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5 Strategies To Reach Success While Battling Depression

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Depression is a challenge, it can affect everyone from your everyday person to celebrities. It’s not a choice to suffer from depression, but there is a choice in how you react to it.

Ernest Hemingway eventually chose suicide. He decided he didn’t want to confront the demons of his depression any longer. Sometimes even the strongest can fall.

Depression isn’t a joke and it’s certainly not a weakness. It can wrap its large hands around your neck and strangle you into submission. It’s not fun to suffer and you can’t “just get over it.

It’s a battle, a war. You may not be able to switch your moods with the snap of your fingers, but you can choose to drop your gloves against this crushing illness.

Depression can help create mystical stories like Edgar Allan Poe’s. It can help create awe inspiring paintings like Vincent Van Gogh’s. It can help create beautiful music like Beethoven’s.

Many have suffered, in many professions. Actor Marlon Brando (of The Godfather) suffered from chronic depression his entire life. Billy Joel checked himself into a hospital after a failed suicide attempt. Becoming the “President of The United States of America” while suffering from major depression is even a possibility, like Abraham Lincoln did.

Unfortunately, most people who suffer deeply enough turn to drugs and alcohol. I turned to alcohol. The reason drugs and alcohol are the dark alleys people linger down is because it’s a form of self-medication. It’s no different then the guy who comes home after a long day of work and drinks a six-pack of beer while watching mindless television. He’s self-medicating himself to avoid the issues — loneliness, job dissatisfaction, stress, etc. — that are being presented directly to him.

The list of famous people who suffer or have suffered can go on and on. What needs to be understood is that you can be very successful while getting punched and kicked by this bully that invades your mind.

As you can tell by Poe, Van Gogh, and Beethoven, depression can carry certain benefits if you are a creative artist such as a writer, a painter, or a musician. You just have to be careful you don’t get too deep like Hemingway and Billy Joel.

But what if you’re a CEO or everyday worker? Can you still live a successful life while dealing with the daily grind depression can bring?

In a society where power and hiding from your vulnerabilities rule all, hiding from depression is a common problem. Success can come with glorious benefits, but certain fears also tag along. It all depends what your goals are, what YOU are about. If you are about respect, compassion, kindness, and love, you are on the right track, and yes, you can become a wealthy person living by those traits. If you are solely about power and money, a laundry list of insecurities will clench onto you, potentially leading you down a disastrous path.

You can be anything while suffering, it’s been done. A powerful CEO or a single mom working two jobs to get by. The key is to fight back and never give up.

Here are some ways to fight depression while living a successful life:

 

1. Keep Up With Your Health

You don’t need crazy workouts to be healthy, that’s just a myth created by the fitness industry. All you really need is a sensible diet and some regular activity that gets you moving. Go for a long walk, do some simple bodyweight exercises, or enjoy an activity that gets you sweating. You don’t have to squat 400 pounds to be ‘fit’, that’s just macho, ego talk that persuades people to be scared of fitness.

Self-medication is a dangerous outlet when it comes to mental illness. Alcohol was my form of self-medication. For many celebrities, hard drugs is an addiction they fall into to escape the reality of their mental demons. When money and access are not a problem, it becomes far too easy to believe drugs are the best way to forget about your struggles.

Drugs and alcohol can kill. They can be used as a form of delayed suicide. Be conscious if you’re falling into that trap and seek help immediately if you are.

 

2. Read…A lot

I recommend a minimum of an hour a day. Read stories about people who have suffered, read strategies you could use in your life, read some good fiction. Keep your mind working.

Letting depression force you into a dark corner is far too easy. Sometimes you’ll feel as if you have no control, but you do. It may be a moment to fight, but reading good books can help teach you and inspire you to keep going.

 

3. Live Aggressively

Facing our fears feels harder than climbing Everest. It’s scary. Fight the urge to stay in your room and go out to dinner with a friend. Start building momentum, understand depression doesn’t have to hold you back.

Living passively is the worst way to handle depression, it keeps you tied down. When I first started talking openly about my depression I was scared. Just the thought of sharing my feelings caused my body to pour sweat. I aggressively worked through my sweat drenched clothes and talked. It helped. It actually speed up my recovery because, whether people understood or not, they knew how I felt.

I could be who I was. It was freeing. If I had a bad day it was easier to acknowledge it, and work through the day with it.

Living aggressively doesn’t mean taking an axe to everything in your path. It’s not a violent or vicious path. Living aggressively is living intently. Simply intend on moving past your depression and get to work.

We have one life. Don’t allow depression to keep you down.

 

4. Be Better Today Than You Were Yesterday

It’s okay to struggle, but it’s not okay to quit.

How you improve at anything is through constant tiny steps that eventually turn into one, gigantic success.

It’s the same with battling depression. You have to work at it. It doesn’t just disappear. You have to work through your issues and make small improvements as you go.

“I’ve had some dark nights of the soul, of course, but giving in to depression would be a sellout, a defeat.” – Christopher Hitchens

Depression will knock you back down along your journey, that’s guaranteed. The key: to get your ass back up. I used to let depression knock me out for weeks, sometimes months. It was horrible. Once I started working on myself, I was able to start making a little progress and feeling a little better.

Then, I was better. It didn’t happen on a scheduled date, it just happened. I just believed I was better, and I was. I don’t really have an explanation for it, that’s just the way it happened for me. After years of tiny improvements, I finally felt like I had just defeated my enemy.

But it starts small. Sometimes just getting out of bed is that small step. Do it. Throwing off the covers and sliding out can be a successful day while you’re fighting. Create a positive mindset around that success and begin building momentum.

 

5. The Search For Personal Greatness

Being in a deep depression allows you to laser focus on the present. Every thought about your life is on display and available for analysis. A major factor in overcoming depression is coming to grips with who you are.

This can be life’s greatest struggle. Most highly successful people lose their way in the search for more money or more power; however, we must remember, deep seeded happiness comes from within, not from materials. Yes, materials and ego boosting delusions that associate with money and power help, but that happiness is only as strong as the current feeling towards your material items or ego. If they crash or lose intensity, so does your happiness.

Being successful doesn’t mean being a millionaire, it means being happy. Battling with mental illness will be the hardest fight of your life, but it’s a fight worth putting your full effort into. As you claw out of your personal dark dark valley you’ll find new aspects of yourself and accept that person.

The law of impermanence reminds us we will one day pass, be gone from this life. Focusing on material and ego based power is dangerous and could lead to disaster. Experiencing life and learning about your true self  will lead to a successful life filled with happiness.

 

Mental illness can ravage a life, but you don’t have to let it. The stigma surrounding mental illness is an incredibly dangerous one, keeping many quiet about their struggles. That’s why I write openly about mine. We must let people know that it’s okay to struggle, but it’s never okay to quit.

Daniel is a writer who struggled with both depression and anxiety for many years. His mission is to crush the stigma related to depression and build awareness that it's okay to struggle, but it's not okay to quit.

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64 Comments

64 Comments

  1. TUSHAR PATIL

    Feb 24, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    it’s not easy to go out of depression. I am going through this phase now. want to get out of it. don’t let it control you keep struggling keep your thought positive. one day will come u will realize its not the end it’s only the bend that god gives you to make you more strong to face life.

