Looking Back: 7 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self
Everyone regrets something. In fact, those who state they “regret nothing” so confidently after they reach a certain age actually feel quite the opposite deep down. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have the need to proclaim it so overtly. However, while each and every one of us should be at peace with our regrets as an inescapable part of life’s journey, I have to admit, when I’m looking back, there are (at least) 7 things I would tell my younger self.
Life is riddled with mistakes
“Learn from your mistakes” is the most common piece of advice you’ll hear around the world, however, we rarely do, and that is fine. I would tell my younger self not to fuss about mistakes or the fact that I tend to repeat them from time to time. Instead, the only way to overcome that vicious cycle is to fully embrace them. Life is riddled with mistakes, and we all tumble around in the dark. And you know what, I’ve got used to that image with age.
Happiness means nothing
Happiness is a dull instrument and a hollow lie. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. If I knew that when I was younger, I would have stopped the fool’s search for happiness and began searching for PURPOSE a lot sooner. The question I should have been asking myself was not “what will make me happy?” and “how can I achieve it”, but “how can I make myself useful to both myself and those around me”. Finding that purpose is the best thing we can hope for in life.
Don’t break the rules for the sake of it
Breaking the rules is a natural part of growing up. The status quo is a source of anguish and we all need to get into the habit of mixing things up to create a dynamic environment, but don’t break the rules for the sake of it. Some people get into this habit by deluding themselves into thinking the meaning of life hides in the constant process of rule-breaking. It’s a fool’s errand. You will spend energy and get nothing in return, or worse, get an undesirable result.
Start saving as early as you can
This sounds like something out of left field, considering the other pieces of advice are mostly ‘metaphysical’, but in a way, so is this one. You see, money equals independence and freedom, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. They are either idealistic fools with childlike outlook or they want to swindle you out of something. With a sizeable sum of money saved up for the future, you can afford the help of in-home care services and additional luxuries. What’s most important – you will not be a burden to your family, and they’ll be able to go on building their own lives.
Life is about movement, so move
I should have travelled more. The world is a much bigger place than you’ve been told – there are so many people with cultural and historical backgrounds that are drastically different than yours, and clashing with them and getting to know them is an adventure in and of itself. New people and places challenge your ideas and opinions, and that is good. Life is all about movement – it’s intrinsic to the very nature of life, so I must admit I should have moved much more frequently.
Impatience destroys opportunities and friendships. It makes your soul restless, which leads to irritation and anger. You need to dig deep into yourself to find patience. It can be hard because it is not exclusively related to any particular aspect of life. Patience is abstract, independent.
Finally, learn how to accept a compliment
This one’s a bit of a cheat. For one, it means exactly what it says – don’t be uptight, insecure or ineptly humble and learn how to accept a compliment. The person that gives it to you does it in good graces and with good intentions, so take it as such, enjoy it and let it become part of you. Every compliment, IF it’s genuine and deserved, is food for the soul.
However, there is one more little thing I’ve meant by this – and that is to be grateful. Every kind word, every gesture of friendship or love, every good thing that comes your way is its own form of miracle. You see, the only true constant in life is pain, and in order to be prepared to endure it with dignity and composure, you need to appreciate the good things while they last and accept they won’t last forever.
If this sounds dour, then you need to learn a hard fact – it is not. This pain is merely life happening to you, and you cannot escape it. So I propose a radical idea to you, old me: accept this pain, those mistakes and tragedies, as something that is an integral part of life, not a bad thing, but the very cornerstone of what makes our existence. I’ve cheated again. This might be one extra thing I would tell my younger self.
Olivia is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is passionate writer, a traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
Learning To Unplug As An Entrepreneur
When you’re attempting to detach yourself from your work and social media, it can get tough. Facebook, Twitter, and other websites and apps are used so often they feel like routine. Breaking the habit of checking each one every so often outside of working hours isn’t something that can be done overnight, nor should it be taken lightly. Social media, emails, et cetera can be addictive despite being necessary to function in our increasingly smartphone-laden world.
The key part of the unplugging experience is not that social media and technology are bad. They’re convenient tools to keep up with friends and handle business as a busy, but singular entity. It’s overuse and overreliance when you shouldn’t be focusing on work that can make them toxic to your ability to function without, and like most good things, should be done in moderation. If you’re finding yourself already down the slippery, compulsive email and phone-checking slope, you’ll want to take these steps to back away from technology. Here are some tips and suggestions to ease you out of your dependence and unplug yourself from your business.
