One pattern that I see all too often is negative, cynical people who use the excuse of being a "realist" as to why they act that way. If you're the type of person who is always finding or expecting something to go wrong in any situation, guess what? You're not a realist...you're jaded.
I'm not saying bad things don't happen to good people, they do. All the time. That alone is enough to put anyone in a crappy state of mind...but that is not running your life, that is letting life run you. What I'm saying is that life is only 10% things happens to us and 90% how we react to them. True story. Even at some of the hardest times in my life, looking back, the issue itself was not the main problem, problems arose from choosing to react in a way that adds more negativity to an already bad situation. It is all about outlook.
I'm sure we've all had times during our lives when we were extremely happy most of the time, and times when we were really low for a while. If you really think about it, what major things were different during those times? Probably not much...Reality is what we make it. If you have a negative attitude and outlook, then you will only recognize the negative around you. So sure...that is your reality if you choose it to be!
I've never quite understood that frame of mind, because going through life choosing to be cynical is like putting a cloudy filter over everything. You will only recognize negativity in life if that is all you are giving out. Negativity also tends to attract more negativity...It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you walk around scowling all day then of course you'll receive that back from people...and therefore assume that people suck, and the cycle repeats itself.
The beautiful thing about it, is so is positivity. If you consciously decide to appreciate everything, every day, and see the beauty of everything life has to offer...it's a like a switch is flipped. I guarantee if you smile and bring joy to every person you interact with in a day, you will receive positivity back. You start noticing things like how nice of a day it is, how healthy and energetic you feel, and of the endless things that are awesome. They're always there, whether you notice them or not.
The key is the wisdom to know exactly how to use the knowledge of past things that went wrong without feeling bogged down by it. THAT is being a true realist. Acknowledging negativity, learning from it, then letting go of it and making it a point to keep your mind on what makes you happy. It is hard to be dragged down when you are too busy finding things to be excited and happy about...and the possibilities for that are endless. So the next time you're having a bad day....remind yourself that there are no "bad days"...there are just days, and how you choose to think and react in them is what shapes your reality.
Being too nice is a blessing and a curse. On one hand it's good to be around people who genuinely care about others and want to help them, but on the other hand if you are that person you inevitably end up getting taken advantage of. As someone who has always been on the nicer, more empathetic side of the scale I've seen first hand how people mistake kindness for weakness. There's just a certain point where you just have to realize you deserve respect and act accordingly. Doesn't mean the solution is to be an asshole. Do no harm, but take no shit.
The world has enough ugly in it, there's no need to add to it...but these are a few observations I've noticed that tip the scale from someone who's just a really nice person...to someone who's a pushover:
1. You Always Say Yes
AKA being a people pleaser. This is a problem for a few reasons. First off, if your answer is always "Yes" or whatever people want to hear when they ask for your opinion, your opinion wont hold much weight after a while. I value a harsh but honest opinion over one that is flattering but not true any day. if you feel like you would lose friends or people wont like you as much if you say No when you feel like it, those people probably weren't friends to begin with.
2. You Bend Over Backward To Help People, Constantly
People who go out of their way to helps others when they need it are amazing friends, no doubt about that. But when you find that you are starting to inconvenience yourself by helping others out, it's time to re-evaluate. The bad thing about this is usually the people who will ask someone to do something that they KNOW is an inconvenience are usually moochers. Meaning it wont be just one favor, they'll ask you for things repeatedly, almost with a sense of entitlement after a while.
3. You Compromise a lot
Compromising is a sign of maturity. But when you are ALWAYS the one doing the compromising, you might be a pushover. Take a stand sometimes, your opinion is just as valid as anyone else's. Compromising a lot is another thing that can easily turn into a pattern, and make people have less respect for your opinion since you are so easily willing to change it anyway.
4. You're Overly Apologetic
When people are too apologetic it makes things feel awkward. I even know people who are apologetic for BEING apologetic. Stop it! Your opinions and action make you who you are, you are just being yourself...no need to apologize about that. Obviously if you actually goofed up or did something you regret, apologies are awesome, but if you find yourself apologizing for just being yourself...or liking something you happen to like, having your own opinion..you might be a pushover.
5. You get Taken Advantage of Quite a Bit
This was a big one for me. I would always try to be a super good friend, co-worker, student..whatever...and go out on a limb for people. Then I started noticing a pattern...people get much more comfortable with asking favors (big and small) once you start doing them. Instead of being seen as a nice person you start getting seen as an easy mark.
6. You Have Difficulty Expressing Your Opinions
Again, your opinions are just as valid as anyone else's. People who are too nice tend not to want to express their opinions so as not to offend anybody. Stop it. This also comes back to self esteem...value yourself and your feelings. Then stand behind them. If you have trouble speaking up or expressing what you're really feeling because you don't want to offend anyone, you're being a pushover.
