Letting Go of Anger

I just had an argument with my dad. Another one.

Honestly, no one can annoy me that fast except for the people I love the most.

I’m not going to make excuses now or even explain the situation in details. It was just another case of anger provoked by random daily things, then he started mentioning other old reasons for quarrels and things escalated.

But this time I managed to let go of anger.

You all know how when someone annoys you, you want to react in the same way, say something bad, scream, or else. And we all regret it after that. Because whatever we say or do is caused by the adrenaline, and is not at all real.

So I just took a few deep breaths (it really helps to calm down instantly), looked at things from another point of view and came up with the following conclusions which I think can help you too when you’re on the verge of getting angry:

  • You shouldn’t take things personally and must always put yourself in the shoes of the other person.

My dad has problems on his own and is often more angry at himself rather than at me, even though he’s not satisfied with the things I do. So instead of reacting and making things even worse, I decided to understand him.

  • The other person’s expectations aren’t met.

He expected things to turn out in a certain way, and as it always happens – they didn’t. He wanted me to do or say what he imagined me doing and saying, but I have another understanding of the world and am an individual with my own way of thinking, so I do things my way.
That’s why he got disappointed, probably expected too much as well. Then the only way to let these emotions out for him was getting angry at me.
Understanding that helped me a lot.

  • Be compassionate.

Showing compassion towards someone is always the right thing to do. I decided to see my dad as the emotional human being he is, with all his worries and fears, problems and burdens. That helped me let go of anger immediately. I felt peace after the burst of adrenaline.

  • Arguing is just not worth it.

Sometimes saying nothing is the best decision. It’s hard, it means making a compromise, but later you’ll thank yourself. That’s what I did.

  • Try to be objective.

What if the other person is actually right and you just can’t see it because you’re blinded by past experiences and your own ideals and opinion?
It’s possible. And many times at least 5-10% of what the other person says is true.
I thought about that even though I didn’t want to admit it. But then felt relieved.

  • Don’t see him as your opponent.

People often play the role we give them. They feel our vibrations and if we are aggressive and consider them enemies, they behave like one.

So I saw him just as my dad. Not as someone that’s angry, bad to me, or an opponent. Just my dad. And that simple thing made me smile and say nothing more to provoke him.

If you only learn to accept things and people as they are, you’ll never need to experience an argument again. Only that little but significant habit will help you get over anything you encounter.

Accepting means being okay with things, which means there’s no pressure, effort, denial or a desire to change things. And that’s a sign of no suffering. So when you accept and let things be, you’re truly happy and life is easy and pleasant.

Having these things in mind, and many others, help us deal with hard stuff in life. They include understanding, accepting, compassion and letting go and are the ultimate language of kindness and going with the flow. A life lived by them is always a good life.

I’m not yet successful at anger management. I know things in theory, but not always in practice. Often I let my emotions out without thinking, and feel bad afterwards. But small steps lead to great progress and noticing my anger every now and then is still a big thing for me.

And if you don’t know where to start, that’s the best way – begin with noticing when anger comes, in what situation, what provokes it, how you want to react, etc.
Then you can analyze it and stop it before it has even risen.

But whatever you decide to do, know that letting go is the ultimate freedom. It means letting in peace and contentment and freeing yourself from the burden of what has already happened, what is out of your control and what is not worth worrying about.

That’s some progress in my personal development and I’m grateful for it. But if it wasn’t for Leo’s books and posts on Zen Habits, it would have taken me much longer. He made me see how easy and simple things are, and his writings on letting go helped me the most. It’s worth visiting the blog if you haven’t already.

5 Simple Steps to Live Life Freely

Freedom is funny. We all want it, but we don’t always make the right changes in our habits and lifestyle in order get it. We repeat the same old routines and keep living a life of constant worries, complexity, stress and illusion.

Here are five simple but powerful steps you can take in order to live life freely.

That’s also my first official post for Lifehack.org as a contributor. Many more to come.

Things I Choose to Do in My 20s

The 20s are the best time to do anything you want. It’s not too early and not too late, so the possibilities are countless.

