Karma: that word that gets thrown around a lot.
People talk about “good” karma versus “bad” karma, or “your” karma versus “mine.”
But despite the term’s popularity, it seems like everybody has a different idea about what it actually means. If karma is truly one of the Buddha’s most important teachings, as he himself repeatedly emphasized, then to follow in his footsteps, we need to be clear about its definition.
The Problems with “Agricultural” Karma
Probably one of the most popular misunderstandings about Buddhist Karma is the idea that everything that happens to us is our karma. If we win the lottery or have an attractive partner, it’s because we performed good deeds in the past—we have “good” karma. If we get hit by a truck or our partner cheats on us, it’s because we misbehaved and have “bad” karma. And, of course, what we do now will determine our future results. Let’s just call this the agricultural view of karma: we reap what we sow.
So, what’s wrong with this idea? Well, whether we’re Buddhist or not, it creates lots of intellectual problems.
The first is that believing we reap what we sow simply seems to contradict a great deal of our experience. We act with kindness, maybe dropping a few coins into a homeless man’s can, only to have him call us a cheap yuppie. Or our chronically underperforming co-worker who spends most of the time surfing Facebook and pilfering office supplies gets a promotion.
In other words, the wicked very often seem to prosper, even thrive, while the good seem to get a goodly portion of crap.
Why, for example, do innocent infants die? They’ve barely had enough time to learn how to digest food properly, let alone perform some wicked deed. (Of course, we need to leave Stewie from Family Guy out of this equation, as well as the idea of the infant proposed by famous psychoanalyst Melanie Klein, who viewed it as a viscous and greedy succubus bent on completely draining the mother of her vital energy.)
I’m sure you’ve already come up with the answer: we must be dealing with more than one lifetime. In fact, the claim is that we have an infinite number of lives extending into the past. With this explanation, all the rewards and atrocities of life fit together like a skillful game of Tetris. We have an account for why infants die, or why we can be completely loving and faithful to our partner, only to end up alone; it’s just our karmic comeuppance from cheating in a previous life.
Sure, we still might feel unhappy because our partner is now dating a princess from Bhutan, but at least we can mourn with a sense of ease, knowing there is some order to events in the universe, and that these personal painful events are just the fruits of old, bad karma. We can also rest easy because in the future, we’ll also reap the rewards of our fidelity—it just might take time.
If we stop here, then all is well.
However, if we push a little further beyond this logical seal, then we confront what we call “the administrative nightmare.” How can all those good and bad deeds possibly be kept track of? And not just in one lifetime, but across infinite lifetimes? What conceivable cosmic ledger could account for all those transactions? It seems like an administrative impossibility to coordinate that vast amount of information and organize events so everything unfolds correctly, and justice gets served to the right people, at the right time, in just the right way. The organizational details are so complex that it leads people to say that karma is some infinitely subtle, ineffable cosmic order, inaccessible to even the most sophisticated minds.
An even bigger problem is that, with infinite lifetimes, absolutely everyone would have enough karma for nearly anything to happen to them. Put it this way: we all have everything coming.
The irony is that this view of karma ends up undermining its original purpose of explaining an individual’s unique, personal history.
Even if we manage to somehow dismiss these logical problems, we’re left with one that chafes at the heart of Buddhism. This view of karma presupposes an abiding self that’s responsible for these events, whereas the Buddha’s central message was the radical proposal that there is no self (anattā). The agricultural view of karma rests on there being some sort of enduring “you” (call it a self, soul, mind-stream, or whatever) who is responsible for what “you” did in the past, and a “you” who will benefit or be cursed in the future.
This view of karma contributes to acting in self-cherishing, ego-reinforcing ways. In other words, it supports the very self-illusion that the Buddha considered the root of our suffering.
Karma as Intention
What did the Buddha really mean by karma? The answer is simple: intention.
He said, “Intention, I tell you, is karma. Intending, one does karma by way of body, speech, and intellect.” Defining karma in this way, the Buddha departed radically from all previous thinking about karma.
In the traditional Brahmanical culture of India, karma generally referred to action. Do good deeds, and the universe will reward you in turn. But by redefining karma as the intentions behind one’s actions, the Buddha was pointing to a deeper truth: the kinds of intentions we habitually entertain—whether they’re generous and loving, or selfish and aversive—will determine the kind of mental space we inhabit. We can’t fully control whether our dog runs away, or whether our partner cheats on us, but we do have a say in what kind of person meets those events.
Karma as intention was the central message the Buddha emphasized over and over. The more any acts of body, speech, or mind are motivated by poisonous intentions such as greed and hatred, the more toxic we become, and the more we suffer, no matter what happens to us externally. The reverse is also true: intentions of compassion and wisdom shape us into beings with greater patience, who are less susceptible to suffering, no matter what happens to us externally.
To put it succinctly: Buddhist karma is not about what happens to you, but who it happens to.
Yes, the Wicked can Prosper
The Buddha’s focus on intention rather than actions and external circumstances allows us to fully acknowledge that the wicked can prosper, and that selfish behavior can bring a person great fortune and power. However, the mental state of such a person surrounded by luxury is a whole different matter. This also means that acting with compassionate intentions won’t magically prevent us from confronting the slings and arrows of life’s misfortune.
But acting out of wholesome intentions opens up the possibility of becoming a person who encounters these challenges with less grumpiness and greater ease. We have exemplars of this possibility in our great spiritual luminaries, such as the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hahn. The fruit of their karma was not the atrocities they were victims of, but the equanimity and active compassion they show in the face of such extreme oppression and violence.
So too, getting sick is not the result of one’s bad karma. People grow old, experience the pain of illness, and eventually die. The Buddha never said you could plant the right karmic seeds to avoid any of these. They’re simply not optional.
However, whether or not we suffer when confronted by them is entirely up to us.
Not Everything is your Karma
In a sense, it’s true that karma means we reap what we sow. The only difference is that we’re sowing in the furrows of the mind, and less so in actual fields in the physical world.
That’s not to say our actions don’t have consequences. If we go around smiling at people, we’ll likely be smiled at in return. If we go around slapping people, we’re sure to get slapped. Yet, the ultimate outcome of our behavior is somewhat unpredictable. We could smile at a stranger, only to have them beat us up in return.
This unpredictability happens because there are other levels of causality working in the universe.
Not everything is our karma.
The Buddha actually taught about these other levels of causality quite explicitly in what are called the five Niyāmas. It’s worth going through them briefly. Here, we give them a modern twist.
The first level of causality is called the Utu Niyāma, or the level of physics and chemistry.
The second level is known as Bīja Niyāma, or biological causality. This new level is necessary because living organisms are more complex than just their physical and chemical constituents.
