What’s Your Hero Story

What's Your Hero Story, Let's Reach Success
By Luis Hernandez @Flickr

You’re a hero. But you probably haven’t shared your story yet.

So do it. People would love to hear it, and the one who needs to hear it the most is you yourself.

We lack self-trust these days, and self-confidence. We think we’re just a part of the crowd, don’t have time to take care of ourselves, have got used to being underestimated and not understood and tend to focus on the bad sides of the past, present and future.

But, in fact, things are completely different.

I’ll try to make you think about the other side of things and understand why I consider you a hero.

First, there are all your good qualities. The ones you often ignore, forget about and have no chance to show.
But they still exist.

We are all humans and feel empathy, love, gratitude, hope and joy. These are some of the most powerful emotions and the world needs more of them.

With their help we have the chance to help others, to feel their pain and try to alleviate it. We love our loved ones and are ready to do anything for them. We appreciate what we have and thank for it. We try to give so that we can deserve what’s given to us.

Doesn’t that make us heroes?

What’s more, our past doesn’t only consist of moments of weakness and grief, angry reactions and being rude to others, offending and causing pain. No!

We’ve smiled to other people so many times, we’ve made someone feel special by making a compliment, sharing how we feel about him or just being nice. We’ve brought back hope in times when it was needed. We were there for someone when no one else was.

And even in some of the worst moments, we were the heroes.

Our heart gets broken, but we move on.
Our loved ones die, but we learn how to live without them.
We lose a job, house or something important. And we find a way to keep going no matter what.
We get beaten up, but our wounds heal.
We get robbed, mugged or worse, but we get back to normal after some time and even find a way to forgive the person who did that to us.

Doesn’t that make us heroes?

We fail, but we try again.
We lose hope, but we find it and become even stronger.
We meet bad people, but still find a way to trust in the good ones and believe they are out there.

We are the heroes of our time. And we’re born to thrive.

So don’t be afraid to get out there and share your story with others. You have no idea how many people need to hear it.

In a world of hopelessness, support and encouragement are always needed. You never know who you inspire with your words. But you know very well how you’ll feel when he smiles again after having felt defeated and not understood for such a long time. Then he’ll turn the darkness into light for someone else too.

We all have our light inside of us, we can all shine. We just need to remember that we’re heroes.
And our hero story needs to be shared.

So what’s yours?
 

8 Remarkable Things to Do with Your Life

8 Remarkable Things to Do with Your Life, Let's Reach Success
By 42andpointless @Flickr

We can all live life to the fullest, be happy and successful, leave a great legacy and be legendary.

You may doubt it and think only the lucky ones live like that, but the following list is going to change your mind.
You can build the ideal lifestyle and turn your dreams into a reality, if you do these remarkable things with your life (and stick to them).

It takes time, energy, courage and dedication. But you’re not alone. Everyone else has goals like these and fights a thousand small battles each day. But whether or not you become a winner depends on your consistency.

Start by doing these 8 things. They are what can change the course of your life and take you in the direction you’re meant to follow.

1. Find your passion

One of the most beautiful things for me is to see the look of a person who’s found their passion.
There’s such contentment, determination and peace in their eyes that you just can’t help but stay there and admire them.

People who follow their passion live a life of satisfaction, inspiration and joy. They’ve managed to find it, do something in order to make it a permanent part of their lives and, hopefully, make money and help others at the same time.

Your passion is what makes you feel alive and forget about time, it’s the thing you love doing and the activity that makes you happy.

To find it, you need to follow your heart and listen to your instincts, to notice the things that move and inspire you. Then make the best of it.

 

Read the rest of the article at Lifehack.

Become One, End Inequality and Live in Peace

Being an individual is a great thing as it makes you stand out from the crowd and shows you’re not just a follower, but more of a doer, someone who has his own path in life and makes his own rules.

But it’s also one of the main reasons for inequality. And if you haven’t noticed, it’s rapidly growing and has affected every single aspect of our lives.

We see inequality on the streets, in the media, at home, at school, at the workplace, even when we dig into history or make predictions about the future.

