What to read when you feel miserable

It is the natural order of things that sometimes we lose our motivation, we lose faith in the future, or we start to see everything in dark shades. And in those gloomy moments, when our world loses colors, we need something that will chase away dark clouds. Something that will show us that there is a beautiful, bright world out there. We can try many things as a mood booster. Sometimes it could be as simple as reaching for an inspirational book. Here I’m going to show you my pick of spirit-lifting books.

Words that heal

I love Jen Sincero. I truly do. I think she is one of the greatest and funniest authors out there and her work has an incredible impact on many lost souls. Including mine. I bought ‘You are the bad ass’ not knowing what I’m buying – the book was sitting on the shelf and staring at me, so I just picked it up intending to read it sometime. Without further ado: in the next few weeks I bought three more copies (cause I thought more people need to read this) including an e-book, so I could carry it in my phone everywhere. How life changing ride it was for me!

Sometimes we need to see that another person who has had similar problems has succeeded. That it is possible, and that it is not too late, even if you have already turned 30 … or 40, or whatever. Because it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is to get your shit together and start creating the reality you dream about.

Jen Sincero is this type of woman you want to have as a friend, or to get drunk with and talk about everything. This is why reading her book is so enjoyable! It simply changes the perception, approach to many aspects of life and ourselves. After reading this, it is certainly easier to discover the greatness that everyone has in them. And it is also damn funny!

So if you ever felt like it’s too late for you and you already started lose your life this one is absolutely must read for you!

I think, therefore, I can create awesomness. Or horrendousness. But the bottom line is that it’s through our thoughts that we create our realities.1 – Jen Sincero

You can figure out everything

Now, talking about awesomness I cannot not mention Marie Forleo. She is the warmest, coolest and down-to -earth person on the planet, that you want to just sit and listen to whatever she is talking about. Her positive energy is so enormous that it spills out and reaches where it is needed most – to the readers and recipients of her podcast. Her book “Everything is figureoutable’ is a great collection of brilliant advices and examples showing that you can really comprehend everything in life. Because everything is figureoutable.

I’ve heard her first in one of my favourite podcasts “Feel Better, Live More” by Rangan Chatterjee (if you don’t know this one drop everything and go check it now!), and straight I reached for her book. I also developed a little addiction to her show ‘Marie TV’ you can find on YouTube.

If you are the person who struggle with unfulfilled goals, perfectionism, and the rest of the negative crap reach for this book.

“Perfectionism at its core isn’t about high standards. It’s about fear. Fear of failure. Fear of looking stupid, fear of making a mistake, fear of being judged, criticized, and ridiculed. It’s the fear that one simple fact might be true: You’re just not good enough.”2 – Marie Forleo

How to love yourself

Want even more positive energy? Here you are! I don’t have to introduce this gentleman. Wayne W. Dyer’s book remained on the bestseller list for a long time. The original text dates from 1976 – the content is still relevant and current. No wonder, this is one of the most valuable self-help books out there. It is a fundamental book on self-improvement.

This is ideal reading if you lack self-esteem, have trouble accepting yourself, and loving who you are. It will teach you how to block negative thought and manipulate awareness in order to take complete control of your life.

“Your worth is determined by you, and with no need for an explanation to anyone. And your worthiness, a given, has nothing to do with your behavior and feelings. You may not like your behavior in a given instance, but that has nothing to do with your self-worth. You can choose to be worthy to yourself forever, and then get on with the task of working on your self-images.”3 Wayne W. Dyer

Simply not giving a fuck

How could I describe Mark Manson’s bestseller? Raw, honest, true and funny. That’s it.

This book touching many aspects including values, purpose, and different mindsets. It is provoking in a way, but not as much, as you would suspect from the title. In fact it’s not about fucking everything, it’s about deeply rethinking many important matters. Truly inspiring read to live a better life.

“Because when we give too many fucks, when we choose to give a fuck about everything, then we feel as though we are perpetually entitled to feel comfortable and happy at all times, that’s when life fucks us.”4 – Mark Manson

These are four books that I recommend wholeheartedly. If you are in a place in your life where you are not comfortable and you want to feel better, reach for one of them. I promise that will help. I will come back to you with other recommendations in one of the future posts, and for now read books, stay positive and be kind to yourself.

main photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

1Jen Sincero, You are a badass, John Murray Learning.

