Category Archives: Personal Growth

Midlife Crisis: Why It Is Never Too Late for a New Beginning

Do you think you are too old to make a change in your life? Here is a guest post to reminds you that you are never too old.

One of the things that never seems to stop being “a thing” is a person’s midlife crisis. The range of people affected by it is immense, because it can “attack” between 30 and 70 years of age, with those aged between 40 and 60 being its target group. However, it is time to start talking about a midlife crisis as some sort of problem, especially in this day and age. It does not need to be a time in our lives when we look back with sorrow into our past and regret having done or not having done certain things. It does not have to result in doing something completely pointless and superficial, such as buying a red sports car, or getting plastic surgery.

Even though most people dealing with midlife crisis feel as if their best days are behind them, that couldn’t be further from the truth. First of all, there is no point in thinking that you’ve passed the halfway mark, because you don’t know how long you are going to live. Then, there is the fact that the average life expectancy and the quality of life are better than even, leaving us with plenty of good decades ahead of us. With that in mind, we have put together a list of why your midlife crisis might be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.

1. You Have Plenty of Life Experience under Your Belt

if asked about their favorite time in life, most people would choose their 20s or 30s. However, we all tend to look at the decades behind us through rose-colored glasses. Of course, because those decades contain some of the biggest highs in our life. It is most likely the time when you have looked your best, fallen in love with the love of your life, gotten your first job, gotten married, and/or had children.

However, we tend to forget the lows. We forget how insecure we were in ourselves and our decisions. We also lacked money to do certain things in life, or were partially or completely financially dependent. Being older, you are comfortable with who you are and have plenty of experience to guide you through life.

2. You Are Old/Young Enough

This is one of the perks of being middle-aged. You are old enough to make your own decisions in life, and you are fully aware of the risks, consequences, and benefits that are the result of your actions. Sure, it would be better if you were 25 right now, but since you can’t go back into the past with this mindset, there is no point in dwelling on it.

You are still young enough to make most goals in your life a reality. If you are considering a career change, you still have plenty of time to turn things around and change your professional and personal life for the better.

3. You Depend on Nobody and Vice Versa

When you were younger, you felt as if you had all the freedom in the world. Which is not entirely true. You were free of most responsibilities that come with being an adult, but you were financially dependent on your parents, which was certainly limiting in several ways. After you have gotten a bit older, you had kids you had to provide for, which means you were limited yet again, albeit in a different way.

Now that you are middle-aged, you have the best of both worlds. You don’t depend on your parents, and you children don’t depend on you. This leaves an awful lot of time, as well as resources, which you can spend on nobody but yourself. You can pursue your hobbies, explore alternative careers, or simply catch up on your reading.

4. There Is No Such Thing as “Too Late”

If you are feeling as if you’re too old to make changes in your life, keep in mind that you can’t know what’s going to happen a year from now, let alone in the next few decades. Let’s just recall some examples of people which have achieved recognition later in life. We can safely say that Morgan Freeman is one of the finest actors currently working in show business, but if you were to take a look at the list of his roles, you would be able to see that he didn’t get his big break in Hollywood until he starred in Driving Miss Daisy. He was 52.

Another great example is his pal Clint Eastwood, who is a living legend. But, we consider him an actor first, even though he has been directing movies for almost 40 years. His best works include Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Changeling, Gran Torino, and American Sniper, all of which he directed in his 70s and 80s.

5. You Are Privileged

We are so busy chasing after something that we rarely stop and think how privileged we are to have lived this long. Every time you catch yourself thinking how your midlife crisis is the worst thing that has happened to you, think about how many people haven’t had the luxury of growing to become middle-aged. They also had hopes, goals, and dreams, but death got in their way too early on.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that you only get one chance at life, which should serve as motivation to make the most of it. Just because things aren’t perfect right now doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability or the time to change them. Because you do. You have plenty of it ahead of you. If you don’t do it in this lifetime, when will you do it? Age is such an arbitrary number, and it shouldn’t prevent you from achieving your goals.

The Final Word

Instead of considering it a crisis, think of your middle age as an opportunity to improve your life and do all of the things you have missed out on doing before. You have plenty of time left to learn, try, fail, try again, and succeed. Don’t let yourself or anyone else tell you otherwise.

About the author

Olivia is a journalist who is always ready to experience new things and share this experience with others. She is passionate about art and writing. Therefore, she usually spends time writing for Aussiewritings.com or travelling around the World. Follow Olivia on Facebook and Twitter.

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5 Important Lessons about Forgiveness From a Recovering Addict


“Be the one who nurtures and builds.
Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart,
One who looks for the best in people.
Leave people better than you found them.”
Marvin J. Ashton

The following is a guest post from Carl Towns, a strong person who managed to turn their life around.

Let’s start with this thought.
Holding on to grudges and resentment throughout your life will guarantee you one thing, and one thing only – a lack of true happiness. If like me, you are in recovery from the peril of addiction, you get two things guaranteed – that lack of happiness, and, furthermore, the distinct possibility of a sudden and dangerous relapse into the pit of self-destruction you have tried so hard to pull yourself out of. In other words, for an addict, the inability to forgive will lead you to misery.

I personally learned this lesson during my time in drug rehab in one of the daily group therapy sessions. Withdrawal, even though medicated, leaves you hollow, like a shell. You begin to fixate on the little things that form your routine. In those sessions, I always sat in a particular chair. One day, when I entered the therapy room, someone else was sitting there, a new guy. I immediately hated him, he’d wronged me. Why didn’t he know? My chair, my chair. Sad, but true – my old, petty, irrational way of thinking was still with me. That’s how addicts think. Hollow grudges, shell-like resentment. And the whole situation made me want to turn it all into a blur with a bottle. My hands shook with the craving.

