Stay strong. Make them wonder how you’re still smiling.
What makes you different makes you beautiful
A Lack of Boundaries Invites a Lack of Respect
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CHOOSE PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE YOU
When I think of Thích Nhất Hạnh, words like – stillness, love, compassion, peace and oneness, come to mind. And even though these are some really beautiful and powerful words, they somehow can’t really express the beautiful, pure and loving feelings that I get from reading Thích Nhất Hạnh’s books and watching his beautiful videos. Thích Nhất […]
Without taking the time to think about all that’s happened in 2016, our shortcomings and accomplishments, we fail to integrate what new knowledge we’ve gained.
There have been ups. There have been downs. There will continue to be many more before midnight strikes at the end of December and we hit the collective reset button–pretending that we can move on unaffected by the events of the previous year.
That’s where we all go wrong, isn’t it? Indeed, we need to fight the urge to move on, and start critically examining how our history continues to live through us in the present moment so we can begin to make better choices moving forward.
Here are the 10 biggest life lessons learned in 2016.
1. Spending so much of our lives on our phones is decreasing our ability to be engaged in the present moment.
Why do you think mindfulness meditation and yoga are both billion dollar industries? People are feeling the effects of increased time spent in the digital world.
2. Virtual and augmented reality will continue changing the way we interact with the world.
One reason Pokemon Go was such a hit was because it satisfied our need to be digitally connected and engaged with the real world. Between that and Oculus Rift, HTV Vive, and Playstation VR–new worlds are just a headset away.
3. People crave authenticity–so you need to start taking self-development seriously.
The catalyst of authenticity is self development, so you need to start investing in your personal growth.
4. Digital assistants and artificial intelligence are (finally) becoming more helpful.
Between Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, our digital assistants are getting better at recognising our voices and providing helpful information–although they are still far from perfect.
5. Attention spans are increasingly short–which means you have to provide value if you want engagement.
Short videos are in. Consumers of digital content want valuable take-away messages without the fluff–so stop sugar coating content and start delivering the goods.
6. Many of us live in isolated bubbles and are surrounded by like-minded people.
Another lesson from the election is that most of us are entrenched within a digital and geographic comfort zone.
7. History repeats itself–so you need to start looking at the larger picture.
Many of the difficult and visible social issues of 2016, along with the rhetoric used to win the presidential election, are familiar to those with historical knowledge.
8. Flexibility and openness are now required for productivity and personal well being.
Remember to pause and breathe.
9. The difference between “real” and “fake” news is becoming increasingly blurry and you need to know the difference.
You need to develop critical thinking skills and apply them to everything you read.
10. Going viral on social media is more valuable than television ads and can win the presidential election.
The old school mentality of paying for cable advertising may not be as effective as free coverage on social media–especially when that content is viral.
Whether you’re a content blogger or a presidential candidate, the vast reach of social media will transform the way you approach spreading your message.
The article was originally posted on http://www.inc.com/
In my free time, I take myself on dates.
This can be anything from getting a table for one at a restaurant, watching a film or theatre performance, or walking along a park trail and then sitting on a bench watching the sunset.
I first discovered the genius of self-dates at the age of 17. Prior to that, running errands alone was not a problem. It was doing enjoyable activities alone that seemed so strange and foreign. Being left alone for a few minutes in a coffee shop made me nervous, and the idea of eating at a restaurant or seeing a movie by myself seemed, well, sad.
Plainly, I was self-conscious. I didn’t want to seem like a loner and wanted to avoid any stares that came my way. It’s not that I didn’t have friends to do things with. Interests and schedules don’t always align. So I forced myself to stop being so reliant on others to join me in order to go places and have a nice time.
In a burst of spontaneity one day, I decided to see the re-make film “True Grit” while waiting for my take out order of Italian sausage pasta. When my food was ready, there was only enough time to head to the theatres and buy my ticket. Although well aware of the theatre’s “No outside food” policy, I was hungry, and decided to take my chances.
Like any first date, my first self-date started a bit awkwardly. Also, my bag wasn’t large enough to conceal my dinner. To my surprise, the stub collector simply stared at my noisy plastic bag of food and let me continue onward without questions. Once inside, I plopped myself in a prime viewing seat—free of any tall giraffes obstructing my view—and began picking at my food.
