Four Pillars To A Fulfilling Life P.2

We believe that simplification is the key to living a fulfilling life. Sometimes we’re surrounded with too many distractions and people to think about our own lives.

But when you break it down, it is pretty straightforward. We believe that the key to a fulfilling life lies in four pillars: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Last week we covered the first two – physical and mental – so naturally this week, we’ll get to the last two – emotional and spiritual.

We’ve found that each of these ‘rules’ needs to be satisfied in order to keep our bodies and minds in complete working order.

We don’t believe that any one is more important than the other. Each pillar should be strived for equally. They are all important when chasing the fulfilling life.

Each pillar is a support beam holding up the building (your body and mind). Strong building blocks create a strong unshakeable fortress. When you are unshakeable, the world does not affect you and can live to your own volition.

Emotional

The emotional pillar solely consists of a single category – your relationships. Broken down into several subcategories – friends, intimate partners, co-workers and strangers – they can impact your mood, actions, and, in turn, your life.

Who you choose to surround yourself with directly affects the building blocks to your unshakeable fortress.

1) Friends

Your friends can make or break you. They can make you laugh uncontrollably or cry endlessly. Choose them wisely. Surround yourself with friends that have your best interests in mind. Friends that will help you in your time of need. Friends that can lift you up, when you’re down.

2) Intimate Partners

Your intimate partner can be the guiding light or the darkness in your life. Choose a partner that will challenge you and force you to grow. Someone that will tell you you’re wrong and pat you on the back when you’re right.

People stay in horrible relationships for a multitude of reasons – dependency, loneliness, and insecurity – but never realize that it’s toxic. Toxic relationships are a barrier to your end goal.

3) Co-Workers

You have direct power over the first two categories, but for co-workers, sometimes we’re stuck with negative, life-draining people. Co-workers that complain endlessly and demand our immediate attention for meaningless tasks and water-cooler gossip. Even so, you have some power.

Say you have work to and walk away or you can listen to them for a brief moment, but never give their negativity weight in your head. Let it enter your ears and immediately let the negativity vanish into the air.

4) Strangers

Strangers are the most insignificant group, but they also possess the most power. We seem to internalize their uninformed opinions of ourselves – body image, life choices or negativity – and allow it to affect our mood and actions.

Acknowledge these people as an insignificant group. Don’t give them the power over you. Take them with a grain of salt and shrug them away. Shrug away their negative opinions and little problems. They are there to pin you to their low level.

You are a compilation of the five closest people to yourself. If you surround yourself with toxic people, you eventually become toxic. Eventually, you’ll stop laughing, growing and appreciating as their negativity seeps into every orifice.

Spiritual

The spiritual pillar is completely open to interpretation. Whether you’re Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or any other faith, simply have something.

You don’t even need to be religious. You can simply just sit in silence everyday and meditate or believe and appreciate life itself. Whatever your beliefs consist of, just give yourself some time every single day to silently reflect.

When we work out, we’re told to allow our muscles some rest to recover. What about our most precious asset? The organ that completely affects all that we feel, manifest and do.

Sit down and think about absolutely nothing. Spend some time each day and simply practice gratitude. Gratitude for life, love and friendships. For the simple pleasures – water, food, ability to breathe – the things we often take for granted.

Your brain needs the same rest that your body craves after a long workout. The effects are immediate and drastic. Suspend the amazing feeling and continue to strive towards it each day.

We have found that when we simultaneously improve all four of these pillars, everything in our lives seems to fall into place.

We all face difficult times and unexpected problems. When we work everyday to improve our four pillars, no matter how great the struggle, we seem to overcome it easily.

Today and everyday, aim for constant improvement.

Until next time, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free and love on.

success28-1024x576

1 Timeless Way To Improve All Your Relationships

Most people will give you the same answer to the following question:

“Do you treasure your relationships?”

I asked myself that question yesterday and the answer was an obvious ‘yes!’ It is just a common trait that we share as social beings.