Things I Choose to Do in My 20s, Let's Reach Success

By Natesh Ramasamy @Flickr

If you’re in your 30s, 40s or else, you can still do whatever you want with your life. You may have more limitations, though, most of which are only in your mind, but age can’t stop you when you have a burning desire, a dream or a need to change.

So even if you’re not in your 20s, you can do the following things to some extent. But if you are, I think they are a must.

This list contains the things I’m currently doing with my life. And it doesn’t mean I’m working on my goals all the time. I also do all the time-wasting activities everyone else does, I’ve got my unhealthy habits, bad moments and periods of just doing nothing.

Sometimes, I may seem like a random 22-year-old girl with no big plans and a direction. That’s because I don’t really talk about these things and people in my life know me only to the point I want them to know me. So, of course, wrong conclusions are inevitable.
And as far as I know I’m on the right track for myself, I’m alright with the opinion of others.

So here are the things I chose to do in my 20s:

  • follow my passion

It’s a rare thing nowadays for a young person to know what he wants to do with his life and to have serious intentions to get it. I’m glad I found my passion and especially that I’m doing something about it every day.

  • working on making it my career

It’s also important to know what you don’t want to do with your life. And sometimes it’s easier to figure it out.
I’m sure that I don’t want to have a 9-5 job, work for someone else and depend on him, do stuff I hate, wait for the day to be over, dread Mondays because of that, become a depressed person and to top it all, make an amount of money that will never be enough to help me afford the lifestyle I want.

That’s why I’m working on making my passion my career.

  • trying new things

Now is the perfect time to do it. I’m talking about things that a real adult can’t really do.
For instance, I took another course in Italian more than a year ago, now I’m learning Dutch, went swimming for a few times (I ditched it after a few lessons but don’t feel bad about that as it was just an experiment), and I just finished a short course in bartending. I was planning on working that this summer but a much better opportunity came up and I just couldn’t reject it. But I had a great time there, met interesting people and learnt new skills which was so fun. And I can always practice it if there’s nothing better to do (but I expect much better things to come along).

  • learning new languages

I love foreign languages. Italian is my favorite but I’m open for every other.
Some time ago I learnt how to write and read in Hebrew, have been learning German for a few years back in high school (but it’s just not my thing and I don’t enjoy it so I haven’t practiced it since), I have some knowledge in Russian as it’s close to my language. My new favorite country is Holland (have friends there, love the culture and paid a visit recently). And it’s my new goal to speak Dutch well by the beginning of next summer.

  • choosing principles to live by and staying true to the
  • perfect timing

I know I’ll probably never have as much free time and lack of responsibilities as I do now. So I’m trying to appreciate it and make the best of it.

  • started simplifying my life  
  • do my best not to end up in a bad relationship

I know it may last for years and have so many people around me that choose to be with the wrong person just because they don’t want to end up alone. But you can’t be alone in your 20s. That’s something you’ll worry about later.

To stay in a bad relationship and put up with someone that treats you bad is one of the worst things you can do to yourself.

  • making fitness a daily habit

Now is the time to get in shape.

  • figure out who my real friends are – the ones I want to stay in my life, and investing in these relationships
  • traveling

That’s an important one. You can never be sure if later you’ll have the time, chance or money to travel the world, so it’s best to start now. It’s one of the greatest things everyone can do with their lives.

  • living life to the fullest

I do that too. And I’m pretty good at it. But I also have my antisocial periods as I’m more of an introvert.

  • not getting into debt

In Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Your 20s (a part of the 21 Convention), I heard a great rule and realized I actually stick to it. It says:

If you can’t pay cash, it’s not for you!

I have many friends who went to study abroad, and of course it’s better to get your education (if you’re serious about it) in England rather than here, in Bulgaria. But they got in a big dept because of that and technically, started their student life by taking money they don’t have that will need to be returned when they graduate university. That’s a big burden.

  • try to listen to what older people (or those with more experience) are saying

They know better. I’m glad I realize it at that point.

  • finding role models

I have my role models and people I look up to. That’s priceless. And it doesn’t really matter whether they are people from your surrounding or someone you follow only online and whose books you’re reading. Having a mentor is a key.