When the movie started, and I was transported to another world and another time, the awareness of being alone left me. The duration of the film was enjoyed without interruption, and when it was over, a couple seated in the row in front of me, turned back to chat a bit about it—and my pasta.
Since then, I have gone on to do more things—alone. I learned there are many pros, such as getting away with some things more easily (like the pasta incident). Sometimes being alone allows me to see more. I found that more people approach me at events to chat—it’s how some friendships have begun. I even met one of my music heroes. Most recently, I got free admission to see a wonderful city view from an observatory.
Most of all, I have gained confidence in being independent, and learned that people aren’t staring as much as I thought. Even if they do, it doesn’t bother me. These days, it’s not even about not having someone to go with—I just love my alone time. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, at any pace that I want.
Author: Bianca Sewake
He instructed me to strip, to crawl on the floor and fellate him.
I texted him as soon as I woke up.
“What do you want me to wear today?”
I brushed my teeth and washed my face while I waited for him to text me back.
“White button-down shirt. Tuck it in. Your jeans. Flats. Put your hair in a ponytail. Send me a photo.”
I dressed as instructed, then stood before the wall-length mirror in my apartment’s hallway. Smiling into the mirror, I snapped a photo on my iPhone and sent it to Ben*.
Thirty seconds later, a text message: “Very nice.” Then I knew I could leave for work.
Ben wasn’t abusive. I wasn’t being hurt, nor was I unhappy. We were in a dominant/submissive relationship — or playing at one, anyway — and following his orders got me unbelievably turned on.
Ben cheated on his girlfriend, Rachel, with me; he lied about going on a break with her for me. I was so upset when I found out he lied that I emailed her and told her he’d been cheating. But I haven’t been totally forthcoming about the nature of our relationship. Ben and I weren’t just friends who became attracted to each other; we were both extremely interested in exploring sexual roles as a dom (him) and a sub (me).
Ben cheated on his girlfriend with me, I can now clearly see, because he has strong, natural impulses to dominate a woman in bed. And his girlfriend, Rachel, wouldn’t let him. When we were just close friends, Ben would gripe to me about how he and Rachel rarely had sex.
As time passed, Ben and I talked frequently over IM or over the phone, and flirted with each other more and more. It’s not exactly a secret that I have a fetish about being spanked and at some point — clearly crossing the line of what was appropriate for a guy with a girlfriend and his cute single friend to be discussing — Ben told me he loved spanking women.
He loved it. He loved all types of light, sexual domination play — tying women up, using his paddle, hair-pulling — and Rachel wasn’t into any of that. And when it came to outside-of-bed stuff, Ben described Rachel as resisting his natural inclination toward leadership.
She didn’t particularly like him being protective toward her and he said they bickered constantly. So you can see why I saw an “in” here.
I should be clear, though: Ben wasn’t the first guy I’d come across who professed a liking for domination play. My first serious high school boyfriend was actually the one who flipped the pervert switch, making me realize that getting spanked turned me on. My boyfriends freshman and sophomore year of college both spanked me. And this other guy I dated in college actually took me to a “spanking club” in New York City where he rented a paddle and spanked me in public.
Then I dated Jason* after college and, through my relationship with him, I learned that it wasn’t just spanking that turned me on — it was dominance.
Jason was over six-feet-tall, with a strong and sturdily built. He had a naturally dominant personality. He could be fearless and decisive. He could be a leader. He could be stern and take charge when he needed to. He was protective. And he spanked me and dominated me in bed all the time, of course. But outside of bed, which was starting to feel like catnip in this new, weird way, I always felt “safe” with him because of the way he took charge.
It didn’t work out with Jason for other reasons, but he left me with 100 questions: I’m a feminist. Why do I like this so much? Isn’t this wrong? How can I be a good feminist and still like a man taking charge outside the bedroom?
It was 2006 around this time, so of course I spent a lot of time on Google looking for the answers. By searching terms like “spanking” and “domination,” I discovered many women online who wrote blogs sharing the same desires I held. They had college degrees, jobs, made their own money, but they were sexually attracted to men who dominated them both inside the bedroom and outside.
