This blog will hopefully inspire you, warm your heart, make you smile and feel positive.

The Beauty of Suffering

runner

Suffering is not the opposite of joy. Just like failure and success are not necessarily opposites. There’s a close correlation between pain and pleasure, or failure and success. If you are a runner, you will be familiar that after an intense running, runners experience a sense of euphoria that has been linked to the production of opioids, a neurochemical that is also released in response to pain. This is called “Runner’s High”.

If you’re not so much a runner, what if you want to be a great singer? To be a great singer, you have to put in work. Sing every day. Train your breathing. Watch other singers and analyze their style. Do gigs. Keep your voice healthy. All of that work could be seen as “suffering”. The opposite is much easier: hang out with friends, go to movies, take naps, essentially don’t do much. Without the suffering, then, you can’t get the joy of being a great singer.

“As long as you are too focused on your self-importance and too caught up in thinking about how you are good or bad, you will experience suffering.”
– The Dalai Lama

We can’t reduce suffering. But we can reduce the amplification of pain within the suffering by focusing less on ourselves. Removing the self-importance is an important step. Realize that everyone suffers. Athletes train to get better. Singers sing and get booed at gigs. Entrepreneurs lose money and think it’s over before they really have a successful business.

Stephen King had his first novel, “Carrie”, rejected 30 times before it was published. It was a similar number of rejections for J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter. Before they experienced the joy and success, they suffered.

Celebrate every small amount of joy. You are going to fail. You’re going to suffer. Take a small amount of joy in those moments. Understand they are learning experiences. You will grow from them. Very few people marry their first love; many go through heartbreaks. Very few people see their first professional endeavor be a total success; many scrap and fail before they find some success. Find a way to track your progress and to set and celebrate little benchmarks. The point is, you are making progress. Even if it feels like suffering, you can see that it’s leading you to joy.

When you first start running, you may struggle to run 2 or 3 km. After a few months, you might be running 10 km. After a year, it might be a half marathon. All of that is a struggle and suffering. But it’s also beautiful. You are gaining strength and becoming more fit. Failure is hard, but it’s a necessary element of life. Find beauty in those moments because you are growing.

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Go First-Class

 

Everything has a cost. If you say yes to an opportunity, that means you’re saying “no” to many others.

Creating a first-class life means doing things many people are unwilling to do. Most people choose comfort and security over freedom. If you want to go first-class in everything you do, you need to start making choices that no one else is.

Successful people do what unsuccessful people are unwilling to do.

Unfortunately, most people choose “good” opportunities, not great ones. They don’t have the patience or poise to pass and wait for something better. This is hard to do. Living an extraordinary life and going first-class takes extreme discipline and focus. Most people are simply unwilling to do it.

It’s not about money or status; it’s about becoming who you truly are, and excelling.

There are many good things you’ll have to give up in exchange for something greater. For example, you need to give up your addiction to security. Blazing your own path isn’t safe. The results are incredible, but only possible when you embrace the risk. Stop letting others define success for you. Only you can define your true success.

Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning.

Overindulgence in entertainment will keep you in a mediocre life. If you make common choices, you’ll end up with a common life. If you want to be one of those rare, extraordinary people with world-class success, you need to make the extraordinary choice to learn instead of be entertained. You have so much to learn, and so far to go. The only way to get there is to prioritize consistent, meaningful learning.

Live like no one else now, so later you can live like no one else.

New Restaurant

 

An elderly couple had dinner at another couple’s house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen.

The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, “Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly.”

The other man said, “What is the name of the restaurant?”

The first man thought and thought and finally said, “What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know … the one that’s red and has thorns.”

“Do you mean a rose?”

“Yes, that’s the one,” replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, “Rose, what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?”

live

We live in a fast paced world, and it is getting increasingly difficult to keep up with the tempo of things. With the advent of more sophisticated technology and software, our lives are even more chaotic and disrupted. If we don’t check up on social media in two hours, we start to feel jittery.

We put on the news, even when we don’t want to, so that we don’t miss out on important happenings around the world. We are besieged by emails and text messages that add no value to our lives, yet we feel compelled to open each and every one of them.

The hours in a day are still 24 hours, same as it was from time immemorial, but it does seem to be getting shorter, because there is so much to do (most of it irrelevant) and not quite enough time to do them all. But we live only once, and we get no other chance to redo what we have done wrong. This is the time to take back our lives, this is the time to reclaim what modern times, technology and our anxiety has taken from us. This is the time to take full control.

The article “50 ways to live life on your own terms” originally published on Medium, is an extensive and well researched article written by Benjamin P. Hardy, a PhD candidate in Motivation Psychology.

Benjamin has explained 50 ways on how we can take back control of our lives. Below summarizes some of the key points on personal improvement and improving relationships.

