you and someone you love dies.
You just don't know anymore.
When you feel like you don’t know, it's the best time to learn.
There’s always a much bigger plan and everything happens for a reason.
There are no accidents or coincidences.
Everything has a purpose.
When life feels like it's falling apart; when the skies seem like it's falling on top of your head, it forces you to open your eyes to search for the purpose behind it all. It leads you to
search for meaning.
The lessons you learn from all those experiences shape and prepare you for the work you came here to do.
When it feels like it’s all falling apart, it is, but it falls apart just to be put back together on solid ground.
When life feels like it’s falling apart; when the skies seem like it’s falling on top of your head, it forces you to wake up.
Thoughts and ideas that light a fire inside of you are almost always divine messages to pursue something.
Ignoring them could be ignoring an opportunity for a better life.
If all of a sudden you have a strong desire to do something, and you feel positive emotions, it could be the universe pushing you toward a new thing.
It could be divine guidance.
Because the universe is always in flow and you are a part of the universe, when you stay in alignment and in flow with the universe, life will always lead you where you need to go so you can do
the things you agreed to do.
It’s about knowing your audience, not using buzzwords, organizing your ideas thoughtfully, using active voice, avoiding grammar errors, and expressing confidence in your writing.
Key takeaway: Business writing is about establishing your credibility and trustworthiness, and each article must be well-written.
3. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is about analyzing information and understanding the connection between ideas and facts
. There are many benefits of critical thinking, such as validating an argument from an opinion on a topic, engaging in deeper connections with colleagues, determining how to
improve the quality of your work, and improving conversations.
Critical thinking helps you think in an organized and rational manner.
Key takeaway: Critical thinking is about fixing the flaws in the way we think.
Solving problems is about making choices and becoming more resilient because you tackle challenges differently.
Problem-solving is about having the right mindset.
To solve problems, you must be relentlessly curious, embrace ambiguity, view the situation from different perspectives, and listen to others.
Key takeaway: Great problem solvers are made, not born.
6. Personal Development
You will be exponentially better a year from now if you get 1% better each day.
Small successes will help you develop because continuous improvement works.
Personal development is about getting into the right mindset and not achieving your goals overnight. When you become mentally stronger, make minor tweaks, set goals
with measurable milestones, and are consistent, you can be better in your personal and professional life.
Wellness is about valuing mental health, managing stress, getting a good night’s sleep, having a good diet, and healthy thinking.
Wellness happens during and after the workday.
It’s about ensuring that you have a healthy personal and professional life that has become interwoven.
Key takeaway: Wellness directly impacts our daily actions and emotions, so we need to adopt techniques that reduce stress, lower the risk of illness, and ensure positive
8. Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation software program that can help you give effective presentations.
When you have skills in PowerPoint, you can keep your audience from feeling overwhelmed with your presentation.
You can add compelling images, customize color schemes, add animations, build-out slides with transitions, add speaker notes, use a template, create charts and tables, and know how to use
different views and display modes.
Key takeaway: Great presentations inspire audiences to take action.
Time management helps you reduce stress, prioritize your time, and clarify your goals. You complete your important tasks and achieve bigger and better outcomes when you optimize time
Key takeaway: Turn your to-do list into scheduled blocks
of time so you can focus on your priorities.
Physical fitness is about your physical and mental health. You can improve sports performance and daily work activities through proper nutrition, exercise, and rest (there are five types). Fitness is about mental sharpness, muscular strength and
endurance, body composition, and flexibility.
It presents in so many different ways, and it can manifest itself at almost any stage of life.
For some people, social anxiety causes them to avoid social situations and become very introverted. For others, it wreaks havoc on their…
I had to find the root cause of social anxiety before I was able to heal from this debilitating condition that altered my life for so long.
I’ve never been good at talking about myself or sharing my story, but that has changed.
Since I learned more about social anxiety and how mental disorders work, I’ve come to realize that the root cause of all social anxiety is fear.
Do You Know The Root Cause Of Social Anxiety?
The root cause of all social anxiety attacks is fear.
When we fear being judged by others, when we fear judgment for ourselves, when we don’t fit into societal norms, or when we believe that it will be worse if we are judged — these are all triggers
for our fears of embarrassment.
These fears of embarrassment are actually just fears of judgment.
This is why I can relate to so many people with social anxiety who say that they don’t know what caused it.
They feel as though it’s something that just happened to them, but I think that it’s something we’ve experienced and maybe even taught ourselves to believe.
Many people can remember a time when someone singled out, criticized, or judged them.
I know that I can.
My story is not unique.
There’s a chance that you’ve experienced this too, but judging the situation was all in your head.
I grew up in a small town where everyone is white.
My father is black and my mother is white.
I never felt like I fit in.
Not with my family, not with the kids at school, and not in my town.
I always felt like I was different or that there was something wrong with me.
I know now that this was a fear of judgment.
I was afraid to stand up for myself.
I was afraid of others who were different than me.
I was afraid of looking bad in front of others.
I was afraid of being judged for my appearance or who I was.
I also learned to be afraid of social situations because judgments about me were made during those moments in the past.
I grew up thinking that there was something wrong with me and that others were judging me negatively for existing. This mindset manifested itself into fear and social anxiety.
How to Heal From Social Anxiety When the Root Cause Is Fear
We can heal from our fears by identifying them and making sure they are not rooted in judgment or criticism.
In order to do this, we need to ask ourselves some questions.
Do you think that you are at fault for making judgments about other people?
Do you believe that others are at fault for judging you?
Do you really think that there is something wrong with who you are or how you look?
Are your thoughts of feeling insecure and being judged realistic or unrealistic?
When I asked myself these questions, I realized that I had developed a fear-based belief system.
I had learned to be afraid of judgment and criticism.
It wasn’t right to feel this way either.
Rather than actually experiencing judgment from others, my fears were just thoughts in my own head based on things that had happened in the past.
Fear prevented me from moving forward.
Fear prevented me from being in social situations and being happy.
As the years slipped by, these fears were reinforced and I learned to accept how I felt.
At some point, I didn’t believe in myself.
That’s when my anxiety attacks started.
It was a habit of mine because I believed that it would be worse if I stood out.
Social anxiety was all over me and it didn’t stop until I found the root cause of social anxiety to finally heal from this debilitating condition that altered my life for so long.
Be Aware of the Root Cause of Social Anxiety
The more we allow ourselves to believe in social anxiety as the reason why we’re afraid, the more we reinforce it.
Once we accept that social anxiety is a product of our fears, it becomes easier to take control.
We can recognize when we’re being defensive or when someone else is trying to attack us.
We can also learn to focus on people and how they make us feel instead of what they might be thinking about us.
We can learn to see past our fears and realize that even if someone else has a terrible opinion of us, it’s not scary if we know what caused them to think that way.
For example, a child who is told that they are too loud or annoying will begin to fear judgment and pre-judgment from others.
This causes them to self-censor because of imagined judgments from those around them.
This leads to social anxiety and avoidance of any person or place they believe may judge them — even if it’s only in their own minds.
The reality is, many people have judged themselves at one point in their lives for something that they believe is true about themselves.
