What truly makes me feel accomplished, successful and happy

I remember working for someone many, many years ago and reaching a point when I received a sort of promotion in the form of more money towards my salary. Even though I appreciated receiving more for the work I was putting in, because I did deserve it, as I am extremely reliable, serious and hard working, that did not make me happier or feeling more accomplished or believing of myself to be successful. And that’s because success to me translates to something totally different than what might signify to you or to other people.

success

I find success to be something personal and the word itself means something different to another person. Even to you, reading this out, success might come in the form of a huge following online, getting lots of clients or customers, achieving a specific level up, going up in the walk of life or simply more money, more power to buy certain things or services.

what makes me feel successful

I realized that this definition we all have for success comes from our core values and our character strengths. Every single one of us is different and we all have different values and character traits and strengths. A couple of years ago, when discovering the positive psychology field, I read the basics of it and where it all started and that was through Martin Seligmans books. One of them explored the idea of the science of our characters and a survey he created along with late Dr. Christopher Peterson, changed my world.

what makes me feel successful happy accomplished satisfied with my work

I discovered that what would make me happy in work so that I can tell the world the well known affirmation I am successful, accomplished and happy with my life is made up of 6 character strengths put into 4 core values categories. Understanding these concepts, makes it easier for me and for you as well, if you would like to take the survey (VIA classification survey) to cope with your personal story of the meaning of success and to be happy in life.

digital detox plan 2018

These character strengths I owe are as follows: ranking first place – appreciation of beauty and excellence, second place, creativity, third place honesty, forth place, love, fifth place judgement and sixth place love of learning. These concepts which in their own significance explain so much more about what success and happiness in life is, make me who I am and how I am. Appreciation of beauty and excellence is something I work with through my blog, through all the small (or large) businesses I follow and enjoy shopping from as beauty is not just being beautiful, beauty is something from within too, beauty is being eco friendly, beauty is shopping ethically, beauty is being kind, compassionate, beauty is spirituality and appreciation of art, nature, music, writing, dance, everything that is beautiful in my own realm of beauty. And if you have this character strength, then whatever you are attracted to, that is your way of displaying appreciation of beauty and excellence. I find excellency comes from that beauty, as beauty is something close to perfection and perfection is very hard to attain, it is connected to doing your best in everything you do to obtain that excellent job. And that is beauty too. I am sharing my appreciation of beauty and excellence in this post here. Find out what I appreciate, follow and to whom I would like to collaborate, who inspires me and what composes my human nature and being.

creativity what makes me feel successful

Creativity is my second character strength and something I need to use to be happy with the work I put. Growing up, I always attempted to learn how to be creative and to actually display creativity and to make sure I would become a formidable human being, much like an artist that changes the world, failing to recognize that I am already creative and you are too. We are all creative already. Doing exercises to improve or enhance or boost our creative natures is helpful and advisable especially for the brain, that always seeks new food, however, exercising it needs to go more on the side of practicing rather than just reading about it. I like to be creative. I like to do things in a different way, I find this is something that makes me stand out. That forces me to be put into the light. But I want to be creative not for the sake of it, rather to bring something useful, meaningful and enjoyable to humanity too. Maybe this is why I am writing on this blog, maybe this is why I studied psychology and have always wanted to work in a field of psychology that is new, different, more creative and have always found that positive psychology is something I am passionate about, ecopsychology is a new field I am interested in, graphotherapy, which I find extremely useful and easy to put into practice or color therapy that is so wonderful to work with, art therapies and everything in this modern world that is innovative, such as video therapy or the blooming of Virtual world and devices, that will probably come up with a way to do virtual therapy too. I am all into that. Love is and would be something I would look forward to contribute with. And to do that, I have the other character strengths to help with, one of which would be the love of learning and judgement. These last 2 concepts are valuable to me just as much as all the others are, because I am a life long learner and I enjoy finding new things out, I discover that this trait makes me very open minded. Being open minded is very important for the present time and it will be for the future as well, because lots of innovations will come to us and we need to be open to learning and to judge its need into our own inner worlds. Judgement is a character strength I currently work with actually, because I am working in the Fraud Department in a call center, and this along with the other core strength which ranks third, that is honesty, is making me resist in the job I do, even though it is a call center. Honesty is also connected to appreciation of beauty and excellence. Excellence can only be attained through honesty, through love. Love of people and of truth. And then we end up this self centered speech (although sometimes, we need to be self centered to make sure we do know ourselves and we are able to find out right place in this world) with my most important character strength that I do not believe finds much place in the workplace, rather in my personal life, which is love. Family life is the one that matters mostly for me and love is needed for me to maintain my balance, my purpose, my vision. And love is included into appreciation of beauty and excellence as well, because it can speak of humanity, of spirituality, of wisdom, of life. What would life be without love?

what makes me feel happy successful and accomplished

The core virtues are composed by all your character strength and they mention a notion that encompasses it all under one name. My core virtues are transcendence, wisdom, courage and humanity. What does this mean? It means that under these names falls everything that will make me happy, will make me feel successful, will make me feel and be accomplished. I am working on all these aspects, and based on Martin Seligman’s approach, if you work with only 4 of your character strengths (at your current job), you will feel happy in work and ultimately that brings happiness into your life, as you feel successful since you are working with your character strengths. With your strengths, which I believe show your passions, show where your talents are and portray your vision of life, and maybe your mission, if you dig deeper.