Continuing up the ladder of emergent complexity, we see that some living organisms have nervous systems and minds, which can’t be fully understood by just looking at the previous two levels of Utu and Bija Niyāma. Therefore, the Buddha talked about the Citta Niyāma, or psychological causality.
Now, some minds have a more hard-wired relationship with the previous levels. Take a lizard, for example. It behaves fairly predictably, based on tight wiring between chemical signals and genetic codes. We will never train a lizard to fetch a newspaper. Other minds, such as those of dogs and horses, have greater flexibility. Yet, teaching a dog to fetch the newspaper depends on an outside stimulus—specifically, our persistent efforts. The behavior doesn’t come entirely from inside the dog’s mind. And in fact, there may be only one animal on this planet with “self-forming” minds: humans. For us, we have to identify another level of causality: karmic or intentional causality, known as the Kamma Niyāma.
Kamma Niyāma opens a space for reflexivity, self-organization, and changing ingrained habits of body, speech, and mind. The preciousness of human life rests in this potential. Karmic causality, in other words, is a whole new level of causality in the universe, allowing us the chance to awaken to the highest level, called Dhamma Niyāma, or Ultimate Reality.
Dhamma Niyāma describes the absolute, indivisible reality, the universe in its entirety. All divisions from these heights are products of a mind struggling to grasp the ultimate. We build conceptual models to try to understand this level, and some models are certainly better than others. If that weren’t the case, the Buddha wouldn’t have bothered teaching. But at this level, all models are equally empty.
To say that everything is our karma is to usurp this vast spectrum of causality into a singular, self-centered mind.
When we realize the complexity we’re dealing with, we no longer see events as a result of karma, but rather as the product of certain physical causes and conditions. We also no longer fall prey to magical thinking, believing, for example, that by giving away money and being nice, we will get money in return and be showered with niceness.
Instead, we realize that when we replace hatred with compassion, or greed with generosity, those intentions will shape the type of being we become, whether rich or poor.
Authors: Culadasa and Matthew Immergut
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Hartwig HKD/Flickr
Source: Elephant Journal
Did you know that just because you are a beautiful blonde size 2 today does not mean that you would be considered beautiful in times past? Much like fashion trends, the perception of beauty has consistently changed over the course of centuries, sometimes for the better, and unfortunately, sometimes for the worse. One thing, however, that will never change is the fact that we will all strive to fit in with what is considered attractive as this is part of human nature.
The art of fitting in has changed drastically from one decade to the next. Don’t believe us? Think back to a time when MC Hammer pants and mullets were all the rage. Trends change for a variety of reasons, most of which leave us looking back at our former selves with laughter. What exactly were we thinking with that floral pantsuit or sequined leotard?
Changes in beauty can be dramatic over time. How has the perception of beauty changed over the past 60 years? How has it changed over the past 600 years? Thanks to a lack of art to depict people’s fashion and features, there is little known about fashion prior to the Renaissance Era. However, we do know what has happened with trends ever since. Here’s a look at 10 ways our perception of beauty has changed over time starting with an era where plump was en vogue.
The Renaissance Era
The Renaissance Era lasted from the 1400′s well into the 1500′s and was a time in which people had a different view on beauty than most of the eras that followed it, especially in terms of the ideal body type. According to much of the artwork of the era, women that had extra fat and wider hips were considered to be the most beautiful. In most of these paintings from the era, fuller figured women were shown in settings where they were courted by dashing and handsome men.
Blonde hair also became a big trend during the Renaissance, as colors started to move away from darker hues, making lighter and brighter colors all the rage. Makeup during this era was extremely pale, but lips were meant to be bright red. Clothing was not very popular, at least according to the paintings of the time. Large dresses were trendy for those who did opt for fashionable clothes, and typically featured oversized shoulders and sleeves that looked like small puffy balloons.
#9 – The Victorian Era
The Victorian Era, between the mid 1800’s and the rest of the century, saw a complete reversal from the beauty standards of the Renaissance in terms of body types. In the Victorian Era, slim waists were all the rage, to the point where it became a danger. It was a contest to have the smallest waistline, with clothing that could help women reduce their waist down to 12 inches. The clothes were constricting to the point where breathing was a chore, causing some women to even break their ribs in the process.
In addition to small waists, women also wanted to make their behinds look larger than ever before, which was better accentuated by such small waists. Petticoats and bustles became popular, which made for an enhanced look in the rear. Colors were not as bright as they were in the Renaissance Era either, calling for bolder and darker colors. These trends in style went completely against the religious views at the time, which was said to be a work of evil.
#8 – The Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties came after the end of the First World War, and started a brand new trend in beauty that was a welcome change from the Victorian Era in terms of comfort. Women no longer had to have tiny waists and large posteriors to fit in anymore, as concealing womanly curves was more common. Short dresses in the flapper style were a lot more comfortable (and popular) than the long dresses from the Victorian Era.
Corsets were still popular, but were far from being as lethal as they were elastic with an extra give that was far from dangerous as it was used to conceal any bumps around the waist. The other big beauty trend was the bob hairstyle, which was combined with pale skin and thin eyebrows to achieve the perfect look at the time. Before the 1920’s, makeup styles were seen as low class, but everything changed during the Prohibition Era when everyone seemingly came together in stylized fashion to find illegal ways to drink together.
#7 – The Golden Age
The Golden Age was named as such for the fact that it was the Golden Age in Hollywood. This era spanned from the end of the Roaring Twenties to the end of the Second World War. The appearance of new celebrities on the screen made women more self-conscious than ever before with a strong desire to look like the stars they saw on the silver screen. Women took to the gym to work on their bodies, making muscles the new trend in body beauty.
Some of the most notable fashion designers of all time came to prominence in this era known for its padded bras to help enhance appearances for a starlet look. As long hair grew more popular, the bobs of the 20’s were grown out without preference to a single color of hair, as there were redhead, brunette and blonde stars. Makeup also became more feminine and didn’t have many layers, as natural beauty was more celebrated in this time.
#6 – Mid-Century
The 1950’s marked the middle of the century, a time where the World Wars were finally over and beauty changed yet again. The ideal body type was no longer a muscular one, but instead one with curves and feminine appeal. A lot of this had to do with the emergence of Marilyn Monroe; who would become the symbol of beauty in the era. Marilyn was the epitome of the hourglass figure which you can still see is popular today.
The ideals of the time were very conservative, so women dressed the part. It was a common belief in society that women should not leave the house without looking perfect from head to toe. Some of the fashion trends included button down sweaters and other long dresses that showed very little flesh. Short hair was back in style, but curly styles were trendier than the bob of the 20’s. The quest for perfect skin made makeup a must-have in the 1950’s.
