Category Archives: Self-Help

Do what you can, where others cannot.


Today’s post is slightly different than the standard posts here on complicatedmadesimple. But, it follows the same idea in principle.

Everything can be complicated if we choose to make it so, but when it comes down to it it’s all simple. Just trying to help make the complicated simple.

There are many things in life that are difficult for everyone to do, and there are many things that only few people can do. Typically, the people that are able to do these things are the only ones who can. To give you an idea to what I’m referencing, I’ll list a few known careers/life choices that some people make where others are simply unable to do. The choice is there, but only for some.

  • Firefighter (Also Paramedic. Typically the first goes with the second. )
  • Swat Team
  • Military
  • Teacher
  • Fisherman
  • Freighter Captain
  • Truck Driver
  • Photographer
  • Surgeon
  • Coroner
  • President/Large scale leader

And many many more. These are but just a few jobs/life choices that people make that others are unable to make. Some of these may seem obvious, some not. But they are all jobs that not everyone can do, no matter how much academic training is received all of these jobs require something within the individual that isn’t universal.

A Firefighter/Paramedic must be brave, willing to risk their life to make a difference in the lives of others. They must be kind, they must understand and obey the law, they must be willing to drop everything they’re doing to get a cat out of the tree and they must be willing to deal with nearly just as much as a doctor does. Truly, a Firefighter/Paramedic is the world’s serviceperson.

The military and the Swat Team I feel are self explanatory. These people put their lives on the line for various reasons, and they must be able to trust that those leading them wouldn’t have them doing anything unnecessarily dangerous. Truly, these people need to be prepared to put their lives on the line every single day and they may never see their families again at any given moment. 

A Teacher must be kind, patient, and well learned. This sounds simple and purely academic. And truly, when someone is prepared to undertake the amount of academics required to be a teacher at any grade than it is likely that this person also is patient and has the general traits that one needs to be a teacher. But, beyond that scope a teacher must typically be prepared to be far from rich and in these days live with the constant lack of job security despite how needed they are. Teachers will also deal with all sorts of people/children with many different needs that the teacher must meet the majority of. Truly, a Teacher has an extremely demanding job with little material to show for it.

Fisher/Freighter Captain/Truck driver are all different demanding jobs in the way of skills, but in what they require uniquely from an individual they are much the same. All of these professions require you to be on the move constantly, and likely away from your family a good chunk of the year or just a good chunk of your life. These jobs in will always be needed in the foreseeable future, and yet these jobs are some of the most family/friend taxing jobs there are. In order to go after these sorts of jobs you must be prepared to be alone a lot of the time, and while you might make good money from these jobs you’ll have little time to enjoy it anywhere but in the same place you earn it. Truly, to have these professions and a family requires some finesse, well deserved if maintained.

Photographers need some exclusive individual ability that few of us actually possess as well. Many in the world may view Photographers as something that everyone with a smartphone or fancy camera can do. But that is not so, Photographers are much like firefighters in that they must be able to please people in all sorts of ways. Lately, as finances have gotten tight in the world Photographers have taken on the role of wedding planners, food coordinators, flower decorators, and so fourth. While these jobs are not what their profession dictates, it is something that they are very capable at doing. Photographers must be able to capture our timeless moments without us saying they’re going to happen. They need to be on time, they need to capture us getting ready, they need to capture our tears, our smiles, and our love. Photographers are expected to be able to do all of these things as they are happening in different rooms all at the same time. Truly, to be a Photographer is both a stressful job as much as it is rewarding. For everything they capture, you can bet there was the question in the back of their mind as to whether or not they missed something slightly to the left.

Surgeon/Coroner again, both need very similar things for academically very different fields. Both of these fields need you to be comfortable with opening up a person and putting everything as it needs to be. These people need to also be very kind and understanding as they are meeting people at either the day they’ve lost someone tragically, or on a terrifying day where they’re afraid they may lose someone. Surgeons/Coroners needs to be very kind people and at the same time be perfectly comfortable literally putting people back together. Truly, these people possess a job that in my opinion, very few possess the fortitude for.

