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The Truth About Love

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The truth about love is you can’t ignore it. I know this because I’ve tried myself. I’m not just talking about romantic love; I’m talking about these four topics:

– Loving yourself first
– Falling in love with a significant other
– Giving love to the world
– Knowing how to receive love

A friend of a friend, named Mark Lack, shocked me a few weeks ago. He said on his TV show that he wanted to share one secret with his business audience that was the best advice you’ll ever hear. I’m naturally on the edge of my seat ready to write down some online business hack that could make me millions.

Mark said,

“Nothing in your life matters, but one thing: how much love you give and how much love you receive. Love is the only thing in life that matters.”

It’s not just Mark that is spreading this message. This message is coming from entrepreneurs consistently now who’ve made it, climbed to the top of the mountain and figured out that love is all there is.

You’d think after two failed relationships within twelve months and a massive heartbreak I’d know that by now. So stop chasing fame, money, cool friends, parties or whatever else is distracting you from this one thing: love.

You can’t avoid it and instead, should embrace it. Love has so much power once you move out of thinking it’s uncool, and into a place of understanding. There is, however, two rules you must follow to play the game of love and get the benefits.

Rule One: Sacrifice

Love will not happen for you my friend unless you are prepared to sacrifice. If the benefits of love were so easy to obtain, we’d all be drinking the Kool-Aid by now and stop numbing our pain with food, drugs and alcohol.

The sacrifice I’m talking about is the biggest one you can make: give your entire life to love. In practical terms this doesn’t mean you go join some hippie cult; it means you must choose love in every situation.

Someone cuts you off, choose love; someone pisses on your front door, choose love; someone cuts in front of you at the grocery store and makes you late for work, choose love. It’s freaking hard work to choose love every day.

In romantic relationships, you’re going to have to get used to the good and the bad. No one is going to meet all of your requirements. You are going to have to do some things you don’t want to do that hurt like hell and are the opposite of what you believe. That’s plain bad luck because if you want the joy of living in a place of love with another person, that’s what it takes.

Rule Two: Compromise

If sacrifice had a sibling, it would be compromise. To enjoy a world of love you have to be prepared to negotiate on what you are willing to settle for. This is really hard for us entrepreneurs because we think we can negotiate our way out of every situation.

The trouble with love is that it only enters your life when you’re ready. The warrior who is ready to experience true love in their life knows that compromise is a must.

Loving yourself first

The beauty of love has come and gone so many times in my own life until I recently had a significant realization: you have to love yourself first. Before love can enter your life, you have to first love yourself. This is not some Kama Sutra spiritual junk, this is real.

Many of us go through life experiencing so much pain because we don’t love ourself. We have to love ourself the way we would love a romantic partner. We have to be able to look ourselves in the eye and know that we’re freaking awesome the way we are.

“If you lack love in your life, it’s because you haven’t started with you”

I read a book the other day about this entrepreneur who lost the one thing he loved: his company. Shortly after, he lost his romantic partner and everything else that he perceived to be good in his life.

He ended up at rock bottom and very sick. What got him out of this hellish nightmare was getting up every day and telling himself out loud one phrase: “I love myself! I love myself! I love myself!”

This seemingly stupid habit made his brain finally believe that he was enough and that he was special the way he is. This gentleman has now rebuilt his life and can be seen in rooms giving speeches about how he now loves himself, and repeats that phrase every day, so he doesn’t forget.

Key Action:

Every morning for a week, look at one of your eyes in the mirror and repeat the phrase “I love myself” for five minutes a day.

At night, put on a hypnotic piece of music that goes for around five minutes. Close your eyes, and repeat to yourself in your head or ideally out loud “I love myself” over and over.” If you want a recommendation for a good piece of music, then try the Gladiator Theme Song from the movie.

Falling in love with a significant other

You can’t ignore having someone to spend your life with, whom you truly love. Maybe you’re in a relationship and you don’t love the person, or maybe you are single and haven’t got anyone at all. The reality is that you must sort out this part of your life.

