Please Remember Your Instagram Isn’t Going To Flash Before Your Eyes When You Die

When you get to the end of your life, you aren’t going to be scrolling back through your posts, reminiscing.

You aren’t going to think back to the years that made you who you were and feel thankful that you were able to document them so well on a coordinating grid.

You aren’t going to replay the most important moments of your life and remember yourself pausing to make sure that you shared that dinner, that date, that trip, that achievement.

It’s not that social media isn’t important — it is. It connects us, it mobilizes us, it educates us, and it brings us together.

But it also eclipses our vision in some ways.

Specifically this one: the purpose of your life is not to have a gorgeous Instagram account. I’m sorry, but it’s not. It could be a very fortune and enjoyable perk of living the life of your dreams, but it is not, in itself, the reason why you are alive.

Don’t believe me?

Imagine if you died tomorrow, and had a few last moments to reflect on your life.

You usually don’t recall the big moments, the graduations or wedding days. In fact, what comes to mind is the ordinary things, the day to day joys of being alive. Playing with your toys when you were a kid, moving through your routine in high school, the work you were passionate about in college, sharing nameless hours together with the person you love most.

None of this is to devalue your presence online. It’s important, it’s a business for some people, and it’s really validating for others.

This is only to help you relax a bit, to let go of feeling anxious that you weren’t quite able to portray yourself as well as others. Sometimes, we can confuse this for actually not living a good life.

I am sorry to tell you this but most people who are extremely successful are not posting about every nice dinner, trip or shopping outing. Jay Z is not telling you every time he acquires a new investment; your favorite authors aren’t showing you their royalty checks; the celebrities you think you know are probably going out of their way to avoid sharing anything too personal on their own feeds.

Instagram is not real life, it is just a series of updates about life, that are often turned into art and commodity.

This is not a bad thing, but rather, a reminder that you should not waste another moment of your life trying to make your greatest ambition how well you can appear to other people.

Nobody is looking, because they’re too busy evaluating their own images.

Live your life first, and capture it second.

When you get to the end of your life, you are not going to wish you had posted to Instagram more.

In fact, in 15 years, when we’re all onto the next platform, you’ll probably look back and laugh at all the staged photos and hashtags.

Enjoy it while it’s here, but enjoy what matters most, which is your life. That has an expiration date, too.

This is a guest post and much credit to Brianna Weist.

The Truth About Changing Your Life Is That It Is Often Means Doing Less, Not More

The beginning of a self-transformation requires action, but the end of it requires something deeper, something harder, something you’ve probably never realized before.

While doing more will almost always generate results, there’s an untapped, life-changing magic in doing less.

Sometimes, your problems don’t come from what you’re not doing, they come from what you can’t stop doing.

To really change your life, you probably need to consume less. You probably need to learn to use what you have, to take a breath and stop yourself every time you think you need that one new perfect thing that will magically transform you into a new person.

You probably need to spend less. You probably need to reevaluate your patterns and behaviors and refocus on your long-term goals, prioritizing your future comfort over your immediate gratification.

You probably need to engage less, both with people who are not mentally mature and people whom do not have any intention of having a civil discourse with you. This is not because you can’t speak freely, but because having an exchange with someone whose intent is to fight you rather than connect with you will always be a losing situation.

You probably need to change less. When we start out on our healing journey, it’s about uprooting, replanting, and sprouting. But if you’re unhealed beneath the surface, you won’t be able to lay roots without wanting to rip them out again. Healing, you will find, is not about how many times you can start over, it is whether to not you can bloom.

You probably need to care less. When your mind is consumed with trying to master and perfect every single little thing in your life, you get overwhelmed and give up. Instead, you have to focus on the few things that are actually requiring your attention, and then build from there.

You probably need to do less. Not because you shouldn’t be productive, but because you only have so much energy in a day, and when you spend it on things you don’t really care much about, you find yourself constantly exhausted, drained and at your wit’s end.

You probably need to have fewer expectations. Often, we conflate that with having high standards, but they aren’t the same thing. Unrealistic expectations will slowly wreck you, because they require that you achieve perfection immediately. When your expectation is that you should be a natural-born master of whatever you try to do, it becomes really hard to show up and do the work consistently, which is what you actually have to do to achieve mastery.

You probably need to not try so hard. When you try to force people to like you, it usually has the opposite effect. When you try to convince yourself you’re attractive, you usually seem less so. When you are trying to force every outcome in your life, there’s usually a reason they aren’t coming together on their own.

You probably need to give fewer excuses. Not because you’re going to be unkind to yourself, but because the kindest thing you can possibly do is stop avoiding the honest truth about what’s wrong. You cannot keep trying to positive-self-talk your way into thinking you love your life when you do not. When we’re ready to make fewer justifications, it means we’re also ready to make greater change.

The truth about doing less is that it’s going to bring you into stillness. It is going to require you to face that discomfort you’ve been running from head-on.

The truth is that when we first realize we need to change our lives, it is easy to get swept away in the escape fantasy of it all. Everything has to go, and nothing can stay. There’s an addictive quality to starting over, and if you’re not careful, you can confuse it for actually healing.

Truly getting better is learning to be okay where you are, wherever you are. It is actually metabolizing that discomfort for once, listening to it, letting it show you where you are deeply misaligned.

It is to become grounded, to make positive decisions for the long-term, to start breaking those destructive habits that have been fueled by the pain you haven’t quite had a name for all these years.

It is to no longer be controlled by your feelings, but by your ambitions, by your dreams for the future.

When you go about changing your life, sometimes, the most radical shift of all is to do absolutely nothing — and wait for the sun to rise.

Despite What People Say, Your Reputation Is Just As Important As Your Character

Hey guys!

