Tag Archives: socializing

Seems kind of pointless to be honest

It’s all about this picture quote: (featuring a battered foot of a ballet dancer)

“Everyone wants to be successful until they see what it actually takes.”

One Ian Patrick Pearce said:

“Some of us wanted to do what it takes until we saw what “successful” looks like. 
Not many people who give me advice have lives I want. Almost no one does. 
Redefining my own personal meaning for success has been a much more worthwhile endeavor.”

Which a Roylee Walker answered:

“So you basically mean lowering your standards until you are satisfied.”

And Ian retorted:

“No, I mean redefining our own personal meaning of success. Which is what I said.
For me, it meant only competing to be better than the me from yesterday, and no one else. For you, it can mean lowering your standards, and that’s okay.”

A William Albert chimed in:

“We don’t need to be successful, we need to be Happy.”

Hetha Smetha (I wonder if it is really her name) thrown in:

“I’ll take mediocrity…those who want it can have it.”

And others contributed their unremarkable thoughts. Some of them downright stupid but C’est la vie. Me, I learned a lot from listening and shutting my mouth, unless I have something meaningful to say.

And life goes on.

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Isn’t It Just?

“If you swim effortlessly in the deep oceans, ride the waves to and from the shore, if you can breathe underwater and dine on the deep treasures of the seas; mark my words, those who dwell on the rocks carrying nets will try to reel you into their catch. The last thing they want is for you to thrive in your habitat because they stand in their atmosphere where they beg and gasp for some air.”

― C. JoyBell C.

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Secrets

Anyone can possess, anyone can profess, but it is an altogether different thing to confess. ~ Shannon L. Alder

They say secrets are like cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind. Do you believe it?

If you ask me I’d say it depends what kind of secret. Sometimes secrets are best forgotten, hidden even from oneself. Pretend it doesn’t exist and it becomes irrelevant. I wonder if all the things we omitted or never mentioned are classified as secrets. Is there a single person alive that is not keeping some things for himself? I don’t think so. All of us hides something from someone. Not always necessarily important or crucial or even damaging pieces of information but little irrelevant things like everyday thoughts, preference, fantasy, dreams, likes, and dislikes or even lust or crush towards your neighbors, co-workers, or random somebody on the streets.

We all have it. Secrets. Who didn’t fake an orgasm, or tell their wives they look good even it nowhere near the truth. Children keep things from their parents, friends, teachers. Employees from their bosses and vice versa. We hide facts for whatever reason. Some for the good of others, others for personal gain but one thing is for sure, we all withheld information from someone else at some point.

Agree?

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Handle With Care

Words…

They’re fake bullets, so why do I feel like I’m bleeding out? ― Jodi Picoult

As I said already before in one of my posts: Even after all these years, words still have the power to hurt me.

I said also that words are like knives. It can only hurt us if it hits the target, and what hurts the most are those that hit closer to home, in other words, the truth.

What I didn’t tell you is: it is not always the case. Sometimes words can hurt us even though they are not true if they come from people who are dear to us and those that we value the opinion of. It hurts knowing they think of us that way regardless of where the truth lies. And often times, at least in my case, I never correct their wrong assumptions. I find it a lost cause. Their minds are already made up. Trying to change their ideas of you is like mopping the floor with the tap wide open or shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. It is difficult to change one’s (first) impression once it’s formed. Better charge it to experience and walk away. Other people’s opinion of you doesn’t make who you are. It’s a thought, not a fact. It’s a perspective, not the truth. It is disheartening yes but I will never let other people’s opinions define me. I will never give them the pleasure of insulting me. I may shed tears in private because of their ill-intended remarks but I will not crumble before them. Never. I will always hold my head up high and will never let myself be stirred into a fury, losing my dignity in the process. It’s better just to ignore and walk away.

How about you?

Would you defend yourself and your image with tooth and nail?

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How to Stop Envying Other People’s Seemingly Perfect Lives

By Sonia Devine

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” ~Steve Furtick

It’s in our nature to compare ourselves with others. The ability to weigh one situation up against another helps us make decisions and live our lives productively.

The downside is that when you constantly compare your own life with those of other people, you will always come up short.

Over-comparing causes envy. Envy is the feeling or sensation we have when we want to get something that someone else has and we can’t be happy for them when they have it.

Getting stuck in a cycle of envy is just about the best way to ruin your life. Fortunately, there are several ways to deal with envy that will guide you toward happiness and well-being.

