Category Archives: personal development and success

Finding Meaning in Life, Key to Satisfaction and Fulfilment

Meaning in life is found by finding your purpose in life.

To discover meaning in life, we have to find the meaning we give to life by the unfolding of our powers.

People from all walks of life share an inborn urge to find meaning in life; to discover direction and purpose in their existence.

This desire to find meaning in life appears to be as vital to our psychological development as eating to our biological continuity.

We all seek meaning in our lives and recognize meaning’s absence in lives characterized by boredom, dullness, isolation, and listless disengagement. But what is meaning in life? Is it distinctive, or reducible to other aims and conceptions? Is it a helpful category for thinking about good lives that are worth living? Is it sensible and coherent to want it in one’s life?

According to Viktor Frankl, the Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor: “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

Throughout our evolutionary journey, many of us spend a lot of time in the search of happiness. We attempt towards a goal more focused on a better paid job, greater status, or acquiring the latest possession, rather than spending our energy and time on things which can contribute more value and fulfilment to our lives.

“Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided.”

Although an unfulfilled life doesn’t mean an unhappy or unhealthy life, but lack of finding a meaning in life can create anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

Finding fulfilment and meaning in life is more about giving to others, to the community, to the environment, and to the world.

By giving, and by finding purpose, we discover satisfaction and meaning in life, but not necessarily happiness, even though it can be a by-product. Finding a meaning in life gives us a purpose to go on despite life circumstances.

Meaning and fulfilment can be found in three activities as Viktor Frankl devised in his “meaning triangle“:

  1. Creative Self-Expression: Give something to the world through expressing your own creativity in some form, whether it be through art, music, writing, good deed.  By being self-expressed we let people see our spirit and true character; they will see the totality of who we are.  And sharing of one’s “self” fully is the ultimate in generosity and is vital for finding peace, happiness and meaning in life. It’s really the state of just being yourself. And it’s also what others refer to as the state of flow; that timeless state that we’re in where we are not really aware so much of what we’re doing, it’s more of a sense of being. We’re right there in the moment; we’re in the present moment, expressing naturally who we are. And what we’re really expressing is a state of joy and fulfilment.
  1. Experiencing the world through connection, nature, culture, spirituality: Viktor Frankl wrote, realizing that our lives has reason and purpose, will enable us to understand that we are fully responsible for our lives, and for continuing them. “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how.””.Our Why gives us clarity, meaning and direction. It is a filter through which we can make decisions, every day, to bring our cause to life. A Why Statement is one sentence that captures our unique contribution and impact. The contribution is the real applicable part of our Why. The impact is the condition we wish to leave the people and world around us. Together, these two components provide a meaning in life for us and those we serve.
  1. Choosing the attitude toward inevitable situations or suffering: There’s not a single person in this world that can escape from suffering. There is always a time in one’s life that they have to face unpreventable painful situation. Often, the first thing we do in a crisis is to judge what, if anything, we can do to fix the problem. But what if it isn’t fixable?  In that case, the one kind of control we can apply is to change our attitude to this new reality.   Similar to the old saying of turning lemons into lemonade. As Viktor Frankl suggested: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human freedoms; to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Suffering comes when things change – a relationship ends, someone dies, we get fired from a job, illness attacks, a disaster happens.  Sadness introduces us to impermanence and so can help us learn to let go. By having the courage to touch our own pain and suffering, we start feeling empathy for the pain and suffering of others.  We begin to see that my suffering and your suffering are the same.  “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.” ― Viktor Frankl

Remembering and thinking about the story of our lives, will help us to reflect back on what we have found joyful and meaningful. It can clarify the tasks which we have undertaken and have given us the most sense of meaning in life. And it may suggest further goals we might want to set for ourselves now.  These tasks can be in any realm; stories to write, children to care for, lessons to learn or teach, relationships to attend to, artistic ventures such as painting or sculpture, etc.  Meaning in life can be found in the very act of bearing witness to the events of our lives.  The most important thing is that these tasks feel meaningful to us to fulfil them.  It doesn’t matter what other people think of them. It is the knowledge that we’re born with an expiration date that drives our need for a sense of meaning in life to begin with.

As Joseph Campbell suggests: “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life.”


The Truth About Lie

A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

A single lie discovered is enough to create doubt in every truth expressed.

If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.

We all know how difficult it is to trust someone again, who has lied to you before.  Trust is an important part of every relationship; and when we lie, even if we think others will never find out, we will create a barrier of hurt in our relationship. Unfortunately, when the other person finds out about our lie, and it usually is the case, it’s nearly impossible to trust again. And the damage that is done to our relationship may be irreparable.
Once we have told one lie, we may need a second lie to protect the first one, a third to protect the other two and so on. After a while our lies become so extreme that even we may have trouble keeping track of them, especially if we say a different set of lies for each person we encounter. Although most of us know this, but we still do it anyway.
Lies may appear to help us in the short term, but they harm us and others over the long haul. No matter how we might be adept at deception but we cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Fear of exposure leads us even more to self-protection, which becomes a vicious cycle. Just as our first cell duplicates itself to protect it from enemies, our ego covers up by producing more lies.  When the truth is our only solution, many of us are unable to make that transition.
Lying may seem simple and harmless at first, but just like any addiction, you’ll soon find yourself trapped and entangled more than you could have ever imagined.
Most people who lie daily have little or no awareness of how they can harm others, and they will likely keep doing it regardless. Their egos believe that their needs are more important than other’s needs, despite the fact that they are the same.
Honesty and dishonesty are learned in the home. And like everything else, children learn to lie from the people around them. Children get a lot of messages from their parents saying that lying is always bad, but at the same time they see their parents telling ‘white’ lies to make life easier.

