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Life Lessons From a Psychiatrist Who’s Been Listening to People’s Problems For Decades


How you approach life says a lot about who you are.


As I get deeper into my late 30s I have learned to focus more on experiences that bring meaning and fulfillment to my life.


I try to consistently pursue life goals that will make me and my closest relations happy; a trait that many individuals search for their entire lives.


Nothing gives a person inner wholeness and peace like a distinct understanding of where they are going, how they can get there, and a sense of control over their actions.

Seneca once said, “Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.”


“No people can be truly happy if they do not feel that they are choosing the course of their own life,” states the World Happiness Report 2012. The report also found that having this freedom of choice is one of the six factors that explain why some people are happier than others.


In his best-selling first book, Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now, Dr Gordon Livingston, a psychiatrist who’s been listening to people’s problems for decades, revealed thirty bedrock truths about life, and how best to live it.


In his capacity as a psychiatrist, Dr Livingston listened to people talk about their lives and the many ways people induced unhappiness on themselves. In his book, he brings his insight and wisdom to the subjects of happiness, fear and courage.


“Life’s two most important questions are “Why?” and “Why not?” The trick is knowing which one to ask.” Acquiring some understanding of why we do things is often a prerequisite to change. This is especially true when talking about repetitive patterns of behavior that do not serve us well. This is what Socrates meant when he said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” That more of us do not take his advice is testimony to the hard work and potential embarrassment that self-examination implies.”


Most people operate on autopilot, doing the same things today that didn’t work yesterday. They rarely stop to measure the impact of their actions on themselves and others, and how those actions affect their total well-being.


They are caught in a cycle.


And once you get caught in the loop, it can be difficult to break free and do something meaningful.

Past behavior is the most reliable predictor of future behavior.


If your daily actions and choices are making you unhappy, make a deliberate choice to change direction. No matter how bleak or desperate a situation may appear to look, you always have a choice.


“People often come to me asking for medication. They are tired of their sad mood, fatigue, and loss of interest in things that previously gave them pleasure. ”…“Their days are routine: unsatisfying jobs, few friends, lots of boredom. They feel cut off from the pleasures enjoyed by others.

Here is what I tell them: The good news is that we have effective treatments for the symptoms of depression; the bad news is that medication will not make you happy. Happiness is not simply the absence of despair. It is an affirmative state in which our lives have both meaning and pleasure.”


“In general we get, not what we deserve, but what we expect,” he says.


Most people know what is good for them, they know what will make them feel better. They don’t avoid meaningful life habits because of ignorance of their value, but because they are no longer “motivated” to do them, Dr Livingston found. They are waiting until they feel better.

Frequently, it’s a long wait, he says.


Life is too short to wait for a great day to invest in better life experiences.


Most unhappiness is self-induced, Dr. Livingston found.


The three components of happiness are something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to.


Think about it.


If we have useful work, sustaining relationships, and the promise of pleasure, it is hard to be unhappy. I use the term “work” to encompass any activity, paid or unpaid, that gives us a feeling of personal significance. If we have a compelling avocation that lends meaning to our lives, that is our work, ” says Dr Livingston.


Many experiences in life that bring happiness are in your control. The more choices you are able to exercise, and control, the happier you are likely to be.


“Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life,” says Mandy Hale.


Many people wait for something to happen or someone to help them live their best lives.

They expect others to make them happy.

They think they have lost the ability to improve their lives.


The thing that characterizes those who struggle emotionally is that they have lost, or believe they have lost, their ability to choose those behaviors that will make them happy, says Dr Livingston.


You are responsible for your own life experiences, whether you are seeking a meaningful life or a happy life.


If you expect others to make you happy, you will always be disappointed.


You can consistently choose actions that could become everyday habits.


It takes time, but it’s an investment that will be worth your while.


“Virtually all the happiness-producing processes in our lives take time, usually a long time: Learning new things, changing old behaviors, building new relationships, raising children. This is why patience and determination are among life’s primary virtues,”


Most people are stuck in life because of fear. Fear of everything outside their safe zones. Your mind has a way of rising to the occasion. Challenge it, and it will reward you.


Your determination to overcome fear and discouragement constitutes the only effective antidote to that feeling of unhappiness you don’t want.


Dr. Livingston explains.


“The most secure prisons are those we construct for ourselves.”

“I frequently ask people who are risk-averse, “What is the biggest chance you have ever taken?” People begin to realize what “safe” lives they have chosen to lead.”


“Everything we are afraid to try, all our unfulfilled dreams, constitute a limitation on what we are and could become. Usually it is fear and its close cousin, anxiety, that keep us from doing those things that would make us happy. So much of our lives consists of broken promises to ourselves. The things we long to do — educate ourselves, become successful in our work, fall in love — are goals shared by all. Nor are the means to achieve these things obscure. And yet we often do not do what is necessary to become the people we want to be.”


As you increasingly install experiences of acceptance, gratitude, accomplishment, and feeling that there’s a fullness in your life rather than an emptiness or a scarcity, you will be able to deal with the issues of life better.


Closing thoughts


Dr. Livingston’s words feel true and profound.


The real secret to a happy life is selective attention, he says.


If you choose to focus your awareness and energy on things and people that bring you pleasure and satisfaction, you have a very good chance of being happy in a world full of unhappiness, uncertainty, and fear.



Let's keep it simple watch this "Y" video........



Please Ignore What Society Says Is Normal — Because It Isn’t…

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash

A few days ago, I received an email from Kasper van der Meulen, who’s a biohacker and the author of Mindlift.

