The Power of True Love
It had been almost 3 years since William and Olivia got married. But both of their families were still infuriated to this day because of their decision to marry without their permission. It was not like William and Olivia didn’t try to get their parents to agree to their love marriage, but when all their efforts were bearing no fruit, they decided to spend their lives together. True love can never be contained. However, there was a price that had to be paid for this decision, which was being separated and cast off from their families forever.
After losing his family and their support, William decided to get a job in a small private company to support their lives. The company in which he decided to work for providing him with a small yet decent apartment to stay. And together William and Olivia decided to make that apartment their small but sweet abode. Soon after they were blessed with a baby boy, who they named Noah. After Noah’s birth, the ice that was frozen in their relationship with their families started to melt off a bit. Olivia’s parents decided to forgive her and they started visiting them too. Their relationship was once again on track. But despite all the circumstances and happiness in their family, William’s father was still angry and this changed nothing for him. Although William’s mother and his younger brother and sister often visited him, they made sure their father never came to know of this. Often times they used to call and share their feelings and rejoiced with happiness. Life was moving at a good pace and everything seemed to be moving in a positive direction.
It is often told that when a person’s time is not going in their favor, then problems automatically line up one after the other. The company which William was working for had suffered a huge loss and they decided to furlough some employees and bring down their costs. Unfortunately, William was one of the unlucky employees who lost their jobs in this process. This incident of losing his job in such a manner broke William from the inside. Being the only earning member of his family, this was a huge blow to him. Due to stress and the building pressure of being unemployed, William’s behavior and attitude started to take a toll, making him unpleasant and rude.
This incident started showing its effect on William and Olivia’s relationship too. After losing his job, both of them started having quarrels and disagreements on almost a daily basis. The things which often both of them used to ignore earlier were now the topics of heated arguments and fights. Often times their bitterness grew to such an extent that they didn’t talk to each other for days. And on the other hand, despite multiple efforts, William was not able to find another job.
One night, Olivia told William that she had been talking to her mother about their condition. Her mother suggested that William should come and meet his father-in-law as he had a friend in Chicago, who had a few connections and could provide him with a job. This infuriated William and made him scream that he didn’t want the help of any of their relations. He wanted to do everything on his own. “This is all their trick and a way to make us feel inferior!” said William. Now annoyed and pushed to her limits, Olivia too burst out asking where was everything? What fruit had his efforts brought them so far? She was disappointed in him because he refused to accept help from her father and thought of it as an insult to him. Olivia told William that her father had visited them and Noah numerous times because he truly cared for them. “Have you forgotten that 3 years ago these were the people who had abandoned us, and now you want us to accept their help? Said William hotly “So, what is wrong with that? He was angry with our decision then, but at least he is trying to help us now in these difficult times!” said Olivia. She screamed that William’s father had not even come to see his grandchild once. Quarreling and fighting, they forgot about Noah, who was terrified and crying while watching his parents fight. Olivia then stopped arguing and picked up Noah and went to their kitchen. Seeing his son cry on his mother’s shoulder, made William realize something deep within his heart and he couldn’t bear all this anymore.
The next morning, Olivia woke up to the sound of Noah and William playing happily. She instantly had a wave of happiness on her face. And then William said that nothing is greater for him than the happiness of his love and child. He agreed to visit her father and leave for Chicago the next day to arrange for the job. To their surprise, Olivia’s family had come to visit them the very next morning. Leaving all their differences in the past. They had a lovely time together and William was given the details and address of the person and where to go in Chicago.
The next day while packing for his trip, Olivia asked William jokingly what will he be getting for her from Chicago. And he replied “anything you want”, as he had not given her any present for almost a year. “A dress from that famous store near Downtown” was all that she asked. “Your wish is my command,” said William happily. When ready to leave for the airport and while saying their goodbyes, William hugged Noah and Olivia and promised to be back soon. He left to catch his flight.
After reaching Chicago, William went and met his father-in-law’s friend and spent almost 2 days with him. Then finally the moment came and he got a great job offer, just like he imagined. William had to join in a week’s time and now had to go get his family back from Detroit. After reaching the airport ready to board his flight, William decided to call Olivia. He told her all about how he got the job and they had to move to Chicago. Excited and happy about the news, they were talking when she asked him about her present and if he had bought that dress. William had totally forgotten about that. And then Olivia got angry with him and she was saying something when they got disconnected.
After a while, Olivia and Noah were watching TV and suddenly an emergency news broadcast came about a flight that had crashed. It had taken off from Chicago and was headed toward Detroit. This sent shivers down Olivia’s spine. This was the flight that her husband was on. She immediately called the airport authorities and started inquiring about the accident and whether there were survivors. But to her shock and horror, nobody had survived that crash. All the passengers were dead. She was left in tears and the ground beneath her was shaken. The last talk that they were having had ended in a fight and now she had to live with that regret forever. How could she ever forgive herself? Broken and shattered she fell on the floor, and poor Noah couldn’t understand anything that had happened to his mother. She cuddled with Noah and kept on crying, and later passed out.
Later in the middle of the night, suddenly, Olivia’s phone rang, and to her shock, it was William calling! She was trembling and didn’t want to pick up the call as she was expecting to hear the authorities who would inform her about the accident, but it was not them. The voice she heard blew her mind. It was William! Overjoyed and in tears she couldn’t believe this! Confused and baffled she asked him how was this happening. And that’s when William explained that he had canceled his flight to go back and buy that dress she had asked him for. He could not come home and disappoint the love of his life, and he decided to get that present for her. After all, it was an occasion to celebrate. Buying a dress saved William’s life today. Then, he took the next flight home and couldn’t call her as his phone’s battery died. Olivia started crying with joy and could not believe that such a miracle had happened. William came home shortly after that and they hugged and cried tears of joy for a long, long time. The happiness and joy in that house were out of bounds. And that’s how true love saved a man’s life!read more
Ghosts Live Here
“Is this the place?”
