Archives For self-help

Jim Carrey is an amazing comedian, but he’s also a very well versed orator, a great thinker and very motivational. To top it all off he’s very down to earth, friendly and humble. In this video, Jim Carrey talks about what motivates people and how fear can lead you down the path to the dark side … or how love can help you achieve your dreams. Though, the path you take is your choice. Choose wisely.

There are many facets to happiness. In-order to become happier and happier you can decrease your stress, take positive action, improve your intelligence, remove bad influences from your life, and even picking up an enjoyable hobby. What helped me grow and mature was fountains and the fountain pen culture / mentality. And no, it’s not some elitist snob idealistic view point. Fountain pens are what started my journey upwards and away from depression.

How fountain pens saved my life ...

Depression is a serious illness, state of mind and rather unhappy way to live. I know this from experience. I’m not going to talk about depression and how it ruins lives here; here I’ll talk about how fountain pens allowed me to start being happy, to have a purpose and finally take action.

Through-out elementary school, junior high and high school I was bullied. As many of you can attest bullying takes a huge toll on your self-esteem. Coping through drugs, hurting others, alcohol and other unsavory means weren’t appealing to me so I searched for something that I could grab on to and use as my pillar of strength and sanity.

I didn’t find this pillar of strength until college. It was also by chance that I stumbled upon it.

For the longest time I’ve liked writing (for myself) by hand, drawing/doodling and even just random scribbling. So when I saw a professor writing some notes using a fountain pen with an elegant handle, a majestic and perfectly shaped nib that looked as it were designed by Davinci himself and an ink color that screamed perfection … I was enthralled.

By that time in my life I was finally developing and solidifying my natural style, grace and dress code. For me, being a proper gentleman was what I wanted to be. My thoughts were that a proper gentleman:

  • is impeccably dress everyday
  • has a leader’s personality and aura
  • is very intelligent and well versed at his craft as well as in many others
  • writes with a fountain pen

Well, I didn’t have the first three at the time so I thought: I can do fountain pens!

That night I went to the local book store and purchased my first fountain pen. Even at the high cost of $3 USD which included the box, the pen and two cartridges, I was a man with a mission. Rushing home I almost tripped over myself with excitement. I put the pen together, grabbed the nearest notebook and started writing.

I don’t remember what I wrote, but I do remember it being the first time in a very long time that I was actually excited about something. Excited about something new, something interesting … something good.

From that day forward, I ditched most of the regular ball points (they still have their use) and wrote exclusively with fountain pens. I started with using it for writing notes in class. Then I moved to writing notes for class and business idea mapping. Then onto story writing. And then onto my biggest joy in writing: journaling with and only with a trusty fountain pen.

Every time I wrote, my mind thought of new ideas, ways to improve myself and my projects, strategies to get things done and action plans to implement them. With my trust fountain pen in hand, there’s nothing I can’t conquer through thought … well, except maybe the lack of reliable good writing paper. But other than constantly running out of scratch paper, my fountain pen (now many pens) I’ve moved passed my irrational distaste of women, my illogical fear of spider, my hatred of myself and even worked through and soothed a lot of the demons that reside inside.

By writing everything down, I was able to get it out of my mind and off of my shoulders. Even better was that it finally allowed for my to express my issues in a coherent matter … a thing I was never able to do before.

Writing was, and still is, a very process oriented task. I processed things usually from the beginning by writing down the issue that was weighting me down at that very instant. And then I wrote my way into a solution. Step by little step I just kept writing. No matter what the (related) thought was, I just kept writing.

I wrote out my anger, my fears, my concerns, my hatreds, my loves, my excitements and my goals.

Through writing about myself and what I’ve become, I realized a harsh truth: I’m not perfect and probably never will be. But I sure as heck can strive for it. A while ago I wrote out and created probably the most powerful piece of paper I own. It’s the secret to my current successes, my current much improved mood and my better life. This one piece of paper is what makes my life possible.

This paper is no secret though. It contains no magic words, no incantations and no “hidden truths that guru’s don’t want you to know.” The paper is very simple. It’s a stained piece of paper, that I almost through out, with just words. No sentences. No drawings. No set date. Just words.

On the top of the paper, all written with my fountain pen, the paper says: “The Perfect Me“. I drew a line under those three words to highlight it.

The rest of the paper is filled with the emotions “The Perfect Me” has every day and every time of the day. The actions “The Perfect Me” takes each day to learn and grow and help others in doing so. The thought processes “The Perfect Me” has in-order to live a good life. The way “The Perfect Me” acts in good times and the bad. That little piece of eight and a half by eleven piece of paper holds everything I strive to me.

I will share one thing that “The Perfect Me” has though: acceptance of self.

I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it. And fountain pens are what allow me to convert my thoughts, emotions and processes into actions.

For yourself, it may be fountain pens, it may be cooking, or it may even be having a child. But find that one thing you can use as your pillar of strength that will take you forward step by step … even if it takes you there kicking and screaming. Find the thing that makes you happy, seize it and use it to take those steps forward.