In his newsletter, he shared that when he was living according to society’s ‘normal’ behavior — smoking, eating junk food, drinking — he was generally considered a lot more ‘normal’ than he is today.


As Kasper van der Meulen said:

“Nobody thought I was doing anything strange or extreme when I was 35kg overweight, smoking, drinking, eating junkfood and complaining about my migraines and chronic pain. Now that I sit in icebaths, fast 18 hours per day, train five times per week, eat raw organs, walk barefoot etc. and am in excellent shape mentally and physically….”normal” people tell me I’m an extremist or a weirdo quite frequently.”


Even though Kasper completely transformed himself, he’s now considered ‘abnormal’ despite living a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life than when he followed society’s ‘normal’ rules.


It’s weird, isn’t it?


What Society Considers ‘Normal’ Is Not Normal

Here’s a harsh truth: Society normalizes unhealthy and unproductive behavior because most people are unhealthy and unproductive.

And since it’s much easier to let this become the social norm instead of actually changing one’s behavior, society just constructs lousy standards for itself.


Here are a few examples of what society generally considers to be ‘normal’:

  • Spending hours of your day on social media
  • Getting drunk every weekend
  • Eating unhealthy food
  • Procrastinating (on our work, goals, exercise, studies)
  • Gambling and sports betting (I lost my life savings this way)
  • Gossiping about others
  • Going heavily into debt
  • Living paycheck to paycheck
  • Complaining about your job

But what does this ‘normal’ behavior get us?

Not much.

I mean, 18.5% of adults struggle with depression, 39% of adults are overweight, and 69% have less than $1000 in savings.

Turns out that acting ‘normal’ doesn’t really lead to great results.

Collectively, as a society, we start going downhill rapidly when we continue to accept these lousy standards from ourselves and each other.


“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” — Mark Twain


Honestly, how can we consider things as normal behavior when it leads to depression, disease, and despair?

How can something be socially accepted when it leads to lousy results?

Maybe — just maybe — it’s time to fundamentally reconsider what we as a society define as normal, accepted behavior.


Raise Your Standards & Redefine Normal

We find behavior ‘normal’ simply because we’re used to it.

It’s the law of familiarity at work.

When role models, friends, family, and the media portraits certain behavior over and over again, we assume it’s normal and accept this behavior into our lives.


This means that what you find normal in your life is usually not aligned with what is most optimal for you.

Far from it, actually.

It isn’t optimal to be constantly fatigued, but it’s normal.

It isn’t optimal to work at a job you dislike, but it’s normal.

It isn’t optimal to be broke, but it’s normal.

It isn’t optimal to be stressed, but it’s normal.

It isn’t optimal to smoke or drink excessively, but it’s normal.

It isn’t optimal to eat highly processed junk food, but it’s normal.


To escape society’s lousy standards — and the subpar results that come with it — we need to redefine what ‘normal’ is to us.


Not what’s normal according to TV.

Not what’s normal according to your friends or parents.

Not what’s normal according to school.

And not what’s normal according to the media.


What is normal according to you?


Personally, I believe being healthy and happy is normal.

I believe developing myself and learning new skills is normal.

I believe being kind and positive is normal.

I believe making healthy financial decisions is normal.


And to align my behavior with what I find normal, I have to raise my daily standards.


A few essential practices that help me raise my standards each day are:

  • Surrounding myself with ambitious, positive people (if you don’t know them, look in the gym, public speaking events, retreats, or mastermind groups)
  • Cutting ties with people who constantly spread negative energy
  • Tracking my daily and weekly habits
  • Exercising often (it’s my most important keystone habit)
  • Avoid checking the news multiple times per day
  • Staying off social media as often as possible
  • Reviewing my long-term goals and vision for life each day
  • Reading autobiographies and business/self-development books
  • Spending more time in nature — and less on social media, TV, and other forms of media designed to make you anxious/fearful

Most of these things aren’t considered normal according to society’s rules, but they help me live a far better life than I ever had when I followed society’s normal rules.


All in all, jump off this sinking ship that’s called ‘normal’.


Redefine what’s normal to you and set higher standards of behavior that help you get more out of life than ‘normal’ behavior ever will.



How to Handle a Manipulative Person

Psychological tricks to disarm and put manipulative people in their place.

4,308 Manipulator Stock Photos, Manipulator Images | Depositphotos®

“If you have to live amongst men,” German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote in his Counsels and Maxims, “you must allow everyone the right to exist in accordance with the character he has, whatever it turns out to be.”


As true as Schopenhauer’s words are, accepting people as they are is still one of the most difficult things for us.


By nature, we all want to further our agenda.

Innately, we are all manipulative.


Right from childhood, we observed our parents.

In our workplaces, we studied our colleagues to know what makes them tick.

We observe what our bosses like so that we can do more of it to gain their favor. It’s just life.

If you don’t further your agenda, no one else will.


However, there’s another group of manipulators; toxic, entitled, and relentless.

They have their way of making you feel guilty about everything while also twisting you emotionally to fulfill their agenda.

Some are fully aware of what they are doing.

For some, it’s just a way they’ve learned to live all their lives.


And unfortunately for most of us, we let them take a toll on us emotionally, sometimes to the point of frustration before calling them out.


So what should we do about it?


Accept the Reality

“We see people not as they are, but as they appear to us. And these appearances are usually misleading.” ― Robert Greene, The Laws of Human Nature


One of the major reasons for the pushback of Robert Greene’s 1998 bestseller, 48 Laws of Power, was that the majority saw it as a dark book.

