The Myth of Perfection

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As I was reading a book an acquaintance sent me, Clear Quiet Mind, I came across a section in the book from Chapter 7, The Myth of Perfection, that I believe is very helpful for accepting our imperfections and living with peace of mind in a World that is constantly telling us to be “perfect.”

After reading this chapter on the myth of perfection I googled “myth of perfection” and found that many people have written on this subject: The Huffington post, Professors, TEDTalks, etc. It is a popular subject, so it must be important to discuss. 

Here I break down what I find from these multiple sources with practical ways of accepting our imperfections from Clear Quiet Mind, which can help you get past your myth of perfection to living a life with more peace of mind. Enjoy.

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Dictionary definitions of perfect include: “Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.”

“Completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible.”

Why do so many of us strive for an impossible feat which only leads us to disappointment? Why do we judge others when they make a mistake, but are forgiving for our own faults?

Are your role models perfect? Who are your role models? If they are a superhero from a movie or book, then that’s just not realistic.

A TED Talks speaker, Jim Hill, speaks of his former unrealistic expectations of himself and of others here.

He says, “Ive been wrong about role models all along. They don’t have to be perfect. How could they be perfect? They’re people.”

He goes on to speak about how no one is “perfect” all the time. We’re people. We’re flawed, and that is okay. After someone told him he was a good role model, he thought of all the reasons why he was not a good role model, but he says, “But if I could be a good role model for this slice of time, well then maybe all my role models could be perfect in slices of time.” 

Instead of judging a person off of one bad thing they did, or maybe something they didn’t do, we can look at the slices of their lives that are inspiring to us: A characteristic of theirs, an achievement, an attitude, etc. When we chase perfection in ourselves and in others we only end up beating ourselves up, or others up (verbally usually), because we all fall short.

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I want to be perfect just like you do, so how can we accept this inevitable fact of being imperfect?

Practical techniques from Clear Quiet Mind are next, but one way the speaker Jim helped himself was by practicing recognizing that his friends aren’t perfect, but they are pretty awesome at times, so he looked at the positive traits in them instead of focusing on any negative. He now tries to look at everyday people as role models, none of them are perfect, but they have slices of perfection woven into them. He says that doing this has let him off the hook of perfection.

An incredibly helpful way to release the myth of perfection is to understand that no one is perfect or ever will be, but we can look at the good qualities in others life and look up to those qualities.

Author Kevin Schoeninger also has great ideas and ways on how to handle this myth of perfection. He goes a little deeper on this subject by diving into ways to recognize when we are viewing things from a myth of perfection and then ways to release the myth of perfection.

Remember, we all struggle at times with this myth of perfection. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect.

Kevin says things like:

“Do you avoid taking risks in business because you think you might fail?”

“The Myth of Perfection is an invisible line that is impossible to measure up to.”

“When have you done enough? “By what standards can these be judged—and, who says so?”

“Is it really important for you and/or your kids or be busy, productive, and perfect all the time? Does that make for a happy and healthy life?”

“What if these standards of perfectionism are arbitrary, illusory, and moving targets that keep you locked in the stress of never being good enough or worthy enough for what you really want?”

The bottom line is that ‘perfection’ is a myth. What you see when you step back and observe life more objectively is not perfection, but ‘diversity.’ Life is infinitely diverse. Diversity is a rule here on Earth. There are over seven billion different human bodies, sets of skills, habits, lifestyles, preferences, and personalities—and countless other lifeforms, each with their own unique characteristics.”

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3 ways to recognize The Myth of Perfection

(All quoted examples below are from Chapter 7 in Kevin’s Book, Clear Quiet Mind, pages 63-74)

“The myth of perfection needs to be made conscious before you can let it go and choose another outlook. Until you recognize it and can pause it as it arises, you’ll be a slave to its mythical power.”

The first way to let go of any limiting perspective is to recognize what you’re doing, Kevin says.

1) Black and White thinking

Example: “A person is a ‘good person’ or a ‘bad person.’”

“Actions are either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’”

“This just isn’t true. Every person is a diverse mix of different intentions, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. There are no 100% good or bad people. No one is 100% percent anything.”