Don’t Compare Your Cutting Room Floor With Someone Else’s Highlight Reel

Have you ever seen anybody post an unflattering photo on Facebook? Let’s face it, you rarely read about someone fighting with their spouse, hating their job, or declaring bankruptcy. Most people show you what they want you to see—a highly edited, glossed-up version of their life.

The next time you feel envious about someone else’s life, remember that you’re only looking at part of the story, the part they want you to see.

Think of something that another person has that you want. For example, maybe someone you know is far more popular than you. On the surface, it may appear that they are surrounded with people who look up to them and that they are well-liked and respected.

But in reality, people might have a different view of them behind closed doors. In this case, the actual reality and what we perceive as reality are two very different things.

Even the most enviable lifestyle has downsides. For example, many people covet the glamour and glitz of the rich and famous. But have you ever sat down and thought about what kind of life a famous person has?

Ask yourself if you’d enjoy someone jumping out of a bush and taking a snapshot of you in your grubby tracksuit pants while you’re collecting the newspaper from the front lawn.

There are always two sides to every coin. What you think you see is not necessarily the reality. So the next time you get caught up in envy, always remember that unless you are that person you don’t really have the whole story.

Isn’t It Already Here?

I am by nature a private person, but I wasn’t always that way. In my twenties, I was invited to every party, had scores of friends, and was (in my own mind, at least) funny, clever, and popular.

As the years went by I became more introverted, and not too long ago I started beating myself up for not having many friends. Why wasn’t I popular like other people?

One particular couple that my husband and I love catching up with came to mind. Whenever we wanted to see them, we had to literally book months in advance because they were so busy with other social commitments.

Then I started to really ask myself, what is the essence of what I think popularity will bring me? The answer was simple: I wanted to feel a sense of connection and belonging.

It was at that time I realized that the essence of what I wanted was already here. I have a loving husband, a great family, a couple of good friends who would do anything for me, and plenty of time to do what I want.

I also realized that I would absolutely hate not having a moment to myself; being popular would probably make me pretty miserable.

So the next time you feel as though you’re missing out on something that somebody else has, drill down into the essence of whatever you think that thing would give you and ask yourself, is it already here?

Do You Really Want What They Have?

If you really want to play the comparison game, remember that if you want someone else’s life you have to be willing to do a complete swap; that is, you would have to give up your life as it is and swap over to theirs.

Here’s an exercise that will help you decide if you really want out of your situation and into someone else’s:

When you’re ready, think of someone you know who has the kind of life that you envy. Then take a piece of paper and in the left-hand column write the heading “What I have that they don’t have.”

Then in the right-hand column, write the heading “What they have that I want.” In this column, you are going to make a list of all the things this person has that you want. Write down whatever comes to your mind. For example, do they have a lot of money, a nice house, nice clothes, or the perfect partner?

When you’ve finished doing this, move to the left-hand column. Write down everything that you value in your life. For example, family, friends, pets, and everyone who is important to you.

One caveat: the other person may indeed have friends, family, and pets just like you. But in this case, you’re not so much looking at what they have (i.e.: a dog, a child, a husband), but the unique relationship and connection you have with your pets and loved ones. So remember to write down the names of your family members, friends, and pets.

Be as specific as you can. Get really clear and what you love about your life. It could be something as simple as being able to finish work early on Thursdays so you can go to the gym.

Now its crunch time; you’ll probably find that the list on the left-hand side is much bigger than the list on the right. So ask yourself, is there anything in this list you would be willing to give up in order to have the life that the other person has?

What you’ll likely discover is that everything you have in your list is as valuable as or more valuable than the things that the other person has.

Practice Gratitude

One of the reasons we feel envy is that we often take the good things in our own lives for granted.

The happier you are with your lot in life, the more good things will come to you. Happiness studies show that truly happy people are not necessarily wealthy, powerful, or famous.

They have simply made a choice to be happy by paying attention to the good things around them. Since whatever you focus on will become the inclination of the mind, this makes perfect sense.

Every night before I go to sleep I ask myself the following questions:

  • What do I take for granted in my life?
  • Who are the important people (or animals) in my life?
  • Who is in my corner?
  • What freedoms do I enjoy?
  • What advantages have I been given in life?

This allows me to take stock of what is important and gives me a nice feeling of contentment before I drift off to sleep. Try it for yourself!

Our society has conditioned us to believe that your net worth equates to happiness. Accordingly many people strive to be more, do more, and have more.

But none of those things actually cause any lasting happiness. They are all impermanent and subject to change. Most importantly, they represent other qualities of the heart that can be achieved regardless of net worth.

Ask yourself the question: “What really makes me happy?” Is it actually the money, possessions, or reputation? Or is it freedom, joy, peace, and serenity?