So many of us just couldn’t believe that someone will just outrightly write in a book that says “Trying to outshine your master will land you in a ditch.”

The second law went as far as saying, “Never put too much trust in friends.”


We intuitively push back against ideas like the ones presented in The 48 Laws of Power because we don’t like to face the reality of human nature.

We like to repress our dark sides, or “the shadow” as Carl Jung put it, and pretend that it doesn’t exist. But it does.

And if you want to have any chance at spotting emotional manipulators, you must accept that they do in fact exist.


Understanding Emotional Manipulators

Next to accepting the reality is to understand where emotional manipulators are coming from. As a psychotherapist and author, Les Carter Ph.D. said in a YouTube video about manipulative people,


“When people respond to you in a non-loving, demanding, and insensitive way, it actually conveys evidence of their own emotional or relational woundedness.”


Emotionally manipulative people don’t come from a point of strength.

The major reason we allow them to get to us is that we feel they wheel much power.

But in reality, they are weak, that’s why they find the manipulation game so much fun.


Someone who is living a life they love and are happy with themselves will want the same for others. A person with high self-esteem and a solid sense of who they are will not feel any better because someone else feels worse.

Such a person is emotionally healthy, and as such will want and radiate comfort and peace around others.


Here’s why it’s important to understand emotional manipulators in this way: To deal with them properly, you need empathy.

If you understand that they don’t manipulate you because they are stronger, you are less likely to become reactive and frustrated when you encounter them.

With a detached mindset, you can appropriately and calmly call out and name their tantrums.


Call Out Their Manipulativeness

“Man will only become better when you make him see what he is like.” — Anton Chekhov


One way to deal with emotional manipulators is to avoid them.

Humans by nature don’t like confrontations.

We will rather hide things under the carpet and hope they go away.


But a better ― and harder ― way is to call them out.

As psychologist Ahona Guha also wrote in Psychology Today,


“To manage manipulative behavior, it is important to name the behavior and state your boundary around it.”


Calling out someone’s manipulation is good in two ways.

First of all, not everyone who is manipulative is aware they are being so.

They may have been getting away with it and as such concluded it’s how things should be.

As Guha further explained, “sometimes manipulators aren’t aware that they are doing anything wrong.”

The other reason to call out a manipulator is to simply let them know that you see them, and you’re not afraid of facing them.


Some people simply keep toiling with you to see how much you can take.

They might know the impact of their manipulations and even see the microexpression of irritation on your face, but until you call them out, they won’t see any reason to stop.


Take Your Stand And Be Ready For What Comes

A manipulative person will most likely not like to be called out because calling him or her out will mean that they face the reality of their manipulative nature.

They might get offended, or even take you as an enemy. On the other hand, you might get their respect in return.

Either way, the price you pay for silence in the face of an emotionally manipulative person far outweighs the cost of calling them out.



Brutally Honest People Are a Gift from a Higher Power

When you find them, worship the heavenly ground they walk on.

Tim Denning
Photo by Carlos Delgado on Unsplash

She was 50-years-old.

Three kids.

Great husband.

We fell in love.


Her message hit my inbox.

The world reverberated when it landed.

My heart started beating out of my chest.

We were going back and forth on the design of a new landing page.


I sent a long list of subtle changes. Most people would have called me bossy. Not this angel.

“Tell me if you hate it.

Don’t hold back.

Be ruthless.

I don’t get offended or take it personally.”


A masterpiece is born.

A highly convertible landing page that makes readers say “OMG, this is amazeballs” is created.

A joint effort.

A love affair defined by code and strengthened by brutal honesty.


These are the people you want to surround yourself with.

Here’s why.

The world moves faster

The corporate world rots my soul.

Everything takes forever.

Nobody can make a decision.


One senior leader I worked with was always everybody’s best friend.

He wanted us to all agree.

As soon as someone didn’t, he tried to smooth it over.


So under his leadership we ended up with a software product that was built over a decade ago and couldn’t handle our clients’ needs anymore.

Every morning our biggest customer would call us and say, “you were down for two hours again last night.

Which one of you wants to have a call with the trillion-dollar company down the road that is furious with your services?”


I always copped the verbal torture chamber of abuse.

No matter how frank we were about the problem, this senior leader did a slow dance out of every confrontation.

He could not muster up the courage to tell IT “this junk is broken.

Fix it.”

He would send nicely written sorries to the customer like clockwork.


When we speak too gently about a huge problem and don’t tell the brutal truth, life slows to snail speed. It’s why many companies like Kodak and Blockbuster died.

They were run by snails.

It’s why I hate those fluffy company cultures that say “we are family.”

They’re full of fake snails patting each other on the back for mediocre work that achieves zero progress.


Brutal honesty allows feedback to pour out of people and enables transparency of a problem. Everything else is a time suck.


People are petrified to speak up

When you ask for feedback you rarely get it.

Even if you do, it’s usually wrapped in a soft cotton quilt, therefore, useless.

Gif Credit: Giphy

We’re afraid to speak up because we fear there will be consequences or we may offend someone.


Damaging relationships is a red flag in our brain.

Our mind’s computer code can’t process a command like that.


If you tell people it’s okay to be brutally honest everything changes.

Especially if you repeat it several times. I have learned to do it more. Brutal feedback is honest feedback.

Honest feedback solves problems and creates progress.


Honesty sells 10X more value

He was older than me.

Short brown hair, army cut, slim navy blue suit, brown leather satchel, a smile revealing nice white teeth, and an unlikely tattoo on his forearm that you could only see when he took off his jacket and rolled up the sleeves of his white shirt.


