You don’t have to fit in everywhere.

Have you ever found yourself wondering if you look good enough or if you properly dressed? Or what to say if someone ask you, what do you think about emigration crisis? Have you ever noticed that, before you do something, you consider how it will affect your image in the eyes of other people? Have you ever felt that this image is more valuable than real you, because there’s no chance that real you can be liked to the same extend?

Do you know what is one of the saddest things to me? These types of questions typed in google: what do guys like? How to be liked? What men attract women? How to make people laugh? In fact, they all come down to one question: How should I be? You tube ‘psychologists’ often try to answer this question, while they advise you on how to be charismatic, and what perfumes choose to match your personality. More sadly, many people fall for it. The truth is that there is no such a thing as perfect formula by which you will learn what the best business idea is, how to write a bestseller, or how to make every guy fall in love with you.

The fact that we try to find ourselves in the expectations of other people is associated with the way we are brought up. Not only by parents, but by society. Even if we think that we are free from any of conventions or patterns of behavior, some part of us has already been programmed. Some part of us want to fit. Everywhere.

Now, don’t get me wrong – of course need to belong is natural part of us being humans, is absolutely natural and according to social psychology it condition many human behaviors. Writing about it I do not mean a sense of social identity or a healthy sense of belonging to certain groups. There’s a difference between fitting in and belonging.

What I mean here, are situations that are beyond common sense. Situations, where we force ourselves to live in specific split, because the face we show to the world is not our real face. We create some kind of avatar in order to be accepted. To fit it. But I tell you one thing – you’re not a piece of puzzle. You don’t need to fit it.

I worked in a perfumery some time ago, and do you know what the most common question people choosing fragrances was? It was: What’s popular? To me, a perfume freak, it was inconceivable! It was like – fuck my taste, fuck what I might like – let’s buy something trendy, what everyone likes! Sadly, it can be an allegory about other areas of our lives.

Have you heard about bandwagon effect? It's a tendency people have to adopt a certain behavior, style, or attitude influenced by the pressure and norms exerted by groups.It can impact wide spectrum of human behaviors. 

I’m sure we’ve all been there. I experienced it myself over many stages of my life. Sometimes I was too smart, sometimes I was too awkward, sometimes too shy, sometimes too ‘rude’. Among my close friends so often I felt too ‘dressed’, on the other hand, while I worked in beauty industry, I always felt too hippie.

I remember on my first make up job I was asked Which Kardashian is your favorite? Holy Shit, I had no idea there is more than one!

Does it mean that I don’t fit anywhere? No, rather that I’m unique human being. And yes, I still feel often that I stand out in many situations and contexts, with people and their perception of everything. And this is ok. It’s a pity that it took me so long to understand this.

Need of fitting in is sick. It does nothing but damage. The fact that each of us is different is the basis for individual development.

When I created my skincare brand, and went out there with all social media posts etc., one person told me that I have to change brand image, because it’s too dark, and not everyone will like it. Well, the thing is: I didn’t create it so everyone like it. I create it to fulfill my own vision and to express what I like and believe. Surely, it doesn’t sell in millions, but you know what? I have this great satisfaction that I created something real and I don’t mislead, in any way, people who buy my products.

It’s worth realizing that what’s good don’t have to please everyone.

This apply to everything – you can’t go out there and suit everyone. Instead, go inside and focus on what is real in you. Your inner self is the only individual that you have to get along with.

Five things I’ve learned from my cat

Do you also experience sometimes a feeling that at some point all self help publications are same? That it is not easy to find a valuable stuff among those medium quality articles wrote by copywriters? Are you fed up with all those self made coaching gurus out there? So I have one advice for you – get a cat!

Here’s how having a pets might change your perspective in terms of many things. And yes, I serve this post is with a grain of salt 😉

I. My cat doesn’t give a fuck.

As above, he just doesn’t. You trying to blandish, get into grace, makes him like you? He literally doesn’t care. Not about things which doesn’t matter to him. He lives in his tailor made cat world where there is no space for worrying too much, or flatter others. He just doing his own business and that makes him happy. He doesn’t think what anyone might think, because – why bother?

II. My cat really doesn’t care if you like him or not.

Cats has this amazing attribute to be absolutely cut off from someone else’s opinion about them. If you like them – great, if not – whatever. They doesn’t care what you think about them. This is the most healthy approach that one can develop in life. To not be dependable from the visions of others about you. To not get upset if you won’t fit into someone’s else idea about what is great, and what is not.

Lots of us have tendency to people-please, to putting others first, which leaves us open to being taken advantage of while we chase acceptance. In this case, it’s really hard to build a healthy relationship with yourself, and others. I think the most important thing is to learn to like yourself – you are the only person which favor you should care about.

We’re not amused. Try more

III. My cat puts his needs first.

He does what he needs most at the moment. If it comes to play, rest, food (especially food…) he satisfies his needs because he knows that they are important. Is that simple.

