A Sedentary Life WILL Inevitably Kill Us.

A set of common complaints most of us have are, ‘I have too many problems. I can’t deal with these problems. I wish I didn’t have so many problems. I wish my life were easier.’

But what is an easy life?

Is it a picture perfect neighborhood with white picket fences and perfectly groomed lawns? Is a life without problems and when they do arise, they’re solved like the ending of family sitcom?

Would that make us satisfied?

I think a life devoid of challenge, problems and tough times is far worse than any picturesque sitcom life. Such a life would not be satisfying mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

Life is meant to be challenging, difficult and arduous. Without these integral characteristics of life, we would often feel unfulfilled and unhappy.

All of our growth, progression and perspective in life directly erupt from our challenges and experiences. In these moments, all our mental and physical strength is galvanized towards a specific moment, as we harness the hidden power deep within ourselves to overcome any feat.

The perfect life leaves us sedentary. If we don’t constantly chase never-ending improvement, we will eventually become unsatisfied with our circumstances.

Soon we will start feeling unsatisfied with the white picket fences and the perfectly groomed lawns. Without real problems to challenge us, we will lose the drive to improve.

Perspective of Problems

Our problems gives us the opportunity to grow and improve, but only if we view them as such.

When we are faced with problems, we can feel and think only one of two ways-The positive or the negative.

Two Twins

Who we choose to embody will inevitably change our perspective. Weighing the circumstances, which person – the negative or the positive – will produce the better result?

Which perspective will make us stronger, or, conversely, weaker? In the ultimate end, who we embody is completely our choice.

We can choice to be wholly negative and wish for the picturesque white picket fences, or we can be wholly positive, push through our problems with great stride and grow stronger.

Until next time, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free, and love on.

jack

Our Fears Are A Double-Edged Sword

I once watched a woman on Maury who was terrified of cotton balls. She would dream of a giant cotton ball man murdering her most nights.

She was so terrified that she hardly left the house. She succumbed to the fear and it consumed her entire life.

We all have fears. Some of us are terrified of spiders or heights and some fears are more rational than others.

My main fear is failure. I’m afraid of disappointing others, failing to accomplish my dreams and goals, and failing myself.

Failure will inevitably destroy us if we allow it. It has the power to paralyze our bodies and leave us broken and sedentary.

It makes us tremble, keeps us from leaping into new experiences and challenges. It debilitates our growth process and hinders our ability to learn.

These are my fears, and maybe if you experience the same ones, we can learn from them together.

A) Failure as a fellow human

Sometimes I am afraid that I am not enough for others. Sometimes I feel like I should do more, say more, and be more.

The thought of letting the people I love down feels soul crushing.

With this thought in the forefront of my mind, I aim to be more present, more appreciative and more loving.

Let us all aim to be stronger individuals towards others – friends, partners and strangers alike – and aim to impact each and every individual we encounter in a wholly positive manner.

B) Failure to pursue my passion

Sometimes I am afraid that I will never reach my goals. While these moments are seldom, they come rushing and almost overcome my entire being.

The thought of not reaching my potential feels soul crushing.

With this thought in the forefront of my mind, I aim to work harder, smarter and use my time wisely. We should never compromise our passion and life to pursue work that does not truly make us happy.

Let us all aim to pursue our passions, so our work-life and passions become intertwined into one sole entity.

Our energy and life is limited. Why should we spend one single moment not being completely content in our work life?

C) Failure as myself

Sometimes I am afraid that I will never be truly enough for myself. Sometimes insecurities resurface and it can be hard to wrap my head around it.

The thought of succumbing to my insecurities feels soul crushing.

With this thought in the forefront of my mind, I aim to battle the insecurities head on. Work through them one by one and leave them broken and battered on the floor.

Let us all cast away our insecurities in the successful attempt to grow into the strongest version of ourselves. Everyone has insecurities that resurface from time-to-time, but let us never allow time to wallow in them.

Fear as a Stepping-Stone

As debilitating as fear can be, it is completely necessary for us to grow and progress. Fear is an astounding motivator. It is our worst enemy, but it can also be our best friend.

When my fears of failure resurface, there are only two options: succumb and wallow or fight and grow.

The latter is more appealing than the former. Without our fears, we would never truly understand where our weak points lie and what we must do in order to grow. 

Even though the worst thing I can think of in life is failing others and myself, I am very grateful for all my fears. Without my fears, I would never truly understand the importance of presence, hard work, appreciativeness, passion and love.

However, while putting all this out in the universe, I wonder if there are others that fear the same things.

Or, maybe, all my fears are just as irrational as a giant cotton ball man murdering me.

Until next time, my beautiful readers,

Be bold, be free, and love on.

The Reason YOU Are Unfulfilled At Work AND Home

Not many people are happy with their jobs.

The jobs I’ve worked in the past usually make it on the “Top ten worst jobs” lists.

I’ve worked filling stock at a discount grocery store, bussing tables at restaurants, and the holy grail of all terrible jobs: Door to door and telemarketing sales.

Even though this seems like a recipe for a depressing life, I’ve always enjoyed my work and derived great meaning from it.

Most people work jobs that don’t fulfill them, then at home they laze around until the next shift—which isn’t very fulfilling either.

So why are we leading lives that have left us so unfulfilled?

We’ve Completely Separated Work And Play.

We’re not having any fun at work, and we’re not seeking any challenge at home.

One thing I’ve learned throughout my study of happiness is that finding meaning or purpose in your daily activities is an absolutely necessary ingredient for a long lasting sense of fulfillment.

If you don’t derive meaning from your work, and your free time is devoid of any effort or challenge, then you may be on your way to a crisis.

Finding Meaning At Crappy Jobs.