When I joined the team he could tell I was a lost soul.

Too much schmoozing.

Too many impossible promises.

A lot of fluff and not enough substance.

He sat me down at lunch.


“Come out with me on the road.”

So I did.

One customer we saw sold high-end women’s shoes.

They were a pain-in-the-ass and had just been assigned to his territory.

We got there right after lunch.

The grumpy owner kept us waiting to show power over us.

We waited patiently and played with our phones.


Finally he came out.

“I thought I told the last idiot that I’m switching providers?”


He listed off every problem he’d ever had with our employer.

He could barely remember the names of his kids — but he could remember every single detail of our company’s failures.

The words just flowed out of his mouth.


His assistant came out halfway through to offer a selection of cakes.

The angry man took a few and then told his assistant to leave the room.

We didn’t get a chance to eat a thing.

The fat man stuffed his face while looking out of the window of his office at his oversized Mercedes Benz.


My face went red.

I signaled to my colleague we should leave.

It became clear he wasn’t going anywhere.

At the end of the angry man’s speech my colleague got up.


“Is it okay if I speak now?”

“There’s no point.

But go ahead,” the angry man said.


“You know, every time we come out you act like a d*ck.

It’s getting you nowhere.

You’ve been threatening to switch providers for years and never done it.


It’s because you can’t get lower rates, and there’s no chump willing to come out and be bashed around.

I’m not here to disappoint you again.

I’m here to work things out with you.

But I can’t do that if you treat me like a piece of crap and won’t at least show me a tiny bit of respect.

Maybe the sales in your business are going down because of your attitude, not our services.”

Gif Credit: Giphy

I expected fireworks.

I thought the customer would call our boss and we’d be fired.

I pictured the repo man coming to take away my piece of crap GM Holden because I couldn’t make the repayments.


Something different happened.

The customer’s face changed from angry to neutral.

“You know, nobody’s ever said that to me before.

I like the guts you just showed.

It’s rare.

So what do you propose we do then?”


For the next few hours we sat there and went through each issue.

We had the customer support team on loudspeaker.

Every issue except one small problem got resolved. The customer and my colleague became inseparable.


And the customer’s business finally got a website they could sell their shoes on, which drastically increased their sales, and protected them through the lockdowns of 2020.


Lasting relationships are built on brutal honesty.

Value is created, too, with brutal honesty.

Say what nobody else dares say.


Brutal honesty can blow up in your face

Wait, what?

Yep, brutal honesty is only a superpower if you use it the right way.

There’s a fine line between honesty and a**holeness/rudeness.


Follow this cheat sheet:

  • Start with what they did well. It shows you respect the person.
  • Try not to make the feedback about them. That way you remove egos from the equation.
  • State your intent. Tell them you care and want them to win. That way they understand your motives and will see the feedback differently. Feedback can be helpful or offensive. Your intent signals which one it is. State it clearly so there are no blurred lines.
  • Emailed feedback can easily sound blunt so it’s best to dish out feedback in person. That way you can always hit the escape button if the other person’s ego refuses to hear the feedback. But emails are for eternity. They are public record that can accidentally get you in trouble and be misconstrued.

The key pillar of brutal honesty is to communicate that nothing is set in stone.

Brutal honesty is really just open-mindedness in disguise.

It’s the ability to take various different inputs — ones you agree and disagree with — and use them to create outcomes.


The opposite of brutal honesty is a slow death that drowns you in fakery and halts progress.

Stay clear of that.


The best question that positively shapes your future is, “can I brutally honest?”

Then when you have permission, proceed with respect and focus on the problem you’re trying to solve.

Once you have brutal honesty in your tool belt people will think (like I did in the story above) that you have a gift from a higher power.

Use it wisely.



Doing Things Slowly

by Madisyn Taylor
Take time to slow down, rushing never gets you anywhere but onto the next activity or goal.
Life can often feel like it's zipping by in fast forward. We feel obliged to accelerate our own speed along with it, until our productivity turns into frenzied accomplishment. We find ourselves cramming as much activity as possible into the shortest periods of time. We disregard our natural rhythms because it seems we have to just to keep up. In truth, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the next activity or goal.

Slowing down allows you to not only savor your experiences, but also it allows you to fully focus your attention and energy on the task at hand. Moving at a slower pace lets you get things done more efficiently, while rushing diminishes the quality of your work and your relationships. Slowing down also lets you be more mindful, deliberate, and fully present. When we slow down, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves to our natural rhythms. We let go of the "fast forward" stress, and allow our bodies to remain centered and grounded. Slowing down is inherent to fully savoring anything in life. Rushing to take a bath can feel like an uncomfortable dunk in hot water, while taking a slow hot bath can be luxuriant and relaxing. A student cramming for a test will often feel tired and unsure, whereas someone who really absorbs the information will be more confident and relaxed. Cooking, eating, reading, and writing can become pleasurable when done slowly. Slowing down lets you become more absorbed in whatever it is you are doing. The food you eat tastes better, and the stories you read become more alive.

Slowing down allows you to disconnect from the frenzied pace buzzing around you so you can begin moving at your own pace. The moments we choose to live in fast forward motion then become a conscious choice rather than an involuntary action. Learning to slow down in our fast-moving world can take practice, but if you slow down long enough to try it, you may surprise yourself with how natural and organic living at this pace can be.


Releasing Guilt

Dwelling in guilt is like living your life with an anchor tied to your ankles, dragging you down.

