Self-development

Can Suffering Heal the Soul?

Do things that make you happy … right?

But do you think that should always be the case? I guess it depends how you define “happy”. If you ask me, I prefer to alter the statement altogether to say, “do things that make you happy in the long run“. Or, “do things that are good for your soul.”

Let me explain why:

Think about the last time you lied to yourself. To be clear here, I am talking about “feel-good lies”. You know, the lies that make you feel more successful or more caring or more positive in any sense, than you actually are… Why did you tell that lie? Did it make you happy? Did you recieve that incremental spike in your ego you were hoping for?

I find lying quite interesting. Even the most honest people I know sneak a feel-good lie into conversation every now and again. However, I think the explanation for lying is not as complicated as it seems.

There’s a comfort in lying.

How peachy.

But if you know anything about my blog, you’ll know that comfort is of zero advantage to personal development. If we bypass the comfort in lying and, instead, embrace the suffering, the obstacles in our personal development paths will be minimized. If we learn to swallow the difficult truth, we can actually spend time figuring out why exactly the truth hurts.

The truth might hurt or it might not be as lavish as we’d like. But the truth is never an obstacle.

Think about these would-be lies:

“I can’t lose weight no matter how hard I try. My weight is purely genetic.”

“My Instagram content is amazing but my account isn’t growing because of the algorithm.”

“I am innocent in this argument. I never gossip or talk behind peoples’ backs.”

There’s a pattern there.

It’s called lack of accountability.

To start taking accountability, we need to stop telling ourselves lies and start analyzing occurrences objectively. If you want to lose weight but it seems your attempts aren’t effective, start writing down EVERYTHING you eat and EVERYTIME you are active.

If you want to grow your Instagram account but it seems your daily posts aren’t doing the job, start RESEARCHING social media marketing and get to KNOW the Instagram algorithm.

If you start analyzing your routines objectively, you can determine what parts of your routines need to change. Or, you can determine whether you need a new routine altogether.

Alternatively, if you continuing puffing-up your ego with lies, you’ll remain exactly where you are in life. You won’t grow. You won’t change. You won’t learn.

So ladies and gents, let’s seriously cut the bulls*** and start taking accountability for our decisions.

Let’s start taking the blame for things that are our fault. Let’s start embracing the shitty truth. Let’s start remaining objective in our criticisms.

Lying and excuse-making are easy jobs. Putting in work is hard.

So instead of crafting false tales or exaggerating the truth for short term pleasure, let’s embrace the suffering to achieve happiness in the long run.

And one last thing for today:

Remember this sentence from the beginning of my post? “Even the most honest people I know sneak a feel-good lie into conversation every now and again.

… Who did you think of when you read it?

Remember, there’s always ALWAYS room for personal development.

Have a happy and productive Monday ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. Any information and content on my website is not a substitute for professional, medical, or legal advice.

Self-development, Self-Discipline, Selfcare Tips

The Horror of Habit: Why Too Much of a Good Thing Can Seriously Break You

It’s easy to get stuck …

… in your daily routine, in your job, in your relationship.

The explanation for this? … Habit.

My Monday morning habits!

Since starting this blog, I’ve talked a lot about how staying disciplined to good routines can help you create good habits – therefore making the challenging things in life easier.

And if you haven’t guessed yet, my advice for sticking with a good routine is to practice self-care, self-development, and self-discipline, in that order.

(Side note: If you haven’t read my three-part series on self-care, self-development, and self-discipline be sure to check it out by clicking link 1, link 2, and link 3 which will open in a new pages.)

But did you know those three phases occur in a loop?

Let’s call it the “personal-development loop”.

The Personal Development Loop: self care to self development to self discipline.

My goal for you is to make moving through the personal-development loop a continuous habit. However, just like moving through the loop can become a habit, staying in one phase too long can become a habit as well … a bad habit that is.

Now why can habit be a bad thing?

Because it makes you reach for ice cream when you feel sad, and it causes you to change lanes without checking your blind spot. And believe it or not, it can also lead to laziness as an excuse for self-care, unorganized activity as an excuse for self-development, and over-working yourself as an excuse for self-discipline.

And now I’ll admit something embarrassing:

Not too long ago, I realized I was stuck in a bad habit of self-care. I needed to un-f*** … ugh sorry, autocorrect … I meant to say I needed to un-stuck myself.

This all started when I was caught in an equally bad habit of self-discipline. I worked my brains out, and because I stopped moving through the personal-development loop, I burnt out. I sought help and learned how to implement self-care to get back into the swing of things.

So I started practicing gratitude and meditation. I started sleeping-in when I woke up tired after a crappy sleep. And I started drawing when I had spare time after work. I pressed pause on my competitive edge and learned how to take care of myself first.

Here’s where the problem started…

Once I was ready to take the next step in the personal-development loop (i.e. self-development), I couldn’t break my self-care routine. I became too cozy in my self-care lifestyle that I let it turn into a bad habit.

So instead of waking up to my alarm each morning, I started sleeping-in because I thought I was “doing my body good”. And instead of doing my regular high-intensity interval training, I drew pictures because I didn’t want to “over-work” myself. What I was really doing, was justifying laziness by calling it self-care; I got so used to my former self-care lifestyle that I was inhibiting myself from personal development.

Now let’s look a little deeper at how habits form.

I am currently reading a book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (and I freaking love it). The book explains that habits are formed in a part of the brain called the basal ganglia (see the figure below).

Your brain on habit - the basal ganglia.

The book states, “Habits never really disappear. They’re encoded into the structures of our brain […]. The problem is that your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits […].”