#5 – The Hippie Era
Perhaps there was no bigger contrast between two consecutive eras than the one that happened between the 1950’s and the 1960’s. Modeling started to become almost as popular as acting in films. Because of the growing popularity, many of the models that we saw at the time were very thin. This thin body type was a popular one for non-hippies who, at the time, preferred to wear knee high boots, short skirts and tunics. For the hippie types, however, things were completely different.
For those who attended Woodstock, the look was completely natural. There was no ‘ideal body type’ for the culture, and makeup was completely ignored. Women did not feel forced to fit into beauty trends of the time, and uniqueness was widely accepted. Sunglasses, headbands, tie-dye shirts and bell bottom jeans were all the rage. As you can see and perhaps experienced firsthand, these were two completely different looks at the time, which is a rare occurrence on the list.
#4 – The Disco Era
For the last 100 years or so, music has had a lot of influence on what the ideal type of beauty is in society. Instead of the hard rocking late 1960’s, popular music shifted over into the Disco scene (albeit for a very brief period). Thin body types were still trendy during the Disco Era, but it was taken to an even farther extreme than we saw in the Hippie Era. Body types in the Disco Era were pronounced with high waist jeans for an even slimmer look and tight wrap dresses.
Perhaps the biggest trend we saw in the 1970’s that is still talked about today is the hairstyle, which was made popular by a poster featuring Farrah Fawcett. Long and blonde was how it started, but feathering was the vital addition that people needed in terms of hairstyles to fit in. One more trend that started in the 1970’s that we still see today is the addition of tanning beds for a look that is much easier than spending hours in the Sun.
#3 – The 80’s
One era that we will always look back on and wonder, “What were we thinking?” is the 1980’s. The 80’s saw the rise in VHS tapes that taught aerobic fitness as it made its way into the living rooms of millions. The body type of the instructors in the videos were ideal at the time. And, even worse, the instructor’s notorious spandex suits somehow became an acceptable outfit to wear in public. Maybe even worse than those outfits were the shoulder pads that made women look like NFL linebackers.
Hairstyles in the 80’s quickly ditched the feathered look and went straight to the hairspray department as bigger hair was an arms race, which is something we are forever glad is well documented in films and pictures. Makeup was also enlarged, as the more colors there were, the better it looked. Big blue eyeliner and bright lipstick made for a weird contrast, but it was ‘in’ at the time. Models also popularized thicker eyebrows, which was a big contrast to previous eras.
#2 – The 90’s
Flashy over the top looks had gone by the wayside by the end of the 1980’s only to be traded in for something that was beyond somber as the grunge era made its way into style. Flannel, lumberjack type looks were popular in parts of the country, while others wanted to look like models of the time. Heroin chic kicked off in the 1990’s, and looking thin hit critical (lack of) mass as looking as though you have been addicted to drugs for years became a trend.
The late 1990’s thankfully saw a shift towards normalcy, as shows like “Friends” helped to introduce new trends that were more conventional and even started the biggest hair trend of the decade, known as the ‘Rachel.’ Even guys became interested in hair trends in the late 1990’s thanks to Eminem and his bleach blonde hair, which other singers adopted to make it even more popular. Now, we can all look back at our yearbook photos from the era and have a nice laugh at ourselves.
#1 – The New Millennium
We can say that the trends of today are completely normal but, to be honest, we are already laughing about what we thought was trendy in the 1990’s and that seems like it was just yesterday. The pressure to look thin is still around and people continue to take it to dangerous measures as plastic surgery has become more common than ever. It still hasn’t been perfected, though, so the results can look terrible if done in the wrong way.
But what is the biggest trend in fashion today? It’s hard to say as everyone has taken a very unique approach to their fashion. Thanks to social media and a way of showing what we dress like, there is no universal way to look or dress. No matter what you want to do to yourself, there is a tutorial you can find online. This means that we are slowly starting to see the death of ‘fashion trends.’ We’ll see what the next decade looks like, but we’re sure it will be different.
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
The most important thing you need to know about the subconscious mind is that it is always “on”. That is, it is active day and night, regardless of what you are doing. The subconscious mind controls your body. You cannot hear this silent inner process with your conscious effort. You need to start taking care of your subconscious mind. It is vital to maintain your mind in a state of expectation of only good events and make the usual mode of your thinking based solely on loyalty, justice and love.
Faith and belief are the foundation of the subconscious. Do not forget that “you will be rewarded according to your faith”.
A Protestant minister who suffered from lung cancer wrote about his methods of transferring thoughts of perfect health into his subconscious mind: “Two or three times a day, I put my body and soul in a relaxed state, repeating these words:
“My feet are completely relaxed, my legs are relaxed. Right now, my stomach muscles are relaxing. My heart is beating quietly, my breathing is calm and relaxed. My head is completely relaxed, my whole body is completely relaxed and calm.”
After about five minutes, when I got into a drowsy, sleepy state, I repeated: “The perfection of the God’s plan finds its expression in me. My subconscious mind is filled with thoughts of that I have perfect health. My image is spotless before God.” This priest managed to heal himself.
Here are some brief recommendations to help you use your subconscious power for your best:
1. Your subconscious mind not only controls all the processes of the body but also knows the answers to the various questions and can solve many problems.
2. Before going to bed, refer to your subconscious mind with a specific request and soon you will see its miraculous power in action.
3. Anything that is captured in your subconscious mind will directly affect you in the form of emotions, circumstances and events. Therefore, you need to watch closely what thoughts and ideas govern your mind.
4. All experiences arise from unfulfilled desires. If you are focused on various issues and problems, thus will be the reaction of your subconscious mind.
5. When you have a specific goal or dream, consciously repeat this statement: “I believe that the power of the subconscious, which gave me this desire, will embody it in me now.”
6. Stress, anxiety and fear can disrupt the natural rhythm of breathing, heart rate and work of any other part of the body. Cultivate in your subconscious mind thoughts of health, peace and harmony, and all the functions of the body will return to normal.
7. Fill your subconscious with expectations of the best experiences and emotions, and your thoughts will become a reality.
8. Imagine a positive outcome of your problems, fully feel the enthusiasm from what has happened. All your fantasies and feelings are clearly accepted by your subconscious and then implemented in life.
However much we would like to avoid them, rejections are a regular part of life. We get ignored by neighbors, out posts don’t get ‘liked’ on Facebook, our sexual advances get rebuffed by our partners, our colleagues go to lunches without us, we get blindsided by divorce, fired unexpectedly from our jobs, and ostracized by our families or communities. Rejection come in all shapes and sizes but the one thing they all have in common is how much they hurt.
Why do rejections hurt so much? The answer is quite surprising.
When scientists did fMRI studies (functional brain scans) they discovered that the same areas of the brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. This is also why almost every culture around the world uses the term hurt feelings to characterize how we react to rejection—our feelings literally hurt.
