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How do you feel TODAY? Happy or Sad?

How do you actually FEEL today? Happy or Sad?
There is a very important reason for that


How do you feel now as you are reading this article? Do you feel optimistic or pessimistic? Productive or unproductive? Rearing to go or in a rut? Whatever the cause of your feelings, unless you have been physically coerced or physically hurt, they are not caused by what you might think to be the culprits!

You might be happy because you've got a promotion or a much needed raise; your son or daughter is graduating from college and you will be celebrating the auspicious moment; you start a new exciting job or you had some unexpected good news. Or you could be sad, and even angry, because someone has criticised you; you have problems with your partner or in-laws; you are disabled or incapacitated, you exchanged harsh words with someone on Newsvine; you feel guilty about something you have done in the past and are still berating yourself about it, months or years later; you have no job, or you feel overwhelmed by life and unable to do something about it. Or, alternatively, you might feel in a state of resignation where you haven't got the emotional energy to be either happy or sad. You are simply switched off from whatever happens today, perhaps because you're depressed or you feel so low and demoralised everything seems like a gigantic effort and you really can't be bothered.

Whatever your feelings right now you are likely to attribute them to certain things that have happened, or are happening, in your life at this moment. In your eyes, they are the causes of the way you feel: happy, sad or indifferent.

But they're not! They are triggers, NOT causes. The real cause is inside your head!

The secret of your specific feelings today depends on the subconscious CHOICE you made when you woke up this morning. It would be influenced by the beliefs you have, the rules you live by and and the priorities you made. No matter what is happening around you, YOU made the choice of how you were going to react to it through the power of your THOUGHTS.

Everything that happens to us has to be processed inside our head before we decide how to act towards it. We don't just react involuntarily to everything. It has to make sense to us first and that's why thoughts are so powerful because they dictate our decisions and thus our actions. For example, assuming that when you wake up you hear of a terrible earthquake happening somewhere across the world. You feel some sympathy for the victims but there is nothing else you can do about it, except perhaps donate some money towards it, and you carry on with your life. You have INTERPRETED the tragedy as not really relevant to you and made the decision that you cannot do much about it, and that's where it stays. It is not likely to affect your mood unduly.

However, by midday you hear that a dear friend is actually in that affected country and could be a victim too. That's a different matter. You re-assess the situation and interpret it in a way that is relevant and meaningful to you. It is perfectly natural that such an interpretation will then cause you to be anxious and sad while you hope for the best.

The Power of Your Thoughts

Let me repeat that again, in case you haven't quite grasped it. You did not become sad because of the earthquake per se. Your mood altered because of the MEANING and INTERPRETATION you placed on it, and it's relevance to you, and that influenced any decision you made afterwards about how you were going to feel and act. The same with happiness. If you won the lottery today and you feel delirious, your happiness wouldn't be caused by the money itself but by the THOUGHTS of what that money would mean to the rest of your life and how fortunate you were to have it.

Another person might have an instant panic and react entirely different to the winnings. They might be unhappy about the it because, when they thought about it and processed that information, they dreaded the fact that it is going to change their life. They worry that they might lose their friends, they would now get lots of begging letters, they would lose their privacy and they wouldn't really know what to do with all that money, etc., etc.

Let's take another example, me. This morning, and EVERY morning, I am happy when I wake up. Even when I am ill. The minute I open my eyes there is a big broad smile of satisfaction on my face. But some people might wonder what I am being happy about so regularly. After all, I have a life threatening illness, my children and I are estranged because of my marriage break-up, I live alone and would welcome the presence of a wonderful lover, I am 61, an age where many people are written off and expected to be invisible, and I have just a small income as I am not able to work most days, apart from my writing. You might well ask, what on earth have I got to be so happy about every day, and how can I maintain such happiness? You might decide that it must be a facade; superficial, perhaps, to make myself feel good.

But you would be wrong. I have never felt so truly happy in my life. I smile when I wake up because I realise that I am still ALIVE; I have been granted another precious day, no matter what is happening in my life, and so I need nothing else to make me happy. I am alive and I never take that for granted. That fact is meaningful to me so I interpret it as essential and act accordingly. Perhaps my illness has helped me to change my approach because such adversities and near-death experiences always make us re-appraise life priorities. And I have long come to the conclusion that the only thing that matters is life itself, because, without it, nothing is possible! We are finished.