(Some of these women are what’s called “domestic discipline” arrangements, which have a lot of Christian influences and would take a long time to explain.) I studied these women for over a year and published an article called “Slap Happy” in the feminist/pop culture magazine Bitchabout them. (“Slap Happy” cannot be found online, but writer Amanda Marcotte at the feminist blog Pandagon wrote about it. And my article was included on the syllabus for a Rutgers University Human Sexuality class.)
I can’t explain to you how all-consumingly liberating it felt to know it wasn’t just me who wanted this. This is something hundreds of other women and men love, I thought. This is a part of me and my sexuality that I can be honest about.
I was pretty sure I didn’t want to be dominated by a man all the time like these women; though the idea of domination “play” some of the time, like Jason and I had engaged in, aroused me more than I had ever felt before.
Back to Ben: when he revealed to me that he got off from being dominant, I felt like I’d found the golden ticket. We not only shared the same kink but the same intensity for it. Ben wanted dominance and submission “play,” but all the time? Seriously? Where had he been all my life?
But because Ben was still dating Rachel, we didn’t do anything about this for a long time. We flirted for months and months, occasionally talking about our mutual love of spanking and domination, but in the one very intense month after he said he wanted to break up with Rachel to be with me, domination and submission “play” consumed us. First musing about it. Then doing it over IM, email, phone and text message.
Much of the non-sexual domination “play” with Ben was just a shift of our regular friendship: We’d talk about the stuff we’d usually talk about, but he would take a more dominant role, sternly issuing instructions. For example, I had a co-worker who was experiencing some difficulties, and being the naturally hyper-anxious person that I am I’d fret all the time about the fate of her job.
“Don’t worry about her; it’s not your responsibility. Worry about yourself,” he would say. And I would follow his instructions.
But there was the more obvious domination “play” component: As part of our “play,” I would ask him permission to do lots of things. I told him about all the kinds of bras and panties in my drawers, and each morning he’d tell me which ones to wear, which I would send him in a photo.
I would ask him how to dress each morning. I would ask him if I could watch a movie or if I had to work on writing a freelance article more. If I “disobeyed” him during this sexy-talk “play,” he would tell me over the phone or over IM how he would “punish” me.
But it was the sexual domination that was most amazing to me. Even though we physically had not been intimate with each other yet because of his girlfriend, we had phone sex with each other frequently where he’d verbally explain to me how he was going to spank me.
And much of our IM chats and emails were dirty talk about future spanking “punishments” to come: He would promise I’d be spanked 10 times for this or that infraction. He’d also tell me whether he was going to spank me with his hands or with his paddle. And, of course, we would talk dirty at length about having intercourse. Through all of this, he wanted me to call him “sir.”
Basically, Ben was one kinky motherf*cker.
For the first few weeks, I was horny constantly. And I mean constantly. Never before in my life have I experienced such weeks-long periods of horniness. One weekend, I couldn’t handle the horniness anymore and slept with two different guys and made out with a third. And trust me, I’d never done that before. I really felt like my sexuality had awakened and been released, roaring from the gate.
All the buildup actually raised my expectations too much, because the one and only time Ben and I were physically intimate with each other, it was a bit of a disappointment. Oh yes, he was sexually dominant: He instructed me to strip, to crawl on the floor and fellate him, and he spanked me with the paddle he kept in his closet.
But something about him seemed skittish, like he wasn’t giving 100 percent. I remember thinking, Where’s the guy who is a marvelous dirty-talker? The deflation could have been because Ben was cheating on Rachel with me; however, I got the sense that Ben liked talking about dom/sub more than actually doing it.
I never got to that find out: A week or so later, everything with Ben crashed and burned. It was messy, it was bad, and it was a horrible time in my life. (It’s not necessarily worth repeating and if you must, you can read about it here.)
My spectacular crash-and-burn at a dom/sub relationship, even though it was messy, was educational in ways I never could have imagined. I now see that what Ben and I had wasn’t aromance and we had no foundation to sustain a relationship beyond sex. That was just a disaster waiting to happen.
But I also realize now that Ben and I didn’t know what we were doing and we didn’t have the foundation of trust that a dom/sub relationship needs. Not “should have,” but “needs.” With no exceptions.