The car pulled up close to the empty lawn of an abandoned house on Elmer Street. This was one of several houses acquired by the Keystone Bank in New Jersey. It was also one of the many abandoned houses in that desolate cul-de-sac, the forgotten extreme end of the state; a hollow mirage of the country’s fun-filled occupancy.
People believed this house was haunted.
“This is the place.”
“Not a very bright residence.”
The banker stared in disgust at the resident. He had never seen an apartment so dreary-looking. Knee-length grass from the lawn adorned the rusty metal gate at the entrance. One thing was clear: no one had lived here in long while. The building itself stood two stories tall, having twin window-shattered towers that overlooked the street.
It was half-past six, almost twilight. Already, one of them was super impatient; and it wasn’t the banker.
“See, this is a bad idea,” said the banker’s assistant, a small man with whiskers, who deliberately kept the engine running. “Let’s just head back to the bar; it’s karaoke night…”
But the banker, a burly man who acted on impulse rather than thought, waved away the suggestion. “If this house is haunted, I want to know. I can’t believe you even believe that bullshit about ghosts.”
“It’s no bullshit. I told you, last time I was here, I heard really strange noises;—the type of sounds you hear if you were stuck in a cave somewhere.”
The banker laughed. You’re an idiot, he confided in his assistant. He was going in regardless. It was his responsibility to prepare the bank’s newly purchased properties for construction—his job depended on it.
He stepped out of the car slowly, urging his assistant to do the same. Once out of the car, the banker surveyed the environment one last time. The building was a mess all right, but it wasn’t irreparable. At least he thought so.
Satisfied with the view, he turned to his assistant. But he couldn’t get a word out because his assistant shrieked suddenly.
“Did you see that?” he said, pointing with shaky fingers at the two towers.
The banker followed his assistant’s gaze. “See what?”
“Up there, at the tower.”
He stared again in that direction… and saw nothing. He shook his head.
“I swear,” said his partner, shaking like a leaf. “I swear to God, John, there was someone standing there, watching.”
John slammed the passenger seat door closed. “Let’s go Rob. The sooner we get this done, the sooner we get home, kapeesh?”
And that was that. His assistant fell in line like a puppet and followed John, quietly, through the gate. John wasn’t a coward. His father was a war veteran who believed in two things: God and a gun. As his father used to say; Nothing was beyond the control of God; even if there was such a thing, it could always be resolved with a gun.
John, the banker touched his belt just in case. He kept a loaded magnum there for emergencies. No one, not his assistant, knew he carried a gun around. He was more than a banker; he was the fixer. To him, a haunted house meant nothing.
They broke open the gate’s rusty padlock; waded through the spiky grass and landed at the foot of the doorstep. A placard inscribed with strange writing dangled lightly from the doorknocker. The words were queer but the message was clear and simple: “Ghosts Live Here”.
John chuckled. The whole thing was a farce. “Ghosts write on planks now? Puh-lease.”
Rob preferred not to speak. The house terrified him; the story behind its abandonment even more. Ten years ago, a ghastly fire accident took the lives of a dozen homeless children. The fire was so great that it rendered the entire neighborhood inhabitable. The stories that followed this incident weren’t great either.
Sometimes people went in and never came out the same. No words could explain what went on within. Frankly, no one could accurately explain the situation, because who, in their right mind, would believe a ghost story? Definitely not John, who recoiled when the door swung open unaided, screeching a sonata.
John smirked. An empty living room with charred cobwebbed furniture, ceiling, and floorboard opened up before him. He saw no one.
“I thought Ghosts were discreet,” he joked. “But these don’t lock their doors?”
Entering the apartment just then, Rob rebuked his co-worker. “We shouldn’t speak so much in here.”
“Why not,” said John raising his voice a decibel higher. “There is no one but us—Jesus! What was that sound?”
A deep growl emanated suddenly from the upper room above them. But it wasn’t a familiar sound it sounded like it echoed from the heavens. Like the sound of ocean slapping against the hull of a ship but very vague as if from a distant world. Anyone would shudder at the sound of such sinister sound. But that wasn’t what startled John.
He heard his words trailing off in an otherworldly echo. Rob had heard it too, because he kept a foot out the entrance door, just in case. He pleaded for an exit but John refused. They were yet to see the upper floor. Failure to do so would have been a waste of gas, John thought.
However, the house wasn’t finished with them. A burst of sonorous laughter followed the echo. It sounded very much like a middle-aged lady trying to sing while her teeth scraped against the wood. This chilly voice came from the end of the room where a spiral stairwell connected both floors.
Again, no one was there.
It’s getting late, John remembered. The time was now past 7, the sun had long set, and the lights in the moonlight sky illuminated the ambiance below. Fear started to creep in. If I die, I die.
“Come on Rob, up the stairs now.”
“Because…” John said. “Well, I don’t know!”
Then they heard the laughter of children somewhere in the back. It’s the sort of laughter a group of children would give a teasing adult, but with a melancholy feel to it. Immediately, they turned swiftly to where the sound came from. Again, no one was there.
“We know you’re there,” said John approaching the staircase. “Come out now and we won’t press charges!”
The moon was out now in full force. The night sky blackened. Not much time was left until the loss of visibility. John knew he had to move fast if he was going to make it home in time for his wife’s dinner. So, he motivated Rob to come along and soon they began to climb the staircase.
Astonishingly, there was no single person on the upper floor or at the foot of the stairs. All they saw was a rat scuttling past.
“See?” said John gloating to Rob, a few feet away, “there’s no one there.”
It didn’t take long for John to bloat, because when he turned back to the staircase, a white cloak stood there, with slits for eyes, watching them intently. John had never seen anything so frightening before.
“Jesus Christ!” He said, reaching for his gun before shooting rapidly at the wraith-like monster.
The bullets did nothing. They went clean through the wraith-like hot knife through butter. The wraithlike figure bobbed its head once, twice; swayed its frame this way and that, like a salsa dancer before vanishing into thin air. John knew it was time to leave.
