8 Signs You’re Not Stuck, You’re Just More Comfortable Playing Small

Sometimes, the problem isn’t that you’re incapable of going after what you want, or that you’re being held back by some other force beyond your control.

Sometimes, the biggest issue in your life is that you’re more comfortable playing small even though you know you’re capable of a lot more. Here, the telltale signs you’re underplaying your potential in a really significant way.

1. You’re vague about what you do.

It’s not that you don’t know what you do, rather, you subconsciously eschew details because you’re afraid of being judged.
When you create grey area, there’s space to go back, correct yourself, adjust yourself to someone else’s expectations and needs. But it all comes at the cost of being untrue to yourself.

2. You have a lot of internal conflict.

You’re stuck in a sort of limbo that only happens when you at once know everything you could be doing, and yet, at the same time, are attached to playing safe.

3. You see your peers capitalizing on their skills in a way you know you’re also capable of.

You recognize that there’s so much potential for you to create a life you really love and are proud of, and you know because you see others doing it all the time.
However, for some reason, you just can’t quite motivate yourself to join them yet. You’re still too filled with doubt, or you’re really attached to being a lesser version of yourself, because you imagine that person to be better liked.

4. You work yourself to the point of exhaustion.
Truly successful people don’t do this, because they know three things:
— How to manage their time.
— How to delete responsibilities.
— That they do not need to prove their importance or worth.

5. You don’t have a top 3 goal list for this year.

You’re more or less just floating, and seeing where life takes you, rather than having a set of specific, overarching goals your daily routines are moving you closer toward.

6. You don’t know your personal “tagline.”

You should be able to summarize who you are and what you do within a sentence or two. Not because you are so uncomplicated that you can be distilled down into a few words, but because true, complete clarity is absolutely essential to success.

7. You’re afraid of being “seen.”

You still carry around the fear of what other people from your past would think of your future successes, and you resist putting yourself, or your work, out there out of fear that others would disapprove.
The fear of being “seen” and standing out from others is natural and normal, but it doesn’t come up unless you already know you have something that sets you apart, something that would absolutely get people’s attention.

8. You have as much anxiety about being successful as you do failing.

For as much as you worry about potentially not succeeding, you likewise have as much anxiety about what it would mean to have everything you want.

Whether it’s the fear that you could lose it, or that other people would begin to dislike you, or that you’d simply leave your comfort zone, it’s imperative to realize that successful people grant themselves permission to be successful. They intentionally allow their lives to be good. It’s definitely an adjustment, one that deep down, you know you’re ready to make.

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10 Practical Ways To Stop Involving Yourself With Negative Things

10 Practical ways to stop involving yourself with Negative Things

Good morning guys, trust your night and weekend was great. Welcome to a week of productivity and results.

I was going through my pad and sae this old post I initially wanted to post but probably forgot. It’s a post originally written by Brianna Weist

1. Be with people you can be honest around, or don’t be around them at all.

If you trace the beginnings of the ends of any relationships you’ve been in, I guarantee it probably had something to do with someone cutting off honesty and/or communication. (The two go hand-in-hand.)
The second you cannot say to someone “I think what you’re doing is wrong,” “I’m upset with how you’re treating me,” “I’m scared and here’s why,” “I’m having doubts and these are what they are,” or “I love you but I don’t love this thing you do,” is the second it’s going to fail.
You end up expending all of your energy pretending to be someone you’re not, and it’s not helping anybody. Only ever telling people what they want to hear verbally placates them into their same old habits, their same old ways, and nothing changes. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude. This doesn’t mean to throw effective, healthy communication out the window; there’s a difference.
If you cannot be honest with someone and have your thoughts and opinions heard, be around other people who you can. They’re out there.
If you pretend for long enough, you only end up losing yourself.

2. Stop keeping things in your life because you just don’t want to go through the stress or discomfort of letting them go.

Up to and including: friends you don’t genuinely want to spend time with, on-again-off-again flings that won’t amount to anything other than your own pain, exchanges that leave you exhausted and frustrated, resentment over things you can’t change, subscriptions to magazines that make you hate yourself, social media connections that do not add anything to your day, the phone numbers of the people you always have to text first (if at all) and love for the people who will never love you back.

3. Stop ruminating on the old and start building the new.

The second a negative thought or crippling memory crops up, don’t entertain it and allow yourself to sink further down the rabbit hole of all things could-have-been and should-have-been. Analyze what about the situation makes you uncomfortable, and figure out how you can apply what you wish you would have done to your life now. Don’t just “vow” to be different, figure out how you can actively, consciously do so. If you apply it correctly, it’s the healthiest, most effective coping mechanism around.

4. Play by the “if you’re going to forget about it in a year from now, don’t waste your energy worrying about it now” rule.

If you look back on your life, you will probably realize that you have mentally divided it into segments during which you worried compulsively about the outcome of something that either worked itself out or wouldn’t matter in a relatively short period of time.
Simply: if you look back, you’ll realize that no feeling was ever final, and you wasted your time concerning yourself with issues that weren’t either.
It’ll give you the perspective to work cultivating that mindset now, before you’re looking back on these years and thinking the same things.

5. Don’t allow your “no” to be the beginning of a negotiation.

You get as much respect as you demand. You teach people how to treat you. If you don’t feel that your wants or needs are being understood or respected, find a way to communicate them better, and then learn what it means for you to draw lines — even if that’s as serious as completely walking away. It’s not a matter of giving up easily, it’s a matter of knowing what you’re not going to permit.

6. There’s not one person on this planet that’s like, “yeah, this is exactly how I thought it would go.” Stop projecting a future based on what you believe in now.

The unknown is scary. So scary, in fact, that we decide things about our futures based on what we can conceive of being possible now, and the fault in this is that we get attached to an outcome that isn’t necessarily most right for us.
We tend to be surprised by what we get in place of what we thought we wanted. Even the concept of relinquishing future control just comes across as another elusive platitude, but it’s really, really important. It’s the only way to free yourself from impending suffering.

7. Learn what it means to view everything objectively, in light of what it will ultimately amount to in the bigger picture.

This whole world isn’t indebted to you, but nor is it out to get you. People aren’t usually “against” things, they’re just for themselves. People think of you far less than you worry about them doing so. Your perspective is just one of them. You are a speck in the span of infinity. Remember how small you are.

8. Don’t expect to receive that which you don’t communicate you want.

You get what you have the courage to ask for.

9. Don’t let one thing define you.

There is not one decision or day or instance that makes you who you are. You are what you repeatedly do. The only thing that isn’t normal is to pretend that you never struggle, have never suffered, never feel anything but happiness, etc. You’re supposed to ebb and flow, you shouldn’t want it any other way. It means you’re alive, you’re invested in things that matter, you made mistakes but you made an effort regardless, and you’re not emotionally or otherwise stunted, as would be the case if you didn’t feel remorse or sadness or grief.

