”Awareness Is The First Step In Healing”

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” Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”

Progress is progress. This has to be one of my favourite mottos ever, and as we start another new year, I thought it was important to remind everyone.

No matter your current circumstance, no matter your destination, a step forward is a step forward. It doesn’t matter how small because it’s still a step. You are closer to your goal.

Situations in which this rule can help you will vary. It could be something as simple as exercising. If you ran out of time for a half-hour run, do a five-minute one. Every single time your legs move, you still progress further. A more difficult situation can be overcoming an illness, whether it’s cancer or anxiety, but every time you smile or feel better just for an instant, you’re improving.

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Do NOT get caught up in making massive steps. If you’re trying to lose weight, it usually takes a while. If you start dropping off heaps of weight quickly, that can be very unhealthy, especially if you’re starving yourself to make it happen. Take it slow and have fun doing it. Exercise when you have time and eat right when you want to. There’s no rule that says you absolutely have to weigh sixty kilos before February. Take it easy. You’re the only one who will be disappointed if you don’t get there, and you can forgive yourself in a split second.

Appreciate the steps, too. Finish the day and say to yourself: “I have gained from today. I am proud.”

A quote that goes hand in hand is: “Sooner begun is sooner done.” This encourages us to just get started. You don’t need regular commitment. Just whenever you can, spot the small things you can do to benefit yourself, and do it. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to keep it up. One step here and there is still going to affect you in the most subtle way. You’ll be much better off and not even know it.

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Another thing: You don’t need a beginning of a year to make resolutions. You can be sitting in your bed on a Tuesday morning in August and think, “I’m going to follow that dream,” or, “I want to improve myself,” and you can jump straight on that. This whole “New Year, New Me” thing is unnecessary. It’s not the last day on Earth; it’s a day like any other. So why wait? And why rush?

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To summarize, this year, take your resolutions with a pinch of salt. If you want to work hard toward them, do it. But remember: If you slack off, it’s okay. Every bit of effort toward your goals is a step in the right direction. Take it easy. Be kind to yourself. You are doing great. Keep it up.

”Happily Single”

 “I’m not sad about any of my life. It’s so unconventional. It doesn’t look anything like I thought it would.” ~Edie Falco. 

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I’ve realized that it’s not my responsibility to reassure people that I’m normal even though I’m single. I am normal. I’m just not married.

Some people lead their best, most authentic, most fulfilling, and meaningful lives by living single. I call these people “single at heart.” They embrace singlehood and live their single lives fully, joyfully, and unapologetically. There may also be people who do not quite make it into the “single at heart” category but who, all things considered, would still live a better life by living single than getting married.

Deciding whether to stay single is no small thing: Getting married is no royal road to health and happiness, despite all the claims you may have heard to the contrary. And there are important ways in which single people fare better than married people, personally and interpersonally. But legal marriage does grant automatic access to an array of more than 1,000 federal benefits and protections. It also offers instant status, credibility, privilege, and respect. Even though more people than ever are living single. People spend more years of their adult lives not married than married, we are still a nation of matrimaniacs.

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But marriage is also risky. A substantial number of people who get married end up getting divorced, often at a great emotional and financial cost. People who divorce also end up, on the average, less happy than they were when they were single. And staying married is no guarantee of emotional or financial well-being either.

So how can you know if you are one of those individuals who would live a better life as a single person than a married person?

Keep reading we will continue with this topic in my coming article.

How I Finally Moved On From My “Non-Relationship”

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”I searched for years I found no love. I’m sure that love will never be a product of plasticity.”

Ending a relationship can be incredibly difficult no matter how toxic it is. Part of this is for simple biological reasons, as some scientific studies have shown that being in love activates the same areas of the brain as being high on cocaine.

Brain scans of lovers and people experiencing cocaine addiction both displays increased activity in the pleasure centers of the brain (most notably the dopamine centers) and decreased activity in the frontal lobe, which is the area responsible for cognition. This means that while falling in love can make us feel good, it can also profoundly affect our judgment.

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It is for this reason that love can sometimes be compared to an addiction. In love, much like an addiction, there may be negative side effects such as abuse or gaslighting. But despite all of those bad circumstances, it can still be difficult to kick the romantic attraction and feelings of love.

