“Sometimes in life, you fall down holes you can’t climb out of by yourself. That’s what friends and family are for—to help. They can’t help, however, unless you let them know you’re down there.”—Meg Cabot
1. Is this a person who always puts you down? A friend is someone who accepts you as you are – and allows you to be different, and to think for yourself, and to make your own decisions – without an explanation. However, if a person is demeaning or always puts you down, criticises your opinions, or the way you dress or look, then that’s someone to avoid as they’re a toxic friend.
2. Do they gossip about you? A friend is someone you can totally trust. You can share your deepest secrets, and say what’s on your mind – and they won’t tell a person or betray your trust. However, if you always have to watch what you say around a friend as they’re likely to gossip or let something slip then it’s likely that this person is a toxic friend.
3. Do they constantly mock and make fun of you? A bit of gentle ribbing shows affection between friends. But if they’re always making fun of you, or highlighting your faults, or attacking you in public, then they’re not a genuine friend.
4. How do you feel after being with your friend? Think about your answers to the following:
- Do you feel defensive when you spend time with them?
- Do you feel hurt or upset after spending time with them?
- Do you feel as if you always have to justify yourself instead of being “natural” around your friend?
- Do you enjoy their company or do you feel ambivalent?
- Do they undermine your confidence and self-esteem?
- Do you feel attacked and used after spending time with them?
- Does the friendship feel unbalanced and require a lot of work?
- Is it more a competition than a genuine friendship?
Note: If you recognize the signs of a toxic friend, then it’s time to move on and find a different friend. Being with this individual will wreak your happiness.
“Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually’, just do it and correct the course along the way.”—Tim Ferriss
It is often possible to manage anxiety by actively replacing irrational thoughts with more balanced and reasonable thoughts like the following:
1. I’m going to be OK. Sometimes my feelings are irrational and false. I’m just going to relax and take things easy. Everything is going to be fine.
2. Anxiety may feel bad but it isn’t dangerous. There’s nothing wrong with me. Everything is going to be OK.
3. Feelings come and feelings go. Right now I feel bad but I know this is only temporary. I’ve done it before so I can do it again.
4. This image in my head isn’t reasonable or rational. I need to change my thinking and focus my attention on something that’s healthier, and generally helps me to feel good about myself. For example _____________.
5. I’ve managed to interrupt and change these thoughts before – so I know I can do it again. The more I practise this, the easier it will become. Anxiety is a habit – and it’s a habit that I can break!
6. So what if I anxious. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not going to kill me. I just need to take a few deep breaths and keep going.
7. Just take the next step. Just do the next thing.
8. Even if I have to put up with a period of anxiety, I’ll be glad that I did, and persevered, and succeeded.
9. I can feel anxious and still do a good job. The more I focus on the task at hand, the more my anxiety will ease, then disappear.
10. Anxiety doesn’t have a hold on me. It’s something I’m working on, and changing over time.
1. Grasp that it’s YOUR life, and no-one else’s life.
2. Decide to “live on purpose”.
3. Recognise that achievement has a price tag attached to it – and decide you’ll pay that price.
4. Work on constantly maintaining your focus.
5. Chose a skill or a field and become competent, or an expert, in that area.
6. Find other people who will hold you to your goals – and will believe in, and encourage you, to strive to reach your dreams.
7. Consciously notice the progress you are making, and remind yourself “it’s worth it” as you’re further on the path.
1. Not having goals. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t know what they are.
2. Choosing goals that don’t inspire you. You won’t be able to keep on going if the prize at the end doesn’t really matter to you.
3. Expecting immediate results. Anything worthwhile is a battle and a struggle. It takes times and effort to bring about a change.
4. Lack of support. We all need someone to believe in us and to be our cheerleader when we start to feel discouraged.
5. Not believing in yourself. As Henry Ford so wisely said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
6. Feeling bored. Most success involves a lot of humdrum work, and repeatedly doing the same kind of stuff. But each day brings you closer to achieving what you want.
7. Inaction and laziness. You have to work the plan before the plan will work … and dreams are only dream till you turn your thoughts to actions. Also, it’s crucially important that you manage your time well, and you don’t get distracted or procrastinate.
8. Being around negative people. There are plenty of people who only see the flaws, and whose eyes are on the problems, and the absence of solutions. If you hang out with them, you will lose your zest and passion, and your positive outlook will soon be undermined.
9. Comparing yourself to others. We each are individuals, and we start from different places; we all face our challenges, and work at different rates. Remember “it’s your journey”. Be patient with yourself.
10. Encountering setbacks. No matter how great your plans, or your level of commitment, you’re bound to face some setbacks and encounter obstacles. That’s a normal part of growth – just keep going when life’s tough.