You cannot go on forever without solving this riddle. Loving someone other than yourself requires you to take lots of risks, and the chances are that you’re going to fail a lot. In fact, finding that one person is like doing a startup; failure is predictable, guaranteed and full of valuable lessons.

Our brain is programmed through evolution to find another human being and settle down at some point. Don’t fool yourself and try to postpone this rule of love forever. You’ll end up miserable if you do. Be strong, have courage and love like you’ve never been hurt before.

Giving love to the world

This is where things get interesting. Many of us are not giving any love (or hardly any) to the world around us. By not giving love to all those around you, you deprive yourself of some of the best happiness that exists on the planet.

When you’re down, and you give love, you get to focus your brain on all the abundance that exists. Selfishness is what causes us pain and makes us unfulfilled. Turn the spotlight away from you and onto someone other than yourself.

There’s so much beauty to be seen when you give love. Giving love brings out the best in those you give it to. Giving love generates more smiles and fewer haters. Giving love is what makes the world go round and continue existing.

If we all hated each other, then we’d nuke the heck out of one another and nobody would be left. What stops this event from occurring is the fact there is more love, than evil on our planet. Love is the currency you want to adopt.

Key Action:

I want you to try an experiment to see if this whole giving love thing works. Give a brand new pair of shoes away to a homeless person – the more expensive, the better the result. Don’t pretend like you don’t have any because we all have a pair of shoes lying around that we haven’t worn yet and probably don’t need.

The purpose of this exercise is to show yourself how good it is when you come from a place of love when you’re not being asked to. The results will speak for themselves. Try it! If I’m wrong, I’ll give you a 100% money back guarantee like those 90’s infomercials.

Knowing how to receive love

Over the last few months, I’ve experienced a few struggles and people have been there to offer acts of love. I’ve been lousy at accepting this love, and I’ve realized that it’s a double edge sword. You can’t give love and then refuse to receive any back.

“By shutting off your ability to receive love, you force yourself to do the hard times alone”

This, in turn, makes you lonely, which makes you feel like crap, which becomes a downward spiral. It’s especially hard for blokes to receive love because we somehow think we’re too big and strong to ever need a helping hand.

Being strong in the truest sense means that we don’t only give love, but we receive it and be grateful for this gift no matter what. The amount of love you receive is directly correlated to how much love you give. If it’s all about you and your Instagram selfies, then you’ll find pretty quickly that there is no love waiting for you when you need it most.

No matter how perfect anyone’s life may seem, we all have major setbacks, dark times and failure. Having people to give you love in those times makes the struggle one hundred times easier.

Summary

The truth about love is that it’s the greatest experience in the world. It’s the secret sauce to everything we’ve ever wanted if we’ll just try it out for a bit. It’s so easy to miss though because we all get chances, but we never maximize the opportunity. We choose ourselves first instead of love.

Then we wonder why the thoughts in our head won’t go away, and why we have to numb the pain all the time. We wonder why we’ve got to escape on a holiday to take our mind off this void that we can’t explain. The void is the lack of love in your life.

Make some sacrifices, compromise on your rules for life once in a while, open your arms wide and be prepared for some cool stuff to happen. We are all here to do one thing and one thing only; love our freaking hearts out until they stop beating.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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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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Life

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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Life

How to Move Forward When All Seems Lost

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A few weeks ago, the relationship of my venture with a long-term client turned rocky. Losing them would mean a huge loss for my business, but it appeared like that’s where we were headed. My mind raced with unpleasant thoughts. Maybe the client had figured out that I couldn’t lead my team well. Maybe I was not good enough to be an entrepreneur. Maybe I was not good enough to do anything.

Why was the world so unfair?! Within moments, my anxiety had shot through the roof and my heart was racing faster than an F1 car engine. But I know I’m not the only one who feels like this.

Why Problems Overwhelm Us

As human beings, we’re good at solving problems, so they shouldn’t stress us out. Yet, they do just that. Why?

Consider some of these situations in life. When a relationship is headed for troubled waters, we wonder whether our partner loves us anymore. Our mind unearths memories of when we got dumped or rejected. We blame ourselves for falling for the wrong people and tell ourselves that we’re not worth receiving love.

