Tortured Soul: Why Your Anxiety Is Actually The Key To Your Creativity

Source: http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/anxiety-key-to-your-creativity/1057999/

Very few things in this world are absolutely good or bad.

For the most part, things are what you make of them — and, a lot of times, whether you choose to see the cup as half full or half empty will dictate your disposition.

As the saying goes, “Each cloud has a silver lining,” and as Jerry Garcia sang (and Robert Hunter wrote), every silver lining has a touch of grey.

And it was also Jerry Garcia who told us music is “something that escapes between frenzies, between anxiety attacks,” so perhaps his ability to connect with millions of people was his silver lining.

Or maybe these anxiety attacks he speaks of were simply the touch of grey that his creativity came along with.

Either way, Garcia’s words depict something bigger: the inner conflict, which many artists face before we ever get the chance to see their finished work.

See, after becoming familiar with the music of Jerry Garcia — and the Grateful Dead, alike — feelings of anxiety are rarely the ones that come through, at least from a creative standpoint.

His music, itself, is very uplifting. It’s very “glass half full,” so to speak. Yet, according to Garcia, this all manifested from a place of darkness, a place of “anxiety attacks.”

I’ll admit, before I read this quote from JG, I never would’ve guessed him to be an anxious person.

But science will tell us anxiety and depression don’t usually target any one type of person in particular.

With that said, there may be one group of people who, as a whole, are more likely to deal with matters of anxiety: creatives.

According to Charles Linden, CEO of the Linden Centers, “anxiety sufferers all share a superior level of creative intellect.”

Linden notes this won’t necessarily equate to any type of academic superiority but “moreover as a distinct range of both physical and mental attributes affecting creativity, emotional sensitivity and clarity, eccentricity, creative energy and drive.”

I mean, if you think about it — the list of “tortured artists” is a long one: Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Elliott Smith; it almost seems torment is a prerequisite to creative prosperity.

Nevertheless, these “tortured artists” always find a way to transpose anxiety — whether it be social anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder — into something beautiful.

And that’s because, as Dennis Palumbo writes for Psychology Today, some artists are able to channel this anxiety to the right places, specifically to their creative benefit.

Palumbo quotes famous psychiatrist Rollo May, who felt “real creativity is not possible without anxiety.”

This belief comes from the idea that true creativity comes from expression — and the most gripping, intimate forms of expression usually arise on the heels of hardship.

Think about it: The story of the man who walked through seven hells before arriving at heaven certainly sounds more interesting than the one about the dude working the desk job — with a nice, cozy, loft apartment.

“To co-exist with potentially crippling anxiety and create anyway, the rewards can be significant,” Palumbo says.

At the end of the day, life is experience, and those who are able to face their experience — regardless of how crippling it may be — are the most in tuned with themselves and reality.

Here are some techniques to help channel your own anxiety into creativity.

Do what you can to keep yourself comfortable.

If you’re an anxious person, let’s say socially, keep it 100 with yourself, if no one else.

If you’re not a fan of big social gatherings — or the “scene” — try not to put yourself in positions where you’ll feel uncomfortable.

Something like social anxiety doesn’t always have to equate to being uncomfortable.

In fact, it’s very possible to be a comfortably anxious person — as long as you’re honest with yourself about the things you want.

Creativity flourishes in comfort — that’s why 95 percent of Silicon Valley runs around their startup tech offices in v-neck tee shirts and sweatpants.

If you’re more comfortable in your apartment or basement, with a few good friends who understand you — the hell with the “scene.”

Embrace your story; don’t be afraid to tell it.

There’s a reason people feel better once they get things off their chest.

Keeping things pent up within the depths of your conscience will never make them disappear; they’ll only get worse and probably without you knowing (at least not until you… explode).

The easiest way to channel your anxiety into creativity is by expressing yourself — regardless of how you choose to do it.

Embrace your story, regardless of what it is. If there’s one particular reason you’re anxious, meet it head-on and see how you truly feel about it.

Stop looking at your anxiety as a bad thing; it’s not a thing at all. It’s part of who you are.

If you’re a socially awkward person, make a joke about it.

Larry David is really f*cking socially awkward too, but instead of sitting around alone doing nothing, he sat around alone writing one of the world’s most successful sitcoms — based on his neurotic nuances.

Don’t hide from your anxiety; channel it.

Whatever you do, don’t run from your anxiety; you’ll never be able to outrun it. Many look at anxiety as a shadow, and at times, I agree with the comparison.

For many, anxiety sticks around for the long haul, so you better familiarize yourself with it.

Trust me, no matter how many times you repeat, “I’m confident,” or, “I’m all right,” under your breath, you’ll still find yourself schvitzing the moment you leave your comfort zone.

Instead of looking at anxiety as a dark shadow that rears its head whenever you feel yourself making progress in life — prepare yourself for it, and learn ways to beat it.

Regardless of what you’re dealing with or how bad your anxiety is, you can always overcome it — you just need to find out what works for you.

When you feel an attack coming, perhaps reading a book will distract your mind — or maybe writing can help you think differently.

Maybe it’s playing a sport outside, you know, mastering that jump shot. Perhaps it’s playing music. Music is, after all, merely that which escapes between anxiety attacks.

And you’ll find out what works for you and get by — I’m sure of it. Things are usually worse than they appear, anyway.

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Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down To 2 Basic Traits

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Science says lasting relationships come down to—you guessed it—kindness and generosity.

Every day in June, the most popular wedding month of the year, about 13,000 American couples will say “I do,” committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on this earth.