But then I asked myself a follow-up question. And most people, myself included, cannot answer with the same authenticity and assertion.

“How do you treasure your relationships?”

This question is a lot harder to answer. I found myself stuck, racking my brain for answers.

When was the last time I told someone I treasured them? When was the last time I paid a loved one a simple heartfelt compliment? Unfortunately, I have failed at this task.

While most people do treasure their relationships, they often forget to show it. Here’s how to remedy this major problem.

1. Friendships

My friends mean the world to me. I would do anything that is in my power to help them. Even if it were out of my power, I’d still attempt to move the world.

Most people would identify with the similar sentiment.

But it has been too long since I’ve said or did something that conveys my feelings. Today, I picked up the phone and told two of my friends that I love them. I told two of them, that I’m there for them no matter what.

I told two of them that they can vent and I’ll listen, they can cry and I’ll have a free shoulder, and they can feel lonely and I’ll always be behind them like their shadows.

Today, meet-up, call, text, email, Facebook, MySpace, or any other cryptic interaction you use and tell your friends that you treasure them.

2. Your Significant Other

I started seeing an amazing girl over the last month and half.

I treasure her. Every single moment that I share with her is never a waste. Every single moment has a burst of bliss, energy and affection. When I’m around her, I feel like that cartoon wolf with the bulging eyes and heart.

4ddabe041f80578b24f7fff63ef6c200

When was the last time you expressed how you felt to your girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse? When was the last time you told them that you felt like the cartoon wolf when you cast your eyes on them?

Tell them and show them through your eyes and ears. They don’t want your money or fancy gifts. They just want you, through and through, fully.

Today, stare into their eyes and say something meaningful and heartfelt.

3. Family

Their love and affection is almost expected and that’s a terrible way to live because we take them for granted. I am guilty of this and extremely embarrassed.

I’ll be moving out of the nest and spreading my wings next Friday and as that day nears, I find myself getting bluer.

That expected love and affection from my family will not be an everyday occurrence and it seems that I have not treasured them as much as I should of.

I’ll miss just simply talking to them about nothing, resting my head on their shoulders, or receiving a warm hug.

Today, rest your head on your families shoulder, hug them, and tell them that you appreciate and love them for everything.

4. Strangers

The sad fact is that not everyone has friends, significant others, or families to treasure. If you lack one, depend on the other two. And if you lack the above three, you can treasure this category of people.

When you interact with a stranger for a brief moment – a cashier, a banker, a co-worker or even a telemarketer can quickly become someone to treasure. As awkward as it may feel in the moment, tell the stranger that you appreciate them.

Watch how they react to your heartfelt words. They will blossom and unfold in front of your eyes. They will begin to glow and radiate warmth towards you.

Telling or showing your loved ones that you care and treasure them will change and improve all your relationships. It produces profound affects on anyone you interact with.

Today, I hope you take a little bit of time out of your schedule and treasure your relationships. It is as simple as listening, asking, and cherishing, complimenting, being and loving.

As always, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Three Keys To Improving ANY Relationship

Improving relationships with friends and significant others is a common goal amongst people. People want to connect more with others, on a deeper level.

That has led me to consciously consider my interactions and change them. It begins with having a good intention.

We meet great people and we’re so overwhelmed with excitement. We build this amazing relationship with that person and everything is great.

But then, the excitement dwindles and we get caught in a routine and we start to develop little pet peeves. That initial spark is forgotten. That zest of why the person was great eventually fades.

To create, improve or rejuvenate a once great relationship, your intention must be to be great. You have to make the other person feel great. You have to make the other person feel appreciated and loved. It’s difficult and we all fail, but I think these three methods can strengthen and improve any relationship.

Key #1 –  Be Present

I went out with this girl for coffee. Midway through, her phone rang and she was on it for 15 minutes, as I stared in dismay. After her social call, she couldn’t let go of her phone, constantly texting or fiddling.

