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.

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The Trap Of The Comfort Zone

The second mental obstacle that you need to overcome is the comfort zone. Many people become complacent with their current situations. They become so comfortable in a particular job or salary or any level of responsibility that they become reluctant ro make any changes at all, even for the better.

The comfort zone is a major obstacle to ambition, desire, determination, and accomplishment. People who get stuck in a comfort zone, if it’s combined with learned helplessness, are almost impossible to help in any way. Don’t let this happen to you.

Very short and precised but very important to take note of this trap.

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 Incredible Power of Taking Risks in Life

There are many ways to change your life for the better. And one simple, yet seemingly scary choice we can make is to be taking more risks in life.

The problem with this path to positive change is that most of us fear taking risks!

may fear rejection, failure and change. We may fear uncertainty.

We think about taking a risk and our innate fight/flight response kicks in.

On top of that, many of us have a warped relationship with fear, where we think fear is bad, and that we should stay away form it.

But actually fear isn’t bad, and neither is risk!

In fact, risk is the very thing that can make us feel alive, and the fear we get with taking risks is just a feeling message to tell us that we’re going outside of our familiar comfort zone.

What’s the worst that could happen?

For many of us, it’s all too easy to get stuck into a routine that provides comfort and safety. But, we have to ask ourselves, are we truly living?

Yes, some risks shouldn’t be taken because the consequences could be disastrous. Howeveyourself. a little bit of discernment, we can take calculated risks that will benefit us regardless of the outcome.

Say for instance, you see an attractive person in a coffee shop, and you want to say hi. What’s the worst that could happen? They’re not interested, but you took that risk which ultimately didn’t hurt you in the end. And doing so likely boosted your courage. So no regrets! It’s all about the attitude you take.

Or there are more serious risks that you could be taking, such as leaving the job you aren’t so thrilled about, or moving to a new country. Again, what is the worse that could happen? If things didn’t work out the way you wanted them to, at least you learnt a lot more about yourself and the world in the process. Plus, you can always go home and go back to the same type of job if you want to!

Risks help to build confidence & open up possibilities

By taking risks, you give yourself permission to try things out, to learn, to fail, to grow and to explore. You get to test your limits and go beyond what you believed was possible. You can to go after the things in life you really want!

By doing this, you naturally build up your self-confidence, growing as a person and opening up a whole new world for yourself.

By taking risks you get better at knowing what you want

Risks helps you to get clear on what you want out of life.

They make you more consciously aware of what is important to you, what you want and don’t want, as part of your planning and decision making process.

Just the level of clarity you get from planning to take a risk helps you to feel more empowered and in control, as the leader of your life and the master of your own destiny.

Risk taking builds self-trust

When you take a risk, you generally do so with awareness after balancing your logic and intuition, to decide what is best for you. By taking action aligned to your own inner compass in this way, you build a level of trust in yourself.

And trusting yourself and knowing when to take action on something you really want only serves to further elevate your self-confidence.

Risks make life exciting and colorful

What would happen if we never took risks?

Life would become monotonous and boring. Nobody wants a boring life, yet it’s such an easy option to resort to, in order to stay safe and in our comfort zones.

It boils down to making a decision.

Although your heart may be racing, and your palms many be sweating, think about what would happen if you didn’t take the chance?

Would you regret the missed opportunity?

We only have this one life, why not stretch yourself to new heights! You never know what could happen… and isn’t that exciting?

Take action starting from today

You don’t need to jump head first into a tonne of risks, but you can practise the art of taking one small risk each day.

It can be as simple as saying hello to someone new, learning a new skill or applying for a new job. Whatever your comfort threshold is, start testing it out each and every day.

Because this is where real growth happens. Ultimately, this risk-taking habit alone will transform your life!

Choices To Make Today That You Won’t Regret Tomorrow

1. Fighting for a career you love. You will never regret fighting for the job you really want or struggling to make it happen. It is a choice that will upgrade the quality of your life and give you a better shot at success.

2. Letting go of unrequited love. Or waiting for someone to make up their mind. You will never regret letting them go because you are paving the way for someone else to come in and you are being honest with yourself about the possibilities of being with someone who is not on the same page.

