Tag Archives: Flaws

How To Find Happiness Within Yourself: A Rough Guide

The quest of finding happiness is possibly the only goal shared among all human beings – past, present or future. Who doesn’t want to find happiness in his or her life? It’s a silent goal nonetheless. We don’t mutter much about it and most of the time it lurks in the deep inner workings of our minds. Curious isn’t it?

The odd fact is we spend billions of research dollars & euros into treating mental illnesses with drugs, but not much effort goes into understanding the science of happiness or mental well-being. This fact alone compels me to write about the subject.

The title of this article is in itself revealing – “how to find happiness within yourself” suggests from the outset that you should look for happiness within yourself and that happiness is general to be found within. This is also a very curious thing to me. Why are we always trying to find happiness in all kinds of places but hardly ever attempt to find happiness within?

Harry is 67. He lost his wife to cancer almost three years ago now. He saw his daughter pass through a marriage breakdown and divorce. He hardly gets to see his grandchildren because his daughter moved to another city after her divorce. He misses the fishing trips with his brother Joe who also passed away recently. He is relating less and less to a changing hostile world where he is constantly reminded he is an unwanted burden.

Yet there is one major twist to the story. Harry is happy, radiantly happy. How can this happen? I mean if there are people who have passed through all sorts of heartbreaking episodes and hardships but are happy, what’s their story? Conversely, if there are people (and lots of them) who have acquired all sorts of merit, possessions, and good fortune yet is deeply unhappy, what does this say about finding happiness?

Finding happiness by losing old mental models:

One major flaw in the way we live our lives is that we have learned how to be unhappy rather than how to be happy. We have built certain mental models of our reality and these limit us or lead us astray from finding real happiness. Naturally this leads us to the understanding that finding happiness requires us to unlearn certain things and look for it in different pathways. It requires us to look into flaws in our belief system and change them.

One of these mental models we adopt is the belief that we need to reach a certain goal or outcome to be happy, the so-called ‘if-then model’ (if this happens then I will be happy). For example that we should get a better income, financial freedom, recognition of our work, sexier bodies, satisfying relationships and so on. It’s always something around the corner which needs to happen first before we reach happiness.

I know you have many times got to the realization yourself that it just doesn’t work that way. Once you reach that corner there is always another corner to reach. Happiness is not found in anything outside ourselves. We already have all the material at hand to be happy. It’s a matter of shifting our perspective and beliefs completely.

Some mental models to take note of and debunk:

• Happiness is the pleasure: No. Pleasure is instant gratification – physical or mental. Happiness is knowing that you are where you should be or accepting that you are not and doing your best while you’re there.

• Happiness is comfort or security: We live most of our lives in constant security threats – our jobs, our children out at night, our health, etc. The truth is that security or lack of it is based on perception. Happiness is living well in a very unstable world.

• I don’t deserve happiness: Yeah, says who? Another human quirk – self-inflicted limitation. Happiness is for everyone, wherever you come from, whatever you did and no matter what’s your idea. Happiness is open-source.

• It’s impossible to find happiness in this world: Another example of self-limiting beliefs. Wrong. Happiness is as possible to find as unhappiness.

• People who reached their goals are invariably happy: Again, says who? People who reached their goals are not happy because they reached their goals. On the contrary, some are eternally dissatisfied and keep on seeking, other goals in life – a real source of unhappiness. But yes some people found happiness while reaching those goals since they were living their true purpose and enjoying every moment of it. Their eyes were on the doing and not on the reaching.

Finding Inner Happiness Through Finding Inner Peace

So many stories around us, like that of Harry, seem to point at the overlooked obvious – that you will only find happiness within yourself. Well, that’s very good news since you don’t need to look far away to find happiness – like for example running after expensive, energy-consuming and ultimately unsatisfying goals. It’s there right within you. As scientist Zen Buddhist Jon Kabat-Zinn perfectly immortalized in one of his book titles: “Wherever you go, there you are.”

When life rocks your boat to the point of wrecking it or when the proverbial crap hits the ceiling fan you will reach a y-point which will either make you or break you. So many people like Harry managed to find happiness & inner peace through the most turbulent and upsetting moments of their lives by making use of their internal resources, by finding happiness within rather than in external points of reference.

The key to happiness, or, in other words, that of finding true inner happiness, is by finding your inner peace – that center of calm inner knowing which is the real source of your being rather than those mental projections or models imposed by your social background.

There are many pathways to find your inner peace but before I start sounding too metaphysical I’d reckon that the greatest and shortest path is that of acceptance. Let go of your expectations, inner struggle, and frustrations when things don’t turn out exactly, the way you want them. Acceptance is an extremely powerful tool to finding inner happiness. It shouldn’t be confused with resignation or passiveness.