  2. Martha

    Mar 2, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I have struggled terribly with anxiety, panic disorder at times, and major depression. I have tried everything that the doctors had to offer. I was tired of being on medication. I talked with my doctor and she reluctantly went along with me to taper off my medications, telling me that I WILL be back and that she wants me to try Lithium when I come back. I have not seen her since the beginning of December 2014 and it is now 3-2-15. I am off everything except I take 1 or 1/2 pill of Klonipin at bedtime. Soon, I will have to stop that as I will have no more pills left. It has not been easy. I ordered a 21 day brain detox program from Dr. Caroline Leaf. It’s an online program to help me change my thought patterns. I have a year’s subscription. I am on my 6th cycle of 21 days. She is a neuroscientist and says there is scientific proof we can change our brain and the chemicals in our brains by eliminating toxic thoughts and building healthy thoughts. It has seemed to help me at times, but I still feel very weak, facing this depression giant. I have sunk into a deep depression the last few days to where I see no reason to be alive. My life is over – I have no purpose, joy, or direction. I stay alone in my little apartment and do not want to go anywhere. It is overwhelming. I am thinking of going to school, a small local university two-year physical therapy assistant program. I am afraid I will not make it. Last Sept. I tried attending a local community college, only enrolled in two courses: math and psychology. I had to drop out. First I fractured my wrist and my other arm was already injured with tennis elbow. I had to use that other, injured arm, which injured it even more. I was always in excruciating pain. I think that was part of it — but I kept struggling along. Then the anxiety and depression took over and even though I was doing well, I dropped out. I couldn’t face it — thinking I was just going to fail. So, I am afraid to go back to school. The jobs I’ve recently had just added to my depression as I was treated horribly. I have never worked with such mean people in all my life! I am wondering where to go from here. I keep plugging along with my 21 day brain detox, but the depression at times is unbearable. I do not want to live and that just completely overwhelms me. I see no reason to be alive. I am just taking up space. I do not want to go back to medications. I would still get depressed on them and the doctors always changed them. I am really struggling right now badly. I pray for a way out – an idea – some inspiration somewhere – some hope – because right now I am living in complete darkness and I know I am not thinking or seeing my life correctly. This is awful. I need help and I do not know where to go, except God. I pray and seek Him daily. I am so tired of depression stopping me from living, that I do not want to live anymore. It is very sad. I am a capable and competent person, but I am not using what I have — I am not living — so why should I even be alive????

    • Ryan

      Apr 30, 2015 at 6:45 am

      Ive been in that situation about 3 years ago, i felt like there was nothing left for me so what was the point right? I still suffer from depression now but thats due to trying to become successfull, the way i got out of the situation of feeling like life was pointless is to get out of the house and just walk, you will be suprised the kinds of people you will meet along the way, i was only 21 at the time and living at home with parents, i used to drink every day but that just made me worse and ill. Once i started getting out and meeting new people my mind was on other things, then by some miracle i met someone, i could tell her all my problems at any time and when someone else understands what your going through it can take so much pressure from you. Since that time i found love, moved out with my girlfriend, got engaged, got a new job and im now in the process of starting my own business and moving to america next year hopefully. So just remember that small step can lead to a new life, just try it and you will be amazed

  3. Sean

    Oct 22, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Excellent article! I recently went through a long phase ( about 2 years) of depression. Before going through it I always considered it a fictional condition or an excuse. Boy was I wrong!! It is an extremely painful situation anyone can go through. After two years now I am recovering and doing much better. I overcame it without any medications strictly through nutrition, meditation, support ( which is critical) and belief in my mission. The moment that changed everything for me was when I realized that depressive thoughts were actually a means to suppress the vicious cycle of the daily grind. The moment you believe you can live the life you want !! Stop thinking it and start living it. Things will get a lot more clear for you and strength will come. Keep fighting everyone life is beautiful and depression is just a teacher :).

  4. Blurblurlimu

    Oct 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Hi Daniel,

    I like your phrases “it is ok to struggle, but it is not ok to quit”….

    I truly agreed getting out of bed is a small step, but this small step mean a big achievement to our fighting days. Recently, I have a relapse, I am struggling to leave my bed too every morning now, because I don’t have much energy especially when I wake up, I lost my confidence, I am afraid of the challenges that awaiting me after I leave my bed, and I don’t wish to meet with people too…

    Really struggling….

    When I see you wrote “it is ok to struggle”, I really felt quite comforting…

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Amy

    May 5, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Daniel – A very well written article. One that inspired me to continue to battle depression again. I congratulate you on writing about your experiences with the illness. I hope to be brave enough someday to also share my history and to feel that sense of freedom.

    Thank you for the article.
    Amy

  6. kritika

    May 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    i dont understand will this phase pas away or would i be suffering from depression all my life..i feel like my future is too dark,i wont do anything good in my proffesional life nor would i find a spouce..will i end up lonely or miserable!! anybody can please suggest what may i do?? i had decided to end up my life today itself coz i feel lik an insane but just thought to check out if there is any hope left for me…my doc says i should stop my studies coz i am too unstable some times happy other times miserable that i cannot do any thing good with my life,he saus people have to be stable and firm to be successful in carrer and relationships!!so whats the hope for my future?? should i die or try a year more?? please help

    • Blurblurlimu

      Oct 14, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Kritika,

      Have you discussed this with your lecturer or family? If your doctor advised you to stop studying at this moment, may be defer a semester might be an option for you? Then you can take the opportunity to rest and focus on medication or finding a solution for yourself.

      I deferred my study too when I first encountered depression during my tertiary education. Then, I resumed my study after rest for a semester, there were a lot of challenges when I resumed my study because it was indeed quite difficult to catch up especially when we lost the common with our same batch friends. However, I managed to graduate at the end….

      You are not a lone…don’t give up…

    • lavesh

      Nov 20, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      I wish to talk to u personally cause my situation iz same tooo

  7. kin

    May 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    i do

  8. ryan

    May 2, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Thank you for this. It reminds me that I can get back to that place of true internal happiness. When times are good they are really good and that should be the focus. If I focus on allowing the bad times and accepting what comes along with it will help significantly. I deserve happiness and so do all of you 🙂

  9. Emily Filloramo

    Apr 20, 2014 at 12:28 am

    I too suffered from depression 10 years ago, precipitated by a toxic situation.

    My psychiatrist said “What trauma are you reliving from your past through this situation that caused you to be depressed?” The lightbulb went off and I realized that the depression was a reflection of the part of me that held the toxic traumas of my childhood which I had conveniently swept under the rug and forgotten about.

    Sweeping our past “under the rug” will eventually bite us in the butt in midlife in the form of some mental or physical health crisis. This is what happened to me in my early 40’s.

    I buried my negative childhood memories, living in “quiet desperation”, pretending that everything was “great!”

    So I healed through “reparenting” the younger parts of me that held faulty beliefs of “I’m not lovable and I’m not enough” and turned those beliefs into “I am lovable, I am awesome, I am enough.” The depression and sleepless nights finally lifted.

    I realize now that the Universe purposely gave me the negative experiences for the evolution of my soul. When I turned 50, I found my life’s calling based on all of my traumatic experiences. Now I am happy beyond belief.

    When you find the gift in the negative experiences and make “lemonade” out of your “lemons”, you will thrive.

    I have a free video trainings on the page below that talks about healing through “Internal Family System” modality of healing and self-leadership.

    http://www.successandjoynow.com/increase-happiness/

    This modality does NOT see depression as a disease – it sees your depressed parts as burdens you are carrying from the young parts of you that were traumatized. When you reparent your traumatized young parts and release the burdens, the sadness and depression will more than likely lift. m/increase-happiness/

    BTW – I spent 10 years selling anti-depressants and bipolar medicines to psychiatrists. These meds take the edge off. They are essentially band-aids. You need to get to the root of the issues that are causing you to feel depressed and heal those wounded parts.