If you find yourself feeling trapped in a relationship you know is not healthy, consider these tips for letting go of it for good:

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1. Trust In Your Emotions: If you are feeling, more times than not, insecure and ill at ease about your relationship, you need to pay attention to this perception. You are not overly sensitive, insecure, needy, and irrational all of the time. People tend to tell themselves these things so as to push their negative emotions away and avoid confronting the possibility that a relationship may not be sustainable. Instead of criticizing yourself for your feelings, take them seriously and try to directly talk with your partner. If your partner habitually dismisses you, rejects you or turns the tables by blaming you for your feelings, this is an indicator that this relationship may simply not be workable. Manipulation through guilting you, telling you are overly sensitive, needy and turning the tables are key signs of a toxic union.

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2. Trust In Reliability: The basis of healthy love and friendship is believing people are going to do what they say they are going to do. It means something if your partner often leaves you hanging, shows up late or doesn’t show up at all. We all have off days or events come up that are out of our control, but most of the time your partner should be reliable. If you live with anxiety about what’s going to happen next or whether he/she is going to let you down, there is a major issue in your relationship. If you live off small crusts and crumbs of pleasure with your partner, then consider that this relationship may not have enough sustenance to keep you happy and healthy.

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3. Trust In Intuition: Have you ever had a hunch about someone but then talked yourself out of it, only to later have your original hunch confirmed? So often when partnering up we want so badly to believe in a person or in love that we dismiss our intuition. We know something is off or not quite right about our new partner but choose to ignore or push away these insights in favor of getting swept up in romantic love. Sometimes people push their intuition away for years or even marry, only to eventually have it all come crashing down when they can no longer ignore what they have always known to be true. When you have a hunch that something is off with your partner, talk with him or her about it, but when you continue to have the same sense that something’s not quite right, don’t push your instincts away. Your intuition is telling you that this particular person may be a lemon and that it is time to discard.

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4. Trust In Your Experiences: It means something important when most of the time you’re around your partner you feel ill at ease, uncomfortable or worried about tripping a switch to a fight. For things to be going well in your relationship, most of the time you should feel safe, at ease and comfortable with your partner and with bringing him/her around your friends and family. Remember when things start off poorly, they are unlikely to improve with time and hard work.

 

5. Trust Insecurity: Take full notice that you have a major issue if you feel insecure most of the time about how your romantic love feels about you or about what their level of commitment is to you. It’s not your fault when this insecurity wells up. Talk with your love about your feelings, your worries, your concerns and see if you feel better after this talk. You may have things you need to work on as an individual, but you should be able to talk with your partner about these things. Once your partner knows what the buttons are that make you insecure, he/she should not continue to push them. You should feel safe and secure with your love, not worried about if you are going to feel insecure in their presence.

Cutting Addiction: Why Do People Cut Themselves?

creative_self_harm-1330467257m“In case you didn’t know, dead people don’t bleed. If you can bleed-see it, feel it-then you know you’re alive. It’s irrefutable, undeniable proof. Sometimes I just need a little reminder.”

Today, people stand proudly against being fat-shamed or slut-shamed, but it’s harder to find someone who will stand up and disclose their own cutting or other self-injury. Self-harm is one of the last things people feel ashamed of, despite it being far more widespread than you might suspect.

Cutting and self-harm can be a way of coping with problems. It may help you express feelings you can’t put into words, distract you from your life, or release emotional pain. Afterward, you probably feel better—at least for a little while. But then the painful feelings return, and you feel the urge to hurt yourself again. If you want to stop cutting or self-harming but don’t know how, remember this: you deserve to feel better, and you can get there without hurting yourself.

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What is Self-Harm?

Self-harm is a way of expressing and dealing with deep distress and emotional pain. It includes anything you do to intentionally injure yourself. Some of the more common ways include:

  • Cutting or severely scratching your skin
  • Burning or scalding yourself
  • Hitting yourself or banging your head
  • Punching things or throwing your body against walls and hard objects
  • Sticking objects into your skin
  • Intentionally preventing wounds from healing
  • Swallowing poisonous substances or inappropriate objects

Self-harm can also include less obvious ways of hurting yourself or putting yourself in danger, such as driving recklessly, binge drinking, taking too many drugs, and having unsafe sex.