2 Marie Forleo, Everything is figureoutable, Portfolio.

3 Wayne W. Dyer, Your Erroneus Zones, Harper Torch.

4 Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, Harper

How to stay sane during the pandemic

It’s been a while since we had to adapt to a new reality. The reality that turned upside down for many of us. We didn’t know what to expect, but we certainly expected something transitory and short-lived. And here we are – four lockdowns after and still not knowing when everything will be back to normal. And whether it will come back to normal.

Let’s forget about ‘normal’. It looks like we have new ‘normal’ and it would be good to get used to this thought. The more we distract ourselves from thinking that something is unusual or unknown, the more likely we are to somehow fear it. 

The pandemic did not treat everyone the same. Not everyone lost their jobs, not everyone has suffered from the misfortune of losing a loved one. However, everyone had to deal with uncertainty and stress. 

So how to mind your mental health during a pandemic?

All the lockdowns I’ve been through were different. During the first one, I didn’t expect it to last long and for sure I wasn’t prepared for it. Now I understand that I had no clue how to take care of myself.

I got blurry in time, which ceased to be important because I didn’t have to get up to go somewhere. Usually, I was reading in bed all night then I was waking up in the middle of the day with a cloudy mind. I had no idea how to replace my gym training, cause I’ve never been a fan of workout at home, without equipment. So for more than a month, I didn’t do anything and my form started slightly spoil. 

It took me a while to adjust to the new reality and in this piece, I’ll share with you what helped me dealing with lockdown anxiety.

Things that help you cope with life during isolation

I. Build a healthy and pleasant routine

Do not underestimate the power of routine. Well build routine is like a pillar of life. A good routine puts your mind in a certain frame, creates a structure. By introducing valuable behaviors into our everyday life, we can shape it as we want. After all, we are what we repeatedly do.

 I don’t think I have to convince you how good routine changes everything – it is a massive thing! When I stick to my routine everything is going smoothly and everything has its place. 

What works for me? I found that a cold shower and meditation in the morning helps with starting the day in the right way. I also try to reflect on things before I go to bed and this is like an evening ritual for me. I try to have my work done right after morning coffee, and usually, I focus on writing at least a thousand words.

Of course, I don’t follow it blindly and I do have exceptions from routine, as I still want to be flexible in my life. The thing is that having a frame helps with structurize life and be more efficient.

II. Move and eat healthily

We all know that eating and moving are the keys to keep a healthy body and mind, so I will not go into the details. It is simple: plant-based diet, restriction of processed foods, and at least 30 minutes of movement every day. How apply this to a life in isolation?

First, let’s dispel myths about movement and sport. To keep a healthy body you don’t need to run a marathon every week or participate in a triathlon. Studies show that moderate, but regular movement is the best for our bodies. Moreover, we don’t need to force ourselves into activities we don’t like. 

In ‘The joy of movement’ Kelly McGonigal notes that

“movement will give you access to joy that will dramatically improve the quality of your life and help support mental health and meaning and belonging. It’s not a gimmick to get you to exercise so you and burn some calories. That’s not what it’s about.”

No matter what level of power or condition that you start with, exercise will help move you toward a more high-energy, positive state. 

We don’t need a ‘workout’ to move. We can engage our bodies in an effort based on something else, something that brings joy; gardening, walking, or simple stretching at the end of the day.

And talking food, try to make some effort and prepare something you never ate before. It’s fun and you can discover new ideas and tastes. Or prepare a gourmet dinner, even if it is just for you, or for two of you. Pour a glass of favorite wine, light candles, and voila! Life is better already.

III. Take care of how you look like

It’s so simple. If you look shitty you feel shitty. There’s nothing more demotivating than stretched sweatpants or worn pajamas that serve as your outfit during the day.

It has nothing to do with vanity. How much effort we put into everyday things, even such as ‘decent look’, reflects our whole attitude towards life. As outside so inside. 

I’m not telling you to glam up so you can sit in the living room looking like you just walked the red carpet. Just make sure you feel good about how you present yourself.