Happiness is the ultimate currency, and there’s no law that says there isn’t enough of that to go around.


Sonia Devine is a qualified professional hypnotherapist who assists people to make positive changes in their lives.

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7 Signs Your Personality Is Intimidating Others

Have you ever suspected that your friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and even close family members are blindsided by the sheer strength of your personality?

If you are the kind of person who knows their own mind, always sees their plans through, and doesn’t believe in following the herd, other people might find you somewhat intimidating!

Do any of these signs sound familiar?

If so, you probably earn the respect of others – but they may also be a little bit scared on occasion!

1. You Read Other People Quickly

Your intuitive abilities are strong, and you form accurate impressions of people within seconds of meeting them.

Dishonest, ignorant, and bigoted people can’t hide their true nature from you – and this makes them nervous.

You aren’t afraid to call out bad behavior when you see it and are quite capable of putting obnoxious individuals in their place.

2. You Get Straight To The Point

Have you often been told that you are “too blunt” or even “too honest”?

If so, your personality might be intimidating to those around you!

Whilst most people like to ease into a conversation with small talk, this isn’t your preferred approach.

You’d much rather focus on big, important, or even abstract issues rather than what you had for lunch, the latest celebrity gossip, or your next-door neighbor’s vacation plans.

3. You Often Find Yourself In The Minority

You don’t conform just to meet the expectations of others, and you don’t go along with their requests if they don’t sit with your values.

Because you pride yourself on being an independent thinker, it’s likely that you are alone in your opinions from time to time.

People with low self-confidence find you intimidating because they can’t understand what it’s like to validate yourself instead of looking to others for approval.

You’ll also be unsurprised to learn that unintelligent people also find it uncomfortable to be around you, because they soon realize that your IQ far exceeds their own.

4. You Don’t Make – Or Accept – Excuses

You don’t whine about your circumstances and you don’t see yourself as a victim, even if everything is collapsing around you.

There is no place in your life for people who moan and complain.

When you set a goal, you pursue it with vigor and do not tolerate laziness and procrastination.

Although you can be tender-hearted and kind, your willpower can make you appear resilient and tough, which can be intimidating.

It’s not that you lack sympathy for those going through a hard time, just that you have no patience for people who would rather wallow in their own misery than take action.

5. You Aren’t Jealous

For you, it doesn’t matter what other people have.

You know that their money, jobs, or status don’t affect your own chances of success, so you don’t waste your time feeling jealous.

When you congratulate someone on their accomplishments, you truly mean it, without a trace of malice or envy.

Your ability to focus on your own goals and destiny can surprise others, particularly if they happen to be envious or bitter themselves.

6. You Love New Opportunities

Lots of people prefer to stay in their comfort zone, but this isn’t an option as far as you’re concerned.

For you, life is about exploring new ideas and making the best of opportunities you have been given.

In fact, you even see problems or setbacks as blessings in disguise!

You aren’t a starry-eyed optimist, but you have an amazing ability to review a situation from multiple perspectives and try several approaches when solving a problem.

What’s more, you aren’t easily discouraged.

If one solution doesn’t work, you just pick yourself back up and try a new tactic.

7. You Find It Hard To Tolerate Stupid People

Your open-minded attitude and capacity for critical thinking means that stupid or ignorant people really get on your nerves.

Perhaps you sometimes catch yourself thinking, “Why don’t they just read a book once in a while?” or “There’s no excuse for being that ignorant!”

Although you are usually polite and patient, you have no desire to spend any more time than is absolutely necessary with those who can’t understand high-level concepts.

Is an intimidating personality a blessing or a curse?

Sometimes, you might scare away potential friends and partners just by being yourself.

On the other hand, those brave enough to stick around and get to know you will come to appreciate your intelligence, honesty, and unique perspective on the world.

Because you are willing to meet lots of new people there’s a good chance that you will find your tribe sooner or later, even if it takes time to find friends who are capable of keeping up with your incredible mind.

Embrace your intimidating personality! Your proactive, strong-willed nature will set you up for success in every area of your life.

-Powerful Mind via Facebook

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That Emptiness Inside

“People today do not know how to rest. They fill their free time with countless diversions. People cannot tolerate even a few minutes of unoccupied time. They have to turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper, reading anything at all, even the advertisements. They constantly need something to look at, listen to, or talk about, all to keep the emptiness inside from rearing its terrifying head.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

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10 Qualities The Most Authentic People Have in Common

What makes you one?

1. They’re self-reflective.
To be authentic, unique and individual you have to know who and what you are, which comes through self-reflection. How can you know who you are if you are following everyone else?