What are your character strengths and do you use them in your work life? 

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Impatient 

I cannot patiently wait for tomorrow to edit something nice and share it here. This is fundamental for your self. I think you owe it to yourself. I think The alchemist by Paulo Coelho must become mandatory in schools, universities and work places.

Excerpts from the best well put into words inspirational wisdom:







 


When will you become friends with your heart?

There is no monopoly on dreams

I am reading “All grown up” by Jami Attenberg and I got to a chapter in which a very successful, beautiful, wise and independent artist is presented through main character’s eyes. I will quote everything down below as I believe you have experienced as well the feelings portrayed. It is that feeling that someone gives you that they embody everything you wish to be. It is the human being you dream to be, it is that creativity you aspire to show to the world and that will create your future, your freedom, your happiness.

“I sit at the feet of Felicia, the most famous instructor in our program. I am in her apartment in her Logan Square building, which she restored on her own. Like she took a book on home improvement out of the library, read it, and then just did the spackling and electrical wiring and tiling herself because it needed to be done. She dresses in all black, jeans, T-shirts, lacy see-through things sometimes, and she has an amazing body, tough, sinewy, tan arms and a tight ass, and long fairy-dust hair, blond-gray, which she wears in braids sometimes. Also Felicia has incredible jewelry, the real stuff, diamonds and gold and platinum, most of it inherited from an affluent aunt who never had children of her own, although Felicia did apprentice with a jeweler for a while so some of it she made herself. She has 3 solo gallery shows in the next year, one of them in Berlin, and has been commissioned to do an installation in Brazil, where she was basically given a town square to do with whatever she likes. Nothing she owns comes from a man. Everything she touches turns into something bigger. She has made herself out of scratch. I am 26 and I would cut my left tit to be her.”

The emotions those readings give you? You must have felt that with someone too. That is a form of admiring someone so much that their entire life is what you dream your life would become. Reading further “I go wherever she wants me to go and I tell her she’s perfect without her having to ask. I begin to skip classes whenever Felicia calls me. I don’t even think to say no.” A role model. An idol. A dream life. But what I actually desire is that feeling that I imagine she has when I see that person, when anyone else meets this idol of mine. As this expression of perfect life embodied in this person that everyone at some point in their life have met or seen, is surely sparkling those feelings of freedom and success and independence into everyone’s souls.

That goal or dream or objective that you have to be like that and to inspire to someone else those emotions and actions is not always something that society tolerates. Because you must make a career, you must have a house in order to be successful, so that you can feel accomplished, so that you can finally be happy.

And that’s not how it should be. To have a career, to have that house, to achieve that success are all means goals. When you wish for something SO that you can feel or be in a certain way is a means goal. The end goal, the one that makes you truly happy is the one that follows after the SO.

I want to have my own house SO that I can be free and stress free of any mortgages. SO I don’t have to work all the time to pay financial obligations. I want to be independent SO I can travel whenever I feel like and don’t bother with begging for days off work. Everything that follows the SO is an End Goal, the one that offers you that something that truly gives you happiness and peace of mind. It is that feeling we pursue. That is what makes us happy and to be able to say to others we are indeed successful.

Here are 3 most important questions for you to start writing down your end goals and stop pursuing what society tells you to:

1. What do you want to experience in this life? What do you want to see, to be like, to feel, to travel, what is your lifestyle?

2. How do you want to grow to be able to experience life and be able to do in this life? What are you gifted at, what more do you need to be able to do what you want to do?

3. What is your contribution in this life to other people? How do you want to help with the people in this life? What did you experience and learn that you can teach to others? What do you want to give?

Give yourself 3 minutes ONLY to answer each category: Experience, Growth, Contribution. Why only 3 minutes? Because if it’s more than that, your rational mind will alert you about limits that are not helping you become the extraordinary human being you are. Such limits include stupid questions like, who are you to dream you can be the best writer, who are you to deserve luxury and richness, what can you possibly offer to others when you can barely help yourself with your life, career, love etc? You see, all that is what society tells you, it tells you that you cannot be that Felicia you adore. It wants you to obey and not dream as Felicia did and how it worked for her. But I want to tell you, you owe it to yourself to dream, and take that Felicia type human being from your environment and turn it into You. Because there is no monopoly on dreams. Everyone else is concerned in either hating or embracing Felicia, because society wants you to be like that, concerned within your limits. Dream beyond those limits.

How would the world look like if we were all like Felicia? A better, happier place simply because everyone does what they love, what their souls want their bodies to do for them.

Become Felicia. Dream beyond those limits. 