We often fail to understand the power of acceptance because it comes from the heart, not the mind. Its power, in fact, comes from transcending the resistance and inner currents of the restless mind which are often the source of our anxieties, stress, and inner conflict.

Acceptance is when we drop all, our mental models (like the if-then model), often in a moment of clarity or awareness where we become conscious that there is another life outside this madness, outside this huffing and puffing trying to acquire one goal after the other in the wrong belief that there is an ultimate goal post called happiness somewhere on the finishing line.

Ask yourself – how much of what’s going on in your life do you accept? Are you constantly feeling you should be at some other point in your life? Or do you somehow feel at peace with all aspects of your life and make use of them with all their limitations?

Other pathways to inner peace:

• Compassion: Some people admirably manage to find the time and energy to help other even when they are facing rough seas themselves. Even though this comes out from an act of compassion and selflessness, it is also a doorway to their own inner peace. In fact although it seems quite hard to do in moments when we are down and out, giving attention to others’ needs is a way of getting ‘out of your head’ which, ironic as it sounds, is a fast remedy to unhappiness.

• Seek the support of others: Well, it works both ways too. Helping others is a way to shift your center of attention away from your ailments. However seeking any form of support from others is a way of finding reinforcement and encouragement and is highly recommendable.

• Be grateful to everything around you: Because we so often forget of the little miracles happening around us on a daily basis. We only think about what’s missing instead of counting our blessings. Being thankful to life is not some wishy-washy magical spell that washes away all your troubles. Rather it is an exercise in which you become aware of the positive and meaningful things happening in your life, a real booster.

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A Love Affair & Emotional Freedom

“When it comes to love,
you need not fall but rather surrender,
surrender to the idea that you must love yourself
before you can love another.
You must absolutely trust yourself
before you can absolutely trust another
and most importantly you must accept your flaws
before you can accept the flaws of another.”

My preferred suggestion to healing from love lost is the same as the one for finding love: to love yourself, first.

In previous relationships, we probably depended on our partners to make us happy, to make us feel special, to make us whole and complete. Our self-worth may have been wrapped up in how much attention our partner gave us. This is a ‘lose-lose’ formula that works against our personal happiness, because it relies heavily on external circumstances beyond our control and is not sustainable in the long term.

Truth is, nothing external to us can give us the security we need. Only we can give that to ourselves, by loving and accepting ourselves completely.

By learning to love and appreciate ourselves, not only do we free ourselves from the chains that keep us in pain when a relationship ends, it also makes us more attractive to the outside world. Even when you don’t explicitly speak about it, something in the grace of your movement will spread that message to others, like a summer breeze softly blowing the scent of a flower to neighboring plants.

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Life After A Break Up – Whose Fault Is It?

Life after a break up can be painful, but the soul searching that most people with broken hearts indulge in can be even more painful. Relationships fail at times, but can you really point fingers?

Breaking up is always hard to do. However, when we are smitten by the thing called love, none of us are really looking that far ahead. All we want to do is to indulge in the happiness of the moment.

The more philosophical among us would know that the wave that is reaching its peak will soon start to break and form a trough. The ups and downs or the waves in our life are what give it a balance. Like the swing of the pendulum, issues will be positive, and then go negative. The ebbs and flows are not just a part of nature, but of ourselves as well.

Unless we understand this, we are bound to be miserable when things are down for us.

A woman had been married for barely four months and because of the stress, strain and trauma that she was experiencing, she decided that it was best to opt for a divorce. This was a marriage that had blossomed out of a happy romance to start with.

One of the things she was most upset about was how she was not able to read her husband well enough? How did he turn out to be so different after marriage, when he was so good when they were courting? The thing that she admired in him was his outgoing nature, while she was a bit introverted as a person.

After marriage, his outgoing nature was perceived as a carefree, no-goals characteristic that she had begun to detest.

His non-flustered style was appreciated earlier as being so cool in the most troubling situations. Now she saw this as being totally devoid of feeling, and called him stone-hearted, and out of touch with reality.

But on deeper thinking, she realized where she too had contributed to the breakdown in the relationship. She also regretted that she had challenged her parents, and walked out of her house in order to marry this person who was from a different upbringing and community. She now felt that she should have taken time to explain things to her parents, instead of thinking that they would never understand her.

As it turned out, her parents were the first people whom she turned to in this crisis, and they were the ones who suggested that she visit a counselor and try to sort things out in the marriage. She was now suffering from a guilt complex. The people she judged, her parents, did not judge her at the time when she had decided to face the failure. It took some doing to pull her out of the quagmire that she had created for herself. But she has now regained her sanity, and is taking a break before she takes a firm decision in her life.