A person who believes that they are not worth anything will begin to feel inferior to others.
A teenager who is told that they will end up flipping burgers for the rest of their life because they lack the intelligence to do much more will feel a sense of shame and inadequacy.
This is why I believe that everyone with social anxiety must find the root cause of social anxiety and rid themselves of it before they can truly heal.
The good news is, social anxiety can be cured — but only if we remove its root cause. Knowing what caused your social anxiety is an important first step in healing from social
anxiety and having empowering relationships with those around you.
Face Your Fears
Before you can heal, you must be willing to face your fears and embrace the acceptance that it takes to get better.
Only then will you be able to recognize when people are giving you a piece of their mind or judging you for no reason.
That’s when the real healing process will begin.
If we start believing that social anxiety is something that we need to be afraid of, it will perpetuate our fear.
However, if we believe that we are capable of overcoming this condition, we can embrace who we really are and heal ourselves from these self-limiting beliefs instead.
It’s not about changing yourself for others; it’s about changing who you are so that you aren’t so fearful of how others will view you.
This is why we have to be our own best friend — so that we can harness our confidence and power for
ourselves, not against ourselves.
I used to believe that I wasn’t worthy.
I didn’t deserve love or happiness.
It was a lie that I believed and accepted because of my fears of embarrassment and judgment from others — that is until I learned the truth about why social anxiety attacks started in the first
I learned that the root cause of social anxiety is fear and I can change this fear into love, acceptance, and empowerment.
You Can Heal
I’ve found that the best way to overcome social anxiety is by learning self-acceptance through healing from my past trauma.
I want you to enjoy life and stop worrying about other people’s opinions of you.
It may take time and energy to heal from this condition, but it will be worth it in the end.
You can heal by learning how to love yourself more than anyone else.
Once you learn to do this, you will be able to let go of your fears and embrace yourself for who you really are.
You’re not a product of the judgments, opinions, or criticisms of others; you are a person who is worthy of love and joy simply because you exist.
Sure, it’s technically never too late to make a change—no matter how long you’ve waited, how old you are, or how little time you have left.
But it’s far better to avoid key mistakes in life before it gets to the point of actually being “too late.” Because once that happens, you’ll put yourself in a difficult position and have
to fight an uphill battle the rest of the way.
That’s why, in this article, I want to share ten critical mistakes to avoid in your life. If you stop doing them now, you can improve your happiness, success, health, relationships, and more—with
plenty of time to spare.
1. Not Saying “No”
Let’s do an unofficial experiment: Have you ever had an annoying and difficult situation that you could’ve solved by just saying “no” in the first place?
I rest my case.
Saying “no” creates boundaries around negative people or situations and protects your mental and emotional health. It also protects your time as well as other people’s time.
Yet many people are afraid to say “no.”
They resentfully do things they don't want and get themselves into bad situations—and by the time they try to correct course, it’s often too late.
Often, they’re afraid to say “no” because they “don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings.”
But that’s a lie.
What they’re really afraid of is that other people won’t like them anymore because they say “no.”
My advice: Get over yourself.
It's far better to say no clearly instead of being noncommittal and confusing the hell out of everyone. The other person might be upset in the short term, but in the long term, you gain
(And don't be surprised if they respect you more for having boundaries.)
2. Seeking Approval
Many people waste so much time seeking approval.
They do so many things in life—get a specific career, buy a specific home, etc.—just to prove themselves, get validation, and boost their self-worth.
But ultimately, they end up meaningless pursuits and they’ll still feel unworthy because they never addressed the lack they feel inside.
No matter what you accomplish (or don’t), you’ll always be just as worthy as you are right now.
You’ll always be just as worthy as everyone else.
So stop feeling the need to “prove yourself.” Start doing things because you actually enjoy them, not because of what other people might think of you.
Get off this cycle of seeking validation and be free.
It’ll make it a helluva lot easier to live a life of joy, fulfillment, and purpose.
3. Being a Victim
I wasted years of my life playing the “victim card.”
Woe is me… my boss is a ____, the system is _____, I’m Asian, I’m short, etc.
But empowering my excuses drained my energy, created a lot of unhappiness and resentment, and did nothing for me.
Sadly, I see this sooo much, especially nowadays.
Look, I’m not saying your plight isn’t difficult or unfair. (And I definitely want to avoid the “my plight could kick your plight’s ass” debate.)
But the longer you complain about it, stew about it, and let it affect every single moment of your life, the more you'll limit your success while mistakenly blaming everything else—and the more
you’ll waste your life.
After all, there are many people who have endured far worse conditions than you yet have achieved far more than you.
Instead, take full ownership of everything in your control.
As you do this more, you’ll feel more empowered, build momentum, and see your opportunities grow.
4. Too Many Mindless Distractions
It’s so easy to be distracted nowadays.
Whether it’s notifications, games, websites, etc., seemingly everything is geared to pull you down a rabbit hole of clicks, entertainment, and distractions.
But you don’t want to look back on your life and regret all the time you wasted on those diversions. (According to projections, the average person will spend
over 8 years of their life watching TV and almost 7 years on social media.)
Be intentional with how you spend your free time.
Sure, it’s okay to occasionally watch TV or play on your phone, but try to make that free time work for you too.
Learn, build, create, and challenge yourself so you can reap the rewards and have something to show for that time.
5. Not Being Selective Of Your Friends
Nothing will influence your life more than the people you surround yourself with.
And if you go your entire life without carefully evaluating your friends, you could tremendously limit your growth and success.
Do they support and encourage you or do they insult you and cut you down?
Do they try to improve themselves or do they rationalize their difficulties?
(I’ve had both kinds of friends and their influence on my success and behaviors was dramatic.)
Be selective with your social circle.
If someone in your life isn’t a good influence, cut the cord.
It might seem selfish, but it’s a sacrifice that will transform your life.
Also, when looking for new friends, seek people you can learn from and grow with.
That way, you build a network that pushes you forward, not backward.
6. Listening to Everyone’s Opinions
“You can’t do that.
It’s too much.
It’s too risky.
It’s a bad idea.”
A lot of the feedback you get in life is skewed.
Usually, people just project their own problems, fears, and prejudices onto you.
But why even listen to them?
“I do not take constructive criticism from people who have never constructed anything.”
— Eric Thomas
The longer you listen to the noise, the more time you’ll waste doing the wrong things.
Choose your own life and choose your own path.
Ignore the noise.
Don’t let people project their own problems onto you and bring you down to their level.
7. Not Being Decisive
The longer you take to make a decision, the longer you take to get to where you want to go.
And frankly, I’ve seen way too many people waste decades of their life on a relatively simple choice.
Start becoming decisive.
Start valuing action instead of deliberation.
Start becoming comfortable with being wrong and “missing out.”
You’ll actually move forward in life while everyone else stands still and wastes their time.
Make decisions faster and your life will grow faster as a result.
“Measure the cost of inaction, realize the unlikelihood and repairability of most missteps, and develop the most important habit of those who excel and enjoy doing so: action.”