Except, of course, it doesn’t work out that way for most people.

The majority of marriages fail, either ending in divorce and separation or devolving into bitterness and dysfunction.

Of all the people who get married, only three in ten remain in healthy, happy marriages, as psychologist Ty Tashiro points out in his book “The Science of Happily Ever After,” which was published earlier this year.

Social scientists first started studying marriages by observing them in action in the 1970s in response to a crisis: Married couples were divorcing at unprecedented rates. Worried about the impact these divorces would have on the children of the broken marriages, psychologists decided to cast their scientific net on couples, bringing them into the lab to observe them and determine what the ingredients of a healthy, lasting relationship were.

Was each unhappy family unhappy in its own way, as Tolstoy claimed, or did the miserable marriages all share something toxic in common?

Psychologist John Gottman was one of those researchers. For the past four decades, he has studied thousands of couples in a quest to figure out what makes relationships work. I recently had the chance to interview Gottman and his wife Julie, also a psychologist, in New York City. Together, the renowned experts on marital stability run The Gottman Institute, which is devoted to helping couples build and maintain loving, healthy relationships based on scientific studies.

John Gottman began gathering his most critical findings in 1986, when he set up “The Love Lab” with his colleague Robert Levenson at the University of Washington. Gottman and Levenson brought newlyweds into the lab and watched them interact with each other.

With a team of researchers, they hooked the couples up to electrodes and asked the couples to speak about their relationship, like how they met, a major conflict they were facing together, and a positive memory they had. As they spoke, the electrodes measured the subjects’ blood flow, heart rates, and how much they sweat they produced. Then the researchers sent the couples home and followed up with them six years later to see if they were still together.

From the data they gathered, Gottman separated the couples into two major groups: the masters and the disasters. The masters were still happily together after six years. The disasters had either broken up or were chronically unhappy in their marriages.

When the researchers analyzed the data they gathered on the couples, they saw clear differences between the masters and disasters. The disasters looked calm during the interviews, but their physiology, measured by the electrodes, told a different story. Their heart rates were quick, their sweat glands were active, and their blood flow was fast. Following thousands of couples longitudinally, Gottman found that the more physiologically active the couples were in the lab, the quicker their relationships deteriorated over time.

But what does physiology have to do with anything? The problem was that the disasters showed all the signs of arousal — of being in fight-or-flight mode — in their relationships. Having a conversation sitting next to their spouse was, to their bodies, like facing off with a saber-toothed tiger.

Even when they were talking about pleasant or mundane facets of their relationships, they were prepared to attack and be attacked. This sent their heart rates soaring and made them more aggressive toward each other. For example, each member of a couple could be talking about how their days had gone, and a highly aroused husband might say to his wife, “Why don’t you start talking about your day. It won’t take you very long.”

The masters, by contrast, showed low physiological arousal. They felt calm and connected together, which translated into warm and affectionate behavior, even when they fought. It’s not that the masters had, by default, a better physiological make-up than the disasters; it’s that masters had created a climate of trust and intimacy that made both of them more emotionally and thus physically comfortable.

Gottman wanted to know more about how the masters created that culture of love and intimacy, and how the disasters squashed it. In a follow-up study in 1990, he designed a lab on the University of Washington campus to look like a beautiful bed and breakfast retreat.

He invited 130 newlywed couples to spend the day at this retreat and watched them as they did what couples normally do on vacation: cook, clean, listen to music, eat, chat, and hang out. And Gottman made a critical discovery in this study — one that gets at the heart of why some relationships thrive while others languish.

Throughout the day, partners would make requests for connection, what Gottman calls “bids.” For example, say that the husband is a bird enthusiast and notices a goldfinch fly across the yard. He might say to his wife, “Look at that beautiful bird outside!” He’s not just commenting on the bird here: he’s requesting a response from his wife — a sign of interest or support — hoping they’ll connect, however momentarily, over the bird.

The wife now has a choice. She can respond by either “turning toward” or “turning away” from her husband, as Gottman puts it. Though the bird-bid might seem minor and silly, it can actually reveal a lot about the health of the relationship. The husband thought the bird was important enough to bring it up in conversation and the question is whether his wife recognizes and respects that.

People who turned toward their partners in the study responded by engaging the bidder, showing interest and support in the bid. Those who didn’t — those who turned away — would not respond or respond minimally and continue doing whatever they were doing, like watching TV or reading the paper. Sometimes they would respond with overt hostility, saying something like, “Stop interrupting me, I’m reading.”

These bidding interactions had profound effects on marital well-being. Couples who had divorced after a six-year follow up had “turn-toward bids” 33 percent of the time. Only three in ten of their bids for emotional connection were met with intimacy. The couples who were still together after six years had “turn-toward bids” 87 percent of the time. Nine times out of ten, they were meeting their partner’s emotional needs.

By observing these types of interactions, Gottman can predict with up to 94 percent certainty whether couples — straight or gay, rich or poor, childless or not — will be broken up, together and unhappy, or together and happy several years later. Much of it comes down to the spirit couples bring to the relationship. Do they bring kindness and generosity; or contempt, criticism, and hostility?

“There’s a habit of mind that the masters have,” Gottman explained in an interview, “which is this: they are scanning social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. Disasters are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.”

“It’s not just scanning environment,” chimed in Julie Gottman. “It’s scanning the partner for what the partner is doing right or scanning him for what he’s doing wrong and criticizing versus respecting him and expressing appreciation.”

