Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Choose Responsibly

Certainly one of our greatest powers is our ability to determine ourselves and decide of our attitude at any given moment. Though this freedom finds its limits in the conditions in which we live in, we are always free to take a stand and even in the direst situations, to decide what to make of our existence.
How we use this freedom defines who we are and, as with every great power, there must also come great responsibility.

Freedom allows for both good and evil. While our society tries to enforce that nobody falls to the dark side, it remains our responsibility to choose between the many different shades of good.
Furthermore, this new age of science and technology has expanded our choice and revealed to us the full scope of our freedom. While our ancestors could rely on traditions, such as religions, to tell them what they ought to do, we now stand fully aware of the infinite different ways in which we could live our lives.

In facing a choice, multiplying the options doesn’t always lead to a better outcome, for it then requires that we make up our mind and be strong enough to act. In particular, the former requires a certain level of knowledge that grows exponentially with the number of options.

In the case of life, some options are attractive at first sight but disappointing in reality, while others take great courage to choose but offer immense rewards in the end. Most important, some are unknown to us until we acquire the knowledge that will reveal them to us.

That’s why I find acquiring knowledge to be one of the most important pastimes, because it broadens my view and understanding of the world, thus increasing my opportunities and improving my judgment.

We all have a remarkable potential and we must decide what to make of it. While some might be satisfied with less than others, many strive for more. Whatever we decide, we should not forget that everything is possible, so long as we believe, and put in the mental effort to become what we ought to be.

It is our responsibility to choose what’s best for us, our loved ones, and the world.

Source: Thibaut.Me

Monday, July 22, 2013

4 Simple Steps, When Things are Fall Apart

Things don't always go swimmingly. 

Sometimes I fail. It is not fun. At least not when it has just happened.

But over the years I have learned a few steps that help me to deal with this in a
smarter and healthier way than just feeling sorry for myself for weeks or letting
the failure hold me back from taking action again for months.

1. Just be with what you are feeling. 

When you fail it will most often hurt. Oftentimes a bit, sometimes quite a bit.

And that is OK. Don't try to paint it over with a smile. I have at least found in my
life that it works better to just be with what I am thinking and feeling. To try to
accept it, to let it in and to hurt for a while instead of trying to reject it all and to
keep it away.

Because when you let it in and accept it will go faster and in the long run less be
painful to process what has happened. 

If you reject how you really feel then those emotions will pop up at unexpected
times later on and can make you moody, pessimistic, angry or sad.

Just being with your feelings and accepting them is however not a license to start
feeling sorry for yourself or going deep into the victim role for the next two weeks
or months though. 

It is one of the steps forward from what has happened.

2. Remind yourself that failure is a temporary thing. 

When you have failed it is very easy to start thinking that you will always keep
failing in this area of your life. It is easy to start thinking that you are indeed a

Don't fall for such a destructive self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead, remind yourself that just because you failed today or yesterday does not
mean that you will fail the next time. 

The truth is that this won't last for the rest of your life if you keep taking action
and it does not label you as some kind of failure.
Seeing what is negative as a temporary thing instead of something permanent is
an essential key to an optimistic attitude and to living a life of fully exploring your
own potential. 

3. Remind yourself that you will not be able to do things perfectly or
do them 100% of the time.

Don't set perfectionist ideals because then it will feel like you are always failing in
some way or that you are not good enough.

Instead, focus on improvement. 

Focus for example on eating healthy or staying optimistic 80% of the time at first.
Then, later on, aim at doing it 90% of the time.

This is healthier for you and your optimism and self-esteem. And it is a more
realistic approach because failure is a natural part of life (especially if you go
beyond your comfort zone).

4. Find the constructive path forward. 

The previous steps help me to move from the initial hurt to rekindling my
optimism. In this final step more fuel is added the fire of optimism and action is
taken to start moving forward again.

What I have found to work really well to do that is to ask myself a few questions
like these:

  • What is one thing I can learn from what has happened?
  • What is one thing I want to do differently the next time?
  • What is one small step I can take to more forward today?

You may find more than one thing that you can learn, that you want to do
differently or steps you can take to move forward. 

But focus one just finding one for each question at first so you don't get stuck in
procrastination because you may feel that answering with a whole list of things for
each question becomes too hard.

Have an optimistic week!