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3 Modern Diseases That Ruin Your Life And How To Avoid Them

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3 Modern Diseases That Ruin Your Life And How To Avoid Them

You might be wondering what modern diseases are. When you think of the term disease, pictures of ill people in a hospital come into your mind.

But what has this to do with me? I am completely healthy!” You keep wondering.

Modern diseases don’t necessarily affect your body and can’t make you ill by raising your body temperature. However they can have an indirect impact to your health.

They have the power to ruin your life more than anything but only if you let them do so. The fact is that you can have complete control over them, but if you fall in the temptation to relinquish control you will be beaten to the ground.

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease” – Buddha

What are these modern diseases?

They are activities that affect your way of living in a negative way and are obstacles to everyone who wants to become successful in life.

These activities are:

  • Video games
  • Television
  • Social media

 

If these three are leveraged correctly they can give you a huge boost in your life and can be a really powerful tool, but only if you don’t fall in the trap of relinquishing control.

The technology expansion has given us amazing benefits and made our life much easier and more comfortable. However it has created activities that enslave our brains and make us live like zombies. Zombies which don’t think, don’t take risks and don’t seek growth in life but only in a virtual reality.

Activities that distract us from finding our purpose in life and make us believe we are not great enough to break out of homeostasis.

If you still believe that video games, television and social media can offer you benefits, make you more productive and improve your life’s quality then try to find someone who is really successful and you will be astonished by the fact that he doesn’t spend time in these worthless activities.

I don’t know any successful person who achieved his goals and spent more than half an hour per day watching the latest popular series in TV or killing dragons in his Xbox.

 

1. Video games

After many years of spending unlimited hours in video games and staying in front of a digital reality world from morning to night (with breaks only for food and WC) I came to the conclusion that I have lost a ton of precious time.

I would give everything to have that time back. Unfortunately when your life goes away it never returns and never forgives you. It doesn’t care about how you spend it, it just goes away. When you realize that it’s gone, it might be too late.

Fortunately for me, I have realized it soon enough in my life and that’s the reason I want to share this with as many people as possible because making that realization when you are 40 or 50 will destroy you. You won’t be able to handle the repressed emotions, you won’t be able to turn back the time and do all the things you didn’t do.

Some people might say that video games offer entertainment. Some might say that video games are proven to improve mind and reflective. Even if this is true, these little benefits aren’t worth your TIME . You could do a million things that have a huge positive impact on yourself instead of killing monsters or playing football in front of a TV screen.

You spend all your time in front of a reality world and then you keep wondering why your life is so miserable, why your girlfriend dumped you for somebody else or why you don’t have money and need to live with your parents.

But why are you wondering? The only person who has control over your life is you and by relinquishing that control you let circumstances ruin your life’s quality.

 

2. Television

Okay, not all TV programs are terrible and time-wasting. You can find shows or movies which are entertaining and give information. Unfortunately the majority of TV shows are crap and don’t offer anything at all. They are a total waste of time.

There was a period in my life that I could spent 4-5 hours per day watching TV. I have spent an entire summer in front of a TV screen watching worthless shows and movies instead of going to the beach and enjoying my life.

When I rewind those moments my feelings are mixed. I feel so ashamed about myself 5 year ago but I also feel so proud for me today. I don’t watch television at all, I don’t even have a TV at home and if I want to see a movie I simply watch it online.

Television has a major disadvantage. You don’t have many choices about what you can see. You just open it, search the 4-5 best channels and check what they have to show you. On the other side internet provides countless information and choices.

At least you have the ability to choose what you will see instead of opening the TV and being fed up with the program that X or Y channel decided to show at 6pm. Does this mean that you can’t get lost in the internet? Of course not, but at least you have a little more control over your choices.

Fred Allen has said that “Television is the triumph of machines over people” and he was completely right. Do you know how awesome it feels when you stop brainwashing yourself with stupid TV shows?

You instantly have 3 to 5 free hours to spend on yourself by exercising, reading a book, starting a new hobby or just sleeping. You have more time to socialize, meet new people and do something meaningful with your life. You aren’t a slave to TV anymore.