There is good reason for rejection to mimic physical pain in our brain, or at least, there was good reason. Back in our hunter gatherer days, being ostracized from our tribe was akin to a death sentence, as we were unlikely to survive alone. We therefore developed an early warning system to let us know when we were at risk for getting ousted. People who experienced rejection as more painful were more likely to correct their behavior, stay in their tribe, and live to pass along their genes.
Now that we know what happens in our brains when we get rejected, let’s look at what happens in our minds.
1. Rejection causes surges of anger and aggression that we take out on those around us.
Getting dumped by someone we’re dating would make anyone angry. But the anger rejection causes is not just a momentary reaction. Numerous studies have demonstrated that even mild rejections make people subsequently redirect their anger and aggression toward ‘innocent’ bystanders such as our friends and family members. Because this can occur hours later, we might not be aware that having our poetry submission turned down that morning contributed to our barking at our partner when we got home that night.
The more significant the rejection, the more anger and aggression it is likely to generate. Indeed, in 2001, the Surgeon General of the U.S. issued a report stating that rejection was a greater risk for adolescent violence than drugs, poverty, or gang membership. Rejection is also the trigger for many incidents of violence against women. Of course, most people are not violent. But being irritable, having an edge to our tone, and losing our cool when we should not are all examples of ways in which we might be reacting to small rejections we’ve suffered in the recent past.
Seeking emotional support from someone who cares about us and hearing a kind word can help soothe our anger, especially if we do so immediately following the rejection.
2. Rejection damages our ‘need to belong’.
Another legacy of our tribal days is that we have a basic need to feel as though we have a place within our group—that we belong to a tribe. This need becomes destabilized when we get rejected, which adds to our discomfort and emotional pain.
One way to address this often unconscious need is to reconnect with our core group. Making plans to visit with or talk with a family member or someone from our ‘inner circle’ can help alleviate this internal tension and help us feel more connected and less alone in the immediate aftermath of a hurtful rejection.
3. Rejections make us join ‘fight club’ and beat ourselves up.
One of the most common yet unfortunate things we do after a rejection, especially a romantic one, is to list all our faults and inadequacies and kick our self-esteem when it’s already down. The reality is that most romantic rejections are a reflection of insufficient fit or match. The incompatibility might be in lifestyle, goals, interests, or appearance—one person prefers blonds and we’re a brunette, or another likes guys with scruff and we tend to be clean shaven—but that’s all it is, an insufficient fit.
Seeking fault in ourselves only deepens the emotional pain we feel and makes it harder for us to recover. Therefore, to avoid harming your already battered self-esteem, go with the interpretation that is most likely and least damaging—that you weren’t the right match for the person. If they give you the ‘It’s not you, it’s me” speech—believe them!
4. Rejection temporarily damages our ability to think clearly.
Just as it’s difficult to focus and concentrate when we have a terrible tooth ache, the emotional pain we feel after a rejection makes it difficult for us to think clearly. Studies found that merely thinking about being rejected or being alone was enough for people to score substantially lower on IQ tests, tests of decision making and tests of short term memory.
Therefore, when we’re in the immediate aftermath of a rejection, we should take time to address our emotional pain before we jump back into work or studying—when it’s possible to do so. One way to ease emotional pain is to reaffirm our self-worth by reminding ourselves of what we have to offer in the relevant sphere—as romantic partners, employees, or friends.
For example, if we were rejected by a dating partner, we should make a list of the valuable and meaningful qualities we believe we possess such as, loyalty, caring, supportiveness, emotional availability, having good listening skills, and others. We should then write a couple of paragraphs about why the quality is important in relationships and how we would manifest it in future situations.
Using such self-affirmation exercises has been shown to reduce emotional pain, boost self-esteem, and restore cognitive functioning after a rejection. Make sure to write things out, as writing helps us ‘absorb’ the message far more effectively than just thinking it through.
5. Rejection causes us to over generalize.
When we get rejected we tend to focus so much attention on our immediate hurt and what led to it that we are likely to lose perspective and overgeneralize the incident. Instead of lamenting a specific breakup we tell ourselves, I’ll always be alone!” Instead of feeling bad about getting rejected by a potential employer we say things like, “I’ll never find another job!”
We all tend to overgeneralize when we get rejected and we typically convince ourselves that our exaggerated fears and despair are warranted. However the truth is one breakup has nothing to do with another. The fact that you didn’t click with one person does not mean you won’t click with the next one, as everyone is different. The same goes for employers, friends, and any other rejection scenario.
In order to avoid deepening your emotional pain and damaging to your self-esteem even further, watch your language. Make sure to state things accurately and to not overgeneralize. Describe specific incidents and avoid phrasing things as themes and patterns. For example, don’t call your friends and say, “I got dumped again. Why do these things keep happening to me?” Instead, say, “He/she broke it off.” Or “It didn’t work out.”
Recognizing the five unconscious ways we react to rejection and taking steps to address them will minimize the emotional pain and anger you feel, help your self-esteem recover, and restore your clarity of thinking. Remember that psychological injuries are similar to physical ones—we can and should take steps to treat them. Doing so will make them heal faster and prevent them from becoming ‘infected’ and causing further damage down the road.
Source: Pick The Brain
There comes a point in every person’s life when he or she parts ways with someone: ex, friend and anyone in between.
Upon first meeting this person, there’s a sweet beginning, but once you come to really know each other and grow comfortable, you suddenly realize that the relationship no longer brings any particular value to your life and is perhaps, even detrimental.
Sometimes, we hold on to people purely based on how long we have known them. Time can tie people together, but if you feel as though there’s nothing substantial keeping you connected, time is not a strong enough reason to hold on to something that’s simply no longer worth holding onto.
We grow complacent with people once we’re comfortable with them. But, hanging onto someone for the pure sake of it and because you don’t know anything else isn’t a good enough reason.
Fear is another reason why we can’t move on. There’s the fear of being alone and not being able to find someone else; fear of someone using our deepest and darkest secrets as blackmail; fear of the hate and tension that will ensue; fear of regret once someone is gone.
Sometimes, things are better left as mere memories. You can try to change things back to how they were or try to create things to be the way you want them, but you’ll never be truly happy because it’ll never be anything like how things once were.
If anything, there’s now too much pressure and expectation in the air to recreate what you both once had. Instead, hold on to and cherish the memories, but move forward. Be thankful for what a friendship or relationship brought you and taught you.
Beyond that, friendships and relationships — whilst they do have their downfalls and can require fixing — should essentially come naturally.
If a person isn’t bringing something significant to your life, not treating you how you’d like or isn’t the type of person you want him or her to be, it’s a clear sign that you need distance.
