Showing posts with label wisdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wisdom. Show all posts

As you read articles on the internet or self-help books, you’ll find out that there’s no magical solution for any problem. In this life, magic doesn’t work, but efforts definitely pay back. If anything, you don’t actually need a magical solution, you just need to understand the problem. The more you understand life, yourself and others, the more things gets easy for you, and then you’ll figure out your own solutions. Below are lessons smart people learn by the time they turn 20:

1 - You have to understand that when the fact that someone is being beneficial with you has nothing to do with you, but it’s him being dependant not only on you but on everyone around him. Being used isn’t about you, not as you might think it is. No one goes out there, with the sole purpose of using someone else and make a hell out of his life. No! They do what they do because of who they are. It shouldn’t make you think any less of yourself, especially, it shouldn’t hold you from trusting other people just the same. You’ll just have to learn how to deal better with those people.

2- When You feel sad, don’t repress the feeling. One should feel what he has to feel, but at the same time don’t dramatize it. Go to the source of the sadness, to the roots and embrace it. It doesn’t have to include sobbing or any extreme feelings, just embrace it and stop running away from it. Don’t be afraid to experience it, because it’s the only way that will set you free. Give it some time. You won’t be always feeling the way you feel right now. Someday, you’ll wake up and you wouldn’t even care to think about it, much less feel sad.

3- While you’re hating someone, that very person might be enjoying himself and his life. Therefore it’s useless to hate anyone, it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Instead forget about him and enjoy yourself, that’s the best revenge, even if he wouldn’t be around to see how happy you are. The only person you should show how happy you are, is you.

4-Be yourself, and don’t let people change you into someone you’re not. At the same time that doesn’t mean to be rude just because you felt like it. Kindness is always easier, be good to everyone. Do good as much as you can for as many people as you can. Even a smile can make someone’s day. Life is much easier when you have friends and the best thing that can start a friendship is a cheerful smile. We live in a community because we need each other, and as much as one needs help, we also need to help. One can sense a huge satisfaction from helping someone else and making his life a little better, so don’t deny yourself such satisfaction.

5- The goal of life isn’t to be happy, even though we constantly seek to be happy and lead a happy life. Simply because happiness can’t be guaranteed at every single moment. Tere will be moments of sadness, worrying, intensity… and while you should always choose happiness as often as you can, you shouldn’t feel guilty or bad whenever you feel like you’ve failed to be happy at a given moment, it’s okay to let yourself feel different feelings.

In the words of King Solomon:

"Everything has its season. And there is a time
for everything under the heaven."
"A time to be born and a time to die."
"A time to weep and time to laugh."
"A time to wail and time to dance."
"A time to rend and time to mend."
"A time to be silent and a time to speak."
"A time to love and a time to hate."
"A time for war and a time for peace."

6- It doesn’t matter if you were beautiful or not, because it’s not about having a pretty face as much as it is about having the confidence to give people the impression that you’re handsome and that you know it.

7- Every dream starts with a wish. Then comes the doubt that it may not work, that you might be dreaming too big. Right then you should remember that we’re living many of the dreams we once dreamed, only we can’t seem to notice it when it happens, or probably we forget how bad we wanted it to happen. The thing isn’t that you’re not allowed to doubt your dreams, but you should remind yourself of the dreams you’re living that once you thought were impossible, each time you start to doubt your dreams.

8- Each one of us considers himself too important that his toothache becomes more important than the famine in Africa. It’s normal to see yourself important, it’s in our nature. Still, every now and then you got to remind yourself not to take things or yourself too seriously. You got to let things be and to give your attention to the outside world, enough of being too self-centered. Step out of your comfort zone, and embrace the other, be after their needs and you won’t have to worry about your needs any more. We rise by lifting others! Easy to say, hard to remember at every given moment, still you’ll have to try again and again.

9- It’s normal for a child to fall. When he screams, he doesn’t need for you to heal his wounds, he just needs a hug, to tell him that it’ll all be fine. Even a kiss, he believes, would heal his wounds. If he was kissed and stroked, then the pain will be gone instantly, and then he’ll be off playing again. What’s so hard to understand about it, why to deny a child his right to be comforted! Why to ask him not to cry? As if he doesn’t deserve to be comforted when being in pain. The same goes for us, adults, we need to be comforted, only many of us believe, subconsciously, that they don’t deserve it because when they were infants, they had been told not to cry.