3. Apologizing to someone. You are a human being who is prone to making mistakes-a lot of them. Saying sorry to someone you care about and appreciate is the only way to redeem yourself and try to save the relationship from falling apart. You will never regret patching things up with the people who deserve it.

4. Learning something new. Whatever that may be; a new language, a new course, a new sport or a new meal, you will never regret investing time in a new skill. Learning drives us to be more productive, attentive and gives us the motivation we need to rejuvenate our lives.

5. Taking a break from social media. Unplugging is therapeutic in this ever-busy and chaotic life. Sometimes it’s really crucial for your sanity to take a break from social media and re-shift your focus and energy onto something better and more meaningful.

6. Exercising. The benefits of exercising are not just physical, they are also mental and spiritual. Taking a run or hiking can really help you feel better about yourself and inspire you to think clearly and make more coherent decisions.

7. Expanding your network. Building more relationships and expanding your social circle and your network will open new doors for you and will add value to your personal and professional life. You never know who you’ll be able to connect with and where that connection will lead.

8. Not taking life too seriously. You will not look back and remember the times you cried and the times you broke down. Don’t let pain or sadness drag on for too long. Try to look at the good in every bad and do your best to get over the disappointments quickly so you can be able to enjoy most of your life.

9. Loving yourself. With your flaws, with your quirks, with your mood swings and your eccentric habits. Be kind to yourself and try to love the different parts of you. You will never regret being your biggest fan because you know you can always count on yourself. Also, when you love yourself, you are more likely to find someone who loves you too.

10. Believing that tomorrow is a better day. You will never regret looking on the bright side, or being hopeful, or starting the day with a smile. You will never regret having a positive mentality and an optimistic outlook on life, you are more likely to achieve a positive life this way.

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.

Practice Makes Permanent

Good to be back!

You can begin the process of developing courage and eliminating fear by engaging in actions consistent with the behaviours of courage and self- confidence. Anything that you practice over and over eventually becomes a new habit. You develop courage by behaving courageously whenever courage is called for.

Here are some of the activities you can practice to develop the habit of courage. The first and perhaps most important kind of courage is the courage to begin, to launch, to step out in faith. This is the courage to try something new or different, to move out of your comfort zone with no guarantee of success.

Repost: 30 Beautiful Moments In Your Life That You Will Never Forget

By: Rania Naim

1. The moment you faced a longtime fear. There is no greater feeling than doing what you were most afraid of and getting through it.

2. The moment you aced a difficult test. And that awesome feeling you get that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

3. The moment you started driving without supervision and played your favorite music the whole way.

4. The moment you got your first salary and how you felt that hard work truly pays off.

5. The moment you made a new friend knowing that you will be friends forever.

6. The moment your crush told you they liked you and how you couldn’t stop smiling.

7. The moment you land in your favorite country and how it breathes new life into you.

8. The moment you rest your head on the pillow after a productive day at work and how it’s bringing you one step close to your goal.

9. The moment your favorite team wins the championship and the euphoria that follows.

10. The moment you hold the baby of someone close to you, and how innocent and soft you become in that moment.

11. The moment you stand up for yourself after being quiet and patient for so long.

12. The moment you get what you’ve been praying for and realizing that the world is not so bad after all.

13. The moment you realize how loved you are by those around you and how supportive they are.

14. The moment that your pet welcomes you home every day as if you are the best thing that ever happened to them.

15. The moment after you’ve had a special conversation with a special someone and immediately feel the growing bond between both of you.

16. The moment you made someone smile after having a terrible day.

17. The moment you let go of someone or something that was holding you back and the liberation that came with it.

18. The moment you make your family happy; whether by being a good student, a good person or just being there for them when they need you.

19. The moment your friends do something sweet for you and remind you of how much they love you.

20. The moment you successfully complete a mission: losing weight, being more focused, being more positive…etc.

21. The moment you are done reading a good book and the inspiration you find in its words.

22. The moment you prove someone who doubted you wrong and the confidence you gain from it. Learning to believe in yourself more often.

23. The moment you master one of the hard yoga poses and the strength you feel after.

24. The moment you decide to be a little bit kinder to yourself and start slowly loving yourself with your imperfections.