— Tim Ferriss
8. Not Quitting or Giving Up
Although you often hear clichés like, “Never give up,” many of the best decisions in my life were to quit bad jobs, relationships, etc.—it eliminated huge barriers and gave me the freedom
to find something better.
Of course, you shouldn't give up at the first sign of difficulty.
But if you’re earnestly trying your best—reading books, getting coaching or counseling, etc.—and you’re still struggling, then the more time you spend trying to fix it, the more time you
waste in a losing effort.
“If you must play, decide on three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.”
— Chinese Proverb
The hard truth is some situations are beyond repair — and the best thing to do is just to quit.
The world is too big to cling to something soul-crushing or mind-numbing.
Let it go so you can find something better.
9. Not Investing
Investing is simple: It’s about devoting time, money, energy, etc. toward something in the hopes that the benefit will be greater than the sacrifice.
Traditionally, we think of investing in terms of money and financial gain.
This goes beyond just books or courses—it can mean improving your mental and physical health, taking a big risk, or learning new skills and hobbies.
All of which can change your life forever.
10. Not Putting In The Work
I love life hacks: If I can fold my clothes, wash my dishes, or speed my way through airport queues faster than before, I will gladly take that hack, thankyouverymuch.
But there are certain things in life that are invincible to hackers.
For example, if you want to build a business, get in fantastic shape, or grow your career, there are no shortcuts. You must put in serious effort, regardless of what coaching you get or
what books your read.
So if there’s something you really want in life, get some coffee, sit down, and make it happen now. Because the longer it takes for you to start putting in the work, the longer it’ll take
you to get to where you want to go.
As you consistently put in the time and effort, you’ll create some amazing things, reap the rewards, and enjoy them for the rest of your life.
Zoom back seven years and change. I’d dropped out of school, was working a $10/hr job, drank and did drugs every single day, and had criminally low levels of motivation bordering on total
How was I able to do the one thing so many of us are desperate to do and finally put my foot down? I’ve studied personal development for the better part of a decade.
The things I learned helped me make a permanent change. It’s impossible for me to go back to the way I once was.
What follows is all of the wisdom I’ve gained through constant learning, years of experience, and gallons of blood, sweat, and tears. I did all the work, now you just have to follow my
Laser focus for 90 days
There’s no magic formula that tells you how to conjure up the motivation to start, but once you do, get it in your head that you’re going to commit 90 days to ruthless execution toward your goals. Don’t look past that benchmark at all.
It’s long enough to see progress and short enough to commit to without getting overwhelmed.
It’s easier to get good at stuff you already have an inkling you’d be good at.
I took a Strengths Finder test and followed the recommendations for
skills and habits to build as well as routines to follow.
Most of the skills and habits mentioned based on my profile dealt with reading and writing. Funny how that works.
Time blocking is key
Time blocking is the best productivity strategy I’ve ever used.
Dedicate a time period each day to work toward your goal, develop a skill, or build your project. Choose a length that stretches you but doesn’t overextend you.
I chose 1 hour of writing before work.
Do the same thing, at the same time, daily.
Do it even if it means you sit still for 30 minutes stuck in procrastination mode.
Just sit there.
Learning to be bored is a skill that teaches you how to do deep work.
Flow states are your best friend
Flow states happen when you get in the zone and lose the sense of time. At first, it’ll be difficult to get into them because you’re so used
to being distracted.
Time-blocking and dealing with the tension of boredom cause you to want to start working eventually. Once you start working, you can hit a groove and you often end up working well beyond your
predefined time period.
A unique little focus trick
Thought I’d throw this one in here.
It’s specific, but it works really well.
If you’re doing a certain task and want to get into flow listen to the same song on repeat while you work.
It has a hypnotic effect on you that allows you to focus more. Try it.
Learn to say ‘no’
If you can’t set boundaries, you’ll never reach your goals.
Once writing became important to me, I had to say no to other things that were getting in the way. Friends would ask to go get drinks.
I’d politely decline.
I told myself no when it came to certain distractions like T.V.
I stopped feeling obligated to dole out my time.
Saying no teaches you to prioritize yourself first, which is what you need to do before you can truly help anyone else.
This means you have one skill you’re really good at and a bunch of other skills you’re decent enough at.
All the complementary skills feed into your main skill.
To this day, I start my daily routine by sitting down to write something.
Systems > Goals
Having super specific goals doesn’t work as well as creating systems that create outcomes you want. As a consequence of my system, daily writing, product creation, marketing,
I’ve made money, built an audience, and created a network of people around me.
It’s okay to have goals, but it’s important to focus more on the system you need to achieve your goals.
Build a ‘latticework of mental models’
In short, this means picking up a set of handy rules of thumb you can use to make better decisions.
This way, you can get ahead without being a genius.
Also, have a basic understanding of a bunch of different subjects to develop multi-disciplinary knowledge and avoid domain dependence, which means you’re smart in one area but fail to reach your
potential because you lack a basic understanding of others.
This cliche piece of advice is too worthwhile to leave off the list.
Where do you think I got the mental models from?
Where do you think I learned half of the concepts I’m talking about in this post?
Books are such a cheat code.
Smart people took the time to do all the work for you and present the answers to you in a digestible way.
Full stop, most people don’t read, period.
Doing so puts you ahead of the pack.
But don’t become a sport reader
Don’t read for the sake of being able to tell others how many books you’ve read.
It’s both tacky and counterproductive.
Read because you want to do something with the information.
If you read a book on leadership, become a better leader.
If you read a book on productivity, become more productive.
Don’t get high off self-help content.
At a certain point, reach this mode
I don’t read a ton these days.
I’ve consumed so much information that I’m in the period of my life where I need to just build. Information only gets you so far.
After you build a base of knowledge, it’s best to put yourself in the arena and focus more on turning your dreams into reality.
Ship your work
There’s no way to figure out if your idea will work until you put it out there for other people to see. Most people get stuck in research mode — they have all these ideas but never share them.
You need to get feedback on your projects from the real world to see if the ideas are actually good.
Sometimes the answer is no, but knowing that saves you tons of time.
Imagine spending a year working on a product that fails vs. coming up with a product concept to test with customers in 30 days.
When you ship, you can iterate your way to success by finding out what works and what doesn’t.
Take your L’s
You have to learn how to accept rejection and failure.
If you can’t, you’ll never accomplish anything, period.
Learning to take your L’s just means you can handle temporary defeats without getting butthurt and quitting.
It means you don’t let your losses define who you are as a person.
It means you learn to extract lessons from failures and setbacks instead of feeling sorry for yourself. You course correct over time until you win.
After taking a few L’s you learn they’re not as bad as you thought they would be in the first place.
It’s not the worst feeling in the world but it’s also not the best feeling either.
There’s something that just feels off when you realize that you’re average. There’s nothing wrong with average and as a matter of fact, some people wish to be average at best.
You may be average to the world but from your perspective, you can be as great as you want to be.
If you think the right thoughts and take the right actions, you can become the person you’ve always wanted to be. You may not be confident in yourself now but you still have time to build it.
Comparing yourself to others is a dangerous game to play but it also motivates you to do more.