Contempt, they have found, is the number one factor that tears couples apart. People who are focused on criticizing their partners miss a whopping 50 percent of positive things their partners are doing and they see negativity when it’s not there.

People who give their partner the cold shoulder — deliberately ignoring the partner or responding minimally — damage the relationship by making their partner feel worthless and invisible, as if they’re not there, not valued. And people who treat their partners with contempt and criticize them not only kill the love in the relationship, but they also kill their partner’s ability to fight off viruses and cancers. Being mean is the death knell of relationships.

Kindness, on the other hand, glues couples together. Research independent from theirs has shown that kindness (along with emotional stability) is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated—feel loved. “My bounty is as boundless as the sea,” says Shakespeare’s Juliet. “My love as deep; the more I give to thee, / The more I have, for both are infinite.” That’s how kindness works too: there’s a great deal of evidence showing the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.

There are two ways to think about kindness. You can think about it as a fixed trait: either you have it or you don’t. Or you could think of kindness as a muscle. In some people, that muscle is naturally stronger than in others, but it can grow stronger in everyone with exercise. Masters tend to think about kindness as a muscle. They know that they have to exercise it to keep it in shape. They know, in other words, that a good relationship requires sustained hard work.

“If your partner expresses a need,” explained Julie Gottman, “and you are tired, stressed, or distracted, then the generous spirit comes in when a partner makes a bid, and you still turn toward your partner.”

In that moment, the easy response may be to turn away from your partner and focus on your iPad or your book or the television, to mumble “Uh huh” and move on with your life, but neglecting small moments of emotional connection will slowly wear away at your relationship. Neglect creates distance between partners and breeds resentment in the one who is being ignored.

The hardest time to practice kindness is, of course, during a fight—but this is also the most important time to be kind. Letting contempt and aggression spiral out of control during a conflict can inflict irrevocable damage on a relationship.
“Kindness doesn’t mean that we don’t express our anger,” Julie Gottman explained, “but the kindness informs how we choose to express the anger. You can throw spears at your partner. Or you can explain why you’re hurt and angry, and that’s the kinder path.”

John Gottman elaborated on those spears: “Disasters will say things differently in a fight. Disasters will say ‘You’re late. What’s wrong with you? You’re just like your mom.’ Masters will say ‘I feel bad for picking on you about your lateness, and I know it’s not your fault, but it’s really annoying that you’re late again.’”

For the hundreds of thousands of couples getting married each June — and for the millions of couples currently together, married or not — the lesson from the research is clear: If you want to have a stable, healthy relationship, exercise kindness early and often.

When people think about practicing kindness, they often think about small acts of generosity, like buying each other little gifts or giving one another back rubs every now and then. While those are great examples of generosity, kindness can also be built into the very backbone of a relationship through the way partners interact with each other on a day-to-day basis, whether or not there are back rubs and chocolates involved.

One way to practice kindness is by being generous about your partner’s intentions. From the research of the Gottmans, we know that disasters see negativity in their relationship even when it is not there. An angry wife may assume, for example, that when her husband left the toilet seat up, he was deliberately trying to annoy her. But he may have just absent-mindedly forgotten to put the seat down.

Or say a wife is running late to dinner (again), and the husband assumes that she doesn’t value him enough to show up to their date on time after he took the trouble to make a reservation and leave work early so that they could spend a romantic evening together. But it turns out that the wife was running late because she stopped by a store to pick him up a gift for their special night out.

Imagine her joining him for dinner, excited to deliver her gift, only to realize that he’s in a sour mood because he misinterpreted what was motivating her behavior. The ability to interpret your partner’s actions and intentions charitably can soften the sharp edge of conflict.

“Even in relationships where people are frustrated, it’s almost always the case that there are positive things going on and people trying to do the right thing,” psychologist Ty Tashiro told me. “A lot of times, a partner is trying to do the right thing even if it’s executed poorly. So appreciate the intent.”

Another powerful kindness strategy revolves around shared joy. One of the telltale signs of the disaster couples Gottman studied was their inability to connect over each other’s good news. When one person in the relationship shared the good news of, say, a promotion at work with excitement, the other would respond with wooden disinterest by checking his watch or shutting the conversation down with a comment like, “That’s nice.”

We’ve all heard that partners should be there for each other when the going gets rough. But research shows that being there for each other when things go right is actually more important for relationship quality. How someone responds to a partner’s good news can have dramatic consequences for the relationship.

In one study from 2006, psychological researcher Shelly Gable and her colleagues brought young adult couples into the lab to discuss recent positive events from their lives. They psychologists wanted to know how partners would respond to each other’s good news. They found that, in general, couples responded to each other’s good news in four different ways that they called: passive destructiveactive destructivepassive constructive, and active constructive.

Let’s say that one partner had recently received the excellent news that she got into medical school. She would say something like “I got into my top choice med school!”

If her partner responded in a passive destructive manner, he would ignore the event. For example, he might say something like: “You wouldn’t believe the great news I got yesterday! I won a free t-shirt!”

If her partner responded in a passive constructive way, he would acknowledge the good news, but in a half-hearted, understated way. A typical passive constructive response is saying “That’s great, babe” as he texts his buddy on his phone.

In the third kind of response, active destructive, the partner would diminish the good news his partner just got: “Are you sure you can handle all the studying? And what about the cost? Med school is so expensive!”

Finally, there’s active constructive responding. If her partner responded in this way, he stopped what he was doing and engaged wholeheartedly with her: “That’s great! Congratulations! When did you find out? Did they call you? What classes will you take first semester?”