She was sharing her eye contact between her phone and I. She couldn’t give me her undivided attention for longer than three minutes. I find that incredibly problematic.

Most issues in relationships are caused by a lack of attention. You cannot show respect to someone, pick up on peoples’ non-verbal cues or feelings and completely understand the other person unless you’re completely present in their lives.

But, you can stand out. You can be the anomaly. Make a meaningful connection with your eyes and body, be present and envelope them with your unhindered presence.

Leave your phone on silent when you’re with loved ones. Or just leave it at home, and go for a walk with the person. Give them your undivided attention and they will understand how much they mean to you.

The cellphone ding makes people feel important, but what’s more important than the person across from you sharing a coffee right now?

Key #2 – Appreciate Them

Most people get wrapped up in the idea that appreciation involves extravagant gifts or these large spectacles like writing ‘thank you” in the sky. I thought I needed those to show people how much I cared for them.

But people don’t want your gifts. They just want to be appreciated, appreciated for all the little things they do, and feel and, most importantly, appreciated for who they are.

Appreciate who they are as a human being and, above all, be there for them. Be there when they need you, and be there even when they don’t.

Through all their ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ and trials and tribulations, they want to know that you’re there and that you truly care.

The people in your life want to feel your real appreciation. Thank you loses its’ meaning the more you say it. Instead, say ‘I appreciate you for…’

Key #3 – Make Complimenting a Daily Habit

There is a lot of power in words and they often get taken for granted. We think nice things about our friends and significant others, but rarely express them.

It seems like criticism gets more of the spotlight than compliments. In reality, compliments should be dominating the life-stage.

We’ve become people that forgot how to say nice things. When was the last time you complimented your friend or significant other? Personally, it has been three days and that’s a long time to hold nice comments in.

Make it a daily habit, or instead, a challenge, to compliment someone you care about. Solidify it into your daily routine and don’t feel completely fulfilled until you’ve made someone’s day through your words.

Say something meaningful and unique to make each compliment really matter. Make the person in your life feel like there is no one else deserving of those words in that very moment. True compliments arise from love and adoration.

This is the hardest step of the three because it requires both of the above steps. You need to be present to recognize the little quirks and you need to be able to appreciate that person for who they are.

These methods will change and impact your relationships in a very significant way. They are simple and just require a little presence, appreciation, and daily kind words.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

relationship1

A Problem Person or A Solution Person?

Everyday we’re confronted by problems and challenges in varying degrees. They are seemingly endless. “My boss hates me! I can’t deal with Sally. I have no friends.”

With each passing day, more seem to arise, till they consume us. The only thing you crave is a breath of fresh air, as you desperately gasp.

Running away isn’t a permanent solution. You have to deal with them head on. You have the option between two different types of people.

Are You a Problem Person?

Unfortunately, the majority is this person. Sometimes, I’m this person. I focus on the problems and wallow in them, letting them consume me, till they affect everything.

Thoughts, feelings, and habits all go down the tubes, as I internally scream, ‘why me!’

This type of person is only concerned with one thing – when is the next problem going to arise? They expect more problems, and it’s almost like, they need the problems.

They need them to self-identify with a helpless self, with a vulnerable and weak self. Recently, I allowed my problems free reign over my thoughts. They ran like a broken record, over and over.

But I came out of it. How? I self-identified with a different kind of person.

Be a Solution Person

I sat down with my good friend, old-fashioned pen and paper. I jotted down my problems with little dashes beside them. I tried to come up with as many solutions as possible.

It took a very, very long time and most of them were unusable, far-fetched even. But there they were, on paper. After two hours and thirty-six ideas, one was decent enough to implement.

Be the person to seek actionable steps to your problems. Figure out a way to get yourself through your struggles. Internal and external problems can all be solved with conscious realization.

