Category Archives: Self-Help

Two General Actions Part 2


In our last post, we left off with my reasons for favoring the Wait And Think approach as opposed to the Simply React approach. To see the whole post from last week, please click this link: The Two General Actions.

Everything in life demands some sort of reaction from us. These reactions with which we respond are all on one very large spectrum of possibilities. But, to keep things simple, we’ll just say that you can either have a very good, thoughful response to something, or a response that potentially results in disaster.

Every day is a new day, and with those new days come new choices, new opportunities. We can either choose to immediately react to whatever is going on around us based primarily on instinct, or we can wait and think of a more appropriate action within our capabilities.

I’ve always found that when I’m needing improvement in an area, it’s easiest for me to improve myself once I’ve fully identified the parts of myself that are lacking. This is why I typically have you examine yourself in each post to identify if you have any areas that could be improved.

So, with that being said, I’d like you to take a moment here to identify which of these two categories you typically fall into.

React

  1. A car accident happens near you, you instantly run towards the vehicle, hoping to help whomever was involved,
  2. You see someone bleeding nearby and rush over towards them to assist.
  3. Your computer starts to become slow and you simply replace it with a new one (or throw it against a wall)
  4. The lights in one of your rooms are consistently dying so you go out and buy new bulbs to replace them every time they go.
  5. A fire starts in your kitchen and you don’t have a fire extinguisher (you should get one). You throw water onto the flames.

Wait, and Think

  1. A car accident happens near you. Looking at the vehicle, you notice that the engine is on fire. After calling 911, you proceed more aware of the dangerous situation in which you may get involved should you choose to assist.
  2. You see someone bleeding nearby. Before you rush over to assist the person, you notice that there is a large group of people running away from the bleeding person. This alerts you to a dangerous situation. With this knowledge, you can now make a decision as to what to do. If you had simply run over there without looking or thinking, you could have potentially become another victim.
  3. Your computer starts to slow down. As you think about your recent computer usage, you realize that it’s been awhile since you’ve cleaned your computer and, consulting the internet, you find numerous ways to increase the speed of your computer without spending any money. Even if you do need to spend money, you’re able to keep the total costs low (unless your computer really has reached its end).
  4. The lights in one of your rooms are constantly dying. After replacing the lights about two times in two weeks, you notice that it only seems to happen when other people are using electricity in the house. Instead of wasting money constantly replacing the lights, you’re able to realize that your room has faulty wiring that can be both costly and dangerous if not tended to promptly.
  5. A fire starts in your kitchen. You don’t have a fire extinguisher. (Again, get one! The benefits far outweigh the cost!) Because this fire happened in the kitchen – possibly in a pan – it is possible that the fire is a grease fire. Considering that putting water on an active grease fire causes an explosion, that would not be smart. You’re not sure that it’s a grease fire, but to be careful, you assume that it is. You find a metal pan or lid or something to smother the fire, cutting off the oxygen and extinguishing the fire.

I made a point to use the exact same examples with two entirely different responses. These situations are obviously more on the extreme side, and these responses are not the only options. So please, apply these to yourself as you are best able. The point is to identify which of the two actions you are most likely to take. To those of you who would typically give your reaction a moment of thought before you simply react, some of these examples may seem silly. But people do simply react all the time. It’s not always bad to react, and doing so does potentially take care of a problem much faster. The important part to remember, though, is that the fast solution is not always the right one. When you react instantly to a situation, you lose vital time to assess it. For the small amount of time that you lose when you give yourself pause to think, you might potentially save lives. (I am currently training to become a paramedic, and one of our basic lessons is that you must always take time to asses, no matter how dire the situation. Yes, time is a factor, but without proper assessment, you could further endanger the patient.) For your day to day problems, you’ll be much more likely to actually solve your problem instead of creating a bigger issue and/or prolonging the original one.