Dream goals

Read books based on your personality type

I have a very special taste for reading. I like new writers, new ideas, new genres, innovative writing that expands my mind, my creativity. I enjoy reading books to which I can go back again and again. I love pictures in books and I want the books that I read to make me  become more creative, to inspire me, to bring me joy, but at the same time to also bring me some fruit of intelligence. So when I choose books, I like to select from critics, from reliable minds and writers, but I also read part of the synopsis or review to make sure I would enjoy it. So, I decide based on all of the above from the best books that I believe are wonderful, ingenious, different, new. Like me :)) I am Aquarius, after all.

I have discovered a couple of years ago a quiz on my favorite books review blog that I am subscribed too, Flavorwire, and I discovered a test named A classic book for every Myers-Briggs personality type. I took the test, found out what book I should read next, bought it and indeed, I loved it. I would like to invite you to take several tests (or maybe a quiz or 2) to find out what books should you read based on your personality type which will definitely make you love your readings. Or maybe even get you into reading!

Let’s start with the notorious one, the one that convinced me I love Elizabeth Gilbert. This was a quiz for 8 unique type readers, created by flavorwire author I suppose, and again I could relate to 2 types. First CUP, which means books chosen by critics, uplifting and to be an inventive prose. On this category, I will need to read is The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz. For CUP, I am being told, that as a reader I am an unusual bird, wanting both a soaring ride and the kind of writing that contains phrases I will never forget. True. So true.

The brief wondrous life of oscar wao

Second option, is AUP, which stands for books chosen by audiences (recommended), uplifting and again to be an inventive prose. This is when The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert got into my shelf. Based on AUP, I am confirmed that I enjoy remarkable writing and love an unforgettable narrative voice, in a surprise filled story that follows the life of a brilliant family of botanists. I enjoyed this book so much. I have some blog posts containing my favorite beautiful writings of it here and here.

The signature of all things

So the second test, is the Myers-Briggs personality test, which you can find here (and the quiz to find out which type are you, here). Based on that, I am introvert, intuitive, thinker/feeler (as when I make decisions, I sometimes use both or one of them based on the circumstances, therefore I could not decide myself – anyway, more books for me) and finally Judging. Based on INTJ the book to read is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Because the INTJ is fiercely independent like a true Austen heroine and skeptical like the novel’s creator. Which I can relate to.

Pride and Prejudice

Based on INFJ, the book recommended is Ulysses by James Joyce. Like an INFJ, the classic by Joyce is hard to get into and definitely intimidating but once you discover its world, you find it warm, humanistic and even a little bit silly. Spot on!

Ulysses

I found this test here that helps you understand what types of books you enjoy most reading. I, for one, am the Eclectic Reader, reading for entertainment but also to expand my mind. I am open to new ideas and new writers and do not belong to a specific genre or limited range of authors. Reading about yourself, is so positive, uplifting and motivational. You need to do this, too. 🙂

Here, I found a quiz called What book should you read now? based on your mood. It is very fun. You can actually take this on multiple occasions, depending on your mood. For the day I did the quiz, I ended up with the recommendation of … The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. Very unexpected. Not sure, if I will go ahead with it, though. I enjoyed the movies. Have you read it? Let me know and maybe I will give it a go!

the hunger games

Another test, is this quiz of what to read this summer, and I was suggested to read Go the F**K to sleep by Adam Mansbach, (which I did way before it was recommended, and I loved it), then, The story of Charlotte’s Web: E.B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the birth of an American classic by Michael Sims and The Cardboard Valise by Ken Katchor. I have never heard of the last 2 titles, but since I did enjoyed the first recommendation, I will have those on my reading list as well.

Well, Buzzfeed, made a quiz also, which new book should you read?,  and based on that, I would like All the bright places by Jennifer Niven. Which I believe I have heard of. It seems like the main character is fascinated by death and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good happens and it stops him. Another character lives for the future and she is counting her days until graduation to escape her town and her sister’s death. I think I would enjoy reading this. So, well done, Buzzfeed :))

all the bright places

Want more books recommendations? Check Books.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and if so, please share it with your loved ones! 

Big Ideas simply explained

How the mind makes use of information gathered from the external world has been a major concern for philosophers and psychologists throughout history. Exactly how do we use the information gained through our senses? In the early 1970s cognitive and mathematical psychologist Roger Shepard proposes new theories of how the brain processes “sense data”. Shepard argued that our brains not only process sense data, but also make inferences from it, based on an internal model of the physical world where we can visualize objects in 3D. The experiment he used to prove this, in which subjects tried to ascertain whether 2 tables – each drawn from a different angle – were the same, showed that we are able to perform what Shepard called “mental rotation”: turning one of the tables in our mind’s eye for comparison. Perception, Shepard said, is “externally guided hallucination” and he described the processes of dreaming and hallucination as “internally simulated perception.”

