Chap. 34: How to be productive everyday

We only get 24 hours each day. But if you think about it, that is indeed a lot of time. It really depends on how you use it.

Organization is key.

Here are some simple habits to incorporate in your daily routine to bring you closer to seeing the realization of your dream or dreams:

1) Sleep early and wake up early

As you get older, this becomes a lot easier as your body gets more tired more quickly. However, when you’re still in your early twenties and afraid that sleeping earlier means missing out on social interactions, then this might come as more challenging.

Sleeping earlier then waking earlier gives you more time to do what you need to do that day. In fact, you will even have extra time to do other things, like learn a new skill or simply use the time to relax with meditative practices. It’s just a wonderful feeling to wake up to a sort of stillness before a storm when everyone’s still asleep, while you’re awake to witness the beauty of the early morning.

Depending on your sleeping needs, I personally love the routine of sleeping at 10pm and waking up at 6am. That way you will still get 8 hours of sleep and be up early to get your tasks completed before noon arrives! It really depends on how ambitious you are ;).

2) Get a good agenda/planner

The human brain can only hold up to 7 things at once. Even though that does sound like a lot, you will be pulling out your hair when you’re trying to cater to tasks that are more complex. This is where a good agenda or planner comes into play!

Whether you’re into a cute frilly planner or a simple black and white planner, always focus of its practicality. You want to look for ones that allow you to plan each hour, as well as each month. You need to be able to fill in the time frames for each task and be able to see the “greater picture” by having a monthly schedule visible at all times. When you glance at your calendar, you can remind yourself of all upcoming projects or deadlines you set for yourself and plan your day accordingly.

Once you have done something on your to-do list, you can check it off and that is extremely satisfying and motivating. Always keep in mind, though, to be realistic to an extent. Don’t put in blocks of back to back of work.  If you feel yourself constantly overburdened with things to do, then you’re going to soon burn yourself out and that’s harmful to your overall productivity. Remember to plan out time to doing mindfulness or listening to music activities to give yourself a well-deserved breather.

3) Cut out social media

The amount of time wasted on social media is crazy. It’s only when you start cutting out time spent of scrolling through Facebook feed or watching YouTube videos that do not contribute at all to your emotional, mental, spiritual or personal growth, then do you see how much extra time you actually have each day.

Vow to limit your time on social media. If you do go on them, choose sources of information that help you become a better version of yourself.

You will notice once you begin to stop living off these virtual platforms that you will also feel more confident about happier with yourself. This is because you will stop comparing yourself to others and you turn your focus inwards, which is how it’s supposed to be.

4) Remind yourself of your bigger purpose/cause/motivation

When taking small steps to a bigger dream, you have to constantly remind yourself of why you’re doing a certain thing. You need to constantly reflect and evaluate your situation. You need to always find lacking points and ways to improve on these.

It helps to write down your goals and tape them on your wall where you can see them everyday. If you can, use a whiteboard, so you can erase when you need to. This is bound to happen as dreams that get worked on tend to change in shape and form on a constant basis. Like this, you will soon narrow down a good purpose to be the base or motivation of your daily actions.

~~

I guarantee when you add in these steps to your routine, you will see a huge jump in your productivity.

Never forget, though, that life is a journey. While it is quite powerful to imagine making your dream come true (as soon as possible), it is still important to have fun.

Be inquisitive. Love your life. Be great. ❤

 

 

Chap 33: How to live a fulfilling career life

We all want to do something we love and get paid for it. It’s really too bad we don’t live in a world where money isn’t important and we can do whatever we want without fear of our survival being put on the line.

Fortunately, there are ways to achieve your dreams, so that you can leave this world truly satisfied.

All it takes is courage and persistence.

If you ready to step into your vision, then let’s start delving into the tips:

1) Figure out what you want to do before you die

Bluntly speaking, you will die someday. It may seem like it won’t happen until you’re 80 or so, but there is no way to know for sure. If you let that sink in right into your soul, this step won’t be as daunting.