Gender discrimination, different nations with their culture, looks and religion, are something most people don’t feel comfortable to talk about, but it is also what has made us separated.

Inequality has many forms, and we take part in them every day. Be it when we pass by a homeless man without looking at him, being judgmental of a boy with tattoos, being angry at the driver in the car in front of us because it’s a woman and she’ll definitely do something wrong, choosing everyone else but the black boy while forming teams for soccer, seeing our father watching the game and drinking beer while our mother is doing the housework although her favorite reality is on right now, making a game out of stepping on ants on the street because they are so small and defenseless.

We’re not united. We’re not one with the universe, nature, other people and ourselves. But we used to be.

Here’s a story to show you what I’m talking about:

“Thousands of years ago, man lived in harmony with the rest of the natural world. Through what we would today call Telepathy, he communicated with animals, plants, and other forms of life – none of which he considered ‘beneath’ himself, only different, with different jobs to perform. He worked side by side with earth angels and nature spirits, with whom he shared responsibility for taking care of the world.

The earth’s atmosphere was very different from what it  is now, with a great deal more vegetation-supporting moisture. A tremendous variety of vegetable, fruit, seed, and grain food was available. Because of such a diet, and lack of unnatural strain, human life span was many times longer than what it is today. The killing of animals for food or ‘sport’ was unthinkable. Man lived at peace with himself and the various life forms, whom he considered his teachers and friends.

But gradually at first, and then with increasing intensity, man’s Ego began to grow and assert itself. Finally, after it had caused many unpleasant incidents, the consensus was reached that man should go out into the world alone, to learn a necessary lesson. The connections were broken.

On his own, feeling alienated from the world he had been created from, cut off from the full extent of its abundance, man was no longer happy. He began to search for the happiness he had lost. When he found something that reminded him of it, he tried to possess it and accumulate more – thereby introducing Stress into his life. But searching for lasting happiness and accumulating temporary substitutes for it brought him no satisfaction.

Be One, End Inequality and Live in Peace, Let's Reach Success
By Luis Hernandez @Flickr

As he was no longer able to hear what the other forms of life were saying, he could only try to understand them through their actions, which he often misinterpreted. Because he was no longer cooperating with the earth angels and nature spirits for the good of all, but was attempting to manipulate the earth forces for his benefit alone, plants began to shrivel and die. With less vegetation to draw up and give off moisture, the planet’s atmosphere became drier, and deserts appeared. A relatively small number of plant species survived, which grew smaller and tougher with passing time… Man’s life span began to shorten accordingly, and diseases appeared and spread. Because of the decreasing variety of food available to him – and his growing insensitivity – man began to kill and eat his friends the animals. They soon learned to flee from his approach and became increasingly shy and suspicious of human motives and behavior. And so the separation grew. After several generations, few people had any idea of what life had once been like.

As man became more and more manipulative of and violent toward the earth, and as his social and spiritual world narrowed to that of the human race alone, he became more and more manipulative of and violent towards his own kind. Men began to kill and enslave each other, creating armies and empires, forcing those who looked, talked, thought, and acted differently from them to submit to what they thought was best.” (“The Te of Piglet”, Benjamin Hoff)

It’s sad. But it’s all a matter of choice. Because as every other transformation, this too starts in the mind. After all, that’s where it all started.

The problem that caused all these changes and made the world as we know it today is deeply rooted in our mind – we’ve separated from our true self, other people and creatures, and nature and the universe.

Proofs are everywhere around us.

Most people won’t even agree with the fact that I’m talking about animals here, because they connect inequality only to gender discrimination and racism.
But it’s much more than that.

Then comes the extreme economic inequality. Now that’s something everyone will understand because he suffers from the consequences.
We’ve all been taught that rich people are superior to us, that it’s not fair but life is like that and we need to put up with it, that they’re lucky and we’ll never be like them. We see attitude like that from teachers, parents, and basically the average person that has no ambition and finds comfort in such excuses.

Let the numbers speak:

  • Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.
  • The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.
  • The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
  • Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.

Conclusion: Economic and political power has separated people. Everything is in the hands of a few and it’s like the rules and taxes are made for them. While all the others suffer from daily worries and live in deprivation.