Little by Little
Unplugging should be done piecemeal, with baby steps and breather periods. Like any other habit or routine, the “cut it cold turkey” method seldom sticks for long. You should begin unplugging as soon as you leave your place of work. Wind down your busy thoughts during the commute home. Listening to podcasts
during your commute is a great way to divert your thinking. At home, start with the simplest exercise by putting your phone on silent during morning and evening hours. That includes notifications in addition to your ringtone. The less it rings and buzzes, the less often you think about it. Go about your off-hours only checking messages and calls as necessary, and keep your mind on your family and personal tasks. The less you think about your phone, the better. Removing any notification-laden apps from your home screen can also be helpful in this exercise. Anything that helps you access work-necessary content without also tempting you to check the unnecessary apps and websites is key.
Replace some of the tools you otherwise used your smartphone or computer for with their more mundane counterparts. Buying a traditional alarm clock to replace the one set by your phone lets you place your phone far away from you overnight, decreasing your likelihood to check it first thing in the morning and letting you avoid scanning your phone before bed. If you do need to use your computer outside of work,download an internet lockout program to prevent your usage from drifting from the intended. Keep notes or to-do lists on good old-fashioned notepads.
Set boundaries on what you can and can’t engage in, and for how long you’re going to allow yourself to spend on social media and other pursuits when with family, friends, and away from your business. Test yourself to see how long you can go without checking your phone after you wake up in the morning. Push the limit with each successive day, until you no longer feel compelled to look immediately at work notifications on waking. Make your phone a method for easy access, and not your sole tool to complete tasks.
Start reading a book on your off-hours. If you have an alternative to checking your phone while you wait in waiting rooms or during other downtimes, you’ll drop the compulsion. While it might be tempting to use an E-book app on your phone to read, steps like these are much more effective if you are not acknowledging your phone for longer swaths of time.
Off the Grid
Perhaps the most drastic way to properly unplug is to physically remove yourself from your business for a period of time. Everyone has somewhere they’ve always wanted to go, and the best opportunity for a relaxing tech-free adventure is with a good, old-fashioned cross-country road trip. Give notice to those who might wonder where you’ve been, or even bring along a pal, but make sure the rule stays: no social media, no emails, no unwarranted phone calls, and certainly no talking about it. Make the road trip something you’re experiencing as it happens and not something you experience to post for likes on Facebook or Twitter.
If you’re not feeling so dramatic with your unplugging, you still need to find a way to divert your attention. Picking up a new hobby is an ideal way to channel your former tweeting and emailing time into something constructive is one of the better ways to handle it. All your newfound free time can be used in learning an instrument or other skill, like cross stitching or knitting. Starting a small garden is also an option, as it provides a constructive routine. Exercising on a regular basis can also keep your mind away from the invasive entrepreneur-oriented thoughts.
Diligence and repetition are the best way to build new, healthier habits. Whether it’s about exercising, eating, or social media, habit-building is a full-time job that can’t be expedited. Keep yourself calm and distracted from your smartphone compulsions and engage more with the physical world around you, as it will be just as—if not more—rewarding.
Haley is from Gilbert, Arizona. She loves reading and writing just about anything under the sun. In her spare time, you can find her exploring outdoors or sippin’ on a craft brew.
How To Stay Mindful In A Fast Paced World
It’s no secret that we live in a world that never shuts off. We’re constantly bombarded with various messages and typically glued to our devices on any given day. With the pace at which we’re living, it’s no wonder so many people suffer from illnesses and health issues. It’s difficult to stay mindful. The good news is that there are ways to slow down and get to a better place, both mentally and physically.
It’s time to stop letting the world control you and return to the driver’s seat of your own life. You’re putting your wellbeing at risk if you don’t begin to make changes soon. Think of how much happier and at peace you’ll be when you take time to stay mindful in a face paced world.
It’s as simple as taking breaks more often throughout your day. Walk away from your desk, fill your water bottle or look out the window for a few minutes. These small moments add up to a much more relaxed and mindful you. Your brain can only work at full capacity for so long before it needs a rest too. It’s all about knowing yourself and recognizing when you’re feeling tired and need to step away to re-energize. You’ll make fewer mistakes and be more alert. You won’t feel like you need to crash right when you get home from work.
Care for yourself
You can’t be mindful and in the present moment if you feel like crap. Eat well, exercise, laugh and get a good night’s sleep each day. Stay on top of your health like it’s your job because it’s what’s going to allow you to function at your best and have an abundance of natural energy. Use a calendar if you have to and enter in “me time” on a regular basis, whether that’s swimming laps or sitting on your patio. Put yourself ahead of your schedule and responsibilities for once. If you do, you’ll soon realize that you feel great and it all still gets done. No one else can do it for you; you have to put your foot down and refuse to let your daily tasks get the best of you.