It all begins with taking the first move forward to doing this. Lie down on your bed and just casually think about what you imagine as your ideal life. You will get a general idea of what you want to have and need to be happy. As time passes, come back to this image. Instead of just drawing it out with your mind’s eye, find some time (around 5 minutes) to jot down some details to add on to that image you have composed. You will notice that what you write down can be quite different from what you thought of before. That is totally normal. As you reflect on something, you begin to understand it more and more, building new avenues of approaches and answers. In the next sessions (take as many you want), sit down again and spend more time narrowing down what specifically you want and need. Soon you will see that everything gets a lot clearer and you will start to take actions accordingly. Just remember that every minute used to form this vision is a success in and of itself, so always celebrate any amount of time you dedicate to this.

2) Start scavenging for resources

We all know the importance of being resourceful to succeeding in a project. There are always places to go to or websites to check out to help you get closer to your dream, or at least allow you to feel fulfilled. It seems scary to reach out to others, especially already established specialists in the field, but keep in mind that they’re humans too and they had to start somewhere as well. Expand your horizons and open up your options. The best and easiest place to do this is volunteering. Take part in whatever you want to get into or that relates to it and you will learn on the way.

As you participate in more activities, you will see that you will go back often to your vision and modify as needed. This is the beauty of this part of the process. Don’t be discouraged if something doesn’t turn out as you had expected. Everything is an experience and adventure, so have fun with it!

3) Know when to let go and walk away

The key to living a truly happy life is to never settle for anything less than what you want. One day may seem minuscule in the greater scheme of things, but as you get older, you will soon realize that it is actually the opposite. You only have the conscious experience of the present moment. Take that in for a second. Right now is what you feel. What you felt just a minute ago is now in the past. You’re inevitably moving towards your death, so know exactly when you’re feeling unhappy.

Knowing when to walk away takes a great understanding (and respect) of yourself, as well as a huge chunk of courage. When you know that you’re hitting against dead-ends in your quest for your vision, change your approach. I believe that if you envision it, you can most definitely make it happen. The hard part is recognizing when something isn’t working. This will save you unnecessary stress and frustration, giving you more energy and confidence to try something else.

This applies to walking away from jobs you dislike and relationships you’ve already exited (emotionally) from. I once left a job that I’d only been working for less than a week, because I realized that it wasn’t helping me in any way and I just couldn’t waste another second there. Own up to your actions and decisions. You don’t ever need to be ashamed of what you do for your happiness.

~~

Once you got these three basic steps down, you will see that reaching your dream isn’t all that hard.

Have the courage to empower yourself and you will empower others not only in your community but also around the world.

Take it day by day. This means that you need to make sure that each day is treated as precious time that can be allocated to your vision.

Dare to believe. Dare to love. Dare to strive.

May your life be filled with endless unicorn love and greatness! ❤

Chap. 32: How to stay motivated and happy when you’re unemployed

We’ve all been there. That transition period between one job to another. Sometimes it’s smooth and anxiety-free. Other times, though, you have to deal with that time hump where you’re neither at destination A nor at destination B. What I’m talking about is the long (almost eternal feeling) period of time when you’re unemployed.

Almost everything gets questioned during this time. From your education choice to your upbringing to your very existence, you lose sight of who you are and what you want in life.

It’s a very dangerous rut to get caught in. You can easily fall into the trap of endless negative thinking. You might even lose hope and wonder if there’s a point to your life.

However, the time of unemployment doesn’t have to take the downward spiral path. It can be a growth period full of motivation, happiness and even excitement!

Here are some ways to make the best of this transition period:

1) Set a quota

Finding jobs is like working full-time. It takes up so much time and it can feel like it will never end. While you’re unemployed, you tend to be conflicted between trying to search for some source of income and taking the time to relax while you have the chance to.