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

3. Social media

The growth of social media in the last decade was astonishing. The internet was flooded with millions of people full of narcissism and insecurities trying to validate themselves through a social profile where they showcase their experience, beauty and life.

Social media can be a really great tool to communicate, connect and meet new people or even help your business grow. They have a great power, but you have to use them in the right way. If you let them control your life then you have lost the game. How do you know that you have let them control your life?

When you go for a drink with your friends and the only thing you can remember from that night is that Becky liked your profile picture at 2.20 am or the “check in” you did on Facebook at 3.00 am with title “having amazing fun with my buddies“.

Sure, you had amazing fun. That’s why you spent almost all the night scrolling down your social profile timeline. You know that you have let them control your life when you are continuously checking your smart phone and the only thing you care about is how many people liked or shared your photo.

When you eat dinner with your family and instead of talking with them you check your snapchat updates. Or when you don’t have something productive to do and you decide to kill your time on Instagram. That’s how it is when you let social media control your life.

 

How to take control of your life:

Many people suffer from addictions to these three “modern diseases” and can’t find a way to take back control over their lives. It’s easy to give advice like “come on, just shut down the TV” or “the only thing you have to do is to close the video game” but it’s not so simple.

When you are deeply addicted, both emotionally and pshycoligically it’s so difficult to disconnect and just close the video game or simply shut down the TV. That disease doesn’t let you grow and keeps you static and mediocre.

Take control of your life

Personal growth occurs because of two reasons:

Think about it. When is it easier to run faster? When you know that if you run fast enough you will win $10,000 or if your life is threatened and you know that if you run fast enough you will save your life.

In both cases you will run, but the second case is a tragedy and is more likely to force you to succeed and run fast enough to win. The only way to cut these worthless activities and regain control over your life is by creating a tragedy.

How are you doing that? Easier said than done but you have to:
  • Delete all your data in the video game.
  • Sell your TV or video game.
  • Throw your video game/TV out of the window or break it down(though it’s more profitable to sell it)
  • Delete your social media accounts.

These might sound a bit extreme but the only way to stop doing something is by not having the ability to do it. When are you more likely to binge eat and gain weight? When you have a kitchen full of biscuits, sweets and chocolates or when you have a kitchen full of fruits and vegetables? If you don’t have the ability to do something then you will end up not doing it.

When I moved to my new house I noticed that I didn’t spend time watching TV because I haven’t bought a new TV yet. This saved me 2-3 hours per day and I ended up never buying a new TV because I realized the time-saving benefit. 

If you find yourself in a situation where your life sucks and your dreams fly away, then modern diseases are probably ruining your life. Sell your TV, video game, burn it or break it down. Delete all your data from your social profiles. Just get rid of them completely. That’s the only way to take back control of your life.

 

What’s your experience with modern diseases? Do you believe they have a negative or positive impact on your life? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Sammy Blackmore

    Oct 17, 2016 at 1:15 am

    This is really a great read. As for me, I have completely eliminated watching TV news and shows cos of the extremely biased media and stupid shows.

  2. Rondol

    Oct 13, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    This is a great article Damian, I do believe that these 3 “modern diseases ” play a major role in preventing people from being successful in life. I don’t play video games, I hardly watch TV and I’m breaking into the habit of using Facebook two time per week. I mainly use Facebook to listen to inspirational videos.

  3. Lynn

    Oct 13, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Social media has made us anti-social. I enjoy these type of sites, and the physical fitness ones. So easy to overdo it. Moderation is how YOU manage the beast.

  4. Steve

    Apr 8, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    I couldn’t disagree more. I watch all the TV I want, play video games when I want and if it wasn’t for social media I wouldn’t have read this (I guess that is an argument for getting rid of social media haha) and I am highly successful and very happy. I stumbled on your site via Twitter and have enjoyed most of what I have read but this is just way off base. I say do what makes you happy.

  5. Heather

    Jun 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Love it! I hate video games, and very rarely watch TV. I do use social media in my business promotions though, so that was the main one I struggled with, as I often found personal social media creeping into professional social media time. So, I took the apps off my phone (so I have to be sat in front of my Mac working to access them) and I block off specific time during the day to check my social media. And like a charm, my life has become instantly less complicated and more productive.