10. Realize that the problem is always you.

Now that sounds harsh, and I imagine a slew of you will want to rise and disagree, and I get that, but to be really honest with you, that’s the problem.

Here’s the thing: you are the only thing you can control. If you are upset with a situation, you cannot force people into changing to suit your wants and needs, so you have to change what you can control: whether or not you’re removing yourself from it, asserting yourself, or changing your mindset about how you’re going to approach it.

If you aren’t doing so — the problem is you.

Feel free to share and repost on your platform. Also don’t forget to drop your comments.

Ways To Make Peace With The Things You Can’t Change

1. You stop assuming what you lose is for the worst. I just realized that I lost my favorite book of all time. I’ve had it for two years. The pages are barely hanging on by threads, and it’s filled with notes and thoughts and underlined sentences and paragraphs. I’m pretty sure I left it in a coffee shop. My friend turned to me today and said: “It’s okay. Somebody who needed it — and your notes — got it. It was time to pass it on, and buy a new one, to highlight the things you didn’t see before.”

2. You stop assuming you know best. Inarguably, I am an idiot when it comes to my own life. I admit to this. I will be the first to laugh and tell you all the ways I’ve screwed up. I have wanted relationships that were objectively terrible for me, questioned the things that were so genuinely best for me it’s perplexing how one could mistake them. I’ve sullied my own happiness with worry, tried to control that which I couldn’t. Of everything, do you know what I’m most grateful for in this world? The fact that it never listened to me and some other force lead me to where I am. I am so grateful I never got what I thought I deserved. It’s the only thing I can bring myself to consider when I similarly believe that I’m wrongfully not getting something I want now.

3. You meditate on impermanence. Maybe not through literal, actual meditation (though that would be great of course) you have to remind yourself that the root of suffering is not just the impermanence of things, but our attachment to the things that are inevitably not going to last. If something isn’t enough for you in the time that you have it — be it a day, a month, a year — it’s never going to be enough. At the end of the day, you can’t keep it forever. You’d be losing it sooner or later. What’s more important is whether or not you appreciated having it in the first place.

4. You consider what you can change externally. Granted, external control is an illusion that will ultimately fail us all; attachment is a river that inevitably runs dry. But sometimes when you’re treading water, you need a little something to hold onto, no matter how temporary it is or mildly delusional you are for it. If there’s something you can externally change about your situation, do so. If there’s something you can say, a line you can draw, an opinion that’s yet to be voiced, go ahead and make sure you’ve exhausted all your options.

5. And then you focus on what you can change internally. I said this once (I don’t remember what article it was in, sorry) and I stand by it: most little things can be solved with a nap, a drink or a long talk with someone who wants to listen, and most big things have to be solved with an inner reconciliation. Allow that of yourself.

6. You face it until it doesn’t hurt anymore. I once heard someone explain our grown up fears as being similar to how we were afraid of the monster in the closet when we were little. All we really have to do is shine a light inside and realize that there’s nothing there. This kind of acknowledgment is different from attaching to it and creating and manifesting it in your life. It is different than holding onto a perception and then making it your reality. This is just acknowledging what is, and saying it out loud again and again and again until it the weight wanes off. Anybody who has done this can tell you how much it eases your heart and chest and soul. Don’t let the nonexistent monsters haunt you because you just don’t want to open the door.

Repost: How Many Celebrity Tragedies Before We Understand That Fame And Money Don’t Mean Happiness?

There are many conversations to be had in the wake of Robin Williams’ death. About the perils of depression; the silent weight of scrutiny that’s internalized when we treat famous people like characters, not humans; and the love a generation could have for a man, though we hadn’t taken a moment to discuss him until he was gone.

When tragedies like these occur, the only thing there is to do is take something and grow collectively. At the end of the day, the million+ tweets and posts and discussions about Robin are (for all we know) unbeknownst to him. They’re for us. So while we’re at it, let us take this too: You will not be happier tomorrow if you do not create happiness today.

We are aggregators and perpetuators of the idea that external success yields internal fulfillment. We spend our whole lives seeking that greatness: a physical body others can appreciate, stacks of money you can measure, material items other people can get wide-eyed and jealous of, attention and admiration that we believe will fill some emptiness within us.

External success — success that is sought because other people can perceive it — is a dark and winding path of putting our whole lives into something that never does fill the gaping, heavy hole that sent us running away from ourselves to begin with.

I have a hard time believing that Robin — or really anybody who has perished despite a seemingly phenomenal life — wouldn’t want us to understand this. More importantly, because of those people, but more due to our own internal convictions of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and disconnectedness (that we all at some level understand) I believe that this is what we need to start understanding.

Despite the endless feed of overdoses and tragedies, we remain a culture that is, for the most part, decidedly unaware. If you asked someone, in theory, does money and fame mean happiness? They’d probably say no, because they think that’s the right answer. And yet. But still. It’s easier and more instantly gratifying to keep seeking the external. It’s common, it’s normal, it’s expected, it doesn’t require much by the way of fiercely letting your own light refract into the untouched darkness of others’.

We are a society driven by ego. We have monopolized even the most natural and simple of processes for the sake of these empty, meaningless, physical accolades. We took control of animals to help discover/conquer new territories, then put them in concentration camps to be slaughtered (though, then again, we’ve done that to each other.) We’ve changed more on the Earth in 50 years than in the last 13,000 combined. Industrialized farming poisons our food for the sake of cheap, exponential growth, and our food workers wear radiation suits. Everything has been cloned, standardized, copied and individuality has been destroyed, ironically, in the face of our very isolation that has to be mentally resolved before anything else can be. We just continue to take and take and take and take.

And when other things aren’t enough, we take control of each other, and in the interim, we monopolize ourselves, too. We do this every time we police someone into behaving one certain way. Every time we believe what we’re conditioned to and don’t think for ourselves. Every time we allow something ultimately meaningless to control our lives because the one thing we have not learned to do is find something that does mean something to us.

We created a culture that cares far more about how things appear than how they actually are. As long as this carries on is as long as we’ll be seeking a great nothingness.

And the funny thing, the important thing, the only thing worth knowing here, really, is that if every one of us took it upon ourselves to fill ourselves with deep understanding and conviction, to perceive unity rather than isolation, to learn to embrace individuality in harmony with everyone else, these problems would disappear. We do not have to fix the outer. We do not have to deconstruct the society we live in to fix it. We have to deconstruct the illusions within us.

This is not something we vote on. This is not something we influence others to do. This is not what happens when we take control of other beings and things. We cannot keep perpetuating the world that we do, and losing the things that we are, the people we love, and ourselves. We do not just owe this to our heroes and our children and the people who have passed. We owe this to ourselves. We owe it to our own happiness to stop feeding into the incessant cruelty, to stop judging other people and policing them into a life we deem acceptable. We owe it to ourselves to ask for help when we need it. To help others when they do. To let our suffering move us toward deeper, internal acceptance and awareness and okayness through the external knowing that all is one and one is all and to know that no matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

Credit image: Pinterest

Don’t Wait To Be Inspired, Don’t Only Act On Passion

The feeling of being “inspired” is very often just finding something brilliant, and trying to emulate it. The rush and desire makes us manic and driven because we think we are actively becoming greater than ourselves. We find something we perceive as so great, we want others to perceive us – our take, our idea, our belief, our creation of it – similarly. But the foundation of that is what we are not. That’s why we have to find it, that’s why we run dry. It is not inherent or internal – at least the whirlwind, overwhelming kind of inspiration isn’t.