I’ve always enjoyed myself at work because I didn’t see my job as meaningless. I tried to somehow fit my work into the bigger picture or gain whatever meaning I could from those menial tasks.

When I was doing door to door I worked with a lot of miserable people. They only saw the negatives.

“It’s so hot out and we’ve been walking for hours!”
“There is too much pressure, if I don’t get commission my cheques are so small!”
“We have to work every Saturday and I never go out anymore!”

Don’t get me wrong, those points are valid. The job sucked sometimes.

But I chose to focus on something different. I would focus on my interactions with the people I was talking to. Every time someone opened a door I saw it as an opportunity to share a connection with someone new.

We joked, we laughed, we complimented each other, we even ended up talking about life over tea.

You would seriously be surprised how many people invited me into their homes and shared a real connection with me once I stopped focusing on the negatives, and started to find the meaning in my work.

Crafting Your Job To Cultivate Fulfillment.

Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski has done a lot of research into figuring out how people derive meaning from their work. She found that you can become happier with your job whether you are a CEO, a sales rep, or even a janitor at a hospital through what she calls “job crafting.”

In one study she observed a group of hospital cleaners who found their jobs boring and meaningless, and another that found their work to be engaging and fulfilling.

The second group would ‘craft’ their job in creative ways. They would engage more with nurses, patients and doctors, taking it upon themselves to uplift the mood of the people around them.

In general, the second group crafted a perception of their job that saw themselves as an indispensable cog in a well oiled machine. They weren’t just cleaning garbage, they were helping their hospitals run smoothly and contributing to a cause that saved lives.

In this mindset, these hospital janitors could find more fulfillment in their jobs than some of the doctors who might just be looking for a paycheque.

But finding fulfillment at work is only one half of the problem. We have to find fulfillment at home as well.

All Play And No Work Makes Jack An Unfulfilled Boy.

After a long day at work it is understandable that we want to relax, but it is possible to relax too much.

When we separate work from play, avoiding all effort and challenge in our free time, we are robbing ourselves of a fulfilling personal life.

In the book “Happier” by Tal Ben Shahar, Ph.D. he examines many interesting studies that look into the relationship between challenge, happiness and fulfillment.

One study in particular run by Donald Hebb jumped out at me.

In 1930 six hundred students between the ages of six and fifteen were told that they no longer needed to do any school work. If they misbehaved, their punishment was more recess. If they behaved, their reward was more schoolwork.

Hebb quickly discovered that “In these circumstances, all of the pupils discovered within a day or two that, within limits, they preferred work to no work (and incidentally learned more arithmetic and so forth than in previous years).”

Even children—who are notoriously opposed to work and love to play—realize very quickly that they would not enjoy a life devoid of challenge.

Without challenge we don’t grow, without growth we feel stuck.

Challenging Yourself At Home.

If you’re job isn’t providing you with the growth and challenge that you need for long term happiness, you have to find it at home.

That is why I learned drums, why I study self development and write these articles.

The good thing about challenging yourself in your free time is that you get to do everything on your terms.

You can pick something that you truly enjoy, even if it is just playing video games. Just be sure that you are challenging yourself, learning, and gaining some sense of meaning and fulfillment from your activities.

Breaking down the barrier between work and play is the key to fulfillment. When you are at work, have fun with with it, share connections and find meaning. When you are at home don’t just relax all the time, challenge yourself and learn something new.

It’s a challenge in itself to break down this deep rooted barrier, but if we can accomplish this, we can lead truly fulfilling lives at work and at home.

fulfillHow do you view your job to gain fulfillment?
How do you challenge yourself in your free time?
Discuss in the comments!

How To Escape From A Rut

I’ve been in a complete standstill for the last three weeks. I was stuck, unhappy and saw no end to it. But, today is the first day I actually feel ‘alive.’

I made a conscious decision to pick myself up by the bootstraps and start anew. I realized three things that pulled me out and, today, I started my day properly.

It begins with a change in perspective.

Realize that it will end

In the natural progression of life, standstills will happen. They will occur frequently and, perhaps, for extended periods of time. But realize this portion of your life is short-lived.

You will feel better, if you allow yourself to.

Life occurs in cycles. As sure as the seasons change from fall to winter, spring to summer, so will your ups and downs. At some point in your life, ruts will occur, but don’t wallow. Realize it and push through.

Use it to grow stronger

In my last article, I mentioned that every negative situation has a positive. Well, every bad stretch serves a purpose to your larger life.

This bad portion, for lack of better words, is bad. But treasure and notice the changes.

A stronger person is born out of ruts because you learn. You learn how to manage debilitative emotions, how to handle lack of progression, and how to pull yourself out.

Take this valuable knowledge and store it in your back pocket. When the next one occurs, you apply it and learn more, carrying little bits of knowledge throughout your entire life.

Actively search for solutions while you’re in this phase. Every rut has a silver lining. Explore it.

Have an end goal

I don’t know the exact reason for my rut. I woke up and felt different. This different feeling held on for the next three weeks. Maybe I let school or my relationships get to me.

Regardless of the reason, when I look forward, everything changes. In a few months, I’ll be done school and moving out. That is my end goal. This rut is a momentary.

Everything changes when I enter a new phase in my life and that excites me. It breathes new life into my lungs.

Have a goal solidified in your head. Keep the image strong and push toward it. Through your rut, hold it firm and be steadfast. Goals are important to give you that little extra nudge.

Ruts will occur. It keeps life different and interesting. If we didn’t have them, we would probably complain about a mundane life. If we didn’t have them, we wouldn’t be able to cope.

And, worst of all, we wouldn’t grow as a person. Growth is the central purpose in life. Through ruts, we become stronger, happier and more fulfilled.

We can learn a lot from them. So don’t toil and wallow. Stop, learn and progress.

Be bold, be free and love on.

Man Sitting In Valley