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Book recommendation: The life-changing magic of tidying

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I have recently got to read Marie Kondo’s book “The life-changing magic of tidying”. I would recommend this book to anyone who feels that their home is constantly overcluttered or they never seem to get round to keep their homes clean and tidy. Keeping our living environment tidy is more important than we think. Our space often reflects our state of mind. If you live in an untidy home, then your mind is going to be cluttered all the time which could prevent you from achieving success and happiness in your life.

This book is not simply about decluttering our home. It is about getting rid of everything we do not need, everything that does not serve us anymore in a good way. The Japanese author suggests to keep only those things that “spark joy” within us. She has a spiritual kind of approach to tidying: you also need to learn to respect and appreciate your belongings in order to keep them neat and in good condition.

Keeping things tidy in this way is indeed magical, and life-changing, because your mind will finally clear up from all the stuff that surrounded you before, and you can turn your attention towards what is more important.

Finally a few words from the book: “After all, our possessions very accurately relate the history of the decisions we have made in life. Tidying is a way of taking stock that shows us what we really like.”

You can find more information and useful tips on facebook from the author: http://www.facebook.com/konmarimethod

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Your time is precious

Our time in this lifetime is too precious to not live our own life. It happens to many people that they only copy somebody else’s life, like that of their parents, family or friends. As the saying goes: “You were born original, don’t die a copy!”

It may seem easier to just copy the life of somebody else, but that is not you were born for. It may be challenging to follow your own path and dreams, but in the end that is how you can fulfil your life and happiness.

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I have gone through a few years in my life when I did not have the courage to follow my own path. I listened to others, I listened to my parents until I realised that I have to do what makes me happy and not what anybody else expects me to do. At times, it can be hard to follow your dreams, as you may have to burn some bridges, you may have to say “no” to your loved ones, but it is all worth it in the end. There is nothing worse than not living your own life and regretting not taking those chances that you could have taken.

Everyone has their unique personality, with their unique journey in life. Life is too short to waste any of your precious time.

Know what you want and do that! Find yourself and be that!

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Do you work to live or do you live to work?

 

In our busy modern life, we tend to forget about paying attention to the most important thing, to our own self. People would generally think that caring about your own self too much is being selfish. In fact, taking good care of yourself is not selfish at all.

Taking care of your health is not selfish. If you are not in good health, how can you take care of your loved ones, and how can you live the life you are meant to live? In our busy lifestyle, we often forget to take care of our health. We might get overstressed, we might eat too much junk food, we might not eat enough good food that would support our well-being; and as a result, we might end up in sickness. Is it really worth it? Wouldn’t it be better to just slow down sometimes and find ourselves?

Unfortunately, in our modern days, a lot of people seem to work long hours just to pay their bills. Do you really live to pay the bills? What about the things you enjoy doing, your hobbies and your passion? Are you trying to build your career so hard that you already forgot what you enjoyed doing as a child, your talents or your passion? Why not sacrifice some of your precious time, and do that for a while?!

Afterall, what is the point of life if you are doing a job you do not like and work to pay the bills, the mortgage, the car, etc? I understand that we need to work to support ourselves financially, and that we cannot always do what we like. But there is a point in life when you have to switch off, find your true self and do what you really like. And if you are brave enough to follow your dreams, you might never have to work again just to pay the bills.

 

 

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When less is more

 

I have recently been contemplating the idea that our material possessions tend to take away our freedom in life. I feel that the more stuff we have, the more time we have to spend on taking care of them, and the less time we have for ourselves and for life itself. Especially so in a world where the media pushes all of us to buy more, to spend more, to own more, etc.

Personally, I have lived out of a suitcase several times in my life, and I am not saying I did not miss anything, but I was fine, I was free and I lived my life happily. And if I think of those times, it brings me back the feeling of freedom. Knowing that I can go anywhere, anytime, because I don’t have a lot of baggage – literally.

