If you are like me, you must be having those days you call ‘bad days. Mondays have always been the victim of being a bad day. These are those days that you don’t even feel like waking up. And when you do, you don’t feel motivated to do anything, regardless of how important it is.
When this happens, you will probably end up procrastinating a lot, and sometimes you will hate everything or everyone around you. Many things can lead to being demotivated, these include; When you lose someone, or something you loved, e.g., job, divorce, death, etc.
Too much on your to-do list
Fear of failure
Lack of self-confidence
Poor time management
Burnout from jobs
Easy Ways to Be Motivated and Stay Motivated Every Day
The first step in solving any problem is to understand the root cause of the problem. The issues above are just but a few of the things that may demotivate you. It is essential to understand the root cause of your lack of motivation so that you don’t address the symptoms rather than the problem itself.
Once you know what is bringing you down, you can adequately find solutions. But don’t beat yourself so much when this happens. It is very ok to have some down days. We cannot function the same for all 365 days in a year. Some days we will feel low. How you deal with such days will determine how successful you become.
Here are some simple steps you can take to stay motivated every single day permanently:
1. Practice Positive Affirmation
Motivation is hugely determined by how we feel inside. It is the manifestation of how we think about ourselves. When you doubt your abilities or have little or no self-confidence in your abilities, you will most likely feel demotivated to handle your daily tasks.
Therefore, you should practice saying positive things to yourself. A simple daily mantra can help you get your motivation to handle tasks. For example, you can tell yourself, “I can do it.” When you say this repeatedly, you will automatically be optimistic about your abilities to handle the day’s activities.
2. Take Some Time Off
Burnout can kill your motivation. If you want to stay motivated for the entire day, you need to take some health breaks from your core activities. This will help your body and mind to re-charge. When you work for so long on a task, your productivity will reduce. This will compromise the quality of your output.
It is vital to take some time off and meditate alone. For your peace of mind, you can take a few minute’s walks in the forest or a quiet place. This connection with nature will revitalize your mind and help you stay motivated to handle what is thrown at you during the day.
3. Avoid Perfectionism
Perfectionism is the number one killer of motivation and the lead cause of procrastination and failure to tackle our daily tasks. We often put things to another day when we feel motivated to do it. This is a bad move because you may never feel motivated enough to do it.
Especially when you are doing what you don’t love, here, you should stop thinking of delivering a perfect job, but just do what you can do within the shortest time possible and get feedback on it. That will motivate you to work on your next tasks.
4. Divide Your Activities into Smaller Achievable Sub-tasks
How long is your to-do list? If it is longer than one A6 size page, then that is the source of your demotivation. Also, more significant tasks seem to demotivate people and make them feel lazy to handle them.
What you should do is to divide the bigger task into small sub-task. And just work on a few of the tasks during the day. Achieving these smaller goals will eventually make you feel good and motivate you to work on even more complex tasks. Prioritize your tasks from the most important and urgent to the least urgent. Then work on the most important ones first.
5. Take Action Immediately
Lastly, taking prompt action on your tasks at hand is the only way to stay motivated. When tasks are left untouched, they will pile and kill your spirit. Therefore, it is important to work on your to-do list first thing in the morning.
Also, work on the most challenging tasks, or those that you are likely to procrastinate. As Brian Tracy says in his book “Eat That Frog,”. We should consider the most challenging task as a frog. They should be eaten first. When you wake up, tackle the “frog” first. Don’t be confused by the tadpoles (small and easy tasks). Concentrate on the complicated tasks first. That way, you will be motivated the whole day because you will know that you have handled the most challenging problem of the day. This will motivate you to handle the other smaller jobs with enthusiasm.read more
Human beings are complex, social animals. We evolved to live in groups and form relationships within our communities. Most cues for these aspects of life come to us naturally. However, that doesn’t mean that forming and maintaining relationships is easy. While finding love is one of the most talked-about aspects of romance, it is the sustenance of said love that is most difficult.
There are various aspects of a successful relationship; there is the chemistry at the initial stages. It is impossible to find love without chemistry and so it is essential. Once you’re in the relationship, understanding each other comes into play. It is true that with chemistry, love, and understanding, relationships can be happy, healthy, and long. Life is not as straightforward and often there are a lot of external factors that affect relationships. More often than not these factors are out of the couples’ control and so it all comes down to being patient and taking the right decisions.