As I was surfing the internet as always for inspiration, I stumbled on this piece that will blow your minds out. At first when I was reading through, it was as if everything was all about me. Am sure reading through also can relate to you too.

Conventional wisdom tells us that your character should matter more than your reputation. After all, one is who you really are, while the other is just what other people perceive you to be.

While there’s certainly virtue in knowing that no misperception of you can really impact the truth of who you are, it is a false notion to think that we don’t have to care what other people think about us.

However, we hear the opposite as a rally-cry all the time.

It doesn’t matter what other people think!

Except it does, because everything you want in life involves other people.

Now, small-minded people who are intent on disliking you for their own prejudiced reasons are not what we’re talking about. No, we’re not even talking about the people who dislike you for legitimate reasons.

Your reputation does matter as much as your character because the way people perceive you is who they imagine you to be, and who they imagine you to be determines how they will interact with you, what they offer you, whether or not they want to work with you, and whether or not they show up for you.

You cannot behave like a social pariah and then just fall back on the idea that it “doesn’t matter what other people think” because you’re a good person at heart.

All that goodness will be for nothing if you aren’t actively considering the opinions of others. No, not so they can weigh you down and stop you from pursuing your goals, but because when other people have a consensus about you, you’re typically the common denominator.

It matters what the people in your close circle think.

It matters what your partner thinks.

It matters what the people you love think.

If everyone in your life thinks you’re making a mistake, you might really need to take a moment to consider whether or not you might be. If everyone in your life is warning you about your new partner, you might need to take a moment to consider if perhaps they have a point. If everyone in your life seems to have the same problems with you, for the same reasons, in the same patterns, at the same frequencies, you might really need to take a moment and determine whether or not the world is just crazy and out to get you or if, perhaps, there’s also a pattern in your behaviour.

It’s easy to not care what other people think.

It’s convenient, actually.

It totally lets us off the hook, it allows us to validate our own motives and desires without any real consideration for those around us.

The work is not that we completely neglect our own needs and opinions in favour of other people’s.

The work is that we both advocate for and tend to our own needs, honour our own opinions, and still remain cognizant of how people are responding to us.

If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to be a reasonably likable person, or at the bare minimum, not impossible to work with, difficult to connect with, or challenging to love.

And to do that, we have to think about what other people are thinking. Not so their opinions of us can become our own, but so that their opinions of us can inform our own.

In all, I appreciate one of my mentors and excellent writer Brianna Weist for always coming through whenever I need a push in my life. Her piece of work is very deep and encouraging. Also it’s a privilege to always acknowledge your work on my page.

Your Life Becomes The Sum Of What You Tolerate

In an ideal world, life would amount to the sum of our intentions.

Good things would happen to good people; we’d be measured by our heart and depth and character.

While this is true to some degree — life is undoubtedly kinder toward those who are kind to it — the truth is that your intentions don’t amount to your outcomes. Just wanting something badly enough does not qualify you to have it, simply believing that you’re capable of more does not mean you will actually achieve more.

In the end, your life amounts to the sum of what you tolerate.

It is defined by what you allow.

You are treated as well as you allow other people to treat you. When you set boundaries or cut off contact with those who do not meet those expectations, you are setting the standard for relationships in your life.

You achieve as much as you allow yourself to pursue. You create as often as you are willing to show up, and to begin.

You grow as much as you allow yourself to feel uncomfortable. We often think that it is discomfort that holds us back from becoming who we want to be, when in fact, that feeling, once truly acknowledged, will point us in the direction that we need to create change.

If you are willing to tolerate mistreatment, you will be mistreated.

If you are willing to tolerate unhappiness, you will remain unhappy.

If you are willing to tolerate dissatisfaction, you will remain dissatisfied.

Your life only truly becomes your own on the day that you decide you will not — for another second of your existence — tolerate less than you know you are capable of having, doing less than you are capable of doing, and being less than you are capable of being.

The truth is that nobody else is going to give this to you.

Nobody is going to wake you up to this fact.

Nobody is going to sit you down and give you a power point presentation about your worth and potential, and nobody is going to strategize a way to make it a reality.

The only way it is going to happen is if you decide you are no longer going to be okay with excuses, empty words or broken dreams. It is only going to happen if you decide that you will no longer tolerate anything less than the outcomes you want, and the life you dream of.

Your life becomes the sum of what you tolerate, so stop tolerating less than you desire.

Guest post from Brianna Weist

The Truth About Transforming Your Life Is That It Is Often Means Doing Less, Not More

The beginning of a self-transformation requires action, but the end of it requires something deeper, something harder, something you’ve probably never realized before.

While doing more will almost always generate results, there’s an untapped, life-changing magic in doing less.

Sometimes, your problems don’t come from what you’re not doing, they come from what you can’t stop doing.

To really change your life, you probably need to consume less. You probably need to learn to use what you have, to take a breath and stop yourself every time you think you need that one new perfect thing that will magically transform you into a new person.

You probably need to spend less. You probably need to reevaluate your patterns and behaviors and refocus on your long-term goals, prioritizing your future comfort over your immediate gratification.

You probably need to engage less, both with people who are not mentally mature and people whom do not have any intention of having a civil discourse with you. This is not because you can’t speak freely, but because having an exchange with someone whose intent is to fight you rather than connect with you will always be a losing situation.

You probably need to change less. When we start out on our healing journey, it’s about uprooting, replanting, and sprouting. But if you’re unhealed beneath the surface, you won’t be able to lay roots without wanting to rip them out again. Healing, you will find, is not about how many times you can start over, it is whether to not you can bloom.

You probably need to care less. When your mind is consumed with trying to master and perfect every single little thing in your life, you get overwhelmed and give up. Instead, you have to focus on the few things that are actually requiring your attention, and then build from there.