  • choose experience over material stuff

I choose to welcome experience. That’s why when I have some spare money, I’d always go abroad or take up an exciting course, instead of buying top technologies.

  • completing education

I don’t really enjoy it, but I’ll go through it. It’s once in a lifetime and now is the right moment.
Many people start it and when other things happen at the same time, they take a year off. That usually turns into a few years and some never complete their education. Others don’t go to uni at all, and eventually regret it.

That’s why I will finish my education and get a master degree, regardless of the fact that my career plans are different.

  • having a vision

Another important one!
I’ve figured out what I want, have some big ideas and plans and have started working on them. Vision is everything. There’s no action, and of course results, without it.

I hope you agree with me on all that.

Which item do you think is most important? And what other things should a person do in his 20s?

Practical Ways to Save Time by Doing Less

Time is our most precious resource, the most valuable thing we possess. We all want it, and yet we use it so poorly.

We’re used to the hectic life we’re leading, and always find excuses like ‘I don’t have time.’ The truth is that it’s all we have, and although it’s limited, if used wisely it’s more than enough.

Practical Ways to Save Time by Doing Less, Let's Reach Success

By János Balázs @Flickr

Time is actually what you make of it. Do things you love, enjoy each moment, smile and laugh, spend time with your family, set and achieve goals, and you will never waste a moment in your life.

Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. Productivity is a huge problem these days and with all the tasks we have to do, there’s just no time for us.

Then, as with every other complicated thing in our lives, we should simplify. We do that by eliminating what’s excess, and choosing less over more.

Here are 9 practical ways to save time by doing less:

  1. Stop planning

You can plan for weeks and never make the first step and do something to make these plans a reality. It’s a waste of time and most of the times things turn out in a completely different way.

Simplicity denies making plans because the future is so uncertain, we can’t be prepared for what’s going to happen. And instead of expecting, worrying and stressing over the future, we should live now by focusing on the present moment.

  1. Do one thing at a time

Multitasking is killing us. We can’t focus on more than one thing and the result is always bad.
By trying to do many things at once with the idea of saving time, you actually get nothing done properly. So you need to do them all over again.
But if you really concentrate on your current activity, you’ll be done in no time.

  1. Eliminate the unimportant tasks

Most of the things on our to-do list are not essential. Nothing will happen even if we don’t complete them.

Identify the things you do that bring you best results and help you and others in some way and eliminate the rest.

  1. Get rid of distractions

We spend too much time doing one thing because we can’t focus. The reasons are many – having too many browser windows, the TV is on, people coming in the room, we receive notifications on the phone all the time, emails, etc.

Only when you eliminate all these distractions while you’re working, will you have great results and save time.

  1. Stop complaining and worrying

You waste so much more time in complaining and worrying about the things you have to do than you spend in doing them.
Overanalyzing won’t change the fact that something needs to get done, worrying about not having enough time or failing won’t save you time.

The only thing you can do is to just take an action.

  1. Have less possessions

Throw away most of the belongings you haven’t used in the last 6 months. You don’t need them, they just take space in your life and are another thing to take care of.

Also, that means less buying. That equals more time and money and less problems.

  1. Let others do some of the stuff

No one said that you should do it all. Don’t feel guilty or uncomfortable to share the work with your family, colleagues or friends.

  1. Set your limit

There will always be something else that needs to be done. That’s why you need to set some limits.

Think of a number of hours and promise yourself to stop working after that even if you haven’t finished. Or work fewer days in the week.

  1. Change your habits

In order to live a simpler life and have more freedom and time, you’ll need to make changes in your lifestyle.

If you get up earlier, for example, you’ll have more time. You can do some stuff in the morning and then have free time.

By doing less you not only save time, but also have more energy, become happier and more peaceful, enjoy your life and people around you see that and you affect their level of joy as well.

This topic was inspired by another post (you can read it here) in which you can find more tips on how to save time by doing less.

If you have any other suggestions and time-saving tips, share them in the comments below.

