Why you Should Be Thankful for your Difficulties

How many times have you found yourself cursing for all the bad fortune around you? How many times did you wonder why something had to happen to you? Did you feel sorry for yourself at the time?

If you ask me I would have to answer that it has happened many times. Yes, I have gone through some really hard times in my life. I remember myself crying, complaining to others, feeling sorry for myself for what I had to go through and wondering what I had done wrong to deserve all this bad fortune.

Anyway, I am sure I am not the only one. Actually, I am sure most of you have gone through hard times. Different experiences, different situations, different problems but you went through something. Even if you didn’t, you will. Count on it!

Feeling Bad for Your Difficulties is Normal

Sometimes we might be the victims in one situation and we might deserve, or even seek for understanding and sympathy from others. That is absolutely normal and understood. This is a human need.

“Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.”

Maya Angelou

Feeling bad when a new difficulty comes our way is normal. Difficulties are in fact challenges that shake our world and make us feel uncomfortable. Sometimes people around us understand how hard this must be to us and even encourage us to continue feeling bad and sorry about ourselves.

Man sitting down on a chair feeling sad

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But, does the fact that our bad response to difficulties is understandable by ourselves and others actually help us?

Don’t get me wrong. We all understand that facing difficulties makes us feel uncomfortable and of course there is no reason to feel happy about it. Doing so would mean that we lose the whole point. That we overlook the problem, show denial and even feel some kind of toxic positivity. None of them is helpful in any way.

Difficulties will Never Stop

One thing is for sure. No matter how much we want to, no matter what we do, we can never avoid difficulties from coming into our lives. One way or another we always have challenges to deal with.

man climbing up rocks

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We have no choice whether we will face them or not because we just cannot escape from them. The only choice we have is how we will choose to deal with them when they show up.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Winston Churchill

Some people choose to step away as much as possible, choose to play the victim, don’t deal with them nor search for a solution.

Some others choose to face the difficulty, embrace the new experience, understand the feelings generated while doing so and grow themselves through this.

Everyone has a choice to make.

You might also want to read “What is the right decision and how to be sure you make one” or “How to Identify Whether You Have Adopted a Victim Mentality and How to Stop Being the Victim

“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.”

Barack Obama

Why Facing Difficulties is Important

1. Helps us Become more Self-aware

Going through difficulties helps us to understand ourselves better. We come in touch with our feelings, our true needs and internal strength. We understand who we are, where we are, what we are doing and what we are capable of.

“Expecting difficulties is wise, if that usually gives you the strength to continue, and foolish, if that usually takes away the courage to begin.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

2. Inspire Gratitude

When a difficulty appears we have the chance to appreciate everything we have and we were not paying enough attention to. Difficulties sometimes are a good wakeup call to understand all those we are missing when they are just right there but we are far too busy to see.

Man feeling gratitude for life and difficulties

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“When you meet obstacles with gratitude, your perception starts to shift, resistance loses its power, and grace finds a home within you.”

Oprah Winfrey.

3. New Experiences – Chance for Personal Growth

Difficulties are new experiences through which we usually learn new things, grow wiser and stronger. Difficulties come our way and help us evolve to a better version of ourselves.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”

Napoleon Hill

4. Identify / Appreciate the Easy

Going through something really difficult helps us to identify the easy when we see it. We will be able to understand when things will get better since they will be easier.

5. Teach Responsibility

To successfully deal with a difficulty we should take responsibility for our actions, our thoughts and our emotions towards it.

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Michael Jordan

Appreciate the Difficulties

Difficulties in life no matter how hard they are can work to our advantage. Identifying difficulties as challenges and seeing all the opportunities they can offer us can change our way through life. Situations and circumstances will no longer have the same power on us.

stormy day as difficulties in life

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Without difficulties and obstacles to overcome life would be a boring flat line. Life has everything, sunny days and stormy days, pleasure and suffering , beauty and pain. Surviving the stormy days of our life can only make us stronger and ready to enjoy the sunny days to the fullest.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

Haruki Murakami

How Anger Affects Your Life and How to Deal With it

How often do you find yourself getting angry about something? Is it just now and then or is it more like a constant status? The reason behind your anger is always justified or you think it is?

What is Anger?

