How To Deal With Regret

Sometimes I ask myself – “do you feel like you should be different? Or act differently? Or feel differently?”

I don’t know if everyone asks himself or herself the same questions. Maybe you can quell my thoughts in the comments section below.

Recently, I’ve come to a realization. Everything that I have been through – the ups, the downs, the struggles and turmoil and everything in between – have made me the person I am today.

Regret is insignificant. No matter how hard we try, at this very moment, nothing about the past can be undone.

Regret is backward thinking

When you look to the past for answers, you are fighting an uphill battle. You desperately struggle as you battle the ravaging tides and the harsh winds.

Eckhart Tolle believes your egoic won’t let the past go because it needs it to feel alive. Your egoic mind wants to feel significant so it latches onto the past.

It keeps you living and thinking backward. It holds you in a troubled state. Your relationships, your work, and worst of all, yourself, crumble as you’re suspended in ‘regret thought-processes.’

The more you dwell in the past, the stronger your egoic mind grows. Like a feral animal, the more meat you give, the more it wants.

Present is forward-thinking

This very moment is all we have left. This very moment is the only one that can be changed, cherished and adored.

Even as write this, moments pass. The less I regret, the less I dwell, the more seamlessly the present moment passes.

There is little time to regret. In this very moment, there is only time to be content.

Be grateful that you are alive and breathing. Be content with the ability to think clearly and feel wholly.

Any room for future thinking?

Future thinking will also ruin you. Future thinking is just as toxic as regret.

Currently the future does not matter. Even as you begin to say the word fu-ture that first syllable is forever lost in the past.

That syllable should be let go, just as the future should.

The Love Exercise

There is no room for regret in this moment. Instead, spend a little time just being. Spend some time appreciating the person you are – maybe it’s your hair, eyes, or your brain.

Or pat yourself on the back for a small win – maybe it’s your first day sticking to a new diet or maybe you made it an entire day without having a cigarette.

This is an exercise I frequently do to avoid regret. The idea occurred to me after reading Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.

He was at the point of killing himself because of all the common pressures that plague us – lack of love, security, support and freedom – until one day he decided to look into the mirror and say “I love you” over and over again.

He cured himself through positive reinforcement. I find that the same works with regret. Spend time today, and every single day, to giving yourself trying the Love Exercise.

Soon you will regret less and your egoic mind will detach. You will begin to love the person you are. You will begin to appreciate the present moment.

I wish nothing but amazing vibes to all our readers. I know whatever plagues you – whether regret, pain, or the future – you will overcome it.

And if you need a little push along the way, 2HelpfulGuys is here for anything.

Until next time my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free and love on.

HOW TO MASTER JEDI MIND CONTROL

buddha what we think

Over the last couple of years I have become fascinated with the idea that everything in your life is a result of what goes on in your mind.

If there are two twins that are the exact same in every way, except that one is relentlessly positive and the other is endlessly negative, their lives would be completely different.

They could encounter the exact same scenarios and obstacles but they would perceive them in different ways. The positive person would see them as a chance to grow, and the negative person would see them as evidence that you can never succeed.

With this in mind I am convinced that learning to skew your mind towards the positive and the useful is the best way to completely transform your life.

Here are the three steps to learning to control your mind like a Jedi.

1) Observe your thoughts.

In order to start controlling the endless chatter in your mind you first have to get rid of the idea that you are your thoughts.

We tend to think that the chatter in our mind is who we are and that is it, but that is just a part of who you are. You are your whole body from top to bottom and your entire subconscious, not just your conscious thoughts.

Now what you need to do is to step back from your thoughts and observe them. Start keeping track of when you are thinking negatively. The next time you find yourself upset, step back for a second and think “Wow, I have a lot of negative thoughts right now.”

Doing this will help you catch yourself in these useless reflexive thought cycles. Nothing good comes from beating yourself up or feeling sorry for yourself so the more you start to catch yourself, the quicker you can implement my next step.

2) Cancel your negative thoughts.

Now that you are starting to keep an eye on what you are thinking instead of just letting the chatter go on, you can start to pull yourself out of these habitual thought patterns.

Your brain doesn’t like using a lot of energy, so if you are a person who naturally reacts negatively, your mind will jump to that first because it is easy. Doing something outside of the norm requires conscious effort, something your brain would rather avoid.
Yeah, thanks evolution, we really appreciate that…

My favourite way to pull myself out of my bad habitual thought cycles is to use an “interrupt mantra.”