Wasted Potential

“You can become and accomplish anything in life! Your successes, greatness, and potential are determined by you alone; and all of the characteristics necessary to achieve your goals and dreams already lie within you. Our success and potential is not determined by talent or ability, knowledge or money, race or gender, or even circumstance or setting – it is created, developed, and determined from within ourselves.”

 Matthew V. Toone

According to the Stanford Brain Institute the average person uses only 2% of his potential. Can you imagine that?

This means that the quality of life we have today is a result of these 2%. And the rest is just wasted.

Wasted Potential, Let's Reach Success

By Nattu @Flickr

Honestly, that doesn’t come as a surprise once we analyze our daily routines – getting up, brushing our teeth, going to work (usually to a job we don’t like), coming back, watching TV, eating junk food in front of it, staying in front of the computer after that and so on.
And if you look at the bigger picture the average person doesn’t do any significant activity or one that requires high mental performance. He literally lives on autopilot, does what he’s instructed and doesn’t even have to take decisions..

Now imagine what could happen if we use 30 or 40% of our potential? That will be tremendous.

In fact, I think we can. And all the geniuses and remarkable people these days, and in our history, have done it – they just found ways to unleash their potential and powers and use them to level up in life, create amazing things and become someone to look up to.

That can happen by transforming our lifestyle, changing it completely and starting to do the following things repeatedly:

  • grow spiritually;
  • learn new things;
  • read;
  • meditate;
  • change your habits;
  • eliminate the things that hold you back;
  • get rid of the limitations you set up in your mind;
  • ignore conventional wisdom;
  • live consciously;
  • focus;
  • have a vision;
  • experience new things;
  • go out of your comfort zone;
  • challenge yourself.;
  • conquer your fears by simply doing what you’re afraid of;
  • help others succeed;

These are things we’ve all heard of, but how many of us actually practice them every day?

The truth is that until we stop considering huge success and building the ideal lifestyle something impossible that we don’t deserve and are not good enough to achieve, we won’t have it.
Once we embrace our potential and eliminate hopelessness, unworthiness and mediocrity, we will get there through hard work and dedication.

Realizing and defining it

The first thing that stops us from awakening the giant within us is that we don’t realize what we’re capable of. We simply think it’s impossible and that thought itself prevents us from making the first step and beginning our journey to leading a legendary life.

The next thing is that we can’t define it. Here is what Jonathan Mead says in 7 Essentials for Living Your Fullest Potential:

“Most of us have heard something like this before: “You have a lot of potential,” or in school, “You have so much potential, work hard and you might realize it.”

The only problem is no one seems to tell us where to start or how to achieve our fullest potential. After all, potential is such an ominous term. You can’t measure it. You can’t quantify it. You can’t define potential.”

The simple act of becoming aware of our own abilities and powers can help us move forward and actually do something about it. And it always helps to have support and people close to you who believe in you, but in the end it’s all up to you whether you’ll be confident enough and try again and again until you succeed.

Believe

Every now and then we have epiphanies and a short but powerful moment in which we feel we’re worth it, we know there’s more about life than what we’re currently experiencing and want to do something about it immediately. But soon these feelings are gone and we’re back to our everyday life with its daily worries.

What we need to have to make a permanent change is the never-ending belief that we can do anything we want, become whoever we want and get anywhere we decide. That also means that we need to be constantly motivated.

Now think of what you will want to do if you could use 30-40% of your potential. That means performing 40 times better than you are now. And having much higher results in every area of your life.

You would be able to make more money, to learn new skills better and faster, to have great relationships, to maximize your productivity, start a new business and succeed, to have control over your habits and develop only healthy ones, to eliminate stress and be able to solve any problem, to be focused all the time on the things that are important and to be able to enjoy life at the same time.

That would be great. And it is possible. It requires hard work, dedication, sacrifices and strong mindset, but many people have gone there and so can you.   

So start working on your ideal lifestyle now and stay true to what you believe in. Soon you will see small changes going on, then come small but significant achievements. And after a while you’ll be able to see how you’re starting to get closer to the things you’ve always wanted.

How Focus Leads to Great Results (and How to Do It)

The sun’s energy warms the world. But when you focus it through a magnifying glass it can start a fire. Focus is so powerful! 

Alan Pariser

What is focus?