I gave Ben trust that he had not earned yet. When he would instruct me to stop worrying about my co-worker, I would listen, but really Ben had done nothing to prove he was worthy of this trust. In fact, if anything, he was negatively trustworthy for not having ended his relationship with Rachel yet. It was my fault for trusting a man who wasn’t trustworthy and I take full responsibility for that.
I also learned that when it comes to sex, sometimes people like talking about stuff more than they like doing it. They think they want it. They say they want it. But — and this is where needing to be able to trust someone’s word comes in — they’re afraid to fully experience what all their sexual impulses are telling them.
Maybe it’s because it’s scary to them. Maybe it’s because it’s so taboo. I don’t really know; I just know that Ben turned out to be that person while I was not.
I’m glad I have nothing whatsoever to do with Ben anymore, but I’m kind of bummed my first foray into a dom/sub relationship didn’t work out. I really would have loved it. Now, I’m in a loving, committed relationship with the man I’m going to marry and we have a happy sex life, but he doesn’t share the same desire for dom/sub “play” that I have.
But these days, given how I had such a negative experience with domination the first time, I’m not eager to repeat it.
Written by Jessica Wakeman.
I’ve been completely sober now for twelve months. People keep asking me how an earth I did it. They had questions like how do you be social, how do you relax, how do you have fun, etc. All you need to go twelve months without alcohol and come back a champion are these seven simple steps.
1. Chunk it down
Initially, I told myself I was giving up for one month; then it became three months, then twelve months, and now I have completed a year, and I know I can give it up forever. If you want to give up alcohol for at least twelve months, then you have to chunk down the milestones.
Starting at twelve months won’t work because it’s too long. You need to have a few quick wins along the way and then once the twelve months comes around, you’ll realise that excessive drinking is for retards who are going nowhere in life, and are trying to escape their current circumstances – that’s not you.
2. Have a higher purpose
Not something small but something that is revolutionary. Start saying no to drinking nights regularly even though your friends and colleagues might be upset. In the beginning, it will be hard and you will feel lonely. You will feel like an outcast with no friends who can’t have fun anymore.
When you finish your work at the end of the week, go home early, and then wake up early the next day. When your friend’s text you to say how good their night was last night, just put the phone down and start working on your dream straight away.
As Saturday night comes around, have dinner with your friends and then leave when they all head to the bar. Go home, and work on your dream. When you are absolutely exhausted from all the work that night, go outside for a moment, look up, and see the stars.
See the one that is shining the brightest and realise that is you. Get your mind to understand that not drinking is the way for you to achieve everything you have ever wanted. Tell yourself that cold winter’s night that you were destined to do bigger things.
Seek comfort in knowing that you are not missing out on anything, and you are doing what you have always wanted. On Sunday, go to the market and try buying some vegetables. Come home, and eat them or juice them. Notice how freaking good you feel.
Ask yourself the question, what if I could feel this all the time? For the rest of your day keep working on your dream even when those around you think you’re nuts. Just before it get’s dark, make some tea, go outside, and watch the sunset.
Reflect on how great your day has been and how you have turned your circumstances around. As the yellow and orange from the sun shines on your face, commit to being in greater control of your life and notice how you are starting to feel more powerful each day.
Notice the champion beginning to awaken within you. As your phone alarm clock goes off for the start of Monday morning, wake up full of energy and go to your income-producing activity with a smile on your face. Even if everyone around you has a negative look on their face, smile at them.
Once your computer has booted up, go somewhere quiet, and do five minutes of meditation with the Calm app. Realise how easy it is to bring yourself back to the present. Remember how your thoughts used to be before you began meditating.
At lunchtime, get off your ass and go for a walk to find a healthy option to have for lunch. Forget all the people trying to call your phone and just have some time for you. On the way home, stop to fill up with petrol.
When you see a heroin addict getting ready to rob the store, warn the nice lady who always tries to serve customers with a smile. When she asks why you care, just tell her that you do and smile again. Get back in your car and drive home with the latest personal development podcast that you downloaded the week before.