Good appearance is followed by good feelings. And good feelings towards ourselves are base to cope with mental struggles during a lockdown.

IV. Pick up a thing to do

Don’t let time go completely idle. Doing nothing and resting is important, but only when it occurs in between those things that you are doing. 

We are not the same. We all like different challenges, other things turn us on. For me, reading and writing make my life sparkle, but you can find your spark somewhere else.

We are blessed that we live in the times that so many opportunities are available at your fingertips. Find a thing that will bring a bit of inspiration to your everyday life.

It can be anything; maybe you can start practicing yoga or learn how to dance, sing or play an instrument (lots of instructional videos to find on YouTube). Maybe you will catch up and finally read the books that lie forgotten or watch movies for which you did not have time. Maybe you pick some online course and learn a new skill (have you tried Udemy? So many things to choose from), or a language, or maybe you start to draw something just for fun. Possibilities are endless. 

V. Stay connect to others

I’m the biggest introvert I known and I admit: even I need some social connection (well, except for the one with my life partner and the cat). 

As much we need solitude from time to time (some of us more often), we are social beings. Even if we are forced to this separation, we still can contact each other. That’s what social media is for ( and you thought is for silly selfies!). 

The situation varies depending on where you live. If you can’t meet someone face-to-face, install Zoom or use Messanger and stay in touch with your loved ones. Even having a coffee together in front of a screen will make you feel mentally stronger. 

Of course, these are just a few, but important, things to pay attention in order not to go crazy during a pandemic. Do you have any advices you could share with us?

Photo by Önder Örtel on Unsplash

Screw destiny. Bend fate in your favour

Do not be afraid, I will not read cards, the crystal ball nor write about destiny. I used that word because it somehow fits with how we arrange ourselves in this world. The “destiny” that the world and society create for each of us. We all participate in the relay race. We run, we collect and hand over the baton. A baton of origin, race, social class, cultural conditions, education, attitude to life. We are conditioned by what our older generations pass on to us. Unfortunately, these aren’t always great things.

If you read this on your laptop or a phone sitting comfortably in the nice apartment you can consider yourself a lucky one. You are not among the billion people who don’t have access to electricity, nor the 150 million people with nowhere to live. Also, you’re among 57% of people who have access to the internet. This is a good start. In this case, you do not have to worry about problems related to the satisfaction of basic needs. Like the one that you have to eat to survive. Probably you never had to think about such a problem. Well, 690 million people worldwide had*.

As you can see, the very fact of coming into the world at a certain point in time and a certain place has a huge impact on how our life turns out. Fortunately, today we can have more influence over it than ever. People who break out of the loop of poverty, violence and undereducation prove it.

You can get away from the inheritance of fear and failure

In many families addictions, mental illnesses, depression or debts flow from generation to generation. We absorb components of the environment in which we grow up. We mirror it. We become it.

And yes, we can talk about the genetic legacy, but here I want to point out something else, something very important. How we inherit life, or rather the way we live, not even realizing it.

Parents hand down the patterns of behaviour that we unknowingly incarnate into our lives. It depends on them what our attitude to development, money, relationships and creativity is. Staring at a generational sequence of hopelessness, we often become a part of it ourselves, we continue it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can breakthrough.

Photo by Velizar Ivanov

Change unwanted inheritance

We are growing in a bubble, every one of us. Our world is hermetic and has fixed boundaries, the crossing of which seems unreal. We are locked in patterns that we often do not perceive ourselves.

Sometimes it could feel good. It’s hard to complain if we come from a wealthy family that supports us and when every choice in life is a choice between good and better. Sometimes, however, what we inherit is a world of poverty, prejudice, lack of education and often violence. We accept the existing reality, thinking that “it has always been this way”.

And we have no idea we can get out of this vicious circle. It is possible to not take the baton of failure handed down from generation to generation. It is possible to end up this generation race.

So can everyone change their life ?

Whoever you are and in whatever circumstances you are believe that it can be better. Whatever change you are looking for it has to start in you. It must sprout watered by faith that a better life is possible. This is the beginning of the process.