Manage your Stress
Mindfulness is all about acknowledging your thoughts and then letting them pass. It’s in your control whether you let your mind take over and allow it to make you feel stressed. Manage your stress to stay mindful, regardless of the pace at which the world is happening around you. If you don’t get in front of it, you risk becoming caught up in the external universe and letting other people and situations upset you. Remember that it’s what you do in your downtime that matters most. This is because you’ll be able to remain mindful when faced with chaos in your environment.
Know how to Rest
Ask yourself, do you truly know how to rest and relax, or do you feel guilty each time you do? Stay mindful by grounding and centering yourself regularly. It’s not a practice you should pick up when you want for it to work. It has to become a part of who you are and how you live. Learn how to put your feet up, read a good book, drink tea and not care that your phone is going off nonstop. Your health suffers when you respond to others and work before giving yourself a break to breathe first. Consistently kick back and do whatever makes you happy and allows you to completely decompress.
Your first step is to surrender and admit you can’t do it all. Don’t be afraid to do this because there’s a tool called prioritizing that will help you get through this adjustment in your routine. Always make lists for all that’s on your mind and then prioritize the items. Focus on what needs to get done first and leave the other tasks to another day. This ranking and organizing truly works and it’s a lifesaver for someone who’s always on the go. This will keep your mind on what matters most and not ruminating about your entire year of to-dos. Remember to always keep some sort of wellness behavior near the top of your priority list each day.
Train your Brain
Unfortunately, you can’t wish, hope and want that you’re mindful. For the practice to work, you have to train your brain so that it is mindful. Do this by playing brain teasers, taking nature walks, reading books on mindfulness and practicing meditation and yoga. There’s no shortcut and you won’t master it overnight. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the experience of learning. Know that this way of thinking and slowing down is going to feel uncomfortable and strange at first, but don’t let that scare you away. Instead, take notice of how much better you feel and more enjoyable life becomes when you’re not always racing around and chasing.
Do more of what you Love
When you’re in a mindful state you’re free from others and society telling you what to do and how to think. It sounds cliché, but it’s true, mindfulness allows you to find who you are and the courage to explore your true desires. You’re your own person, moving along at the pace you wish to progress. Take time to do more of what you love and let your true self come to life. You’re simply more engaged and in tune with what’s in front of you when you’re following your passions and aren’t worried about judgments being passed. You’re living in the moment, with purpose and you’re happy. The craziness of what’s going on around you won’t seem so threatening to you and you’ll start to see your own judgments and criticism of others subside.
Always believe you can change and you will. Mindfulness is a practice and skill anyone can do if you put forth your best effort and stay patient with yourself. It’s a useful technique for anyone looking to not just to get by, but thrive in a fast paced and unpredictable world.
Katie Carlson is a seasoned professional with skills and experience in education, training, event planning, social media, blogging/writing, technology, marketing and customer service. She’s been published on websites such as SheKnows and Thought Catalog. In her free time she loves playing soccer, golfing, running, cooking, volunteering, reading, traveling, having dinner with friends, being creative, writing, engaging in stimulating conversation, going to the beach and blogging, of course.
She resides in Wisconsin with her loving husband, James. Katie created The Social Being721 in order to make sure she practices what she preaches and takes time each day to reflect and give thanks and gratitude for the very special moments in life. She thought she’d have some fun doing it and share content her readers can connect with and embrace. It doesn’t have to be complicated or a place to make judgments, it just IS. Inspiration, laughter and human connections keep Katie rounded and motivated. She’s always hungry to learn and grow!
What I Learned Getting Rid Of 465 Of My Belongings
Last month, I decided to embark on The Minimalists’ 30-day challenge. The idea is this: on the first day, you get rid of one thing, on the second day, you get rid of two things, etc. So on the 30th day, after you’ve gotten rid of 30 things, you’ve purged a total of 465 items from your life.
I was already pretty minimal when it came to my clothing and possessions, so I was surprised by my many epiphanies as I continuously pared down to what was absolutely essential. Here’s what I learned.
1) Most of my belongings don’t mean that much to me.
One of Buddha’s most famous teachings is to feel open to anything but attached to nothing. In the most literal sense, this can apply to physical things.
Each day, I would make tick marks in my planner of how many things I’d gotten rid of so far. It was nice to see objects represented so plainly; it reminded me of their superficiality.