Regardless of how you self-harm, injuring yourself is often the only way you know how to:

  • Cope with feelings like sadness, self-loathing, emptiness, guilt, and rage
  • Express feelings you can’t put into words or release the pain and tension you feel inside
  • Feel in control, relieve guilt, or punish yourself
  • Distract yourself from overwhelming emotions or difficult life circumstances
  • Make you feel alive, or simply feel something, instead of feeling numb

But it’s important to know that there is help available if you want to stop. You can learn other ways to cope with everything that’s going on inside without having to hurt yourself.

The technical term for cutting is non-suicidal self-injury, and it’s defined as the deliberate, self-inflicted destruction of body tissue. But keep in mind two important facts: first, cutters aren’t trying to kill themselves. By contrast, they often self-harm to feel alive rather than numb. Second, it’s“for purposes not socially sanctioned.” So, no matter how you feel about your daughter’s nose or belly button piercing, it doesn’t count as self-harm. But cutting, burning, carving words or symbols into one’s skin, painful hair-pulling, or literally banging one’s head against the wall certainly do count.

So what’s going on? To an outsider, self-harm may seem incomprehensible, even crazy, but if you go with the truism that each person copes as best as they can with the resources they have at the time, it might be a little easier to understand. With that, here are four reasons individuals self-injure:

Reason #1: Physical pain takes away emotional pain:- The physical pain of cutting not only diffuses negative emotion, but it also creates a sense of calm and relief. Because it works almost instantly, cutting is highly reinforcing—some even say addictive. Individuals who cut describe the sensation as an escape or a release of pressure, similar to how people suffering from bulimia describe purging.

Eventually, the brain starts to connect the relief from emotional pain with cutting. This creates a strong association, or even a craving, that can be difficult to resist. And while most people who self-injure do so for two to four years, there are many who continue on well beyond that time frame. The frequency of self-injury also varies; some do it daily, while others can go weeks, months, or even years between episodes.

Reason #2: People who cut are their own harshest critics:- A study asked college students who cut themselves, plus a control group of non-cutters, to keep a daily diary of their emotions for two weeks. The biggest difference between those who cut and those who didn’t? People who cut reported feeling dissatisfied with themselves much more often than non-cutters. This dissatisfaction manifested as harsh self-criticism. Indeed, anyone who self-injurers is really hard on themselves, and they sometimes carve their criticisms into their skin: “fat,” “stupid,” “failure.” Interestingly, a study showed that harsh self-criticism is most strongly related to self-harm, rather than other, more indirect forms of self-injury, like eating disorders, drinking or drug abuse.

Reason #3:  Cutting can be a way to stop feeling numb:- In particular, individuals with a trauma history may self-harm to take control of their own pain, and feel something other than numbness.

Reason #4: It’s an alternative outlet for emotional pain. Kids raised in a household where sadness, hurt, or disappointment gets invalidated or mocked start to believe that it’s not okay to feel bad. They turn to cut as an “acceptable” way to feel pain—if they’re not allowed to feel it emotionally, they’ll let it out physically.

In short, think of cutting and self-harm as any other unhealthy coping mechanism like getting drunk, binge eating, or getting high; it’s a way to feel something other than what you’re feeling, or it can be a way to punish yourself for not measuring up.

It goes without saying that cutting is dangerous. Even when suicide isn’t the intention, it’s all too easy to cut too deeply. In fact, individuals who cut know it’s unhealthy– they go to great lengths to hide their behavior, not to mention their scars.

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How to Prevent Self-Harm:-

In a study, researchers asked people who formerly cut themselves why they stopped. There were many answers, but there were three big ones. First, almost 40 percent said that they stopped cutting when they came to realize that they could handle feeling crappy for a while and that they would probably feel better soon. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) stopped because they felt someone loved or cared for them—they may have entered a loving relationship or their friends made them feel worthy and cared for. And a full 27 percent said they simply grew out of it.

But if those things don’t come into your life, what are some concrete methods to stop?

