Stop

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There are things we do to ourselves every single day. Even every single hour. They are self-defeating. They are self-sabotaging. They are also by choice.

If we chose to stop doing these things, in all or in part, we would see Drastic changes in our lives. Drastic.

Here is your list of actions to live a better, happier life.

STOP…

1) Worrying and being fearful

2) Judging yourself and comparing yourself to others

3) Being embarrassed

4) Explaining or justifying yourself

5) Assuming or jumping to conclusions

6) Doubting your abilities or yourself

7) Rehashing things

8) Putting yourself down

9) Complaining

10) Taking things personally

11) Letting yourself off the hook

In the last hour, the past 60 minutes, how many of these did you do? And how often? Those 11 things are very powerful, and very harmful, behaviours. When you’re happy you don’t do a single one of those. Ok, maybe the last one ;)

Those first 10 behaviours are not motivated by happiness and do not have happy outcomes.

Here’s what you should do instead:

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START…

1) Accept the things that have happened. Deal with situations the best you can, as they arise. Know that most of the things you fear or worry about will NOT happen. Ever.

2) Try to be better today than you were yesterday. You are your only competition, your only comparison. No one is like you and you aren’t like anyone else. Embrace this.

3) You are human and will err. A lot. Accept this and get on with your life :) There’s nothing you could do or that will happen to you that hasn’t already happened to most of the human race (sometimes animals too).

4) It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. You know why you do what you do and think what you think. If any explanation is needed keep it to a minimum. Don’t let someone derail you or try to put holes in your logic, this will demotivate you. Stay on your path. The average way of thinking and logic will not be your way of thinking and logic.

5) You see, hear and think based on biases you’ve accumulated all through your life. Whether you agree or not, listen to what others have to say. Also realize that you don’t know everything, none of us do. You won’t know every facet of every situation. Acknowledge this.

6) You trust and believe in yourself more when there’s no outside influence. So Ignore negative external influences. Don’t compare your abilities. You know what you’re good at and you’ll continue to get even better over time. Stay true to that knowledge. KNOW it! You are DAMN GOOD…at whatever :)

7) Do the best you can and do what you can. That’s all we can ever do. When you’ve wronged someone then right it the next time you see them. If there’s a lesson to be learned from something then learn it. And be done with it. Move forwards not backwards, in thoughts AND actions.

People who succeed in life are rarely reflective. Their gaze is always on the future, that’s why they    succeed. – Unknown

8) No one does you quite like you. They never will. If you know you can work on and improve things then fine, make small steps in the direction of improvement. But ALWAYS commend yourself on the good things about yourself. Do this many times a day, every day. Be grateful for things in your life but also be grateful for yourself. You are….a good friend/listener/caring/thoughtful/hard working/intelligent/resourceful/funny/kind/creative/put others at ease/life of the party/compassionate/ethical/honest/empathic/sympathetic/loving/reliable/lover of animals and small children/chauffeur for friends/help people move/friendly/brighten up people’s day/make people laugh and forget their troubles/volunteer/patient/etc…. (Oh boy, the world needs Many more patient people – I’m not one of them, sorry)

You affect people in ways you will NEVER know. Your actions touch people you’ll never meet.

9) If you can change something (where you live, your job, etc) then do it. If you can’t make any changes then accept the situation and make peace with it so that you can have peace.

10) Nothing anyone does is because of you. Nothing. Not their good mood and certainly not their bad. Not their actions. Not their thoughts. We tend to vent to the first person we see or have contact with, or who lets us. Keep this in mind when someone is giving you a hard time. Always stay calm and don’t reflect back their bad energy, let it dissipate.

If you’re taking offense to something that’s because deep down you agree with what’s being implied. That’s the psychology behind our being defensive about something. When you’re being defensive take note and acknowledge that you have something to work on. And work on it.

