How To Be Single And Happy After A Long Relationship Ends

 

 

 

How To Be Single And Happy After A Long Relationship EndsIf you have recently become single after a long relationship, you already know it isn’t easy. Even if you were the one who chose to end the relationship, being single can come as quite the shock after being committed to someone for a long period of time. There will be times you hurt, times you doubt yourself, and times you just don’t know what to do. Your ex was probably the person you turned to for everything that came up in your life, and now that person is gone. Whether you were ready for it or not, your life is going to look a lot different now that you are single.

Here are some tips on how to be single and happy after a long relationship ends. While there is no magic formula, there are a few tricks that can help you move on.

Give Yourself Time To Mourn

Letting go of a long relationship can be complicated. It can feel the same as a death. The grieving process is going to be in full effect after losing a long time significant other. If you deny yourself the ability to go through each step, you’ll only prolong the mourning. Go ahead and let yourself grieve. Cry. Curse. Feel all of the feelings that you want and need to feel. You may find yourself going through all of the same steps of grief as you would if your partner had died. Don’t rush the process. It takes time.

  1. Denial – You may think that it really isn’t over. There is a way that you can fix things to make your partner come back. You’ll focus on a future where the two of you are back together. Unfortunately, you may end up sending late night texts against your better judgment.
  2. Anger – Anger at your ex is certainly going to set in after you get past the denial stage. You’ll probably be angry at your ex, angry at the universe, or angry at other people for odd reasons. Try to avoid bashing your ex to anyone who will listen, although venting to a good friend is never a bad thing.
  3. Bargaining – You may try one more time to get back with your ex. This time, though, you’ll bargain with him/her. You may offer to seek counseling or be a better person or ask him/her to do likewise.
  4. Depression – Depression doesn’t always have to look like sadness. It can manifest itself in many forms – feeling tired all the time, not wanting to do the things you used to enjoy, or a loss of appetite. You may feel like you will never be able to move on with your life.
  5. Acceptance – Finally! This is the phase where the tears finally begin to dry up. You can let go of your relationship and slowly move on with your life. The acceptance phase may come on slowly, and you may regress occasionally back to depression or even to earlier stages.
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Spend Time Doing The Things You Enjoy

The absolute quickest way to rebound after a breakup is to focus on yourself. Find the activities you used to enjoy when you were single. Sign up for some group activities or invite an old pal to join you. Spend time with yourself. Read a few good books. Go to the movies. Get active! Whatever it is you do, just try to enjoy yourself.

Try doing the activities you loved to do as a couple, too. If the two of you used to hike together, go for a hike alone and prove that you can still enjoy it without your ex.

Do something that makes you feel good. Get a massage, a pedicure, or treat yourself to a complete makeover and a new hairdo. Buy yourself a new pair of jeans or a jacket that you’ve had your eye on. It is okay to be a little materialistic right after the breakdown of what was a long relationship.

Delete Your Ex From Social Media

Please do yourself a favor and stop following your ex on all social media accounts. You don’t have to un-friend them right away if you don’t want to (although I do strongly recommend you do so after a while), but remove them from your newsfeed. The last thing you need to see is evidence that your ex is moving on while you aren’t.

Avoid posting fake or posed pictures of yourself on social media trying to prove that you’ve moved on (when you obviously haven’t). The best practice is to try to stay off social media completely until you get to the acceptance phase.

Do Not Try To Be Friends With Your Ex Right Away

Even if your relationship ended on friendly terms, you are not true friends. It is impossible to be friends with your ex right after a long term relationship breakup. You will both be reeling with painful emotions. Your ex might have even said that they want to stay friends, but trust me – he or she was just trying to spare your feelings. Friendships are possible somewhere down the line, but only after all romantic feelings have died (on both sides).

You Don’t Need To Date Right Away

It may be tempting to jump right back into the dating scene, but try to resist that urge. You won’t be ready to get back into a relationship, and you may end up hurting someone else. While a few casual dates won’t hurt anyone, the best practice is to enjoy being single and learn to spend time alone. When you enter back into the dating pool later on, you’ll be much better equipped emotionally.

Breakups can be really tough, especially if the relationship was long-term. They can disrupt your entire life and make you feel as if you will never bounce back. You may feel panic and extreme anxiety, but all of your feelings are normal. While it does take time to recover, you can take steps to make it as painless as possible. Give yourself time to grieve, and don’t rush it. It may seem like it takes forever, but take heart in the fact that this too will eventually pass.

Source :- https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/4309/single-happy-long-relationship-ends/?c=ACR

I will be adding to this post later for extra things to do.

If You Don’t Know What To Do With Your Life, Read This.

You feel like you are drifting on a sea of dreary, unexciting, monotony and you cannot see the shoreline of the comforting, satisfying island where your raison d’être (a.k.a. your reason for being) is waiting for you.

Don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact, you are a part of the largest group of people on this planet. You don’t know what to do with your life and you don’t know how to find out either.

The first thing to understand is that this is perfectly normal; people are not born knowing what their ultimate role in society is going to be. Instead, they are born with endless possibilities from which to discover their calling. The problem is that while the choice is immense, the choosing is ever so difficult.

What’s more, life is in constant flux and the right choice changes as your journey
unravels. No wonder so many of us find ourselves with a nagging feeling that there might be so much more out there if we could only reach it.

If you’ve stumbled across this article, chances are that you are one of these people. With this in mind, here are some pointers for you to follow that should steer you in the right direction to finally uncover the thing(s) you really want to achieve in life.

The Future’s Not Ours To See

“The future’s not ours to see” are lyrics from a famous Doris Day song and they are true to a large extent. We may only begin to imagine what life has in store for us and we shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking we need to plan for our entire lifetimes.

You just can’t ever know what might be around the corner; your health, your work situation, your family, and the wider society may all see considerable change and many things cannot be planned for.

 
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You can, however, look forward in the short term and try to do as many things that bring you joy as you can. Whether this involves your job or simply your hobbies, by chasing positive moments, we can at least make the journey more enjoyable.

A by-product of this approach is that you may discover hidden talents or desires purely by seeking out opportunities to experience true happiness.

And for those things you aren’t able to foresee, you can only try to roll with the punches and take them as they come. Uncertainty cannot be avoided and some events will bring about great turmoil; one way to cope is to try and view each negative as a positive waiting to happen – if you make it one.

Embrace Discomfort To Achieve Happiness

Life’s road is rarely ever smooth, which means that you’re going to come across stretches of great discomfort. Whether that is a physical lack of money that prevents you from doing something or an emotional earthquake that turns your world upside down, you just have to accept that knocks and bumps cannot be totally avoided.

Each time you experience such discomfort, you will learn a little more about yourself and what your wishes are for the future. You will find out what you are and are not willing to endure and this will guide you towards more suitable waypoints along your journey.

For instance, you may initially want to become a lawyer, but find yourself 3 years into your training with many more years ahead of you, virtually penniless, working 70 hour weeks and dreadfully unhappy. You have undergone a period of great discomfort, but you’ve learned where your limits are with regards to pushing your mind and body for the purpose of a career. You can now adjust your course and seek different opportunities that better fit with your mental and physical tolerances.

Ditch The Distractions And Pull Away From Procrastination

Never forget that time waits for no man. You may want to discover and chase a dream, but you won’t be able to do so if you keep putting off the inevitable. Maintain your hobbies, your family time and other things that you truly value, but seize all of the otherwise wasted time and do something with it.

Uncovering your ideal path in life is not without its own hard work and effort. You need to put your mind to work, engage your body and utilize what time you have.

Research potential avenues of work, speak to people with experience in the field, even volunteer if possible to get a sense of whether or not it is right for you. You can’t ever tell for sure how much you’ll enjoy something until you’ve got your hands dirty doing it for a while. And you can only do that if you stop making excuses and stop finding ways to waste your time.

Ask Questions (Both Big & Small)

You can’t gain knowledge without asking some questions, but when you are searching for a driving purpose to guide your future movements in life, you’ll often need to ask yourself and not others.

Sometimes you’ll find the big questions helpful, such as what you are most passionate about, where you stand on major moral issues, what would you prioritize if money and time were no object – that sort of thing.

Other times, it might be the smaller questions that help you to refine your direction. Do you like working in an office environment? Do you prefer city, town, or country living? How many social activities is enough for you? Is downtime important to you?

The more you explore these and other questions, the closer you come to understanding who you are and what your ideal calling is in life (or, at least, in your current stage of life).

Be Willing To Make Sacrifices In The Short Term

Right now you probably feel lost; you don’t know what to do with your life and you want to reach a place where you do. However, between where you are now and where you wish to be, there is a hard road to travel.

Discomfort is something that has already been mentioned, but something else that you might have to get used to is sacrifice.

You see, we only have so much time and energy at our disposal and while you may currently find ways to use up both, if you want to take that leap to a life of more contentment, you will almost certainly have to give up some of the things you currently take for granted.

Perhaps, after doing your research and asking yourself the right questions, you decide that you want to start a business. But you don’t yet have the necessary money to get it off the ground. You may have to put in extra hours at your current job, be more frugal with your spending, and even give up current luxuries like flash cars and foreign holidays in order to make your dream a reality.

You must be willing to forego in the present to thrive in the future, because if you are not, you will struggle to change your situation and move along the path to happiness.

