Saturday, April 30, 2016

Zeal

How do you keep the zeal going?

How do you keep positive when there's no guarantee?

How do you keep busy, focusing on your dreams?

How do you avoid burnout?

Well, it might help to set-up a timetable, open to revisions of course. Set small, attainable goals, take breaks (short-ones to clear your head). Set a huge goal as well. Something to look forward to.

Revise your goals, talk to friends about your dreams. Talk to other people in the 'industry'.

Get enough rest.

Sleep 8 hours.

Exercise.

Every year, take a vacation away from your work.

Plan for the next year. Do a long, medium and short term plan.

Every day, do a little something for your dream.

And always hope for the best.

Yes, hope for the best.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Yes


It is hard to say 'no' to someone. We're all guilty of that.

But it's harder to say 'yes' to our dreams. It's harder to set time aside to do something for yourself. It's easier to kill out ourselves for someone else.

it's very easy to put off for tomorrow our dreams, it's a trap that can take years to get out of, if ever at all.

Sometimes we stop doing what we normally do, 'take a break' and next thing you know, decades have gone by and we didn't pick it back up.

Life has a way of filling the void with other things to keep us busy. That's the trap right there.

It's ok to say 'no' to something we don't want to do, as long as it means that we're saying 'yes' to ourselves and our goals and dreams.

Here's a new goal - saying 'Yes' to you.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

xerophytic - able to withstand drought



This of course, was the hardest letter to write for, that is until I found a new word.

Right now, Trinidad is in a drought, California is in drought, many parts of the world are without water.

Water.

Such an essential element that we all need.

There's all sort of the doomsday predictions about global warming, climate change and our loss of water.

It's enough to make anyone scream and faint.

But I believe we can turn things around. If we work really hard at it.

I believe in our ability to solve our own mess, we created it, there must be a way to solve it.

I believe.

I hope.

I believe in conservation, in recycling, in reducing our waste and our carbon footprint.

I believe in being a responsible citizen of the world.

We just need to be a little considerate and not waste water as if we have it in abundance.

That's a first step, and a rather huge step if you think about it.

Conserve and preserve.





Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Will and way

I wonder if there's a handbook on how to pace yourself when you are working on something.

Should you kill out yourself till you arrive at your destination? Should you take small steps? Should you try only ten times and then stop after? Should you try twenty times?

Should you plan for two years, try for another five? Or should you do the reverse? Should you keep on planning and trying?

Should you seek advice or just go alone?

Is there one way? Or is it just one will? How many ways are there? Can you go it on just your will alone? Can you borrow someone else's will?

There's so many questions when you embark on your own journey, trying to do your own thing, your own business, be your own boss. How do you keep motivating yourself when there's no end in sight?

There's so many traps and missteps. There's so many things that are not certain. It makes even trying seem so daunting.

But just think. If no one ever tried and kept trying when things fell apart, then we would have no one to admire.

And wouldn't that be boring?

Maybe, in some years to come, people will talk about you and the risks you took, the barriers you broke down, and the standards you set.

Maybe.

Maybe they will.

Wouldn't that be something?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Veritas

The truth.

Is not always easy to hear. Sometimes we can miss it and the darn thing was right under our noses. Most times it's unpleasant, sometimes it's reassuring, but seldom is it ever wrong.

But acceptance of the truth is liberation. Once we are willing to deal with it and acknowledge our part in it.

There is no escaping the truth.

Everyone might have their own opinion of you and people might think all sort of things about you, but only you can speak your truth for yourself.

And your truth is your only hope for a fulfilled, happy, content life.

Being honest about what you want is your first step to happiness.

Some people may leave, but others may stay after you speak your truth. Family, friends, colleagues.

And that's ok.

It's all ok.

Your truth is yours and yours alone.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Un-usually

What is the normal thing to do when someone pays you a compliment? - knock it down right?

What do you say when you talk about yourself? Negative things I'm sure.

Why are we always so hard on ourselves? It's almost as if we feel guilty for feeling good about ourselves, either that or we're so pre-programmed to think that we will always be mediocre that we've come to accept that as gospel. We assume that we'll never amount to anything. That greatness is really meant for the other guy.