Anger is a normal and in fact healthy human emotion. As an emotion anger exists to let us be aware of a threatening, an unjust or an upsetting situation. Anger should not be considered as either negative or positive emotion.

Getting angry when someone mistreats you or when something unjust takes place in front of your eyes is normal and healthy.

However, it is the frequency we experience anger, along with the way each one of us uses to express this anger that could turn it into something negative and harmful for ourselves or others.

angry man yelling while hitting his fist on table

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There is this common belief that anger should always be expressed. Some people think that it is their right to express anger in any way they like because in their mind their anger is justified.

There are people who might believe that expressing anger with shouting, breaking things or even by hitting others shows their power and rage and eventually will inspire respect to others.

The actual opposite is correct, meaning that expressing anger in such ways has a negative outcome for you and others. There is a negative impact on how others feel about you and also on how your judgement is affected.

Identify what is Causing Your Anger

I usually get angry when I understand that someone else does not listen to my opinion, suggestion or point of view and tend to ignore me or not take me seriously. I get angry when there is a long line in front of me in the supermarket or when I am stuck in a traffic jam.

cars stuck in traffic jam in city road

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Sometimes when I am really tired or stressed I might find it really easy to get angry over nothing. I think this stands for most people.

It is really important to identify where the anger comes from because most of the time losing your temper or acting in rage has nothing to do with other people’s behavior and words or with external circumstances. It is our fault that we do not manage to stay cool and keep ourselves under control.

Look For Possible Solutions

Understanding what makes me angry in my case means that I can change my daily routine, choosing another route or different time to avoid traffic jams in peak hours. It could mean that I decide to take advantage and enjoy my time stucked in traffic through listening to some audio book, learning a foreign language or just listening to music and singing along.

When it comes to supermarkets I could choose a supermarket with less people or try to shop online.

When it comes to specific people that make me angry I could choose to take some time to discuss with them in a calm way the impact their reactions have on me. They might also have their issues and use this kind of behavior as a defense mechanism. Well, if this does not work I could choose to share less with them or avoid seeing them that often.

If none of the above are enough I could look for and practice some anger management techniques or seek professional help and advice.

man and woman having a fight, both looking angry

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The reason why we should all look for solutions is because anger as an emotion will not be able to fix anything. As a matter of fact feeling angry and expressing it in a bad way usually will only make things worse.  

Is Anger Your Enemy or a Friend?

In case you are witnessing a human or an animal rights violation and you get angry about it, expressing your anger and using it to change the situation in front of you, means that you use your anger to take action for a good reason.

When you are in an abusive relationship and get angry with what you are going through, anger will help you to take action and get out of it. Same stands for any toxic friendship, getting angry with the friend who mistreats you or makes you feel bad about yourself will give you the courage to step out of this friendship.

In all the cases above anger is your friend because it gives you the courage and strength you need to change an unhealthy situation.

woman screaming to express her anger

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However, when your anger makes your loved ones suffer and feel distress it means that your anger is harmful for your relationships. If you find yourself regretting things that you have said or done while being angry this is also a sign that your anger is working against you. These are cases where your anger is your enemy and you should take some action in order to control it.

Identify Anger Warning Signs

Have you ever noticed your body’s physical reactions when you get angry? I don’t mean when you have already started expressing that anger in some way, but those few moments before you act.

Speaking for myself, when I start getting angry I am feeling an intense pain in my head and I am feeling like my head is burning. I start breathing faster and deeper. Other signs might be a faster heartbeat and clenched fists.

When these signs appear and you are able to identify them, you could do something about it to prevent yourself from words or actions that you might regret later. It is important to be able to understand how you feel each moment because it helps to identify any warning signs.

“Don’t hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.”

Leo Buscaglia

Anger Effects

Human Relationships

Anger expression in unhealthy ways could be harmful for every human relationship. It could leave physical and mental scars to the people around us who we love most. It could destroy love relationships, friendships or work relationships.

Physical Health

If anger is something we experience regularly it is possible to give us heart related problems, high blood pressure, weak immune system, diabetes and insomnia.

Mental Health

Feeling anger all the time does not allow people to feel joy in life. Anger could also cause stress, depression and other mental health issues.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Mark Twain

Conclusion

When we come to the point to realize that our anger is a problem for us and the people around us we are not helpless. There are several anger management techniques that could be used to calm the rage, and even if these don’t work, professional help from an expert could be taken.