Among the four response styles, active constructive responding is the kindest. While the other response styles are joy-killers, active constructive responding allows the partner to savor her joy and gives the couple an opportunity to bond over the good news. In the parlance of the Gottmans, active constructive responding is a way of “turning toward” your partners bid (sharing the good news) rather than “turning away” from it.

Active constructive responding is critical for healthy relationships. In the 2006 study, Gable and her colleagues followed up with the couples two months later to see if they were still together. The psychologists found that the only difference between the couples who were together and those who broke up was active constructive responding. Those who showed genuine interest in their partner’s joys were more likely to be together. In an earlier study, Gable found that active constructive responding was also associated with higher relationship quality and more intimacy between partners.

There are many reasons why relationships fail, but if you look at what drives the deterioration of many relationships, it’s often a breakdown of kindness. As the normal stresses of a life together pile up—with children, career, friend, in-laws, and other distractions crowding out the time for romance and intimacy—couples may put less effort into their relationship and let the petty grievances they hold against one another tear them apart.

In most marriages, levels of satisfaction drop dramatically within the first few years together. But among couples who not only endure, but live happily together for years and years, the spirit of kindness and generosity guides them forward.

My Top Ten Values To Guide Through Life

This may change in the future.

my top ten values

How To Get Just About Anything You Want

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I spend a lot of time imagining my perfect life. I think about the clients I want to work with, how many hours a week I’d like to work, which pair of really cute boots I’d like to wear while working. If I had to plan it out, it would look something like this:

I would wake up to the sound of water lapping at the beach. My breakfast would consist of a perfectly foamed latte and eggs scrambled with feta and roasted peppers, eaten on an old farm table I found for a pittance at a flea market. I would be wearing pajamas that are somehow simultaneously crisp, flattering, and comfortable.

Wonderfully, miraculously, I’m very nearly living the dream these day. I’d like a few more clients who have built philanthropy into their business models. I’d like a bit more upper body strength. I need more winter-friendly clothing and, eventually, I’d like a better car. But I got this close to my dream life by doing something so crazy-stupid-easy it nearly falls under the heading of “I don’t want to tell you about it because it’s so obvious that I feel embarrassed saying it out loud.”

But here it is: I figured out what I wanted. Then I stopped doing things that didn’t get me closer to that goal. And when I stopped doing those things, I started doing things that brought me closer to what I wanted.

That’s it. Below are a few examples of how easy it is to put this method into practice:

If you want to save money so you can do something big and exciting:

Stop: Eating out, buying things you don’t need, keeping monthly payments (gym, cable) you don’t use.

Start: making and sticking to a budget, reminding yourself why you’re on a budget, eating in, doing cheap things with your friends.

If you want to be in a serious relationship:

Stop: Dating people who don’t thrill you, mooning over your ex, hooking up with that person you know is bad news, putting off Big Deal conversations that need to happen.

Start: Asking your friends if they can set you up, online dating, defining your deal breakers, thinking Do I like him? rather than Does he like me?

If you want to be healthy and fit:

Stop: Eating unhealthy food, driving everywhere, avoiding exercise, drinking so much coffee or alcohol.

Start: Eating more produce, walking or biking when you can, finding a physical activity you actually enjoy, drinking more water, getting outside.

If you want a great social life:

Stop: Hanging out with people who don’t fill you up, hoping that people will call you, gossiping constantly, flaking out on events you committed to.

Start: Reaching out to people you want to know better, planning events and inviting people to them, saying yes (and attending) more events, taking classes filled with like-minded people, being reliable and helpful, saying nice things to and about people.

The really magical thing? Even when you take just one of these steps — either the “stopping” step or the “starting” step — big, startling, I-didn’t-expect-this-to-happen-so-fast changes will fall into place.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

10 Natural Depression Treatments

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Being depressed can make you feel helpless. You’re not. Along with therapy and sometimes medication, there’s a lot you can do on your own to fight back. Changing your behavior — your physical activity, lifestyle, and even your way of thinking — are all natural depressiontreatments.

These tips can help you feel better — starting right now.

1. Get in a routine. If you’re depressed, you need a routine, says Ian Cook, MD. He’s a psychiatrist and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA.

Depression can strip away the structure from your life. One day melts into the next. Setting a gentle daily schedule can help you get back on track.

2. Set goals. When you’re depressed, you may feel like you can’t accomplish anything. That makes you feel worse about yourself. To push back, set daily goals for yourself.

“Start very small,” Cook says. “Make your goal something that you can succeed at, like doing the dishes every other day.”

As you start to feel better, you can add more challenging daily goals.

3. Exercise. It temporarily boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphins. It may also have long-term benefits for people with depression. Regular exercise seems to encourage the brain to rewire itself in positive ways, Cook says.

How much exercise do you need? You don’t need to run marathons to get a benefit. Just walking a few times a week can help.

4. Eat healthy. There is no magic diet that fixes depression. It’s a good idea to watch what you eat, though. If depression tends to make you overeat, getting in control of your eating will help you feel better.

Although nothing is definitive, Cook says there’s evidence that foods with omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon and tuna) and folic acid (such as spinach and avocado) could help ease depression.

5. Get enough sleep. Depression can make it hard to get enough shut-eye, and too little sleep can make depression worse.

What can you do? Start by making some changes to your lifestyle. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try not to nap. Take all the distractions out of your bedroom — no computer and no TV. In time, you may find your sleep improves.

