Self-Improvement

Stop the “Compare and Despair” Game

Everyone masochistically plays the “compare and despair” game in their head in varying degrees. But chronically pining over the life of another, while tearing yourself down, has no purpose whatsoever. It destines you to misery.

It’s hard not to compare yourself to others in today’s society. Online and offline people can be incredibly fake and go through lengths to create a persona of their best selves. It’s easy to fall in love with that image others create. Then you turn the scope on yourself and feel you don’t measure it up. It can lead some people to such feelings of inadequacy that depression and self-loathing. This very issue plagues society.

So, what purpose does it serve? None! Comparing yourself to another does not change your reality. You just cause another source of misery and maybe anxiety. You can duly note how others are in the world without tearing yourself down — keep it objective and not a personal attack on yourself. Then move on with your life. Don’t even let the negativity of insecurity get a chance to build into something bigger. You literally have to stay focused on yourself.

I only had this realization recently. It hit me all at once. I was travelling to a large city to attend an Soka Gakkai International meeting. There were dozens upon dozens of people there. I had to wade through a wave of people just to get to the room where the meeting was. Eventually everyone was seated, and I took the time to observe others.

I was insecure. I’ve been rather sick lately — causing rapid weight loss and subtle acne — so I didn’t feel confident. I also had other things bugging me that I can’t remember at this moment. I just remember feeling inadequate around everyone.

A moment after observing everyone in the rows in front of me, I had the breakthrough where I was able to stop playing the ‘ol “compare and despair game.” Everyone in the room, in the damn building, have lives I don’t even know about. It makes no sense to feel inadequate to others who are all so unique. There’s several billion people on this planet, and I’m just me. No more and no less. To compare myself to someone else and to want to cherry pick qualities from others to transplant to myself is throwing away my uniqueness.

Since I am all about self-improvement, I now keep my nose to the grindstone on my own life. I’m creating my own little successful niche in the world where I am fully satisfied. It’s pathetic and a waste of time to be play “compare and despair” when I can direct my thoughts and emotions into something more productive.

In a society where self-loathing, or at the very least feelings of inadequacy is common — I urge others to quit too.

Self-Improvement

Helping Others Without Being Dragged Under

I assume most of society has noticed that when they move up in life, others will follow to drag them down. This seems to a be a bit of a curse because it occurs in animals and in fairytales. Hunt for the biggest buffalo for the most meat. Dethrone the king to have his castle. It’s a fact of life. In humans it tends to border being pathetic.

It’s tempting to grab the outstretched hands of those below in order to help build them up, even if they are the very same ones who have hurt you. That person sees you doing better in life than him — without him — and wants to intervene. And saying ‘no’ is very hard. Yet that ‘no’ doesn’t have to be hostile or you just being a jerk, but I’ll talk about that later.

Here’s an example from my own life. My ex contacted me on Facebook, I’m guessing after she browsed my profile. Now we have quite a history together, but I have no ill will. Actually, if things could be different I wouldn’t mind being friends with her. But when I answered her message and we chatted for several minutes, it was clear she wasn’t alright. Our conversation bounced from her attacking me for doing great to how horrible her life has become. There was nothing positive coming out of her mouth. It almost seemed as if her only goal was to one-up me in the conversation, realized I have become a better person, and then tried to tear us both down with negativity. And it was very sad from my end because I want her to be happy more than anything in the world, but I also have to be the asshole who walks away.

The trick is knowing that when pushing away the hand that wants to pull you down, you can still help that person. I believe that no one needs to be miserable or suffer. You just have to simultaneously detach, focus on yourself, and have a compassionate mindset.

You aren’t inherently better than the other person. Everyone struggles. Life is a struggle. There is very little actually holding you back from the others you view as beneath you. But there has to be a healthy boundary that prevents you from being dragged down, while also not being cruelly absent. If this sounds confusing, it kind of is.

With friends who did this to me, I felt I followed this plan well. I offered them help, but it made it clear how I will help and when I am available. I didn’t get overly immersed into their own tumultuous lives and still focused on my own. I was kind and thoughtful, but just didn’t let myself get too close. And it varies from situation to situation.

The offer to help was there, but it wasn’t what they wanted.

A sad fact about this world is a lot of people revel in misery. There are speculations, but it may be because defaulting to being miserable is the path of least resistance. It takes work to become happier and better as a person. A lot of people want to be there someday, but never start the journey to get there.  Thus, they want to prevent people from absolute happiness because literally “misery loves company.”

Let this be food for thought.