This is where setting a quota comes into play. Instead of desperately spending each waking second looking and applying for jobs, which is extremely draining to say the least, decide how many you want to try for in one day. For example, when I was unemployed, I had a tendency to spend every moment trying to get a job lined up for me. Then I realized that I rarely slept well and I became very depressed. So I told myself everyday that I would only send my resumé and/or cover letter to three jobs. After that’s done, I could do whatever I wanted.

2) Make a schedule of all the things you CAN do

The biggest challenge when being unemployed is having to orient yourself around not having a set schedule with deadlines and responsibilities. Listing three things you can do that revolves around either hobby or skill building each day will not only give you a sense of organized well-being but will also allow you to improve on yourself. Then when you get the opportunity to interview with a potential employer, you will have a proud response to, “what have you been doing during all this time?”

3) Surround yourself with positive notes and people

To ensure that you don’t get stuck in a whirlwind of negative energy, especially if you’ve been on a positive streak for awhile, you need to be around uplifting notes and people. Whether it’s talking to your friends, your old boss (if you’re close), your family, or simply strangers, as long as they’re positive you will feel a lot better about your situation.

Before I got my current job, I remember 30 minutes before my interview I went for a walk around the neighbourhood. I took a seat on a bench in front of Superfood Market. People walked past me and gave me a strange look as it wasn’t a street where anyone sat down to admire the view. All the view could offer was an architectural firm and a small clothing boutique. I felt tired. Exhausted. I wanted to give up. I had spent months looking for employment and I felt like a huge failure. Then a man’s voice broke me out of my reverie. I turned my head to the right and I saw this man in a casual t-shirt and shorts asking me if I had change for a Gatorade. I pulled out my wallet and started rummaging through my change pocket. He started telling me about how he was broke. And I replied, “me too.” Then he continued saying he’s been out of work for two months now and that he had been working all his life. I answered again with a small laugh, “me too. I actually have an interview in like 20 minutes and I really hope I get it. I just want to get started on something.” I gave him a toonie. He looked at it, then at me and said, “You know what, I’m not trying to say that by giving me this money that you will get this job. But I’m a firm believer of paying it forward. I really hope you get this job man. Thanks so much and good luck!” I wished him best of luck as well. After that quick exchange I had with him, I felt more confident like I had the energy back to try again. I did the interview and got the job. It is truly strange how the universe operates sometimes!

4) Exercise

Don’t become that stereotypical unemployed person who lies there and sulks. With the time that you’re blessed with, go and work that body of yours! Whether it’s strengthening up, getting some cardio down, or simply doing some calming yoga, you will do your body a lot of good. In fact, you can give yourself the right building blocks to be productive and happy! Besides, you want to look like you take care of yourself when you go for that interview 😉

5) Learn something new

Ever wished you had time to learn a new language? Or read a book that has been on your reading list for awhile now? Well this is the perfect time! Of course this takes discipline and passion. Find your motivation and use that as a sort of reminder for why you decided to educate yourself on something new. It can be because you want to experience a new culture, or you want to learn how to run a business, or you want to have some bonus points to add to your resumé. Either way, you’re doing wonders to yourself both on a mental point of view and a career point of view.

6) Network and volunteer to get some form of positive feedback

It is really frustrating to say the least when employers just don’t get back to you, even to tell you that the position you were interested in has been taken. It’s very discouraging. I remember sometimes writing an article on how it can be at least good courtesy for hiring managers to at least tell the applicant (who had been interviewed) that they weren’t accepted. While they’re at it, tell them what their good and bad points are. Then they can improve! But I get it, companies interview large quantities of people and just don’t have time for it. Maybe in an ideal world…

With this constant negative or lack of feedback, you need something that will help you feel important again. Join volunteer organizations and go to networking events to meet new people and take action for a certain cause. You are bound to have someone answering your questions and thanking you for the amazing service you offered them. This positive feedback will fuel your energy and give you the excitement to keep talking and reaching out. If you’re lucky, you will meet someone who happens to be hiring and really thinks you would be a good addition to their team!

