Questions to Ask Yourself On Making Tough Life Decisions

I think we can all agree that life can be a real b*tch at times, as it puts us in situations that require us to make difficult decisions – decisions that, no matter what, would entail heartache, headache, or both. Some of them require a true sacrifice, while others involve big risks.

To help you deal with such trying moments in your life, here are four questions you could and should ask yourself before making the final decision. I hope at the end of the list, you will find the answer that is already in your heart and make the right and best choice. So here we go:

1. “What does my heart say?”

Listen to your heart. Breathe in, breathe out, and listen. If it doesn’t work, try a few more times. Close your eyes, breathe in, breathe out, and listen… Don’t focus on the big mess of thoughts in your head right now. Focus on what your gut feeling tells you. Find that answer and hold on to it.

Always trust your instinct. I’m not saying that your parents’ or your friends’ advice and suggestions are bad for you – and we should always be appreciative of the love and concern from our loved ones, no matter how much they may bug us – but at the end of the day, it is you who knows yourself best.

You are the one who truly understand what you want and what you do not want. Deep down, you know what’s best for yourself.

This is your life. You must be its dictator. Don’t let someone else do your thinking and soul searching for you. The responsibility to seek the truth inside your heart lies in your hands. Don’t let other people’s guesses about your life, or your future, sway or mislead you. Use your own intuition.

It is not always easy to listen to your heart, and it works differently for different people. For some, the best way to do so is to go out for a quiet walk alone; the peace helps them sieve out the more significant things in their minds. For others, running or hitting the gym, and experiencing the pain and the weakening of the physical body, helps to clear up their heads. (This is why many athletes are such clear-headed, focused and determined people.) In any way, always listen to your heart.


2. “What am I afraid of?”

Difficult decisions come with high stakes. When there is much to gain, there is much to lose. Ask yourself: What am I afraid of losing? Is it money? Love? Reputation? Dignity? Popularity?

Or is it because you’re afraid of disappointment, to lose hope in yourself if you fail? Sometimes we are afraid of making big decisions that involve huge changes in our lives because we fear that if we do fail, we might not be able to pick ourselves up again.

To counter this fear, you need to accept that we all fall from grace from time to time. Know that no one is invincible, or immune to a little misstep here and there, and occasionally, a huge one. We are all humans, not gods. Well, even angels and gods can fall from power.

And yet, as ordinary people, each of us possesses a special gift: the resilience of the human spirit – the ability to bounce back each time we fall. Fall down seven times; stand up eight. When life knocks you down, stand back up and keep trying.

Sometimes, we don’t wish to be the one making the decision also because we are afraid that if we were to be wrong, the responsibility of it all falls solely on us. There is no one else to blame, no one else to point the finger at. However, you should also realize that everyone makes mistake.

No one is perfect, or 100% right all the time. Yes, there would be a price to pay if you fail, but then again, you would also gain something in return: a lesson. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Think of it as meant to be. Be determined to get something out of the decision and the experience that follows, whether you succeed or fail, rise or fall.

A Japanese proverb reads: “Anzuru yori umu ga yasushi.” Its literal meaning is that giving birth to a baby is easier than worrying about it. What it serves to explain is that the fear you experience is probably greater than the danger itself. Your attempt is likely to be easier than expected. So if you are afraid, then do it afraid. Trust me, courage will follow.


3. “Who/what am I doing this for?”

You have to figure this out right from the start. This is what will anchor you during the fight and the struggle following the moment the decision is made. This is what you will go back to, again and again, whenever you feel discouraged, disappointed or hopeless.

Is it just for passion? Is it also for money, or success? Is there something else? Often, our bigger goals are combined with other small or hidden goals, which we fail to perceive or choose to ignore. Never let yourself be denied of the truth that is already inside you.

One day the suppressed truth will pop up when you least expect it and tell you that everything you’ve worked for is done on the basis of a lie you tell yourself. So be honest with yourself. Know who you are and what you want. Take this as a learning process to get to know yourself better as a person.

When you know what you want, make it your goal. Focus your mind on it, and be happy about it. Remember: Positive emotions will put positive energies towards your goal. This positivity will make your journey towards achieving this goal smoother, as it will attract other good things along the way.

The law of attraction can work in many mysterious ways. Make a conscious effort to stop worrying. Think about the good things, not the worst-case scenarios.