A parent should lead by example and never lie. And when they are caught in a lie, they have to express remorse and regret for making a conscious decision to tell a lie.   Clear, understandable consequences for lying should be discussed with the child early on.
Parents are the most important role models for their children. When a child or adolescent lies, parents should take some time to have a serious talk and discuss the difference between make believe and reality, and lying and telling the truth. They should open an honest line of communication to find out exactly why the child chose to tell a lie, and to discuss alternatives to lying.
Young children often make up stories and tell tall tales. This is a normal activity because they enjoy hearing stories and making up stories for fun. These young children may blur the distinction between reality and fantasy.  This is probably more a result of an active imagination than an attempt to deliberately lie about something.
But an older child or adolescent may tell a lie to be self-serving, such as denying responsibility or to try and get out of a chore or task. This is when parents should respond to isolated instances of lying by talking with the youngster about the importance of truthfulness, honesty and trust.
There are some people who consider a lie to be acceptable in certain situations such as not telling a boyfriend or girlfriend the real reasons for breaking up because they don’t want to hurt their feelings. But this is deceiving other people because they think it serves their purposes in some way.
The big problem with lying is that it often drives one to continue his/her deceptions, and the result is that trust is shattered, reputations are damaged, and suspicion rules the day.
People lie because of countless reasons. They lie to make themselves look better. They lie to take the credit, to conceal their poor performances and mistakes, to divert the blame, to protect their reputations, and to deceive and manipulate others.
Regardless of the intention, the final results are the same.  “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Dishonesty and lies come in different ways and forms. There may be some people who tell lie by mistake without knowing the fact and they really believe in whatever they say. But there may be others who say lies showing no guilt or shame, knowing full well that they are deceiving others. Yet there may be others who say white lies, wishing to protect themselves or other people from the truth. Although some of these folks may have good intention, but it is all lying just the same.
As a general principle, people are always looking to see who they can trust and who they can’t. And if we refuse to lie at any circumstances, then we will be able to create lasting relationships of trust. This rule applies to all of our relationships whether it’s family, friends, or at work.
To be honest means that we do what we say we are going to do. It means that we believe in ourselves and in everything we perform. It means that we value ourselves enough not to ever live a lie. As the saying goes, “It’s simple. Never lie to someone who trusts you, and never trust someone who lies to you.”
When we operate with complete integrity, what we say will be taken at face value, our intentions will be assumed honourable, and our handshake will be as good as a contract. Most importantly, we can take great pride in the standards that we have set for ourselves and sleep well at night knowing that our conscience is clear. As for others . . . just when they think they’re fooling the world, they’ll realize that they’re only fooling themselves. A promise is a promise after all!


Positive Mental Attitude

We control our mental attitude by positive attitude not by rules.

Change your mental attitude, and the world around you will change accordingly

It is our own mental attitude which makes the world what it is for us. Our thought make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light. ― Swami Vivekananda

Mental attitude is the way we think and talk to ourselves. Our mental attitude plays more of a role in our life that we might think. What we tell ourselves and the daily messages we allow ourselves to take in make a significant contribution toward the creation of the person we are, end up becoming or will ever be.
Think of thoughts as opportunity creators. The more positive messages we allow ourselves to have or take in, the more opportunities we will be open to realize and take advantage of.
This is why it is important for us to do our best to deal with, communicate and listen to what is good and of value. Doing so frees our mind from negativity, deception, gossip and all other harsh messages that can be destructive to our efforts of maintaining a positive mental attitude and character.
Developing a mental attitude take courage and when we combine the two, we come up with mental courage. It takes a person of great courage to be able to control their thoughts and internal messages, and filter external messages deliberately and consistently especially while living in a society where it is far from the norm.
People with positive mental attitude can push themselves through the worst life’s challenges without feeling emotional intensity. On the other hand, people with negative mental attitude are always vulnerable to suffering. Even enjoyment is less pleasing to them, as they have to work hard to get out of darkness, just to see the light.
Here are some ways that we can all work toward developing a positive outlook on life.