  10. hasibrahman1

    Apr 18, 2014 at 9:38 am

    hermingway was really informational to me.and i felt famouscity is an big deal

  11. Amine AL KADERI (@amindeed)

    Mar 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I was fortunate enough to read your post after a frustrating weekend start.
    Thank you for inspiring and warming me up, Dan! 🙂

    • Dan Grant

      Mar 25, 2014 at 6:10 am

      Thank you for the kind words, Amine 🙂

  12. Npmac

    Mar 23, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Thank you, like it was written for me.

  13. meikedoliver40

    Mar 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Daniel thank you for this great post. I really needed to read this today. I’ve suffered from depression for as long as I can remember and I had it under control for a very long time. Recently it’s slowly crept back in and had me feeling as if everything I wanted in my life just isn’t worth working for. I have been writing in my journal and meditating to get through. It’s good to know that I’m not alone and that I’m not lazy or disinterested in life. Sometimes it’s a struggle to leave the house, it’s a struggle to go hang out, but once I get going….I’m glad that I do! It’s just a mental process sometimes.

    • Dan Grant

      Mar 25, 2014 at 6:08 am

      it’s a tough battle, that’s for sure. One worth working through, though. I’ve been incorporating mediation in my life lately and it’s been awesome. Thanks for your comment!

  14. Dan Grant

    Mar 14, 2014 at 2:46 am

    well said Wally, education is the key for sure!

  15. Wally

    Oct 16, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Thank you Daniel, I have been struggling for years, and must stress that over medication even from a Doctor can be dangerous. Some of the medicines easily make depression worse to the point of suicide even, I found out the hard way. So when treated and you feel like you start to lose interest in normal things while on a medicine stop or taper down no matter what the Doctor says. It just might save you from disaster. My new mission in life now that I am getting better, is to educate and help people become advocates for their mental health because of the stigma and the embarrassment causes one to be even more powerless in their recovery. Do research on anything that is given to you and know the risks even more than your doctor. Educate them whenever possible, especially if they are respectful and listen; the kind you want in the first place. I can not stress them enough. Most of these people have no idea what its like to have these problems and live on sometimes crippling medications. Learn everything about them, visit forums where others share experience with respect and always remember the rule of the benefits has to ALWAYS outweigh the risk of any treatment EVER. So learn the short and long term effects of anything that is ever prescribed. There is a disorder related to every human emotion that is natural in most cases that has a medication that will be pushed whenever possible because of negative business practice. Like going into a shady mechanic to have your oil changed only to find out you need a new this and that and this worked on; I’ m telling you from vast experience that you can experience the same thing with your brain every time you go into one of these treatment centers. Do your homework and always know more and good luck, you will move forward.

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Life

5 Counterintuitive Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Time

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Do you think you’ll accomplish everything you want to before you die? Do you sometimes worry you won’t reach your goals? Do you have a plan to get what you want? If you’re like most people, you often have trouble squeezing in everything you want to do during the day, week or month, let alone everything you might want to accomplish in a lifetime. Updates from friends on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat come in to your phone at all hours of the day and night. Invites to activities, events, festivals, etc. blow up your phone on a regular basis.

At the office, things aren’t much better. Your Outlook inbox explodes with messages from clients, colleagues, or your boss, and everyone wants something different. You use multiple tools for managing your tasks, and every month something new seems to come out which promises to save you time and reduce the number of distractions in your life. Let me break the bad news, it won’t.

The truth is, you have more time than you think to accomplish what you want out of life. As of 2016, men tend to live on average 69 years, versus 72 years for women. If most people start work at 18 and continue on until retirement around 65, this means you spend 47 years of your life working. You have, most likely, more time than you think to accomplish all that you want to do in this life. I urge you to slow down and take a few of these suggestions to heart as you think about how to get the most out of your days in the future.

Here are 5 ways to make the most out of your time here on earth:

1. Take personal days

The idea of taking a personal day has been around for a long time, but few people really consider the value of taking one on a regular basis. Whether this means leaving work early on the third Friday of every month to do some “life-admin” or taking an entire day off in the middle of the week once a month to rigorously outline your plans and objectives for the future, the value of a personal day dedicated to reflection and personal development is completely underrated in today’s go-go society. I would urge you to set aside an entire day (half-days won’t work, as they are likely to be encroached upon) and make a concerted effort to spend that time reflecting about what you want to accomplish and the steps you will take to get there.

 “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that other throw at him.” – David Brinkley

2. Structure in blank space for distraction free work

While taking time off to plan out your life and checking your personal progress is great, it is also important to structure small blocks of personal “switch off” time to let your mind wander during the typical work week. This may mean structuring in “strategic blocks” of one to two hours as suggested by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington in their book The 12 Week Year, or it may mean making a regular habit of doing “30 before 7:30” (30 minutes of concentrated work before 7:30am each morning) as suggested by Mel Robbins in her book The 5 Second Rule. Whatever you do, make sure you allow yourself some distraction free work time so that you can get into the flow.

3. Leave technology behind

We are tethered to our devices like never before, and we are rarely out of arm’s reach of something that can connect us to anyone (or any piece of information) in the world. I say this with some trepidation, because I am not entirely pleased about it. Sure, it is fantastic to have access to a device that can allow us to order food, call a car, create a professional looking video clip or photo, and post updates online all in the space of a few seconds, but it comes at a price.

Despite having the freedom to connect with anyone and do nearly anything from behind a touch screen device, we have effectively become servants for the same network of interconnected apps and platforms. So, at the risk of having you stop reading this article, I urge you to put down your device for at least 1 day a week and connect with people in more humanistic (face to face) ways.

4. Spend time with others not like you

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Think hard about that, because it will help define how you spend the rest of your life. If you believe that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with, you will need to be careful that you spend time with people that add to your life, rather than detract from it.

The more time you spend with people that come from similar backgrounds and share similar views as you, the more you will become closed off to the world around you. This is an easy habit to fall into, but it is one that can have dire consequences if you are serious about stretching yourself and reaching lofty goals. Go out and explore, and spend time with people that push you in new and exciting ways.

“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder

5. Have more fun

I have noticed more and more that people tend to take pride in how stressed out they are and how much they work when they’re in the office. They then swing to the opposite extreme during the weekends, getting belligerently drunk and partying or staying in and watching Netflix for 48 hours straight. This is no way to live. It’s easy for me to call out because, truth be told, I used to be this way.

Too often, people find themselves caught up in a world that promotes stress, anxiety and long-hours as a badge of honor. Rather than promote and support this type of behavior by falling into the trap of stress and anxiety caused by overwork, look for ways to have fun in the moment. Talk to colleagues, give compliments, make connections, learn new things, and just try to connect with others.

Remember, you’ve likely got around 65-80 years on this planet, you don’t want to spend the majority of that time stressed out, waiting for the weekend. Instead, take to heart a few of these counterintuitive tricks and embrace every day with newfound appreciation. You won’t regret it, I promise.

How do you maximize your time? Comment below!

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Life

4 Ways of Handling a Mental Illness for the Optimists

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Not everyone is accepting of mental illnesses, especially when it’s people they don’t know. However, it’s important to understand how to better handle mental illness in order to get ahead in life. Below, are the four best ways to better handle mental illness conditions if you consider yourself an optimistic person:

1. Be Grateful

Research studies have shown that being more grateful can make you feel happier, more positive, and better overall. Don’t focus on the negatives of your mental illness, instead, be thankful for all you do have. You likely have a lot to be thankful for like a warm bed to sleep in and a family who loves you. Even as an optimist, you may have a hard time celebrating the small things in life, but being mindful of your advantages helps. 