After reading the previous post and now the post from today, I’d like you to really ask yourself; do you react instantly, without any thought, driven exclusively by instinct? Or do you wait and think of the most you appropriate action to take?

Don’t do double work, don’t put someone else at risk. Think about what you’re doing before you do it. If you’re able to assess before you react in everyday situations, your life will be greatly improved. It isn’t just your actions that can get you into trouble when you react instinctively. The same goes for the words you choose to say and how you say them. Thinking for just a few seconds can help tremendously in nearly all situations, such as:

  • Controlling Anger
  • Avoiding Conflicts
  • Saving someone’s life
  • Avoiding a car accident
  • Choosing the right path
  • Knowing when you’ve met “The One”
  • Accepting a job
  • Knowing when to say no to a job
  • Everything!

Be kind, do something nice for a stranger today.

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The Two General Actions


Freedom For Today, Freedom Every Day.

I’d like to use today’s post to help you to identify which of two very general types of actions you prefer to take. It is my belief that one of these two types can lead you to have a much happier, less restricted life. But I’d love to hear your personal thoughts and stories, so please feel free to share at the end of this post!

For those of us in the world who constantly react instead of  plan, life can be fairly difficult. It may be difficult to find the energy to put your feet on the floor for the first time each day, and the idea of taking that shower, going outside, or just doing much of anything can seem like a terrible chore. For those of us in the world who wait and plan, “life is good”.

To react, or to wait and plan.

The Two General Actions:

React: For those of you who fall into this category, it’s likely you see yourself as the only person who is doing anything. You may actually grow agitated with others feeling that you are the leader and that the others (anyone else, one or more) do not contribute enough in the decision making, or the overall progress of generally anything you do. You may feel that in an emergency you are the only hope and that without you everyone will simply fail due to inaction. In many cases, this may be true. To a degree. People who react tend to become small leaders (mind the distinction) that have a group that relies on them heavily, and the reactor will in fact, be needed due to the inaction of others. Those who react do not have a choice in the actions they take. Their life is not their own and is guided by the events that take place around them.

Wait: Those who wait may be seen in a number of lights. However, today we’ll only mention two of those known lights. If you fall into this group you are most likely either seen as someone who is a natural leader and you are well respected for you ability to guide people and more often than not you’re able to avoid the mistakes of reacting to an event pre-maturely. The opposite is just as likely may be true for you as well. If you choose to wait you may be seen as someone who does not contribute. The second situation will almost always happen when in the presence of someone who does not wait and simply reacts to every individual event, and will likely never cease until the reactions of that person lead their group into a bad situation, paving the new leadership role for those that wait.

If you constantly keep yourself in the mindset that you must always react to everything going on around you, you will find yourself in a very restricted place. The sort of people that only react and do not wait are denying themselves basic freedoms of choosing to not work for a day and enjoy the day with their children/family/alone time. It happens, and it’s by no means a crime. The bad part about this is when you’re unable to identify that you’ve trapped yourself because you feel that you cannot do anything because you are constantly dealing with all of the events that surround you. As a well-rounded, responsible person, you must be  able to react at all times. This doesn’t mean that you must react to everything without thinking, it only means that if you need to, you can. 

So… Do you wait, or do you react?

Knowing which one of those two actions you most commonly take will help identify how large of a hole you may be in, if you’re in one at all. It’s much easier to be free and enjoy your life if you have the freedom to choose rather than being a slave to impulses. It is for this reason that I  prefer to wait and think before acting. Both lifestyles will allow you to live  functional and even successful lives. In my personal opinion, though, those who wait will more often than not live a greater quality of life.

We’ll discuss these two actions in more depth on Monday. I put out new posts every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday so check back throughout the week or subscribe to updates by entering your email at the bottom of the blog.
Be kind, do something nice for a stranger today.