  1. Focus on present: by concentrating on the present as much as possible, we can minimize the worries and fears that lead to negative emotions.
  2. Use Positive Language: It is very easy to fall into the negative language pattern.  Many of us do so without being aware of it. Have you ever realized that some people constantly complain about the weather, their job, their spouse, their children, and any number of other things? Language is central to our experience of being human. And studies have shown that the languages we speak profoundly shape the way we think, the way we see the world, the way we live our lives, and as a result the way our mental attitudes shape. As Willie Nelson said: “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results”.
  3. Stop negative thoughts: In order to maintain a positive mental attitude, learning to hit the reset button is one of the best techniques. Hitting the reset button is about taking a precautionary approach to how we respond to life and its challenges. And it prevents us from drowning in our own negative thoughts. It is the conscious effort of eliminating negativity and disillusionment as soon as it enters our mind. And it helps us not to let negative external thoughts and factors to control or affect us as much or as long.
  4. Accept things as they are: Not accepting things as they are is a fight against reality. It resists what’s real and keeps us thinking and analysing to try to make sense of it so that we feel better. But it doesn’t work, and it won’t bring us happiness. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control, and rather than wasting our energy on negative emotions, it’s better to just accept that things didn’t go the way we planned or wanted.
  5. Find positive people: We tend to take in and reflect the emotions and attitudes of those we spend time with. If we’re hanging around negative people who complain and worry much of the time, then we are bound to catch their indisposition. So the more often we keep company people with positive mental attitude, the more likely it is that we will start to think and act in the same way.
  6. Find a reason to laugh: As Mark Twain said: “Humour is the great thing. The minute it crops up, all our hardness yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away”. Laughter is fun, it touches our souls, and it is a wonderful way to reduce stress, to connect with those around us, and to make us feel better all round. Even smiling affects us in positive ways.
  7. Contribute In a meaningful way: Time has taught me that helping others is one of the simplest ways to fill our life with joy and fulfilment. And I believe that one of the best ways to feel more positive is to contribute to a society to make life worth living. Sharing our time and effort with a cause will allow us a brief escape from our current problems, and perhaps may even allow us to see our troubles in a different light.
  8. Practice gratefulness: Express your appreciation for where you are and what you have in life right now, even if feels like you still have a long way to go. Positive psychology research proves that gratitude is strongly associated with the emotions that help us enjoy greater health and happiness. And People who embody gratitude into their daily lives have a more optimistic outlook on life.

Our mental attitude will determine how far we will go in life, and a positive mental attitude can help us deal with the inevitable bumps in the road that will be on our path to success and happiness. Creating and maintaining a positive mental attitude can give us the inner strength we need to overcome adversity of any kind. As Thomas Jefferson once said: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”


Personal Empowerment

Personal empowerment is seeking the solution rather than fixating on the problem.

Personal empowerment is taking control of our own life, setting goals, and making positive choices.

Personal empowerment is a collection of beliefs, actions and skills all working together to help you live a life that you design.
“What is empowerment? It’s not something bestowed on you. Empowerment comes from within.” – Mark Felling
At a basic level, the term ’empowerment’ simply means ‘becoming powerful’. Building personal empowerment involves reflecting on our personal values, skills and goals and being prepared to adjust our behaviour in order to achieve our goals.
Personal empowerment is about looking at who you are and becoming more aware of yourself as a unique individual.
Personal empowerment also means being aware that other people have their own set of values and goals which may be different to ours.
If you’ve ever been stuck in a rut of inertia before, you probably know the sense of helpless futility that takes over your life.  You want your life to change, but you feel powerless to do anything about it yourself.  You may find yourself constantly making plans to improve your life, but never quite getting around to taking action because it seems so intimidating.
Though taking action can intimidate and frighten you, it can also empower you!  If you learn to use it effectively, it can provide the fuel to keep you moving forward toward more fulfilling life circumstances.  When you do this, you realize that there was never anything to fear in the first place, and you’ll never get stuck again!
Below are three simple steps that show you how to get started:

  1. First, take some time to examine your life. Where are you now and where do you want to be? Be sure you understand that your life is the way it is right now because of your hesitation in taking action!  This is important, because you’ll understand the importance of moving forward no matter how anxious it makes you feel at first. Then, decide on one action to take to get the ball rolling.  Think about your life right now, and ask yourself which situations you want to change first.  You might choose your career, relationships, health, financial situation, or anything else that makes you feel powerless and stuck.  Then think about one simple action you can take to inspire some positive change.  It doesn’t have to be a huge action, just SOMETHING to start building momentum.
  2. Once you’ve decided on your action step, you’ll have to push yourself to take it no matter what!  This may seem incredibly difficult or even scary, but remember that most often the things you fear are not going to happen.  In fact, you may not even have a clear reason for feeling scared – you’re just afraid of the “unknown”.  Give yourself a pep talk or push yourself in any way you have to in order to move forward at least a little bit.  After you take that first step, be sure to let go of any expectations of the things that will happen because of it, and allow yourself to feel great simply because you did something about it!
  3. Repeat with the same step, and/or others.  Once you’ve taken one step forward, you’ll need to keep pushing yourself to take others.  Consider this:  Even if you take a hundred small steps in a month, you’ll be putting forth positive effort to make changes in your life, which cannot help but bring about better circumstances!

The good news is that taking action quickly begins to build momentum.Just as chronic non-action can create a cycle of negativity and stagnation over time, being proactive can create a positive cycle that continues to grow! It gets easier the more you do it, which eventually makes it seem almost effortless – and you continue to empower and strengthen yourself with every step you take.


Personal Motivation Is the Key to Success

Personal motivation is what pushes us to achieve our goals, feel more fulfilled and improve overall quality of life.

Personal motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. 

Personal motivation is the key to success. It is a combination of determination, expertise, and purpose to maintain in order to achieve a high level of success.

