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Life is not (always) a fairy tale

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The title of this post may seem quite controversial to the name and general positive message of this blog, as it suggests a more realistic and ruthless approach to life. If I want to be totally honest, I would simply say that ‘Life is not a fairy tale’. I don’t mean to be negative here in any way, just explain that there is a balance in life that we need to find and work with so that we can live with less frustration and more satisfaction.

Life is supposed to be waves of ups and downs, good and bad times, positive and negative experiences. No one can be ‘up’ all the time. There is an ebb and flow of life, or as the yin and yang symbol suggests: there is good and bad, positive and negative; and it is all about finding the balance. Without the negative, we would not know what is positive. Without darkness, we would not know what light is.

Having grown up on television, I realised how much the media (at least most of it) made us believe that life can be a fairy tale. I remember all the TV series and romantic movies I have seen that made us believe in and hope for a perfect life. Most TV programmes back then were not showing a realistic image. I understand that the point of those programmes was pure entertainment, but they brainwashed most people to believe in a romantic picture that does not equal real life.

The power of television has slightly changed and weakened since the Internet and social media took over in the last decade. However, this new technology and new media platforms bring up the same issues in different forms. On social media, people tend to broadcast a perfect image of their life (omitting the imperfectness), whether they are famous, popular, semi-famous or just average people. This has proven to lead to depressive feelings or even depression, especially among the youngest generation who are easily led to believe that they are not as good as others, when in fact, nobody’s life is perfect all the time or in all respects.

Life is not (always) a fairy tale, however we can learn to accept the fact that it is never perfect and live it with a positive attitude. Even in dark times, we can focus on improving ourselves in various ways, we can appreciate what we already have and learn the lessons we need to learn in order to move on to the next level. We need not be impatient or frustrated, the Universe will support us to get there when the time is right and when we are ready. We are here to enjoy the ride and do our best in the present moment.

 

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Stop procrastinating

 

Many of us wonder how we can effectively stop procrastinating and be more productive in our lives. I do not have the ultimate answer to that question, I am just one of those people who struggles with procrastination from time to time, and trying to figure out why we are sometimes working against ourselves. It seems like we are our own enemy when we do not take action towards our goals that we have set out to achieve, but maybe we should just chill out a bit and stop verbally punishing ourselves for not doing what we think we ‘should’ do.

We can read various tips on how to stop procrastination. Starting with one small task may give us the motivation to move on to the next task. But sometimes we are not even able to get started with the easiest task.

One of the best ways to stop procrastination is to eliminate the word ‘should’ from our vocabulary. When you say things like ‘I should clean the house’ or ‘I should sort out my paperwork, but I don’t feel like doing it’, then you are not fully present in the now. The now is all you have, the past is already gone and the future is not here yet. What would you have to do now that could make you feel better about yourself? What could you do now that your future self will thank you for? Can you accept the now as if you had chosen it, or your mind is constantly wandering off into the past or the future? Can you make the best out of your now? In other words, can you be present in the now, because that is all you have?

Whenever you catch yourself saying ‘I should’, stop for a moment and ask yourself why you are putting off doing that certain task. Probably it wouldn’t take too much time to sort out the clutter around the house, but we would feel much better after it has been done. Each small task that you can do in your now will be beneficial to your future, no matter how small it is. Progress is progress, even if you are taking only baby steps at a time. If you don’t feel like cleaning today because you are too tired – do not feel guilty, just relax a bit; but when you wake up with a fresh mind, do whatever you can do to make yourself feel better and get on the right path to achieve your goals.

 

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Work with the Universe, not against it

 

The title refers to one of Eckhart Tolle’s quotes I have found recently:

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I have found this quote quite appropriate for my current situation, and I was meaning to write a follow-up post to my previous blog post: Everything happens for the better?

When I was writing that post I was in an uncertain situation where all I could do was to trust the Universe/God, have faith and continue to do my best. It did not take long for the ‘magic’ to happen as an unexpected phone call solved my issue.