Look around and determine exactly: where are you on the map of life and where do you want to go? Will it be a long journey? Do you have the right equipment? If not, how can you get it? What are you missing to get there? Is it graduating from school, learning a language, developing a specific skill? Do you have the conditions to make up for what you are missing? Is there anything you need to change about yourself or about your habits?

And please don’t say you don’t have time. The world knows of adolescent mothers living in huts in African provinces who, despite their poverty, lack of access to basic goods or education, domestic violence and family responsibilities, somehow managed to do a PhD. So what’s your excuse?

*according to Actions Against Hunger more than 690 million people still go hungry (State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition in the World 2020 online summary)

You pay for waiting with what will never happen

“Real life is elsewhere!” a man in one of my favourite director’s movie, Koterski, exclaims, and I think – what a wonderful metaphor for how we often feel when we reach a certain age and suddenly it turns out that it is not what it was supposed to be. The phrase “real life” was still ringing out in my head, and I couldn’t help but wonder: Are we really immersed in the depths of our imaginations, waiting for this perfect life and we do not notice that it just flows past us, leaks through our fingers?

Is real life somewhere else?

It happens that we suddenly wake up and, looking at the time that has passed, start to wonder: is it all? This is really my life? We feel not only disappointment but also disbelief, because how could it happen that so many years have passed and nothing significant has happened? Why we are not who we want to be? Then we start to whip and blame ourselves for everything that did not happen.

You pay for delaying and pointless waiting with what will never happen, with what you will never experience.

Probably you know many people suspended in life waiting for IT. And by IT I mean anything: some girls waiting to be discovered by a powerful film director who can make them a star. Some guys are waiting for this special woman, but somehow she never knocks on their door. Some waiting for the right time when they can finally start doing THIS GREAT THING. This way we have many novels that are still in the minds of authors, not on paper and many businesses that will never be established. Then we also have a lot of grudges against the world.

Unless you reach for it yourself, no one will give it to you

Whatever happens in our lives and whatever not happening – both have a source within ourselves. There is nothing out there, no special force that will make it for us. You are responsible for all things that don’t happen. Taking on the burden of this responsibility is the first step to building your own efficiency.

Why the things we desire hasn’t happened yet? Why is the ideal scenario of our lives so different from what we really have in life?
It’s important to answer that and be totally honest about it. Totally. Even if it were to hurt us deep inside.

The answer to this tends to be similar for many of us. It’s fear, a lack of importance, and a failure to assume 100% responsibility for our own lives. Without taking total responsibility for our lives, we can always blame something that did not work out on the circumstances or someone else and feel better about it. Only when we understand that we are in control of what happens or not can we begin to really live. Because what does not happen in our lives is also the result of our actions, just like what happens.

I’ll leave you here, with beautiful and wise words of Gurudeva Subramuniyaswami:
“We must realize that every moment in our life, every joy and every sorrow, can be traced to some source within us. There is no ‘out there’ making it all happen. We make it happen or not happen according to the actions we perform, the attitudes we hold and the thoughts we think.”

Are you too waiting too long for the perfect life?

How to enjoy life more? Add joy to your to-do list

If goals are our destination and trip there is our life – do you enjoy the journey, are you focusing so much on the destination that what along the way ceases to matter? 

That was unexpected holidays a few years back when it happened that I had almost two weeks to be used before the new tax year. Middle of fall, but still sunny and I could enjoy doing nothing. For some reason, I couldn’t fly anywhere then. Then I thought that I really want to use this time, I want this vacation to end with wonderful memories, no to just pass as any other days. So I made a plan. A plan of all the cool things I wanted to include in these two weeks. I stuck to it and happily ticked off a list of things like Tarantino’s new movie at the cinema or a very long walk in the forest. We’d all like to have a checklist like this, right? So why don’t we?

Pleasure planning should become our habit as well as planning duties

It often seems like things like enjoyment and pleasures do not require planning. However, even more often, in the chaos of everyday life and the rush of things, we simply forget to make ourselves happy. We tick off duties and tasks from the daily list, where there was no room for regular joy. And yes, we are getting closer to the goals, we are getting closer to the destination, but we don’t enjoy it on the way. 