10- We all obsess about standards, the ones that society sets for us, a certain kind of way to be. And unless you meet those standards, people will look down at you, and one might beat himself up for not meeting those standards. Well, there will always be standards much higher than you can reach, but then standards doesn’t bring happiness. You still can be yourself and be happy if you only accepted yourself the way you are.

11- It’s on those moments of hopelessness that we start to question life most. We start to think how hard it is, and we remember how easy it used to be when we were younger, we wish we can go back there. And then we wonder if it will ever get easier, whether we've ridden out the worst trials or whether there are more ahead. Even though, minutes before we used to feel happy and life looked so bright. If anything, our lives are defined, not by circumstances, but by our attitude. If you choose to worry and see your problems, life would sound painful, but if you choose to see the good about every situation, hope will find its way and life will be fun.

12- We thought that as being children we had been too sensitive and that once we grow up, we will become stronger and more confident. Little did we know. We grew up and the scars got deeper. We get hurt easily and when it happens, it’s often too painful. How come being a child was easier! No one deserves a hard life, but we don’t get what we deserve in this life, we get what we get, and live with it just the same.

A guest post by 

I will be 40 in less than a year. I would be lying if I said that turning the big 40 didn’t bother me. It seems that 40 is a number where I believe I should have finally ‘arrived’ in life, or my life should be the perfect picture of a successful wife, mother, business woman or whatever other demanding expectation I put upon myself when I was younger. My life right now is pretty good, but if I could have planned it all out or done things differently – it definitely would not look like how it actually turned out. I am a blessed mother of two children and I do have a few accomplishments under my belt but I sometimes compare my life to others and it just gets me down.

As I reflect being on this earth for almost 40 years and I rewind to when I was in my 30s, I would have definitely done a few things differently. Luckily, because of some of my past challenges in my life, I was forced to learn new tools. Some of my past experiences forced me to do things differently which turned into a good thing eventually. Here are 20 brutally honest things women turning 40 want all women in their 30s to know.

1. Love and accept yourself – fully

I truly believe if I had accepted the good and bad parts of myself at a younger age, I would have avoided many of the wrong decisions that I made in my life. Once you know who you really are inside, you begin to accept and love yourself fully. Once you truly love yourself from the inside, you are able to love and accept others which provides a much higher probability of maintaining healthy relationships.

2. Feed your soul

Whatever your passion, or whatever you enjoy in life, make sure you feed your soul with what inspires you. If you are not sure what your passion is, try new things and find different activities until you find a few that give you that feeling of warmth, freedom, and acceptance inside.

3. Find a strong support network

For a long while, I tried to do everything in my life in my own power and with a little help from others. I later realized having a strong support network of friends and safe people to share my life with is so rewarding. Finding and cultivating new relationships with others that will love and support you no matter what is so important to have in life.

4. Be authentic

During some of my harder times in life, I wore a pretty and smiling mask on my face no matter what I was going through. Only a few close people in my life knew what was really going on during my hardest trials. Once you begin to show others you have ups, downs, and struggles in life just like everyone else, you become more trustworthy and sincere to others.

5. Live for you

A huge part of my life was taken up by taking care of everyone else which resulted in having no time for myself. My motives and reasons for doing things were wrong which in turn made my life much harder than it had to be. You cannot make everyone in your life happy – ever. Once you begin to make the best decisions for yourself instead of others, life gets easier.

6. Don’t compromise too much

I could have avoided a few bad relationships if I would have figured this out when I was younger. Compromise is required in any close relationship because we are all different and have different wants. Compromise is a good thing most of the time if the compromising is equal on both sides. Once you give up your wants and needs the majority of the time in any one relationship, it’s time to re-evaluate that relationship and decide if it really is healthy for you to be a part of it.

7. Travel more

This might be my biggest regret. I did travel some when I was younger before I had children and it was wonderful. Money can buy you material things or memories. If I had thought about it this way before, I would have stopped making the meaningless purchases on material things and made sure I spent my money on at least one new destination each year. Traveling creates a sense of freedom and opens your eyes to the way others live in different parts of the world.

8. Worry less

I struggled with anxiety and lots of worry in my past. Worrying triggered my anxiety and it became an ugly part of who I was for a long while. Once you realize that worrying will not change your outcome, you begin to accept whatever is going to happen to you. You realize you will be okay no matter what. Once I stopped worrying so much about everything, my stress levels decreased immensely.