The above quote from Eckhart Tolle reminds us as well to work with the Universe, no matter what situation we are in. Do what you need to do, do what is right, follow your instincts.

We might be waiting for a situation to get resolved. Instead of getting frustrated and worried, we should just do what we can do, and trust that the Universe/God will take care of the situation. It might take a while, as God might have a better/bigger plan for us.

Trust that all will be fine in the end, take all the necessary actions that you think are needed, and let God deal with the rest. Work with the Universe, not against it!

 

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Everything happens for the better?

 

We all heard the phrase ‘Everything happens for a reason’, and many times we can justify that statement. We might have made a mistake in the past and learnt the lesson to not make that mistake again. We might have experienced something that gave us valuable lessons and we have learnt and grown due to that experience.

However, do you believe that everything that happens to us is better for us in the end? We often want to achieve certain things in life, like getting a specific job, having a baby, selling a house – and things just don’t turn out the way we had imagined.  Despite all our efforts, we will not get the job, we will not get pregnant and we will not be able to sell the house. Is there a bigger plan that has something better in store for us?

It can be a real struggle when things don’t turn out the way we had imagined or it takes much longer time than we thought. It can be really frustrating when we have prepared ourselves, took all the necessary actions and it still doesn’t work out. What do we do then?

 

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All we can do is have patience, and trust that there is a bigger plan for us. In the meantime, we can focus our energies on what else we can do to improve our life. For example, if you do not get the job, maybe it is time to complete that course you were always interested in, and slowly build your own business. Whatever the situation may be, you can always improve a certain aspect of your life that might help you become the person you really want to be in the future.

 

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Don’t let others define you

 

“You were born original, don’t die a copy.” (John Mason)

As the quote above says, we are all born as individual beings, with our own unique talents, wishes, goals, dreams, ambitions and desires in life. There are no two people on this Earth who want the exact same things in life at the same time. Yet, so many people let themselves being defined by their parents, their family, their friends, their religion, their community, etc.

“The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.” (Alan Ashley-Pitt)

Personally, I never liked to follow other people (friends, colleagues, family) when it came to decisions. I always made sure that I was making the choice that I really wanted to do, and not something a family member or a friend suggested. However, you can still be influenced in a less obvious way. It can be hard to ‘not please’ the closest people around you, and go the opposite way, if that is what you really want to do. But remember that you have only one life, so you have to make the most of it before you realise it’s too late.

 

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People often come to me with ‘life advices’, about where I should move to, what job I should do, why I should do this or that… Today, these advices go in in one ear, and go out in the other, since I know that I am never going to do what other people tell me to do, unless it matches exactly with my own ideas.

When you are facing decisions, listen to your own inner voice. Not your parents, not your neighbours, not your boss… Get clear about what you want, and plan accordingly. The first step will be the hardest, but once you are on the right path, your dreams will unfold perfectly. Don’t think that following your own path is selfish. Expecting someone to live in a certain way is selfish. We are here to live, to explore and to be happy!

 

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Your story for 2016 is unwritten

 

It is the beginning of the year 2016, and your story is still unwritten. You can write anything you want in it, so I advise you to make it a great one! The opportunities are there, just reach out for them and enjoy the journey!

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in

No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

 

 

 

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Live your life your way!

 

This is just a quick reminder that you don’t always have to do what everyone else is doing. As social beings, we do need to accommodate to others many times, but we do not need to be copycats, and blindly follow everyone else. Too many people are wasting their precious time following and copying others, missing something in life, feeling empty inside.

Just use your common sense, and do what is best for you! It may sound selfish, but pleasing other people all the time will never make you happy either! Your parents might want you to become a doctor, but if painting and art is what makes you happy, then do that instead! You have to think of your own happiness and fulfil your own calling!

As an individual, you might prefer certain things to others, and you might be different from the people around you, but it does not mean that you are any less worthy than others. If you don’t like to go out for dinner with friends or colleagues, then enjoy your meal at home. If you want to eat the dessert first, then do that! Treat and love yourself! Be yourself, and live your life your own way!

 

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