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
Your 30s are an exciting time! You may feel like you’re in the prime of your life—or you could feel like you’re slowing down a bit. Either way, you are wiser and have experienced a little more of life. You’ve, hopefully, gotten some unhealthy behaviors out of your system like clubbing all weekend and spending all your disposable cash on new kicks or handbags. You are now easing into the motions of adult life.
To give you a heads-up on this new, exciting phase of your life, here are 10 lifestyle changes you should make in your 30s to enjoy wellness of body and mind, and lay the foundation for lifelong success.
1. Start loving yourself more
Loving yourself and becoming comfort in your own skin is particularly important in your 30s as you settle into adulthood and all it entails, including bills, career, taxes, a spouse and maybe even kids. Only when you love yourself can you truly be able to extend love to others, both in your personal and professional life. Besides, embracing yourself during this period is incredibly freeing.
Start each day by appreciating and applauding yourself for you are beautiful, smart and capable, and you are doing the best you can. Be confident and proud of all of your choices, likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams. And stop hanging around people who don’t treat you well. Instead, spend more time with loved ones who make you feel good. This will nurture your emotions and boost your self esteem.
2. Start building your dream private life
Your private or personal life is going to play a major role in your happiness, success and satisfaction in life. So, if you want to get married, have kids or buy a house, your 30s are a great time to get started on those goals. Ask yourself what you can do between now and the end of the year to embark on your dream private life. Don’t delay pursuing your dream life. Putting off starting a family or having children, for example, is not advisable. If you want kids, have them now before it’s too late.
Blogger Mark Manson writes it best, “You don’t have the time. You don’t have the money. You need to perfect your career first. They’ll end your life as you know it. Oh shut up… Kids are great. They make you better in every way. They push you to your limits. They make you happy. You should not defer having kids.”
3. Start pursuing work that you actually love
Your 30’s are also a great time to explore other areas of your line of work and develop your truest passion(s), whether it is music, writing, or business. Nothing could be worse than anchoring yourself to a job you hate, having to make your living at it and never having an opportunity to pursue your truest passions. There is actually an economic term for that: Sunk costs—where you figure you should continue with something because you’ve already sunk so much into it. It’s responsible for many a disastrous careers, many a failed businesses and many an unhappy life.
Find a job you actually love where your passions meet with your talents and where you get the greatest fulfillment. As Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life… And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
4. Stop comparing yourself to others
Thanks to social networks life Facebook, it’s easier than ever to compare yourself to friends and peers who may have married, gotten kids or bought a house and feel like a loser. Don’t do that. Stop comparing yourself with others. We are all different and grow at our own pace. It’s particularly important that you understand that in your 30s otherwise you might feel depressed and derail from the true path to success and happiness. As one psychotherapist writes, constantly comparing yourself to others creates unnecessary psychological stress and can throw your self-esteem out the window.
Love yourself and keep taking good care of yourself. That means allowing yourself to grow and evolve at your own pace. “If you are unable to do some things in life compared to your siblings and friends, then please be at peace with yourself,” advises Mahesh Kay. “Don’t be harsh on yourself.”
5. Start being content with what you already have
Rather than be bitter and envious of other people, be calm, patient and content with what you have. Research shows that appreciating what you have can increase happiness and decrease negative feelings. Of course, you should strive for better, but understand that life doesn’t always work out exactly how we want or plan. Knowing that can shield you from adverse effects of life’s inevitable disappointments.
Borrow a leaf from Oprah Winfrey and start counting your blessings, even when you don’t have much. Keep a daily gratitude journal like she did. It will do you a whole lot of good. And remember, as Khalil Gibran says, “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”
6. Start forgiving yourself for your mistakes
You probably made many mistakes in your teens and 20s. Everybody makes mistakes. Your 30s are the right time to reflect and forgive yourself for those mistakes. People who practice self-compassion see their weaknesses as changeable and try to avoid making the same errors in the future.