Presidents/Major Leaders are obviously found few and far between. These people need more skills and characteristics that define them as an individual more-so than the majority of other people. These people need to be strategic, kind, charitable, ruthless, confident with leading others, and so many more characteristics. The difficult part is that all of these are needed within one person to some degree or another. But, these leaders also need to be able to appeal to hundreds of thousands and millions of people in order to effectively lead them. The President of the U.S.A for example needs to be able to properly convey ideas to other politicians in order to get certain bills passed that the President believes to be vital/important. Truly, being a president is a very taxing job. This much is obvious, given that at any moment a small decision and seemingly unimportant can change the lives of millions of other people.

But, please keep in mind these are just a few of those life choices/careers that people choose to take that not everyone can choose to do. When it comes down to it, if you are one of those people that can do something that others cannot, you already know. You always have a choice as to what you do with your abilities, like we always do in life. But, as I am one of those people. The decision for me to do what others cannot is as clear to me as my deciding to not break the law on a daily basis. The option exists in reality for me to be something other than what I am, but to me it is a black and white decision. Like I choose to not break the law because to do so would be something that conflicts with everything I am, I choose to follow the path of a Firefighter/Paramedic to make a difference in other peoples lives where others cannot.

There are so many needed professions in the world that only a select few people can do. If you are one of those people that are sitting at home waiting for your 9-5 shift to start, ask yourself. Who am I? Am I the retail salesperson, or am I denying myself the fulfillment taking on that job other people can’t do. Doing what needs to be done because I am able, because it is who I am.

We all have things in life that fit us naturally, it is how the world and society work. These professions didn’t appear exclusively out of their necessity. People chose to do these jobs well before they were established in society. The academic material is out in the world for us to learn how to do what we are capable of without the risk our ancestors had to deal with. I can’t think of any reason that someone would want to be anything less than they are. Don’t hold yourself back.

My advice related to this post:

You are a natural at something, there is a talent, there is a field, there is a career that is your calling. When employers list the qualities needed in a person, when you go to that person or when you expect something of someone for a job. Those qualities are everything that you are. Go out into the world and live yourself, do what you were born to do.

Be kind, and do something nice for a stranger today.

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Depression


The original slogan for my blog was “under-spoken topics at a glance” (or something very similar, my memory is hazy on the matter). I feel that depression is too often spoken about by people who know nothing about it. Which, in a way, means that it is always spoken about and yet never discussed.

There are people all over the world telling you the right way and the wrong way of dealing with depression and the right way and the wrong way of dealing with loved ones that are suffering from depression. It is a very difficult situation to be in for either party, and the last thing you want to be told is that you’re doing everything wrong. (Granted when you are doing something incorrectly, you do need to be made aware.)

This post is not for identifying whether or not you are depressed or suffer from depression. If you feel that you are, I urge you to seek help from family members as well as medical professionals.

Based on what I’ve come across in my lifetime, I’ve found that there are a few methods that assist in lessening the pain that bursts of depression can bring. These methods may or may not be popular, but they have worked in most cases that I’ve come across.

To assist someone who is depressed due to a seemingly random burst of depression:

  • Change gears with whatever is going on. You most likely don’t know what triggered the burst, but if you just entirely change whats going on around you and whomever is depressed, you are likely to avert a meltdown.
  • Maintain visual presence. To do this is somewhat difficult for both parties for different reasons. But it will be worth it in the long run. Sometimes it is helpful just to know that someone else is there. It assists in keeping the despair to a minimum.
  • Talk about irrelevant topics, this can help with keeping their mind occupied on mundane topics that aren’t likely to cause any stress, which in turn keeps their mind off of the X factor that caused the sudden depression.
  • If you’re a brave one and feel you know the person well, I suggest talking about problems they are having that you can help them resolve. (Please note, helping them resolve and resolving for them are two totally different things.)
  • Depending  on the person, suggesting an activity they enjoy could do the trick. Just make sure it isn’t something that has any negative attachments. (Ex: If the depressed person fears they overweight, you wouldn’t want to suggest baking a huge cake.)
  • Sometimes it helps to just listen. In my experience, people who are prone to explosive bursts of depression most likely keep the majority of their problems to themselves. This means they most likely don’t voice any of their problems and as a result may grow to feel that they should not. It can help the person greatly if you are just able to listen to them and make them recognize that their problems are important.