You should focus on yourself and your own goals more than someone else's but every now and then without realizing it, you will take a glimpse into someone else’s life.
Having a mentor who is successful is great motivation for you to become the best version of yourself.
Be content with what you have but don't be too content about the person you are as of right now. Sometimes we need a little push in our lives along with a wake-up call.
The truth that hurts most people is that there are people just like you who are not making excuses and are finding ways to improve every day.
There are always butterflies in my stomach when I think about settling, if I were to give up right now and just “go with the flow” my life wouldn't go anywhere.
A few years later I would regret not doing anything while I was young and would have to live with that regret forever.
Listen, you don't have to strive for a perfect life or even a perfect body but you should strive for the best that you can do.
Stop giving yourself limitations in a certain area of life, you’re only setting yourself up to reach a level that can’t be broken.
You should be treating life as an endless videogame, improve and pass each level at a good pace and you will get closer and closer to the finish line.
The things that we have to do to become the person we want to be can become tedious but with the help of God and the universe, anything is possible, especially if you truly put your
mind to it.
Who Do You Want to Be?
Have you ever asked yourself who you want to be in the future?
It’s a question that makes you think…a lot. You probably think about it every day without even knowing it but you always find some way to think of yourself in the future.
If you do this too often, you will start to suffer from anxiety and depression because you’re not living up to that person you want to become.
Also, time for you is running out, and although you tell yourself that you will be there soon, “soon” starts becoming farther and farther away.
When you ask yourself this question, you should be thinking of yourself in all aspects down to the type of body you want to have all the way to the personality you want to have.
This process of becoming this person isn’t easy and it’s not supposed to be, there will be days where it seems pointless to even try.
This is why you have to start changing your thoughts about yourself as well.
If you keep telling yourself that the person you want to become is impossible to obtain, then it will be impossible.
But, if you start telling yourself that it is possible and you truly believe that it is, then God will start opening doors for you to achieve that goal.
It sounds simple but it really takes some time to understand, you don't have to be the most confident person in the world to do this but confidence will help.
If you lack confidence now in your life, start there.
Tell yourself that you are confident and start living your life as if you were truly confident in yourself. Start wearing clothes that you like to wear, without worrying about how other people
will view you and the confidence will come on its own.
Also, start working on your body, start exercising to put into your head that you’re actually doing what it takes to be confident in yourself in the future.
Take risks in all aspects of your life and the returns will be far much greater than all of the times where you doubted yourself and wanted to give up.
Will Your Life Be Different?
Well, you’re in for a long ride and it’s going to be a ride filled with ups and downs but you’ll get through it.
In order to become the person you want to become, you have to become comfortable with sacrifices.
Some of these sacrifices are going to be hard to deal with like lack of sleep and time spent on social media but you will survive.
You’re also going to have to give up some of the fun you have in your life, this means less time with friends and family and more time spent reading books, doing research, and taking proper action
needed to execute whatever it is you want to accomplish for yourself.
Start thinking about how your life would be different from now if you were to become the person you wanted to be.
You may have less time to do some of the things that you’re used to doing now so also take that into consideration.
Try to make your life as enjoyable as possible when going through the hard work that comes with being the ideal person you want to be.
Deal with upfront pain to have long-term benefits afterward.
A lot of the time, that pain is going to really hurt and you may feel like you’re hurting yourself during the process.
What will separate you from many other people who will take on this journey also is that you’re not going to give up.
You will always have that skill to carry around with you when dealing with any obstacle.
There’s only so much time in a day to really do what you need to do along with extra work you have to do to reach your goals so don't take it for granted.
Your life is going to change immediately, just keep in mind that this is only the beginning and that you’ll always make time for people and activities you like to do.
Despite me being in school, doing a few passion projects, and getting my insurance license, I still find time to hang out with close friends and family whenever I can.
Whether it’s for five minutes or five hours, there's always time believe it or not.
You’re Always Changing
You learn something new every day and what does that do, it enhances your perspective on life.
You start worrying more about your future when you learn more about life, but instead of always getting down on yourself when receiving this new knowledge, be thankful instead.
You don’t notice a change in your life until after it's been there for a while.
This is true with your life right now, thinks bout the mindset you had from when you were 10 years old all the way to now.
Your perspective has changed so much that the thoughts you had back then seemed silly.
We should always encourage each other to learn more and to teach more.
You’re not the only person in the world who wants to better themselves, there are many other people who have to deal with change every day.
What is scaring you the most about change?
Is it getting out of your normal routine?
Is it a failure?
Whatever it is, just know that you will adjust and that change is only scary when you’re first doing it, it becomes normal eventually.
You become what you think about, so start thinking more about the person you want to become. Keep working on yourself no matter how hard it is because it will pay off when you need it the
I’ll leave you with a quote from Eric Butterworth that says
I’m sure that you are reading this title right now and thinking to yourself; why would I want to focus on the “now” — right now?
I know that the news is full of awful stuff at this time and it seems like we’re going in circles.
The light at the end of the tunnel is close, but not close enough. While yes you are right…
I’m someone who frequently has episodes where my mind is always thinking about other things.
Even more so right now, as the world seems to be in absolute disarray.
I find that it’s hard to silence racing thoughts of worst-case scenarios, my mind fills with anxiety, panic… the list goes on.
I feel that it’s OK to feel these things, you need to process all things the good, the bad, and the ugly. You need to put time aside to grieve losses, celebrate winnings,
letting your emotions fully process.
If you keep pushing the emotions down inside and not addressing you are like a walking time bomb waiting to go off.
In this current situation, amidst all the confusion I know it’s hard to keep calm but this is the best time to practice it.
While I haven’t decreased my anxiety and panic completely, I’ve discovered ways to help myself enjoy the present.
This also helps me to remind myself that everything is OK just as it is right here, right now. Regardless of the stuff that is happening in the world.
1. Practice self-care.
Now I know that this phrase has been thrown around many times as a scapegoat for in my opinion; our reason to overindulge.
When I say self-care I mean taking time to do something you like to do, something that you enjoy doing, that makes you feel really good and allows you to enjoy the process of doing it.
Ideally, something that requires steps and using your hands. In my case, it’s my morning routine of putting on my makeup and getting ready to work.
While I don’t put a lot of makeup on, or put it on every day…It’s the process of putting makeup on that pulls me to the present.
I have to focus when I’m putting on eyeliner, or mascara which requires me to focus on the now, or the act of picking out clothes to wear for the day.
Taking time to enjoy the simple morning routine that’s solely focused on me and what I’m doing at that second.
For some of your that might mean taking time to do a morning stretch, make yourself a nice breakfast or coffee, going for a run, skincare, walking the dog whatever makes you feel good — do it!
2. Taking time to appreciate the small things
I have a dog that is just the most adventurous soul, she is always so happy and so excited to do the smallest things.
It’s amazing to me how much joy she finds in the simplest things such as chasing birds around the park, biting on sticks, running while the wind flaps her ears around.
The simplest things bring her the biggest smile on her face.
Which constantly reminds me to step back and be thankful for all the wonderful things I have.
I have my health, I have people that love and care for me, I have a roof, food, all my necessities.
