It’s always a good thing to have people in your life who can call you out when you’re faltering.
However, we should always be doing our own mental checks to prevent a meltdown from happening. While it may be excessive to do this daily, once or twice a week isn’t unreasonable.
Here’s a checklist you should go over:
- Am I taking action on something big I need to get done?
- Are my first thoughts in the morning about how exciting the day is going to be?
- Do I go to bed at night knowing I’ve done everything I could to take advantage of the day?
- Do I know where I’m heading towards right now?
- Do I have a good relationship with the people around me?
If the answer to any of those is no, you should work on correcting it.
Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction.
A high school student left his binder in the classroom one day. One of his classmates took the binder and drew penises all over the front cover and throughout his notes.
The next day, his teacher found out what happened and was furious. She demanded that all her students draw a penis so she could find out who did it.
I know this to be true because I was there and yet, I’m still dumbfounded by it.
However, that story won’t be forgotten because a good story always gets remembered.
It’s a powerful teaching tool.
In order for you to get everything, you will have to take it from others.
Some people don’t have a problem with doing this, but then they lose friends. So they get it all at the expense of a good reputation and friendship.
Generous people will never be without when it comes to companionship and wide networks, but then they’ll have a problem with taking something for themselves.
Ambitious people have the wealth and the wide networks, but they never stop working. As a result, their personal and/or home life is a mess.
Where’s the happy balance between the three?
- Never seek companionship and be happy about it
- Never have any friends
- Have a lot of friends and expect them to take care of you
Decide that “having it all” is a ubiquitous term that doesn’t mean anything because it’s an unrealistic goal.
The end of NaNoWriMo has come and 50,000 words later, I still have the same excitement as when I started.
This year was a tough month to find consistent time to finish the word goal because of many other events happening in my life. In order to make it happen, I had to find a way to take advantage of the time available while still balancing everything else.
That’s when the power of working in short bursts revealed itself.
It’s similar to interval training (intense bursts of exercise followed by short periods of rest), but applied to your mental capacities. The process is fairly simple:
- Work for fifteen minutes, take a five minute break
- Work the entire fifteen minutes without distractions or interruptions
You won’t experience flow, have any major revelations or breakthroughs, but you’ll get the work done without burning yourself out.
Our expectations of humanity can often be pretty dim.
We don’t always expect the best from others and if we ever delegate a task to someone else, we can become riddled with anxiety at how they’re going to perform. This can cause a ton of stress on our lives, which leads us to believe we can’t depend on others.
Even worse, we began setting the expectation they’re going to perform poorly if we’re forced to depend on them.
However, when you give over control to other people with the expectation they’re going to be perfect at it, something wonderful can happen:
They’ll surprise you with how perfect they can be.
“Oh, you teach Religion? Well that’s easy at least.”
I’ve lost track of the number of times people have made that comment, not realizing they’ve insulted my entire educational background. I guess it’s because people like to make assumptions about things they don’t know.
This isn’t to say I’ve been innocent of the same crime. I’m constantly working on shifting my perception and trying to be mindful of my thoughts. However, even though I know how much it hurts, it’s still easy to cast judgement on the work of others.
In comparison, there will always be someone who thinks they have it tougher than you.
The best you can do is to stop validating yourself to people, because others will rarely accept your worldview on the spot.
Our lives are never easy, no matter what people say.
Sometimes, life situations line up in a way that seem beyond incredible.
The analogy of the perfect storm can either be used to describe idealistic or the worst circumstances we can find ourselves in; yet, we use the word ‘perfect’ to describe both instances.
There’s a good reason to consider them both perfect because they teach us a valuable lesson:
Our goal isn’t to avoid the storm, but learn how to deal with it when it inevitably comes.
When it happens, regardless of the outcome, we should take the time to note what the circumstances were and how it all worked out.
One of my favourite articles I’ve written is about what children can teach us about creativity.
The idea of having the mind of a child is gratifying to reflect on because everything in life is still a discovery. There are no limits to a child’s imagination and even though we accuse younger generations of having smaller attention spans, a child can play with simple toys for hours.
Children get excited about the smallest minutia of everyday life. They don’t have disappointing days or weeks, just moments.
A child reminds us not to take life too seriously – and how completely dependent we are on each other to survive.
It’s also fun watching them learn and painful watching them make mistakes.
They also don’t care how they’re doing what they’re going, just that others are watching them.
Every so often, take the time to rekindle the childlike spirit in yourself.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
That quote is normally attributed to Albert Einstein, but the actual author is unknown.
Whoever said it should be commended for such a great piece of advice. Expecting the world around you to change without putting any effort into changing yourself will only make you depressed and angry.
We can be diligent workers spending a great deal of effort and time into our lives and produce no desired results. This doesn’t mean we’re inefficient or useless, it could just mean our method is wrong.
If the only tool in our toolbox is a hammer, every problem is going to look like a nail. What we really need is the appropriate tool for the job.
Humanity has this odd habit of looking back to a “golden age” where things were infinitely better.
While you may have already taken a critical view of this idea, a viewing of Midnight in Paris may spark some thought. If not, one question you should always ask yourself is this,
Are we living in a golden era right now?
Think about it:
- Communication is instant, across the globe and transparent (well… it can be transparent)
- The entirety of human knowledge is accessible on devices that fit in your hand
- The average middle class citizen eats better than kings and queens from a century ago
- Human rights is a legitimate pursuit in most countries
- Travelling to anywhere in the world is accessible to people
- Literacy rates are the highest they’ve ever been
Yes, we have some major problems to face in the world, but aren’t we in the best position to do it?
*I’m willing to concede the 90s were the best era in human history for 3 reasons: The Toronto Blue Jays World Series Wins, Twin Peaks and ICQ.