  • Stop consuming the news: Media outlets have a goal to appeal to your fears by inflating extreme cases. This way, they retain their viewership. Ditch the news and get high quality news curated from sources like Google News.
  • Do something terrifying: Do something every day that terrifies you. Confront your fear and make that call, ask that question, pitch that idea, or post that video.
  • Work on your bucket list: Design your life around your ambitions rather than design your ambitions around your life. Make a list of the things you absolutely must do before you die, and then start working on doing them.
  • Declutter: Remove all non-essentials from your life. We hardly use most of the possessions we own, and these suck energy from our lives. Also, they are dormant value waiting to be exchanged for dollars.
  • Don’t obsess: Stop obsessing about the outcome. Instead, have an expectation in your own ability. This serves as a better predictor of high performance than expectations about a specific outcome. Expect optimal performance from yourself and let the consequence follow.
  • Don’t check social media immediately: Wait at least 60-90 minutes after you wake up before checking your email and social media. If you check immediately, this puts you in a reactive state for the remainder of the day. Instead of responding to other people’s agendas, you’d rather live life on your own terms.
  • Track an improvable habit: Track at least one habit/behavior you’re trying to improve because research has repeatedly found that when behavior is tracked and evaluated, it improves drastically. You can also make tracking creative. Do what works for you. Use a method you will actually do. But start tracking.
  • Reduce the to do list: Have no more than 3 items on your to-do list each day. When you shift your life from day-to-day reactivity to one of creation and purpose, your goals become a lot bigger. Consequently, your priority list becomes smaller. Instead of doing a million things poorly, the goal becomes to do a few things incredibly well.
  • Marry for love: Find yourself a spouse who complements and supports you and makes you better. Remember that being married gives you a higher purpose for being productive. And also remember you don’t marry to make yourself happy, but to make someone else happy.
  • Learn to say “No”: You must say no to people, obligations, requests, and opportunities you’re not interested in from now on. Know what you want and you’ll have the courage and foresight to pass up opportunities that are distractors from your vision.
  • Be spontaneously generous with a stranger: Be spontaneous. When you get the wild thought of buying the person’s food in the car behind you, just do it. Don’t think about it. If you’re driving down the road and see someone with car trouble off to the side, just do it. Don’t think about it. When you want to say “I love you,” to a loved one, just do it. Don’t think about it.
  • Befriend your parents: Become good friends with your parents. Although you won’t always see things the same way your parents do, love them and respect their viewpoints. If your parents are still around, rekindle those ties or increase the flame. You’ll find enormous joy in those relationships.
  • Eat with the family: Eat at least one meal with your family per day because eating together creates a sense of community like nothing else.

15 Two-Line Jokes

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  1. Parallel lines have so much in common.
    It’s a shame they’ll never meet.
  2. My wife accused me of being immature.
    I told her to get out of my fort.
  3. Women only call me ugly until they find out how much money I make.
    Then they call me ugly and poor.
  4. What do you call a dog with no legs?
    It doesn’t matter; it’s not going to come.
  5. Someone stole my Microsoft Office and they’re gonna pay.
    You have my Word.
  6. What’s green, fuzzy, and if it fell out of a tree it would kill you?
    A pool table.
  7. A physicist sees a young man about to jump off the Empire State Building.
    He yells, “Don’t do it! You have so much potential!”
  8. Want to hear a word I just made up?
    Plagiarism.
  9. Why do cows wear bells?
    Because their horns don’t work.
  10. To the handicapped guy who stole my bag.
    You can hide but you can’t run.
  11. I took the shell off my racing snail, thinking it would make him run faster.
    If anything, it made him more sluggish.
  12. And the Lord said unto John, “Come forth and you will receive eternal life.”
    But John came fifth, and won a toaster.
  13. Someone stole my mood ring.
    I don’t know how I feel about that.
  14. The first rule of Alzheimer’s club –
    don’t talk about chess club.
  15. Why does a chicken coop have two doors?
    If it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan.

10 Commandments in Life

  1. Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout.
  2. Why a car’s windshield is so large and the rear view mirror is so small? Because our past is not as important as our future. So, look ahead and move on.
  3. Friendship is like a book. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.
  4. All things in life are temporary. If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don’t worry, they can’t last long either.
  5. Old friends are Gold! New friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don’t forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a base of Gold!
  6. Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, God smiles from above and says, “Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!”
  7. When God solves your problems, you have faith in his abilities; when God doesn’t solve your problems, he has faith in your abilities.
  8. A blind person asked St. Anthony: “Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?” He replied: “Yes, losing your vision!”
  9. When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.
  10. Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it only takes away today’s peace.

A Letter to Myself

Dear Me,

You and I go way back, to the beginning. We’re totally connected in a way no one will, or can ever understand. We’ve been there, standing together, contemplating in the midnight, singing in the shower, laughing at those funny YouTube videos. It’s always been you and me, always and forever.

Life hasn’t been easy on you lately, and I am truly sorry about that. You are seriously overworked and lack of sleep. But despite it all, you have managed to keep your head up and continue fighting throughout. Your project even won an industry award. Be proud of everything you have gone through, and mostly, what you’ve become.

Stop being so hard on yourself. All the challenges today will make sense to you one day. All the pain and frustration will become worth it. Remember, everything happens for a reason. You are in the exact place you are meant to be right now. So breathe, be patient, and trust the course of your life. Let go of all the expectations and accept life for what it is.

Although you had worked so hard, your contributions are not well recognized. You were informed that you will get no pay rise this year because your salary is at the top of the range and their system does not allow to make any adjustments. Don’t take it so personal and try to not let others get you down. Most of the time, things have nothing to do with you. Life is unfair and try to understand their side of the story. Learn from their wrongdoings and then let it remain in the past. Not everything is always how it appears.

Christmas is fast approaching and this year will be another lonely one. As you grow old, I understand you already gave up hope about finding a partner. Frankly, there is so much more to life than a girlfriend. You don’t need to rely on others for your happiness. Just because you have not found it yet, does not mean you don’t deserve to be loved. Be patient and stay positive. It will be worth the wait when the right person appears one day.

Thank you for never giving up and being so tough. You inspire others and you lift them up. Be a good friend. Be kind to your family. Be a better blogger. Be selfless. Be professional at work. Just like the lyrics of your favorite song: “I faced it all and I stood tall. And did it my way.” I know you deserve the world, and even a little more. Now go and get it.

Love,
Me

Related Post: Letters To Myself