Would it be that bad to think the best of ourselves and when someone pays us a compliment, we just say nothing more than 'Gee, Thanks.'

How hard would that be?

To do the un-usual thing.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Thank you

It is so important to be thankful. For everything.

Things could always be so much worse. Of course things could always be better, but things could always be worse.

I've been trying to be more thankful, instead of worrying and panicking.

I start off each day by being thankful for life and everyone in my life..

I thank God for all the good things to come.

I make sure and thank people whenever I get a chance.

Such a simple word. Thank you.

Being grateful is such a simple concept and so many of us miss the point.

How can we ask for more, if we don't even appreciate what we have right now.

Then we'll never be happy with what we have.

We'll always want more, because we're ungrateful and we can't appreciate the little things.

And we'll never be satisfied.

At least not until we start appreciating what we have right now.

Save your energy for the good stuff



I sometimes get so worked up that I get a stress headache.

Sometimes when I'm really stressed out, I feel as if I can't focus and that I'm falling asleep. It's around that time when my brain shuts down and I can't think.

There's so many things that can ruin our day, so many little small things that are purposely designed to frustrate us.

That is the trick about life, everything has a purpose. Those little annoying things are meant to steal our joy, our hope, our love.

If we get stuck in a pattern of always looking on the dark side of things then we will never have time to enjoy the good stuff.

There will always be chores to do, annoying people on the road, inconsiderate strangers everywhere. They are doing their job - trying to sap our joy away from us.

If we could reprogram ourselves to stop getting annoyed when things like that happen, if we can detach and just watch our anger rise and fall, then I think we'll be a much calmer and happier person for it.

And we would save our energy and time for what really matters in life.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Respect



I think a lot of people don't respect themselves or each other.

Without respect, we will always do things half-heartedly. We should show a certain amount of respect for people, things, situations, processes and time.

A lot of people don't respect the nature of time.

A lot of people don't have respect for anything. And having respect is so important, simply because it's the right thing to do. There is no other way. Even if we don't agree with a person, there's no need to disrespect them.

If we don't agree with a policy or law, then we must do what is best to change that policy in a diplomatic way that is beneficial to all.

We must aim to do things to the best of our ability, even the small, little things.

Because if we act and behave as if anything goes, then people will treat us the same way. If we have no standards then we will do anything, anyhow.

If we respect ourselves, if we respect others, then we will always see the good in everyone.

If I respect you, I can never hate you, and I wouldn't judge you. I would try to see the good in you. I would believe in the best.

If we all did that, do you know how much nicer the world would be?

And we would quicker believe in hope than believe in the worst in someone, because we respected them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quite the opposite



Contrary to what most people believe, I honestly do think that we were put on this earth to fulfill our dreams.

That little dream in our heart.

Everyone has one. At least I'd like to think so.

But quite the opposite to spending every waking moment trying to find our dreams, most of us prefer to bury our head in the sand and forget about it.

But dreams are a funny thing. If we don't try to fulfill it, the dream itself becomes like a bitter pill inside us, it makes us sad and angry in the process.

And so when others come to us with their dreams and their hopes, we can't relate to it with admiration because we're still nursing our pain from our failed attempt.

So what do we do?

We admonish them for being so naive and tell them to get a real job.

We break their hearts and their spirit.

We tell them the opposite of what they really need to hear.

We should be telling them, 'Yea, go for it'

Maybe that's what we wanted to hear and we didn't, but if we had heard just that, maybe we would.

Go for it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pray



Prayer for me is a sort of two-fold thing.

I do recite a number of written prayers but I also talk to God during the day, like a friend, complaining to him.

Sometimes I imagine he's in my passenger seat of my car, I quarrel with him sometimes (yes I know it may not be the most ideal thing, but), I try to keep the conversation going, I tell him exactly how I feel.

Perhaps I do most of the talking.

I do try to listen.

I do.

Sometimes he takes a while to answer. Sometimes it's a long while.

But if it's one thing I've learned is this - God does things on his own time, not ours and certainly not mine (which believe you me, is most frustrating).

But praying does two things - it calms me and gives me hope.

And it's certainly better than panicking and frolicking with despair.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Open to grace



I've heard that phrase in Anusara yoga - 'Open to grace'.

