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
Matrix Star Keanu Reeves’ Heart-Wrenching Note About Life Will Inspire You To Never Give Up! – Thousand Thoughts
With a brilliant career in Hollywood and three decades of awesomeness, Keanu Reeves life has time and again found a space in daily publications. However, he is one superstar who never blew his own trumpet. From his charitable nature to his personal life which has always seen a lot of downs than ups, Keanu Reeves has never opened up much about his personal life. Recently, a Facebook page posted an open letter which Keanu Reeves wrote and it is hauntingly beautiful!
From opening up about losing his baby to losing love of his life in a brutal car accident, read what Keanu Reeves has to say about his trials and tribulations and how he overcame it! Worth a read for sure. 🙂
“Most people know me, but don’t know my story. At the age of 3, I watched my father leave. I attended four different high schools and struggled with dyslexia, making my education more challenging than it is for most. At the age of 23, my closest friend River Phoenix died of a drug overdose. In 1998, I met Jennifer Syme. We fell instantly in love and by 1999, Jennifer was pregnant with our daughter. Sadly, after eight months, our child was born stillborn. We were devastated by her death and it eventually ended our relationship. 18 months later, Jennifer died in a car accident. Since then I avoid serious relationships and having kids. My younger sister had lukemia. Today she is cured, and I donated 70% of my gains from the movie Matrix to Hospitals that treat leukemia. I am one of the only Hollywood stars without a Mansion. I don’t have any bodyguards and do not wear fancy clothes. And even though I’m worth $100 million, I still ride the subway and I love it!
So in the end, I think we can all pretty well agree that even in the face of tragedy, a stellar person can thrive. No matter what’s going on in your life, you can overcome it! Life is worth living.”
Author: Isha Sharma
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In our culture, people crying is a sign of weakness. Crying, as it turns out, is actually rather good for you. According to Dr. William H. Frey II, PhD:
“Crying is not only a human response to sorrow and frustration, it’s a healthy one. Crying is a natural way to reduce emotional stress that, left unchecked, has negative physical affects on the body, including increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other stress-related disorders.”
So how is it that crying shows our strength?
1. You don’t hide from your emotions.
And that’s an incredible strength in itself. It’s easy to swallow your emotions. It’s the easiest thing to do. What’s hard is facing down your emotions.
2. You don’t care what others think.
3. You know it helps.
You know how it feels. Crying lets out pent up feelings which can bog us down if we let them sit. It helps keep your nervous system in check as well as dispel any thoughts that aren’t useful to you.
4. Crying makes you healthier.
Crying is more than just letting out feelings. It can actually decreasae anxiety and depression by releasing feel-good hormones and lowering your manganese levels.
5. You help others feel more comfortable.
When you’re open about crying, you show that it’s perfectly normal and natural to do. You’re setting a trend. You’re being a leader.
Do you find yourself crying a lot? Let us know in the comments below!
This article was originally posted on Higher Perspective.
1. There is a single definition of success.
And it involves an established career, large house, acceptable body shape, marriage and annual holidays.
Everyone has their own path to walk in this life, and what brings true meaning and deep fulfillment differs for all of us.
Let go of your need to fit to the status quo. Live, work, date, play, create, travel, eat, drink, move, laugh and sing in ways that feel right with your soul. That is true success.
2. Life is meant to be hard work.
Life is meant to be easy, beautiful and overflowing with moments of joy and bliss.
The more you listen to your soul and build a life that’s true to you, the more your actions will feel completely natural and effortless.
If life is a constant struggle, you’re running on empty and you dread Mondays, it’s time to take an honest look at your life — in a loving way.
3. Life happens to us.
Where you are now is a result of the choices you made in the past. Where you will be in the future is a result of the choices you are making right now.
You are an active participant in the creation of your life. So embrace your power as a creator, and start choosing thoughts, words and actions that make a positive impact and will come back to you in a million magnificent, beautiful, jaw-dropping ways.
4. There is such a thing as normal, and we should measure ourselves against it.
There is no such thing as a normal human, but there is such a thing as a “normal” you — where you’re completely yourself, you love yourself deeply and you think and act in ways that feel aligned with your soul.
Let your internal compass be your only point of reference.
5. There is an “us” and a “them.”
We draw a line around our social and family circles, keeping out everyone who doesn’t fit neatly within our definition of normal, interesting or worthwhile.