And again, I will mention the fact that it all starts in the mind. And every single one of us carries the burden of being responsible for the inequality we live in.

The moment we thought we can be cruel to nature, hurt animals, consider other people inferior to us because of their income, gender, looks, intelligence or religion, is the moment we created our nightmare. And put an end to a beautiful era of peace, compassion and love – because these are the 3 virtues we need to refind in ourselves so that we can live in harmony again.

Be One, End Inequality and Live in Peace, Let's Reach Success
By Heather Katsoulis @Flickr

Every healing process starts with a realization and acceptance of the disease. Then we need to find out what caused it by going back in time, and then we can do something about it.

If every single person understands how our judgments, prejudices, Ego, apathy, insensitivity, lack of compassion and the desire to take rather than to give and share are a self-destructive behavior and affect every other being and the world in general, we would make the first step towards change.

Accept our mistakes, accept the past with its many innocent victims of inequality, accept the fact that it ruined our moral system, and environment. It started poverty, wars and human injustice.

And what caused all that was separation.

We separated from the universe, from others, and most importantly – from our true self.

And as it is greatly put in Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now”: After all, who in their right mind would harm another if they experienced that person as part of themselves?

You see, things weren’t meant to be this way.

Everything we see around us is made of energy. We are human magnets and attract events, things and people who have the same vibrations. And that means we’re all one.

We’ve felt that oneness at least a few times thoughout our lives – when we felt love, when we were alone in the nature seeing a magnificent view, while meditating, or every other spiritual experience. And we’ve had these indescribable emotions of true joy, bliss, contentment, gratitude, peace and calm.

That’s when we’ve been closer to our true nature, which is one with the nature of every other being on the planet.

And if oneness prevails, inequality can’t survive.

Let’s go back to the more materialistic point of the matter and state a sad fact. Did you know that ‘The top 100 billionaires added $240 billion to their wealth in 2012- enough to end world poverty four times over.?

Maybe you felt a bit happier when you didn’t.

Simple, isn’t it? The money needed for solving that global issue is in the hands of those who don’t really even need it. We live in such inequality that we allow 1% of the population to have it all.
And as we all know, with money comes power. So basically they control everything. And not giving it to the ones who have nothing speaks a lot about human nature, our level of compassion and our spiritual development.

I went through many of the different aspect of inequality (and am sure many people didn’t even consider some of my points a part of the problem) to show you that everything and everyone in the universe is connected.

And now, I want to give my answer of the question “How can we eliminate inequality?”.

Let’s start with the not-so-spiritual part.

First of all, we should all realize it’s not inevitable. There are things that can be done, but we must all be together in that.

The world has seen that before and has handled it – USA after the Great Depression and Europe after World War Two.

The governments of the countries that have a bigger level of extreme wealth and inequality should do what countries like Sweden have achieved. There you receive good treatment when being ill regardless of your income, also if you lose your job you and your family get support from the country.

Taxation is probably the core of the problem: “taxation is increasingly regressive and the poor pay higher effective tax rates than the rich”. So we should aim for progressive taxation.

There are many other steps that can be taken but before all that people’s way of thinking must be changed, we need to be more open to new political and financial systems, to be ready to make sacrifices for the greater good, to see others as equal before we become united.

If every single person does something, or at least shows interest and compassion, the governments and the riches will start thinking about it too. After all, we’re together in good and bad. And tomorrow that 1% of the population can lose everything. But until then, the rest of the world shouldn’t suffer because of that.

Change always starts in the mind. So let’s be optimistic and believe we can reverse this dangerous trend and in a few years we will have reduced inequality while growing prosperous at the same time.

And that leads us to the second, more important matter, in which lies the solution for inequality.

People, become one again!

Let go of past and future and go back to that state of mind in which you realize that we’re together in good and bad. We’re all human beings and are living right here, right now. We all have problems and daily worries, deal with the same hardships in life, need love and attention, have goals and dreams, want to travel, have a family, become financially independent, have our dream house, look good and be approved by the society. We all want to sleep better at night, to be safe and get rid of the things that make us sad. We all love good food, a chilled evening with a nice movie, adventures, presents, holidays and not playing by the rules.