A lot of people want to know how not to give a fuck about certain things...appearance, other people's opinions, jealousy etc, because simply just letting go and not caring at all seems like an easy solution. Most of the time when a situation keeps coming up in your life that is bothering you and you're tired of wasting energy by giving a fuck about it maybe not giving a fuck and taking no action is actually just avoiding that situation. The key to truly being able to let go of any fucks given in recurring situations like these is to accept the situation you're facing for what it is, and then taking the steps that are necessary to change it.
Change is something that is easier said than done, both because of fear of the unknown and because it takes effort. Most people would rather try to find an easy solution rather than put in the work required to get the change they want. If you work hard at something, you will get some kind of results. Once you are doing that, then it's much easier to stop giving a fuck about other people's opinion on things. Really investing time and attention into yourself and being the baddest, most awesome person you can be is the key to truly being able to not give a fuck in almost any situation.
If you find yourself continually being anxious or upset about something you aren't accepting whatever it is. Ask yourself: 1. Are you accepting the facts? You are who you are, and everyone is awesome in their own ways...accept yourself as you are. That is the first step. Second question: Is this changeable? Can you take any kind of action to get yourself to a level where you would feel better? Then DO that. And if it's one of those rare things that you can't change, come to terms with the fact that worrying and stressing wont change a thing. So embrace it. The only other option is letting something that you can never change repeatedly stress you out, with no end in sight. Once you have accepted yourself and all your flaws, no one can use them against you. Just have the wisdom to know the difference between the two, be honest with yourself.
There are no shortcuts or magic bullets to get us everything we want, we get in what we put in. Sometimes there are things we need to either start doing or stop doing and we truly wont be able to NGAF until we handle those because deep down we know this. You realize just how much power you have over what happens in your life. Once you have chosen who and what you want to be and are actively working toward those goals, it's a lot easier to accept who you are. Once you have truly accepted yourself, it's effortless to not give a fuck about things like people's opinion of you.
We have to learn to accept some hard truths sometimes instead of ignoring them or trying to solve a symptom and not the problem. You can read about HOW to do that all day every day, but it wont mean a thing unless you implement it. Take steps every day to lead the most epic life possible, whatever that means to you. When something repeatedly comes up that bothers you, examine the problem, solve it or accept it, and (less stressful) life goes on.
Habits are the behaviors we do repeatedly, that shape our entire lives. General happiness is highly correlated to the habits that we do every day, and yes...people who seem to be perpetually in a great mood tend to have certain habits that contribute to that. Each one of these alone wold make anyone a happier person, but all of them together are powerful steps to leading a very happy life.
1. Gratitude and Appreciation
Gratitude is such an amazing emotion. When you are feeling truly grateful for something, it's impossible to be in a bad mood. Go ahead, try it. Gratitude is a deep, powerful positive emotion that is exercised naturally every day by happy people. There are SO MANY things to be grateful for, no matter who you are. The happiest people are the ones who genuinely appreciate all things - small and large - that they have. Family, friends, health, being able to walk, pets, nature, sunsets, having a home...I could go on forever.
Life is so amazing and so multifaceted, and there's over 7 billion life stories on this planet right now (not even including the animals)...there are so many things to appreciate...and that is enough to make anyone instantly happier. The happiest people don't have the most, they just MAKE the most out of what they have. If you are reading this, you have a million reasons to be happy...you're here! Enjoy it! It doesn't last forever, and time waits for no one...so enjoy the little time on this planet that you do have. The Earth really is a beautiful place. Live like you are dying...because you are.
2. Self discipline
Self discipline doesn't seem fun or happy sometimes when you're doing things to better yourself while you'd rather be watching TV, or eating junk food...but it is a huge factor is being happy. Self discipline is about not sacrificing what you want most for what you want NOW. This leads to happiness because it breeds self esteem, just as little or no self discipline breeds low self esteem. You can't lie to yourself, and you know whether you've been slacking on what you should be doing or not.
If you are acting in a way that you would lose respect for others should you see them acting like that, then guess what? You will lose self-respect too should you continue to act like that. This is why people with higher levels of self discipline have higher levels of self esteem. Same thing applies to the opposite...if you do things that you would gain respect for others if you saw them doing them...you will naturally respect yourself much more when you do them. So self discipline = higher self esteem = being happier.
3. Being Mindful (living in the moment)
“ If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present. ” - Lao Tzu
Being mindful is taking everything and each moment as it comes. Using all five of your senses (or at least four if you aren't eating) to completely savor the moment and what is going on around you. How many times can you say that you honestly do this? For most people, it's not many. Most people always have something, some kind of distraction. Just taking time to appreciate the fact that you are here, alive, the universe experiencing itself right now...all the sounds, textures, sights, smells around you..it's such a peaceful and happy way to be. Sometimes when I start to get upset about anything I take a minute to be mindful and ask myself what are 5 things about this moment that I love? The peace and quiet? Feel of the wind of my face? There is always something to love, when you pay attention.
