Ever thought that you are the only one who keeps on repeating the same mistakes? That others around you have been blessed by a divine ray of light from up above and have achieved superhuman capability of perfection?
Little drops of ocean make a mighty ocean. – Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney
Isn’t it right? Little things, small efforts over time result in something big, magnificent.
What do you believe can bring positive changes in your life? Making one big gesture?
No, but something that we work on everyday can become substantial over time; small things that are done regularly.
We all wish to adopt good habits but not many manage to follow through, commit themselves.
Until we find a good reason to make a change, our efforts remain just efforts without a real drive.
Mostly it is something that hits us really hard that makes us change. That pushes us to introspect and understand that we better start now or it will be too late.
People tend to ignore their health when young and regret later. Smoking, alcoholism, unhealthy eating habits…
Whatever it is that you want to change, begin small. Even if it doesn’t feel like much, your fitness, your work, relationships will improve.
A car engine heats up after several hours of driving. That is why it requires coolant and some downtime to work at its best capacity.
Our bodies are not much different either. Sleep is like downtime for our bodies. The heart rate slows down and cells repair themselves. Like an inbuilt self-repair mechanism.
Though we all are different and maybe a few of us are able to get by on 5 hours of sleep, most of us need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Sitting for extended periods has become an unwanted necessity. At workplaces, at homes watching TV, we fail to give bodies the required activity, mental and physical. And the results show. We are becoming lazy, prone to getting distracted easily.
A small habit can help. Set a 1-hour reminder on your internet browser or phone. Stop when a notification pops up or a sound beeps.
You can do it sitting or standing up. Reach over your head, inhale deeply, touch your toes, and roll your shoulders. Easy..
Don’t react, respond. We all have heard it so many times that we dismiss it as another impractical self-help tip. ‘I know, I know.. It is easier to say than practice’ is how we react (not respond!) when somebody says it to us.
But it is a habit that you should adopt, sooner than later.
Take a pause before you reply. It will help you weigh your words and response. In a charged up or stressful conversation, the tendency to snap at others is high. A 5-second pause can turn the situation around and keep you from ruining a relationship.
Multi-tasking, the panacea for feeling ‘pressed for time’ everyday. One task here, another there, all being juggled simultaneously. And the feeling of gratification when tasks are complete. Or do we really give our best when switching from one task to another?
Our brains are not wired to switch from one task to another. Given the electronic devices’ dings, and dongs, beeps, and sounds, focusing is all the more difficult.
So rather than checking a message reminding you of insurance renewal that is still a month away while preparing an office presentation, do yourself a favor. Keep your phone away for some time, and mute all notifications on your PC or laptop. Focus on what is at hand.
Why do we feel lighter after talking with a person we are close to? Because we share what is on our mind and exchange meaningful ideas.
Similarly getting down our thoughts in a notebook is another way to talk but with ourselves. Don’t try to follow any kind of rules. It is supposed to flow freely. Dump everything that is on your mind. Let it all out.
You can also use a voice recorder and just talk. Unedited, uncensored. These activities have been shown to reduce anxiety and help clear your head.
Our minds are busy with thoughts and worries, living in the past, worrying about the future. And we often feel tired to the point of exhaustion due to stress.
Practicing solitude can be particularly helpful in building your life intentionally. Sit in a quiet place for an extended period of time. Start with 20 minutes. Now, you don’t have to close your eyes or sit cross-legged. But you are not supposed to do or say anything.
Solitude can help you reflect, relax, and become more creative.
Yeah, don’t have to go to the gym or do yoga or run till you have sweated half your body’s water.
A feeling of overwhelm grips us when we hear the word ‘exercise.’ ‘I am too tired by the time I reach home.’ ‘There are many responsibilities I need to take care of. Don’t get time to exercise.’
OK. I get that. That’s why I said – just go outside. Walk around, ride bike.. Just be outdoors.
You will feel better, happier, and you just might get inspired by people who are exercising their way to fitness.
Are smartphones making us dumb? Or is it we who don’t know how to manage this overload of information?
No wonder that we are consuming so much information, useless as well as useful that we don’t know what to make of it. The real culprit is Social media and we are complicit too.
Podcasts are a great way to unwind without completely wasting your time watching TV or scrolling social media feeds.