While it would be selfish of you to not accept a person for whom he or she is, it would be unfair for you to have to endure a friendship or relationship that isn’t cultivating a better you.
Now that we have come to ascertain why you may be holding on, let’s make it clear why you need to let go:
1. Let go because things are not the same anymore.
People simply grow a part, which is perfectly normal. You realize you want different things, no longer share the same interests, no longer understand and no longer connect.
Sometimes, it’s a matter of accepting that it takes time to let go, rather than holding on to something that just can’t be brought back, was lost a long time ago or perhaps, was never really there at all.
It’s difficult to hold on to people in life, but remember that you’re destined to meet different people along your journey who will bring you happiness, sorrow, pain and joy.
2. Let go because the trust and loyalty isn’t there.
If you know in your heart that you can’t trust this person and he or she cannot be loyal, then you need to ask yourself why this person is in your life. Trust and loyalty are the foundation of any friendship and relationship.
If they’re not present, it may only lead to paranoia, frustration, tension and anger that you’re better off without feeling.
Find someone with whom you can share your deepest darkest secrets and you know that after walking away, his or her lips will remain tightly sealed. Find someone whose faithfulness to you will be unquestionable because his or her actions, rather than empty promises, bring you a peace of mind.
3. Let go because you are unclear of where things stand.
Engaging in an undefined friendship or relationship is confusing because you don’t know what you mean to the person, if anything at all. If the person can’t make you feel as though you’re significant, reflect on why you’re allowing someone to treat this way.
Be in the company of someone who is proud to have you in his or her life and will make that known to you and the rest of the world. Be in the company of someone who won’t gamble with your heart and mind simply because he or she knows you’re not going anywhere.
4. Let go if the friendship or relationship is damaging to you.
If the friendship/relationship is making you unhappy or miserable, it’s time to bid the person farewell. We must not allow ourselves to feel trapped and used to being treated far less well than we deserve.
If someone is putting you down, competing with you, not paying attention to you, not caring about you, abusing you, embarrassing you in front of others, making you question yourself, belittling you or simply just not caring about you, remove the negativity from your life as soon as possible. Respect yourself enough to be able to walk away.
5. Let go if you simply don’t see eye to eye.
It is hard to make a relationship work if you can’t ever agree or see each other’s points of view. If the one thing you can agree on is that neither of you can agree, it might be time to walk away.
In many friendships and relationships, people come together through unlikely chances, through their differences and lack of similarities. Therefore, it can work, but if you find that it’s a significant source of many of your disputes and tensions, get out now.
6. Let go if you’re the one fighting to make it work.
If your relationship makes you feel as though you’re the only one putting in effort, time and love, reflect on whether or not it’s worth it. If someone truly loves you, cares for you or wants and needs you, the person will never allow you to invest disproportionate effort.
Find someone who makes you feel worthwhile and worthy. Find someone who fights to have you in his or her life. Find someone who knows how lucky he or she is to have you.
Find someone who acknowledges everything you have done and will do. Don’t waste your time on anything less.
7. Let go if he or she doesn’t encourage you or believe in you.
If you find that your relationship isn’t providing you with support, reflect on what the person is providing. You deserve someone who will be there to encourage you throughout your journey and believe in you maybe even more than you believe in yourself.
8. Let go if the relationship isn’t bringing you what you want and need.
Ask yourself whether you can do without the relationship or whether it’s something you unquestionably want and deserve. Sometimes, there’s this belief that we can be “too fussy” with what we want from others in life, but then again, why should we settle for anything less than happiness?
Don’t ever allow someone to make you feel needy for wanting someone who will love, care and support you, someone who will listen and give you insightful advice, someone who wants the same things, someone you can trust and will be loyal to you, someone who believes so strongly in you and your capabilities. Just someone who makes you feel like you’re someone.
Author: Alyssa Ho
Source: Elite Daily
Today I want to give you some strategies in case you ever have a little wobble within your business and start to wonder whether you are cut out for success. And when I say ‘you’ I am really speaking as much to myself as anyone. Tiredness, events not going quite the way we want them to, a lack of money or a dip in motivation can all lead to doubt, confusion and a creeping sensation that maybe we aren’t on the right path.
However if overall your business lights you up these are just testing times and we need to find ways of pushing through and getting to a more positive place. Therefore, I wanted to share with you the following six things to remember when your confidence evaporates.
1. You Deserve Success
Is that little voice of doubt speaking to you from the back of your head, you know the one – the one that says you don’t deserve success? Maybe it is telling you all the reasons why you aren’t good enough.
- You are too young
- Too old
- Not thin enough
- Not smart enough
- Everything you have ever tried didn’t work out
- Remember the time you messed up x, y or z – that’s only going to happen again you know
Don’t listen to that voice – you have totally got this and you do deserve to succeed, regardless of what you have said, done or failed to do in the past. I’m positive that a large percentage of people who have succeeded in all types of endeavours probably heard that voice all the way up to the point when things started to go their way. If you need help to conquer the negative voice in your head read Tara Mohr’s Playing Big (Amazon UK/USA).
2. Life is Short
If you don’t give this (whatever this is for you – a business, a change in career, a dream of something or someone you have always wanted to be) your best shot now, then what is the alternative? Give up and try it again in 5 year’s time? As I wrote in this post what spurred me on to change my life was the realisation that life is so, so short. Of course, I’m not saying keep doing the same thing over and over if it’s not working, you might need to change tack or try a new angle or get some assistance, but don’t settle, there’s just not enough time for settling. One quote which means a great deal to me and which was said in this commencement address by Jim Carrey, is:
“You can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on what you love”
3. Mistakes are Essential
It is only by the mistakes we make that we learn to grow and find a better way. A baby makes thousands of so called ‘mistakes’ before he or she has even reached their first birthday. They make mistakes trying to walk, trying to find their mouth (no it’s not up there on top of your head) and even trying to express themselves with their first words. But we don’t tell them they are losers or failures (like we sometimes tell ourselves) we give them love, we point them in the right direction and ultimately they always get it right. Our mistakes are just ways of helping us to get to our destination too – let’s be a little kinder to ourselves.
4. Action Is Your Friend
If you are agonising over how to do something in your business – waiting until it is totally perfect before you move ahead – then this can cause you problems. Better to take action – just do something, make the first move and your momentum will carry you through. It doesn’t matter if your sales page isn’t 100% perfect or if that blog post could do with some work – better to have something out there in the world than nothing. Then you can refine and with each and every step you take you will improve.
5. Not Everyone Lives in an Instagram Home
I have talked about this before but comparison can be a really bad thing. I am super guilty of this because I look around at everyone else and I think they have a great home, great life, great children, they are super slim and fit and mega talented. And people probably do have – or are – some of those things – but not all the time. They have their doubts too, their insecurities, their problems. Clutter still builds up on their hall table and their shower isn’t as sparkly as in the advertisements.
