“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.”
Today’s world feels full of chaos to a lot of people. You often find people talking about the good old days, and it isn’t only the people who miss their youth, even the youth talks about the past being better. One of the reasons is the hectic schedule everyone follows. The startup culture growing is also one of the reasons many people feel like they don’t have lives outside their work or feel stuck in their lives.
If you are an entrepreneur, a freelancer, a startup founder, or work in a startup – you know that there is no clear timeline segregating your personal life from your work life. One of the biggest benefits on a 9 to 5 in today’s time is the clear definition of time telling us when the workday ends and when personal time begins.
When we don’t have anyone to be accountable to when it comes to the time we put in – we tend to go overboard with working because it makes us feel we are giving everything we have to achieve our goals and dreams. But, is that always true? In order to get the feeling of us working as much as, if not more, than everyone else we tend to burn ourselves out.
As important it is to work on our dreams, it is equally important to focus on our physical as well as mental health, the notion of which seems to have slipped through the cracks for many. Because of this a lot of people feel demotivated and lack inspiration. This has resulted in the general feeling – that people carry around – to be that of pessimism than optimism.
Optimism isn’t going to change your situation or make your problems go away – true – but neither is pessimism. As Helen Keller said-
“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”
We need to sort ourselves and look for inspiration. We are responsible for our own happiness and this is something that is easy to forget when crushed with the expectations that we as well as the society set on ourselves. As long as we let our lives be overcast with clouds of gloom and pessimism, our path to a happy life will be shunned.
Life is full of problems, but you would be foolish to think that the circumstances would never improve in the future. Someday we will find what we are looking for, or maybe we won’t; maybe we will find something better than that. Whatever we find, whatever we become, we would always be greater than what we are right now.
“An optimist understands that life can be a bumpy road, but at least it is leading somewhere. They learn from mistakes and failures, and are not afraid to fail again.”
This is why positive affirmations and gratitude journals have become so popular. Positive affirmations let you know that you are proud of yourself and you believe in yourself. It gives you the confidence to carry on even when everything seems to be working against you. A gratitude journal helps you see the silver lining, it helps you think about the good even in bad days. It helps you gain a more positive outlook, and both these exercises walk you toward a more optimistic life.
Life is short. But life becomes shorter when you are blocking your mind with negativity and pessimism. Poets and writers have always written about eternal hope, about courage, about a bright future. Don’t substitute your cheerfulness with fear and despair. Don’t just exist. Live.
Somedays, all you need, is belief. You need to believe in the process, in yourself, in the future, in something that gives you hope to not stop – to keep going on.
“Optimism refuses to believe that the road ends without options.”
-Robert H. Schuller
You may be upset about things. You may think the world is a bad, bad place. You may find yourself crying in front of everyone or alone. You may think your luck is the worst and feel your world breaking apart. One thing to remember through all of this is that the only thing constant is change. Which means that the bad times will change too; they will pass and will turn us into better versions of ourselves.
We may find ourselves in darkness, but the key to a happy life is to cope with the frustrations and move on.
“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”
Fly high. Run. Fall down. But get up again, and live your life.
7 Reasons to Leave Your Comfort Zone
Everyone is afraid of leaving their comfort zone because your comfort zone is more comfortable, right? What we don’t realize is that we learn things when we find courage enough to step out of our comfort zones.
“The hardest thing to do is leaving your comfort zone. But you have to let go of the life you’re familiar with and take the risk to live the life you dream about.”
When you dream of something big, you will often have to do things that make you uncomfortable, that scare you. It doesn’t mean that those things are bad, chances are that they won’t be as difficult as you think. Some level of fear and anxiety is important for us to keep moving forward, to make progress, doing things that take us out of our comfort zone is a way to have those feelings propelling us forwards.
If things haven’t been working for you up until now, then you have nothing to lose by trying something new because to achieve something new, you have to do something that you have never done before. Take the first step, dabble your toe into the sea, if you still feel scared out of your minds then you can always return to your safe space.