Even when I reach my biggest goals, which will take a lot of time and energy, I want to turn around and see more than the tedious path towards them, I want to think: It was a damn good time!

How can we be sure that we will fill this time with moments that we will remember fondly? Simply: plan it!

Plan your pleasures as you plan your tasks 

Now when I make the monthly plan alongside the deadlines and things that have to be done I create a special section. This is where the things I want to do in a given month that will bring me joy end up.

Even if it seems silly at first, believe me, even planning your pleasure is already fun. You can combine the pleasure list with anything that brings you joy, peace of mind, everything that correlates with self-love and life affirmation. 

On my list of joys, there are things that I love or want to try. Let me share with you few examples from one month: 

 ✓  watching a black and white movie with a glass of wine

 ✓  reading in bed for several hours

   beer tasting evening with my friends

   watching old horror movies and snacking

 ✓  wandering in the streets of the city

 ✓  watching sunset

 ✓  cooking new delicious food

 ✓  home spa evening

 ✓  picnic in the park instead of dinner

✓  digging internet to find new, inspiring music

Of course, coming to favourite things, we are limited now by current situations, but there are still so many of them that can bring us joy! If you are not sure what to include in this list, just think about your favourite stuff. This may refer to hobbies, entertainment, other people, places, new things to do. 

Tasks are important, goals in life are important, but it’s just as important to go through life and be able to say it was fun! What I sincerely wish you!

Share with us what nice things are you planning to do this month?

(photo by Noah Silliman)

Power of small changes

I really like autumn and the moment when it happens that one day you wake up, look out the window, and there you are greeted by burning red leaves. When did that happen, when did summer turn to fall? It seems that yesterday you were surrounded by greenery and September cobwebs. Well, it didn’t happen overnight. The trees changed colours imperceptibly, day by day. How does this apply to our lives? We, too, should change things slowly.

Whenever it comes to life transformations people prefer big changes. They like to see big shifts fast and when they don’t see it they feel like they have failed. This applies to every type of goal we set, from tiny to those really big ones; losing weight, getting fit, getting rich or changing career patch – we want it all and we want it now. If we do not see a significant change now, it is more likely that we will quit.

Little actions lead to big things

Everything takes time. Just as we need time to grow, learn, and improve our skills, our goals need this time to be fulfilled. There is an incubation period for everything. Actions we are taking today lead to results in the future, and depending on what we’re talking about, that future may be distant. And here the patience of a Zen master would come in handy, but how to develop it in yourself?

I think it will be helpful to look at everything from a distance and realize that time is working in our favour. We have a certain number of hours to use every day – it might seem that it is not much, because in twelve hours you will not lose 10 kg, you will not write a book or graduate from university. But if you spend even a small fraction of these twelve hours doing something, and you repeat it regularly, you will see the result in a while.

Let me illustrate it with an example. Writing a book can seem tedious and overwhelming (and it often is;)). You won’t sit down and write the entire book at once, but writing 5 pages a day already seems more realistic to achieve. Now think – 5 pages a day for sixty days is 300 pages. This is how little actions taken every day lead to bigger things.

The problem is that we often don’t see the results right away, so we won’t stick to our decisions.

It is very difficult to change your eating habits overnight, but let’s say just giving up eating a chocolate bar every day will make a difference in weight after a while. Same, you won’t become Hendrix right away, but practising even half an hour a day can make you play the guitar at a decent level. The same goes for learning a language, improving in some field, mastering meditation techniques, yoga – you name it.

People underestimate how everyday small actions and choices can affect the bigger picture of their lives. The secret to success lies in being consistent in your daily activities. Because there’s no such thing as an overnight success.

Focusing on a small change will help you with this dreadful feeling of disappointment when you don’t see big results instantly. If you are losing your patience and self-confidence waiting for the big thing to happen, try to see things from a slightly different perspective. Look at it in a way that your goal is in a development state. Small changes added to each other come together in a big change.

Read more about making changes here.

