Category Archives: Living Life

7 Things I Learned In 2014

2014 was definitely the weirdest year of my life. But I am thankful of the fact that I keep a journal, and by reading it I was able to remember what I learned and reflect on all that happened. Here are the seven lessons I learned in 2014:

  1. Never stop learning new things: Whether you want to learn a language, start a project, or pick a new hobby learning something new is important for you. It keeps your mind preoccupied and it helps you grow as a person.
  2. Lower your expectations: I know this sounds horrible and pessimistic, but it is actually (as I believe) one of the keys to happiness. Be honest with yourself, if we expect people around us to be saints and everything in our lives to go smoothly we will end up with a huge disappointment, and probably with depression too. I am not asking you to be negative but be a realist. Being realistic is a relative matter, it depends on your circumstances and how you live your life.
  3. Befriend yourself first: if you want to be self-confident and have a great social life, you have to be friends with yourself first before you make friends with others. You need to get to know yourself better in order to know what you want in life. It’s okay if you go out alone to movies or have a cup of coffee by yourself.
  4. Never say no to opportunities: always say yes to trying new things and having new experiences. At the end of the day what we remember is the good memories and we learn from the bad ones, but if we don’t take chances we won’t have either.
  5. It’s not wrong to aim for the stars: it’s not a sin to want to live to your full potential and create a better life for yourself. Sometimes the people around you will be discouraging, but you’re the only one who knows how you should be living your life.
  6. If you want to get something right you better do it yourself: it’s a simple rule to follow in your life; if you want something to be done perfectly and exactly the way you want it just do it yourself. There are certain things in life that you can’t rely on others to do it for you.
  7. When the glass is half empty it is also half full: sometimes you think that you’re having the worst time of your life, and that’s probably because you’re only looking at the “dim side”. After I read my journal I realized that I actually had more fun in 2014 than in any other year, which is weird because I thought I was having the worst year of my life. I was focusing on the negative things and didn’t see that I learned a lot and had a great time.

Wish everyone the best of luck in 2015. Happy New Year!

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Pinch Me! I Am Actually Living In The Present!

I think that I am now fully and truly living in the present. It feels great! This doesn’t necessary mean that my life is great right now, it just that I feel good. My life is currently a real mess. When I wrote my post Living In The Moment, I was actually living in the moment back then. But that’s because it was easy at that time; I was happy, and my life was enjoyable. Then things kept tumbling down, and I feel like I’ve ended up losing everything that I cherished.

I’ve always had this problem. I would not stop thinking about what I could’ve done in the past and keep worrying about the future while leaving the present to pass me by. Recently I’ve started to confront my past, and I decided that I will start doing the things I should’ve done long time ago instead of telling myself how I keep screwing things up. I also stopped thinking about the ’10 years from now’ and ’20 years from now’ plans. They only made me stressed out all the time. I’ve had hard time sleeping for the past few months because of it. Now I can go to bed and lay my head down without having billions of thoughts crushing it.

I am trying to focus on what I want to do instead of what others think I am supposed to be doing. Hopefully this will lead me someday to doing what I really love, and I will be happy. I guess when you have nothing left to lose is when you learn who you really are and what life means to you. From this point, I can do anything. It’s now about making the right decisions. Focusing on today and taking things slowly, that’s my plan.

Wish you all a happy life, and may all your dreams come true.
Peace and love.

This Isn’t ‘Spot The Difference’ Game!

The primary reason why I’m writing this post is to stop myself, if I got tempted, from doing this destructive habit. I am talking about constantly comparing your life to other people’s lives. I’m gonna discuss why I used to do it, how it affected me, and how I learned to stop.

I think it started in my teens. At this age you are expected to figure out what you wanna do in your life and design a plan for your future. Of course I was clueless, I still am. In high school everyone around me was studying hard trying to maintain excellent grades to get accepted in prestigious universities. They seemed to have everything already figured out for them. I felt lost, and a little jealous of them. It continued after high school graduation and throughout college.

The problem with this habit is that it doesn’t encourage you change or do something about your situation, you just inactively watch everyone around you living their lives. You pity yourself, and ask ‘Why me?’. You keep wondering why everyone around are doing something in their lives and you’re just not accomplishing anything. It’s not envy really, it’s more like running away from your responsibilities by keeping busy of what others are doing and whining about how you’re not like them. It’s passive and self-destructive. I noticed that I do it whenever I feel like I am not going anywhere with life.