Learning to accept the things that we perceive as wrong can be a difficult task for many of us.

Often we have been brought up to accept that it is normal to feel guilty about our actions and that by doing so we will make everything seem alright within ourselves.

Even though we might feel that we have a reason to make up for the choices we have made, it is much more important for us to learn how to deal with them in a healthy and positive way, such as through forgiveness and understanding. 

When we can look back at our past and really assess what has happened, we begin to realize that there are many dimensions to our actions.

While feeling guilty might assuage our feelings at first, it is really only a short-term solution.


It is all too ironic that being hard on ourselves is the easy way out. If we truly are able to gaze upon our lives through the lens of compassion, however, we will be able to see that there is much more to what we do and have done than we realize.


Perhaps we were simply trying to protect ourselves or others and did the best we could at the time, or maybe we thought we had no other recourse and chose a solution in the heat of the moment.


Once we can understand that dwelling in our negative feelings will only make us feel worse, we will come to recognize that it is really only through forgiving ourselves that we can transform our feelings and truly heal any resentment we have about our past.

Giving ourselves permission to feel at peace with our past actions is one of the most positive steps we can take toward living a life free from regrets, disappointments, and guilt.


The more we are able to remind ourselves that the true path to a peaceful mind and heart is through acceptance of every part of our lives and actions, the more harmony and inner joy we will experience in all aspects of our lives.



Un-Forgiveness. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.


There is no upside to un-forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are condoning their bad behavior. It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions. It doesn’t mean you are setting yourself up for future victimization. Withholding forgiveness doesn’t punish the offender. It actually punishes yourself because it is a form of self-attack and self-sabotage.



Feeling Stuck?

5 Strategies to Get Unstuck and Create Momentum Toward Your Passion  



2,934 Head Stuck Stock Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

There’s nothing worse than that feeling of being stuck.

You aren’t happy with your life right now, but you feel paralyzed to do anything about it.

Either you have no idea what you want, or you have no idea how to go about getting what you want. Or both. So you wind up doing nothing, languishing in your job, your relationship, your life in general.

When we feel stuck like this, we end up filling our time with distractions and make-work. We watch a lot of TV, surf the Internet, play video games, or go shopping to buy things we don’t need. We might become overly-involved in some other person’s life and personal business because we don’t have anything exciting going on in our own.

Sometimes we do self-destructive things like drink too much, smoke too much, or sleep too much. During waking hours we spend too much time thinking about how frustrated and unhappy we are, further entrenching our emotions in despair. Of course this spills over to our relationships and physical health.

Occasionally we have glimmers of inspiration and action. Maybe we do a little research on career opportunities. Maybe we read a book or blog that ignites a spark. But then that cloud of confusion and uncertainty descends — “Am I on the right track? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?”

Being stuck is a vicious cycle. The longer you are stuck, the more deeply you become entrenched in inertia. Your energy is sapped from the internal struggle of trying to “figure it out.”When we get stuck like this, the last thing we need to do is to stay in our heads trying to figure it out. Your brain has already created a habit of over-thinking, criticizing, and self-doubt. You need something to break the cycle of thoughts and behaviors that keep you stuck, followed by another something that will kick-start momentum in a positive direction toward your passion.

I’ve found these strategies do the trick when trying to get unstuck and create the momentum you need to change your life circumstances:


1. Apply the rubber band trick

This little trick helps break the over-thinking and negativity that clouds your ability to act. Put a rubber band on your wrist. As soon as you find yourself fretting about your situation or thinking negative thoughts, gently pop the rubber band or move it from one wrist to another.

This physical action momentarily interrupts the thought pattern and gives you time to re-direct yourself. And this is the important part. Once you apply the trick, you need to do something else entirely that requires your mental or physical concentration.

Think in advance about what these actions might be. You could organize your desk, pay the bills, read a book to your child, phone friend (without discussing your negative thoughts), go for a walk. Have a list of ideas prepared and keep it handy for these moments.

If you are stuck in your car or elsewhere and can’t do something, then re-direct your thoughts to something positive or mentally challenging. Make a mental list of everything you are grateful for. Work on memorizing a poem. Sing one of your favorite songs. Do whatever you can do to interrupt the habit of over-thinking and negativity.


2. Ban yourself from bad behaviors

What negative, soul-numbing, unproductive behaviors are you engaging in as a way to desensitize yourself from the pain of being stuck? These behaviors are not only a waste of time, they also diminish your self-esteem and rob you of the energy you need to do the positive work of finding your passion.

You’ve created a habit around turning to these behaviors to soothe yourself. You need to create new habits that are positive, purposeful, and confidence-boosting. Make a list of activities you can do instead of watching TV, surfing the net, or shopping (or whatever your behavior might be).

These could include . . .

  • taking a walk
  • clearing clutter and organizing a room
  • exercising
  • experimenting with a craft or hobby
  • volunteering
  • journaling

3. Reconnect to joy

Often when we are stuck, we forget that we were ever happy or felt joyful about anything in life. We lose sight of what once brought us joy and gave us that sense of being alive and engaged in something fun and exciting.

So add this to your list of activities to replace your bad behaviors. Buy yourself a journal, and mentally go back in time. Think about your earliest childhood memories and the times you were blissfully engaged in play or a project. What were you doing? How did it feel? Tease out the elements of the activity that made you joyful.

Do this exercise with all stages of your life — your teenage years, young adulthood, during your career, etc. Make a list of everything that gave you that sense of being “in the flow” and fully alive. This can include relationships, travel, projects, hobbies, anything that put you in that state of aliveness.