~~

So for those of you going through this period, don’t worry you’re not alone. And this time can actually be a very enlightening one. It really all depends on how you use it.

Don’t lose hope!! You’re right where you need to be. It is perhaps the higher power giving you a chance to understand more about yourself. You never know what you might discover!

May your life be filled with endless unicorn love and greatness! ❤

 

 

Chap. 31: Are we scared of innovation?

It is well known that humans are not fans of change. Whether it is change of relationship status, change of job or change of habits, we are very averse to trying something new.

When we are getting outside our comfort zone, we go through the three major steps to acceptance: denial, death, and rebirth. At first, it is extremely uncomfortable as we are forced to see everything differently, but we will do anything to numb the pain. Then the discomfort becomes an intersection of deep fear and peace, a place of open vulnerability likened to a fresh made wound. And finally, the storm of emotions settle down and a bright shy sunlight shines through and paves the path to a new you.

As I examine the state of the people nowadays who tend to complain all the time about their hatred for their job or their insatiable boredom, I’ve begun to understand at a more profound level our system and how we started to normalize this kind of behaviour and lifestyle.

We have an education system that destroys the creativity of our people at a young age. It conditions people to think that it’s something that only children can and should cater to. Anyone else outside that age group will be condemned as being “immature.”

However, when adults create something innovative, people cannot resist to praise them for their courage and their ingenuity. It’s almost as if people watch from afar wishing they could just do something fun and creative. They know their potential to do something great, yet hold back thinking it’s for the best of society.

Indeed, people are afraid to rock the boat.

Perhaps the upper authorities know deep down the infinite potential of the people, but have constructed a system in which only the selected (read: brave) few can undermine it. They call them the revolutionaries, the visionaries, the ones who make world history.

This can be tied down to the fear of uncontrollability. The infrastructure of our system is so fragile that one out-of-the-norm thinker can leave huge long-lasting and resonating ripples. No matter how much one denies this: we cannot control everything because the world does not function in this way. It values creativity, innovation and change.

So are we afraid of innovation? Perhaps. Perhaps we are scared of how it can change our lives for the worse or for the better. We make it so hard for people to get out the norm. We exile them to non-conformity, even though we see within them ourselves. Perhaps we truly are afraid of succeeding and making a difference in the world.

Holding back from letting your inner greatness shine through will eventually lead to negative consequences. Especially in our era with our nuclear war on the tipping point, our natural environment receding to extinction, and our depression levels on the high, we are in desperate need for innovative thinkers.

We have to take every effort to give those who think differently to not see what they’re doing as a huge feat. Instead, we need to treat it as a normal part of life. When we take away the whole heroic bravery aspect to being creative, we save the people the fear of failing and of doing something they shouldn’t be doing. We spare them the unnecessary number of existential crises.

We exist to be amazing. We exist to explore the wonders of the world that is not to say to conquer it.

It’s time to de-stigmatize this fear of innovation and embrace its beauty. When we empower ourselves, we empower others. Ultimately we will form a team of humble curious leaders dedicated to preventing as much as possible all world catastrophes.

May you smile and listen attentively (while not overly eager to praise the other’s courage) when someone is confiding in you an idea of theirs.

May your life be filled with endless unicorn love and greatness! ❤

 

 

 

Chap. 30: Your identity is malleable

I’ve always thought that who I was at that moment was all there was to me.

I never believed that I could change if I wanted to.

But I was wrong. It was up to me to choose to accept the change or not.

For a long time, my favourite words were “I can’t.” I can’t dance beautifully. I can’t sing out loud. I can’t drive. I can’t engage an audience to listen to me. I can’t have good friends. I can’t attract an amazing caring lover.

It was the moment when I told myself that I couldn’t do something that I asked myself, “is that really true?”

