How To Push Through Obstacles

When I moved out of my parents house this year, it was a scary process. My end goal was to live on my own and start to manage my own life, but every step of the way I faced obstacles I didn’t anticipate.

It had to be in our budget, it had to allow pets and it had to be close enough to all three of our work places.

After painstaking efforts to find somewhere that met all the criteria we had to gather all of our information and convince the landlords that we were the best tenants.

Finally we got the place and moved in, I thought it was all sunshine from there.

But boy was I wrong.

We had trouble getting the internet working, paying bills for the first time, figuring out groceries and a hundred other obstacles. To this day at least one house related obstacle pops up per week.

Right now, here at 2HelpfulGuys, we are in the middle of writing a book. I can already imagine the hundreds of hurdles that we are going to have to conquer.

Nothing you do will ever come without an obstacle or two so here are my tips to help you push through them and accomplish your goals.

Obstacles are a part of life.

The first thing that will help you push through these pesky obstacles is realizing that obstacles are unavoidable.

They are going to pop up, you can’t stop it. Even if you anticipate as many obstacles as you can, you are still going to run into a few nasty surprises along the way.

For your own sanity, it’s best that you become friends with obstacles.

Use obstacles to help you improve.

By definition an obstacle will help you improve and grow. If you didn’t need to grow to get past the obstacle, then it wouldn’t be an obstacle. It would just be another walk in the park.

When you realize that every obstacle matures your abilities and your drive, you will begin to become excited to face them.

Relish the opportunity to conquer something. It will only lead to more victories.

Break down your obstacles.

When you first encounter an obstacle it is almost always daunting. When you see a mountain from far away you think to yourself “It must be impossible to climb to the top! Look how high it is!”

But when you get closer you start to see the individual paths you can hike. You see it broken down into details that are easier to conquer one by one.

Do this with every obstacle you face. Break it down into small bite size pieces and start chewing.

Never give up.

Some people say Edison tried up to ten thousand different prototypes for the light bulb. Even though the first nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine didn’t work, he refuse to say that he ever failed.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
-Thomas Edison

This is the way you need to think. Every time you try something that doesn’t work you are getting closer to finding what does work.

I’ve learned that nothing you try will ever work the first time. Or maybe you’re lucky and you can get a hole in one.
I never can.

Learning to be okay with being wrong is the most important skill you will ever gain.

Keep being wrong until you find what is right. Just make sure you don’t give up.

As always, I’ll see you next Friday.

With Love,
Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys

One Simple Tip to A Better Life

The girl I was with recently said, ‘How are you so confident?’

The truth is, I don’t know. The majority of my life was spent an unconfident mess. There is something wrong with being unconfident.

In my last article, I referred to being confident as absolutely essential to getting a job. In general, I believe that confidence is essential to leading a fulfilled life.

Confidence allows you to decide what you want and when you want it. It allows you to grow as person.

So few people are confident. People are scared or worried of everything. I was scared of failing, scared of embarrassment, and scared of rejection.

But, it was my job to overcome it.

I tried to retrace my journey towards confidence. Here’s what I came up with:

A) Friends

When I was a teenager, my mom wanted to inspect my friends. She made sure that I didn’t associate with ‘bad people.’ At that time it meant, ‘the thugs that drank on park benches.’

She realized that friends DIRECTLY impacted a person. Whether they are positive or negative influences, they eventually rub off on you.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

If you want to be confident, it starts with your inner circle. I was fortunate enough to stumble into my circle. It consists of extremely confident and positive people. They have had profound effects on my personality.

I urge you to shed the toxic, negative relationships in your life and pursue ones that will impact you positively.

B) Absorb Knowledge

PURSUE IT. I know it sounds simple, but most don’t do it. Learn everything you possibly can. Start by reading or watching ‘how-to’ videos or interviewing people.

Out of competency comes confidence. The more knowledge you possess, the more confident you will be. One of my earlier passions was politics.

I studied everything about government, economics, business, and war. I learned that everything the news was reporting was a complete nonsense. When political debates came up, I was confident in my knowledge.

I explained myself and stood for something. My ideas came from an area of confidence, which were backed by knowledge.

C) Reassure Yourself 

“I, Leroy Milton, will be confident today.”

That is one my affirmations that I recite every morning and night. It reminds me everyday that I have to be confident. This affirmation is like a goal for me.

I have to hit it everyday. I have to make sure that my confidence is tested everyday.

Even my mantra, “Be Bold, Be Free, and Love On,” is a reminder to myself. Being bold is the FIRST STEP, because only then will I be free to love.

D) Jump In

“What’s the worst that can happen?”

I wasn’t ‘taught’ how to swim. I got pushed into the deep-end at the tender age of nine. It was a type of Darwinian trial, but I’m still here and I can swim.