Knock Knock

Sometimes you have to spot the opportunities that come knocking at your door and you have to be willing to answer their call. Remember, trying something out is one of the most effective ways to discover how suitable it is for you, so when life seeks to show you the way, don’t ignore it – grab on with both hands and see where it takes you.

You might worry that it’s not the right time or the right opportunity, but you will never know unless you take a leap and find out.

Sitting on your hands and doing nothing is a choice, but it is one that you will most likely regret as you grow older. People rarely regret their adventures, but they often regret not going on one in the first place.

 

source https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/2729/if-you-dont-know-what-to-do-with-your-life-read-this/?c=ACR

8 Signs You’re Arguing With A Psychopath

8 Signs You’re Arguing With A Psychopath

 

Picture a psychopath and you’re likely to think of the stereotypical Hollywood serial killer such as Hannibal Lecter or Christian Bale’s character in American Psycho.

But while an estimated one percent of the adult population could rightfully be categorized as psychopaths, many are functional, often successful individuals.

Most of the time, you’d probably struggle to identify one, but find yourself in an argument – or an apparently friendly debate – and it becomes all too obvious who you’re dealing with.

Here are 8 telltale signs that you are arguing with a psychopath.

1. Pathological Lying

When the argument revolves around past events and the actions of this person, you will encounter a wave of lying, denial, and fantasy that bears no resemblance to reality as you know it.

They will deny wrongdoing, blame others, make you out to be wrong on the facts, and use all sorts of smoke and mirrors to project their own version of events.

Even when you offer counter-evidence to prove otherwise, they will spin further lies to disorient you to the point where you are no longer confident in your own memories.

2. Refusing To Take Responsibility

A psychopath’s lies will often be used as a means to avoid taking any responsibility for their actions. They are incapable of admitting when they are at fault and will defend their innocence until the death where necessary.

It doesn’t matter how big or small the indiscretion, they will deny any accountability because it might tarnish the otherwise grandiose vision they have of themselves.

3. Never Conceding A Point Well Made

It doesn’t matter how well structured your argument is, or how clear and factual a point may be, a psychopath will never concede that you may be, in any small way, right.

They will refuse to grant you even the smallest gesture of congratulations, instead using spurious information and irrelevant details to confuse the point you’ve made and spin it so that they can maintain their air of superiority.

4. Condescending Approach And Tone

Psychopaths are, when it suits them, incredibly able to maintain their cool, poised exterior. They can stay calm even when you are losing your composure, and when you finally blow your top and react with annoyance, they will belittle you for it.

Part of their approach involves poking and prodding you – metaphorically speaking – to force you into a reaction. They know exactly what they are doing; baiting you into an emotional response allows them to gain the upper hand.

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5. Body Language That Differs From Their Words

To convey an image of themselves as anything but psychopathic, they will sometimes attempt to express opinions or emotions that are anything but genuine.

They may be masters at detecting what you are feeling, but psychopaths struggle to translate this into their own feelings; they have cognitive empathy, but not emotional empathy.

The result is that they can often slip up when trying to convey emotions that are conspicuous by their absence. Their body language is especially telling, but the tone of their voice and even the look in their eyes can also betray their underlying state.

6. Rapidly Shifting Moods

Because their cool and calm appearance is often staged as a means of controlling the argument, a psychopath is vulnerable to extreme and rapid changes in temperament.

When they feel that their balanced exterior no longer serves its purpose, and especially when they sense they are being out-argued, they will flick a switch and unleash a torrent of abuse, a barrage of flattery, a tirade of criticism, or some other form of manipulation.

They can swing wildly between various moods until you no longer recognize who you are arguing against.

7. Disturbing Lack Of Empathy

When the argument revolves around people or other living creatures, a psychopath’s stance will often lack empathy of any kind.

You might be discussing the plights of people in war-torn countries, victims of crime, or even the misfortunes of a friend. They might even blame those who suffer for their very suffering, regardless of whether they had any choice or say in the matter.

8. Unrealistic View Of Reality

As you argue with a psychopath, you will get a sense of just how warped their view of the world is. They often see things completely differently to others, and this twisted vision of reality forms a basis for their arguments.

They not only create unrecognizable world views by themselves; they assimilate equally distorted information to bolster their beliefs and convince themselves of new ones.

It will often seem like an attitude of denial and can be regularly seen among climate skeptics, conspiracy theorists, and other such groups.

Of course, should you ever find yourself arguing with someone who embodies many of these traits, there is only one, sensible course of action: stop talking and physically remove yourself from the argument. It may not feel great to concede in this way, but it is the only option if you want to maintain your sanity.

Have you ever encountered someone like this? Leave a comment below and share your experience of what it was like to argue with them.

 

Source https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/3454/8-signs-youre-arguing-psychopath/?c=ACR

6 Simple Ways to Become a More Confident Speaker

Let’s face it, whether it is a room of 10 or an auditorium of 1000, you will have to become a speaker sometime in your life. If it’s not a presentation at work then it could be a wedding speech or an ‘all of a sudden’ farewell speech to test your mettle.

And that’s why, it is time you took your speaking skills seriously and worked on honing them for the benefit of your confidence and the well-being of those who will have to end up listening to you ☺

Being a superlative speaker is a lot like driving a car. Remember the first time you tried doing it? The car acted like a teenager (The gear- the clutch mis co-ordinated while the car almost bounced making a funny noise and maybe stopped) most likely☺. But now you can probably drive with closed eyes though I would really ask you not to!

As a Motivational speaker & Corporate Trainer in India; I got to do some 1100+ Events for Corporates & Youth across Asia in the last 17 years. I started off okayish. But the following helped me improve over the years. And I’m glad to be sharing my trade secrets with you☺ :

6 Simple Ways to Become a More Confident Speaker

1. Read more books

A lot of people think reading has got nothing to do with speaking. But you need to get your basics right before you take on the giant (if speaking is a giant for you to say).

If you don’t like serious literature or non – fiction, read any genre you identify with and enjoy. But do not give up on reading. It gives you the building block because some important aspects of being a good speaker are – being grammatically correct and being able to internalize your content. And what better than a reading habit to give you these two! And don’t say you don’t like reading, because then I am going to say – you haven’t found the right book yet.

I have been both – a complete non-reader and an avid reader. No guesses for what helped me more. Besides, if you look at some of the best speakers, they are all voracious readers. A habit of reading gives you the hold of grammar and vocabulary and perspectives to approach your topics from completely different and often abstract angles. That many more ways to hit your message home! And it gives you a notorious confidence, which speaking is all about.

2. Stick to your Style

Would David have defeated Goliath if he hadn’t played to his sling? I mean strength! ☺And would Harry have won past the dragon if he did not play to his flying strength?

Every speaker has a style. You just need to discover what you are comfortable with the most. And which is that one style (and probably genre of content too) where the ball is so in your court, no snobby audience member could take it away from you!

I for e.g. resort to humour and sarcasm of varying levels to connect with my audiences. The funny-ness of everyday life, I believe, is the best analogy one can draw to motivate people. Yours could be a different style. Emotional talking, lot of stories, interactive sessions, intellectual sessions, poetry– there are so many ways you could reach out.

Just figure out where your strength lies and then zoom off in that direction. To be able to build your confidence as a speaker, you will definitely need to first build your comfort. Of course a good talk or speech is a mixture of all the elements. But the major compound in the chemical reaction of your speech should be the one that can catalyse the whole reaction to your stride. So discover your style and strength. I am not asking you to get comfortable in a zone. But you will first need to find your zone before you can beat it. Else you will forever be swimming in unknown territories, and possibly get bitten by sharks along the way too! Now we don’t want that do we?

3. Pause & Breathe

I have found myself at loss of words many a times during my sessions. The mind blanks out and it is pretty normal. Initially it really got me. But I quickly learned how to get over it. All you have to do is, turn around so that the audience can’t see your face, take a deep breath and pause.

I have seen a lot of speakers who talk like a bull in a china shop. They have to say everything, and at break neck speed. Guys, you are not doing a road runner show here. You don’t have to say everything in one go. Take a leaf out of the theatre actors’ books and introduce that dramatic pause in your speech ☺

Okay! Maybe not that dramatic. But stopping sometimes can help you achieve many things. 1) It will help you declutter and unclog your mind. When sometimes, you are very prepared, it is easy to get carried away and then lose your head completely. At that crucial moment, you pause and take a deep breath. Though, not so deep that the whole auditorium listens to your windpipe. But give yourself that infinitesimal pause. Because it will also help you 2) to stress upon a point by giving your audience time to think about it.

So it has a two-fold benefit. It not only helps your regain your strength (and somewhat lost memory) but also creates a dramatic effect where the audience can think about what you just said and wait eagerly for more.

4. Use the ‘S curve Technique’

This technique is especially helpful when addressing larger crowds. And it is quite simple to ace too, after a few rounds of practice. All you have to do is, look at the person sitting at the extreme right end and curve your eyes through the crowd in an S shaped fashion until you come to the extreme front left end person. While you will be focusing on a few people as you move your gaze, the optical illusion created by this technique is that all the people in room will feel that you are look at them.

This a great trick for budding speakers to create a feeling of inclusion and better engagement. For larger audiences it is an S. But you can still try it in smaller groups too. Just be sure to make fluid eye movements and don’t roll them too much. You might end up looking demented!