Learn from your mistakes, let them go and move on. Don’t dwell on the errors of the past. Psychologists say that the ability to forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes is the key driver of success.
7. Start exercising regularly
Make time for exercise in your 30s. Your future self will thank you for it. In the latter half of your 30s, you will start to lose muscle mass and begin to gain a few pounds as your metabolism slows. That’s why it’s especially important that you exercise at this time.
Try to move yourself as much as possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s walking, jogging, hiking, swimming or weightlifting—as long as it involves some movement—do it. However, choose physical activities that you love as you are less likely to continue exercising if you dislike your workouts.
8. Start calling your parents at regular intervals
Many 30-somethings get so caught up in the motions of raising a family, building a career and so on that they forget to attend to their relationship with their parents. Remember that your parents grow older as you do, and they will not live forever. Neglecting them may be neglecting opportunities you may rue.
Call your parents regularly. A simple “Hi mom, how are you? Yeah? Yeah. She’s doing fine. I know. I’ll keep warm. OK, love you, bye.” That’s all it takes to alleviate their concerns, keep their mental and emotional wellbeing intact and keep your relationship with them healthy. Visit them whenever you can.
9. Start making healthy eating habits a priority
One of the things that can go with a growing list of responsibilities is healthy eating habits. However, not making healthy eating habits a priority in your 30s can make you get to your 40s and later years being slow, tired and burdened by a list of health complaints that could have been avoided.
Eat a well-balanced diet, low in saturated fats and full of fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed and junk foods as much as possible. Quit smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. No hard drugs either. Make your health a priority because your health is your wealth.
10. Continue enjoying life
Just because you’re not in your 20s anymore doesn’t mean you should stop having fun. Spending all of your 30s chasing after money will only make you grumpy, cynical and unhappy about life. The resounding theme among those who have lived through their 30s is that none of the money you work hard to make matters if you’re not enjoying life. So enjoy life with those you care about while you still can.
Go on dates with your partner; play with your kids (if you have any); organize group trips with your close friends to go see the world. You only live once. Why not live the best way you can? Have a blast in your 30s and make fond memories, but remember to build your purpose.
Source: Life Hack
There is nothing good to be said about apologizing to a person who truly does not want to hear another word from you.
A woman named Betty slept with the husband of her friend, Celina. Celina was clear with Betty that she wanted no further contact with her. Celina put Betty out of her mind, as best as she could, as she and her husband worked to heal their marriage after the affair was out in the open.
Several years later, when Betty was working the twelve steps in her AA program, her sponsor encouraged her to examine her actions to see if she had harmed anyone in her past, and advised her to pick up her phone and make direct amends.
Betty got Celina’s cell phone number from a mutual acquaintance and left a voice message saying that sleeping with her husband was the worst mistake she had ever made, and that she wanted to meet for coffee so she could “make amends” and “tell her part of the story.”
Celina felt re-traumatized hearing Betty’s voice on the phone, and Betty’s request stirred up all the tumultuous feelings that she had worked so hard to put aside. Betty called a second time with the same message adding, “I think that if you know my part of the story, you might be able to forgive me.”
When Celina wisely chose not to respond, Betty then sent her a letter expressing her remorse and asking for forgiveness. Celina threw it in the garbage. Betty’s insistence on reentering Celina’s life felt to Celina like another violation.
Betty needs to forgive herself, but her process of self-forgiveness should not involve contacting Celina. The purpose of an apology is to calm and soothe the hurt party, not to agitate or pursue her because you have the impulse to connect, explain yourself, and lower your guilt quotient.
If the other person has clearly said, “Leave me alone,” or, “I’ll get in touch with you when I’m ready,” the appropriate response is to leave them alone. This means no flowers, gifts, texts, calls, emails or “I’m sorrys” sent by pony express or carrier pigeon.
Apologizing to someone who wants to be left alone may make you feel better for fifteen minutes, but if it’s at the other person’s expense, it’s not really good for you either.