Self-Improvement

Awake 16 Hours = 12 Productive Hours

Everyone complains about never having any time. I think it’s a matter of being unable to effectively schedule time, or wasting the precious time you do have. Most people are awake sixteen hours at a time. Most people work approximately eight hours. That gives you eight extra hours to do whatever you want. It’s time to do what’s of value to you. 

With that time, what do you actually do? Do you watch TV? Go online? Go shopping at the mall? Or do you engage in hobbies, read, and spend time with loved ones? When listing them out, it’s easy to see what’s meaningful.

According to this (https://www.bls.gov/charts/american-time-use/activity-by-sex.htm) most Americans spend time doing leisurely activities. And to be get a bit more specific, this site is the average among other sites: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic.

That site reports people being online almost 9-11 hours a day. If it’s not the internet, it’s television. People are merely getting distracted or procrastinating if they say they never have time (with exceptions for some demographics). As since people are awake sixteen hours, surely they can spare four hours after work doing something besides relaxing in front of a screen?

A person doesn’t need the entire time after work spent relaxing. I think that four hours after work being productive on what’s meaningful is rather reasonable. It can be more energizing to get really into a book, going for a run in nice weather, or trying a new hobby with those four. With four hours, you could probably get several projects done. You could go see a movie and have dinner with your partner. So much fun and pleasant memories can happy in those four hours.

And with the last of the fours hours in the sixteen hours you spend awake, I believe in relaxing in whatever way you want. Everyone needs that freedom.

Now, I understand that a lot of things get in the way. Cooking, cleaning, having a family, school, ect, can mess up a schedule big time. I certainly agree then this blog post may not apply. But I insist on finding ways to have time to relax and still get what’s meaningful done nonetheless. Everyone needs to recharge the best they can.

Time is never something to take for granted. Each day should be spent in gratitude, and never wasted. Everyone has the right to choose how they spend their time, but no one deserves to have an unfulfilling life. Ask yourself, “Am I happy with how I spend my time? What can do I do differently?”

Everyone’s time slots are different. Just be reasonable with not wasting time, and don’t make excuses when you do waste time.

Self-Improvement

Absolutely No One Is Entitled

You are not entitled to wealth.

You are not entitled to respect.

You are not entitled to sex.

You are not entitled to affection.

You are not entitled to relationships.

You are not entitled to possessions.

You are not entitled to emotional support.

You are not entitled to anything.

 

And neither is anyone else.

The concept of entitlement has always been an interest of mine. It is senseless, yet a core of today’s society. It can be motivation for people to achieve what they want, although in a roundabout way. People who are entitled think society or others owe them, and carry that expectation over to other areas of their lives. Sometimes it can be that a person is in misfortune, and seeks to recover through thinking society owes them happiness. The concept of entitlement can be sad or maddening. For those who do get what they want through being entitled, it can be temporarily blissful — until someone refuses them.

What do others think?

I commonly see entitlement among people below the age of twenty-five. I predict this is because at the age of 25, nothing really gets handed to you anymore and there are very real consequences for your actions. You learn it the hard way. It’s an easy mindset to not blame yourself for not putting in the work.

Here’s a personal example of mine.I thought I was entitled to act however I wanted without consequences. I was self-destructive when I was a teen. For most of my teenage years people let me get away with it, until my behavior got too extreme for anyone to really watch happen. So they put me into a residential inpatient treatment center for three months. And I was all fucking confused about why I was there. Then I realized if I couldn’t manage to keep myself safe, then naturally others would put me somewhere to protect me from myself until I could be trusted to be mentally healthy. Common sense. Cause and effect. Snapped me out of my entitled attitude and I worked towards recovery.

Then there’s nonpersonal scenarios I see all the time.

Take students for example. They get a bad grade on the test, then bully the teacher into saying they deserve a better grade. However, the student never studied for the test. She simply expected the teacher to give her a good grade. The teacher doesn’t owe her that. The student feels down because she feels victimized, but never realizes getting good grades to get into her dream college is within her own control.

Women often think they are entitled to affection from a partner regardless of her own behavior. A woman could be manipulative, demanding, and doesn’t do anything in return for her partner. Yet she expects her partner to always provide cuddles and kisses despite the the conflict. As I always say “If a woman acts like a queen, then she should treat her man like a king.” If a woman wants a perfect #goals relationship, but somehow things never work out with partners, then she should work on herself because it’s easier than changing others to meet her standards.

The longer you think people owe you, the shorter your happiness will last. Being entitled will essentially make you a loser. Why? Because you never put it your own hard work and never get true results or completely meet your goals.