The first thing that we normally do when things fail is to look for someone to blame. Curiously, it is always the ‘other person’s fault’. It is not easy for us to see our own flaws. Even when we try to find out where we have been wrong, this is difficult, as there is always some area of our behavior or attitude that we cannot see. It is a blind side that others would have noticed, but most often, not brought to our notice. Even if they did mention it to us, we would probably have brushed it aside, ascribing jealousy, or a lack of perceptual competence as the reason for the negative comment.

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Positive Self Talk Leads To Success

Good Things Come to Those Who Believe.

Most people are naturally motivated—even excited—when they begin a new exercise routine or adopt a healthier diet. You’ve got your goals set, a plan to reach them, and nothing can get in your way.

But as time goes by, the novelty wears off and your optimistic attitude can give way to feelings of doubt and dissatisfaction. Or even worse, you start comparing yourself with everyone else, mentally beating yourself up for not being as “good” or successful as they are. These negative thoughts and feelings are especially common when you’re not seeing results despite your hard work.

Sure, it’s much easier to fill your head with negative self-talk than it is to give yourself a mental pep talk. But the latter is exactly what you need to do in order to stay on track.

What you think about while you exercise, for example, affects whether or not you’ll finish today’s, tomorrow’s and even next week’s workout. If you can focus on the positives instead of the flaws when you look in the gym mirrors, you’ll be more likely to keep your appointment with the treadmill. But when your thoughts are negative or you’re comparing your thighs with someone else’s, you’re more likely to feel insecure and unmotivated, which means you’ll stop early and maybe not show up tomorrow. Researchers agree.

In a recent study from the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater, 92 female college students exercised on a stationary bike for 30 minutes, while reading one of two randomly assigned magazines (Oxygen, a women’s fitness magazine or, O the Oprah magazine, a general interest publication), or nothing at all. Those who read the fitness magazine reported more feelings of anxiety, depression and poor mood after working out than before they started. By comparison, women who read Oprah or nothing at all experienced a boost in mood after exercising. The researchers speculate that both women and men can become depressed by viewing fitness (and fashion) magazines because they feel they’ll never look as good as the models they see.

What you tell yourself while you walk the extra mile or turn down a co-worker’s brownie will often determine whether you’ll successfully reach your goals or give up in frustration along the way. When you compare yourself with others (in real life or in print) or think negatively about all the parts of your body that bother you, you’re more likely to skimp on your workout routine. When you tell yourself, “no sugar this week” then you’re more likely to obsess over the one thing you told yourself that you can’t have, and then dig in to a whole plate of brownies instead of enjoying just one. In essence, it’s your own thoughts that may be keeping you from maintaining a consistent nutrition and exercise program.

So how do you even begin if positive self-talk doesn’t come naturally to you? Start by appreciating your efforts and giving yourself a pat on the back for the good choices that you make, no matter how small.

If that doesn’t work for you, imagine that you are talking to a friend. Would you tell her that she hadn’t lost enough weight? That his arms are too skinny? Or that she should spend more time at the gym if she ever hopes to look better in a bikini? Of course not. You would cheer on your best friend for every small accomplishment, encouraging him when he feels down or telling her all the things you love about her. So why can’t you treat yourself with the same kindness and consideration?

Next, try to be more aware of your thoughts at all times. Be mindful of thoughts that come and go, and those that linger. Consciously decide to think more positively. When you notice negative self-talk in action, nip it in the bud—don’t convince yourself that your actions are pointless, that your goals aren’t attainable, or that you don’t deserve to be successful. Whether you think you’ll succeed or fail, your thoughts will become your reality. Be a success. Boost yourself up whenever you can. Be your own best friend. Have faith in yourself and the results will come. The important thing is to feel that you’re worth the effort. You deserve to be healthy and confident and strong.

It’s been said that our minds can only hold one thought at a time, which means we have a choice: We can focus on a thought that makes us feel bad or we can focus on something that makes us feel good. Every second that passes is a chance to turn things around. Even if you didn’t eat well at lunch, you can do better at dinner. You’re not a failure if you didn’t go to the gym last week. You can go today. The only thing holding you back is your thinking.

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Being Yourself; Knowing Who You Are.

It is quite a simple statement really, to say “Just be yourself” – but when faced with the tough situations in life you ask yourself

• Who am I?

• What does it involve being myself?

• How can I be myself if I really don’t know who I am right now?

• How do I find out who I really am? Who can tell me this?