2) The things that do matter to me matter for a good reason.
I have two pairs of jeans (one blue and one black) that I wear all the time. They’re well-made and fit me perfectly, and I didn’t mind that they were an investment because I knew they’d be staples. If I were to part with one of those two pairs, I’d be affected by the change. But for so many other items in my closet, I wouldn’t even notice. That made it easy to say goodbye.
On the other hand, I have a shoebox stuffed with meaningful cards and letters. Every now and then I’ll riffle through to remind myself that I am loved by some remarkable people. I wouldn’t part with that box for anything.
3) I learned what I don’t need to spend money on in the future.
It’s so tempting to grab a tank top that’s on sale for six bucks or four sports bras when they’re buy one get one. But the pretty price tag is often a distraction from the fact that those clothes don’t fit perfectly and I probably don’t even need them. When I was going through my closet, things like that were the first to go.
Before I spend money on something, I now think more carefully about it, about the physical space I’ll “spend” as well as the money.
4) I started a ‘do without’ list.
When I have the urge to spend money on something that isn’t necessary, I jot it down on a running list along with the amount of money I’m saving by not purchasing it. For instance, I was obsessed with those lovely glass boxes that are everywhere right now, the ones with the gold or copper metal framing. I browsed a million websites and even bought one, but when I took it home, I saw that it didn’t really de-clutter my jewelry; it just put my jewelry clutter in a beautiful clear box. I didn’t need it. I returned it and saved myself $25 bucks!
This list isn’t about depriving myself of things I need or would put to good use, it just reminds me that not everything I want I need, and it celebrates when I remember that buying stuff won’t make me happy.
5) I found the most meaningful practice I can do with my stuff: give it away.
I love crafting things, namely cards and candles. For me, the process of making is therapeutic, but I don’t need all of the finished products. I found that giving these homemade lovelies as gifts brings them new meaning. I got the therapeutic benefit of crafting them, and now I can give someone a thoughtful homemade gift and feel great about it.
What objects do you surround yourself with that make you feel fufilled? What objects are holding you back?
Ali Weeks is a freelance writer and editor. She specializes in writing about health and wellness, relying on her experience in the industry as a Pilates instructor and professional dancer. She is passionate about helping people share their stories, and would love to do the same for you. Visit tidepoolreverie.com to learn more.
6 Habits That Will Improve Your Quality of Life
It’s true what they say—life’s a journey, not a destination. You have the power and ability to change the quality of your life, and thus your journey, at any given point. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” person, and not just because perfection is subjective and doesn’t exist. Humans are innately flawed and can fall into a variety of traps. However, addiction is one of the most dangerous, and it can be impossible to untangle yourself without the help of experts. As we begin a new year, challenge yourself to a better, healthier, and more enjoyable life.
Here are six habits that can make a huge difference:
Be honest with your technology addiction and get help if necessary. Drug and alcohol addiction is well-known, but technology addiction can be a little murkier. After all, it’s conceivable in western culture to avoid alcohol and drugs for good, but not technology. Most of us need tech for work, to connect with loved ones, and simply to enjoy activities of daily living. There’s also the issue of “technology addiction” being made flippant (kind of like OCD). It’s not taken as seriously by mainstream society, but that’s starting to change. There are recovery centers prioritizing tech addiction and can help sufferers identify tools to better co-exist with technology. An addiction can be defined as any habit or substance/product that interferes with other parts of your life including health, work, and relationships.
Give appreciation freely and honestly. This goes for both those around you and yourself. It’s amazing how something as simple as a genuine compliment can turn a person’s entire day around. Every day, try to find an authentic way to compliment at least one person. It kickstarts the cycle of caring and compassion, and you’ll benefit from an endorphin rush of making someone else feel good. (Plus, if you believe in karma, there are some excellent karma points to enjoy). Also, appreciate yourself and speak kindly about your worth, whether aloud or to yourself. Silence that inner critic.
Get outside for at least 20 minutes a day when weather allows. There are countless studies touting the benefits of the great outdoors. If you live in a metro area, try to seek out a park so that the greenery can feed your soul. Try to avoid bringing any technology with you. Spend time appreciating the beauty of nature, whether it’s a leaf or a nearby river. You’ll be energized and may even be able to ditch that afternoon cup of coffee.
Swap coffee for tea at least once a day. Green and black tea have both been tied to a number of health benefits including being potential arthritis and dementia fighters. They have a gentler caffeine boost than coffee and can be a great way to start your day. Choose a cup of green tea instead of java first thing in the morning if you’re a coffee addict, and consider a decaf “sleepy time” tea as part of your sleep best practices.