The bright side is that now you are fully capable of developing your own skills and talents. You are very moldable. You can really only go up, and there are lots of responsibilities. Failure might happen. No, probably will happen. But it’s a learning experience that can only make you greater. You have vast, unrealized potential right now.

Each person has the capacity to change the core of who they are around. Even the most entitled person can become the hardest worker. Or the spoiled the most giving. Each person can change for the better.

So welcome to real life.

Entitlement is a toxic mindset that people need to let go of if they want to be happy.

Self-Improvement

No Excuses for Your Behavior

One of the most wonderful things about life is that you have full control over your behavior. You get to make your own decisions the majority of the time, unless you are sucking up to social niceties. There’s not a problem with that. The issue is when people make poor decisions, complain, and then hand out excuses. They refuse to take responsibility for themselves.

More wonderful news is that behavior can be changed. If you are unhappy or ashamed of how you’re living, you have the option to change your life at this very moment. Accepting the power of your own responsibility is a life-changing decision. You embrace humbleness, empowerment, and become the boss of your life.

People who are successful do not whine about how unfair life is. They had their own struggles, but overcame them by changing what they could; themselves. Groveling at the bottom of society for something good to come your way just gives power to others. Why would you rely on society to cater to you? Overall, your failures and laziness means nothing to the world. Unless you are the President or a celebrity, nobody cares enough to give you exactly what you want. This is exactly why you must accept your behavior is within your control.

A common example now:

Are you struggling with your weight? Complaining to others about how fat you are doesn’t solve anything. If you bother to complain, then you might as well try to change your weight in order to bring your honor back. Eat less and move more. After you lose the weight, people will recognize you for making a personal change, which will inspire others. However, if you chose to ignore about how your eating habits and sedentary lifestyle contributed to being overweight, blaming it on genetics, then nothing will ever change. Along with other possible examples, would you really surrender yourself to a behavior that is unhealthy?

There are behaviors of mine I had to accept. I used to be rather lazy. It was a mixture between believing I had nothing to do and because the people I surrounded myself with lacked ambition. Once I become aware that I was letting time slip by I made three changes. I bought a daily planner to keep a busy schedule, came up with a variety of goals, and ghosted my friends. I didn’t want to become the deadly sin of “sloth.” It stung to realize how much time I wasted. I could have been building a youthful success. (I ended up starting at 19 years old.) Instead, I was ignorant in how I spent my time doing nothing. Once I started putting in effort into my life, things changed for the better.

I don’t let excuses become an actual belief.
What are your excuses? What negativity are you accepting? You deserve better, so go make a change.

Self-Improvement

Why Playing the Victim is the Worst Thing You Can Do

What do you consider “playing the victim?” I think of it as dwelling on the past and past failures, letting it affect your present, yet not doing anything to change it. Plus, complaining about it near daily People play the victim for a variety of things, ranging from poor grades to an incident that happened seven years ago. It’s normal to be upset about an unfortunate event, or to be traumatized, but eventually you will have to work through it. Dwelling on it will prevent you from progressing in life.

Identifying as a victim destroys all your potential, power, and control. If anything, call yourself a survivor.

I played the victim too when I was younger. I had a sorry attitude about my addictions and the fact I was stuck in an abusive relationship. I would go to to therapy, talk about it, yet never put my therapist’s advice into practice. I saw everything as beyond my control. That is completely false. Everything was definitely within my control even if I didn’t acknowledge it. Once I accepted responsibility for not leaving the relationship and engaging in my addictions I was able to recover.

Maybe you observed people who define themselves as the victim. Going on about the (nonexistent) patriarchy that prevents them from walking naked in the streets, or how the world is fatphobic because they have to pay more for an XXXL shirt. Bad grades are the professor’s fault and has nothing to do with how they didn’t study. These people create problems for themselves. It’s hard to say if they are aware of it, but I refuse to interact with these people. Their worldviews are distorted and extremely negative, almost like through choosing to be a victim they get to have less responsibilities because it becomes a cop-out.

Why should anyone play the victim when life is rather amazing? There are so many things to be appreciative and happy about. Do your limbs and brain function properly? Good for you. Do you have access to clean water and a place to sleep? Awesome. Have at least one friend or close relative you confide in? Great. If you are meeting the basics in life, those are major complaints out of the way. Otherwise, everything else is about perception.

You are only a victim if you see yourself as one.