You can help keep yourself in touch with your emotions and feel happier by noticing when your life is going well. Consider keeping a gratitude journal. Overall, having gratitude and writing down your thoughts on some of the things you value and enjoy in your life, you can handle mental illness a little better. 

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

2. Look for Professional Help

If you seriously can’t manage your own thoughts and they’re interfering with day-to-day activities, you should consider looking for professional help. Therapy and counseling can help reduce your emotional suffering and improve self-growth with your mental illness. Try to find a professional who can help you understand your condition and keep your pathophysiological level.

Here are a few other things that can offer you support when handling your mental illness:

  • If you have a hard time taking care of all the tasks you need to account for every day, ask for help from your friends and family. Once you get back on track, you can start doing things on your own; it’s never shameful to ask for help when you need it. 
  • Ask for emotional support. Sharing what frustrates you, venting, relieving stress, and crying are totally normal for people who have a mental illness. Don’t be afraid to get professional help when you need it the most. 
  • Ask for advice from your friends, family, medical professional. Especially if you don’t know much about your mental condition, sometimes it’s best to get advice from the people you can trust. 

3. Focus on Your Strengths

It’s completely normal and only human nature to focus on the negatives in life, overlooking the positives that surround you. However, you can focus on your strengths and not obsessively care about the mistakes you’ve made. Doing this will only help project your life forward and give you the push in the right direction you need. If you find yourself having too many negative thoughts or thinking too harshly of the things you’ve done, you should take the time to pause and consider what you have done right so far. By doing so, you can look on the bright side of life and cope with your mental illness with ease.

“ Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on your character, not your reputation. Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.” – Roy T. Bennett

4. Face Your Problems Head On

If you’re feeling stressed out about your mental illness, it’s important not to sit and play the blame game, but instead, solve the problems you may be having on your own. Doing so will only make you stronger as a result. To solve your own problems, you should first write down all the problems you’re having. Putting your thoughts down on paper is much more manageable than having them circling your mind. 

Next, you should try listing a few solutions to the problems you’re having. Even if they aren’t realistic, just write down everything that comes into your mind, and you can judge the solutions later on. Once you’ve done that, you can start assessing the list you’ve made. Of all the solutions you’ve created on your list, write down the pros and cons of each one. Ask yourself how you want your situation to end and figure out the best way to get there. Remember, you only want to use reasonable solutions that won’t end in failure, or else you’ll only feel disappointed in yourself. 

Now that you have the solution to handle your problem, you should break them into smaller chunks to create a solid plan of action. However, you should also create some deadlines for yourself as well, to keep yourself on track with your plan. If your plan doesn’t work and/or something falls out of place, you shouldn’t get discouraged and give up. Instead, simply try another solution. 

It’s never easy to self-manage a mental illness, especially if you consider yourself an optimist. However, with the help of this guide, you should be able to start taking care of your mental illness and take the necessary steps to make it more manageable for yourself. Now, you should be able to handle anything that comes your way.

How do you handle negative thoughts and make sure you are grateful for being alive? Please comment below and let us know!

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Life

7 Common but Unhelpful Conditioned Beliefs and How You Can Change Them

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Most of what limits us as people are personal beliefs based on past experiences, or unconscious conditioning that we have been programmed with or picked up during our education or development. The people I look up to and respect the most are those who have managed to unlearn what society has taught them by way of conditioning and have created their own lives in line with what works for them.

They still operate from a space of personal integrity and caring towards others and they can see the limitations in unquestioningly following what society has taught them. They have learned to listen to and follow their own internal guidance and values, create successful habits and win at life.

Some common beliefs that I’ve noticed trip up my clients and students are as follows:

1. Expecting anything from others, life and the world

“If it is to be, it is up to me” is my motto. That’s not to say I don’t collaborate with others, contribute and receive from them, but I am the driving force in my Universe. I know when others do something for me, an opportunity comes my way or something great happens. It’s always my legwork that’s created that association, opening or sense of gratitude or invitation and it’s something to be deeply grateful for and not to take for granted.

TIP: Look for inspiration that resonates for you and act from that space

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

2. Functioning from thinking at the exclusion of our intuition

Many of us have learned to mistrust our instincts instead of acknowledging what feels right deep down in our gut (which may offer seem counter to what we think about a situation). The term ‘stinking thinking’ exists for a reason. If logical thinking alone worked for running our lives, none of us would have problems. Instead, combine logic with your inner awareness and appropriate action to become unstoppable.

TIP: How can you begin to listen to that powerful voice inside, starting today?

3. Pushing aside our soul whispers because they seem too hard

How often have you ignored a constant urge to do something new/different because you couldn’t quite fathom why that was a good choice, because it felt messy or risky or just didn’t fit with what you have decided is best for you right now?

Staying stuck and perhaps miserable is safer and may seem easier than hacking a track that no one’s ever taken before, but the cost of ignoring our knowing seems to grow over time in terms of stagnation, regret and always wondering.

TIP: What if being truly you and following what excites you most is the only thing you’re supposed to do?

4. Not realizing that feelings are based on conditioning

We tend to associate particular emotions with how we think about certain events/outcomes because of past negative experiences or due to conditioning, even when it’s not actually true for us. When we are in our truth, our thoughts are of such a positive/freeing nature that not much can throw us off centre.

TIP: What is the underlying belief in a current difficult situation that you haven’t acknowledged? How can you change your beliefs about that person/situation to give you a different outcome?

5. Having Expectations of others based on their ‘Role’

People often expect family members/partners/friends or colleagues to behave in accordance with the values and behaviours that they have assigned to those roles. For example “Family must love me”, or “colleagues must be supportive”. In an ideal world these things are always true, but more often than not, our belief just hinders our ability to deal with the reality in this individual situation. People are only capable of being who they are and acting from that space regardless of their role in our lives.

TIP: Always assume who others are based on their behaviour not their relationship to you.

“Fall seven times and stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

6. Expecting others to have the same values/capabilities as us

People always show us who they are. Some of the most stuck clients I see, are those who repeatedly ignore who someone else is based on who they want the other person to be. People will always be who they are and do what works for them, regardless of your preferences. It’s good to understand why we are invested in someone being that way and to provide ourselves with that thing, instead of seeking it through others.  

TIP: When you see people for who they are instead of who you would like them to be life gets exponentially easier and you will have so much energy for you.

7. Thinking that the personal development journey is too hard

Realizing we have a lot of work to do is no reason not to start. A year from now, 12 months will have passed whether or not you have grown and developed the way you know you can. Personal growth can be tough, however can you live with staying the way you are now and depriving yourself of the opportunity to reach your greatness? Who are you to play small and not share your potential with the world?

I get it, you might put all that work in and it might be for nothing, but it’s extremely doubtful if you are able to be honest with yourself, devote a bit of time to the journey and follow some great mentors that you are the one person this stuff won’t work for.

TIP: Who do you want to look back and say you were able to have been in this lifetime? Now start doing what it takes to be that person.

Identifying and recognizing unhelpful conditioning and beliefs and changing them in a way that works for you is valuable process to master. It takes courage to look beyond we have been conditioned to believe, seek our truth and live according to that and the rewards are phenomenal.

What are some limiting beliefs that are holding you back? Comment below!

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2 Simple Keys to Open the Door to More Prosperity in All Areas of Life

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Prosperity is your divine right. You are here on this planet, at this time, with a divine right to create every single thing you desire. This is acknowledgement of the fact that you are a divine being having a human experience.