Find out how many hours of sleep you need on average. Many people think eight hours is the standard, but that’s just an average. People need various amounts of sleep, and the only way to find out is to figure out how many hours you require to wake up without depending on an alarm. This is the first step in creating better sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is a set of best practices to optimize quality sleep. Additions include ditching screen time at least two hours before bed and making sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and tech-free.
Move at least once a day for 30 minutes. Movement doesn’t necessarily have to be hardcore exercise. Movement should be joyful and desirable. Try out a new dance class, check out urban hiking trails, or find a gently used bike and explore your neighborhood in a new way. Moving is essential for energy, joy, and health.
Healthy habits don’t have to be a sacrifice. There are many ways to up the quality of your life without making a huge commitment. How will you be better to yourself in 2018?
Emily Walters is a freelance content writer. She has written for a variety of industries including business, beauty, healthcare, technology, and travel. Aside from writing, Emily enjoys traveling, gardening, and paddle boarding.
Successful Millennial Women: What Do They Have in Common?
Currently, millennials make up the majority of the workforce in the USA, and 28% of them are managers. Two-thirds of millennials see themselves on management positions within the next decade. It’s a powerful generation.
Although the gender wage gap is still present, millennial women are surely working their way up to equality. They are outpacing men in higher education, and that’s surely going to take them to better wages.
What makes successful millennial women so special? Can we notice patterns that characterize this entire generation? The least we can do is try. These are the most notable character traits of a successful millennial woman:
Maybe this woman won’t be wearing an expensive suit. However, you’ll have the impression that she owns the world. She stands tall, with her head high and the shoulders back. She rules body language skills and she’s not afraid to make eye contact with the most powerful people in the room. She’ll even do it with a smile.
A successful millennial woman makes lasting impressions with her attitude.
This generation is not about hierarchies. It’s focused on working together towards achieving a goal that’s greater than personal career progress.
Roberta Travis, co-founder of Career Booster, explains: “Millennial women grew up in teams. We joined sports clubs, we played games, we went to camps, we joined sororities… all these things taught us how to be friends and supportive team members. Social media is part of this process, too. We know how to connect and we know how to remain effective even with remote teams.”
Aversion to Unnecessary Risks
Businessmen like to brag about being fearless. To prove how brave they are, they will take unnecessary risks that take them in foolish situations. A successful millennial woman doesn’t act that way. She will take risks only after she calculates the outcome well enough. She’ll take the risk only if she sees a way to rebound in the worst-case scenario.
It’s a highly positive trait that makes her a strong leader. People feel safe under her management.
A successful woman is never only about work or only about family. She manages to find balance between her goals related to career/wealth, family and friends, and personal growth. She will be successful at work, but she’ll never neglect her family for the sake of achieving career progress. No matter how hard she works, she’ll never ignore the needs of her body and spirit.
If you were wondering where that inner glow of successful women comes from, it’s from her well-balanced life.
A successful woman of this generation is not a hopeless optimist. She’s more of a realist, but she sticks to her positive mindset, as the fuel needed to get to the point of goal realization.
She will not undermine her own success with negative self-talk. She believes in herself enough to carry on through all challenges with amazing inner strength.
It’s a requirement for success. When a woman figures out what she wants to do with her life, she invests her entire energy into that goal. She may decide to help people, bring an organization to success, make an impact on women’s right, or whatever other cause she believes in.
She remains passionate for her choices and keeps going forward no matter what.
A successful millennial woman does not act according to the principles of consequentialism. She does not believe that the goal to be victorious justifies leaving victims on the way up. Personal integrity is the very core of her character. That’s why people trust and respect her.
A successful woman will be connected with her team and her target audience through various channels. She knows how to get the most out of social media and build her personal brand through it. She keeps exploring new tech tools and uses the most effective ones to simplify her life.
The most powerful woman is the one who never gives up. She’s not stubborn in the negative sense of the word. She is persistent. Even when her ideas are being ignored and doubted by others, she keeps following her passion.
The Millennial woman. She is a youthful trendsetter, who’s able to set goals and stay focused on them. She can overcome all challenges with a positive attitude. She is knowledgeable. Reliable. Competent. But most of all, she is fierce!
Eva Wislow is an entrepreneur and career coach from Pittsburgh, PA. Eva maintains a strong interest in bringing the digital revolution in human resources. Eva has a degree in Psychology and she is focusing on helping people discover their true calling. She writes for Business.com and other well-known resources. Follow Eva on Twitter.