6. Take on responsibilities. When you’re depressed, you may want to pull back from life and give up your responsibilities at home and at work. Don’t. Staying involved and having daily responsibilities can work as a natural depression treatment. They ground you and give you a sense of accomplishment.

If you’re not up to full-time school or work, that’s fine. Think about part-time. If that seems like too much, consider volunteer work.

7. Challenge negative thoughts. In your fight against depression, a lot of the work is mental — changing how you think. When you’re depressed, you leap to the worst possible conclusions.

The next time you’re feeling terrible about yourself, use logic as a natural depression treatment. You might feel like no one likes you, but is there real evidence for that? You might feel like the most worthless person on the planet, but is that really likely? It takes practice, but in time you can beat back those negative thoughts before they get out of control.

8. Check with your doctor before using supplements. “There’s promising evidence for certain supplements for depression,” Cook says. Those include fish oil, folic acid, and SAMe. But more research needs to be done before we’ll know for sure. Always check with your doctor before starting any supplement, especially if you’re already taking medications.

9. Do something new. When you’re depressed, you’re in a rut. Push yourself to do something different. Go to a museum. Pick up a used book and read it on a park bench. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Take a language class.

“When we challenge ourselves to do something different, there are chemical changes in the brain,” Cook says. “Trying something new alters the levels of [the brain chemical] dopamine, which is associated with pleasure, enjoyment, and learning.”

10. Try to have fun. If you’re depressed, make time for things you enjoy. What if nothing seems fun anymore? “That’s just a symptom of depression,” Cook says. You have to keep trying anyway.

As strange as it might sound, you have to work at having fun. Plan things you used to enjoy, even if they feel like a chore. Keep going to the movies. Keep going out with friends for dinner.

When you’re depressed, you can lose the knack for enjoying life, Cook says. You have to relearn how to do it. In time, fun things really will feel fun again.

When Parents Stop Being Heroes

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When I was twelve years old, my sister and I were trapped in a house with no power when it rained cats and dogs outside. Our mother had gone to a temple nearby locking us inside. It was not the thunders and the intensity of the rain that frightened us but the fact that she was all alone god knows where and back then, we didn’t have mobile phones. I remember us standing near the entrance of my house holding the bars of the sliding gate looking out yearningly, just like prisoners in movies do. And as we stood there we saw our favorite tree, that was at least 8 feet tall, fall over. The rain eventually slowed down to a drizzle, and my mother found me crying, squatting near the fallen tree when she came back. She immediately brought out a shovel, dug the mud around the roots of the tree, lifted the tree up, added more mud to the base and it was standing again in no time. It lived for many years to come. That day, my mother was my hero.

When this happened the three of us, my mother, sister and I, were living in Madurai, while my dad worked in Bangalore. He called us once a week and we had to keep the call short so the phone charges don’t add to our financial burden. He would come over some weekends and we were always there at our local railway station to receive him. We would walk back home and have our breakfasts together. Those were hard times but that was when we all connected well together as a family.

My mother had more troubles than she’d tell me then. Our grandparents lived with us and she had to take care of four of us and our home-sick, out-of-station dad. I liked my grandparents. But they were not so kind or understanding with her. My mother learnt to ride a cycle at the age of forty to get to places sooner. We all ran with her as she first pedaled through our neighbourhoods well past midnight. I was proud of it, but my grandmother found the thought of an obese woman riding a cycle hilarious. I would tell her about the fat joke grandma made in her absence and she would act like she didn’t care. She’d tell me “never let them get to you”. She’d tell me not to be weak. “If you give in now, you’ll give in forever”, she’d say.

Later on, when our dad and us started living together again, our financial situation had moderately improved and I started spending a lot of time talking to my mother about religion, marriages, books and life in general. We had amazing arguments until my dad shushed us and forced us to sleep. After which we continued talking in whispers. She would tell me the scientific reasons behind religious practices, she would explain the metaphors in Mahabharatha, and we would have endless arguments about love marriages and arranged marriages. She had great imagination, she wrote poetry. She felt caged inside the middle class housewife’s body. If not a hero, I still thought she was the smartest person I knew. I even wrote a poem thanking her for being the best mother.

But she started complaining. When I got old enough to understand adults, she started complaining about her life incessantly. She told me that when the tree fell she was actually scared, that she felt very bad about the joke grandma made.. She told me a lifetime worth of sad stories and secrets, things that I did not want to know. I became tired of listening to her, of comforting her, of urging her to follow her dreams, of getting mad at her for giving excuses. I was not proud of her anymore. And now, when I read the poem I wrote for her when I was twelve, I think I was naive.

Parents stop being heroes at some point. And the circumstances leading up to it are always ugly. You realize they made the wrong call more times than you can count. You realize that the world didn’t screw them over; their worldview is screwed. You get frustrated when they don’t listen to you telling them to not make another mistake. You give up.

It came to a point where my mother and I had nothing to talk about. She waited for me to chat with her about life in general, like I did when I was a kid, but I didn’t have anything in common with her. And she started preferring the kid me.

Recently, she did what I always told her to do. She took an initiative; she learnt a new language at 50 and became a teacher in a school. She changed her life in a matter of months. When she called to tell me that she got a job as a teacher, I was very happy and I felt the closer to her than I’ve felt for ten years. But she was eager to cut the call sooner to talk to a friend of mine who’d been supportive to her through this. I felt jealous and sad.