You can listen during your commute or while cleaning your house or any other activity where you don’t have to focus completely. There is a whole world out there on podcasts. You just need to find what you like.
Building tiny habits is very much doable and the key is to keep taking small steps in the same direction. Try out these simple-to-follow tips and you will soon be a happier, healthier version of yourself.
Share with us changes and habits that have helped you improve your life.
How do you feel when you are expecting a person to do something, and that person doesn’t deliver? Do you think ‘Not a big deal. It happens’ or ‘I should not have asked him in the first place?’
We usually feel disappointed when our expectations are not met. But the problem is us misplacing expectations. We are not born with some right that others are ought to know and do what we expect from them. No, it does not work this way.
To stay grounded and be successful, you need to stop expecting from others. Nobody owes you anything. Start doing for yourself what you expect from others. Here are the things you need to stop expecting from others.
Self-motivation is the best motivation. Nobody can be your 24/7 cheerleader. Once in a while, your friend might come around to lift you up and put some sense into you. That is what friends are for – to laugh at our bad jokes and treat our trivial problems as earth-shattering.
But at the end of the day, it is we who have to figure out what we want from our lives. Set goals and decide how to reach them. Motivation is not waiting around the corner for us to walk by and bump into us. Find something that gets you into motion.
Your experiences are unique. Nobody has walked in your shoes. How you view the world and things around you is different from others.
So when you say that ‘Why don’t people get it?’ You are actually expecting people to look from your perspective. Just as your views and outlook are different, so are theirs. So, don’t expect them to ‘understand’ you. Some might relate, others would just nod their heads pretending.
Let go of this need to expect people to think the way you do. Allow them to form their own perspectives.
So many things can go wrong. Don’t they every day? You promise to get in shape and go out for a jog. But you end up spraining your ankle. No more jogging from now on, you decide. But it could have gone right.
So there are always possibilities – in your life, daily routine, relationships. You can either choose to focus on what is wrong, complain, and bicker or see how you can grow and make things right.
Seek sunshine over darkness. You will light up your life and motivate others to follow their own trail.
Most of us think that our thoughts, our views are important and people should shun whatever they are doing and listen to us. There is so much they are missing out on. Well, you could not be more wrong.
If you want people to agree with everything you say, no matter how much insightful or deep it may appear to you, you are in for a lot of disappointment. What you can do is back your views with data and research to persuade others but even then don’t assume that they will agree.
I would like to mention a quote from Clint Eastwood. It makes so much sense.
‘Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.’
We all wish to be respected, to a certain extent at least. But before we seek it from those around us, we need to respect ourself. It has to begin from within. The negative self talk that we are so prone to starts a vicious cycle of feeling despair and helpless. Respect yourself, and it will set the standard for how others will treat you.
This question bothers us so much. It does not matter if you are in your 20s or 40s, the answer to ‘What I want from this life?’ is never easy. Some think of becoming a nuclear scientist cum part-time musician and others of a humble gardener cum crime fiction writer. We want so much from our life, but even after getting what we thought would make us happy, clarity eludes us.
This happens because most of us don’t know what we really want. We are influenced by choices made by people around us, advice of our parents and what is in vogue.
Don’t expect people to tell what you want. Explore your inner compass. If you feel a desire coming in naturally and you are sure that following it will help you lead an authentic life, don’t let it dissipate. Back up your ideas and follow through.
The truth is that we can’t really change people. If someone close to you has been behaving in an intolerable manner and you have to live under the same roof, then it becomes important to let the person know how you feel and what changes you want to see immediately.
Now you will come across many people in your life. It won’t be possible nor desirable to change them. You can either choose to accept them as they are or live without them.
The best you can do is support them, let them chart their own path, and embrace change gradually.
How happy you feel depends on your thoughts and how you perceive things around you. Reduce unnecessary drama and frustration from your life by lowering expectations from others. They don’t owe you anything, and neither do you. So, clear the weed and smell the flowers. I mean, focus on things that matter.
What would you like to add? What should we stop expecting from others?
Who does not like things to get better, their lives to get better? But the secret lies in something that we all resist with our might – Change. Though we know that the change is inevitable yet we still cling to our old habits because they make us feel safe.