So how we choose to think inside our heads gives us the quality of our day. We can either decide to act in an assertive and relaxed way about what is happening to us, which means not giving our power to others who might seek to annoy or control us, and have far more happy moments. Or we can decide to fret and worry about everything, to live in constant anxiety and frustration, and rob ourselves of the motivation to change things to suit us.

The choice on the quality of our existence is entirely up to us and the thoughts we choose to have.

When was the last time someone gave you a compliment?


Many people go through life seldom getting any praise or compliments and then end up being very mean with praise too. They tend to find it hard to tell others nice things, yet are likely to want the very compliments they cannot give. That is so very sad.

Compliments are to be enjoyed, mainly because they are much better than negative things and they do much to remind us of the special and wonderful people we are. A compliment can actually make a big difference to our day, yet many people don't bother. When a compliment is given, the best way to respond is with a simple: "Thank you very much, that's so kind of you to say". After all, they didn't have to say it. Don't deny what the person says or take it for granted. When we deny compliments we are denying the giver the opportunity of feeling good about their action and also getting some pleasure from appreciating us. We are also imposing our feelings upon them.

Life is about giving and taking, When we are takers we will deny people their joy by focusing just upon our own needs, hence why we are quick to reject compliments. When we are givers we tend to see the goodness in others and wish to affirm it. It is never just about us. Life is reciprocal, so just say "Thanks". Even better, return the compliment too and make that person's day. It is an awesome thing to do and is likely to give a warm glow of satisfaction to see the effect.

The Root Cause of Personal Unhappiness


Of the 12 major causes of stress ( Relationships: The Most Lethal Causes of Stress) only two, or three at the most, are clearly work-related. The others are all personal, with relationships and family problems taking crucial positions in the top five. The list affirms my belief that relationships do score most highly as causes of stress levels, with work trailing behind. After all, if someone is reasonably happy in their personal life, they can weather the storms at work much better than if they are also unhappy at home.

Often unhappiness in work, or absenteeism from it, is not dictated by the work environment at all. Personal unhappiness is likely to have its root cause in the home relationship; in problems which people do not find easy to discuss with others, which they tend to keep secret for fear of losing face, or generating gossip, and which make coping with work issues far more difficult and problematic.

The Samaritans reinforce the stress lists mentioned with the statement that "One in five Britons suffers stress every day", as revealed by its own survey. The poll of 1,885 people suggests that concern over jobs and money – two of the key ingredients for a successful relationship – are major causes of stress. Many of those affected said that their situation leaves them feeling depressed, isolated and with nowhere to turn, which then generates conflict within the home. Yet, if feelings are bottled up or ignored, they can lead to more severe emotional distress, and real health problems. Dr Raj Persaud, author of Staying Sane, says the findings are not surprising. "The social support structures that used to help people to cope by getting things off their chest, such as extended family and neighbours, no longer exist in the same way that they did."

No wonder we often feel overwhelmed.

Lonelier Lives

One can always change a job, but it is exceedingly difficult to change a partner and a home situation for the benefit of everyone affected, especially where children are involved. There will always be losers, even in the most amicable break-ups. Thus we tend to dread this final step, or to shy away from it altogether, regardless of the deleterious and increasingly corrosive effect of bad relationships on our lives. It is a sure sign of low confidence why we would stay in a debilitating or controlling situation which damages our well-being and prospects and denies a partner the opportunity to find happiness too. It is also a lack of respect which makes us seek revenge on our partners because they fancy someone else or to make them responsible for our lives. If a relationship has lost its attraction, it is very difficult to get it back, especially if one person does not wish to make the effort. The best action in such a case is to move on, no matter how painful the hurt.

In an increasingly individualistic society, people are left to cope with life largely on their own, yet with inadequate experience of dealing with social or interactive issues. We are living lonelier lives now, convinced in ourselves, especially after a break-up, that no one will want us again and fearing any kind of long term commitment in case we are disappointed or hurt once more. But a negative self-perception tend to affect others negatively too in a circular effect which gradually makes things worse.