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It’s Okay To Relax


Wiggle Room

Hey guys, if you’ve been following my posts so far then you realize that I really do want to help you help yourself. It’s having that in mind that pushes me forward today to elaborate on what “Leaping Wiggly Wednesday’s” post touched on lightly, but not enough to get the point across accurately.

The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.

-Chinese Philosopher/Unknown

 (Whomever you are, thanks for lending us the quote today.)

While our quote’s author is unknown, the quote’s meaning is something I agree with. The meaning also happens to be an idea by which I live my life everyday. I mentioned this and spoke of it briefly in our last post, but I feel it’s a disservice to you as well a bad thing to say without following up. Like everything anyone says, unless there is a very clear explanation of what is being said, it can mean two entirely different things based on a few words that weren’t said. (Food for thought: Know what you’re saying as well as attempt to hear it as if you were someone else who is five years old. This won’t always clear up problems, sometimes you need to hear specific questions in order to be able to clear up other people’s misunderstandings of you, whereas other times there may be no understanding regardless. It’s always better to take steps to avoid that if possible, though.) Before I continue on about the ease of misunderstanding, I’ll get on with today’s post. That is why you are here after all. 🙂

Everywhere we’ve gone in life, and everywhere we’ll go, there are and there will be difficult times. That’s just a fact of life, plain and simple. Typically, our reaction is to deal with it or not deal with it at all. There are a variety of actions people choose to take, and we could go over them in great detail in a later post. So assuming your choices are simple as: to deal with it or not, you’re probably going to have a very stressful reaction either way. The stresses of not dealing with it might not be as obvious or easily connected with the fact that you’re not doing anything when you need to be, but they’re there. No question about that. 🙂

Those problems that you have chosen to deal with can be pretty taxing. You’re always busy. If you’re not dealing with the new ordeal (for lack of better term) then you’re probably dealing with everything else like cleaning, hunting for food in the wilderness, talking with your friends/other, daily exercise, playing with animals, or taking care of your children.

Buddy, I get it. I know my daily routines, I know I have plenty to do nearly all of the time without something coming up.

Alright, so now you’ve got this extra ordeal to deal with on top of the daily routine, you now have negative time. You will not have time to do something that you need to do. This has gone from stressful to the brink of too much to handle. Truly, the typical person who tries to keep up with this type of schedule does eventually end up failing courtesy of a burnout.

The solution is one that hardly anyone ever recognizes, and those that do tell themselves it’s not a solution, but a problem that only serves to assist the growing size of the ordeal. You just need to relax.

RELAX? Are you kidding?! I’ve got some words for you mister!

While I’m sure most people won’t react the way I chose to portray you, some of you might (maybe not so exaggerated). The moment I typed that word, I put my likability in peril. But it really works, and I’ll tell you why now.

Everyday of our lives we are busy and we just become more and more stressed each day. As the stress accumulates over time, we find ourselves becoming heavily irritated or overburdened. If you live in America, you live in a society that continuously teaches you not to relax. In some places, the term relax is practically a sin. It’s thought to be synonymous with laziness. Relaxation is not bad for you, though. It can become bad if you relax too much, just like everything and anything else in your life. We must all practice good moderation, and this includes our behaviors. Relaxation, when practiced properly (meaning that you have a good ratio of activity to inactivity), can be very beneficial as proven by many studies and soon to be more as there are many more studies being done currently.

So, now that I’ve linked you to two other outside sources that advise relaxing, I’d like to tell you why I, personally, believe it is important for you, as well as good for everyone around you.

Simmer down friend

It’s difficult – and I know it is – to take a look at your life and tell yourself that you need to relax. It’s even harder when you’ve got so much going on that it makes you feel like relaxing is a bad thing.

I can promise you, that you’ll be able to come up with three reasons, if not more, for why you shouldn’t relax every single time you’d like to. The difficult part comes in with:

  1. Knowing when you need to
  2. Knowing that it’s more important to take an hour to yourself than it is to work yourself into the ground
  3. Knowing when to stop relaxing without ruining your relaxation time.