    Great post – thanks!

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 23, 2015 at 9:07 am

      Hey Heather, I have to thank you for adding to the discussion with your experience. Do you use any app to block social media sites for certain period of time during the day?

  6. Kwing

    Jun 18, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Hey this is a really nice article! I do collect and play video games but I only play around 2 hours on a saturday weekend. I just play to release the tension from the week’s hard work and to refresh myself. 🙂

    You were right, there were people who don’t go out anymore and they only spend their time playing games. There are plenty of great stuff that we can do with our time!

    If only they can transfer their time I’d be super glad to receive it! 🙂

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 18, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      Hey kwing, thanks for adding to the discussion.

      It’s great that you have self-control and play only in the weekends. Well done!

  7. Robb Mann

    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Like Andrew Carnegie said,

    “If you want to be happy, set a goal that
    commands your thoughts, liberates your
    energy, and inspires your hopes.”
    – Andrew Carnegie

    (replace “happy” with free from the bondage of time wasting pursuits)

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 15, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Andrew Carnegie was a very wise man.This quote is pure gold and timeless even if it’s decades old.

  8. Robb Mann

    Jun 15, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Hey Damian,

    I went over to D&C, good stuff! I signed up, keep up the great work!

    Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions. I agree, with you sometimes the extreme is necessary, like in the case of the alcoholic that may not have a social drink in light of the binge that would surely follow.

    We have a book called “Taming the Techno-Beast” that I have had our children read. It also deals with the life sucking nature of consuming your time with technology, written for children.

    After reading your post I am left thinking that these “modern diseases” are best brought under control by creating an even more compelling future than these pursuits offer. It’s always going to be more effective to replace your habits than STOP them. Throwing the stuff out is good and does “create tragedy” but – how many times do we resolve to stop a thing and find ourselves back at it before we know it? I’m sure it works for some people, however, my mind tells me, “you manufactured this tragedy, now give me back my stuff!”

    What works for me is to find greater pleasure in my future or I will find it instantly right NOW with games, stories, and social validation. If we track our progress toward our goals we find daily motivation and leverage game mechanics, thus replacing the need for games. To replace TV, we face challenges toward our goals which give us our own stories to tell or just entertain ourselves with instead of needing to live vicariously through others on TV. To need social validation less we find validation through achievement. This also is a function of game mechanics where we would count “likes” we see the measured progress, and viola validation!

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond, I hope this adds value to your discussion!
    Robb

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Hey Robb, thanks for your kind words.

      You are totally right about everything you said , throwing something out of our lives might not work sometimes if we don’t replace it with something else which should be obviously better. Throwing out a negative habit is just the first step.

      I have to say that this was an amazingly insightfull comment!

      • Robb

        Jun 15, 2015 at 4:48 pm

        Thank you Damian,
        Again, I appreciate the post as well.
        Robb

  9. Damian Pros

    Jun 15, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Hey Usman,

    Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.

  10. Fredrick Mutooni

    Jun 14, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    The three things you listed are exactly oposite of what your talking about. The first two listed as Video games and TV i have no commeents because i have no interest in either. However to say instagram is controlling you is wrong. Yrs back i could not talk to people outside my village. Now i do through social networks. If thats wrong then i let it be wrong but i love it

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 15, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Hey Fredrick,

      I totally agree with you. I agreed inside the article “Social media can be a really great tool to communicate, connect and meet new people or even help your business grow. They have a great power, but you have to use them in the right way”.

      BUT, it depends on HOW you use social media. You are probably using instagram the rigth way. But do you know how many people I see going out for a coffee or a drink with their friends and are scrolling down their instagram timeline instead of socializing with the real people they have in front of them?

      I also see young men in the university wasting time in instagram or facebook when they are in the classroom and they have lesson. Why are you going to the classrom in the first place then?

      I guesst you can see my point..Thanks for sharing your opinion!