Self-motivation is the inner power, an internal drive that pushes us to keep moving forward, to develop, to produce, and to achieve. When we find ourselves ready to quit something or we just don’t know how to start; it is our self-motivation which pushes us to go on. It is the internal voice that says, “I am an autonomous person who has power over my choices and my actions. I can affect positive changes in my life if I work for them”.
“The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it is possible to achieve your dream”
“Personal motivation is an internal, impalpable force that causes a person’s effort, drive and persistence toward the achievement of a worthwhile goal. The degree and strength of an individual’s personal motivation is the single most important factor in determining the extent to which he or she will commit to do what needs to be done to achieve the desired result. Without personal motivation, little of any significance is usually achieved in spite of the existence of the necessary knowledge skills and resources. With it, anything is possible regardless of whether or not those elements are present”.
It is easy enough to dream and plan, but many people get stuck in this phase indefinitely and avoid taking action.  Planning and dreaming might make you feel like you’re doing something about your goals, but if you never actually take a step forward you’ll never achieve them.  In order to see measurable progress, you have to step out of your comfort zone and take action.
“People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents” –Andrew Carnegie
When you finally do gather your courage and begin moving forward, what usually happens?  You realize it’s WAY harder than you thought it would be, right?  It feels like you’re trying to run uphill.  You keep tripping over obstacles, facing setbacks and delays, dealing with fear and anxiety, and fighting a daily battle to find motivation to keep moving forward.
It’s during this difficult phase that most people give up.  They decide that “it isn’t meant to be” right now, so they set their goal aside and promise to try again later.  Or worse, they resign themselves to a mediocre life because they don’t believe they have what it takes to succeed.  They’ve “failed,” so they’re not going to try any more. Have you done this?  Most people have! However, this doesn’t have to be the end of the story.  You can pick up your dreams, dust them off and try again.  “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run”.
Most people quit during the difficult phase because they think it’s ALWAYS going to be this hard.  What they don’t realize is that every effort they put toward the achievement of their goals will build on the previous efforts.  With every step forward the process gets easier and easier.  Finally, they’ve put so much energy and effort into the process that the internal drive begins to take over.  Suddenly they realize that they don’t have to push so hard to keep moving forward.  It becomes fun, even easy to achieve their goal.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed” ― Michael Jordan
This same experience can be yours!  All you have to do is keep moving forward. Keep working toward your dreams and never quit.  Your internal force WILL take over eventually!
If you want to get that force working even more quickly for you there are a few ways to do it, but they can be summed up in one sentence:
Be willing to work harder, faster and take bigger risks than you have in the past
“A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for.” ― Albert Einstein
The reason why this internal drive can be delayed, is because sometimes many people take very tentative steps toward their goals.  They’re afraid to really give it their all, so they hold back much of the energy and power they could be devoting toward their goal.  Even if they’re not aware of it, they may feel more comfortable working at a slower pace, so they avoid taking big risks and instead they take baby steps
There’s not a thing wrong with this approach if it suits you!  However, if you want to make faster progress and to achieve your goal quickly, think about taking bigger steps and giving your full energy and focus toward making it happen.  By doing so, you’ll push through the difficult beginning and find yourself coasting before you know it.
 “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  ― Nelson Mandela
As Zig Ziglar said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily”. Whenever you’re struggling to get things done, turn to that quote for the inspiration and personal motivation you need to be the best you can be.


How To Stop Having Negative Thoughts

How to stop having negative thoughts. Let go of negative thinking as it can become a habit of mind, and it can have a serious, sometimes devastating impact on all aspects of your life. It seems unfortunately that with most people, positive thinking requires some effort, whereas, negative thinking comes easily and often uninvited.

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” Eckhart Tolle

You must get rid of all your negative thoughts and false beliefs about yourself. You must redirect your frustrated aggression and resentment and find ways to overcome your feelings of loneliness and emptiness.

May I assure you of this: If you’ve never failed at anything, it is certainly that you never really tried anything? Or in the words of Roman philosopher Seneca, “If thou art a man, admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail”

Was Thomas Edison a failure? Of course not. The thought is absurd. Yet dozens of failures preceded most of his brilliant creations. Edison learned from his failures and built his success on them. Discovery is born on error; there are no creations without unsuccessful experiments.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” Thomas Edison

This sums up one of the most important lessons that I have learned from life:  Blunders, errors in judgement and applications are unavoidable unless we retreat from life into a state of apathy. And even then in that state of idleness, we still make mistake. The secret of successful living is to rise above our failures to our good moments. This is the key concept, to forget our errors, to stop grieving over them, to have compassion for our own human fallibility. Then unburdened with guilt, we can step out decidedly into the world, seeing ourselves at our best, formulating our goals, and bringing out into the game of life, our success instinct.

Never deny your mistakes, admit them freely. But learn from them to minimize your mistakes in future. Be tolerant toward yourself as you would be tolerant toward a friend or you must throttle your experimentation.

“Without failure we can learn nothing, and yet we have learned to treasure success as the only acceptable standard” Wayne W. Dyer

Every day examine the negative beliefs which pull you down. Do you feel stupid? Are you obsessed with the feeling that you are ugly? Or do you torture yourself with the thought that you are weak? I don’t know what negative beliefs you use to determine yourself. But I can assure you that your thinking is irrational. In examining your accusations against yourself, let’s see if you are not being unfair. If you punish yourself as being “stupid”, on what do you base this charge? Granted that you have been unwise, perhaps many times, have you never been wise? Have you never been shrewd? Have you never been intelligent?  Then your self-criticism is basically self-mutilation. What it comes down to, is that you feel you have no rights; you believe in short-changing yourself.