Life is easiest when you are able to adapt. On an evolutionary level, only those who could adapt, survived. This is also important for satisfaction in life, and requires a certain level of zen.
Those who go with the flow when you can't always get your way, or when things change, are infinitely happier than those who resist any kind of change. Also, this is the only way to grow. Staying stagnant does nothing for you as a person, except make your mood suffer. The most zen, calm people are like water...they flow around obstacles and things standing in their way....they go with the flow when plans change, the weather sucks, whatever happens that was not expected. Part of this is letting go of expectations outside of your control, part of this is just being mature. Stubborn little kids get upset when they can't get exactly what they wanted. After a while, it's just better to grow up, work with change, and adapt accordingly. Staying calm is a much happier disposition than getting worked up.
5. Smile every chance you get
Laughing should also be included, but we naturally smile when we laugh. there is a TED talk about body language and how it effects our minds. Funny enough, the "Fake it until you make it" actually holds scientific weight when it comes to body language. If we have a dominant position, more testosterone gets released, and as a result we feel more dominant. If we smile, more dopamine gets released and other feel good hormones, leading us to feel better. So whether you are smiling because you're happy or happy because you;re smiling, happy people simply smile more.
I have always been a smiley person for as long as I can remember. My friends even gave me the nickname Smiley McGee (lol). I'm just one of those people who is easily amused, or sees humor or happiness in a lot of situations. Even when my mood isn't the best, I find myself smiling at something inevitably...and start to feel better. Happiness is infectious, should you choose it to be.
6. Taking Control
Realize that your life doesn't happen TO you it happens because of you. You get in what you put in, nothing will be handed to you on a silver platter...good things come to those who work for them. Taking control of your own happiness instead of waiting for someone else to come along and do it, or doing nothing at all, is the quickest way to be happy.
The victim mindset is one I have touched on a lot, because it is such an easy way of thinking to fall into...and it will do nothing but suck the happiness out of your life. Fast. I've been there, done that, never going back. Taking control of your own destiny is not only empowering, it's the only way anything will ever get done. Being happy is a choice, and it's not always easy. Happy people choose to look at the positive side of any situation, and learn from the negative ones. If you play the victim life with give you many things to be hurt about, it WILL beat you into submission...because it isn't fair and never will be. Happy people are too busy looking on the bright side and being determined to stay there to let negativity completely take over.
I do not recommend attempting to hike through death valley during a heat wave. While it was definitely a test of strength, it also was a huge strain. The human body is just not meant to withstand that much heat at once, even if you prepare like crazy and bring a ton of water...it will still catch up with you. I did enjoy myself though, there were some spectacular views that were super inspiring. I will be back when it's a little cooler - here are a few highlights from before we cut the trip short :)
As I'm getting ready to prep for a huge solo 100 miler (through much cooler terrain) I still took an important lesson from here. Stay epic! :)
As I'm getting ready to prep for a huge solo 100 miler (through much cooler terrain) I still took an important lesson from here. Stay epic! :)
We all have goals, but many of them are not achieved because we don't stay motivated. To get motivated is one thing (and it isn't too hard) but to STAY motivated is what is going to change your life..it's what you do every day that matters, not every once in a while.
1. Know what you want.
Find out what your passions are. What are the things that make you happy no matter what, or that you could do every day and never get tired of? You can't get what you want most if you don't even know what it is that you want most. Once you know precisely what you want, motivation comes naturally.
2. Make a Plan
Writing things down, having a hard copy of a plan or a schedule streamlines what you want to do. You can be more efficient, and the next step is easier to get to when it's all mapped out.
3. Don't waste energy dwelling on negative things
A little anxiety is healthy - it inspires up to do better when we are slacking. Letting that anxiety consume you, immobilize you from taking any action at all, however, is an unhealthy waste of time. It's easy to fall into this trap, especially if you are a critical thinker. But don't. Recognize when you are wasting too much time on negative thoughts...get your head into a more positive place and get motivated. Worrying gets you nowhere.
4. Meditate Daily
Even if you are so busy that you only have 5 minutes every morning to spare, use those to meditate every day. As soon as you wake up, instead of getting right up, simply breath mindfully for 5 minutes. Breathing exercises (mindful breathing) are energizing and relaxing all at once, and reduces the effects of chronic stress on our bodies Source - Benefits of Breathing Mindfully
Meditation has been discussed here before, and that's because it works. Every day that I make time to do this my mood, energy level, and levels of motivation are through the roof. It's like giving your mind a fresh blank page to begin the day with.