      • Abel

        Jun 15, 2015 at 11:13 am

        Great article I believe millions of people in the western world fall victim of this disease unknowingly, in response to Fredrick I understand your point and it`s valid, but I think the author is speaking from a western perspective and his point is very valid and no one from this part of the world can disagree that these things will do you more bad than good. But I think it`s awesome you are able to connect with different people from your village.

        • Damian Pros

          Jun 15, 2015 at 1:07 pm

          Hey abel, as you correctly understood I was referring mostly to the western world. Nice observation.

  11. Damian Pros

    Jun 14, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Hey lawrence,

    You are spot on about what you said. You don’t have to eliminate them completely but sometimes it’s difficult to find a balance between these activities and your goals. That’s why I suggested to eliminate them completely. Even if you are the most disciplined person in the world you can fall into the temptation and watch 2 hours TV instead of commiting to your goal.

  12. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    These are truly some things that have made people waste valuable time. They can be really addicting because they are fun to do, but you have to ask yourself, when you play video games or are watching television, are you really contributing to accomplishing your dreams. I don’t think you have to give up these things entirely because we all can use time to ourselves and our hobbies, but definitely limit the time spent doing these activities.

  13. Usman Mahmood

    Jun 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Enjoyed reading this article especially where you highlighted that personal growth occurs because of two main reasons, which is so true. Definitely a good read for the younger generation because they often lose focus and motivation to pursue their goals because of these modern diseases.

    • Damian Pros

      Jun 15, 2015 at 7:30 am

      Hey Usman,

      Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.

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Life

How 8 Minutes of Meditation Can Give You the Productivity Boost You Need

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how meditation makes you more productive
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Of all the productivity hacks I’ve tried over the years, none has had as much of a positive impact relative to the time I put in than meditation. Just 8 minutes per day to be precise. Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries. Once primarily used by practitioners of Buddhism to reach a higher level of consciousness, science has since shown it has a lot of more earthly benefits as well.

As Healthline reports, meditation improves concentration, reduces fatigue and stress, brings a sense of relaxation and improves sleep patterns, among other benefits. All the above reasons explain why some of the most successful people rely on meditation to thrive in their professions. Jeff Weiner, former Yahoo executive and the current CEO of Linkedin says that meditation has made a huge positive impact on his productivity. Similarly,  Ray Dalio, who is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, attributes a big part of his success to meditation.

5 Ways Meditation Helps with Productivity

Before I get to my own meditation routine that takes just 8 minutes of my time daily, let me first go over in general how meditation can give you a huge leg up in your career and business, backed by studies.

1. Improves Your Attention Span

There are tons of factors that improve productivity, but one that plays a very important role is the ability to focus. Being attentive enough to complete the task at hand means you’ll finish your work with higher accuracy and better efficiency.

According to Pubmed, several studies have shown the efficacy of meditation in reversing parts of the brain that cause mind wandering and the inability to concentrate. Russell Simmons, the CEO of Rush Communications, says that meditation is one of the things that has helped him focus the most.

2. Increases Neuroplasticity

For a long time, scientists believed that brain development only happened during childhood and then ceased. But recent discovery regarding the neuroplastic nature of the brain concludes that our brains actually continue to change and adapt through experiences. In other words, the brain is continually reorganizing itself by creating new neurons and new connections.

Meditation is one practice capable of changing your brain’s structure and functions. In fact, Harvard Researchers at MGH have shown that meditation increases grey matter volume in your brain. What this means is that it causes more neurons to accumulate in one space.

Another theory that explains how meditation boosts neuroplasticity is that it increases cerebral blood flow (CBF). By placing you in a state of relaxation, blood is able to flow more freely leading to better oxygenation and nourishment in your brain. With increased neuroplasticity, your ability to acquire new skills and positive habits increase.

3. Sharpens Your Memory

A major benefit of mediation is that it boosts one’s working memory capacity. The working memory determines how much information the central nervous system can hold and process at any time. It’s like the Random Access Memory in a computer.