Things you do to not achieve your goals

Probably you have a bunch of dreams that you wish to come true and probably you’ve set up your goals while ago. But months, years passing and you are not even near there. Why is that? Why, despite the huge ambitions and even bigger resolutions, you are still in the place you don’t want to be? Why do you still feel like you are sitting on the bench during the match of your life? It’s not because you’re too lazy or too stupid. It’s because you’re doing too many things that drive you away from the goal.

Stop talking and start doing

People talks, people love taking and this is ok. The problem is that in most cases they talk more than they do. I have a friend who always says action, not talking. And this is the essence of what you have to hold onto to get something valid in your life.

I know many people who love to talk about their achievements, even if a bigger part of those exist only in their heads, or on social media bio. You know, athletes with obesity, writers without a book or businessmen without a business. They live a success that has not yet happened.

People sometimes deceive themselves to feel better or add a certain “surplus” to their lives to improve their image in the eyes of themselves and others. They telling you that they work on some big business project, but in fact, they just scrolling through Forbes articles all day. They’re telling you how amazing their new business website will look, but the only thing they manage to do is upload another selfie on Instagram.

What things you’re doing to not achieve your goals?

Lots of these issues come to motivation, but you know – motivation directed in the wrong way. Because sometimes you can be more motivated to eat a cake than to do yoga, am I right?

Look at your average day, everything you do and spend your time on. What are the things you are not doing to get a dream job, more money or a better relationship?

Achieving your goals will be very difficult until you define that one thing: what drives you towards the goal and what pulls you in a different direction.

Why doesn’t anything change?

You get in your life what you focus on. Fulfilling yourself is difficult when your attention is drawn to the things that stand in the way of achieving your goal.

Sometimes you can avoid doing certain things because you are scared; you scared of the outcome, you’re afraid it won’t come out the way you want it to. When I’m right before ending a writing project I’m terrified that I will blow it. So I start to cook dumplings or learn to bake a cake, which I never normally do. Just to avoid doing the right thing, because I’m afraid it won’t turn out the way it should.

You see my point here. If I want to be a writer, I must focus on writing, not training my culinary skills. This applies to all of us. If you dream of a specific goal, do what will bring you closer to it, not distance it.

What you don’t do to achieve your goal is all that involves sabotaging yourself. It’s your lack of persistence and effort avoidance. Everything you neglect and put aside. All the days that you say, “I’ll start tomorrow”.

Things you need to give up to be successful

Success is not accidental, it is the result of our actions, decisions, our attitude.


The definition of success varies from person to person, and that’s cool because none of us wants to be a tailor-made product of society, right? It seems so, but this spectre of a specific success recognized by society (and defined primarily in terms of financial achievements and social recognition) hangs over our heads. So before you think how to be successful in life, define what your success should be. Once it is clear you can start taking first, small steps towards it.

In pursuit of success, it is not just what we have to do that matters, but what we have to stop doing.

Steps to success including getting rid of many things in your life. What things? Keep scrolling to unveil my take on this matter, and give up on:

1. Excuses

Sound simple, but trust me – it’s not so simple to get out of this maze whose walls are built of I can’t, I’m too old, I’m too tired, I’m too fat, I’m too introvert, I’m too ugly, It’s too late or too cold…Have you happened to be there too? Of course, who hasn’t? This maze is like giant Disneyland but instead of cute princesses is populated with different figures: odd personifications of our fear, anger, and doubt. It’s a scary place to be.

It can be painful to get out of this maze, but it’s only temporary pain. Leaving your comfort zone is never fun. Once you cross out all I can’t and I’m too… from your dictionary, things will slowly start to fall into place.

So what is your worst excuse?

2. Unhealthy habits

Habits shape our lives, and good habits are the secret of a good life. To fully use our potential and achieve the life we want, we must get rid of what is in our way. Eating junk food, not getting enough sleep, overeating does not serve anyone, but unhealthy habits can be anything. For some, watching TV series can be a great inspiration, while for others it will be just a waste of time that does not bring anything good. You know what’s bad for you, don’t you? So start to replace all bad habits by those that will help you achieve what you want.

3. Envy

It is a feeling that plunges us into the depths of sadness, hopelessness and low self-esteem. It also hurts a lot and usually brings other negative emotions behind it, because when we feel envious, we are very ashamed of it. And yet it is very human to feel it. Envy, as Carlos Ruíz Zafón once wrote, is a blind man who wants to pierce your eyes.