Acting without feeling inspired is us saying what we naturally know, feel and think, and this is vulnerability. When we believe that we must be inspired by an idea to create something of it, it is a mechanism to avoid placing ourselves bare into something that other people can judge.

The same goes for the idea of “passion.” Passion is the crazy, grandiose, brilliant idea for the epic novel, but it is not the every day work that gets it written. Ryan Holiday just wrote about this idea, in that Passion Is The Problem, Not The Solution.

Passion does not get the work done. Passion does not sustain you for more than a moment’s worth, neither does inspiration. It is not what gets your heads on the floor and your fingers on the keyboard and your mind in a space of determination. Please take my word for this.

But we’ve based most of our cultural aspirations on these ideas. That is to say, we’re supposed to choose what we feel consistently strongly about, and pursue it madly and wildly and at any cost. It’s why, I think, so many people feel lost. Because they don’t feel compelled by a single, conveniently-career-transmutable activity or idea (and most people aren’t supposed to… I have a hard time believing that “life purpose,” if it exists, is an isolated experience or job or action.)

You’ve probably heard (and read countless articles and studies) on why “following your passion” is the worst career advice you can get (“passion” is something you build; it’s what comes after you do something you enjoy repeatedly and gain skill and accolade, etc.) It’s not something that comes over you one day, at least not to any conceivable end.

But we don’t want to misstep. We want to base our decisions on something solid, on a singular purpose, on the truth gauge we’re promised we have. We are basing our life choices on feelings that other things give us, rather than the instincts we naturally have, and we’re calling that intuition.

There’s nothing wrong with the idea that you should do something each day that is fulfilling, but there is something dangerously misleading about the idea that you should feel passionately inspired each day (it insinuates there is no work, or rather, work shouldn’t feel like work.)

This makes happiness “good” and anything else “bad.” This makes the spectrum of emotions that human beings are meant to experience obsolete. This closes us off and stoppers our progress. This is how we induce our own suffering, by believing that the things that are “meant to be,” that are actions of passion and divine grandeur are going to make us feel consistently “good.”

If we were “meant” to feel good all the time, it wouldn’t be such a struggle. And we create that struggle for ourselves. Every time we look to something else to give us that high, we externalize our purpose. We step over vulnerability, we idealize a certain feeling, a certain job, a certain partner, and that’s it, it becomes the end goal, the only goal, the only way we’ll be content.

Passion is not what gets the job done. It is not what sustains a relationship or a career. Inspiration will not “find you” every single day. If you believe it’s supposed to, you’ll only be a failure in your own mind.

These things are drops, not constants. They are sparks, not flames.

You can prove this to yourself by the sheer fact that in retrospect, you probably realize you do not value the isolated moments of inspired thought as much as you do the work and love you consciously choose to put into them every single day to create something out of them. You value what you make, what you choose. Not what happens upon you.

What do you guys think about this article on passion and inspiration. Please let us know your thoughts and also share on your platforms too.

Things I Am Grateful For Today (And Always)

1. That humans are a self-healing species.

2. The infinitude of people wiser and more talented than I, because of whom I will always be able to learn more, see differently, understand better, and generally be entertained.

3. That anytime something hasn’t worked out the way I wanted it to initially, something better did. Always. Without fail.

4. My wife is with me when I was researching this. Been thankful for everything God has done for us.

5. The abundance of foods and cultures and restaurants and diners that exist in my little corner of the world, and that I get to taste a little bit of everything as often as I like.

6. I have never once in my life worried about being too cold in the winter because I couldn’t afford a sweater or jacket.

7. Friends who have loved me more than I loved myself, and who taught me how to love myself.

8. Hugs.

9. Cooking, and sharing it with others. It’s been something I have really grown a love for this past year.

10. That nothing lasts forever, which is, essentially, just a call to be present.

11. That I live in a hemisphere that experiences all four seasons.

12. Second chances. Third chances. Forgiveness. The ability to say: thank you for that experience, and mean it.

13. Nature. And trees. The after-rain smell, the springtime smell. Mountains and trails and and the fact that I have feet and legs to walk them.

14. The funny fact that the nature of realizing a problem is also you recognizing that there is a solution.

15. My job. The fact that I get to write every day. The other amazing writers and producers I get to read and work with and publish.

16. Coffee, and coffee shops at night.

17. A long meal in a dimly lit restaurant with a bottle of wine and someone you love.

18. The excitement of knowing you have reservations for a long meal in a dimly lit restaurant with a bottle of wine and someone you love.

19. That I have rent to pay, dishes to do, laundry to fold, and dinner to cook; because it means I have my own home, have eaten, am clothed, and have more food available to me.

20. How much joy the little things bring (knowing that that joy is always accessible.)

21. Finding a song you love so much you listen to it 20 times in a row and it just gets better and better with every word and riff and beat you start to memorize.

22. Handwriting anything.

23. Farmers markets.

24. The smell of someone you’re falling in love with, right when you’re falling in love with them.

25. The fact that there is no limit to the number of people we can fall in love with – and that it is possible to do so, each time, as wholly as we did before.

26. Confident people who live their lives and speak their truths and redefine beauty and greatness and wonder and what it means to LIVE just by the nature of their living. (People don’t become inspiring by trying to help others, just by being themselves.)

27. Kids. I envy teachers (though I acknowledge how much work they do and how crappy I’d be as one). Regardless, my real joy in life is playing games in my comfort zone and eating biscuit with a cup of fresh juice, watching my favourite season movies.

28. Warm, comfy beds.

29. The simple, perfect knowledge that my only real purpose is to be. Right here, just like this. My name will fade with successions of generations, and eventually, one day, nobody will know I existed. But for now, just for today, I am awake and alive to see and feel and breathe and live in a foreign, temporary body. If there is something more beautiful than that, show it to me, I’ll be surprised.

30. Everything I have healed, everything I have learned, and how being happy, being present, creating more, and being abundant in every way, always begins with thankfulness.

Watch: Why Women Are More Anxious Than Men

By: Brianna Weist

I recently watched (and some of you may be familiar with) a set of social experiments in which a group of men and then a group of women agreed to go on a date with a person they met on Tinder – a model, who would be in a fat suit when they arrived.

The experiment claims to be based on the fact that number one fear for women dating online is that they’ll meet a serial killer, and the number one fear for men is that the woman will be fat.