I have today, all the hours in the day to make a change, better myself, spend time doing things I love… the opportunities are endless.
3. Taking walks in nature
I don’t know about everyone, but there is something about tall trees and seeing a lot of greenery that makes me feel at peace with myself.
It’s the kind of scenery that makes me stop and breathe deeply.
It makes me feel more at peace and lets me focus or daydream about things that I feel are two things I don’t get to do very often.
Most of us have to think about, work, school, groceries, kids, finances… you rarely get to take the time to free yourself from those responsibilities even if it is more than a couple of
I’m originally from the city, but during COVID I moved up to the country. I love to take my dogs for walks and soak up all the greenery.
Take the time to put yourself in a setting that reminds you to slow down. Something that de-attaches you from the constant fast-paced “go, go, go” lifestyle.
4. A diary/journaling
While you don’t need to keep a diary, the point is to have some time at the end of each day to reflect on your day.
When you take time to reflect on your day you become present with the now.
What you conquered that day today, not that day last week, a month ago or a year ago.
It allows me to focus all my attention on how much I’ve accomplished in the day, the 24 hours allocated to me today.
It puts into paper all your accomplishments sometimes it helps to see things written down for you to acknowledge that it happened.
I get a lot of anxiety when I feel like I’ve done nothing all day doing nothing.
But when I write down the details of my day, I find out that yes indeed I might’ve spent more time sitting down or binge-watching tv shows, but I also exercised, learned a new skill, cooked a new
dish, met a deadline, and so on.
I’ve learned to celebrate the small things and not be so critical of the times where my days are slower than others.
5. Take time to disconnect from social media
Social media is a great way to connect with family and friends.
It’s fast, and it reduces the amount of time it takes to make a big announcement.
In the past, we’d have to make a million calls to make sure that our loved ones found out that we hit a certain milestone in our lives.
Now it’s just a picture with a simple caption or an emoji — and everyone knows.
Given that social media is a great tool to allow us to connect with all our friends and family- it’s a constant distraction away from the “now”.
“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” — Lao Tzu
What have you lost recently that you miss from your life?
Was it an intimate relationship?
Finances or something else?
What emotions did…
I want to reassure you, what was taken from you will be replaced by something better, in due course. I don’t want to give you false hope that losing a relationship will be replaced with another
Sometimes, people leave our life with no explanation.
Regrettably, I don’t have all the answers, since I am subject to the same fate.
However, there’s one thing I’ve learned.
When something is taken from my life, there is a period of grief, followed by something better coming into my life.
For example, I lost my father to type II diabetes well before his time.
His passing sent me on a quest to understand the human condition and why some people live a long life, while others succumb to illness.
I wrote a book on the topic, following years of research and it became my quest to understand the connection between mind, body, and spirit.
So yes, whilst my father passed away early, the universe gave me something I could not have expected, and that was the gift of insight, compassion, wisdom, and a purpose.
Some of you may have lost your job during the Coronavirus pandemic.
It may have been a loss in your finances, perhaps the breakup of an intimate relationship.
These things can affect us long after they’re gone.
Therefore, we ought to grieve over our loss and console ourselves before moving on.
We may or may not find meaning in our circumstances.
Either way, the meaning we ascribe is subjective because we don’t really know the full extent to why things happen. We can only speculate to put our minds at ease.
Can you relate to this?
Are you still looking for why a benevolent universe can be cruel and unjust sometimes?
It is normal to entertain these thoughts, however, they can take us down the rabbit hole of despair, searching for answers.
It may or may not come, so I invite you to focus on the lessons gained from the experience, rather than search for their meaning.
I can’t explain why unfortunate events happen and it would be remiss of me to even try.
What I can do is help you make sense of what happened, to move forward as best you can.
It is about re-empowering ourselves with new insights, wisdom, and seeing our misfortunes through the eyes of kindness and self-compassion.
The Universe Intends To Use Your Pain
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” — Paulo Coelho
The universe is barely predictable because life can change at the drop of a hat.
People’s lives are turned upside down and they’re forced into hopeless situations with no prior warning.
But here’s one thing I know: the universe gives us more in return when it takes something from our lives.
It gives us the gift of wisdom, resiliency, humility, compassion, and strength of character.
We cannot buy these virtues online because they take years to develop, were it not for our heartbreak and pain.
What I’m saying is: when we are forced into a situation, not of our choosing, we discover the essence of who we really are.
We all experience pain and suffering, and the degree to which we suffer is based on how we view our misfortunes.
Having studied the lives of centenarians over the years, many of them endured pain and suffering throughout their lives.
The one common denominator to their enduranceis the will to live.
Viktor Frankl described this idea in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning.
Those who endured extreme suffering during the Holocaust in Nazi Germany discovered the will to live and went on to share their stories with thousands of others.
Hardship strengthens our resolve and helps us decide what is important.
Our pain becomes the healing agent to heal others’ pain and suffering.
We may use our pain to focus on areas of importance to us such as social justice, inequality, environmental issues, or other issues affecting humanity.
When people lose something of importance, some find a deeper meaning in their disaster.
I’m reminded of those who lose family members in tragic circumstances, such as car accidents or murder and rape.
Some start social causes, devoted to helping the lives of those affected by these tragic events. So, what am I saying?
See if you can accept what happened, and trust the universe to use your pain for your own good or the betterment of others.
Life is neither fair nor unfair.
Our mind justifies these thoughts to make sense of unfortunate events.
Life is doing its job, whilst supporting our personal growth.
So, if the universe has taken something from your life, something better may take its place in the foreseeable future.
After all, it was the Greek philosopher Aristotle who said: “Nature abhors a vacuum.”
Meaning: something of equal value or better will fill its place.
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To do so, I’m going to re-share excerpts from the journal entries that she shared with me in that hospital room fifteen years ago.
I’ve done my best to sort, clean up, copyedit and reorganize her wisdom into 19 inspiring bullet points.
I hope you find value in them, too:
There are thousands of people who live their entire lives on the default settings, never realizing they can customize everything. – Don’t
settle for the default settings in life. Find your loves, your talents, your passions, and embrace them. Don’t hide behind other people’s decisions. Don’t let others tell you what you want. Design
YOUR journey every step of the way! The life you create from doing something that moves you is far better than the life you get from sitting around wishing you were doing it.
The right journey is the ultimate destination. – The most prolific and beneficial experience in life is not in actually achieving something
you want, but in seeking it. It’s the journey towards an endless horizon that matters—goals and dreams that move forward with you as you chase them. It’s all about meaningful pursuits—the
“moving”—and what you learn along the way. Truly, the most important reason for moving from one place to another is to see what’s in between. In between is where passions are realized, love is found,
strength is gained, and priceless life-long memories are made.
The willingness to do hard things opens great windows of opportunity. – One of the most important abilities you can develop in life is the
willingness to accept and grow through times of difficulty and discomfort. Because the best things are often hard to come by, at least initially. And if you shy away from difficulty and discomfort,
you’ll miss out on them entirely. Mastering a new skill is hard. Building a business is hard. Writing a book is hard. A marriage is hard. Parenting is
hard. Staying healthy is hard. But all are amazing and worth every bit of effort you can muster. Realize this now. If you get good at doing hard things, you can do almost anything you put your mind to.