Envy is always born of lack. It comes from a place of big sadness where is dark and cold, where our needs are neglected. Envy is looking at fulfilled people while carrying emptiness within ourselves. It’s worst than that because it causing this urge to spread this emptiness on all other people. We want them to lose whatever they have, so we won’t feel like the only ones not having it.

If you ever experience this dreadful feeling the best way thing to do is to stop comparing yourself to others (and yes, I know it can be a long process for many of us). Focus on yourself. Only yourself and your vision of your life. Other people are only a distracting background.

4. Toxic people

You don’t want to have them around you, because it is so easy to sink in into any negativity carried by others. The people around you have a big influence on your behaviour and approach to life. So surround yourself with people you admire, with whom you share the same values, and who support you at all times. If that means that you have to cut some relationships in your life – just do it. I’ve done it many times. There’s no point to stay in some fake friendship just because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.

That was only four, but really important four things that I think it is worth to just get rid off. No hard feeling, no regrets. Just ditch it and make room for something wonderful in your life.

Want to read more about this topic? Try here.

Three things that will help you get a life you want

Do you sometimes get the feeling that you are not keeping up with everything that is said in the world of great self-development? So many tactics, so many strategies and coaching programmes out there, that it is becoming overwhelming. The truth is that we all want better lives, so we are trying and trying, we are putting ourselves in some mind wrecking theories or woo-woo practices. But I tell you one thing; you can make significant changes in your life without reading each book on how to be happy, or without ten years of therapy with a Zen master. And it doesn’t matter if you are at the beginning your self-development trip, or you already walked a few miles this road. There are three things that you have to realise to achieve what you want in life. Interested? Please, be my guest.

I. There are two kinds of mindset; fixed and growth, and you better own the second one.

When you admire successful people it is not easy to escape the thought that all they have achieved is due to their innate talent. Admit how often you look at your favourite writers, musicians, singers and think, “I wish I had their skills, their talents, then I could do what they do.” Well, the truth is, talent isn’t everything. Sure, each of us is born with a certain set of innate flairs, but practically every success is based on work and practice. 

People with a growth mindset believe that during their life they can change, evolve and learn; that they’re not a finished ‘product’, the characteristics of which are fixed once and for all. And this approach makes achieving whatever thing they want possible. 

On the flipside, people with a fixed mindset stick to what they believe about themselves and never change their mind. If they were shy in the second grade or felt that they were not fit to be scientists (because one bitter teacher said so), they carry this image of themselves all their lives. They don’t believe that they can change anything about their personality and skills. How wrong they are!

The truth is that we, as human beings, are so flexible both in terms of our physicality, mental and character traits. By working on ourselves, on the qualities that we want to develop in ourselves, we can achieve amazing results. 

I’m not saying that everyone can be anyone, but everyone can become a better self.

By cultivating a growth mindset you can get closer to your goals and dreams faster than you think.

So, answer to yourself: What is the thing or a feature that you admire in others, but you don’t believe that you could own it? Is it confidence, ability to sing, or play an instrument? Or maybe the skill to design cool clothes, or write an interesting blog? The good news is that you can learn it all! Both skills and personality traits can change as we work on them. 

II. Acknowledge your limiting believes

Our mind works like a program. This human software is full of useful things as well as outdated applications and viruses that inhabit our proper functioning. The most tricky part of it is that very often we are not aware of these software bugs.

These are beliefs so deeply rooted in our subconscious mind that we perceive them as something natural, part of ourselves. But they’re nothing more than boundaries and limitations that holds you from a wonderful life you could have. They concern every sphere of life: finances, sexuality, self-worth, self-image as well as the more abstract concepts we create about ourselves. 

For instance, one of my limiting beliefs is ( I wish to write was, but can’t do it yet) the one that I am too old and don’t have enough time to achieve all intended goals. I have that feeling that I’m running out of time, getting older and older and there are still so many things that I can’t do. The other one is that I am too shy. Now, I do realise that my behaviour depends on so many aspects and I can be an outgoing and confident person. Yes, I know I can, yet this mean whisper in my head is still there. Is this voice the voice of my parents who kept saying she is shy?