One such factor that can place a strain on relationships is mental illness. We live in a fast-paced world that doesn’t allow us enough time or energy to rest and recover. Mental illnesses are a part of our lives and there is no denying it. While there is a lot more understanding and insight into what these illnesses are and why they shouldn’t be stigmatized, it is still quite a challenge to navigate them in real life. Mental illnesses are hard on the people that are affected and so it is essential to get a diagnosis followed by help and support. It is very important for family, friends and partners to support people suffering from mental illnesses.
How does one ensure that they’re providing their partner with the right kind of help and support should they suffer from an illness? The most important thing is to know that the situation is central to your partner, not to you. However, it may be affecting your life, it affects their life more and they deserve your love, respect and support more than anything else. If you love your partner and are willing to do the work to make your relationship work, half the battle has been won. You can start by trying to find out more about your partner’s mental illness. Find out what they suffer from, talk to them about how they manage the illness, and see if there is anything you can do to help them manage their life better. Seek information about your partner’s diagnosis from reliable sources and avoid misinformation. You can also look into mental health organizations or support groups relevant to you and your partner. Knowing about the symptoms and implications of your partner’s diagnosis can help you create a good healing environment for them.
There are certain situations, however, where the best thing you can do for your partner is step back and let them have some space. You might want to be proactive in dealing with their diagnosis but it is a very personal matter, so being able to step back is just as important as being able to step up in this situation. Remember to treat your partner with respect and not disregard their opinion in how to handle their own diagnosis. While there are situations where your partner may need you to act on their behalf, this should not translate to you dictating their life. Taking decisions when your partner needs you to and taking decisions all the time are two very different things and should be kept separate.
Your partner may not always know that they’re suffering with a mental illness. They might start falling sick after you’ve been with them so keep an eye out for signs of them suffering. Don’t take any new conflicts in the relationship at surface level, see if there is a reason why your partner is stressed and upset. You need to be mindful in relationships and so be mindful of what you say and hear. Is there a change in the way your partner acts? Is there a change in their appetite? Has their lifestyle altered without explanation? Has your partner started to self-medicate with alcohol or nicotine? Keeping an eye on things like this can allow you to understand what state of mind your partner is in and if they need help from you and/or a professional. Medication and therapy go a long way when it comes to mental illness and an early diagnosis could spare your partner the pain of being misunderstood and untreated.
It is not easy to navigate life with a mental illness, remember that when with a partner struggling with one. The best thing you can do is communicate with your partner and find out what they need. The time following a diagnosis can be embarrassing for your partner. They may not feel like themselves for a while afterward so be mindful of their insecurities and doubts. If your partner asks for validation, give it to them because they need it. If your partner needs to be reassured of your feelings towards them; don’t take it personally. It is not a lack of trust in you but in themselves.
There will be times where you’ll do everything right and still not get the result you want and you have to learn to accept that. It takes time and patience to come up with a way of living that works for your partner’s healing path as well as your relationship. Be kind and patient. Remember that your partner is dealing with a lot of pressure and stress that may not even be related to you so don’t take things personally. The most important point when everything else has been taken care of is self-care. You need to keep yourself in good health and a pleasant mindset. Remember to take care of your own well-being as well because this can only work if both parties are moving towards good health. You cannot pour from an empty cup so continue to work on yourself as you work to ensure your partner’s healing and comfort.
Love is strong and overcomes a lot just as long as you put in sustained effort. Having a mental illness doesn’t have to be the end of the line for your love story.read more
Love is all-encompassing and omnipresent, it is omnipotent and eternal, but is it enough? Love is all you need, but is it all you’ll ever want? Love overcomes all but can humans do the same?
Cynical as those questions sound, they are actual thoughts that people have as they fall in and out of love. They are valid questions, however brash and upsetting they may sound.
We often look at love as a panacea but love is only the first step of the way to a relationship. The new romantics may think this thought absurd. They may argue that love is all there is to a relationship and a lot of people will agree. Surely love can’t just be an elective in the school of relationships? The seasoned players of the game of romance however will tell you that love truly is the last thing that matters when relationships end. You could truly love someone and not stand to be around them and you could not love someone at all and still stay with them for a lifetime. Everything beautiful about a relationship can fade over time and while the thought of this is incredibly scary, it is not at all outlandish. Life keeps flowing around you as you fall in love and slowly you settle into a routine. There are people who naturally maintain a balance between their work and their personal lives and there are others that don’t. It is often people that fall in the latter category that find their relationships losing their sparkle.