Small, incremental changes always change everything in the long run. – The concept of taking it one step at a time might seem absurdly
obvious, but at some point we all get caught up in the moment and find ourselves yearning for instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it now! And this yearning often tricks us into
biting off more than we can chew. So, remind yourself: you can’t lift a thousand pounds all at once, yet you can easily lift one pound a thousand times. Tiny, repeated efforts will get you there,
gradually. (Angel and I build tiny, life-changing rituals with our students in the “Goals and Growth” module of the Getting Back to Happy course.)
No one wins a game of chess, or the game of life, by only moving forward. – Sometimes you have to move backward to put yourself in a position
to win. Because sometimes, when it feels like you’re running into one dead end after another, it’s actually a sign that you’re not on the right path. Maybe you were meant to hang a left back when you
took a right, and that’s perfectly fine. Life gradually teaches us that U-turns are allowed. So turn around when you must! There’s a big difference between giving up and starting over in the right
The biggest disappointments in life are often the result of misplaced expectations. – When we are young our expectations are few, but as we
age our expectations tend to balloon with each passing year. The key is to understand that tempering unrealistic expectations of how something “should be” can greatly reduce unnecessary stress and
frustration. With a positive attitude and an open mind, we often find that life isn’t necessarily any easier or harder than we thought it was going to be; it’s just that “the easy” and “the hard”
aren’t always the way we had anticipated, and don’t always occur when we expect them to. This isn’t a bad thing—it makes life interesting if we are willing to see it that way.
Our character is often most evident at our highs and lows. – Be humble at the mountaintops, be strong in the valleys, and be faithful in
between. And on particularly hard days when you feel that you can’t endure, remind yourself that your track record for getting through hard days is 100% so far.
Life changes from moment to moment, and so can you. – When hard times hit there’s a tendency to extrapolate and assume the future holds more
of the same. For some strange reason, this doesn’t happen as much when things are going well. A laugh, a smile, and a warm fuzzy feeling are fleeting and we know it. We take the good times at face
value at the moment for all they’re worth and then we let them go. But when we’re depressed, struggling, or fearful, it’s easy to heap on more pain by assuming tomorrow will be exactly like today.
This is a cyclical, self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t allow yourself to move
past what happened, what was said, what was felt, you will look at your future through that same dirty lens, and nothing will be able to focus your foggy judgment. You will keep on justifying,
reliving, and fueling a perception that is worn out and false.
You can fight and win the battles of today, only. – No matter what’s happening, you can resourcefully fight the battles of just one day. It’s
only when you add the battles of those two mind-bending eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that life gets overwhelmingly difficult and complicated.
Not being “OK” all the time is normal. – Sometimes not being OK is all we can register inside our tired brains and aching hearts. This emotion
is human, and accepting it can feel like a small weight lifted. Truth be told, it’s not OK when someone you care about is no longer living and breathing and giving their amazing gifts to the world.
It’s not OK when everything falls apart and you’re buried deep in the wreckage of a life you had planned for. It’s not OK when the bank account is nearly at zero, with no clear sign of a promising
income opportunity. It’s not OK when someone you trusted betrays you and breaks your heart. It’s not OK when you’re emotionally drained to the point that you can’t get yourself out of bed in the
morning. It’s not OK when you’re engulfed in failure or shame or grief like you’ve never known before. Whatever your tough times consist of, sometimes it’s just NOT OK right now. And that realization
is more than OK.
Sensitivity can be a superpower. – Although sensitivity is often perceived as a weakness in our culture, to feel intensely is not a symptom of
weakness; it is the characteristic of a truly alive and compassionate human being. It is not the sensitive person who is broken, it is society’s understanding that has become dysfunctional and
emotionally incapacitated. There is zero shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being “too emotional” or “complicated” are the very fabric of what keeps the
dream alive for a more thoughtful, caring, and humane world. Never be ashamed to let your feelings, smiles and tears shine a light in this world.
Opening up to someone who cares can heal a broken heart. – Deep heartbreak is kind of like being lost in the woods—every direction leads to
nowhere at first. When you are standing in a forest of darkness, you can’t see any light that could ever lead you home. But if you wait for the sun to rise again, and listen when someone assures you
that they themselves have stood in that same dark place, and have since moved forward with their life, oftentimes this will bring the hope that’s needed.
Solitude is important, too. – Speaking to someone can help but in moderation. Sometimes the moments you feel lonely are the moments you may
most need to be by yourself. This is one of life’s cruelest ironies. We need solitude because when we’re alone we’re detached from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own
thoughts and feel what our intuition is telling us. And the truth is, throughout your life, there will be times when the world gets real quiet and the only thing left is the beat of your own heart.
So you’d better learn the sound of it, otherwise, you’ll never understand what it’s telling you.
Most of the time you don’t need more to be happier—you need less. – When things aren’t adding up in your life, begin subtracting. Life gets a
lot simpler and more enjoyable when you clear the emotional and physical clutter that makes it unnecessarily complicated. (Angel and I guide our readers though this process of simplifying and
getting back to happiness in our brand new book.)
Beginning each day with love, grace and gratitude always feel better than the alternative. – When you arise in the morning think of what an
incredible privilege it is to be alive—to be, to see, to hear, to think, to love, to have something to look forward to. Happiness is a big part of these little parts of your life—and joy is simply
the feeling of appreciating it all. Realize that it’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. Make a ritual of noticing the goodness that’s already yours first
thing in the morning, and you will see more goodness everywhere you look throughout the day.
Who we choose to be around matters immensely. – Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven, and like-minded. Relationships should help
you, not hurt you. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you—people who make your day
a little brighter simply by being in it. Ultimately, the people in your life make all the difference in the person you are capable of being. Life is just too short to spend time with people who suck
the happiness out of you. When you free yourself from these people, you free yourself to be YOU. And being YOU is the only way to truly live.
Relationship boundaries are life-savers. – When someone treats you like you’re just one of many options, again and again, help them narrow
their choices by removing yourself from the equation. Sometimes you have to try not to care, no matter how much you do. Because sometimes you can mean almost nothing to someone who means so much to
you. It’s not pride—it’s self-respect. Don’t give part-time people a full-time position in your life. Know your value and what you have to offer, and never settle for anything less than what you’ve
It’s during the toughest times of your life that you’ll get to see the true colors of the people who say they care about you. – Notice who
sticks around and who doesn’t, and be grateful to those who leave you, for they have given you the room to grow in the space they abandoned, and the awareness to appreciate the people who loved you
when you didn’t feel lovable.
As I’m wrapping up this short tribute to my grandmother, I’m reminded of a poem by Christian D. Larson that she used to have hanging on her refrigerator when I was a kid.
As soon as I was old enough to understand the poem, my grandmother made a photocopy of it for me, and, over 30 years later, I still have that same photocopy laminated and hanging on my office
These are words I do my best to live by:
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
I want to present you with two strategies to overcome this gigantic monster you grew over the years.