You are here to remember, and your desires are how you begin remembering. When you stop downplaying them and start allowing them to lead you to the path you were created to play out, life will become a lot more fun than it is currently. As a spiritual person, you may have bought into the general spiritual story that it is not okay to be wealthy and spiritual but that is just the story spread by those who did not choose to stay on track to receive all their desires.

The crazy thing is that something inside of you knows that what I am saying here is true. There is a deep acknowledgement inside you that your desires are sacred. So, why not stop fighting your true design, stop calling it greedy and instead choose to live to the fullness of your ability and open up to receive all that is yours.

Here are the 2 simple keys to open up the door to more prosperity in life:

1. Affirmations

Life and death lies in the tongue. What are your words creating into your life? Most people have forgotten that they are powerful enough to say something and then see it play out in their life.  We can no longer be ‘most’ people. You have to get very conscious about the words you let out of your mouth or even that you let run free in your mind. Those words are determining what actions you allow yourself to take and therefore what results you get.

From a spiritual perspective, your words go past just you into the energy of the universe. You attract what you seem to desire and the universe can only figure that out by noticing what words seems to keep coming out of your mouth. Essentially, what seems to be the default state of your mind.

Get deliberate about the words and phrases that come from you. Be aware of what you deeply desire and write out that vision as a list of affirmations. Start with “I give thanks that…” or simply use “I am now…”. Notice if your mind sends out any resistance to what you are writing down and tweak it until it represents your desires in a way that does not cause your mind to throw up too many objections.

For instance, a goal stated as “I give thanks for my growing ability to create x amount of money each and every month” is less likely to cause a negative reaction from your mind than “I am now creating x amount of money.”

Can you see the difference? Once you have your list, repeat, repeat, repeat until they become second nature to you to say what you want, rather than joking or talking about what you do not.  GET DELIBERATE about your words.

“My life is a gift. I will use this gift with confidence, joy and exuberance.”

2. Mind Movies

Your imagination is another superpower of yours and it connects you with the Divine. Most people imagine the worst a lot of the time, therefore sending out the message they want more of the same and then wonder why their life seems to represent what they do not want. Again, we can no longer be most.

As your imagination can be used to attract in low-level situations, it can also be used to attract high vibe situations taking you where you want to go. Deliberately choose to fill your mind with visions of what you choose to create. Take a few moments every 30-90 minutes to sit in silence and imagine DELIBERATELY the life you are creating – the best case scenario.

Be the star of the show. Do the things you would be doing. Have the things you desire to have and manipulate them in your mind movie. You must get into the feeling of your vision fulfilled because it only needs 90 seconds to create an elevated and open prosperity consciousness.  

Your mind cannot tell the difference between your imagined reality and your true reality so as you deliberately do this practice, you will find you are inclined to take different actions that you may not even have thought of because your mind is seeking to resolve the disparity between what you imagine and your actual reality – It will support you in making it happen now. Try it for a period of time and see for yourself the changes that are attracted into your life.

“You create your own reality. – Jane Roberts

These two simple keys, if practised, will open you up to a lot more prosperity than you are currently experiencing. Please do realise that there is no real lack of anything in the world, there are simply people who lack consciousness. Opt out of that, and become someone who chooses to see abundance for all and then take action to make it a reality firstly for you and then for the people you choose to serve.

Always remember prosperity is your divine right. Accept nothing less.

How do you make sure you are living your best life? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Counterintuitive Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Time

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how to use time effectively
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Do you think you’ll accomplish everything you want to before you die? Do you sometimes worry you won’t reach your goals? Do you have a plan to get what you want? If you’re like most people, you often have trouble squeezing in everything you want to do during the day, week or month, let alone everything you might want to accomplish in a lifetime. Updates from friends on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat come in to your phone at all hours of the day and night. Invites to activities, events, festivals, etc. blow up your phone on a regular basis. (more…)

McVal Osborne is the author of Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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64 Comments

64 Comments

  1. TUSHAR PATIL

    Feb 24, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    it’s not easy to go out of depression. I am going through this phase now. want to get out of it. don’t let it control you keep struggling keep your thought positive. one day will come u will realize its not the end it’s only the bend that god gives you to make you more strong to face life.

  2. Martha

    Mar 2, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I have struggled terribly with anxiety, panic disorder at times, and major depression. I have tried everything that the doctors had to offer. I was tired of being on medication. I talked with my doctor and she reluctantly went along with me to taper off my medications, telling me that I WILL be back and that she wants me to try Lithium when I come back. I have not seen her since the beginning of December 2014 and it is now 3-2-15. I am off everything except I take 1 or 1/2 pill of Klonipin at bedtime. Soon, I will have to stop that as I will have no more pills left. It has not been easy. I ordered a 21 day brain detox program from Dr. Caroline Leaf. It’s an online program to help me change my thought patterns. I have a year’s subscription. I am on my 6th cycle of 21 days. She is a neuroscientist and says there is scientific proof we can change our brain and the chemicals in our brains by eliminating toxic thoughts and building healthy thoughts. It has seemed to help me at times, but I still feel very weak, facing this depression giant. I have sunk into a deep depression the last few days to where I see no reason to be alive. My life is over – I have no purpose, joy, or direction. I stay alone in my little apartment and do not want to go anywhere. It is overwhelming. I am thinking of going to school, a small local university two-year physical therapy assistant program. I am afraid I will not make it. Last Sept. I tried attending a local community college, only enrolled in two courses: math and psychology. I had to drop out. First I fractured my wrist and my other arm was already injured with tennis elbow. I had to use that other, injured arm, which injured it even more. I was always in excruciating pain. I think that was part of it — but I kept struggling along. Then the anxiety and depression took over and even though I was doing well, I dropped out. I couldn’t face it — thinking I was just going to fail. So, I am afraid to go back to school. The jobs I’ve recently had just added to my depression as I was treated horribly. I have never worked with such mean people in all my life! I am wondering where to go from here. I keep plugging along with my 21 day brain detox, but the depression at times is unbearable. I do not want to live and that just completely overwhelms me. I see no reason to be alive. I am just taking up space. I do not want to go back to medications. I would still get depressed on them and the doctors always changed them. I am really struggling right now badly. I pray for a way out – an idea – some inspiration somewhere – some hope – because right now I am living in complete darkness and I know I am not thinking or seeing my life correctly. This is awful. I need help and I do not know where to go, except God. I pray and seek Him daily. I am so tired of depression stopping me from living, that I do not want to live anymore. It is very sad. I am a capable and competent person, but I am not using what I have — I am not living — so why should I even be alive????

    • Ryan

      Apr 30, 2015 at 6:45 am

      Ive been in that situation about 3 years ago, i felt like there was nothing left for me so what was the point right? I still suffer from depression now but thats due to trying to become successfull, the way i got out of the situation of feeling like life was pointless is to get out of the house and just walk, you will be suprised the kinds of people you will meet along the way, i was only 21 at the time and living at home with parents, i used to drink every day but that just made me worse and ill. Once i started getting out and meeting new people my mind was on other things, then by some miracle i met someone, i could tell her all my problems at any time and when someone else understands what your going through it can take so much pressure from you. Since that time i found love, moved out with my girlfriend, got engaged, got a new job and im now in the process of starting my own business and moving to america next year hopefully. So just remember that small step can lead to a new life, just try it and you will be amazed

  3. Sean

    Oct 22, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Excellent article! I recently went through a long phase ( about 2 years) of depression. Before going through it I always considered it a fictional condition or an excuse. Boy was I wrong!! It is an extremely painful situation anyone can go through. After two years now I am recovering and doing much better. I overcame it without any medications strictly through nutrition, meditation, support ( which is critical) and belief in my mission. The moment that changed everything for me was when I realized that depressive thoughts were actually a means to suppress the vicious cycle of the daily grind. The moment you believe you can live the life you want !! Stop thinking it and start living it. Things will get a lot more clear for you and strength will come. Keep fighting everyone life is beautiful and depression is just a teacher :).