Big Ideas simply explained mapology guides creative maps 3

Until very recently, our perception of risk and the way that we make our decisions was considered to be more a matter of probability and statistics than psychology. When faced with uncertainty, people base their decisions on “rule of thumb” – on specific examples or small samples. Consequently, judgments can frequently be wrong, as they are based on information that comes easily to mind, rather than that has actual probability. We tend to overestimate the likelihood of things with low probability (such as a plane crash) and underestimate those with a higher probability (such as crashing while drink driving).

www.mapologyguides

What does all this mean?

First of all, perception is the main ingredient we require to gather the information and either make decisions or negotiate. We need specific tools to make sure our minds do not wander on different places than the correct path. In order for us to make better decisions, to negotiate, to understand how to handle different type of information, Mapology Guides have come up with new brain maps, brain tools to help us cope with the difficult task of making decisions and negotiating, which are the main activities of our day to day lives.

If you remember last year, I have written a blog post here, on one of their creative brain tools maps, What’s bugging you. 

adventure

Because we are constantly on the lookout for causal connections, let’s use specific tools that will improve our cognitive journeys and enhance our positive marks into the practical world. The way we perceive the environment therefore can be guided. So let’s use something unique, creative and positive to do that.

Big Ideas simply explained mapology guides creative maps 3You can purchase your creative brain tools maps here!

10 unexpected things that happen when you study Psychology

1. You will better understand yourself and the people around you. You will understand behavior and will wonder at the theory of it all surrounding it. But you need to know that, that will not make you an expert in figuring out people once you have graduated. And you will clearly not be able to spot anything in other people’s mind. But if you want to read minds, here’s how you can do it.

2. You get more insight into mental illnesses. This will help you become more empathetic towards people that experience this and it will guide your behavior towards them to be able to help. My grandmother had depression. Studying depression and seeing one of your dearest living with it, it is a life changer experience.

10 things that happen when you study psychology how why

3. Based on 2. you start changing your attitude towards life. You understand the principles of the brain, of the mind. There are 2 options here. Once someone graduates from Psychology, that person will either become focused on the scientific research or part of Psychology which deals with facts, with statistics, with clear facts or you will embrace the fact that the study of psychology has more than that and it does have to do a lot with the psychology of the well being. You will rarely feel in between. This means that you start to either treat people as brains and their cognitive actions transformed into behaviors, giving them labels or you will understand that the human and the human mind is way more wider to be encapsulated in a label. I am in that last category. We are more than brains and organs and chemistry. We are spirits. We are alive. Most importantly, you are not your mind.

4. You will understand and explain to people that psychology is not psychiatry. Psychology does not prescribe pills or drugs. It assists with therapy to help a patient through changing their thoughts, and then the cognitive aspects which in turn will change their behavior. Therapy is what psychology deals with most of the time. To be more factual, a psychologist usually deals with statistics and with research, while a therapist does therapy sessions with patients to assist usually with addictions through a non-invasive treatment, with relationship, with personal life, with personal development.

10 things that happen when you study psychology how why

5. You will want to go to a therapy session or sessions. In my case, it was more than curiosity. It had to do with how does this therapist handle his/her sessions? What do they ask me? How do they ask me? How do I feel as a patient? I was so curious to understand this aspect because I could better assist a patient if I know how he/she feels. I will know or believe I will know how to guide the session better. It is also a great learning environment as it is practical. Reading about how therapy sessions are created or held is something that is learned mostly after you have graduated a particular school of psychology which is after your bachelor degree.

6. People do give you more credit simply because you have studied psychology. This will help you in your job interviews if are you smart enough to know how to play them, but it will also make new people that encounter you to lift their eyebrows. The first thing that I always get asked is this: so, you can read my mind? Actually, I can’t, but I can use the theory of mind and empathize and make an assumption which might turn out to be true only if I probe it with you. So, no. Psychologists and therapists cannot read minds. They can understand a specific behavior and your thoughts, how a mind works. But that does not transform us into mind readers.

7. You will discover there are more career options than you actually expected it before graduating or signing up for studying psychology. Some of the options that surprised me are sport and exercise psychologist, statistician, advertising psychologist, trainer, speaker in one particular field, writer in different fields of the vast psychology subject.

10 things that happen when you study psychology how why

8. My father imagined that if I studied Psychology, I am actually being taught how to live. At first, that was a weird belief that I treated it as. But as time went by, you can definitely say that Psychology can teach you how to live. You learn behavior, you learn a lot about organizational psychology and a lot of the subjects studied are helpful in any career that you wish to pursue. It has to do with human nature and brain and that is connected to everything in life. You understand relationships better and you learn to be a better communicator, thus your communication skills enhance and all these are core aspects in anyone’s life.

9. It will help you in your work life. Whichever that may be, simply because when you learn about the brain, you will learn how it works, when it works the best and what counts to that. Performance, motivation, volition and learning environments are all going to make sense to you and you will grasp sooner what a specific employer expects from you or wants from you. You will perform faster and better at any job, because you have a foundation which is as my father called it, “learning how to live”.