I have listened to everything my mother complained about, every single incident in her life that she remembers. I have a total life experience of 73 years and I still screwed up a relationship. I want to fix it. I try to find out what my friends do, how they talk to their mothers. I get nothing out of it because I am not like them and my mother is not theirs. I try to help her out with chores even when she doesn’t ask me to, but that doesn’t impress her. She still wants me to talk and I am stumped.

She passed on a lot of insecurities and fears to me, which I consciously try to keep in check so I don’t turn into her. But she also passed on her habit of reading and her extensive imagination. When she forgave me for my million flaws, I couldn’t forgive her for tarnishing the image of her I had as a kid. I stopped being there for her when it got difficult. Now the roles are reversed and I dial her number hoping she’d have something to share with me this time.

30 Things To Start Doing For Yourself. #4 Is Absolutely Vital.

Source: http://www.lifebuzz.com/start-doing/

 

Marc and Angel are the authors of 1000 Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently. Here’s their amazing list of 30 things to start doing for yourself. If you enjoy this, be sure to visit their website for more inspirational advice and tips for life.

#1. Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.

truongxuabancu.fpb.yuku.com

#2. Start facing your problems head on. – It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them. Problems will not disappear unless you take action. Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done. It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch. These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.

Seth Casteel

#3. Start being honest with yourself about everything. – Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become. Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on. Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there. Read The Road Less Traveled.

Brian Oldham

#4. Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.

 Alex Goh Chun Seong

#5. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.

Paul Kipping

#6. Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.

Lisa Brown

#7. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning. Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again. Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving. Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures. One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.

Vivian Maier

#8. Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.

Daesung Lee

#9. Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind. You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.

Gregory J Smith

#10. Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out. Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too. Read Stumbling on Happiness.

Tal Cohen EPA

#11. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. – In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.

animalstime.com

#12. Start believing that you’re ready for the next step. – You are ready! Think about it. You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward. So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.

acidcow.com

#13. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons. – Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment. And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.

Igor Guschin

#14. Start giving new people you meet a chance. – It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made. People and priorities change. As some relationships fade others will grow. Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work. Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.

Anna Gorbach

#15. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. – Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break your own personal records.

Yongzhi Chu

#16. Start cheering for other people’s victories. – Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.

Sanket k

#17. Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope. Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times. And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

Max van Son

#18. Start forgiving yourself and others. – We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others. And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go. Forgiveness is the remedy. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

Ana Gregoric

#19. Start helping those around you. – Care about people. Guide them if you know a better way. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. And so on and so forth.

Wason Wanichakorn AP

#20. Start listening to your own inner voice. – If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition. Be true to yourself. Say what you need to say. Do what you know in your heart is right.

bluebirdsunshine.co.uk

#21. Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks. – Slow down. Breathe. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose. When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity. These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.

Waugsberg

#22. Start noticing the beauty of small moments. – Instead of waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery – find happiness in the small things that happen every day. Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner. Noticing these small pleasures on a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.

Vivian Maier

#23. Start accepting things when they are less than perfect. – Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’ One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are. Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal. No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.

Lars Anshelm

#24. Start working toward your goals every single day. – Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen. Get out there and DO something! The harder you work the luckier you will become. While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Konstantin Kaminsky

#25. Start being more open about how you feel. – If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it. Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel. Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.

Igor Efimov

#26. Start taking full accountability for your own life. – Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them. Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it won’t always be easy. Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.

Scott Sculberg

#27. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships. – Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty. Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.

Simone Sbaraglia

#28. Start concentrating on the things you can control. – You can’t change everything, but you can always change something. Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.

Manu Fernandez AP

#29. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. – The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward. No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things. Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. Read The How of Happiness.

Vivian Maier

#30. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You didn’t go to sleep outside. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning. You hardly broke a sweat today. You didn’t spend a minute in fear. You have access to clean drinking water. You have access to medical care. You have access to the Internet. You can read. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.

Miyoko Ihara

Credit: marcandangel.com

This is such a wonderful list. If we take little steps every day and practice these things, we can make great improvements in our lives. Share this post with your friends and loved ones.

 

What Are Your Values? Deciding What’s Most Important in Life

How would you define your values?

Before you answer this question, you need to know what, in general, values are.

Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work.

They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.

When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.

This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.

How Values Help You

Values exist, whether you recognize them or not. Life can be much easier when you acknowledge your values – and when you make plans and decisions that honor them.

If you value family, but you have to work 70-hour weeks in your job, will you feel internal stress and conflict? And if you don’t value competition, and you work in a highly competitive sales environment, are you likely to be satisfied with your job?

In these types of situations, understanding your values can really help. When you know your own values, you can use them to make decisions about how to live your life, and you can answer questions like these:

  • What job should I pursue?
  • Should I accept this promotion?
  • Should I start my own business?
  • Should I compromise, or be firm with my position?
  • Should I follow tradition, or travel down a new path?

So, take the time to understand the real priorities in your life, and you’ll be able to determine the best direction for you and your life goals  !

Tip:

Values are usually fairly stable, yet they don’t have strict limits or boundaries. Also, as you move through life, your values may change. For example, when you start your career, success – measured by money and status – might be a top priority. But after you have a family, work-life balance may be what you value more.

As your definition of success changes, so do your values. This is why keeping in touch with your values is a lifelong exercise. You should continuously revisit this, especially if you start to feel unbalanced… and you can’t quite figure out why.

As you go through the exercise below, bear in mind that values that were important in the past may not be relevant now.

Defining Your Values

When you define your values, you discover what’s truly important to you. A good way of starting to do this is to look back on your life – to identify when you felt really good, and really confident that you were making good choices.