A study was done to investigate the effect of active meditation on individuals’ working memory capacities. Researchers had the participants take part in a 45-minute meditation exercise twice per week. After a couple of weeks, they recorded the results and discovered that the respondents’ working memory capacities had increased by more than 30%. Put simply; they could hold and process 30% more information than the average person.

The study proved that meditating increases the working memory capacity. With a larger working memory, you can take on more sophisticated tasks and handle them efficiently.

4. Improves Cognitive Thinking

As you age, your cognitive functioning deteriorates gradually. The resulting deficit weakens your ability to reason, remember and process information. All these are factors that can make you less productive at work and in other areas of your life. Good news is, practising meditation and mindfulness can help with that.

To examine the impact of meditation on cognitive function, researchers from the University of California at Santa Barbara conducted a study. They asked 48 undergraduate students to attend one of two classes: a nutrition class or a mindfulness class. The result? Those who attended the mindfulness class saw marked improvements in their exams afterwards, while the nutrition group saw no statistically significant improvements.

One factor that can explain this outcome is that meditation improves the balance of the left and right sides of the brain. Synchronizing both brain hemispheres allows for greater processing power and neural communication.

5. Reduces Stress

Stress is something that people experience on a daily basis, and more so at work. According to the American Institute of Stress, work-induced stress is the most common form of stress. Based on a recent survey they did, at least 80% of Americans experienced stress at work, hampering productivity and leading to mistakes.

Thankfully, having a meditation practice as part of your routine can lower stress and make you more productive. It goes beyond just stress reduction, however. According to the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, meditation has been shown to reduce the symptoms of social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic attacks.

How 8 Minutes of Meditation Daily Has Changed My Life

My personal journey with meditation has been nothing short of life changing. What if I told you there was a productivity hack that only required 8 minutes of your day, and as a consequence, will double your attention span, mental stamina, and ability to function under stress? What if I told you, thanks to just 8 minutes a day, a once self diagnosed ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) sufferer now frequently loses track of time as he ticks off one item after the next on his daily to-do lists? Yes, that’s what meditation has done for me, and I believe it can do that for anyone.

The meditation routine I follow is based on the best selling book “8 Minute Meditation” by Victor Davich. As a meditation guru, Victor sought out to devise a meditation program that fits in with the ultra busy lifestyles of Westerners while still delivering the main benefits the practice at its fullest provides.

Here is the gist of the “8 minute meditation” that I practice every day right before I go to bed:

  • Set a timer for 8 minutes.
  • Find a comfortable sitting pose. This could be in a cozy meditation chair or sitting with your legs crossed on a yoga mat
  • Close your eyes slowly as if you were planning to sleep. Avoid squeezing them or shutting them involuntarily.
  • Next, start taking slow, deep breaths.
  • With every inhale, envision that you are breathing in light. Follow the light as it enters your body.
  • With every exhale, imagine breathing out all the tension and negativity that you have been harbouring. Relax every muscle from those on your face, chest, back, legs all the way to the tips of your toes.
  • As you breathe in and out, your mind will most likely start to wonder. Do not get upset. Just slowly bring your awareness back to your breathing. Imagine catching a fish and just letting it go.
  • Continue this until the timer goes off. Then, slowly open your eyes again..

A big part of the magic happens in meditation when you do it consistently. For me, with every day of practice, my ability to stay focused on my breathing and stay present increased during those critical 8 minutes. And as my ability to do those seemingly simple things improved, that’s when I started to notice all the tangible benefits of meditation I mentioned earlier.

Meditation is not a new concept. And it doesn’t require you to invest anything that you don’t already have. This is one of the greatest benefits of meditating; it doesn’t require any special equipment or registration for training. Essentially, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain. To me, meditation dare i say is the greatest productivity hack of all time.

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Life

5 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Hitting Rock Bottom

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what you can learn from hitting rock bottom
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At one time, the term rock bottom was completely foreign to me. I can remember feeling really bad for anyone who claimed to have ‘hit rock bottom.’ What devastation they must feel. Their whole world must have just collapsed. How will they go on? I was soon to find out.

My journey to rock bottom

I’m not gonna say I had it all but for the most part, my world was pretty good. It wasn’t perfect and I’ll admit, I was sailing through on a song and a prayer. I lived in a nice house in a posh neighbourhood with my partner and in 2010 I purchased my first business, a hair salon.