  4. Blurblurlimu

    Oct 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Hi Daniel,

    I like your phrases “it is ok to struggle, but it is not ok to quit”….

    I truly agreed getting out of bed is a small step, but this small step mean a big achievement to our fighting days. Recently, I have a relapse, I am struggling to leave my bed too every morning now, because I don’t have much energy especially when I wake up, I lost my confidence, I am afraid of the challenges that awaiting me after I leave my bed, and I don’t wish to meet with people too…

    Really struggling….

    When I see you wrote “it is ok to struggle”, I really felt quite comforting…

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Amy

    May 5, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Daniel – A very well written article. One that inspired me to continue to battle depression again. I congratulate you on writing about your experiences with the illness. I hope to be brave enough someday to also share my history and to feel that sense of freedom.

    Thank you for the article.
    Amy

  6. kritika

    May 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    i dont understand will this phase pas away or would i be suffering from depression all my life..i feel like my future is too dark,i wont do anything good in my proffesional life nor would i find a spouce..will i end up lonely or miserable!! anybody can please suggest what may i do?? i had decided to end up my life today itself coz i feel lik an insane but just thought to check out if there is any hope left for me…my doc says i should stop my studies coz i am too unstable some times happy other times miserable that i cannot do any thing good with my life,he saus people have to be stable and firm to be successful in carrer and relationships!!so whats the hope for my future?? should i die or try a year more?? please help

    • Blurblurlimu

      Oct 14, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Kritika,

      Have you discussed this with your lecturer or family? If your doctor advised you to stop studying at this moment, may be defer a semester might be an option for you? Then you can take the opportunity to rest and focus on medication or finding a solution for yourself.

      I deferred my study too when I first encountered depression during my tertiary education. Then, I resumed my study after rest for a semester, there were a lot of challenges when I resumed my study because it was indeed quite difficult to catch up especially when we lost the common with our same batch friends. However, I managed to graduate at the end….

      You are not a lone…don’t give up…

    • lavesh

      Nov 20, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      I wish to talk to u personally cause my situation iz same tooo

  7. kin

    May 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    i do

  8. ryan

    May 2, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Thank you for this. It reminds me that I can get back to that place of true internal happiness. When times are good they are really good and that should be the focus. If I focus on allowing the bad times and accepting what comes along with it will help significantly. I deserve happiness and so do all of you 🙂

  9. Emily Filloramo

    Apr 20, 2014 at 12:28 am

    I too suffered from depression 10 years ago, precipitated by a toxic situation.

    My psychiatrist said “What trauma are you reliving from your past through this situation that caused you to be depressed?” The lightbulb went off and I realized that the depression was a reflection of the part of me that held the toxic traumas of my childhood which I had conveniently swept under the rug and forgotten about.

    Sweeping our past “under the rug” will eventually bite us in the butt in midlife in the form of some mental or physical health crisis. This is what happened to me in my early 40’s.

    I buried my negative childhood memories, living in “quiet desperation”, pretending that everything was “great!”

    So I healed through “reparenting” the younger parts of me that held faulty beliefs of “I’m not lovable and I’m not enough” and turned those beliefs into “I am lovable, I am awesome, I am enough.” The depression and sleepless nights finally lifted.

    I realize now that the Universe purposely gave me the negative experiences for the evolution of my soul. When I turned 50, I found my life’s calling based on all of my traumatic experiences. Now I am happy beyond belief.

    When you find the gift in the negative experiences and make “lemonade” out of your “lemons”, you will thrive.

    I have a free video trainings on the page below that talks about healing through “Internal Family System” modality of healing and self-leadership.

    http://www.successandjoynow.com/increase-happiness/

    This modality does NOT see depression as a disease – it sees your depressed parts as burdens you are carrying from the young parts of you that were traumatized. When you reparent your traumatized young parts and release the burdens, the sadness and depression will more than likely lift. m/increase-happiness/

    BTW – I spent 10 years selling anti-depressants and bipolar medicines to psychiatrists. These meds take the edge off. They are essentially band-aids. You need to get to the root of the issues that are causing you to feel depressed and heal those wounded parts.

  10. hasibrahman1

    Apr 18, 2014 at 9:38 am

    hermingway was really informational to me.and i felt famouscity is an big deal

  11. Amine AL KADERI (@amindeed)

    Mar 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I was fortunate enough to read your post after a frustrating weekend start.
    Thank you for inspiring and warming me up, Dan! 🙂

    • Dan Grant

      Mar 25, 2014 at 6:10 am

      Thank you for the kind words, Amine 🙂

  12. Npmac

    Mar 23, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Thank you, like it was written for me.

  13. meikedoliver40

    Mar 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Daniel thank you for this great post. I really needed to read this today. I’ve suffered from depression for as long as I can remember and I had it under control for a very long time. Recently it’s slowly crept back in and had me feeling as if everything I wanted in my life just isn’t worth working for. I have been writing in my journal and meditating to get through. It’s good to know that I’m not alone and that I’m not lazy or disinterested in life. Sometimes it’s a struggle to leave the house, it’s a struggle to go hang out, but once I get going….I’m glad that I do! It’s just a mental process sometimes.

    • Dan Grant

      Mar 25, 2014 at 6:08 am

      it’s a tough battle, that’s for sure. One worth working through, though. I’ve been incorporating mediation in my life lately and it’s been awesome. Thanks for your comment!

  14. Dan Grant

    Mar 14, 2014 at 2:46 am

    well said Wally, education is the key for sure!

  15. Wally

    Oct 16, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Thank you Daniel, I have been struggling for years, and must stress that over medication even from a Doctor can be dangerous. Some of the medicines easily make depression worse to the point of suicide even, I found out the hard way. So when treated and you feel like you start to lose interest in normal things while on a medicine stop or taper down no matter what the Doctor says. It just might save you from disaster. My new mission in life now that I am getting better, is to educate and help people become advocates for their mental health because of the stigma and the embarrassment causes one to be even more powerless in their recovery. Do research on anything that is given to you and know the risks even more than your doctor. Educate them whenever possible, especially if they are respectful and listen; the kind you want in the first place. I can not stress them enough. Most of these people have no idea what its like to have these problems and live on sometimes crippling medications. Learn everything about them, visit forums where others share experience with respect and always remember the rule of the benefits has to ALWAYS outweigh the risk of any treatment EVER. So learn the short and long term effects of anything that is ever prescribed. There is a disorder related to every human emotion that is natural in most cases that has a medication that will be pushed whenever possible because of negative business practice. Like going into a shady mechanic to have your oil changed only to find out you need a new this and that and this worked on; I’ m telling you from vast experience that you can experience the same thing with your brain every time you go into one of these treatment centers. Do your homework and always know more and good luck, you will move forward.

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Life

5 Counterintuitive Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Time

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Do you think you’ll accomplish everything you want to before you die? Do you sometimes worry you won’t reach your goals? Do you have a plan to get what you want? If you’re like most people, you often have trouble squeezing in everything you want to do during the day, week or month, let alone everything you might want to accomplish in a lifetime. Updates from friends on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat come in to your phone at all hours of the day and night. Invites to activities, events, festivals, etc. blow up your phone on a regular basis.

At the office, things aren’t much better. Your Outlook inbox explodes with messages from clients, colleagues, or your boss, and everyone wants something different. You use multiple tools for managing your tasks, and every month something new seems to come out which promises to save you time and reduce the number of distractions in your life. Let me break the bad news, it won’t.