Plus, my dad wasn’t going to let me drown. I’ve realized that most of your ‘worst-case scenarios’ only exist in your head.

A girl slapping me in the face when I ask her out is far-fetched. The girl won’t publicly yell at me when I try to talk to her.

Sometimes, you just have to leap in feet first. Trial and error is the most effective way of learning. You can figure out what works and what doesn’t based on your personality.

There it is. I think that’s all of it. I’m sure there were more factors in my fabled journey to confidence, but nothing as significant as these.

Even though these scenarios only exist in my head, I’m still scared of failing, embarrassment and rejection. But in the end, it doesn’t matter.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

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.

Replace your Should with a Could

They say you should be yourself.

I’m not sure who they are but I’m starting to think that they are on to something.

Every time you act like someone you aren’t or do something you don’t want to just to appease someone, you get a little bit further away from who you are.

Fear

Everyone agrees that you should be yourself. There are thousands of quotes and motivational pictures depicting this. No one would ever tell you “Be more like someone else.”

So why is it people still spend so much of their time doing things they don’t want to, and traveling down a path that isn’t right for them?

It’s because of fear. They are afraid that what they want in their heart won’t work out.

Afraid that if they take the leap there won’t be anything there to catch them.

They let fear push them into a corner.

Should

I hate that word. I encourage you to throw it out of your vocabulary.

Whenever you are using this word it’s because you’re thinking about something that you don’t want to do, but for some reason feel like you have to.

should go to university. I should get a normal job. I should settle down.

This word is a virus that you have because you’ve been surrounded by it your whole life. You parents, teachers, peers and society have all instilled their own “shoulds” into you.

After writing that word so many times it looks alien to me. I hope it looks alien to you as well.

Every time this word appears in your life I want you to think very carefully about how it got there and if you really need it.

Could

I would encourage you instead to replace all of your shoulds with coulds.

Could is a word that I can get behind. It allows you to imagine possibilities.

When you are thinking of a could, you are allowing yourself to believe in something that you want.

could start that business I’ve been thinking about. I could talk to that cute cashier. I could travel around Europe.

It’s a much more useful word.

Rid yourself of the shoulds and start thinking in coulds.

You’ll explore more of who you are and less of who other people want you to be.

dr seuss

3 Ways to Optimize Your Life

“Leroy, your article is late. Why?”

I can make all sorts of excuses for why this is late. But I’d like to spare you all the excuses. I don’t like making excuses for my shortcomings. Any sort of rationale I offer will sound like an excuse

“I was busy last night. I couldn’t write. I didn’t have a topic. I wasn’t thinking about it. It slipped my mind.”

All those can be reasonable excuses, but instead I offer an apology. Sorry.

Now that the unpleasant moment is out of the way, I’d like to offer you three ways to optimize your life today.

optimize-your-life

1) Avoid time travelling

The past problems are behind you. While they may influence who you are and what you stand for, they do not matter. No amount of energy spent can change the past, the relationships, struggles, turmoil and anguish.

Time travelling only has negative effects.

“But Leroy, what if I only think about positive moments?”

Speaking for myself – and I’d like to think it’s the same for the general population – my brain usually focuses on my mistakes/problems. Unless, I focus on the positive in my past, it usually centered on the negative.

Instead, live now. I had a lot of problems in my past, but at this current time, in this current moment, nothing is wrong. That’s a good feeling to have. I have energy, focus and happiness with that thought.

I implore you focus on now.

2) Avoid the news

The news is filled with so much negativity, gossip and drama. Personally, I do not need any extra fuel to my fire. Most news is reported by very bad reporters who are encouraged to use scare tactics to keep you in submission and slavery.

While it is incredibly important to stay informed of current issues, in my opinion, mainstream media is not a suitable outlet. It’s biased and often depicting a one-sided story.

The majority of news is a downer. I propose looking at news from different categories (science, (green) technology, business, etc.) Focus on positive aspects of the news such as breakthroughs.

3) Ask questions

Children have a crap-load of questions. You can assume one of two things: Children are stupid or children are smart.

If you assume children ask a lot of questions because they are stupid and know nothing, I’d like to humbly disagree with you.

I think children ask multiple questions because they know nothing, but want to know more. Questions are the foundation of learning. Questions are how children learn.

As adults, we don’t ask enough questions. As self-entitled adults we think we know it all. We think that help isn’t necessary.

“Everyone you will ever meet, knows something you don’t.” –Bill Nye

Question everyone and listen avidly. Everyone goes through different experiences in their lives and can offer varied responses. I will ask more questions everyday.

There are many other ways to optimize your life. If you want more of this, please leave a comment below and I’ll definitely write another article on it. Additionally, I’d like to invite you to leave specific topics that you would like me to cover for future posts.

Be bold, be free, and love on.