Monday, December 31, 2012

how to make 2013 your year.

With the start of a New Year looming, a popular thing to do is to claim possession of it. That’s right, tons of people are letting it be known via Facebook, Twitter and other social networks that they will be grabbing 2013 by the horns and taking control of it. What a lovely concept. Really, it sounds great in 140 characters or less. Maybe some people are hyped up on fresh start juice, and think that writing out a statement for the rest of the world to see will help those wishes come to fruition in reality. 
Here’s the thing — it’s not going to be that simple. When the clock hits 12 A.M. and it’s officially January 1st, you’re not miraculously going to be in a different position than you are right now. You won’t suddenly be smarter, faster, stronger or better than you were on December 31st. There won’t be any miraculous developments or new career opportunities throwing themselves at you. Things will be the same. 
You may partake in the NYE festivities, have a good time, and when you wake up the next morning, you’ll still be the 2012 version of yourself. Same job. Same issues. Same life. You’re still the person who vocalized your desire for change recently, but what you’re doing to make certain those things happen is a whole different story. 
So if everyone wants their piece of the New Year’s pie, how can you actually guarantee yourself a slice? First you’ve got to realize that many of the people claiming they’re going to conquer the world with no game plan or aspirations will soon have a rude awakening. Why? Well, because there are some hardworking individuals out there who’ve spent all of this year laboring and putting themselves in a position to succeed in 2013. Those people are at an advantage because the pursuit of their dreams isn’t postdated. They’re not waiting for a January 1st, they’re not talking about what they’re going to do and what changes they will make – they are actively going after these things. 
The time spent telling folks that 2013 will be your personal highlight reel could’ve been spent productively working on said highlights. If you didn’t do anything in 2012 to put yourself in a position to succeed in the near future, don’t expect January 1, 2013 to be some type of miracle worker. Don’t get me wrong, a desire to be successful is great and that’s the key to making it. This isn’t about knocking those who claim 2013 as theirs; it’s just a friendly reminder that there are individuals who’ve had the same desires and plans to make next year theirs for quite some time now. With that in mind, it really just means that you’re at a disadvantage, and some dedicated hard work is in order. 
Being positive and wanting to improve is never something to mock, but some people have turned it into an empty declaration. They say what they’re going to do, seeking Likes, Retweets and temporary motivation rather than making statements through their actions. If it’s not something you’re willing to do whatever it’s going to take to achieve, eventually there’ll be some roadblock reason to give up. Ask yourself, is this the real thing, or will you have given up on your 2013 takeover by February? 
The New Year, much like the previous one, will have its share of opportunities. If there’s something, someone, or somewhere you want to be, right this second is as good a time as any to make progressive moves. Being motivated on January 1st is a piece of cake. It’s the random day in June when you have to choose between the bar with friends or handling important work that’s crucial. It’s the monotonous routines you experience as you beat your craft that make a difference. 2013, much like 2012, will be exactly what you make of it. Just know that there may already be people several steps ahead of you, and embrace the challenge. TC Mark

thought catalog. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"my advice to you is to remember how vital family is"

Below is something I just came across that I posted about two years ago. Even though I realized the lessons I talk about when I wrote it, I can never be reminded enough about how important family is and how I should never take them for granted. Too often I do the opposite of what the post teaches. For example, I get frustrated with my dad's memory loss way too easily. Granted, it's extremely difficult adjusting from college to home life. I go from being able to (for the most part) remove myself from it and "forget" about it to having to come home and face it every day with expected unlimited patience. It's impossible! However, that's not an excuse. I need to learn to take a deep breath and simply try my hardest to give him a break and remember that he CAN'T remember and that he's trying his hardest. Every day spent with family is precious, and I need to especially remember that with mine.
Through the years, I have learned how important family is. You always hear how important they are, but it’s one of those things that goes in one ear and out the other, at least that’s how it used to be for me. That all changed about three years ago when my dad had a non-cancerous brain tumor. He had to have a surgery to remove it. During the surgery, there was a complication, and it resulted in him getting short term memory loss. Because of this, our family had to adjust to a new kind of living. My dad can no longer work. At night, he can’t remember what he did that day, etc. Our family had to become a lot stronger because of this. This kind of abrupt change in a family member is impossible to get used to- I am still not totally used to it. We had no choice, though, to accept it the best way we could and learn to live with it. It came as a surprise then, when about a year ago [almost four years ago now], my dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a rare form of blood cancer. A million questions ran through my mind- Why him? He’s very religious and goes to mass almost every day- why did he deserve this? Was it a punishment? Why did God let this happen to him and my family? For the next couple months, he was in and out of the hospital constantly, reminding me of his six week stay at the hospital three years back. Now, luckily, he is in remission. The doctors say that the cancer will unfortunately come back some time, but we are very hopeful for him to stay in remission for a long time.