Once you’ve started taking time to relax, and once you’re able to tell yourself that you not only need to, but that it’s really okay to relax, you’ll become much happier and (surprise!) more productive.

Imagine yourself if you were, say, a laptop. Your laptop will be far more productive, as well as healthier if you turn it off when you’re done using it. It will be healthier if you give it breaks in between times of excessive use so as to allow the computer time to cool down. When you don’t allow these times for the laptop to have its own relaxation, you dramatically lower the life of the laptop, both in the long and short run. In the short run, the laptop has an equivalent to our burnout. (This is why I chose to use a laptop as opposed to a desktop for the example.) The laptop will, with very little (if any) warning at all, suddenly cease all operations and SHUT OFF. You? Me? Every other human in the world? None of us are any different when we are overworked for too long, with no breaks, and no time to relax for a bit. We will shut down, and there is typically no obvious warning for anyone other than you just moments before the whole crash. (See burnout for warnings for you/loved ones.)

Understood. Our daily stresses can be very dangerous to us. But I don’t have time to relax.

I really cannot stress this to you enough: It is important to make time.

You need to have wiggle room in life. If you’ve allowed your life to get so packed full of things that you’re not allowed time for mistakes, not allowed time to randomly jump into a lake and go for an unplanned swim, and generally not allowed to enjoy your life, it’s time to make making time a priority. Being able to wiggle is an amazing feeling. It’s the equivalent to breathing for me. You can either take healthy breaths and live well and happy, or you can continue as so many American’s do today, by taking short, quick breaths and hoping that it’s enough to keep you going a few more minutes.

Relaxing is important. Enjoy your life. This is the only time you’ll ever have this life no matter what you believe. Enjoy it, and be happy.

Be kind, do something nice for a stranger today.

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The Leaping Wiggly Wednesday


It’s Wiggly Wednesday!

Hey there folks, today is CMS’s second Wiggly Wednesday post. So I thought I’d let everyone know the reason for Wiggly Wednesdays has to do with my personal philosophy. I believe that wherever you are, whoever you are, and no matter what you are doing, you must always have some wiggle room. Life needs it, for the overworked person the reasons are obvious for why they’d want some wiggle room. But everyone needs it, the student who works everyday on any variety of things. The list that could potentially be made of all the things that anyone does is astronomical. (The list of excuses as to why people cannot allow themselves wiggle room is twice as long if not more-so.)

Don't wait

Every second is a chance to turn your life around there will never be a bad time to change things up and start incorporating those wiggle times.

I need wiggle room, and I create it! There are plenty of things that need my attention, as are there plenty of things that need your attention. We’ll never be able to do anything with our best potential if we can’t take a moment to relax.

Wiggle.

This image here appears to not want to be linked, so feel free to check out our source here

The overall idea: Be happy, don’t restrict yourself to always working. Obviously you need to have priorities and know what to do and when to do it. But that doesn’t mean that you should let yourself work 24/7. Nobody is meant to live that way, you need to give yourself time to pamper yourself, or just do something silly that might be considered a waste of time. Live your life, do what you want to do just for you every once in awhile. It might feel strange for those of you that are particularly time strained workers. But everything in live improves with a bit of wiggle time. Just leap into it! Especially today, since it’s February 29th. You only get to leap in on this Wiggly Wednesday once in a very great while. In fact, the next leap year that will take place on a Wednesday will not be until 2040! =] So there’s a fun fact for you to enjoy on this, your Wiggly Wednesday.

Be kind, do something nice for a stranger today.

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Be Yourself: Knowing when it’s time


Hey there, welcome to Monday’s post. While I don’t plan on doing this often, we’re continuing the point from the last post on Saturday – Be Yourself: Acceptance. The overall idea is that you should always be yourself. No matter what you feel is against you, being who you really are is one of the most important things for you to do in order to keep yourself happy with yourself. Please see the previous post if you haven’t already. Feel free to share both of these as well!