1. Keep Overthinking To The Point It Makes You Absolutely Sick And Tired.
You started this, now finish it.
Get so involved in this overthinking that you are making yourself absolutely sick.
Push your thinking as far as it goes.
Get it all out of your system.
Cry, scream, do whatever you have to do until you say “enough is enough”.
If you do this beware, you will find yourself in a very, very low spot!
Which is great!
It’s exactly where you want to be!
Get as low as you can.
You have to commit to a new life.
If that means going down to rock-bottom then go there, and come back up stronger than ever!
The only way you will come out of this cycle is if you finally decide that you are done living this life, but you have to commit yourself fully to this.
No more of this passive lifestyle, no more sitting in your room, no more distractions.
You get in life exactly what your standards are and what you hold yourself to.
If you hold yourself to being an overthinker that is doing nothing with your life, then that is exactly what you will get.
But if you hold yourself to a greater standard then you will receive everything that standard upholds.
You have to commit to a better life, and the first step to starting that is to get so emotional that it leads you to a life-changing event.
Get so lost in your fear, anger, and sadness that you must do something about it.
‘Should’ is not going to cut it any longer.
For this, I challenge you to stay in your room for 2 hours without doing anything. Do not turn on the computer, do not turn on the music, the TV, and do not open a book. Just sit there for 2 hours
These will be the hardest, worst and best 2 hours of your life.
2. Meditate For An Hour A Day Until The End Of The Year.
The other way to stop this monster is by slowly suffocating the overthinking with a soft pillow instead of putting a sledgehammer to its face.
Your thoughts come from fears and worries inside of you. Meditation attacks exactly that area of your life.
When you meditate you learn to stop thoughts one by one.
You deal with the problems inside of you one by one and you start improving one step at a time.
Start this journey today and meditate for the next 80 days for an hour a day.
That is all you must do.
If you do this until the end of the year you will have gained the ability to silence your thoughts instantaneously.
You will watch the thoughts go by like clouds in the wind instead of chasing them down into the pits of the abyss.
Your mind will grow quieter by the minute and you will face your inner demons one by one.
A lot of days will come when you do not feel so good, but that is okay.
You will stay there with those same recurring thoughts until the demon is beat and then you will await the next one.
This path leads you on a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs.
Instead of having one crash and then slowly climbing back up you will have a journey that leads you uphill with a lot of pitfalls that you work through.
But in the end, you will come out with a clear head, a stronger heart, and the will to take life into your own two hands.
Whichever way you choose, the result will be the same.
Both paths lead you on an intense journey of self-discovery.
Either way, you have to start this journey.
No one can force you to and no one can tell you to keep going.
I can only tell you what you will find and what is at the end of the path. But you have to walk it yourself.
Don’t think whether this is right or wrong, smart or dumb… you have done that all your life and that has to lead you here. For the first time, I want you to feel the choice.
Stop listening to your head and follow your heart.
The only good thing about experiencing traumatic things is that they teach you a lot.
When you’re going through it, it’s of course deeply painful. But looking back, you can see crystal clear what that experience taught you.
Don’t let traumas be useless.
Look back on them and think about what they taught you.
Use those realizations and lessons to improve your life moving forward.
In my relatively short life of 21 years thus far, I’ve survived some truly terrible things.
I look back on them now with the mindset of a student though.
I hate that those things happened to me, but I’m glad that they at least taught me lessons that I can use to improve the rest of my life.
Hindsight and retrospect are the best teachers.
Here’s what they’ve taught me.
Being Sexually Abused
When I was a kid living with my family in the middle-east, I was sexually abused by my cricket coach. It’s a painful and infuriating memory if I think about it for too long.
So, I won’t. Instead, I’ll just tell you what I learned from it.
Lesson — Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Especially in the case of children, the problem has been rampant.
Not everyone’s out to get you in this world, but it makes sense to keep your guard up to combat the truly bad human beings of our society.
Holding on to anger is useless though.
For years, I kept this in and it just ate at me. When I wrote about it, I not only received the support and compassion from many people that I never got from my parents when it happened, I also began healing.
Writing or opening up to someone isn’t magic, it won’t solve all your problems. But it can kickstart your journey of healing.
Staying In Toxic Relationships
As a teenager, I had two relationships one after another that were deeply toxic.
Both went on for about a year each.
I stayed in them way longer than I should have. I did so because I was weak.
The worst part about toxicity is that — despite being miserable, it’s easier and more comfortable to stay in the toxic situation than leave.
Lesson — Love isn’t enough, ever.
I stayed in those relationships despite wanting to kill myself at times because my teenage brain thought that that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re in love.
Love, no matter how much in quantity or how great in quality, is not enough by itself to sustain a relationship.
Maturity and compatibility are far more important factors that determine the future of any relationship.
Facing Hate And Threats From Complete Strangers
During my teenage, I was a popular kid. I don’t know how or why but I’d stumbled
my way into micro fame.
Everyone of my age in town knew of me.
People wanted to either be me, get with me, or kill me.
The last part is obviously the one that bothered me.
I’d get death threats and hate messages from people I’d literally never spoken to, heard of, or met.
Lesson — Attention, fame, and popularity are all double-edged swords. The more people know of you, the more people hate you. Ask any celebrity, they’ll agree.
As a society, we have this colossal misconception that fame is always a good thing. While it isn’t necessarily a bad thing either, it’s nothing to be worshipped, chased, or seen as an
Losing My Aunt And Grandfather In One Week
I was in my early teens when my grandfather and aunt passed away in the space of a few days, both from unrelated ailments.
Since I was a kid and not particularly close to either of them, I didn’t experience too much grief at the time. It’s only recently that I’ve realized just how much of a lasting toll that that
experience has left on my psyche.
Lesson — You never know when the grim reaper’s coming your way.
Live each day as it’s your last.
Treat every loved one like it’s their last day.
My mother lost her sister and father that week, both of them died unexpectedly.
My cousins lost their mother when they were just teenagers.
I can’t imagine ever getting through something like that.
Thank god my mom and cousins did.
Thinking of that makes me want to cherish every second that I get with my loved ones.
Facing Physical Abuse As A Child
I grew up before children’s rights and ‘wokeness’ went mainstream.
Moreover, I grew up in India, a place where hitting your children was not just considered normal but also encouraged
It was a sign that you were a strong, decisive, and good parent.
You wanted the best for your child so you did whatever it took to discipline him/her.
The worst instance of physical abuse I endured was my mother heating a steel spoon on the stove and putting it on my cheek, on purpose.
Imagine that, your own mother burning your face with a boiling hot spoon.
For the next few years, I had a black burn mark on my cheek until it eventually thankfully faded away.
Lesson — Violence and cruelty are never, ever the answer.
No good comes out of it.
“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent” — Mahatma Gandhi
I love my parents but I will never be able to forgive them for what they put me through in my childhood.
Violence breeds negativity, hatred, and trauma.
No matter what you feel like in the moment, stay the hell away from it.
Having Flatmates Whom I Hated
In my first year of university, I’d gotten an apartment with a couple of my classmates.