You probably need to do less. Not because you shouldn’t be productive, but because you only have so much energy in a day, and when you spend it on things you don’t really care much about, you find yourself constantly exhausted, drained and at your wit’s end.

You probably need to have fewer expectations. Often, we conflate that with having high standards, but they aren’t the same thing. Unrealistic expectations will slowly wreck you, because they require that you achieve perfection immediately. When your expectation is that you should be a natural-born master of whatever you try to do, it becomes really hard to show up and do the work consistently, which is what you actually have to do to achieve mastery.

You probably need to not try so hard. When you try to force people to like you, it usually has the opposite effect. When you try to convince yourself you’re attractive, you usually seem less so. When you are trying to force every outcome in your life, there’s usually a reason they aren’t coming together on their own.

You probably need to give fewer excuses. Not because you’re going to be unkind to yourself, but because the kindest thing you can possibly do is stop avoiding the honest truth about what’s wrong. You cannot keep trying to positive-self-talk your way into thinking you love your life when you do not. When we’re ready to make fewer justifications, it means we’re also ready to make greater change.

The truth about doing less is that it’s going to bring you into stillness. It is going to require you to face that discomfort you’ve been running from head-on.

The truth is that when we first realize we need to change our lives, it is easy to get swept away in the escape fantasy of it all. Everything has to go, and nothing can stay. There’s an addictive quality to starting over, and if you’re not careful, you can confuse it for actually healing.

Truly getting better is learning to be okay where you are, wherever you are. It is actually metabolizing that discomfort for once, listening to it, letting it show you where you are deeply misaligned.

It is to become grounded, to make positive decisions for the long-term, to start breaking those destructive habits that have been fueled by the pain you haven’t quite had a name for all these years.

It is to no longer be controlled by your feelings, but by your ambitions, by your dreams for the future.

When you go about changing your life, sometimes, the most radical shift of all is to do absolutely nothing — and wait for the sun to rise.

This is a guest post from Brianna Weist.

The People You Envy Are Not Your Enemies, They Are Your Mentors

This is a guest post.

Envy is a shadow emotion.

It’s the dark side of desire, and it shields itself as so many different things.

We often don’t realize that we’re jealous of someone until it’s boiled over into an anger so hot, we are forced to stop and ask ourselves why we are so lost in rage.

We often don’t realize that we’re jealous of someone because the people we are jealous of often aren’t superhuman. There are enough beautiful people in the world that we could envy, but we don’t, because the people whose lives we most deeply covet are the ones that are most similar to our own.

In that is the lesson.

The people we envy are not our enemies, they are our mentors.

They are our mentors because what they are really showing us is what we aren’t allowing ourselves to have.

What they are really showing us is the depth of our desire.

What they are really giving us is clarity.

The people we envy are our mentors because envy itself is an enlightening, guiding emotion. It shows us what we want for ourselves, and think we can’t have. It shows us what we want to pursue, but think we aren’t able. It shows us what we want to have, but assume we don’t deserve.

When we someone who has what we really want, instead of reconciling our own desire, we try to suppress them as well.

We try to humanize and villianize them. We try to find fault wherever we can. Instead of allowing their lives to be proof that what we want is possible, we instead deny that they could possibly have achieved that which we are so convinced we ourselves could never have.

Instead of recognizing that our envy is showing us the places in which we want to grow, we displace the feeling, and blame someone else instead.

You do not want the exact life that someone else has.

You want whatever it is they are giving themselves permission to have, to feel, and to pursue.

Maybe you see someone else in a relationship. It’s not that you want to be with their exact partner, it’s that you also want to put yourself out there and find someone who matters to you. Maybe you see someone who is attractive. It’s not that you want to look exactly like them, it’s that you want to feel good about who you are. It’s not that you want exactly what they have, it’s that you want permission.

That’s why we’re more likely to be jealous of our peers than we are a celebrity. We’re more likely to envy the people just close enough to us than the people far away — even if those people are the ones who have far more than we could ever imagine.

We don’t covet it because what we envy are the lives that are ever so slightly elevated from our own. They’re just out of reach, but not so impossibly far away that they seem unrealistic.

That’s the thing about envy: underneath it all, the thing we most deeply desire is also the thing that we know, at some level, we are capable of having.

What we want is not to suppress someone else’s joy.

What we want is not to take away someone else’s success.

What we want is not to deny someone else’s love.

What we want is to allow ourselves to pursue what we know is within our reach.

What we want is to allow that envy to show us exactly what we want, and then to dissolve the limiting beliefs that are preventing us from having it.

When we envy someone, we are actually getting a lesson in our own desires.

Source: Brianna Weist

8 Signs You’re Not Stuck, You’re Just More Comfortable Playing Small

Sometimes, the problem isn’t that you’re incapable of going after what you want, or that you’re being held back by some other force beyond your control.

Sometimes, the biggest issue in your life is that you’re more comfortable playing small even though you know you’re capable of a lot more. Here, the telltale signs you’re underplaying your potential in a really significant way.

1. You’re vague about what you do.

It’s not that you don’t know what you do, rather, you subconsciously eschew details because you’re afraid of being judged.
When you create grey area, there’s space to go back, correct yourself, adjust yourself to someone else’s expectations and needs. But it all comes at the cost of being untrue to yourself.

2. You have a lot of internal conflict.

You’re stuck in a sort of limbo that only happens when you at once know everything you could be doing, and yet, at the same time, are attached to playing safe.

3. You see your peers capitalizing on their skills in a way you know you’re also capable of.

You recognize that there’s so much potential for you to create a life you really love and are proud of, and you know because you see others doing it all the time.
However, for some reason, you just can’t quite motivate yourself to join them yet. You’re still too filled with doubt, or you’re really attached to being a lesser version of yourself, because you imagine that person to be better liked.