“Actions can only be judged in context-yes even the ‘bad ones,’ like stealing, lying, and taking a life(example just below). What if these actions were in the service of a greater good?” 

(Example)—“Would you lie to a Nazi about hiding a Jewish family in your attic? Would you steal their gun if they barged in and were trying to use it? Would you kill them to save innocent lives? Perhaps?”

*”Life presents itself in a rainbow of different colors and shades. Black and white thinking just doesn’t represent Reality. It’s important to view everything, every action, and everyone in their uniqueness within the complex contexts in which they appear.”

2) Always, Never, and Should

“This kind of thinking disregards the truth that all things in this physical world of time and space change and grow. Circumstances change and require different responses. We all change. Life is always changing. Life requires adaptation.”

…“Yet, we tend to label things as if they are unchanging. We say things like, ‘you always…’ and ‘I never…’ to judge others and justify ourselves.”

“‘Should’ is an equally fallible concept. We think that people should follow the rules, until they break them, create something new and amazing, and become famous for it. Then, in retrospect, they were courageous or creative geniuses.”

What if minorities and women never stood up for their rights and just followed the rules? There were laws that women couldn’t vote and that people could own slaves..How unbelievable is that? What good would happen if we didn’t break rules that are meant to be broken?

“We think that people should work until they are 65—yet, we admire those who can retire early. We think that we should long for retirement, yet those who stay engaged and active in purposeful work seem to have the most fulfilling, healthy, and happy lives.”

“Discernments about what is good, right, and valuable can only be made within the ever-changing contexts in which they occur. So, check yourself for the words always, never, and should. See if you can notice the arbitrary standards behind these statements. What if these are unnecessarily stressing you out or creating conflict?”

3) Comparison and Nitpicking

“We are brought up to compare—and this naturally leads to critical judgments if we or others don’t measure up.”

“A current example of this is the notion of ‘political correctness.’ This concept is one of the most arbitrary markers for what is good and bad. Political correctness clearly is about what is most important to the group with which you identify. It has no absolute value on its own.”

“In U.S. politics, as people congregate around ‘whatever Democrats do is bad’ or ‘whatever Republicans do it bad.’ This type of thinking leads to all sorts of contradictory and conflicting judgments…Life doesn’t offer absolute answers”

The bottom line is that people, things, and actions can only be discerned within the complex contexts in which they occur. Quick and easy, black and white judgments are inaccurate to how life actually presents itself. Life is infinitely diverse.

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4 powerful techniques on releasing The Myth of Perfection

1) Notice Exceptions and Alternatives

“Notice exceptions to the rule you’re applying.” Kevin’s idea is that we are around imperfect people all the time, friends, family, etc, but we still love them for who they are.

He says, “For example, do you think so and so is beautiful even though he or she is ‘overweight?’ Can you think of a time when a ‘good person’ had a ‘lapse in judgment?’ Can you remember a time when the point you are now disagreeing with was true?”

“Notice the variety of possible ways you can look at the same situation. By momentarily adopting different points of view, it helps release you from the stress and tyranny of any one perspective.”

“At a minimum, it can lead you to say, ‘Maybe there are a variety of ways of looking at this situation.”

2) Refute Irrational Ideas

Our ideas, our self-talk, whether rational or irrational will impact our emotions, and our emotions motivate our actions. Kevin discusses how the psychologist Albert Ellis wrote about this, identifying common irrational beliefs that “launch us into stressful feelings which result in poor coping behaviors.”

Some of these adapted irrational beliefs include: “I must have love and approval for me to feel good, I must be flawlessly competent, successful, and perfect to deserve good things, My happiness and suffering are entirely dependent upon external events, Anything unknown, uncertain, or potentially dangerous is scary, What happened in the past determines what will happen now.”

There may be truth in some of these ideas for you, but “it’s how you use these ideas against yourself that’s decisive,” Kevin says, “When you attach to them as strong beliefs, they limit how you view yourself and your possibilities.”

“Certainly, you don’t control everything that happens, but you can control how you interpret, relate to, and respond to what happens.

