What Makes You Special?

maxresdefaultWhat’s the one thing you want to find in your life? It’s the same thing everyone wants to find. What makes you different from everyone else? What makes you unique? Why do you matter? With so many other people in the world it’s hard to make your mark and feel special because everyone else is trying to do the same thing. And with over seven billion people in the world, a great deal of options that would make you special are being taken by other people first.

So what do you do?

Start with what you like. Chances are if you like something you’ll be more driven to find your niche, your area of expertise, the thing that makes you special. If you like something then you are motivated to do it, so you put more effort in, you have better and more creative ideas, and you don’t give up on it. That’s what you need. With so many other people looking for their own purpose in life you need to be driven to find something that’s uniquely yours.

Take action.

You have lots of good ideas. You even have a few great ideas. But how many of those ideas do you take action on. If you have an idea for something that can make you special, do it.

But what if that idea is unreasonable or out of my league? Stop. That line of thinking is holding you back. There is always a way to do something if you really want to. You hear stories about it all the time on the news. About how so-an-so made a difference by doing this amazing thing. Why is that person any different from you? The only difference between a person who makes the news and makes a difference and you is that they find a way to make their idea a reality.

What makes you special can be anything.

The size or impact of what makes you special means nothing. Maybe you are incredibly nice and helpful and friendly and you cheer people up just by being around them. Or maybe you make world changing scientific breakthroughs every day because of some unique abilities or knowledge. Neither one of these people is any less special than the other. The only difference is why they are perceived as special. The nice person brightens peoples moods which can be life altering on a smaller scale. The person making breakthroughs can be life altering on a larger scale perhaps but they cannot be compared because they are special for different reasons.

Everyone has something that makes them unique.

You just have to find it. It could be world changing or it could be something small that helps someone get through the day. What you do may not be unique on the scale of seven billion people, but the way you do it is uniquely you. For example, if I wanted to cheer someone up, my thought is to get rid of the bad thing that’s bothering them or make it seem insignificant. But maybe that’s not the way you would do it. Maybe you would buy them an ice cream cone and spoil them with kindness.

Change your view of special.

When we think of standing out and being special we think of doing something nobody has done before, or doing some that earns us favor and adoration. And then when we don’t achieve those things we get disappointed. But it is everything you do that makes you special. You cheered that little girl up who dropped her ice cream cone, you said hello to the lady across the street who was feeling lonely, you called your mom and dad, you made your friend laugh when they were having a bad day. You are what makes you special. It is everything you are and everything you do. Maybe the lonely lady was feeling depressed because she was alone and you gave her hope, maybe your friend went home and did something that made their life better they wouldn’t have done if they were still upset. You have no idea what your actions do to the rest of the world or the people you come across. You make a ripple across the world that is unique to you and only you.

You are special and no one can take that away from you.

 

Tell us what you think makes you special!

Courage: Start Something New

I would like to know about starting something new. How do you find the courage?

                                                                        Sharon Yvonne

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Thanks for the question Sharon! Courage is something that everyone already has, but has to discover on their own. If you really boil it down, courage is just the ability to overcome a fear of doing something, and then being able to act on it.

For me the obvious first step is identifying what that fear is. I’ll use this blog as an example. When I started I had no idea if people wanted to hear what I wanted to say, or if they would like my writing. There’s that fear of rejection that lots of people get when starting something new. There are a few steps you could take from here.

Firstly, I could have tested my writing and got an impression of it from people I trust before I started posting things online. Build my confidence up and overcome the fear that way. Or, I could take the approach that I did which was to stop caring if other people liked it or not. At the end of the day you’re trying something new for you. Not everyone else. So it doesn’t really matter if they like it or not because you’re doing for yourself, it’s something you want to do.

Don’t let others hold you back.

The truth is there will always be people who don’t like what you do. If you listen to those people then you let them win. If you want to try something new, you do it because you want to.

Recognize you won’t start off as a savant.

When you start something new, chances are you’re going to suck. You’ve never done it before, how could you be good at it right away? Some people get away with some natural talent but most of us take the hard route.

For me, the courage to start something new comes from recognizing the obstacles, whether they’re self-imposed or otherwise, overcoming them, and being realistic about where you’re going to be skill wise when you start that something. You have to understand the risks and the challenges, brace yourself for it, and then dive into it headfirst. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll learn from them, and you’ll improve. As long as you understand that mistakes will be made, you’ll be in a better state of mind when they actually happen.