Sometimes the only good apology is getting out of the other person’s space.
Author: Harriet Lerner
Source: Psychology Today
The long and winding road to success is a life-long journey. On this path, we have many habits and actions that help move us toward our vision of success.
However, we also have habits and actions that hinder and hurt our chances of reaching the destination that we have in our heart, mind, and soul.
To help you on your journey make sure that these five traps are avoided or at least mitigated:
1. Consumer debt
The more debt payments you have, the more you need a paycheck. The need for more money coming in can keep you running a business you hate or sticking with a job after you have lost your passion. Consumer debt can kill dreams before they even start because the more that you stress about the financial piece, the less creative energy you have to build your dream. Keep consumer debt low or nonexistent to reach success faster.
“When you get in debt you become a slave.” -Andrew Jackson
2. Unhealthy relationships
Relationships either add to your energy level or rob from you. There is nothing more draining than unhealthy relationships. As Jim Rohn states, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Make sure that this average serves you well. Be honest about which people you need to distance yourself from or remove from your life to reach success.
3. Lack of boundaries
Worrying about concerns instead of responsibilities will sidetrack your success. Responsibilities are the things that you are responsible for. Concerns are things that may way on you but are not up to you. Without boundaries, you will spend much of your time and energy on things that are not up to you. Return to a life of proper boundaries and success while be much more attainable.
4. Poor health
Improper health steals your confidence, robs your energy, and shortens your life. It can be tempting not to prioritize health but in doing so, you are making everything harder. Poor health can be changed but the longer you don’t prioritize your health the more negative consequences will happen. Keep health as your focus to help you mentally and physically on your way to a life of success in all areas.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
Doubt kills so much of our success and whispers into our ears to not even start. You can end up wasting so much time worrying about your doubts that you never reach for the stars. Frozen in fear is what makes doubt so negative it puts you in inaction sitting on the sidelines and out of the game. Some level of doubt will always be there, but you must get in the habit of moving in spite of how you feel. Move to silence doubt and achieve success for you.
The journey of success will not come easy, but it can be easier if you work at removing or reducing these five success robbing traps. Focused energy in time will lead to a life that you could never have pictured.
What habits or traps have you had to change to reach your success?
It’s never a “one rule fits all” when it comes to living your life, especially not for millennials. For some reason, millennials are the generation people love to hate.[caption id="attachment_1595" align="alignnone" width="826"] Image Credit: Huffingpost[/caption]
Some say millennials are too entitled, selfish, impatient, and narcissistic. Knowing millennials, they won’t waste time proving people otherwise. They have better things to do.
Here are the 12 life rules that millennials should keep in mind:
1. Simplify, simplify, simplify
Live simply is perhaps the best life rule for millennials. Declutter, throw out excess baggage, cut back, and simplify your life. Here’s the thing: you will never run out of things to do. You always have to wash the dishes and do the laundry.
So take it easy. If you have a gazillion chores waiting for you, try not to get overwhelmed by simplifying how to get things done. Make a list and get organized. You need to create some space in your life, relationships, and environment to clear your mind. Stop making life even more complicated than it already is.
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann
2. If you don’t have control over it, stop stressing about it
There are many things that you don’t have control over—natural disasters, illness in the family, retrenchment, parents’ divorce, what others think of you, or even a really slow internet connection. These are life’s realities that most people love to torment themselves with. But what’s the point when they can’t be altered and changed?
A 2015 study by the American Psychological Association found that millennials are the most stressed-out generation. The top stressors are money, work, family, and health. While you have no control over a lot of life’s events, you have control over your attitude towards them. You can choose to fix them or deal with them, but please, stop whining about them.
3. Stop having fun and start being happy
Friday nights are fun, but do they make you happy? Going on perennial first dates could be fun, but do they make you happy? At one point in your fun-filled life, step back and think what really makes you happy and do it. If staying home and just watching TV makes you happy, then stay home and quit pretending you are the ultimate partygoer on Friday nights. Being happy requires being honest to oneself.