Knowing When It’s Time

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. ”
~Oprah Winfrey~


Thanks to Oprah for the quote, very smart lady she is. My philosophy on pretty much all life matters is fairly simple. Life is too short to waste time being someone you’re not. This applies to everything for me, and while I suggest this for everyone I’m aware that not everyone is prepared to do that. I’ve had plenty of rough patches in my life, to the point where I can fully understand that misery is comfortable. It’s hard to want to change once you’ve been in a bad place for so long. But it’s still something that you’ve gotta do. You can’t avoid that eventually you need to dig yourself out of the muck and see what the world has to offer. Change is new, change is unknown, change can be very scary. Knowing all of this is part of knowing when it’s time to change.

Knowing when it’s time. That being the whole reason for this post. How do you know when it’s time? What do you do when that time comes? You know it’s time when you look at this page. When you begin to wonder what you’re doing in your life. You know it’s time when you’re able to step outside of the box you’ve been trapped in.

There are millions of ways to help yourself be better, but they all need to start with the same foundation. You’ll never be able  to live happily, you’ll never be able to do anything you want in life unless you are, in the purest sense of the word, yourself.

That’s not to say that you can’t accomplish certain things when you are posing as another person. I’m sure you can. Anyone anywhere in the world can find successes if they look hard enough. But there is a key thing to note in a situation like this; you have to look for your successes. When you are being who you are, doing what wish to be doing, being who you wish to be with – when you live your life as you – you do not need to look for success.  You are success.

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.
~Lao Tzu~

There is, as always, a decent amount of explanation needed with all things to do with helping yourself. Before you can truly begin to change or “heal” yourself, you must always understand from where the problem originates. So, while it is in theory very simple to know when it is time to leave the shell that you’ve been allowing others to control, it’s not always as simple as it sounds. You know it’s time once you’ve made the conscious thought recognizing that you are not being the person that you know you are at your core. Below are a few instances that would highlight that you’re ready to leave behind someone else’s shadow and be your own person.

  • When your actions conflict with your thoughts
  • When you experience “Same Motions” boredom (If you’re being who you are and doing what you love, this won’t happen)
  • When you find yourself getting irritated with yourself
  • When you feel shame for who you see yourself as
  • When you’re not inspired to do anything in your life

If you ever have any of these thoughts, it’s time. There will of course be infinitely more, it’s up to you to recognize the difference of your situation to the general situations that I’m able to give here. Don’t let yourself stay trapped just because you don’t see your specific situation listed as an example. Stop for a moment and examine yourself. Are you who you want to be? Do you decide what you do in your life, or do you allow someone else to dictate what you do?

Yeah, there are some good reasons for me to move forward but…

  • “People won’t like me if I’m different.”
  • “I can’t afford the risk. Life isn’t good, but I can handle it.”
  • “My Significant Other won’t think of me the same.”
  • “Well, people don’t influence me that much…”
  • “I’m usually myself, I have to be someone else to get places.”
  • “Being like this is better than myself.”

These are EXCUSES, not reasons. Do not confuse them.

If a person is upset enough, their mind will turn on them in vicious ways to keep them down. You can be your own worst enemy if you make a point to be a strong person. You must have the courage to be yourself. When you can dismiss your own excuses for why you shouldn’t, that is when it’s time. Clear the obstacles that you create and you will be able to move forward.

When you’re able to put everything together – when you don’t have excuses, when you see that you’re not behaving like you feel you should, when you start to really think about where you are in life and how you’re not happy there – these are all very good signs that you are ready. You will always be your biggest opposition to self improvement. Overcome yourself and everything that comes after will be much easier.

Let me know what you do to recognize when you’re ready to truly be yourself and how you accept yourself. I’d love to hear from you and see what your friends feel about these posts. Share and share alike!

Be kind, do something nice for a stranger today.

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