Confront your boss and ask what you can do better. If he still hates you, quit, find another job. Trying to satisfy someone who cannot be satisfied isn’t worth your sanity.

Is Sally really worth all the trouble she’s giving you? Maybe she’s a complaining acquaintance. Walk away. Maybe she’s a close friend or family. Walking away isn’t realistic. Limit contact. You don’t need the added negativity.

You don’t need friends to be happy. Find happiness in yourself. When you fix yourself, you can show everyone how amazing you are. Approach strangers, listen openly, ask questions, and be present in their lives. Help them first, and they will help you. Be their friend first, and they will be yours.

It is significantly harder to figure out solutions, than it is to wallow in your problems. But, with the prospect of retrieving control of your feelings and habits, it’s well worth the extra struggle.

Start the habit of creating solutions. It will be hard. It will take a very long time. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Eventually, you will be able to solve all your problems without struggling. You’ll be able to solve other peoples’ problems.

I’m not at that level yet. I still have to figure out all my problems. But I know if I practice enough, I can be a true solution person.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

pronl

How To Escape Loneliness

Our family surrounds us at birth, and they’re present for the most part throughout your life, but they never warned you of the loneliness in this world. They never prepared you for the harsh truths and rough life that you may lead.

You were thrown headfirst endlessly seeking happiness and pleasure. Through the entire journey you fall and fail, and fall and fail some more, trying to find a speck of happiness in someone or something.

Your Social Circle

I depend on my social circle to a very large degree. I don’t know who I would be without them. I would be lost.

But before this blissful time, I was hopelessly alone. All through elementary and high school, I just had myself. I was ridiculed and severely unhappy.

In elementary school, I would pretend I was sick and stay home. In high school, I hung out with the librarian and that was where I would eat my lunches, while he talked about his war stories and medical history.

Neither of us enjoyed it.

Your significant other

One of the earliest memories of relationships was from grade 3. Susie was her name. Or maybe, it was Suzy? I told her I liked her, and she screamed and ran away. All the kids made fun of me. I was unhappy.

So what? If girls had cooties, I was okay with it.

Apparently, my peers weren’t. I never had another relationship until high school, which ended terribly and I was emotionally destroyed. After the break-up, I would work seventy-hour weeks just to drown out the emptiness I felt.

Work, work, sleep, and repeat.

Curtis had an xbox

The kid down the street had an Xbox. I hated him. I wanted an Xbox. I deserved one. I got decent grades and I never hurt anyone. Why did he get one and I didn’t?

His parents were rich.

Maybe you have both, friends and a significant other, but something is missing. Your social life is flourishing, but you need an xbox to be happy. That will impress others! If others are impressed, they’ll like you and you’ll be happy.

But then I got that Xbox, and I had a sense of bliss for a little while. But, no one was impressed, no one liked me, and I wasn’t happy.

What’s the solution?

I like to think all factors in my life as external factors. These only supplement happiness, but they don’t provide baseline happiness.

Baseline happiness comes from inside you. It comes from own self-realization that you’re worthy to be happy. Everyone can be happy, but it must come from within.

My friends provide additional happiness, but, first, the baseline must be achieved. In order to make friends, I had to be happy first. I had to realize that I am worthy enough to have friends.

I don’t have a significant other to share everything. However, I am happy, and in time, someone significant will come, but only after I’ve accepted myself wholly.

Xbox and copious amounts of money will not bring you happiness. It might make your life easier for a little bit. But it’s never enough. The richest people are also the most unfulfilled. They realized, the hard way, that money can’t buy happiness. You will be able to have anything you want, but in the end, those items bring just momentary happiness.

When you are able to be happy alone, everything else falls in place. You have to discover intrinsic happiness for yourself. Being happy will take work and time, but search for it.

Give yourself a moment each day to figure out what happiness means to you, what it will take, and how you can achieve it today. Happiness varies from person to person. Discover it for yourself.

Be bold, be free, and love on.