“Ellis discovered that, if you can refute your irrational ideas, you can interrupt the chain of reaction, and create a new outcome. If you reframe your thinking, you will feel and act differently. By doing this, you become stress-resistant and stress-resilient.”

Kevin discusses Ellis’s 5 Steps to Refute Irrational ideas which you can read more about here in Ellis’s ABC Model

3) Ask yourself, ‘Am I Coming from Love or Fear?’

“Anytime you’re feeling critical or judgmental toward yourself or others ask this question: Am I coming from love or fear?”

“The root of the myth of perfection is fear of vulnerability— that ‘I am vulnerable if I’m not perfect.’

“The cure for fear is first identifying your fear and acknowledging it, then deciding if it needs to be acted on or not. This helps respond appropriately to what is happening. Perhaps your fear is alerting you to something that needs to be done? If so, how can you address your fear by taking appropriate action? If not, can you let that fear go?”

Good questions to ask fear: ‘What am I afraid might happen? Is that likely or am I exaggerating that possibility? What actions do I really need to take? Is it possible that nothing needs to be done except letting go of fear and seeing things in a more realistic empowered way?’”

“Once you’ve identified necessary actions or decided that you may be exaggerating risk to protect feelings of vulnerability, you can move toward love.”

“On the love side, you can ask, ‘How can I be more loving and compassionate toward myself and others in this situation? What would ease fear? What would help things work out well for all concerned? How can I initiate or participate in this positive outcome?’”

“In moments of fear and vulnerability, what would someone who loves you unconditionally, exactly as you are, say to you or do? How can you apply this principle to how you relate to yourself and others?”

Love is a response that naturally arises when you see the real needs of yourself and others in any situation. Love desires the best for all concerned. Love is your natural response when you are free from fear. When you love, instead of criticizing and blaming, you can observe and discern what needs to be done.”

4) Observe and Accept What Is Actually Happening

“In moments of challenge, vulnerability, and fear, is it possible to set aside all mental chatter, all stories and judgments, and simply be an objective witness to what is happening? … It is possible with practice to do this, to free your mind.

“Remember your skills of mindfulness, acceptance, and detachment. Is it possible to mindfully observe what is happening, accept it as it is, and let go of judging people and events as good or bad? Is it possible to see others and situations innocently, as if for the first time, without prejudice? —To help do this you might use the First Seat of Consciousness(technique): — Observe the situation from a perspective above and behind your head. Imagine yourself sitting up there, looking down on yourself, others, and the situation as a whole.”

The technique above reminds me of the Stoic technique of “taking a view from above.

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You can imagine being in the sky, on a cloud, looking down at yourself and all of life, which can get you out of your own thoughts.

“I encourage you to try these techniques to release the myth of perfection in situations in which you are harshly judging yourself or others.”

Kevin’s book is very useful in helping people achieve an inner peace through practical techniques. I have underlined almost every single word throughout this book as I read it. As I read the book, part of me wanted the next page to not connect with me so I didn’t have to underline it, but it kept happening!

If you would like the full book you can buy it here from Amazon for $15

4 Philosophy ideas that can bring you temporary peace

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Disclaimer—This might change your perspective on life. Hopefully for the better. 

The choice is yours.

The 4 philosophy ideas I discuss stem from a philosophy called stoicism.

I wanted to title this post: “Stoicism 101; an old philosophy that can liberate you,” but I’m not sure if many people have heard about stoicism, and I know most people have heard of philosophy.

So what is stoicism? (scroll down to ‘4 Main Points‘ section for just the main points if you’d like).

Stoicism is defined as: “The endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and without complaint.”

It is being okay with everything that happens & accepting how you feel.  It is focusing on what you can control, and letting go of the rest.  

Stoicism is liberating.

Stoicism can help you: 

  • Become a better person & friend
  • Deal with people & external events appropriately
  • Deal with adversity
  • Maintain a level head through praise & criticism
  • Come to peace with death
  • Overcome destructive emotions, and many more.

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Stoicism is also defined as: “An ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge, and that the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.”

Stoicism helps us accept life as it is.  It helps us get past our labels of “good” & “bad.” Stoicism helps put us in a mindful state of awareness, getting us out of our constantly judging mind, enabling us to experience life fully, non-judgmentally.