When I began to recover, I had to let go of the victim mentality because it shirked any chance for me to make positive changes. Being a victim says “things just happen and it is beyond my control.” Life can really, really suck, but everyone has unlimited power to change their lives. As I stopped playing the victim I became happier because I rediscovered power over my life, thus feeling less out of control. The feeling is like how before I was drowning, then I realized I could swim.

View yourself as having control over your life, and there will be endless possibilities. Being trapped in a victimized world-view will only leave you miserable. Accept that the fact the life will move on, and make the choice to be pro-active rather than stagnant. Be like the people you admire who rose from immeasurable pain or beat the odds, instead of complaining how you have no options. There are always choices if you look for them, or at the very least you have the choice to allow yourself to take control.
Stop playing the victim and conquer your problems.

Self-Improvement

Law of the Vital Few

 

The Law of the Vital Few states that 80% of events come from 20% of the causes. While percentages may vary and this law may not be accurate, it fuels my work ethic. Understanding this concept changes the way I approach every aspect of my life. All of my efforts must be done concisely to reap the rewards, or lest I suffer the consequences. Here are some situations where it might prove true.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

  • 20% of your weightlifting exercises causes 80% of the results
  • 20% of your food choices cause 80% of the weight gain
  • 20% of your relationships cause 80% of your hardships
  • 20% of your habits affect 80% of your routine
  • 20% of your possessions you use 80% of the time
  • 80% of your problems come from 20% of your life choices

——————————————————————————————————————————-

When I look at the list above and am definitely willing to make a change. I will say that I spend too much time online, but it is still probably less than most folks. I could use more effective exercises in my weightlifting routine and eliminate the ones that don’t challenge me. There are a few more things I could do as well.

The plan for changing your life with this law is tedious, but worth it.

First, write down 20% of your negative daily activities. (Overeating, watching TV, scrolling social media, general laziness). Then write down 20% of positive daily activities that bring you joy.

Now here’s the key part. Eliminate the negative 20% and increase the positive 20%. The plan to do this is up to you. Just work on discipline instead of motivation, and don’t make excuses for yourself.

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Here are some statistics to motivate you.

  • Over ⅔’s of the U.S population is overweight
  • Over 80% of people do not weightlift
  • Over 80% of people do not exercise
  • ⅔’s of Americans do not have retirement savings
  • 50% of Americans have less than $500 saved

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Now do whatever you can to get in the top 20% of society.

Self-Improvement

Born to be a Hustler

I consider myself reborn hustler. “Born to keep up the daily grind.” People have looked down on me for working so damn hard and being such a go-getter when there were alternative options. Although I am not a mindreader, I assumed the other options were:

A: Give up

B: Hire someone to do it for me

C: Wait to see if fate will give it to me later

D: Mysterious option. Only mysterious because there is always an unknown variable

 

Perhaps I had that mindset as a teenager. When I was younger I had a pathetically huge external locus of control. In other terms, I believed I had no influence over my own life or anything on this planet. Things just always seemed to “happen.” That goes hand in hand with the victim mentality. It is why I took too long to recover from addictions and mental illness. Besides that issue with my mental health, the non-go-getter-things-are-randomly-happening attitude impact me in other ways.

It made me lazy. It made me pessimistic. Very despicable traits. That is why when I decided to change my entire life around I decided to be the go-getter. With the attitude that I can do anything I want, my life started to change.

I told myself “Today I am going to be a happy hard-worker.” I drilled that thought into my head until I became that happy hard-worker. Call it a self-affirmation or whatever you want. Psychology has shown if you tell yourself something often enough, you will subconsciously make decisions for it to come true.  Better think positively then.

Making my identity being a happy hard-worker changed my approach. I see problems as challenges to conquer. I put in more effort into time-consuming tasks, while handling smaller ones with finesse. I don’t feel as overwhelmed. I almost kind of whistle while I work. It truly is all about attitude.

Like a hustler, I also need when to take a break. Working myself to death causes me to crash for a few days, doing nothing productive. Then I feel poorly about myself because I was being lazy. The trick is to allow myself to have downtime every evening. Three hours is often enough for me to recharge, and work again tomorrow.
Be a hustler. Have a positive attitude. Everything you put into this life will come back to you eventually, thus you want to put in good energy to reap the rewards. Enjoy the present, and work for the future.

Self-Improvement

How Not to Care (about the small things)

I am a stoic person, so not caring comes easily for me. I accepted that overall I do not mean much to the universe, and found a cozy niche in my life where I am rather ok. My ambitions are what make up the most of my life, and everything else is kind of like a side dish. So besides my many goals, I do not care about much else.