He and Rob ran for their lives, their hearts thumping madly in their chests. They tripped over the doorstep, tripped over the grass, and even stumbled comically at the metal gate. They arrived at the car in perfect condition and then watched for a moment to see if they were pursued.
Rob panicked. “You brought a gun? Are you mad?”
But John’s eyes were fixated on the towers where the wraithlike figure stood watching. And then it disappeared again.
They started the car and took off, never to be seen again down that alleyway. On the drive, John confided in his assistant. “This is a haunted house… it really is.
“Are you okay?”
“I think so,” said the frail man, wiping beaded sweat off his forehead with the back of his palm. He was as thin as a broom, with a beard heavier than his head. “That was really close. I could’ve died!”
“Were they cops?” his second asked. He was even thinner than the first, albeit bald.
Flicking on his flashlight, the frail man inspected himself and then surveyed the machine on the table at the center of the attic.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t think so. If that guy had been a better shot, I would be swimming in my own blood.”
The bald man, with the nose of a pig, came out of his hiding place in the dark. He too came around to inspect the machine.
“Wow! It’s destroyed.” He exclaimed.
The frail man nodded grimly, picking up the broken pieces of the machine. The bullets had made a clean connection, and all that was left of their precious holographic projector was an unrecognizable lens. The bald man offered to fix it.
“No,” said the frail man. “It’s irreparable I think.”
“But—but they’ll be back!”
The frail man looked out the window. “I suppose; with real cops this time. We’ve overstayed our welcome, I think.”
A series of curses, and then: “Back to the crack house, I guess?”
The frail man nodded. “I believe.” And then he tossed the machine to the corner where it crashed into dozens of other broken objects. “But it’s been a pleasure living in this temporary house of ours. Who would have thought a hologram would cause this much trouble?”
The bald man laughed; his teeth a myriad of colors. And then his expression changed because he remembered something queer. “Say, did you hear that sound before? It felt like children crying…”
The frail man shook his head. “I was too busy getting shot at, remember?”
“I thought, at first, that those men had brought some kids along. But then that’s ridiculous. It scared me though. It felt like a dozen children were crying out for help—I mean, we’ve only been here two days, but… do you really think ghosts live here?”
The frail man laughed. “Don’t be ridiculous. Ghosts aren’t real. Besides, we leave tomorrow. Probably best we get some early shuteye.”
And then they turned in for the night, sleeping on nothing but tattered rugs, using makeshift aprons as blankets. This was only their second night here, and already they felt at home. It hurt them plenty, knowing that they had to return to the crack house the next day. The thought was so heavy on their minds that they soon fell asleep.
It was a very short sleep, not one they enjoyed too well because very soon they woke up to the sounds…of children crying.read more
A Therapeutic Death
5 am looked so bleak. A crystallized sky with dark clouds hung over the quiet city. In New York, no matter where you stood, you could always hear the chatter of birds, the incessant shutter of doors and windows, the onrushing honking of cars, and the rhythmic shuffle of crowds. This was a city that never slept, that never kept quiet.
But today was different; the noises Sarah grew accustomed to in the city were only now a floating conversation in the wind. That signaled something…
Sarah exited the balcony of her penthouse in the city, her satin robe brushing against the tendrils of her crimson rug. She was a well-renowned psychiatrist in the city, the type to earn two hundred thousand a year—minus consultation fee. She literally worked thrice a week at the city’s biggest hospital.
Her home was just underneath the blue skies at the biggest guesthouse in the city. She shared the apartment with her pet poodle which enjoyed human privileges and ate half her pantry. She loved her dog very much, and for a while watched the little thing sleep snugly on a little cushion at the corner of her glasshouse.
She took a cold shower next and made herself some coffee, before preparing a script for her new physiotherapy patient scheduled that day. Today’s patient was a spoilt teenage kid whose cocaine addiction rendered him a threat to society. It was her job to determine the extent of the kid’s mental deterioration and recommend a proper rehabilitation center.
I don’t need a script.
She was too good at this job anyway. But it wasn’t that. Something didn’t feel right today. It wasn’t the weather either. She just couldn’t place it. Coffee only made her more anxious, so she returned to bed, and laid there for a while. She woke by 6 after hearing something move, only to realize it was her poodle climbing into bed with her.
Around 7, she woke to the sound of rain. She usually clocked in by 9, so she had enough time to slip into her work clothes. She sat up and watched the rain for a while, thinking about her patient for the day. Then she went and turned on the television. After scrolling through music videos and telenovela shows, she tuned in to CNN.
Breaking news revealed details about a murder. It was the last thing she wanted to hear. Without even waiting for the details, she turned off the television and went for another cup of coffee. She whipped out her phone and scrolled through her messages on Tinder. Could you blame a lonely lady like her for finding love?
After swiping left on a couple of pictures, she tossed her phone aside and went back to working on her script. It still felt shallow, but she finished it anyway. Better to be prepared than caught napping during a psychotherapy session.
At half-past 8, she slipped into her work clothes: a brisk turtleneck and a dark brown skirt over polished leather boots, with a brown supple coat to keep her warm. The rain was so heavy that it didn’t fizzle out until past 9. She was late, but it wasn’t a bother. Her office was only a few hundred yards out from her apartment building, with a clear view of the hospital’s rooftop from her balcony.
Usually, she walked to work. It made little sense to drive to a place five minutes away and get stuck in traffic for a quarter of an hour when she could just stroll. Today was different; she didn’t want to get caught out in the rain, which threatened to fall any moment now. So, she called a cab and waited for it to arrive.
The cab arrived in three minutes, at about the same time the office called. Her patient had just arrived. But there was more: the patient had tendencies to cause a tantrum when kept waiting for too long. Rich people’s problems.
“I’ll be there soon,” she told the office.