These are just a few things that have worked for me over the years when I have had to assist people with bursts of depression, but every person is different. My suggestion is to use this as more of a general guideline than a specific instruction.

Something to be aware of when assisting someone who is suffering from a bout of depression (this will obviously vary between people but is very common all the same): Be aware that, when dealing with someone with any level of depression, they are likely to create the most negative possible wording or understanding of anything you say. So, unless you are very good with your wording or are confident of your ability to assist someone, prolonged speech on your part is not suggested. Try to keep anything that you say to someone in a depressed state to a low word count. This will help you choose your words and have more impact.

And that’s all for today’s post! Hope everybody is having a great day.

Be kind, and do something nice for a stranger today.

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Love


So, it’s come to this. The time when we have “The Talk”. No, I kid. Sorry to set anyone back however many years to that time when their parent… Ah. Nevermind.

Today I want to talk to you about something that is in all of our lives, affects us all, and yet most of us actually know very little about. I want to talk to you about love. Love can be one of the most amazing feelings in the world with a plethora of good things that accompany the good feeling. Some of us may spend our entire lives looking for it, some of us spend our entire lives studying it, some of us live a life enjoying the love we have. No matter how you think about it, love has touched your life in some way. It feels good to be loved, it feels good to give love. Love is a very good thing.

Before you can love  though, you need to be able to love yourself. There are a wide variety of feelings that I might mention in another post later, but for now, I’ll just say a blanket statement. If you do not love yourself, any feeling that you will have for someone else will not be everything it can be.  Love is a very important thing. You can love yourself, you can love your family, friends, pets, world, country, town, and just about anything you can imagine. But you won’t be able to love anything fully or feel deserving of the love you receive if you can’t first love yourself.

Think of it this way: If you can’t love yourself, everything you do has been essentially cut down by a percent number. Lets say 25% for now. (That percent is based on nothing. It is only there for the sake of continuing discussion.) You love your (insert noun here) but there are always things you won’t be willing to do, conversations that won’t happen, fears you have, etc. It can be anything, and it can very simply be that you just aren’t giving your all. You are who you are, and before anyone or anything else can experience the full power of your love, you need to be able to love yourself. Accept who you are, respect who you are, love who you are, and then you can really give your love in its fullest potential where it is deserved.

Once you’ve fully accepted yourself for who you are and you genuinely love yourself, the second step would be to make sure that you can accept someone else’s love. It’s easier said than done, but a necessary step. If you were to simply love someone/something but you couldn’t ever accept that they love you the same way that you love them then there would inevitably be problems at some point. They might be small at first, but such things will always escalate if left untended. Letting someone else love you is a step that must be taken after you have first loved yourself. If you do not love yourself, you won’t be able to let someone love you. Your mind will just turn against you in some sort of fashion similar to, “I don’t love me, how can this person love me?” Don’t do that. You are who you are, you are unique in your own fashion and you are worthy of love. Everyone is worthy of love. So don’t let yourself or anyone else say otherwise.

The third part of this process is to give love. It can feel amazing when you give love. There are so many powerful emotions and they are all very focused.

“It CAN feel amazing.” What do you mean by that?

Well, I mean it can. As in, there is a good chance that it will feel amazing. But, if you give your love where it is not deserved then it will not feel as good. In fact, there are some situations out there where giving your love when it isn’t deserved can be dangerous to your health. A popular celebrity couple comes to mind on that matter, actually. Such good role models. With celebrities being kind enough to show us the dangerous side of what can happen when you give love where it isn’t deserved, the point is made rather clearly. Always make sure that when you are giving your love to someone it is to someone you respect who respects you in return. The ideal situation will be a mutually beneficial relationship. This doesn’t only mean between partners, but in general. For example:

You love nature, you water your plants and enjoy the smell and the sight of them. In return, you are given pleasing and relaxing scenery as well as scents. Maybe this is a weak example, but it makes the point. It is a mutually beneficial relationship.

In a relationship where one person/thing is harming the other, this is obviously unhealthy. This would be a situation where love is not deserved or just plainly shouldn’t be given.

I already know about avoiding bad relationships. What can you teach me about good relationships? About real love?

Well, here’s something that may surprise many of you.

Being in love and allowing love into your life can be very healthy for you, not just emotionally and spiritually, but physically as well!