As you reflect on these activities, sit with each of them mentally for a few minutes so you can actually re-experience some of the feelings you had at the time. Just the act of re-living joyful memories will boost your mood in the current moment.

This exercise has the benefit of both boosting your mood and reminding you of possible passionate endeavors you might consider for the future.


4. Stimulate creativity

When you feel stuck, your creative juices shut down. Your negative behaviors and thoughts block the flow of inspired and imaginative thinking. But you can open the creativity valve again by engaging in creative activities.

I would strongly recommend keeping a daily journal in which you write your thoughts and ideas, no matter how seemingly mundane or insignificant. Keep the journal by your bed to write down late-night insights or dreams you remember upon awakening. Keep a small notebook in your purse or pocket or use your smart phone to jot down ideas or insights you have throughout the day.

In addition, try these creative pursuits . . .

  • listen to beautiful classical music
  • draw or paint for fun, even if you have no skill at it
  • write a short story or poem
  • create a vision board
  • plant a garden or flowers
  • prepare a healthy meal from scratch


5.. Honestly assess your current life

You begin the process of becoming “unstuck” and creating momentum (by working on the actions above), take an honest look at your current life.

Do this during a time when you feel good mentally and emotionally.

You want to assess your current life from a balanced and realistic perspective.


Analyze your . . .

  • career
  • relationships
  • lifestyle
  • finances
  • personal development
  • skills
  • spiritual life

Write a page header in your journal for each of these life areas. Then think about everything that is working well for you in each area. You may be surprised how many good things are going on for you right now, in your current life. Feeling stuck paints your entire life with a broad brushstroke of negativity. But the reality may be different.

After you list what is working for you, go back and list what isn’t working. Where do you feel frustration, boredom, anxiety, sadness, or emptiness? Write down these things as well for each life area. From your list, pick one issue that is causing you the most difficulty. If there are more than one, just pick one at random.

Brainstorm three small actions you can take in the next week to address this issue. These actions can be anything from making a phone call to meeting with a coach or counselor. They just need to be some action to move you forward with positive action. Continue with this exercise each week, assigning yourself weekly actions. This will give you a sense of productivity and control over your life and circumstances.



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Part Of The Process of Feeling Stuck

by Mark I Myhre


When we feel stuck in our lives it’s important to take stock of what is going on and find out if there is something we are doing or not doing that is keeping us stuck. Sometimes the situation is out of our control, and we need to look within to find the patience required to wait with equanimity until things move forward again.


Many times, though, we can find the source of our stagnation in our own hearts and minds. Sometimes we are clinging to old ideas about reality and we need to make adjustments that will bring us back in tune with life, so we can flow again. Sometimes we find that fear of change is what’s keeping us stuck, and we can resolve to find ways of facing that fear.

If introspection does not provide the answers we need, it can sometimes be helpful to ask those around you if they notice anything obvious that you might not be able to see. Remember to ask someone whom you can trust to be kind and sensitive as well as honest. Try to let go of your resistance because whenever there is something we can’t see ourselves, it’s because we don’t want to see it.


Try to listen with an open mind, and remember that you are always the final judge of what you need. Anything offered to us from an outside source will need to be processed within before its wisdom can take hold.


In all this, be kind to yourself and remember that we all get stuck sometimes. Think of it as a part of your process, a necessary step on your journey, rather than as a problem that shouldn’t be happening. This can help to keep your frustration at bay and give you the space you need to take a deep breath and really figure out what’s going on.


The Path To Adulthood – Healing The Pain

by Mark I Myhre



I want to explain a little bit more about what it takes (at least from my perspective!) to get to adulthood.

And by the way, I see adulthood as one of the ultimate goals of all people.

Not to mention all the benefits it offers, which we looked at in the last article.


In a normal, natural world, adulthood probably happens on its own. When there’s not much childhood pain, then you would naturally tend to generate healthy aspects of self – ego, child, adolescent, and parent. And you would expect them to work together for the common good. But as you know, this isn’t a normal, natural world. So… read more............



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The Importance of Goal Setting: Running or Scampering

from: Christine Gray

Goal setting. Is there a big difference between scampering and running? Sure, they're both actions designed to make person move fast, but the difference lies in goal setting. When a person scampers, it is without purpose. A person who is scampering moves to no purpose. It is an action performed instinctively. However, a person who runs does it to achieve a goal. Which one do you prefer to do?

Goal setting is the key to achieving success in life. If you set goals, you will be able to know which steps to take. Setting goals does not mean you make a list on what to do or what not to do. That would merely be the semblance of goal setting. True goal setting involves commitment.

No matter how much effort you make, if you do not have direction, you will be wasting your energy. How can one have direction without a goal? Goal setting is important because it is the first step towards a journey. People may think that we started out without having any real goals, but let us examine life for a moment: When a sperm is first released, it has a goal, does it not? It swims towards the egg. This goal gives it direction.

As we mature in life, our goals get bigger and more ambitious. However, we still set goals. Goal setting is an inherent part of life. It answers the question of purpose. It tells us why we have to live, if only until the next day.

As mentioned before, goal actually gives us direction. For without goals, where would we direct our efforts to? Goal setting is the key and essentially gives us the first step in our individual journeys.

Think of it: When you set a goal, you try to follow the most direct route towards it. So you take the first few steps towards achieving that goal. In setting a goal, you will always have the first step. However, in life, we encounter little detours. Sometimes, in order to reach our set goal, we must first accomplish another one.