So how to overcome limiting believes?

First, you need to recognize them and it usually takes a lot of time and a lot of staring inside yourself. But that’s the basis of the work you can do to eliminate them. Once you know your limiting believe start to be aware of it in everyday situations. Begin to catch them in your thoughts and behaviour. Then strongly contradict them – with your words and behaviour. Stand up to them, show yourself that they are not real, that you choose what you want to believe about yourself.

Let me use a simple example here:

Limiting belief: I am not good around people.

Recognizing in behaviour: shadowing during a group conversation at a party

Overcoming: 

1. Remember a situation where you could get along with people – friends, parents, siblings. Now, you see – it’s not true that you are always not good around people.

 2. Join the talk, even if you feel uncomfortable at first. Don’t bother with a sublime conversation – just throw one sentence on the topic, praise someone’s opinion, ask something.

III. You ALWAYS have a choice

This is very important, so stop here for a longer time. No matter what happens to you, no matter what the circumstances of your life, you always have a choice. Choice how you will react.

How we react to what happens in our life is our choice.

You can’t choose the social and background you were born into, but you can choose your reaction to possible judgment or even racism.

You can’t choose an economical background where you grew up, but you can choose to do whatever it takes to earn big money.

You can’t choose how people will treat you, but you can choose to forgive.

You can’t choose what bad happened to you, but you can choose how to live now.

It’s not a choice when some trauma has caused emotional havoc on you, but you can choose to not use drugs and alcohol to deal with it. 

When you realize that so many things are a matter of your own choice, you will feel that you are in control of what happens in your life. 

I strongly believe that working on these three things can bring amazing positive changes to everyone’s life. Starting from working on the cultivation of growth mindset, limiting beliefs and our own choices, we get closer to the place where we want to be. Our happy place.

Your reason for being

In Mann’s “Magic Mountain” young Hans looks at the family memento on which the names of his ancestors are engraved: father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather and so on…His mind is slipping out of the present. Time acquires a different dimension, more tangible, yet fleeting. This is the essence of our being – we are like bubbles appearing on the surface of boiling water only for a short moment; we disappear quickly, but are we really? After all, we are making up this boiling water.

We are part of something bigger, something that we cannot comprehend

Our life depends on what meaning we give to it. We are only a tiny part of the universe, but each mechanism is made up of small parts that interact with each other. Every particle matters.

What is your reason for being?

During your life, you change, grow up, learn, evolve. It is not uncommon that you are completely reinventing yourself at some point. Sometimes it may seem that you are completely different than you were years ago. That’s good. It just means your journey continues.

You don't have to be a fully formed individual by reaching some age defined by social standards. Forget about it. You are closest to the essence of reality and your purpose as you grow, develop and change.

That’s why it’s so important to look inside yourself.

I’ve always partially known why I was here, in this world. Which does not mean that I was doing anything in that direction. Because sometimes, even if you have glimpses of what you would like to do with your great goal, you are scared, insecure, and full of doubts.

So you procrastinate, you tell yourself that you are not ready yet (ha! you never will), you wait until you become better, more experienced, perfect. You are paralyzed by how other people perceive the thing you want to do. And so years go by and it’s getting harder and harder to get started.

I knew my purpose (well, a bigger part of it) a long time ago. It took me many years to do anything to orient my life in a direction that I wanted for myself.

I was afraid that I will suck at it.

But I’ll tell you one thing – don’t be afraid to suck. We all do sometimes. I think one of the greatest life skills is to know how to deal with rejection.

One of the most widely read writers of our time, Stephen King has often talked about how his work was rejected by publishing houses and magazines. He hung each refusal on a nail on the wall at his desk and continued to work. When asked for advice on how to finally achieve success, he said: You need a bigger nail.

Because success is a bigger process and refusal is a part of this process.

Try to find that sacred place within yourself, a place where divine part of Universe whispers to you in a language you understand only. While listening to that voice, start doing your part. Even if sometimes you will suck at it. This is the way of things – you learn all the time. At some point, this suckiness will turn into something miraculous.

mastering art of life