We sometimes become so comfortable with our partners that we forget to do the things that we once did to make them feel special. As the spark dulls in the relationship, problems arise and sometimes people end up separating as a consequence. The good thing in all of this is that this is not the only possible ending in this situation. Just because you’ve fallen into a routine doesn’t necessarily have to mean that your relationship has to lose its spark.
The very first thing to understand about relationships is the need for consistency. You cannot bring a certain energy to a relationship in the beginning and then slowly let the energies fade away as you become sure of your partner’s connection with you. Your partner has fallen in love with the person you are in the first few blissful days/weeks of the relationship, changing that once they’ve made a commitment to you will certainly lead to problems in the long run. There should be consistency in your efforts. The relationship may not always have the jitters and excitement of a first date but it should always have love and adoration.
There often comes a point in a relationship where couples might start to feel like they know everything about each other. There is a chance that this might be partially true. When you’ve spoken to someone so much and spend extended amounts of time with them, your lives start to merge. Your stories and experiences slowly merge till it becomes difficult to separate one from the other. Regardless of this merging of lives, people also continue to develop as individuals. It is important to keep track of this change. If you feel disconnected from your partner, then try and see if there is anything that has changed in their life. Have they picked up a new hobby/interest, is something new going on at work, are they simply feeling different for whatever reason? Ask these questions and take interest in your partner’s life. Everyone wants to be loved, appreciated, and seen in their entirety so make sure you’re keeping up with this evolution.
The emotional aspect of relationships is often rather complicated. It is difficult enough to take care of yourself and your mental health in today’s fast-paced world. It is even more difficult to keep track of the same with another person in the equation. Try and make sure you and your partner are emotionally and mentally healthy. Sometimes feeling disconnected from your partner may be a result of emotional pressure/ stress. Be mindful of the state your relationship is in emotionally and then see if it might be reasonable to seek external help. Try couples counseling if you and your partner aren’t sure how to approach and resolve the issue.
The stereotypical advice about bringing back the spark in a relationship may focus on acts of service or presents to make your partner re-engage in the relationship, but the reality is far from it. While it is important to do nice things for your partner, it is not the cure-all. You absolutely should plan activities with your partner, get them a gift if you want to, and give them physical affection. However, these are things that people in healthy relationships normally do, so if you have reached a point where it isn’t coming naturally then it may be time to re-evaluate. Why aren’t you and your partner finding time for activities together? Is there a way to spend time together that can fit in with your schedules? If so, go ahead and do it. Not every date needs to be a high-effort event. Sometimes spending quality time with your partner can be as simple as staying in bed a little longer and talking to each other. You could make a nice little activity out of cooking a meal or doing the dishes. You could play some music and dance in the living room, go for a picnic or just take walks around the park. The possibilities are endless.
The relationship ultimately comes down to whether or not you enjoy the time spent with your partner. With the right person, anything could be interesting. You could just be sitting in a room together working on your own and it would still be a good experience. Anything is possible if two people are in love and willing to make things work. Ask yourself why you feel the lack of a spark in your relationship and then go from there. If there is love, you and your partner will surely find a way.read more
You cannot avoid adversity in life. Even the most sheltered and privileged individuals find themselves in adverse conditions at some point or the other. Adversity is not convenient, and it often throws a wrench in your plans, but there is no way around this aspect of life. You have to accept that as a part of life and focus on the consequences of these situations rather than worrying about the purpose. Some say that adversity is to be considered a test of strength, and they may be right. However, I feel like we glorify adversity, too, much like all else in life. Adversity is an inconvenience that you often cannot circumvent and should be treated as such. There have been various studies that have looked into the ways in which one can overcome adversity, the foremost being having resilience.
You must remember that not every single inconvenience in life is going to be the reason life ends. It is natural for things to go wrong from time to time, and you must accept that as soon as you identify a problem. Remember that you have been through difficult situations before, and you’ll go through more of them in the future. You are strong enough to deal with whatever has been sent your way. That is not to say that you need to deal with adversity alone. Talk to your friends and family. Acknowledge and accept their help because you are not alone in your situation. More often than not, we start to take pride in how little help we ask for, but no one gets a medal for doing things the hard way. You will not receive one either. Make your life easy by asking for and accepting help when necessary.
