Food for Thought Post

It is nice waking up to some inspirational reading, and giving myself time to reflect and think. I really enjoyed this post in my Mindful Morning Book. It is nice to give your mind time to reflect, relax, and think in the morning, instead of filling it with noise and distractions. It gives you a chance to focus on you, and not everyone else. It can start your day off on the right foot.

This post is a reminder to look at the reality of a situation, rather than the illusion of negativity. People tend to see things in a negative way, but there is also a positive spin, and then there is the truth. Lets try to focus on either the positive side, or the reality. The negativity will get you nowhere. It will lead to misery. Push away negative self-talk, and focus on the reality. Peace of mind will cultivate.

Have a lovely day, or evening everyone.

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Self-Actualization

This is a concept that has intrigued me, so I thought I write a post on it. This term was first popularized by Abraham Maslow. What is exactly a self-actualized person? What does it mean? Why exactly does it have significance to our lives and well-being?

The definition Maslow used for ‘self-actualization” is it “represents growth of an individual toward fulfillment of the highest needs—those for meaning in life, in particular.”(Psychology Today). Maslow used a hierarchy of needs that we go through in life. Going from the lowest level(Physiological needs), to the highest(self-actualization). Maslow believed people who were self-actualized fulfilled their greatest potential. To do so you must got through a hierarchy of needs.

I do like this concept, but I see ‘self-actualization’ a bit different. I perceive self-actualization more as knowing who you are, rather than focusing on potential, talents, or your highest needs. I think knowing who you are, what you can be, what you are best at, what you can’t do, knowing your weaknesses, and strengths can lead you to a fulfilling life.

To me self-actualization is acceptance of the person you are at the moment. I don’t like the emphasis on potential, as it can lead one to focus on potential, and it can lead to disappointment and misery if they can’t reach it. It can also be a motivator, and it can be part of a self-actualized being, but it shouldn’t be the only focus. If you know, and accept yourself, than being able to reach your potential should come.

Focusing on the self, learning to improve the self, working on developing the self can lead to fulfilling your potential, which can lead to self-actualization.  It is all about knowing who you are as an individual. Your weaknesses, strengths, characteristics, traits, triggers, personality, and talents. The awareness of the holistic human part of your being is self-actualization to me.

Now I am not saying he is wrong. We all have different ways of defining things. Other Psychologists disagreed with him, others put their own spin to the term. We all have our own way of perceiving things in life, and what truly life is about. It is okay to have different opinions.

Now I like to post some characteristic of self-actualized individuals according to the articles I read.

  • Realistic
  • Autonomous
  • Accept themselves & others
  • Problem-solvers
  • Enjoy solitude
  • Enjoy the journey, not destination
  • Portrays empathy/compassion

I found these characteristics interesting, because these characteristic are similar to being a mindful individual. Practicing mindfulness can also cultivate these characteristics. I have written about all these topics on my blog. I say the self-actualization path is similar to the mindful one. Both leading to peace, calm and fulfillment of our well-being.

Below is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Image result for self-actualization

Image result for self-actualization

Growth

Growth is important for our well-being. Growth is about advancing, developing, evolving, changing, etc,. This is important path of our journey in life.

Stagnation, comfort, and safety can only get us so far. It keeps us comfortable, but it also keeps us down. It allows us to settle. This cultivates boredom, lack of accomplishment, sadness, regret, among many other things. This is a path you most likely don’t want to follow.

Growth gives us opportunity, new challenges, and new adventures. Getting out of your comfort zone, doing new things, challenging yourself can help develop oneself as an individual. It can help you become a better you. And that is what you want in life to become a better you.

Growth can help you learn. It can be motivational and inspirational. It has been motivational and inspirational to me. I say all this, because I believe growth is pertinent to our well-being. The feeling of accomplishment from overcoming a challenge is a wonderful feeling, even trying is wonderful.

Learning a new skill. Doing things you never done before can be quite a rush. It is all about developing your skills and mindset. Settling, staying stuck, being comfortable can only get us so far. Nothing can happen from stability.

Having a mindset on growth can push you to overcome obstacles, challenge oneself, learn about oneself, gain knowledge and experience, build confidence, and build character.  It all starts with you and your willingness to grow. We must ask this question. Do I want to stay stuck, or do I want to move forward?

Just remember whatever obstacles, or challenges that are ahead of you to grow. There have most likely been worse challenges you have gone through. We all have gone through many challenges in life, and we are still here. This is just another challenge.

It will be scary at first. Just remind yourself that it will get easier with time. Anything new is scary at first, but the hard part is the beginning. After that, it gets better, and you will start to see growth. Remind yourself to stay positive. This will be a great learning experience. You will gain more than you will lose.

This post was inspired by my new job. It is pretty scary right now, but I know once I get the hang of it. Things will get easier and better. I know this will be the growth I need in life. Being afraid, and avoiding doesn’t get you to where you need to be. You got to try to keep pushing to grow.