OK, sometimes, there might be a grain of reality to them, but are these the devastating indictments that you build them into? No, this is irrational thinking. People are people. The strong are weak, and the weak are strong. Some low-to-medium IQ people have rare common sense. Some homely-looking women are devoted friends and can look beautiful. Some people with physical handicaps are most compassionate. Some emotionally unstable people are extremely brilliant. These are greys; there are no black and whites. But what do you do to yourself with your negative thoughts? You make yourself all thumbs, all negating.

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” Albert Einstein

Now that you have examined your negative beliefs about yourself and are in the process of reducing them to reasonable proportions, let’s see how to stop having negative thoughts about yourself. If you can’t, at least maintain them at the reasonable dimensions so that you can live with them.

Go to the next step now, and visualize a success picture, one that you are really proud of. Fill your mind with it, see it, smell it, feel it, grab hold of this success picture and hold it in your mind. When the critical thoughts counterattack, kick them out, and do this process again and again. You have read and heard about people with a pacemaker in their hearts; who are living so graciously and with peace in mind; learn a lesson from them. Let your self-image be the pacemaker of your heart, your mind, and your soul. Each day reactivate your successful instincts until the success habit becomes part of you. Until it hypnotize you.

So how to stop having negative thoughts; Say to yourself: I shall concentrate on the confidence of my past successes, not on my past failures. I deserve the good things in life. I am the captain of my ship, and I shall steer my mind to a productive goal.

 “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” William Ernest Henley


How to Learn to Love Yourself

How to learn to love yourself. We have all heard this statement many times: “You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else”. In order to bring health into your life, to experience true closeness and connections with others, you need to be taught to love aspects of yourself again and again. You need to see yourself as a worthwhile human being; you must give acceptance to yourself. The only way to learn self-love is by being loved precisely in the places where we feel most unsure and most tender. Unfortunately some people, because of unlucky factors in their lives, invariably stemming from childhood or adolescence, feel inferior, possess weak concept of themselves and face the world with dejected, or hostile attitudes.

“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

We have to strengthen the sense of our self-love so that we will be able to tackle life’s situations healthfully, without allowing prejudices against ourselves to eat its way into our minds. It is not an easy task to erase the deeply ingrained negative attitudes permeate our cultures, and every day people we know may try to submerge us in them. But we must not allow ourselves to be coerced into adopting stereotyped, humiliating attitudes toward ourselves. We have to learn to love ourselves, respect ourselves and constantly seeking ways to invite transformation for the sake of our self growth. If we are dissatisfied of who we are, no amount of change could possibly persuade us that we are worthy and lovable. We must specifically examine ourselves as we are, realistically, without falling prey to negative ideas, which would short-change our estimate of ourselves. We must redouble our efforts to accept our shortcomings and to look humanely upon our blunders. But moreover we must have hope that there are always products and ideas for us to work toward our own betterment. Life is all about transformation, as each individual on Earth is discovering in a physical body new ways of experiencing life. And through this process of searching, each one of us is developing a deeper level of understanding of life and a greater ability to express our unique essence. It is important to realize that we are all beautiful in our own ways, complete in our authentic selves, and the more of the authentic we become, the more our beauties will shine. “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!”  ~Eckhart Tolle