Learning forgiveness, how to forgive others and how to forgive me, has saved me from many a potential relapse. I am now four years sober, with no conscious desire to live within a bottle – a more rational, more content man. A more forgiving man. And, as a recovering addict, the idea of sharing is one I believe in. It’s why I’m sat in front of my old laptop, early in the morning, typing this out for you.

So how do you define forgiveness? I like this one. Forgiveness, according to psychologists in general, is “a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.” It’s the last part of that definition which is the most important. Regardless. That part, for us as people, and especially for recovering addicts, is our obstacle, the reason for our hesitancy, why we choose not to forgive sometimes. It was this I had to conquer to make my recovery something tangible, something achievable, to give it a chance of success. During my ongoing recovery, I have been taught five important lessons about forgiveness, and it is those I wish to share now:

Grudges & Resentment

Addicts, whatever their poison – alcohol, drugs, gambling, whatever – all have a number of things in common, and one of these is a list. A list of grudges, of times they believe they were wronged. They use these lists as justification for their addiction, and their resulting behavior. Does that sound weird and slightly deranged to you? Well, it’s how addicts think. I had my list, and, boy, was it a long one, built up over many years because of my inability to forgive and the power of my addiction. Getting rid of the list was the first positive step in my recovery. Such grudges and ill-will will, more often than not, include:

Authority: Being told what to do doesn’t sit well with your average addict.
Expectations: Even though an addict will have a very low expectation of themselves, they require others to act in a perfect fashion, placing high expectations upon those around them.
Traumatization: Many addicts have been hurt, abused, and beaten by others in their past. As justified as their resentment is, substance abuse is not the way to handle it.
● Lies: Being lied to, by family or friends, is another one for the list.

There are more, much more, and addicts can have quite the imagination, their state of mind having the last say on whether you make their list or not.

Grudges & Recovery

Addicts have spent their lives building these lists. For them, it is normal behavior, and it can be a difficult habit to break. However, break it they must. Thinking in a negative way is something a recovering addict can simply not afford to do. Holding on to their list will result in further misery. You just have to give it up. Dangers of failing to do so include:

● Justification: Sadly, it provides them with a justification to relapse.
● More Excuses: An addict that holds on to their list will use it as an excuse for not devoting themselves to recovery.
● “Stinking Thinking”: Negativity, in other words. Grudges and resentment de-motivate you.
● Emotional Sobriety: The most important, perhaps. Sobriety and I can testify to this, brings with it an inner peace for those who are in recovery.

Self-Forgiveness

True forgiveness begins with you. Fact. You cannot hope to show compassion to others if you cannot show compassion to yourself. Guilt, for an addict, can be a killer. It can be the barrier to a full and lasting recovery and a new and better way of living. A form of anger, only this self-directed, guilt will make or break you. If you can’t forgive yourself, you are already halfway down the road to relapse.

It’s important to understand why addicts can be faced with seemingly insurmountable guilt. Here a just a few of those reasons why (and, yes, I can quite confidently cross all these off my personal, emotional bucket list):

Forgiving Others: If you can’t forgive others, you have no chance of self-forgiveness.
Low Self-Esteem: Addicts are masters in the art of the “self-put-down.” No addict has a high opinion of himself or herself as long as they stay a user.
No Remorse: You have to feel true remorse for past deeds that hurt others.

The Benefits

So far, this article, gleaned from experience and sharing with others, may appear a little negative in itself. Let’s put that right. The benefits of learning to forgive are your prize, your reward. These include:

Happier: Forgiving, truly forgiving, makes us happier. Another fact. Furthermore, forgiving someone we feel close to heightens that happiness.
Healthier: Living with the negativity that deeply-held grudges bring, we are more likely to experience higher blood pressure and heart rate, and less able to deal with stressful situations. Additionally, some studies point to a detrimental effect on our immune systems.
Kindness: I can swear to this one. One of the most valuable rewards forgiveness has brought me is that of kindness. Selfishness, of which I’m a past master, has taken a back seat and been replaced with endless consideration for others. That, in itself, has made me more content with who I am today.
Better Relationships: Forgiveness will lead to healthier, more rewarding relationships, be they of the romantic kind or that of a solid friendship.
Better Marriages: For those who are married, learning to forgive wholeheartedly is somewhat of a necessity. My own marriage ended during my years of addiction. She simply walked out, and, I, for one, didn’t blame her. But it went on the list anyway.

Forgiving

This is the last lesson. For forgiveness to be truly a part of your life, you have to:

● Forgive absolutely. Forgiveness is not, I repeat, NOT absolving the other party of blame. You may never speak to them again. That’s life. However, you are letting go of that negativity inside, and, therefore, you are not defined by that negativity.
● Realize its benefits.
● Understand that we are all human, we all make mistakes, and we are all just immensely fallible beings just trying to get through the day without making a complete ass of ourselves.
● Further, understand that you only extend your own suffering by not letting go.

Your Willingness…

As renowned U.S. author Marianne Williamson once wrote, “The first step in forgiveness is the willingness to forgive.” How very true. If you don’t start with this, you’ll never start. So this is what I have learned about forgiveness, from the moment I stepped into rehab until today, these 5 lessons – grudges and resentment, grudges and recovery, self-forgiveness, the benefits you reap, and the need for forgiving.

Maybe there’s something not in my, dare I say, list (this is, for sure, a far better list than the one I used to have…) that you think should be included. What would that be? Please share in the comments below. And thank you for reading.