25. The moment you receive a heart-felt thank you for touching someone’s life.

26. The moment your favorite song comes on when you have been waiting to hear it all day.

27. The moment you run into an old friend or an acquaintance unexpectedly.

28. The moment you go to the beach after a long time and the serenity you feel from the sound of the waves and the beauty of the sky.

29. The moment you finally understand why something happened to you and finally solving that riddle.

30. The moment of silence when you can truly enjoy your own presence and be grateful for the gift of living no matter how hard or easy your life seems to be.

Should Young Christians Rush to Get Married?

True or False?

Am not into relationship or marriage writing, but this caught my attention and needed to be shared.

For young adult Christians who have grown up believing that sex outside of marriage is wrong, it can be understandable that they might rush to the altar with the person they feel so strongly in love with. It’s no shock to anyone that young people are flooded with feelings and desires that lead them to wanting to be physical with whoever they are attracted to, and when sex is known as a sin unless it’s with a spouse, the rush to get a ring on that finger makes sense.

With a culture that so readily promotes the “happily ever after” path and seems obsessed with the latest pop culture couplings, marriages, divorces, and drama in between, it’s not surprising that many young people would view marriage as the ultimate destination and goal in relationships. Even in the church, marriage is often lauded as the best thing, the highest achievement, the greatest gift, and it can lead young people to feeling like they have to get to that point quickly for their lives, their relationships, and their presence in that community to really matter and have value.

Ethan Renoe recently wrote an article for Relevant asking “ Should So Many Christians Push to Get Married Young? ” and he zeroes in on one famous Bible passage about singleness and marriage: 1 Corinthians 7 . This passage has been often debated, and it raises some important (although controversial) questions.

In verse 8 of that chapter, Paul writes, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.”
This is a very different stance than what our culture and our churches tend to promote. “But what if Paul was telling the truth?” Renoe asks. “What if it really is better for us to remain single instead of diving headfirst into marriage?”
Wouldn’t that be something?

It’s a helpful and healthy question to ask ourselves, though. As a single woman in her mid-twenties, it’s one I find myself pondering often. The expectation seems to be that I will get meet the man of my dreams someday and then get married shortly thereafter… but I’m not so sure that’s what’s meant for me. I’m definitely in no hurry to get there if that is what the Lord has in store, that’s for sure. As I see more and more friends getting married (even friends quite a few years younger than me, which feels strange), I return to this question, wondering if marriage is really the ultimate good thing we should be striving for, or if Paul was right in encouraging singleness instead.

For the Christians (young or old) who pursue marriage as a way to justify their physical and sexual desires, it seems clear that the focus is misplaced. “As Christians,” Renoe explains, “our primary calling in life is not to gratify our sexual desires first and foremost. It is to glorify God, enjoy Him forever, and bring others into this sphere of blessedness. For this reason, I’ve come to see many of the young marriages of Christians as more of a detriment to the work of the church than a blessing.”

He goes on to say, “what I mean by that is, if we really believe that Jesus, not sex, is the source of our satisfaction, it should affect the way we live our lives. It means perhaps we would spend years of our lives giving to the world in sacrificial and beneficial ways before settling down with our sweetheart to raise children rather than diving into marriage for the wrong reasons.”

Now, this does assume that sex and a desire for physical intimacy is the driving force behind young couples getting married, which isn’t always the case. But he does make a good point that the Lord has great opportunities in store for us in our twenties and thirties when we free ourselves to follow his leading and serve him with our lives, unencumbered by such a serious relationship commitment. It’s not that the desires for intimacy go away, but instead that those who choose to embrace singleness instead redirecting those desires toward Jesus and the work he has for us instead.

We can pursue intimacy in other ways — in our prayer life with the Lord, in our Bible studies and conversations with close friends, in sharing our stories vulnerably with one another, and with sharing common interests and bonding with others around us.

While there have admittedly been times or seasons of my life where I have felt the absence of a meaningful relationship or longed for a husband, there have been many more times where I have been grateful for the freedom that comes with singleness, especially when it comes to service opportunities and ministry work in my church and community.

“We have become blinded by a culture that teaches that the truest source of satisfaction is sex, so it makes sense that many of us would marry young for a taste of that ecstasy,” Renoe writes.