4. You work yourself to the point of exhaustion.
Truly successful people don’t do this, because they know three things:
— How to manage their time.
— How to delete responsibilities.
— That they do not need to prove their importance or worth.

5. You don’t have a top 3 goal list for this year.

You’re more or less just floating, and seeing where life takes you, rather than having a set of specific, overarching goals your daily routines are moving you closer toward.

6. You don’t know your personal “tagline.”

You should be able to summarize who you are and what you do within a sentence or two. Not because you are so uncomplicated that you can be distilled down into a few words, but because true, complete clarity is absolutely essential to success.

7. You’re afraid of being “seen.”

You still carry around the fear of what other people from your past would think of your future successes, and you resist putting yourself, or your work, out there out of fear that others would disapprove.
The fear of being “seen” and standing out from others is natural and normal, but it doesn’t come up unless you already know you have something that sets you apart, something that would absolutely get people’s attention.

8. You have as much anxiety about being successful as you do failing.

For as much as you worry about potentially not succeeding, you likewise have as much anxiety about what it would mean to have everything you want.

Whether it’s the fear that you could lose it, or that other people would begin to dislike you, or that you’d simply leave your comfort zone, it’s imperative to realize that successful people grant themselves permission to be successful. They intentionally allow their lives to be good. It’s definitely an adjustment, one that deep down, you know you’re ready to make.

10 Practical Ways To Stop Involving Yourself With Negative Things

10 Practical ways to stop involving yourself with Negative Things

Good morning guys, trust your night and weekend was great. Welcome to a week of productivity and results.

I was going through my pad and sae this old post I initially wanted to post but probably forgot. It’s a post originally written by Brianna Weist

1. Be with people you can be honest around, or don’t be around them at all.

If you trace the beginnings of the ends of any relationships you’ve been in, I guarantee it probably had something to do with someone cutting off honesty and/or communication. (The two go hand-in-hand.)
The second you cannot say to someone “I think what you’re doing is wrong,” “I’m upset with how you’re treating me,” “I’m scared and here’s why,” “I’m having doubts and these are what they are,” or “I love you but I don’t love this thing you do,” is the second it’s going to fail.
You end up expending all of your energy pretending to be someone you’re not, and it’s not helping anybody. Only ever telling people what they want to hear verbally placates them into their same old habits, their same old ways, and nothing changes. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude. This doesn’t mean to throw effective, healthy communication out the window; there’s a difference.
If you cannot be honest with someone and have your thoughts and opinions heard, be around other people who you can. They’re out there.
If you pretend for long enough, you only end up losing yourself.

2. Stop keeping things in your life because you just don’t want to go through the stress or discomfort of letting them go.

Up to and including: friends you don’t genuinely want to spend time with, on-again-off-again flings that won’t amount to anything other than your own pain, exchanges that leave you exhausted and frustrated, resentment over things you can’t change, subscriptions to magazines that make you hate yourself, social media connections that do not add anything to your day, the phone numbers of the people you always have to text first (if at all) and love for the people who will never love you back.

3. Stop ruminating on the old and start building the new.

The second a negative thought or crippling memory crops up, don’t entertain it and allow yourself to sink further down the rabbit hole of all things could-have-been and should-have-been. Analyze what about the situation makes you uncomfortable, and figure out how you can apply what you wish you would have done to your life now. Don’t just “vow” to be different, figure out how you can actively, consciously do so. If you apply it correctly, it’s the healthiest, most effective coping mechanism around.

4. Play by the “if you’re going to forget about it in a year from now, don’t waste your energy worrying about it now” rule.

If you look back on your life, you will probably realize that you have mentally divided it into segments during which you worried compulsively about the outcome of something that either worked itself out or wouldn’t matter in a relatively short period of time.
Simply: if you look back, you’ll realize that no feeling was ever final, and you wasted your time concerning yourself with issues that weren’t either.
It’ll give you the perspective to work cultivating that mindset now, before you’re looking back on these years and thinking the same things.

5. Don’t allow your “no” to be the beginning of a negotiation.

You get as much respect as you demand. You teach people how to treat you. If you don’t feel that your wants or needs are being understood or respected, find a way to communicate them better, and then learn what it means for you to draw lines — even if that’s as serious as completely walking away. It’s not a matter of giving up easily, it’s a matter of knowing what you’re not going to permit.

6. There’s not one person on this planet that’s like, “yeah, this is exactly how I thought it would go.” Stop projecting a future based on what you believe in now.

The unknown is scary. So scary, in fact, that we decide things about our futures based on what we can conceive of being possible now, and the fault in this is that we get attached to an outcome that isn’t necessarily most right for us.
We tend to be surprised by what we get in place of what we thought we wanted. Even the concept of relinquishing future control just comes across as another elusive platitude, but it’s really, really important. It’s the only way to free yourself from impending suffering.

7. Learn what it means to view everything objectively, in light of what it will ultimately amount to in the bigger picture.

This whole world isn’t indebted to you, but nor is it out to get you. People aren’t usually “against” things, they’re just for themselves. People think of you far less than you worry about them doing so. Your perspective is just one of them. You are a speck in the span of infinity. Remember how small you are.

8. Don’t expect to receive that which you don’t communicate you want.

You get what you have the courage to ask for.

9. Don’t let one thing define you.

There is not one decision or day or instance that makes you who you are. You are what you repeatedly do. The only thing that isn’t normal is to pretend that you never struggle, have never suffered, never feel anything but happiness, etc. You’re supposed to ebb and flow, you shouldn’t want it any other way. It means you’re alive, you’re invested in things that matter, you made mistakes but you made an effort regardless, and you’re not emotionally or otherwise stunted, as would be the case if you didn’t feel remorse or sadness or grief.