An interrupt mantra is something that you start repeating over and over once you realize that you are in one of these cycles. It will replace your useless thoughts with the exact opposite and more useful thoughts.

If you are someone who has problems with procrastination, once you realize that you are thinking “Man, I hate doing this work, I just want to relax and watch some Netflix” you have to switch to your interrupt mantra. It could be something like “I am energized and ready to take on anything. I’ll conquer this project with ease and energy to spare.”

Repeat that as many times in a row as you have to and after a while of canceling your negative thoughts, your mind will start to reflexively jump to the positive and more useful thoughts.

It only makes sense that your procrastination will naturally shrink when your reflexive thoughts are that of being energized and ready to conquer the obstacles ahead of you.

Interrupt mantras can work for any negative thoughts. If you have negative thoughts about your confidence interrupt them with “I am an amazing and confident person. I am going to start giving myself the credit I deserve.”

If you have problems with willpower interrupt those thoughts by saying “I have tons of willpower to spare. I am a strong person who can beat any temptation with ease.”

Rinse and repeat as many times as needed whether it be ten, twenty, or thirty times in a row.

3) Meditation.

This step isn’t required, but it will make the whole process ten times easier. When I started meditating I didn’t realize just how impactful it would be. I also didn’t realize how many of my favourite celebrities and great thinkers meditated.

Everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger, to Katy Perry, to Oprah Winfrey and more credit meditation as a key part of their success and ability to stay balanced.

We could discuss meditation for hours, the spiritual aspects, the physical effects it has on the brain over time or even just the calming effect it can create instantly. But for now there is one plus side to meditation that I want to share with you.

It allows you to step back from your thoughts.

With the type of meditation I do the point is to focus on your breath so intensely that your thoughts cease. Now, during meditation you are sure to have thoughts pop into your head. In this case you just allow them to surface without analyzing them, and then get back to focusing on your breathing. If you get an itch on your leg, you feel it, but then immediately bring your attention back to your breath.

This will train you to be able to have a thought or emotion surface without allowing it to pull you into its rabbit hole. This way when something happens in your daily life that aggravates you, instead of stewing over it for hours and ruining your whole day you can step back and say “is this really a useful thing to focus on? Do these thought patterns improve my life in any way shape or form, or do they just serve to steal energy and happiness from me?”

Armed with this ability to step back and question these reflexive thoughts, you can truly start to control your mind and use it for your own self improvement.

A quote that has been repeated by many of the great minds of the world, and is very close to my heart is: “The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”

This quote perfectly explains the two different relationships you can have with your mind.

Either you control it, or it controls you. The decision is yours.


With love
Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys

FORGET MOTIVATION, REMEMBER DISCIPLINE

Motivation is overrated.

With every goal I try to reach and every habit I try to internalize, I always start off motivated and eager to climb the ladder to success.

But where is my motivation three months later at 5:45am, looking up at a long day of work after a sleepless night?

Where is my motivation during a horrible week, wrought with upsets and disappointments?

I curl up in bed, knowing full well what I have to do, but my motivation is no where to be found.

Motivation is a feeling. It is sand in your palms, sensitive to even the slightest breeze.

So what force do we use to accomplish our goals if not motivation?

Discipline.

discipline

Courage is not the absence fear, but the ability to go on despite it.

Discipline is not the absence of avolition, but the pledge to push forward regardless of it’s presence.

Discipline is the force that will be with you no matter what you are thinking or how you are feeling at the time.

No matter what you try to achieve, you will need it. From dieting, to writing a book, to cutting back on your swearing, discipline is the greatest force behind all improvement.

Here are a couple of things I have learned about discipline and how to cultivate it.

Discipline is one day at a time.

I have a little green book in the drawer beside me that I haven’t opened since last august, until today.

This book was my first conscious attempt at developing my discipline, although I had no idea what I was doing at the time.

It has a check list. Read, Write, Gym, 10 Ideas, 8 Hours of sleep.

When I started this book I hadn’t turned any of these things into concrete habits. I tried doing it all at once.

Every day I would put check marks beside what I did and rate myself out of 5.

It started off well, but quickly got ugly.

What I didn’t know at the time is that it is impossible to completely change your life overnight.

Developing your discipline is a life long pursuit. One that most of us don’t consciously pursue.
We aren’t all monks.