As long as you keep trying to get out there, you are good to go. Here are some reasons to take the plunge.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
-Neale Donald Walsch
1. You Won’t Regret Missing Out on a Potential Opportunity
When you refuse to level your comfort zone, there will be a lot of things you can miss. You cannot keep doing the same things you do right now and expect to achieve bigger dreams. If you have a big vision, then you will have to constantly be stepping out of your comfort zone.
Being a little uncomfortable means you are going to be learning a few new things. For example, if you have always been scared of public speaking then putting your ideas out there in meetings and presentations will be difficult. You will have to step out of your comfort zone, be a little uncomfortable, deal with a bit of anxiety, but eventually, you will be comfortable enough to speak up among people who hold power.
2. It Will Help Boost Your Confidence
When you get out of your comfort zone, you will learn new things, you will get new experiences, and eventually, you will put a new skill to your name. Having a new skill will boost your confidence because now you aren’t scared of doing something like you earlier were.
For the same example as above, now that you have learned to step out there and speak up, it will give you the confidence to put out your ideas and views in front of people and you will eventually get to take on bigger projects.
3. You Will Feel Self-Fulfilled
People who are stuck in their comfort zones often have a weight of the feeling of underachievement over whatever work they do. The regret that they couldn’t do something because it made them uncomfortable makes them feel that they are not quite living their life to the fullest.
When you step out of your comfort zone, you grow, find the momentum to move forward, find a better level of productivity – all of these things lead you to a sense of self-fulfillment, this gives you a feeling of satisfaction.
4. You Will Become More Productive
When you learn to be okay with the discomfort that comes in the beginning – when you do something that makes you step out of your comfort zone – you will eventually become more productive.
Getting out there requires you to be more focused, to develop self-confidence, and to believe in yourself – these things push you to do things you never thought were possible. When you learn to make yourself be heard even with the nagging discomfort of speaking in the public, you will eventually increase your productivity because you can get started on whatever it is that you wanted to discuss instead of waiting for someone else to come up with it or you to find someone alone or you to wait to develop enough confidence to broach the subject.
5. You Will Learn People Don’t Care a Lot
One of the reasons that people are scared of doing something is the thought of people judging them. Everyone has a lot on their plates, yes, they might look your way but nobody has the time to keep thinking about you. If they do, then you anyway shouldn’t be caring about their opinion.
You have to convince yourself to not let other people’s opinions sway your decisions. When you start doing things because they are going to help you grow, you will learn that what others say doesn’t hold much weight. You will learn to eliminate fear.
6. You Will Find New Things That You Love
You found your current passion by doing something you didn’t always do. Unless you try new things, you will never find things you enjoy that get your mind whirring. To learn more about ourselves, we need to keep testing our limits.
By stepping out, we are really connecting with our inner selves more. Because the more we go exploring, the more we are going to find out.
7. You Will Start Finding it Easier
As you start putting yourself out there more and more, it will start getting easier. You gain self-confidence and eliminate fear by venturing out of your comfort zone and these things that help you grow as a person will make the process easier.
The next time you have to do something uncomfortable to achieve something, it won’t be as difficult as the first time because now you know that the sense of achievement that follows the fear is totally worth doing it.
“The biggest rewards in life are found outside your comfort zone. Live with it. Fear and risk are prerequisites if you want to enjoy a life of success and adventure.”
The best things in life often happen just out of your comfort zone. It’s ok to be scared of new things. Being scared means you’re about to do something really brave and new, which will give you a new experience and will teach you a thing or two.
If you want to change, your life to change, then you have to be willing to be uncomfortable because by leaving your comfort zone behind, by taking a leap of faith, by risking something – you will find out who you are truly capable of. Unless you face something difficult, you will never know your truest potential.
Why Chasing Perfection is a Futile Activity
“Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.”
Perfection takes time. Time is something that most of us scared to invest. You either invest your time or you elude it trying to save it. From the time we start understanding words and achievements, we are inspired to chase perfection. By the time you realize that there is no such thing as ‘perfection’ in this world, you have already wasted a lot of your learning years chasing it.