11) Make yourself accountable for every goal, every action you want to take. Tell people who will follow up with you, people who will demand accountability from you. Set up rewards for your progress.
Everything you do either makes you money or costs you money. Make a ‘Must Do’ list of 3-6 things every night before bed. Those are your priorities for the following day. At the end of each day take stock of whether you ‘made’ or ‘spent’ money that day, with your daily activities.

 

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You are the CEO of You, Inc. Chief Everything Officer. You are completely in charge, no one else. Every decision you make matters. Your company will either prosper, stagnate, or go bankrupt. It’s up to you.

 

Your Level of Vibration (“My level of what?”)

If you’ve read any spiritual books or articles you’ve likely come across this term.

We all vibrate at different levels, levels that change as our mood changes. Now you may have no idea what that means. Let me explain, as I understand it.

When you’re happy you’re like a spinning top.

When you’re less than happy it’s like when the top spins more slowly, still upright but wobbly. Your ‘vibration’ (or spin) is at a lower level. When you’re angry, negative, or really sad your vibration is at its lowest level, the top is about to fall over from lack of spin.

‘In vibrational alignment’ is another term. When someone is Very happy, uber cheerful, does that sometimes get to you? Too chipper for you? That’s because you’re not in vibrational alignment with that person. You’re both like this:

vibration

When we don’t really believe, deep down, that we deserve something then we are not in vibrational alignment with that thing, like pieces of a puzzle that don’t fit together. This can result in a relationship not working out, someone not calling you back after a first date, or not getting a job. We can actually push things away by trying too hard or coming across as desperate. Money? If somewhere in your mind you don’t feel completely comfortable, completely at ease, with the idea of having a decent amount of money…. then you won’t. These are called self-limiting beliefs.

If there are any mental barriers to something you want, then you won’t get it. Want a relationship, but believe in negative stereotypes because you’ve been hurt? Then you will repel all the good candidates. The match won’t work, can’t work; you’re vibrating at a lower level than the person you want. In this state there’s no point in The Universe matching you two up because you’ll just sabotage it anyway.

puzzle_istockBeing single is the time to work on yourself, to learn to Love yourself, to be Happy with yourself. This will raise your vibration (increase your rate of spin, so to speak) and allow you to be a match to the puzzle pieces that represent all the things that you want in your life. Or being unemployed. This is the time to figure out what you Really want to do with your life. What job, what career, would make you happy and not just pay the bills? Bills will never go away, why give up your joy for them? Working at a job that makes you happy, or working for yourself if that’s what you want, will raise your vibration. It will help you to be a better match to all the great things you want in your life.

Happy people attract certain people, things and events into their lives because they’re a Match to those certain people, things and events. When someone is in a foul mood you don’t want to be anywhere near them, right? Their low level of vibration is much lower than yours and this repels you, physically bothers you. So you look for more pleasant people to be around (people with higher levels of vibration), who make you feel good to be in their presence.

You want your current vibration of needs and wants  vibration-string-6228

to streamline more like this  vibration-string-6259.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post our levels of vibration are constantly changing. Don’t worry too much about the swing between high and low, that’s just life. But try to vibrate at a higher level (being happier) more often than you vibrate at a lower level (sad, cranky, angry).

And watch the change this brings to your life!

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Regret

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Have you ever had regret about something? Wished you could do something over? Wished you’d made a different choice? We all have. Well, I’m going to tell you something about that.

Don’t.

We’re all here to learn lessons and to experience things. To grow.

When we make a mistake we’re supposed to learn from it. And then not repeat it. If you’re not learning from your mistakes then, oh boy, do they keep coming! And they get bigger! Like when you don’t pay attention to a child they’ll pull harder on your pant leg, or slap harder on your arm. Life does the Exact Same Thing.
If you feel bad about any mistakes you make, if you’re striving for perfection… well, that just isn’t going to happen. Sorry. No one on this pale blue dot is perfect and never will be. That defeats the purpose of Being here!

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Life is just a bitch on a broom sometimes and we ask “Why?!”.
If we never experience need then we can never feel gratitude. If we never experience sorrow then we can never feel happy. If we never sacrifice than we can never appreciate. Life, as painful as it may be, needs to have contrast for us to notice, to feel, to experience.