One woman, who had been divorced for 15 years, was so low in confidence that she made herself feel better by looking for people and things to criticise. She seldom mentioned anything positive about her life. Being so pessimistic, she explained that she expected nothing from others and simply blamed various relatives for the break-up of her marriage while putting them down as well. Not once did she mention anything that could have been attributed to her in the break-up.

But that's what stress does. It clouds our view of life, making it much more negative, one-sided and destructive while making it harder for us to cope with the actual reality.

Are you trapped in your past and can't get out?


Someone once said, "The past is for reference, not for residence", and it is framed over my bed where I see it first thing each morning and last thing at night. Stemming from that, I make sure that I go back to the past just to celebrate, not to deliberate or commiserate, because there is nothing happening back there. The past is ONLY inside our heads, nowhere else, so we are the ONLY ones with the power to live in it or get rid of it. Let's repeat that again in case you missed it first time: YOU are the only one with the power to get rid of the past or to hang about in it. No one else.

If we are clogged up with the cobwebs of the past we cannot improve on them and make the present richer. The past often looks better when we lack confidence and are low in self-esteem because it allows us to ignore the moving times and be blind to what we do not wish to see. We hang on to a specific event, person or thing even though they are long gone, either for blame, or as a crutch for our fears or to prevent us taking action. It kills our confidence because we are not prepared for the real world. This pre-occupation with the past also allows everything in our small world to take precedence while we become ignorant and cynical of the world of others.

Generation Rivalry
A classic situation is the youth vs older folk syndrome. To some older people today's youth appear much worse than they used to be. They seem more ill-mannered, less respectful, badly behaved, more grasping and more self-centred. Yet very few teenagers I have met conform to that ready stereotype. The art of dealing with anyone is to acknowledge, recognise and treat them courteously, even if we don't respect or agree with them. By doing those three things first before we pre-judge or criticise, we are more likely to affect others in a positive way. Moreover, if we don't, we won't be accorded that in return either. Most misunderstandings between generations arise because older people try to impose their old inappropriate values and standards on the young instead of combining a little from each generation to form a new basis for mutual tolerance and respect.

It is pointless expecting the young to behave as we did when their world is vastly different from ours and they are a product of that world. It's the only world they know. They cannot live in ours. Moreover, self-confidence does not come at another person's expense. It comes from a deep personal belief in what the individual can do at any given time. The old days look better only because we cannot cope with the new. Yet to truly accept change in our lives, personal conviction has to be accompanied by prompt, positive results. If these are not forthcoming, and we cannot see immediate benefits (especially when our situation appears to have changed for the worse), we feel overwhelmed by the change and tend to reject the new, turning to old familiar ways for comfort.

Once overwhelmed, we often do not accept that we each have a part to play in improving the quality of our own lives. We are prone to look to the politicians, the council, the manager, the shop owners, partners or colleagues – in fact, anyone who can reduce the onus of responsibility from our shoulders. We are hesitant of how to react to our new high-tech world because the rules have changed beyond recognition, the goalposts have moved and we are left with the ball of progress while feeling inept, clumsy and bewildered, and without a clue where to put it. We then cling tightly to the past we remember by sterilising it of its faults and exaggerating its goodness. A squeaky clean environment emerges where we were always happy, always secure and completely contented in a community with very little crime and everything in its place. We often forget that some of the worst atrocities and abuses to women and children were committed back then.

Exaggerating the Past
Alternatively, some people may try to perpetuate the notion that the past was much worse than it was. They isolate only the ghastly bits, exaggerate the bad times and pretend that nothing good existed then nor contributed to their present position. Yet, even if their past were really awful, the fact that they survived it would have made them far better beings and infinitely more resilient. They would still have much for which they should be grateful. The truth is that most times we are unhappy with the present because we are vainly trying to use the outmoded ideas of dead men to dictate the lives of the living in a completely different era. In effect, using an old mindset to grapple with new issues. We do need to use dead men's contributions and theories for guidance, because it is more difficult to start from scratch. But each age builds on the one before it, not use the past to dictate the future.

The only way to regain our confidence and deal effectively with uncertainties is to:

a. Acknowledge the age we are living in;

b. Keep abreast of its innovations;

c. Update the skills we need to acclimatise;

d. Identify what we personally can do to influence our situation and make our impact;

e. Encourage and learn from the young - and go for it!