Goal setting is the key to achieving success in life. If you set goals, you will be able to know which steps to take. Setting goals does not mean you make a list on what to do or what not to do. That would merely be the semblance of goal setting. True goal setting involves commitment.

In true goals setting you need to be able to put your heart into it and commit yourself to achieving that goal. From the moment you set a goal, every effort you make will be directed towards the achievement of that goal.

Goal setting is important in life because it allows you to measure yourself. Nobody knows why measuring one's self is so important. Perhaps it has something to do with self-improvement. Sometimes it has something to do with the realization that you are doing something in life. However, goal setting will allow you to measure yourself by how close you are to achieving a goal. Through proper goal setting, you will be able to see just how far you've come and how far you will still be able to go.

Another importance of goal setting is that it allows you to know your purpose in life. Goal setting will prevent you from questioning your existence. Sure, some people find wisdom in questioning the meaning of life, but people who do not find answers to this question often end up in despair.

If there is one thing that people seek in life more than food, clothing, or shelter, it would be order.
Goal setting gives you order.

Christine P. Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of goal setting. Her website provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about self improvement. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.








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Music as Motivation - This Girl is on FIRE


Getting Intense is not so Bad


Mark Ivar Myhre writes "I love intensity and I love getting intense. There's a rawness to
it that really appeals to me. Most people don't share my love. In fact, it would seem intensity scares most people.

How do you feel about it?

And before you answer, let me explain what I mean...


FACT: Your Physical Health Directly Affects Your Energetic Vibration And Therefore What You 'Attract' Into Your Life.




10 Tips For Traveling Through Life I Learned

               From Dr. John C. Maxwell


Tip #1: Travel Light. – You can always tell the difference between an experienced traveler and a new one… by the size of their luggage. John mentioned that too many people travel through life with a lot of emotional baggage, which they’ve not yet learned to let go.

Traveling light is about finding your priorities… carrying only the essential stuff… Oh yes… and asking for forgiveness along the way.

Tip #2: Take someone with youLife is about relationships. Isn’t it awfully lonely to travel through life alone?

Maybe you’ve been hurt before, but that doesn’t mean that you should close your heart. It only means that you know the characteristics you don’t want in a partner/friend.

Let time heal your heart and then find someone to travel through life with.

Tip #3: Follow The Road Map – Have a game plan. If you do not know where you are going, then how can you hope to get there?

It is important to know where you are (A) by doing self-reflection everyday and where you want to go (B) by setting goals… but do not succumb to “destination disease”.  Life is not only about reaching B. Life HAPPENS between A and B! Enjoy the journey…

Tip #4: Take The High Road -”Those who are instruments of grace to others become recipients of grace to themselves”.

John talks about the necessity of having a life stance – your overall frame of reference – your attitude, assumptions and expectations of yourself, others around you and life.

Taking the high road means that you do not keep score. You learn to forgive others and do your best to help the people around you.

Tip #5: Stop And Ask For Directions -Most people are too stubborn or proud to do that. They would rather go around in circles than stop to ask someone for directions.

Remember that no matter the direction you are heading, it’s very likely that someone else has already been there and done that. Be prepared to ask for advice… and shortcut your learning curve.

Tip #6: Make A U-Turn When Needed -”Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” You can’t turn back time when you have made a mistake… but you can change directions and make a U-turn before it’s too late.

Sometimes, we may find ourselves headed into a dead end… the sooner we realize we have to make a change and do it, the more likely we will find ourselves back on a safe route.

Remember… not changing when you have to may lead to death!

Tip #7: Appreciate The Detours – Life is not a smooth one way street. Along the way, you will meet obstacles and challenges. Appreciate and learn to take the detours.

I love the way John reframed “Problems”. He said that problems are…









Could you see how that can be really empowering?

Tip #8: Take Pictures – Create Memories.

Now this is an advice I need to take seriously… if not only for the fact that I seldom take pictures.

John suggests that you should….

Work like you don’t need the money
Dance like no one is watching
Sing like no one is listening
Love like you’ve never been hurt
Live like it’s heaven on earth

How beautiful is that?

Tip #9: Travel The Extra Mile – And then some…

Who knows what you would find in that extra mile? Another adventure… A beautiful sight… A lovely encounter… An enchanting lover…

Go the extra mile… it may be worth the whole journey.

Tip #10: Stop To Smell The Roses – Remember not to rush though life… Take some time out to appreciate its beauty… Enjoy the butterflies’ dance… and last but not least, be grateful… for everyone and everything in your life.




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How To Control Any Conversation Simple - Strategies You Can Use Today


Strategies For Taking Control Of Any Conversation

When it comes to taking control in a conversation there are many effective strategies you can use to gain the upper hand even if in the past you found yourself at the mercy of others in more powerful positions. This post will put you back in control by showing you how to access your own power to communicate with impact while still maintaining rapport.


Control ultimately begins in the mind. How you look at a situation can either empower you or detract from your sense of control over unfolding events. For many people conversations are random events where the other party sets the agenda and directs the flow of conversation. This does not need to be the case.


You can learn how to direct any conversation and how to take charge, stand up for yourself and make your voice heard. This goes far beyond assertiveness. This is about expressing your true personality and taking control when you choose to. And best of all you can do so in a way that makes people responsive to what you are saying.


Info Gathering Principles:

Always look for and align with commonalities

It is very important when talking to someone to listen carefully for clues that reveal what you both have in common. This information is essential for building deeper rapport. Later in the conversation you will use shared opinions and outlooks to bridge to topics or points you want to make.