The truth is, you have more time than you think to accomplish what you want out of life. As of 2016, men tend to live on average 69 years, versus 72 years for women. If most people start work at 18 and continue on until retirement around 65, this means you spend 47 years of your life working. You have, most likely, more time than you think to accomplish all that you want to do in this life. I urge you to slow down and take a few of these suggestions to heart as you think about how to get the most out of your days in the future.

Here are 5 ways to make the most out of your time here on earth:

1. Take personal days

The idea of taking a personal day has been around for a long time, but few people really consider the value of taking one on a regular basis. Whether this means leaving work early on the third Friday of every month to do some “life-admin” or taking an entire day off in the middle of the week once a month to rigorously outline your plans and objectives for the future, the value of a personal day dedicated to reflection and personal development is completely underrated in today’s go-go society. I would urge you to set aside an entire day (half-days won’t work, as they are likely to be encroached upon) and make a concerted effort to spend that time reflecting about what you want to accomplish and the steps you will take to get there.

 “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that other throw at him.” – David Brinkley

2. Structure in blank space for distraction free work

While taking time off to plan out your life and checking your personal progress is great, it is also important to structure small blocks of personal “switch off” time to let your mind wander during the typical work week. This may mean structuring in “strategic blocks” of one to two hours as suggested by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington in their book The 12 Week Year, or it may mean making a regular habit of doing “30 before 7:30” (30 minutes of concentrated work before 7:30am each morning) as suggested by Mel Robbins in her book The 5 Second Rule. Whatever you do, make sure you allow yourself some distraction free work time so that you can get into the flow.

3. Leave technology behind

We are tethered to our devices like never before, and we are rarely out of arm’s reach of something that can connect us to anyone (or any piece of information) in the world. I say this with some trepidation, because I am not entirely pleased about it. Sure, it is fantastic to have access to a device that can allow us to order food, call a car, create a professional looking video clip or photo, and post updates online all in the space of a few seconds, but it comes at a price.

Despite having the freedom to connect with anyone and do nearly anything from behind a touch screen device, we have effectively become servants for the same network of interconnected apps and platforms. So, at the risk of having you stop reading this article, I urge you to put down your device for at least 1 day a week and connect with people in more humanistic (face to face) ways.

4. Spend time with others not like you

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Think hard about that, because it will help define how you spend the rest of your life. If you believe that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with, you will need to be careful that you spend time with people that add to your life, rather than detract from it.

The more time you spend with people that come from similar backgrounds and share similar views as you, the more you will become closed off to the world around you. This is an easy habit to fall into, but it is one that can have dire consequences if you are serious about stretching yourself and reaching lofty goals. Go out and explore, and spend time with people that push you in new and exciting ways.

“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder

5. Have more fun

I have noticed more and more that people tend to take pride in how stressed out they are and how much they work when they’re in the office. They then swing to the opposite extreme during the weekends, getting belligerently drunk and partying or staying in and watching Netflix for 48 hours straight. This is no way to live. It’s easy for me to call out because, truth be told, I used to be this way.

Too often, people find themselves caught up in a world that promotes stress, anxiety and long-hours as a badge of honor. Rather than promote and support this type of behavior by falling into the trap of stress and anxiety caused by overwork, look for ways to have fun in the moment. Talk to colleagues, give compliments, make connections, learn new things, and just try to connect with others.

Remember, you’ve likely got around 65-80 years on this planet, you don’t want to spend the majority of that time stressed out, waiting for the weekend. Instead, take to heart a few of these counterintuitive tricks and embrace every day with newfound appreciation. You won’t regret it, I promise.

How do you maximize your time? Comment below!

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4 Ways of Handling a Mental Illness for the Optimists

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Not everyone is accepting of mental illnesses, especially when it’s people they don’t know. However, it’s important to understand how to better handle mental illness in order to get ahead in life. Below, are the four best ways to better handle mental illness conditions if you consider yourself an optimistic person:

1. Be Grateful

Research studies have shown that being more grateful can make you feel happier, more positive, and better overall. Don’t focus on the negatives of your mental illness, instead, be thankful for all you do have. You likely have a lot to be thankful for like a warm bed to sleep in and a family who loves you. Even as an optimist, you may have a hard time celebrating the small things in life, but being mindful of your advantages helps. 

You can help keep yourself in touch with your emotions and feel happier by noticing when your life is going well. Consider keeping a gratitude journal. Overall, having gratitude and writing down your thoughts on some of the things you value and enjoy in your life, you can handle mental illness a little better. 

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

2. Look for Professional Help

If you seriously can’t manage your own thoughts and they’re interfering with day-to-day activities, you should consider looking for professional help. Therapy and counseling can help reduce your emotional suffering and improve self-growth with your mental illness. Try to find a professional who can help you understand your condition and keep your pathophysiological level.

Here are a few other things that can offer you support when handling your mental illness:

  • If you have a hard time taking care of all the tasks you need to account for every day, ask for help from your friends and family. Once you get back on track, you can start doing things on your own; it’s never shameful to ask for help when you need it. 
  • Ask for emotional support. Sharing what frustrates you, venting, relieving stress, and crying are totally normal for people who have a mental illness. Don’t be afraid to get professional help when you need it the most. 
  • Ask for advice from your friends, family, medical professional. Especially if you don’t know much about your mental condition, sometimes it’s best to get advice from the people you can trust. 

3. Focus on Your Strengths

It’s completely normal and only human nature to focus on the negatives in life, overlooking the positives that surround you. However, you can focus on your strengths and not obsessively care about the mistakes you’ve made. Doing this will only help project your life forward and give you the push in the right direction you need. If you find yourself having too many negative thoughts or thinking too harshly of the things you’ve done, you should take the time to pause and consider what you have done right so far. By doing so, you can look on the bright side of life and cope with your mental illness with ease.

“ Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on your character, not your reputation. Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.” – Roy T. Bennett

4. Face Your Problems Head On

If you’re feeling stressed out about your mental illness, it’s important not to sit and play the blame game, but instead, solve the problems you may be having on your own. Doing so will only make you stronger as a result. To solve your own problems, you should first write down all the problems you’re having. Putting your thoughts down on paper is much more manageable than having them circling your mind. 

Next, you should try listing a few solutions to the problems you’re having. Even if they aren’t realistic, just write down everything that comes into your mind, and you can judge the solutions later on. Once you’ve done that, you can start assessing the list you’ve made. Of all the solutions you’ve created on your list, write down the pros and cons of each one. Ask yourself how you want your situation to end and figure out the best way to get there. Remember, you only want to use reasonable solutions that won’t end in failure, or else you’ll only feel disappointed in yourself. 

Now that you have the solution to handle your problem, you should break them into smaller chunks to create a solid plan of action. However, you should also create some deadlines for yourself as well, to keep yourself on track with your plan. If your plan doesn’t work and/or something falls out of place, you shouldn’t get discouraged and give up. Instead, simply try another solution. 

It’s never easy to self-manage a mental illness, especially if you consider yourself an optimist. However, with the help of this guide, you should be able to start taking care of your mental illness and take the necessary steps to make it more manageable for yourself. Now, you should be able to handle anything that comes your way.

How do you handle negative thoughts and make sure you are grateful for being alive? Please comment below and let us know!

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7 Common but Unhelpful Conditioned Beliefs and How You Can Change Them

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Most of what limits us as people are personal beliefs based on past experiences, or unconscious conditioning that we have been programmed with or picked up during our education or development. The people I look up to and respect the most are those who have managed to unlearn what society has taught them by way of conditioning and have created their own lives in line with what works for them.