More than that, he really understand his needs. It’s not like with majority of humans, that they doesn’t know what they want. He knows. He want. He get it.

He’s not afraid to ask for what he need.

Even if we think about basic, simple needs that we all have, it is surprising that even they are not fulfilled. Let’s take sleep as a example – when was the last time you slept, so that you woke up fresh like a newborn baby? Admit it, how often do you cut your sleep time to do something ‘more important’? How does this apply to other aspects of your life – whether you are eating the way you should, or are you just throwing anything in, so that you don’t feel hungry? Do you allow yourself to rest whenever you need it, or is it luxury in your busy life?

Maybe next time when you feel bit overwhelmed think: what cat would do?

IV. My cat is not afraid to show feelings.

And I mean all spectrum of feelings from deep anger to irresistible love. If he’s mad he will show you that, if he doesn’t like something he will not pretend otherwise. Also, he will show you that he was missing you. He’s not afraid to show love – unlike people, he is not afraid that this may be seen as a weakness.

To remain mentally and emotionally healthy we need to know how to recognize our emotions, and how to deal with them. Ignoring our emotional health makes life easier in the short term. Ignoring feelings, especially those unpleasant, will not make them disappear. It’s like garbage swept under the carpet – you can’t see them but they are there.

V. My cat knows that happiness is based on the joy of small things.

Cats brings mindfulness to the level which probably will never be available to people. The joy of the moment, devoided of any background, unnecessary things and thoughts. Have you ever been so happy about some small thing, like a cat who found this super cool fuzz under bed to play with?

If we do not learn to find joy in these small moments, we will never learn to be truly happy. Life consists of such small things like walk in the sun, favorite tea, extra portion of jam in your doughnut, smile of a stranger on the street, a compliment about the work you’ve done, small talk with a friend, a wonderful dream you were dreaming, great book you read in bed…Bigger things comes always after that.

enjoying himself

I’ve heard somewhere that the reason we love cats so much is because they’re the cutest motherfuckers on the earth. To find more reasons to love them watch this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Itq8_HOPEXU&t=4s

Why we are not who we want to be?

Have you ever wondered what your life will look like in five, ten years? And do you remember that version of yourself from a few years ago, who wondered what it’s gonna be like in the future? What would you think of the person you are now, seeing yourself through the eyes of five or ten years younger you?

Most of us, unfortunately, would not be happy, and certainly there would be those whose such self-image would fill with horror. Why is it happening so often that we becoming someone we did not want to become?

Sometimes, despite being stuck in a situation that doesn’t suit us, we are not able to even change the state we are in. We forgetting about the dreams we once had, and we are not believing anymore that we can ever make them come true. We loosing ourselves in boring everyday life, we postponing life for later. As a result, we are not who we really would like to be, and we don’t do what we would like to do.

Have you ever experienced such a feelings? If you say yes, you know very well how much it sucks. And how difficult is to break free from it. However, it doesn’t mean that the changes are impossible, but before you try to make them, first try to find out why you stuck in this personal shit hole.

Once you realize what holds you back, you will be able to create and implement a dream vision of your life. And of yourself, because your life is reflection of what is happening inside you.

You are waiting for something that will happen by itself

Don’t we all waiting for some miracles? But you know what? Nothing will happen by itself! You don’t live in a fairy tale in which beautiful prince will come to save you and make you happy for the rest of your life. You are also not the lucky one from an old movie, where someone might notice your great talent and make you famous and rich. The only fairy you can count on in your life is YOU!

To get anything from life, you first have to give something of yourself. Perhaps some dedication, attention, time, patience and perseverance.

It depends only on you how your life will go. If you have a dream based on your passion, devote yourself one hundred percent to it, and it will definitely pay off. What is the thing that you really want to do? If you already know, I have one simple piece of advice: DO IT! Even if you have to start small and uncomfortable. Everyone started somewhere.

Lack of motivation and bad habits

Finding motivation is not easy, and maintaining it at the same level seems impossible at all. That is why it’s very important to develop proper habits. Achieving goals (we can also call them dreams) often requires tedious work, effort, dedication and time. Successful people go through this difficult path because they can control themselves. Self-discipline is the key. It might seems too simple, but just think about it: if you were able to control yourself to such an extent that every day, but absolutely every day, you would do the tasks you set for yourself (it could be anything: learning a language, training, playing the guitar, learning how to draw, programming, singing etc.), how far would you be today? By devoting some part of the time every day (or almost every day) and being systematic we are able to bring almost any skill to the master level. We just need to control our desire to switch to Netflix + pizza mode, which is not an easy matter.

Two deadly “P”

Procrastination and perfectionism are two words that you will have to cross out from your dictionary. Forever.