Low and behold, when each of the men arrived and met their date, they were… offended. They were mad because they felt lied to, and did little to cover their displeasure with the woman’s appearance. Only one of them didn’t walk away or excuse himself to the bathroom – never to return. But none gave her a chance, or took any interest in getting to know who she was, all because she wasn’t thin.

Now, as I was watching this, I’ll be honest. I was thinking, well, okay, it’s not completely unreasonable to be off-put if you’re expecting one thing, and get another…

That was, until I saw the women’s video.

Not one of them walked away. They gave the guy a chance. They connected with him. They laughed at his jokes. They did acknowledge that they were disillusioned about his appearance, but they were not rude or entitled about it.

… And one of them kissed him at the end. Another offered up a second date. They got to know who he really was, because they were able to see past their expectations about what he should be.

Click to watch video for men

Click to watch for women

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that research shows women are twice as prone to anxiety as men, are twice as often diagnosed with anxiety disorders, and that women are significantly “more inclined toward negative emotion, self-criticism, and endless rumination about [their] problems.”

But here is the important part: we also know that this is not the result of a biological or hormonal difference. Indicating that it is, unsurprisingly, cultural.

Simply, women are not encouraged to honestly acknowledge their feelings and cope with them in proactive, mindful ways – and this is mostly to maintain how others perceive them.

Taylor Clark dubs this the “skinned knee effect,” wherein from a young age, boys are encouraged to confront their fears, and girls are encouraged to hide them. “If little Olivia shows fear, she gets a hug; if little Oliver shows fear, he gets urged to overcome it.”

And when these emotions “go underground,” they become ingrained in the subconscious, and then begin to have a huge and often overlooked impact on day-to-day interactions.

Studies also tell us that women tend to be insidiously competitive, jealous and spiteful toward other women, especially those they are close to. Because they are taught not to win at someone else’s expense (to be a perpetual people-pleasers and peace-makers) their healthy, natural, normal, innate competitiveness must become tempered.

And the more it is inhibited, the more it remains unacknowledged. As anybody can tell you, as soon as you pack a feeling away in a dark closet… it becomes a potential monster that you have to prepare yourself for – and that feeling of dread and suppression begins to bleed into otherwise unthreatening, daily situations.

Though these are just a few examples plucked from the pile of research on the anxiety gender gap, the point is that anxiety is, in an abstract sense, the anticipation that something ‘bad’ is coming, or the fear that one cannot handle it.

More accurately, the fear that they cannot hide it.

It’s the running idea that bad things cannot be dealt with because feelings cannot be felt. And so the fear of them, the fear of losing culturally-induced composure, compiles into anxiety. Intense anxiety. Unbearable anxiety that remains dormant until something sets it off and it crops up endlessly. “I know this sense of panic and urgency is coming from somewhere… and so I must search for it, project it and deal with it in ways that aren’t actually addressing the root of the problem.”

Women suffer greater anxiety than men because they’re taught… not to. They’re denied simply being honest about their feelings, and most often in a way that convinces them it will yield positive results. It will make people love them. They will seem “together.”

But at what cost?

In terms of the women in the experiment, certainly they were kinder, more positive, and opened themselves up to the possibility for real romance, but only because they were conditioned to be just that: open, accepting and willing, no matter what.

Who is to say they were actually interested in that man? I certainly am not. But what we do know is that the men who were not interested in their date didn’t have to pretend for the sake of someone else’s feelings.

There isn’t an anxiety gap. There is an honesty gap, and there is a decency gap. There’s a middle ground on which we each need to rest a foot: that you can be honest without hurting someone intentionally, that you can cope with your feelings without being violent or cunning about it, and most importantly, that it’s human to feel on edge when your instincts are being compressed. That the most we need to do is let our inner demons out and discover they were nothing more than the fear that they could be something else.

Let me know what you think about this by commenting your opinion.

The Inherent Meditation Of Creativity

Being creative is as innate to being human as eating, talking, walking and thinking is. It has always been a process we naturally prioritize; our ancestors somehow found time to carve their images and stories on cave walls. But we’ve mistakenly grown to regard it as some form of luxury – you’re lucky if you have the means to express yourself.

In reality, it is a manner of education, communication, and ultimately, self-introspection, and we are in constant manifestation of it. The mediums have shifted from rock particles to pixels, but we can all still see that there is something inherently human about wanting to imprint, impress, craft, mold, form, paint, write and otherwise mold something abstract into that which is conceivable to someone else.

Unsurprisingly then, it seems that the most effective creative process is one that follows the art of meditation, mindfulness, intuition, non-resistance, non-judgement, etc.

I did not begin writing because it was something I liked. It was how I figured my way out of pain. It didn’t take too long to realize that I didn’t want to spend my life creating or exacerbating problems only to think and feel my way out for the sake of a job. I wanted to be able to write and create just because. Just because I’m alive and breathing and can.

I had to learn that my expression did not need to be justified – it is valid because I am a valid human being, the same as you, and everybody else.

But in the meantime, I tried all the classic writing routines of the greats, the promised formulas for consistent, rhythmic creation. I tried to be structured, did anything to induce “flow,” intentionally probed at the deep dark untouched corners of myself, was routine even when I didn’t want to be, and found every bit of it to be dead-ended.

I was trying to create structure where structured need not be placed. It did little more than make the process stagnate.

The reason being, mostly, that we do not ebb and flow in and out of creation. It is an unseen constant, from the clothes we choose to the sentences we say to the way we arrange our desks at work.

It comes down to imagining writing (or painting, or singing, or whatever it is you do) as coming as naturally as breathing does: it’s an effortless process, it draws upon what is outside you and transforms it as it goes through you, and it is tensed, stressed, ebbed and made more difficult when we consciously try to do it.

In fact, anything creative tends to be most hampered by end goals. It is almost imperative that you are completely mindful of the moment, creating from a place of simply allowing whatever is going through you to flow out.

Because when you have a pre-prescribed path in mind, it means you are trying to align with somebody else’s. It means that the inspiration you have found is you creating your own version of somebody’s something else that made you tick and flow.

You’ll seldom be inspired by work that is coming from a core truth, and that’s because it shows you something about yourself. Not just something, the truest truth – that’s what makes the process so god damn unbearable.

And that’s why we reach for structure, that’s what makes us stopper the process. That’s why we want inspiration and validation and external support.

In the true essence of real zen, the most creativity can be fostered when you learn to do so without passing judgment: similar to how observing your thoughts and feelings objectively are the path to peace as well.

Some of what you write down you’ll want to share, or make consumable. Some you won’t. That’s okay too. It’s imperative to realize that even the greatest artists weren’t consistently prolific, especially not publicly. But considering that “inactivity” a lack, loss or failure is just attaching another ego-meaning to it all.

You cannot quantify your creativity, and though it is an extension and impression and expression of yourself, it does not define you.

You are free to keep the sacredness of your most inner self only within your own existence. The more you can express that, and live that, without judgment, and in the moment, the more you’ll feel free to be honest, and open up to yourself. The more you feel comfortable with that core self, the more you’ll feel able to create from a peaceful place. Just because. Whenever you want.