The thing to get out of this story is very simple- family is the most important thing you can have. Before all this happened, I never thought about how lucky I was or how blessed I was to have such a loving, supportive family. Unfortunately, it took devastating changes in my life to make me realize it. I now never take anything for granted that I do with my family. Even family dinners can mean everything. Of course, this is easier said than done and at times, I’ll be annoyed at my mom or mad at my brother, but I try my hardest not to. Also, because my dad has short term memory loss, he doesn’t remember little arguments I have with him or if I am ever in a bad mood. It teaches me to focus on the important, loving aspects of my family and to not get caught up in the small stuff that gets me upset. My advice to you is to remember how vital family is. Also, no matter what they do, it is because they love you. Don’t take them for granted. Try to let the feeling go that you’re too cool for them- stay in one night and just spend time with them.

Also, remember that God is always there for you with any problems you have. Since my life has changed, I look to God a lot for strength and hope. Without Him, I do not know how I would have the strength to keep going and be positive. When my dad first was diagnosed with cancer, I was so confused with God. I wondered why he would do this to him. I didn’t know if it was a punishment or he just simply let it happen. Now, I have realized that He does not put anyone through anything that they cannot handle. He has made me a stronger and better person through all of this. He is looking out for every one of us and we just have to have faith to be able to see it.

Friday, December 28, 2012

“don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.”

It's so important to make sure that you always take time to just simply be.  So often, we get wrapped up in doing what we think we should do and what everyone else thinks we should do. Sometimes, you gotta just let your hair down, make a nice cup of tea, and relax.  Some of my best thinking and reflecting occurs during this time, not to mention I feel so relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards. In a world of business and constant bustling around, it's easy to get caught up. Resist the need to keep up with everyone else and do what YOU need to do to make yourself peaceful and happier. Enjoy the simple pleasure of doing nothing and be endlessly grateful for the little things that make up who you are.

only know you've been high when you're feeling low.

Well you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go

Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you'll make a dream last
But dreams come slow and they go so fast
You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you'll understand why
Everything you touch, surely dies

But you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
'Cause love comes slow and it goes so fast
Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
'Cause you loved her too much and you dive too deep

Well you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go
Oh oh oh no
And you let her go
Oh oh oh no
Well you let her go

'Cause you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

'Cause you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Monday, December 17, 2012

"a year from now we'll all be gone."

A year from now we'll all be gone
All our friends will move away
And they're goin' to better places
But our friends will be gone away

Nothin' is as it has been
And I miss your face like hell
And I guess it's just as well
But I miss your face like hell


Been talkin' 'bout the way things change
And my family lives in a different state
If you don't know what to make of this
Then we will not relate
So if you don't know what to make of this
Then we will not relate


Rivers and roads
Rivers and roads
Rivers 'til I reach you
[Repeat 9x]

Every time I hear this song, it reminds me how fleeting life is and how precious the time is that we spend with those we love. Take every opportunity you have to show/tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. You never know what the future brings and you wouldn't want to look back and regret not appreciating them with your entire heart.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"you must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find eternity in each moment."

Too often in life, I get caught up in how I want a situation to occur and how I want everything to turn out.  As we all know through experience/different sayings, life rarely turns out the way we expect it to.  Because of this tendency I have, I end up not appreciating the moment and not realizing when blessings come my way.  If you're waiting for something to happen, for someone to notice you, etc., you're going to miss out on equally (if not more) amazing situations/people.  In order to avoid this, it's so important to always relish in the moment- whether good or bad- and to always be open to anything that comes your way.  You never know if it'll end up being the best night of your life or life changing in some way.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or, “I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore …” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.

Monday, December 10, 2012

you need to go after the things you want.