First, it’s important to match the solution with the reason for cutting. If cutting is a way to feel deep dark emotions, experiment with ways to feel those emotions safely: listen to music that matches how you feel, have a good cry, or write out your thoughts in a journal, even if you just write page after page of profanity in big black letters. If cutting is a way to release tension, move your body—visit a boxing gym or go for a long, pounding run.

If channeling your pain into another activity doesn’t work, simulating cutting might help. It won’t be as satisfying, but it’s safer. Squeeze ice until your hands hurt or draw on your skin with a red marker instead of cutting it.

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Finally, you can try to wait it out. It will be excruciating, especially at first, but the urge to cut will eventually pass. Promise yourself (or someone who loves you) that you’ll put at least 10 or 20 minutes, or however long you agree on, between the urge to cut and actually doing it.

Cutting can be notoriously difficult to stop on your own. If you’re struggling with self-injury, do the strong thing and reach out to a mental health professional for support, help, and accountability. No one should suffer such emotional pain they feel the need to self-injure; a good therapist can help you get back on track.

To wrap up, cutting can be a hard habit to break—that harsh inner critic is a  voice not easily silenced.  It will take time and courage, but know that that inner critic can slowly be edged out by something you didn’t even know you had: inner strength.

”Sometimes We Screw Things Up When Life Is Good”

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”Maybe it’s a little depressing to think that my vision of a perfect world is actually so messed up, but I think it means that I don’t really understand what ‘perfect’ is.”

Feeling like a total mess-up in life? Become kinder to yourself by relaxing your rigid pass/fail mindset.

Today, I want to talk to you about what you should do when you feel like you are an utter, utter screw-up in life and steps you can take to help make yourself feel a bit better, that you don’t feel like as much of a mess-up and you get a bit more realistic about yourself.

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That got your attention, didn’t it?

And what is the number one way that people screw up life? By taking it for granted. Assuming there will be time to fix things, find the right person, make the changes you should and be happy… later.

Think about the last time you lost someone close to you. It could be that they passed away, maybe it was a friendship that suddenly went south, or possibly a relationship that ended abruptly.

If you’d have known that it was the last hug, kiss or conversation, would you have made more of an effort? Would you have listened deeply, while appreciating the sound of their voice? Would you have given them a real kiss, not just the hurried, routine version? Would you have said “I love you” with every fiber of your being?

We never know when our last moments, kisses and conversations with the ones we love are going to be. Yet we choose to ignore this truth and take the people and things in our lives for granted.

We put them off, prioritize other things that aren’t actually more important… and we certainly don’t show up in each moment with those people and things (jobs, experiences, life) with the attention, present-minded focus and care that we should.

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We’re All Human: –And that means that this is a natural state of being. We fear death, goodbyes, and loss… so we don’t keep that a top of our mind. We assume that it will be down the road, we’ll deal with it then. We’ll get better and more focused later. It’s okay to put these things off for just a bit longer because there’s always the weekend. Except that sometimes there’s not.

Sometimes tomorrow really never comes and life really does change in an instant.

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Live With a Sense of Urgency:- Choose to be more than “just human” and live with a heightened sense of urgency. Not in the sense that “there aren’t enough hours in the day” or that you have way too many things on your to-do list. You probably do, but that’s not my point…

My point is that there’s value in living your life constantly aware of and accepting the fact that one day, it will end. Whether that’s a breakup, loss of life or time running out… all things must come to an end. Don’t allow yourself to be one of those people that kicks themselves for having wasting precious moments. Rise above the human condition…

Do better. Love deeper. Experience more. Be present.

Say I love you like you really, truly mean it.

We throw around “I love you” in relationships like we say hello and goodbye. We just do it because we should. Sure, we love them… but do we take that pause before speaking to really feel and express it? No. We just pop the words out with a standard kiss on the way out the door.

We aren’t present in those moments. We don’t give them the love they deserve. We don’t give ourselves the love that we deserve. And this goes for more interactions than just the “I love you’s” that you’re throwing around mindlessly.

Do better. Love deeper.

Make real memories with the ones you love.

Life is busy and sometimes it’s hard to make time for the important things. The anniversaries, the birthdays… the seemingly unimportant moments of moving into a new home together or that first big promotion at work. We say that we’ll celebrate later or assume that it’s not a priority. But what will you have when you look back at your time here? A lot of missed opportunities to experience life to its fullest?