In relation to living non-judgmentally, I’ve heard this quote: “What is chaos to the fly is normal to the spider.”

Shakespeare also said, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

We know what is good or bad in human terms, but there is a lot more going on in the universe than what we think.

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Think about the millions of galaxies just like this one. Or even think about 10 more. The Universe is vast.

There is so much happening beyond us.

We know that murder is a bad thing, yet cows, chickens and other animal life are murdered daily in our world.  I eat meat so I am not complaining, I am just trying to get us all to think.

Do you think eating dog is bad?

Multiple countries eat dog today, and other countries think that this is very wrong…Here is an article that came out April 3, 2018 that discusses how over 5 million dogs are eaten in Vietnam every year—Click Here For Article.

Is it wrong to kill animals for food? I don’t have that answer.

Maybe hundreds or thousands of years from now, if the human race is still around, they will wonder how we could have eaten the meat of other animals.

Maybe not though as well.

Look back to a few examples from recent centuries, the 1900’s & beyond, to things we look back on in disgust: Open racism, public hangings & no womens’ rights.

These injustices are still happening today in some places.

So this is what philosophy is; thinking. Thinking, learning & then living out the best life from what we know. Philosophy is about questions & perspectives.

Stoicism is not pessimistic, it is optimistic, you just need to see it in the right light.

Before I get to the main points of stoicism, I would like your feedback via email. I am considering writing a short ebook that will discuss stoicism in more detail.  I have about 70 pages of solid notes on the subject, & have read multiple books regarding stoicism, so if you would be interested in reading a short ebook(condensed to about 20 pages) please let me know!

For now, here is a summary of a few main points that stoicism offers & how we can apply them to our lives.

4 Main Points

1~Amor Fati

Which translates to a love of one’s fate•

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German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was a big fan of amor fati. 

He is quoted saying, “my formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it, but love it.”

The stoics also had another way of looking at this. They believed in a universal guiding force of the universe. They thought we are like a dog tied to a moving cart, and we have two options: We can try to dig our hind legs in, struggling to control everything, getting dragged & being challenged. Or we can enjoy the ride & live our best lives.

Last quote on Amor Fati:

“Demand not that things happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do, and you will go on well.” Epictetus (Philosopher & former slave)

Are you loving your fate?  If not, you can with practice, and it will help you live your best life.

2~Focus on what you can control and let go of the rest

Most of us have heard this quote: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Reinhold Niebuhr

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We have heard it, and might think, “yea that’s good, I should do that.” But we often don’t follow through with this quote.

We need to follow through with action. Make a list of things you can control, and a list of things you can’t control.  Then stop wasting any time on things you cannot control.  This takes time & practice, as I am practicing this myself and am not perfect at it.

I love this idea from Philip Ghezelbash that relates to focusing on the things we can control:

“Do you have a problem in your life?

No? ► Then don’t worry.

Yes? ► Can you do something about it?…

Yes? ► Then don’t worry.

No? ► Then don’t worry.”

I have been practicing this lately when I am stuck in traffic.  There is no reason to get upset in uncontrollable traffic, but many people do & I have too at times.  I’ve been reminding myself that I have no control over the traffic, and this reminder has been bringing me peace of mind.

3~Practice poverty & misfortune

This may sound counterproductive but it can actually help a person grow tremendously.

When we intentionally practice poverty & misfortune a few days each month, we will be more prepared and accepting for when it does come.

“We must learn to disappoint ourselves at leisure before the world ever has a chance to slap us by surprise at a time of its own choosing.” Alain de Botton

Alain goes on to say: “One of the goals of civilization is to instruct us in how to be sad rather than angry. Sadness may not sound very appealing. But it carries – in this context – a huge advantage. It is what allows us to detach our emotional energies from fruitless fury around things that (however bad) we cannot change and that are the fault of no-one in particular and – after a period of mourning – to refocus our efforts in places where our few remaining legitimate hopes and expectations have a realistic chance of success.”