She soon discovered that this promise was a little out of her reach. The rain had damaged a street light pole on the way to work, and the fastest alternative route was a further ten minutes away. By her calculations, she would make it to work a quarter to ten, almost an hour past her session.
Sarah had never been so late before. She urged the driver to step on the gas and offered him more money if he made it to the hospital quickly. The driver was good at his job; after maneuvering past the main road, he entered another equally trafficked boulevard. At least, here, she was closer to work. Her phone rang even more.
Sensing tension, the driver switched on the radio. The same murder news was on. She might as well listen.
“Turn that up please?”
Obliging, the driver added his own commentary. “The news is everywhere. The guy who’s been killing therapists is back.”
She froze and waited for the radio to confirm this horrible truth. Anyone else, an engineer, an accountant, an Uber driver, would have listened to this particular news with passive attention. For Sarah, this was a lot more personal. As a therapist herself, she felt truly afraid for her life.
Sarah found the news nerve-racking. This was the killer’s third victim in as many months; this being his most active period yet. Over a period of two years, the stone-cold therapy killer had murdered a dozen female therapists in their offices. The autopsy report was the same every time; he made his victims commit suicide.
How no one could tell. His motives, no one could fathom. All Sarah knew was that the killer was deadly and he was in the city.
As she rummaged through her thoughts panicking, she failed to realize that the driver was just now pulling up to the curb of the hospital avenue.
“Stop the car!”
Immediately, the driver pressed the brakes and checked to see if she was okay. She wasn’t. She alighted the vehicle swiftly; her head spinning and bent over the pavement in a bid to catch her breath. The driver hurried out of the car to offer assistance.
“Give me a minute!” she shouted, a little too loud, immediately waving her hand in apology.
Her world started spinning uncontrollably. The killer’s last victim was a long-time friend of hers. They had attended the same medical college in the city. Hearing news of her friend’s murder sent her into shock, and she struggled to understand the occurrence. Why she heard herself asking. Why!
The driver beckoned closer once more. His car was parked awkwardly on the road, and he needed to move it. Her phone rang incessantly just then; the office was calling again. She regained herself and hopped into the car, and allowed the driver to pull into the avenue.
She was being paranoid. The hospital was super secure, with a number of uniformed officers parading inside and outside the premises. All therapists in the hospital worked on the highest floor, the fifth floor. Matter of fact, the hospital had only one entrance and exit. This was a safe place. The killer, she surmised, wouldn’t dare enter such an open place. If he ever did, he would get caught.
Here, she was safe. She believed that—she needed to believe that.
After paying for her fare, she dipped her head low and walked towards the hospital’s entrance. At just that moment, her patient stormed out of the hospital. She recognized the little kid from the pictures sent from the office. In pursuit of her client was her supervisor, Doctor Trevor.
But the spoilt little kid had had enough waiting. Cocaine withdrawals was a really bad thing, Sarah realized, as the kid kicked a dustbin onto the road. Doctor Trevor tried to secure his investment, but the kid just wouldn’t listen. The security intervened and dragged him away from the hospital entrance.
Doctor Trevor turned on her, his face flushing red with anger. “Where have you been?”
Sarah shrugged. “There was an accident on the ro—“
Her supervisor held a hand up for silence. “I don’t want to hear it. You’ve just cost us a good client. His father is a Silicon Valley investor.”
There goes my pay rise.
Doctor Trevor sighed. He began to walk back into the hospital. Sarah caught up with him before he could enter the building.
“I’ll take the next available client.”
Trevor shook his head, and then stopped a few feet away from the hospital’s entrance to have a smoke. “Madison’s got that one covered. They’ve just started a session.”
Doctor Trevor noticed her intrigue. “Well, this client’s a queer one; doesn’t look mentally disturbed. If you ask me, he looks perfectly okay, mentally. Beats me why he requested the best psychiatrist.”
That’s me, Sarah opined.
“Of course,” said Doctor Trevor, “But he was so impatient; so I handed him over to Madison.”
Sarah nodded approval. Madison was the second-best psychiatrist in the hospital. She and Sarah often shared details of their client’s cases. Madison was truly exceptional at her job. There was no better person to deputize her position; that she knew.
After his cigarette, Doctor Trevor ushered Sarah in. But they never got past the doormat, because a sudden crash, followed by a heavy thump, behind them caught their attention.
“What in God’s name is that?”
They retraced their steps and almost wished they hadn’t. Accidents happened all the time in hospitals. Sarah had witnessed patients throw trays of medicine out the window. But this, this was different.
Someone had fallen off the fifth floor in a hail of shattered window panes.
It can’t be.
Doctor Trevor knelt beside the body of the fifth-floor suicide jumper. He gasped at what he saw. He didn’t even have to tell Sarah, she knew whose corpse that was. Right there, before their eyes, was the bloody frame of Anna Madison.
She looked up at the fifth floor, and sure enough, there was a person standing at the foot of Madison’s office enjoying the procession. She stood there frozen and afraid, as Doctor Trevor requested immediate help. Sarah took a step back to catch a good glimpse of the therapist’s killer.
Before today, the killer had been a wave in the news; a detached story from her reality; someone else’s problem; a distant dagger in Sarah’s heart. Today, she could feel nothing but hatred as the killer jumped off the top office, sealing his own demise.
This was the killer’s endgame, and she had only dodged a role in it by a second.read more
How to Use What You Got to Get What You Want.
There is no person on the planet that can definitively say, “They have everything they want.” We are all human and therefore, subject to wanting more than what we have no matter what we already have attained. You should not be ashamed of this attribute. It is what drives humanity on to bigger and better things. Where would we be if people simply settled? We would have far fewer inventions and the internet probably would not even be a thing. Progress takes people continually using what they already have to get what they want. Here are some tips on how you can do the same thing.