2. They have a healthy ego.
In order to be a successful leader of others, you must do so with courage and empathy. You must be confident enough in yourself and your abilities to consider others’ feelings.

3. They focus on possibilities.
When you live authentically you have no time to waste emotion on temporary and sometimes necessary setbacks.

4. They have good character.
You do not say things you do not mean, promises are not made you cannot keep and you stay in a place of integrity in all of your dealings, in and out of work.

5. They’re visionaries.
Because you are deeply connected to yourself, you are open and more innovative. You have been visionary in the creating of yourself and this allows you to bring that skill into all aspects of your life, especially business. You also help others to realize their goals and their potential, and you push both yourself and others to reach those.

6. They’re listeners.
You are more than willing to consider contradictory ideas with an open mind and change your opinion if the argument makes sense. You are genuinely interested in learning, and you are dedicated to discovering the truth.

7. They’re transparent.
Open communication is woven into the fabric of your authenticity. You never leave anyone guessing or hurting because you’re transparent.

8. They’re open and consistent.
You do not hold judgmental attitudes towards others. As you evaluate the thoughts and opinions others hold, even those you do not agree with, you still place them under an umbrella of respect. You are true to who you are and the principles you hold and do not require another person’s approval to feel good about yourself.

9. They’re team-oriented.
You build successful teams and give credit where it is due, sharing your success and achievements with your entire team.

10. They draw upon experience.
You have learned through your own life and improved yourself in thoughtful ways.

– by Psychologist Sherrie Campbell

 

THE MYTH OF THE GOOD OL BOY AND THE NICE GAL

The good of boy myth and the nice gal are a kind of social conformity myth. They create a real paradox when put together with the “rugged individual” part of the Success Myth. How can I be a rugged individual, be my own man and conform at the same time? Conforming means “Don’t make a wave”, “Don’t rock the boat”. Be a nice gal or a good ol’ boy. This means that we have to pretend a lot. 

“We are taught to be nice and polite. We are taught that these behaviors (most often lies) are better than telling the truth. Our churches, schools, and politics are rampant with teaching dishonesty (saying things we don’t mean and pretending to feel ways we don’t feel). We smile when we feel sad; laugh nervously when dealing with grief; laugh at jokes we don’t think are funny; tell people things to be polite that we surely don’t mean.”

– John Bradshaw On: The Family

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We Are All Pinocchio

“Pinocchio went out into the world. He went on his road filled with good intentions, with a vision. He went ready to do all the things he dreamed, but he was pulled this way and that. He was distracted. He faltered. He made mistakes. But he kept on. Pinocchio, in the end, became himself — because the little flame inside him, no matter what crap he went through, would not be extinguished.” 

~Patty Smith

Seems to me even before he becomes a real boy, Pinocchio was already experiencing the reality of real life and more real than most of us. Everything that was mentioned above is characteristic of being human. I beg to disagree with this passage ” in the end, he became himself. “ In my eyes, he didn’t become, he was himself all along. He stayed true to himself no matter what without losing his core -the little flame that refused to be extinguished. When he first ventured out into the world, he was naive (recognizable?) and made poor choices and picked the wrong company and tried to get out of tricky situations by lying. We all did these in some points in our lives. If you tell me you hadn’t, then you’re lying. None of us were born aware and equipped with all the knowledge to survive in this world. We learned it as we go along stumbling and falling. In the end, like Pinocchio, we will realize who we are and where we belonged but the foundation of our true selves is already laid from the start. No amount of experience good or bad could alter our genetic makeup. It could alter the shape a bit but not the core. We are who we are and how we deal with things (attitude) shows what lies beneath. No mask and amount of lying and pretending could hide the real character of a person because eventually, it will show through his actions. I rather deal with an obnoxious person with a good heart than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

How about you?

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Standard

I remember the time our neighbor- the mother of my then best friend– phoned me to say that the brother of my current tenant was the perfect candidate for my future fling come next vacation. She said unlike all of his predecessors, this one is a professional and not a bum which seems to be my preference and would it not be great to have someone exactly the opposite for a change.

I could have told her a lot of things, one of those is_  it’s none of your busines_ I could have defended myself and my reputation against her wrong assumptions but I can recognize a hopeless situation when I see one. People talk judge and prejudice according to their cranial capacity. One can try to be the summum of decency and morality and still, people would talk. You cannot please everybody.