Step 1: Identify the times when you were happiest

Find examples from both your career and personal life. This will ensure some balance in your answers.

  • What were you doing?
  • Were you with other people? Who?
  • What other factors contributed to your happiness?

Step 2: Identify the times when you were most proud

Use examples from your career and personal life.

  • Why were you proud?
  • Did other people share your pride? Who?
  • What other factors contributed to your feelings of pride?

Step 3: Identify the times when you were most fulfilled and satisfied

Again, use both work and personal examples.

  • What need or desire was fulfilled?
  • How and why did the experience give your life meaning?
  • What other factors contributed to your feelings of fulfillment?

Step 4: Determine your top values, based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfillment

Why is each experience truly important and memorable? Use the following list of common personal values to help you get started – and aim for about 10 top values. (As you work through, you may find that some of these naturally combine. For instance, if you value philanthropy, community, and generosity, you might say that service to others is one of your top values.)

Accountability
Accuracy
Achievement 
Adventurousness 
Altruism 
Ambition 
Assertiveness 
Balance 
Being the best 
Belonging 
Boldness 
Calmness 
Carefulness 
Challenge 
Cheerfulness 
Clear-mindedness 
Commitment 
Community
Compassion 
Competitiveness
Consistency 
Contentment 
Continuous Improvement
Contribution 
Control 
Cooperation 
Correctness 
Courtesy 
Creativity 
Curiosity 
Decisiveness 
Democraticness
Dependability 
Determination 
Devoutness 
Diligence 
Discipline 
Discretion 
Diversity 
Dynamism 
Economy 
Effectiveness 
Efficiency 
Elegance 
Empathy 
Enjoyment 
Enthusiasm 
Equality
Excellence
Excitement 
Expertise 
Exploration 
Expressiveness 
Fairness 
Faith 
Family-orientedness 
Fidelity 
Fitness 
Fluency 
Focus 
Freedom 
Fun 
Generosity 
Goodness
Grace 
Growth 
Happiness 
Hard Work
Health
Helping Society 
Holiness 
Honesty 
Honor
Humility 
Independence 
Ingenuity 
Inner Harmony
Inquisitiveness 
Insightfulness 
Intelligence 
Intellectual Status
Intuition
Joy 
Justice 
Leadership
Legacy 
Love 
Loyalty 
Making a difference 
Mastery 
Merit
Obedience 
Openness 
Order 
Originality 
Patriotism
Perfection 
Piety 
Positivity
Practicality 
Preparedness 
Professionalism 
Prudence 
Quality-orientation
Reliability 
Resourcefulness 
Restraint 
Results-oriented
Rigor 
Security 
Self-actualization
Self-control 
Selflessness 
Self-reliance 
Sensitivity 
Serenity 
Service 
Shrewdness 
Simplicity 
Soundness 
Speed 
Spontaneity 
Stability 
Strategic
Strength 
Structure 
Success
Support 
Teamwork 
Temperance 
Thankfulness 
Thoroughness 
Thoughtfulness 
Timeliness 
Tolerance
Traditionalism 
Trustworthiness 
Truth-seeking 
Understanding 
Uniqueness 
Unity 
Usefulness 
Vision 
Vitality

Step 5: Prioritize your top values

This step is probably the most difficult, because you’ll have to look deep inside yourself. It’s also the most important step, because, when making a decision, you’ll have to choose between solutions that may satisfy different values. This is when you must know which value is more important to you.

  • Write down your top values, not in any particular order.
  • Look at the first two values and ask yourself, “If I could satisfy only one of these, which would I choose?” It might help to visualize a situation in which you would have to make that choice. For example, if you compare the values of service and stability, imagine that you must decide whether to sell your house and move to another country to do valuable foreign aid work, or keep your house and volunteer to do charity work closer to home.
  • Keep working through the list, by comparing each value with each other value, until your list is in the correct order.

Tip:

If you have a tough time doing this, consider using Paired Comparison Analysis   to help you. With this method, you decide which of two options is most important, and then assign a score to show how much more important it is. Since it’s so important to identify and prioritize your values, investing your time in this step is definitely worth it.

Step 6: Reaffirm your values

Check your top-priority values, and make sure they fit with your life and your vision for yourself.

  • Do these values make you feel good about yourself?
  • Are you proud of your top three values?
  • Would you be comfortable and proud to tell your values to people you respect and admire?
  • Do these values represent things you would support, even if your choice isn’t popular, and it puts you in the minority?

When you consider your values in decision making, you can be sure to keep your sense of integrity and what you know is right, and approach decisions with confidence and clarity. You’ll also know that what you’re doing is best for your current and future happiness and satisfaction.

Making value-based choices may not always be easy. However, making a choice that you know is right is a lot less difficult in the long run.

Key Points

Identifying and understanding your values is a challenging and important exercise. Your values are a central part of who you are – and who you want to be. By becoming more aware of these important factors in your life, you can use them as a guide to make the best choice in any situation.

Some of life’s decisions are really about determining what you value most. When many options seem reasonable, it’s helpful and comforting to rely on your values – and use them as a strong guiding force to point you in the right direction.

 

SOURCE: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm

“Believe that life will surprise you, again and again.”

23 Things People Who Love Their Lives Are Doing Differently

Angel and I have worked with thousands of coaching clients over the years.  Together, they have given us incredible insight into what the average human being needs to do to go from “loathing” to “loving” their life.  And, of course, we’ve successfully helped the vast majority of them gradually get from point A to point B.