When Procrastination Becomes Good


Have you ever felt putting off the work that you need to do because you don’t feel like doing it? It’s not impossible and certainly not something uncommon. Students are the ones mostly associated with procrastinating but working people or stay home parents like you might be experiencing it too. The thing is that procrastination can either be bad or good depending on how you make it so. Just because people are procrastinating should it mean that they are unproductive. Sometimes, the most productive people can be the ones who procrastinate all the more. So how do you make yourself productive even when you procrastinate?

The Good and Bad Procrastination

Not all procrastination is bad. You can be procrastinating and at the same time be productive. Putting off today’s work because you believe the saying that “there is always tomorrow” may be your usual motto. People have long taken procrastination as something negative but in fact, it could be a perfect way for you to do other things as important and make the best of your day enjoying it. Lazy procrastination is bad but being productive while you procrastinate is the good one and that’s what you’ll learn from here.

So before we start, let me tell you a few things more. Procrastination can be stressful because you know yourself that you may not be able to do what you are supposed to be doing for the day. Thinking alone over the long list of things that you have to be is pressing enough to stress you. But with some help, you may find that structured and unstructured procrastination can be the answer to your problem of improving yourself even when you’re likely to put off the real work.

Structured and Unstructured Procrastination

There are two kinds of procrastination: the structured and unstructured one. Although both are forms of procrastination, each can also be a way for you to choose how you’re going to be productive.

Structured procrastination is like this: you’re supposed to do the laundry or fixed that leaking pipe over the sink. Instead you choose to kill time trying to think of the whole week’s menu or mow instead your front lawn because the growing grass is getting on your nerves. Structured procrastination is somewhat related to what you are trying to put off to work house work. But instead of doing that housework, you decided on doing another thing which seems easier for you to do. When you’re done and you think you had enough downtime to rest, relax and organize, then you’ll likely turn to your original task and be on it.

Several more examples of structured procrastination involves organizing your home, office, bookshelves, files or trying to make anything go clean as a pin. Checking your emails or answering them, planning a meeting, a meal, a date, a vacation, your next month’s budgets, making your to-do lists and reading the news in papers or online are all common tasks that falls under the category of structured procrastination.

On the other hand, unstructured procrastination is simply doing things that are leaned more on self pleasure and indulgence. It’s not actually related to any work that you are supposed to do. In fact, looking into space or making out shapes from clouds can be considered as unstructured procrastination already. While to do lists and planning things are what the organized and critical people do, it can be said that the more creative person would choose unstructured procrastination to make for the downtime. Call it a creativity recharging but you will find writers and artists of different kinds spend their time walking along the park, going with a friend on a lunch date to chat, taking power naps, reading interesting books or pondering on some great ideas.

Those who choose unstructured procrastination are usually people who needs a push for their creativity especially when they work on something that needs their focus like writing a novel, painting or simply making a script for playwriting.

The Hidden Benefits of Procrastination

While most people are firm on their belief that procrastination is obviously a waste of their time, other people view it otherwise. True, time lost can never be brought back but time spent on something worthwhile should not be considered wasted. You might still be skeptical to believe it or not but good procrastination is beneficial more than harming to your actual job.

How?

1. Good procrastination releases your body from major stress strike.

Beginnings are always exciting. It’s a fresh new start for you to do things and work your way to finishing it until the end. But doing the task along the way can be overwhelming especially if you are the only one doing it. Or it could be boring you because what you are doing now is just the same from what you are doing before. Instead of stressing yourself out, procrastination helps you avoid stress so much that might later on make you unproductive and grumpy towards people.

2. Good procrastination is not wasting your time.

Sure, you’re procrastinating your way out of the real work but doing small things and doing things that are less prioritized also push you to try focusing yourself on the big real task that you have to do. Starting the work with small task conditions yourself to get the job done before the day ends so you get to accomplish more and not let things pile up on you.

3. Good procrastination makes you healthy.

While some prefer to slouch and sleep their life away rather than do the work, people who choose to procrastinate for good choose to stay active and be active for the work they have to do. You may not feel like doing things right now but a 15-minute walk in the part or exercise is enough to make your body and brain active and energized for work. Although it’s not always that procrastination conditions you this way but at least you get to help your mind and body relax away from regular stressors that comes with your work. Some may call it recreational but you should know better that it’s already a form of stress management technique for you.

4. Procrastination gives you more time.

You’re not actually wasting your time; in fact, procrastinating allows you to work your best with more time. It’s not every day that you feel so good and positive about yourself but thinking things over gives you an idea on how to make your work become better. A little diversion here and there can help you manage yourself to get back to the work you need to do until you’re done with it without stressing yourself too much on deadlines and returned work because it’s not what and how your boss wanted it.

Just always remember: your work will always be there in front of you UNLESS you do something about it to finish and be done with it. You cannot avoid procrastination because it happens on normal people every day; every minute all across the world. Unless you do something about it as well, you can never find your way out of it. Ask yourself what works best for you. Maybe you need a little push doing little tasks before you can move on to bigger ones. Or maybe, you need some bit of unstructured procrastination before you can move further along the next step. Whatever your choice on the matter will be, always keep it mind that your decision today will affect every decision that you will make tomorrow. So choose well whether you’ll just stare at your work piling up all day or you’ll start to motivate yourself by being active and doing smaller tasks to finish things along the way.

Learn more about this topic by visiting triad technique.

5 Ways to Be More Resilient



By Nelu Mbingu
Everybody is guaranteed to face some obstacles as they live the length of their lives. Nonetheless, you may have noticed that some people seem to be able to overcome obstacle after obstacle without losing hope. These people keep getting right back up after hitting the ground. They have what they psychologists call resilience. With the following five tips, you might be able to join the cliques of the resilient in the world.