Some people might be able to manage possessions and freedom at the same time. Maybe it’s an art, maybe it’s a process that you have to learn. However, from what I see around me is that the more you have, the less free you are.

For example, if you live in a small home only with the most essential material goods, and you want to move somewhere else, it is going to be a relatively easy process. But if you have a big house with many possessions, some expensive items, garden, maybe even a car or two, etc. – then you have plenty to take care of. You spend a lot of time cleaning, organising, taking care of things that brake down, taking the car to the garage, taking care of the garden, etc.

It is nice to make our lives more comfortable with all the modern goods, but for me freedom is more important. There is even a trend going on these days that in modern societies, people decide to go minimal: they get rid a lot of their stuff, or they move from a big house to a tiny place. What they experience is the utter sense of freedom; and that finally they can focus on what is really important: like their passion, spending time with friends, or exploring and discovering more in life.

 

 

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Be yourself!

 

In a world where it is not so easy to be true to your own self, the best thing you can do for yourself is to know yourself and stay true! It is a struggle many times, but to live the life that is the best for you and your happiness, you should follow your own path.

Any human being who lives in any community is under the pressure at some point to be like ‘the others’. We all want to be like the majority at some point in order to be more accepted, more loved and more popular in our community.

This pressure starts already in our childhood, in school, where we all want to be like the ‘cool’ kids. But the ‘cool’ kids are not necessarily the best ones, and they often do not turn out to be the happiest and most successful adults. Teenagers often engage in activities like smoking, drinking, drugs, gangs only because of this peer pressure, they want to be cool and accepted by others.

I believe this peer pressure does not end with the teenage years, as an adult, you are still highly influenced by the people you spend the most time with, whether they are friends or colleagues.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” (Jim Rohn)

Most adults spend the most time at work; so if you are working with other people, your colleagues are going to put the same kind of pressure on you. Of course, you want to get on with your colleagues, because you work together as a team. If it is a good team, you might even go out for a coffee, for a drink or for dinner together. You try to fit in, but what if your colleagues have different values than you? Do you go with the group, or do you draw a line? Do you become like them, or you keep following your own values outside work? What if your colleagues like to go out drinking every week, and you prefer not to drink alcohol and spend your time with more meaningful activities?

It is all about personal preferences and values, but one could get seriously lost with a group of people just because they have tried to fit in. Maybe they will spend their whole life drinking after each working week, while they could have followed that hobby or passion they originally had before they started to be like ‘the others’.

 

 

Personally I never belonged to the coolest or most popular members of a group, but I never even wanted to. You can always choose the people that resonate with you most, and have a few real friends rather than a lot of fake ones. I have tried to change myself occasionally to fit in, but it never felt right. I have always been aware of who I really am; and with a bit of life experience now, I am even more confident in my personal values. I am who I am, and I am not going to change my values just to fit in. I might change them for myself, but not for a group of people.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” (Dr. Seuss)

Let’s just conclude that we do need to fit in to our communities to a certain level. We can gain a lot from these social connections, but sometimes we need to draw a line and not forget who we really are, our own values, what we live for and what is the most important to us.

 

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Blessings in disguise

 

What if we could look at life as everything is a blessing in disguise? Changing our perspective could turn all of our seemingly negative experiences into positive ones: we could grow, we could learn and possibly create something even better than the original plan.

What if we could change our perspective every time something or somebody disappoints us, when we get criticism or things don’t turn out the way we wanted?

Reading about the stories of highly successful people made me realise that in life nothing comes easy. These people have been rejected many times, but what made them excel in the end was the fact that they did not give up on their dream, no matter what. They have learnt to use rejections in a powerful way.

What if we could look at every experience in life as a lesson to learn, and then move on as a wiser and more experienced person? What if we could turn around the energy of the rejection to try even harder and prove to everyone that we are good enough?

 

 

Let’s try to find the positive in every experience for our own good. There is no point getting caught up in negative emotions. Instead, let’s try to learn, grow and become who we are meant to be!

 

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