Entrepreneur, practicer of stoicism, and author of a New York Times Best Selling Book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss, practices this each month.  See him talk about it by clicking here

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Tim Ferriss

Ferriss talks about how the philosopher Cato, would practice poverty & misfortune:

During Cato’s age, over 2000 years ago, every now and then he would wear clothes that society viewed as humiliating.

Cato did this to train himself to be ashamed of only those things truly worth being ashamed about.

Deep down we know that clothes are nothing to be ashamed of, but many people spend a lot of money to buy brand clothing to impress people they don’t even like.

The philosopher Seneca also practiced this.  In one of his writings he wrote: “Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: ‘Is this the condition that I feared?’”

We undervalue what we have, because most likely we’ve always had it…

“Many of your fears are based on undervaluing the things that are easily obtainable.” Tim Ferriss

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Ferriss also practices this by doing fasts, not eating anything for days, & also doing fasts that include only eating rice, or only drinking water.  (If you plan on doing a fast, research it as much as possible beforehand).

This year I have done two 30 hour fasts, and multiple 16-20 hour fasts.

There has been a lot of research done on fasting, and it has many benefits.  This Harvard study explains how fasting can lead to a longer and healthier life: Click Here for the study.

I’ve been practicing this another way without even knowing it:  When I need clothes, I first go to Goodwill or other thrift stores, where I buy great clothes for a cheap price.  I am very glad my mother took us to thrift shops growing up; they really have some amazing gems.  And when I buy clothes that society might think is “poor,” that doesn’t bother me & I’ll still wear it.

Macklemore agrees here in his song Thrift shop(clean version).

He says, “I’m like, ‘yo, that’s 50 dollars for a t-shirt.’ Limited edition, let’s do some simple addition. 50 dollars for a t-shirt, that’s just some ignorant _____.

I call that getting tricked by the business.”

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Do we care that much about the opinions of others that we will spend enormous amounts of money to impress them?

2000 years ago, former Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius said, “it never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.

Think about what your life would be like without the things you have.  It could happen.  Better to have practiced misfortune so that if it comes to you, you won’t be bothered by it.

Are you practicing poverty & misfortune?  If not, do you think you will?

4~None of what you do lasts

Again, this may sound pessimistic, but it is liberating, and if you are still reading you can sense that practicing stoicism can be liberating.

Marcus Aurelius reminded himself of all the people who have died, whether they had a “great” occupation or a “lowly” one.  He said: “Run down the list of those who felt intense anger at something: the most famous, the most unfortunate, the most hated, the most whatever: Where is all that now? Smoke, dust, legend…or not even a legend. Think of all the examples. And how trivial the things we want so passionately are.

“No matter how clever or brilliant, none of what we do lasts…It’s good to remember that.” Ryan Holiday

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“If everything is ephemeral, what does matter?  Right now matters.  Being a good person and doing the right thing right now, thats what matters and that’s what was important to the Stoics. Be humble and honest and aware.” Ryan Holiday

If you want to really live your best life, it is important to frequently think of your own mortality. This will help you appreciate each and every moment, and not have such an intense fear of death that most people refuse to think about.

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” Marcus Aurelius

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I hope you enjoyed learning about, or learning more about the wonderful philosophy of stoicism.  There are many more practices involved with stoicism; these were a few key starting points I believe are good to begin with, & they are ones that I am practicing.

If you want to learn more about stoicism, I recommend reading the book “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius.  I recently read it & it is now one of my top 3 all-time favorite books.

And as I said, I have many notes on stoicism and am considering writing a short ebook on the subject to discuss it in more details (the ebook would be around 20 pages). If this is something you’d be interested in reading please let me know 🙂

I look forward to hearing from you, & hope you have gained a new perspective through reading this.

Cheers.

“In your actions, don’t procrastinate. In your conversations, don’t confuse. In your thoughts, don’t wander. In your soul, don’t be passive or aggressive. In your life, don’t be all about business.” Aurelius

Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

What if what we thought about an event wasn’t always the best way of looking at it?

Many of us label our experiences and situations as “good,” or “bad,” and many other things.

This perspective limits us from living our best lives.

As a culture we have seemed to judge events as good or bad (luck), but sometimes when we think something “bad” has happened, it is good in disguise.  And sometimes when we think something “good” has happened, it is bad in disguise.