The answer is YOU. You need to unveil what it is that “fulfills” you. When I say “fulfill” I mean what “completes you” as a person. What truly makes you happy and at peace with life? You were born totally unique and began growing up on the path devoted totally to you.

Then some time, some where we are influenced by the outside world and start becoming or trying to become somebody else. Society pushes us to have “her hair” or “her body” or “their marriage” or car or house or career.

We are bombarded with choices and fail to make decisions based on our best interests. We get confused and off track and suddenly we don’t know where to turn.

Don’t worry. The solutions are in “you”. Take stock of your personality. Write down all the positive things about yourself, about who you are. Note all the negative things that you could probably work on improving (don’t dwell too much on these points at the moment). But where I am headed with this is to acknowledge a few attributes about you that make you – You.

Ask a close friend, relative or colleague to also write down some positive things about you and some negative things that they believe you could change. Are you seeing the same qualities in yourself as how others see you? You don’t really have to do this activity to benefit from it – but just merely thinking about the outcome might give you the starting point for expressing who you truly are.

Identifying your strengths and weaknesses.

Are whether you are honest with yourself?

I say it’s a mental thing. An obsession. A control issue and a very deceiving condition. 

Lies. Lying to yourself, your husband, your mum, your friends. Everybody close to you. But mostly damaging yourself. When you lie to yourself you are breaking the biggest form of trust one can tamper with and that itself will destroy you.

For whatever you are facing right now, I want to assure you it’s okay. You don’t have to be a victim. Just because you’ve lied, or feel the need to lie, it doesn’t mean you are a bad person and should be banished. You simply need to forgive. Think of yourself as a small child looking for approval. All that child wants is some guidance, hope, encouragement, love and acceptance. If you deny a child those things they are going to feel scared. They are going to be frightened of the world and they are going to hold back on striving to be the best they can be because of self doubt. So forgive your mistakes, accept you have done wrong, learn the lesson being taught and move on with encouragement that things will get better.

You are only human, you are allowed to make mistakes. The true spirit comes from allowing these mistakes to act as stepping stones into the pathway of your success. You can leave them behind so long as you continue to keep paving that road ahead of you. With every situation you are faced in life, you can ask yourself “Am I being genuine, real, authentic, sincere and true to myself?”.

Making decisions in your life that choke you with the guilt are not in your best interests. You are only hurting yourself. Until you realize you are a total victim of yourself. You are your own worst enemy. You are abusing yourself in the highest form of abuse. You are sick of being treated this way and the only one who can change this is you. You have to learn to love yourself, appreciate yourself and accept yourself for all that you are. That makes you decide that you didn’t like the person you had become and you had to change.

We all have flaws. We all have battles. We all have room for improvement. Don’t see perfections around you. Not all are perfect. All misbehave in their own time. It takes a while, but accept who you are. Accept your journey as necessary to bring you where you are right now. Sure you have regrets – everybody has, but choose not to dwell on them because they are part of your past.

They are all necessary to bring you to where you are right now. You should look into your future and knowing that whatever obstacles are presented to you now – you have the strength to handle them. You might not get it at first go, you might not follow a direct line, but ultimately you will get there. And you will get there with honesty, optimism and a full heart – because being empty is nobody’s desire.

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Overcome Inferiority Complex

An inferiority complex is a sign of low self-esteem. It is a continuous feeling of being inferior with others in the certain way. Many people suffer with this problem. They think they cannot do certain things that others can. In fact, they cannot achieve their coveted goals in life, unless they overcome their inferiority complex.

Inferiority complex keeps your focus towards the feeling of being inferior. Generally, comparison is based on look, education, wealth, reputation, etc. Therefore, you do not recognize your true capabilities. You keep on postponing work. You lack courage to face the trials and tribulations of life.

The root cause of inferiority complex is a comparison with others. And this comparison may vary when you compare with different peoples. If you stop comparing yourself with others, then there will be no inferiority complex.

Thus, think positive about yourself and be confident about your abilities. Realize that everybody is unique and everyone has capabilities as well as flaws. Positive thinking will help you to achieve whatever goal you have set for yourself with dignity and respect to yourself.

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How To Be Confident?

We are all human and have flaws. Even if your physical appearance or social skills aren’t what you wish they were, that doesn’t have to stop you from exuding self-assurance. Here’s how to believe in yourself.