I belonged to an amazing networking group of successful women. I was well respected in the community and had lots of friends. You could say my life was pretty good. However, this didn’t last for long.

Three years after the purchase of the salon I closed the doors and declared bankruptcy. Six months after bankruptcy, I walked out of my abusive relationship with nothing to my name.

I was a shell of a person. I had nothing and in my eyes, I was a complete and utter failure. At 52 years old, my whole world came crashing down on me and I for the first time in my life, was absolutely terrified.

I walked around in a daze for months. I was completely empty inside, both emotionally and mentally. I had no desire to rebuild my life. There was little life left in me to work on. I secured my old job at the salon I was at prior to my business purchase. Every day I had to face people who I’m sure were disappointed in me and most likely laughing at me behind my back.

I was a loser. They knew it and so did I. When you hit rock bottom, any and all self respect and self confidence you ever had goes right out the window. You’re constantly embarrassed and feel worthless all the time. However, one day something snaps when you look in the mirror and can’t stand to look at the person looking back at you. This is without a shadow of a doubt the moment some confidence and hope arises to change.

I looked in the mirror one day and I didn’t recognize the person staring back. She was sad, empty, blank and lifeless. This wasn’t Iva and I so desperately wanted her back. I missed the optimistic, bubbly and outgoing girl that used to stare back at me in the mirror. And I was determined to get her back.

I had reached a point where I was tired of crying and feeling sorry for myself. I was tired of telling myself I was a loser and a failure and that I would never amount to anything. But I was mostly tired of just existing with no purpose or passion.

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling

The climb out of rock bottom

I started devouring self help books and reading any and all blogs I could on how to get your life back on track and how to find self love and self worth again. I read inspirational quotes and listened to motivational YouTube videos day in and day out. I journaled and cried and prayed and meditated. All the things I have never done in my life, I was doing daily without fail.

Slowly, Iva was emerging but she was so much different this time around. She had hope, faith and determination and nothing was going to stop her or stand in her way of rebuilding her life. My journey out of rock bottom took almost a full year to complete but in that time, I learned so much about myself, people and life.

Here are the 5 life lessons I learned from hitting rock bottom:

1. Failure isn’t real

There’s no such thing as failure. I’m not even sure why this word exists. You had an idea or a plan, tried it, and it didn’t work. You learn lessons from this and you move on. Always remember one very important thing: you tried. Most people don’t even bother. Believe in yourself.

2. You’re not stuck anywhere

If something isn’t working or isn’t good for you, leave it. I was terrified to leave my abusive relationship because I knew it meant I would lose everything. And I did. When I finally took the plunge and left, everything in my life changed for the better. Have faith!

3. Change is fun and scary, but do it anyway

Although change is terrifying, it’s necessary. We don’t grow in our comfort zone or in our misery. Sometimes you have to do things that will scare the daylights out of you..do them anyway. This is where you learn and grow. You meet people and you experience things you never would have if you stayed in your comfort zone. Take the leap.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

4. Everything is temporary

The good and the bad. Nothing is forever. No matter how horrible your situation is, it won’t last. It will eventually go away or maybe even turn out great! Embrace all the good life has to offer you and learn the lessons the bad will give you. Have patience.

5. You have great power over your life

I was determined to change my life any way I had to. I did whatever I had to do to turn my life around. Was it easy? No. Is it impossible? No. I knew I had the power to change and it was up to me, and only me, to do that. No one could do it for me.

No matter where you are in your life right now, if things aren’t working out the way you expected, don’t worry. Things will always get better if you try to make them better. You can do anything you want. All you have to do is find the power that’s in you and unleash it.

Have you ever hit rock bottom? What advice do you have for someone who’s there? Share your ideas and advice below!

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Life

9 Personal Growth Lessons I Learned From Being Bullied

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Wherever I went, bullying seemed to follow me. Whether it was school, work or even family, I could never seem to find any kind of escape. For years, I was stuck in the victim mindset, constantly asking myself what I did to deserve this kind of behaviour towards me. I decided to turn my struggle into a personal growth strategy to help others who might be silently struggling with what I did.