The second thing to focus on is your surroundings. Surround yourself with positive people who are rooting for you. Your surroundings can affect your mood as well as your response to adversity. You are vulnerable in times of adversity, so the effect is even more pronounced. The right guidance at the right time. People who accept mistakes and understand how they are an essential part of life Supportive people who favor your success. While your surroundings are greatly influenced by the people around you, it is also dependent on your own mindset. Write about your feelings, and make sure you check any negative thoughts you might be having. Keep track of how you feel and how you’re responding to your surroundings. Do not indulge in self-loathing and try to be reflective instead. Understand your situation after recovering from its initial shock and move on from it when you’re comfortable doing so. Accept the situation and start to look for ways to solve your problem. It might seem like a herculean task, but the best thing to do in times of adversity is to get busy. Put your energy into making things better, and you’ll thank yourself once the situation has been resolved. In the midst of all this, do not forget to express your feelings through your writing. Eventually, you’ll be able to track your progress over time, allowing you to remember that no matter how bad things get, you can always make it through.
The modern world is full of wonderful technology, which makes our lives easier, but it is not without its limitations. One major limitation is the introduction of one more aspect of life for us to worry about. This could be anything from your social media presence to the inability to regulate how available you want to be to the people contacting you. While one may deal with these reasonably well in good times, it may not be as easy to do so in difficult times. Take a break from technology and social media in whatever capacity suits you. This ties in with the fact that you are the most important person in your life. Prioritize taking care of yourself before you take care of others. Try to take nature walks or sit in the fresh air if it is possible for you. Research shows that outdoor activities and immersion in nature reduce stress, so try to get some sunlight every day and follow your body’s natural circadian rhythm to allow for recovery.
Life has strange ways of teaching you lessons you don’t realize you need. It is important to remember to keep your eyes and mind in times of adversity to allow the learning to continue. You might see your relationships more clearly in your time of need. You can identify your own habits that may have been holding you back. Invest in your own development. Make time for yourself and make improvements to the quality of your life. You cannot pour from an empty cup, so even if you are more inclined to care for others, know that you can’t keep doing that if you’re not feeling happy and satisfied.
There will always be adversity in life, and you can be sure of that. However, none of these are situations you can not survive. The adversity can result from your actions, or it can be entirely out of your hand. The key is not to take it personally. Don’t waste your time wondering why you’ve been dealt a bad hand. Take this time to introspect and work on making sure you don’t have the same problem twice. Things will be out of your control sometimes. There will be times when the only thing to do will be to let go. In situations like that, learn to practice satisfaction and detachment. Don’t get comfortable in your misery, and it is easy to become complacent to your situation. The challenge is to take every adversity and face it head-on with the clear intention to overcome it. Know that you are capable, and you’ll surely succeed.read more
The world has been in turmoil for over a year now. We have collectively lost a lot including people, routines, jobs and much more. In times like this, it becomes imperative to maintain our inner strength. Trying times always come with challenges that seem nearly impossible to defeat. However, it is times like this that make us stronger. This is not to say that suffering is noble somehow. Suffering should be avoided at all cost, everyone that is lucky enough to have the gift of life should also live without suffering and subjecting others to it. While this is a noble thought, suffering is inevitable.
What can we do in times of suffering then? Should we escape, or should we endure?
Escapism is the most commonly picked answer in such cases. It is easy to escape, takes minimal effort, and thus is more convenient of the two. Escapism, however, doesn’t end suffering. You may drink away your pain for a day, but you will not end it. The only way to end suffering is to endure. Survive in the face of adversity and make your situations better. There are no knights in shining armor in real life. As corny as it may sound, you have to be your savior.
What can we do to be our saviors?
It is a loaded question and needs to be answered with logic. Consider the challenges of life like endurance tests. One requires the right mindset, knowledge and supplies to be able to ace a test. Consider inner strength as your supply in the test of life. You can still pass these tests with low inner strength, but it may be detrimental to your mental health. You don’t just want to survive; you want to thrive, so the first thing you should work on is developing inner strength. Inner strength includes the generation of a will to live to the fullest instead of settling with mere survival. Having a positive outlook on life can be the difference between barely surviving a setback and coming back stronger due to it. No matter how good or bad a situation is, it will pass, so there is no point worrying.
When life throws curveballs at you, they don’t just come in intangible forms; every once in a while, the challenge will come in form of people. When that happens, you have to remember that you should do everything to protect yourself first, then others. So, if you need to distance yourself from a person who emotionally drains you, do it. Remember that the most important person in your life is you, and you will find self-preservation coming to you a lot easier; knowing when to stop and draw a boundary allows for cleaner solutions, even for the messiest problems.
