Beating yourself up & tearing yourself down.

“My life sucks.”
“I’m a failure.”
“I’m not where I want to be.”

It should be obvious, but even if you’re not exactly where you want to be in life — or you’re unsatisfied with your current situation — beating yourself up over the fact that you aren’t where you wish to be only serves to make things worse.

Rather than help, this kind of negative thinking puts the one person most capable of fighting for your well-being at a disadvantage. It turns you into your own enemy.

You wouldn’t tolerate a friend belittling your accomplishments, rubbing your mistakes in your face, or trying to put you down. So why would you accept that kind of behavior from yourself?

You don’t win an award for seeing how low you can go or how miserable you can make yourself feel.

If you have a tendency to do this, it’s time to stop. It’s time to take note of when your line of thinking is leading you in a downward spiral. It’s time to remind yourself that making yourself feel worse about whatever situation you find yourself in isn’t helpful or necessary and no good will come of it.

“This isn’t helping me. I need to stop thinking this way. I need to stop revisiting these thoughts. I need to focus on something else. I need to remember that, ‘This, too, shall pass’.”

While you may not be able to immediately change the situation you find yourself in, you can change is your attitude about it. And rather than focus on your problems, you can focus on solutions to your problems. Even if the most immediate solution is to stop beating yourself up — because that’s a problem you can solve.

It’s important to remember that success in anything is often comprised of many failures. And comparing your life to others isn’t fair. We are each on our own unique journey. No two people are following the same exact paths in life.

And not only do people rarely make their struggles known, they often don’t highlight their failures either. What you see when you look at others’ lives is often only a fraction of a complete picture.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” — Steve Furtick

If revisiting the past in your mind makes you miserable or comparing yourself to others makes you feel like a failure, stop doing it. Because no amount of thinking about these things in this way is going to help you. No matter what you do, you cannot change the past.

The only thing you have complete control over is your attitude and how you choose to act in this moment. This moment matters.

Rather than waste time and energy tearing yourself down, use that time to focus on what you want to achieve. Taking steps to stop yourself from feeling worse is a start.

You, more than anyone, have the ability to be your own best friend, it seems a shame to waste that opportunity by becoming your worst enemy.

Retire those tired old dysfunctional thoughts. Push forward with new ones. Be thankful for what you have and work with it and take positive action.

You can be the hero of your life and the champion of your well-being, but first you have fully commit to the role.

And that transformation will only take place after you stop beating yourself up & tearing yourself down.

Don’t give power to your unfriendly thoughts.

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“I wish I knew then what I know now”

“I wish I knew a year ago what I know now.”

You will never know today what it will take life experience over the next year to learn, but you can always increase the rate at which you learn things by getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things, and growing from the process.

Every new experience you have, every mistake you make, and every challenge you face will provide you with a valuable learning experience.

Every skill you develop as a result of these life experiences can then be used to deal with and overcome additional challenges you face.

If you want to be better prepared for what life has in store for you, never stop learning, never stop challenging yourself, never stop trying to broaden your perspective, and never stop exercising your body or your mind.

Like everything, they deteriorate from lack of use.

Take a direct and active role in what you learn in life and where you go as a result.

Wisdom, strength, power, and understanding don’t come from your comfort zone.

You have the awesome ability to upgrade your body and your mind at any moment.

It’s a shame to waste that by living a life wishing you knew then what you know now.

Life is meant to be a surprise.

Live, learn something new, and make a difference with it. Ad infinitum.

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A friend to talk to

The winter holidays can be particularly difficult for some people.

For the third year in a row, I’d like to lend an ear to anyone who could use someone to talk to during the season.

Be it by email, chat, text, or phone, I’m available to be a friend to anyone who wants one. Or more importantly, anyone who needs one.

You’re never as alone as you may sometimes feel. And there are people in the world who do actually care about your well-being, even if you haven’t met them yet. Even if you seemingly have little in common.

I can’t say I can solve your problems. And I’m not a therapist. But I am a fairly decent listener. I can probably make you feel less alone. And I can probably make you laugh.

In any case, whether you’re familiar with me or not, I’m here if it’s helpful. No pressure.

Stay warm. And happy holidays.

Message me directly for any details or contact info.

*This is technically an unlimited time offer as my availability allows, but I make it more obvious during the holidays.

Also, I would encourage anyone who has friends or family who may be going through a rough time or who are spending the holidays alone to let them know you’re there for them if they need you.

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The good, the bad, and the rude

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Don’t attribute to intentional rudeness what can easily be explained by a lack of self-awareness and social skills.

Some people are oblivious to some things or desensitized to others.

We don’t all perceive the world the same way. We don’t all use the same words or type of language when we communicate. We don’t all value the same things equally or have the same priorities. And we especially don’t have the same level of awareness.

Some people simply live in their own world and go about life fulfilling their own needs without regard to others. It isn’t intentional selfishness or self-centeredness as much as a lack of awareness as to how their actions affect others.

Children are often guilty of this because they don’t have enough life experience to know better. They don’t know what they haven’t had the opportunity to learn yet.

Some adults are the same way.

This is often demonstrated by people who stand in busy doorways, get in their cars and back up without looking, or play their own music or youtube videos in cafes and restaurants. They live in a world where other people don’t really exist.

Whether it’s the odd manner in which people deal with things — because it’s the only way they know how — or it’s spinach stuck to one’s teeth, people don’t know what they don’t know.

We are unfamiliar with things we have no direct experience with. We may have an idea that a “path” exists, for example, but don’t truly know the path until we’ve walked it for ourselves.

It takes a personal discovery and life experience to raise one’s level of awareness.

When you treat someone who is rude to you with rudeness, they will often see you as the one who started it because people don’t see themselves as others do.

When you treat or greet people with hostility, expect hostility in return. This is not an effective way to resolve a conflict.

Try to give the people you cross paths with the benefit of the doubt. You don’t have to allow yourself to be treated poorly or abused, but there is a better way to deal with it than to answer rudeness with hostility.

Understanding where a large part of unintentional rudeness it comes from helps.

Not everyone thinks the way you think, knows the things you know, believes the things you believe, nor acts the way you would act. Remember this and you will go a long way in getting along with people.” — Arthur Forman

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Solving the world’s problems

I don’t have all the answers — no one does — but I’m pretty sure the solution to the world’s problems is not to make enemies of your fellow earth inhabitants, cause them pain or hardship, or try to wipe them off the planet.

There are solutions that don’t involve harming innocents. There are solutions that don’t involve making more enemies in the process.

Find something constructive to love. Find something positive to be passionate about. Work towards a common good.

Educate people without putting a gun to their heads. Try to get along with the neighbors you share the planet with.

Try to set a good example. Show people a better way. Without threats, without violence, without overly aggressive behavior.

It should go without saying, if you wouldn’t like it done to you, don’t do it to others.

The answer to the world’s problems is not in hurting earth’s inhabitants, it’s in helping them.

The vast majority of people all over the planet, regardless of their race, beliefs, or skin color, would much rather make friends than enemies. Even if they don’t agree with you on everything.

Be kind to a stranger today because it’s good. And it sets a good example. Expect nothing. Because the reward for doing good is to have done it.

Don’t let the 24/7 coverage of bad news make you cold and hateful.

Be warm. Be tolerant. Be open minded.

And above all, be kind.

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” — Kurt Vonnegut

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