Well, let me start by explaining what the lack of focus is.

Many times when I’ve opened a new document and have started writing – with the whole idea in my mind and everything I need to keep writing for a long time, or when I’m in the middle of a great book on an issue that’s important to me (self-improvement, lifestyle design, writing, simplicity), I start doing something else.
Usually it’s a completely pointless action like browsing the Web, checking social media, or even playing Solitaire. Now that I’m saying it, it sounds even more ridiculous. It’s pure procrastination caused by the lack of focus on my main activity.

During the whole thing I realize that what I was doing at the first place is really important, and is actually interesting. No one makes me do it and I’m the only one that knows the exact benefits it may have on me – me learning new things, collecting ideas for writing, getting inspired, or motivated to take an immediate action, or writing a post, or an ebook that will become a success some day on my blog, taking big decisions to make changes in my life or way of thinking, etc.

These are really important things to me. And they will happen as long as I keep doing what I know I should do – constantly reading, writing and working on my blog.

But the one problem that slows the process and sometimes takes me a step back is my inability to be fully engaged in my activities and concentrate for a long time on the essentials.

It’s a combination of procrastination and brain laziness as people tend to have a short attention span and are easily distracted only because staying focused requires brain engagement and thinking.

I’m sure many of you will recognize this behavior. You may have experienced losing focus on different occasions but the final result is always the same – poor performance.

Trying to do many things at once is another example as you end up not finishing them at all or having bad results because you can’t concentrate on two or more activities.

To change that we need to find focus in daily life. To start being in the present moment no matter what we’re doing right now. To let go of distractions and concentrate on the essential.

How Focus Leads to Great Results, Let's Reach Success

By Chase Elliott Clark @Flickr

Only then will we be able to finish projects on time, to create (everyone creates in some way), to write/read/etc. with a purpose, to do daily tasks, to be more productive and get things done, to actually achieve results and be proud of ourselves.

So how do we find focus then?

Here are a few ways:

  • eliminate distractions

We’re surrounded by distractions at each moment.

You may want to do some paper work at home but that doesn’t mean friends won’t decide to call you for a chat or suggest to go out, also family members may enter the room all the time, there may be noises (the neighbor may be listening to music, moving furniture or else), you get notifications all the time and your phone makes sounds.

If you’re wondering what to do about it, start eliminating all these.

  • temptations

It’s also a kind of distraction but it’s usually your choice to be distracted by it. It happens every time you open a browser, check social media or email, turn on the TV or radio, etc.

The solution is to unplug, turn off, ignore and eliminate.

  • one thing at a time

Multitasking is an enemy of focus. Trying to do 2 or more things at once just doesn’t work.

If you want to find focus, do one thing at a time.

  • slow down

Being in a rush creates unwanted stress. It makes you think that you won’t be ready on time, you may do something wrong, etc.

So try to do things slowly. Breathe deeply and calm down before you start.

  • do less

Here is a quote from Tim Ferriss:

“Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.”

We do so many things most of which are completely pointless. We think we’re busy but in the end of the day what have we actually done?

Simplify! Do less! These are the ultimate habits that will save us from the complexity and tension of daily life and will free us.

  • experience the moment

Many people choose to spend their present thinking about the past or worrying about the future. That brings stress, regrets and anxiety and ruins their present moment. Not to mention the complete lack of focus on what they’re doing right now.

Now and here is where we belong. We possess only this moment and our job is to make the best of it. I think the easiest way to learn to do that is to stop every now and then and look around. Try to see the bigger picture and realize how important the thing you’re doing is.

  • let go

To fully engage in your activity and finish your projects, you’ll need to let go of certain things that are distracting you, making you anxious and preventing you from getting things done.

These are things like your fears, regrets of the past, uncertainties and doubts, caring about what other people think, your need of control and security, and so on.

It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s quite simple and an inevitable step on your way to focus.

There may be many other ways to do that or things and people that will help you concentrate. Different things may work best for you. Experiment by giving these 7 a try first.

Everyone deserves to feel the magic of doing something while being 100% there. And after that to see the sweet fruits of his efforts.