Due to the history of toxic positivity in the human world, many people equate inner strength to apathy. The apathetic mindset not only hurts the people around us but also our journey. Emotions are natural, healthy even, so don’t hide them. If you feel upset, then let yourself process the situation before trying to deny it. Let yourself be angry, upset or annoyed and then get over it. It is better to feel your emotions and then let go, rather than holding onto them till the point of implosion.
This brings us to one of the most important aspects of inner strength and crisis management. We must learn to let go. This may sound like vague advice, but it is quite possibly the key to inner peace. Learn to let go of everything, right from materialistic wares to anger and frustration. You should absolutely let yourself feel your emotions, but you should not ruminate in them too long. Process your feelings, come to a conclusion and take action. If you are upset about something in life, then don’t belittle your own emotion, feel it, throw yourself a pity party if you must but then look for ways to change where you are. Is it a problem you can solve? If not, then your work is done, and you can let go of whatever it is. If you can solve it, then move on to step two and make a plan. You must remember, however, that making plans is seldom enough. You must make a plan and stick to it, which brings us to the next step: acting on your plans. Being able to let go or take action as and when needed allows us to make better decisions even in times of distress.
Strength and resilience are not something you can learn. They are a result of your circumstance and how you deal with said circumstances. I agree that some people may inherit their strength and resilience from their families, but it is not genetic transmission that leads to it. It is the things that you learn through watching the people around you navigate the narrow lanes of a crisis.
The point is that even if you don’t feel solid or resilient now, you can inculcate them in yourself through conscious effort. Make an effort to be more kind to yourself, understand your feelings and emotions, and put them before others as and when needed. Learn to identify your allies and talk to them. You can endure on your own, too, but as mentioned above, our goal is to thrive, not just survive. Know when to ask for help and let the people around you rise to the occasion.
The development of inner strength may seem like too much work, but this is work you want to do. Equip yourself with the knowledge and supplies needed to be able to survive anything. Suffering may be inevitable, but your survival is too. It is up to you to make the most of a bad situation and come out only mildly affected, if not entirely unscathed.read more
We often find ourselves googling little questions throughout our days about things we don’t understand or know how to do. The answers are usually straightforward and get the job done so that we can move on to the next task on our lists. One such question that has about 87,40,00,000 results is, ‘How to keep your partner happy?’ and the answer is anything but straightforward.
I would like to stress that the first thing to do, is to work towards making yourself happy. We have heard the saying that ‘Hurt people, hurt people’, and so it is of the utmost importance for you to be satisfied and content in yourself before you start bending over backward to make someone else happy.
Relationships are a bit of a paradox because they are simultaneously the most simple and complicated things in the world. They are simple because all they need is love, and they are complex because just love is never enough. I realize that we have been drip-fed the ‘one true love’ narrative by popular culture for years and years. Over generations, we have been taught to differentiate true love and fake love, as if fake love even exists. It is an oxymoron, you know; love is not and can never be faked. Just because you’re with the love of your life now does not make all your other relationships fake. It may not last forever, but it is almost always true if it’s love. Once you understand that, you’ll stop putting undue pressure on your relationship to be perfect.
What should you do when you’re in love and want to make it known to your partner? The key here is communication. Get to know your partner and what makes them who they are. Not everyone wants a grand gesture, sometimes lending an ear is enough; that is not to say that grand gestures are useless. You just need to know what exactly your partner likes. Maybe they want you to buy them a gift, or perhaps they want you to cook them a meal, sometimes they may just want you to sit with them and watch the sunrise in silence; all three are languages of love, and all three can make people happy. So, start with communication.
There are various love languages, and they aren’t always the same for people, but the common factor in all of them is respect and consideration. This brings me to my next point – Always respect your partner. If reading this sentence ruffles your feathers, then introspection may be in order. Respect is not about status or domination; respect is so much more tender than that. When I say respect, I don’t mean the performative kind; continue to be who you are around your partner while simultaneously remembering that they are a whole universe unto themselves just as you are. Respect their time and energy. If you say you’re going to do something and go somewhere, keep your word. I have to add here that you must hold yourself to the same standard and expect respect from a partner in a similar fashion.