While everyone has vastly different aptitudes, passions and quirks, everyone also has the same light within them. The light within you is the same light within me, within the stranger on the bus, and within anyone you consider your enemy.
6. We have to compete for limited resources.
Life is meant to be abundant and limitless. We create scarcity by believing in it, instead of focusing our efforts on creating, giving and contributing our gift to help humankind reach its highest potential.
Relax and feel it deep within your heart that you will always be provided for.
7. Happiness comes from external things.
We pin our happiness on external things like our appearance, bank balance, job title, travel plans, possessions and the opinions of others — and then suffer as a result.
True, sustainable happiness comes from within — by cultivating a mindset based on gratitude, mindfulness and acceptance.
8. Holding grudges is a natural part of life.
When we feel that someone has “wronged” us, we cling to the memory and carry it around with us for weeks or sometimes years. What we fail to realize is that we are holding ourselves hostage, not just the perceived wrong-doer.
The Buddha once said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
Make forgiveness your new motto and see how much freer and lighter your soul feels.
9. There is something wrong with us.
We are plagued by feelings of inadequateness and worthlessness, postponing self-acceptance and self-love until a day in the future when we’re thinner, wealthier, more confident and more popular.
You are perfect and complete exactly as you are. Even when you are striving to improve and grow, you are complete. As the Buddhist saying goes, “We are all perfect as we are, and we could all use a little work.”
10. It matters what other people think of us.
We give away so much of our energy, power and inner peace by worrying about what others think of us.
The truth is we can’t ever know for certain what other people are thinking about us. So when your ego starts to fill you with doubt and fear, remember it’s a fictional story.
11. We see things how they really are.
How we experience the world is heavily influenced by our beliefs and past experiences.
Our subconscious mind chooses pieces of information to serve to our conscious mind based on what we’ve programmed it to look for. Identify your dominant beliefs and replace the ones that aren’t serving you.
12. Meditation is something people do on a cushion at sunrise.
You can meditate and be mindful all throughout the day as you go about your life.
Pause and feel the weight of your body in your seat, the feeling of the fabric against your skin, and the slight sensation of the air on your face.
Take a few deep breaths and let your whole being relax. Scan your body up and down for sensations, simply observing, without making any judgments.
13. When we give something, we lose something.
Giving and receiving are one in truth. When you give to someone with no strings attached — whether it be a physical gift, a compliment or your time — you are nourished as well as the receiver.
Not only do you experience sensations of satisfaction and joy, but your karma will bring more blessings and gifts back into your life.
14. We have to logically figure everything out.
We’ve been taught to trust our minds but not our intuition or inner voice of guidance.
When you’re grappling with a problem or lacking clarity, learn to lean into your soul and trust the wisdom it provides to you — often in the form of a gut feeling, serendipitous sign or a spontaneous “aha!” moment.
15. We need to be more realistic.
Many people think that daily happiness and joy is an unrealistic goal, and we should be more realistic.
Happiness is THE ultimate goal of our lives, and it is both worthwhile and attainable.
Understand your purpose is to blossom into the highest, happiest version of you and let go of any guilt you feel for making your happiness a priority.
Can you change your life in an instant? You watch an inspirational movie, read the best self-help book, come across a quote that reaches you deeply. Can these moments lead to lasting change? They lead to intense inspiration and motivation. However, the burst of inspiration is fleeting and the moment slips away.
You imagined shedding your old ways and lifting off into a new stratosphere of success while you were in the cloud of inspiration. You saw your best self emerge. The gravity from the beliefs, patterns of thought, and habits you built over years pulls you back to your base state. According to a University of Scranton study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 8% of New Year’s resolutions are successful. You didn’t need a research study to arrive at that conclusion.
You’ve experienced it with your own resolutions to make drastic changes. You realized it when your friend’s resolution to work out every day lasted 2 weeks. The jury is in: enduring change doesn’t happen overnight. The movie montage of the protagonist flipping tires and running sprints in an abandoned warehouse after experiencing a life-changing epiphany isn’t realistic.
While motivation doesn’t persist, you can commit to change your life in an instant. You tell yourself you’re sick of your old ways; it’s time to take action. If you embrace the moment and commit to change, the spark from that decision produces lasting change. You can use the moment to build momentum and commit to consistent, determined action until you arrive at your dream destination. Use the fuel from motivation to propel you to develop systems that facilitate the daily work that leads to your goal.