5. Over prepare

In the sense that you should try and gather as much information about the topic that you are going to talk about. So much so that, when you do go on stage and get the mic, you should know more than most people in the room. Though, we are not aiming at showing off ☺

What this will do is, 1) it will give you confidence that you are not screwing it up and people are getting access to relevant content. And 2) it will also give you trivia to throw at your audience to spice up things when it is going downhill (as it sometimes will. Most sessions have ebbs and highs. It is okay).

One of the biggest reasons behind speaking calamities is that people fear they will be laughed at and made fun of. But you know, you can’t learn swimming by sitting by the pool knowing all about swimming. You will need to get into the water. Same goes with speaking. So, over prepare and then go with the flow. Because there is no shortcut other than practising as much as you can.

And while we are at it, one good way of practicing would be – listening to yourself. Record your own sessions and figure out your faults. That’s a great way to prepare yourself both content wise and delivery wise. Because, you must have heard (if not somewhere else then maybe from your girlfriend’s mouth), “It is not just what you say, it is how you say it”!!☺

So, content and delivery.

Voice modulation & Energy

Nothing kills the spoken word like a monotone does. You are a living breathing person. Your communication should not seem like it’s coming from a zombie. Depending on what you are talking about, you will need to modulate your voice & energy levels. And how to do that? Read on!

You can modulate your voice by modulating the pitch, volume and pace i.e. PVP. Create combinations of these three. Alter your pitch, or your pace, or your volume. Or all three in varying degrees to make a much deeper impact. We talked about pausing above. Right after your pause, you can alter your pitch to make your point much more impactful. Without PVP, your talk is going to flat-line, like a heart that is stopping.

For e.g. you are talking about the importance of goals. In a higher pitch you talk about the mistakes people do & then when you are giving them a final mantra for achieving, you lower your pitch just a little. Reason – your listeners have your attention from the high pitch and the high pitch has solved its purpose i.e. your attention. The lower one will bring seriousness, sincerity & subtlety. It will give the feeling that you are confident about what you are saying and has a higher chance of getting accepted. That’s how I do during my Events. And so do a lot of others who have had loads of practice. If you don’t believe me, listen to radio jockeys ☺

People often ask me ‘How can I become more spontaneous in my communication’ Spontaneity for me Fearlessness. When I started my career as a Motivational Speaker & a Trainer; my jokes were poor. They still are. But I used to tell my audiences that I am a poet and a comedian both. If my jokes do not resonate – call me a poet.

There is much more that goes into becoming a good speaker. Your ability to come across as a confident speaker depends hugely on your self-conviction in your topic, your preparation and your genuine desire to contribute to the listener. With practice, that confidence will build. And that credibility will appear. But only with practice. So be sure you get loads of that, if owning the speaker’s dais or podium or stage and owning people’s hearts is what you aim for!

 

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7 Tips to Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

Our personalities are made up with a collection of strengths and weaknesses. As humans, it’s our nature to face some struggles, but we also have the power to turn these weaknesses into strengths, simply by using them in the right way.

“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by rejection,” said Leonardo da Vinci. “

“Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.” – Thomas Paine

Just looking at the number of successful people who had to overcome their own struggles to get to where they are today is enough to inspire anyone – people like Bill Gates, Stephen King, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Franklin Roosevelt. This Huffington Post article details some of the challenges these individuals, among others, faced on their way to fame and fortune – and shows just some of the ways you can use your own weaknesses or failings to your benefit.

7 Tips to Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

Shyness

While being shy can certainly make life more difficult, there are a number of advantages to embracing your shyness and turning it into a strength. Shy people tend to put more thought into every action, meaning they are careful decision makers and always weigh the pros and cons of a particular situation before reacting to it.

Being shy means you might also place more value on the relationships you’ve built because it’s more challenging for you to build new ones. This can be hugely beneficial for you, as you will have lasting relationships with loyal clients – who will feel they can trust and depend on you.

Selfishness

It might seem like selfishness is a very negative personality trait, but there are a number of benefits you can gain by embracing your selfish attitude in a healthy way. People tend to think that selfish people are inconsiderate of others, or greedy and bossy, but being preoccupied with your own well-being is actually a necessary survival instinct. Try to be self-focused rather than self-involved to turn this weakness into a strength.

By ensuring that your own needs are met before you stretch yourself to help others, you will be at your best. Selfish people tend to be more confident, happier, and more successful – and will excel in leadership roles. They don’t give up, and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their dreams.

Big ego

This trait goes hand-in-hand with selfishness – a healthy ego means you are more confident and more likely to take risks to achieve your goals. While having a big ego can certainly lead to more self-destructive tendencies, if you can keep your ego in check, you can certainly use it to your advantage.

Rather than being arrogant, a healthy ego means you aren’t afraid to show pride in your past accomplishments, and that you recognize your own self-worth. Your ego can help you you’re your fears and push through difficult times because you know what you are capable of and you have the confidence to keep going. These are important traits in both building business relationships and personal ones and can give you a competitive edge.

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Sensitivity

Reacting negatively to criticism can not only hinder your career growth, but it can also make it more difficult to successfully build networks. Build your emotional independence by initiating situations you might normally – increasing your tolerance for criticism and making you less sensitive to any negative feedback.

One perk to being overly sensitive is that you are probably a better partner than someone with less empathy, since you are always trying to talk and act in a way that won’t cause harm to someone else – you know just how awful that can feel. You’re also more perceptive than most people, and this awareness means you will probably notice things other people might not. This is helpful not only in business situations but also in an unfamiliar place or when dealing with an emergency.

Neuroticism

Disordered anxiety is never a good thing, but a bit of healthy neuroticism definitely has advantages – especially in business. By harnessing those feelings of anxiety, neurotic people can benefit from this perceived weakness and act on some of those potentially negative emotions. Your nervous energy can drive you to meet deadlines without procrastinating and prepare sufficiently and meticulously for a report or presentation.

It can be a challenge to learn how to harness that anxiety, though. Overly anxious people are more likely to procrastinate more, and can easily become overwhelmed by everyday stresses. One technique that can help is developing a routine – ensuring that your day-to-day life is consistent, leaving you more time to focus on some of the additional stresses that may (and likely will) occur.

Pessimism

Motivational speakers and self-help gurus will tell you about the power of positive thinking, but there is a lot to be gained from a healthy dose of negative thinking, too. Pessimism helps you keep a clear head and prevents you from being overly trusting or excessively confident. A healthy amount of doubt will help push you to put in your best effort in any situation, and can help you feel more satisfied when you see a positive result.

Rather than catastrophizing, where imagining all of the potentially awful scenarios caused by a particular situation can lead you to feelings of hopelessness and depression, focus on what’s known as defensive pessimism. Defensive pessimism means setting lower expectations and determining specific courses of action in anticipation of an unwanted result, meaning that if the scenario doesn’t go as planned, you won’t be as negatively affected as you may have been if you’d adopted a more optimistic attitude.

Messiness

While organization is thought to be one of the key indicators of a successful individual, there are some studies that show that messy people tend to be more creative, outside-the-box thinkers. Organization can be learned, but by embracing your messiness, you could be using your time more efficiently and enjoying more positive, healthy relationships and more success at work. Einstein once said, “if a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?”

Orderliness does have benefits, but if it’s not something that comes naturally to you, it’s better not to force it. Not only will you spend more time trying to get organized and less time on other priorities, there is also evidence that a tidy, uncluttered space restricts creativity and inspiration. Make the most of your creative mind, and don’t worry so much about trying to organize your space.

Do some self-evaluation and come up with a few weakness you might have. By developing an awareness of how your weaknesses might impact your personality and hinder you both personally and professionally, you are already one step closer to taking steps to turn these traits around and use them as opportunities for growth. Turning your weaknesses into strengths won’t make these any of these traits go away, but it will give you the tools to achieve your dreams – while being the best possible version of yourself.

How to Organize Your Life Right Now In 10 Easy Steps

https://motivationgrid.com/how-to-organize-your-life-10-steps/

 

 

As a global business consultant, I travel. A lot. And I must admit that, at first, I wasn’t very good at it. Being in multiple countries with multiple time zones in just a few days’ time meant that I needed to be really organized. After a few missed meetings, late night appointments and near-missed flights, I decided to seek the help of productivity specialist, Lori Krolik, President of More Time for You. She taught me the magical life lesson of mastering checklists.

I’ve learned that without them, you’re doomed.

Here’s what she told me:

“Create checklists for the places you travel to, especially globally, when you might need special medicines or articles of clothing. For example, you might need Malaria medicine in certain humid, remote, climates. Or that easily packable down coat when traveling to cold weather. Pull the checklist out each time when you’re getting ready to go to make sure you aren’t forgetting anything.”

It was as if that advice opened a Pandora’s box of how to organize my life. Not only was I able to be in the right place at the right time no matter where I was on the globe, but I began to physically and mentally cut through clutter in all aspects of my life—professional and personal.

And, now that I have it together, I want you share with you the ten secrets of how to organize your life, too.

How to Organize Your Life Right Now In 10 Easy Steps

Prioritize.

First, you’ve got to believe in yourself that you can be the conqueror of clutter. The way to do this is to hone in on what needs to be organized. Don’t be daunted. Think, what areas are the most disorganized? What areas are stressing you out and making it difficult for you to achieve certain tasks like scheduling meetings or fixing supper? Start that checklist and tackle one before moving onto the next.

Get dressed.