1. Stay Optimistic

When you’re facing a challenging problem, it’s often easy to fall into a negative mindset, and to start thinking, “I will never get out of this situation!” We often magnify our problems and begin to think of the future as a dark and dreary place where we will continuously have to face the same problem we’re facing at the moment. In reality, unless you’re dead, you’ll never find yourself in a situation that is completely devoid of hope.

If you want to become more resilient, make the habit of seeing the world in a positive light. Resilient people do not damn themselves to the problems they’re facing, but are optimistic about their situations. They expect things to get better. Know that your situation will not stay the same forever. Things will change. Someday, you will find yourself arriving at the light at the end of your tunnel. You will not be imprisoned by your problems forever.

Remember that you can always choose your thoughts. You don’t have to stick with the ones that automatically pop up in your head. Choose positive and optimistic thoughts that will make you the resilient person you want to be.

2. Trust Your Ability to Adapt

Not all of us realize this, but as humans we all share one magnificent characteristic that has helped us survive on the planet for thousands of years: the ability to adapt. There is no difference between you and the people who have survived the worst of the worst in life. Don’t listen to that inner critic that says you don’t have what it takes. You have all the tools you need to overcome your problems. You can conquer your challenges, just like the Mandelas and the Gandhis and the world. You have the ability to adapt to your situation and come out victorious over your problems.

Being resilient requires that you have the “I can do this!” mindset. You need to tell yourself that there is a way out of your problems (which there almost always is), and then focus on finding that way out. Don’t waste your mental faculties focusing on how bad your situation is or how unfair life was to you, but instead turn your survival skills on and start looking for ways conquer.

3. Think of Life as a Game

If you’ve ever played Angry Birds, Candy Crush, or any other game, then you know that as you progress through the levels, they only keep getting more challenging. And as you play and master the lower levels, you learn skills that help you face the challenges in the higher levels. Going from level 7 to level 8 means you’ve earned the right to attempt the more difficult level, and if you master that one too, you’ll earn the right to go through to level 9.

Life is similar. As you progress through the years, and you become more mentally mature and competent, you earn the right to face more difficult challenges. When you find yourself facing problem after problem while other people seem to be cruising through life, know that life trusts you more to be able to conquer the more challenging obstacles. If you want to be more resilient, hold on to this mindset and welcome challenges like the champion that you are.

And just like in a game where you might not conquer the level on the first try, in life, you might not conquer your obstacles on the first try. You might be knocked down a couple of times before you finally overcome them. You might need to change your strategy a couple of times before you find the one that works. But you keep trying again and again until you make it.

4. Focus on Learning Through It All

Start seeing your problems as valuable tools through which you can learn life lessons. If you look at your problems like that, they become momentary realities that will make their exit as soon as they teach you the lessons that they are there to teach you. Then, when you find yourself facing a challenging situation you won’t feel powerless and hopeless, because you will know that your duty is simply to learn your lesson and move on. You will have the optimism you need to be more resilient.

It might help to have a way to process and record your lessons as you conquer your struggles. It’s often difficult to think objectively and to see the lessons in your experiences as you go through them. But by recording your experiences in a journal, on a blog, or through YouTube videos, you’ll be able to look back at them later when your mind is calmer and the lessons are more obvious to see.

5. Stop Trying To See The Whole Staircase

A lot of times, we let ourselves be crushed by our problems because we don’t immediately see the 90-step strategy out of them. We don’t have the solutions figured out immediately, and so we start thinking that we’re doomed in our situations. On the other hand, resilient people have a knack for taking things one step at a time. They trust that the staircase will reveal itself in time, if they just take the first step.

You don’t need to have a perfect plan of how you will overcome your problems. You just need to find the immediate step that will take you to your solution, and focus on taking that step. If you suddenly find yourself as a single mother of toddlers, and unemployed, you don’t need to worry about how you will take your kids to college. Just focus on finding a way to feed them today, and later the way to college will reveal itself.

There is no difference between you and the most resilient person in the world. If you open your mind with tips like the above, you can also learn to spring back up again and again when you face obstacles in your life.

Nelu Mbingu is a self-improvement blogger, the writer of Lessons From Everyday Life. She writes thought-provoking articles on a variety of topics relating to personal growth and social success. Visit her blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter

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How Writing Engenders Self-Improvement?

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How Writing Engenders Self-Improvement?


Abstract: Writing is a powerful tool using which you can introduce positive change in the society. However, this change should begin from within you for a lasting impact.

Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”. The act of self-improvement is directly concerned with your soul. A pure soul contains a clean heart and a clean heart directs you to the path of righteousness and improvement.

Writing is an art which is easy to learn bet very difficult to overcome. But once did, it help you explore the inner horizons of your soul which you were once oblivion to. Writing also helps you bridge connection with others without uttering a single word. This connectivity is essential to our growth and development, as human beings tend to learn and get better by imitating one another.

In the contemporary times, we see that there is a tremendous increase in the number of writers. With the introduction of e-books, writers can easily get their books available to potential readers. This, however, has taken a hit on the quality of the material being produced. Not to mention that quality content is only produced when it generates from within. You cannot bring change, either in yourself or the society in general, if the purpose of your writing is mere monetary gains.

how writing

A pen possesses more power than a sword. With your pen, you can change the fate of generations. With your pen, you introduce the ideas which you think are necessary for the societal development. With your pen, you can spread love and with the same pen, you can spread hate. It is up to you that how you prefer to use it. Charity begins at home, they say. So should be the case with the power of the pen. You should start using it for your own betterment first and for the society latter.

There are many ways you can use the power of writing for bringing a better change in your personality. Down under, we have briefly discussed these ways:

Writing is your acceptance

Improvement begins with acceptance. The beautiful journey to your self-improvement beings the day you accept your flaws and limitations. When you do this, only then you will be able to work on them and become a better individual.