1. Recognize your talents and good qualities. 
No matter how down you feel, try to pat yourself on the back a little and remember the things you excel at. Focusing on your better attributes will distract you from perceived flaws and boost your sense of worth. Think of your good qualities in looks, friendships, talents, and most of all, personality. Some of the flaws can look awkward, but be sure to embrace it. If you’re struggling to come up with good qualities, try these tips:

• Think back on compliments from other people. Maybe they’ve remarked on your smile, or your ability to stay cool and collected in stressful situations. Be sure to compliment them back.
• Remember past accomplishments. It can be something other people recognized, like being at the top of your class, or something only you know about, like a quiet act of service to make life easier for someone else. Realize how great this was and consider doing it again, maybe at a higher level.
• Think about the qualities you try to cultivate. No one’s perfect, but if you’re actively trying to be an honorable, good person, give yourself some credit for effort. The fact that you think about bettering yourself at all says that you’re humble and good-hearted, and those are positive attributes.
• Make a list. Write down everything you can think of, and refer back to it next time you’re feeling down. Add to it as you remember more things you can take pride in doing.

2. Remember that everyone struggles with confidence. Some people are good at hiding it, but nearly every person has struggled with his or her self-confidence at one point. You’re not alone. 

• Try not to feel like all eyes are on you, all the time. Most people are probably too preoccupied with how they appear to be constantly judging you. Breathe a sigh of relief and recognize that you don’t have to be perfect all the time.
• Build your confidence by helping others. Take time to pay someone else a compliment, or do an unannounced good deed. You’ll brighten their day, and you’ll feel better about yourself.
• Stop comparing yourself with everyone else. Not everything is a competition, and viewing life that way will wear you out. You don’t have to be smartest, prettiest, most popular person in order to be happy. If you have a strong competitive streak that you can’t completely ignore, try competing with yourself instead and strive to keep getting better.

3. Accept compliments gracefully. 
Don’t just roll your eyes and shrug it off — own it! Make eye contact, smile, and say “thank you.” Being nice about it when someone else wants to compliment you doesn’t compromise your humility; it shows that you’re polite and have a secure sense of self-worth.

Pay a compliment in return. If you’re still uncomfortable taking compliments, try giving one back after you’ve accepted. This can help you feel like the score is “even” and you haven’t been too prideful.

4. Don’t over-apologize. 
Being able to say you’re sorry is a good trait (and something too many people struggle with). However, be careful to say it only when necessary. Apologizing when you’ve slighted or inconvenienced someone is polite. Apologizing when you haven’t done anything wrong, though, can make you feel subordinate and like you should be sorry. Before it slips out of your mouth, take a second to make sure this is a situation that actually needs an apology from you.
Use workarounds. You can express your sympathy or regret without actually apologizing. For instance, if you’re worried about inconveniencing someone, you could say “I hope this hasn’t been too much trouble” instead of automatically reverting to “I’m sorry.”

5. Look the part. Or, as the saying goes, “fake it ’til you make it.” 
If you know that you look like a confident, capable person, eventually you’ll start to feel it, too. Try these tricks:

• Take care of yourself. Devote a little time each day to personal hygiene and making sure you’re presenting yourself well. Shower daily, brush and floss your teeth, and groom your skin and hair.
• Dress for confidence. You don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe to feel better in your clothes. Instead, simply try to wear something clean every day. Take it a step further by doing laundry often enough that you feel like you have a choice about what to wear in the morning, instead of settling for whatever isn’t dirty.
• Perfect your posture. How you carry yourself communicates a lot to other people, so make sure you’re telling them that you’re confident and in-charge. Keep your shoulders back, your spine straight, and your chin high. Walk with purpose instead of dragging your feet, and sit up straight.
• Smile and make eye contact. It’s a subtle change, but it can work wonders on how other people perceive you. Don’t be afraid to meet the gaze of someone else, and keep your grin in easy reach — both of these things can disarm most social situations and make everyone feel more comfortable.

6. Embrace your interests.
If there’s a sport or hobby you’ve always wanted to be good at, now’s the time! Improving your skills will reinforce that you are talented, and subsequently boost your confidence. Learn a musical instrument or a foreign language, take up an art-form like painting, start building projects — whatever it is that catches your interest.

• Don’t get discouraged if you’re not immediately awesome. Remember that learning is a process, and you’re in it for the small victories and the relaxing recreation time, not to be the best ever.
• Take up a hobby you can do with a group. Finding like-minded people who share your interests can be an easy way to make friends and build confidence. Look around your community for groups you can join, or find kinship with fellow hobbyists online.

7. See confidence as a process, not a singular achievement. 
Having confidence isn’t a finish line you cross once, and the process won’t always move forward — there will be days when you feel like you’re starting from square one. Take a deep breath, remember the self-confidence hurdles you’ve already cleared, and resolve to keep going.

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