You don’t always need to take great leaps of faith. Sometimes, it’s the baby steps that matter. Take one step at a time; take each day as it comes. There is no shortcut to success. If you want it, you’re going to have to work for it. But always keep in mind: Enjoy life, not endure it.


4. “If I don’t do this now, will I regret in the future?”

Yes, regrets. We all hate regrets because regret makes us feel empty, like something is amiss in our life. Regret makes us feel like we have done something that we shouldn’t have, or we haven’t done something that we should have. Regret makes you wish that you could turn back time, so there’s a second chance for you to make things right.

Regret can be addictive, because it puts us in a cycle in which we imagine the could-haves, and then become disappointed upon realizing the impossibility of them becoming real. To relieve ourselves of the pain, we go back to imagining again because then, in our minds, we feel powerful and in control once more.

For every decision you make, there is an opportunity cost. Simply put, in life, you win some; you lose some. You can’t have everything. This especially applies to time. You do not have all the time in the world. Life is short. I say this because life is unpredictable; one day you are here and the next you could be gone.

Well, the truth is, we don’t have full control over everything, even if we’d like to think that we do. Lost chances can keep us up all night because they prove that things can come and go without our approval, or without us being at all prepared for their departure. An opportunity does not need your permission before slipping right through your fingers.

When you choose to stay in your comfort zone instead of stepping out of it, you might miss out on an opportunity that will not come by a second time in your life. In the worst of scenarios, regret leads us to hate ourselves. Our lack of courage and prudence makes us feel so small and so incapable of achieving something bigger than our present self.

Regret is a powerful emotion that can topple even the most spirited person. Do not let regret into your life. Let the could-haves be. What is in the past is exactly that, in the past. It cannot be changed.

At the end of the day, we all want to be winners in life. We want to know that we have made the right decisions. Success is a matter of perception, just as happiness is. They are both very subjective. Keep in mind that no decision is purely good, or bad. No matter what decision you make in the end, believe that it is your best choice. Choose to be positive and confident about it.

In ending, I’ll leave you with a quote from Paulo Coelho:

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”

 Listen to your heart. Be bold. Set a goal. Take a chance.


DOVE’S REAL BEAUTY SKETCHES

Unilever claims that this video made by Oglivy is the most viewed viral ad in history, generating around 150 million views on its first month of release.


ADSpiration: Interbest’s Male Stripper Billboard

Just this morning, as I was browsing through the net some visual inspirations to fuel my hump day, I came across this genius campaign made by  a Dutch outdoor advertising company, Interbest. They used a male stripper to build awareness of their billboard visibility in a campaign that has won Gold at the 2011 Clio Awards. The campaign involved a progression of billboards each showing the overweight man in fewer clothes with the text: “The sooner you advertise here, the better”. Just in time, the billboard is taken up with an advertisement for Radio 2, BBC’s national radio station. The campaign is a development of an earlier series of billboards which won a Silver Outdoor Lion at Cannes in 2010.

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Credits to the genius brains behind this campaign, Y&R Not Just Film’s  team, art director Marq Strooy, copywriter Robin Zuiderveld, production manager Tilly van Duivenbooden, photographer Morad Bouchakour, account manager Jacqueline Loomans, and advertiser’s supervisor Meindert Van Den Heuvel.


How To Fall In Love With Someone Who’s Been In Love Before

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You have your first relationship, and then you have your first relationship. The one where you finally figure out, beyond all reasonable doubt or concern, what it’s like to be in love. The one where the word “forever”—however impractical it may be—doesn’t seem so far-fetched anymore; the one where the phrase “I love you” finally sounds right rolling off your tongue; the one that sad Lana Del Rey songs will always be able to describe exactly. It could have happened in high school or college or even after, but it’s a time of innocence and beauty and discovery that can never be captured again. It’s like a dream, but like all dreams, you eventually wake up.

You go to different colleges, your paths go different ways, one of you has to break it off. But how can things ever be the same again? How can you ever not feel attracted to that person? Will you ever find somebody as good as them? Is it all downhill from here?

Then you take a walk in the real world and find out that there are still people who can give you things you’ve never had and make you feel ways you’ve never felt. After some false alarms and missteps, you finally do meet somebody else, often in the most unexpected of ways, and you find yourself swept up in this spontaneous and amazing process of falling in love all over again.

It’s so different from your first but the patterns are the same: there’s the first time you stay up all night talking, the first (unbelievably cute) time you spend the night together, the first time you realize the other person’s just as much of a weirdo as you. You feel like this second person, this second love, is so many things that the old person was not. They are another step forward, a progression in life.