The only antidote I have found for this is to be super grateful for what I have now (and no, I am far from perfect at this) but if you really start to examine all the positives it takes away a little of the edge of the comparison you feel. Think about your health, your friends, your family, your pets, the super nice people you have met online…..see you feel better already
6. Think About the Now
All we have is the present moment. Our fears can run away from us and tell us all the worst case scenarios, but those thoughts are just that – thoughts. Just as something terrible could happen, it’s equally likely that something wonderful might be on the horizon. The way we can influence that is by bringing ourselves back to the present moment.
Decide what we can we do today to move even one step closer to where we want to be – then go do it.
Oh and while you are doing it, remember point 1 – you rock and you totally deserve this. Rinse and repeat until suddenly your energy is back, you are filled with enthusiasm again and that little wobble is forgotten.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post – please do leave a comment below. And if you liked it (even just a little bit) please could I ask you to do me a huge favour and click to share it on Twitter (it’s all set up and ready to go). Thanks muchly!
In a perfect world, each person we interact with would be nice, kind, considerate, mindful, generous, and more. They would get our jokes and we would get theirs. We would all thrive in a convivial atmosphere where no one was ever cross, upset, or maligned.
However, we don’t live in a perfect world. Some people drive us crazy, and we (admittedly) drive a few mad as well. Those we dislike are inconsiderate, rushed, malign our character, question our motives, or just don’t get our jokes at all — but expect us to laugh at all theirs.
You might wonder whether it is possible to be fair to someone who ruffles you all the time, or someone you’d rather avoid eating lunch with. You might wonder if you should learn to like every person you meet.
According to Robert Sutton (a professor of management science at Stanford University), it’s neither possible — nor even ideal — to build a team comprised entirely of people you’d invite to a backyard barbecue.
That’s why smart people make the most out of people they don’t like. Here’s how they do it.
1. They accept that they are not going to like everyone.
Sometimes we get caught in the trap of thinking that we are nice people. We think that we are going to like everyone we interact with — even when that’s not going to happen. It’s inevitable you will encounter difficult people who oppose what you think. Smart people know this. They also recognize that conflicts or disagreements are a result of differences in values.
That person you don’t like is not intrinsically a bad human. The reason you don’t get along is because you have different values, and that difference creates judgment. Once you accept that not everyone will like you, and you won’t like everyone because of a difference in values, the realization can take the emotion out of the situation. That may even result in getting along better by agreeing to disagree.
2. They bear with (not ignore or dismiss) those they don’t like.
Sure, you may cringe at his constant criticism, grit your teeth at her lousy jokes, or shake your head at the way he hovers around her all the time, but feeling less than affectionate to someone might not be the worst thing. “From a performance standpoint, liking the people you manage too much is a bigger problem than liking them too little,” says Sutton.
“You need people who have different points of view and aren’t afraid to argue,” Sutton adds. “They are the kind of people who stop the organization from doing stupid things.” It may not be easy, but bear with them. It is often those who challenge or provoke us that prompt us to new insights and help propel the group to success. Remember, you are not perfect either, yet people still tolerate you.
3. They treat those they don’t like with civility.
Whatever your feelings are for someone, that person will be highly attuned to your attitude and behavior, and will likely reflect it back to you. If you are rude to them, they will likely throw away all decorum and be rude to you too. The onus; therefore, is on you to remain fair, impartial, and composed.
“Cultivating a diplomatic poker face is important. You need to be able to come across as professional and positive,” says Ben Dattner, an organizational psychologist and author of The Blame Game. This way you won’t stoop to their level or be sucked into acting the way they do.
4. They check their own expectations.
It’s not uncommon for people to have unrealistic expectations about others. We may expect others to act exactly as we would, or say the things that we might say in a certain situation. However, that’s not realistic. “People have ingrained personality traits that are going to largely determine how they react,” says Alan A. Cavaiola, PhD (psychology professor at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey). “Expecting others to do as you would do is setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration.”
If a person causes you to feel exactly the same way every time, adjust your expectations appropriately. This way you’ll be psychologically prepared and their behavior will not catch you by surprise. Smart people do this all the time. They’re not always surprised by a dis-likable person’s behavior.
5. They turn inwards and focus on themselves.
No matter what you try, some people can still really get under our skin. It’s important that you learn how to handle your frustration when dealing with someone who annoys you. Instead of thinking about how irritating that person is, focus on why you are reacting the way you are. Sometimes what we don’t like in others is frequently what we don’t like in ourselves. Besides, they didn’t create the button, they’re only pushing it.
Pinpoint the triggers that might be complicating your feelings. You may then be able to anticipate, soften, or even alter your reaction. Remember: it’s easier to change your perceptions, attitude, and behavior than to ask someone to be a different kind of person.
6. They pause and take a deep breath.
Some personality characteristics may always set you off, says Kathleen Bartle (a California-based conflict consultant). Maybe it’s the colleague who regularly misses deadlines, or the guy who tells off-color jokes. Take a look at what sets you off and who’s pushing your buttons. That way, Bartle says, you can prepare for when it happens again.
According to her, “If you can pause and get a grip on your adrenaline pump and go to the intellectual part of your brain, you’ll be better able to have a conversation and to skip over the judgment.” A deep breath and one big step back can also help to calm you down and protect you from overreaction, thereby allowing you to proceed with a slightly more open mind and heart.
7. They voice their own needs.
If certain people constantly tick you off, calmly let them know that their manner of behavior or communication style is a problem for you. Avoid accusatory language and instead try the “When you . . . I feel . . .” formula. For example, Cacaiola advises you to tell that person, “When you cut me off in meetings, I feel like you don’t value my contributions.” Then, take a moment and wait for their response.
You may find that the other person didn’t realize you weren’t finished speaking, or your colleague was so excited about your idea that she enthusiastically jumped into the conversation.
8. They allow space between them.
If all else fails, smart people allow space between themselves and those they don’t like. Excuse yourself and go on your way. If at work, move to another room or sit at the other end of the conference table. With a bit of distance, perspective, and empathy, you may be able to come back and interact both with those people you like and those you don’t like as if unfazed.
Of course, everything would be easier if we could wish people we don’t like away. Too bad we all know that’s not how life works.
Featured photo credit: sachman75 via flickr.com
I’ll readily admit that I’d f*ck someone ugly if he were super smart. When a guy can challenge me intellectually, I literally get wet. I’m not even kidding right now.
When I see a guy in glasses, sitting behind a book on the train, I don’t even see anything else. I just want to jump him because he looks smart.
I am so into smart guys. I don’t even care if he’s an assh*le, as long as he’s smart AF.