I hope this helps Sharon! If anyone else has tips or advice for Sharon, please submit a comment below. The more perspectives and ideas we can provide, the more helpful we will be!

Belief: Let it Define You

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You have beliefs. I have beliefs. That in itself is not a problem. Unfortunately beliefs are more complicated than that. Our society has made it so that you can’t just have a belief any more; it has to meet certain standards to be considered acceptable. You have to consider other peoples beliefs, their feelings, their religion, the societal impact of your belief if other people disagree. And to top it all off, everyone thinks their beliefs are the right beliefs. It’s all very complicated.

So let’s simplify things.

We can bring this down to one very simple thing. A belief is an opinion, it is not a fact. It is something that you hold to be true based on your life experiences and your knowledge of the world. So really, you can believe whatever you want to believe because it’s something that’s true to you. Here’s the problem.

Not everyone likes your belief.

People are different; they have different life experiences that teach them different things which lead them to discover different beliefs. But beliefs are strong. They come from our life and we are sure they are right because we live by them. So when people come together, beliefs will always clash because all people are uniquely different. When two people fundamentally disagree, there is potential for major conflict. We see it with religions, nations, race, and gender. It’s all just ridiculous though isn’t it?

You can’t be a part of the conversation if you’ve never known the other side.

If a woman tells me it’s easier to be a man in life than it is to be a woman, before this conversation even goes anywhere it is fundamentally flawed on both sides. As a guy I could say oh you know it can’t be that bad, and she could try and beat into me that she’s absolutely right. Has that women ever experienced being a man before? And on the flip side has that man ever experienced being a woman before? Obviously there are rare cases where this is true but for most of us the answer is absolutely not. Those are beliefs that they have. So how can these two people possibly come to an understanding? They both are only living one side of the argument. Sure they have facts and stories and past inequalities that exist. But that man has no idea what the other side is like. Men and women go through different social pressures, they have different responsibilities in life, and they get treated differently in life and face different health issues. But because they believe those things they act on them accordingly. Here’s my point.

Your beliefs define you.

If you go through your whole life believing people are putting you down, then you will act out your life differently than if you think everyone is your friend. Whether they’re true or not, what you believe directs your actions. If you act like your religion is better than somebody else’s religion, it affects how you react and relate to those people that believe differently doesn’t it? We have so many problems in the world because we all believe in different things and we think my way is better. My way is not better, it is simply my way, it is what I believe, what I think is true. Instead of judging everybody else, turn the mirror on yourself first. What kind of beliefs do you have? Why is your way better? You have your opinions and can try to prove that they are indeed better, but maybe it’s only better for you. How would you know?

Stop getting ahead of yourself.

Remember that your belief is just that. A belief. We can all believe whatever we want, but our beliefs have real world repercussions. That’s because we act on our beliefs. So how do you want your beliefs to affect the world? Personally, I want my beliefs to change the world for the better. Trying to help and motivate people, trying to avoid pointless arguments, being nice to everyone you meet. I believe it and I act on it. And so do you. So ask yourself. How are my actions affected by my beliefs? Are you happy with what you see? If not, maybe it’s time for a change.

Believe in the kind of person you want to be.

Our beliefs direct our actions and we want to be the best people we can be. So choose wisely.

Do you have any beliefs you think have made a difference in your life? Maybe someone else’s life? Or maybe you have a completely different opinion on beliefs. Share your thoughts in the comments!

Stress: Free Yourself

stress_pictureStress. It is the mental and emotional strain caused by demanding situations and it has the power to make everything in your life harder.  In the past it guided our fight or flight response in life or death situations. It still does but now our world has changed, and we feel the effects of stress every day. In small doses it’s not a problem, but chronic stress is becoming more and more of an issue.  We have increased responsibilities, time constraints, and added pressure from friends, family and colleagues. We are constricted by laws, rules, cultural norms, expectations and governing bodies. There is so much pressure on us that it’s amazing we don’t just explode. All of this pressure has a negative effect on you.

It affects your body and your health.

I know your health is important to you. Mine sure as heck is to me. So just to drive the point home of how bad stress is for you here is a quick list of all the effects of chronic stress.

  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Heart Attack
  • Stomach Ache
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heartburn
  • Irregular Menstrual Cycle

There are so many more things and these are just the effects it has on you. But you’re not the only one your stress has an effect on.

Stress affects everyone around you.

When you’re stressed you become much more irritable. Little things bother you. You get emotional and overreact to things it doesn’t make sense to overreact about. While this can be attributed to the stress, this still affects your relationships. It is often people who are the target of your irritability, and people don’t like that. If you’re stressed all the time you will drive those people away. And nobody wants that. We all want to see the regular happy person that’s buried underneath all that stress. So let’s find out how to help.

So how do you combat stress?

Everyone needs a strategy. I personally like to exercise when I’m stressed because it helps me focus my mind on something else, something engaging that can distract me from my stress and help me relax. But everyone has a different strategy. The way I see it you have two major options to choose from. You can either avoid the stress, which is not always possible so this is not the ideal solution, or you can alter your reaction to the stress. When you’re stressed it is extremely easy to get angry and frustrated with everything, that’s our natural reaction after all. But that’s not really helpful. If we get angry and frustrated all we’re going to accomplish is to make ourselves more angry and frustrated. That’s because when we lose our temper we take shortcuts, we get irritated, it distracts us and we cause more problems because we’re acting more aggressive.

Take a step back.

Until you separate yourself from the stressful situation you will never be able to de-stress. You need to give your mind time to breathe. For me I prefer to exercise, but for you maybe it’s different. Find something to occupy your mind that is constructive and helpful in your everyday life and your killing two birds with one stone. You’re building a healthier lifestyle and you’re dealing more effectively with your stress.

Change how you view the problem.

It can’t be a problem if you don’t see it as a problem. Here’s an example that I can relate to. Maybe you can hear the faucet dripping and it is absolutely driving you insane. You can’t or don’t know how to stop it and it’s been going for hours. You can’t get rid of the sound so have fun with it. Since I like to be silly I made a beat out of the sound of the drops in my head into something I liked. Then every time I heard the faucet dripping after that I heard the beat I made up in my head and it made me feel happy instead of miserable. Reframe the problem. Make a solution out of it.

Adjust your diet.

What you eat can also contribute to stress. Caffeine, sugar, alcohol and drugs are all things that produce a temporary high and end with a crash that can disrupt your mood and behavior. Cutting back on any or all of these can have a major impact.

You have to find out which strategy works for you. This is a bit of trial and error and it can take time. Take the time and put in the effort. And most importantly, have a positive attitude. If you’re negative you’re focusing on the problem but if you’re being positive you’re focusing on the solution. Having a positive attitude is beyond helpful. Find what works for you. Then do it.

How do you cope with stress? If you have any helpful hints and strategies, be sure to share them in the comments!

 

Positive Thinking: Lead A Happier Life

Everyone wants a better life, am I right? I know I do. And Fortunately, there are lots of things that make life better. There are obvious ones that everyone wants which are to have more money, to have a better job and to marry the person of your dreams. And then there are the less obvious ones like getting a massage for your aching back after a hard day, or getting that irritating little rock out of your shoe (how do they keep getting in there?).

I’m going to focus on one of the less obvious things, because let’s be serious I’m not a miracle worker. Yet.

For me, the most important thing you can do to make your life positive is something anyone can do. Random acts of kindness. Simple right? This is something that really helped me out in my own life.

Something I’ve learned over the years is that nobody cares more about your own problems than you do. And that’s fair, why should they? Everyone else has their own problems to worry about. By now we’ve all gotten used to it, we deal with it ourselves. Then, one day, we’re having just a downright awful horrible day. We slept in, we were late for work, spilled coffee on ourselves, the whole 9 yards. And then, in the middle of our personal storm of misery and frustration something unexpected happens.

Someone nice comes along.

They offer to buy you a new coffee, help you with one of the many things you’ve been struggling with. Whatever. Isn’t that just the best feeling ever? That one nice thing drags me right out of the heart of the storm and I see a little ray of sunshine. It boosts my entire day back up.

So how does this help you build a more positive life? Like this.wpid-4c83d50a2b717ee9235af1b1fb23364a

Positivity breeds positivity. 

If you do nice things for other people, other people do nice things back for you. It’s that simple. If you smile at everyone, everyone will smile back at you. And this works every time. It really just comes down to one thing.

People want to feel like they’re cared about.

So show them you care. If you take the time to perform random acts of kindness each and every day it will come back at you in a big way. Many people just can’t be bothered. But how hard is it really to hold the door for someone with their hands full? It’s not. But it could mean all the difference to that person. And they’ll remember that even if you don’t.

So do yourself a favor and help somebody else today. Here’s a challenge for you. Pick three people that look like they need help, and lend a hand. Have any of your own stories where a random act of kindness brightened your day? Share it with us in the comments below!

If you take one thing away from this post remember, positivity breeds positivity.