Truth is that we all have more control over anger than what we might think we have. There are always alternatives in the ways we can express our emotions, without hurting other people’s feelings, damaging things or creating problems to our own physical and mental health.

“The best fighter is never angry.”

Lao Tzu

Helpful links

Additional information about anger as well as anger management techniques and strategies could be found at the following links:

https://www.apa.org/topics/anger/control

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/how-to-control-anger#1

https://www.verywellmind.com/anger-management-strategies-4178870

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/anger-management.htm

 

Why Fear Is a Bad Motivation Choice

Has your boss ever threatened you that if you don’t do what it takes to get the job done you will be fired? Have you tried to quit smoking out of fear for your health? Have you ever started a strict diet because you were afraid of what your body would look like with these extra kilos?

If the answer to one of the questions above is yes this means that you have used fear as a motive for you to do something.

Fear is something normal and it is related to human nature. Actually, fear could be thought of as a defense mechanism that can alert us in case of possible danger.

If we see someone pointing a gun at us, fear would alert us to react in some way. We might for example scream, start running away, finding someplace to cover ourselves, attack the possible shouter or even freeze out of fear.

Although acting sometimes out of fear could turn out in a positive outcome, there are several other times that fear based motivation does not seem to work that good.

Fear Based Motivation in Workplace Environment

colleagues in workspace working on their laptops
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Fear used to be a well-known practice in workplace environments, and in some cases it still is. It was a common belief that managers had to evoke fear in their employees in order to achieve better performance, faster and better results.

Employees out of fear of losing their job or being replaced to a specific position by someone else would strive themselves to make it happen. But what would the outcome be for an employee if he / she had to work constantly in an environment that is based in this kind of fear?

This kind of working environment is absolutely toxic and negative and nobody would be willing to spend his / her life in one. It is the kind of environment that actually inspires people to escape from.

This fear based tactics might provide short term results but long term the employees would be unhappy, full of stress and negativity and they will possibly deal with burnout. Fear could lead employees to panic, loss of their creativity and imagination and loss of their ability to learn.

Employees sooner or later would decide to explore their options and realize that there are also other choices available.

Unfortunately, hardly ever, employers understand that their tactic is wrong. They usually think that it was something that employees did wrong and that is why they decide to leave.

“There is a quarter century of research that shows how people feel at work has a direct and powerful influence on how they perform.”

Sigal Barsade

Fear Based Motivation for Better Health

women running aiming for better health
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We all know stories of people who found out that their health is in danger if they continue smoking, continue having an unhealthy lifestyle, eating junk food and don’t exercising at all. In some cases they might even have had a near death experience, like a stroke or had to fight with cancer and finally recovered.

People who go through something like this, at least at the beginning, are passionate about changing their lifestyle and do what it takes to protect themselves. Out of fear of what might happen if they don’t they start exercising, watching after their diet and quit all their bad habits.

Fear in this case works as a motivator, and works well enough to start doing good things for themselves for few weeks or even months. But only that. Fear is an effective motivator for short term period while results only come long term.

Fear alone is not able to inspire motivation in long term and that is because fear when lasts for too long tires you and makes you want to give up on your goals.

Alternative Approaches to Fear Based Motivation

1. Hope

The “if you don’t do this you will get fired” could be easily replaced with “If you have this ready on time you might get a bonus – a raise – a promotion”. The first sentence evokes fear which results to negativity and stress. The second sentence evokes hope which results to positive emotions. Hope can breed happiness and confidence.

word hope written in caligraphic letters
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2. Love

 While fear might put you on the move to start something it will not help you keep going. Love on the other hand could prove to be the fuel that can keep the motive alive and help you keep moving. Quitting a bad habit because you love yourself and want the best for him is healthier than quitting it because you are afraid of a stroke, cancer or bad body looks.

woman doing heart sign indicating love
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3. Joy and Pleasure

Whatever it is that you use fear to motivate you try to find something that actually offers you joy and find pleasure in it. If the fear of bad health motivates you to exercise, find a form of exercise that you enjoy like dancing or even just walking. If you need to start eating healthier discover healthy foods that you like, yes there are some of those! 

Doing something out of fear or just because we have to will never offer us the passion needed to stay committed. Only if you start enjoying the changes in your life you will keep them long term.