By sharing some of what other generations value, our own lives can be enriched, while we preserve what is dear to us. By being cynical and distrustful of the world around us we alienate ourselves, we lose confidence and esteem and make our environment more frightening. We also deny ourselves the real pleasure we can get by harnessing the rich source of new thoughts, ideas and innovations, which can be easily mixed with the old to make our lives more enlightening, fulfilling and enjoyable.

Whether to do with relationships, family issues or our quality of life, we kill our confidence if we dwell negatively on the past by constantly dredging up painful memories or bottling up hurtful feelings. We really have to let go. Nothing positive is ever achieved by being trapped in the past because, while we keep going over old things in our minds, the present does not really exist and we cannot plan for the future either. We would be too busy worrying and fretting about what has happened and what we cannot change instead of what we could do to improve things for the better. Hence why people who dwell on past things seldom achieve what they desire.

To surround ourselves with nothing but past hurtful things teaches us nothing new. However, it is guaranteed to kill our motivation, it makes us very unattractive to others and keeps us stuck in an ongoing rut. And, of course, the only difference between languishing in a rut of fear and being in a grave is six feet!

The Main Effects Of Being Stuck in The Past


There are six major stages in our lives as adults. Adult emotional evolution means that, unless we leave each stage behind us, we will always feel disorientated and stuck in the past, never rehabilitating or getting away from it in order to grow into complete beings. In effect, our growth will be stunted because we cannot ever move on.

Public figures (or prisoners) who behave in any deviant way are a case in point. The media often rehash all their past misdemeanours ad nauseam. But everything we do at every stage in our lives is part of our individual development and we only successfully reach the next stage on our journey if we can learn from experiences and move on, using each stage to build on the last.

If we are stuck back there, having to relive past acts constantly when we can no longer affect their outcome, it stunts our growth and belittles subsequent achievements, creating new problems of adjustment and self-worth at the latter emotional stages in our life. We then lose hope, as well as the feeling of control we have over our existence, particularly when we are not given new opportunities to prove otherwise. This partly explains why so many prisoners re-offend and the emotional crisis so many celebrities are going through now as their misdemeanours are relentlessly held up before them. Back then, one 'drew a respectful veil' over past misdeeds after a period of suitable repentance. Today, the media continually hold up those misdeeds like trophies, robbing the culprits of any chance of redemption or of feeling better about themselves.

Negative Media Impact

Celebrities, and the ongoing conflict with the media, are particularly caught up in this kind of situation. When they are at their first stage of adult life they are hungry for recognition and success, for their 15 minutes of fame which matter to them, and they lap it up eagerly. By the time they are in Stage 3 and feeling vulnerable to invasion of their privacy and attacks on their personality, the last thing they need is publicity! It's a natural evolution of our lives, to change our perspective through the years as we slowly mature. It was Muhammad Ali, the great boxer, who said "The man who views the world at 50 the same way he did at 20 has lost thirty years of his life."

Being treated the same at every stage in one's development is not only severely limiting, it also ignores later achievements and inevitable progress, while proving extremely frustrating for the person concerned; one who has clearly moved on. Being reminded constantly of those errors in judgement, people treated like this tend to develop a persecution complex and feel ostracised, being the exact opposite of what the media wishes to have, because such exposure simply kills the spirit. This important invisible force in our lives needs to be acknowledged by both the media and the public.

The past is just one stage of our emotional evolution, just like today and tomorrow. We cannot inhabit any one stage forever. We have to keep moving on to do full justice to the span of our lives and personal potential.

3 Key Reasons Why You Might Never be Happy


We talk about happiness every day of our lives in our elusive search for it. We see happiness as something external we can just pluck out of nowhere when we want it, just call it up when we want to have a better day. Sometimes happiness seems to affect everyone else except us. However, if you are looking to the outside world or to material things for happiness you are looking in the wrong place. Often we are denied happiness because we don't know how to begin the search. For some people, they are not even sure what happiness means for them, so they don't even know where to start in getting it!

Throughout time, happiness has given us humans a lot of trouble for three main reasons.

First, we don't know how to define happiness to suit ourselves.

Everyone defines happiness in a different way. Quite simply, many people don't know what they want to make them happy so their choices change literally according to their moods. They believe happiness is something they work towards not realising, or accepting, that happiness starts inside of us first. It is not an ideal destination we spend our life heading for. It is actually with us every day, from this minute, and demonstrates itself in how we love and appreciate ourselves. How can we ever find happiness if we don't know what it means for us? How can we be truly happy if we are not clear about what makes us happy, or we expect others to fulfil that need? Defining what would make you happy, whether your purpose in life, your desires or visions, is the very first step to being truly happy. It means when those things appear you will recognise them instead of living in ignorance of who you are and what makes you tick.

Second, we are always looking for happiness with someone else or with material things.

We often believe that getting a new dress, a new car, new flat or new yacht will do the trick: to bring us that elusive happiness we are seeking. But any material things only give us moments of temporary JOY. They do not give long term happiness. Material things help us to enjoy various aspects of life that money can buy but they bring no happiness where we live without self love, without esteem, without love for others and without care and compassion. We can have everything in the world at our fingertips, but if we lack self-love and contentment, especially when we feel like crap, we will still remain unhappy.

Addressing the Real Issues

Cue stars like Britney Spears, Robbie Williams, who were both in rehab, and the late Amy Winehouse with her drug problem. They might be very rich people but has their money helped in their search for self-appreciation and love? It doesn't seem like it.

If we are unhappy with our nose, no amount of fiddling with our hands will sort the problem with that nose until we address the real issue. Many celebrities believe that fame and fortune will make them happy, but then reach their desired rainbow only to find that they left their pot of gold way behind them. Happiness starts from within, when we are truly happy with who we are and seek no approval. When we can accept our warts and failings and realise that nothing detracts from the magnificent and amazing beings we are.

Finally, happiness eludes us because we think we do not deserve it.

I met a guy once whom I really liked but we never got off the ground because he kept saying how he didn't deserve me or such a wonderful relationship. He was dwelling on the fears in his head instead of giving thanks for us finding each other. Naturally, his fears became a self-fulfilling prophecy because his negative thoughts began to sabotage possible meetings. As he felt he didn't deserve me, he immediately put mental barriers to enjoying my company. Somehow, there was always a crisis whenever we set dates. He then felt terrible about it, which increased his feelings of inadequacy and reinforced his thoughts of being undeserving even more, in an unending vicious circle. Of course, as he dithered, he gradually lost his attraction in the process as I went right off him. We cannot have the opposite of what we are thinking. We have to think as we mean it to happen to get the results we are after.

So begin the process of defining happiness as it means to YOU. What would really make you happy for the next few years? NOT forever, because we evolve as people and our needs inevitably change with time, and not just for a moment either.

Then look inside of you to see how you feel about yourself and how that happiness will sit with your general contentment and esteem.

Then believe you deserve it because we all deserve happiness. Some people are not just sent here to suffer and some to be happy. We all face the same possibilities. Our outcomes depend upon the choices we personally make which then decide the direction we ultimately travel: whether towards finding that personal happiness or making it even more elusive to us.

How unfulfilled expectations can kill our mood!


Do you feel dissatisfied with your life at the moment? (Asked by a 20 year old having some relationship problems)

Nope, not for me, but I can see why you would feel like that from what you have said.

I feel extremely happy at the moment but it could be because I am much older than you, I have been through your angst and worries and have come out the other side learning one key thing: It is pointless being unhappy or worrying about life because it ALWAYS sorts itself out to suit itself in the end, whether we like it or not!

You are unhappy because you had a lot of expectations about life which have not been fulfilled and you probably feel trapped by your relationship. But life does not just conform to expectations. It is something that happens when we are busy planning otherwise! So the best way to live life is to take it as it comes, don't try to control it too much and allow it to give you some surprises. They are usually awesome. It also means taking responsibility for your life so you have to act if you want any change. Your boyfriend won't do it for you.

People who try to control their existence too much are always disappointed because they leave nothing to chance and arrange their life too tightly. They do not take account of tragedies, crises the unexpected happening, or even their own evolution. Hence why they feel really bad when they reach a certain point and what they hoped for isn't there. Happiness for me comes from one thing each day: opening my eyes and realising that I am still alive when many people, including close relatives, have been denied that life and I am still there.