I realized that every single time it wasn’t true. I was capable of dancing beautifully. I just needed to believe in myself since I always danced solo at home without holding back. I was capable of singing out loud. I just needed to stop being self-conscious of my voice. I was capable of driving. I just needed to practice. I was capable of engaging an audience to listen to me. I just needed to raise my voice and lock eye contact, knowing full well that I was worthy enough to receive attention. I was capable of having good friends. I just needed to stop thinking that I wasn’t fun to be around. I was capable of attracting an amazing caring lover. I just needed to go out, laugh, have fun and speak my mind.

It was simply a question of reflecting upon what I was feeding myself in terms of my worth.

I realized that I just needed to get outside my comfort zone. I used to find myself easily falling into a stagnant state of immobility when I stopped myself from doing what I wanted to do just because I was scared of embarrassing myself.

I had built this identity that I was this shy, quiet and incapable girl. I believed wholeheartedly that I wasn’t able to become that outgoing, quirky and capable girl.

Until the moment I said no. No, I’m wrong. No, I am that girl. Perhaps in progress but I am becoming that girl as long as I keep striving to push my limits. 

The false limiting thoughts we allow to run through our minds are extremely powerful at digging us into a rut. However, you always have the ability to get out and grow to become that person you’ve always wanted to be. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Realize that your identity is malleable. Whether you deny the change or not on a conscious level, you are always changing.

When you don’t embrace the change, you will stifle your potential to explore all facets of your infinite beauty and capabilities.

So avoid using terms that place you in strict categories and free yourself for good.

Fly, believe, and grow.

May your life be filled with endless unicorn love and greatness! ❤

 

 

Chap. 29: Never stop learning!!

It’s really strange how we can look at other countries, particularly ones that seem to have less, and feel superior and inferior simultaneously.

Whenever I watch documentaries on people from places like Africa, South Asia and South America, I feel admiration for them.

I know a lot of Westerners look down upon them, believing that these people live a horrible and miserable life. Yes in a way, given the precarious conditions they go through on a daily basis, they do indeed have it harder. Their environment is definitely much less comfortable than ours, having to fight with everything they have to simply survive.

Yet, beautiful miracles occur in these regions.

The members of these “less-developed” communities possess a trait that I think has been lost among us “more-developed” people:

That is courage to persist through all obstacles until their dream has been fulfilled.

For them, it’s not a question of whether or not they want to do this; it’s a question of life and death. The inequality issues, the violence, the economic disparities, and the food shortage fuel their need to take action.

With a goal in mind to change their situation, regardless of the consequences and the obstacles that stand in their way, they take the necessary steps to make it happen. They read and learn new skills to equip themselves with the knowledge to tackle the problem at hand. Then they go out into the “terrain” and test out their methodology.

This drive to put into action their thoughts and convictions is what a lot of Westerners lack nowadays. Since we live in such conditions where we’re always “comfortable,” we become easily deterred when something hurts. It’s sad. It’s sad because we have almost an infinite amount of resources and an education system to give us a vast inventory of the world’s facts and information. These are the things that people living elsewhere would kill for.

Yet, paradoxically, plenty of Westerners take for granted their resources, their education, and their ability to continuously learn thanks to the availability of the first two.

It doesn’t help that when learning does take place, it has nothing to do with social issues or community improvement, but with subjects that hold no positive impact on the world (e.g. celebrity gossip) or that relates to consumerism.

For this reason, I admire our so-called “less-developed” counterparts. I admire their inclination for solidarity for social change. I admire their human way of living that brings forth gratitude, courage, and persistence.

I firmly believe that we can learn from them that we cannot give up so easily and that we need to work together. Our society has instilled in our minds that individualistic lifestyle is the best. However, this also encourages isolation and non-dependence on other people. We’ve closed ourselves and it’s time to open up again.