Every day try to exercise your discipline just one time. Pick the smallest habit you can and start there. Mine was making breakfast every morning.

That single habit, that single discipline workout every morning, changed my life.

For best results, treat your body with respect.

Everything that you accomplish in your life will stem from your mind. Your mind and the various states you put it through can decide whether you get closer to a better life, or slip further away.

If you are hungry, tired or stressed it will affect everything you do.

You should always make it a priority to get the proper amount of sleep and eat regularly. If you treat your body with disrespect, you will not get anything good from it.

Eating breakfast changed my life because it gave me energy in the morning and encouraged me to get more sleep so that I could wake up early enough to cook.

Your body doesn’t need to be a temple, but don’t let it turn into a garbage dump.

Forgive yourself and move on.

This is another major theme in life. If developing your discipline is a life long pursuit, then it only makes sense that every once and a while you are going to falter.

If you beat yourself up, you are more likely to spiral out of control and end up right back at square one.

Getting angry at yourself will solve nothing. If you fall, get back up as soon as possible and move on.

Today was an exercise in discipline for me.

I didn’t really have the motivation to write today. I have two days off, I’m tired, and it’s thanksgiving. If I wanted to I could have used these things as excuses to skip writing.

But this is where discipline, that little muscle that could, comes in. I know the exact moment that I don’t want to do something when I know I should, is when I have to call upon that little friend.

I have a lot of other things I plan to do today. Some of them will get done, but maybe I’ll miss a few.

That’s okay. I’m not perfect. But I’d like to believe I’m better than I was yesterday.

Happy thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians.
As always, I’ll see you next Sunday.

How To: Cure the Block

I have writer’s block today. I almost never have writer’s block. My ideas and thoughts usually flow naturally. For the most part, writing an article just comes second nature.

But, today is different for some reason. I’m going to diagnose my problem, treat it (by finishing this article) and, hopefully, sleep well tonight, knowing that I wrote something half decent.

The-10-Common-Types-of-Writers-Block-and-How-to-Overcome-Them-Quickly

Here goes:

A) Increase Blood Flow

When I wrote that first part of the post, it was early in the morning. Now, as I am writing this, I feel more at ease. Why?

I just finished an intense workout routine. I feel all the blood flowing through my body. Exercise is effective at getting your blood moving through your brain and getting those creative juices flowing.

Even something moderate. For me it was intense, but something as simple as a walk outside will clear your head for those creative juices.

B) Surround Yourself with Different Surroundings

Leave your mundane writing environment and start somewhere new. In most cases, I write my articles in my room, most of the time in my underwear (that’s an unwanted image).

Sometimes, I feel like I have no inspiration to write. Similar to the previous point, walking outside helps with that. Surrounding yourself with fresh air and new environments will produce new ideas.

C) Use Stimulants

I’m not a fan of drugs, as most of you know. By stimulants, I mean something that perks you up. For me, I use tea.

Daily teas are part of my routine because it gives me a little peak of energy. Similarly, you can use coffee as a substitute.

I can’t do coffee anymore. I had a serious addiction and decided to quit cold turkey. Now, the smell of coffee makes me gag. In my opinion, tea is just as effective without the after-jitters.

D) Read

I think reading can solve most of your problems. For example, after reading this article, you will overcome your writer’s block. If I’m stuck, I will read one chapter from three different books.

I read one chapter from a self-help book, one from the fiction category and one from any science category (most of the time, it’s psychology).

Reading three different chapters from three topics allows my brain to have idea sex. I mix all three different thoughts together. You can always combine ideas from different topics.

This fresh perspective will give you something to write about.

E) Make an Outline

If you have different topics already in mind, write a rough sketch of it. Figure out your main topics and make points. Make these points as simple as possible.

Your goal here is to write as many points as possible. Don’t worry about good and bad points or expanding on anything. Write enough to jog your memory later. Once you’ve compiled a list, go back and revise.

Cut out all the fat.

F) Just Start

Stop thinking about the writer’s block and just start with something. It can be nonsensical garbage, but just start writing.

“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop” – Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)

Sometimes all your brain needs is to put down some words. The more you get down, the easier it will be to continue.

G) Write Daily

Writer’s block doesn’t affect me as much as it first used to. I think the main reason is because I write everyday, even at a minimal capacity.