I didn’t know them that well but we all just needed a place to live.
To my horror, they’d play loud music, party, and trash the house all day and night.
Countless efforts of mine to ask them to stop bore no fruit.
Every day I’d wake up to strangers passed out in the living room, with cigarette buds, ash, bongs, and alcohol bottles strewn all over.
Lesson — We underestimate how much of our mood, mental state, habits, and overall health depends on our surroundings.
10 Little Things to Remember When Life No Longer Excites You
Written by Marc Chernoff
Once upon a time, there was a girl who could do anything in the world she wanted.
All she had to do was choose something and focus.
So one day she sat down in front of a blank canvas and began to paint.
Every stroke was more perfect than the next, slowly and gracefully converging to build a flawless masterpiece.
And when she eventually finished painting, she stared proudly at her work and smiled.
It was obvious to the clouds and the stars, who were always watching over her, that she had a gift. She was an artist.
And she knew it too.
She felt it in every fiber of her being. But a few moments after she finished painting, she got anxious and quickly stood up.
Because she realized that while she had the ability to do anything in the world she wanted to do, she was simply spending her time moving paint around on a piece of canvas.
She felt like there was so much more in the world to see and do – so many options.
And if she ultimately decided to do something else with her life, then all the time she spent painting would be a waste.
So she glanced at her masterpiece one last time and walked out the door into the moonlight.
And as she walked, she thought, and then she walked some more.
While she was walking, she didn’t notice the clouds and the stars in the sky who were trying to signal her, because she was preoccupied with an important decision she had to make.
She had to choose one thing to do out of all the possibilities in the world.
Should she practice medicine?
Or design buildings?
Or teach children?
She was utterly stumped.
Twenty-five years later, the girl began to cry.
Because she realized she had been walking for so long, and that over the years she had become so enamored by everything that she could do – the endless array of possibilities – that she hadn’t
done anything meaningful at all.
And she learned, at last, that life isn’t about the possibility – anything is possible.
Life is about making a decision – deciding to do something that moves you.
So the girl, who was no longer a girl, purchased some canvas and paint from a local craft store, drove to a nearby park, and began to paint.
One stroke gracefully led into the next just as it had so many moons ago. And as she smiled, she continued painting through the day and into the night.
Because she had finally made a decision.
And there was still some time left to revel in the magic that life is all about.
But, but (there’s always a “but”)…
There’s more to life than just following your passion, right?
Absolutely. For instance, not all passions earn an income, at least not in the near term.
And most of us have families to care for, mouths to feed, and bills to pay. So yes, there needs to be more than just passion.
But there ALSO needs to be some passion too!
The key is to realize it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
The short story above isn’t about following your passion into a hole of debt, it’s about NOT pushing your passion off into an abyss of unhappiness.
When you discover something that nourishes your soul and brings you joy and excitement – something that truly matters to you – care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life, even if
you can only spare a little time on the side.
And if you find that you don’t have any time at all for what matters to you, stop doing things that don’t… like watching another Netflix program or getting lost stalking people on social
In the end, the purpose is the reason you journey, and passion is the fire that lights your way. Without inner passion, it’s nearly impossible to progress in life.
The heart of human excellence begins to beat when you discover a pursuit, big or small, that occupies your heart and soul.
So remember, if there was ever a day to follow your heart and do something small that matters to you, that day is today.
Here are some little things worth remembering:
A big part of your life is a result of the choices you make. And if you don’t like your life – if it completely lacks excitement and passion – it’s time to start making changes and better
Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. You CAN follow a path that moves you. You are always free to do something small and positive that makes you happy.
There is a good reason why you should wake each morning and mindfully consider what and who you will give your day to. Because unlike other things in life – money, entertainment, obligations,
etc. – time is the one thing you can never get back once it’s gone.
It’s not what you say, but how you spend your time. If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
Your passion is an inherent part of you. Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about. Nothing you have that much passion for is ever a waste of time, no matter how
it turns out in the long run.
When you focus your heart and mind upon a meaningful purpose and commit yourself to fulfill that purpose a little bit every day, positive energy gradually floods into your life.
We have to stop telling ourselves that other people are our reason for being unhappy, unfulfilled, etc. They aren’t in the long run.
The more we fill our lives with genuine passion and purpose the less time and energy we’ll waste looking for approval and admiration from everyone else.
Your body may eventually grow tired, you may lie awake some nights listening to your past regrets, you may miss your only love, you may see the world around you overcome by negativity, or know
your respect has been trampled on by unfriendly faces. There is only one thing for healing that works every time – to rediscover what excites you and then dive deeper into it. That’s the only
positive effort that a battered mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or doubt, and never dream of regretting. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the
“Passion & Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
Just one small step today. That’s all. True purpose has no time limit. True passion has no deadline. Don’t stress and overwhelm yourself. Just do what you can right now – just the next smallest
step on a meaningful path.
Afterthoughts on “Finding Passion” Within
Passion truly is the secret ingredient that has kept me going through some of the most painful times of my life.
Because at some point, especially when the going gets tough, you have to wonder what you’re doing and why.
Over the years, I’ve questioned myself and given myself a thousand little reasons to keep working on marcandangel.com.
And it always comes back to my willingness to passionately invest energy in the exploration of life’s challenges.
What distinguishes many of us who are actively pursuing a passion, from those of us on the couch, is that some of us have learned the hard way – perhaps through a severe loss or crisis – that life
is short, and that we must capitalize on the priceless opportunities each day gives us, on the raw potential our minds and bodies are capable of, and on every ounce of willpower we can muster to make
our journeys worthwhile.
And if you don’t have a specific passion that’s immediately enticing to you, that’s OK.
You can still tap into the passion inside you today.
You can still learn to believe in your heart that you’re meant to live each moment full of passion and purpose – that each and every moment is worthy in its own way.
Passion is not something you find in life; it’s something you do.
When you want to find the passion and inner strength needed to change your situation, you have to force yourself to step forward.
Many of us are still hopelessly trying to “find our passion” – something we believe will ultimately lead us closer to happiness, success, or the life situation we ultimately want.
And we say “hopelessly” primarily because passion can’t really be found.
When we say we’re trying to find our passion, it implies that our passion is somehow hiding behind a tree or under a rock somewhere. But that’s far from the truth.
The truth is, our passion comes from doing things right. If you’re waiting to somehow “find your passion” somewhere outside yourself, so you finally have a reason to put your whole heart and
soul into your life and the changes you need to make, you’ll likely be waiting around for an eternity.
On the other hand, if you’re tired of waiting, and you’d rather live more passionately starting today and experience small positive changes, it’s time to proactively inject passion into the
very next thing you do.
Live more in the moment — not in the past or the future.
Don’t make excuses; put in the work.
Bringing It All Together
“We cannot become what we need to be, remaining what we are.” — Max Depree, American writer
Being better you begin by being as kind to yourself as you are to others. Improving yourself is not easy, but these 50 tips should help you. There’s always room to get better. Now is a great time
to let go of your negative thoughts and become the better person you are meant to be.
“Make the most of yourself … for that is all there is of you.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson,
an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet