I had an idea of what m Sunday was going to be. I was excited to go the park, sit on a blanket under a tree, and relax with my books, and connect with a friend, but things did not turn out the way I planned. That is the thing about life. You can’t predict the future, or expect things to go the way you thought.
My car didn’t start on the way over there, so had to use my friends car to get to the park. Once we were there. I was still a bit upset about my car, so my excitement died down a bit. The lot where I wanted to go was full, so we had to go to a spot I didn’t like as much. We were also surrounded by cicada’s, and the noise was a bit distracting. We also couldn’t sit under a tree, so we had to stay under the sun, which was unpleasant. We were there for about 30 minutes, so the day didn’t go at all how I planned.
I could have called it a day, said the day was shot, and be miserable, but I recognized this is all part of life. Yes, I am a bit upset nothing went to plan, but not all is lost. I ended just hanging out on my friends porch, in the shade, and we ended up having a nice time. I got to read, listen to music, and connect with my friend. I realized being on her porch was pretty nice, and that we should do that again, instead of going to parks, and dealing with multiple bugs, and also having a bathroom.
So in the end, these bumps brought something new to my horizon. I was able to still enjoy my time, and find a new place to hang out. By the end of the day I felt much better. I was still a bit stressed about my car, but the stress wasn’t too strong. The thing is you will always feel the emotion, but acceptance of uncertainty will lesson the severity.
The day did not go how I planned it, but sometimes life doesn’t go the way you planned. What you envision for the future is not reality. Once reality hits. You got to be able to handle what life has to offer, good or bad, because life isn’t smooth or perfect. And in the end, you may find a silver lining like I did, something good can come out of all of it. I found a new spot to hang out, and I found some good writing material.
I woke this morning with no will to write my usual Monday blog post. I don’t have much inspiration lately. I did have a post to write, but have no urge to write and post it. I have no excitement for it at the moment, so I just don’t want to force myself to post it. I never really post anything I am not excited to write and post. Now grant it, there are plenty of times I don’t feel like writing, but once I push myself I feel much better, and really get into writing, so I think it is important to push yourself eventually, instead of continuously pushing something off. I write because I like providing helpful tips, and spreading my knowledge about mindfulness and personal growth.
I don’t feel guilt or sadness, nor excitement or joy. I am just going through the motions. I am just allowing what I am feeling just to be. If you aren’t feeling motivated, excited, or inspired. That is perfectly okay. There is nothing wrong with that. Days like these happen.
I am just ready to get back to work. I just don’t want to be home. I want to be busy and productive. Was it the gloomy weather? Lack of being outdoors this weekend? Not sure. Although I like keeping a schedule, because it helps push me to get things done. I may not always feel like writing, but once I start writing I tend to enjoy the process. This is why you got to push yourself eventually. Starting is when the magic happens, The thought of starting is much worse, than actually doing what needs to be done.
I choose not to force things all the time. We should all choose not to do so. Be kind to yourself. When you have these days. Listen to your body and emotions. If you don’t have to do it, than don’t. You can have a day to relax. You can have a day where you lack productivity. Just remember to get back to where you need to, because eventually guilt, and your inner critic will come to straighten you up, because humans have this need to continue to progress in life. We like a challenge. We like doing things to better ourselves. Push yourself most of the time, but don’t force all the time. I will end this here. This wasn’t a specific topic. Just my personal story with a bit of helpful tips. Hopefully this resonates with you. Have a lovely week.
We are all guilty of this. It is in our nature to want to belong and be liked as social creatures. The thing is taking things personally all the time can have a negative effect on our peace of mind and well-being. It is okay to feel this way at times. We are human. We feel emotions. If not, we would be a psychopath, but we should learn not to allow taking things personally to consume our lives that it creates a world of misery and stress. I like to discuss a couple of reason behind why we may take things personally. Being aware of these habits can help us learn why we may do this, and help us move forward, so that we don’t continue to fall into this trap.
Perfectionism-Not only do you want to be perfect for yourself. You want to appear perfect in front of others. This need to be perfect makes it hard for one to cope with criticism and judgment. It will hurt your pride when someone tells you that you made a mistake, or there is a flaw in your work. This criticism can be well intentioned, but your need to be perfect makes it hard for you to listen or reason. You think this is an attack on you.
The problem with being a perfectionist is that it is unrealistic. You are not perfect. No one is. Once you accept this. It becomes easier to handle criticism without taking it too personally. It will still sting at first, but you will realize that their criticism can help you grow. Now if the criticism isn’t helpful, or it comes from someone who doesn’t know you. There is nothing to be upset about. They don’t know you, and don’t care about your feelings and thoughts, so why care so much about them? The only opinion you should focus on is the ones that help you grow and evolve as a person, or on your skillset.
Putting others before oneself-Your thoughts and feelings don’t matter. Others matter more. I am happy if others are happy, so you can see why it would be easy to take things personally if others opinion are more important than your own. You will try your best to please others.
There is nothing wrong with trying to please others, but your opinion of yourself, and taking care of your needs should come first. People will say things that will hurt you, but if you value yourself and your opinions. Your self-confidence will deflect that hurtful language, especially coming from strangers.
Lack of confidence-Going along with the last habit. The lack of appreciation of yourself and your strengths can be a trigger for taking things personally.
If you have confidence, and truly believe in what you can do. If you focus on your strengths, rather your weaknesses. It makes it easier to not take things personally. You have flaws. You won’t do things perfectly. You will make mistakes, but I know I have plenty of great qualities that makes me an awesome person. Once you recognize this, taking things personally won’t be as much of an issue.
Storytelling-As I mentioned before, our thoughts are our stories. We create scenarios in our head of a situation. It isn’t always based on the facts. We may think this person is out to get us, or they hate us, or they just don’t like me. But it is all in how we think about the situation that creates anger and frustration, not the situation itself. We tend to create stories that make us the victim, and the other person the villain. It can be a good story, but it doesn’t mean it is true.
Cognitive mediation is the idea that things in the world don’t cause emotions. Instead, it’s our thoughts about things that affect how we feel(medium.com)
A person cuts you off, someone isn’t listening to you, someone doesn’t say hi back to you. Your thoughts about these situations trigger your response. Not the situation itself. There are plenty of responses you can take here. Get mad, or angry. Insult them. Get upset that they pissed you off, and ruined your day. You can also take a step back, breathe, recognize their mistake, or maybe the person didn’t hear you, maybe the person had an important place to go, maybe the person listening had other things on their mind. It isn’t always about you. Also recognize that you probably made these same mistakes as well. No one is perfect. You got to remember not everyone thinks the same, or has the same set of values. What may be offensive to you, may not be for another.
Your surrounded by negative people-If it is growing up in a toxic household, or in a toxic relationship, or friendship. These people can help define who you are and how you think. If they treat you like crap, and say harsh things about you. The belief in these thoughts will set in. It is much easier to break someone down, than lift them up. You become more sensitive to others input when all you heard about yourself were negative things. This can also go for toxic positivity as well. If you are constantly saying positive things. The person may not react to criticism very well. We need a balance to thrive as individuals.
It is important to be around people who make you feel good. Who help build you up. Who help you grow. No one has time for toxic relationships(negative or positive). The best bet is to remove yourself from the source. That isn’t always easy. I am not saying it is easy, but it needs to be done to live a life with less self-hatred and criticism.
Toxic positivity-There is such a thing as too much positivity. Being positive is great. Better that, than negative, but we also need negativity in our lives. Like is not perfect. People are not perfect. The inability to see flaws, mistakes, and the bad is a problem. Just focusing on the good can make things difficult for an individual when things don’t go smoothly, or their mistakes and flaws are mentioned. They will feel offended and take it too personally.
Life has its ups and downs. The good and the bad. People have their strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging this makes it easier to cope with criticism and not take things too personally. If they recognize your flaws, so do you, nothing new, keep it moving.
Recognize the trolls/negative people-There are people, especially online that want to bring others down to their level. They want to hurt others. They want to upset others. Why give them that power? Don’t give them what they want. Remember the source. Don’t let a stranger/associate dictate how you feel about yourself. Everyone’s opinion doesn’t matter to you. Think, is this helping me?, no, then move on.
Always remember to think, is this benefiting me or not? Take in what can help you, and ignore the ones that do not. No need to stress over an opinion that doesn’t matter. That opinion doesn’t define you. The person that does is you.
You can never stop the sting of taking things personally. It will happen to all of us. You can just learn habits or tricks that can help reduce the intensity and duration of these feelings. There is no need to suffer over what others think of you. I am sure there are plenty of others who think you are awesome. Focus on what is important. Your opinion, and the opinion of others who build you up.
I was reading the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There is a chapter about sharpening the saw, and it really resonated with me. I found this concept to be similar to mindful time. The story behind this is that there was a competition between a younger and older lumberjack to see who can cut down the most trees. The younger one continued to cut the trees without breaks, while the older one took breaks throughout the day. The older lumberjack ended up winning, despite being older, weaker, and less energetic. The reason is because he took breaks to sharpen his saw. A sharp saw will win over a dull one anytime.
This story and concept show how important it is to take breaks to sharpen the saw, meaning to gain clarity. Constant working leads to exhausting and cloudiness of the mind. You will be much more effective when you give yourself space. I have to say my best ideas comes from taking time to breathe and be mindful. When I am journaling, taking walks, reading, watching inspirational vloggers, or on vacations. It is important to be present, and in the moment, so that your mind can breathe and gain insight. Our minds need breaks. The mind won’t work well with continuous work and overload. You may think it is a good idea to keep going, but doing that just weakens your clarity and creativity.
I am staying indoors today, due to another snow storm, thankfully not as bad as the last one, but I wanted to be productive and mindful today. This is where this idea came from. I didn’t want to waste my only day off for the next 10 days on distractions only. This is where mindful practices come in handy. I did some reading, some yoga, some writing as you can see. I even found going outside to clean my car therapeutic. Most may see it as a chore or annoying, and I do majority of the time as well, but today I didn’t mind going out. I put some music on, and cleaned the snow off, it was kind of nice. The snow is really fluffy, so it came off easy, and it gave me a nice workout. It was nice to just do something, rather than just sitting inside.
I know this topic has become a recurring theme of my posts, but that just means how important this concept is, and how it never gets old to be reminded of it. Breaks are really important, sharpen the mind, like you sharpen the saw. This can only come from giving yourself the space to think and relax. To be in the moment and enjoy life as it is. Work will always be there, but the moment will not.
Strive to reach your goals. Now matter how big or small the steps are. Your goals are important. Leave behind what is not. Although, we may do things of unimportance. Always remember to step back into the big picture, and work on your goals.
You may think, how can I do this? Isn’t these things part of who I am? Thoughts and emotions are part of our life experiences. They don’t necessarily define who we are.
As taught in spiritual teachings. Attachment creates suffering. Detachment cultivates peace. It is our human nature to attach.
Our souls are boundless, timeless, and limitless. Emotions and thoughts are part of humanity. They are not who we are. They do not define us. It is best to observe our thoughts and emotions.
Tell yourself, I am thinking this thought, or I am feeling this emotion. Be aware and observe. These things are a part of the human experience. They can be difficult at times. They can also be enjoyable.
Just remember that observing creates peace of mind. Attaching to them creates suffering. A thought is a thought. An emotion is an emotion. They just are. Giving them less power creates freedom and peace.
Recently I haven’t had much motivation. I was on a high weeks ago, but fell to a low this week. This happens. Motivation to do things comes and go, but what actually motivates us? I am sure we all asked that question. You may think why am I never motivated? You may also ask how do I get motivated? I will try to answer these questions to the best of my ability.
-the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
-the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
-Motivation is the desire to act in service of a goal.
There are 4 types of motivation:
Extrinsic Motivation-Comes from outside of us. We do it, because we feel we have to, or there will be consequences to the decision. It is done for external reasons.
Intrinsic Motivation-Comes from inside us. Doing something important or valuable to us. It is done for internal reasons.
Introjected motivation-If the action is not done, one will feel guilt.
Identified motivation-Where a person knows something needs to be done, but hasn’t done it yet.
What motivates us?
I came up with five, there could be more, but I felt these five were factors that help motivate us to get things done.
The end goal must be meaningful and important to you-You got to really want this thing to happen for your well-being. My example is, I eat healthier and exercise, because I really want to be healthy as I grow older. This is important to me, and keeps me motivated to stay healthy.
You prefer the positives over the negatives-To put it simple, the positives outweigh the negatives of doing something, so you choose to do it.
For the sake of your happiness/peace of mind-This is when life is unbearable not taking action, or not doing anything creates suffering and unhappiness. This pushes you to do something. For example, if I don’t write, I feel unaccomplished, this pushes me to write. I think this is one of biggest motivators.
Listening, or watching others/Reading-Other people can help motivate you to get things done. I recently watched Amy Landino’s Youtube video on Motivation, which pushed me to write this post, and write more in general. All you may need is some words of inspiration or knowledge to get you moving.
Life experiences-Situations that happen in life can get someone motivated to do things. For example, my grandma passed at a young age, due to diabetes, and poor health. This pushed my aunt’s and Mom to live a healthier lifestyle.
How do you get motivated?
It takes two things, effort and action. Motivation doesn’t just come to you. Waiting around for it to strike will do you no good. You got to push yourself to do the things you want to do. It isn’t always easy to start, but once you get going you may not want to stop. I don’t want to go for a run today, but I know how important it is for me to get a workout, so I push myself to do it, which keeps me motivated. The important thing is pushing yourself to take action, and get it done.
Motivation is a wonderful thing, but it takes work. It doesn’t come easy. You don’t just wake up, and become motivated. You got to do the work. You got to push. You got to really want change. The short-term may not be fun, you may struggle, and you may not enjoy it, but you will eventually see a whole lot of benefits in the long-term, which will cultivate a more happier, healthier, and peaceful you. Remember, short-term pains lead to long-term gains.
