1 Painless Tip You Need To Adjust With Sudden Change

…And my university is on strike. That’s great! That’s exactly what I needed.

-Insert my very sarcastic face here-

I don’t know how long this will hold out for, but the last time it lasted four months.

I was supposed to finish and graduate school in March, move out and start my life. I was supposed to focus on 2HelpfulGuys and write more, make more videos, and really start to focus on helping people.

I was supposed to do a lot of things, but it all hinged on school ending. Now everything is ruined. Everything is going to spiral and go downhill.

But wait, maybe it isn’t as bad as I think it is. I wrote previously that there is a positive in every situation. Maybe there is a glimmer of light somewhere in this.

I’ve discovered it over the course of the last two days. It was a valuable lesson that I needed to learn and, hopefully, you can learn as well.

Sometimes Strikes Happen

That’s just the fact of the matter. It can’t be avoided and it can’t be altered. Sometimes, things just don’t pan out the way you want.

I’ve governed the last 8 months of my life with a regimented strict routine. Sometimes there were little blips. Every time that happened, I whined a little bit.

“Oh man. I can’t believe X, Y, and Z just happened. Now my entire schedule is ruined.” 

I ruined my own day, all by myself. But in reality, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Everything carried on. I was okay. I was alive. I was still breathing.

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. Sometimes life wants to see how you work under pressure. Life wants you to grow and transform, with each pitch it dishes out.

Change is meant to keep you on your toes, to keep you nimble and ready. Acknowledge the change as ‘good’ and carry on.

When is Change Bad?

My change was a strike, and that’s manageable. But sometimes, life throws you a huge life-changing curveball.

Someone close to you passes away, you may lose your job suddenly, or you fail your family, or worse, yourself.

It’s easy to say, “just make some lemonade, when life hands you lemons.” However, fact of the matter, we all cope differently, but we sometimes we just can’t make lemonade.

Sometimes the pressures of life closes you in this tiny inescapable box and all you want to do is have just one breathe of fresh air.

We’ve all been there. I know I have.

Take a break from it all. Allow yourself to be upset and remorseful. We are not emotionless automatons. Those emotions are natural and you should experience them.

Look inward, deep inside yourself and you will find solace. Then, look outward, to your support system and you will find solace.

We all share these bad life-changing curveballs. Confide in someone. People naturally want to help each other, for the plain reason that we, ourselves, were once alone and stuck in that oxygen-less box.

Accept.

When you expect a straight ball, life decides to pitch you curve. Be aware, be ready, and invite it. Use it as a stepping-stone to the stronger version of yourself.

In wake of the curveball, ultimately we must accept it. The ball curved, it already happened and it can’t be undone. Give yourself some time and allow yourself to move on.

For me, this strike is literally life changing. But it’s time for me to accept and move on.

I hope you do the same with all your curveballs. And for whatever struggle you’re facing, Steven and I are here to help.

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

Seven Methods To Deal With Your Worries

I’ve been running around like a headless chicken. This last week of school has been agony. It has been sucking my soul. Today has been one of those days where nothing seems to click. I woke up worried.

I woke up thinking about all the assignments I have due over the next few days. I even forgot to write an article for today. I feel like this article is rushed. These worries are taking over.

It happens to everyone, but this isn’t a side of me that I like very much. It’s dramatic, but when you get caught up in the moment it can feel like you’re drowning. All you want is a breath of fresh air.

Today I want to focus on solutions rather than problems so let’s ignore the thousands of hours I could spend figuring out the why, and instead, focus on the how. How am I going to get rid of these worries? Here’s what I came up with:

1) Write it down and throw it away.

I find it incredibly therapeutic to, first, be able to physically look at my worry, and then proceed to throw it out.

Throwing away your worries and stresses can have a profound effect. The physical act of writing down your negative thoughts and then throwing them away can be a mental cleanse.

2) Cancel rule.

I find this method extremely effective. The next time you worry and find yourself lost in your thoughts, start repeating ‘cancel’ to yourself.

Repeat the word ‘cancel’ over and over again, until the word itself means nothing. You will have derailed your negative train of thought and you can start to focus on something else other than your worries.

3) Confide in someone.

“A trouble shared is a trouble halved” – Chinese Proverb.

Sharing your worries with another person allows you tackle that stress with someone who may have encountered the same problem. Everyone is human and they have the same worries that you do.

You’re not alone in this. Their guidance and objective perspectives could lead you to a revelation that you would have never reached otherwise.

4) Write your grateful list.

You don’t have to be surrounded by family eating turkey to be grateful. You will beat up, tired, lonely and heartbroken throughout this life. During these times being grateful for whatever you do have can be the only thing that saves you.

I jump to this tip as soon as I feel even a slight funk coming on. Write down ten things you are grateful for, or twenty, or thirty. As many as you need to remember that there is always something in your life worth feeling good about.

The worse off you are, the deeper you will have to dig. But if you find something to be grateful for at rock bottom, you’ll never have to worry about falling again.

5) Go for a walk.

Being in nature is calming – but even looking at an image of nature can decrease worry levels and increase positivity.

I love walking outside. The sights and smells have a very calming effect on my brain. Sometimes, I take the beauty of nature for granted. When you stop everything and go for a walk, you really start to appreciate the beauty around you.

That energy is transferred to me and leaves me with a renewed sense of vigor.

6) Breathe deeply.

Few people breathe properly. They have breathing that is shallow and faint because it’s left to the unconscious mind. Pay close attention to your breathing. Focus on your breath and feel it deep within your stomach.

It allows your body and brain to get a burst of oxygen, relieving any worries. There are a lot of little problems that can be worried over. The key to managing worry comes from ignoring these little problems and just taking a couple deep breaths to calm down.