There’s an ancient proverb that elaborates this concept:

There was a farmer who had a beautiful strong horse that was used to plow his fields.

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One day, the horse escaped, and the farmer’s neighbors came to the man sympathizing about his bad luck.  The farmer replied, “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

A few days later the horse returned with a herd of stallions.  This time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck.  He replied with, “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?”

The next week when the farmer’s son was trying to tame one of the stallions, he fell off the horse and broke his leg. “What bad luck,” the neighbors told the farmer.  “Bad luck? Good luck?  Who knows?” Said the farmer.

A few days later an army came into the village, forcing every able-bodied youth to join them.  When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg, they didn’t bother to take him with them.

Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

I’m sure you can think of a time when something bad happened but it turned out to help you in the end.  Was it good luck or bad luck?

We can’t always know the reason behind an event, so it’s important to keep a neutral attitude..

..To observe the events in our life without judging them, without drawing conclusions about them…This can bring about great peace of mind.

Great leaders understand this concept and are able to remain calm, trust life and themselves, take appropriate action, generate acceptance, and have a flexible attitude.

So the next time you’re in a situation that you label as “good” or “bad” I encourage you to ask yourself, “Good luck?” “Bad luck?” Who knows…

Thank you for reading!

Here’s another post that may also help you enable a different perspective: Question your Certainty

It’s okay to feel bad

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And it’s okay to feel good.  

How long have we had this idea in America that everyone should be happy all the time?

The media portrays smiling families, good times, and happy endings, but that isn’t always the case.

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How people think they should be.

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How people think they shouldn’t be.

You don’t need to be happy all the time To Live A Great Life.

Does your Instagram look like the picture on the top left?

Oftentimes we look at someone who is upset and think “Oh there must be something wrong with them.”  Why do we think something has to be wrong?  Maybe it’s okay for them to feel bad.  It’s okay for them to feel what they feel.  When we allow our feelings to come and don’t try to force them to leave, they will leave on their own.  When we try to control our emotions, they multiply.

You are not alone in your struggles.  Basically everyone at one point or another in their lifetime will experience depression, anxiety, OCD etc.

Check out this list of some of the greats who have dealt with depression and in some cases suicide:

Vincent Van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, Ludwig Wan Beethoven, Pablo Picasso, Edgar Allen Poe, Abraham Lincoln, Isaac Newton, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Orwell, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Kurt Cobain, Ellen Degeneres, Johnny Depp, Eminem, Chris Evans, Jon Hamm, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Michael Phelps, Brad Pitt, J.K. Rowling, Channing Tatum, Owen Wilson, and many others.

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So we can be there to support others and to support ourselves because everyone is going through something, and that’s okay.  We need to remember that everyone suffers in life, and the meaning we give our suffering can make our lives better or worse.

“You don’t need to feel great to act great.” Coach T

So how can we gain Peace of Mind through this idea of accepting our feelings as they are?

“Don’t look for peace. Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.” Eckhart Tolle

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A Study…

Psychologists at the University of California Berkeley have researched and tested the idea of accepting negative emotions and have found that “people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health.”

See their article Here

These psychologists have also stated that acceptance and self-compassion are two key habits to happiness.

“People who accept their emotions without judging or trying to change them are able to cope with their stress more successfully.”

My Experience

There have been multiple times where I’ve experienced overwhelming feelings.  Over time I’ve learned that I can sit and dwell in these feelings or I can try to move on.  Sometimes these feelings come back to me, but I now work on accepting them as they are.  I allow myself to feel what I’m feeling, and then let the emotions go away in their time.

I remind myself that these feelings are temporary.  They will pass, and it will be okay.  With each new day comes a choice to suppress our emotions, or to allow them to come and then go.

Smiling helps, just look in the mirror and smile.  It’s funny, I know.  Try it for a few minutes and see what happens.

I Exercise.  This is something that is known to boost endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body.

Or you can take some time to just breathe.  Listen to your breath, just your breath.  Find a comfortable place, let go of the wandering mind and breathe.  Listening to your breath allows you to get back to this moment, here, now.  Try that for five minutes just to see how often your mind wanders.