Make life a celebration. We’re only here once, that we’ll know of, so live it like you mean it! Live it fully. Show up to each moment, truly experience it and create real memories.

Don’t just go to the park, have a picnic. Make it a full day, take pictures and be present for it. Work and expectations will be there when you get back either way, better to leave them behind and really show up in the moments that count.

Never, ever settle for less than you want or deserve.

Even if you get to live a long one, life is short. Time flies. Everyone says it and you know it’s true. Why waste it with people, jobs or things that are less than you deserve? Less than you want?

If you want a love that is deep, passionate and life-altering, then don’t spend another minute with someone that you don’t connect with deeply. If you want a job that allows you to do great things, leave your mark and feel fulfilled at the end of each day, don’t settle for any old job that will cover the bills.

Don’t stay with people or in a job because you feel like it’s the best you’ll get… or that “it’ll do.” You can do better if you feel like “it’ll do.” You can have extraordinary, passionate, deep, mind-blowing, colorful, lively, exciting, romantic and so much more. You just have to stop settling.

If you feel the slightest twinge of “meh” or “that’ll do,” run in the opposite direction. You can waste years of your life at the wrong job, with the wrong person or in the wrong city.

I’m not saying you have to make huge, life-altering changes right this minute. But change things. Put the plans into place to move your life from “it’ll do” to extraordinary. You deserve it.

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Just Be You:- Don’t waste time trying to fit in, live up to your family’s expectations or be the perfect [fill in the blank]. Just be you. Be messy, moody, opinionated, passionate, eccentric, wild and picky. Don’t eat what you don’t like, don’t go to movies you hate, don’t do things just because everyone else wants to.

Don’t give a single thought to what other people think of you. It doesn’t mean be insensitive, destructive or mean, it means stop caring if everyone likes you. Stop worrying that you’re embarrassing your mother or that the others will think you’re lame. It’s who you are. They can take it or leave it.

There’s no sense in wasting time pretending to be someone you’re not so that you’ll fit in with the people you don’t belong with. Life is short, spend it with people who love and appreciate the real you.

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Take Action Now! :-You deserve better. You deserve a life that has deep connections, meaning, memories, love, and happiness. Take a moment to assess your life…

Where are you not showing up? Where can you do better and stop taking people and things for granted? Where you can you be more fully yourself?

If you only had a year to live, how would you want to spend it? When you have that answer, share with me one step you’re going to take this week to make that dream a reality.

”Everyone Struggles with Something”

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”Settling down is the scariest part about growing up. But trust me: it beats life on the go”

All of us are fighting our own inner battle. For some of us, it’s like World War III in there. And we don’t always know the details of people’s inner struggles. The only people who truly understand them are those who are fighting the battles themselves.

We’re so oblivious because our mind is like a speeding train. It frenetically generates thoughts. It turns everything over and over, it makes hypotheses about what is happening around us.

The mind makes suppositions, it creates new ideas and concepts, considers and reconsiders, anticipates the worst and passes judgment on others… And, of course, on ourselves.

This incessant machine tortures us. And it leaves behind “mental garbage.” Scientists claim that we have more than 60,000 thoughts per day. They estimate that for most people, most of those thoughts (about 80%) are negative, toxic, and dysfunctional. 

We are on autopilot most of the time. Because of that, we are highly influenced by our beliefs. These are convictions that we form during childhood and become ingrained in us through experience.

Some of these beliefs are in our subconscious. Our most immediate thoughts and judgments are born out of those beliefs. 

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The mind and its tricks:- If some of your beliefs are incorrect or unhealthy, your thoughts and judgment will be too. We are constantly judging. We judge ourselves and others. And what usually results from all that judging is suffering.

Our mind passes judgment to protect us, for our own survival. Actually, judgments serve their purpose. 

We tend to think that the other person shares our point of view, and that’s part of the reason we suffer so much. We all see the world through different lenses. What means one thing to me, means something else to you. We dare to judge other people because we believe that everyone should see things as we see them.

Acceptance and love cure-all, even inner struggles:- When you accept you who really are (including your flaws), you view others’ flaws more kindly. If we think someone is attacking us, it could be because they are dealing with internal struggles. They attack without awareness.