I've wondered what it meant for a while. Open to whose grace.

What is grace?

Grace is a gift. But we've got to be ready to receive it.

The question is, 'what if we're blocking our own progress by our negative, limited mindset?' What if we're preventing ourselves from receiving grace(s)?

I catch myself saying limiting statements about myself all the time.

I watch as those around me say all sort of negative statements.

I listen as most people always cry down themselves and others.

My girlfriend tells me to not be like that, to look at the bright side, to hope and pray. She's a real treasure, a true spark in this sometimes dismal world. (Thank you Maria!)

She tries really hard to show me the good in everything.

She has helped me to be more open and grateful.

Perhaps that's what being open means?

Open to receiving God's grace.

Open to being grateful.

Open to seeing the bright side of things.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Never



Never give up.

Never stop trying.

Never believe all the garbage around you.

Never give in to fear, lust, hatred, anger, jealousy.

Never put your trust in mankind.

Never doubt your conscience.

Never stop asking for guidance.

Never stop asking God for help.

Never stop praying constantly.

Never call it a day.

Try till the end.

As the saying goes 'Never give in, never surrender' or is that 'No retreat, no surrender'?

I forget, but you know what I mean.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Making the most of it



When life gives you lemons, you must pull out the ice tray, grab a jug and somehow make lemonade.

It is not the nicest thing, lemonade. Sometimes it can be downright sour. Personally, I was never a fan of lemonade.

But how can we, make the most of any situation?

It is only through reflection on what happened, determining what was the purpose for this experience and objectively stepping back and trying to learn from it.

Sometimes, an uncomfortable situation can cause us to act out of necessity. That necessity will bring about a change that could be good in the end.

Change is never easy, but it's fact of life. And looking at change differently is good.

It is certainly better than always playing the victim role and asking 'why me?'

But it's only after a repeated number of times can we get to the point where we stop blaming others and ourselves and seek for solutions to the problems.

Only after some time.

I'm trying to see the usefulness in every situation, even the things that don't make any sense at all.

Because if I don't, then I'll just continue to blame everyone else for nonsense, when I perhaps have a part to play in it as well.

I'm trying to not be so hard on myself, but get back up and keep trying.

Because we only fail when we stop trying.

We've got to make the most of things and hope for the best.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Longer than forever

Sometimes we hope for what seems like a very long time. Sometimes what we hope for never comes to pass.

Other times things get worse than what we hoped and prayed for.

I don't have any answers to ease the pain for anyone, including myself when things go wrong.

But I do know that eventually with time, we begin to see things a bit differently, if we are willing to let go of bitter disappointments.

If we can let go and let God as they say, if we can give up trying so hard to make everything perfect (because the truth is, it never will be), if we can stop trying to be in control of everything, then maybe, just maybe instead of waiting for things to get better, maybe we can find a little peace and joy in the chaos.

Usually when that happens, we do find ourselves in a better place.

It is not an easy journey and it can take a very long while.

But it doesn't have to take forever for us to enjoy what we have, and even what we don't have.

None of us should wait another day to be happy.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Keep on swimming



Just keep swimming, even though the waters are unfamiliar.

Just keep trying if you have no more to give.

Just hang in there because you never know when your luck will change.

Just don't give up.

Because you know why?

I'll tell you why.

Everyone is depending on you.

Trillions of cells in your body are depending on you.

That's a huge responsibility.

Not to mention your family, your kids, your friends.

Everyone is depending on you to keep going.

Keep on pushing for that dream.

It's totally worth it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Just because everyone says that



You know, by and large, the majority of people, whether they mean to not, always say negative things that keep us stuck.

I don't know if it's because they think they mean well, or if it's because some of them are genuinely trying to be hurtful and nasty (because they're hurt in some way or fashion themselves).

It's always good to ask people their opinions, like close friends and family, and it's always good to bounce ideas off those you trust.

But sometimes, it's good to trust in your own instinct, your own feeling.

Even if everyone around you is saying the opposite.

Sometimes, everybody else can be wrong.

People are only basing things on their own experiences anyway and no one can truly tell you what's right for you.

That, you gotta figure out on your own.

Hoping for the best of course.