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Conclusion

Fear is necessary to motivate you to protect yourself in case of danger, but fear is not a good motive when it comes to life goals or career goals. For long term goals fear based motivation sets you in a condition of constant fear and stress that could harm your body and mind.

Fear based motivation is strongly related to negative thinking. This means that is focused on the wrong thing or on what could go wrong. This kind of thinking prevents us from looking at the bright side of things, at what is right or what might go great.

We are afraid of the outcome while we could anticipate for it. Things might go wrong, but things might also go great. Why should we focus on the negative and not see the bigger picture instead?

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”

William James

If you liked this post you might also like to read my post about negative thoughts or my post on how to overcome fears.

I would like to read your thoughts on this. Have you ever used fear based motivation for a long term goal? How did it go?

inspirational quote about fears and dreams
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Why Commitment Sets You Free

Do you believe that commitment means that you lose part of your freedom? That you will never be free enough to explore your options to the fullest? That you somehow will be limited to live your life in a specific place, doing one job, spending the rest of your life with one person only etc.?

Well I used to think about commitment the exact same way.  I always preferred to think of myself as a free bird, able to live wherever I wanted to, doing whatever I wish, be with whoever I wanted to whenever I wanted to. I was terrified even at the sound of the word commitment.

While, yes, signing a contract is an obligatory type of commitment, the reason that stands behind this is not. While marriage is a formal declaration of your commitment to one person, the reason you are getting married isn’t.

If what you feel about commitment is that it will make you lose a part of your freedom I think it means that in some way you are committed to the idea of freedom that has been created inside your head.

While growing older, what I realized is that commitment does not necessarily mean to sign a contract or to get married. Commitment is something much bigger, can be found in many aspects of our life and can set us free in so many ways.

1. Commitment to a Bigger Purpose

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To commit yourself to a bigger purpose is what can help you make your dreams come true. Commitment in this case is the fuel that makes you keep going no matter what. It is the dedication of yourself and your energy to something bigger.

Commitment is what is behind every Olympic champion, every great scientist or every great artist. In this case commitment is what can set your mind free to dream the impossible and make it happen.

“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”

Albert Einstein

2. Commitment to a Person

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Commitment to one person could be terrifying thinking that you dedicate yourself to one person only. But if this one feels like the one for you, why would that be a bad thing?

Having found a person that feels right for you and making the decision to commit does not mean that you lose all those you have not met yet. It means that you set yourself free to explore yourself along with the person of your choice.

“True love – that is, deep, abiding love that is impervious to emotional whims or fancy – is a choice. It’s a constant commitment to a person regardless of the present circumstances”

Mark Manson

3. Commitment to a Job

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During our life most of us go through several different jobs from package delivery boy / girl to office employees or freelancers.  Most of us can perform well in different kinds of jobs, all of which offer us something.

Commitment to a job that offers some money can offer financial help to pay our rent and bills, to a job that offers much more money can offer us financial freedom to do whatever else we like, even if it means just wasting money. Financial freedom could mean anything.

Commitment to a freelance job means that you commit to your choice of being free to choose the jobs you decide to do, meaning that from that point on you would be the absolute responsible for your working life. No boss to put the blame on.

4. Commitment to a Choice

Sometimes the exploration of different choices could turn out to be an exhausting research of the extraordinary. There comes a point when a specific choice is enough.

We might proceed and check what else is out there that might be waiting for us but yet we do know what we want. In this case ignoring what we feel and know is the right thing for us for the sake of exploration could be one of the stupidest things to do.

5. Commitment to a Place

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You might feel the need to travel and live in different places of this world, and this is great because understanding different cultures and civilizations is something priceless that helps our mind think under different aspects.

However, at some point you might decide to drop your anchor in one specific port. To make a decision to live your life in one specific place can set you free to explore everything this place has to offer, everything you can offer to this place and even more.

Conclusion

Generally, commitment is not something that we are forced to do. To commit to something or someone means that you make a choice and the reason behind this choice is usually our desire to give depth to our choice and to set ourselves free in some way.

Without commitment, you cannot have depth in anything, whether it’s a relationship, a business or a hobby

Neil Strauss

How about you?

How do you feel about commitment?