9. Stop Comparing

Sometimes I feel like I should be done with Facebook altogether. Comparing your life to your best friend whom you know really well is one thing, but comparing your life to someone’s life on Facebook is detrimental. Once you realize that comparing your life to others does nothing but bring your own self-worth down, you eventually stop. There will always be someone who is smarter, prettier or better off than me and I have accepted that. The moment I start comparing, I immediately change my thought pattern to what I am thankful for in my life and keep moving forward.

10. Forget expectations

I had the Disney syndrome growing up, you know the one that you will meet Prince Charming, get married and live happily ever after? Well, Disney can suck it because that is not real life. After I was on failing marriage number 2, I just threw all of my expectations I placed upon others in the garbage. Once you realize you can still have dreams about your life but with dropping the expectations regarding other people, you really start to live your life in the moment. An expectation placed on someone else is actually just a premeditated resentment.

11. Live to work, not work to live

If I could do it all over again, I would have tried a myriad of different jobs when I was younger or researched a lot of different careers and chosen one that fit me best. Once you decide on a career path that you could really see yourself doing for the rest of your life, you then become someone in the workforce that truly lives to work because they love their career of choice. Many people are stuck in jobs they dislike just to garner a paycheck and that is not an ideal existence.

12. Save for the unexpected

This should be a no-brainer but I did not do this when I was younger. I am now watching my parents live out their retirement and it has me thinking about all the things I need to do so that I am financially secure when I am older. Life will constantly be changing and probably continue to throw you unexpected curveballs so saving for upcoming hardships is a smart and sound decision.

13. Give back more

I found out later in my life that I enjoy helping others. For some, this could entail volunteering time with a charity, or take special care of a close friend that is going through a hard time. Giving a part of your time to do something that benefits you in no way, shape or form keeps you grounded and thankful for what you do have. It is so rewarding to forget about your problems in life by taking time to invest in someone else. When you do something just out of the goodness of your heart and expect nothing at all in return, you surprisingly feel better about life no matter what is going on.

14. Forgive yourself and others

I lived a good part of my life bitter and angry about a few events that happened to me and for a while, I truly believed it was 100% the other person’s fault. Once I realized that holding unforgiveness towards others and myself for past mistakes was holding me back from happiness, I made a change. It took me a while to be willing to forgive but I was able to work through it and experience freedom. Once you are able to truly let go of past hurts made by yourself or others, you see life and love in a positive light.

15. Don’t waste too much time on negative people

Sometimes it is hard to get away from negative people if they are your co-workers or your family. In some situations you do not have a choice but with actual friendships you can choose what type of friends you want to spend most of your time with. If you are on the end of a relationship where that person is a taker vs. a giver it’s time to set boundaries or slowly end the relationship. Once you begin to learn proper boundaries to set with people you would rather not have to deal with everyday, life becomes easier because you choose not to let that negative person affect you any longer.

16. No is a complete sentence

I have a hard time saying no. I want to say yes all the time and make everyone happy but that is impossible. If I do say no, many times I want to justify my no or explain the situation so the other person will feel better about my no. The older I get the more I realize that no really is a complete sentence and I do not have to justify every reason why I am not able to commit to an event or able do something for someone else. Once you are confident in your ‘no’, it’s easier to make decisions for yourself instead of others.

17. Think long and hard before you say ‘I do’

I am part of the divorce rate in America which is hard to admit but I now know what I want, desire and deserve in a mate. It is so easy to get caught up in the feelings and emotions of relationships. I considered the time invested with that person and I wanted more than what I currently had so I got married and hoped that things would change for the better. For myself in the end, they only got worse. If you don’t see longevity in your current relationship or you have too many “if onlys” with that person, then you might not be with your ideal mate. It’s much easier to end things with someone before they get too serious. If you have reservations about certain things in your relationship or you want to change core aspects of the personality of your partner, it is probably best to move on.

18. Stop and admire the little things

This is so simplistic but we currently live in a world where everyone is connected to an electronic device or the internet and it is becoming harder and harder to unplug and just enjoy everything that makes life worth living. Stop to enjoy a sunrise or sunset every once in a while, sit under the stars on a night with few clouds. Stop and smell the flowers. Go visit the ocean or the mountains and admire nature. We live in a world where Ferris Bueller is so right – “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

19. Stop caring what others think of you

I so wish I would have figured this one out much sooner. I was so concerned with what others thought of me that I often times responded or did things for others because I thought that is what they wanted to hear or what they wanted me to do. Once I realized that what others think of me is really none of my business I was able to live life with right motives instead of wrong ones. Once you are able to be yourself and forget caring what other people think about you, life gets better because the worry and the expectation of pleasing others is removed. The truth is it is impossible to please everyone, so you need to focus on yourself and just wear the bikini anyway.