I am not perfect at this craft, but I enjoy the practice and think you will too!

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Conclusion:

It’s okay to think & feel happy, sad, depressed, anxious, joyous, all the emotions.

Remember that feelings are temporary; they will pass, but your actions will last.

Try to be conscious of how you are thinking and feeling when you are down, and don’t allow yourself to just dwell on auto-pilot in negative feelings.  Feel what you feel, accept what you’re feeling and thinking, even wave to your feelings if you’d like, and then watch them go like cars passing by.

Peace of Mind is not just a state of relaxation.

Peace of Mind isn’t about feeling a certain way.  

It’s about feeling the way you feel.

Feeling how you feel is the greatest happiness of all.

“You can’t stop the waves (of emotions) but you can learn to surf.”

Above all, it’s about letting the mind be as it is and knowing something about how it is in this moment.  It’s not about getting somewhere else, but about allowing yourself to be where you already are. — Jon Kabat-Zin

Thanks for reading!  Please share your thoughts in the comments.

QUESTION YOUR CERTAINTY

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I was listening to famous blogger Mark Manson get interviewed by Marie Forleo Here when he said something that inspired this whole post.  I believe that this idea can help everyone in their daily lives.

  • “The starting point is simple, start asking WHY about everything.”

“What if I’m wrong?”      “What if my assumption is wrong?”

The more I think about this subject, the more I see how IMPORTANT it is to question ourselves.

“Don’t believe everything you think” is a quote that has impacted my life in great ways.

Author Dan Millman wrote that our thoughts are like wild monkeys stung by a scorpion.

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Our minds are running all day; thoughts appear like clouds passing by, some stay longer than others, but some quickly pass by.  So how can you and I let go of these “clouds?”

1) As Manson would say, “There’s no ‘how.’  It’s all in your head.”  There is not much you can do other than try on a new perspective and ask, “What if my assumption isn’t true?” What would that mean?  And then psychically traverse the answer.

  • So write down 5 things in your life that you could potentially be wrong about.  Question those deep assumptions you’ve had about your identity for years.  For example, “I am lazy” I am not an attractive person” “I don’t know how to talk to people” “I won’t ever be happy” “The world is going to shit”

The more emotion you have behind these assumptions, the more important it is to write it down and CHALLENGE IT!

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After you have written down 5 or more assumptions, go through them and write down what it would mean in your life if it were wrong.

It may not be easy but it’s worth it!  Anyway how confident can you be in your own beliefs if you’ve never challenged them?  Try to see the “other side,” and when it does appear more likely and more valid, join that side!

2) THINK THROUGH YOUR THOUGHTS to see if what you’re thinking is irrational or not.

For example:  Say that you get a little nervous to go to the gym or grocery shopping.  But why?  Because you have to step out of your COMFORT ZONE.

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You are comfortable inside your apartment watching TV & the thought of leaving will disrupt your comfort – so you think..

It’s crazy how the mind can trick us to stay exactly where we are.  But if you want to do anything significant or really even just anything, you need to leave your comfort zone.  It’s worth it.  The pain you will feel later on in life due to staying in your comfort zone will be much worse than the temporary discomfort of going for what you want.

-This can relate to asking a girl/guy out.

-Performing at that open mic night you’ve been considering.

-Joining that group you’ve been thinking of joining.

-Anything that has to do with doing what you want.

People are afraid of all sorts of things & that’s okay.  You shouldn’t try to strive to be fearless, you should strive to TAKE ACTION when you are feeling afraid.

I have learned that it’s not about how I think or feel, it’s about what I do!!  

Don’t believe everything you think!  Question your assumptions and thoughts, and start TAKING ACTION!!!

Stop wasting time caring about the wrong things; things that only worry you.  Start caring about things that truly matter to you!

Click the BOOK PICTURE below to buy Mark Manson’s NY Times Best Selling book that can help you do all of the above!

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Interview with Youtuber Denise Vlogs

I had the pleasure of interviewing YouTube star Denise Vlogs via Skype!  Denise loves creating short horror films which you can check out HERE.