Today I will be celebrating my 35th birthday. Some people see their birthdays as getting older, but I look at it as celebrating another year of life on this earth. I made it another year! That is something to celebrate. I wanted to make a post of the 35 things that improved my life, or things I appreciate to celebrate 35 years. It is good to put focus on the good, and look at the bright side, so I wanted to make this. The list isn’t in order of anything. I appreciate all these things equally.
3.Appreciating connections with friends and family
4.Drinking more water
6.Consuming less sugar
7.Creating this blog
9.Learning not to strive for happiness/seek contentment
10.Accepting my flaws
11.Getting a better paying job
12.Having mindful time
13.Taking deep breaths
15.Getting a dependable car
16.Taking small steps
17.Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day
19.Not allowing Social Media to control my thoughts & emotions
20.Learning to accept all emotions
21.Taking nature walks
22.Appreciating the people who love me/like me
23.Not caring about likes and attention
24.Expressing myself without worries
25.Appreciating being in my own skin
26.Taking in the moment as much as I can
27.Looking at the positives
28.Appreciating my strengths
29.Learning happiness comes from within
30.Finding appreciation for the people and things in my life
31.Finding the joys of life
32.Becoming a plant owner
34.Embracing the struggles
35.Accepting life for what it is
While writing this I found a couple of other things that I could list as well. You don’t realize how many things you appreciate in life, until you start looking. I implore you all to do a list like this, not just for your birthday, although that would be fun, but just in general to show you how much their is to appreciate in life. Yes, there are negatives and bad things that happen in life, but there is also plenty of good and positives. Putting your attention on the good brings peace and happiness.
Be proud of yourself. See the light within yourself. Help others see the light. Bring positivity to yourself and others. Show love, compassion, and acceptance for yourself and others. Times are tough right now. It may be easy to fall into the bubble of negativity. Remember life is unpredictable, and things won’t always go the way you want it to. Try to remain positive and accept what is. Always strive to remain empathetic, appreciative and compassionate. Stay safe everyone.
There are times I don’t particularly feel inspired, motivated, or productive. There are days I feel lazy and unproductive. There are times I just want to get lost in distractions. I am sure you have all had these moments. We just don’t always have the motivation spirit.
Lately I have been in a rut, not much in the mood to do much. The one thing you don’t want to do is get down on yourself for feeling this way. Try not to shame or guilt yourself. The one thing I learn from mindfulness practice is to accept all types of emotions and feelings, negative or positive. I know I won’t always be in a productive state of mind, and that is okay. We are not machines. We need some down time to relax.
Having some distraction time is fine, but things do need to get done. I may have to push myself harder to get the things I want done, because I know it will benefit me in the end to get it done. I may not be in much of a mood to write, or finish my online course, or find inspiration, but I know if I don’t take steps to do it. I would feel like crap for not doing it.
I try to focus my energy on the future implications, and how it will end up helping me if I do these things. That usually pushes me to be productive. I tell myself that it will only take an hour or less of my time, and I would feel much better after it is accomplished. I always do feel better after doing the productive task.
It is easy to stay in a rut, and get down on yourself. When you have days like these. It is okay to practice self-kindness, and not shame, or guilt yourself for feeling this way, and not getting much done. It is all part of the human experience. We all have these days. It will happen. You just got to learn to push through it, and figure out your own way to get things done, even if it is little steps to get what you want done.
I am not in the mood to get things done lately, but I find a way to push myself to do it, because I know my mind and body will appreciate it. I know it can help make my future brighter and more satisfactory. I know I won’t feel good about my day if I don’t get at least one thing done.
I am not necessarily in the mood to find inspiration, but when I am able to push myself to read, or watch something inspirational. It finds a way to get me inspired again to do the things I want. I know being unproductive all day would make me feel like crap, so it is nice to have these reminders to get me back in the mood. I will say I am not 100% in a motivated, inspirational mood. It takes a bit of work to get the things I want done, but it happens, and that is fine.
It always feels good to finish a productive task, no matter how big or small it is. Try to remind yourself, or ask yourself. “Am I living a living with purpose or meaning?,” or “Is what I am doing benefiting me in any way?” These questions can help push you back to a motivated spirit. Accept these times. Embrace the challenge it brings. Appreciate the steps you take to get things done. Put your energy into the positive, rather than taking in negative energy. You will get things done on your own time, baby steps, productivity mode comes and goes. Try not to stress about getting everything done. You will get there if you keep working at it.
I read this passage in my mindfulness book this morning. It reminded me of this post. It shows no matter how small the step is. It is still progress to what you want to get done. Just take those small steps when feeling unmotivated/uninspired. It may actually get you back in the mood of production. If it doesn’t, you were still able to get something done.