20. Embrace Change

When I was younger I wanted things to be predictable, to be stable and for the most part to stay the same. It felt safer to think that my life will be pretty much the same through the years. When I was then confronted with numerous changes all at one time, I did not handle it well. I have since realized that the only thing I can count on in life is change. Once you are able to embrace change and know that life can take a variety of different turns, you are up for the challenge and better suited to accept whatever comes your way.

Some books might not get you any smarter, but they will definitely get you to the end! Some might not offer you much wisdom, but they can definitely inspire you like nothing else to learn. Below are some lessons books taught us about life:

1- it’s never something huge that changes everything, but instead the tiniest of details, irrevocably tweaking the balance of the universe while you’re busy focusing on the big picture.

2- Someone to come home to and have dinner with, to leave a note for. Such simple things, and yet in the end, they were the true proof of a real life.

3- Not everything is perfect, especially at the beginning. And it’s all right to have a little bit of regret every once in a while. It’s when you feel it all the time and can’t do anything about it… that’s when you get into trouble.

4- You get what you give, but also what you’re willing to take.

5- You don’t have to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But you don’t have to assume the worst about everyone, either. The world isn’t always out to get you. The point is there’s no way to be a hundred percent sure about anyone or anything.

6- You can’t really know anyone just from his words or his habits. It’s just a tiny part of who they are.

7- Some people aren’t too busy for a relationship as they might claim. Everyone is busy, but they might be really just scared. For it’s not love that hurts, it’s rather putting yourself out there, opening up to someone and then getting disappointed that hurts. But risk is just part of relationships. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

8- There are a lot of people in the world. No one ever sees everything the same way you do, it just doesn’t happen. So when you find one person who gets a couple of things, especially if they’re important ones… you might as well hold on to them.

9- The idea of distance and accomplishment is that the further you go, the more you have to be proud of. At the same time, in order to come a long way, you have to be behind to begin with. In the end, though, maybe it’s not how you reach a place that matters. Just that you get there at all.

10- We can’t expect everybody to be there for us, all at once. So it’s a lucky thing that really, all you need is someone.

11- What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn’t just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, as well as the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them were perfect, and we couldn’t expect them to be. You couldn’t make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build a world from it.

12- Needing is so easy; it came naturally, like breathing. Being needed by someone else, though, that is the hard part. But as with giving help and accepting it, we had to do both to be made complete, like links overlapping to form a chain, or a lock finding the right key.

13- Being adopted felt like reading a book that had the first chapter ripped out. You might be enjoying the plot and the characters, but you’d probably also like to read that first line, too. However, when you took the book back to the store to say that the first chapter was missing, they told you they couldn’t sell you a replacement copy that was intact. What if you read that first chapter and realize you hated the book, and posted nasty review on Amazon? What if you hurt the author’s feelings? Better just to stick with your partial copy and enjoy the rest of the story.

14- Identification is not the same as knowing someone through and through. The man you fell in love with years ago might look the same and speak the same and smell the same yet be completely different. 

These are lessons I learned from a self-help book; “Would/Coulda/Shoulda” for “Dr. Arthur Freeman” and “Rose DeWolf”. These lessons helped me understand a lot of things that were a blur and used to confuse me before, and got me aware of other things I subconsciously was trapped and stuck in. It helped me heal my wounds and free me from barriers and complexes:

In Change:

1- We are all required to be “actors” now and again. Even if you are sure that nothing will come of your efforts, pretend otherwise. Acting the part of a self-confident and cheerful person can actually make you feel more self-confident and cheerful. Making an effort, even when you feel it is forced, can produce meaningful results. When we play a role, part of that role becomes a part of us. That happens because when we play a role, people react differently to us, and that changes how we feel. That change is not phony. It’s real.

2- When you set out to solve a problem, you start with an open mind. That is, you assume, for the sake of argument, that somewhere, somehow, a solution exists. You begin by searching for a specific goal or solution that you can work toward without drawing any conclusions about what will work or won’t work or whether it’s too late.

3- Remember the Chinese saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” If you take a single step and see how that works out, you are on your way, and who knows how many miles you will travel!