Most people, if not all, want to be loved and appreciated. However, we often blur the lines between being loved and being raised. Do not let your partner unknowingly take on a parental role for you. As outlandish as this sounds, it is a pretty common reason for the short life of certain relationships. There should be a healthy balance of responsibility between partners so that everyone can retain their individuality. The point where these lines are blurred is the point where your partner will start to feel unhappy. Another facet of this is giving your partner space. I understand that some people may want to be with their partners all the time, which is not a bad thing, but you have to draw a line somewhere. Don’t stifle your partner, let them have space, and don’t take their need for space personally. Everyone needs to be alone and in meditation sometimes. This can look different for different people; maybe your partner likes to work out early in the morning, maybe they like to sit in silence and read, maybe they want to watch a show alone. None of these mean that they dislike you; it just means that they need to be on their own and that this is an opportunity for you to go and do the things that you like.
Couples are teams and thus require a healthy amount of team spirit. Make plans together with your partner. This could be anything from planning vacations to planning meals or chores. Make plans together in a way where both of you can make the most of them. I will not ask you to be selfless to make your partner happy. Your priority should always be you, but that does not mean that you should be selfish. Strike a balance, find a middle ground if you cannot come to a clear decision but do not let your ego or selfishness get in the way of solving problems. In line with the idea of discussion and dissent, I have one tip that is a little less profound than the rest. Do not simmer in your anger too long. If you argue with your partner, learn to know when to walk away. You don’t have to talk about everything as soon as it happens. Give yourself and your partner time, and never say things out of anger. My mother always says that your words are like arrows, and once they’re out of your mouth, you cannot take them back. You may move past them for the time being, but I assure you that any pain caused by your words will remain for a much longer time.
I know that you can do many little things for your partner that are not as long-term as these. However, most of us know that; flowers, gifts, and grand gestures are common knowledge, and I do not doubt that they make romantic partners momentarily happy. This momentary happiness, however potent, is not long-lasting, and thus it is important to have a healthy mix of good behavior and good gestures in a relationship. Suppose I were to oversimplify the key to a happy partner and resultant happy relationship. In that case, I’d say take an interest in each other’s interests while avoiding turning everything into a two-person activity, and you’ll be just fine.read more
Making The Best Of An Imperfect Situation
We get it: plenty of you are not happy with your jobs: with the duties, the salaries, the hours, your coworkers, your bosses, or maybe all of those. Jobs that bring little satisfaction can be draining and demoralizing, but often folks have to keep at them because they bring home a much needed pay check.
Still, there are tactics you can employ to feel better about your employment situation. These strategies help you cope, get through your day and feel less stressed by the end of it. Give one — or all — of them a try, and we guarantee that, while you may never love your job, you will deal with it a whole lot better.
1) Take pride in your work environment, and your appearance. You can’t control the office decor, perhaps, but you can control the way you and your work space look. Make sure your desk is clean, tidy and well organized, and that you are, too! Even if your job demands that you wear a uniform, it’s important to keep it clean and pressed so you feel good about how you present yourself to the world. If you can wear “street clothes” to work, choose the proper attire; a suit, if need be, or a pair of dress slacks and an unfussy jacket and blouse. Nothing says “professional” like the right clothing, and even if you hate your job, you don’t want your outfit to telegraph that to outsiders, and certainly not to your coworkers and bosses.
2) Love your off hours activities: The last thing you should do at the end of your work day is an activity you don’t absolutely love. Of course, we all have chores that need dealing with — grocery shopping, bill paying, etc. — but when it comes to your leisure time, choose wisely. Do something physical, if you can, like hiking or yoga or cycling, because that will rev up your endorphins and improve your mood. Exercise gets rid of stress, and helps put you in the right frame of mind for the following work day. Exercising before work is even better, as you’re upbeat the minute you get to work, but we realize that’s not possible for everyone. The important thing here is finding something you really enjoy and sticking with it, at least three times a week.
3) Make the most of family and friends time. Don’t just gather in front of the television and computer screens after supper — gather in a family or living room and talk. Bring in the kids and your spouse, and dedicate at least an hour to family time. Staying current by really talking helps you remember why it is you’re doing this job you hate — because your family needs you, and the all important income you earn. Bringing friends into that helps too, and when social distancing policies relax around the globe eventually, you can get back to having those get-togethers with people you care about.
4) Your job isn’t all that defines you. Life is made up of many aspects, and your job is only a fraction of it. Who are you, really? A mother, a sister, an aunt, a grandmother…. you define yourself in many ways apart from your job title. It’s important to note that your job is a means to an end, a way of supporting yourself while, perhaps, you write that novel or launch a side business. Write down what matters to you most, and we bet your job comes far down the list.