Monday, April 11, 2016

I gotta love me first



So I think a big part of being hopeful is loving oneself.

I know everyone is on this entire binge of self-love, all with various definitions and some a bit warped if you ask me.

I just think it's simply about treating yourself well - in relationships with people, with your career, your hobbies, your everyday interactions with strangers, with everything.

You can't be nice to someone if you're not nice to yourself.

Take it easy on yourself, you're only one person.

How about if you love yourself a little bit more and hate yourself a little bit less?

How about if you try new things, leaving a huge margin for error and a lot of room for improvement?

When things go wrong, don't be so hard on yourself, learn from your mistakes and try again.

You're only human you know, take it easy. You can't do-it-all and you're not superman.

Loving yourself means trusting your gut instincts, it means challenging yourself and it also means forgiving yourself when things go wrong.

Tomorrow start anew by telling yourself that 'I love you today and that I'm proud of you.'

Try it.

It just might work.




Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hang on

Hanging on when things seems glib is not so easy.

Sometimes it's even easier to stay in a situation that has gone bad rather than get out of it.



When people say 'Hang in there', what they're really saying to you is 'be strong, have faith, things will get better'.

Things do get better, then they get worse, then they get better again.

It is, unfortunately the cycle of life.

I'd like to think that the same crap happens to everyone, well, maybe just in different portions.

Everyone has a horror story to tell.

And just think, we wouldn't be around to tell it if we didn't hang on.

There is a choice, to just give up and call it a day.

But what fun would that be?

That's like a movie where after one defeat the hero stays down for the count.

No!

Every movie goer wants our hero to come back and win.

And so it is with us and life.

Life's trials can really break us, but it can also make us appreciate what we have and work harder to keep what matters most to us close.

This life is not easy.

But it doesn't have to be doom and gloom all the time.

Our happiness and peace of mind are up to us.

We have to hang on, because truly the other option is not a choice.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Good to hope for the right thing

There's a few ambitions in life that might be beyond our reach, like my dream to play for Barcelona (unless there's an over 40's team), but there's also many more that are almost within our grasp, but we can't see it.

We limit ourselves by our way of thinking. We talk ourselves out of wanting more, of going for it. We say that we're not good enough and we'll never get there.

Of course the opposite is to sit and hope that something almost impossible can come our way if we just have faith and believe.

I think a good middle ground is to have faith, while working towards a goal or goals over the short and long term.

Because nothing can ever be achieved without putting in some hard work, and nothing good can ever come from being too negative and sitting around doing nothing.

Nothing good without a fight, without making an honest effort.

Of course, the hardest thing is to start, then the next thing is to continue with it.

It's always easier to put things off and just get on with the mundane stuff of life, it's harder to set aside time to work on something that could maybe reap benefits in the future.

But wouldn't it be great to believe that we can do almost anything we put our mind to?

Might I recommend doing something each and every day, something that scares you, something positive that makes you happy?

Something you've always dreamed of.

At the very least, you'll be making yourself happy doing what you love every day, even if it's a hobby.

Try it.

It'll be good for you.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Faith



So what is faith? And I'm not meaning to come across as some know-it-all here. I'm just asking a question here.

Without faith, I can't really do anything, because sometimes I'm not ready, I'm not prepared, I don't have the skills, but if I think realistically, I'll never do anything. I'll never go anywhere.
But with faith, I can do anything I put my mind to. With God's help. In fact, when I think about it, with God leading the way and me just following.
That's such a hard thing to do, just have faith and go. Let go. and go for it.
Faith, hope and love.
Remember?

Faith is, according to the dictionary:

faith |TH|nouncomplete trust or confidence in someone or something:this restores one's faith in politicians.strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.• a system of religious belief: the Christian faith.• a strongly held belief or theory: the faith that life will expand until it fills the universe.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Enough

After a while, you really have to evict disbelief, despair, endless sorrow, anxiety and depression from your life. You really have to avoid all negativity at all cost. It is a must.

The weird thing about this life, you never know what to expect and just when you think you have it all figured out, here comes a curve ball that knocks you to the floor and leaves you having to start from scratch.



Scary eh? Downright frustrating and debilitating.

Most people would just stay down for the count.

But you know what is the other scary thing about life? No one knows how long they're here for.