10 things that happen when you study psychology how why

10. After my bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I chose a master degree in Criminology. What I learned through my dissertation paper named Corporate Crime, is that there are a lot more crimes (or criminal actions) performed by people who work in the field of Criminology and in other powerful jobs than you can even imagine. Corruption at all level is one of them, and even though we are experiencing at some extent everyday, we choose to ignore it as if it does not exist. Part of that, is because all organizations are psychopathic and whoever is in charge of them, if he/she is not a sociopath, eventually they will need to become one to be in charge and dictate its rules. A surprising thing that happened when I was presenting my dissertation paper to graduate, one of the teachers reviewing my speech, disagreed completely with everything I have put on that paper. To me it was surprising to see at what extent all large corporations have brainwashed us in such way, that we believe whatever they invent more than we believe in ourselves (or in our intuitions) to succeed in any area. It also surprised me to see how you are treated if you come up with a new idea that it is not something fundamentally studied and published by someone that everyone else knows or has heard of. Or wants to hear about it. 

Studying Psychology I have also developed a knowledge for some facts studied. Some of them are powerful enough to guide one’s life decisions upon. Take a read on what powerful facts have I taken on from studying psychology to guide my life decisions upon here.

10 things that happen when you study psychology how why

Would you have an interest to study Psychology?

10 surprising facts discovered from reading fiction

“Imagination should not be used to escape from reality, but to create it.”

This statement applies to fairy-tales too. They were never created to make us escape from reality, to make us dream at happy endings, although their purpose seems to be this one nowadays. Fairy-tales in fact, were never intended to children. Initially they were conceived as amusement for grown ups and in the 8th century they were put into scene in the select saloons of Paris. Fairy-tales began to be literature for children only in the 19th century, and they were modified a lot to be suitable for them.

10 surprising facts discovered from reading fiction

I would like to share with you 10 facts I discovered from reading fiction throughout my life so far. 1. Let’s begin with 1 interesting fact about reading fiction on 3 fairy-tales myths.

First- that they were intended to children. Which I have already explained- untrue. They were entertainment for the cultured elites. Second myth- fairy-tales were written by the Grimm Brothers. Actually, what they did, was to gather all the legends and the stories that they considered to be part of the Germans. Although they never technically had written any of the fairy-tales, they did change them to make them appropriate to children. In time, people began to believe that Grimm Brothers had been the authors of those stories. Third Myth- Fairy-tales teach us lessons. Fairy-tales have many attracting qualities but teaching lessons is not one of them. The reason they are catchy is that they represent an endless source of adventure. Beyond chasing and rescuing scenes, however, there is serious hidden drama that reflects events that take place in the child’s mind. As soon as we go beyond “Once upon a time….”, we discover that fairy-tales are about vanity, about being greedy, about being envious, about deceiving, about being lazy or about sexual drives.

When a child is listening to a fairy-tale he is projecting parts of his SELF through the different characters and uses them as deposits for his competing elements – the good and the bad. From one fairy to another the witch represents the unhealthy aspects of the SELF. In other words, fairy-tales represent a way of solving the conflicts between the good – the main character –  and the bad aspects – the witch – of the reader’s SELF.

For a fairy-tale to have a long-lasting effect on children, the main character has to experience the same emotions as the witch. For example, Snow White and the obsessive desire of the step mother to be the most beautiful in the world; children wish to be the most beautiful, the only one taken into consideration by their parents. The sin is vanity – and the child can relate to the witch. Children have to be tempted by the same temptations. Otherwise,  the “sin” might be seen as something only the witch is suffering from, something foreigner to the child. If children wish to win over their unhealthy and impulsive drives, the witch must die!

10 surprising facts discovered from reading fiction

Also, the reader must be assured the witch is dead, because if children do not interpret her death as something definite, they might assume she will reappear. And what’s the point in getting rid of if she will return unexpectedly? If the psychological objective of the story is to kill even the last piece of evil within the SELF, the witch’s death has to be complete and total, even if children are exposed to some violence.

For this reason fairy-tales do not claim to give answers, but they do tell children that there are important aspects to be taken seriously when the stake is the truth. That’s why fairy-tales exist. Not to make us dreamy and wait for the Prince on that White Horse or to think at a princess. “Imagination should not be used to escape from reality, but to create it.” In other words, fairy-tales are telling us that we can create our lives so that we can feel as princesses or as princes. For this reason, the witch must die!

Let’s kill the witch!

2.Reading fiction, and not just fairy-tales, makes you develop your empathy towards others because imagining creates understanding. There have been many studies conducted that highlighted the fact that imagining stories activates parts of our brains which help us understand others and see the world from a new perspective.

Not only this, but a lot of stories even have the potential to heal wounds and help the reader overcome different obstacles in life. Some therapists use healing stories to help their patients.

When we read about a feeling or a situation it’s like we are actually living the events we read about. It is easy for us then to relate to a character and learning that empathy, we easily apply it later in real life situations.