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There’s a trend among organized people. They start their mornings with the same routine every single day—no matter if they’re going to work or staying home. A lot of successful people like to start the day by making their bed – this way they start the day with a small achievement. This simple act of getting ready for the day no matter where it may take you can change your perspective and help you be more productive. It’s the simple knowledge that you’re prepared for anything—inside or outside the house.

Write everything down.

Sure, we live in an age where pen and paper is antiquated but it’s a great way to remember things. Write out those checklists and savor the triumphant feeling you have when you get to mark things off. For important dates and errands, feel free to use your smart phone. But no matter what, write (or type) it somewhere. To-do lists do no good floating around in your head.

Master the calendar.

Speaking of dates, my productivity guru, Lori, also shared some important advice when it comes to scheduling meetings—be sure to use the notes section in your calendar. Don’t rely on your memory when it comes to recalling who is calling who, or what is on the agenda, or for me, what time zone the call is meant to take place. Auto-conversion doesn’t work sometimes, so she advised me to put all relevant times and time-zones manually in the body of the invitation.

Be an anti-procrastinator.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but procrastination only adds to stress—and disorganization. The longer you wait to do something, the harder it will be to get the task done (plus, you’ll likely do a worse job because of the pressure and time constraints). Getting things done as soon as you can nixes the feeling of having something hanging over your head. Try it! It can be liberating!

Give everything a home.

Some people love, love, love label makers. And, I never quite understood it. Those little machines seem to have an underground fan club of highly organized people. And now I know why—I’ve learned those little things can be a powerful weapon when it comes to getting organized. Pick one up and head to the Container Store and get a host of bins, boxes, and folders. Then go crazy. Give everything in your life its designated place. If everything has a home, you’ll lessen your chances of losing anything. Think of the time you’ll save not looking for your keys! This goes for email, too. Create folders and send those emails home.

Get rid of junk regularly.

A big key to how to organize your life is spending time on a regular basis, whether it be every week or every month, to go through and declutter. Get rid of things you don’t need. A rule I have for clothes and personal items is, if I haven’t used it in a year, to bring it to Good Will or a consignment shop. Also, if I purchase something new, like a new sweater or pair of shoes, that means I must get rid of something. This also helps fight the clutter war.

Put things back where they belong.

Now that everything has a “home”, make sure it stays that way. Don’t use that flashlight and then stick it in a nearby cupboard. Take a moment and place it back in the neatly labeled container you got it from. That way when you need it next, you’ll know where to look.

Share the work.

One of the perks of being really organized is freedom from being really stressed and overwhelmed. And freedom from being really stressed and overwhelmed means demands that you not have too much on your plate. Really organized people know how to delegate. If you find that your plate is overflowing, prioritize and consider dropping or delegating the less important tasks. It’s okay to cancel plans so that you have time to think. Or, even, just to breathe.

That brings me to my last secret of how to organize your life—

Stop trying to be perfect!

Organized people have the image of being perfectionists but the truth is, they aren’t. It’s just the illusion they’ve created because they have the space and time to do what’s important well. If you feel like you must do everything perfectly, you’re not going to get anything done. So try to do the best you can for the most important stuff, and be okay with “good enough” for the others—or ask for help. This will help you combat procrastination and free up your time.

Since I discovered these secrets of how to organize one’s life and work, I’ve been much more productive while being less stressed. It seems contradictory but by investing a little bit of time into organizing every day, I’ve been able to have more time to do the things I want—and do them well.

 

Elderly carpenter wants to retire but is given one last job, learns a very valuable lesson

 

 

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we’d do it much differently.

But we cannot go back. You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. “Life is a do-it-yourself project,” someone has said. Your attitudes and choices you make today, build the “house” you live in tomorrow. Build wisely!

Remember…
Work like you don’t need the money.
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Dance like nobody is watching.

“To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world.”

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3 Signs You Will Be Fine (Even If You Don’t Feel Fine Right Now)

3 Signs You Will Be Fine (Even If You Don’t Feel Fine Right Now)

You start your day, and you’re immediately worried about all the things on your plate, all the things you have to do, and all the people you will see.

You’re anxious about what other people – family, friends, colleagues and strangers alike – might think of you.  You pass people on the street and, without even realizing it, you worry about how you look in their eyes.

You worry about your responsibilities at work (emails, meetings, paperwork, etc.), and all the obligations you have in your personal life (family, meals, bills, etc.).  And you have this constant aching feeling that you’re not doing enough… that you’re not as good as you ‘should’ be, and you never will be.

You worry about how you compare to other people, about how far behind you are, about how good or bad you’ll be going forward, about all the things you don’t have, about what you’re missing out on, about how guilty you feel for not being better, skinnier, stronger and smarter than you are right now.

And so it goes…

But you’re not alone.  We all get caught up in our own heads sometimes.

What you need to realize is that, regardless of what’s going on in your life, there’s a good chance you’ll be just fine.

The world will keep turning, and life will be OK.

We’re always obsessing over things that might go wrong, about the disheartening things people might think about us, and so on and so forth.  In a nutshell, we’re focused on the negative possibilities only.

But those negative possibilities are just a few small possibilities out of a pool of many.  So the chances of them becoming a reality are slim.  And even if one of them does become a reality (let’s say somebody thinks poorly of you), the negative impact of this reality is rarely as disastrous as we imagine.

The truth is, even if our fears transpire, 99% of the time we’ll be fine.

Try to envision all the little things you’ve worried about recently.  You survived every single one of these possibilities, right?  Life didn’t fall apart, and even when you were forced to struggle for a while, you learned some useful lessons that ultimately made you stronger.

If you simply make a positive ritual of telling yourself that you’ll be fine – and that you are fine right now – you can gradually let go of your worries the moment you notice them arising.

You can think better and you can ultimately live better…

You can start your day with a sense of peace in your mind, a genuine smile on your face, and then you can put your best foot forward.

All of this is true and worth practicing.

But…

What about the tough times when a disaster actually does strike?

How do you cope then?

Let me share a quick, relevant story with you…

“Today, on my 47th birthday, I re-read the suicide note I wrote on my 27th birthday about two minutes before my girlfriend, Carol, showed up at my apartment and told me, ‘I’m pregnant.’  Her words were honestly the only reason I didn’t follow through with it.  Suddenly I felt I had something to live for, and I started making positive changes.  It’s been a journey, but Carol is now my wife and we’ve been happily married for 19 years.  And my daughter, who is now a 21-year-old university student pursuing a degree in medicine, has two younger brothers.  I re-read my suicide note every year on the morning of my birthday as a reminder to be graceful – I am grateful I got a second chance at life.”

That’s the opening paragraph of an email I received recently from a course student named Kevin.  His words remind me that sometimes you have to die a little on the inside first in order to be reborn and rise again as a stronger, happier version of yourself.

Circumstances and people will occasionally break you down to the lowest of lows.  But if you keep your mind focused on the positive, your heart open to love, and continue to put one foot in front of the other, you can recover the pieces, rebuild, and come back much stronger and happier than you ever would have been otherwise.

Angel and I have dealt with our fair share of adversity too – losing siblings and best friends to death, financial and business turmoil, etc. – and we’ve written a lot about it over the years.  But today, let me remind you of some clear signs that you will be just fine, even if you don’t feel fine right now…

1.  Right now everything is changing again, nothing is certain, and you are free.

Everything in life is temporary.  Nothing lasts.  Every moment gives us a new beginning and a new ending.  We literally get a second chance every second.

Every time it rains, it stops raining.  Everything that goes up comes down.  After darkness there is always light – we are reminded of this every morning, but somehow we don’t see it.

People all over the world are constantly telling their one heartbreaking story, about how their entire life has turned into an exercise in coping with one particular unfair event from the past.  Every present opportunity they have is then burned at the stake to fuel a fiery obsession with something that can’t be changed.  The key is to realize that YOU don’t have to be one of these people.

You are a product of your past, but you don’t have to be a prisoner of it.  You become a prisoner when you cling to what no longer exists.  So remember that if you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.  It may be hard, but you CAN let go… and to a certain degree, you must.

You have to let go and accept the feeling of not knowing exactly where you’re going next, and train yourself to love and appreciate this freedom.  Because it is only when you are suspended in the air, with no destination in sight, that you force your wings to open fully so you can fly.  And as you soar around you still may not know where you’re traveling to.  But that’s not what’s important.  What’s important is the opening of your wings.  You may not know where you’re headed, but you know that so long as your wings are spread, the winds will carry you forward.

2.  You have some incredible choices to make.

Oftentimes we yearn for just a tiny range of life experiences – the good times, the comfortable situations, the experiences that make us happy.  And yet, the reality we’re faced with every day is quite different.  Life gives us a broad range of very different experiences that gradually wrap our emotions up in anger and love and heartbreak and joy and frustration and excitement and loneliness and confusion… one after another.  These are all part of our reality – our collective human condition.

The question is: How will YOU choose to respond?

You can revolt against the unfairness of having to deal with not getting everything you want.  You can be angry at the world for the pain and struggle you’re faced with.  You can attempt to resist and deny the experiences of sadness, frustration, confusion, and so forth.  Just beware that all of these choices will ultimately lead you in spiraling circles of deeper and darker despair.

A more effective choice, perhaps, is to fully embrace reality and the broad range of life experiences you encounter, taking the good with the bad.  This includes all of your emotions, all of your ups and downs, all of your blissful moments and painful ones, and the entirety of everything in between. Life is not just rainbows and butterflies.  It’s intricate and remarkable.