Take thirty seconds to stop what you are doing and breathe. This always helps me. No matter what you are doing, you always have thirty seconds to spare. 

7) Ten-year trick.

I imagine myself ten years in the future, at a bar with friends. Everyone is laughing. We are talking about how funny it is that we used to think everything was such a big deal.

Then I break out my story about the current situation I am in and how trivial it really was. Of course everyone dies of laughter because the future me is hilarious.

Imagine what a funny story your current situation is going to be a couple years from now. This will help you keep things in perspective and move on from your worries in a more graceful fashion.

8) Reset tomorrow.

I lied. Sorry. But, I came up with one more.

Sometimes I am in a funk, I’ve tried everything, and there is no way out. At this point I remind myself that this is just a feeling, not who I am. Maybe today is a write off, but tomorrow is a new day.

Every morning begins anew. Focus on restarting tomorrow. Everything will be fine. Worries come and go, and no matter how big or small they are, there is always a resolve. The more you worry, the bigger it becomes and the longer it stays at the forefront of your mind.

They won’t go away unless you stop thinking about them. The more you think about your problems, the more your problems will multiply. Think positive thoughts and put on a brave face. If all else fails, reset tomorrow.

Thank you readers for helping me figure out my worries. I’m glad you’re on this journey with me.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Pour Out Your Soul, Fill The Void

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been depressed in the past. I’ve looked in the mirror without being able to understand the person looking back at me.

What do you want? What makes you happy? Why do you feel this void inside regardless of how things appear on the outside?

During these slumps I spent most of my time sleeping, eating out of boredom, devouring whole seasons of shows and consuming whatever I could to satisfy the feeling, or lack there of, inside me.
I felt unfulfilled and useless.

I still feel this way sometimes but I’ve learned how to push through it with one simple question that I ask myself every morning.

Do I want to be a consumer, or a producer?

Logically, if you feel an emptiness inside you, you are missing something that will make you feel complete again. I learned that this isn’t the case.

Instead of taking things in I started to pour everything out of myself. I poured out my heart, my emotions, my soul into my writing. It made me feel something that I hadn’t felt in a long time…

Producing pride.

Downward spirals and never ending consumption will lead to guilt. It’s a cycle. You’re empty so you try to distract or satisfy yourself with movies, video games or food but it doesn’t change anything and the more you consume, the more guilty and empty you feel.

Pouring out what you have left in you into something, anything, can make you proud again. You have something to look forward to instead of just passing the time.

It doesn’t have to be art.

You can start a business, volunteer to help build homes for people or even just create deeper connections with the people around you. As long as you are producing something that allows you to look forward and feel like you are useful.

Think of anything you can put into the world today and start on it. Happiness is more about where you are going than where you are now.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to take things in.

You just have to find a balance. Someone who spends all day being creative and working is bound to burn out eventually. That can be just as bad.

I feel that most people are unbalanced right now. As a society we have lost a lot of creativity and self-esteem. We think that we don’t have anything of value to add to the world, but imagine if people tried to live up to their full potential.

Imagine if they stopped trying to fill the void with material possessions, or distract themselves from it with movies, games and Facebook.

Writing in this blog and creating deeper connections with the people around me has helped me so much. I feel like I have something to offer the world again and although I go into slumps sometimes, I can pull myself out much quicker.

Maybe the void is meant to push you forward. I don’t know if I will ever be completely happy, but if I was, would I continue to push on?

I’ll probably never have to find out because the void is a part of me, and for now, I’ll pour out my soul from it.

With love,
Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys

The 3 Rules For A Good Life

What is a good life? Without getting too philosophical, I think a good life is only based on a few rules.

There are too many rules in life. I’m told to stand up straight, act a certain way; don’t use the salad fork for the steak.

What do you mean?

A FORK IS A FORK!

Amidst all the criticisms how do you live a good life? To be honest, I don’t know. But, here’s where I start:

1) Laughter

Every single day, I insert a reason to laugh. As children we laugh about 300 times a day. As an adult, that number is reduced to a meager 7.

SEVEN.

How did we go from 300 to 7?

Did we cross some bridge of agony and now here we are: Mindless drones that wake up, go to work, participate in office gossip, watch Breaking Bad, and then sleep and die?

Laughter is really hard as an adult. It must be, right? Going from 300 to 7? There must have been some sort of life-changing traumatic event that occurred between childhood and adulthood.

We need to get back to our childhood roots. We need to laugh more. Start here:

Standup – Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K. Gabriel Iglesias

T.V. Shows – Blue Mountain State, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Office

Movies– Anchorman, Happy Gilmore

YouTube – Our Own Gentlemen’s Corner (no list would be complete without it)

2) Be Grateful

Start your day with gratefulness. Before I get out of bed, every morning, I say ‘thank you.’ The simple-ness of living often gets taken for granted.

“But I’m drowning in debt. I have no friends. My family hates me.”

Even if it seems like you have nothing to be grateful for, there is always something. You can still breathe. You can still come up with ideas. You can still walk and eat and live.

In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of being grateful. You can check that out for more information.

Grateful-300x300

3) Never go to bed angry

I seldom get angry, but when it happens I make sure to deal with it immediately. Address it with the other and with yourself.

Your ego will not let it escape your thoughts. Cast your ego away. Allow those angry thoughts to float away into the wind.

Ask yourself, ‘how much does this matter?’

More often than not, it doesn’t.

Ending the day with anger sets the tone for your next day. Those thoughts fester in your sleep and you wake up with them, fresh in your head. Those thoughts will weigh you down.

Apologize or let it go completely. It’s not worth wasting your life over any problem.

For me, I know everything will be fine if I follow these consistently. And maybe, I can laugh, be grateful for the advice and shrug it off the next time someone tells me that I’m using the wrong fork.

Be bold, be free, and love on.