What if we saw our lives instead as something so much greater? What if we saw our singleness as a chance to truly give ourselves to others? What if we saw our free time as a gift from the Lord allowing us to serve the people around us and expand the Kingdom? What if we reprioritized our desires and what is important to us, putting satisfaction in Christ above all else?

Like Renoe concludes, there is no hurry for us to get married. There are so many opportunities before us in the seasons we are in now, and there is so much goodness to be found in a life wholly committed to serving the Lord and others. Pursue him first and foremost, and discover that he, better than any other, can and will fulfill every desire of your heart, no matter your relationship status. The rings can wait.

Credit: Christian Headline

Beliefs That Will Free Your Mind From Negativity

A quick one with 10 solid points.

1. Life may not be easy, but it could be great. Even though we may be faced with a lot of unfortunate events that we were not prepared for, we could still be happy living in an imperfect life if we shift our mindset. Simply by knowing that life’s ups require life’s downs, we will be better-equipped to embrace life’s predicaments.

2. People who disappoint us are merely lessons. They were there to teach us something about ourselves or about life. The biggest changes often come from the biggest disappointments. That’s how we grow and evolve and make better choices in the future.

3. We can’t change our past but we can change our future. We are not defined by what we did, we are defined by what we choose to become. We are capable of changing our lives any time if we take responsibility for our lives and proactively work on changing ourselves.

4. Assumptions and judgments are the root of all negativity. Instead of jumping to conclusions or making false assumptions we should live day by day and let time unfold the real answers we are looking for. Consuming our minds with assumptions will only lead to confusion and frustration.

5. Just because something good ends, doesn’t mean something better won’t begin. Our life is in constant motion and progression – so are we. Often good things end because they are no longer right for us, and we have to wait and be hopeful that life has better things in store for us.

6. Start each day with a thankful heart. We should be thankful for our health, our bodies, and for the gift of life in general. The most powerful way to get rid of negativity is to be thankful for the things we have that we take for granted on a daily basis.

7. Some things take time. Stay patient. Just because something isn’t happening for us right now, doesn’t mean it will never happen. Timing makes a huge difference and we have to stay patient and keep asking the universe for what we want and believing that it will happen when it’s supposed to.

8. Without the dark, we would never see the stars. As long as we don’t stay in the dark, good things can come out of really bad situations and we can even come out of it better and stronger people. Sometimes it takes the worst pain to bring out the best in us.

9. The people we surround ourselves with matter more than we think. If we surround ourselves with people who lift us higher and see great potential in us, we will be able to get rid of negativity faster. Don’t spend time with people who thrive on drama, they will strip away your happiness.

10. Only a positive mind can give us a positive life. Negative thoughts are like weeds, they keep growing if we don’t root them out. That’s why we have to keep thinking positively and focus on the things we can control and get rid of all the thoughts that are holding us back one by one.

Addiction is Real. Here’s How to Beat It

Addiction is real

Have you known an addict or been an addict? Are you an addict now?

Unfortunately, addictions come with the human condition. We’ve got alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts, workaholics, self-mutilators, and more. You name it, our culture has found it and become addicted to it.

Addiction is defined as anything we do repeatedly that causes harm to ourselves and/or others. The underlying driver to addiction is a general dissatisfaction with your life, your self-image, or identity. In extreme cases, an intense self-hatred and a sense of hopelessness and despair are the foundations of addiction.
Are you saying to yourself right now, “I can’t think of anything I’m addicted to”? Well, I’d say to you, “Come on. We’re all addicted to something.” If you don’t think that’s true of you, look through this list with me.

Are you addicted to:

  • Achievement – Always needing to perform to feel valuable
  • Self-Pity – Constant feeling of “poor me” and “life is unfair”
  • Worry – A consistent lack of peace
  • Drinking – You need a drink to be happy, sleep, or feel connected to people
  • Being Busy – If you’re alone or still, you feel depressed or lonely
  • Sex – You can’t stop viewing porn, quit masturbating , or view the others without sexual thoughts.
  • Social Media – You’re constantly connected to your phone or computer, ignoring the people right in front of you
  • Gambling – A need to take risk, make money, and feel valued from winning
  • Self-Sabotage – You can’t hold on to a relationship, you screw up great opportunities, and you can’t allow yourself to succeed.