10 surprising facts discovered from reading fiction

3.Based on the fact that we enhance our empathy or even develop it if we lack it, another fact that I discovered from reading fiction is that it helped me find myself. When we read we discover our true emotions as they are expressed already by someone else. We then look at life how we would deeply actually think of, but social pressures have taught us how to hide that. We become free again and we develop an inner strength, amplifying what we actually believe in or wish for, and that will set us free. Because it gives us hope.

4. I also found out that reading fiction taught me how to approach obstacles. When we read about the characters that overcome different obstacles, we keep in mind that experience and their struggle. We read about their emotions with which we can deeply empathize and later on, we use that knowledge, that inner force to go beyond the challenges that life brings us. We change our perspective to life.

5.Reading fiction makes me happier. It’s the characters, it’s the stories, it’s the perspectives, it’s the fact that you discover that the world is so much bigger than you can think of, it’s the fact that you understand that life is a special journey and reading, truly, madly, improves your life. It helped me feel good because it’s like you are living more than you actually are, you experience so much more and it gives you a satisfaction over the fact that you feel blessed with your own life,  you do feel whatever you do in your life is worthwhile. It makes you happier and more grateful. I have a post on a special book that made me more grateful. HERE!

10 surprising facts discovered from reading fiction

6.Another surprising fact I discovered from reading fiction is penciled in the idea that my creativity improves, develops, gets a high note. Especially when reading diverse forms of fiction. Diverse books as well help with that. When the story depicted is different than the classic fiction. When fantasy, magical realism, surrealism, science fiction, drama, all these bring to light more ideas in my brain. More things that can happen and how they can happen. Reading fiction particularly has a successful effect on helping the reader imagine different perspectives for one situation, one that the reader lives, one that is heard at work, read in a newspaper or discovered at TV. Fiction reading is like eating an ice-cream in the snow. You freeze in time with that character, you become one with the story, sometimes wishing for a different story, but then you realize, you can create another one if you take yourself near a fireplace.

7. Based on the fact that your creativity enhances when you read fiction, you also become more tolerant and open-minded. Living through so many lives, you have the ability to understand, empathize and change your attitude towards a lot of aspects happening in your life and in the life of others. Reading expanded my range of experiences. It teaches you why you should open your mind. And partly that is happening because of the fact that reading fiction builds your empathy, the main ingredient for opening up your mind.

10 surprising facts discovered about reading fiction

8. Reading is most effective for stress. It’s actually the best at curing stress. Reading for as little as 6 minutes can reduce stress by 60%, slow heart beat, ease muscle tension and alter your state of mind. This links to number 5, that reading makes you happier. Because it gives you inner peace. Tranquility. How does this happen? Reading is like a pit-stop for our obsessive compulsive stressful train of thoughts about career, life, job, love life and all the other social pressures and stuff. Reading is like a bird song in a traffic jam. Unexpected. Pleasant. Disconnecting. Restful. Vibrant. Alive. Pure.

9. Reading fiction increases the use of other words. Mainly adjectives, phrases, different expressions. We all quote our different authors. It highlights your vocabulary. I mean, everyone knows that already. Check out the books that I wish and you will too to build up your vocabulary.

10. Reading fiction helps your brain stay in shape. It’s like brain fitness. Exercising with our minds is engaging more areas in our brain while at the same time providing tranquility and it helps with memory too.

I have a huge list of fiction and non-fiction books I want to read that appeal to me mostly.

Get inspired HERE!

10 surprising facts discovered about reading fiction

6 Neil Gaiman inspirational lessons to take in the 2017 New Year

Make Good Art was a speech that Neil Gaiman delivered for some graduates at an university back in 2012 and it was after that event, that it was put into a very beautifully designed book named Make Good Art that I read and even though its teachings refer to what it needs to be done to accomplish a good art in the arts field, I believe I can twist them and make them be valuable as a inspiration to take on for the 2017 New Year for anything that you wish to accomplish. Or for your New Year’s Resolutions’ tools to help you attain the goals you have set up to.

how to follow your passion in 2017

First of all, Neil Gaiman says that “When you start a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing” and that is an awesome aspect because if no one knows then there were no rules set up, and if there are no rules, then no one can tell you that something in particular it’s impossible because no one has went beyond any boundaries, since there were none discussed.

I would put that into whatever career you start, you have no idea where it is going to take you or if it is going to take you anywhere as nowadays every day a new career appears with the emerge of technology, social media and overall the internet. Therefore, even though there are specific rules for each job you take, it does not mean that you cannot innovate and try out things or recommend ideas. Be open to opportunities, but make sure to take those that take you closer to that career you seek. Which can change in the future as much as you change your path through those opportunities you take, that make you grow and thus, change your ideas of your career.