Writing is a means using which you can tell the untold about you. You can share the sides of your personality which no one knew about. You can tell about incidents of your life which you would have never told using your tongue. It is a silent way of speaking out loud and saying what you wish to say.

Once you write the things which you were reluctant to say, you will feel a burden getting off your shoulders. You will feel light and happy. This happiness which you will feel is a sign that you are improving.

You own your limitations when you write about them. This means that you start accepting that you have weaknesses. This is where the journey to betterment begins. When you own them, these don’t remain weaknesses anymore, instead become your strengths.

Writing ensures connectivity

Through your speech, you can reach out to a limited number of people at a time whereas with your writings you can reach out to millions in a single go. The whole process of writing down your thoughts and sharing them with others ensures connectivity. This connectivity ultimately leads to synergy which is essential when it comes to getting better.

Writing doesn’t only ensure your individual’s improvement. Instead, when you write your thoughts share them with others, people also feel an urge to share their thoughts too. By adopting a compelling narrative you can urge others to speak their hearts out too. This will not only make you better but will others get rid of their limited circles too. Consequently, your writing will help usher a positive change in the society on the whole.

You write what your heart wants

As we have already mentioned that when you don’t write for mere economic gains then you write the actual thoughts from your heart. This is where self-actualization and introspection begins. The famous psychologist Cark Jung says, “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”

This means that when you are actually using the reasoning of your heart and your soul into your writings, you get to know yourself more. You learn the things about yourself which you never thought would have existed. This is the impact writing can have on your personality.

Write your goals to achieve them

Studies show that when you write down your goals on a piece of paper and read them on a daily basis, your chances of achieving them increase many folds. This also suggests that writing helps you get better in life.

The formula which works here is extremely simple. Once written, you will always remember the goals and dreams you set for yourself. This will keep your pushing for them every single day until the day reaches when you will surpass them.

These are the basics ways writing engenders self-improvement. The process of self-improvement is a lifelong thing. It starts the day you realize your weak points and exists till the very last breath. This actualization about getting better is what makes us competitive, and a hard-working individual. If this urge to become better isn’t there, then you will be what you are for the rest of life. And this isn’t how life is meant to be.

The saying of John Rogers fit perfectly here. He says, “You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.” This is the growth and betterment we have been talking about in this whole article. Your limitations don’t define you but your potentials do. You cannot confine yourself to a certain place. Instead, you need to think out of the box every time you write. This thinking out-of-the-box, though difficult, is a sign of change. A change is always difficult.

So, don’t wait for the right moment to start writing. The moment you write will be the right moment to start.

 

Author: Ann Breen is a young psychologist. She practices at a private clinic. Writing is her hobby. She occasionally writes guest blogs for numerous websites. She currently writes custom essays for her clients occasionally.

Daydreaming


The topic of daydreaming does not get a lot of airtime around the dinner table, but my guess is everyone is secretly wondering what is going on in everyone else’s head.

Wouldn’t that make conversation outrageously more interesting?

“As, I walked to the library today I experienced the authenticity of the old cities in the Arabic world. I learned to speak Arabic in my free time over the next year and then moved there for ten years.

I sat in Algerian restaurants and listened to what the old people were talking about, then I went to the desert and heard what the old world had to say. I breathed Mediterranean air and saw myself in sandals with a dark tan and white smile.”

Not only do we not talk about the lives inside our heads, we don’t seem to know that much about them. I recently went on a daydreaming podcast bender and was stunned at the range of contradictory ideas of if daydreaming is good or bad. There wasn’t even a coherent definition of daydreaming.

What was clear though, is daydreaming is something that should have our attention. We spend over 50% of our time lost in our own little worlds, and depending who you listen to, it is the seed of success or the systemic cause of all unhappiness.

A massive study by Dan Gilbert and Matt Killingsworth  from the University of Harvard (that is responsible for the 50% statistic) found that when people let their mind’s wander they are less happy than when they are focused on a task. This was true regardless of whether the daydream was positive or negative.

On the flip side, every self improvement manual out there applauds and encourages the use of “positive thinking.” Not to mention the amount of creative geniuses who attribute their greatest breakthroughs to an aha moment generated out of random thought.

But, before we can get into whether daydreaming is good or bad, we first need to have a mutual understanding on the definition of daydreaming.

Daydreaming is an altered state of consciousness that occurs when our attention is no longer focused on our external situation. This definition of daydreaming includes everything from planning your day to taking your pet dragon for a spin over the town.

Just because it is an altered state of consciousness, however, doesn’t mean that it is necessarily unconscious. All topics of daydreaming can occur at a conscious, sub-conscious, or unconscious level.

3 Levels of Daydreaming

  1. Visualization

Visualization is a conscious break from reality. This is what most of the advocates of positive thinking are promoting (although dreaming about Hawaiian beaches is positive it doesn’t always fit here). To best understand visualization, it is the easiest if you just give it a try. Imagine being someone else who is looking at you right now and see what they see.

Visualization takes effort and focus. It is not the mind wandering that Gilbert and Killingsworth were studying at Harvard. This is always a positive form of daydreaming.

  1. Fantasy

This can range from full blown Narnia trips to imagining talking to the cute girl in the coffee shop. Fantasy can seem like a visualization, but you are not consciously choosing where you will go. This is the brain in its default network mode and is what a lot of people think when they hear daydreaming.

This is the brain mode where the aha moment occurs. As your brain spins through scenarios it is drawing on information and ideas from all parts of your brain, and this is how random ideas are sprouted.