4- Our tendency to try again and then quit if the try fails is “a stupid behavior on the part of non-stupid people” because the ultimate result is that you deny yourself what you want. Unfortunately, one of the things you learn from experience is that even with the best will in the world, you may not get what you want the first time. If plan A doesn’t work out, you may have to come with a plan B and C and D… Of course, trying again does not necessarily mean doing the same thing the same way, even if that were possible. We do learn from experience. There is pride to be taken in not giving up, in returning to the fight.

5- The way to cause bad memories to fade is to replace them with good memories, and the way to do that is to do something, to move ahead, to get involved in a project, to investigate possibilities.

6- Some people will do nothing unless they feel that their effort is so perfect it guarantees success. If they believe their effort has even the slightest chance of being unsuccessful, they simply give up and thus lose any chance of being successful. You do the best you can even if it’s not perfect. You try to move your life forward.

7- The guilt we feel about things that we did, or didn’t do, in the past can be such a powerful force that people will cut themselves off from any happiness because they feel they “don’t deserve it”. Some will even kill themselves because they feel the “do not deserve” to live.

8- The fact that something difficult to do is not, by itself, reason not to do it. It’s difficult to quit smoking, but you may decide to try if you are concerned about your health.

9- Living well is the best revenge. If the other side had hoped to make you miserable, what more perfect justice can there be than not be miserable? Living well can mean merely getting on with your life, living well can mean having a life that is not lived in another person’s shadow. The key question to ask is this matter of revenge is, “What’s in it for me?” What do you get? What do you give up? If you get sufficient satisfaction out of making your enemy unhappy, if indeed you can be sure you are making the enemy unhappy, you may not care how much of your own life you sacrifice in the process. It’s your choice, it is for you to decide whether you would prefer to be bitter or whether it would be better to turn your attention to ways and means of improving your own life. It is for you to decide whether the cause is worth it or whether all you are causing is more trouble for yourself.

In comparison:

10- When you compare yourself to someone else, his success is good news about him or her and bad news for you. That’s how you feel about it anyway. Not because you have anything against the subject of comparison. Not that you wish him or her any ill. It’s just that seeing that name associated with something big, makes you feel very small. Seeing news of that person’s success makes you feel like a failure. You get a negative effect only from good news about someone with whom, rightly or wrongly, you feel you are in competition. Good news about anyone else is immaterial. You can unabashedly admire the good job that others do and the happiness that others have, when you don’t consider yourself in competition with them, when you wasn’t interested in excelling in what they did excel in.

11- The image of each of us of ourselves is our “ego-ideal”. It’s partly reality, part the way we want to be, part the view we intend others to have of us. Anything that rocks our ego-ideal shakes our self-confidence, upsets our equilibrium. Comparing yourself to another with whom you identify in some way can provide a similar kind of rude shock to your ego-ideal, that is, to your sense of who you are and how others see you.

12- A role model, someone who proves that it is possible to succeed, can be a very important source of inspiration. We strive to improve ourselves in order to be compared favorably to others. We strive to do the right thing to avoid being singled out as unworthy. But of course, comparing can be harmful as well as helpful. Not everybody reacts to negative comparison in the same way. If negative comparisons can motivate, they can also reinforce feelings of inferiority.

13- We tend to compare ourselves to those who have more, rather than to those who have less. Most of us take what we have for granted. It isn’t that we aren’t exposed to the idea of being grateful for what we have. “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” is a much-quoted moral lesson. A teenager might say “I cried because I didn’t have the trendy shoes even though I know others have none”. What is true of the teenager is true of most of us.

14- When comparing, we tend to compare only the gains, omitting the loses or costs. We tend to measure only those portions of the other’s life we cover, and ignore everything else. While it’s true that some people have breaks handed to them, most people have to make choices, giving up one thing to get another. Just because we don’t know the price another has paid to attain the success we see doesn’t prove there was none.

15- When you compare yourself to others, you establish a timeline for events, you probably are not comparing yourself to couples who fall in love for the first time in the Old Age Home. You are probably comparing yourself to people who are younger than you are who are accomplishing the goals you seek in a shorter period of time. But which is really more important? When you get something, or whether you get it?

In failed relationship:

16- The hurt we feel seems doubled, tripled, when an intimate relationship, or the hope of one, dissolves. It is no wonder, then, that love gone wrong is so hard to forget. When all you can think about is what might have been done differently to win someone’s heart, to prevent a breakup, to avoid the terrible pain of rejection, it is all too easy to fall into a pattern of behavior hat, in effect, places your heart behind an impenetrable barrier.