Fully embracing life in this way means opening yourself to unimaginable possibilities, being vulnerable to unexpected changes, being compassionate with yourself when times are tough, giving yourself some extra love and kindness no matter what happens, and being grateful for the opportunity to experience it all.

It means not expecting to always be the perfect human living the perfect life, but instead accepting reality as it is, and accepting yourself as you are, and then making the best of it.

3.  There is at least one tiny, positive step you can take right now (because there always is).

Don’t build mountains in your mind.  Don’t try to conquer the world all at once.  When you seek instant gratification (big, quick fixes) you make life unnecessarily painful and frustrating.  When you choose instead to treat each moment as an opportunity to make a tiny, positive investment in yourself, the rewards come naturally.

When everything is broken, it’s easy to find plenty of little things you can fix.  When nothing seems to be going right, even the most fundamental positive effort can make a significant difference.  Times of great adversity are also times of great opportunity.  When there are problems in every direction, there is also great value waiting to be created.  When everything is going well, it’s easy to get lulled into a routine of complacency.  It’s easy to forget how incredibly capable and resourceful you can be.  Resolve to persevere one small step at a time.

Small steps, little leaps, and tiny fixes (very small repetitive changes) every day will get you there, every time, through thick and thin.

If you’d like to get started now, challenge yourself to do so.  Choose a specific area of your life that you want to improve, and then…

  1. Write down the specific details about your current circumstances.  (What’s bothering you?  What’s wrong?  What do you want to change?)
  2. Write down your answer to this question: What are the daily rituals that have contributed to your current circumstances?  (Be honest with yourself.  What are you doing that contributes to the situation you’re in?)
  3. Write down the specific details about your ideal circumstances.  (What would make you happy?  What does your ideal situation look like?)
  4. Write down your answer to this question:  What are the daily rituals that will get you from where you are to where you want to be?  (Think about it.  What small, daily steps will help you move forward?)

The bottom line is that every moment of your life builds upon the next.  This moment is the bridge between the reality of where you are and the vision of where you want to be.

Reality is indeed approaching you every second.  And the great thing is, you’re able to alter it as it arrives.  You just have to decide what you want to do with it.  The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing simply because you can only do a little right now.  And again, it is far more productive to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a giant leap only to stumble and fall and never get up again.  The path to what you want most in life requires a ritual of a thousand small steps spread out over time.  Figure out where you want to go, take the first step, and keep on stepping.  Diligence and persistence will get you there.

Afterthoughts… On Being Fine & Loving Yourself

Most of us are familiar with the practice of loving and caring for our parents, children, or significant others.  And although we do so imperfectly, we do our best to practice this love for them on a daily basis.

But do we attempt to practice the same level of love and care with ourselves?

Oftentimes the answer is NO.  Think about it…

  • How often to you criticize your physical appearance?
  • How often to you tell yourself you aren’t good enough?
  • How often do you unfairly compare yourself to others?
  • How often to guilt yourself into doing things?
  • How often do you put your own needs last?
  • How often do you berate yourself for making mistakes?

I’ll be the first to admit that I still struggle with all the above.  And I know I’m not the only one.  For many of us, there’s an underlying feeling of being less than we think we should be.  This isn’t something we consciously do to ourselves, but it happens, again and again.  And we CAN choose differently!

YOU can choose differently!

Today, what if you started practicing a little more self-love, self-care, and self-acceptance?  What if you took a good look at yourself, your body, your feelings, your situation, and told yourself, “You are perfectly fine!  You are enough!  You are worth it”?

How would doing so change your attitude and life?

Seriously think about the possibility of accepting everything about yourself, just as you are right now, without yearning to change yourself in any way.

It’s important to note, too, that accepting yourself the way you are is not about complacency and inaction.  It’s about realizing that you can’t hate and berate yourself into a better version of yourself.  Positive growth is built on a foundation of love and acceptance.   The person who loves herself (or himself) is more likely to take positive actions that move things forward for all the right reasons.

In the end, you will change no matter what.  Nothing lasts.  You simply can’t avoid changing with the times.  The question is whether the change you experience in life comes from a place of love and acceptance, or a place of self-loathing and resistance.

I vote for love and acceptance.

But the choice is YOURS to make.

Your turn…

If you’re feeling up to it, we would love to hear from YOU.

Which point mentioned above resonates with you the most today, and why?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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Source :- http://www.marcandangel.com/