So, what if you spent years of your life wasting away when you could trying something new? What if a new start, a new beginning was just around the corner and you missed out on it?

Despair has a way of attracting other friends along - addictions, psychosis and a number of mental and emotional conditions that could manifest themselves as physical illness.

And wouldn't you rather spend one moment free from all that? One moment hoping in something new and working towards that new 'thing' slowly but surely. Would that be more fun than spending another wasted moment in sadness.

It's not easy, but eventually you have to say.

Enough.

That and I am enough and I owe it to myself.



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Deep thinking

Some days I get lost in my thoughts and I spiral out of control. I feel overwhelmed and start to panic that I'm nowhere near where I would like to be.



Sometimes it can last the whole day, a few days or on the odd good occasion, just a few hours.

I am getting better at catching my mind before it heads off on towards the 'race of doom'.

This race has many slogans -

'You will never be where you want to be', 'Stop fooling yourself', 'You'll never be good enough', 'You'll never master the guitar', 'You'll never be able to support yourself, you'll always be struggling'.

It can get really bad. Well, not to the point where I don't get out of bed, but I can be in a bad mood for a while.

But I've been reminding myself recently to enjoy the present.

Stop looking so far ahead, focus on the now and plan properly for the future.

And have hope. Things never turn out the way we think it will.

Sometimes too much deep thinking can be a trap in itself.

Oh sure, think and ponder about life and all its' many facets, but sometimes if we think too much, we'll never get anywhere. We'll be trapped in our own thoughts and not doing anything about it.

Time to put thought into action.

Think and act soon(ish) I say.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Calm down

I'm not too sure if you're a bit like me?

But most times when I hear a piece of bad news, I immediately get anxious and start to think the worst.

My heart rate starts to quicken and I feel myself getting worked up. It's taken me years but nowadays I have to remind myself to keep calm. Some days I still default to panic, panic, panic.

But, I try to reassure myself that things may not be as it seems.

Of course this is not so easy when things are happening fast, when it's an emergency, when someone's health is on the line.

I've tried meditating but my mind can't focus for too long.

Everyone has a different method that works for them. Everyone has a system for centring and calming down.

I find deep breathing and saying a simple prayer helps.

And also being grateful. Being grateful is a very simple way to show appreciation and it also does put things into perspective.

A calm perspective is a good thing to have. It's not easy in the heat of the moment.

It's not easy at all.

Of course, trying to be calm about major life decisions is a whole other ball of wax. Major decisions like buying a house, changing careers, etc can be quite daunting.

And having been through both over the last few years I can only say one thing - take it one day at a time, plan, plan, re-plan, re-visit first plan, cry about foiled plan, start again, stop, re-start, curse the process.

But.

It will all come to an end.

Just stay calm, nothing lasts forever, even the crappy stuff.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Believe












Everything starts as a thought. Just like the movie 'Inception', everything is a thought.

I'd like to think that thoughts can be controlled, just like everything else, rather than the other way around.

And if our natural disposition is to think the worst, how about replacing that thought with something neutral, even positive?

Combat the negative with a positive, challenge your thought. What if your thoughts are 'wrong'? What if my thoughts are 'wrong'?

I don't have any theories or proof, but I'm trying to change my own belief system.

I trying to believe in hope. I'm trying to not jump to conclusions, or think the worst, or blame myself for everything that goes wrong.

I'm trying not to berate myself for always making the same mistakes.

I'm trying to be kind to myself and at the same time, I'm trying to be strong and believe.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Always hard to do


Hoping even when things are looking bleak is a very hard thing to do. I'm not too sure if we're wired that way as humans.

I know I'm not. Most of us, myself included always default to fear and negativity.  It's like we expect the worst. We naturally want to believe that nothing good will come our way.

Un-wiring our heads to first hope for the best, is a very difficult thing.

But I've learnt over this last few years that hope is all we have.

Just imagine for one minute, life without hope, just how sad and bleak it would be.

Believing in hope is not easy when all around is dismal.

But what choice do we have?

I mean seriously, would you or I rather live our entire lives without hope?

I find it always easier to give people advice on hope than to take that same advice for myself.

I guess the first thing to change is our way of thinking.