Procrastination, that is tendency to postpone everything, is the killer of our dreams. Be honest with yourself, how often you use a phrase that you’ll do something ‘another time’? Well, I will tell you one thing whatever your answer is. Too often. Another time is mythical land that doesn’t exist, is a cold space where dreams die. Another time it won’t be better, easier or otherwise. Another time there will be less time to do, what you can do now.

Next hideous ‘P’ is perfectionism, which often destroys our effort from the very beginning. When we start doing something, it is obvious that we are not perfect at it, and the awareness of it may deprive us of the motivation to try at all. We are not perfect even when we do something for a long time, and it does not mean that we do not do it right.

As Sheryl Sandberg said Done is better than perfect. You don’t need to be perfect to be great. You can achieve amazing things by being wonderfully imperfect. And this way is more fun too. It’s totally enough if you’re becoming better than yesterday, wherein you compete only with yourself, not with someone else.

Look at people who are successful in the field in which you would also like to do something, they are not perfect in what they do. Many great musicians having bumps on the stage, many writers creates things that are not always worth the Nobel prize, many active actors have a failed role in their achievements. None of them are perfect, but each of them is great. You can be too.

You are tired of life

You get up very early so you don’t won’t be late for work. Work you don’t like. You are in too much of a hurry to enjoy your morning coffee, and you quickly swallow breakfast, so that you “don’t waste” too much time – a time you want to use to do things that you don’t enjoy anyway. At work, you count the hours to the end. Returning home, instead of thinking about a free afternoon / evening, you think about all that you MUST do. Shopping, supplies, cooking, washing, setting up the laundry, cleaning the bathroom, replying to e-mails, calling the bank … over and over again. Well, to feel a bit better, please realize that you don’t have to do anything! Think in terms of choice rather than coercion.

If you’re burned out you don’t have the strength or even the desire to fulfill your dreams and goals. If you are tired, let it go and just relax. In the multitude of obligations that we often impose ourselves, it is very easy to lose a healthy approach to life. If you do not vacuum the apartment once, but instead you’ll be lounging in a hot bath reading the most inspirational novel, will something bad happen?

The above thoughts are the harvest of the fights with my own inner lazy demons, and it doesn’t mean that I won the fight. Sometimes I win, sometimes I loose. The fight is still going on. You know what helps me to keep going? To refresh my dreams from time to time, so I’ll never forget what I’m standing for.

Don’t be that person! (or how not to become a victim)

I bet you know this kind of people (they are not uncommon) – those who have an excuse for everything. Those who are super talented, but the world underestimated their genius. Those who are so special, but the rest of the people does not recognize their uniqueness. Those, who could not fully develop because of inappropriate parents, mean teachers, nomenclature, circumstances, lack of money and connections…They live in their imaginary bubble as a tragic unfulfilled victims of unjust world.

That’s all bullshit. Do you know why? Because the only things that matter are effects.

Nobody will ever care that you were born with the ability of singing on a six-point scale (because that’s what the music teacher said when you were 10) if you don’t start doing something to use it. Nobody will ever care that you have had this amazing writing talent, and possibly to become a new Proust of your generation. You know why? Because you never dare to write anything more than a school essay or a facebook post! Same, nobody gives a shit that if you trained hard enough, you could become a great athlete, or if you spend more time on your drawing, you could become well paid artist.

No one cares about unused talent. NO ONE. SERIOUSLY.

Do you often see such people, mostly your age or slightly older, they can talk for hours over a drink about what they could achieve in life. How special they were. They criticize a song on the radio because they would play this riff better (but they don’t play, and they never will). They say in drunken manner: If only you could hear me playing the guitar in college, with such talent I could play in a band! Yes. You could. But you didn’t. Same like you didn’t write that amazing novel which would be better than anything Gaiman wrote. Or like you’ve never started that business – you know, the one you like to talk about for last five years – that unique idea which you came up with because you are more inventive than others.

What count is what you did, not what you could do.

It’s very easy to become an ageing sad man. You know what’s not easy? Effort.

We all were born with special gifts and talents, but only successful ones put an effort into developing their talents.

Effort is not easy, hard work, commitment and uncomfortable choices are not easy. Spending evening hours finishing your first book chapter is not easy. But it is effective. Jogging in the rain while your flatmates drinking beer and watching Netflix is not easy, but this is the way which is effective if you want to take part in a marathon. What is easy? Saying that you could done all of this better, but circumstances were not favorable.

Probably such pathetic talks about ‘what undiscovered talent I am’ can improve mood for a moment. But life is not a movie in which we can wait for someone to discover us. Sorry for the brutal truth, but you need to make an effort, you need to work to actually get what you want. There is no genie in your life that will fulfill your wish in a split second. In fairness, it happened that one of my girlfriends married her dream’s millionaire, and thus her fairy tale came true. But if you think it happened all of a sudden and like in a fairy tale, you’re wrong – she had to date dozens of assholes before that 😉

Regret is probably one of the most destructive feelings, hence it is so easy to find excuses for everything we’ve fucked up. Or what we didn’t screw up because we didn’t even start doing it. We are creatures that are ruled by ego, so for our failures we most often blame everything else or the world around us. We don’t wanna feel that regret, because it’s awful! It’s so much better to feel like a victim of unjust circumstances. Still not great, but bit better. Because guilt for missed opportunities is the worst. If our life did not succeed, of course, we would prefer it was someone’s fault. If we have to be losers let’s be losers not by our own fault.