20 Beliefs You Will Gradually Let Go of Over the Next 20 Years

The afternoon always understands what the morning never even suspected. Everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Every day. All the time. YOU are telling yourself a story right now. And this story is simply a collection of beliefs that ultimately makes you what you are – it lays the foundation for every action you take or don’t take in life. In essence, you build yourself out of this story, one day at a time. For a while, everything aligns just fine, or so it seems, and life is good. But then, at some point, perhaps sometime in your thirties, forties or fifties, you get slapped with a harsh reality that doesn’t even slightly align with the story you’ve been telling yourself. And it hurts! As you struggle to cope with the pain you’re feeling, you are slapped again and again with similar realities. It goes on like this until you realize that the story you’ve been telling yourself and holding on to all these years is the primary source of your pain, because the beliefs that support the story are utterly and hopelessly false. It isn’t easy, but you have to accept it. You have to seriously sit down with yourself and come to grips with the reality that you were wrong about it all along. What you believed to be true was just an illusion built on false beliefs – a story – that never really was what you thought it was. This is your awakening! Although it hurts in the beginning, it’s a beautiful thing in the long run. As time passes, awareness gradually becomes the new foundation of your journey. Your story gets rewritten with powerful truths. And you learn to let go of countless false beliefs, like these… The belief that waiting until tomorrow makes sense – We know deep down that life is short, and that death will come to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it comes to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, so you find yourself off balance, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is. Truth be told, someday there REALLY won’t be a tomorrow! And this harsh reality needs to be respected. I was actually reminded of this earlier today when I was chatting with a 72-year-old course student about regrets, and she started our call by saying (I’m sharing this with permission): “Why didn’t I learn to accept and appreciate it all, and treat every day like it was the last time? Honestly, my biggest regret is how often I believed in tomorrow.” … May we all take heed to her words, and learn from them. The belief that you must find your motivation somewhere outside yourself – The most common problem with motivation, often not understood until later in life, is that when we say we’re looking for motivation, it implies that our motivation is somehow hiding behind a tree or under a rock somewhere. But that’s far from the truth. The truth is, our motivation comes from doing the right things. When our efforts have meaning behind them it motivates us to take the next step. For me – and we’re all different – I am motivated primarily by two core ambitions: first, knowing more today than I knew yesterday, especially as doing so relates to meaningful projects and desires, and second, easing the pain of others. Living by these two core ambitions on a daily basis, and regularly reflecting on the progress I’m making, invigorates me, personally and professionally. So think about it: Underneath all the things you say you have to do, at the end of each day, what is the significance and value you hope to create? The belief that everyone else knows what’s best for you – Give yourself the space to listen to your own voice—your own soul. Too many people listen to the noise of the world and get lost in the crowd. But YOU can choose differently! Don’t watch too much TV, don’t read every fashion blog, and don’t consume too much mass media news. Find the strength to fill your time with meaningful experiences. The space and time you are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if you’re worrying about the Kardashians or Lebron James or some other famous face, then you are disempowered. You’re giving your life away to marketing and media hocus-pocus, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to look a certain way and be a certain way. This is absolutely tragic, this kind of thinking! It’s all just a distraction from what is real and good. What is real and good is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, and your dreams. You know this already! Listen to what your heart is telling you! Eventually, one way or another, you WILL. Because there will inevitably come a day when you’ll finally be wise enough and strong enough to do so. The belief that all the instant notifications and distractions are worth it – Distractions are in the palms of our hands these days, but we need to remember to look up more often. We need to learn to be more human again. Don’t avoid eye contact. Don’t hide behind gadgets. Smile often. Ask about people’s stories. Listen. You can’t connect with anyone, including yourself, unless you are undistracted and present. And you can’t be either of the two when you’re Facebooking, Instagramming or Snapchatting your life away on your smartphone. You just can’t! If you are constantly attached to your smartphone and only listening with your ears as your eyes check for the next social update, you are ripping yourself off of actually experiencing real relationships and real life. The same is true for texting too. Yes, someday you will be slapped with the reality of a missed MEMORY being far more unsettling than a missed TEXT! The belief that being busy is beneficial – “Am I making meaningful use of this scarce and precious day?” It’s a simple question Angel and I challenge our course students to ask themselves anytime they feel busyness overwhelming them. And it’s a question that seems to gain relevance as we gain life experience. Time gradually shows us how fleeting our lives really are. Filling every day with busyness makes no sense, and yet it’s tempting to do just that. Resist the temptation! Leave space! Your ultimate goal is living a life uncluttered by most of the distractions people fill their lives with, leaving you with space for what truly matters. A life that isn’t constant busyness, rushing, and resistance, but instead mindful contemplation, creation and connection with people and projects you truly love. The belief that knowledge alone is enough – Learning by itself is great in the near-term, but it doesn’t cut it in the long run if you plan on making positive changes in your life. It’s one thing to know all twelve steps necessary to recover from alcoholism, for example, but it’s another thing entirely to dedicate yourself to actually carrying out each one of those steps. The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing – growing happens when what you know changes how you live. At some point we all learn this lesson, often the hard way, by realizing that we haven’t made any real progress. But then we take action, because that’s how real progress happens… and everything changes, for the better. The belief that faster is better – In our youth it seems like faster is better, but in time we gradually witness the power of ‘slow and steady’ at work. We come to learn that no act of love, kindness or diligence, no matter how small, is ever wasted. The fact that you can plant a seed and it becomes a tree, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, is proof that YOU can make a big difference in life and business, even if it can’t be done all at once. So don’t break your back today. Remind yourself that you can’t lift 1,000 pounds all at once. Yet you can easily lift one pound 1,000 times, especially when you spread the lifting over a series of days. Tiny, repeated, daily efforts will get you there. (Angel and I build tiny, life-changing, daily rituals with our students in the “Goals and Growth” module of Getting Back to Happy.) The belief that comfort is the end goal – A very popular and harmful addiction in this world is the draw of comfort. Don’t be someone who never asks, “how?” or never pulls back further to ask, “why?” Too many young people don’t ask these questions because they know the answers would require substantial disruption to their comfort zone, and they don’t want to endure it. But that’s how the human mind grows, and eventually we all learn this, one way or another. When our minds are stretched with new questions and resulting experiences, they never shrink back to their previous dimensions – we are forever more competent and capable. Truth be told, emotional discomfort in life, when accepted, rises, crests and crashes in a series of waves. Each wave washes an old layer of us away and deposits treasures we never expected to find. Out goes inexperience, in comes awareness; out goes frustration, in comes resilience; out goes hatred, in comes kindness. And so on and so forth… The belief that you are at the center of the universe – When we’re young, we all have the tendency to place ourselves at the center of everything, and see every outcome from the viewpoint of how it affects us personally. But as we grow up and broaden our horizons, we begin to see that our self-centered thinking has lots of baggage that comes along with it – from feeling sorry for ourselves when things aren’t going exactly as expected, to doubting ourselves when we fail to be perfect. And we realize that shifting our focus onto others for a while can help. It’s one of life’s great paradoxes: when we serve others we end up benefiting as much if not more than those we serve. So whenever you feel stuck, try to shift your focus from your circumstances to the circumstances of those around you. Instead of asking, “What’s wrong with me?” ask, “How can I help you?” Find someone who could use an extra hand and make a small, reasonable offer they can’t refuse. The perspective you gain will guide you forward. The belief that everyone is capable of being kind and loving – Not everyone will appreciate what you do for them, and not everyone will do for you as you do for them, because not everyone has the same heart as you. That’s reality. And you’ll eventually realize that you’ll be endlessly disappointed if you expect things to be different. So be kind and loving to people because you want to be, and don’t let your expectations get the best of you. With that said, however, you do ultimately have to figure out who’s worth your long-term attention and who’s just taking advantage of you. If your time and energy is misspent on the wrong people for the wrong reasons, you can end up in a tedious cycle of fleeting friendships, superficial romances that are as thrilling as they are meaningless, and a general sense of wondering why you always seem to be running in place chasing validation and affection. The belief that you can save certain (overly dramatic) people from themselves – You will gradually learn that you simply can’t save some people from themselves, so don’t get sucked too deep into their drama today. Those who make perpetual chaos of their lives won’t appreciate you interfering with the commotion they’ve created, anyway. They want your “poor baby” sympathy, but they don’t want to change. They don’t want their lives fixed by you. They don’t want their problems solved, their emotional addictions and distractions taken away, their stories resolved, or their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? They don’t know and they aren’t ready to know yet. And it’s not your job to tell them. The belief that forgiveness isn’t needed – In time, we learn about the power and importance of forgiveness, and we learn about its limitations. We learn that a broken relationship that’s mended through forgiveness can be even stronger than it once was. And, of course, we learn that this isn’t always the case either. Because forgiveness doesn’t necessarily lead to healed relationships. That’s not the point. Some relationships aren’t meant to be, and should NOT be. But you must forgive anyway, for your own sake, and then let what’s meant to be, BE. Forgiveness allows you to focus on the future without combating the past. When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self. It has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime, and everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim. The belief that outer beauty is a top priority – As you grow older, what you look like on the outside becomes less and less of an issue, and who you are on the inside becomes the primary point of interest. You gradually learn that infatuating yourself with someone simply for what they look like on the outside is like choosing your favorite food based on color instead of taste. And you start paying more attention to the innate, invisible, unquantifiable characteristics that create lasting attraction. Just as some people enjoy the smell of mint, while others prefer the scent of cinnamon, there is an undeniable, magnetic draw that attracts you to the qualities of certain people. Sometimes it’s even the scars your soul shares with them that reels you in and creates the very hinges that hold you together in the long run. The belief that you can buy your way to long-term happiness – There are two basic kinds of happiness in life – fleeting and enduring. The fleeting type is most commonly acquired though the anticipation and acquisition of new material (or digital) possessions, while the enduring type is attained through the gradual growth of your mind – the experiences, lessons, and realizations that ultimately bring more awareness, acceptance, and peace into your consciousness. At a young age, it might be difficult to decipher the difference between fleeting and enduring happiness, but as time rolls on it becomes vividly obvious that the latter is far more satisfying. So start today by challenging yourself to be less impressed by the things you own, and be more impressed by the life you live. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Simplicity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.) The belief that all your fears and worries will come true – Someday when you look back over your life you’ll realize that nearly all of your anxious worries and fears never came to be – they were completely unjustified and pointless. So why not wake up and realize this right now. What worries you masters you! And worrying will never change the outcome anyway. But a positive attitude can change everything over time. When you look back over the last few days, how many moments did you ruin with needless worry and negativity? Although there’s nothing you can do about these lost moments, there’s plenty you can do about the one you’re living through right now, and the ones that are still to come. The belief that failure is the end of the world – You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. Behind every great invention, creation or work of art is a hundred failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us. The truth is, you may not succeed in the exact way you hoped you would, within the exact time-frame you hoped you would, but you will learn and grow from your experiences and failures, and you will be better off in the end. You will ultimately learn that there’s no exact path in life that you have to stay on to get what you want. What you want will come with noticing the progress you’ve made, and understanding that every lesson is a step forward. The belief in every guarantee of safety and security – Too often, especially when we’re young and a bit naive, we buy in to the illusions and guarantees of safety and security. We purchase triple premium insurance, we lock ourselves in our homes, and we seal ourselves off from large parts of the world, all in an effort to be safe and secure. But the older we grow, the more we realize there are no sure things in this world. The nature of the world is constantly evolving. Reserving yourself with numerous safety and security measures is usually no safer in the long run than exposing yourself, and then simply using common sense to navigate forward. And it is far more fulfilling to dare yourself to the mighty experiences life has to offer, than to hide forever in a bubble of safety and security, only to leave the majority of your life sealed up and unlived. The belief that someday you will feel 100% complete, across the board – As you live, you’ll gradually find peace in the thought that you can’t ever have it all or know it all. You are always just a fraction of the whole. For if you weren’t, there would be nothing more to experience. So value what you know, and also value the countless things you don’t yet understand. For in what you do not understand, there is the joy of growth. Life will always be incomplete and a bit asymmetrical. Appreciate this and embrace it. Be happy and sad at the same time, be hungry and thankful at the same time, be nervous and excited at the same time, and be OK with it. The belief in how things are “supposed” to be – As you get older you will find that life isn’t necessarily any easier or harder than you thought it was going to be; it’s just that the easy and the hard aren’t exactly the way you had anticipated, and don’t always occur when you expect them to. This isn’t a bad thing; it makes life interesting. With a positive attitude you will often be pleasantly surprised. When you stop expecting things to be a certain way, you can appreciate them for what they are. Ultimately you will realize that life’s greatest gifts are rarely wrapped the way you expected. The belief that starting over is not an option – No one wins a game of chess by only moving forward; sometimes you have to move backward to put yourself in a position to win. Think about how this relates to your life. Sometimes when it feels like you’re running into one dead end after another, it’s actually a sign that you’re not on the right path. Maybe you were meant to hang a left back when you took a right, and that’s perfectly fine. Life gradually teaches us that U-turns are allowed. So turn around when you must! There’s a big difference between giving up and starting over in the right direction. And there are three little words that can release you from your past mistakes and regrets, and get you back on track. These words are: “From now on…” Choose to Let Go of Your False Beliefs My challenge to you is this: Live your life not as a bystander… Not as a prisoner to the false beliefs and stories that keep you stuck in your seat. Live in this world, on this day, and everyday hereafter as an active participant. Every morning, ask yourself what is real and important to you, and then find the courage, wisdom and willpower to build your day around your answer. It’s your choice. YOUR choice! You are choosing right now. And if you’re choosing… to complain… to blame… to be stuck in the past… to act like a victim… to feel insecure… to feel anger… to feel hate… to be naive… to ignore your intuition… to ignore good advice… to give up… …then it’s time to choose differently! But, let me also remind you that you are not alone. Generations of human beings in your family tree have chosen. Human beings around the world have chosen. We all have chosen at one time or another. And we stand behind you now whispering: Choose to be present. Choose to be positive. Choose to forgive yourself. Choose to forgive others. Choose to see your value. Choose to see the possibilities. Choose to find meaning. Choose to prove you’re not a victim. Choose to let go of your false beliefs and stories. Choose to find strength in the truth – YOUR TRUTH – so you can take a real step forward today. Your turn… If you’re feeling up to it, we would love to hear from YOU. Which point mentioned above resonates with you the most today, and why? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts. Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign-up for our free newsletter to receive new articles like this in your inbox each week.The afternoon always understands what the morning never even suspected.

Everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head.

Every day.  All the time.

YOU are telling yourself a story right now.

And this story is simply a collection of beliefs that ultimately makes you what you are – it lays the foundation for every action you take or don’t take in life.  In essence, you build yourself out of this story, one day at a time.

For a while, everything aligns just fine, or so it seems, and life is good.

But then, at some point, perhaps sometime in your thirties, forties or fifties, you get slapped with a harsh reality that doesn’t even slightly align with the story you’ve been telling yourself.  And it hurts!  As you struggle to cope with the pain you’re feeling, you are slapped again and again with similar realities.  It goes on like this until you realize that the story you’ve been telling yourself and holding on to all these years is the primary source of your pain, because the beliefs that support the story are utterly and hopelessly false.

It isn’t easy, but you have to accept it.  You have to seriously sit down with yourself and come to grips with the reality that you were wrong about it all along.  What you believed to be true was just an illusion built on false beliefs – a story – that never really was what you thought it was.

This is your awakening!

Although it hurts in the beginning, it’s a beautiful thing in the long run.

As time passes, awareness gradually becomes the new foundation of your journey.

Your story gets rewritten with powerful truths.

And you learn to let go of countless false beliefs, like these…

  1. The belief that waiting until tomorrow makes sense – We know deep down that life is short, and that death will come to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it comes to someone we know.  It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step.  You expected there to be one more stair than there is, so you find yourself off balance, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.  Truth be told, someday there REALLY won’t be a tomorrow!  And this harsh reality needs to be respected.  I was actually reminded of this earlier today when I was chatting with a 72-year-old course student about regrets, and she started our call by saying (I’m sharing this with permission): “Why didn’t I learn to accept and appreciate it all, and treat every day like it was the last time?  Honestly, my biggest regret is how often I believed in tomorrow.” … May we all take heed to her words, and learn from them.
  2. The belief that you must find your motivation somewhere outside yourself – The most common problem with motivation, often not understood until later in life, is that when we say we’re looking for motivation, it implies that our motivation is somehow hiding behind a tree or under a rock somewhere.  But that’s far from the truth.  The truth is, our motivation comes from doing the right things.  When our efforts have meaning behind them it motivates us to take the next step.  For me – and we’re all different – I am motivated primarily by two core ambitions: first, knowing more today than I knew yesterday, especially as doing so relates to meaningful projects and desires, and second, easing the pain of others.  Living by these two core ambitions on a daily basis, and regularly reflecting on the progress I’m making, invigorates me, personally and professionally.  So think about it: Underneath all the things you say you have to do, at the end of each day, what is the significance and value you hope to create?
  3. The belief that everyone else knows what’s best for you – Give yourself the space to listen to your own voice—your own soul.  Too many people listen to the noise of the world and get lost in the crowd.  But YOU can choose differently!  Don’t watch too much TV, don’t read every fashion blog, and don’t consume too much mass media news.  Find the strength to fill your time with meaningful experiences.  The space and time you are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if you’re worrying about the Kardashians or Lebron James or some other famous face, then you are disempowered.  You’re giving your life away to marketing and media hocus-pocus, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to look a certain way and be a certain way.  This is absolutely tragic, this kind of thinking!  It’s all just a distraction from what is real and good.  What is real and good is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, and your dreams.  You know this already!  Listen to what your heart is telling you!  Eventually, one way or another, you WILL.  Because there will inevitably come a day when you’ll finally be wise enough and strong enough to do so.
  4. The belief that all the instant notifications and distractions are worth it – Distractions are in the palms of our hands these days, but we need to remember to look up more often.  We need to learn to be more human again.  Don’t avoid eye contact.  Don’t hide behind gadgets.  Smile often.  Ask about people’s stories.  Listen.  You can’t connect with anyone, including yourself, unless you are undistracted and present.  And you can’t be either of the two when you’re Facebooking, Instagramming or Snapchatting your life away on your smartphone.  You just can’t!  If you are constantly attached to your smartphone and only listening with your ears as your eyes check for the next social update, you are ripping yourself off of actually experiencing real relationships and real life.  The same is true for texting too.  Yes, someday you will be slapped with the reality of a missed MEMORY being far more unsettling than a missed TEXT!
  5. The belief that being busy is beneficial – “Am I making meaningful use of this scarce and precious day?”  It’s a simple question Angel and I challenge our course students to ask themselves anytime they feel busyness overwhelming them.  And it’s a question that seems to gain relevance as we gain life experience.  Time gradually shows us how fleeting our lives really are.  Filling every day with busyness makes no sense, and yet it’s tempting to do just that.  Resist the temptation!  Leave space!  Your ultimate goal is living a life uncluttered by most of the distractions people fill their lives with, leaving you with space for what truly matters.  A life that isn’t constant busyness, rushing, and resistance, but instead mindful contemplation, creation and connection with people and projects you truly love.
  6. The belief that knowledge alone is enough – Learning by itself is great in the near-term, but it doesn’t cut it in the long run if you plan on making positive changes in your life.  It’s one thing to know all twelve steps necessary to recover from alcoholism, for example, but it’s another thing entirely to dedicate yourself to actually carrying out each one of those steps.  The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing – growing happens when what you know changes how you live.  At some point we all learn this lesson, often the hard way, by realizing that we haven’t made any real progress.  But then we take action, because that’s how real progress happens… and everything changes, for the better.
  7. The belief that faster is better – In our youth it seems like faster is better, but in time we gradually witness the power of ‘slow and steady’ at work.  We come to learn that no act of love, kindness or diligence, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  The fact that you can plant a seed and it becomes a tree, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, is proof that YOU can make a big difference in life and business, even if it can’t be done all at once.  So don’t break your back today.  Remind yourself that you can’t lift 1,000 pounds all at once.  Yet you can easily lift one pound 1,000 times, especially when you spread the lifting over a series of days.  Tiny, repeated, daily efforts will get you there.
  8. The belief that comfort is the end goal – A very popular and harmful addiction in this world is the draw of comfort.  Don’t be someone who never asks, “how?” or never pulls back further to ask, “why?”  Too many young people don’t ask these questions because they know the answers would require substantial disruption to their comfort zone, and they don’t want to endure it.  But that’s how the human mind grows, and eventually we all learn this, one way or another.  When our minds are stretched with new questions and resulting experiences, they never shrink back to their previous dimensions – we are forever more competent and capable.  Truth be told, emotional discomfort in life, when accepted, rises, crests and crashes in a series of waves.  Each wave washes an old layer of us away and deposits treasures we never expected to find.  Out goes inexperience, in comes awareness; out goes frustration, in comes resilience; out goes hatred, in comes kindness.  And so on and so forth…
  9. The belief that you are at the center of the universe – When we’re young, we all have the tendency to place ourselves at the center of everything, and see every outcome from the viewpoint of how it affects us personally.  But as we grow up and broaden our horizons, we begin to see that our self-centered thinking has lots of baggage that comes along with it – from feeling sorry for ourselves when things aren’t going exactly as expected, to doubting ourselves when we fail to be perfect.  And we realize that shifting our focus onto others for a while can help.  It’s one of life’s great paradoxes: when we serve others we end up benefiting as much if not more than those we serve.  So whenever you feel stuck, try to shift your focus from your circumstances to the circumstances of those around you.  Instead of asking, “What’s wrong with me?” ask, “How can I help you?”  Find someone who could use an extra hand and make a small, reasonable offer they can’t refuse.  The perspective you gain will guide you forward.
  10. The belief that everyone is capable of being kind and loving – Not everyone will appreciate what you do for them, and not everyone will do for you as you do for them, because not everyone has the same heart as you.  That’s reality.  And you’ll eventually realize that you’ll be endlessly disappointed if you expect things to be different.  So be kind and loving to people because you want to be, and don’t let your expectations get the best of you.  With that said, however, you do ultimately have to figure out who’s worth your long-term attention and who’s just taking advantage of you.  If your time and energy is misspent on the wrong people for the wrong reasons, you can end up in a tedious cycle of fleeting friendships, superficial romances that are as thrilling as they are meaningless, and a general sense of wondering why you always seem to be running in place chasing validation and affection.
  11. The belief that you can save certain (overly dramatic) people from themselves – You will gradually learn that you simply can’t save some people from themselves, so don’t get sucked too deep into their drama today.  Those who make perpetual chaos of their lives won’t appreciate you interfering with the commotion they’ve created, anyway.  They want your “poor baby” sympathy, but they don’t want to change.  They don’t want their lives fixed by you.  They don’t want their problems solved, their emotional addictions and distractions taken away, their stories resolved, or their messes cleaned up.  Because what would they have left?  They don’t know and they aren’t ready to know yet.  And it’s not your job to tell them.
  12. The belief that forgiveness isn’t needed – In time, we learn about the power and importance of forgiveness, and we learn about its limitations.  We learn that a broken relationship that’s mended through forgiveness can be even stronger than it once was.  And, of course, we learn that this isn’t always the case either.  Because forgiveness doesn’t necessarily lead to healed relationships.  That’s not the point.  Some relationships aren’t meant to be, and should NOT be.  But you must forgive anyway, for your own sake, and then let what’s meant to be, BE.  Forgiveness allows you to focus on the future without combating the past.  When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self.  It has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime, and everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.
  13. The belief that outer beauty is a top priority – As you grow older, what you look like on the outside becomes less and less of an issue, and who you are on the inside becomes the primary point of interest.  You gradually learn that infatuating yourself with someone simply for what they look like on the outside is like choosing your favorite food based on color instead of taste.  And you start paying more attention to the innate, invisible, unquantifiable characteristics that create lasting attraction.  Just as some people enjoy the smell of mint, while others prefer the scent of cinnamon, there is an undeniable, magnetic draw that attracts you to the qualities of certain people.  Sometimes it’s even the scars your soul shares with them that reels you in and creates the very hinges that hold you together in the long run.
  14. The belief that you can buy your way to long-term happiness –  There are two basic kinds of happiness in life – fleeting and enduring.  The fleeting type is most commonly acquired though the anticipation and acquisition of new material (or digital) possessions, while the enduring type is attained through the gradual growth of your mind – the experiences, lessons, and realizations that ultimately bring more awareness, acceptance, and peace into your consciousness.  At a young age, it might be difficult to decipher the difference between fleeting and enduring happiness, but as time rolls on it becomes vividly obvious that the latter is far more satisfying.  So start today by challenging yourself to be less impressed by the things you own, and be more impressed by the life you live.
  15. The belief that all your fears and worries will come true – Someday when you look back over your life you’ll realize that nearly all of your anxious worries and fears never came to be – they were completely unjustified and pointless.  So why not wake up and realize this right now.  What worries you masters you!  And worrying will never change the outcome anyway.  But a positive attitude can change everything over time.  When you look back over the last few days, how many moments did you ruin with needless worry and negativity?  Although there’s nothing you can do about these lost moments, there’s plenty you can do about the one you’re living through right now, and the ones that are still to come.
  16. The belief that failure is the end of the world – You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner?  The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.  Behind every great invention, creation or work of art is a hundred failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us.  The truth is, you may not succeed in the exact way you hoped you would, within the exact time-frame you hoped you would, but you will learn and grow from your experiences and failures, and you will be better off in the end.  You will ultimately learn that there’s no exact path in life that you have to stay on to get what you want.  What you want will come with noticing the progress you’ve made, and understanding that every lesson is a step forward.
  17. The belief in every guarantee of safety and security – Too often, especially when we’re young and a bit naive, we buy in to the illusions and guarantees of safety and security.  We purchase triple premium insurance, we lock ourselves in our homes, and we seal ourselves off from large parts of the world, all in an effort to be safe and secure.  But the older we grow, the more we realize there are no sure things in this world.  The nature of the world is constantly evolving.  Reserving yourself with numerous safety and security measures is usually no safer in the long run than exposing yourself, and then simply using common sense to navigate forward.  And it is far more fulfilling to dare yourself to the mighty experiences life has to offer, than to hide forever in a bubble of safety and security, only to leave the majority of your life sealed up and unlived.
  18. The belief that someday you will feel 100% complete, across the board – As you live, you’ll gradually find peace in the thought that you can’t ever have it all or know it all.  You are always just a fraction of the whole.  For if you weren’t, there would be nothing more to experience.  So value what you know, and also value the countless things you don’t yet understand.  For in what you do not understand, there is the joy of growth.  Life will always be incomplete and a bit asymmetrical.  Appreciate this and embrace it.  Be happy and sad at the same time, be hungry and thankful at the same time, be nervous and excited at the same time, and be OK with it.
  19. The belief in how things are “supposed” to be –  As you get older you will find that life isn’t necessarily any easier or harder than you thought it was going to be; it’s just that the easy and the hard aren’t exactly the way you had anticipated, and don’t always occur when you expect them to.  This isn’t a bad thing; it makes life interesting.  With a positive attitude you will often be pleasantly surprised.  When you stop expecting things to be a certain way, you can appreciate them for what they are.  Ultimately you will realize that life’s greatest gifts are rarely wrapped the way you expected.
  20. The belief that starting over is not an option – No one wins a game of chess by only moving forward; sometimes you have to move backward to put yourself in a position to win.  Think about how this relates to your life.  Sometimes when it feels like you’re running into one dead end after another, it’s actually a sign that you’re not on the right path.  Maybe you were meant to hang a left back when you took a right, and that’s perfectly fine.  Life gradually teaches us that U-turns are allowed.  So turn around when you must!  There’s a big difference between giving up and starting over in the right direction.  And there are three little words that can release you from your past mistakes and regrets, and get you back on track.  These words are: “From now on…”