“Millions of people have decided not to be sensitive. They have grown thick skins around themselves just to avoid being hurt by anybody. But it is at great cost. Nobody can hurt them, but nobody can make them happy either.”—Osho
“I was only able to get over my past when I decided I was going to … Although we can’t set ourselves free, getting up and making a decision to move on from our past is a step in the right direction.”—Corallie Buchanan
1. Get rid of as many distractions as you can. Switch off your phone; close tumblr and facebook; work away from other people – and don’t tell them where you are!
2. Make sure you’ve attended to your physical needs or else they’ll distract you - as you’ll feel uncomfortable. For example, wear relaxing clothes; set the room temperature so that it’s not too hot or cold; and have a snack and some water close at hand.
3. Plan to work at a time when you’re usually most productive. For example, if you’re a morning person, set your alarm and get up early – and make that a pattern, no matter how you feel.
4. Take control of, and silence, that restless inner voice that tries to distract you, and stops you focusing. Also. sometimes it is helpful to set aside some time to listen to those voices – then return and do some work.
5. Allow yourself a break after each half hour of work as it’s difficult to concentrate for longer than that.
6. Get outside for a while and try to do some exercise as that wakens you up and helps you focus on your work.
1. Research shows that our mind wanders about 30% of the time. It occurs regardless of what we are doing – sitting in a lecture, driving the car, cooking dinner, or talking to a friend.
2. Everybody’s mind wanders regularly. It takes concentrated effort to stay on task.
3. Having a wandering mind is different from daydreaming. Day dreaming involves having stray thoughts, random fantasies, or briefly indulges in wishes and “what if” scenarios. In contrast, a wandering mind is where we allow our mind to think about something specific, which is different from the task in front of us right now.
3. A wandering mind can actually be a good thing. It allows part of our brain to focus on one thing while freeing other parts to also think through other goals, responsibilities and tasks.
4. However, a wandering mind can be a bad thing, too. It can cause us to miss important facts and details, and to zone out when something really needs our full, and undivided, attention.
5. Research conducted by the UC, Santa Barbara shows that people whose minds tend to wander more are often more creative and better problem solvers.
1. Let go of anger. When we erupt in anger we often feel much worse. Hence, it’s better to cool off and to work on staying calm.
2. When people treat you badly it’s rarely “about you”. More often it tells you how that person is feeling, or some other issue that is bothering them.
3. You’re not the only one who has struggled with this issue – so don’t feel so awful, or put yourself down.
4. Enjoy the good times and savour every moment as life is a precious gift to be enjoyed.
5. Work and be persistent as it’s worth the slog and pain. In the end it makes a difference as the pay off is success.
6. You need to find a passion and set yourself some goals if you want to go somewhere, and makes something of life.
7. All relationships can teach us so much about ourselves. Both the good and the bad show us who we really are. They reveal what we think, and how we feel, about ourselves – as well as what our values and our expectations are.
“ Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself.”—Janet Fitch
“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.”—Jodi Picoult
1. Keep a dream journal next to your bed. Write down your dream in as much detail as possible, no matter how ridiculous it seems.
2. Look for patterns and recurring themes. However, don’t try to assign a plot or meaning. It is better to let meaning emerge over time.
3. Be skeptical of dream interpretation aids or of dream interpretation dictionaries. Usually the meaning is personal, highly individual and unique. It’s not something that you can find in a book.
4. Look for obvious meanings such as what you recognize from your daily life and life experiences. Don’t just delve deeper and assume the meaning’s hidden.
5. Look at experiences that aroused strong emotions (since as feeling terrified or being anxious or upset) and see if these tie in with what happened in the dream.
6. Notice when your thoughts and insights seem to resonate with you – as often that you are closer to the meaning.
1. Choose not to feel too anxious or to fear what’s in the future. Often, things turn out much better than we thought that they would do.
2. Allow yourself to dream about - and then plan for - the future … But still work hard today as that determines your tomorrow.
3. Don’t simply grit your teeth and try to make it through the day. Decide to find the “positives”, and good things on the way.
4. Don’t rest on your successes as that was yesterday. The past has gone forever – but the future lies ahead.
5. Let go of hurts and grievances: they’ll only pull you down, consume your energy and leave you feeling sad and tired.
6. Be optimistic, smile and have a positive outlook. It brightens how you feel, helps us get the most from life.
“I believe that introversion is my greatest strength. I have such a strong inner life that I’m never bored and only occasionally lonely. No matter what mayhem is happening around me, I know I can always turn inward.”—Susan Cain
“Everyone wants to believe that we can count on someone in our life. It is comforting to think that there is one person to help us through difficult and stressful times, and holds us up when life gets us down. Consider yourself very fortunate if you have that person in your life.”—Beerman & Rappart-Musson
“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.”—Thomas Moore
“Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.”—Norman Vincent Peale