There are other strategies you can use, like taking a new employee under your wing and showing them the ropes, which is satisfying and might even bring rewards when your boss notices the initiative you’ve taken. If you’re truly unhappy, start applying for jobs elsewhere. Just be sure your lack of enjoyment at work doesn’t show, or you’ll never get the reference and positive feedback you need your boss to pass along to a potential new employer. No matter how much you hate your job, find something about it that is positive, and focus on that. Then sooner, rather than later, move on to a more satisfying position, because life is too short to spend it being miserable at work.read more
That eternal conundrum. Will I ever find my soulmate? The right life partner for one person is not necessarily compatible with someone else because we are all such singular individuals. Human adults all express that urge to search for a suitable partner, it is a biological imperative, but because we are such complex creatures it can be hard to find the right one.
It would seem logical that in a busy cosmopolitan society where we spend almost all day in an environment saturated with members of the opposite sex, many of whom are also looking for a partner, that settling on a mate would be relatively easy. Well, it would be if we weren’t all so picky.
After all, settling on a life partner is a big investment. There is a lot at stake so it’s not something to rush into. There are sacrifices and economic consequences arising when two people pool their lives and begin to share a future. Then we may have to weigh up (consciously or subconsciously) the suitability of the other person as a potential parent. Do they have the right genes to pass on? Will they be a good provider? Will they be a loving parent and a good role model for the consequent offspring?
So, what constitutes a soulmate? Ideally, this is a person who is suited to you in temperament and generally has the same worldly outlook and beliefs. Similar attitudes, similar values and similar ideologies are powerful factors that can dictate your suitability for each other and the promise of a positive, harmonious and synergistic future together. If two people experience a soul connection when they meet, they experience an easy connection immediately. They just know.
So, what are some of the signs that you have met the right one for you?You bond immediately over so many things
You have an intense feeling that this bond is ‘right’
There is mutual respect
You have the same values and moral stances
You can just be yourself
You’re totally comfortable in their presence, no need for pretense or best behavior
You have similar goals or vision for the future
You don’t have an urge to ‘change’ them
You accept their funny little habits
When the first flush of passion fades, deep down, you are best friends
Of course, all relationships need working on, nurturing, lest they grow stale over time but soul mates don’t lose sight of that. They regularly reconfirm their bond as the relationship matures. There may be differences in your goals, maybe academically or in career choices, but soul mates support their partner, challenge them to aspire further, and celebrate the wins.
So, how do you find the right partner? First, it is important to understand basically what characteristics you are looking for. Then you have to put yourself out there, open to making connections. Perhaps on a match-making site, or at your place of work. An excellent way to meet people who like the same kind of things you do and who have a similar vision is to join social groups, like a sporting club, a conservation movement or a hobby group with plenty of avid members. Join a choir or drama group, start volunteering to help disadvantaged people, join a bible group or a political movement. Actively follow whatever is your passion, or explore new interests, and you will meet like-minded people there.
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Why do so many marriages fail to bring happiness? After all, we are taught from a very young age that if we meet someone special and overcome all the obstacles put in our way to keep us apart, we will find everlasting happiness. Isn’t this the premise of all those novels and movies? The handsome prince, knight, unlikely hero rescues the beautiful, helpless, nubile ingenue and carries her away from her unsatisfactory plight, to enjoy lasting happiness. Cinderella finally wins her prince and they live happily ever after.
Have you noticed that those stories always end at the engagement or wedding and they finish with a vague promise that only happiness and fulfillment lie ahead for these two? “And they lived happily ever after”. Did they?
So, if this is the story society imprints on our youngsters, how can they realistically deal with the challenges and demands of modern marriage?
Teens have been raised with unrealistic expectations of marriage and the specialness of the person they will marry. Inevitably, those high expectations aren’t met. As the tedious grind of making a living, paying the bills and getting on with everyday life start to dawn, the illusion of eternal happiness begins to dull. Resentment and disappointment soon replace the joy and roses they felt they were entitled to. Some deal with this and take it in their stride, some even make the best of it, but many eventually walk away.
Picture a young woman leaving her girlhood behind. She has been conditioned to believe someone very special will court her. A knight, a capable breadwinner, a wonderful loving father, an adoring, supportive husband and an exciting lover. Now, these princes are few on the ground but that doesn’t stop her from dreaming that it will happen to her. So, she paints her current partner with that brush. She holds him up as a knight in shining armor who will deliver all the happiness she deserves. Only, she eventually realizes that he’s just an ordinary bloke, a goofy guy, warts and all, who falls short of all the redeeming qualities she has imbued him with.