You can ride the wave of inspiration by creating the habits, plans, and systems necessary for success. You can’t ride the wave all the way to your end goal though. As your motivation dips, your inner critic begins a continuous stream of limiting thoughts. Your inner voice says you’re not good enough. Your plan will never work. You should give up on your dreams.
On top of the inner critic getting louder, you make mistakes, stumble, and fail because you’re learning a new skill or process. You don’t know the next step to take to overcome the latest setback. This seems like an ideal time to shove the dream back in the closet and quit. That’s what most people do. They turn to the safe path they’re familiar with when the going gets tough. The path that everyone else takes. There is a way to navigate around these setbacks that cause most people to quit.
The road map guides you past the roadblocks towards your dream. The road map breaks down the larger goal into smaller mini-goals. Achieving mini-goals each week provides small wins that create momentumtowards the larger goal.
In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg writes that “Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.” You can develop your plan in a way that tilts the odds in your favor. Breaking down the goal into small pieces allows you to focus on the next step rather than being overwhelmed by the mountain ahead.
You’re in control of the road map. You can sequence your mini-goals so that each challenge is an appropriate level of difficulty. When you play a video game, level 1 is easy. It builds confidence and skills that will be needed in tougher levels. You don’t start the video game in level 7. If you did, you would lose 3 times in the first minute and turn the game off. Start your goals in level 1 to accumulate small wins.
Commit to Your Dream
It’s hard to change routines and behaviors. Trying to do too much at the beginning is the quickest route to giving up. Being overly ambitious early in the process results in frequent failures that lead to feelings of inadequacy. These feelings drive you to conclude that you’re not good enough to reach the goal. You head in a different direction towards a new goal.
Repeating this process over and over in your life creates limiting beliefs and massive friction towards taking action. Why set new goals if you’re just going to fail after a few weeks? Play the long game instead with your goals. When you’re committed to a goal, failures in the journey turn into opportunities to learn and improve. Instead of quitting, you ask what can I learn from this failure? What will I do differently next time?
Commit to your dream regardless of the amount of time it takes to achieve it or the obstacles that arise along the way. If your commitment level is low, you’ll be pushed around by circumstances. On the other hand, if you MUST realize your dreams, you’ll find a way past the obstacles.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill
Habits for Success
Once you determine the course of action, block out specific time on your calendar to do the work. It’s ideal for the blocks of time to be the same each week. Working on the goal at the same time each day helps you stick with the habit for the long run. Consider working on life-changing goals first thing in the morning. InWillpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, Baumeister and Tierney write that “You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it.”
You have a full tank of willpower in the morning. The world hasn’t kicked into high gear yet with e-mails, phone calls, and texts screaming for your attention. Creating a winnable plan and setting aside time to do the daily work paves the way towards success. To strengthen your game plan, build in weekly monitoring to assess your progress and identify your biggest pain points. From there, you can strategically make adjustments for the next week.
If you miss the mark on the min-goal of the week, you can scale back the actions for the next week. Adding accountability provides another layer of protection to your game plan. Asking a friend to check in with you once a week provides more motivation to follow-through on your action steps. The last step in the plan is a large dose of perseverance.
When you don’t feel like working on your goal, work on it. When fear, insecurity, and uncertainty strike, work on it. When you’re exhausted and overwhelmed, work on it. No matter how you feel, work on the plan. Trust the process. Methodically overcome each obstacle that arises. Execute the plan. Take the next step. The process leads to massive gains. It’s that simple. It’s also that hard. It’s difficult to ignore external expectations and distractions. At any moment, you could do a thousand other things than what you need to do.
When we look at successful people, we see the rewards they reap in public. We see the spoils from their years of hard word. We don’t see the thousands of hours of work that they logged in private. We don’t see that they worked towards their uncertain dreams every day, no matter how they felt. Putting your head down and executing the plan you laid out is hard. However, it leads to disproportionate results and success over time.
“The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success.” – David Sarnoff
Success isn’t a nebulous or mystical process. There’s a formula for success. It’s a repeatable process.
Develop a road map, implement habits that support your goal, conduct weekly check-ins to monitor your progress, and add accountability. Then, adjust, learn, and persist until you arrive at your destination.