We decide what happens in our lives. We are responsible for our choices, for what we spend time and money on, for what kind of people we hang out. So decide for yourself that you never will be that person who moaning about who could he/she be if …(put an excuse here).

How positive thinking leads to success

Hey, do you know that you can achieve better life just by tuning a few things in your mind? Sounds too good to be true? Maybe naively? So I have to tell you there is more in you that you ever suspected. Do you really think that the brains we have been provided with are just an unsightly piece of flesh? Make no mistake about – we are equipped with powerful tools that are able to provide us with what we want. And they’re all in your head. How astonishing is that?

I know you’ve probably heard about positive thinking so many times, that you rolling your eyes every time you see another article about it. But have you ever really delved into this concept and tried to unravel the rules behind it? I don’t want to duplicate content that appears everywhere, but I think it’s worth summarizing and refreshing what we know about it. And maybe add something on the top of that.

The thing is simple – positive mindset is based on the assumption that no matter what, I’ll be fine. As with many of the things I talk about on this blog – it’s simple but not easy. So let’s look closer.

First thing you need to realize is that you are capable of achieving things. If you don’t believe it, why would you even bother? Faith is first, indispensable ingredient of a positive mindset. You can achieve anything if you believe it is possible. Now, I know what you thinking – not everything is possible, and you are damn right! Some things, like becoming king of Thailand, build your dream house on the Moon, or become better rock band that Iron Maiden, will never happened 😉 What I mean is that you are able to obtain things, that are already achievable for others, like become successful in some fields, whatever attracts you. Thing about it – if other people managed to gain something, why you can’t? Are you missing something or were you born defective? In 99% answer is no. You are full, you are gifted and totally capable to attain your dreams. If you look at successful people there is one thing they surely have in common – a clear believe that they are able to achieve what they decide to achieve. Sometimes if you read biography of excellent person you might notice that their life is not perfect. Oftentimes they struggled with many obstacles. But things like dysfunctional background, no financial support or physical inconveniences did not prevent them from achieving success. They believed in themselves and they were right! Why? Here comes another thing hiding behind positive mindset idea – a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve" - N.Hill

Self-fulfilling prophecy is a psychological phenomenon compounded in 1948 by Robert K. Merton, also known as ‘Oedipus effect’. It’s like a thought or expectation that manifests in life because it has been thought. Simplifying, we get what we expect. This conception is clearly merged with the so-called law of attraction, according to which our thoughts are manifested in reality. So whatever believes you hold about yourself they will influence your actions, performance, behavior and practically whole life.

by Peter Fogden

In assumptions of the discussed theory we distinguish the Pygmalion effect or aureole effect, based on the usurpation that we achieve the results we expect, that awaited success appears in our life. It is about fulfilling a positive expectation towards someone because we have created this positive expectation. A similar process works in the opposite direction in the case of low expectations. And this applies not only to ourselves, but to the world around us and to other people.

Let me illustrate this using example of classic experiment from 1950, wherein social psychologist, professor Harold Kelley told one group of students that the next class would be led by a lecturer who is warm, progressive, critical, practical and determined.
In the second group, the word “warm” was replaced by “cold”. The result? New lecturer was assessed by the first students as independent and flexible, and by the second – as intolerant, explosive and stiff in beliefs. Sound impressive, right?

Now you know how important is to create a self-suggestion that will meet your goals. Here you really need to forget about all bullshit that keep you from the life you want. Don’t you even dare thinking that you are not enough educated, brave, creative, attractive, clever, ingenious. Fuck it, who told you that? Parents, teachers, other people? Fuck them to! If you think this way about yourself, what you need to do is replace that thinking with thoughts that will make you feel better! It’s not easy and quick process, but once you start you will discover a great difference in your life. So manifest it, use affirmations and imagine yourself the way you would like to see yourself. If you change the image of yourself in your head, your whole life will change.

While you are working on your own positive mindset you might wonder how is possible to stick to it, while you experiences some difficult times. I want you to memorize, repeat, keep in mind forever and if you still don’t get it, tattoo on your forehead:

there are no failures, only lessons.

Yes, we all fail, but it is our attitude that decides whether failure is failure. For people with positive mindset it’s always a lesson. If you learn something from the defeat, it’s not defeat anymore. Sometimes it might be a blessing we just need to look at everything from a different angle. I can tell you from my own experience that if my article were not rejected by newspaper, I would never start to focus on decent writing. Or if I had not been missed at the promotion, I would never have motivation to changed my job for one I really enjoy. The fact that something didn’t work out is just a hint of what you still need to work on. Think about it, how else should we learn and improve?