They still operate from a space of personal integrity and caring towards others and they can see the limitations in unquestioningly following what society has taught them. They have learned to listen to and follow their own internal guidance and values, create successful habits and win at life.

Some common beliefs that I’ve noticed trip up my clients and students are as follows:

1. Expecting anything from others, life and the world

“If it is to be, it is up to me” is my motto. That’s not to say I don’t collaborate with others, contribute and receive from them, but I am the driving force in my Universe. I know when others do something for me, an opportunity comes my way or something great happens. It’s always my legwork that’s created that association, opening or sense of gratitude or invitation and it’s something to be deeply grateful for and not to take for granted.

TIP: Look for inspiration that resonates for you and act from that space

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

2. Functioning from thinking at the exclusion of our intuition

Many of us have learned to mistrust our instincts instead of acknowledging what feels right deep down in our gut (which may offer seem counter to what we think about a situation). The term ‘stinking thinking’ exists for a reason. If logical thinking alone worked for running our lives, none of us would have problems. Instead, combine logic with your inner awareness and appropriate action to become unstoppable.

TIP: How can you begin to listen to that powerful voice inside, starting today?

3. Pushing aside our soul whispers because they seem too hard

How often have you ignored a constant urge to do something new/different because you couldn’t quite fathom why that was a good choice, because it felt messy or risky or just didn’t fit with what you have decided is best for you right now?

Staying stuck and perhaps miserable is safer and may seem easier than hacking a track that no one’s ever taken before, but the cost of ignoring our knowing seems to grow over time in terms of stagnation, regret and always wondering.

TIP: What if being truly you and following what excites you most is the only thing you’re supposed to do?

4. Not realizing that feelings are based on conditioning

We tend to associate particular emotions with how we think about certain events/outcomes because of past negative experiences or due to conditioning, even when it’s not actually true for us. When we are in our truth, our thoughts are of such a positive/freeing nature that not much can throw us off centre.

TIP: What is the underlying belief in a current difficult situation that you haven’t acknowledged? How can you change your beliefs about that person/situation to give you a different outcome?

5. Having Expectations of others based on their ‘Role’

People often expect family members/partners/friends or colleagues to behave in accordance with the values and behaviours that they have assigned to those roles. For example “Family must love me”, or “colleagues must be supportive”. In an ideal world these things are always true, but more often than not, our belief just hinders our ability to deal with the reality in this individual situation. People are only capable of being who they are and acting from that space regardless of their role in our lives.

TIP: Always assume who others are based on their behaviour not their relationship to you.

“Fall seven times and stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

6. Expecting others to have the same values/capabilities as us

People always show us who they are. Some of the most stuck clients I see, are those who repeatedly ignore who someone else is based on who they want the other person to be. People will always be who they are and do what works for them, regardless of your preferences. It’s good to understand why we are invested in someone being that way and to provide ourselves with that thing, instead of seeking it through others.  

TIP: When you see people for who they are instead of who you would like them to be life gets exponentially easier and you will have so much energy for you.

7. Thinking that the personal development journey is too hard

Realizing we have a lot of work to do is no reason not to start. A year from now, 12 months will have passed whether or not you have grown and developed the way you know you can. Personal growth can be tough, however can you live with staying the way you are now and depriving yourself of the opportunity to reach your greatness? Who are you to play small and not share your potential with the world?

I get it, you might put all that work in and it might be for nothing, but it’s extremely doubtful if you are able to be honest with yourself, devote a bit of time to the journey and follow some great mentors that you are the one person this stuff won’t work for.

TIP: Who do you want to look back and say you were able to have been in this lifetime? Now start doing what it takes to be that person.

Identifying and recognizing unhelpful conditioning and beliefs and changing them in a way that works for you is valuable process to master. It takes courage to look beyond we have been conditioned to believe, seek our truth and live according to that and the rewards are phenomenal.

What are some limiting beliefs that are holding you back? Comment below!

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2 Simple Keys to Open the Door to More Prosperity in All Areas of Life

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Prosperity is your divine right. You are here on this planet, at this time, with a divine right to create every single thing you desire. This is acknowledgement of the fact that you are a divine being having a human experience.

You are here to remember, and your desires are how you begin remembering. When you stop downplaying them and start allowing them to lead you to the path you were created to play out, life will become a lot more fun than it is currently. As a spiritual person, you may have bought into the general spiritual story that it is not okay to be wealthy and spiritual but that is just the story spread by those who did not choose to stay on track to receive all their desires.

The crazy thing is that something inside of you knows that what I am saying here is true. There is a deep acknowledgement inside you that your desires are sacred. So, why not stop fighting your true design, stop calling it greedy and instead choose to live to the fullness of your ability and open up to receive all that is yours.

Here are the 2 simple keys to open up the door to more prosperity in life:

1. Affirmations

Life and death lies in the tongue. What are your words creating into your life? Most people have forgotten that they are powerful enough to say something and then see it play out in their life.  We can no longer be ‘most’ people. You have to get very conscious about the words you let out of your mouth or even that you let run free in your mind. Those words are determining what actions you allow yourself to take and therefore what results you get.

From a spiritual perspective, your words go past just you into the energy of the universe. You attract what you seem to desire and the universe can only figure that out by noticing what words seems to keep coming out of your mouth. Essentially, what seems to be the default state of your mind.

Get deliberate about the words and phrases that come from you. Be aware of what you deeply desire and write out that vision as a list of affirmations. Start with “I give thanks that…” or simply use “I am now…”. Notice if your mind sends out any resistance to what you are writing down and tweak it until it represents your desires in a way that does not cause your mind to throw up too many objections.

For instance, a goal stated as “I give thanks for my growing ability to create x amount of money each and every month” is less likely to cause a negative reaction from your mind than “I am now creating x amount of money.”

Can you see the difference? Once you have your list, repeat, repeat, repeat until they become second nature to you to say what you want, rather than joking or talking about what you do not.  GET DELIBERATE about your words.

“My life is a gift. I will use this gift with confidence, joy and exuberance.”

2. Mind Movies

Your imagination is another superpower of yours and it connects you with the Divine. Most people imagine the worst a lot of the time, therefore sending out the message they want more of the same and then wonder why their life seems to represent what they do not want. Again, we can no longer be most.

As your imagination can be used to attract in low-level situations, it can also be used to attract high vibe situations taking you where you want to go. Deliberately choose to fill your mind with visions of what you choose to create. Take a few moments every 30-90 minutes to sit in silence and imagine DELIBERATELY the life you are creating – the best case scenario.

Be the star of the show. Do the things you would be doing. Have the things you desire to have and manipulate them in your mind movie. You must get into the feeling of your vision fulfilled because it only needs 90 seconds to create an elevated and open prosperity consciousness.  

Your mind cannot tell the difference between your imagined reality and your true reality so as you deliberately do this practice, you will find you are inclined to take different actions that you may not even have thought of because your mind is seeking to resolve the disparity between what you imagine and your actual reality – It will support you in making it happen now. Try it for a period of time and see for yourself the changes that are attracted into your life.

“You create your own reality. – Jane Roberts

These two simple keys, if practised, will open you up to a lot more prosperity than you are currently experiencing. Please do realise that there is no real lack of anything in the world, there are simply people who lack consciousness. Opt out of that, and become someone who chooses to see abundance for all and then take action to make it a reality firstly for you and then for the people you choose to serve.

Always remember prosperity is your divine right. Accept nothing less.

How do you make sure you are living your best life? Let us know in the comments below!

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