5. Hang around People who's traits you admire
Want to change your outlook on money? Hang around people who have more than enough, I guarantee you you will pick up on certain ways they act about money that you've never seen before. Same goes for if you want to be healthier, be around people who live healthy lifestyles. A lot of my friends are very into sports, being active, eating clean...as a result it motivates me to be more healthy. Also, stay away from negative people and negativity. Who we spend most of our time with says a lot about us.
I wrote this after being motivated to do my biggest backpacking journey ever, with a GoPro with me to record some of the epic reasons why I do what I do..these were just a few of the things that motivate me to get out there and get it. Life is too short not to do
Rejection is one of those hard facts of life. Whether it be from a romantic interest, a job prospect, an idea you thought was good...whatever. We all get rejected in some kind of way at some point, c'est la vie. There are many reasons why not only should you not give a fuck about being rejected, you should take it as an opportunity to grow. Here's why:
Worrying about things that we can't control is pointless, but that is exactly what worrying about rejection is. You are worried about what other people's reactions will be. You DO have control over whether you are going to take a shot or not, that is what you should be giving a fuck about. Remember that when you get rejected, your life does not change. It might feel bad for a little bit, but in the end I guarantee you wont be thinking about it a month or a year from now.
When it comes to getting rejected by dating prospects: there are 7 BILLION of us humans on this planet and counting...there are other options. Plenty. Why lose sleep over one of the millions that you will not be with? You aren't any less of a person, just not the right match for that particular person...you still rock, nothing's changed. Think of rejection as something awesome. It means you acted despite your fear of that rejection (the definition of courage), and you learned something new.
Some of the most powerful people in history, and today, have dealt with rejection hundred of times. J.K. Rowling was rejected by quite a few publishers with her Harry Potter manuscript, she kept going and we see how that turned out. Steve Jobs was FIRED from Apple, the company he helped create, before getting it all back again. Rejection happens. How we react to it is what is important. Stand behind yourself, your ideas, and what you believe in. If you keep getting rejected take each time as an opportunity to streamline and evaluate your thoughts, yourself, your product...but don't get disheartened.
We wont always get what we want, but the fact that you were told no or rejected from anything means you tried....and that is an admirable quality. The fact is, anything worth having wont be easy..but is settling for less in life really a better option? The only way you will get the life you want is by putting yourself out there and going for it...you'll either get exactly what you want, or be a little bit wiser, and that is epic.
What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? – Vincent van Gogh
"If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary." – Jim Rohn
We all have things that we want to do before we die, most of us call it a bucket list. One of the best decisions I ever made was turning that list into a to-do list. One day it just occurred to me, after adding yet another epic thing on there...what the heck am I waiting for? Am I waiting to die? At that point, it's too late. Even when we're close to that point, a lot older and full of regrets of all the epic things we could have done but never did...I didn't want to get there.
So I chose moving to another country first...best decision ever. I lived for 2 epic years in Montreal and learned French along the way. Then I started skydiving...it was amazing. (below - dorky pic of my first skydive) Then I got my A license and started skydiving alone, doing flips, trying new things. That's two off the list...I did backpacking (before this year, I had never backpacked in my life)...now I've done over 150 miles of awesome trails and ready for more. I climbed mountains. I've rock climbed and canyoneered. All this stuff that I had been wanting to do and just waiting for no reason. Our lives are ending one minute at a time, and time waits for no one.
So ask yourself...what's on your bucket list? Why haven't you done it yet? What exactly is stopping you? I'd be willing to bet nothing is stopping you but yourself. If you really want something, you will find a way. If you don't, you will find an excuse. Everyone deserves to feel that amazing sense of accomplishment that comes from doing something that most people never will, something that you have always wanted to do. Even if it makes you uncomfortable...no, ESPECIALLY if it makes you uncomfortable, because that is how we grow. We spend a lot of time trying to avoid a little discomfort, but all that does is limit us to a small, unchanging pocket of comfort (the comfort zone)...and that which never changes will always be the same.
People are meant to grow....everyone gets older, but we don't all get wiser. Getting out of your comfort zone and taking risks makes us much wiser, it's the kind of wisdom you can't learn in a book.
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
― Lao Tzu
Most people don't realize the extent to which our thoughts shape our lives. Everything starts with a thought. Our inner monologue is always present, and what goes through it determines who we are and how we feel. The placebo effect is a great example of how powerful our thoughts are, and how they can physically change our bodies. It doesn't end with our bodies, positive thinking can change your entire life. When you spend life just allowing whatever happens to dictate how you're feeling you are at the mercy of whatever happens to you. Positive thinking is not being delusional and refusing to acknowledge when problems arise...it is just approaching that unpleasantness in a measured, productive, and positive way. It is taking charge and making the choice to see the bright side of things.