Stop Avoiding Your Negative Thoughts – Learn How To Handle Them

Are you one of those who often start thinking of the worst case scenario for every single thing? Do you sometimes think that others believe the worst about you? You think that everything is either black or white and there is nothing in between? Do you let small things bother you and think about them for hours, days or longer?

Well, if your answer was yes to some of the above questions then you have negative thoughts.

I know what you might say. Who is this person who doesn’t have any negative thoughts?

The answer is simple. Nobody.

We all have negative thoughts and that is absolutely normal.

The thing is that thoughts are just thoughts and nothing more than that.

Scientists and researchers would oppose this opinion since it has been proved that thoughts interfere with the way our brain works and cause us bad feelings and emotions. Yes, thoughts can be the reason behind lots of mental and physical problems in the end. I do not disagree with that. I even admit it as a fact.

woman on the floor embracing her knees due to negative thoughts
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Thoughts do live in our head and the bad thing is that sometimes we all spend more time living inside our heads than in real life.

Sometimes thoughts are just like feelings. They come and go and they may mean something or may mean nothing at all.

I don’t know about you but for me there are those days that I wake up in a really bad mood and I just don’t have the courage to have any positive thoughts. I don’t feel like lying to myself that this day is going to be a great day. I am in my blues but I know that this is just a day and not my life. I just accept the fact that these days exist and I watch my thoughts. Yes, even the negative ones.

Below are some of the things that I choose to do to cope with negative thoughts and may be helpful to you also. I am not a professional, so these are just my suggestions as a person who deals with negative thinking from time to time. In case your negative thoughts are persistent you should consider asking for professional help.

How to Handle Your Negative Thoughts

1. Accept the Thought

Do not try to avoid or push back your negative thought. Try to understand it and accept the feelings that this thought causes to you. Give this thought some time to stay with you and embrace the feelings that are caused by it. Even if it makes you feel sad or angry, feel the sadness or the anger for some time and let it go away. It is just a thought, there is no reason to stay with you forever.

2. Be Honest with Yourself

Do not try to force yourself to turn a negative thought into a positive one. Your mind is smart enough to realize that you are trying to play with it.

If it is one of those days that you feel like a loser and your thoughts are like “I am a total failure”, “I will never make it in anything” do not say “I am the best” or “Whatever I do is perfect”. It would be more honest to say “I am smart enough and I try my best and that is enough”.

Trying to stop a negative thought and turn it into a completely positive one could even have the worst results. In some cases people who try to push anxious and negative thoughts down only manage to build them stronger until they all explode or come rushing out at once.

3. Share your Thoughts

If you feel like a negative thought returns again and again try to share it with someone close to you. When we talk about something that lives in our head we have to let it come out in words. Even translating our thoughts into words and hearing them provides us with another perspective of them. Not to mention that someone close will also offer us his / her perspective.

4. Be Kind with Yourself

During the days you feel bad and your mind is full with negative thoughts try to be kind with yourself. Make yourself a priority, try to work less hours or less hard than usual. Choose to spend the rest of your day doing things that make you happy like playing with your children or watching a movie that makes you laugh. You name it!

woman and daughter playing and laughing
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5. Take Care of Yourself

This includes your physical and mental health. Watch your diet. Junk food is ok once in a while but making it a habit is not. Make sure you have enough sleep and find a way to work out that you actually enjoy. A healthy body makes us feel good and positive about ourselves, contributing to a better mental health.

6. Connect with the Right People

Make your small community of people the community you want to be a part of. Get rid of people who put you down or make you feel miserable. You don’t need toxic people. Keep your loved ones close, enroll in activities that offer you joy, join the team you always wanted to. Enjoy your life with those you want to.

group of people gathered around, a small community of multiethnic people
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Conclusion

Negative thoughts are normal. We all have them and there is no reason to be afraid of them or to try to prevent them. We cannot stop negative thoughts from coming or choose not to have them, but we can change the way we deal with them and what else we choose to think of. After all negative thoughts are just thoughts, we don’t have to believe them.

I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains“.

Anne Frank

How about you?

How do you feel about your negative thoughts?

How do you choose to deal with them?

What is Happiness and Will I Ever Reach it?

How pleased are you out of your life? If you were asked, would you answer “very pleased” without even hesitating a bit?