“If you don’t know it’s possible, it’s easier to do.” Neil Gaiman

how to follow your passion in 2017

The second lesson is that if you know what you want to do, then just go ahead and do it. #justdoit right? Neil Gaiman discussed that in the field of arts it is hard to establish a balance between what you want to achieve and what it is correct to do taking into account that you need to pay debts, rent, food and life in general and at the same time, work on your creative dreams. What the author mentions worked for him was to imagine he was walking towards a mountain that was his dream and if at any point in time, he would be uncertain about what he should do, he would then stop and ask himself if that road it taking him closer to the mountain and taking him away from the destination. That links to the first thing to be open to opportunities but pay attention not to be diverted to someone else’s mountain when taking specific opportunities. This applies to all jobs and all life events, not just in the creative fields.

The third lesson is the one that we encounter in every book, with any motivational or inspirational figures out there, and that relates to dealing with failures, resilience, self-esteem and confidence in what you do that it will work out.

“The problems of failure are problems of discouragement, of hopelessness, of hunger. You want everything to happen and you want it now. And things go wrong.” Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman advised us not to do anything just for the money as it will turn out we will not have anything else apart from the experience of the money, usually spent or maybe not received.

He says “nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money, was ever worth it”.

There are always problems of success. Sometimes you take on jobs that you not necessarily like, but they pay the bills and you start creating a comfort zone, a lifestyle that you cannot give up because it won’t be able to be paid by what you actually want to work. Neil Gaiman shares the following: “the biggest problem of success is that the world conspires to stop you doing the thing that you do, because you are successful”.

The forth lessons connects with the previous ones, because it is connected to failure. ” I hope you make mistakes” it’s Neil Gaiman’s message. Because it means you have tried and you have learned something from it to take on in the future. It means you have tried what you wanted to try and you will have no regrets.

how to follow your passion in 2017

“Fifthly, make your art.” Neil Gaiman

Do that thing that you are passionate about and that only you can do. You are unique and your passion will thrive if you put your skills up to work it out. There is no one else in the world like you to do it and have the success that you can have. I want to share with you another paragraph that I found very inspirational and motivational to keep going on and to follow that passion you have:

“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. THAT’S THE MOMENT YOU MAY BE STARTING TO GET IT RIGHT.” Neil Gaiman

Lastly, the sixth lesson to take in the 2017 New Year is that you need to have 2 of the following 3 traits in any passion you follow and in any job you apply for:

  1. Your work is good
  2. You are easy to get along with
  3. You deliver your work on time

2 out of 3 is fine 

because:

  • “People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time.
  • They’ll forgive the lateness of your work if it’s good and if they like you.
  • You do not need to be as good as the others if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.” Neil Gaiman, Make good art 

At the end of the speech and of the book, because I read the book, Neil Gaiman shares the best advice he had ever received and it was from the Sandman’s book written by Stephen King that says:

“This is really great. You should enjoy it.”

how to follow your passion in 2017

Enjoy your journey to your destination. Being too much worried will take that joy and that’s ultimately what matters, that you have lived each day consciously. In the present, Now. 

How to stop procrastinating right now

I believe the reason I procrastinate is that I compare myself to other people, to their achievements and to their lives. Because of that, I instantly feel that what I want to put out there is less important, less creative, less attractive, less helpful or meaningful and enjoyable, which if you have been around for a while, you already know I strive to showcase through these posts.

I procrastinate most of everything that I have a to-do-list for. Exercising. Figuring out what I want to be in life. An organized status of my posts. A blog post. My Instagram account. My social media presence. My reading list.

I never procrastinate on the next New Youtube video from someone I follow. I never procrastinate on chocolate. I never procrastinate on going to work, to the monotonous stressful job as a call center representative. I never procrastinate on stuff that I got accustomed to to do. So then, that leads me to the next thing.

It means I need to start new habits. But then if I am going to do a to-do-list for that, it is obvious what it will end like. I actually do have a #goals for that as well. Therefore, I will simply just do it. I will start letting the universe I have envisioned in my head to create on this blog, flow by itself. Because saying that I have the writer’s block, is another form of procrastination.

“Houston, we have got a problem!” my mind starts anxiously. FEAR.

how to stop procrastinating fast

Fear that you are making a mistake. Fear that you let too much of yourself seen or read. Fear that you will be judged. Worse: fear that you will not be liked for what you put out there. Fear that you are not meaningful. Fear that you are not enjoyable. Fear that you are not what people look for to read. Fear that you will embarrass yourself. Fear that someone at work might see this. Fear that you will be seen as a weirdo. Fear that you are an open book. Fear that you can get hurt. Fear that you will feel ashamed. Fear that this is useless. Fear that it will not take you anywhere and it is a waste of time, in the end. Fear you will fail. Fear that I will disappoint. Fear that people will see me different after this but in a negative way, and I bet you know what I mean. Fear that I would lose respect. Feel that I am not in control. 

Fear that I will be vulnerable.

But then I believe that all those fears are actually another form of comparing myself with other people’s content and creative expression and their positive feedback. If other content creators, storytellers or creative writers or bloggers that I enjoy going through their writing receive such beautiful responses, and I too, believe they are doing an awesome job, then it means that my thoughts are less whatever I think of others’content because I actually secretly wish my content was as exceptionally creative and wonderfully put into words, poetic and alluring as theirs. I want to be them.