People who are more positive live longer lives, there are several health benefits (Source http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/positive-thinking/SR00009) attributed to positivity. You can't live a positive life with a negative mind. You also cannot feel bad when thinking good thoughts..try it. What we are thinking about determines how we feel. How we feel determines how good (or bad) our life is. A great life is one where you feel good as much as you possibly can, the only way to do that is to think positive thoughts. Our thoughts become things. Make thinking positively a habit, and you just changed your life for the better.
A great place to start thinking more positively is to simply pay attention to your thoughts and realize when negative ones arise. Instead of attempting to block them out (wont work anyway - that which get repressed, gets expressed) just recognize the negativity then start thinking about things you love instead. Things are grateful for, you're excited about, things you've accomplished...allow the flow of good energy that comes from those to lift you out. Positive thoughts attract more positive thoughts (same goes for negative thoughts) so keep your mind of an upbeat track, and when it deviates get it back there.
I spent way too many years of my life being clinically depressed, in a seemingly endless downward spiral of bad feelings, and thoughts of hopelessness. It got to the point where I was suicidal tried more than once, and landed myself in the hospital twice for it. Did some hard things happen to me to cause me to feel bad? Sure. But that's life. It is easy to be the victim. The day I truly understood that it isn't about what happens to me, I can choose to be positive no matter what - my life has never been the same. It's so epic now and so awesome, I wake up every single day stoked that I'm alive. I never thought I could be so happy.
Don't take the little things that make life awesome for granted. All the sunrises and sunsets- beautiful scenery we get to see every day - I'm stoked to be able to watch those. Pay attention to your thoughts, don't disregard them as unimportant. Don't let them run you. Make a choice to harness the power of positive thinking. There is always something to be happy and grateful for. When you are thinking positively, you are happy. And when you are happy, you are successful...and life is epic.
"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole." -Raylan Givens
1. Are You Never Wrong?
We all know that nobody, no matter how brilliant they are, is right 100% of the time. We are all human, we all make mistakes. But I would be willing to bet we all know people who THINK they're always right, and are unwilling to ever admit they were wrong in any way...even after getting slapped in the face with facts. Step back for a second and think of the last time you were wrong about something. Be it big or small, when is the last time your point of view was changed or you goofed up? Can't think of anything? You might be an asshole. Open your mind a little bit, it's the only way to grow and learn new things.
2. Is Everyone Out to Get You?
Just like the quote says, if everywhere you go it seems like people have a problem, or an attitude...maybe it's for a reason. If you constantly feel like everyone is out to get you, maybe it's you. What is it about you that is causing so many people to act that way? Try to be objective and imagine you're in the shoes of someone you're interacting with...imagine someone says to you the things you say to other people. You might find some offensive patterns of behaviors and speech that are causing everyone to have a problem with you. The "victim" mindset is indeed a way of being an asshole.
3. Are You a Hipster?
Joking...but in all seriousness...do you only listen to/ watch/ use things that aren't mainstream, simply because they aren't? If you do, you are being dictated by society just as much as people who like mainstream things. The reason why? You are still letting society tell you what NOT to like...and as a result probably miss out on some pretty cool and interesting things because you're too good to try a couple things that might be really popular. While I do prefer to embrace my unique side, and hang around people who like unusual things that doesn't mean anything mainstream is automatically bad (admittedly a lot of it is). This is a condescending way to act because it gives out the impression that you are better than everyone who likes anything mainstream...you aren't.
4. Are Your Jokes Usually At Other People's Expense?
Everyone loves funny people, myself included. Life is just better when you're smiling and laughing, and so is your health (from the dopamine that gets released). When all your jokes - or your confidence - come from getting a laugh at other people's expense, you're being an asshole. There are lots of other ways to be funny, no need to bash other people...especially when they haven't done anything to you. Even if you get a few laughs this way, you still come off as a jerk.
5. Are You All Talk?
When you're talking to people do you interrupt them a lot? Do you constantly turn the conversation into something about you (They tell you about their vacation in Italy and you respond with a long overview of how much you liked it when YOU went to Rome, how cool the Vespa was you rented, how awesome the food was...and completely overshadow what they were saying.) Nobody likes to be interrupted, and these are all red flags that maybe your an asshole when having conversations. Listening is just as important as talking when speaking to someone...we all like to feel heard. Assholes don't care if the other person is heard or not, they would just rather talk about themselves and their own opinions all day instead.
Treat people as you would like to be treated. Karma's only a bitch if you are. ~Unknown
"We are what we repeatedly Do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
Our daily habits are important, much more so than the things we cram into our schedules every so often. What you do on a daily basis strongly shapes who you are, which is why forming good habits is the key to success.