Honestly, I spent many years of my life without even being able to understand that I was not pleased with what my life was like. I guess the everyday routine took me with her and I did not even have the time to stand still and think.

The “Dream Job”

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For the last thirteen years I had been working as a business consultant. It started as a nine to five job with great career and financial prospects. I never felt really enthusiastic about it but, hey, the money was good and clients appreciated my work, so it felt like a reward.

Friends and family were happy and proud of me and my career in this “dream job” as it might seem like in their eyes. Finally, I could rent a bigger apartment in a nice neighborhood, I had enough money to travel and no need to have second thoughts if I liked something and wanted to buy it.

I guess you would say that that was great. And yes, I definitely liked the fact that I finally could live without thinking of my finances every single moment. That I finally could live in an apartment that I like, that I could travel and shop whenever I wanted to.

But I just couldn’t do it whenever I wanted to.

When the “Dream Job” Turned Into Nightmare…

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The nine to five job schedule very soon became nine to whatever time the job is done. Considering the fact that most of the clients I was working for were situated at least one hour driving away from home, that also extended my working schedule.

And the deadlines, oh the deadlines…. So much stress and pressure because we had to stick with the project plan and deliver on time.

So, I had a job that offered me financial security and the prospect of a better life.

But, I was renting a great apartment which I was actually using as a hotel since I would use it only to have a shower and get some sleep. I could travel, yes, and I would travel every time I had the chance. And this is something that I loved and I am grateful about.

The thing is that I constantly had the need to travel because I needed it as an escape out of the life I was living. I would shop and spend money not because I needed the staff I was buying but because I could.

And then bam!

The Coronavirus

coronavirus
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Coronavirus arrived and changed everything worldwide.

To all of us it was and in some aspects still is a shock. But the greatest change it brought to my life was that I stopped traveling and started working from home. Everything related to work was set up in just a few hours so the transition was quite fast and sudden.

There was no need to drive to the other side of the city, not even need to take off my pajamas in order to work. I found it as a great chance to finally enjoy my apartment and get some “me” time.

The isolation that came along with the lock down to me was not that horrible as it was to others. I have always enjoyed solitude and having such a busy schedule as I used to have did not offer me enough time to recharge myself.

Time to Stand Still and Look Inside

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It was at that time that I found the time to stand still and think about myself, my life, my needs and feelings.

Another thing that I did not mention, for which I am really grateful since my job financially allowed me to take it, was a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. I had really studied hard due to lack of time but by the time Coronavirus arrived I had already finished all my lessons and there was only my master thesis that I had to submit.

If it wasn’t for Coronavirus and the lockdown work from home status I don’t know if I could have ever made it on time and submitted my master thesis. While spending my time equally to work and studying during the first lockdown I realized even more how fulfilling writing is to me.

Time to Blog

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Even after the lock down had finished I never got back to the office, I kept on working from home. It was at some point during last March that I felt like I needed to communicate my writing with others and thought of starting a blog.

I had tried it again in the past but quit within days. I never stick to it long enough to understand whether I liked it or not. This time was different. As I said above I needed to communicate my writing. When you understand that you do something because not only you just like it but also because you feel that you need it, you do it under totally different terms.

Of course the job did not become less demanding, tiring or stressful just because I was working from home. But something had changed. Even if I felt exhausted I would still sit on my laptop for a few hours after work trying to find out how blogging works, write a post etc.

It was something new. It was engaging and it was related to what I love most, writing. I would spend hours trying to figure out things but the amazing thing was that I would not feel like getting tired.

I read about bloggers that manage to make a great income out of their posts and I honestly admire them. I hope I will be as good as them one day!

I know I know…. I have a million things to learn and should work really hard to get there.

The Decision For Change

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My job went crazy the last few months. There was a point that I felt like I was ready to collapse due to stress and too much pressure, so I decided to resign. After all, it was not like I ever really liked the life I was living the last 13 years of my life. I am grateful for all the things it allowed me to do and have but no, I cannot recall even a single moment that I felt happy in it.

I am also grateful about some people I had the chance to meet but I strongly believe that you never really lose those you care about. So I am not sad about it. I will be in touch with them. Not every day in touch because I have to but now and then in touch because I want to.