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Positive Habits Checklist

As I mentioned before in another post. Building positive/healthy habits is important for our well-being. To keep up with these habits. I created my own list of habits I like to maintain.I just wanted to talk about my positive habits checklist I like to refer to daily to keep me in check with my habits. I like to list the positive/healthy habits I like to do on paper.

This list helps motivate myself to keep working on these habits. It shows what I have been maintaining. It also shows which ones I need to work, or improve on. Having the visual of the habits on paper helps keep me on track.

The list really helps me to continue working on these habits, and pushes me to improve on the ones I don’t do often. I usually like to go through the list, and put a check mark on the ones I did. The ones I don’t check shows me what I have to work on, and I try to put my focus on working on those habits.

It also gives you a visual of what habits are easier, and what are most difficult for you. For me, yoga, healthy eating, and drinking water are the easiest, while meditation, and reading are the most difficult. It shows what habits I have been able to integrate into my daily life, and what habits I need to learn to integrate into my life. It is nice to have this visual handy.

I like to look at the list in the morning and evening. I check in the morning to see what is unchecked, and work towards those habits. In the evening I put a check mark on all the habits I have done. This shows me what I need to work on the next day, or during that week.

The reason I am discussing this is because positive/healthy habits can be difficult to maintain for most. Writing a checklist can be a helpful to keep one on track. It helps keep you focused on your goals. It keeps you on task. It gives you accountability. If you like to start building healthy/positive habits. Making a checklist can be a start. This can give you the awareness you need to start the progress.

I usually just write my list on a piece of paper, but if you like to do something more creative with your list if you are a creative individual, than go ahead. I am pretty simple. Whatever can help push you to work towards a healthier, more positive lifestyle is all that matters.

Below is my list of habits I try to maintain. I have added a couple more to my list recently. These habits have been very beneficial for me on my mindfulness journey. There a lot more positive/healthy habits out there. It is about what you would like to work on. We are all different. Just find what habits are best for you towards your growth, and well-being.IMAG0166

 

A Day of Mindfulness,Productivity & Adventure

This post isn’t about anything specific. I usually have a theme to my post, or an idea. I thought I discuss my day yesterday. It was quite a lovely day yesterday. The reason for the lovely day was I decided to use that day to be mindful, productive, and adventurous.

I spent my Friday off from work at home on my computer most of the day. I decided I didn’t want to do that again the next day. I planned for a more mindful day. I would stay off the computer, and live in the moment.

I started my day by being productive, I went to the gym. Did some grocery shopping. I normally do this on Saturdays, so this was nothing new. I went home had some breakfast. I did some more productive things, like clean the kitchen, and then I organized my room, which needed some much needed attention. My room looks so much better. I feel so much better seeing how more organized, and clean my room looks. There was a nice sense of accomplishment when I did this.

After that I decided to be mindful. I did some writing, journaling, reflecting, and some meditation. I have to say that was my best meditation session I had in awhile. I felt so peaceful and relaxed afterwards. I finally gave myself the time I needed to get a good session in. Giving yourself the space, and time to do it can be helpful.

After that, I was ready to go on my adventure. I decided to go hiking at a place I enjoy. It was a beautiful day, sunny, and blue skies. It wasn’t too hot, or cold. A great day to be out. It was an enjoyable hike. It had nice scenery, and it was also a nice workout with the hills it had. It was nice to sit and look at the scenery, and hear the sounds of nature. It was quite beautiful.

Once I was finished with my hike, and got home. I felt relaxed, rejuvenated, and refreshed. I was happy to just enjoy life, and live. It was nice to just focus on myself, live life, and enjoy the present moment. I felt such calm, ease, and peace after the wonderful day I had.

The day inspired me to write this post, because I felt moments like these should be shared. Days like these are what life is all about. The simple things like these can bring so much joy, and peace to your life. I say we should all try a day of mindfulness, productivity, and adventure every once in awhile. Peace, inspiration, motivation, joy, happiness can all cultivate from doing this.

Below are some lovely photos from my adventure.

Finding Balance

With anything in life there needs to be balance. In this post, what I am referring to is the balance of production and consumption. Production is anything productive, creative, skill-based one does with their time. Consumption is anything we consume( books, informative material, entertainment).

I think both are essential in our daily lives. Too much of either can be detrimental to our well-being. I tend to feel bored, lazy, and unaccomplished if I consume too much. I also feel drained, exhausted, and burned out if I am too productive. You also don’t get to enjoy the wonders of life.

This is why having a day of production and consumption can be helpful. You need both to help you grow, learn, challenge yourself, but also remembering that life is short, and we should try to enjoy the things we love in life.

You can go and have a day of production and consumption. The one thing you should learn is to balance the two. Trying not to overindulge in one or the other. Your mind and body will appreciate the balance.

When I am home I like to mix both things. Do some productive things, like write, clean, organize, create content I like. I also throw in some consumption by watching kpop videos, informative videos, read books, or watch some hulu. It is nice to mix things around. It keeps things much more interesting, so that you don’t feel lazy, or drained. Finding the best of both worlds is key.

