Mindset

What Are You Denying Yourself?

deny

Most of us aren’t shameless hedonists. Our approach to life isn’t to grab as much fun and excitement as possible, seeking thrills and highs. Instead, we take a look at the big picture, and we think about financial security, the people we love, the career path we want to follow, our health, and our long term goals.

Along the way, though, we can end up veering too far away from pleasure-seeking. We end up denying ourselves quite unnecessarily – and ultimately, we can feel empty and drained. There may even come a time when we wonder what the point of life is any more, or when we question whether we truly can ever be happy.

So what are you denying yourself? Is it one of these big three?

Don’t Think About It. Do These 5 Things Instead.

dont think about it

Most of us learned early in life that “thinking about it” is always a good idea. That is what reasonable, intelligent people do when they have a big decision in front of them, right? They think about it.

The truth is that quite often, when it comes to the big questions in our lives — Should I take the job? Should I start the business? Should I marry her? Should I relocate? — thinking gets us stuck.

By thinking, I don’t mean all neurological activity. I mean our everyday definition of thinking: the furrowed brow, fist at chin, solitary activity in which we muse on a subject, evaluate pros and cons, make internal arguments and then supposedly “figure it out.” This often leaves us more confused than when we started, further away from our own answers.

How to Use Your Subconscious to Change Your Life

“Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.” – Thomas Edison

Your subconscious loves to do work while your body performs other tasks that are easy. I can prove this very easily by asking you how many good ideas you have had while driving or in the shower. When you are relaxed yet slightly distracted, your mind is often at its best.

Using subconscious requests will…

Reactionary or Revolutionary: What’s Your Attitude to Change?

walking into the light

Broadly speaking, there are two political outlooks on change. Reactionaries see change as a bad thing, something to be treated with caution. Revolutionaries celebrate and embrace change.

Take, for instance, attitudes towards the rapid changes in society due to technology. A reactionary would voice concerns about children playing video games, about the short attention spans caused by the internet, and about security and privacy risks. A revolutionary would talk about the new possibilities created – new ways of working, new art forms, and new connections with people all around the world.

Who’s right? Neither. Sometimes, we need change in order to get rid of things which aren’t working. And sometimes, we need to recognize the value of what we already have.

Using Hindsight As Your Foresight

hindsight

The same failures you might look back on as your biggest mistakes are also your future mistakes if you don’t make a change. It isn’t enough to just notice past failures, because that is avoidance of working through them. It is foolish to talk like you were a different person two years ago, when it is likely that you are very similar to the person you were when you made some error. It isn’t appealing to accept this, but it has to be done if you want to find ways to prevent a similar occurrence.

Money Example

Let’s say you made a huge error years ago that indirectly ended up costing you a lot of money. This could be a valid example for many folks. If this were the case, you would get no benefit in telling everyone about your failure to hold on to the money, or about how you lost it. On the other hand, you need to see what it was about you that caused the large loss of money. Maybe it came down to you being too shy to challenge someone when they left your assets in a precarious situation, or you were too afraid to fire an employee when your business was failing, and so you lost even larger sums in the process. Regardless of the situation, you need to see where your weakness was.

The Limits of Our Freedom

freedom

Viktor Fankl, the Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning, ‘Between stimulus and response there is a space, and in that space lies all our freedom.’ In the most extreme conditions of privation imaginable, Frankl discovered that he was, remarkably, free to choose his response to any situation.

I love this quote because it sums up the essence of my philosophy. I believe it is the cornerstone of a happy and effective life. A real, experiential understanding of this radical freedom is life changing, liberating and empowering. To suddenly come upon the realization that we have always been free, not in some abstract sense, but in a real, personal and imminent way, is like being let out of prison.

The Two Most Important Words For Changing Your Life

important words

If you had to pick just two words, two little words, that would empower you to change your life, what would they be?

Mine would be “I can”.

You’ve probably heard various personal development experts, life coaches, or self-appointed gurus tell you not to say “I can’t”. But why exactly are those two little words “I can” so important? What do they add up to and how do they work?

3 Ways to Take More Personal Responsibility

personal responsiblity

English culture, especially North American culture, does not like the idea of personal responsibility. If I got drunk at a bar and ended up in a car accident, I could sue the bar for serving me. If I broke into your home and tripped over the dog, I could sue you for damages.

Pop psychology and daytime television have filled our heads with the idea that it’s never our fault. We can blame our parents, the system, or (more recently) our genetic makeup.

And what have we ended up with? A couple of generations of people who refuse to take responsibility for their lives, saying “but it’s not my fault” every time something bad happens.

Does Your Life Feel Like Work Or Play?

life work or play

Have you ever had the experience of something that you once did for fun turning into work or a chore?

Maybe you loved knitting in the past, but recent requests from friends for specific items have left you feeling that turning out a new hat or jumper has become something you dread. Perhaps the website design skills which you were learning purely for enjoyment’s sake became tedious to keep up with once you started charging for your talents. I found that reading novels (previously something I did purely for fun) felt like work when I started studying English literature at university.

We all know what work feels like. It’s something that we:

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