What If We Saw Souls Instead Of Bodies?

What If We Saw Souls Instead Of Body

If we could see souls instead of bodies, what would be beautiful?

What is the first thing people would know about you? What would you be most afraid of them seeing? Who would you impress? Who would you love?

What would you adjust as you walked past the mirror? What kind of work would you be in? What would your goals be, how would you strive to be better if what you collected in the bank or put on your body or attached next to your name on a business card no longer affected what people saw?

Would you spend your time in gyms and stores or in libraries and temples? Who would you let yourself fall in love with? What would your ‘type’ be? Tall, dark and handsome or creative, kind and self-aware?

Who would we idolize, and what? How much of our governing body would be fit to lead? Who would we make famous? Who would we celebrate?

Would we restructure our value system to prioritize the things that bring us true peace and desire, not just better than the norm? What would we do with all that money, if we weren’t spending it on decorating and changing and convincing everybody else that we are a way we really aren’t?

How would we define success? As who gathers the most shit around their souls or who is transformed the most and shines the brightest? What would it be like, if our priority was to just become lightness? What kindness and joy and healing and rawness would come of the journey there?

What would happen if we could see people not as “bad,” but as… blocked? If we could see the ways they’ve packed away their pain, or how they hold a belief that keeps them away from being kind to others? How they are unaware that those issues even exist?

What if we weren’t afraid of the ways people are different than us?

What would happen if we realized our bodies never wanted anything more than to feel connected, and acted out on nothing more than their false ideas of being separate, different, exiled, the odd one out, the almost-but-not-good-enough?

What would happen if we embraced our desire to play out and frame with our individualism, but eventually returned to the knowing that we are all just energy fields? And where would we be if we realized that we were all from the same one? What would happen if we realized we really weren’t that different at all?

Ways To Stop Worrying About How Your Life Looks And Start Focusing On How It Feels

Ways To Stop Worrying About How Your Life Looks And Start Focusing On How It Feels

1. Count how many times you’ve really been happy after you got something you thought you wanted. What happened after you got the relationship you were lusting after? What happened after you got that job? What happened when you made more money? Chances are, things were different, but proportionately good and bad.

2. Make a list of all the imperfect people you’ve known in your life who have had love. Who have had romantic partners and best friends and jobs you could only ever dream of. Make a list of all the people who are conventionally unattractive and spiritually adrift and imperfect and all the things each one of them had despite being that way. Make it your own personal proof that you do not need to be perfect to be good enough.

3. Ask yourself what you’d do if social media were no object, and nobody would know. What would you do this Saturday, what would you do tonight? What would your career goals be, how many photos would you really take? Who would you hang out with, where would you live, if you weren’t silently policing yourself through the lens of “what other people see.”

4. Ask yourself what you’d do if money were no object, and you could do anything. This is a classic exercise that many people dismiss because of how impractical it is. Unfortunately, those people aren’t thinking deeply enough to understand the real point. It’s not to discover what you’d actually do if you didn’t have to worry about money (that’s not our reality) it’s about the essence of what you’d do, and how you can incorporate that into your everyday life. Would you vacation, would you keep your current job? It just goes to show you whether you value relaxation or accomplishments or whatever else, and understanding what you value is crucial to understanding who you are.

5. Take photos to remember happy moments, not prove that you looked good or did something cool. Make a special album on your phone just for “happy moments.” When you feel good or are enjoying yourself or have some kind of revelation, just take a photo of whatever’s in front of you (however unworthy of Instagram it is.) When you look back at these seemingly random snapshots, you’ll experience those feelings all over again. You’ll see, by contrast, the emotional difference between capturing the moments that matter to you and creating moments to matter for other people.

6. Identify the “people” you always think are judging you. You know how people always say that? “People are judging me.” “I’m worried about what people will think.” Most of the time, those “people” are a faceless crowd that only exist in your mind. In other words, they’re you, projected outward. It’s what you’re judging yourself for. The first step is realizing that the “people” you worry about don’t really exist.

7. Think about what makes you feel the most jealous. The things that make us the most jealous and envious are usually the things that we feel we’re not living up to within ourselves. We’re jealous of the beautiful girl not because we want to be beautiful like her, but because we’re lacking something so much more important, which is love for ourselves. We’re jealous of the successful writer not because we also want to be lauded, but because we know we’re not doing the work to get there.

8. Don’t clean before someone comes over. Save for people who, you know, aren’t hygienic, don’t worry about setting up a stage when someone else visits. I’m not talking about straightening up or putting personal items away, but actually trying to construct an appearance that is the physical equivalent of bleach blonde hair dye. Let people into your life in a true way. Let them enter a moment in your life, just as it’s happening. It’s the only way you truly bond.

9. Re-think how you celebrate the most important days of the year. Most people do it with relatives they see only on holidays, who they don’t have genuine relationships with otherwise, and who they are vaguely unhappy to have to see. These days are meant to be spent treating the people who love you all year round to parties and meals and gifts. Not the people who you feel morally obligated (but emotionally repressed) into stomaching.

10. Get rid of things that aren’t purposeful or meaningful. The reason why this is so important is because things are defining, especially when we buy them with the intention of making us “different.” Our things construct our experiences. They create what we see and by extension how we feel. They are the means through which we put ourselves together each day. It’s not about having as little as possible, it’s about having only things that serve purpose or hold meaning. Do it. It will transform your life. (And that’s no small claim to make.)

11. Ask yourself: “If I knew nobody would judge me, what would I stand for?” What do you inherently agree with, once you’re past all the self-imposed social filters? People think being conscious of their hidden thoughts and feelings and prejudices = being unaware and ignorant, but the opposite is true. It’s being unaware that’s a problem.

12. Ask yourself: “If I could tell every single person in the world just one thing, one sentence, what would it be?” Would you say: “it’s going to be okay?” “Don’t worry so much?” “Seek the best in others?” “Follow me on Twitter?” What you think you’d want to say to everyone out there is actually a projection of what you most need to hear. That’s what you most want to tell you.

13. Decide that to be worthy of something is just to be grateful to have it. You choose what your self-esteem is measured by. You decide what your worth is based on. You decide whether or not you’re good enough for something, and because that is the case, decide that the people who are worthy of what they have are the ones who are grateful to have it. Nothing more, nothing less.

14. Realize that you are not only as accomplished as you are over your biggest hurdle. You’re not only as “good” as you are “perfect,” you’re not only as “good” as you are better than someone else, either. In the words of Oprah (who else?) you can have everything, just not at the same time. Be grateful for this: it means you have the opportunity to appreciate what’s in front of you, and you always have something else to work toward and look forward to.

15. Assume that all things are for the best. When people care most about how their lives look is when they’re most closed to how their lives feel. When they’re most closed to how their lives feel is when they don’t want to feel pain. Being truly at peace requires realizing that everything is for the best: everything in your life does one of three things: shows you to yourself, heals a part of yourself, or lets you enjoy a part of yourself. If you adopt that perspective, there’s nothing left to fear.