In my senior year of college I started to break that habit because I realized that everyone wants different things in life, and of course are gonna take different routes to get it. So why should I compare myself to others? Instead, I started to compare myself with the person I was before. It worked, and it was incredible and allowed me to change for the better. But when graduation came things started to fall apart. It’s time when you enter the real world, start looking for a job, be financially independent, sort out your life, and other adult’s stuff you need to take care of. It was scary and confusing. I couldn’t get a decent job, in fact I am still unemployed. The only thing I got was a part-time office job which I quit after two days. Seeing my college mates working, or taking courses, or whatever they’re doing made me feel like a failure.

Recently I’ve met with my college friends for lunch and they told me their stories of post-graduation and how their lives are like right now. As they talked I realized that this is not what I wanted. Their lives that I saw as glamorous were suddenly unattractive for me. And that’s when I told myself that enough was enough. I promised myself not to compare my life with anyone else’s again, no matter what happens. Maybe the fact that I don’t have things figured out is a good thing. Maybe this will give me time to explore, to know myself better, to learn more about life, and to do things that others won’t normally think of doing.

Life is a journey. Everyone takes a different path with different means of conveyance. Some people would drive at 60 mph trying to reach somewhere as fast as they can, and others might drive slowly to watch the scenery around them and enjoy every moment on the road. Whatever your purpose in life is or how you want to do it, always remember that the only person you should compare yourself with is you.

40 Things I learned In 2013

So this is it, the last day of 2013. This year has been a rollercoaster ride. So many ups and downs, but I sure enjoyed the ride. I feel that I achieved a lot and learned a lot during this year, and I definitely not the same person I was in 2012. This was actually the best year in my life so far. Reading my diary I realized that there were so many lessons learned this year. I wanna share these lessons with you. Here is the list:

  1. Your health should be a priority.
  2. Plan, plan, plan. You have to plan what you are going to do in next week, month, year…etc. Planning is important even if you didn’t follow the plan. It shows you where you are and where you wanna be. It makes it easy to see your goals and sort your priorities.
  3. Sometimes some people will be hard on you, but it’s just because they want you to work harder to become better.
  4. If you want to really know someone, stop listening to what people say about them and go find the truth yourself.
  5. If you want to accomplish something or reach a goal you have to want it so bad, everything then will work out. Drink it in, breathe it, dream about it, and live it until it becomes your reality.
  6. Some people are just there to waste your time with meaningless conversations and gossip. Either cut them from your life, or don’t give them more time than they deserve.
  7. If you want to do something, just go for it (as long as it’s legal and not against your religion or beliefs). Life is too short, why wait?
  8. If you woke up one winter day and saw sunshine, go out and enjoy it! Trust me it will help.
  9. If there’s a certain activity that you don’t need or you don’t make much out of doing it, then just remove it from your schedule to find room for more important stuff.
  10. Tough times will show you who your real friends are.
  11. Gratitude.
  12. Try to empathize more with others, show compassion even if you they’re not close friends.
  13. There are some things in life that should be left as it is; it can’t be fixed. The same goes for people.
  14. Stop being so hard on yourself.
  15. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
  16. Do not let anyone or anything distract you from your path.
  17. Sometimes your brain should make the decision, not your heart. (Although a lot might disagree with me on this one).
  18. Live in the moment, just live in the moment for God’s sake!
  19. Learn to listen, people will appreciate it.
  20. Help others, it will make you feel more human.
  21. Spend more time with your family; these are precious moments.
  22. Negative criticism, prejudice, suspiciousness, and apathy are BAD! They will eventually consume you.
  23. Celebrate more.
  24. There’s a thin line between interest and obsession.
  25. Learn to give sincere compliments, it might make somebody’s day or even save a life.
  26. Take things slowly.
  27. Do not base your happiness on something or someone, because you might end up heartbroken or disappointed. Happiness always, and I repeat always, comes from within.
  28. Forgiveness is important, but learning to apologize when you’re wrong is vital.
  29. Learn to accept rejection; it’s not the end of the world.
  30. Sometimes you need to take a time out, get away from everything, and just relax.
  31. Make a time in your schedule to do the things that you love, it will keep you alive.
  32. Spirituality is way more important than material possessions.
  33. If a job is draining your energy and doesn’t teach you anything new, quit it if you can.
  34. It’s not a shame to ask others for advice.
  35. What works for others might not work for you. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
  36. Learn to let go and move on; it is an essential part of life.
  37. Most of the time it’s better not to get involved in other people’s personal choices or decisions.
  38. Do not create delusions and live as if they’re real. It’s just in your head, so it’s your problem.
  39. When you feel there’s so much pressure or stress in your life, start reading fiction or watch a drama series. It eases the pain of reality.
  40. Keep a journal/diary/memoir/scrapbook…etc. It’s good for self-reflecting and keeping of memories.

Finally I wish you all a happy new year full of excitement, success, and good times.