An interesting result of hardship is that people learn to care, they learn empathy. Some of the kindest people have endured the cruelest pasts.

Every single decision we’ve ever made has made us who we are today. If you’re even remotely a decent person then don’t regret a minute of your past! It made you the hunk of awesomeness that you are :-D

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Bullying

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I decided a few months ago that one of my life purposes was going to be to help in the fight against bullying, or bullycide. I spent half of my life in foster homes, and as a child was always the recipient of bullying. At least in those days it stayed at school since there was no internet, social media or texting. I have been trying to decide how this epidemic can be tackled, since the worst affected are public-school age youth. The answer seems to be in the very place it originates, in the schools.

Ellen DeGeneres stated that the education system needs to teach empathy. I agree wholeheartedly with this.

Providing support for those suffering through bullying seems to be the main platform for this issue. I feel this is putting the cart ahead of the horse. I believe we need to concentrate on tackling the bullying and heading off this problem at the source.

Today’s youth are bombarded with way more advertising and marketing than any other generation and the prime aim of marketing seems to be to make people feel they have some shortcoming that only so-and-so’s product can solve. The numbers of preteens, both male and female, concerned and unhappy with their physical appearance is both shocking and very sad. Even before they hit high school many young people have eating disorders. For my generation the death of Karen Carpenter was the shocking result of once being called fat by a heartless music reviewer. She took it to heart and this led to an eating disorder that eroded her health which eventually killed her. How many of these young people have an early death ahead of them just because of Advertising?? Or because they didn’t have effective role models or mentors who believed in them and built up their self esteem? Some designers are using real size models in their fashion shows. Some advertisers are using realistic models in their print ads and magazines. This is an absolutely Wonderful proactive action. And since the music industry has become so much about looks musicians are taking it upon themselves to be in the best shape of their lives. This can also be an inspiration for young listeners, since physical activity makes you feel good, not just look good. Wii bringing physical activity to video games was a great move. There are even a children’s show where physical activity is part of the show; the kids moving around is supposed to keep the main character energized.

The Psychology of It All

Psychology has proven that a certain percent of people repeat what they know; whatever unhealthy abuse they grew up with/currently experience at home. A certain percent of young people who bully are receiving some kind of abuse or neglect at home. Any child who bullies or acts out is telling you something; either there’s an issue at home or an issue with the individual. Schools are Such an important place and teaching is Such an important job; in my view every individual who works in such a place has taken on a Huge responsibility to help direct and protect our most important resource; the future. The reality is that some parents just can’t or aren’t able to do the job of parenting at home and this falls to our teachers as well.

I’d like to counter Ellen DeGeneres’s empathy in schools idea with self-esteem and confidence-building. This would help both the bully and the bully-ee. The person acting out could be too afraid to tell a teacher about their own issues, or just doesn’t know how to ask for help and is taking their anger out on an easy target. I TRULY believe that integrating self-esteem and confidence-building into education would have a HUGE impact on eradicating bullying. I’m still figuring out what format would be most effective and least contested by current-day school boards. School visits to talk about confidence and self-esteem seem the easiest option at this point. The only drawback is that positive vibes die out quickly if not reinforced. I will also shortly also act on my idea from years ago to make a website geared towards youth to help instill self-esteem and confidence in them.

Since youth aren’t the only ones with self-esteem and confidence issues hopefully this is the start of a whole new movement, a whole new era,  where we start putting our fellow humans ahead of materialism, self-indulgence and appeasing our egos. Since reaching adults is much harder than reaching children, hopefully creating change in our youth will create change in adults; trickle-up theory?