Being in love can do so many things for you! I’ll just give you a short list to show you some of the wonderful things it can do.

  • People in love have been found to have higher life expectancy. (Source) 
  • They are happier. (Myself,and  Source )
  • The intense feeling of being in love has similar effects to heavy pain medications. You will actually feel less pain! (Cool Fact: The study of how love affects the brain has created a field in neuroscience  to try and create better pain relieving drugs.) (Source) 
  • Love makes you healthier overall. Various studies have taken into consideration the differences in eating habits and all other variables that happen from person to person. The overall consensus is that Love in its own right makes your body function better. (Source)
  • People who are in love are typically more successful in financial ventures.
Don’t let this small list fool you, though. The benefits that love give us are infinite. We have only just begun to study what love does to our body. Everything we are discovering about love and how it effects us has only been good. In life, there is almost always a negative side to everything. With love, this is only partially true. The negative side of love comes when there is a loss, but the emotional feeling of love itself  has no negative drawbacks. It can only make you happier and healthier.

But, like I mentioned a moment ago, things happen in life that we cannot control that cause us to no longer be in love, or we lose loved ones as they pass on. There are various reasons for why a loving relationship may end. There have been a number of studies done on what happens when people are not in love or when the object/person of their affection is no longer with them. The negative effects are fairly large in number and vary greatly. But I put together another list to highlight a few of the common problems.

  • Serious depression
  • Physical Pain (Source)
  • Loneliness (Source) 
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Interestingly enough, being in love causes the same chemical release as OCD hence why some people are literally obsessed with their partners [Source] )
  • Increased likeliness of heart attack and heart failures (This happens more so during a mourning period) (Source)
  • Clogged arteries
  • Overall lower life expectancy (Source) 

With all of this taken into consideration, it is an obviously good thing to be in love and to give your love. It’s important to love yourself, important to let others love you, and important to make sure you love those that deserve your love. Remember and remember well: You are who you are, you will love who and what you will. Love needs mutual respect, mutual kindness, love needs a mutually beneficial relationship to exist. When you have love, you will not need to ask what love is. You will not need to ask anyone what you feel, you will know. Be passionate. Be who you are. Live, love, and be happy.

Be kind, and do something nice for a stranger today.

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Be Kind, For There Is No Reason Not To Be


Here at ComplicatedMadeSimple I will always try to help you the best I am able. The reason I do this is simple: I want to help you. But in today’s post, I’d like to point something out to you, the reader. Along with almost every post here I write at the end: Be kind, do something nice for a stranger today. I’d like to use today’s post to discuss that a bit.

If you’ll indulge me, I’m also going to give you a brief view into me for those of you that don’t know.

I am generally a very nice person. I feel that it takes a good amount of someone else’s effort to get me to be anything otherwise. It is with that in mind that I am confident saying that I am a very nice person nearly all of the time. Being the nice person that I am is sometimes quite difficult. I do things for others when I would sometimes rather do something just for myself. I give to other people when I am barely able to give. I do my best to try to make sure those closest to me are as happy as I can help them be. Doing this is very rewarding, just not in the material sense.

I am able to go to sleep every night because I know that I do not have guilt over any of my actions from that day. Throughout the day I may wish that I knew more about certain things so that I could help more, but whether I choose to go and learn more in that day or not, I will not be able to help someone right then, and that is okay. I have no illusions about wanting to help everyone.  It it because I am consistent in my effort to help people as much as I am able that I am able to move forward in so many ways. Life will always be difficult, and there will always be another hurdle after you have long since run out of energy. There may come a time where you are unable to make it over that next one, but you’ll make it past many more if you are able to free yourself from the “guilty weight.”

All that being said, I used a quote in Saturday’s post.

Be kind to those that meet you as you rise, you may pass them again as you fall.

The above Irish quote has been used all over the world with different variations all resulting in the same meaning. The meaning is simple: Be nice to those you meet when you are in power, you might come across them again when you are without it. Taken in a general light, be nice because it will never hinder you, only help.

We share our world with more than seven billion people. It has become even more important than it ever has been to be nice to other people known and unknown with the sole reason of being nice for the sake of being nice. You may find your actions and inactions harmless because you do not see a direct cause of what you have done to someone else’s day, but you do effect them. The smallest movement can create the waves. Otherwise known as the Butterfly Effect (a small part of Chaos Theory).