Think about what your life was like before you discovered Tony Robbins and just how miserable alcohol made you when you tried to forget about your current circumstances. Remember all the girls you hooked up with when you were drunk and how none of them actually cared about you, and it was just the fake effects of the alcohol that made it all happen.
Hone in your thoughts to focus on how your life has become nothing more than you, your dream, eating healthy, meditating, and giving to others.
On Monday night, check out your Instagram account and see the photo of the last time you had an alcoholic beverage and be proud of yourself. Know that it was your thoughts and your dream that created this new reality.
Before you go to bed, stay up an extra hour and write a blog post like this so you can share your experiences with the world to help them with their own struggle with alcohol. Picture that Tim Ferriss is reading your blog post and that he would be proud of who you’ve become.
Visualise other game-changing human beings also reading this same blog post and waiting for you to get better at your craft. Visualise how great it will be when the world discovers your true talent which has nothing to do with alcohol or the losers you meet at the bar who are still trying to escape.
At 9 pm, tell yourself it’s time for bed and then stop yourself, and go back to your computer so you can create a design contest online for the purpose of creating your new ebook cover. Be excited about how good the design is going to look and how your dream is to inspire millions of people.
Make the act of inspiring others more important than everything else you do. In the coming weeks, when times get tough, think of what it’s going to be like standing on stage and sharing your story with thousands of people.
Take your mind into the future and picture yourself watching a movie that has been made about your life because you didn’t let alcohol win and you became a champion that everyone will remember. When you wake up on Tuesday, turn on your computer and see the email you have been waiting for that makes all of those sober days worthwhile. See the email that is your dream coming to life.
Realise you have now come back a champion!
3. Stop suppressing your thoughts
Booze is used mostly as a form of escape. This need for an escape is caused by the suppression of negative thoughts and one’s current life circumstances. Come to terms with your reality and make it a must to grow every single day. Booze will quickly become boring – trust me.
Then, when you work on yourself every day and find ways to have more positive thoughts than negative ones, there’s nothing to suppress anymore. Alcohol becomes a way to suppress positive thoughts, and you’ll realise pretty quickly that’s the last thing you want.
4. Find other ways to reward yourself for hard work
Alcohol is often used as a reward for hard work. What I found, and what you’ll find, is there are other ways to reward yourself. During my hiatus from alcohol I took up eating at my favorite restaurant Vegie Bar, drankdelicious Chinese tea, and traveled the world.
These options are so much better than booze. Since quitting alcohol I have 10X’d my results further by giving up caffeine. Caffeine does us no favours, and I have since fell in love with “Caffeine Free Teas” that taste just as good as regular tea.
5. You’ll have more money
Booze is expensive nowadays. In Australia, it’s pretty easy for me to blow $150-$200 on alcohol with my eyes closed. It’s expensive and useless at the same time. A better use for the money is to put it into starting an online business or your next travel adventure (that’s what I did and you can too).
6. Think of the time you will get back
Boozy nights don’t just take up your time while you’re drinking. Drinking typically takes six hours or more to get into a dehydrated enough state that you feel drunk. At the end of the six hours, you will go on a downward spiral followed by either vomiting or sleep.
The next day you will try to wake up and probably decide to sleep a few extra hours because you feel strangely tired (I wonder why). When you do finally wake up your head will weigh more than those unused gym weights sitting in your garage that you swear you will regularly lift one day.
For the next few days, you will function, but you won’t feel overly productive – you’re basically doing a half-assed job at your work. Then, as if by magic, you will get a (insert illness here), and start taking medicine that makes you more sick.
Before you know it, two weeks will pass, and you will have got jack all done. That’s motivation to quit alcohol right there. Having all this time back in your life could completely change your circumstances and your success. I promise you booze is the problem for you right now.
7. Be a high performer
As I sped past those around me in terms of performance, I became motivated in a different way. High performers typically are not trying to escape life; they are trying to live life at the highest level. Most people that were around me when I gave up booze had no idea about my entrepreneurial background which gave me a taste of peak performance.
These same people didn’t know my one secret; personal development. That’s how you excel through the ranks and outperform everyone. Once you realise this, you will see that booze is the anchor that’s keeping you at the bottom of the ocean with the algae, where it’s dark and lonely.
Author: Tim Denning
Source: Addicted to success