4. Be passionate about something
It could be baking, playing the guitar, collecting stamps, or basketball—have at least one thing that you are passionate about. Be that person who bursts with energy when talking about the things they love. If you are deeply passionate over something, it would be easier to look forward to each day.
Dr. Carol Bernstein, associate professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, said that finding meaning in whatever it is that you love increases resilience and decreases burnout. Anything that can divert people from everyday tasks and routines are good for them in many ways, she adds.
5. Be kind to one another
We hear Ellen DeGeneres say this exact line at the end of her talk show, and it’s a good reminder for millennials and the generations before them. In the end, only kindness matters. Some people say Generation X is selfish and basically a generation that people love to hate.
There is no study to prove or disprove that millennials are less kind than others, but this is among the golden rules of life that millennials can live by. Be kind, always.
6. Love what you do and work hard
By 2025, 3 out of every 4 workers globally will be millennials, according to a report by Time magazine. Millennials want flexibility, training, and feedback over a high pay. But just like any other generation, they also want to be managers and leaders. According to a research by services firm Ernst & Young, 87% of millennials took on management roles over the last five years. This shows just how much millennials value their career.
No matter how millennials are changing the corporate landscape, the number one rule at work remains the same: work hard, even if others don’t. Find a job that you love, such as customer service jobs, that you can invest in. Work with all your heart and never shortchange your outputs.
7. Never stop learning
No, you don’t know everything, and stop telling yourself otherwise. It’s a good thing that millennials are passionate about learning and making themselves better. A research entitled “The Millennial Leadership Study,” found that a majority of millennials want to be coached and trained, and they acknowledge that being a leader requires the desire to keep learning.
The one thing that they want to improve on is their communication skills. According to the study, 58% of millennials think the most important leadership skill is communication.
8. Save up and invest
A study by the Investment Company Institute found that millennials are investing at a younger age compared to earlier generations. Yes, you deserve to treat yourself with new shoes or a new toy collection every now and then.
But be careful where you put your hard-earned money. Instead of thinking that you are spending money, think that you are spending hours of your life. It’s true, you earn by the hour. So next time you buy that bag you don’t really need, think how many hours you spent just be able to make that purchase. Save up and invest as early as possible.
9. Eat healthy and stay fit
Set a goal for how you want to look. For example, before you turn 35, get the body you want and maintain it. It’s really more than what you see on the surface. You need to be healthy to drive your kids to school, play basketball with your boys, travel, and live a happier life. You owe it to yourself to be comfortable in your own skin.
10. Go out there and travel more
Money, or lack thereof, is always the excuse for not traveling as much we’d like to. There’s also lack of time and work concerns. Please find the time and the resources to go out there and see the world. It doesn’t have to be a cruise along the Caribbean or a really expensive European tour. Just take a break from your routine, discover new places, and meet new people. You’ll never appreciate “home” as much as you would after going away.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
11. Take a break from social media
There’s a recent study by the Happiness Research Institute that says 88% of people that are not on Facebook lead happier lives. Every once in a while, disconnect yourself and get out of the virtual world. Go to a coffee shop that doesn’t have wi-fi and just talk to a friend.
12. Always be grateful
No matter how superficial (and humble bragging) #blessed is, it is the law of life to be always grateful. Whenever you are feeling low or when nothing seems to be going your way, focus on the things that you are thankful for such as family, friends, coffee, warm bath, or the unexpected cash in your jeans. Always be grateful. You owe it to yourself to make room for gratitude and happiness.
It always helps to see things from a different perspective. Life rules are there to keep you sane and make things less complicated. There are times when you feel like there’s too much on your plate and you can no longer keep up. Rules will help you become more positive and a proper perspective will make you happy again.
Which one of these life rules do you have the most trouble with and why?Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
Author: Emily Harper
Source: Addicted to Success.