17- We human seem to have developed an infinite variety of ways to allow past heartbreak to govern our present and future. You may not realize you have erected barriers to love. The walls have gone up around you, but you may not be aware that they are there.

18- Love, like any enterprise, has to be helped along. It rarely just happens. It rarely comes to people who are sitting all alone thinking about love lost and chances missed. That means thinking clearly about love as a project. When you are upset about love gone wrong or a wrong lover, you are very likely to fall into the habit of thinking negatively about your possibilities.

19- All-or-nothing thinking says that I must meet the right person right away. If the person I meet is not perfect in every way, there is no point is pursuing a relationship. All-or-nothing thinkers reject anyone who has a known flaw, and they therefore never find out whether that flawed person had dozens of attributes that will make that flaw pale into insignificance.

20- The perfectionist assumes that to be loved, he or she must not be flawed, like saying “I need to lose weight, have a new wardrobe, a better job… before I meet someone”. But no on is ever perfect. And to wait for perfection is to wait a long time. While you wait, millions of non-perfect people are finding each other.

21- Some people take a few negative experiences and says they indicate how things will always be. They will stop looking, although even if you have to meet one hundred people to find one to love, one is all you need. Or they will settle for someone they don’t love. They attribute the opinion of one man to all men. They do not credit men with being as infinitely varied as all human are.

22- The person who selectively edits sees only part of another’s personality and behavior. This can mean hat you are so focused on one positive quality that person offers, such as wealth or sexual attraction, that you ignore everything else, a harsh manner, a lack of mutual interests… This can mean also that you are so focused on a single negative quality that you overlook all the positives. When looking for love, it is necessary to look at the whole picture.

Selective editing often enters the picture when, six weeks after breaking up with someone, you haven’t met anyone else. Suddenly, you begin remembering that someone’s virtues, while forgetting the flaws that made breaking up such a good idea. You feel you’ve lost someone whom, if you considered the whole picture, you would really prefer not to find.

23- Single people sometimes allow themselves to feel inadequate simply by virtue of being single. They believe that “you are nobody until somebody loves you”, even though all you need to do is to look around to spot independent, productive, and contented single people. They might welcome the “addition” of love, but they do not count themselves as losers because they don’t have it. And they do not assume that not having love now means that love is never possible.

24- It is said that only fools fall in love, because love means taking a risk, indeed, it may mean a series of risks. A romantic action plan may require the same attitude that works for an insurance salesman, twenty leads may result in only one sale. You can’t take every rejection personally. You may have to be alone before you can find the right person to keep you company.

No doubt about it, love is the biggest risk we take in life. We have to be open to love, and being open means being vulnerable. But if love is what you want, then that is the choice you make.

Check here:

31 Priceless Lessons Self-Help Books Taught Me (Part I)
30 Priceless Lessons Self-Help Books Taught Me (Part II)
35 Priceless Lessons Self-Help Books Taught Me (Part III)

When I grew up, I learned something precious, I learned that the more you know about yourself and about your life, the easier your life will get. Therefore, I always make sure I learn as much as I can, mostly from books because you can’t experience everything and books are a great way to learn as if you were experienced, even much better than being experienced. I can’t say that now I’m applying all that I learned, I’m trying yeah, but one can’t apply everything he learns, even though, I like to share it so maybe someone else out there will apply some of it. The good that you can’t benefit from it fully, share it so that someone else might benefit from it, and right then, that good can’t be used any better. The lessons below are mainly from self-help books such as “Change your thoughts-Change your life” for “Dr. Wayne W. Dyer” and “Would/Coulda/Shoulda” for “Dr. Arthur Freeman” and “Rose DeWolf”

30 Priceless Lessons Self-Help Books Taught Me (Part II)

1- Practice knowing when to stop. Alert yourself to recognizing when it’s good time to stop demanding, chasing, talking, walking, working, sleeping, playing, shopping, complaining, striving, and so on. By practicing cessation, you’ll move into prioritizing what’s important in your life in that moment.

2- See imperfections as perfect. Become aware of your conditioned responses that lead you to label people, places, and circumstances as less than perfect. Recognize yourself first and foremost as a creation of God, which is your perfection. It has nothing to do with how you look or any so called mistakes or failures you may have attracted to yourself, even though these superficialities will continue throughout your entire life.