However, it is also possible to get lost in this dream world. Our brains have a difficult time deciphering between what is real and imaginary http://drdavidhamilton.com/does-your-brain-distinguish-real-from-imaginary/, which leads to an obvious problem. Why would we ever chose to be in the real world when we can have anything we want in the imagination?

  1. Rumination

This type of daydreaming is so far off the scale of consciousness that it is impossible to control. A relatively harmless version of it is when you get a song stuck in your head. A not so healthy example would be when the driver next to you flips you the bird and you spend the rest of your day thinking of all the things you should have yelled out your window.

Rumination is a symptom of depression as well as anxiety. This is clearly the worst type of daydreaming. It is a full lack of the ability to focus your attention which Gilbert and Killingsworth discovered to be so essential to happiness.

So, Is Daydreaming Good or Bad?

Daydreaming is far too complicated to totally paint with a good or bad brush. Like most things that take up a lot of our attention and time (sleeping, eating, sex) it is essential for our success, but can easily consume us if we are not careful.

The trick is to monitor your level of conscious control over the daydreams. If you are purposefully engaging and disengaging, you are where you want to be. If you are stuck in a horrible pattern of replanning your day 27 times in a few hours, it may be time for some meditation.

The middle road of fantasizing is where it gets tricky. I personally used to have the problem of being bored with everything and getting lost in fantasy (and then messing up whatever I was doing). I realized that I was actually making my life boring by spending too much time fantasizing about exciting things.

However, since I make a living by using my creative juices, I couldn’t just lock my imagination in a box. So, I began consciously noting when I was daydreaming. I have specific times (going for a walk and eating lunch) when I allow my brain to go nuts, and I have specific times when I am careful to maintain focus (when I wake up, and at work).

Over time it becomes easier to consciously monitor and control your mind. It takes time energy and practise, but it is worth it. If you find it too hard, choose someone you trust, and make it a regular topic around the dinner table!

Greg Kamphuis travels the world and writes about how to make life better for yourself and for the world. His latest project, The Dopamine Challenge http://dopaminechallenge.com, is detour from his usual topic of conscious consumerism http://www.buybettermall.com/conscious-consumer-movement. The change of pace was necessary for him because he realized that before he can ask anyone to be a conscious consumer, he needed to be conscious himself.”

Work on Your Self-Esteem Issues with These Tips Today



Work on Your Self-Esteem Issues with These Tips Today

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Sometimes, we give all that we have to other people to make ourselves feel better, to somehow earn some good karma. But, it is crucial that, at the end of the day, you should never forget about that one person who is ultimately the most important one: yourself. When you are confident and assertive enough, reaching your short- and long-term goals will be possible. It is important that you find the passion inside you to think of yourself as nothing less; that you are enough; that you are beautiful. In times like this when we feel like we are lost, it is good to know that there is an available psychic directory where you can check out to talk to a talented psychic or medium and discuss with them your problems or obstacles in total confidence.

Some people may find that working on their self-esteem issues to be difficult, but so long as you are armed with valuable advice, tips, and strategies, you will eventually get there. Today, we will be providing you with helpful tips on how you can improve your confidence and self-esteem. We hope that by the end of this article, you will have already convinced yourself to start loving yourself more and loving the image you see on the mirror better.

Identifying your life goals

How do you see yourself 10 years from now? Do you see a bright future, with you smiling as your kids play in front of a house that you bought for your family? Or do you not really have any plans as of the moment? If you are not yet prepared for the future, it is definitely alright. Planning ahead means tackling our fear of uncertainty head on, which by the way, is a natural human response. But as far success and improving one’s self-esteem is concerned, you should learn how to set your short- and long-term goals as early as now. Your short-term goal can include getting a pay raise or getting promoted. Once these goals are known and put on paper, it becomes somehow tangible and achievable. This way, you can start your day with the right mindset that you really want to accomplish it. Step by step, you will get there eventually. You will feel better because you are achieving something you said you want.

Living healthy

Self-esteem does not only mean the way how you see yourself internally. It also includes how you feel when you look in the mirror. When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? Are you starting to get unnecessary fat for all those fast foods you have been eating? Improving one’s attitude is important, but your physical self is just as crucial. Starting today, make a commitment to only eat healthy food. Start taking care of your body—if you smoke, now is the best time to quit. You will feel so much better after a month off nicotine. Your excessive consumption of beer is also not doing you any good, especially in the long run. It makes your stomach hurt and it costs you money. Start going out to exercise and indulging yourself in sports like basketball or just plain jogging. Most people have also found hiking to be a good way to destress and at the same time contemplate on some important decisions they have to make.

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Staying away from negative people

If you have not met any toxic people in life, believe me when I said that you eventually will. Know how to distance yourself from people whose outlooks in life are bad and their general disposition is negativity. It is not going to be good for you to surround yourself with people who complain a lot and not do anything about it. This type of people will bring you down slowly. So as early as you can, try to stay away from them. Be with people who bring out the best in you, help you whenever you need it, and make you laugh so hard it gets hard to breathe. These are usually the best kind of people to keep in your life—they do not feel like a burden and exude positive vibes in your life.

Doing something for the first time

Doing something for the first time—something that you have never really done and tried before—will make you feel accomplished. You will feel a rush of excitement because you are subjecting yourself to an unfamiliar experience and feeling. It can be as simple as learning the basics of a really complicated language or learning how to play the piano. By accomplishing this, you will be able to give your self-esteem and confidence a much needed boost. Get yourself a new hobby, conquer your fears, and explore the horizons out of your comfort zone.