Know What You Want
This can be a difficult question to answer. Most people will simply say they want more money to do the things they want to do. Well, that is really a blanket answer. Those that seek to do more in life and utilize what they possess already must know the direction they are going and at least some specific idea of what they truly want out of life. Take some time to discern your actual goals for your life. Write down these goals in pen as opposed to pencil. Writing things down in ink makes them more permanent in your subconscious mind. You can always erase pencils, never pen.
Break Down Your Goals
One of the best ways to ensure you make your goals is to break them down. Discouragement is most prevalent when our goals seem unreachable. However, to counteract self-doubt, make smaller goals that will ultimately get you to your larger one. For example, those who choose to lose weight, especially those that are intent on losing a lot of weight, have a goal in mind of a specific ideal number, but use smaller increments, say 10 pounds, as mini-goals. Each one is celebrated and it makes the process of losing weight a lot easier to handle. The same notion can be used in practically any type of goal in life.
Where is the Passion?
If you find yourself failing time and time again at a specific goal, do not become discouraged. Simply take a step back and evaluate your passion level. Are you failing because your heart is not truly in it? It is easy to say we are passionate about a particular life avenue when we are following along with the crowd. At this stage, you must take a hard look at your goals and ensure they are actually goals you want to achieve. As humans, we can often acquire goals that are not truly our own. We feed off the enthusiasm of others and sometimes, the goal in question is something another is passionate about and we are simply mimicking that feeling. Establish your passion level for a goal. If it is really not there, it is likely not something you will truly be passionate about pursuing, so only go after your true passions in life.
Evaluate What You Have Already
This can be a difficult step because of self-doubt. We are not good at believing in ourselves and often, even the best people forget to emphasize their strengths in a particular avenue. We all have our individual strengths and weaknesses that make us who we are. Some are better at talking to people while others have better background abilities. Do you have a particular, natural skill set that makes you able to achieve your goals? Do you need to pursue a little more education to achieve that knowledge? Give a true evaluation of what you have already.
Align Yourself with People That Can Help
Humans are amazing creatures. We can do anything we put our minds to, but there are limits to what we alone may be able to accomplish. For higher goals, you may have to align yourself with people that share your passion level and goals for the future. The movie industry is a great example of this.
What we see on film is a lot of action, adventure, and big-name stars that are simply flawless. However, what you do not see is the time and effort of everyone around those people to make that movie what it is. Set designers, CGI experts, makeup artists, pyrotechnic experts, directors, producers, and a whole host of other people all the way down to the person catering for the actors. They all have their parts to play and when they are all working together, the entire thing comes together beautifully. Use the same logic for your goals. Align yourself with the right people to support your dreams and rid yourself of those who would tear them down.
Goals are great. They are healthy. Without goals in your life, it does not feel like you are truly living. You have everything you need to achieve any goal you wish. It all starts with a belief you can achieve it and the passion to keep striving for more. As you go along, you will acquire more resources and skills to further your goals and soon, you will be able to look back and appreciate the journey it took to get to where you want to be, but never be afraid to go higher.read more
How to nurture indifference to criticism?
Critics and criticism have long played a role in the honing and finetuning of all products of creativity and technology. Constructive criticism is indeed a stepping stone to precision and perfection. However, it is the critic and the time of offering critique that is most essential. Not all criticism is constructive, and so not all criticism deserves registering or even response.
In an ideal world, we would all have confidence in our abilities. We would be able to take criticism and not be negatively affected by it. We would be born with the self-realization to know whether a complaint is valid or not. However, we do not live in an ideal world, so criticism, especially unsolicited criticism, often affects us greatly. We have all heard about how we should take criticism in stride and learn from it, it is obviously great advice, but we also need to keep our humanity in mind. Human beings are complex creatures. All of us can’t have the same attitude towards negative stimuli, and thus it becomes essential for us to come up with ways to better deal with such situations. Sometimes it takes very little to bring us down, so it is imperative to make ourselves resistant if not indifferent to criticism. People often disregard their hard work and progress just because someone criticizes them and go right back to square one. A reaction like this is a derivative of not knowing your capabilities. We often look for validation from outside sources and get in the habit of rooting our self-confidence and self-worth in other people’s opinions of us. In this situation, even the slightest disapproval from someone can shatter our confidence and lead to emotional turmoil and gloom. Therefore, the first step in making ourselves indifferent to criticism is to make our faith in ourselves indubitable.
Confidence is the key to success and happiness in life. Having an unshakable sense of self is of the utmost importance. In order to strengthen your self-worth, you must stop relying on external validation. One may say that the best way to become indifferent to criticism is by inculcating an indifference to praise. If you are to be unaffected by criticism, you should also learn to be indifferent to praise. Your worth as a human being is not and has never been rooted in the opinions of others; as long as you live your most honest truth, you will be worthy.
When we talk about criticism and learning to pick and choose which opinions we should or shouldn’t care about, we should also introspect. If you don’t want to be negatively affected by criticism, you must also be someone who doesn’t criticise others just for the sake of it. You should practice refrain and learn when and how to present your opinion about someone else’s work or life. If you’re someone who gives unsolicited advice and says things while completely disregarding other’s feelings, you should also have the grace to accept the same positively.
People often say harsh and unking things under the guise of being honest; however, it is rarely about honesty. More often than not, it is about trying to look down upon people and making themselves look better. Introspect and identify if you have been someone like this in the past and do better, you will find that once you refrain from such behavior, a lot of your insecurities will seem illogical. Consequently, you’ll be able to better deal with criticism. The other aspect of the same coin is identifying individuals who might be saying things just for the sake of it. Often we find that the people whose criticism negatively affects us are those we would never even go to for advice. The golden rule, in my opinion, is to treat people how you want to be treated and to accept nothing less than what you deserve.