3- See the value of subtraction or ‘daily diminishing’. Begin to consciously decrease your need to purchase more things. Keep in mind that the advertising world is designed to convince you that your happiness is tied to whatever it’s promoting. So instead of buying more, see how many of your accumulated possessions you can recirculate.

4- You came here with ‘no-thing’ and you leave with ‘no-thing’, so take great pleasure in all that has arrived in your life. There’s even greater pleasure to be had in knowing that your ability to live peacefully and happily isn’t dependent on how much stuff you add to your life.

5- Begin to see yourself as a person who notices instead of judges. Avoid taking one position and sticking to it no matter what the circumstances are; rather be in harmony with all people, especially those whose opinions conflict with yours.

6- Realize how much your life matters. Live your life knowing that the difference you choose to make is toward wholeness, not destructiveness.

7- Talking to convince others actually says more about your need to be right than their need to hear what you have to say. So rather than trying to persuade others, keep quiet.

8- Practice the art of allowing yourself. Begin by letting yourself be more spontaneous and less regimented in your daily life. Tell the authoritarian part of you to take a break by affirming: ‘I am free to be myself. I do not have to live by anyone else’s rules, and I release the need for laws to regulate my behavior.

9- Practice the art of allowing others. Everyone has a strong sense of what they want to do, what limits they have, and how to actualize their dreams. Allow others and enjoy how your nonauthoritarian leadership inspires them to be themselves.

10- Change the way you look at your life by moderating your ego. See yourself as a being who gives rather than collect, and live on what you need rather than practicing conspicuous consumption.

11- Look for the simplicity in what you call complicated by seeing that in this moment. Look at what you have and realize that you’re obviously fine in this moment. You have no problem, though you think you have. To believe that you need what you don’t have in insane and to believe that you can’t be content and happy now because your future appears to you to be difficult is another form of insanity.

12- Think small. Change your notion of “thinking big” to “thinking small and getting big things done”. Examine whatever it is that seems so enormous that it terrifies you to start. Then shift your thinking to see what can be done today in your precious present moments, completely ignoring the overall picture. Your accomplishments will magnify into greatness when you undertake the small, by doing so, you’ll paradoxically see huge results.

13- A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Forget about the end result; when you arrive where you thought you wanted to be, you’ll just begin a new journey. So enjoy each step along the way and keep in mind that every goal is possible from here. Just do one thing, one day at a time.

14- Never assume that you know what’s best, even if you’re older, wiser, and richer than others and have more influence and power than they do. Instead stay low, speak softly and remain humble; and let others be in control of their lives as much as humanly possible.

15- Remain a servant. See yourself as someone who’s on this planet to assist others. Look for opportunities to be of aid.

16- Practice seeing yourself in everyone else. If someone you love is hurting, you experience their pain. Therefore, whenever you say or do something that’s harmful to someone you love, you’re doing something to harm yourself.

17- Refuse to think of anyone as your adversary. Affirm: “I have no enemies. There are people with whom I have strong disagreements. I may even be required to defend myself and my way of life, but I will not think of them as adversaries”. Without an enemy, you will surely triumph.

18- Focus on loving the life you have now in the body you’ve got. Affirm:”My body is perfect, born at precisely the right time, and this is the perfect age now. I accept myself as I am. I accept my role in the perfection of this universe at this time”.

19- Don’t see caution as a weakness or as an expression of fear. Bravery is a fine quality, but reckless bravery, that is where you rush in without thinking, is a sure way to invite disaster.Think before you act, very often your first impulse is dominated by your ego’s need to win and conquer.

20- Be an active listener rather than attempting to control others by speaking frequently and loudly. Many of the answers you seek and the results you expect from others will surface if you can remember not to speak or even ask.

21- Be strong by bending. Be willing to be like palm trees who bend in the midst of hurricane-force winds so that they won’t break. The same is true for the way you relate to others, so listen more, allow your viewpoints to be challenged and bend when necessary.

22- Reduce surplus. Reduce what’s in excess in your life and then offer it when it can be utilized. Begin with your stuff: clothing, furniture, tools… or anything that you have too much of. Don’t sell it, rather give it away. Then think about your intangible abundance of health, joy, kindness, love or inner peace and seek ways to offer those glorious feelings to those who could benefit from your bounty.

23- End on love no matter what. Rather than reacting with old patterns of residual anger, revenge, and hurt, visualize offering kindness, love and forgiveness. Make this your standard response to any future altercations: “I end on love, no matter what!”.