Never comparing yourself with others

You must know, as early as now, that you are beautiful and unique and the possibility is endless. Comparing yourself with someone who is living a more comfortable life or is more successful will bring no good. It is not a habit that you should indulge yourself in. Instead of looking at how others live their lives, you should learn how to focus on yourself and identify which things you can do better. Improve yourself little by little, and you will eventually get where that person is right now. Sacrifices have to be made, but these are small price to pay for feeling lighter and happier each time you wake up in the morning. The worst critic in our life is ourselves, so you be careful of what you tell yourself. Focus on the good, and deal with the bad accordingly.

Your journey to improving your self-esteem and boosting your confidence starts today, and the first step is to acknowledge that you will get better. Know that a better self-esteem means living a happier life, which is, what the goal of our life is. If you have anything else to add, feel free to leave a comment below.
Images by Unsplash and Leah Kelley under Public Domains CC0

3 Steps For Eliminating All Stress in 5 Days Without Any Tricks


“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” ~Bruce Lee

One of the reasons stress is terrible is because of the compounded effect of anxiety and health issues. Millenials are pushed to work harder thanks to all the comparison they do on the internet to “successful people.” It’s tough.

Yet, humans are tribal creatures, with genetic tendencies rooted to our distant past. The more we can align and understand our roots, the better we can fight off stress and uncertainty.

Here’s how:

1.Cut out extended stress situations.

In order to keep anxiety and stress pressure low, you should set up a system to lower extended stress situations. These include: a 5 minute time-out to walk around when your environment gets too tough or a blocked off time in your calendar to relax.

These moments will give you a moment to return to a balanced and calm state to better assess your surroundings. In the book 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, the founder of LinkedIn says he has to block off moments of time for himself. Before doing so, he was overwhelmed and out of control because of his back to back endless meetings.

Understand the consequences of staying in a prolonged stress environment. Your body is not wired to take this heat. It is still evolved to deal with short-term high-stress situations like running away from a dangerous predator. With extended stress, you damage your health, longevity, energy, and thinking. If you cope with a work environment that doesn’t allow you to relax occasionally, you’re dooming yourself.

If you have to, change jobs to fit your demands.

2.Start meditating daily

Meditation is one of the most powerful self-development tools.

The science of meditation shows that it can reduce stress by physically changing the strucyour brain. Mindfulness meditation helps rest and digest your nervous system. After 11 hours of meditation, practitioners had structural changes that improved the areas responsible for focus and self-control.

A study by Michael Speca PhD found that meditation decreased mood disturbance and stress symptoms.

Meditation does not have to be this gigantic undertaking. If you look at it like this, it will overwhelm you and scare you away from even starting.

Most people I know who are successful entrepreneurs and frequent meditators started out with a baby step goal: just two minutes a day.

Over time, as you get more used to meditating, you can slowly increase the duration to form it into a deeper habit.

3.Change Your Environment

Oftentimes, the tasks or situation you are stressed about aren’t that important. Ask yourself if this task really contributes to your big goal. You may find that a lot of the tasks that take up your time have a very little impact on your bottom line.

If what stresses you out is of little importance, eliminate it. Examples include trivial email responses you have to make, minor maintenance requests, or needless meetings. Move these aside and focus on the most important task that will get you towards your end goal.

According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of your results come from 20% of your tasks. Identify that task and double down.

Most people try to fix the symptoms without ever working on the root cause.

If you have a job you hate or a life that’s not great, change it. Using tactics to solve short-term issues will never fix the underlying prolonged problem.

For example, many people turn to drugs like Advil or Tylenol to cure headaches. Instead, cure the cause of the headache itself: the part of the career you don’t enjoy doing.

Assess if it’s really worth doing. Does it really lead to a high impact on your company’s end goals? If not, stop doing it. If so, hire someone to do those parts who can do it better than you.

It won’t happen overnight. These transitions take time. If it was easy for everyone to live their dream job and dream life, everyone would.

Take night classes, reach out to people with interesting jobs to learn more, develop your side business on the side. Intern and volunteer at new jobs. Keep working hard and you will succeed.

Conclusion

Tactics can help you with stress reduction. But these should only be used when you have found a job that you love that happens to have stress that cannot be avoided, like being an entrepreneur.

Otherwise, you want to solve the root issue of your stress rather than cover up the symptoms because it is what will truly fix the problem.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me and I will help out for free.
Bio: Will has spent thousands of hours studying the world’s most successful people, especially businessman. He has poured over hundreds of books and thousands of videos and articles to find the secrets to success. He blogs about his findings at willyoulaugh.com Get a free bonus eBook from Will: “The Top 10 books that changed my life” at http://willyoulaugh.com/powerful-books

This was a guest post, if you would like to write a post for this site check out this page to see if you’d be a good fit.

7 Productive Things You Can Do Instead Of Regretting Your Past Decisions


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I don’t know about you, but not everything I did in my past has helped me out in my present. In fact, that is saying it lightly. Some of the decisions I made in the past seem to have hurt my life and my current situation.

I wish I would have focused more on school so my college GPA would have been harder, I wish I would have worked harder on my online businesses, and even though I’ve accomplished a lot in my life and experienced plenty, I wish I would have taken more chances.

Life is all about making decisions. Sometimes the decisions we make work out in our favor, and sometimes they don’t. It is natural to wish you would have done something a little differently or taken more chances in life. We all make mistakes, just look around at the people you look up to most and you’ll soon realize that everybody has faults.

But that doesn’t mean we have to sit around regretting the mistakes that we have made and curse our past self forever for investing in those beanie babies that were sure to be a hot collectors item.

Sometimes it is just better to write-off the mistakes we make and focus on our future, after all the future is what matter anyway. Before I get off track, here are 7 productive things that you can do instead of sitting around regretting the past decisions that you made.