The next point in the quest to be indifferent to criticism is to change the way you are influenced. One must always work on their critical thinking abilities. The development of critical thinking allows us to form our own opinions rather than piggybacking on someone else’s. If you incorporate the habit of critical analysis into your daily life, you will find yourself less likely to be influenced by external opinions. When criticized, learn to listen and analyze. Try to see if it is an opinion that you should take seriously. If it is something that in no way improves anything about you or your work, go ahead and ignore it. There is no need to carry the weight of unnecessary critique. However, if you do find a sensible opinion in the criticism, go ahead and accept it. If it can help you be better at your job or as an individual, take whatever information is relevant to it and make the most of it. It doesn’t matter how or why you make a change. What is important is that you constantly try to be better than the previous day. If you have to listen to a few bitter words in the process of being better, so be it. The most important thing is to know how to filter all the opinions coming your way.
The conclusion is that we are unique individuals and can not have a one size fits all solution to any problem. We all handle criticism differently, so ultimately, all we can do is believe in ourselves. The world has no filters; we must learn to react and imbibe whatever the world throws at us selectively. So breathe in, believe in yourself and know that neither criticism nor praise can change your worth as a human.read more
How to Feel Alive Again
Often, we are just going through life without really enjoying or being fully present. Without a sense of vitality, we go through life without feeling alive each day, and our contentment is frequently influenced by the outcomes of our actions.
Every morning we get out of bed, shower, brush our teeth, have breakfast, drive to work, lose track of time in our work, return home, complete our chores, and prepare to go to sleep. We do this every single day. We restart the cycle the next day and do it all over again.
Are We Alive?
We no longer seem to be as enthusiastic about life as we were when we were younger. I guess that the adolescent years are an exhilarating time in your life. Because you’re having a good time every day, you are content. And you’ve got big plans for what you’d like to do after college.
But sadly, things began to shift. It’s easy to fall victim to the illusion that life isn’t as exciting as it should be once you begin working and living independently. Your everyday life suddenly becomes a series of predefined plans and steps that seems boring and less interesting. It is like we stop living completely.
Here are some quick solutions to help you feel more alive again if you are feeling low:
1. Set Smart Goals
If you want to rediscover your zest for life and feel alive again, you must set yourself smart goals. You need a goal to get back into the swing of things, whether it’s about money or you want to go for a vacation.
Smart goals have a specific timeline to achieve them. By simply taking time to set your goals and your to-do list, you will feel alive. The simple act of breaking your bigger goals into smaller achievable goals makes everything easier to achieve and easier to handle.
2. Try out a New Skill
Your brain will go to sleep mode if you don’t practice something new every day. You either use it or lose it! Learn a new skill and bring something fresh to your life. It could be something you are interested in or a talent that you wish to master.
The technicality of learning something new will keep you alive and your brain will be working hard to ensure you achieve it. But this will require deliberate practice every day to improve. You should not let any day pass without practicing the skill.
3. Read a book
Whether you are a fan of books or not, to feel alive again, you should read books. Books help us to connect to the authors or the characters and experience life differently. When you read about the life experience of someone else, fiction or real, you get to understand how someone else would have handled the situation that you are in.
Books are the easiest way to travel the world and enjoy the experience of different countries, religions, ethnicity, and cultures. By so doing, you will feel alive again just by acknowledging that there are some people out there dealing with even more complicated situations than you are in at the moment.read more
Five Easy Ways to Get Your Brain to Focus on What Matters
Your brain is the most complicated organ in your entire body. It controls all the activities of the body, whether you are asleep or awake. Because of this, our brain is constantly switching its attention from one thing to the other in split seconds. Getting your brain to focus on one item can be overwhelming.
However, for maximum productivity, you should learn how to get your brain to focus on what matters. Productivity is only realized by focusing on the critical tasks that pay us the most. When your brain wanders all over with a different type of thought, and you allow it, that will become your default way of thinking. And this may lead to reduced productivity and a lack of motivation to achieve your task.
So, how do you get your brain to focus on what matters and discard anything that will cause destruction?
Here are five ways to get your brain to Focus on Important Matter
You are what you think, and not the other way round. Therefore, the first step to getting your brain to focus is to first think about focus. That way, you will be aware of what is causing the destruction. You will be away from the environmental, physical, and emotional factors that affect your focus.
Here are some simple but very effective ways to get your brain to focus on what matters most:
1. Customize Your Environment for Focus
As I mentioned earlier, the most complex organ in your body is your brain. The second most complicated organ is your eye. Because of this that 50% of your brain is dedicated to processing visual data from the eye. What does this mean?
It means that what you see will determine what and how you think. Therefore, if you want your brain to focus on what matters, your environment should be full of only the important stuff that matters most. Failure to do so will keep your brain from wandering from one thing to the other that it sees.
2. Re-energize Your Body Regularly
Your brain is the Central Processing Unit (CPU) for your body. Therefore, like the computer CPU, it uses most of the resources from the body. Because of this, you have to take good care of your body for the optimal functioning of your brain.
This can be achieved by exercising and taking regular health and meditative breaks. When you exercise your body, the flow of blood to your brain will be enhanced, and so is your ability to focus on what matters.
3. Eliminate Negative Thoughts
We are emotional beings. And our thinking is likely to be swayed by what we feel inside. Because of this, you should ensure you fill your brain with positive thoughts only. That way, you will think clearly through things and come up with even better ideas. When you have negative thoughts, you are likely to have a biased way of thinking. Also, negative thoughts will make you lose focus on the most important things.
4. Develop a System and Stick to It
When you are engaged in complex and repetitive activities like writing, reading, etc. It is important to develop a system that will allow you to focus. You can do this by using the Pomodoro technique. This technique states that you divide your activity into smaller sub-activities that you can achieve in 25 minutes. Then takes a short break of 5 minutes between each Pomodoro. That way, your brain can easily focus on the task at hand for 25 minutes without straining.
5. Observe Your Overall Health
Lastly, what you eat is what you get! Okay, I just made that up, but what it means, when you are hungry, your brain will not focus on the task at hand. Your brain will be wandering around thinking of how you will get your next meal. Therefore, before you sit down to work on any task, make sure you are well fed. Too much food will also make you lose focus because the brain will handle the digestive system. Therefore, only eat enough.