 

The root causes are the emotional wounds and survival tactics they learned as a child. They were wounded than when they were only searching for love and acceptance. Very often that’s what leads people to act this way.

That’s why if you believe that someone is attacking you, remember that they probably aren’t doing it intentionally. It’s a flaw that they are projecting, or you are imagining.

We even judge ourselves. We forget that we can’t judge the pastinspirational quotes on struggles in life Lovely sad quotes struggle life the struggles will make you stronger they from our current vantage point. We now know the consequences, but at the time they weren’t certain, just possible, like many other options.

In either case, other people aren’t making you suffer. In the first case, your own expectations of people make you suffer. We expect everyone to be exactly as we want them to be. It makes us incapable of accepting them as they really are. This is what the struggle is.

“Don’t Take Life Too Seriously”

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”Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive”.

Elbert Hubbard

It means keep moving. Let it go. Enjoy life while you can. Bad things happen, but so do the good things. Don’t close your door to opportunities or relationships just because of one bad experience.

It also means that don’t be sensitive or too reactive to events and behavior around you. And the main thing enjoys life. People keep working hard their whole life thinking, they will enjoy when they retire. Guess what happens, by retirement they have health issues, sleep issues, diet restrictions. No matter how perfect we plan it, how much we earn- one day we all have to leave. So smile often, laugh often, hang out with friends, lend a helping hand and the ultimate key is don’t be judgemental, instead be forgiving.

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* The world is ridiculous: -Objectively speaking, civilization is ridiculous. Next time you are at a scenic overlook or an elementary school Christmas pageant, take a second to look around and count the number of people who are experiencing the beauty of nature or the adorable miscues through small LCD rectangles instead of with their own eyes. If that isn’t enough to convince you that our lives are ridiculous, consider the fact that it is customary for businessmen to tie a piece of cloth around their necks every day for no apparent reason, or that every suit they wear has a row of pointless buttons on the cuff. If you can stop and laugh at everyday absurdities, you are two steps ahead of the game.

* Relationships are all that matter:-Time and time again when researchers have tried to figure out what makes people happy they have come to the same conclusion: personal relationships make the biggest difference. If we valued our happiness over money (as many of us claim to) we would do everything we could to spend time with friends and family and not worry so much about putting in extra time at work. When you look back on your life, you won’t reflect on the time you spent at work; you will remember family dinners, great vacations, romantic dinners, and your wedding. Prioritize people over your career.

* Rich people aren’t happier people:-Spending more time at home or with friends will probably have a negative impact on the balance of your bank account. Just reading that sentence probably sent a wave of panic through some of you, but consider the fact that wealth is not correlated with happiness. In fact, once you have enough money to satisfy your basic needs, money makes very little difference in your overall well-being. The only exceptions are if you give your extra money to charity or if it significantly boosts your social rank.

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* Worrying isn’t productive:-Some of us even end up stressed out in situations where it is totally unwarranted. For example, you might find yourself visiting a new city like London or Paris and end up thoroughly confused by the transit system. You can’t find out how to get where you want to go and it makes you want to scream. But what are you accomplishing by stressing yourself out? Nothing. Take a step back and laugh at yourself. Go with the flow and end up where you end up. Getting lost in a new city will lead to a way better story than going to some stuffy museum anyway.

* Your time is limited:-If worrying is unproductive and money doesn’t make us happy, why do we waste so much time on those things? You only get to live one life. If you’re lucky enough to make it to age 90 you still have less than 800,000 hours between the time you are born and the time you die to cherish and enjoy all the things that make up life. One-third of that time you won’t even be awake for, so you had best make the most of the remaining chunk. Do what you need to do to live a happy and fulfilled life, and forget what anyone else tells you.

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* You are a speck:-Finally, if you need a reminder that your problems aren’t as big as they seem and you want to readjust your perspective, get out of the city and look at the stars. The universe is larger than you can imagine. It is filled with burning balls of gas, galaxies and solar systems beyond counting, and (in all likelihood) thousands of other civilizations fighting their own wars and facing their own challenges. In a very real sense, you are insignificant. What better reason could there be not to take your life to seriously? The only thing that really matters is enjoying your life as much as you can and helping other people do the same.