How do you think the relationship will steer after that? If we cannot stick to a diet, we think of other times when we gave up. We remember what people said about things that we couldn’t do and ask ourselves, “were they right?” We tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes to succeed at anything.

Do you think we’ll find the grit to stick to the diet after this? So here we are… thinking we’re not good enough to be entrepreneurs, to be loved, to get promoted, or to achieve our personal goals. Notice a pattern yet? We move in the wrong direction. The destination is to achieve the goal. And unless we stop giving into emotions and start addressing situations, we’ll keep failing to get there.

Negative emotions (and even extremely positive ones) blur our vision. The more we focus on them, the deeper we go into how we feel. We either get angry because things aren’t the way we want them to be, or get paralyzed by the fear of the worst possible outcome. This means we pull away from the one thing we must do to set things right — take action.

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie

How to Take Action in the Face of Problems

Most human beings are good at solving problems. Where we get blindsided is at diagnosing the right problem. To diagnose the right problem, we must address the situation instead of emotions. We must see things for what they are, collect facts on what we’re worrying about, and then ask ourselves, “What should I do next?”

In his book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, Dale Carnegie wrote: “Neither you nor I nor Einstein nor the Supreme Court of the United States is brilliant enough to reach an intelligent decision on any problem without first getting the facts.”

To address the tricky situation with my client, I took the following three steps:

1. First, I acknowledged the feeling

Solving a problem doesn’t mean ignoring emotions. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel because it reveals the path, but domesticating your emotions is more important. I acknowledged how I felt by saying, “I feel anxious because the client might not want to work with us anymore and this will be a financial loss for us.”

Note how I said “I feel anxious” and not “I’m a loser.” If I had given into negative chatter, I wouldn’t have uncovered the direction to move in (the part after “because”). This is why domesticating emotions is crucial.

2. Next, I prepared for the worst

We often run from our worst fears rather than facing them despite knowing that the worst outcome rarely comes true. The result is that we stay stuck in fear instead of pushing beyond it. And we never discover what we’re really capable of, which sucks.

In my case, the worst meant losing the client. It would hurt but it was the truth. However, we could get more clients. Plus we already had other clients who helped us pay the bills. In other words, I wouldn’t have to live on the street.

The moment I accepted this, a huge weight got lifted off my chest. This prepared me for the third and final step.

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Lastly, I examined the situation

Examining a situation means setting aside your emotional baggage and focusing on facts. When you trust that you’ll be okay, you become better at diagnosing the real problem. Once I felt lighter, I could see things clearly.

I used the 5 Whys Technique (asking “why” five times) to figure out the real reason for the client’s dissatisfaction. Then I collected data on the issue and on what we had previously delivered.

Finally, I reached out to the CEO of the client and held a detailed and constructive discussion based on my findings. Within four days, the CEO and I were back to the way things were before.

The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to give today your best. I’m not sure whether the issue with the client got resolved for good or whether the client won’t pack up and leave one day. However, I am sure that I’m prepared to handle such cases better today than I was yesterday.

Control your emotions instead of letting them run amok. Accept things for what they are instead of what you want them to be. Be realistic instead of delusional. Address the situation instead of succumbing to emotions.

Don’t preempt what lies ten miles ahead and get paralyzed by fear. Address what lies clearly in front of you and keep moving. One day you’ll be surprised about how close to your destination you are.

How do you move forward when all hope seems to be lost? Share your advice below!

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Life

8 Effective Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing

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You know what they say, “Health Is Wealth”. But, more often than not, we only mean it in the context of physical health. There’s no question that being fit is the world’s greatest treasure. Unfortunately, not a lot of us take time out to look after our emotional health and wellbeing.

Let’s not forget – it’s ‘Mind Over Matter’. So, if you are able to take control of your emotions, thoughts, how you feel through the day and how you respond to myriad situations; there’s nothing quite like it. When you become the master of your emotions; health, prosperity, and basically all good things are bound to follow you.