But then you grow closer, and for many of us, a little hard seed of insecurity starts to form. It forms and it grows heavier each time you see a blissful-looking picture of them and their ex on Facebook; it grows each time they get a text or message from their ex, however innocuous it may be. The closer you get to them, the more you see the echo of their first love still bouncing around in their life, barely audible but very present.

And this feeling doesn’t go away. You realize that somebody has already landed and left a flag on this person’s heart. You start to feel that this person and their ex shared a bond that you two will never have. And against your will, against your happiness, you start to put their ex on a pedestal, thinking they’re more beautiful or smart or talented than you are.

If you’re crazy and insecure like me, you start to wonder why in hell this person is dating you. That if they had the chance, and the circumstances were right, they would just go back to their ex. And you keep thinking, and you keep thinking, and you start to feel sorry for who you are.

This is where it all falls to shit—but what you don’t realize is that you are in a relationship precisely because of who you are. You’ don’t have whatever made their ex so special, and you never will; you have what makes you special. If you feed this insecurity, your relationship will develop a cancer, one of the most terminal kinds: a lack of full-on acceptance.

Because if you want to truly love someone, you need to accept them unconditionally. That’s not just their present self; that’s their past as well. You need to accept that they fell in love with somebody else once, and no matter what they tell you about them to make you feel better, there had to have been something special and awesome about their ex to make them feel that way.

But their standards are not your standards. No matter how much worse you think you are, this person is dating you for a reason. You’re not worse, you’re not even better—you’re what they need right now.

Putting their ex down in your mind is to lie to yourself; putting their ex on a pedestal is to do a disservice to yourself. You’re you, and the only thing you can do is to work on being the best “you” you can possibly be. And if you feel you’re not up to par, then do something about it. But trust me: 99% of the time, by just being that original person they fell in love with, you are.

You’ve been given an opportunity, a beautiful opportunity to love somebody. To take care of them and make them feel good and give them that special brand of happiness that only you can provide. Yeah, they can still love their ex as a friend—you might be lying if you didn’t think that about your first true love too. But if you think that they’re shorting you, and all objective signs point to it not being that way, then you’re being as unfair to them as you are to yourself.

That’s the mistake I made. I could never accept that my second girlfriend would like me as much as her seemingly spectacular ex-boyfriend. By the time I realized how stupid and insecure I was being, my constant need to be reassured had driven her away. She meant more to me than anything, and by the time I finally accepted that she—at one point—had felt the same way, I had lost her forever.

Don’t make the same mistake as me. This applies not just to second loves; it’s for anyone who’s falling in love with someone who’s been in love before. Never do yourself the disservice of comparing yourself to their exes. You are being loved for a reason—for being you.

Newton said that matter was never created or destroyed in this universe; it stays at a constant. But for some reason, when you add two people that are in love together, you get…something more. A force bigger than the both of them, something that makes life feel more real, more special, more…worth it.

You’ll never be able to truly love someone and experience that type of beauty unless you fully accept them, and that’s everything about them: their past, present and future. I say the future because after you, there will be someone else. Somebody else they’ll stay up all night talking to, somebody else they’ll sleep with for the first time, somebody else that they’ll one day figure out is just as much of a weirdo as them. Somebody else who might one day feel the same insecurities you’re feeling now about you. And when that time comes, the best thing you can do as a human being is to be respectful and never try to make their future lover feel like that.

Relationships aren’t a property game. It’s not a question of owning each other. It’s a thing of passing through someone’s life, loving them, cuddling with them, laughing with them, sharing everything with them from your favorite movies to the same bed at night. And, when it’s all over, it’s about being their friend and accepting whoever will have the privilege of coming after you.If you can let your ego die and accept all of that, then you will have achieved an enlightenment of love that many people will never get to experience. I know it’s hard, but it’s worth it. You are not going to be and you never were their only love. But what you are, is their lover right now, and right now, that’s all that matters.