There is accomplishment in being productive, and there is joy in consuming. You don’t have to choose one, or the other. Doing things that helps you grow is rewarding. It is also nice to just relax the mind with enjoyable content/entertainment. It is all about finding balance.

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Quote Thursday

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It is always interesting what thoughts come to mind when I see inspirational/motivational quotes. My thoughts from this one.

Immerse in the silence and be mindful. There are great lessons learned in silence. Reflection, insight, clarity, and knowledge can be gained from silence. Try not to be afraid of it, embrace it instead.

Now think about what this quote brings to mind from your stand point?

Building Healthy Habits

This post is a continuation of the last post Breaking Bad Habits. There was more I wanted to add, but thought I would make a separate post for it. This is more for building healthy habits, and reducing bad ones.

Habits are created through consistency and repetition. These can be good or bad habits. Unhealthy habits are easier to get into, but it does no good for your body, and mind in the long run. We just focus on the instant satisfaction it gives us.

Healthy habits are difficult to obtain, because they take more work, and may seem not to be as satisfying. It is interesting how the good things for us are harder to achieve, but that is life. But my mindset is life is about hard work. We are here to learn, improve and grow, and that can’t be done on an easy path.

Healthy habits may be hard at first, but once you are a consistent with the habit. It becomes a whole lot easier. It will become part of your daily routine. You will even start to enjoy doing it. It is all about getting your mind and body habituated to it. Once you are able to do that there will be vast improvement to your well-being mentally, emotionally, and physically.

This is why people feel like they need to do those unhealthy habits. It is because your body is used to it. That doesn’t mean it is essential for you, or good for you. The body and mind wants what it is used to. The withdrawals aren’t fun, which is why people stick to unhealthy habits, but if you learn to push through them, it gets easier.

Once your mind and body is used to something it will seek those things. If it is a good habit, then it benefits you. If it is a bad habit, then it can be quite damaging. It can be quite difficult leaving behind bad habits. I know, I struggled as well to build healthy habits, rather than bad ones.

I say try to start small. Cutting it off completely can make you crave it more. The best thing you can do is wean yourself off of the habit. To the point where you no longer have the need to do the habit. The body will crave the habit less when done less frequently. This also goes for starting up a healthy habit. Try not to overdo it. This will most likely make you want to quit.

I have to say some of my healthy habits were not enjoyable at first, and hard to maintain. Drinking water more, and reducing sugar drinks was tough, but after awhile. I no longer craved sugar drinks as much, and I now enjoy drinking water. Your body gets used to consistent habits. This goes for the other healthy habits I maintained as well. The habit becomes easier to do, and becomes part of your routine.The start is always the toughest, which is why most give up.

There are a couple of things that can help build healthy habits, and help reduce unhealthy ones as well.

  • Awareness
  • Motivation/Determination
  • Planning/writing it down/implementing the habits
  • Bring it into your daily life
  • Start small

All this can lead to improvement of your mind, body, and soul. It is all about thinking about the long term, rather than the short term.

Image result for healthy habits quotes
Image result for healthy habits quotes

Breaking Bad Habits

We all have bad habits we like to break. Well, I have the cure just for you! Okay, I don’t have a cure, but I do have an idea that may help break that habit.

Bad habits are difficult to break. They are ingrained in us through repetition and rewards. We know it is bad for us, but we still do it. We don’t even think about the bad habits that we do. It just becomes a habit. Part of our daily lives.

Instant gratification is powerful. The reduction of stress from smoking. The delicious taste of junk food. The numbness of thoughts, and feelings from drugs and drinking. It is easy to fall into bad habits. Much easier than good ones, which is why it is so irresistible.

What you don’t realize is what you are actually doing at the moment. The focus on the reward(less stress, sadness,tension etc.) is what makes us do these things. You must remind yourself that it is only temporary satisfaction. This is where mindfulness can be helpful. Mindfulness is all about awareness.

The process of awareness is heightened through mindfulness practice. If we learn to become aware of the bad habit at the moment, and notice what we are actually doing. This can actually open our eyes to the negative behaviors, and give you a new perspective on the bad habit.

I have a bad habit of scrolling online, mainly Twitter. I sometimes do it without noticing it, because it is so easy. But I always find a way to become aware of what I am doing. I take a step back, and look at things from a different perspective. I realize doing this isn’t productive, or benefits me in any way. It always ends up creating tension. So I end up closing the app, and going about my life doing other things that benefit me. I wouldn’t be able to do that without being aware. I may get caught up in bad habits once in awhile, but I can always find my way out through awareness of the situation at the moment.

Become aware of exactly what you are doing at the moment. How does it make you feel? What are your thoughts? Does it make you feel better? Does it benefit you in anyway?

The habit becomes habitual. We don’t even think about what we are doing. But once you become aware. Reality of the situation starts to seep through. You start to think. This doesn’t really make me happy? It is just a temporary fix. How is this productive, or beneficial for me?

We look for a quick fix away from tiredness, stress, sadness, boredom etc,. Not realizing the negative effects it has on us. It is just so easy to fall into the bad habit, so why not? Awareness can set you free.