Further reading:

Finding Focus

Three Little Habits to Find Focus

How to Have a More Focused Day

 

 

 

 

How to Get Paid to Do What You Love

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Confucius

 

Are you doing what you love? Are you making a living from it?

Unfortunately, most people aren’t. Actually the average person thinks it’s impossible to do what you love and make money from it.

But I think it is. This self-limiting belief itself is something that prevents you from even trying to make a change in your current lifestyle.

And the only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it’s possible.

I think everyone is good at something he loves doing and has the chance to make it his dream job. It may not be easy, but it’s absolutely possible.

 

How to Get Paid to Do What You Love, Let's Reach Success

By Arya Ziai @Flickr

What’s more, it’s something you need to do in order to live a happy fulfilling life. You owe it to yourself, to the people you love – as this way you’ll be a better person and will have great relationships, and to the world and society in general – because you’ll be doing what you’re good at, will be inspiring others to do the same and will contribute beyond yourself.

In his free eBook The Zero Hour Workweek, Jonathan Mead explains how possible it is to start getting paid to exist. It’s titled this way because once you find what you love and start making an income from it, you’ll no longer consider that work. And you’ll never need to work a day in your life, but will still make money, help others, follow your passion and contribute to the world.

Here’s how he summarizes his main idea:

“It’s about getting paid to be who you are by leveraging your unique strengths, doing what you love, and finding a way to channel that so you can provide value to others while you’re doing it.”

And here are the main strategies he employed to start living a life like that:

  1. Clear message

Everything starts with a purpose. Without having something we’re passionate about, for which we’re ready to make sacrifices and take action every single day, we won’t achieve anything that will last long or find satisfaction.

You need to define what it is that you want the most and how you can reach others that are passionate about the same thing.

This can happen by thinking of what makes you feel alive, the things you enjoy doing and the people you resonate with, that want to see the same change in the world and need your help.

Your message must be crystal clear, remarkable, unique and sharable with others.

  1. Connect with the right people

As a part of his personal story, Jonathan mentions that targeting his message to the people in his field that are enthusiastic about the same things has been one of the biggest keys to his success.

It’s important to speak to the right audience and reach only those who are interested in what you’re saying, who’ll give you feedback, who care about the same things and who you’d love to have as readers/clients/virtual friends/etc.

  1. Focusing on the important tasks

Or as he calls it “ruthlessly prioritizing based on highest leverage activities”.

The only way to get paid to exist is to work on your most important tasks every single day. Doing things connected with your final goal will help you move forward and eliminating the unessential will help you stay focused.

  1. Choosing only remarkable ideas

Good ideas are just not good enough. Everyone has many of them every day. But you’ll make a difference if you choose the promising ones and do something to make them come true.

Ignore everything average and focus on something people want to know more about, are willing to share and you can offer your unique value.

  1. Build meaningful relationships

Find influencers and connect with them. But don’t forget to pay attention to people that are around your level too, as they might turn out to be your biggest fans one day.

  1. Give people what they want

The whole thing will be pointless if you’re doing it only for yourself. The point is to help others, give them what they want while doing what you love and making money from it.

Simply find a way to provide value to others by following your passion and doing what you’re good at.

These are the main things you should be considering while trying to build your ideal lifestyle and turn what you love doing into your dream job.

And here are the 3 main things it consists of:

Things you’re good at

It would be perfect if it’s something you’re naturally good at. Or as the writer explains in the eBook:

“We want to find a way to leverage our natural strengths to magnify our passion… By working from your strengths – rather than trying to improve your weaknesses – you’ll be a hundred times more effective.”

Things you enjoy doing

Nothing can be done well if it’s not done with a desire, joy and a positive attitude. The things you enjoy are the ones you can do forever without getting bored or losing motivation. That’s why you should choose one of them and start making it your main activity and a source of income.

Things you can get paid for

People must need what you can offer them in that field, there must be a market for that if you’re planning to make money from it.

Also, put giving value before getting the money of your followers. Try to offer something unique and helpful and in return people will be glad to pay you for it.

The whole process is not easy – it requires hard work, time and dedication, but it’s simple. And it’s the only way to your dream life.