I could explain to her also that the reason I hang out with bums was time. They have plenty and I had a limited amount of it to spend before I go back to reality. Every second count. I have also an unorthodox way of doing everything. For one, I don’t sleep at night. I gallivant to my heart’s desire and often seek dangerous pursuit not suited for a lady. With me, expect the unexpected, anytime anywhere. The life I lead was not convenient for anyone who has a 9 to 5 day job or any job at all, married or committed or worried about what the people might say. I needed someone who was willing to be on standby 24/7, able to defend himself and protect me, streetwise, charming, sportive and daring. Someone who will lay his life for me and my quest, someone who does not ask too many questions, doesn’t expect anything and doesn’t want a title and the rights to go with it. And who is the ideal person to take the job? A bum.

A professional would complicate and expect things I cannot give. Besides, I didn’t need just a bum, I needed a fairly intelligent, innocent bum. Preferably a virgin who will be content with holding hands and doesn’t demand sex from me because contrary to what other people think, I don’t sleep around. That’s why that time I hung around mostly with teenagers. No, I am not a pedophile. I just preferred their no-nonsense approach in life. You would be surprised how more mature they are than their older counterparts. Luckily, because of my good genes, I looked like just one of them. I never encounter any difficulties associating myself with this group aside from what others thought of me that time_a wayward teenager with enough time in her hands and financial back up from mom and dad. I never bother to correct them.

Like my neighbor who was questioning my standard for a company, onlookers didn’t know or understand my motives. And I cannot blame them because actions speak louder than words they say. They made judgment based on what they think they see and process their thoughts accordingly. It is much easier to jump into conclusion than engage with the taxing work of understanding what lies beneath. Nobody does that anymore. Time-consuming. Wrong pursuit. 

As for myself, I hardly care. I know who I am. I knew what I was doing and what I wanted and the rest were sideshows. My standard when choosing a partner is sky high. I will talk about it in another blog post.  The people I have shared my escapades are not chosen for their shining achievements and social status. They were chosen because they served a purpose. Momentarily. They don’t have a place in my reality nor they hold a permanent position in my life. They were just casualties of my ongoing battle with finding my rainbow connection. Nothing more nothing less.

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And Yet

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.

— Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)

And yet people seem to always know you. In fact, in places where people have ample times in their hands, they seem to know more about your life than you do. They create far-fetched stories about faraway places they never been and put you in the middle of their fantasy. The funny thing is others tend to believe them. Great minds think alike indeed.

Reminds me of something I’ve read somewhere that goes like this:

Gossip can have devastating consequences. We tend to have a strong negativity bias: Almost all of us pay more attention to negative information than we do to positive information. Think about the last time you posted something to Facebook, for example, and got a string of enthusiastic comments followed by a single, stinging rebuke. Which comment did you focus on?

It’s true, isn’t it?

We always tend to see the single black dot on a paper and focus on it but we forget the vast whiteness of the paper surrounding the black spot.

People love to believe fat juicy lies than the simple truth especially if it is about someone they are secretly jealous of or envious of the life that someone is leading. They will gladly swallow anything that can damage their perfect perception of you and your life. It makes them feel better about themselves. Justifying somehow their insecurities and personal issues. Often than not those sort of people will happily feed the fire till there is nothing left anymore of whatever the truth might have been. I have fallen victim of this sort of gossips so many times I lost count already the number of times people have spin gory tales about me. Mind you, my unconventional behavior and nonchalant attitude towards rumors didn’t help much with their already wrong impression of me and once upon a time I couldn’t care less.

They can say whatever they want as long as it doesn’t interfere with my agenda. But you cannot be in the middle of someone’s concept and be invisible. Sooner or later hell will break loose and often times the leading character is the only casualty because it is easier to hit a single target than multiple ones. Safety by numbers and the majority always win.  Fortunately, their movies are not my reality. Unfortunately, like one of those sci-fi movies, when you get hurt or die in virtual reality you die in real life too, the consequences can travel through time and dimensions and even if you don’t die the scars are deep it shows.

You know what they say:

It’s difficult to be the subject of a negative rumor, particularly one that has no basis in reality.

And even if:

You can’t always control what other people say about you, but you can control how you respond—and you can be resilient…

You are only human. You are not invincible. Everybody has limits and sooner or later you will reach your saturation point. And once you’re there you can only do a couple of things:

Wage a war against those who are set to harm you  (which in Dutch is equivalent to “dweilen met de kraan open.” Literally translated: Mopping the floor with the tap wide open meaning: ‘Bailing out a sinking ship.’)

Change your ways and conform. (Yeah, follow the heard and be a copy of the majority. Die before you’re dead.)

Or be a Hermit like me.

Which one it is?

Make your choice and let me know.