With that said, here are 8 surefire ways that will improve your emotional wellbeing:

1. Practice Mindfulness

Half the time, we don’t even know what we’re thinking or how we’re feeling. That’s because we let our minds operate on autopilot. It’s time to take control of your mind. Be aware of what and how you feel throughout the day. The upside to this practice is that you can detect negative emotions right on the onset and quickly change them and their corresponding feeling.

Feelings of anger, jealousy, hatred; they are not good for the mind, soul, or the body. Paying close attention to the spectrum of emotions you experience throughout the day, will help you detect the negative ones and kick them away before they fester deep enough to take away your happiness and emotional health.

2. Stay Physically Active

As you engage in physical activities, your brain produces a whole bunch of feel-good hormones such as endorphins and dopamine. These hormones are what causes the ‘elated’ or ‘euphoric’ feeling. Being physically active uplifts your mood and your outlook towards life. It readies you to take the challenges more head-on instead of becoming overwhelmed by the littlest of inconvenience.

You are better able to analyze tough situations and take a more proactive rather than a reactive approach. It’s no question physical health is in direct proportion with emotional health. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body and vice versa.

“Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.” – Sid Garza-Hillman

3. Get Sufficient Sleep

Ever noticed how you feel depressed and cranky, and just out of focus the day you fail to get a good night’s sleep? Well, if you fail to get sufficient sleep for a couple of days, you are bound to feel more depressed, cranky and eventually more prone to a host of negative emotions. Research shows that sleep deprivation sends amygdala – our brain’s emotional response center into overdrive.

Amygdala controls our immediate emotional responses. When it becomes overactive, we become more reactive rather than active. We become more irritable, angry and anxious. A good night’s sleep is vital to improving your emotional wellbeing.

4. Develop a New Hobby

Learn to swim. Try arts and crafts. How about painting? Swimming is a ‘happy’ activity. You get to make new friends and stay fit. Arts and crafts, as we all know, tends to have a relaxing effect on the mind and the nerves.

Just the process of creating something from scratch makes you confident and gets those creative juices flowing. Similarly, painting helps you express yourself. All these factors together create a ‘happy you’. The one who likes to engage in new things instead of resisting change or difficult situations.

5. Eat Healthy

Ever heard of the phrase, “You are what you eat”? Well, it’s true to the last syllable. When you eat foods rich in salt, sodium, fat – you are bound to feel lethargic. It takes longer for the body to digest such foods. That means the body is forced to deprive organs of blood and use it for the digestion purpose.

Result? You become lazy, moody, not ready to take any responsibility which leads to feeling cranky and irritable. On the other hand, eating fibrous vegetables, fruits, salads, and complex sugars keeps you upbeat and healthy.

6. Laugh Your Heart Out

Laughter is the best medicine. That is why they have a dedicated ‘laughter session’ in yoga studios. You don’t even have to mean it. The simple act of spreading your cheeks and pretending to laugh sends a signal to your body that you are happy.

And what happens when you are happy? Your brain releases happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin and what not. In fact, many studies have gone so far as to stipulate that laughter alone is capable of treating all kinds of physical ailments. Why should emotional ailments be any different?

7. Try Relaxation Techniques

‘’Visualization technique’’ where you imagine yourself in a happy place is a surefire way to calm your nerves if you find yourself distressed. You may also try praying to elate yourself. Praying is good for the mind and the soul.

Controlled breathing or ‘biofeedback technique’ are some other relaxation techniques that can tame how you feel and even your bodily functions. Try surrounding yourself with aromatherapy or scented candles because the smell is a big factor in governing how we feel.

“Positive emotional energy is the key to health, happiness and wellbeing. The more positive you are, the better your life will be in every area.” – Brian Tracy

8. Count Your Blessings

We all have so much to be thankful for. It could be a friend who stands by you or a happy family. Good health. Financial freedom. Make a list of all the things that you feel grateful for in your life. If it’s a person, be sure to communicate your feelings and express your gratitude.

You will feel so much happier. Happiness is the diet of a healthy mind and an intelligent emotional response mechanism. You could also try writing a poem or simply expressing your gratitude through the power of prayers.

There are so many ways to become emotionally intelligent and not one of them requires any investment or special skills. Practically anyone and everyone can do it. All you need is the will and the desire.

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