I once had a man approach me at a cafe and ask me about a Russian novel I was reading because he also loved Solzhenitsyn. Needless to say, buddy boy got my number and into my pants two weeks later. Sorry not sorry.
I am a proud sapiosexual. And I am not alone. Generation Y is teeming with us.
A sapiosexual is someone who finds sexual stimulation from the way a person’s mind works. It means you literally are attracted to intelligence. Looks take a backseat to a person’s wit.
When you think about it, why shouldn’t the brain be the thing we’re attracted to? Why would you want muscles over conversation? Why would you want looks over books?
It’s the brain that makes the man or woman. Looks fade; knowledge is forever.
Science is finally getting behind what we’ve all known all along: Smart is sexy.
According to Diana Rabb, a PhD in transpersonal psychology:
The brain is the largest sex organ. Those who admit to being sapiosexual will say that they are turned on by the brain and tend to be teased or excited by the insights of another person.
Sound familiar? If you are anything like me, all you want is a troll with an amazing, dark sense of humor, cultural knowledge and a hankering for Salinger.
As foreplay, the sapiosexual person may crave philosophical, political or psychological discussions because this turns [him or her] on.
So for us, intelligence is the way to get us hot and bothered. If a man can engage in a healthy debate with us or make us think in a different way about something, that’s the first step to sex.
For some, foreplay is a little heavy petting, but not for the sapiosexuals of the world! A little talk of politics or our favorite authors and we are going to need to get it in immediately.
Ugh, I’m kind of turning myself on right now thinking about smart men in glasses telling me something about “Heart of Darkness” and allegories.
Sapiosexuality: It is a real thing.
Smart man, strong sperm.
Researchers from the University of Mexico have found a connection between a man’s virility and his intelligence.
The study tested the sperm of 400 men after putting them through intense mental testing.
Those with higher IQs directly correlated with having healthy sperm. Therefore, smart men have the strongest sperm.
Women are attracted to intelligence because their ovaries can sense that choosing a smart mate means a better chance of having babies.
Women are all about getting the best sperm to make their babies. We’re selective like that.
If you like his brain, you’re going to like his sperm.
High intelligence, high sex drive.
Research conducted by the sex toy company Lovehoney found a direct connection with high IQ and libido.
As reported in Medical Daily, the company found that students from “elite” universities were among the most frequent toy buyers. So, it’s the smartest among us who are also the most sexual.
While the research shows the amount of sex you’re having may be inversely related to your intelligence, your sex drive is actually more rigorous.
So if you’re dating a man or woman who is especially brainy, you can probably bet he or she is going to be especially horny as well. Who doesn’t want to be having more sex?
As a highly sexual woman, I have to say this is wonderful news. Smart sex is good sex.
We feel like we have something to prove to our parents.
If you go home with someone, and he doesn’t have a lot of books, don’t f*ck ’em! – John Waters
I see this quote everywhere these days, from tweets to Instas. This generation has rallied around intelligence.
Despite what older generations may think, Gen-Y is a generation of readers and writers. We’re thinkers and creatives more than anything else. We dream big.
We crave knowledge. We want to understand the world around us. Since we’re constantly faulted for our love of selfies, Instagram and partying, we’ve started to push back against the backlash.
We’ve started a Millennial movement around being smart. It isn’t attractive to be stupid.
We revere intelligence and see it as sexually appealing because we want to show the world how smart we actually are.
Take that, Gen-X! Take that, Mom!
We aren’t wrapped up in our gym selfies and food pictures; we’re wrapped up in Steinbeck and Socrates.
We want to show how far we’ve come cerebrally despite all of this technology and vacuous bullsh*t we’re surrounded by.
Dumb is never cute.
We’re trying to get our hands on everything we can to improve ourselves. If you’re not smart, you’re not appealing.
Your mind is the sexiest thing you have. If we can win people over with the wit of our personalities instead of our looks, we’ve emerged victorious.
We’re writing on every forum we can get our name on. We’re devouring paperbacks on the subway.
We’re looking down on anyone without a college degree, and we’re absorbing all of the information the Internet can provide for us.
We’re utilizing our resources for the greater good.
Despite how superficial and narcissistic we’re made out to be, we’re actually the most highly educated and authentic people out there.
We’re attracted to intelligence because we understand its worth. We can see past the emptiness of celebrity gossip and reality television and into what is really important.
We love with our minds first and our hearts second.
Author: Gigi Engle, Gigi Engle is a Staff Writer for Elite Daily, covering all things sex and love related. She’s completely insane, but in a good way. Follow her on Facebook, Insta and Twitter @GigiEngle
Source: Elite Daily
Over the course of our lives, we run across all types of people—and the fact that we’re prone to classifying them as “types” shows just how much we tend to believe that people are certain ways by nature. The truth is, many aspects of our personalities and emotional make-ups are brought on over time by the psychological habits we have adopted: the ways in which we interpret events, the thoughts that run through our heads like clockwork, and the explanations we give ourselves for how the world works. Few people would endorse wanting to become bitter and negative human beings, and yet it’s not an uncommon sight to see, especially for people who have experienced more than their share of tough times. Want to have a more hopeful and optimistic outlook on life? See if you can diminish the following mental habits, and go from there.
1) Not forgiving others. Many people equate forgiveness with forgetting that something happened altogether or saying that it was okay that it did. That’s not what forgiveness is about. And many people claim that they have forgiven someone for something, and yet in reality, they have not. What real forgiveness means is allowing yourself to be free from the resentment of having been wronged, to accept that something has occurred and to believe that you deserve to move on from it. It’s to declare your independence from perseverating on how to get revenge on another person, to stop dwelling on how to make them “make up for it” and continuing to let that corrode your emotional well-being. It is letting go in its healthiest, truest sense. Forgiveness doesn’t minimize the wrongness of someone’s actions. It just allows you to no longer be hurt by them. Forgiveness is associated with reduced depression, stress, and hostility, and improved self-esteem and even physical health. When you look at its benefits, you’ll see it’s about being kind to yourself, not doing a favor for someone else.
2) Not forgiving yourself. Even more kind is allowing yourself to move on from your own mistakes. Regret, embarrassment, shame, and guilt from a single mistake can haunt you for years. And the ensuing negative thoughts, stress, and pessimistic outlook on life can create a dynamic where you view the world in a bitter way—all because you feel like you are unworthy of feeling okay. In fact, forgiving yourself has been shown to help reduce feelings of depression. If you find yourself plagued by thoughts of past mistakes, start noticing and exploring them. When are they at their worst? What feelings do they bring on? What makes them go away? If you are locked in a never-ending fight with the thoughts, trying to “reason” your way out of them, see if instead you can learn to accept their presence without endorsing their meaning. “I’m having the thought again about the time I really was cruel to my parents. Hi, thought. I hear you there. You can’t hurt me right now, though, because I’m deciding what to have for lunch.”