By the way, you should not let anyone keep you away from your dreams. You can always get another boyfriend but it is very important that life at a young age is lived. That's the age of discovery and experiment. You are probably unhappy because you are doing something deep down you don't want to do and resenting the fact that what you would really like you are currently missing out on. Stop a moment and ask yourself what you truly desire and how you can get it, because you will never be happy if you don't allow yourself to fulfil your potential simply because of being with someone or being weighed down with work.

Additionally, you have a long time left to achieve what you wish for in your life. Just because it doesn't happen when you think doesn't mean you won't get it. Just keep working at, keep reviewing your situation and work a step at a time. Only you can change your situation and your feeling, no one else. If you have the courage to make that change, you could be very surprised at the results. I hope things perk up for you soon and give you much greater satisfaction in living.

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Which of these do you do when you're upset?


We all have coping mechanisms for dealing with anger, especially when we feel frustrated at not being able to affect the situation, to retaliate or to simply to be heard.

However, what do you do when you're upset? How do you cope with it?

Situations always call for different reactions but which of these are you likely to do?

1. Fume inwardly and keep the feelings bottled up until they subside.

2. Talk to someone about it.

3. Confront the situation in most appropriate way.

4. Find a scapegoat and take it out on others.

5. Ask for help and support.

6. Throw things around.

7. Scream loudly.

8. Write a letter but often never send it.

9. Other

I always confront the situation. If distance, or whatever, prevents me doing this, I tend to write a letter which often I don't send. I just keep re-reading it until the anger dissipates.

I have written and sent some emails which some people have resented, as I am lethal on paper. But as long as the emails do the business of putting my point of view assertively, and with respect, I don't care how they are received. I always feel better. :o)

Whatever you do, as long as it helps you to cope, and even gets you results, without being offensive, that would be the right thing for that moment.

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I'm bored with life and feel really hopeless. What is the cure?


Q. I'm depressed and can't see life getting any better. Throughout the day I think of negative things. The bad outweighs the good. Here are some things I am depressed and think about everyday: 1. not having a social life. 2. feel like my life as a kid sucked (may not be true) 3. afraid of never getting a girlfriend because I'm bad at talking to girls (& people in general), and because I graduate in about a year from college (my career choice is full of men) and wouldn't know where to meet women. 4. I'm boring and have extremely few hobbies/interests. I'm a bit chubby but I love fitness but I ask myself "what if I was ugly and really fat? how would I ever get a gf if I can't get one now that I'm not that fat and not that ugly.


A. You seem to spend a lot of time worrying about life but not really 'doing' much about it! However, first things first: you are feeling that way because of three main things:

1. Fear: For whatever reason, you lack confidence in yourself, you lack self love and you lack self belief and all that has been gradually overtaken by fear - a fear that you are not good enough to cope with life or with others, especially people we might fancy. Confidence is a product of high self esteem. When we lack confidence and become fearful instead. everything seems to become a hassle. That is because we have very low esteem, we think very lowly of ourselves, we have little self value and we tend to feel inadequate compared to others.

That is also why you keep asking 'what if' questions which are silly, anyway, because the only important time is today. So what if you 'get ugly and fat?' You go on a diet and lose weight, if you wish to become more attractive. Simple. You would have become fat through a lack of exercise and eating badly. So it is ALL in your hands. It wouldn't be the end of the world! This moment in your life is all you are guaranteed and all you are sure of. Make the most of it, not live in a future that you cannot see. 

The answer to this is to build up your confidence by gradually appreciating who you are and the many blessings you have in your life, instead of taking them for granted, and also the power you have to take responsibility for your life and live it as you wish it to be, not living in fear of it.


2. Self-Development: You are growing up and are at a crucial teenage stage where you are in transition, on a bridge between childhood and adulthood. It is often a time of great angst, especially when many things are unclear, when you are not being affirmed or reinforced for who you are, when you do not love yourself and when you perhaps lack the emotional support from your family to help you cope. 