Just to share a few of my main goals, they are to acquire my dream physique through weightlifting, get into Harvard for my masters program, and be generally happy no matter what my circumstances are. Smaller goals are to get my dream tattoos and piercings, be the superior worker at my job, triple my bank account, and so on. Everyday I  meaningfully try to contribute to make my goals be accomplished.

Societal pressure, body insecurity, judgmental peers, and uncooperative people are on the very outskirts of my life. I do not care too much what people think of me or how I look (despite being in recovery for anorexia). I would like to be understood in life, and appreciated, but I do not rely on others to make me feel validated. I learned to create a niche for myself.

It is considered cool to not care about anything. However, there is something to value for people who care too much too often. I allow myself to nurture my love for my boyfriend and close friends, and I also fuel my passions. There is vibrancy in those who care deeply and without any trace of doubt. So keep in mind that not caring about anything isn’t as appealing as it seems.

Yet I will still  write about how not to care about things that shouldn’t really matter.

 

  1. You have full control over yourself, but none over others. Don’t worry yourself sick over others choices, as all you can do is provide guidance or offer suggestions.
  2. You can’t be fake forever, so just be yourself. There is no point in pretending to be someone you’re not when people will find out who you truly are eventually. Also it feel better to be genuine and alone than to have others fall in love with a you that doesn’t exist.
  3. Time doesn’t stop, so don’t dwell on anything for too long. No matter what you are going through, life is continuing whether or not you choose to participate in it. It is ok to work through issues on the past, to try to plan a better future, but the present is what is dealt to you at any point in life.
  4. What are you grateful for? I am the type of person who is constantly marveling at how amazing the world is. Everything captures my interest and I never take it for granted. For most things I feel a deep sense of gratitude. This might come more easily to me than to others because I survived a rough past. But at the very least try to appreciate that fact that no matter what your circumstances could be, you are lucky enough to be alive.
  5. Find your niche. This is incredibly important. Find or establish the boundaries where you thrive. It could be a narrow niche, or a very spacious one. My niche is surrounding myself with motivation to help me achieve my goals. In my niche I have few time-wasters and things or people that lead me away from leading my ideal life. However, my niche is wide because I can be happy in a variety of situations. Create a niche that allows you to thrive, and try to stay there. Once this is accomplished, not much will bother you.

 

Not caring about the mundane things keeps your mind clear and relieves stress. I find it particularly useful to not worry about what is not within my realm of immediate control. I am then free to be mindful and present in life. However, I open myself up to feel deeply about my passions and feel love for others. I appreciate all the opportunities life gives me, and never take it for granted.
In short, not caring is recommended for only what you cannot control or for what does not directly affect you. Society may glamorize having a breezy attitude, but having passion is what gives life meaning.

Self-Improvement

Tips for Being Confident

Confidence is much more of an important trait to have than people realize. Being confident increases the likeliness of people managing new situations, having healthy relationships, while also having less rates of anxiety and low self-esteem. Just think of how life can be if you really had enough confidence in yourself.

I once thought being confident and being ok with myself just wasn’t meant to happen. It was possible for everyone else, but not for me.

 

 

  • Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. Think of your goals and your ideal self, then set out be your own ideal vision. When you get to the point where you can vividly imagine your ideal life, you tend to unknowingly make decisions to lead you down that path.
  • You are all you have. You must be your own support system. While friends make promises, and family is blood, relationships should never be taken for granted. You have to be ok for yourself when things go wrong.  The longer you always rely on other people to make you happy, the longer you will be unhappy.
  • Do not prioritize anyone over yourself. No one else is truly your world. People just live in it. Society bullies men and women alike into thinking they have to slave for the other around them. Think of the potential you could unlock by prioritizing your own happiness instead of others.
  • Always set goals, and consistently complete them. Those who fail in life tend to have no ambition, nor the confidence to think they can achieve something great. Once you start completing goals, you will build enough confidence to take on bigger challenges. Eventually, you will be the person you always dreamed of. Don’t settle for mediocrity and have regret suck away your self-esteem.
  • Don’t tolerate any disrespect. This should be a given. If you allow a person to tear you down, you will eventually believe you deserve it. I assume your inner self is stronger, better, than that. A true leader and person of happiness would not tolerate such disrespect. It shows to yourself, and to others, that you don’t have backbone and it is ok for others to treat you the same. Be consistent in standing up for yourself, and people will respect you.

 
These are only a few tips. I have so much more so share eventually.