Here are some of the key personal growth lessons I learnt from my harrowing experiences:

1. Be the victim

Be the victim but put an early as possible expiration date on this. Realise that it is okay to feel sorry for yourself; it is okay to validate yourself by reinforcing the fact that you didn’t deserve what happened to you. This will help you give yourself the compassion that you need in that moment. Recognition of the hurt and validation are the first steps towards starting the healing process, but the key is not to hang around there for too long otherwise you will be stuck with a victim mentality.

2. Why?

This is a question that is often asked – why did this happen to me? Were the stars misaligned or is this karma for sneaking the last doughnut from the party? Rather than getting bogged down analysing why you went through the harrowing experience, focus on what you learnt from the experience. Sometimes, it can be something as simple as finding your voice and setting boundaries. Every difficult situation offers an opportunity to learn.

3. Focus on the lesson, not on the pain

Whenever faced with a tough situation, ask yourself, “What am I learning from this?” Often, when drowning in dire circumstances, we cannot see light and we fear that any light might be an oncoming train. The best way to deal with this fear and overwhelm is to refocus your thoughts. Oftentimes, the lesson falls under one of the following categories: perseverance, patience, consistency and my personal favourite – staying true to who you are.

4. Control the controllable

Within every difficult situation, there are always factors you can control: your responses, your disposition and your actions. Using what you can control, redirect your energy on what you CAN do instead of what you can’t do. Sometimes, what you can do is simply getting through your day and giving everything you can. This helps in building self-confidence and self-esteem.

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli

5. You do you

It is a normal human desire to be liked by those around us. Avoid trying to change who you are based on what others say about you. It is very tempting to do this because we all want to feel accepted and want to feel that we belong. The more you do you, the more you will attract people who love you for the “real” you.

6. It is not about you

When people criticize you incessantly, recognise that they are battling their own demons and they are easily triggered. You are not the real reason for their hurtful behaviour, they are filled with fear, anger and hurt which they vent out to others. You can only give what you have and if fear, anger and hurt is all you have, it is the only place from which you will function.

7. You have the power to choose

It is easy to forget that we always have the power of our choices and decisions, while our circumstances may be overwhelming, we can still make wise choices so as not to become victims of our circumstances. We should never forget this power as this is what keeps us afloat and breathing when caught in a flood of difficulties.

8. Revenge is not the answer

While it is perfectly normal and human to wish revenge on those who have hurt us, it is crucial to note that what we wish upon others, mirrors back to us. Wishing your culprits to battle incessant sneezing while stuck in traffic controlling explosive diarrhea might give a moment of satisfaction, but is this something you are willing to risk mirroring back to you? I certainly am not. Put quite simply – negativity breeds negativity while positivity breeds positivity. Remember, you have the power to choose.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

9. Forgive

Don’t gasp so loudly. Yes, forgive those who have hurt you. Why? It definitely doesn’t absolve them of the hurt they caused you, but it releases you from the chains of negativity that are binding and rooting you in place preventing you from moving on. How do you forgive? Ask whatever higher power you believe in to filter those who have hurt you out of your life, sending them blessings and healing wherever they may need it in their lives while also blessing over positive outcomes for all of you.

I have used this technique personally and I swear by it. Sending blessings and healing while asking for positive outcomes, results in all these wonderful things happening to you as well. Giving what you have mirrors back to you. You have the power to forgive, let go and move on. This is a choice that you also happen to have the power to choose.

The next time you feel stuck and overwhelmed by your circumstances, revisit these personal growth lessons and apply them to your unique situation. You will be glad that you did.


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6 Reasons Why You Should Never Glorify Failure After You’ve Failed

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Many people are ashamed of failure. If they so much as smell a whiff of failure, they quit instantly because the public notices it quickly. But you shouldn’t be ashamed of failure. A lot of people have failed. I’ve failed over and over again in my career, business, relationships and more. Yet, I keep trying because failure isn’t the final verdict. (more…)

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