Everywhere you go, you hear people talk about motivation. How they are going to lose weight, quit smoking, going to eat healthy. And few weeks into their new resolutions, what do most people end up saying, ‘I don’t get enough time. I don’t feel motivated enough.’
Don’t some days feel like so sane and sound while others just take their toll on us? One day we feel so inspired, and on others we just can’t seem to get out of bed. What makes us feel this way?
We all dig comfort and when things change ever so slightly, we can’t seem to get hold of ourselves. We resist any change because it feels so hard.
It has been a month since I decided that I would walk at least 30 minutes a day as I believe (and everybody else I know) that taking care of our body must be our top priority. Initially, it felt like such a huge thing despite being a rather easy task. I kept to it. Now it just feels routine, part of each day.
I am sure most of you feel like giving up because you started something with planning and vigor, but as things stand, you feel like you have not achieved much or haven’t had the results you were expecting.
All this is very common when you try to make positive changes in your life. When you decide to do anything of consequence in life, this feeling of quitting will try to take over you. But it is at moments like these that you must take a firm resolve to keep going because what you do then decides where your life will go.
The biggest problem that we all face in our busy lives is losing the right perspective. We go through our days, our routine in a funk. The monotony makes us feel like our lives have lost any semblance of meaning. And we feel that whatever we are doing does not make much difference, to our or somebody else’s life.
When you feel like this, think why you are doing what you are doing. You will get answers that will make you see everything in a different light. Maybe:
• You want to get healthier so that you feel better about yourself.
• Support and keep your family safe.
• Explore the world and its magical wonders.
Whatever you wish to do, write down the answers on a piece of paper or make a note on your mobile phone. The next time you feel like quitting, read the answers. It will instantly cheer you up and keep you motivated.
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. – Marilyn Monroe
When things get tough, we all feel like throwing in the towel and going home. But what good will come of it? Whenever things have been tough, I have realized that if I kept going, life just seemed to take a proper course, sooner or later.
Being at a low point forces you to change your attitude and find more effective ways to do things.
Life takes on some kind of balance if you just keep going, keep taking action instead of giving up. This way, even on the darkest days, you can gather some comfort and strength.
“When you encounter various trials, big or small, be full of joy. They’re opportunities to learn patience.” – Scott Curran
The ability to tolerate problems, delay, or suffering without getting anxious or annoyed is Patience. Seems like a quality only monks have!
In this age of instant gratification, we tend to forget that the best things in life are not delivered instantly. Anything of significant value requires consistency and hard work.
People who master patience feel confident, decisive, and have a rational outlook. They understand that the desire to speed things up is natural, but deep down they know that the road to success is paved with patience and persistence.
So, don’t beat yourself up needlessly for the things you did in the past. Focus more on the process and less on the results. You are okay. Calm down and be patient.
Whatever you are going through – job loss, depression, heartache, loss of a loved one, I would say this – Hold on and remember that ‘This too shall pass.”
Out there, people are going through difficult situations, setbacks, and obstacles, and there is always someone whose story you can relate to. Find someone who went through a situation similar to yours. How did they outdo difficult circumstances? Use their experience to guide yourself. Learn from them, how they achieved the outcome you also desire.
If you can’t find someone to open up to or those close to you are finding it difficult to help with a situation, you can seek support groups available online.
I think we all should remember this – Life is hard, and it does not pamper anybody. Every time it soothes you, it gives you ten blows.
Just like a wave has crests and troughs, our life follows the same principle. Accept that life won’t always be roses and sunshine. Things will get tough, so just keep going.
Nobody has it easy, be it the neighbor who you feel has got it all figured out quite early in the life or a colleague who has not missed a promotion in the last 5 years. When you give in to unnecessary comparisons or feel stuck in a rut – declutter, reset, and refocus. Get back to a clean slate and assess what you are actually working for in life, in career. Take some ‘me time’ and see if your priorities need readjustment. This will help you move forward with a clearer mind.
When you feel like quitting, remember that your goals are IMPORTANT. Resist the urge to abandon them. Giving up is easier but continue anyway because it will make your life better and you know that. Stay focused and don’t sweat the small stuff.
During my school days, it was a popular idiom, but for years I could not understand what it meant, ‘All that glitters is not gold.’ Maybe because I had not seen much gold by then!