16. Ask yourself: “If the whole world were blind, how many people would I impress?” This Boonaa Mohammed quote has been making the rounds lately, but it’s always important. Truly imagine a life in which you could not see things. In which all that exists is how you feel, and how you make others feel. In this kind of world, what kind of person are you, and is it for those reasons that, perhaps, creating a life that looks good to earn other people’s love has supplemented having your own?

The Only Problem With Your Life Is The Way You Think About It

1. You generally spend more time thinking about your life than you do actually living it. You spend more time dissecting problems than you do coming to solutions, more time daydreaming than you do asking yourself what those thoughts indicate is lacking or missing in your waking life, or coming up with new solutions as opposed to actually committing to the ones that are already in front of you. You’ve replaced “reflection” with “experience,” and wonder why you feel unfulfilled.

2. You don’t find wonder in the simple pleasures, the way you once did. You think nature is boring and “play” is for children and there’s nothing awe-inspiring about a shaft of light through the window or a stranger’s smile or a spring day or your favorite book in bed. When you’ve lost sight of the magic of the little things, it’s not because the magic has gone elsewhere, only that you’ve chosen to disregard it in favor of something else.

3. You have something you wanted in the past, but you don’t enjoy it the way you thought you would, or you’ve replaced your desire for it with a desire for something else. Bring yourself back to the feeling of wanting what you have more than anything, the way you once did. Try to embody that. You’re making yourself prouder than you realize.

4. If you were to tell your younger self what your life is like now, they’d be in disbelief. You seriously could not have imagined that your life would turn out as well as it did – that the worst things became turning points, not endless black holes of emotion.

5. You think of money in terms of “obligation” not “opportunity.” Your mindset is: “I have to pay my bills,” as opposed to “I get to pay my bills, which house me, clothe me, and feed me, and that I can pay for by myself.” If you don’t value money by appreciating what it does for you, you’ll never feel as though you have enough.

6. You think you don’t have enough friends. You’re measuring the connection in your life by a quantity, not a quality, assuming that the problem is not enough around you, when it’s really that there’s not enough inside you.

7. You’re either over-reliant or under-attached to the friends you do have. You either don’t keep in touch enough or you get easily frustrated because you think that friends should make you feel “better” and “happy” in an unrealistic way. So you think that the only way to achieve that is to over-bond yourself to them, or disregard them when they don’t fulfill the role you’ve imposed on them (hence your feeling as though you don’t have enough!)

8. You imagine your life as though someone else was seeing it. Before you make a decision, you recite a storyline in your head. It goes something like this: “she went to college, she got this job, she married this guy after a terrible breakup, and all was well.” This is what happens when your happiness starts to come from how other people feel about you, as opposed to how you feel about yourself.

9. Your goals are outcomes, not actions. Your goals are to “be successful” or “see a certain number in the bank” as opposed to “enjoy what you do each day, no matter what you’re doing” or “learn to love saving more than frivolously spending.” Outcomes are just ideas. Actions are results.

10. You assume you have time. When it comes to doing what really matters to you – reconnecting with family, writing that book, finding a new job – you say “I’m only [such and such an age] I have a long time.” If you assume you “have time” to do something, or that you’ll do it later, you probably don’t want it as much as you think you do. There isn’t more time. You don’t know. You could be dead tomorrow. It doesn’t mean you have to get everything done today, but that there’s rarely an excuse not to start.
11. A bad feeling becomes a bad day. You think that experiencing negative emotions is the result of something being wrong in your life, when in reality, it’s usually just a part of being human. Anxiety serves us, pain serves us, depression does too. These things are signals, communications, feedbacks, and precautions that literally keep us alive. Until you begin thinking this way, all you will perceive is that “good feelings mean keep going” and “bad feelings mean stop,” and wonder why you’re paralyzed.

12. You think that being uncomfortable and fearful means you shouldn’t do something. Being uncomfortable and fearful means you definitely should. Being angry or indifferent means you definitely shouldn’t.

13. You wait to feel motivated or inspired before you act. Losers wait to feel motivated. People who never get anything done wait to feel inspired. Motivation and inspiration are not sustaining forces. They crop up once in awhile, and they’re nice while they’re present, but you can’t expect to be able to summon them any given hour of the day. You must learn to work without them, to gather your strength from purpose, not passion.

14. You maladaptively daydream. Maladaptive daydreaming is when you imagine extensive fantasies of an alternative life that you don’t have to replace human interaction or general function. Most people experiencing it while listening to music and/or moving (walking, riding in a car, pacing, swinging, etc.) Rather than cope with issues in life, you just daydream to give yourself a “high” that eliminates the uncomfortable feeling.

15. You’re saving up your happiness for another day. You’re sitting on the train on the way to work, thinking how beautiful the sunrise looks, and how you’d like to read your favorite book, but you don’t in favor of checking your email again. You begin to feel a sense of awe at something simple and beautiful, and stop yourself, because your dissatisfaction fuels you. You’re creating problems in one area of your life to balance out thriving in another, because your happiness is in a mental container.

Things That Occur When You Love What You Do But You Don’t Live To Work

It was a long holiday this week celebrating Sallah for my Muslim brethren in my country and the world. When the federal government decides to give everyone a big break.

In the space of the break, I became lazy to write anything, even thinking of what to write became a problem. But I got motivated after learning from a friend’s life experience. How does it feel to love what you do but don’t live to work.

Check this out….

1. You love your job, but you don’t love it more than other parts of your life. You don’t love it more than your partner, or cooking, or getting a full night’s sleep. People tend to think as though you’re either a “career” person or you’re doing something else with your life to supplement doing work, but you know that there does not need to be just One Thing that consumes you. You can care about a lot. You can do a lot. Just not all at the same time.

2. You’ll often find yourself working at a coffee shop on a Saturday morning because you… want to. A lot of people will confuse your desire to work a lot with a demand to work a lot. When you love what you do, it’s like a hobby and a paycheck all in one. You’d keep doing it to some degree, even if you weren’t getting paid for it.

3. People to expect you to be consumed by “passion” when really you’re more motivated by love. There’s this image people have of what it means to love your job, and it’s usually a cold-hearted black-pantsuit wearing half-human who is in a relationship with their email account and work wife. This isn’t your reality, though. You’re not consumed by your job, but you have grown to love it through commitment, presence and practice.

4. It wasn’t your first choice, or it’s not what you thought you’d be doing, but you believe those facts serve you more than they don’t. It’s often said that the people who truly succeed are the ones who aren’t emotionally invested in the outcome. Because they’re not invested, they’re not fearful, and so they act more than they think. People who are “passionate” about what they do are lost in their emotions, people who grow to love what they do are driven by daily actions and gratitude for them.