Choose to Let Go of Your False Beliefs

My challenge to you is this:

Live your life not as a bystander…

Not as a prisoner to the false beliefs and stories that keep you stuck in your seat.

Live in this world, on this day, and everyday hereafter as an active participant.  Every morning, ask yourself what is real and important to you, and then find the courage, wisdom and willpower to build your day around your answer.

It’s your choice.
YOUR choice!
You are choosing right now.

And if you’re choosing…
to complain…
to blame…
to be stuck in the past…
to act like a victim…
to feel insecure…
to feel anger…
to feel hate…
to be naive…
to ignore your intuition…
to ignore good advice…
to give up…

…then it’s time to choose differently!

But, let me also remind you that you are not alone.  Generations of human beings in your family tree have chosen.  Human beings around the world have chosen.  We all have chosen at one time or another.  And we stand behind you now whispering:

Choose to be present.
Choose to be positive.
Choose to forgive yourself.
Choose to forgive others.
Choose to see your value.
Choose to see the possibilities.
Choose to find meaning.
Choose to prove you’re not a victim.
Choose to let go of your false beliefs and stories.

Choose to find strength in the truth – YOUR TRUTH – so you can take a real step forward today.

Your turn…

If you’re feeling up to it, we would love to hear from YOU.

Which point mentioned above resonates with you the most today, and why?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to

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source http://www.marcandangel.com/

When Someone Pulls Your Trigger: How To Stop Reacting Defensively

When Someone Pulls Your Trigger: How To Stop Reacting Defensively

You’re rolling along with a smile on your face and joy in your heart and then BAM! Something hits you. Or should that be someone…?

Whether it’s in person, on the phone, via text, or even on Facebook, you never know when someone is about to pull your trigger. It might be what is said or it might be the way it is said, but a certain combination of words has turned your smile into a frown and your joy into anger.

Sound familiar?

The problem is that your reaction comes from within you and is founded upon your past experience, your world view, and your ego. So regardless of whether or not the other person was trying to hurt you, the pain you feel is in your hands.

Luckily, if the problem stems from within, then the solution also lies in you.

But before you can find that solution, you have to do something quite challenging – you have to be aware.

Awareness sounds easy, right? If that were true, the world would contain far less conflict and negative energy than it does.

In fact, the vast majority of us go through life with only the most fleeting glimpses of true awareness. We neglect to stop and reflect upon our thoughts, to see them objectively for what they are, and instead let the world – and the people in it – direct our emotions and control our minds and mouths.

The truth is, however, that when someone sets off your trigger, you have a choice – one that will determine the course of your life in one way or another. So, awareness is all about recognizing the choice in front of you and making it in the way that puts you most at peace.

Do you retreat into yourself and launch a counter-attack, or do you embrace the opportunity to express your feelings and seek reconciliation?

Luckily, there are some steps you can take whenever you feel a defensive reaction bubbling inside of you:

1. Pause for thought.

When you feel like you are being attacked, the immediate response is usually one of retaliation. Instead, just do nothing at first; reign in your desire to react and take a moment to compose yourself.

Whatever you then decide to do, it will not be driven from those initial, often irrational thoughts.

2. Step into their shoes.

The other person may have said something to cause you offense, but try and look at things from their perspective. See through their eyes and from their mind and search for the thoughts and emotions that have led them to say what they have said.

Not agreeing with someone doesn’t mean you can’t comprehend their reasoning, and instead of going on the counteroffensive and attacking them back, if you can go through their logic, you will be better placed to form a non-inflammatory response.

3. Observe your feelings.

Feelings and thoughts are often mistaken for one another or simply lumped together, but they are, in fact, completely distinct elements of your being.

You can be happy because you achieve something, because you are with loved ones, or simply because it is a beautiful day. The same feeling occurs, but coming from different sources.

Thus, whatever is going on in your head, try to look deeper and really feel the feelings inside. Let go of all the thoughts that might be clouding your mind and just sit and breathe for 10 seconds. By separating and releasing the narrative you’ve created, you are just left with the feelings, and you should find that these subside once they are no longer receiving energy from your thoughts.

4. Know that it’s them, not you.

Whatever has been said or done by the other person, remember that it came from them and because of their world view. They have experienced a completely different life to you and their behavior comes about because of their unique history.

This is not to say that you should absolve them of any responsibility – we are all responsible to life – but you can take comfort in the fact that their attack on you was born in their psyche and it does not have to find a home in yours.

Remember: it’s their issue, not yours.

5. Let the heart drive when responding.

In those circumstances where a response is called for – and bear in mind that sometimes no response is the right response – be sure to come at it from a place of love.

Your mind may create the words and action, but it should be driven by the heart. When you do this, it helps to disarm the other person and pacify the situation at hand.

If you want to receive love, you first have to give it; taking this approach at those times when you’d normally show anger is a sure-fire way to reach a place of peace within yourself.

A defensive reaction to any given situation is one that will rarely result the way you’d have liked. Instead, fight the urge to engage in conflict and use your awareness of yourself, the other person, and the choice at hand to take the most harmonious path available.