  • You are not your worst failure. Everyone has a past. Some pasts are filled with darkness, some with light and most are filled with a mixture of the light and darkness. Of course our pasts tend to leave a mark on us, and our opinions are typically formed on the basis of what we’ve experienced. But you must not allow yourself to look at yourself through lenses tinted by your past. Your past may shape you but it deosn’t define who you become. To a great degree you are what you think you are, and you can do what you think you can do. Your attitude toward yourself can give you a lift or pushes you to despair. It is your choice. Always resolve to be charitable in your self-appraisals, to see yourself in your best moments, to strengthen this pleasant vision of yourself, based on reality, not myth, but on positive picture of reality. I believe that anyone can build up this mental image of himself with compassion to the extent that life is tolerable, even rewarding. “Mistakes don’t make you a failure but beating yourself up makes you feel like one.” ~ Frank Sonnenberg
  • You have nothing to prove. Self-worth is about believing in yourself, in your capabilities during triumphs and defeats. It’s about feeling good about who you are, regardless of what others might think. We don’t need to prove to the world that we are good, or we don’t have to hide the things we have done that might not look pleasant. We just have to accept and forgive ourselves and hope that others do the same. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore everyone and never listen to anything, but what it does suggest, is that your feelings, thoughts, and actions have validity and finally need to be directed by you. Authentic feedback is two-way whereas pursuing validation is one-way as you’ve already made up your mind but are just look for confirmation. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ~Maya Angelou
  • Practice accepting yourself. We have to learn to value and accept ourselves for who and what we are for all the good parts, as well as the parts that we think need improvement. Self-acceptance begins with recognizing judgements against ourselves and moving our focus from judgement and blame to tolerance and compassion. Acknowledging our self-judgment will help us to discover areas or attributes within ourselves that we have unproductive feelings about, which can destroy self-acceptance, such as shame, disappointment or guilt. We must identify our strengths, so that we can give balance to the work of accepting our shortcomings. When we recognize the areas of our life which need improvement, then we must try calming our “inner critic” which will reduce reinforcement of our negative thoughts about ourselves, and will help us in creating room for tolerance, forgiveness, and acceptance. Always have compassion for your limitations and be prepared to reverse every negative thought about yourself with a positive thought. Self-compassion is the basis of self-acceptance, and it means validating our own self-worth, instead of letting our self-approval to be the decision of others. Remembering that we often learn from our past mistakes, being thankful for the lessons and accepting that making mistakes is a part of life, will help us to consider our past in a productive way. “When people are not accepting toward themselves they are often obsessed with acceptance by others” ~Nathaniel Branden
  • Know that you matter. Despite all the obstacles and problems that life throws at us, and regardless of all emotional pains or low points that we may experience sometimes in our lives, but we have to realize that we completely matter. We matter, not because we think we are important, or others tell us that we are, or because of our financial situations, our looks, performances, or popularities. But because GOD put us here. The world would not be the same if we were not here or if we do not fulfil our purposes. We all have specific talents and experiences which can help and transform others, which can change and leave people differently from how we found them, and this metamorphose lives forever. So it is important that we concentrate on our superpowers instead of our weaknesses, connect with others, build-up our confidence one step at a time, and be empowered to fulfil our vocations. “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” ~Hafiz of Shiraz
  • Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths. ‘When we notice parts of ourselves that we consider weaknesses, I wonder if we can stop for a moment and look at them closely, to see if, somewhere, there are underlying strengths there as well”. When I look back on my life, I realize that I have always been feeling emotions intensely. And I have the tendency to give of myself hundred percent in any relationship, although I have hardly been receiving the same reception from others. I can always look at this characteristic I have of giving love and care totally as a weakness. But on the other hand, the fact that I have the capacity to give myself in this way, without any reservation, can be seen as strength. Despite the fact that feelings and emotions can hurt, but the ability to feel is a gift. And the ability to convey feelings to others is a gift to them. To hold back emotions is to keep back a special gift from the world. “Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We can choose to love, the same way we can choose to be angry, sad, hateful or unforgiving. When we start loving ourselves, amazing transformations begin to happen. We learn to let go of negative emotions and feelings; we look at our mistakes as experiences to strengthen our characters and improve ourselves; we stop longing to be someone else; we start looking at everything around us as an opportunity for growth; we experience love and magic in our hearts, in our lives; and miracles begin to happen.

“A man who loves himself takes the first step toward real love.” ~ Osho


How Emotions And Thoughts Can Affect Your Mental Health

How emotions and thoughts can affect your mental health. Mental health consist of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Mental health is usually used as a substitute for mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia, but according to the World Health Organization, mental health is: “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his/her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his/her community.”

Thoughts are our mental perceptions, our ideas, our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. They include views and aspects we bring to any situation or experience. Although thoughts simply appear in our minds, we don’t create them, and life experiences and education have great influences on them. But we have control over how we think, and we can resolve to change how we think.  As for our emotions, we can view and experiene them as the flow of feelings. And while they are universal, but each one of us experience them and respond to them in a different way. Emotions are influenced by our thoughts and perceptions, and the way we perceive an event or interpret a situation gives rise to corresponding feelings. Emotions which can be experienced or conveyed without any reservation, attachment, or judgement gravitate to flow smoothly; on the other hand restrained emotions such as fear, guilt, hurt and negative feeling are able to kill our hope and  mental energy and cause us a lot of physical and mental health problems. Consequently when we become aware that our thoughts and emotions can affect our mental health, and have great impact on our attitudes, our behaviours, and our relationships, then we can choose to adjust and regulate our thoughts and emotional responses to any triggering events. There are few positive feelings which can simply change the emotional effects of negativity and increase psychological abilities that enrich a successful life:

  • The value of Positivity: Anyone can tell you that one key to living a healthy, happy and flourishing life is having positive attitude, and experiencing positive emotions. But I also know that we all have what it takes to deal with difficulties. That is what winning a positive attitude is about. It is about strengthening ourselves mentally to fight with our own negativity.  People who are generally positive have problems just like everyone else. What separates them from everyone else is that they know that their problems are simply part of the process of life”. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson discovered that: “Experiencing positive emotions broadens people’s minds and builds their resourcefulness in ways that help them become more resilient to adversity and effortlessly achieve what they once could only imagine. With Positivity, you’ll learn to see new possibilities, bounce back from setbacks, connect with others, and become the best version of yourself”. Emotional benefits of positivity reduce stress, lower levels of distress, better psychological and physical well-being, minimize rates of depression, improve sleep and enhance a greater sense of overall happiness. “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Forgiveness: Forgiveness is about releasing our own feelings and finding meaning in the worst of life’s events. We practice forgiveness to be free of the inner violence of our rage, anger, fear, and resentment. Forgiveness is an act of acceptance that negative situations can happen and by letting go of the negative emotions surrounding those situations, we can learn to become less anxious, angry, bitter, stressed and depressed. As we let go of grudges we’ll no longer define our life by how we’ve been hurt; and we might even find compassion and understanding in our hearts. Forgiveness not only improve our mental, emotional and physical health, but also lead us to healthier relationships, greater spiritual and psychological well-being and higher self-esteem. “It is time now to let go of the past and embrace all that awaits you”.
  • Gratitude: Gratitude means thankfulness, counting our blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that we receive. Gratitude is essentially the recognition of the unearned increments of value in one’s experience. The benefits of gratitude are extreme and powerful. Studies demonstrated that being grateful improve both physical and mental health, psychological wellbeing and attitude, and our relationships with others. Gratefulness makes us feel good and increase positive moods such as joy, interest, alertness, determination, and optimism as well as improve our self-esteem. By practicing gratitude we become less depressed and stressed, more likely to help others, and make greater progress toward achieving our personal goals. “When people in great numbers choose to practice, integrate, and embody gratitude, the cumulative force that is generated can help create the kind of world we all hope for and desire, for ourselves and for future generations”.
  • Emotional Resilience: Emotional resilience simply means one’s ability to adjust to stressful situations or crises. Resilient people are able to adapt to adversity of life without lasting difficulties, while less resilient people have a harder time with stress and life changes. To some degree, emotional and physical resilience are something we are born with. Some of us have always been the “sensitive kind” while others are not bothered by anything. However, psychological and social research have shown that emotional resilience can be learned or improved upon, no matter what level of it we are born with. We can gain and build on our emotional flexibility by practicing perseverance, optimism, learning from our mistakes, sense of humour, managing our strong feelings and impulses, avoid seeing crises as hopeless problems, accepting that change is a part of life, Moving toward our goals, taking decisive actions, nurturing a positive view of ourselves, taking care of ourselves, and maintaining a hopeful outlook. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved” —Helen Keller