Have you ever been emotion-shamed before? You know what I’m talking about, has someone ever made you feel bad for being honest, for putting yourself out there and articulating your feelings to them? It’s a rare thing to do these days, to really let yourself be raw and vulnerable. We live in an age of posturing. People hide behind their phones, they carefully curate their communication with other people, which makes honest moments few and far between. When one manages to slip itself in, it’s jarring. “You’re being so real with me right now,” the person on the receiving end says. “I don’t really know what to do with all of this truth. We’ve gone off-script. We’re like in the 70s or something.” 
You don’t get anything you want by subscribing to the social rules of today. You remain frozen and in perpetual fear that you’ll come off as “crazy” to someone, you’re unhinged, you are officially seen as someone with no filter. God, I hate that term: no filter. What the hell does that even mean? Like, sorry, that I won’t lie and do this elaborate dance with you? Yes, I must be truly a loose cannon then! 
Don’t follow these rules of modern love. They’re shit. Imagine yourself at age 90 and filled with regret. Imagine being surrounded with “what if”s and “how come”s and not being able to do anything about it because you’re too old now, you’ve been edged out of society and the only thing you have left to do now is die. That’s what will happen to you if you keep on holding the love in.
Let it out. Let the love out.
Read this quote by Harvey Milk:Go after her. Fuck, don’t sit there and wait for her to call, go after her because that’s what you should do if you love someone, don’t wait for them to give you a sign cause it might never come, don’t let people happen to you, don’t let me happen to you, or her, she’s not a fucking television show or tornado. There are people I might have loved had they gotten on the airplane or run down the street after me or called me up drunk at four in the morning because they need to tell me right now and because they cannot regret this and I always thought I’d be the only one doing crazy things for people who would never give enough of a fuck to do it back or to act like idiots or be entirely vulnerable and honest and making someone fall in love with you is easy and flying 3000 miles on four days notice because you can’t just sit there and do nothing and breathe into telephones is not everyone’s idea of love but it is the way I can recognize it because that is what I do. Go scream it and be with her in meaningful ways because that is beautiful and that is generous and that is what loving someone is, that is raw and that is unguarded, and that is all that is worth anything, really. 
Harvey Milk said this decades ago but it has never felt more relevant to how we live our lives today. When did we become so afraid to love someone with vulnerability? When did we become so fearful of spilling our guts and being who we are? It sounds corny but it’s true. A few months ago, after a long time of doing the elaborate modern dance and keeping my feelings in, I let them out at 5 a.m. to someone and it didn’t go well. I could see this person make the switch in his mind. I was the “crazy emotional” one now. I told the truth and I was going to pay for my sins. 
We need to move away from this constant need of coming across as calm, cool and collected. WE WEREN’T BUILT TO BE CALM, COOL, AND COLLECTED. If we were, it wouldn’t feel so fucking exhausting all the time. It would, you know, come naturally to us. You know what comes naturally to human beings though? Being open, being messy, being raw, being unfiltered, having lots of feelings. Why should we have to stifle our true nature? 
Let’s go after the things we want, let’s love each other brutally and honestly, and not worry about the consequences. Let’s release the feelings inside of us and let them land somewhere special. Otherwise, we might have a lifetime of longing in front of us.
thought catalog.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


"one day you're 17 and planning for someday and then quietly and without you really noticing someday is today and then someday is yesterday and this is your life."

I think it's so important to have daily inspiration surround you.  For example, this is the background of my computer.  I have a peaceful image to look at and motivational quotes to read when I'm feeling discouraged or overwhelmed.  These little bursts of positivity don't seem like much, but they can be that little thing you need to get through the day.  Find what inspires you and incorporate it into your daily life.  Here are some other ways I've done it at school and at school-

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

strength isn't how much you can handle before you break; it's about how much you can handle after you break.

My dad had his brain surgery in 2006 in Indianapolis, as that's where the best doctors were. Indianapolis is about three hours away from my house in Chicago, so my brother, sister, and I were only able to visit him once for about three days. We came about two weeks after his surgery. Leading up to this visit, he had been predominantly unresponsive and was in intensive care. We would communicate with him simply by talking loudly on the phone to him while our mom pressed it up to his ear. We would say things like "I miss you" and "I love you", hoping that some part of him could maybe hear us.

When we got to the hospital, I had no idea what to expect. The first time we got to see him, he was awake and responsive. It was good to see him alive, but he was far from himself. He was asking us about a plane crash that he confusedly thought in and was making no sense. Tubes were all over the place and his entire head was bandaged. This visit was very short, as I ran out of the room in tears about two minutes into it. For the rest of the trip, most of it was filled with sitting with him while he rested. He slept so much at this time, and it was always a very deep sleep where not many people could wake him. The nurses would actually slap him or hit him to wake him up if they needed to. 

I was only 13 when all this was going on, so it's amazing to look back now and reflect on aspects that I didn't pick up on or dwell on. During the entire time in the hospital, I fought to hold back tears, hoping that I could keep it together and appear strong for the sake of my younger siblings. I think to an extent that's what everyone was doing, including my grandma and aunt who came with us on the trip. Nobody knew how to act or what to say- each minute was taken at a time because nobody truly knew what was going to happen to him. Was he always going to be like this? Was he ever going to be able to function alone? Would he always be so confused that even when he was clearly in the hospital, he thought he was in Florida on vacation with the family?