It’s time to open up to hope and faith by learning incessantly from books, teachers, mentors and community leaders.

It’s time to set aside pity and condescending tones when judging the non-Westerners and assuming they are less-educated and less-reputable to be respected.

It’s time to believe that we all have the potential to create global change even if a lot of challenges come our way.

May the endless streams of learning and excitement get you through any ruts you’re going through at the moment! ❤

 

Chap. 28: Why I can’t go back to eating meat

In 2011, I decided to go pescetarian and until this day, I am still leading this new (now habitual) eating lifestyle.

However, it wasn’t easy for me to do this transition. In fact, during previous years, I had tried and failed a couple of times since like a lot of people would say, “meat tastes too good to give up.”

I also chose the method of going cold turkey, which only made it harder. After trying out different ways, I finally learned a better and more effective strategy: reduce the portions of meat consumed each day until it reaches to zero.

Lo and behold, I officially took out meat from my diet, except of course fish and other assorted seafood.

When I tell people that I’m a pescetarian, they always ask me, “why?”

My first response is that my stomach cannot digest meat properly, so I needed to take it out to save me any unnecessary pain. Then my second response is that I don’t agree with how people treat animals, so I would add on saying it’s better to at least purchase from local farms where animals are free-running.

After hearing my reasoning, I would either get the pity response, “oh that sucks! Meat is so delicious!” or the accusatory response, “oh who cares about how the animals are treated! What are you, an animal rights activist?”

Actually no. I’m a human rights activist. 

In the recent years, I’ve had the desire to go back to eating meat because I realized that I would have so many more options to choose from.

But every time, I consider it, I felt this wave of disgust run through me. I thought it was because I had been off the meat diet for so long, I had built up an aversion for it.

As I look deeper though, I found out that wasn’t it.

I felt disgusted because I knew that eating meat is eventually going to destroy our world. It’s eventually going to ruin the future for our children, their children, and the generations after them; that is if they are still alive by then.

The fact is, and we are well aware, that raising animals like chicken, pigs and cows (especially cows) require so much land not only for the feed but also for the farming property. By digging up land like this, we are destroying habitats for animals, trees and plants, and releasing toxic levels of carbon into the air.

We are killing off our biodiversity that is extremely essential to the cycle of life for both animals and humans. With more carbon in our breathing air and increasingly fewer trees, we are literally creating a gas chamber across the whole planet from which we cannot escape by just walking out the door.

This is an urgent matter and it continues to surprise (and frighten) me how unserious a large part of the population is on this matter.

I want everyone to know that it’s not the same anymore; we cannot continue living like we have in the past decades without having catastrophic consequences on everyone’s health and safety. Our carbon footprint and human population are exceeding the biomass of Earth. We are like an overfilling garbage bin that will soon not be able to be used until we change our habits and make room for space for every single individual. To do this, we need to come together and really take action. Each one of us has a right to be on Earth. However, that also means we all have the obligation to take care of place we’re blessed with, which is the nature that existed long before we did.

So, no, I’m a pescetarian not because I’m a huge animal rights activist, wishing to save all the bunnies in the world (though that should be a priority), but because I care so much about the wellbeing of the human race that I just cannot sit around and do nothing.

I’m now moving towards being a full vegetarian by removing my consumption of fish as well, since so many aquatic species are becoming endangered, even extinct.

I encourage everyone who reads this to reduce the portions of meat they consume on a daily basis. If you can give it up completely, even better! It is a small simple action, but one that holds a lot of impact. After all, consumption, particularly of meat, is one of the leading causes of world deterioration.

Just remember that the taste of non-meats and nutrients are small issues. With dedication and commitment, you can live a meat-free life and still be healthy. Maybe even healthier than meat-eaters.

We are talking about the future of the human race. If we can work together on this, I’m certain we can postpone (hopefully prevent) future warfares, famines, and natural disasters from ravaging beautiful Earth that we proudly call “our home.”