10. Realize that the problem is always you.

Now that sounds harsh, and I imagine a slew of you will want to rise and disagree, and I get that, but to be really honest with you, that’s the problem.

Here’s the thing: you are the only thing you can control. If you are upset with a situation, you cannot force people into changing to suit your wants and needs, so you have to change what you can control: whether or not you’re removing yourself from it, asserting yourself, or changing your mindset about how you’re going to approach it.

If you aren’t doing so — the problem is you.

Feel free to share and repost on your platform. Also don’t forget to drop your comments.

Ways To Make Peace With The Things You Can’t Change

1. You stop assuming what you lose is for the worst. I just realized that I lost my favorite book of all time. I’ve had it for two years. The pages are barely hanging on by threads, and it’s filled with notes and thoughts and underlined sentences and paragraphs. I’m pretty sure I left it in a coffee shop. My friend turned to me today and said: “It’s okay. Somebody who needed it — and your notes — got it. It was time to pass it on, and buy a new one, to highlight the things you didn’t see before.”

2. You stop assuming you know best. Inarguably, I am an idiot when it comes to my own life. I admit to this. I will be the first to laugh and tell you all the ways I’ve screwed up. I have wanted relationships that were objectively terrible for me, questioned the things that were so genuinely best for me it’s perplexing how one could mistake them. I’ve sullied my own happiness with worry, tried to control that which I couldn’t. Of everything, do you know what I’m most grateful for in this world? The fact that it never listened to me and some other force lead me to where I am. I am so grateful I never got what I thought I deserved. It’s the only thing I can bring myself to consider when I similarly believe that I’m wrongfully not getting something I want now.

3. You meditate on impermanence. Maybe not through literal, actual meditation (though that would be great of course) you have to remind yourself that the root of suffering is not just the impermanence of things, but our attachment to the things that are inevitably not going to last. If something isn’t enough for you in the time that you have it — be it a day, a month, a year — it’s never going to be enough. At the end of the day, you can’t keep it forever. You’d be losing it sooner or later. What’s more important is whether or not you appreciated having it in the first place.

4. You consider what you can change externally. Granted, external control is an illusion that will ultimately fail us all; attachment is a river that inevitably runs dry. But sometimes when you’re treading water, you need a little something to hold onto, no matter how temporary it is or mildly delusional you are for it. If there’s something you can externally change about your situation, do so. If there’s something you can say, a line you can draw, an opinion that’s yet to be voiced, go ahead and make sure you’ve exhausted all your options.

5. And then you focus on what you can change internally. I said this once (I don’t remember what article it was in, sorry) and I stand by it: most little things can be solved with a nap, a drink or a long talk with someone who wants to listen, and most big things have to be solved with an inner reconciliation. Allow that of yourself.

6. You face it until it doesn’t hurt anymore. I once heard someone explain our grown up fears as being similar to how we were afraid of the monster in the closet when we were little. All we really have to do is shine a light inside and realize that there’s nothing there. This kind of acknowledgment is different from attaching to it and creating and manifesting it in your life. It is different than holding onto a perception and then making it your reality. This is just acknowledging what is, and saying it out loud again and again and again until it the weight wanes off. Anybody who has done this can tell you how much it eases your heart and chest and soul. Don’t let the nonexistent monsters haunt you because you just don’t want to open the door.

Repost: How Many Celebrity Tragedies Before We Understand That Fame And Money Don’t Mean Happiness?

There are many conversations to be had in the wake of Robin Williams’ death. About the perils of depression; the silent weight of scrutiny that’s internalized when we treat famous people like characters, not humans; and the love a generation could have for a man, though we hadn’t taken a moment to discuss him until he was gone.

When tragedies like these occur, the only thing there is to do is take something and grow collectively. At the end of the day, the million+ tweets and posts and discussions about Robin are (for all we know) unbeknownst to him. They’re for us. So while we’re at it, let us take this too: You will not be happier tomorrow if you do not create happiness today.

We are aggregators and perpetuators of the idea that external success yields internal fulfillment. We spend our whole lives seeking that greatness: a physical body others can appreciate, stacks of money you can measure, material items other people can get wide-eyed and jealous of, attention and admiration that we believe will fill some emptiness within us.

External success — success that is sought because other people can perceive it — is a dark and winding path of putting our whole lives into something that never does fill the gaping, heavy hole that sent us running away from ourselves to begin with.

I have a hard time believing that Robin — or really anybody who has perished despite a seemingly phenomenal life — wouldn’t want us to understand this. More importantly, because of those people, but more due to our own internal convictions of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and disconnectedness (that we all at some level understand) I believe that this is what we need to start understanding.

Despite the endless feed of overdoses and tragedies, we remain a culture that is, for the most part, decidedly unaware. If you asked someone, in theory, does money and fame mean happiness? They’d probably say no, because they think that’s the right answer. And yet. But still. It’s easier and more instantly gratifying to keep seeking the external. It’s common, it’s normal, it’s expected, it doesn’t require much by the way of fiercely letting your own light refract into the untouched darkness of others’.

We are a society driven by ego. We have monopolized even the most natural and simple of processes for the sake of these empty, meaningless, physical accolades. We took control of animals to help discover/conquer new territories, then put them in concentration camps to be slaughtered (though, then again, we’ve done that to each other.) We’ve changed more on the Earth in 50 years than in the last 13,000 combined. Industrialized farming poisons our food for the sake of cheap, exponential growth, and our food workers wear radiation suits. Everything has been cloned, standardized, copied and individuality has been destroyed, ironically, in the face of our very isolation that has to be mentally resolved before anything else can be. We just continue to take and take and take and take.