Yes, you can be addicted to so-called positive things such as achievement. Look at Dale Partridge for example. He struggled with a serious addiction of being busy and achievement. Achievement became part of his identity. He started 6 businesses within 8 years producing over $15 million in revenue. But he didn’t know who was apart from outside praise and achievement. His addiction to work and achievement linked directly with a general dissatisfaction, if not, a downright dislike for who he was. He thought that his identity and worth was based solely in what I accomplished instead of who he was.

The bottom line is this: we all just want to be loved. We want to feel loved. We all deserve love. We starve for connectivity and depth, but we’re seriously scared and often times, lack the basic relational ability to reach out and get it.

So, if you had to choose something, what would you say you’re addicted to? Think about your thoughts for the day. Are there patterns? Ruts? Are there places in your mind that you continue to visit and obsess over during each 24-hour period?

What are they? Be brave and write them down. Let’s begin the healing process.

I want you to pay attention here. You deserve better. You deserve more. You were created for awe and purpose. You were created to love and be loved. The things that grip you don’t have to strangle the life out of you. There is hope and there is a way out.

Today begin telling yourself the opposite of the lies in your head. Begin practicing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control. Tell a trusted friend about your addiction. Reach out. Call a group. Don’t wait. This is your life we’re talking about.

You deserve normal. You deserve love, balance, joy, peace, and success. Go after it.

How To Write The Best Story Of Your Life

  • Each new day is an opportunity to write a new story; a blank page to start over and begin writing a new chapter. You have pages to fill with your own words. You have sentences to live by and characters to support your story. Make sure you write a story that you love, a story you are proud of, a story your children and grandchildren will want to read over and over again, and make sure you write an authentic one, an original one, a story that reflects your life, your dreams and your desires – not a copy of someone’s life or a story someone else has written for you. Here is how to write the best story of your life.
  • Start by building the right characters. Your characters are the ones that make your story come to life, and they are an integral part of your journey. Pick the right characters, the ones that will stick with you till the end of the story, the ones that will support you when your story is falling apart, the ones who will fill all your pages and chapters, and the ones who will help you write a happy ending.
  • Find the purpose of your story. What are you trying to tell the world? What are you here for? And what story do you want people to read about you? Find a meaning to your story that makes you come alive and inspires you to wake up every day. Find a meaning that keeps your story interesting and keeps you interested , find a meaning to fight for, live for and die for.
  • Don’t let defeat put an end to your story. Every great story has periods of despair, failures and defeats, but this is what makes it even more compelling and this is what makes it even more substantial. This is the climax of your story and the turning point. This is when you start changing and your whole story changes. It now becomes about how you handle defeat, how you rise up after you fall down, and how you change the direction of your life after failure. A victorious ending requires a series of lost battles.
  • Pick an exciting theme. The theme is one of the most fundamental components of your story. Pick a theme that ends each chapter with hope, faith, and a desire to make tomorrow better. A theme that makes your character stronger in every chapter, a theme that makes people root for you and want to see you make it to the end. Pick a positive theme, a humorous tone maybe, or a theme that depicts the strength in struggle and the beauty in vulnerability.
  • Love is the essence of your story. Your story will be very weak without the power of love. You have to write a story of love and passion. Love is what keeps the story moving forward. It could be a lover, a friend, your work, your parents, your children, God or the love of the journey, the love of the unknown, or even your struggle to find love and define it. No matter how you tackle it, love is the crux of your story.
  • Don’t worry so much about the ending. Pay more attention to the details of your story and the way it’s unfolding. The best writers often don’t know how their story will end, they just start writing and the ending comes to them after they’ve shaped the main plot. If you focus too much on the ending, you might miss out on the whole story.
  • Give it a spectacular title. The title is what summarizes your story in a few words. It’s what makes people want to read your story. It’s your choice how you want people to perceive your story. Each day you make a choice as to whether the title ends with a question mark, a period, or an exclamation point.

Maybe One Day We’ll Figure This Life Out

Figuring Life Out

Maybe one day we’ll know why certain people have left us and why they didn’t come back. One day we will be able to connect the dots and understand how the pieces we didn’t understand all found their way to fit into the puzzle of our lives and complete the picture.