The good news is, “once someone creates a new pattern, studies have demonstrated, going for a job or ignoring the doughnuts becomes as automatic as any other habit” (page 20).

If we want to form good habits, we need to start very clearly laying out our goals. We need to be self-aware and recognize when we are stuck in a bad habit. And to break a bad habit, we need to start implementing new cues.

Want to wake up on time? Write out your daily schedule down to the minute. Want to work-out in the morning? Sleep in your workout clothes. Want to stop with the ice cream? Stock up on frozen fruit.

So don’t fall into the same trap I did. Personal development is a loop and a balancing act. Create good habits, even though it will be hard.

But I promise once you create good habits, your routines will rock and you’ll truly begin to understand the power of habit!

If you want more information on habits, I highly recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Click here to get yourself a copy.

Have a happy and productive Monday! ❤✌

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*Disclaimer: Please note that some links may be affiliate links which means I will make a small commission of each purchase. Any commission I make will help me to continue creating free content.

Self-development

How to Seriously Advance Any Career

Pressure

Societal, family, peer … I guarantee we’ve all felt it from one source or another.

As a “millenial“, I’d say one common pressure felt by a lot of Gen Ys and Zs is that university degrees allow you to achieve your dreams.

*insert eye roll*

For the record, I am not saying university is a bad place to be, especially if you need and / or want a particular degree (says the chick with 2 degrees herself). BUT, what I am saying is presenting university as the best place to be is misleading people whose wants lie elsewhere.

Alternatively, in the past year or so, I’ve noticed a huge push on social media for entrepreneurship.

Similar to the idea of attending university, entrepreneurship itself is not a bad thing (and I personally think it is a great alternative or complement to university based on the way the education system seems to be headed). BUT entrepreneurship should also not be presented as the best option for young people.

Let me provide some examples to better explain why.

Example 1) The other day I saw an Instagram post that said something like “most of us serve a life sentence in a 9-5 job.” … this person actually compared a life prison sentence to legitimate work. Seriously!? I can see what they might’ve meant but I think that comparison is both dramatic and unfair.

Example 2) The same night I saw a Facebook post where someone mentioned that “entrepreneurship is the most courageous thing to do on this planet”. Yes, that was the exact quote. The most courageous thing!? What about firefighters who often literally risk their physical wellbeing just by doing their job? Or those who go to the police after being raped? Or those who realize that they hurt someone in the past and need to apologize? Or neurosurgeons? Or people just trying to live in war torn countries!?!

Simply put, I do not recommend we push people in the wrong direction by telling them university is the best place to be, but it is equally as dangerous to push people into entrepreneurship. Instead, I think we should encourage people to be problem solvers and teach them how to grow within the career of their choosing.

If you want to promote entrepreneurship because you think it is amazing and we need more entrepreneurs in the world, go for it. I might actually agree with you. But to tell people that having a 9-5 job working for an employer is a bad decision!? Stop. And then to say entrepreneurship is the most courageous thing to do on the planet!?…..that is just wrong.

A 9-5 can provide you with benefits, a good wage, minimal stress compared to entrepreneurship, and work-life balance. That sounds freaking awesome to me. In fact, I lived that life for 3 years and I have no complaints about it.

Telling a mass number of people that working a 9-5 is like going to prison, is a very bad idea (if you ask me) and you’re probably not doing the world any favours. Imagine we lived in a world where we had more entrepreneurs than employees. How would any business survive? The entrepreneurs wouldn’t have anyone to work at their companies! The world needs journalists and sales associates and dental assistants just like it needs people like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. And people who choose to work as employees instead of employers are hopefully doing it because they want to and because they are capable of that style of work.

Instead of making entrepreneurship the end-all be-all, I think we should advertise creativity.

We should tell people, that no matter what their job is, they should read books and problem solve on a daily basis so that they can make their place of work (where ever that may be) operate more efficiently. That might mean inventing an electric car, proposing a new curriculum for primary school students, or having the courage to propose a new working style to your manager.

So before you hop on social media to bash or promote a certain lifestyle, please consider something the world may actually need more of: creativity, analytical thinking, courage, and logic.

Work hard, be smart, and remember what’s right for you might not be right for the person next to you.

As always, Happy Monday ❤✌

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Self-development, Self-Discipline

The Ultimate Return on Investment

Stagnation. Stasis. Still.

Are you ok with that?

I’m not.

I like progress. I like the feeling of success. And more importantly, I like the feeling of long-term and well-earned success.

Notice what I said there? “Well-earned“.

Success takes hard work and self-discipline. Want to lose weight? Sure you can drink smoothies for 30 days and lose 15 pounds, but what will you do after the 30 days are up? Drink smoothies for the rest of your life? Probably not… In order to keep the weight off, you have to form and stay disciplined to healthy habits as well as understand the concept of delayed gratification.

Earn your weight loss. Earn it through realistic food intake, realistic workout regimens, and a realistic time frame. If you follow that recipe for earned success, not only will you lose the weight, but you’ll have a higher chance of keeping it off.

If you learn to not expect an immediate return on investment, you’ll stop seeing short term failures as huge obstacles – you’ll start to accept failure as part of the journey. You’ll learn from failure more quickly, you’ll move forward even when you think you should quit.

I want you to keep going.

I want us all to keep going. I want us to fall down the mountain over and over again until we learn the quickest and most efficient way to climb to the top. And once we climb it, let’s not climb back down, but build a house on top. Maybe a civilization on top. Because what good is the climb of you can’t stay on top for a while? Let’s do things that are hard knowing they will lead to inevitable success. And more importantly, let’s earn it.

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