At this vulnerable time, the more you spend on your own and feel isolated is the more inadequate and fearful you will feel. So the answer to this is to GET A SOCIAL LIFE: join clubs, take up new hobbies where others can get used to you in a natural setting, read a lot and, above all, take an interest in others instead of merely focusing upon yourself. You will then appear far more attractive to others too instead of seeming selfish and self-absorbed. The more you forget yourself and mix naturally with others is the more you will be accepted for who you are, whatever your flaws, and not what you think you ought to be.


3. Perfectionism: When we wish everything to be perfect, especially where we are not appreciated too much, we focus on impossible things instead of accepting ourselves as we are. Whether you are fat or slim you are still a unique and wonderful human being in your own right. There is no need to compare yourself with anyone because such comparisons will always make you feel inadequate simply because you are like no one else in this world and they are not like you. So how can you ever measure up.

Once you find out the real reasons why you are so fearful and lacking in confidence, why you lack value to yourself, you will feel much better and you will gradually realise that the future is what YOU wish to make of it. It isn't something that we reach or move towards. It is something that we make from today with our own efforts. It just take a little self love, self value and self belief!

Do you feel angry when your prayers go unanswered?


No, I never get angry when a prayer isn't answered because I have deep faith and belief that whatever I truly desire, and which is good for me, I will get, and if I don't get it, there's always a good reason for it. Being angry is wasted emotion because it does not make anything happen, it does not make the situation better and neither does it make us feel any better.

The power of our thought processes means that we always get what we pray for, every time. But it never comes at the exact time, or in the exact form that we expect it. So, often, by the time it arrives, not quite what we expect, we would have forgotten that we actually asked for it! Like many people who pray for a partner, but are likely to be unrealistic in their descriptions: like 'tall, dark and handsome', 'rich and wealthy', 'slim, leggy blonde' or 'beautiful black queen'.

Only very few people fit those narrow descriptions, not enough to go around, so we can't all have one of them! instead, we are likely to be sent someone who looks nothing like what we requested but with a heart of gold and who loves us to bits. Except that we are so busy being disappointed and angry at not getting our prayers answered, we would not have appreciated that they were the genuine article!!

The best way to get what we want is to have the belief that we can make it happen, and then just work towards it slowly to help bring it into being. Nurture the faith to know that it will come true and then leave it in the lap of the gods, or your God, to surprise you. You could be very shocked at the result, in some instances.

I cannot complain. So far, almost everything I have wanted I have got. And what hasn't been granted yet, I am gradually accepting that perhaps it's not worth having.

How about you?

Would you have plastic surgery to 'fix' anything on your body?


No, I wouldn't. I just don't believe in anything false on me. I would rather age disgracefully with the genuine article than to be propped up with false parts.

Many people believe that fixing their bodies will give them confidence and self esteem, or make them feel better. That's only a temporary remedy. Whatever we feel comes from inside us, not externally. We can't fix bad feelings with physical remedies. We have to address the root cause of the problem, which is usually emotional, before we can address those seemingly imperfect body parts. But they all go to make up the unique us.

Furthermore, no one is perfect, but when we don't love ourselves, we then start to find fault and pick holes with the amazing human machine that we are.

I would love to do something about my stomach which is not as flat as I would like to be. I have often thought of getting some liposuction for it and then I think: Stop being greedy. I look wonderful as I am; I have got the most gorgeous, smile, teeth, eyes, hands, face, legs, bum and boobs. What am I complaining about? I remind myself not to look a gift horse in the mouth. To be satisfied with what I am before I lose it all. So I do daily exercises instead.

No plastic surgery for me, even if I were rolling in money.

But what about you? What would you change?

The Dangers of Perfectionism


"Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life." (Dr. David D Burns)

The futile belief that perfection is achievable affects the lives of millions of people, particularly those who lack self-esteem. Some are so obsessed with achieving perfection, it affects their health and emotional well-being. Such perfectionists seek the perfect looks, the perfect mate, the perfect job and the perfect body. Naturally, as no such perfection exists, their search is bound to be a fruitless one which will only make them unhappy. However, even the most mundane task can become an ordeal since everything must be done to exacting standards with which only they would agree.