Enjoy Life to the Fullest

Enjoy life to the fullest, it has an expiration date. Life today should mean pleasure, but our modern concept of living is often just the reverse; negative in concept and implying the resignation of one’s self image. Modern living often means abandoning satisfaction because of a phantom called “twentieth-century anxieties”.

“Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.” ~Horace

Life should be a happy vocation. People should be useful to themselves and to others. Pleasure must be part of us; like our heart, our eyes, our hands, and our feet. It should know no race, no creed, no colour, no status, no age. The good feelings to life belong to us and there is no moral aspect to it except that it is immoral for people to fester in unhappiness.  “Live life to the fullest because you only get to live once”.

By forgetting the mistakes of the past, you can live each day to the full.  You can find pleasure in working, in living, in friendship, and every other aspects of your life, if you feel that you have a right to enjoy yourself. I am not a great believer in sin, but if there is sin, it is for people who sit around, finding fault with themselves for the mistakes they have made; mistakes which are only human.  “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing” ~George Bernard Shaw

There are so many people who waste the wonderful power of their imaginations and torturing themselves with their past blunders. It is sad but true that many of us who blame ourselves so severely have in reality lead lives characterized by hard effort and a constant attempt to be decent human beings; yet we give ourselves no rights.

When we criticize ourselves, we deny ourselves pleasure. Yet we have the right to feel free of fear, to feel free of guilt; to feel pleasure. In order to enjoy our lives to the fullest we have to find resolution within our minds to be happy. It is a victory of one’s positive thinking-imagining forces over negative thinking-imagining forces. We prepare ourselves to enjoy our lives as we strengthen our images of ourselves each day. We live vitally, allowing ourselves pleasure because we feel that we deserve it. “I have decided that no matter what is happening in my life, I will choose to be happy! Not because everything is perfect, but because I deserve it”.

Through strengthening your self image, through seeing yourself at your best, through encouraging your success instincts, you can create pleasure for yourself. But the unfortunate fact is that many people do not feel that it would be fair for them to be happy. They do not feel they deserve it, and they use rationalizations to explain their misery:

If only they had money…..

If not for that financial catastrophe……..

If that accident hadn’t happened…….

If not for that childhood disease which only they had contracted……

A tragic event from the past is dredged up and used to explain all the pain, all the lack of their pleasure in life. But what they don’t realize is that everyone knows tragedy, everyone knows pain; fate didn’t single them out for punishment. Successful, happy people know pain, too, but they just keep pushing forward through pain to pleasure. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain”.

Imagine a man sits at his desk; he is an executive for a large company. His desk is full of menus, letters, contracts, and other papers. Two lights on the side of his telephone flicker on and off, indicating people waiting to talk to him. He is in conference with two men who sit, waiting for his attention. He looks at his appointment book and notes that another vital conference is set for this day, and he must devote a few hours to a project which is behind schedule, and also he must dictate letters to A, B, C,….

The enormity of these pressures might overwhelm many of us. “It is too much for us” we’d say. But not this man. He feels pleasure and he enjoys doing it. He refuses to let a daunting imagination ruin his effectiveness. Instead he sees in his mind the successes that his day will bring. He Turns warmly to his visitors, listens attentively, does his best to respond to their needs and demands. He answers the phone, and getting to the heart of communicating instantly, returns to his visitors. He tells them what action he intends to take on the matters under discussion, dictates a message into a machine, turns back to them to ask if they are happy with his decisions. They are, and he ushers them to the door, shaking hands warmly. Nothing phony, simple pleasure in a direct, effective moving toward goals. This man projects his imaginations into action in a positive way. He accepts his right to feel happy and be successful. Many people fill their minds with destructive, depressing thoughts; and pleasure is caught in a squeeze in which it is crushed. They worry about disasters that never or rarely happen. The feelings of happiness and satisfaction from their work are not tolerated, and they obviously cannot function in the successful way that this executive does. They do not enjoy their work; they do not enjoy their life either. “We call pleasure the alpha and omega of a blessed life. Pleasure is our first and kindred good” ~ Epicurus

We must enjoy our lives to the fullest. We can feel pleasure in our every day of living. We can sing in the shower and feel musical thoughts in our minds and generosity in our hearts. It is a question, basically, of what we will allow ourselves. We must not block the attainment of our legitimate satisfactions. No years can be creative if we deny ourselves the principle of happiness and enjoying our lives to the fullest.