Your point of view, approach is the only thing you have control over. Even emotions are formed by behavior, and you have influence over it. Likewise life satisfaction is a matter of attitude, hence it is so vital to develop a sense of gratitude. Gratitude is like a magic spell which changes everything. Once you realize how many things you can be grateful for, you can instantly not only boost your mood, but gradually feel more satisfied with life. My life has changed since I began to be grateful for all these little things like peaceful morning with good book and coffee, beautiful sunset I could watch from my bedroom window, favorite song that I can listen over and over again on my phone. And all this leads to greater happiness, because our life consists of such small things. If you are reading this now on your laptop or phone I can assume that you belong to the lucky ones who are not in danger of war and misery, so even if you think that you have nothing to be grateful for, stop right there. You’re alive. You have a whole universe of possibilities in front of you

Your mind is powerful tool, it’s like the greatest, phenomenal computer created by nature. And it can work in your favor.Your job is to make sure you have the right ‘software’ – positive mindset. Feed it with beautiful thoughts full of gratitude, love and faith. Remember that all your thoughts are shaped by your attitude, and eventually you become what you think.

*Photo by Edu Lauton

Master your focus

This is the thing that everyone want us to do, but nobody ever showed us how to do it. Nobody even explained what it is – this wonderful, almost unattainable physical state. Focus. Think about this – since early stages of our life, through school, college and work, we hear all the time that we need to focus. But how the hell, can we do it? It would be great if someone would kindly show us, right?

In simple word focus is ability to eliminate distractions. Like with many other things – it’s simple, but not easy. The question is – why we struggle so much achieving clear concentration? Is it a matter of some kind of flaw? Or maybe our brains refuse to obey? Let’s find out.

It turns out that most people can’t manage themselves in the right way. We are not aware of how our brain, mind and our attention work. One of my personal You Tube guru, Dandapani, says:

“(…) most people can’t concentrate today for two reasons; one is we’re never taught how to concentrate, and second is we don’t practice concentration. So how can you do something if you never taught how to do it? And how can you be good at something if you don’t practicing? (…) let’s say on average we are practicing a 13 hours of distractions a day, seven day a week, and then you’re wonder why you’re so good at it. That’s the law of practice (…) we become good whatever is we practice.”

Simple as it is – we become all these things to which we devote our attention. When we divide our attention to many things at once, we’re losing. Divided attention is not attention. It’s distraction. And as Dandapani saying, it’s not enough if you sit once a day for 10 minutes meditation practice, while for the rest 1440 minutes your mind is distracted! Do you see where we are going with this?

Unwavering focus is is something you need to practice.
Not for ten minutes a day, but all day. Wonder how? Let’s gets things under way.

  1. Myth of multitasking

First thing you need to remember: multitasking is bad! I mean really bad, ugly and shabby. From now on I want you to think about multitasking like you would think about your older’s brother stinky pair of socks, or pineapple on pizza, or polish disco charts. Or preferably all of them at once. I know what you want to say right now, I really hear your voice  ‘Why?Multitasking is great, it save your time!’ Keep that voice down please, cause this is not the case. Why? Here it is: multitasking forces your brain to switch your focus back and forth very quickly from one task to another. And what is wrong with that? Our brain cannot seamlessly transit from one task to another. Those switches costs you mental price. This is more harmful than you might think and have real negative impact on your productivity and creativity. What it means is that multitasking stops you from getting into a state of flow, which is the best condition for creating any work. Also, it impacts your short-term memory, even leads to increased anxiety. So do one one thing at the moment. Only one.

2. Turn notifications off

Get rid of that stimulating buzzz sound while you working on something important. Seriously, do you need to know who liked your instagram selfie, or what your bestie uploaded in her latest story? No,you don’t! All you need is do you task – that’s all matter. There will be time for all emails, texts, facebook, missed calls. But later, when you finish. Such bullshit really weakens concentration and motivation. You know yourself how much willpower requires you to concentrate, so don’t waste it because of  some stupid notification bells.

3. Try pomodoro technique

This method, developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s., uses a timer to break down work into not long (originally 25 minutes, but you can decide for yourself), timed intervals spaced out by short breaks. Pomodoro is one of the simplest and most effective productivity tools – requires only a timer and simple rules. For this 25 minutes you must really work, without bullshit. After a while you will see that it works. And there’s more – with time it can even help improve your attention span and concentration. Definitely worth a try. You can also try focus music (you can just find it on you tube) while you working on something – it will keep you into what you doing.