This may seem very strange, but as I think about it all now, the power of faith and God shines through this entire experience. I'm not saying any sort of miracle occurred, because he still has no short term memory and was affected drastically. However, even when he had no idea where he was, how old he was, etc., he still had an immense, ever present faith in God at his foundation. Often when he was in those deep trances of sleep, he would tightly grasp his rosary the whole time.  If you looked closely at his hands, you could see that he was ever so subtly moving the beads with his fingers, indicating that he was saying the rosary in his head.  

There's a chance this could have been a subconscious movement, but I now see this as a sign from God and from Mary.  Even when my family was seemingly falling apart and the leader of the family was becoming dependent on his 13 year old daughter, God and Mary were with us, guiding us through this difficult time, giving us hope.  It also shows my dad's tremendous strength and inner-peace.  Instead of being scared and acting weak during this tragedy, he stayed faithful, never losing sight of the fact that God WILL take care of him and of all of us and that He has a plan. Even when his world was flipped upside down and he had no perception of reality, he still had faith at his core, never faltering even at his lowest moments. This ultimate faith and strength is what I strive for each day, and what I hope to one day have.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself."
- Edmund Lee

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

45 life lessons, written by a 90 year old.

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.9. Save for things that matter.10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye… But don’t worry; God never blinks.16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.24. The most important sex organ is the brain.25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’27. Always choose Life.28. Forgive but don’t forget.29. What other people think of you is none of your business.30. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.33. Believe in miracles.34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.37. Your children get only one childhood.38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’dgrab ours back.41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you think you need.42. The best is yet to come…43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.44. Yield.45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Monday, November 26, 2012

just dance til the morning light.

There are things in my wallet I will never use
I'm the 51st member of a god awful group
Connected by rain, they said you're all the same
But I don't know, I don't know if they're telling the truth
Like a field of rice I've grown out of
An Olympian came to fill the shoes you knew
Oh who can reach the circuits that I could never twist
So now you can cross me off that god damn list

Cos there's always that someone who'll be easier on your eye
So forget the politics of living alone and just dance til the morning light

I saw you in the background the other day
On a television see some story grey
You were sat on the steps of the new courthouse
Spinning that wheel, you said you'd show me how
You chased me through a carriage on a train
But I reached the next one before you came
And I pulled out the pin between yours and mine
I kept going, you got left behind

Cos there's always that someone who'll be easier on your eye
So forget the politics of living alone and just dance til the morning light

I heard you were looking for a man to leave
But I can tell you that I'm not the one you need
I'm always three steps behind the dance and the times 
Well if I can't change for you, then I won't change for me
Oh as stubborn as it is, as stubborn as I am
I can tell you that there is no pearl in this clamOr a diamond maybe, I stole its seed
But it was only to try and get you home with me

When there's always that someone who'll be easier on your eye
So forget the politics of living alone and just dance til the morning light

Friday, November 23, 2012

"i just want you to know that you're very sepcial and the only reason i'm telling you is that i don't know if anyone else has"

“So, I guess we are who we are for alot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

I recently finished the book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and LOVED it. I especially loved this quote because it explained that everyone is who they are right now because of their past. This can be discouraging at times. If past events have been tragic or difficult, it can seem impossible to move past them. However, as the quote says, the future is at our fingerprints. WE have the power to interpret future events the way we want to and to do things WE want to do that we haven't done yet.

Every situation we come across is neutral.. It becomes good or bad when we analyze and evaluate it. Since I've realized this, it has been my priority to interpret every situation positively. Obviously there will be some obstacles that I get hurt by and wish didn't happen, but I hope that I will at least afterwards realize that it happened to teach me a certain lesson and that I've become a stronger person for it. Simply acknowledging that you overcame an obstacle and have learned something means that you are taking future events and using them to make you a better person. 

No two people see a situation the same; everyone has their own reality. It's our job not to conform to others' reality, but to delve into each situation subjectively, striving to see the love and the growth that is in each one. If we head to the future with this in mind, life will seem less daunting, and you'll realize that you CAN get through anything.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

19 things to stop doing in your 20s.