We are hardwired to form behaviors into habits to prevent information overload. Imagine if you had to concentrate every time you walked or picked up a fork or any of the hundreds on mindless tasks we do every day. Your brain forms habits from things you do repeatedly - after about 21 consistent times. The key to making the habit you want stick, is repeatedly doing it. The first few times might seem like a chore, but once you get through that the payoff is amazing...your body and brain start expecting you to do it and it comes naturally. Self discipline is like a muscle, the more you exercise it the stronger it becomes.
2. Be Strict
The best way to make a habit stick is to go cold turkey on any exceptions in the beginning. Once something is turned into a habit your brain works differently, literally there are new synapses formed and tasks get done in more of an automatic, almost unconscious sort of way. The only way to get yourself used to this in the first place is to be unwavering...if you want to wake up early don't settle for sleeping till noon since you're on vacation. Hard-wire your brain to get used to waking up early every day, and that will be who you become. Of course there are always exceptions at some point, but during the initial 30 days of forming a new habit being strict on it is one of the sole most important factors in getting it to stick.
3. Remove Temptations
When temptation is all around you, it's much harder to stick to the habits you want to form. Recent studies have shown that willpower is actually an exhaustible resource! (Source) The more willpower you feel you have to exert, the quicker you will get burnt out, leading to lower morale. Clear your environment of things that will make it easy to sabotage your new habit and save yourself the stress of having to resist things that pull you away from your goal.
4. Plan Ahead
"Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure." - Confucius
Set yourself up for success by taking the steps you need to ensure things go smoothly. Want to start eating healthier? Then make yourself some healthy lunches, browse healthy living blogs and find tasty recipes that you can make, check the menu online of the place you're going to eat to prepare to order something healthy and tasty (once you get there, it's easy to be tempted by the whole menu, having your healthy order already prepared works wonders for me). You can also take steps to make the bad habits you want to lose harder to do, while making the good ones easier.
5. Write it Down
This is the simplest step here, but incredibly effective. Writing down what your goals are and what habits you want to form 1) Gets you crystal clear on exactly what you want to do and 2) Is a physical reminder of it that you can look at each day. When I want to form any habit or have any goals I write them down and leave them in a place I see every day. Motivation can fade over time, so giving yourself a boost of it by seeing your goals written down helps to keep it fresh, keep your mind focused on what you want.
6. Tell People
This is also extremely easy to do and a good way to get results. When you tell people your goals you now have people who can hold you accountable, or see that you failed if you don't do them. You have externalized what you want to do and a little of the weight of it is off your shoulders, and it drives you even more to want to succeed.
Every moment you don't spend working toward your dreams is a moment you wont be able to spend in them.
Why you shouldn't give a fuck about being single or not
To be honest I could die single and be perfectly okay with that, just because I love the person I am. I conquer epic goals, I put a lot of love, happiness, and respect into myself. There is a saying "You can never feel lonely if you like the person you're alone with." Some of the best memories of my life have been in times when I was single...from moving to another country (which was an amazing experience), traveling worldwide for modeling gigs, skydiving for the first time...the list goes on and on. My point is that while it can be a beautiful experience to do these things with someone you love, it was incredibly empowering to do them alone (or with friends).
There are over 7 billion of us on this planet, and the number is growing. Point being, stop being in such a rush to be with someone, people will always be here. There will always be fish in the sea. Giving less fucks about this opens so many doors, because you can truly open your eyes to all the awesome things out there that YOU can achieve. People tend to spend a HUGE amount of time either trying to find someone, force relationships, or make them work even if they are all wrong. I cannot stress enough how amazed you will be if you put even half of that time into making yourself the person you want to be.
When someone needs another person in order to be happy with themselves, something is wrong. Okay, yes I said it. Nobody wants to be the sole reason for someone's happiness... it is too much of a burden to bear and it isn't much fun at all. It starts feeling like work to be in a relationship with people who are too needy, and as a result, people tend to know the warning flags of needy people and just avoid getting into relationships with them at all. Once you put that same amount of energy, love, and respect into yourself - REALLY do it, treat yourself like you would someone you are madly in love with - you start to shine with confidence. Life becomes awesome, because when you are madly in love with yourself and you respect yourself and have confidence (which is a natural side effect of loving yourself) You realize that you have filled your life up, and you don't need anyone to make you feel happy.
The irony of all ironies is that once you truly get to this level you are irresistibly attractive to everyone around you. I know this for a fact! I have seen it with myself, with people close to me. The moment they stop trying so hard, desperately trying to find someone to be with, it's like a switch gets flipped and everyone around you is attracted to your energy. The beautiful part about that is you then realize you don't need that anymore. At this point you have the power to choose only people who compliment you, or just enjoy being yourself and your own best friend (which you should always be, in or out of a relationship) until you decide otherwise.