What most of these people never suspected is that they would have to learn how to do lots of little things differently.  Because the truth is, there are specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world that we all have to master before we can awaken to a simpler, happier, more fulfilling life – a life worth loving.  And that’s precisely what this post is all about.

No matter what part of life’s path you’re traveling on, the list below will always be applicable.  These are simple, positive habits that thousands of people who have learned to love their lives, now live by.  Here’s what they do differently…

  1. They flow with life, not against it. – When everything in life seems to be going wrong, mostly it’s meant to go wrong so that you may outgrow the things you need to outgrow.  Keep this in mind.  Life may wreck your plans when your plans are about to wreck you.  For everything you’ve lost, you’ve gained something else.  You don’t have to accept it; it’s just easier if you do.  When you try to control too much, you enjoy too little.  Sometimes you simply need to take a deep breath and appreciate what is.
  2. They let go of self-defeating thoughts. – Breath by breath, let go of fear, expectation, anger, regret and frustration.  Let go of the need for approval too.  You don’t need any of it.  The world is as we are inside.  What we think, we see, and we ultimately become.  So choose your thoughts wisely.  Think how you want to live.
  3. They prove themselves to themselves, not others. – If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone else, you’ve already forgotten your value.  Don’t do this to yourself.
  4. They believe in the possibilities ahead. – You are a victim of the beliefs you live by.  And a belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses, it is an idea that possesses the mind.  So believe in yourself.  Believe in your capacity to succeed.  Believe that there are many roads to what’s right.  Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths.  Believe that the answers are out there waiting.  Believe that life will surprise you again and again.  Believe that the journey is the destination.  Believe that it’s all worth your while.
  5. They find the positive in every situation. – The most underrated trait of all successful people I’ve ever met: Positivity.  Your attitude directly determines how well you live your life.
  6. They appreciate what they have. – Every now and then it’s good to pause in your pursuit of happiness, look around, and simply be happy for what you already have in your life.  (Read The How of Happiness.)
  7. They nurture their own inner peace. – In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.  Take a few deep breaths, a relaxing walk, or a moment to meditate.  When you find peace within, you who can live at peace in any situation.
  8. They find the courage to be real. – It takes courage to grow up, grow wiser, and turn out to be who you really are.  Find the courage to own your story.  To speak your truth.  To ask for what you need.  To set boundaries.  And to reach out for love and support when you need it.
  9. They maintain high personal standards based on strong values.– Goals are important but they are temporary.  Values on the other hand are forever.  Raise your standards by taking a values-driven, not just a goal-focused, approach to life.
  10. They walk the talk and always set a great example. – Be the change you want to see. Give what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect, and mirror what you admire.
  11. They help themselves by helping others. – We all die.  The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will… an idea or gesture that helps others live better.  Strong people stand up for themselves; stronger people stand up for others too.  Remember this next time you feel like flexing your muscles.
  12. They use self-reflection as a tool to keep things in perspective. – Never forget where you’ve been, lose sight of where you’re going, or take for granted the people who travel the journey with you.
  13. They make their important relationships a daily priority. – An incredible thing happens when you pay close attention.  It’s by participating more in your relationships that you breathe life into them. (Read The Mastery of Love.)
  14. They accept that not all relationships are meant to last. – This is a harsh truth.  And what we do with our pain is nearly everything.  To punish people for not loving us is a heartbreaking, broken sort of justice.  It just doesn’t work out for anyone.  So let the wrong ones go, willingly.  Ultimately, you will meet two kinds of people in life: those who build you up and those who tear you down.  In the end, though, you will thank them both.  Because the wrong relationships eventually lead to the right ones.
  15. They leave the past behind. – Don’t let the past steal your present.  Your past has not defined, deterred, or defeated you.  It has only strengthened who you are today.  Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask yourself if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.
  16. They make every day count. – What you do daily matters more than what you do every once in awhile.  Your life will not improve unless you start making daily improvements.  It’s not about being the smartest, it’s about making the smartest decision. It’s not about being right, it’s about doing the right things.
  17. They do the work. – The near-term cost of discipline is always less than the long-term cost of lack of discipline.  At some point you have to stop wishing for it and start working for it.
  18. They focus on effectiveness, not busyness. – The great paradox of our time is that many of us are busy and bored at the same time.  Busyness and effectiveness are two different things.  (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Goals and Success” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
  19. They get uncomfortable. – You can’t learn, grow and succeed until you get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  The best wins in life often come only after you dare to lose.
  20. They break-up their routines to seek new insight. – You will often see what is wrong when you are doing it right.  But you will rarely see what is right when you are comfortably in the routine of doing it wrong.  If you want a new tomorrow, then make new choices today.  Mix it up!  Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.
  21. They take action in spite of their fears. – Dreading is often far worse than just doing the thing.  Dread rehearses a scenario over and over without progress and success ever showing up.  So just do it already!  Stand strong.  Do what you fear, and fear disappears.  Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions speak louder than your words.
  22. They use change as an opportunity to grow. – Life is change, but growth is optional.  Choose wisely.  To be a success in life you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to remain perfectly capable of improving.  Let your mistakes, and life’s twists and turns, strengthen you.  Growth and change may be painful sometimes, but nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck where you don’t belong.
  23. They always give themselves another chance. – Sometimes the bad things that happen in your life put you on a direct path to the best possible things that could ever happen to you.  You just have to give yourself another chance to get there.

Source: http://www.bloglovin.com/frame?post=3062201755&group=0&frame_type=a&blog=918381&frame=1&click=0&user=0