1. Stop placing all the blame on other people for how they interact with you. To an extent, people treat you the way you want to be treated. A lot of social behavior is cause and effect. Take responsibility for (accept) the fact that you are the only constant variable in your equation.
2. Stop being lazy by being constantly “busy.” It’s easy to be busy. It justifies never having enough time to clean, cook for yourself, go out with friends, meet new people. Realize that every time you give in to your ‘busyness,’ it’s you who’s making the decision, not the demands of your job.
3. Stop seeking out distractions. You will always be able to find them.
4. Stop trying to get away with work that’s “good enough.” People notice when “good enough” is how you approach your job. Usually these people will be the same who have the power to promote you, offer you a health insurance plan, and give you more money. They will take your approach into consideration when thinking about you for a raise.
5. Stop allowing yourself to be so comfortable all the time. Coming up with a list of reasons to procrastinate risky, innovative decisions offers more short-term gratification than not procrastinating. But when you stop procrastinating to make a drastic change, your list of reasons to procrastinate becomes a list of ideas about how to better navigate the risk you’re taking.
6. Stop identifying yourself as a cliche and start treating yourself as an individual. Constantly checking your life against a prewritten narrative or story of how things “should” be is a bought-into way of life. It’s sort of like renting your identity. It isn’t you. You are more nuanced than the narrative you try to fit yourself into, more complex than the story that “should” be happening.
7. Stop expecting people to be better than they were in high school — learn how to deal with it instead. Just because you’re out of high school doesn’t mean you’re out of high school. There will always be people in your life who want what you have, are threatened by who you are, and will ridicule you for doing something that threatens how they see their position in the world.
8. Stop being stingy. If you really care about something, spend your money on it. There is often a notion that you are saving for something. Either clarify what that thing is or start spending your money on things that are important to you. Spend money on road trips. Spend money on healthy food. Spend money on opportunities. Spend money on things you’ll keep.
9. Stop treating errands as burdens. Instead, use them as time to focus on doing one thing, and doing it right. Errands and chores are essentially rote tasks that allow you time to think. They function to get you away from your phone, the internet, and other distractions. Focus and attention span are difficult things to maintain when you’re focused and attentive on X amount of things at any given moment.
10. Stop blaming yourself for being human. You’re fine. Having a little anxiety is fine. Being scared is fine. Your secrets are fine. You’re well-meaning. You’re intelligent. You’re blowing it out of proportion. You’re fine.
11. Stop ignoring the fact that other people have unique perspectives and positions. Start approaching people more thoughtfully. People will appreciate you for deliberately trying to conceive their own perspective and position in the world. It not only creates a basis for empathy and respect, it also primes people to be more open and generous with you.
12. Stop seeking approval so hard. Approach people with the belief that you’re a good person. It’s normal to want the people around you to like you. But it becomes a self-imposed burden when almost all your behavior toward certain people is designed to constantly reassure you of their approval.
13. Stop considering the same things you’ve always done as the only options there are. It’s unlikely that one of the things you’ll regret when you’re older is not having consumed enough beer in your 20s, or not having bought enough $5 lattes, or not having gone out to brunch enough times, or not having spent enough time on the internet. Fear of missing out is a real, toxic thing. You’ve figured out drinking and going out. You’ve experimented enough. You’ve gotten your fill of internet memes. Figure something else out.
14. Stop rejecting the potential to feel pain. Suffering is a universal constant for sentient beings. It is not unnatural to suffer. Being in a constant state of suffering is bad. But it is often hard to appreciate happiness when there’s nothing to compare it to. Rejecting the potential to suffer is unsustainable and unrealistic.
15. Stop approaching adverse situations with anger and frustration. You will always deal with people who want things that seem counter to your interests. There will always be people who threaten to prevent you from getting what you want by trying to get what they want. This is naturally frustrating. Realize that the person you’re dealing with is in the same position as you — by seeking out your own interests, you threaten to thwart theirs. It isn’t personal — you’re both just focused on getting different things that happen to seem mutually exclusive. Approach situations like these with reason. Be calm. Don’t start off mad, it’ll only make things more tense.
16. Stop meeting anger with anger. People will make you mad. Your reaction to this might be to try and make them mad. This is something of a first-order reaction. That is, it isn’t very thoughtful — it may be the first thing you’re inclined to do. Try to suppress this reaction. Be thoughtful. Imagine your response said aloud before you say it. If you don’t have to respond immediately, don’t.
17. Stop agreeing to do things that you know you’ll never actually do. It doesn’t help anyone. To a certain extent, it’s a social norm to be granted a ‘free pass’ when you don’t do something for someone that you said you were going to do. People notice when you don’t follow through, though, especially if it’s above 50% of the time.
18. Stop ‘buying’ things you know you’ll throw away. Invest in friendships that aren’t parasitic. Spend your time on things that aren’t distractions. Put your stock in fleeting opportunity. Focus on the important.
19. Stop being afraid.
thought catalog.