I don’t know what I will be doing from now on. I will definitely be blogging more because every day I realize how much I like it. Apart from that, whatever happens I decided that I will not let myself be carried away again by any routine. I will be sitting still and listen to myself and its needs.

Time is precious to be wasted in things that don’t offer us any joy at all.

“Happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress – the solutions to today’s problems will lay the foundation for tomorrow’s problems, and so on. True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.”

Mark Manson

What is the right decision and how to be sure you make one

Was there a time you had to make a decision which, at least at the time you had to make it, seemed as if it was a matter of life and death?

How to identify the right decision

You thought about all the alternatives and tried to figure out which choice would be the best one. You even made scenarios of what the outcome might be short term and long term.

That is something that is always stressful and I think is always doomed to failure.

We usually try to collect all information available, we ask for other people’s experiences and opinions. What would our friends and loved ones do if they had to take this specific decision?

And then what?

Is there anyone who can reassure us that this is the right choice for us? And after all, what does the right choice mean?

Usually, most of us are carried away by what other people usually do in similar circumstances, by what other people advise us, by what we think that other people will think about us once we make a specific decision.

But, I think that if you ask the same question to 100 different persons there is a good chance you get lots of different answers and then it gets even more confusing.

What did each one of them have in mind when giving a specific answer? What were the experiences they had that led to this answer? What was the emotional status at the moment the answer was provided?

Truth be told. Nobody, but nobody, can really help us in taking the right decision.

Each one of us is so special and different. And that is good. It is great actually!

Even if we try our best to make sure we have collected all the data available that would probably help us in making the best possible choice, we can never be absolutely sure that this was it.

Honestly, how much could we ever know about something that has not yet happened to us? About something we have not yet experienced?

Right. Nothing!

“When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons”. Sigmund Freud

The meaning of feelings and decisions

There is only one thing we can tell for sure related to feelings and decisions and that is how we feel the moment we finally make that decision.

Happy? Relieved? Excited? Frightened? Anxious? Terrified?

All the above and even more are possible post decision making feelings and usually more than one of them simultaneously. Do they indicate whether the decision was right or wrong? I would say not necessarily.  

They indicate exactly what they are and nothing more. Our feelings the moment we made the specific decision. Whether the decision was right or wrong is something that only time can tell for sure.

Embrace your choices

Whatever the choice made, what we have to do is embrace our choice and move on as if we are absolutely sure that this choice was the best. Because it was the best at the specific moment.  No need to question the choice. This would only cause unnecessary suffering and fear.

The important thing is to make a choice. A choice that could save your life, change your life, change you and your relationships with others.

Our life becomes what we make it, through the choices we make each and every day of our life. Even the smallest ones can lead us somewhere we have never imagined.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Theodore Roosevelt

“If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you’ll find you’ve done it”. George Bernard Shaw

What about you? What are your thoughts about the decision making process?

Believe

Didn’t know whether I believed

Eyes were flooded with dark

Unaware of everything

Felt helpless

Alone

Questioning everything

Why did you

Chose me for this harsh punishment?

I owed what and to whom and I had to pay?

No fear

Feel light and free

Darkness is transformed into light that blinds me

The voices fell silent

Soul in peace

I follow the light

You know why you are taking me with you.

I’m silent, I believe…

Why being sensitive is not that bad after all

First of all, what do we mean when we say that a person is sensitive? A person called sensitive is strongly affected by what he / she experiences. Recent researches have shown that everyone is more or less sensitive and separated people into three different groups depending on how sensitive one person is. These groups are low, medium, or high and were labelled as dandelions, tulips, and orchids.

For more information related to sensitivity research you may visit https://sensitivityresearch.com/research-on-sensitivity-past-present-and-future/

A highly sensitive person, like me, who has to deal with the brutal reality which has to keep me busy all day long, attend meetings, phone calls,  keep up with numbers, constantly try to prove my value etc. can be easily overwhelmed. 

Quite often my friends and family advise me to stop being that sensitive, to grow up, to become stronger. As if being sensitive is a malfunction or problem.

Honestly, in this society we all live in, we are taught to be fast and efficient in whatever we do. We must be productive and in most cases being sensitive is not considered an asset.

However, I believe my sensitivity and feelings are there every time for a reason. I know that I am able to sense and understand things that other people cannot. They call this intuition. I call it the ability to sense that something is wrong or needs attention. Ability to understand that another human no matter what he says he is not ok.