4. Be mindful

Learn how to be totally aware of yourself. Try to pay unwavering attention to whatever you do at the moment. Practice it.  Not for ten munutes daily, but all the times. When you speak to someone, pay all attention to that person. While eating contemplate the taste of food, notice its smell and consistency. Be attentive even with trivial activities, such as washing dishes or vacuuming – treat them as a practice of your mindfulness. Practice concentrating on every little thing you do during the day. You’ll find out how good you will be after some time.

(...) If you practice something over and over again, you become really good at it. And that's why people are so good at distraction - because it's what they practice." - Dandapani

5. Meditate

You expected that, right? What can I say, meditation is a thing! It’s the best what you can do for yourself. It can help you grow on so many levels. More or less you know what this is about. Of course this topic deserves more attention and space, and I’ll back to it in future posts. For now, I want to highlight how significant may be bringing this practice to your life. And don’t say that you can’t or you don’t know how – meditation is a process you can learn. Like any other skill.

Once I had tat silly idea about meditation. I don’t know where it came from, but I was expecting something extraordinary from meditating. And by extraordinary I mean flashes, visions, enlightenment, or I don’t know what else, maybe a journey to another dimension. I expected some extreme changes of consciousness. Like after strong joint, or something. Well, forget about it. Meditation can change your consciousness, but not in this junkie-hippie-stoner way some might think of.

Meditation clear your mind and allows you to see things on a deeper lever. It allows to look inside you and to see the connections between all things in reality. And it’s better than being ‘on high’!

There are many apps out there that might help you enter the process and learn it. I can recommend Calm or Headspace, both you can try out for free.

Instead of ending:

This is the second version of this post, the first containing about 1000 words, I ‘accidentally’ deleted. It shows how inattentive you can be when writing about focus…Ironic. I got annoyed, you can imagine, but them I remembered that once ‘accidentally’ I deleted my bachelor’s thesis written in 90 percent. Two weeks before deadline…I realized this time it’s not so bad – I just need to focus more! So I took a shower, grabbed a beer and back to my desk . And here it is. Maybe not so polished, but I wrote what I wanted to write.

Stay calm. Stay focus. Stay mindful.

Small big things

What are all the self-development blogs, books, vlogs, talks, methods used for, and why their popularity is still increasing? Why we are so crazy about the constant improvement of ourselves and everything around us? What is this holy grail of self-development? Well, in short, we want to be happy. Yeah, whatever that means. But really, what does it mean?   

If you happened to experienced a sudden feeling of fullness, maybe while sitting in a cosy armchair reading a favourite magazine and sipping steaming tea, or while having super tasty lunch with your bestie, or maybe when you’ve forgotten about the whole world while playing with your pet, you might get the point of what real happiness is.

Happiness is not created of super epic stuff like conquering the world. It’s rather like seeing the wonder in every little thing. True happiness resides in the realm of small things.

I’m sure you’ve heard about blue zones determined so by Dan Buettner. In his research, he identified the longevity „hotspots” of the world. The zones are Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Icaria in Greece and the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California. People living in these places share not only longevity but also a great sense of happiness. You must be wondering what a great secret lies behind it. Well, the trick is to live simple. People from those places share common lifestyle characteristics. Simplifying we can bring them to a sense of community, balanced diet and awareness of spirituality. Buettner breaks it down to nine following points:  

Moderate, regular physical activity

 Having a life purpose 

Controlling the level of stress 

Moderate caloric intake

Plant-based diet 

Moderate alcohol intake

Engagement in spirituality or religion

Engagement in family life and social life 

I can almost hear you thinking Is this for real? How the hell this can have such a significant impact on an overall sense of happiness? Well, the answer to this is that happiness is a very simple thing. Simple, but not easy. Like lots of things in our life which are simple, but not easy. Let me break this down for you: if you wanna lose weight you know what to do – you need the right diet and a dose of regular exercise. We can agree that this is simple. But…is it easy? We all know the answer.

Small things lead to great happiness

It seems to me that everything starts in gratitude. Happiness begins when we realize that there are so many things that we should thank the Universe.  How do I know? Because this is how I started my path to a better life. And you know what? Gratitude works, bitches.

Think, that there is somebody out there who is happy with less than you have. And think about all things you are grateful for, all the good things that happened to you, all amazing people you’ve met on your way, all chances that were given to you. And also think about all those opportunities and beautiful moments which are yet to come. Do not focus on all the material things you have, they are relevant, but not the most important. Of course, you should be grateful for them too, but turn your attention to what really matters. I’ve been getting rid of excess stuff for some time and I have to say that I feel good about it. I feel lighter. Still have many books, however those I know I won’t read again I donate to libraries. And perfumes, for which I have no excuse. But I won’t buy more. Promise.