And when other things aren’t enough, we take control of each other, and in the interim, we monopolize ourselves, too. We do this every time we police someone into behaving one certain way. Every time we believe what we’re conditioned to and don’t think for ourselves. Every time we allow something ultimately meaningless to control our lives because the one thing we have not learned to do is find something that does mean something to us.

We created a culture that cares far more about how things appear than how they actually are. As long as this carries on is as long as we’ll be seeking a great nothingness.

And the funny thing, the important thing, the only thing worth knowing here, really, is that if every one of us took it upon ourselves to fill ourselves with deep understanding and conviction, to perceive unity rather than isolation, to learn to embrace individuality in harmony with everyone else, these problems would disappear. We do not have to fix the outer. We do not have to deconstruct the society we live in to fix it. We have to deconstruct the illusions within us.

This is not something we vote on. This is not something we influence others to do. This is not what happens when we take control of other beings and things. We cannot keep perpetuating the world that we do, and losing the things that we are, the people we love, and ourselves. We do not just owe this to our heroes and our children and the people who have passed. We owe this to ourselves. We owe it to our own happiness to stop feeding into the incessant cruelty, to stop judging other people and policing them into a life we deem acceptable. We owe it to ourselves to ask for help when we need it. To help others when they do. To let our suffering move us toward deeper, internal acceptance and awareness and okayness through the external knowing that all is one and one is all and to know that no matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

Credit image: Pinterest

Don’t Wait To Be Inspired, Don’t Only Act On Passion

The feeling of being “inspired” is very often just finding something brilliant, and trying to emulate it. The rush and desire makes us manic and driven because we think we are actively becoming greater than ourselves. We find something we perceive as so great, we want others to perceive us – our take, our idea, our belief, our creation of it – similarly. But the foundation of that is what we are not. That’s why we have to find it, that’s why we run dry. It is not inherent or internal – at least the whirlwind, overwhelming kind of inspiration isn’t.

Acting without feeling inspired is us saying what we naturally know, feel and think, and this is vulnerability. When we believe that we must be inspired by an idea to create something of it, it is a mechanism to avoid placing ourselves bare into something that other people can judge.

The same goes for the idea of “passion.” Passion is the crazy, grandiose, brilliant idea for the epic novel, but it is not the every day work that gets it written. Ryan Holiday just wrote about this idea, in that Passion Is The Problem, Not The Solution.

Passion does not get the work done. Passion does not sustain you for more than a moment’s worth, neither does inspiration. It is not what gets your heads on the floor and your fingers on the keyboard and your mind in a space of determination. Please take my word for this.

But we’ve based most of our cultural aspirations on these ideas. That is to say, we’re supposed to choose what we feel consistently strongly about, and pursue it madly and wildly and at any cost. It’s why, I think, so many people feel lost. Because they don’t feel compelled by a single, conveniently-career-transmutable activity or idea (and most people aren’t supposed to… I have a hard time believing that “life purpose,” if it exists, is an isolated experience or job or action.)

You’ve probably heard (and read countless articles and studies) on why “following your passion” is the worst career advice you can get (“passion” is something you build; it’s what comes after you do something you enjoy repeatedly and gain skill and accolade, etc.) It’s not something that comes over you one day, at least not to any conceivable end.

But we don’t want to misstep. We want to base our decisions on something solid, on a singular purpose, on the truth gauge we’re promised we have. We are basing our life choices on feelings that other things give us, rather than the instincts we naturally have, and we’re calling that intuition.

There’s nothing wrong with the idea that you should do something each day that is fulfilling, but there is something dangerously misleading about the idea that you should feel passionately inspired each day (it insinuates there is no work, or rather, work shouldn’t feel like work.)

This makes happiness “good” and anything else “bad.” This makes the spectrum of emotions that human beings are meant to experience obsolete. This closes us off and stoppers our progress. This is how we induce our own suffering, by believing that the things that are “meant to be,” that are actions of passion and divine grandeur are going to make us feel consistently “good.”

If we were “meant” to feel good all the time, it wouldn’t be such a struggle. And we create that struggle for ourselves. Every time we look to something else to give us that high, we externalize our purpose. We step over vulnerability, we idealize a certain feeling, a certain job, a certain partner, and that’s it, it becomes the end goal, the only goal, the only way we’ll be content.

Passion is not what gets the job done. It is not what sustains a relationship or a career. Inspiration will not “find you” every single day. If you believe it’s supposed to, you’ll only be a failure in your own mind.

These things are drops, not constants. They are sparks, not flames.

You can prove this to yourself by the sheer fact that in retrospect, you probably realize you do not value the isolated moments of inspired thought as much as you do the work and love you consciously choose to put into them every single day to create something out of them. You value what you make, what you choose. Not what happens upon you.

What do you guys think about this article on passion and inspiration. Please let us know your thoughts and also share on your platforms too.

Things I Am Grateful For Today (And Always)

1. That humans are a self-healing species.

2. The infinitude of people wiser and more talented than I, because of whom I will always be able to learn more, see differently, understand better, and generally be entertained.

3. That anytime something hasn’t worked out the way I wanted it to initially, something better did. Always. Without fail.

4. My wife is with me when I was researching this. Been thankful for everything God has done for us.

5. The abundance of foods and cultures and restaurants and diners that exist in my little corner of the world, and that I get to taste a little bit of everything as often as I like.

6. I have never once in my life worried about being too cold in the winter because I couldn’t afford a sweater or jacket.

7. Friends who have loved me more than I loved myself, and who taught me how to love myself.

8. Hugs.

9. Cooking, and sharing it with others. It’s been something I have really grown a love for this past year.

10. That nothing lasts forever, which is, essentially, just a call to be present.

11. That I live in a hemisphere that experiences all four seasons.

12. Second chances. Third chances. Forgiveness. The ability to say: thank you for that experience, and mean it.

13. Nature. And trees. The after-rain smell, the springtime smell. Mountains and trails and and the fact that I have feet and legs to walk them.