While looking for a perfect job, a perfect career, a perfect relationship, a perfect moment – we often forget to cherish the things we have or be thankful the opportunities we have been given – we end up losing what we have.
“When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.”
We keep on running after an adjective that is very hard to put onto things. Perfection is going to have a different meaning for different people. Something that isn’t perfect for you is going to be perfect for someone else.
The pursuit of perfection in every aspect of your life can be very exhausting, you will be going through every stage with a looming dread of not being perfect. Even when you have done a great job, you won’t be satisfied because it does not meet your idea of perfection.
In an attempt to achieve perfection, we have laden ourselves with copious amounts of pressure for every big or little thing we do. It sort of takes out the fun from things when you are constantly striving to make it exceptionally perfect.
“Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.”
-Antoine De Saint-Exupry
We often chase perfection so that we can stand tall in front of society. The opinions of other people affect a lot of people and that is usually the driving force. We want to prove ourselves to others – it can be someone who said we can’t do this or it can be someone we want to be proud of ourselves. What we don’t realize is that everyone is struggling to do their bit. Everyone is under the pressure of being perfect, the irony being, none of us are.
Low self-esteem and self-doubt is usually the cause of us trying to be ‘perfect’ at everything, we do this to improve our self-esteem. Self-doubt also stems from constantly comparing ourselves with others. Many people suffer from imposter syndrome. We don’t understand how that can be detrimental to the work we do. Not feeling good enough, feeling like a fraud, feeling like you don’t deserve anything can really suck the life out of you. These are the mental roadblocks that stop you from doing your best while keeping you constantly worried about chasing a state that is not that tangible – ‘perfection.’
In the years you spend chasing it, there will come a moment of clarity that will help you realize that the pursuit is futile. When you realize that you no longer have to run after being perfect – when you understand that being good enough is actually enough – that is when you feel contentment in life.
Being content is the first step of feeling satisfied with your life and with your efforts. It is a liberating feeling to finally be happy with yourself after years of beating yourself up.
“To accomplish the perfect perfection, a little imperfection helps.”
There are a lot of advantages to not chasing perfection. You start feeling more happiness and gratitude in the light of appreciating the things around you and yourself. This results in you developing an optimistic approach toward life. When you are chasing perfection, it is somehow lost. You start finding faults in all your achievements, stopping yourself from being happy about them. This leads to negativity clouding your thoughts and as a result, you start pouring the same negativity in your life.
When you let go of the notion of perfection, you allow yourself to relax and be proud of your achievements. This action triggers positive emotions within you, helping you become optimistic toward the next stage of your life. This then leads to you feeling more confident. Being confident about your abilities also stops you from running after perfection and makes you realize the worth in what you do.
Striving for perfection is a good thing because then it will make you work harder to get better day by day. With time, every skill gets better. Chasing perfection, on the other hand, is dangerous to the learning process. You need to learn the difference so that you don’t end up harming yourself in the long run.
Instead of chasing perfection, remember to strive for improvement and excellence. When you focus on becoming better than you were yesterday, you automatically open doors for yourself. You surround yourself with positivity – inside and out – making it a much-needed fuel to keep working toward your goal.
Always believe in what you can achieve no matter how imperfect you feel. There are going to be days when you don’t feel good enough. Everyone feels like that once in a while – trust me we all feel the same as humans.
When you let go of that perfection ideology, you free yourself from your own expectations tying you down. You start feeling content with your life and with the pace you are going. That is what will help you sail by, that is what will hold you aboard.
Why You Should Take Control of Your Life
“The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand.”
-Irene C. Kassorla
What we often forget is that we are the author of our lives. Not only that, but we are also the main character of our story. So we might as well write the chapters ahead instead of waiting for someone else to write an epic turn of events.
If you aren’t happy with your life, it might be a sign that it is time to take the pen from whoever is holding it and start writing the next chapters in the book called life.
Incredible changes will come about your life when you decide that you have had enough of being a passive rider and would rather take control of what you have power over. There’s no point in dwelling over things you don’t have control over when you can put the things you can control to work.