 

 

http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/how-to-fall-in-love-with-someone-whos-been-in-love-before/


ONE DAY

One day, after all the years of planning, you will realize that you reached the place you were working toward and then you reached it again, and again, and you’re dumbfounded by the realization that life is a constant game of reaching for somewhere we’ll never quite be. It’s on this day that you realize that there is an art in just being. That the past and future are illusions. You may not be able to execute it perfectly, but you realize that living in the moment is the only non-delusional choice we have


When I Was Younger…

When I was younger…

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I’d put my arms in my shirt and tell people I lost my arms. Would restart the video game whenever I knew I was going to lose. Slept will all the stuffed animals as a child so that none of them would get offended. Had that one pen with four colors, and tried to push all the buttons at once. Poured soda into the cap and act like I were taking shots. The hardest decisions was choosing which Nintendo game to play.

Waited behind door to scare someone, then leaving because they’re taking long and I had to pee. Faked being asleep so I could be carried to bed. Used to thinnk that the moon followed our car. Watching two drops of rain roll down the window pretending it was a race. Went on to the computer just to play with Paint.

The only thing I had to take care of was a Tamagochi. The only ‘fake’ friends I had were invisible ones. I used to sing in the shower (I make life decisions in there now). Swallowed a fruit seed and got so scared to death that a tree was going to grow in my tummy. Getting bruised knees heals better than a broken heart.

Living used to be easy. It used to be simple, effortless. The simplest of pleasures that we once knew, no longer catches our interests. The little details of the world that held us in wonder, now hold no place in our new realities.

Remember when we were kids and couldn’t wait to grow up? What the hell were we thinking?


The 20 Things You Need To Stop Doing To Yourself

We are our own greatest enemy. We doubt ourselves, complicate our lives, cloud our minds with unimportant thoughts and negativity, we punish ourselves, hate ourselves and then feel sorry for ourselves because “outside forces” are making our lives a living hell. Life is beautiful — you’re making yours a living hell all on your own. Each of us does things from time to time that make living happily more difficult than it needs to be.

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Surely some of us have it difficult because those are the cards that we’re dealt, but most of us — especially those who are better off financially and don’t live on the streets — make our very own lives more difficult for ourselves. But there are things you can do to stop the miserable cycle that you have found yourself in…

1. Stop Running From Your Problems and Procrastinating.

Problems don’t go away on their own. You can either make them go away or live with them. If you know you can’t live with them, then don’t procrastinate because the weight of them on your mind only increases over time. If you have a problem, then accept that you have a problem and face it — deal with it. Life is a long list of problems that must be overcome.

2. Stop Lying To Yourself.

People will lie to you left and right throughout your life; don’t add to the pile of lies. It is one thing for others to be lying to you and an entirely different issue if you’re lying to yourself. You are the only person that you can trust…but if you have a habit of lying to yourself, then you can’t even trust yourself. You have to be able to rely on yourself and on what you believe.

If you know something to be false, then stop convincing yourself that it is or could possibly be true. Improbable is one thing, but impossible is another.

3. Stop Living In The Past.

Yesterday was yesterday — it’s gone and will never again be. Everyone carries emotional baggage with them. Some of us carry the weight of a depressing past while others live in those happy long-gone moments that we consider to have been the best of our lives. You can reminisce if you’d like as long as you don’t forget that your reality exists only in the present.

It can be a dangerous thing to dwell on the past. Nostalgia can overcome us and make us feel that the world we are living in today falls short of the happiness we experienced in the past. Other times we will punish ourselves for mistakes that we have done and dwell in the negativity and bad feelings that we had. Whatever the case, be wary of focusing on past events and do your best to live in the moment.

4. Stop Attempting To Buy Happiness.

I’ve tried; it doesn’t work. You can buy drinks, buy drugs, buy sex, buy trips, buy experiences, buy toys and clothes…none of it will make you happy — at least not past the day that you buy them. I always revert to Paulo Coelho on this matter: happiness must be something attainable by each and every person no matter what his or her circumstance. If the poorest of the poor can be happy, then happiness cannot lie in the material.

5. Stop Relying On Others.

People have their own lives filled with their own headaches, own problems, own mishaps and own successes. Friendship is great, but often doesn’t weather the storm. Be self-reliant. Be independent. We all find ourselves alone at several points throughout our lives. If you find yourself on your lonesome and don’t know how to deal with it because you are used to having constant support, then you will drown.

6. Stop Fearing Failure.

Failure is such a derogatory term… I don’t understand why. Failing is learning in the real world. There is only so much that you can read up about the way the world works, but true knowledge comes from experience. And no one gets it right the first time around. You failed. Great. Try it again. And again. And again. The more times you get it wrong, the more ways you know NOT to do it.