1. Learn From Your Mistakes

We all make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we have to keep making the same ones. Life is a learning experience, so take what you have done so far in your life and examine it. What mistakes have you made? What decisions did you do that didn’t exactly help you out? What can you do in the future to avoid making those same mistakes?

Mistakes are actually healthy. If we never made them, we would never grow. If we simply avoiding making mistakes or doing something that means we have to risk failure we would never grow as a human being. We have all fell down a few times when trying to ride a bike, and we don’t regret the falling because we understand that falling is just a means to an end. None of us would have become the expert bike rider we are today, if we didn’t fall down, make mistakes, and learn from them.

2. Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Change

We can focus all we want on the problems outside of our control and it will never change a thing. The truth is if you focus on what you cannot change, it does not accomplish anything. You can’t change a bad hand that was dealt to you (even if you are the one who dealt it), What you can change is how you play the cards you are given.

If you are going to spend energy focusing on your future don’t waste it focusing on the things you can’t do anything about. Instead, focus on what you can do. What steps can you take to improve your position? What steps can you take to come out ahead? Those are the questions that will be worth asking.

3. Think About Your Options

So you messed up. How can you fix it? If something breaks, you should be able to fix it right? At the very least you should be looking for a way to overcome any bad situation. As you move forward in life you will learn that sometimes the best skill to have is the ability to focus on the good and plan the future instead of worrying about what might hurt you in life.

Everybody may fumble the ball, but the ones who are able to recapture their passion and move forward are the ones who will achieve ever lasting success.

4. Look For Opportunities

The old saying is true, “When God closes a door he opens a window.” You just have to be optimistic enough to look for that open window and crawl in. Focus on the positives and the opportunities that emerge. If you do, you’ll soon find out that even when something seems like it is the end of the world it really isn’t.

5. Think About What You Want To Accomplish

Now that you have looked at your options and thought about the opportunities, think about what you actually want to accomplish in life. Do you still have the same goals you had 5 years ago? Have your goals evolved? Where do you want to be in the future?

6. Make A Game Plan

Instead of focusing on what you could have done differently in the past focus on what you want to do in the present. Look at the options you have available and what you want to accomplish and decide on a fixed plan on getting there. In most cases, you can always turn things around, even if you think all hope is lost.

7. Accept That Nothing Is Perfect

Perfection does not exist! This is a hard one for me to accept. I would like to go to every job application with a 4.0 cumulative GPA and plenty of work experience, but that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes we just have to shoot for the moon with what we’ve got. Life rarely is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live a life you’ve always dreamed of. Give it your best try, forget the past and focus on the future, after all the past is over, the future is what matters now.

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A Lesson about Judging Others


1We’ve all heard not to judge others and that every time we point our finger
at someone 4 fingers are pointing back to us. We’ll I’d like to share a neat little story with you that I found on the web. There is a lot of wisdom in it.

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. “That laundry is not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”

Her husband looks on, remaining silent. Every time her neighbor hangs her wash to dry, the young woman makes the same comments.

A month later the woman is surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and says to her husband: “look, she finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her to do this?” The husband replies, “I got up early this morning and cleaned out windows” And so it is with life… What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.

You see we all like to judge others and have our say. In fact gossip is believed to be one of the first thing humans talked about when they first learn to speak. So it should be no surprise that one of the oldest traditions in human civilization has carried forward to today.

The problem with judging another human being is that they have experiences and lessons that you have not. They may have their own reasons to do what they do, just like you have your own reasons you do what you do. Instead of judging other people, here are a few things you can do instead.

Learn From Them

Other people may have their own reasons for doing what they do. Instead of mocking and judging them, see if there is anything you can learn from them. You may judge someone else for “being cheap” but they mght have learned the hard way that having money saved up is an important step in life.

You might actually learn something from people who have different perspectives then you. Sam Wilson the creator of Walmart once said “To succeed in this would you have to change all the time”

Changing all the time does not mean once, you are set in your ways you are automatically correct. It means you need to be open to new perspectives, and new ways of thinking. You need to be curious about the unknown before you judge it.

Even if you still believe your way is the correct way, it doesn’t hurt to think about others and ask why they made a decision they did before you judge them.

Ignore Their Faults

Sometimes people do things that are just bad for them and the people around them. We all have habits we should break, and if you want to help others break their bad habit that is great.

But, sometimes you just have to forgive people for doing something wrong and ignore it. I’m not a smoker, but I have no problem allowing other people to smoke, as long as it doesn’t affect me. If they want to make that decision it is up to them, and I don’t think me or anyone else should tell them what to do.

Now if someone comes to me and asks me to help them quit smoking, I’ll gladly help them out, but I’m not going to force someone to change if they don’t want to.

Find People With Your Views

Being around people with different viewpoints can be a great way to expand your mind and open you up to new realities. But if you have such a big problem with another person and you can’t ignore it, then nobody is stopping you from finding other people to bring into your life.

You don’t have to focus on the people who you don’t agree with. Let them make their own choices and you can make yours. If you want to hang out with people who share your own perspective, you can. This world is pretty big, I’m sure you’ll find someone who you can get along with.

Help Them Through Life

You can always help them throughout their life. If you don’t think someone is doing something right, you can help them out by showing them the way you think it should be done. They might just learn something and you might create a bond between you and another person as they see you are trying to help them.

Don’t force them to agree with you, don’t turn it into an argument, but offer some advice that they can choose to accept or not. Remember, they are ultimately the ones who are going to determine how they live, and they are ultimately the ones who are going to make their own mistakes. Regardless of what you say people will always do what they think they should.

Be there to show them the right way, and help them when they fall, but don’t judge them and cause a fight, it isn’t worth losing a friendship over to prove your point.

You don’t want to be judged by others so return the favor.

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