It's about who you are BEING, not who you are doing. Relationships of all kinds come and go, this is a fact. People change, people die, people move. The only person you are guaranteed to wake up to every day of your life is yourself...better get comfortable with who you are, you fucking rock! Stop fretting over forcing romantic love, and fall in love with life and yourself, it is the most fulfilling feeling in the world.
This is a follow-up to my last post about attractive personality traits. I was at a pretty big party, and being the nerd that I am I took it as an opportunity to ask a lot of my peers what they found attractive and likewise, what they found unattractive, then turn it into blog posts. These are the most unliked traits that we came up with, things that none of us particularly wanted to be like or be around.
1. Pessimism - Pessimistic people drain the energy out of those around them. When someone makes it a point to only see the downside of things, it becomes sort of a chore to hang out with them. I have had friends who complain to me, and I point out the multiple bright sides of their situation only to get them all shot down. In the end I realized these people didn't want advice or help or cheering up, they just wanted someone to be down in the dumps and commiserate with them. Not my style at all, and now I just avoid overly pessimistic people altogether, and save my energy for better things.
2. Flakiness - This is such an unattractive trait because it's disrespectful, dishonest, and disregarding the worth of people's time all in one. People who flake on you one time will probably flake on you many more times, so this quality quickly repels people from wanting to invest any time in you. It is also hard to take a flaky person seriously because of how often their actions and their words do not align.
3. Arrogance - This is one of the seven basic character flaws according to quite a few sources, a trait disliked by many. Some people try to play off their arrogance as self-confidence, however the two are nothing alike. Self confidence stems from having a comfortable sense of worth that stems from yourself, while arrogance is confidence that is fed by others (and usually based in insecurity) which is why they constantly feel the need to keep hyping themselves up. These type of people aren't fun to be around, they tend to always be need to be the center of attention...the type to flip everything you say back to themselves somehow.
4. Condescension - What a way to make people feel small. I have never quite understood why people are condescending and patronize other people. No one is better than anyone else. Period. Acting as if you're better than anyone else (or everyone else) is a surefire way to alienate people.
5. Stubbornness - Stubbornness marks an inability to consider anyone's view but your own. Lots of people are set in their ways, but a truly stubborn person will never grow. How can you grow when you refuse to open your mind to other possibilities?
6. Rudeness - Rude people are just...not classy. They show no respect or regard for those around them...and are kind of an embarrassment to be around. Having compassion and basic respect for other human beings is just a part of being a decent person. Rude people tend to lack tact and make situations uncomfortable.
7. Dishonesty - Another core character trait that is pretty much universally disliked. Dishonest people lie, cheat, and have hidden agendas...making things complicated when they don't have to be. Usually those who are dishonest with other people are dishonest with themselves as well, and that is a slippery slope that leads to nowhere.
8. Laziness - Static people are unattractive. When someone is not going anywhere or doing anything with their life and they are content with that it just becomes sort of boring to be around them. Lazy people tend to bring people around them down with their lack of motivation. One should hang around the type of people you want to be like, and being around lazy people is a surefire way to find yourself losing motivation, and feeling okay with not doing much with yourself.
Some people are incredibly charismatic and just a pleasure to be around. I did a bit of thinking on what traits exactly make people magnetic and attractive to others (with some help from my peers). What makes us want to be like and be around certain people. This is what we came up with:
1. Honesty - Honesty is always the best policy. Honesty is having character, being straightforward in your words and actions, and telling the truth. We are all attracted to honest people because it feels good to be able to trust someone. Honest people are attractive for friends and relationships because we can confide in them, they have integrity and keep their promises. Even little white lies like telling your friend that shirt looks nice on them when they ask you, when in reality it accentuates their gut and makes them look like a douchebag - aren't cool. You might think you are being polite but it's not helping anyone in the long run.
2. Sense Of Humor - Having a sense of humor is being able to appreciate and express the humourous. This means being able to make people laugh or smile, even when things aren't going too well. The people with the best sense of humor can make friends smile in any situation, and make things a lot more fun and interesting. Having a sense of humor is NOT being a tryhard, force feeding your friends jokes you looked up on google, being the class clown that just wants attention and will do anything for it. Those things are cringe-worthy and not attractive at all. Rather, a sense of humor is about finding the humourous things in any situation, and radiating good energy and charisma...all of which is incredibly attractive.
3. Optimism - People who are optimistic are a joy to be around. They find the bright side of any situation, even when things aren't going their way. At this point, optimists are the only people I choose to spend a lot of time with. They radiate positive energy and as a result make themselves and everyone around them be in a better mood. People are more attractive when they smile, and having a cheerful disposition is magnetic. Not to mention, life is just better when you make the choice to have a brighter outlook.