7. Stop Doing The Same Thing Over And Over, Expecting Different Results.

At the same time, don’t keep making the same mistakes and expecting different results. If you tried something one way and it didn’t work, then guess what will happen when you try again exactly in the same manner? Failure is only good if you learn from it. Otherwise it really is just failure.

8. Stop Rejecting Prospective Partners Because Of Your Past Sh*tty Relationships.

You fell in love and had your heart broken; we all have. Luckily for you, now that you have experienced the pain of a broken heart, you have fully experienced the love cycle and can grow as an individual. Relationships, like the rest of life, are learning experiences. Don’t generalize and make yourself believe that all relationships end in heartache because that doesn’t have to be the case. Ultimately, you and your partner decide whether or not the relationship will work. Check your baggage at the door.

9. Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself.

Life is tough for everyone. The richest of the rich have problems. The poorest of the poor have problems. We make problems for ourselves — they don’t exist outside of us. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and start interacting with the world around you.

10. Stop Trying To Change Others.

People don’t want to be changed and most often can’t be changed. You must learn to accept people for who they are. The less you focus on all the things you find wrong about an individual, the more you can focus on how to deal with them and all their discrepancies. Don’t fix people; learn to deal with them and — I hate to say it — learn to manipulate them into doing what you want them to do; mind-f*ck them.

11. Stop Making Excuses.

I understand that the time isn’t right, the place isn’t right, and the stars have yet to align perfectly. The setting will never be perfect for anything. Perfect is not the alignment of outside forces; it’s making havoc the perfect opportunity. Stop making excuses and start making opportunities for yourself.

12. Stop Worrying.

Sh*t happens. Then it happens again. Then sh*t won’t happen for a day or two…and then it returns with a vengeance. The more responsibilities that you have the more you have to potentially worry about. The key is to not procrastinate and approach all problems logically. The only thing worth worrying about is your own laziness; everything else is out of your control. If you worry about things out of your control, then you are setting yourself up for a mental breakdown.

13. Stop Focusing On The Negative.

Negativity is overwhelming and contagious. It tints the way we look at the world and makes us believe that we are worse off than we actually are. Negativity and worry go hand in hand and can be the downfall of all that you have worked so hard for.

14. Stop Being Ungrateful.

Statistically speaking, if you are reading this then most people in the world have it worse off than you do. That may not be very comforting…but consider that most of these people are likely to be happier than you. Happiness does not lie in the material, but in the immaterial. Be grateful for what you do have — especially those that play important parts in your life. You could be worse off and may very well be worse off some time in the future. Enjoy whatever prosperity you have.

15. Stop Wasting Time.

You are only allotted a sliver of time to call your life. Use those minutes and hours to make the most of your life. Ever hear your elders complain about how fast time flies by? Listen. They’re speaking the truth.

16. Stop Overloading Your Schedule.

Doing more does not necessarily mean getting more done. It’s all about efficiency. Human beings require certain things in order to live tranquilly. Divvy up your time for all the things that you MUST do and then divvy the rest for the things that you WANT to do. Just make sure to be clear on what you need before you start going after what you want.

17. Stop Trying To Impress Others.

It’s not worth it. The only reason you should ever try to get on someone’s good side is if you need them for something — only in business. When it comes to more personal relationships you can’t do anything more than be yourself. If they don’t love you for who you are, then they will never truly love you.

18. Stop Wishing You Were Someone Else.

Make sure that you know who you are and do all you can to develop — not change. People don’t change, they develop and grow. You are a great individual because you are a human being. There is no need to change who you are to match some preexistent notion of who you should be. Of course, certain situations you may find yourself in will have certain rules of etiquette, which you will need to learn and adopt. However, who you know you are and who others perceive you to be does not have to be the same person.

19. Stop Overlooking The Simple Things In Life.

The simplest of things are the most beautiful of things. Take walks. Talk to strangers. Look up at the sky, the trees, the birds. Connect with nature and all that which comes at little to no price. We often do our best to reach for things that we believe will make us more in tune with reality — happier — only to find out that we were greatly mistaken. Life offers us simple beauties. Relish in them.

20. Stop Hating Yourself.

We are often too tough on ourselves. We hate ourselves for our failures and our inabilities — which makes no sense whatsoever. Failing is learning and inabilities can be turned into abilities with enough work and patience. Whatever you dislike about yourself can be changed… just be sure that it’s worth changing. My advice: learn to love yourself the way that you are. Changes are easier to make when you already have a good relationship with yourself.


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