Why do I feel I need to copy someone else’s work that I think of as beautiful?

Because I see in others what I see in myself. Other people are our mirrors. There is a reason behind the saying “Birds of a feather flock together.” Understanding this, I see now that everyone I follow on social media, every book I read and I like, every blog content that I feel unique and different and creative and I love it is actually a part of me.  It is something that was said or done and that was something that I might have done as well or thought as well, if I had that voice online. That’s the whole secret of getting followers. You get what you are.

Numbers. 

I have always had great grades. But it was the quality that got me those grades. I want numbers, but I want it in quality. I am not looking for brand deals, as there are way too little brands I actually buy. I am more of a minimalist. But I do have a lot of thoughts and ideas and words and things to say.

And I fear that what I want to say it is not what people consume these days. I fear failure as everybody does. I fear I might say stuff that it is stupid and that will make people think something about me that I did not even consider when expressing myself. Do not get me wrong, I too consume Youtubers, blogs and online information that is artificial. It’s just shiny on the outside. It has no substance. But I know what I actually consume from that blog. I like the style, the architecture of the blog, the photos, the lights, the colors, the vibes, the mood created, the inspiration. Sometimes even the material stuff: dresses, jewelry, scarves, products, STUFF.

how to stop procrastinating now

All that stuff that we like and wish for, is a way we use to display our personalities and ourselves into the world. It is a way of creating our personalities as much as it is constructing our lives and it sometimes clutters it.

If I like that scarf, that ring, that phone, that book, that bike, that skincare brand or that ideology or organic, natural, ecologic, minimalist, then it means I want to associate myself with that to express myself and to create myself. To love myself. As I will be able to say about myself that I am this and that. Which instantly boosts your self esteem and it makes you feel good about yourself.

It makes you feel good about yourself when you portray a certain image you have created in your head you want to like. Based on your idol, based on your favorite youtuber, based on your mother, based on a lifestyle, based on a designer’s piece of clothing. You are all that stuff.

However, I have realized that even though that helps, and it is not necessarily a bad form of pinpointing your mark into the world as long as you do not exaggerate with it and you only live to accumulate things, I find that also this need of social media presence is the same thing. You want to attract numbers, people that like you to highlight what you already know deep down in a way or maybe you don’t. Who knows.

how to stop procrastinating now

I will not lie, I dream of big achievements. Because those are the people I follow and enjoy. I want comfort, money, abundance, but I also need and desire health, spiritual enlightenment, personal development and becoming myself that which I want to give you through my posts: become a meaningful, helpful and enjoyable person.

I am already. My ego does not wish to keep to herself. She wishes that I become this worthwhile human being that left a positive mark on the Earth to other human beings. Maybe even to inspire them to become something like that as well.

So, without any other plans, I am releasing my energy into the universe through what I write. I hope to inspire you in some way! And I hope you will be a part of this somehow… I mean this is how I have stopped procrastinating. Thinking too much of a content and a way to put it out there. Just do it. 

That’s my new habit: JUST DO IT!

P.S. Dear Universe: I am open to your opportunities. Bring them on!

attract abundance

 

 

How to appreciate your life

Anxious about work, anxious about home, anxious that I need to figure out who I want to be and who I am, what I like.

pond-how-to-appreciate-your-life

Anxiety can take many forms. It can make you search frantically online for information, it can make you try to collect different things, it can make you analyze things too much, it can make you not stay still, it can get you away from your inner self, it can make you obsessive compulsive with social media and it definitely takes away your tranquility.

It’s like a disease. No, an epidemic lifestyle.

I have a cure. A book. I was reading Pond by Claire Louise Bennett and I experienced a elevated mood rapidly because I got immersed in the style of the writing. It is exquisite. It sets you to stay still and listen to the words whispered through the beautifully written pages. It moves you into its direction: a peaceful, tranquil lifestyle. A love for being in the moment. For living the life you were given. For being curious with everything that it exists.

pond-how-to-appreciate-your-life

It made me so at peace that I really believe it stopped the long train of thoughts I had about all things in my life. If you choose to read it, I believe you too will be mesmerized by the way it makes you accept your life and love it. It will teach you how to appreciate everything you have. Everything you are.

It will be like a warm bath with candles, along a book and lovely flowers that spread their fragrance of life and color and it will haunt you long after you have put it down with its simplicity, yet refined writing style, with its delicacy, yet bold affirmations of life.

pond-how-to-appreciate-your-life

It will absorb your soul with its elegant creative writing and it will quiet your anxiety with its luxurious lush shapely cocktail of words that form a distinct universe in your mind, putting your agitation to do something or look for something to rest. Mental clarity is achieved and the inner turmoil accompanied when you experience anxiety will feel has diminished with the same speed the light travels through time. That’s how Pond will make you travel. In line with life, in line with NOW.  

 

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