Heaven or Hell? Now or Later?

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven…” – John Milton, Paradise Lost

Have you ever met someone who, objectively speaking, has it all, yet they are miserable, depressed, anxious? Have you ever met someone who is constantly seeking out problems, creating issues where they don’t exist, overreacting, overthinking, and spending most of their time trying to identify what exactly is wrong with their lives?

Have you ever met someone who could be happy and fulfilled if only they’d give up on a bad habit or addiction? Yet, even though they ask for help and always talk about changing their ways, they never do so. Continue reading

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Kill Them With Kindness

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” —  Martin Luther King Jr.

Being mean to someone else, particularly when dealing with situations in which the other person is displaying incompetence, is effortless and often efficient. The result is that you’ve probably ruined their day. It can be difficult to keep cool in such situations, especially when you feel your precious time being wasted, but that’s the thing about being kind: it’s not supposed to be easy.

There’s often a choice to be made: efficient reproach, or less effective, patient kindness. Continue reading

In ourselves

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“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”William Shakespeare

They say everything happens for a reason. They believe in fate, in a certain alignment of the stars. They believe in all kinds of things. They want to put the blame on the universe (or certain parts of it), but not on themselves. Continue reading

When It Feels Like the Weight of the World Is on Your Shoulders…

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“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders – What would you tell him?”

“I…don’t know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?”

“To shrug.” – Ayn Rand

For those of your who are into hitting the gym, lifting weights, I say this: when it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders… squat.

To the rest of you: massive action.

That’s it.

I used to victimize myself over all the bad things that happened to me. I was depressed and anxious and in poor health and poor and pessimistic. The world was a terrible place.

Why did this had to happen to me? Continue reading

About Defeats

0707ashc9 455x600“Somewhere in the world there is a defeat for everyone.”John Steinbeck

To paraphrase another American writer, life breaks us all. Whether we want it to or not. And, yes, some are stronger at the broken places. Some are not.

We are defeated simply because there’s a lot more to learn from defeat than from victory. Grief, pain, and anger only serve as lessons.

It’s necessary. For us to evolve, for us to ask ourselves if it’s in our powers to change something.

About ourselves. About the world around us. Or the people in it.

You know the saying that the only true constant in life is change? Well… oftentimes change is painful. We are still terrified by the unknown, by what it represents. Continue reading

We Only Have What We Give

“We only have what we give.”Isabel Allende

Even though at times it doesn’t seem so, all we are in this world is what we give. Your employer pays you according to your contribution to the firm, the people around you love and respect you according to the effort you put into building and maintaining those relationships.

The world is but a mirror.

What we give to the world becomes our legacy. What we give becomes the one thing people will never forget.

If you aspire to leave the world better than you found it, you’ll be successful. Continue reading

Connect The Dots

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. 

So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. 

You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. 

Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path.” — Steve Jobs

Fourteen years ago someone read one of my stories.

They didn’t like it. They told me to give up and do something else.

And this made me angry.

Continue reading