3) All-or-none thinking. It is amazing how frequently all-or-none thinking seems to underlie such a variety of unhealthy psychological states. From panic to low self-esteem, from perfectionism to hopelessness, it is not uncommon to uncover hidden and not-so-hidden patterns of this dysfunctional thinking in my clients when they are struggling with a negative worldview. What all-or-none thinking does, by its very definition, is make your outlook on life more rigid. It magnifies negativity by making it appear bigger than it really is. It keeps your mind focusing on what’s gone wrong rather than what’s gone right, and it sets you up to see the bad in people, things, and life more often than the good. See if you can catch yourself making this mistake in daily life. Are you inherently uncomfortable with shades of gray, and do you prefer things to be more black-and-white? That might be good for organizing a closet, but when it comes to how you process bad things happening, it can hurt you.
4) Holding others to a higher standard than you hold yourself. When you are constantly disappointed and annoyed with people around you, it could mean that you are having an unlucky break and not being treated the way you deserve. It could also mean that you are choosing ill-fitting people to accompany you throughout life. Or, more likely, it could mean that you have a set of overly rigid standards for other people’s behavior that you don’t apply to yourself. In fact, sometimes we are hardest on others when we see our own traits in them—things that we don’t like to admit or look at. Seeing them in others makes us uncomfortable. Like the classic hypocrite who crusades against sins far smaller than the one he or she commits in their private life, it’s bound to create a disconnect within us that causes stress, hostility, and negativity. Examine what’s really going on when you’re chronically frustrated with someone, whether it’s the stranger in the left-hand turn lane or your messy roommate. Are you looking at the whole picture? What if you, instead of bathing in the negative energy, chose to reflect on the last time you made a mistake and the way it may have looked to others? Sending empathy to others, even when you least want to, can be a surprisingly powerful tool to take away the anger.
5) Believing that things will never get better. Severe hopelessness can be particularly dangerous, putting people at increased risk for depression and even suicide. But even milder beliefs about how things will never improve can do significant damage day-to-day. “My sister will never get her act together,” “I’ll never be able to pay off my student loans,” and “The world is a bad place and getting worse” are all beliefs that show hopelessness and can blind a person to significant evidence to the contrary. A lifetime is, for most of us, a decades-long ride that sees many highs and many lows, and many ebbs and many flows. Believing that there is a downward trajectory obstructs the beauty of everyday things and keeps you hopelessly and inaccurately believing negative ideas—giving them a staying power in you that they don’t deserve. Imagine how much peace you can feel simply by allowing yourself to believe that harmonious and beautiful things are out there in the world, yet to be experienced. It takes practice to see them, but they are there and always will be.
6) Believing you have less control over your life than you really do. Learned helplessness, first identified by Martin Seligman, involves the belief that we don’t have control over our situations even in cases when we do, and so we convince ourselves we shouldn’t even bother to try. This mindset has been shown to be correlated with depression, and for some people it follows a period of time when they really did not have much control over their lives—perhaps suffering from abuse or neglect, for example. But when the beliefs that we have no power persist after we, in actuality, have gained power back, we deny ourselves the potential to make our lives better. And we increase the likelihood that we view the world as an inherently demoralizing place, convincing ourselves that we can’t make a difference. The more that we can feel that we can steer our own ship, the more we can build a life that suits us. Are you underestimating your ability to get out of that dead-end job, find a partner that treats you well, or develop a peaceful resolution to your years-long fight with your brother? If so, you are doing yourself a great disservice—and increasing your chances of letting your mindset harden into a bitter one.
7) Believing the myth of arrival. The myth of arrival refers to the idea that once you have “arrived” at a certain point in your life, everything will fall into place and the life you have waited for will finally begin. But sometimes this belief, that things will automatically get better once a certain thing happens, can be nearly as damaging as believing that things will never improve, because the former sets you up for a devastating letdown when things actually don’t get better. “Once I finally meet the one/get my promotion/lose those twenty pounds/live in a bigger house/get my kids settled into independent and successful lives… then I’ll be happy” are common ways of thinking. But putting our happiness on hold and in the hands of a random life event that may or may not have any effect whatsoever on our happiness is giving way too much power to an external situation and not nearly enough to ourselves. It robs us of the ability to find joy on our own terms. It makes us miss the proverbial journey because we’re so over-focused on the destination. And worst of all, it sets us up for the crash that comes when we realize that it wasn’t those twenty pounds that were making us depressed—it was the fact that we were depressed, for different reasons entirely, that made us put on twenty pounds in the first place.
8) Overgeneralizing. It was one of the “cognitive errors” that Aaron Beck first identified as putting people at higher risk for depression, and it often manifests itself in believing that if you fail at one thing, you will fail at everything. The tendency to overgeneralize—to turn a setback into a mountain from a molehill—also underlies a lot of people’s thinking patterns who have pervasive negative views of the world outside of themselves. Sometimes this type of thinking can even look like paranoia (“Give anyone an inch, and they will take a mile” or “Just about everyone will take advantage of you if you let them.”) It’s true that not every human being out there is a paragon of virtue, but it’s also true that there is a heck of a lot of goodness if you look for it. And just because there are scammers out there doesn’t mean that you should stop helping those who aren’t. After all, helping others gives us a mood boost. Examine your beliefs to see if you are—against all available evidence—overgeneralizing the world into a dangerous or hostile place, which may show hostility coming from within.
9) Not practicing gratitude. By now you’ve probably heard it, and I’ve written about it in this very space: Being grateful for things big and small brings big changes to your mentalhealth. It is much harder to be bitter about your late-arriving dinner (“I AM NEVER COMING TO THIS RESTAURANT AGAIN!“) and have it ruin your whole night if you allow yourself to acknowledge how gorgeous the blooming trees outside the restaurant window were while you waited, or the fact that you are able to afford to pay someone to cook you a meal at all, or the fact that you were with someone who could make you laugh, no matter how much your stomachs were growling. Some people may think that gratitudemeditation or keeping a list of things that you’re grateful for is hokey. But would you rather be a little hokey or be the person who goes their whole life without the mental and physical health benefits (lessened depression, improved immune system functioning and heart health, among many others) that gratitude brings?
Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., is a speaker and licensed clinical psychologist. She is the author ofThe Friendship Fix and an upcoming book about the psychology of everyday life (stay tuned!), and serves on the faculty of Georgetown University. Her mental health advice column Baggage Check has appeared in the Washington Post Express for more than eleven years. She speaks to audiences large and small about relationships, motivation, and work-life balance and is a television commentator about mental health issues. Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter!
Source: Psychology Today