5. You’ll be okay if you’re never the “best” in the industry. In our extreme, gluttonous culture, we think that if you don’t have big dreams, you don’t have dreams at all. You know that it’s just as noble to aspire to being an excellent employee who works hard and spends time with their friends, if that’s what you really want. If you never live to be the next Biggest and Greatest with a line on Forbes’ 30 Under 30, but you did get to do a lot of other things you wanted, that’s just fine by you.

6. You’re happy to take weekends off and use your vacation days, but are just as excited to get back in the office (or on the laptop) once you’re done. And you honestly consider this the best part of enjoying what you do.

7. You see the meaning in the mundane. You may not be the one changing the world, but you believe in what you do, even if it’s a menial task. You’re happy and proud to assist the boss who does the great work, you’re grateful to make people their coffee in the morning. When you’re able to find purpose in the moment, you cut the line in front of everyone that’s trying to find it in the extraordinary ideas they don’t actually have the desire or drive to see out.

8. You know that the work is never done. I saved this one for last because it is the most important. People who love what they do but don’t live to work are just the ones who know that the work is never done. There are always going to be more emails, more clients, more problems, more assignments. Most people live under the pretense that once their work is “complete” they’ll be free to relax and live, but they’re searching for a finish line that doesn’t exist (well, maybe not until retirement, or, you know, death.)

Repost: 15 Signs The Only Problem With Your Life Is The Way You Think About It

1. You generally spend more time thinking about your life than you do actually living it. You spend more time dissecting problems than you do coming to solutions, more time daydreaming than you do asking yourself what those thoughts indicate is lacking or missing in your waking life, or coming up with new solutions as opposed to actually committing to the ones that are already in front of you. You’ve replaced “reflection” with “experience,” and wonder why you feel unfulfilled.

2. You don’t find wonder in the simple pleasures, the way you once did. You think nature is boring and “play” is for children and there’s nothing awe-inspiring about a shaft of light through the window or a stranger’s smile or a spring day or your favorite book in bed. When you’ve lost sight of the magic of the little things, it’s not because the magic has gone elsewhere, only that you’ve chosen to disregard it in favor of something else.

3. You have something you wanted in the past, but you don’t enjoy it the way you thought you would, or you’ve replaced your desire for it with a desire for something else. Bring yourself back to the feeling of wanting what you have more than anything, the way you once did. Try to embody that. You’re making yourself prouder than you realize.

4. If you were to tell your younger self what your life is like now, they’d be in disbelief. You seriously could not have imagined that your life would turn out as well as it did – that the worst things became turning points, not endless black holes of emotion.

5. You think of money in terms of “obligation” not “opportunity.” Your mindset is: “I have to pay my bills,” as opposed to “I get to pay my bills, which house me, clothe me, and feed me, and that I can pay for by myself.” If you don’t value money by appreciating what it does for you, you’ll never feel as though you have enough.

6. You think you don’t have enough friends. You’re measuring the connection in your life by a quantity, not a quality, assuming that the problem is not enough around you, when it’s really that there’s not enough inside you.

7. You’re either over-reliant or under-attached to the friends you do have. You either don’t keep in touch enough or you get easily frustrated because you think that friends should make you feel “better” and “happy” in an unrealistic way. So you think that the only way to achieve that is to over-bond yourself to them, or disregard them when they don’t fulfill the role you’ve imposed on them (hence your feeling as though you don’t have enough!)

8. You imagine your life as though someone else was seeing it. Before you make a decision, you recite a storyline in your head. It goes something like this: “she went to college, she got this job, she married this guy after a terrible breakup, and all was well.” This is what happens when your happiness starts to come from how other people feel about you, as opposed to how you feel about yourself.

9. Your goals are outcomes, not actions. Your goals are to “be successful” or “see a certain number in the bank” as opposed to “enjoy what you do each day, no matter what you’re doing” or “learn to love saving more than frivolously spending.” Outcomes are just ideas. Actions are results.

10. You assume you have time. When it comes to doing what really matters to you – reconnecting with family, writing that book, finding a new job – you say “I’m only [such and such an age] I have a long time.” If you assume you “have time” to do something, or that you’ll do it later, you probably don’t want it as much as you think you do. There isn’t more time. You don’t know. You could be dead tomorrow. It doesn’t mean you have to get everything done today, but that there’s rarely an excuse not to start.

11. A bad feeling becomes a bad day. You think that experiencing negative emotions is the result of something being wrong in your life, when in reality, it’s usually just a part of being human. Anxiety serves us, pain serves us, depression does too. These things are signals, communications, feedbacks, and precautions that literally keep us alive. Until you begin thinking this way, all you will perceive is that “good feelings mean keep going” and “bad feelings mean stop,” and wonder why you’re paralyzed.

12. You think that being uncomfortable and fearful means you shouldn’t do something. Being uncomfortable and fearful means you definitely should. Being angry or indifferent means you definitely shouldn’t.

13. You wait to feel motivated or inspired before you act. Losers wait to feel motivated. People who never get anything done wait to feel inspired. Motivation and inspiration are not sustaining forces. They crop up once in awhile, and they’re nice while they’re present, but you can’t expect to be able to summon them any given hour of the day. You must learn to work without them, to gather your strength from purpose, not passion.

14. You maladaptively daydream. Maladaptive daydreaming is when you imagine extensive fantasies of an alternative life that you don’t have to replace human interaction or general function. Most people experiencing it while listening to music and/or moving (walking, riding in a car, pacing, swinging, etc.) Rather than cope with issues in life, you just daydream to give yourself a “high” that eliminates the uncomfortable feeling.

15. You’re saving up your happiness for another day. You’re sitting on the train on the way to work, thinking how beautiful the sunrise looks, and how you’d like to read your favorite book, but you don’t in favor of checking your email again. You begin to feel a sense of awe at something simple and beautiful, and stop yourself, because your dissatisfaction fuels you. You’re creating problems in one area of your life to balance out thriving in another, because your happiness is in a mental container.

Originally posted by Brianna Weist

16 Ways To Stop Worrying About How Your Life Looks And Start Focusing On How It Feels

Originally from Brianna Weist

1. Count how many times you’ve really been happy after you got something you thought you wanted. What happened after you got the relationship you were lusting after? What happened after you got that job? What happened when you made more money? Chances are, things were different, but proportionately good and bad.

2. Make a list of all the imperfect people you’ve known in your life who have had love. Who have had romantic partners and best friends and jobs you could only ever dream of. Make a list of all the people who are conventionally unattractive and spiritually adrift and imperfect and all the things each one of them had despite being that way. Make it your own personal proof that you do not need to be perfect to be good enough.

3. Ask yourself what you’d do if social media were no object, and nobody would know. What would you do this Saturday, what would you do tonight? What would your career goals be, how many photos would you really take? Who would you hang out with, where would you live, if you weren’t silently policing yourself through the lens of “what other people see.”