4. Modesty - Modesty is freedom from vanity or boastfulness. Being modest is having confidence and self-esteem but not feeling the need to tell everyone you meet (which stems from insecurity anyway). Being modest stems from having self control.
5. Confidence - Of all the traits here, confidence is the most attractive quality that someone can possess. It emcompasses a lot of things, but mainly having a healthy level of self esteem (your evaluation of your own self worth) and having the balls to take action and stand behind what you believe in. When you love and respect yourself, other people follow suit...it is easy to be attracted to someone who clearly knows they deserve respect and acts accordingly. Our mind is a powerful thing...do epic things and you will find yourself realizing just how epic you really are.
"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings." - Samuel Jackson
6. Patience - Patience is zen..."the state of endurance under difficult circumstances". When someone is patient they refrain from jumping to conclusions, losing their temper easily, or getting pissed when they are waiting for someone or something. Being patient also begets power, because it takes patience to undertake something like getting a degree or other things that take years of your life. It is also a quality that stems from self control, and the saying is true...good things do come to those who wait. It is true that life is short, but some things cannot be rushed.
"The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces." – Will Rogers
7. Dependability - The anti-flake. People who are dependable follow through, keep their promises, and tell the truth. We have all dealt with people we cannot depend on, and it really sucks. Being consistent and dependable is not only attractive, but a basic essential quality to being a decent human being. Sorry if this is harsh, but people who aren't dependable are just a waste of time to be in any kind of relationship with. They have little respect for other people's time, which gets old really fast.
8. Kindness - Having class, treating other people with respect, and following basic ettiquette like speaking when spoken to is being kind. Kindness is definitely not weakness, on the contrary it is a strength. Treat people like shit and eventually in one way or another, it will come back to you. Kindness is part of what makes us human...having a concern for others well being, being polite and compassionate. It is extremely magnetic and attractive when someone is kind, just as it's ugly when people are not. We are all just trying to make it, being a kind and decent person makes everything a lot more pleasant for everyone.
9. Maturity - Maturity is the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner. It is being the bigger person in disagreements, realizing when your realtionship with someone is more important than being right all the time. People who are mature don't play silly games, or waste time, and treat other people with respect. Mature people seek wisdom before action. A wise man once said: A mature person is one whose agenda revolves around others, not self. Being mature is something that comes with experiences and learning, growing up...everyone grows older, but not everyone grows up.
"Be happy, be yourself..and if anyone doesn't like it...let them be." - anon
1. Don't take it personally
This is a big one, and something that takes a while to be able to do. We all have our own story. Everyone is going through their own personal stresses every day, and some of us are better at dealing with them than others. Sometimes it's just a lot to bear, and as a result people's moods suffer. We all have reasons that we are the way we are.
I am NOT saying that this makes it okay for people to be grouchy and rude to other people. But taking a step back and realizing that it isn't just you personally - it is their mood in general - helps to keep you from being offended. Do not allow anyone to physically harm or run all over you, but if they are just being cranky or rude there is no reason to let it effect your calm and pull you down. Sometimes people are just having a shitty day/week/year/life(?) and it has nothing to do with you. Realizing that makes it easier to let their negativity bounce right off, and to not give a fuck about it.
2. Wish them well.
Yes, really. I know this sounds very beta, or even like being a pushover...and the opposite of what most of us feel like doing when someone is grouchy toward us. Hear me out: The last thing you want to do when dealing with rude people is to let them get to you and ruin your mood. This is exactly what they want! They also win once you have sucessfully been pulled down to their level. I used to have a major problem with this, any time someone was rude or mean to me I wouldn't relax until I dealt them a dose of their own medicine right back. I would get heated and very angry about it, and usually waste a lot of time arguing or trying to prove a point in the process. I thought keeping my cool made me seem weak. I was incredibly wrong, and I am so happy I grew up and grew out of that.
All I succeeded in doing when I let people get to me was ensure the rest of my day was spent being stressed out, complaining. That is not the way I want to live. Plus I realized that most times people just wanted to get under my skin. The cliche is so true...misery really does love company. While I draw the line at being overly nice and allowing people to try to control or manipulate you, simply wishing them the best and focusing on yourself is efficient. Really, truly wishing them well, sending sincere good vibes there way...these are all good feelings. These good feelings will attract more good feelings and good thoughts, and in turn not only will your mood stay positive, it will get even better. It is impossible to feel bad and have good thoughts.
When you continue, unfazed by negativity, to have a cheerful disposition and be genuiniely happy and wishing the best for everyone this leaves you feel amazing and carefree. Who knows, it may even cheer up or soften the mood of the person(s) around you, because being in a perpetually grouchy mood sucks, and no one should have to live that way. And if they do, you shouldn't have to give a fuck.
"Everyone must become their own person, however frightful that may be. "
― Albert Einstein