People in search of perfection experience disappointment and dissatisfaction more regularly than others because they are often unable to enjoy the simple pleasures of life unless they are ideal. Should they fall short of their perfect goal, they regard their effort as a 'failure', regardless of what they achieved to reach that position. These individuals spend an inordinate amount of time trying to avoid making mistakes, criticising their colleagues' efforts and never really making the progress, or fulfilling the potential, of which they are capable. The time, the place, the money, or the ideas are never quite right, so nothing much is ever done in the end.

Yet perfection is such a limiting aspiration. The concept of perfection is also relative. It has no meaning in itself. It only assumes meaning when we ask the question "Perfect for what?" Perfect weather for sunbathing is not the same as perfect weather for skiing. And the perfect place for having dinner is not the same as the perfect place for sleeping. There is also nothing beyond perfection except a void of inactivity and stagnation. Yet, what kills many relationships is the desire to achieve that ideal state by one or both of the parties involved. Perfectionists are driven by some unseen, internal standard of performance. Often such people find it difficult to take on projects because they will spend so much time and energy carrying out the task and making it 'perfect' (not even the tiniest flaw must be seen), they become overwhelmed. Often they cannot complete the task at all, or they take so long that it no longer matters.

Perfectionists live in a narrowly defined world in which they feel empowered. In this world, which usually excludes or derogates the efforts of others, they believe it is more possible to be perfect. The fewer activities they engage in, the greater the possibility of achieving their perfect goal. They become frustrated with themselves sometimes, often refusing to even cook or eat food because they cannot prepare it to perfection. Time is often their enemy as perfection needs time for polishing and is seldom achieved on schedule. Thus the hallmark of perfectionists is a longing to achieve a lot, in line with their potential and talent, while managing to achieve very little.

Did you make any New Year's resolutions?
The main reasons they often don't work!


Every new year brings a freshness of promise, of hope and the opportunity to change our lives to something more in tune with what we wish to be. Hence many people make resolutions they feel they want to keep; resolutions around losing weight, giving up smoking, getting that new job or giving up that old one, or even breaking off that unfulfilling relationship and being more independent, for example. This time of the the year galvanises us into action to change ourselves in some way.

However, a few days or weeks into the year and most people will find it really difficult to keep to the promises they made themselves earlier on. It is not because they have changed their minds, or they haven't got the genuine intention to succeed in achieving their desires. Not at all. Something else they haven't even thought of would be blocking their success and preventing them from reaching their goal. In a nutshell, they are concentrating on changing their BEHAVIOUR instead of their values or mindset, and it just won't work.

Behaviour is dictated by values and values are formed by beliefs. Those three elements work in strict tandem. It means if we wish our behaviour to change, we have to start with our BELIEFS. We really cannot just change our behaviour and do nothing else. We have to change those beliefs we have about the issue, which then affect our values which ultimately change our behaviour.

For example, if I really wish to make my health better and lessen the effect of diabetes on me, I cannot see chocolate, per se, as harmless food. I have to view it as something deadly and dangerous to my existence. Once I treat chocolate like virtual poison (changing my beliefs) I will then have a value that says chocolate is not something I eat, which then stops me from buying it and having it. In that way, I would keep my resolution to improve the state of my illness because my belief would drive my behaviour.

The same with smoking or weight loss. If you wish to give up smoking, it really matters WHY you are giving it up. If it is to save money, to stop having to deal with the smell of it, or because you will be 'better' for it, you won't succeed in your effort because those are not really important, survival reasons that the body will recognise. Those are social reasons. The good thoughts around cigarettes and why you smoke them in the first place will still be hovering in your subconscious. They will override the other thoughts you have of giving up.

Until you can start imagining the BAD effects of smoking on yourself; visualising it in a very negative way so that it is stripped of all its attraction, and your BELIEFS around cigarettes change to match their dangers, you will merely go through the motions for a few weeks, craving it badly, then going back to it later in time. Until you change your beliefs and values around cigarettes, switching from accepting them, per se, to rejecting them as potential danger to your survival, any stoppage will merely be temporary.

When we make resolutions, our behaviour tends to change first. That's normal. But unless our beliefs and values change soon afterwards as well, the change will only be superficial simply because the original mindset, that keeps the old behaviour in place, will still be there!


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