14. The funny fact that the nature of realizing a problem is also you recognizing that there is a solution.

15. My job. The fact that I get to write every day. The other amazing writers and producers I get to read and work with and publish.

16. Coffee, and coffee shops at night.

17. A long meal in a dimly lit restaurant with a bottle of wine and someone you love.

18. The excitement of knowing you have reservations for a long meal in a dimly lit restaurant with a bottle of wine and someone you love.

19. That I have rent to pay, dishes to do, laundry to fold, and dinner to cook; because it means I have my own home, have eaten, am clothed, and have more food available to me.

20. How much joy the little things bring (knowing that that joy is always accessible.)

21. Finding a song you love so much you listen to it 20 times in a row and it just gets better and better with every word and riff and beat you start to memorize.

22. Handwriting anything.

23. Farmers markets.

24. The smell of someone you’re falling in love with, right when you’re falling in love with them.

25. The fact that there is no limit to the number of people we can fall in love with – and that it is possible to do so, each time, as wholly as we did before.

26. Confident people who live their lives and speak their truths and redefine beauty and greatness and wonder and what it means to LIVE just by the nature of their living. (People don’t become inspiring by trying to help others, just by being themselves.)

27. Kids. I envy teachers (though I acknowledge how much work they do and how crappy I’d be as one). Regardless, my real joy in life is playing games in my comfort zone and eating biscuit with a cup of fresh juice, watching my favourite season movies.

28. Warm, comfy beds.

29. The simple, perfect knowledge that my only real purpose is to be. Right here, just like this. My name will fade with successions of generations, and eventually, one day, nobody will know I existed. But for now, just for today, I am awake and alive to see and feel and breathe and live in a foreign, temporary body. If there is something more beautiful than that, show it to me, I’ll be surprised.

30. Everything I have healed, everything I have learned, and how being happy, being present, creating more, and being abundant in every way, always begins with thankfulness.

Watch: Why Women Are More Anxious Than Men

By: Brianna Weist

I recently watched (and some of you may be familiar with) a set of social experiments in which a group of men and then a group of women agreed to go on a date with a person they met on Tinder – a model, who would be in a fat suit when they arrived.

The experiment claims to be based on the fact that number one fear for women dating online is that they’ll meet a serial killer, and the number one fear for men is that the woman will be fat.

Low and behold, when each of the men arrived and met their date, they were… offended. They were mad because they felt lied to, and did little to cover their displeasure with the woman’s appearance. Only one of them didn’t walk away or excuse himself to the bathroom – never to return. But none gave her a chance, or took any interest in getting to know who she was, all because she wasn’t thin.

Now, as I was watching this, I’ll be honest. I was thinking, well, okay, it’s not completely unreasonable to be off-put if you’re expecting one thing, and get another…

That was, until I saw the women’s video.

Not one of them walked away. They gave the guy a chance. They connected with him. They laughed at his jokes. They did acknowledge that they were disillusioned about his appearance, but they were not rude or entitled about it.

… And one of them kissed him at the end. Another offered up a second date. They got to know who he really was, because they were able to see past their expectations about what he should be.

Click to watch video for men

Click to watch for women

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that research shows women are twice as prone to anxiety as men, are twice as often diagnosed with anxiety disorders, and that women are significantly “more inclined toward negative emotion, self-criticism, and endless rumination about [their] problems.”

But here is the important part: we also know that this is not the result of a biological or hormonal difference. Indicating that it is, unsurprisingly, cultural.

Simply, women are not encouraged to honestly acknowledge their feelings and cope with them in proactive, mindful ways – and this is mostly to maintain how others perceive them.

Taylor Clark dubs this the “skinned knee effect,” wherein from a young age, boys are encouraged to confront their fears, and girls are encouraged to hide them. “If little Olivia shows fear, she gets a hug; if little Oliver shows fear, he gets urged to overcome it.”

And when these emotions “go underground,” they become ingrained in the subconscious, and then begin to have a huge and often overlooked impact on day-to-day interactions.

Studies also tell us that women tend to be insidiously competitive, jealous and spiteful toward other women, especially those they are close to. Because they are taught not to win at someone else’s expense (to be a perpetual people-pleasers and peace-makers) their healthy, natural, normal, innate competitiveness must become tempered.

And the more it is inhibited, the more it remains unacknowledged. As anybody can tell you, as soon as you pack a feeling away in a dark closet… it becomes a potential monster that you have to prepare yourself for – and that feeling of dread and suppression begins to bleed into otherwise unthreatening, daily situations.

Though these are just a few examples plucked from the pile of research on the anxiety gender gap, the point is that anxiety is, in an abstract sense, the anticipation that something ‘bad’ is coming, or the fear that one cannot handle it.

More accurately, the fear that they cannot hide it.

It’s the running idea that bad things cannot be dealt with because feelings cannot be felt. And so the fear of them, the fear of losing culturally-induced composure, compiles into anxiety. Intense anxiety. Unbearable anxiety that remains dormant until something sets it off and it crops up endlessly. “I know this sense of panic and urgency is coming from somewhere… and so I must search for it, project it and deal with it in ways that aren’t actually addressing the root of the problem.”

Women suffer greater anxiety than men because they’re taught… not to. They’re denied simply being honest about their feelings, and most often in a way that convinces them it will yield positive results. It will make people love them. They will seem “together.”

But at what cost?

In terms of the women in the experiment, certainly they were kinder, more positive, and opened themselves up to the possibility for real romance, but only because they were conditioned to be just that: open, accepting and willing, no matter what.