4. Ask yourself what you’d do if money were no object, and you could do anything. This is a classic exercise that many people dismiss because of how impractical it is. Unfortunately, those people aren’t thinking deeply enough to understand the real point. It’s not to discover what you’d actually do if you didn’t have to worry about money (that’s not our reality) it’s about the essence of what you’d do, and how you can incorporate that into your everyday life. Would you vacation, would you keep your current job? It just goes to show you whether you value relaxation or accomplishments or whatever else, and understanding what you value is crucial to understanding who you are.

5. Take photos to remember happy moments, not prove that you looked good or did something cool. Make a special album on your phone just for “happy moments.” When you feel good or are enjoying yourself or have some kind of revelation, just take a photo of whatever’s in front of you (however unworthy of Instagram it is.) When you look back at these seemingly random snapshots, you’ll experience those feelings all over again. You’ll see, by contrast, the emotional difference between capturing the moments that matter to you and creating moments to matter for other people.

6. Identify the “people” you always think are judging you. You know how people always say that? “People are judging me.” “I’m worried about what people will think.” Most of the time, those “people” are a faceless crowd that only exist in your mind. In other words, they’re you, projected outward. It’s what you’re judging yourself for. The first step is realizing that the “people” you worry about don’t really exist.

7. Think about what makes you feel the most jealous. The things that make us the most jealous and envious are usually the things that we feel we’re not living up to within ourselves. We’re jealous of the beautiful girl not because we want to be beautiful like her, but because we’re lacking something so much more important, which is love for ourselves. We’re jealous of the successful writer not because we also want to be lauded, but because we know we’re not doing the work to get there.

8. Don’t clean before someone comes over. Save for people who, you know, aren’t hygienic, don’t worry about setting up a stage when someone else visits. I’m not talking about straightening up or putting personal items away, but actually trying to construct an appearance that is the physical equivalent of bleach blonde hair dye. Let people into your life in a true way. Let them enter a moment in your life, just as it’s happening. It’s the only way you truly bond.

9. Re-think how you celebrate the most important days of the year. Most people do it with relatives they see only on holidays, who they don’t have genuine relationships with otherwise, and who they are vaguely unhappy to have to see. These days are meant to be spent treating the people who love you all year round to parties and meals and gifts. Not the people who you feel morally obligated (but emotionally repressed) into stomaching.

10. Get rid of things that aren’t purposeful or meaningful. The reason why this is so important is because things are defining, especially when we buy them with the intention of making us “different.” Our things construct our experiences. They create what we see and by extension how we feel. They are the means through which we put ourselves together each day. It’s not about having as little as possible, it’s about having only things that serve purpose or hold meaning. Do it. It will transform your life. (And that’s no small claim to make.)

11. Ask yourself: “If I knew nobody would judge me, what would I stand for?” What do you inherently agree with, once you’re past all the self-imposed social filters? People think being conscious of their hidden thoughts and feelings and prejudices = being unaware and ignorant, but the opposite is true. It’s being unaware that’s a problem.

12. Ask yourself: “If I could tell every single person in the world just one thing, one sentence, what would it be?” Would you say: “it’s going to be okay?” “Don’t worry so much?” “Seek the best in others?” “Follow me on Twitter?” What you think you’d want to say to everyone out there is actually a projection of what you most need to hear. That’s what you most want to tell you.

13. Decide that to be worthy of something is just to be grateful to have it. You choose what your self-esteem is measured by. You decide what your worth is based on. You decide whether or not you’re good enough for something, and because that is the case, decide that the people who are worthy of what they have are the ones who are grateful to have it. Nothing more, nothing less.

14. Realize that you are not only as accomplished as you are over your biggest hurdle. You’re not only as “good” as you are “perfect,” you’re not only as “good” as you are better than someone else, either. In the words of Oprah (who else?) you can have everything, just not at the same time. Be grateful for this: it means you have the opportunity to appreciate what’s in front of you, and you always have something else to work toward and look forward to.

15. Assume that all things are for the best. When people care most about how their lives look is when they’re most closed to how their lives feel. When they’re most closed to how their lives feel is when they don’t want to feel pain. Being truly at peace requires realizing that everything is for the best: everything in your life does one of three things: shows you to yourself, heals a part of yourself, or lets you enjoy a part of yourself. If you adopt that perspective, there’s nothing left to fear.

16. Ask yourself: “If the whole world were blind, how many people would I impress?” This Boonaa Mohammed quote has been making the rounds lately, but it’s always important. Truly imagine a life in which you could not see things. In which all that exists is how you feel, and how you make others feel. In this kind of world, what kind of person are you, and is it for those reasons that, perhaps, creating a life that looks good to earn other people’s love has supplemented having your own?

Repost: 8 Reasons It’s So Hard To Be Genuine In A Society That’s Uncomfortable With Radical Honesty

After getting in touch with one of my great writers “Brianna Weist” I decided to repost one of her greatest write up.

1. If society had a mantra, it would be: “Be yourself… No, not like that!” We encourage people to be their authentic selves, and at the same time, we are even more adamant about people adhering to the appropriate social code of the moment. So, you can be yourself, as long as that person is aligned with our singular idea of what “authenticity” looks like.

2. People only like authenticity when it’s comforting, not when it makes them question their own choices and ideals. People are only supportive when someone’s life choices support or validate their own. When our main mode of gauging our acceptability is evaluating other people’s lives by upward or downward comparisons to our own, it’s hard to see their actions independent of what they “mean” to us.

3. “Following your own path” is terrifying – because it’s unknown. Following someone else’s road at least lets you know where you’re going. The reason most people take the road most travelled is because forging your way through the uncharted terrain is f*#king terrifying. (How ironic, that when you’re truly “on path” you usually feel most lost, or most uncertain.)

4. We think that being genuine is being radically happy, because you’re just “doing what you want.” A lot of the time, however, being genuine brings up more problems than it does solutions. (At least, in the beginning.) Do you stay in the closet, or stay close to your family? Do you pursue a new career, or remain more financially stable? How do we navigate our way through the center? What matters more, at the end of the day?

5. Most people can’t see anything as valid unless they agree with it. So you can really only be genuine with some people, unless you want to offend and lose others in your life.

6. We’re a world of overthinkers, and when we’re not overthinking our own lives, we’re making judgments about other people’s. When we’re anxious about other people judging our lives, it’s because we subconsciously know that they, uh, are. It’s a matter of realizing this is true for everyone, and that they’ll judge whether we’re doing what we want or not.

7. It seems impossible to be honest about not wanting to hang out, or be friend with someone, or tell them that you think they should reconsider a choice, without mortally offending them. “Just be real with me!” is the ultimate commitment in modern friendship, though the opposite is usually true. It’s not normal to be able to contact people 24/7 – wanting space is not a statement against someone as a person. Having to be honest about why someone is making a terrible choice ultimately culminates in them thinking you don’t “support” them.

8. We think that we can only be friends with people who we agree with on everything. So if we want to change our lives, or our ideas, or ourselves, we have to do so with the knowledge that we may be exchanging our friends and their love and companionship.