Wikipedia defines self-confidence as “a state of being clear . . . that . . . a chosen course of action is the best or most effective. Confidence comes from a Latin word fidere, which means ‘to trust’; therefore, having self-confidence is having trust in one’s self.” Sums it up nicely. But the source of that trust is the truth—about yourself, the situation, and the people involved.
Internal peace—that calming, desirable frame of mind—comes from knowing the truth. It’s also the basis of the best decisions.
If you know the truth about yourself, the situation, and the people involved, your course of action is clear.
So the question is, how can you know the truth about these three factors?Read more →
It’s true. We all have two voices whispering conflicting messages in our heads, at any given moment of any given day. “Oh, what the hell. You can afford to eat that one donut.” Versus “If you eat that donut, you will be a pound heavier tomorrow.” One voice wants us to do what is good for us; the other wants us to do what we know is not good for us.
If we followed the “good for us” voice all the time, we’d weigh what we would like to, get enough sleep, be incredibly productive, exercise regularly, hold our tongues when we should, and so on. If we follow the “bad for us” voice all the time, we’d end up fat, alone, broke, and unhappy.
The deciding factor? Self-discipline. Self-control. Or, if you prefer, a less “harsh” term: self-management.
This is the ability to take the “good” advice and ignore the “bad” advice. Learning how to do this is part of the growing up process. Read more →
I’m going to start by telling you a short romantic story. It is 100% true; I know, because I lived it. After, I will explain how this relates to how to be successful in your own life.
When I was twelve, my stepfather, who was not in any way nautical and had never done this before (or after), took me to a speed boat race being held in Mission Bay in San Diego. Being of an age when one starts thinking about such things, I found myself looking around at the men who were gathered there. Most of them could have come right out of that old “Grease” movie—hair greasy with gel, white T-shirts, with their cigarette packs rolled up into one of their T-shirt sleeves. “I could never marry anyone like that!” I thought to myself.
Then I turned to my left as I was facing the water, and there were two young guys walking up the hill with their backs to the water. One of them in particular caught my eye. There was something about him that stood out to me, something different, something deep and profound. “That’s the kind of man I would marry,” I thought. Read more →
We all have endless todo lists, deadlines, and obligations. We are always searching for how to be more productive at work and how to be more productive in life, period. But some part of us wants to simply relax, to actually enjoy life, and to chip away at our personal bucket list. This tug of war creates its own stress, on top of the stress that comes from trying to complete all those items on our todo list.
Personally, I have found stress to be something we create for ourselves. There actually is an answer to everything, if we apply ourselves and are patient about it. A sense of urgency actually distracts us from success; rather than focusing on the task at hand, it puts the emphasis on a negative thought: “I don’t think I can pull this off! What if I don’t make it?”
In fact, a certain kind of focused intensity solves many problems, at work and at home. Read more →
You don’t see anyone comforting anyone else much anymore, anywhere, unless you are addicted to watching videos where someone super nice rescues a terribly neglected animal, or those videos where animals are snuggling up to people. And every so often, something like this pops up. But overall, it seems that so many are too rushed, too stressed, and too distracted by glowing screens to comfort others. There just aren’t very many good examples. That’s a shame, because the best answer to “how to reduce stress” is learning how to comfort yourself.
I think this is especially important now that we have so much bad news hanging over us. There is strife all around, and many of us are isolated in ways we never were before. If you learn how to comfort yourself, those “terrible” things become minor inconveniences that we know we will overcome. No matter what happens, we will have a friend at hand, ready to help us feel better and carry on. The peace you feel, once you have mastered this skill, will change your life. Read more →
There are plenty of articles on the subject of budgeting, living within your means, and how to have enough money to live comfortably. They all basically say the same things: Don’t spend more than you make; create a budget and stick to it; learn how to say “no”; and always save a portion of what you make.
All absolutely sound advice, which, when taken, can help you meet a large part of the challenge. These things keep coming up because they work.
But I want to come at this from another angle. I want to talk about where money actually comes from, and how to make sure that you’re putting yourself in a position to earn enough. If you are not earning enough, even with careful budgeting and sound financial habits, you will always hear the wolf panting at the door. Read more →
My husband sums it up this way: “The world has always been going to hell in a handbasket. The trick is to stay out of the handbasket.” He is so right. And this great advice is at the core of, as they say, “living life to the fullest,” which is cliche talk for “how to have a great life.”
If you spend just 5 minutes a day catching up with the “news,” you can get really bummed. The news, by its very nature, is filled with seemingly unresolvable turmoil. That’s what makes it news; there is a problem that has not yet been solved, and needs to be.
Problems that have been solved are pretty boring. Read more →
What does “success in life” really look like? It means that you are happy more than you are not; that you love and are loved; that you achieve what you set out to do; and you have very few disappointments. In fact, if you focus on the two main aspects of life that make everything else work, you may end up with no disappointments at all.
The two key aspects are kindness and common sense.
Civilization literally breaks down when there is a lack of kindness. Life as we know it depends almost 100% on people being kind to each other.
I’ve written about jerks before. I define a jerk as someone who makes life more difficult for others (nice people spend their lives trying to do just the opposite). But on the subject of dealing with difficult people, there is also a certain type of person who will suck the life out of you if you let them. They are not good for us, but for some reason we keep trying to work it out—to help them or “resolve” them.
Usually it is from some sense of obligation (which they definitely encourage), or a vow or promise we made in the past about our relationship with this person. Or, they are related to us or someone close to us, and it is very difficult to avoid interaction.
Whatever the reason, we stick it out, and over time they literally suck the life out of us. Read more →
If you are the least bit empathetic and prone to want to help others, it is very easy to be pulled into another person’s dysfunction. It can be especially detrimental if they are stuck in a Groundhog Day universe of their own making, where they refuse to see that the problem keeps recurring because they refuse to make the required internal changes. In those cases, sometimes it’s better to walk away. But sometimes you can’t; sometimes the other person is a family member or someone you work with, and walking away is out of the question. So what do you do? How do you stay sane and happy when those around you are not?
You don’t internalize their dysfunction.
You stay calm as they rant and rave. You empathize, but you don’t internalize. You understand, but you don’t internalize. You want to help, and you do what you can, but you don’t internalize.Read more →