“If you think positive, any sound becomes music, any move becomes dance, any smiles becomes laughter, and the entire life becomes a huge celebration. So always think positive and live your life happy to its fullest”


Continuous Personal Growth

Continuous personal growth involves a lifelong of reflecting, connecting, and learning which enhance our understanding of who we are, the world around us, and provide us with more and better opportunities to improve our quality of life.

To be able to improve we have to accept that something about us needs to be changed, and when we are ready to unlock the perceptions that we have created over the years, then we can start living a joyous life of change and growth.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust

As we go through life, our main attention is usually on external world and the material possessions, but the reality is that the most important thing that we have to focus our energy on, is the development of self into the person we want to become. And when we achieve a real connection to our authentic self and realize our true purpose, all the external achievements and successes will pursue anyway.

“Personal development is your springboard to personal excellence. On-going, continuous, nonstop personal development literally assures you that there is no limit to what you can accomplish.” ~ Brian Tracy

Over the years, I have learned to practice and focus my energy on the proven track of actions and beliefs that had helped me to improve the quality of my life and the state of my mind.

Here are the strategies that have worked well for me . . .

  • Be present: The method for being present is really simple, but it needs practice. When we practice something regularly, we become good at it. It becomes like a mode of being rather than a task on our to-do list. Whatever you’re doing, at any time, learn to focus completely on doing that one thing. Pay attention to every aspect of what you’re doing, to your body, to the sensations, to your thoughts. It might become tiring at the beginning, if you’re not used to it. Let yourself rest if you grow tired and come back and practice it again. After a while you realize how your worries fade away and you enjoy your present task much more. When we learn to be joyful in whatever we’re doing, grateful that we’re able to do that task, and appreciate every movement and sensation of the task, then we become aware that anything can be an amazing experience, anything can be a miracle. ‘Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.’ ~ Thich Nhat Hahn
  • Stop seeking approval from others: When we have a need for approval we value the beliefs and opinions of others above our own, it becomes addictive and we can quickly develop a need for more. Once we stop worrying about how other people would think of us, how our decisions might disappoint others, or how they might judge us, we become free to be fully authentic selves. The biggest irony with approval-seeking behaviour is that it usually causes the opposite results to those which are intended. If you take a moment to observe those people whom you respect most, you will find that one of their strongest traits is their ability to be true to who they are. There is usually so much pressure from society, peers and media to conform to certain standards and ideals. But if we are led through life always and only really doing and being what we’ve come to believe is ‘expected of us’, then, in a way, we cease to exist, to live, and be real. When you cease being worried about people’s disapprovement of you, a whole new world of personal possibility opens before you.
  • Reflect on Transformational Moments: We all have critical and determining moments in our lives. We come to a fork in our life, and we make a choice that will affect everything since. Once the choice is made, we can never withdraw and start over again because circumstances and people involved change. Words have been said, lives affected and these can never return to the original form. Looking back on those focal points in our past is a great way to look at how far we’ve come, and to discover where we want to be in the future. Always evaluate your options, and consider how they will affect your principles and values. Each one of us has a set of values that define who we are. If one option has you compromise your values, no matter how profitable it may be, it will not be worth the risk. There are a number of people who have reflected, after picking a fork in their road, “There was just something that didn’t feel right, but I did it anyway.” If it doesn’t feel right, you can’t force it to be right. “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest” ~ Confucius
  • Move past failure: “The major difference between achieving people and average people is their perception of and response to failure” ~John C. Failure is a part of testing the limits of what we know, and it’s an opportunity to learn how to take that next step forward. The truth is that when we experience failure, we’re growing, stretching, and expanding. Each setback, whether small or large is an opportunity for growth. When we change our perception toward failure, then we will be able to use it as stepping-stone to success instead of a stumbling block. But first we have to acknowledge it. Our initial tendency is often to blame others or some uncontrollable, external factors. But rarely are the failures in our lives entirely the responsibility of someone else. And until we take personal responsibility in some capacity, we can never move on to the next step. After we accepted our failure, then we can look back at them as simply feedback that can take us to another level of awareness. “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” ~ Napoleon Hill’
  • Teach, and learn by teaching: “The beautiful thing about teaching is that our legacy is defined in what we give and empower others to do, not only in what we do ourselves”. Wisdom is understanding where we have been, and how we got to where we are now. All of us have experiences and wisdom worth sharing with others. One of the best way of personal growth and change is to listen to other people’s experiences and sharing ours. Have you ever helped a friend through a difficult time and then you became aware that you feel better and happier? Our most lasting and fulfilling achievements in life are often earned by helping others fulfil theirs. As if when we help, encourage, and enable others to reach their dreams, we can also achieve our dreams along the way. Giving and helping others is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. And it may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and meaningful. “Making the conscious commitment to empower yourself by directing your thoughts, energy and focus toward what you most want and the goals you need to achieve is the first step towards creating an extraordinary life.” ~ Tony Robbins