Aren’t we the same then?

Be One, End Inequality and Live in Peace, Let's Reach Success
By roger alcantara @Flickr

We are.

So the next time you see someone, something, or just feel the air and see the sun, don’t consider him/it something other than you.

Instead, feel how connected you are. Share your love, appreciation, compassion. Help and give as much as you can.

That’s the path to enlightenment, true happiness and peace.

And that’s where inequality ends.

 

This post is inspired by and created for Blog Action Day. The subject that was chosen for this year is Inequality. And I hope that with all the amazing writings and thoughts writers from all over the world will share, we will help to raise awareness and bring hope back.

 

References:

178 OXFAM BRIEFING PAPER – SUMMARY (2014) Working for the few, 20 January 2014. Oxfam GB
OXFAM MEDIA BRIEFING (2013) The cost of inequality: how wealth and extremes hurt us all, February 2013. Oxfam GB

How to Travel Light through the Journey of Life

How to Travel Light through the Journey of Life, Let's Reach Success
By messicanbeer @Flickr

You may consider yourself a traveler, who knows where to go and how to live his life to the fullest, but there’s something you don’t always realize.
And it concerns many of us.

You’re walking around with a huge backpack on your back. And that ruins your experience.

It’s exhausting. It prevents you from breathing deeply the fresh air of the beautiful nature around you, of buying new things from the place you’re at right now and that’s only because you have no space in it.

So why don’t you put it down for a while and see how it feels?

Then you’ll be free as a bird to run and jump, to look around with interest and enjoy the view, to visit places and speak with strangers.

You don’t need most of the things in the backpack anyways.

You get too many things you’re never going to use. You bring with you too much ‘just in case’ stuff , because you don’t know what’s going to happen and want to be prepared.

But guess what? Even if you bring all your belongings, you still won’t know what the future has in store for you. And that’s the beauty of life. It’s a never-ending journey full of surprises.

You also bring more pairs of clothes than you need because you think they’re not going to be enough.

You bring stuff from home that is not meant to leave your place or made for travelling. But it makes you feel comfortable.

All this ruins your journey and that of the ones you’re travelling with.

It feels so good when you don’t need to carry the backpack all the time. So imagine what it will be like if you leave it somewhere and never go back to it again.

The solution, again – as for many other things in life, lies in simplicity. In the beautiful act of letting go, eliminating what’s not needed so that the essential can shine.

It’s the same even if you’re not going to see another place of the world.

Think about your days.

Day after day you carry with you bad memories from the past, fears, worries about the future, doubts and uncertainties, many desires, expectations, needs, etc.

And all that makes your life a dreading experience. You can never take a break and empty your mind even if you’re not doing anything.

You keep carrying this huge backpack with you wherever you go. And other people in your life have to put up with it as well, they suffer because of your excess baggage.
This is often a reason for bad relationships.

Why don’t you throw it away then and see what happens?

The truth is that nothing bad is going to happen, things will be alright even if you stop worrying about what others think of you and whether what you do is right.

The past will still be there but this time it won’t prevent you from living your life; you’ll still communicate with people but this time you won’t be afraid that they won’t approve you or that they won’t answer your expectations.

You’ll be free. Free to enjoy this moment, to focus on what is now, to appreciate what you have and live life to the fullest.

Life is a big adventure, a beautiful journey that is meant to be travelled light.

The only way to make the best of it and enjoy each second is to put down that backpack and let things be.

 

5 Self-limiting Beliefs That Ruin Our Social Life

5 Self-limiting Beliefs That Ruin Our Social Life, Let's Reach Success
I Can’t See You… by Peter @Flickr

Everybody has problems and issues but not everybody does something about them.

In fact, most people don’t even want to admit having them, not to mention defining them.

We live in a world where conventional wisdom dominates and being happy means being average. But that’s terribly wrong.

Actually most of the time we feel that something is just not right and things could be better. We have our strong moments and realizations when we are aware of our potential and the things we can do with our life. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last long.

The main problem is our self-limiting beliefs.

You can read the rest of my post here.

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.