In the barest of bones, writing is a skill. Like any skill, the only way to improve is through dedicated practice (more on skills here). Dedicated practice hones my ability to write.

I looked at my first post (check it out here) and it pales in comparison to my recent works. I am improving, albeit slightly. These slight improvements continue to stack until writer’s block is basically nonexistent.

There you have it. I have completed my article. I feel like I can sleep well tonight. I think I’ve written a winner here.

Remember, don’t force anything. If you have insomnia, you can’t force yourself to sleep. If you are truly stuck, I implore you to try out the previous techniques. They have helped me in the past and even through this current block.

How do you overcome the dreaded block? Did any of these tips help you? Please comment below. My readers and I value your input. Thank you in advance.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

One Simple Fitness Principle

I definitely need to preface this by saying that I am not an expert in this field, nor have I received any formal education on this topic.

I am purely speaking from life experiences and a compendium of research, that I have personally sent through my bullshit filter. Keeping that in mind, please consult your doctor before engaging in any physical activity.

In the purest understanding, fitness is a very subjective topic. Everyone has his or her own opinions on what works and what do not. Fitness is a combination of ‘research’ and bro-science.

For this reason, fitness has become a convoluted topic, with varying opinions filled with incredibly adamant people affirming their knowledge.

My base understanding of fitness consists of one core principle: Be active everyday. By being active everyday, I mean, doing any sort of physical activity. I intentionally make it sound vague.

When I first started ‘working out,’ it consisted of playing unorganized sports with friends. I wasn’t naturally gifted in any sport, but I enjoyed the act of running around with a basketball or a soccer ball.

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Key Principle – Be Active Everyday

Find something you thoroughly enjoy doing and all of the other elements of fitness will fall into place naturally. To stay fit in the long run, you need to see fitness as children do – for fun.

When it starts becoming work, you slowly consume willpower and eventually fall off. You have a limited amount of willpower each day. As we get older, we use up willpower on chores, kids, wives (and husbands), making dinner and taking out the garbage. Often, fitness is the first thing on the chopping block.

When you do something you enjoy, you take willpower out of the equation. Your natural inclination will be to gradually increase your workout. You continue to do it because you want to and enjoy it.

When you’re active everyday, your body feels good about it. Your brain releases endorphins (more on that topic here) and it will become easier to continue. It slowly becomes a daily habit and your natural inclination for variety will drive you to do more stuff over time.

I don’t recommend any sort of workout plan or system for fitness. Why, because what works for me, may (or may not) necessarily work for you. Everyone is different.

No matter how charismatic that exercise guru on your DVD sounds, don’t believe that someone else’s fitness plan will work for you. What you need is a natural and easy way to evolve into a fitness routine that works for your brain and body.

Any fitness routine that depends on willpower, will inevitably fail. Or worse, another part of your life will get affected when you divert willpower to fitness.

Routine

Construct some sort of scheduled routine for daily exercise. Join an organized team; exercise at around the same time everyday, or workout with a partner, friend, or spouse.

This will be the core to constructing a habit. Taking rest days between exercise days breaks up the pattern that creates habits. It becomes too easy to say today is a one of your non-exercise days, and maybe tomorrow too.

No Pain, No Gain

I’ve tried the ‘pushing yourself till you can’t’ system a few times. It has always failed for me (but maybe you’re different). For me, the ‘no pain, no gain’ system takes too much willpower. If I suck up willpower at the gym, I can barely resist binge eating after.

Secondly, this system puts additional stress on my body. My body is sore and debilitated. The soreness is like a penalty for exercising. When I had a penalty every time, it gave me a reason to stop and it was usually along the lines of “I’m too sore to workout today.”

I Don’t Feel Like Working Out

So how do you muster up the energy on those days where you just want to sit on the couch with a bowl of chocolate almonds and sloth out? The system that I found works best is setting a time frame.

On those days, I usually tell myself that in X amount of time, I will get up and go be active. I will allow myself to sloth out a little bit, but as the deadline to activity slowly approaches, I feel my energy begin to rise.

Another method that I have tried is putting on my workout clothes and going to the gym. When I’ve arrived at the gym, I usually do some form of activity because it would be a large waste of time otherwise.

Regardless of how you personally view fitness, the central point is to be deliberately active every single day. Being active is one of the essential maxims for good health – diet, being another maxim. Be active for your spouse and kids. But more importantly, be active for yourself.

Be bold, be free, and love on.