My point is I do not own a lot of stuff. But I own lots of love for my boyfriend, my family, my pets and those few friends that I have. I own lots of joy with having a walk in the forest or with a glass of bordeaux in the evening. I own lots of passion for my favourite books, music, movies, art, poems. I own lots of satisfaction with my writing and drawing. I own lots of beautiful memories of great moments and great people. I own lots of hope and faith, and I own an incredible amount of dreams and goals that I know will be fulfilled. It’s so little and so much at the same time. 

I think having a goal is the basic driving force of everything.

To be happy you need to have a reason to get out of bed every day. This is another thing that people from the blue zone have in common – they never stop working, in a sense that they have bigger and smaller things to do. Everyday. Think about all those people, not only retirees, who lead aimless living filled at most with the waiting for the next episode of the TV series. Do you think they are happy? Well, how can you be happy being dead inside? Your goal, your mission is something personal, only you decide what it is. There’s no importance hierarchy here. For one it can be changing the world, for others creating something small but satisfying. 

We are all here for various reasons and they all are important.

 

First steps to your personal victory

Have you ever felt that your dreams overwhelming you? That they won’t fit in your life, that they are greater than your capabilities and strength? This is absolutely natural, as doubt is a bitch that sometimes coming as uninvited guest, sitting next to you and pushes on the sofa, drinks from your beer glass without permission and takes the remote control. But there is one good thing you should know – you are in control of your mind and you can kick out that ugly bitch out of your head.

You are in charge of your mind.

Someone said that if you can control your mind you can control everything. This is so true, so simple, so awesome and powerful. You must realize that everything starts in your head. Everything. To apply anything into your life you need to start from the thought. But to really make this magic works you need to support your thoughts with action. What if taking action scares and paralyzing you? Don’t panic, it’s totally ok.

Start small but dream big

When reality or thoughts about what you want to achieve overwhelm you, decide to start small. Don’t try to take everything right away and do not rush. Approach tasks and challenges with a calm mind. But first be clear on what you want to achieve. Simply as it is – to achieve your goals you need to have them defined, preferably in details. You need to know what you want and you need to focus on it.

If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t get anywhere

Why you need to be specific? We all know new year resolutions, right? Imagine that your goal was to loose weight. After a year the weight shows 99 kg and you weighed 100 kg year ago. Well, you achieved your goal, you’ve lost weight! But is this really a success? You know the answer. This is why when you set your goal be definite as much as you can. Until end of December I will loose 30 kg. Now, this looks like a plan. This is appropriately designated goal. This applies to everything – when you saying that you want to be fit, be happy, be successful, be healthier it actual means shit. Specify what being successful means to you – is it financial freedom that determines success? Social recognition or fame? Or maybe raising great children or creating art? Know what success means to you. Don’t get trapped in the abstract ‘shell words’.

Concrete and measurable goals are the basis. Write them down, describe them and specify the time you will need to achieve them. Think about your goals, imagine how you implement them. Start with one thing that will lead you to success and add next steps when you are ready. If something appear too hard think about it from different perspective. Imagine your goal or problem is a huge elephant which you have to eat – how will you do it? Bite at a time. It’s impossible to eat the whole elephant at once, but you can do it piece by piece. If your goal is big or difficult divide it to smaller parts and work on each part at the time.

With the right mindset everything is possible. You need to focus on your dreams, you must desire them like nothing else, you need to be crazy about them! Stay focus – don’t get distracted by things that don’t matter.

We attract the things we focus on. So focus on what you want. Build an attitude based on confidence and self believe. If you know deep inside you that you’ll win, Universe has your back 😉

The right mindset, the key to your personal success, lies in desire, inner harmony, focus, involvement and unwavering faith in your abilities.

As Henry Ford once said:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”

What about renovate our lives?

Have you ever experienced a meltdown because you compared your life with someone other’s life? When I was 27 I watched American Psycho – if you never seen it I will just mention that main character is wealthy New York investment banker (and psychopathic murderer. Whatever.) And he’s 27. Just like me watching the movie. The difference between me and him was not only that I wasn’t successful (and I wasn’t psychopathic murderer!) At age of 27 I felt like my life is over and it wasn’t only about regretting my choices which lead me to where I was (for clarification: in deep shit). I had no idea what to do and I felt like it’s too late for everything. I felt so silly for envy a movie character its amazing career. I was like babe in the woods.

How is it possible that my dreams was not yet fulfilled?

For many one chosen path is one for life. We are learning that we have to decide about our life while we are very young. When I was 19 year old with head full of poetry and pot smog I really wanted to study philosophy. But I didn’t because I was told that I have to chose something closer to real life. To be clear me the closest thing to life was intoxicating myself with any possible thing while immersing in mysticism of the world. But mostly intoxicating. I had no idea what things are close to “real life”. Finally I end up as a literature student, then I done my master in journalism and PR. I don’t think that would be my choice now. Honestly, my interest in journalism faded after internship in local newspaper and when I moved to other country my language abilities did not even let me think about working in industry. So I ended up in some random jobs most of whom I was ashamed of. And I stayed there. For years.