Paul Walker: An Inspiring Life

I assume everyone by now heard the news about the car crash and the death of 40-year-old actor Paul Walker (famous for his role as Brian O’Conner in Fast & Furious movies). It’s shocking for many people because he died at a young age and had a lot of fans worldwide. To be honest I wasn’t a huge fan of Paul Walker, but what I learnt after his death is that he was more than just a Hollywood star. This post is not about Paul Walker the actor, but about Paul Walker the person. It’s not about death, it’s about life.

I was checking Facebook and noticed a lot of posts about Paul Walker today, one of them is this post by the trainer Josef Gloor known as “Joey” from MTV’s I Used To Be Fat

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and when I checked Reach Out Worldwide page I found this (click on the image to see it clearer)

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Bill Townsend (an entrepreneur) commented as follows

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then I realized he was a humanitarian loved by many people and wanted to change the world to a better place.

I decided to Google him to know more about his philanthropy work and these are some of the stuff I found

“In March 2010, Walker went to Chile, specifically to Constitución, to offer his help and support to the people injured in the 8magnitudeearthquake that struck on February 27”

“He also flew with his humanitarian aid team, REACH OUT Worldwide, to Haiti to lend a helping hand to the 2010 Haiti earthquake victims”

“Walker founded REACH OUT Worldwide in January 2010, following the Haiti earthquake. Its mission is simple: to offer help and hope to people affected by natural disasters.”

“Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker had a heart of gold and has left behind a charity legacy matched by few.” http://www.looktothestars.org/news/11183-paul-walkers-charity-legacy

As you can see he was a giving and caring person who should be taken as a role model. Also he apparently was a person who loved life and lived it to the fullest. Some of his quotes

“You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.”

“Surfing soothes me, it’s always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful, and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I’m on a wave.”

“My philosophy is: If you can’t have fun, there’s no sense in doing it.”

“I’m not afraid of anything. That’s just the way I am.”

We can all learn a lesson from him on how to enjoy life and not just live for ourselves but for others and for the rest of the world. We always have to remember that our lives can end unexpectedly, but what remains from us after death is what we offered to the world around us.

R.I.P Paul Walker

Chasing Perfection

Some of us are perfectionists. A perfectionist is someone who wants everything in his/her life to be perfect. Not just everything, but also everyone. Little do they know that they themselves aren’t perfect. Even if you tend to do everything in a seemingly flawless way, you can never make it perfect. We are human beings and that’s who we are; we make mistakes. Life itself isn’t perfect. Nothing is perfect.

Chasing perfection can only bring you misery. It can leave you disappointed in many situations, such as in work, relationships…etc. The reason for this is that you are looking for something that doesn’t exist. You are looking for faultless things or people. You are looking for an unreal life. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy or wanting to have great friends or to have the best house in the neighborhood, it’s just that you have to be realistic about it.

I have to admit that I was a perfectionist, a stubborn idealistic perfectionist. I would get mad if things didn’t go as I planned or someone doesn’t do things my way. I’d throw the “imperfect” people out of my life and look for someone who has it all. I’d leave a workgroup if they won’t follow my instructions or do what I suggest to them. And when I wouldn’t be able to get rid of those people or workmates, I’d keep it to myself and end up with accumulated anger inside me. Not healthy at all! It used to make me stressed and ready to blow up any second. I’d leave no room for negotiation. Even if I pretended to hear what people say, in the end I do what I want. I ended a friendship with someone and was about to do it again with another person for this reason. It affected me and my life generally.

The solution for my problem was learning how to be flexible and tolerate others. Things will not always go our way, and we have to be okay with it. We have to accept the little imperfections in our lives. And most importantly, we have to accept the flaws in other people. At the end of the day those “imperfections” and “flaws” are what makes our life different and what makes us special. I learned to listen to other people’s opinions and see what they have to offer. Maybe if I tried things their way it would be better this time. I learned to not get frustrated when certain situations don’t end up the way I planned or pictured in my head. I also learned to love people the way they are and accept the fact that they have flaws just like me. I don’t have to change them to fit my list of high expectations, because I wouldn’t want someone to compare me to a list either. I started to look at my own flaws and see what I can improve instead of criticizing others. All in all, it had good results. I don’t stress about every single detail in my life or my relationship with others around me anymore. I don’t have to pile anything inside me because now I listen and tell my honest opinion. But this doesn’t mean I don’t do my best at work, or let people treat me as a doormat. You have to work hard in your life to get what you want and look hard to find the people you want to be with. Just be realistic when you’re doing it, and accept the results.

Remember, we all make mistakes and we all have flaws. Life isn’t perfect and things won’t always go your way. But if you learned to accept things and people the way they are, you won’t end up being a miserable selfish lone. You will be happy and grateful. You will finally see your life as being perfect.