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She also vlogs her travels in which she has been all over the world; so if you love a good horror story and an adventure you need to check her channel out!  She has almost 100,000 YouTube subscribers and videos with over a million views.  She recently bought a one way ticket to Europe and was in the Capital of Portugal, Lisbon when I interviewed her.  For now, enjoy the q and a interview with Denise Vlogs:

  1. Hello Denise! Where are you from?

DV: “I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York; moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Brooklyn College majoring in film production.”

2.  Where are you currently and would you like to live somewhere specific?

DV: “Lisbon, Porutgal.  If I had to settle it would be in Los Angeles.”  She knows a lot of people in Los Angeles, but is not too fond of living in the states because at the moment it is hard to be a freelancer here.

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City of Los Angeles California

3.  What is your dream job?

DV: “Film production; writing scripts, film maker, and that being the only source of income.”

4.  Do you have a role model?  Who is it and why?

DV: “Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.  I met him when I worked as a receptionist at Anonymous Content.”  She watched his movies in film school where he was used as an example of a great foreign director and admired for his work.

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Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

5.  Since she had lived in Los Angeles for awhile I asked her if she met any celebrities and she did:                                                                                                                                                                                     DV: “I met Snoop Dogg, Ashton Kutcher..lots of famous people and  famous YouTubers.  I was more excited to meet other YouTubers because I wanted to collaborate with them.”

6.  Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

DV: “DV Presents-Denise Vlogs presents;  a series of short films-10-20 of them.  I love these films that focus on a story.  These are what I love to make.”  Check out these videos HERE 

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7.  If you had a superpower what would it be?

DV: “Time travel—I’d warn my mom about her cancer so she would have survived; also a friend who died of the same cancer.  I’d tell myself to break up with several people.”

8.  What does your perfect day look like?

DV: “New experiences; a brand new country in a beautiful place.  When I just released a DV presents video, get a lot of money, and eat good food.”

9.  How would you spend a billion dollars?

DV: “Travel, film making, donate to charities.  I would save for 10 years and adopt a child.  Buy several properties all over the world.  Buy a citizenship in another country.  Never bring a suitcase with me everywhere I went; I’d shop wherever I went and then donate my old clothes.”

10.  What did you want to be when you grew up?

DV: “Starting at 11 I wanted to be a screen writer.  I wrote a script when was 11.  Before that I wanted to be an actress and singer, maybe I just wanted attention…I also wanted to be a meteorologist when I was really young; I was fascinated by natural disasters as a little kid.  My dad bought tons of movies, and my mom loved to watch scary movies so I would watch them with her and I really like them.  At sleepovers and with friends I would make up ghost stories with friends.  My uncle also told me he wrote a screen play when I was a young age, so that made me realize that anyone could do it!”  Her friends liked her scary stories the best!

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11.  What is the hardest part about maintaining the lifestyle you live?

DV: “I want to make more money; I just make enough to get by at the moment.  Being a digital nomad can be sad having to leave people after I connect with someone.  It can get lonely being by myself, so it might be nice to settle.”

12.  What do you enjoy most about your lifestyle?

DV: “New experiences and new people I get to meet all the time.  It’s a burst of energy when you connect to a new place.  I enjoy not having to sit in a desk every day, learning new things, creating content, and hopes I’ll have more time to create more content to focus on.”

13.  What kind of computer do you have?  You probably have to edit a lot for those awesome videos!!

DV:  “I recommend the MacBook Pro to edit videos and stuff.  I have the MacBook Pro 2014.  I use adobe premier to edit but for beginners recommend iMovie.  I use photoshop sometimes and would use a desktop but I move around a lot.”

Currently Denise is working now as a freelancer.  She edits videos, consults people and companies for social media– YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc.  She has looked into teaching online and possibly substitute teach.  She also like to volunteer to teach English.  She has two YouTube channels DeniseVlogs and DeniseActuallyVlogs.  She uses both channels but deniseactuallyvlogs is more casual.

Follow her on Twitter @DeniseVlogs, Instagram @DeniseVlogs.  Follow her travels on snapchat at DeniseVlogs too!

If you missed it at the top here is her youtube main page!