Who is to say they were actually interested in that man? I certainly am not. But what we do know is that the men who were not interested in their date didn’t have to pretend for the sake of someone else’s feelings.

There isn’t an anxiety gap. There is an honesty gap, and there is a decency gap. There’s a middle ground on which we each need to rest a foot: that you can be honest without hurting someone intentionally, that you can cope with your feelings without being violent or cunning about it, and most importantly, that it’s human to feel on edge when your instincts are being compressed. That the most we need to do is let our inner demons out and discover they were nothing more than the fear that they could be something else.

Let me know what you think about this by commenting your opinion.

The Inherent Meditation Of Creativity

Being creative is as innate to being human as eating, talking, walking and thinking is. It has always been a process we naturally prioritize; our ancestors somehow found time to carve their images and stories on cave walls. But we’ve mistakenly grown to regard it as some form of luxury – you’re lucky if you have the means to express yourself.

In reality, it is a manner of education, communication, and ultimately, self-introspection, and we are in constant manifestation of it. The mediums have shifted from rock particles to pixels, but we can all still see that there is something inherently human about wanting to imprint, impress, craft, mold, form, paint, write and otherwise mold something abstract into that which is conceivable to someone else.

Unsurprisingly then, it seems that the most effective creative process is one that follows the art of meditation, mindfulness, intuition, non-resistance, non-judgement, etc.

I did not begin writing because it was something I liked. It was how I figured my way out of pain. It didn’t take too long to realize that I didn’t want to spend my life creating or exacerbating problems only to think and feel my way out for the sake of a job. I wanted to be able to write and create just because. Just because I’m alive and breathing and can.

I had to learn that my expression did not need to be justified – it is valid because I am a valid human being, the same as you, and everybody else.

But in the meantime, I tried all the classic writing routines of the greats, the promised formulas for consistent, rhythmic creation. I tried to be structured, did anything to induce “flow,” intentionally probed at the deep dark untouched corners of myself, was routine even when I didn’t want to be, and found every bit of it to be dead-ended.

I was trying to create structure where structured need not be placed. It did little more than make the process stagnate.

The reason being, mostly, that we do not ebb and flow in and out of creation. It is an unseen constant, from the clothes we choose to the sentences we say to the way we arrange our desks at work.

It comes down to imagining writing (or painting, or singing, or whatever it is you do) as coming as naturally as breathing does: it’s an effortless process, it draws upon what is outside you and transforms it as it goes through you, and it is tensed, stressed, ebbed and made more difficult when we consciously try to do it.

In fact, anything creative tends to be most hampered by end goals. It is almost imperative that you are completely mindful of the moment, creating from a place of simply allowing whatever is going through you to flow out.

Because when you have a pre-prescribed path in mind, it means you are trying to align with somebody else’s. It means that the inspiration you have found is you creating your own version of somebody’s something else that made you tick and flow.

You’ll seldom be inspired by work that is coming from a core truth, and that’s because it shows you something about yourself. Not just something, the truest truth – that’s what makes the process so god damn unbearable.

And that’s why we reach for structure, that’s what makes us stopper the process. That’s why we want inspiration and validation and external support.

In the true essence of real zen, the most creativity can be fostered when you learn to do so without passing judgment: similar to how observing your thoughts and feelings objectively are the path to peace as well.

Some of what you write down you’ll want to share, or make consumable. Some you won’t. That’s okay too. It’s imperative to realize that even the greatest artists weren’t consistently prolific, especially not publicly. But considering that “inactivity” a lack, loss or failure is just attaching another ego-meaning to it all.

You cannot quantify your creativity, and though it is an extension and impression and expression of yourself, it does not define you.

You are free to keep the sacredness of your most inner self only within your own existence. The more you can express that, and live that, without judgment, and in the moment, the more you’ll feel free to be honest, and open up to yourself. The more you feel comfortable with that core self, the more you’ll feel able to create from a peaceful place. Just because. Whenever you want.

What If We Saw Souls Instead Of Bodies?

What If We Saw Souls Instead Of Body

If we could see souls instead of bodies, what would be beautiful?

What is the first thing people would know about you? What would you be most afraid of them seeing? Who would you impress? Who would you love?

What would you adjust as you walked past the mirror? What kind of work would you be in? What would your goals be, how would you strive to be better if what you collected in the bank or put on your body or attached next to your name on a business card no longer affected what people saw?

Would you spend your time in gyms and stores or in libraries and temples? Who would you let yourself fall in love with? What would your ‘type’ be? Tall, dark and handsome or creative, kind and self-aware?

Who would we idolize, and what? How much of our governing body would be fit to lead? Who would we make famous? Who would we celebrate?

Would we restructure our value system to prioritize the things that bring us true peace and desire, not just better than the norm? What would we do with all that money, if we weren’t spending it on decorating and changing and convincing everybody else that we are a way we really aren’t?

How would we define success? As who gathers the most shit around their souls or who is transformed the most and shines the brightest? What would it be like, if our priority was to just become lightness? What kindness and joy and healing and rawness would come of the journey there?

What would happen if we could see people not as “bad,” but as… blocked? If we could see the ways they’ve packed away their pain, or how they hold a belief that keeps them away from being kind to others? How they are unaware that those issues even exist?

What if we weren’t afraid of the ways people are different than us?

What would happen if we realized our bodies never wanted anything more than to feel connected, and acted out on nothing more than their false ideas of being separate, different, exiled, the odd one out, the almost-but-not-good-enough?

What would happen if we embraced our desire to play out and frame with our individualism, but eventually returned to the knowing that we are all just energy fields? And where would we be if we realized that we were all from the same one? What would happen if we realized we really weren’t that different at all?