Most people never think about themselves, let alone how their own actions affect them and others. But there comes a time when you need to look inside and think. Here are 20 powerful phrases that really will make you think about yourself.

20 Powerful Phrases That Will Make You Rethink Yourself

from mcwilson40 on reddit:

Most every adult has had their life planned for them by an idiot teenager.

from Jayce O’Neal:

We judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions.

As an explanation to that statement (via shizza):

In social psychology, they have a name for it! It’s called the Fundamental Attribution Error, and it states that when we explain behavior of others, we have a tendency to overestimate the role of dispositional characteristics and underestimate the role of situational influence. But when we are explaining our behavior (moreso justifying our “incorrect” behavior) we blame it on situational influence, and not our dispositional attributes (AKA our intentions,or personality)

Some very smart people said these:

The person that you will spend the most time with in your life is yourself, so you better try to make yourself as interesting as possible.

People aren’t against you; they are for themselves.

The most dangerous risk of all – The risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.

The person that you will spend the most time with in your life is yourself, so you better try to make yourself as interesting as possible.

From Stanislaw Jerzy Lec:

No snowflake feels responsible for an avalanche.

Anything that fails, is ultimately a group effort. Same goes for success!

The follow two quotes are really powerful because they are the cold hard truth about life, the universe and everything:

The world doesn’t hate you nor love you; it just doesn’t care about you.

There is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent.

In everything you do in life, it’s important to remember who we really are:

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is who you really are, while your reputation is merely what people think you are” – John Wooden

“It is not our abilities that show who we really are. It is our choices.” – Albus Dumbledore

“We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us.” – Andrew Ryan

As a great follow-up to that, by Ethel Barrett:

We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do.

For when the days are dark and cloudy:

“In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself. That is the meaning of inner strength.” – Uncle Iroh (Avatar … the short one, not the blue one)

Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source. True humility is the only antidote to shame.

If inner strength is something we can control, why is that we let pain and sadness control us (when it too can be something we can control)?

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

You can’t crack up over the same joke over and over again. Why then do you cry over the same thing over and over again?

The same can be said about anger:

Forgiveness is not about excusing a transgression, its about choosing not to live with hatred.

Thus, in the wise words of Buddha, we are what we think:

All that you are is the result of all that you have thought.

And my all time favourite from Calvin and Hobbes:

“We’re all someone else to someone else.”

Many believe that entrepreneurialism and/or being a business owner is a glamorous thing. Where the cash flows freely, time is abundant and everyone is always happy, amazing and awesome. The truth is that being business owner and/or a entrepreneur is an emotional roller coaster that not everyone can handle.

The Dark Side Of The Entrepreneurial Mindset

]1 Photo by Simeon at

Today I was reading an article in May issue of Inc magazine entitled “I Thought I Knew You. Entrepreneurship changes people- and not always for the better”. There is a story of a married couple who were on the brink of divorce because of the husbands failed business, another couple who never seemed to get along anymore and yet another whom seemed to drift apart because where was no more attention to family. If you’re thinking that these are extremes you are correct, they are. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a semi-common occurrence.

I’m not saying that most people’s relationships are families are ruined by starting a business, I just want to provide you with the knowledge and prepare you for the real wold of entrepreneurship and the things to watch out for.

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You’ve heard of a morning routine, now it’s time for you to make an evening routine. It’s just as important to end your day right as it is to start it right.

The Importance Of An Evening Routine

Image by “duchesssa”

Whether you’ve had a long day, an awesome day, an overall good or bad day it’s important to unwind, calm down and let your body know it’s time to sleep.

As we know, habits and routines are extremely powerful so having proper evening habits and routines will improve your sleep and help you get a better start on the next day. The added benefit is that you’ll also feel more comfortable with yourself, reduce your stress and be overall a better person.

First, let’s clarify some things:

Morning Vs Evening Routine

Is the evening the opposite of the morning? Should you be active in the evening? Reading books? What?! All good questions.

There is no clear cut answer to any of those, except for: “whatever works for you.” Though I can tell you this for certain: if you want the evening to be the opposite (or even reverse) of your morning schedule, then it can be.

It does not have to be though. The evening routine can be just like the morning routine. Or completely different.

The important thing is that this evening routine works for you.

What not to do for the evening

There are some things you shouldn’t do though. We’re going over this first because it’s important to know what not to do, so you can properly choose the right actions.

Here is a list of things you should do in your evening routine:

  • Eat
  • Any work out that gets your blood moving
  • Drink caffeine (tea, coffee, energy drinks, ect…) or anything that could keep you awake
  • Use a device with a bright screen, so no TV, video games, computer, smartphone. This amount of light WILL keep you awake.
  • Drink alcohol (might put you to sleep, but you won’t sleep well)
  • Listen to loud music
  • Read things that make you think a lot

What you can do for an evening routine

  • Drink water
  • Light stretching, like some light yoga
  • Meditate
  • Read a non-all too thought provoking book. Reading from something like the Kindle is ok since it’s not bright. Even the Kindle Paper White is ok.
  • Listening to quiet calming music or white-noise. Something that puts your mind at ease.
  • Write in a journal. This will let you get all your thoughts out and clear your mind.
  • Write your TODO’s or plan for the next day. Keep it simple, short and to the point.
  • Light cleaning. Who doesn’t like to wake up to a clean home? The Importance Of An Evening Routine

Sample evening routine

Is what I’ve done in the past and what I’ve seen people do as an evening routine to help them move their life along. Not all of them follow the guidelines above, but they do the job well enough. There is no such thing as a perfect routine, it all comes down to whatever works for you.