Above all, you should be mindful of what you feed your brain. As it said in Information Technology (IT), Garbage in Garbage Out (GIGO). So, ensure you provide your brain with positive thoughts and keep learning new things by reading and consuming valuable information. That way, your brain will automatically know what to take in and what to keep out. With consistent practice, these will become easy and automatic processes for your brain. You will be able to easily focus on what matters with little or no effort.read more
How To Keep Your Dark Side At Bay
It is often said that everyone has a dark side. This may be true, but it is also important to remember that we all have the capacity for good as well. The key is to find a balance between the two and to keep your dark side in check.
One of the best ways to do this is to stay mindful of your thoughts and actions. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, take a step back and examine why you are thinking them. Are they really true? Is there another way to look at the situation?
It is also important to be aware of your actions. If you find yourself doing something that you know is wrong, ask yourself why you are doing it. Is it really worth it? Is there another way to get what you want?
Why is it important to keep your dark side in check?
We all have a dark side. It’s the part of us that is selfish, violent, and angry. It’s the side that wants to lash out when we’re hurt, take what we want without regard for others, and give in to our worst impulses.
For most of us, the dark side is something to be controlled and kept in check. After all, if we gave into it every time we felt anger or frustration, the world would be a very different place.
Instead, we try to teach ourselves and our children to control their emotions, resolve conflicts peacefully, and act with empathy and compassion. In other words, we try to keep our dark side in check. While it’s not always easy, it’s important. Because if we can’t control our dark side, it will control us.
In order to keep your dark side in check, consider the following:
Understand your dark side – take some time to think about what makes you angry, frustrated, or violent. What are the triggers that make you lose control?
Acknowledge your triggers—once you know what sets off your dark side, try to avoid those situations or resolve them in a different way.
Don’t be afraid to express your dark side-it’s okay to feel anger, frustration, or pain. But instead of lashing out, try to express those emotions in a constructive way.
Don’t let your dark side take over – if you find yourself in a situation where you’re about to lose control, take a step back and breathe. Count to ten, walk away or do whatever you need to do to calm down.
Seek professional help if needed – if you find that you can’t keep your dark side in check, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. A therapist can help you understand and manage your emotions in a healthy way.
Practice self-care – finally, it’s important to take care of yourself. Make sure to eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise. These things will help you stay physically and mentally healthy, which will in turn make it easier to keep your dark side in check.
How to stay mindful of your thoughts and actions.
It can be easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and lose track of our thoughts and actions. However, it is important to be mindful of our inner dialogue and how we treat others.
One way to stay mindful is to take a few moments each day to check in with yourself. Notice how you are feeling mentally and physically. Are your thoughts kind and compassionate? Are you treating others with respect?
If not, what can you do to change your thoughts and actions? Another way to stay mindful is to set aside some time each week for reflection. During this time, reflect on your week—what went well and what could have gone better.
What did you learn from your successes and failures? The more aware we are of our thoughts and actions, the more control we have over them. By making a conscious effort to be mindful, we can improve our well-being and the well-being of those around us.
Other ways for staying mindful of your thoughts and actions include:
- Be aware of your inner dialogue
- Check in with yourself regularly
- Set aside time for reflection
- Control your emotions
- Treat others with respect and compassion.
How to be aware of your actions.
It is important to be aware of your actions and how they may affect others. This can be done by thinking about the potential consequences of your actions before you do them.
For example, if you are considering saying something that could be hurtful to someone, ask yourself whether it is worth saying. If the answer is no, then it is probably best to keep your thoughts to yourself.
Another way to be aware of your actions is to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Try to see things from their perspective and think about how they might feel in different situations.
By doing this, you will be more likely to act in a way that is considerate and respectful of others.
It is important to keep your dark side in check. One way to do this is to stay mindful of your thoughts and actions. If you find yourself thinking or doing something that could be harmful to yourself or others, take a step back and examine why you are doing it.
Is it really worth it? Is there another way to handle the situation? When we take the time to be aware of our thoughts and actions, we are more likely to make choices that are in line with our values and that will lead to positive outcomes for ourselves and others.
How to find a balance between your dark side and your good side.
We all have a light and a dark side. The light side is associated with positive qualities like happiness, kindness, and love. The dark side is associated with negative qualities like anger, hatred, and jealousy.
Finding a balance between these two sides is essential for a happy and healthy life. When our dark side gets the upper hand, we may find ourselves acting in ways that we later regret.
We may say hurtful things to our loved ones or make poor decisions that can have lasting consequences. On the other hand, if we suppress our dark side too much, we may become disconnected from our own emotions and end up leading an unfulfilling life.
The key is to find a balance between the two. Allow yourself to feel your negative emotions, but don’t let them control you. Recognize when your dark side is starting to take over and take steps to bring yourself back into balance. By doing so, you’ll be able to lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.read more
How to Turn Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness
What is your definition of happiness? It is about money, respect, inventing something amazing? You likely have thought about this question more than once and have a clear idea in your mind of what you think ultimate success is, however, actually achieving success and happiness might seem a bit too far. The key is not jumping into success, but utilizing simple disciplines to achieve the ultimate happiness and success goal. Here are some tips to turn simple disciplines into massive success and happiness for your life.
Understand the Importance of Every Day
These days, it seems as though every day is running together. Whether you are working from home, helping kids with school, or among our essential workers still droning on as normal as possible, days can sometimes get away from us, but it is important to find something to ground you. You must take back the day and realize that every day, no matter what is going on, is important. Start the day by noting the actual date and day of the week. It seems a little silly, but noting each day can help realize its individual importance and the fact that you will never get that particular date back ever again. Count each day as vital to your success and a stepping stone to your ultimate happiness.
Value Meditation Time
You have a routine that you do every day. That is great, but what about time to really connect with yourself through meditation or prayer? You will find that when you research successful people, they all have something they believe to be a way to ground their life. Meditation or prayer seems to be the most common entities.