Sometimes change is the hardest thing to do

Personally, I think that most of choices we make as a very young people do not harmonize with what we become during life.

Why not make new decisions and choices now?

Many times during life we change or renovate apartments, improving a garden landscape, we renew the wardrobe ect.

Why don’t renovate our lives?

The truth is that our inability to change is dictated by social norms. When we look at our parents generations we can clearly see this particular pattern of life: school-optional college-job-family-stabilization. But…it doesn’t have to be this way. If you feel that you are in the wrong place I tell you something: it is never too late to change it.

Think about this: studies shows that to master any skill (any, from playing an instrument to master a knowledge of some extend or graduate university) we need approximately 5 years. So even if you not belong to the youngest part of population you are still able to pick up totally new thing and master it! Or two things, or three…Don’t worry that they all require time. Time will pass anyway.

If you doubt in possibility that you can redirect your life path in direction of your choice just look around and see inspirations in those who made it. And there are plenty of them. We all know names like Vera Wang (she entered into fashion industry when she was 40), Samuel L.Jackson ( he was 46 when he got first serious role), J.K. Rowling (she was 36 when Harry Potter was published after being rejected twelve times by different publishers), Raymond Chandler (he was 44 when his first novel came out), or Grandma Moses who began her prolific painting career at age 78!

So how can you say you’re too old to sign up for a course you always wanted, enroll university, open pancake shop or learn new language? How can you say it’s too late to begin drawing, singing, playing piano, baking, dive, embroider, making dumplings, become yoga master?

You still have so many years ahead of you, fill them with something meaningful, that when you look back you’ll feel proud and content. And start now, nothing will happen by itself! Always wanted be an artist? So grab that fucking pencil and start sketching anything, you will be surprise how good you can become if you keep doing it for next weeks and months.

Think where you want to see yourself in few years. If it’s totally different place from the one you’re in now, decide to change. It can be done. Little steps are fine. Someday you’ll get there, just don’t stop. Meanwhile enjoy the beautiful trip which is life!

The best is yet to come!





Slow down!

When I started my journey to a better life I really throwed myself out there. I decided to leave my comfort zone and step by step reach for what is the best in life for me. I felt like I have to quickly make up for all those years I spent living below my potential. I had an urge to compensate all shity jobs, all unused ideas, wasted talents and wasted time. And I wanted to do it RIGHT NOW, with the feeling like the world is ending.


 As I always been creative person with a thousands ideas popping into my head every minute, I started doing a lot. I changed a job, I learned some new skills and opened my own small buisness, I started seriously work on my first book and I still felt like this is not enough. I started to practice drawing and learn portugeese, I begin to write two different blogs. I was doing gym three times a week and also I’ve tried to learn yoga. And there was more things to do on my long as devil’s tail TO DO LIST. One day after working whole two weeks day and night for my full time job and for the events related to my buisness, I back home, sat down and almost cried in relief that finally after so long time I’m going to have a day off. But in fact it wasn’t to be a real day off, in fact I had a long list of things I planned to do already prepared. What did I do?


I spend all day reading absorbing book and late afternoon I sacrifice myself to bottle of wine and Netflix. That was the best day ever.


Don’t get me wrong – having things done and ‘to do lists’ are great.Goals are great, and development is great. But sometimes when we are starting our experience with selfdevelopment, we sink into an immeasurable amount of things that come to our minds. Very often while we are trying to squize the best of our lifes, we are forgetting about the most fundamental thing. We all need rest. We all need relax. We all need to take it easy sometimes. We are here to enjoy ourselfs, life is not a copmetition for who will do more.



We all need that fucking bottle of wine and free evening from time to time!


While you might thinking that you cannot spare any of your precious time to be wasted, the truth is we can’t afford not to relax. Repeating after Russel the time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.


Let’s treat doing ‘nothing’ as a recharging our batteries, as a way to change our personal mode. Proper rest leads to so many benefits, that is hardly to believe, that so many people still underestimate the art of rest. And anyone can do it on it’s own way. Without feeling of guilt that we squander something.


When you rest-deprived you’re not able to reach your full potential. When your body and mind are overwhelmed your health suffering. Whole machanism of your human shell doesn’t work as it supposed to.

 So, if you want to be someone who easily achieves goals and fulfills his duties, has a fresh and creative mind and feels full, learn to rest. If you seriously think about selfdevelopment it is a MUST for you.


When you slow down you achieving totally new perspective.

Study shows taht rest sharpens your creative abilities, when you rested your brain cells communicate effectively and also your relationships become more harmonious.

There are spiritual benefits too – by deeply resting your mind you can discover your inner windsom. This is why we can distinguish physical rest, mental rest, and spiritual rest. 


So next time when you feel that you are totally wiped out don’t force yourself to finish all the tasks. Take a nap, some things can be done tomorrow. 

mastering art of life