For my wife:

  1. Call her family (in another country) and/or check up on them on Facebook.
  2. Put work food containers into the sink.
  3. Take out meat or fish to be defrosted for the next day.
  4. Clean up (brush teeth, wash face, ect…)
  5. Read home magazines for about 20 minutes.
  6. Sleep

She does this every day like clock-work. And it really works for her. She get’s to keep up with family constantly, and still gets time in for resting with me and reading her own things to calm down.

I’m currently in a routine transition phase, but this is what my evening routine used to be:

  1. 8pm, turn off all technology (phones, computers, tablets, ect)
  2. Wash dishes and light clean up around the home.
  3. Clean up self.
  4. Read book in bed for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Lay down and meditate for about 10 minutes.
  6. Drink half glass of water.
  7. Sleep.

There are two things that really started to help me sleep better and be happier: stopping any and all work at a certain time (8pm for me) and then meditation in bed.

Once I started routinely not working on anything at all (except light house work) after a certain time, my stress levels dropped significantly. This happened because I finally realized that the world won’t end if I stop working for a short bit and that everything I can do can easily wait until the next day. After that time, it’s all family time.

Meditation in bed has helped reduce my stress levels even more. And since it’s become a routine for me, I can now easy meditate (for me that’s in bed) and by meditating I resolve many issues in my head (and them write down the solutions if I have to remember anything for tomorrow). By the time I’m done meditating, my head is so clear and calm that I naturally fall asleep within minutes after that.

Once I create and habitualize a new evening routine (most likely it will include yoga and meditation not in bed) I’ll update you guys (and gals) on what’s been working and what hasn’t been working.

Now back to you: what evening routines do you have (good or bad)?

There are so many TODO list manager out there that it’s hard to tell which is good or bad or even worth using. But this here is one that is not only the time tested champion of TODO lists, it’s overall ranked the best (there was a Lifehacker post about it, but I don’t remember where) TODO list manager … ever! So watch the video and let me know what you guys and gals think.

Make A Definite Plan: Get Life Done – Part 2 Making a plan of action is key to your success. In my previous post I talked about setting a goal, but now that you know where you want to go you have to figure out how to get there. And yes, it’s goal first THEN plan. Not the other way around.

Making a plan is not as easy as it seems, though it doesn’t have to be hard either. The hardest part for most people of making a plan is not actually making one, it’s starting one. And that, my friends, is the hurdle you have to push yourself through.

I’m here to help you get past that and make a definite plan of action with/for you! The easiest way to teach is by example, so for today’s example lets say my goal is “Have 100 subscribers on my business newsletter by the May 30th, 2010 at 9pm central time”.

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Dont Think! Youll Only Hurt Yourself STOP! Don’t you dare think another thought. It’s what’s hurting you the most in your business. You think, think and think some more but never do. Some of you do go ahead and start on plans but never complete them because you over think or your mind strays. STOP IT. Stop thinking.

Thinking is what get’s people ahead right? WRONG. It’s action that moves business forward and thrives innovation. If people thought all the time we would still be in the dark ages. Don’t get me wrong here: be creative, think of new initiatives and new marketing techniques. Learn and expand your mind, but in the process “do”.

Many internet marketers fall for this exact trap. They become the proverbial eternal student. They jump from one internet marketing topic to the next. From article marketing to twitter to youtube and on and on and on. They never pin down what they need to (or want to) do. This is a syndrome that more people fall into than I’d like. I know I’ve been there, and sort of am now.

For me starting out in internet marketing, once I found what I thought was “the next best thing” I hopped on it right away. Started on it, thought about it. Noticed is really is harder than what the so called “gurus” told me. Thought more about. Then started worrying how hard it is and how long it will take to do. Then I came across the ‘next best thing’. And the cycle repeated itself.

I couldn’t stop thinking about it all, the small parts and big sections. Overall my own brain worked against me. I was focused on the task, but I just couldn’t move past the “goal/plan & think” stage.

So, my point here is: Turn off your brain and take action. No matter what it is. Even if you screw up and fail horridly, it’s OK. If you fail, you then know what doesn’t work. So learn from your mistake, don’t over think it, and go ahead with the next try or step.

Here is a tip if you ever start thinking in the wrong direction or on tangents: write it down on a piece of paper and forget about it. Come back to the other ideas later. Also try to do one ‘step’ forward each day. Do something which actually moves you forward in life.

My fellow readers, what do you think is a good way to stop thinking and finally move forward?

note: image by Veer.