Maybe one day we’ll know why destiny keeps bringing certain people back into our lives or why their lessons had to be learned over and over again so we can finally know it by heart.

Maybe those people are meant to be a bigger part of our future and they keep reappearing to remind us that their part in our story is not over.
Maybe one day we’ll know why we left certain jobs and why we were forced to change directions. Maybe we were meant to change the world and our jobs weren’t going to make that happen. Maybe we are free spirits who are destined to roam the world freely without being caged in an orbit of predictability.

Maybe one day we’ll know why we didn’t get along with our parents or our relatives. Maybe we were meant to go out and make new friends and find people who teach us that we don’t have to share the same blood to count as family. Maybe we were meant to get lost and wander to find where we truly belong – to find a home we don’t want to escape from.

Maybe we were meant to fail and be laughed at to learn how to shield ourselves from the stones that keep getting thrown our way.

Maybe we needed to learn how to walk on pebbles so we can walk slowly and discover that there is more than one path along the way.

Maybe we were meant to be laughed at so we can understand that one person’s tragedy is another person’s comedy.

Maybe we were meant to fall in love with the wrong people to learn that love doesn’t discriminate. That the heart doesn’t know the rules or the terms or the social conduct. It just feels and jumps recklessly into anything that moves it. Maybe we need to learn that love will always be inexplicable, something of the Gods, something that calls us to do things that are unfamiliar to us. Something that makes us believe in magic – a dream that meddles in the nightmares of reality.

Maybe we were meant to sail away from the shore to learn the methods of surviving alone, to learn that loneliness won’t kill us and solitude can be our friend. Maybe we need to disappear to see who will care to find us, who will care to bring us back to life, who will wonder about us and who will wish we never find our way back.

Maybe we needed to be scared so we can understand that we will never be fearless but we can be courageous and we can be brave. Maybe one day we will know if our fear is merely a reflection of our own insecurities or fear of our own greatness . Maybe one day we will know why we were so afraid to shine.

Maybe one day we will know why we just can’t be happy, why we are always searching for something to stress us out so we can feel like we are part of society, why we always have to feel ‘useful’ to be accepted, why we always want more than what we have and why we feel like it’s a crime to just exist – just be – bounded by our nothingness.

Maybe one day we will look back and life will make sense, maybe one day we will stop asking so many questions and let the answers find us. Maybe one day we will know for sure why we wasted so much trying to get a grasp of life that we forgot that we are here to live it – not understand it.

The Big Risk if You’re Seeking Approval from Other People

Originally posted on the daily positive.

As human beings we crave acceptance and approval – to feel a sense of belonging and security.

The Big Risk if You’re Seeking Approval from Other People

It makes sense if you think about our primitive nature and history – the need to be in tribes/communities together, for safety and survival.

That seems to drive so many of us in modern life to go seeking approval and acceptance from others – be it our families, our friends, our work colleagues and employers.

Heck… we even go on social media and seek “likes” from complete strangers in order to get that sense of acceptance.

But here are the cold hard facts about living for the acceptance, approval or praise of others…

  • Yes, it feels good (we all like it!)
  • But, you can’t guarantee you’ll always get it.
  • And as long as you’re attached to the acceptance, approval and praise of others, you’re also equally attached to their judgment, criticism and rejection.

The powerful truth that I’ve personally learned over the years is this…

  • When people say nice things about me, that’s lovely and it’s just what they’re thinking and feeling in that moment. It has nothing to do with me. It’s none of my business. 💙
  • When people say unkind things about me, that’s unpleasant and it’s just what they’re thinking and feeling in that moment. It has nothing to do with me. It’s none of my business. 💙

If you live by the praise of others, you die by their criticism.

Everyone is simply projecting their inner experience into the outer world – be that positive or negative, be that praise or criticism. To live your life at peace and empowered here are 2 TIPS…

  • Don’t take things personally – even when it’s nice things (acknowledge the love the other person is expressing, and witness it with appreciation, but don’t attach to it like an umbilical cord!). 😃
  • Don’t go looking for people to validate, approve, accept or praise you – GIVE IT TO YOURSELF. The only person’s opinion who truly matters is yours. From your own approval, the world is your oyster and you can enjoy the good and detach the bad, forever free to simply be.

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?