24- Practice radical appreciation. Begin a practice of joyfully engaging with the things you take for granted. Choose to pay attention. Spend more time close to home in awe over the many simple treasures that make up your life.

25- See paradise all around you. Change your belief that you must travel, be worldly and experience distant lands and people in order to have a fulfilling life. Keep in mind the thought offered by Voltaire: “Paradise is where I am.” If where you are is at home, with the same people, the same furniture, the same photographs, make it your paradise. Find joy and solace in the simple. Change your view to see the pleasure in what you have, where you’re located and who you are.

26-Quit accumulating points for being right. End you quarreling ways by simply telling the other person something like this: “You’re right about that, and I appreciate hearing your point of view.” This ends the argument and eliminates blame and faultfinding at the same time.

27- If you want to change a habit, you must first make yourself aware of it. If you want to stop biting your nails, you have to consciously pay attention to that action so that you can stop it. So it goes for the bad habits of thinking such as negative thoughts, complaining, regrets, comparison…

28- We all want to quit bad habits, but the reason why we can’t do that is because we’re getting something out of doing that habit. The hard truth is that even the most negative of situations can yield some satisfaction. Even wallowing in misery can have its advantages, it may enable you to hold on to a dream, to believe in a fantasy.

29- Imagination is a gift. It helps us deal with harsh reality. It enhances our pleasures. But for all fantasy’s wonderful attributes, it can sometimes be a curse. Fantasy is harmful, and a barrier to real accomplishment, when it becomes our primary way of relating to life. And yet, we don’t want to let them go because they do provide a measure of comfort. It may not be much, but it’s something. Well, it seems like something, anyway. We use fantasy to provide relief from anxiety or guilt. As long as you dwell upon the single route to happiness you did not take, you are excusing yourself from the effort of seeking out another route. You certainly aren’t going to obtain happiness by merely dreaming about it.

30- Expectations are the root of disappointment because by constantly rehearsing your expectation, you store them in your memory as if they had actually happened. When an unexpected hitch causes you to cancel your vacation plans, the sense of loss you feel is conditioned by the fact that you have “seen” yourself having a relaxed and wonderful time. If, instead, you had “seen” your cruise ship sinking in mid-ocean, you’d probably feel relieved to hear the trip was canceled.

31- Whenever you compare what you have to your modified, improved memory of what you had before, the present comes up short. When you break up with someone you loved and you keep fantasizing about that person, you’ll start to remember only the good memories and imagine how good your life would be were you still together now and married. You won’t be thinking of living through everyday annoyances such as the furnace breaking down or a quarrel over money or a dispute about the children, because these things never had the chance to develop. If there ever was anything about him or her that bothered you, you had long since modified your memory of it. And then you seem like you can’t have anyone who measures up to the one you lost. But how could someone measure up to that standard? No one can be as perfect as much polished, idealized memory. You can be married and dissatisfied with your mate because you keep comparing him or her with “the one who got away”, who of course, not only remembered as wonderful, but whose memory has been significantly improved.

32- “Change your mood” may seem to be no better advise than “just forget it’, since there is no “mood switch” attached to the human head. But experience shows that it is possible to change one’s mood by changing one’s thoughts. You can make yourself feel more relaxed by deliberately conjuring up thoughts of activities you find enjoyable, like lying on a beach.

33- Remember that the more you repeat something, the more likely you are to keep it in the front of your mind. When you continue to review a mistake, a missed opportunity, or a wrong done to you in the past, you keep the memory fresh, the injury current, the loss immediate and the pain fresh. But if you can stop repeating those thoughts, you are more likely to be able to forget them. Information that is not used, tend to decay. Even if the information does not disappear from your long-term memory, at least it will move out from your mind’s short-term memory.

34- To change your mood and thereby begin the process of forgetting, you must take some action that will interrupt your thoughts, even if temporarily, like checking for errors of thinking. When you are upset, negative thoughts flow automatically through your mind. When you make yourself aware of those thoughts and analyze them (“Am I catastrophizing? Am I personalizing? Am I fortunetelling?”), you are acting to interrupt them and you act to change a defeated mood into a more positive, questioning, assertive one.

35- When you want to forget, you have to concentrate completely only on what you are going to do today and tomorrow. You have to concentrate on making some kind of change. You have to work on developing new activities that will result in “new memories”. When you have new memories, you will find that you have not totally forgotten what happened in your past. However, you will have changed the way you remember. What is now that past that casts a shadow on your life will become the past that used to get in your way but doesn’t anymore.

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