Taking time at some point throughout the day to simply be silent, think on the day, pray, or do something else that is just for you. This time is vital to your overall success. These small, still moments allow you to have just a little time to visualize the end goal of success. For some, this time will be during the morning before the family rises for the day and the house is quiet. For others, it might be at the end of the day to help download what happened during the day and what can be done to make the next day even more of a success.
Write Things Down
When was the last time you wrote out a schedule for your day? If you are like most of us, you simply wake up and do the same thing every day without the thought to write things down. However, some of the most successful people you will ever meet are those that discipline themselves to write out a schedule of daily tasks. There is something unique about writing down tasks. It seems to solidify them in your mind. You have a clear-cut goal in mind and a timeline available to get it all done.
Writing out a daily schedule can become a healthy habit, but it takes time to get started. Start out by writing out simple things such as when you intend on getting up, eating, and sleeping. You can work in detail throughout the day until you have a full schedule. Soon, you will find comfort in scheduling and it will become automatic to you. This is just a simple way to begin to organize your life and reach your ultimate success and happiness goals.
Let Nothing Get in Your Way
It seems as though no matter who you are or what your goals may be, there is always something that stands in your way. You will start out strong with great intentions and something ultimately tears you down during the process of achieving your goals. Bumps in the road will happen. Failures will occur, but what you have to have set in your mind is that nothing is going to stop you. When setbacks happen or something tries to get in your day, move on. It might put you down for a little time, but get back up and try again. Never back down.
Ultimate happiness and success are different for everyone. However, knowing what you want is a universal concept. Take time to write down your goals and see what it is, exactly that you want. Find out what true success and happiness look like for your life. Remember, it is about what you want, so do not compare yourself to the success of others. These simple disciplines will help you begin to build a roadmap to your ultimate success and happiness goals. Remember, you are in control of your own destiny and bad habits can knock you off your path. Get back up, keep going, and let nothing stop you. You can achieve happiness and success.read more
How To Combat Career-Related Anxiety
The world we live in today is not what it had been just two decades ago. The situation is not just a result of the pandemic. Even before the virus threw our lives into disarray, the world had started to move in a very different direction. There has been an unrelenting sense of competition in the world for everything, right from good schools to doctoral studies and jobs. Throw onto that uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, and you have a recipe for disaster. If the job market was fickle before, it seems entirely insufferable now. Student’s careers hang in the balance due to the lack of proper examinations and the decreasing value of their qualifications, and they find themselves feeling dejected.
It would be wrong to say that this isn’t something to worry about because one’s career is undoubtedly a serious topic. Worrying about your career is only natural. The education system has been unfair to the youth. Young people no older than seventeen are expected to make binding decisions about what they want to do for the next few years, sometimes even for the rest of their lives. They are made to feel like not making the right decision is the end of the world. The pandemic has worsened this situation, even more, making people think they are missing out or lagging somehow.
The truth is that it is never too late to start your journey or to start over should the need arise. It may feel like time is slipping out of your hands, but it is essential to remember that life is only as forgiving as you are. Your career is important but what is more important is your health and happiness. If you worry about your career a lot, the most efficient fix is finding ways to move in a direction you find fitting for you. Following this, you can start setting goals and working towards them. Try to learn as much as you can about your career and the paths you can take. The more you know about it, the better your plans will be. Having foresight can allow you to progress faster and thus decrease anxiety.
If making plans and working towards them doesn’t help your anxiety, it may be time to reevaluate your workspace. Are you in a comfortable workspace? Do your superiors and colleagues treat you well? Is your work environment pleasant?
If your answer is no to any of these questions, that may factor into your work-related anxiety. We spend a large chunk of our time working, so a lot of our time is spent in the workspace, making it very important for the workspace to have a positive environment. If your environment is hostile, that will lead to anxiety about work and all aspects of it. You must check if your colleagues somehow contribute to your career-based fear. If so, try limiting the time you spend with such people and focus on your efforts. Once you tackle the issue of your workspace, it is imperative to work on your time. Make a schedule that comfortably balances your work and personal life. It is always a good idea to extricate your work life from your personal life so that neither bleeds into the other. If you’re able to maintain the balance, it will allow you to complete all your work on time and will enable you to rejuvenate and return to your work reinvigorated.
Career-based anxiety isn’t limited to working people. In fact, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that more unemployed people suffer from these thoughts than working people. It is difficult to get jobs, but there are some things that one can do to make themselves more employable. The most crucial point is to obtain the relevant education to enter your field of interest. If you can not fulfill the basic qualifications for your dream job, then your dream ends right there. Get the right qualifications, and you will undoubtedly come a step closer to realizing your passion.
The next thing to remember with respect to combating career-based anxiety is never to stop learning. The moment you stop being receptive to new information is the day you start on the path of irrelevance. Keep yourself up to date with discoveries and trends concerning your career. Not only will this keep you sharp, but it will also make you more secure in your position. There is no age for learning. If you still find yourself dreading work or find yourself associating negative emotions with your career, it might be time to consider a change of pace. The difference could be anything from taking a break to switching jobs. If you feel like your current career may not be fulfilling, it is worth looking into picking a new career that you’re more passionate about pursuing.
If you find your anxiety isn’t getting better regardless of your efforts, you should seek external help. Talk to a therapist and see if they can chalk out a plan for you to manage your anxiety better. In addition to this, the fact that you have such intense anxiety about your career could be affecting your overall health and peace, making it all the more important to look after your physical and mental health. There is no shame in asking for help when you find yourself in a difficult situation.
One of the main takeaways is always to put your health and happiness above your career. You can only work efficiently if you’re in good health. Start by working yourself and watch your career anxiety lessen every day. If you find yourself in a job where you’re unhappy, it is always a good idea to look for more options. The point is to remember that you work to live a good life, not live so you can work. Set your goals, identify your priorities and do your best.read more