Ever since I remember myself I could be happily laughing one moment and burst into tears just minutes afterwards even at the sight and only of an injured animal, of an old lady that could not walk by herself, of a child begging for money.

Growing older and having to work for big companies like banks made things worse. I could feel that I was so much different than the others. I usually felt out of place and I would just try to hide myself as much as possible, try to do what I could and just wait for another day to end.

Truth is that when something was not ok I could sense it. If one of my colleagues had a problem or was not feeling ok I could understand it just by taking a look at his face, his expressions or even via phone by the sound of his voice.

I could even understand if there was a problem between some of my coworkers,  what was the new manager‘s opinion about each one of the personnel or if there was some kind of problem with the processes and status of a project. All these just by paying attention to other humans, their expressions and reactions.

How did my colleagues react to this ability of mine? They would call me strange, irrational or would think that I am overreacting in some cases. And to some point they were right because I know that it was hard for them to understand what I was trying to tell them at the time.

For me being in such a position was  disappointing. I have spent most of my life wishing I were different, less sensitive, and less emotional. I just wanted to be harder and crueler in a way. Not being affected by others words, opinions, emotions or expressions.

Lots of people of course had thanked me during my life for being there for them when needed someone to understand, to offer them compassion and kindness. This is of major importance but for some reason seemed not to matter that much compared to my pain and suffering through all those years.

Seemed that my gain compared to what I was losing was meaningless. People continued to underestimate me, doubt me and overlook me. I kept on for years being nothing more than one productive unit which was actually not working as well as others.

Feeling like this made me start trying to develop myself, to try to make myself a bit harder. The thing is that along the way I found out that what I thought was my biggest problem I found out that could prove to be a huge asset if used and not tried to bury it.

Let me point out what I think are the biggest assets of sensitivity.

4 reasons why being sensitive is an advantage

1. You are aware of yourself, your needs and feelings.

Having a deep understanding of who you are and how you are each time of the day is what makes you able to understand what is good and what is bad for you. Being sensitive enough to understand what another person might be going through sets you able to correspond accordingly, taking his feelings into account.

2. You can feel and share compassion

As pointed above compassion provides that someone can be able to understand someone else’s feelings. While living in a cruel and selfish world I consider compassion a strength that could prove to be super power.

3. You can sense when something is wrong

You have the ability to sense things that other people don’t. You are able to catch the vibes, read the faces and expressions, and translate what one says not only by his words but also by the pace, tone and sound of his voice.

4. You can use your sensitivity to be creative

Artists are well known for their sensitivity and their ability to sense emotions. Artists are also well known for their ability to set their emotions on fire with their creations.

For those who read my blog you also know that apart from articles I also share some short stories and poetry. How could I possibly be writing about other people, my heroes, if I were incapable of being in their shoes, thinking their thoughts and feeling their emotions? How could I be writing for other people without being able to inspire them with my heroes’ emotions and thoughts?

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create— so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off… They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.” Pearl Buck,The Good Earth

How do you feel about your sensitivity?

Have you embraced it or trying to fight it?

Orpheus

I was longing for
to see your face
in the sunlight.
No steps heard behind me.
I shouldn't look back.

In a moment 
you were gone.
I was left alone.
No hope.
The fault was mine

If only I hadn't dared,
If I hadn't run behind you.
I should be left 
in grief.
Creating only mourning music.

The pain would be endless
but the fault, 
someone else's.
I remain 
unforgiven to me.

Compassion from none.
I loathe the sadness 
to see in their eyes.
Even that, I don't deserve it.
Me, who I convicted
You my love
in eternal darkness.

Inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice

Based on greek mythology Orpheus who was the main representative of the singing art and guitar was married to Eurydice. When she died he created beautiful mourning songs and music that made nymphs and gods cry. They consulted him to visit the underworld and play his music to Hades and Persephony. When Hades and Persephony heard his music they agreed to let him take Eurydice with him to the world of the living. The deal included that Orpheus should be walking in front of Eurydice and should not look back at her until they both reached the world of the living. In the middle of the road Orpeus got anxious since he could not hear Eurydice’s steps and broke the promise, he looked back to see if she was indeed behind him. Eurydice disappeared immediately and Orpheus lost her again, this time forever.