My Anti-Motivational Rant

While looking for a picture for this post I saw some Very gruesome images: nooses, bruised, battered and bloodied faces, punches about to be thrown and kicks about to be disbursed. While writing this I was ignoring just how violent young people can be. Whenever an adult would consider an action to be assault I strongly feel that we need to treat young with the same seriousness. Even into late teens some are causing emergency room visits or even hospitalization without being punished in any way whatsoever. If they’re allowed to drive at 16, then why are they not considered to be responsible for their actions when assaulting another? I’m of the generation where belts and wooden spoons weren’t just to hold up pants or kitchen utensils. We survived those punishments. Society is now so freaking lax with any punishment for deserving behaviour, that a certain number of our young people have little or no respect for authority, their elders, themselves, or each other. The only solution I see for aggressive physical behaviour is legal action and self-esteem and empathy work while incarcerated (a group home or whatever setting the judge chooses). And I think ALL bullying incidents should result in required community service. Any infraction by anyone should result in community service. Oh, just thought of a great slogan: “If you’re going to act like an ass, you’re going to get the work of an ass.” (as in donkey) Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? ;)

Rant Done. Thank You

If you want to be part of this movement there are many ways, basically all under volunteering; Big Sisters/Big Brothers, volunteer at your local recreation center, volunteer for a homework tutor organization or the library – in Toronto many branches have homework tutor programs. Every city should have it’s own volunteer website. Toronto’s big ones are (http://www.volunteertoronto.ca) and (https://charityvillage.com/directories/volunteers/find-volunteer-listings.aspx) Charity Village is Canada wide. You’ll be surprised at all the places that use volunteers and have programs you aren’t aware of. YMCA has a lot going on that I didn’t know about until I perused their site one day. There’s a lot you can do in your own back yard as well. Perhaps there’s a single mother in your area or building who could really use some babysitting help. Or maybe just play basketball with the local kids, any exposure to another role model is a great thing for young people. I watched the movie ‘Unconditional’ about Papa Joe (Joe Bradford) who lives in Nashville. He has been a father figure to many fatherless children in his neighbourhood and also distributes food to needy families. We all have the ability to be a Papa Joe.

I wholeheartedly support volunteering. When young people partake in volunteering it helps them see a bigger picture of the world, gives them responsibility and confidence and also lets them see that some people aren’t as well off as they are. This pretty well goes for adults too. And there is no feeling comparable to helping others and giving freely of your own time. The appreciation you get back is very rewarding. To me this is a requirement to a balanced life. Keep yourself happy and ‘the small stuff’ will just disappear :)

Don’t Worry Be Happy!

As I progress along my journey to happiness and peace and see how my life is changing, how I’m changing, I become more and more surprised at how willing people are to just Accept their lot in life. So many people truly believe there’s nothing they can do about it, and that’s sad.

A classmate compared me to a guy when I told him how I was handling all the stress and financial situation of being  a student; I’m chill. I didn’t really like the comment because it took me 38 YEARS to become this chill. And I’m much better for it. You will be too if you try it. Bills are due? They’re still due whether you freak out or not. Money all gone? You’re still broke whether you get upset about it. Instead of wasting precious energy on worry you could put that energy into ideas on how to become unbroke :D There’s always a way, always a solution, if we’re clear headed enough to look for those solutions. Sometimes we have to make our own solution but there IS one.

When we expect life to get better, opportunities will come our way. But we have to be willing to work for them. There’s no free lunch in this world, but there are free appetizers or dessert to help you along the way ;) Some incentive as it were. Don’t just Believe life will get better, Expect it! Demand it! And then be willing to do some old-fashioned hard work to make sure it Does happen.

I’ll give away a secret right now. The one thing that will solve All problems is Love. A dose of Love will cure what ails ya. There is no emotion as strong as love. There is no force more powerful. Learn to integrate love into your life, into your daily routines, and you will be well on your way to happiness and peace. And health as well.

Learning to take complete responsibility for everything you do is also a required part of your daily life. No excuses, no blaming others for anything. Blaming and complaining stop. If you don’t like something figure out a way to change or improve the situation. Blaming and complaining are not allowed on this journey. It sounds hard but once you’ve replaced those bad habits with good ones (you can never get rid of habits, just replace them) they stay.