If you don’t like the situation you are in, then the most logical thing to do is to work toward changing it rather than complaining. Once you realize that you are in control of your own life, it becomes easier to bring change to your life. The first step in taking any kind of control, over anything, is to realize that you can actually take control.
“You only have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.”
There’s this saying that all of us have heard – “Grass is greener on the other side.” Why do you think the majority of us are familiar with this saying? It is because we have been conditioned to constantly compare ourselves with everyone around us. It is supposed to motivate us in trying to improve ourselves.
What usually ends up happening is that we become demotivated. When we observe things from afar, it is easy to be blinded by the shine and not see all the polishing that was needed to bring about the shine. We compare it to the polishing we can see on our side and no shine whatsoever.
The reality is that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s just us who keep comparing ourselves to others and what we have to what others have. This makes us feel sorry for ourselves and pity our situation. Most of us are insecure and unsatisfied with our current conditions and that tends to demotivate us from working toward change. We start to slip instead of trying to better our situation.
When we want what others have or what others think we should have, we give them the power to control our lives. We lose our individuality – trying to fit in – trying to shape ourselves to suit others idea of what we are supposed to be. We start wanting what we don’t have instead of appreciating what we do have.
At times like this, we should remind ourselves that there will always be something better that we’re missing. We will always think other people have it better. The irony here is that the people on the other side are most probably thinking that your grass is greener!
What this shows us is that instead of worrying about other people’s grass, we need to spend time tending to our own and trying to keep it as green as possible. Watering it, fertilizing it, and weeding the useless dead grass out.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
We are so used to someone else holding our hand while we learn to navigate through life, that we often forget that eventually, we will need to learn to walk on our own. Unless we do that, we will never be able to decide the direction we want to take. We will always have to follow the person holding our hand.
The first step you take toward independent decision making will make you realize that no one has power over you unless you give it to them. As you start deciding the course of your journey, you will see that you are in control of your life and your choices decide your own fate. Blaming others was never an answer and now you know why.
You will learn that no one is in control of your happiness but you. No one owes you a thing and you don’t owe anything to anyone. Therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change – it is your life, you don’t have to let others tell you how to live it.
“Don’t let someone else control what you do in life. It’s your decisions, your outcomes, your life.”
We are so conditioned to follow societal norms that we don’t even question it even though it isn’t making us happy. It is totally okay to choose a path that isn’t conventional. Sometimes you need to do what is best for you because YOU are the one who knows what is best for your life better than anyone else. You are not obliged to do what is best for everyone else, your biggest obligation is to yourself.
Do not mould yourself to what the world dictates, instead make your own unique mould that fits you. Breathe, meditate, and connect with yourself – it will help you be true to yourself. Because it isn’t always you against the world, most of the times it is YOU against YOURSELF. Do not compare your journey with others but only yourself.
Learn to recognize your talent and your capability – hone them and use them. Don’t chase perfection because nobody is perfect and chasing perfection is a futile activity. Every person who walks this planet has flaws. The best you can do is be true to your imperfections.
“You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”
You have to understand that if you don’t take control over your life, your life will take control over you. You have to decide to be in control because as Willie Nelson said – “Freedom is control in your own life.”
Although it isn’t possible to have complete control over life, you certainly can shape and influence it. One of the ways is to take control of your habits. Your habits help you shape your future. You become what you are because of all the choices you have made till date and the choices you will continue to make – both conscious and subconscious.
While you do not have complete control over your life, you do have complete control over your attitude and your effort – these two things hold a lot of power when it comes to taking lead and paving the path.
“Control your thoughts. Decide about that which you will think and concentrate upon. You are in charge of your life to the degree you take charge of your thoughts.”
To make any kind of change in your life, to make any significant decision, you need to be in tune with your mind. Whatever consumes your mind and your thoughts will control your life. Don’t let negativity make a home in your mind – take control of your consistent emotions, your emotional wellbeing, and your dominating emotional state. Because the emotion that dominates your mind – whether positive or negative – will consciously and deliberately reshape your life, both in the long term and in terms of your daily experiences.
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