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There was a long time when the lack of belief in myself was a major factor in my life. I didn't pursue an ideal career, or start my own business, because I didn't think I could. I didn't stick to habits because I didn't really believe I had the discipline.
What wouldn't be worthy, in my opinion: watching crappy TV (a few really good shows during the month might be an exception), constantly being distracted, constantly reading the news and social media, being mean or selfish all the time, shopping, feeling unmotivated and doing nothing with that time, worrying, regretting.
Let's say you're feeling unmotivated, unsure of yourself, aimless, can't find your passion, directionless, not clear on what your purpose in life is. You're in good company - most people are in the same boat. Now, there about a million things online telling you how to find your passion in life, and that's a good thing.
Now consider how you can make a difference in the lives of others. Consider your current work, which perhaps already makes a difference - how can you refocus yourself on this work? Or consider creating a side project, and carving out the time for this.
One of the biggest problems you need to solve if you work for yourself is how to make yourself do work. The best entrepreneurs have figured it out and just pound out the work they need to do. But many others put off their dream careers, or stay in jobs they like, because they're afraid to figure this out.
'We're so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take time to enjoy where we are.' ~Bill Watterson We all go through our lives almost on autopilot, our minds generally elsewhere, occupied with other thoughts as we float through the real world like ghosts.
'A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.' ~Henry David Thoreau For almost 9 years now, I've been learning to live a simple life. A life uncluttered by most of the things people fill their lives with, and left with space for what really matters.
'Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.' ~Marcus Aurelius There are various ways to prepare yourself for what might come your way, whether that's a tough work project, a crisis, the loss of a loved one, an argument with your partner, or the zombie apocalypse.
Much of our lives is spent trying to ignore problems, not wanting to deal with them, procrastinating. Bills are pushed to the side to deal with later. People we have troubles with are avoided. Work we don't want to do is put off while we browse the Internet.
I've learned these answers through repeated observation, but you can learn your own answers by asking the question before you do anything, making a hypothesis ("I won't regret this later") and then seeing if you're right by reviewing the results at the end of each day.
The cherry blossom falls after its short beautiful bloom. It floats gently down to earth. Its life is over, but the limitedness of its existence is one of the biggest reasons the blossom is so gorgeous. If we knew that the blossom would last forever, it wouldn't have the same poignant beauty, and we'd take it for granted.
If only we could get others to be more considerate, less annoying, more diligent, see our point of view ... How often have you wanted to change other people so they'd be better? Better spouses, kids, roommates, coworkers, employees?
And this choice, to dedicate your time to helping others, relieving their suffering, making them happy ... this is the motivation you can use for doing great things, for building something useful, for creating and working and being a good parent. It's not about increasing your own happiness, but the happiness of others.
One of my favorite habits that I've created since I changed my life 9 years ago is having a decluttered home. I now realize that I always disliked the clutter, but I put off thinking about it because it was unpleasant.
What parent hasn't lost their temper when a kid misbehaves? A parent who hasn't lost his or her cool is a mythical creature, probably riding on a unicorn over a rainbow right now.
A reader asked for advice for people who are looking for love, trying to meet people, dating. The "looking for love" part of life is definitely trying, and I have to admit I'm no dating expert. I got lucky with Eva, finding her relatively easily and somehow convincing her that I'm dateworthy.
Manytimes when we try to make a good change in our lives, it gets derailed early on by something out of our control. Let's say you start a diet, and your daughter makes some great vegan cupcakes and you want to support her efforts, and so you eat some ...
We've all heard the phrase, "No regrets!", usually uttered when about to do something a little unwise perhaps. And yet, as alluring as the "Living Without Regrets" philosophy sounds, it's not always so easy. We regret missed opportunities. We regret things that made us feel dumb.
I've been a father for more than 21 years, and have 6 kids altogether, and have loved every messy minute of it. And now I have a young brother who's becoming a father this month, and is deeply scared by the prospect of fatherhood. He's not sure if he'll do a good job, worried he'll fail.
The biggest obstacle to a wonderfully minimalist life is advertising. Let's think about that statement for a minute: what is a minimalist life, and what stands in our way from reaching it? How is advertising involved? A minimalist life can be many things, but at its heart is becoming conscious about what we have in our lives.
'The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.' ~Moliere There's something in all of us that seems to want the changes we're trying to make in our lives come as soon as possible. If we're trying to lose weight, we want those abs to show up within a week or two.
My month without food reward, which was the May challenge in my Year of Living Without, was a rousing success. That is, a success if the idea was for me to learn from my failures. Which it was.
In the final month of my Year of Living Without, I've decided to live without procrastination. Procrastination is a friend (or a beast, depending on how you feel about it) that we all live with. It lurks behind us constantly, insinuating itself into the crevices of our mind, intimating its will through malevolent hints and obscure looks and barely audible whispers and glancing allusions.