How do you discover commonality? By listening carefully to what the other person says and even more importantly to how he stresses and emphasises points that matter to him. Look for shifts in voice tone that indicate enthusiasm, heightened interest or concern.


You can then ask questions at these key points to get a deeper understanding of how he feels about that topic, and, why it matters so much. The “why” is very revealing so make sure to explore further to discover key beliefs that dictate his world view.


Engage in active listening

In this the information gathering phase of taking control it is essential that you demonstrate exceptional listening skills. Listen to what is said, how it is said and watch the associated body language.


By being such a good listener you encourage the other person to open up and talk freely – this allows the conversation to flow and ensures open honest communication. If you fail to do this you have little chance of taking control of the conversation later because you will have neglected to identify the specific manner in which the other person likes to communicate. Further, by not getting deep rapport early on it becomes very difficult to achieve it later.


Observe talking style

Now, we turn our attention to how the other person speaks rather than to what he is saying. We need to know if he is a fast, moderate or slow talker. Does he speak up when he wants to emphasize a key point? Does he pause and use silence to build anticipation before making a point? We need to know. Why? Because later on we will speak in his style to “speak his language” to take control. If we do not it is unlikely he will even hear what we have to say let alone respond to it.


Other points to look out for:

- physical movements while talking
- facial expressions when speaking
- breathing rate and variations
- eye movement, intensity and degree of focus


Use of language

Some people like to use complex language to impress others. They will use technical jargon, insider terms and uncommon words to say what could be said with everyday language. When you encounter this pay special attention so you can use some of the same words to match their speaking style.

Make mental notes to use those words that you fully understand and ask for clarification for any words that you do not understand. It is important to match the language usage and sometimes to mismatch it to take back control of the dialogue.


However you need to pay special attention and recall key words and phrases later if you are going to use this tactic. Then, you will have a simple way to get the other person`s attention before taking over the direction of the discussion.


Identify sense of importance

One great pattern to spot is one I call displayed self-importance. When you meet someone for the first time listen and look for evidence of pride or even arrogance. This can come across in a watered down form as a kind of benevolent authoritative all knowingness. This is worth spotting and its even better if you can narrow down the range of knowledge or experience that this pride applies to. Let´s say the guy is proud of his business success, ask what is his most proud of and why. When you know that you have valuable information that you will reflect back later to win his attention and agreement.


On the other hand, there are many people who display humility even to the degree of feeling awkward about their accomplishments. These individuals may be wonderful people, tremendously interesting and very skilled in their profession but you`ll never know it unless you get to know them better.

These are humble people who value results and success but have no need to shout about it. How can you spot these people? They often are very precise when it comes to their area of expertise but quietly confident without saying much about what they have done. They have a quiet solid sense of self-acceptance that makes it fun to talk to them.


How can you identify what he is most proud of? It takes a little more digging around but you can still figure it out. Once you have a good rapport, ask directly what is he most proud of and why. You may get a superficial answer at first so be prepared to ask again, more gently, until he really answers.

We want to know what others are proud of and just as importantly – why. This information gathering will be very helpful later when we want to speak their language and take control!


I hope you will now practice the points we’ve just covered, if you do, you’ll discover how easy it is to create deep rapport with people as well as how to regain control in conversation.


If you enjoyed this post, you can find my more advanced strategies for conversation control along with conversation blueprints in my book How To Control Any Conversation at





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Where Does Self Hate Come From?


Mark Ivar Myhre writes: "I’m a little surprised by the number of people who say self-hate is an issue for them. On the face of it, it makes no sense. Why in the world – when you have the entire range of emotion at your disposal - would you choose to hate yourself? I can see hating injustice; that’s how things change around here. But hating yourself?"        Read more.........

 Another View on Self Hatred.....A Discussion of Self Hatred.



You have a purpose in life. You know in your heart what's most important to you. In fact, your mission and values are expressed every day, by how you live–you just may not realize it. This web site can help you find the right words to put that mission down on paper.


The Global Love Project is a platform and opportunity for you to experience, share and celebrate more love in your life and the lives of others, with numerrous facets from fum to profound.


7 Tricks to Improve Your Memory


By Dr. Mercola


It was once believed that brain function peaked during early adulthood and then slowly declined, leading to lapses in memory and brain fog during your golden years.


Now it's known that our modern lifestyle plays a significant role in contributing to cognitive decline, which is why exposure to toxins, chemicals, poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, and much more can actually hinder the functioning of your brain.


The flipside is also true in that a healthy lifestyle can support your brain health and even encourage your brain to grow new neurons, a process known as neurogenesis.


Your brain's hippocampus, i.e. the memory center, is especially able to grow new cells and it's now known that your hippocampus regenerates throughout your entire lifetime (even into your 90s), provided you give it the tools to do so.


These "tools" are primarily lifestyle-based, which is wonderful news. You don't need an expensive prescription medication or any medical procedure at all to boost your brain, and your memory. You simply must try out the following tricks to improve your memory.     read more........




Change Your Words, Change Your Life.............






How To Re-Program Your Mind and Body to Achieve More Success Automatically, Lose Weight Automatically, Improve Your Health Automatically, have Unlimited Energy and Motivation every day and much more!




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Wisdom Courses

These free online courses bring together the best of the Internet with heart and mind expanding videos, essays, quotes, and more designed to nurture wisdom and expand your awareness of all that is happening in our world. 




Sometimes we have to Stop, Remember and GO Back to where we Started from.




What is Personal Branding?

Personal Branding is the process of determining your most important core attributes  and communicating them consistently across every possible medium. “What is it that you want to be known for? 

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