After the first heady flush of lust and playing house wears off, maybe two years later, the illusion has been shattered. She starts noticing his faults and bad habits, she wants him to have more backbone, stop playing video games, do something with his life, and improve their economic outlook. She realizes that he’s not a good earner and he has no ambition or ability to become one. Furthermore, he resents her nagging and spends as much time with his mates as he can to get away from her sharp tongue and the constant reminder that he’s a useless, lazy slob.
Now, picture a young man who has won his princess. She looks lovely at their wedding but he’s got her now and he no longer has to be on his best behavior, he can relax and be himself. He has been looking for someone to mother him. She will cook and clean up after him like women are supposed to. She will look out for his daily comforts, organize him and also be a vamp in the bedroom at night.
He is surprized at first when things don’t turn out as he imagined. Three small children appear in quick succession and she no longer looks after herself, she lets herself go. She’s tired and crabby all the time and you can forget about any benefits in the bedroom after a day of running the household, looking after him and three kids, and going to work before coming home to cook dinner and do the housework. Worse still, she has her own opinions and is not scared of saying so. She nags him to help around the house and get a better job, and then she still wants to be wooed and courted with flowers and compliments from time to time.
She has changed from the playful, pretty girl he courted; which seems like a lifetime ago. Now she’s just somebody’s frumpy mother.
Some couples make the reality of marriage and daily life work, but many soldier on, unhappy with how things turned out. The secret to a good marriage? Face the realities, look for the positives, support each other and build a lasting friendship.read more
Human relationships are complex and actually need nurturing. Your relationships with other family members and even with your friends can suffer if you don’t make an effort to maintain them. After all, who likes to be ignored and taken for granted all the time?
One of the most important aspects of friendships and family relationships is communication. This doesn’t mean you just have to talk to each other to remain in touch, it is a whole lot more than that. Talking is just one form of communicating, and it needs to be genuine discussion and conversation where each person really listens to what the other is saying and feeling.
Communication belongs not just to the realm of speech, but also to the sharing of feelings and emotions. When people want to strengthen their relationship with a loved one or friend, they can initiate conversation and share their thoughts and feelings. Talking with such authenticity can reach a much deeper level of contact than just mere chatting.
When a couple truly communicate, they gain greater empathy with the needs of their partner and strengthen the bonds of their relationship. The same can be true of friendships, which flourish better when people really care about each other and can communicate a genuine depth of feeling.
One of the ways we can maintain a strong connection with friends and loved ones whom you may not see every day is simply to keep in touch. Pick up the phone and give them a call. It only takes minutes for them to learn that you are thinking about them. Friends and family members are always happy to hear from the people they care about.
Relationships are like gardens, if you tend them and water them regularly, they will flourish. But if you neglect them for long periods of time they will wilt and fade.
One powerful key to developing good communication with your partner is to really listen. Put aside your own viewpoints and carefully listen to theirs. We are all different and the people you love will see things differently from you and given a chance will express themselves differently. You need to show tolerance, embrace other people’s viewpoints, and show acceptance of these differences.
It is important not only to recognize the value of your relationships but to show your loved ones that you care. It sounds so simple but it can take just the smallest gesture to show your partner or your friend that they matter to you. Try to remind yourself to practice random acts of sensitivity towards your partner to show them the appreciation you have for them and their love. Come home with roses one day, for no special occasion. Finish off that DIY job you didn’t finish a while ago that’s really been annoying your partner. Do a chore for them that they hate doing, just to show them how much you care.
When I was a child, I visited a friend of mine after school. She selected only the smallest potatoes out of a big bag in the pantry and started peeling them while we talked. I asked her why she just picked the little ones and she replied, “My Mom really hates peeling the little ones so I’m getting those ones ready for dinner tonight. That way she doesn’t have to do them when she gets home from work.”
That small act of kindness has stayed in my mind ever since. It shows a depth of love that tells your relative or spouse how much you appreciate them and yet it doesn’t take much effort to do.
Another way we can show how much we care for one another and strengthen our bonds is to provide encouragement for the other person’s dreams and goals. It means a lot to your family and your friends if you support them in their ambitions and give recognition to their accomplishments.
And of course, one of the strongest ways to keep your marriage or a treasured friendship healthy is to always try to avoid and deflect arguments. Fighting and arguing never reinforces strong bonds, it just tears away at the edges of the fabric of the relationship until it is finally destroyed.
Even if there have been disagreements during the day, make a determination to always finish each day in good spirits by making up and reaffirming your love for each other.read more