In an effort to reduce your daily stress, daily problems, and just all around daily sorrow, I’d like you to be nice to someone you don’t know, or even someone you see every day. Be nice for the sake of being nice. The reaction that you will get from a total stranger will be well worth any amount of effort you put in to being nice. People may come to expect you to be nice after you’ve known them for an amount of time, or they may expect it because you are their family member or other important person in their life. So obviously they may have slightly less gratitude than someone who has absolutlely no connection to you. But the feeling that you will get inside will still be a good feeling no matter who you are nice to.

It may be considered tacky to say that being nice is its own reward, but it really is. You usually do get more than the simple reward of just being nice, though. Typically, you will also get the gratitude from whomever you are nice to and, more importantly than that, you will have made someone else’s day better than it was.

An example:

Someone’s car breaks down, you know absolutely NOTHING about cars. Most people in this situation would just drive by and assume that someone else is helping them or that they’ve called someone.

You are the one who stops and offers your phone to this person to let them call whomever they need for assistance. You discover that you’re either the first car that has come by and they are grateful, or you are the 50th. (It happens.) Everyone thinks that someone else will help someone. You’re never going to make someone else’s day worse by offering to help them. If anything, you’ll make them happy that more than one person is willing to be there for a total stranger.

So please, do it for yourself, and do it for all the seven billion other people in the world.

Be kind, do something nice for a stranger today.

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St. Patrick’s Day


Today’s post may not be entirely filled with “Life Instructions”. At least, not directly. Honoring St. Patrick’s Day I decided to use some quotes I know and talk about them a bit. I’d love to see your comments on the quotes given or any other good ones that you’ve come across.

“May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”

With St. Patrick’s Day in mind the quote is, of course, Irish. Some may say that this a drinking toast, whereas other’s see it as a blessing. It is all the same well intended. This quote is certainly up there with one of my favorites that I’ve come across to date. I’m especially fond of the third verse for reasons not entirely known to me. The idea of wishing for someone to be in heaven with such a high level of safety is a nice thought, but when said so well it leaves me searching for words to describe how much I like it.

 It’s easy to be pleasant when life flows by like a song.

But the man worth while is the one who can smile

When everything goes dead wrong.

For the test of the heart is trouble and it always comes with years.

And the smile that is worth the praises of the earth

Is the smile that shines through the tears.

Another quote that is truly inspiring. When we truly wish to listen the smallest amount of words can more often than not speak volumes. I am happy to say that half of my blood comes from the Irish. Wisdom can be found everywhere you cease to look, the Irish are no exception. So, if you’re in America remember that it isn’t all about drinking. Be true to yourself, be a good person. Stand up to the storms of time and come through it all a better person.

Be kind to those that meet you as you rise, you may pass them again as you fall.

 Yet another Irish proverb that speaks for itself. These are the sort of quotes that we all know somewhere inside of ourselves, but until we see them directly in front of us, some of us forget these simple lessons. You will have great times as well as terrible times in your life, and when you rise there will always be a time where you fall. There is never a bad time to be nice to someone for no reason, and it is always a bad time to be mean to anyone despite your reasons. The satisfaction you may get from being mean will never outweigh the overall cost it has on yourself.

 May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.  

 This quote, like the others above, is very interesting to me. It again is a quote that speaks volumes and yet says so little. I came across another blog actually that had dedicated an entire post to this quote. So, if you follow this link you’ll be able to read all about this quote from someone else’s point of view.

May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.

Life will always be a difficult place if we are not able to free ourselves from the artificial worries we have created for ourselves. You can be the most “successful” person in the world and still be having bad days all the time. Free yourself, be who you are. Live your life and make this quote come true. I say this to you, and I hope that you give this blessing to all those you care for. May the best of your days past be the worst of the days to come. Live happy, and live well.

Be kind everyone, do something nice because it’s nice. Good people are good because that is who they are, I like to finish these posts asking you to Be kind, and do something nice for a stranger because it’s something that everyone and all of us should do. Truly, kindness can be in the simplest of actions, you need not put yourself at any time related disadvantage to help someone.

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