Are some people really superior?

We share this planet with billions of arrogant monsters and these monsters live in each and every one of us. If in the past we could compare ourselves with a couple of people from our neighborhood or the village, we can now expand it to basically the whole planet. The Internet and all kinds of social media are giving us a wonderful opportunity to envy other people and at the same time feel like we are better than them.

So often we see the movies and read books where the world is divided into good and evil people, everything is black and white. But is it true? Are some people really better than the others? Are some people really superior?

This is one of the main ideas of the book Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. The main character of the book divides the world into weak, disposable ones and superior, super humans, who can do whatever they want with the rest of ordinary people.

This kind of arrogance is a big problem in today’s world and it is not something only certain people feel. We all compare ourselves to our neighbors, coworkers, the shop assistant and other drivers on the highway. So very often we feel like we are better, more beautiful or smarter than them, that we would do a better job than they any time given their life.

We all have something in our brain called mirror neurons. These neurons are responsible for our empathy—thanks to them we suffer when we see other people suffering and we are happy when we see very happy people walking by. We mirror their behavior and feelings. But that is not all. When people share our ethnicity, political views, religion or come from the same background, we tend to listen to them much more than to people who are different. The hack is that those people might have valuable knowledge to share.

We cannot define who is a good person, therefore it is impossible to define who is a better person. We consider people better or worse than us based on our own criteria, with our own limited knowledge.

Borders are separating knowledge, resources, and wealth (and humans). Many studies have shown that by opening the borders and letting people circulate as they please, we would improve the planet’s wealth from 67 to 172%! So what are we waiting for? Well, we are way too scared and arrogant at the same time to even consider it even if this would boost the economy and improve all of our lives.

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The answer that both Dostoevsky and self-improvement are offering is to be humble. We should stop judging others and comparing ourselves to them. Instead, we have to start listening to them. Nobody is over anybody. Humbleness helps to keep an open mind and improve consistently. There will always be something we can learn because everyone has his own story and her own knowledge. Actually, the more different people are from us, the more there is to learn from them.

To be the best, we have to stay open to everybody’s knowledge, opinion, and experiences. We are the same as our “stupid neighbor” or the African dictator. Human—living, and learning.

Check out the video The Arrogant Monsters of Our Planet here.
If you haven’t read the book Crime and Punishment yet, do it! Find it here.

 

Pain management and self-regulation

The book Search inside yourself by Chade-Meng Tan really blew my mind and taught me so many new things I just have to share it with you. Here is the video where I talk about pain management, self-control, where is suffering coming from and how to avoid it.

Often we think that self-control or self-regulation is about avoiding emotions, denying or repressing true feelings or about never having certain emotions. Even monks, masters of self-regulation, experience negative feelings from time to time. It is impossible to stop a thought or emotion from arising.

Self-regulation is about becoming very skilful with your emotions. What we have is the power of letting it go and the more you observe yourself, your body and thoughts, the more skilful you will become.

When the emotion appears, we feel bad because of one these two things: grasping and aversion. Grasping is when the mind desperately wants to hold on to. When we are so happy we are afraid of losing it.

Aversion is when the mind desperately wants to refuse or keep something away. When you are in pain you can only think of that and the world is going round because of your pain.

90%, if not 100% of all of our suffering is coming from those two things and could be avoided. We don’t suffer when we experience the pain (or maybe we do just a little bit), we suffer because we talk, think and feel sorry for ourselves; we want to push it far away.

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How to deal with pain for the better:

Know when you are not in pain. The pain is not constant, especially emotional. There is a small space in between when we can catch our breath and feel better. You just have to observe yourself.

Do not feel bad about feeling bad. The distress and negative emotions are natural—we all experience them from time to time. If you feel bad about something, don’t worry about it. Let it be.

Do not feed the monsters.

We cannot stop bad emotions from coming and we cannot force them to leave, but we can stop giving them food. What is their food? Their food is negative thoughts.

When you feel angry about somebody you start thinking about all the times he let you down or create a plan on how to revenge yourself or how you will show him who is the boss. This is the monster’s food. Once you stop thinking these stories and let the emotion just be in you without adding fuel, the monsters will starve and search for the food elsewhere.

Start every thought with kindness and humour. No matter how angry, sad or disappointed you feel, begin each thought with kindness and compassion for the other person. They are human just like you and they too make mistakes.
Even better plan is to laugh. Imagine yourself being a part of a movie and you mess up with your reaction.

Don’t take life too seriously, it is way too short for that!

Purchase the book Search inside yourself by Chade-Meng Tan here.

My very own Hygge

In the video on my Youtube channel, I shared why Danish people are the happiest ones and how we can all be like them. The key is not only to enjoy life but plan ahead. How awesome would our lives be if all day every single minute we would know that something relaxing and enjoyable is waiting for us later on…

If you want to know more about what Hygge is, here is the video.

Here I decided to share some of my daily routines full of Hygge. They are easy and simple, yet fill me up with joy every day.

Every morning I read in bed. I read self-improvement books, literature that can help me improve, grow and learn more about myself and the world around me. While I read I cover myself with a blanket and I drink plenty of water. I don’t just read, I really experience the moment.

After reading I write my gratefulness journal. Basically, I write what am I grateful for and what would make today amazing. This allows me to focus on my objectives first thing in the morning. I share this amazing experience with my boyfriend, this way we help each other to make the day great.

Something I don’t do daily even if I would like to is massage my face. I learnt how to do the Japanese facial massage and I used to do it every day until I got bored. Now I am just doing it every second or third day, on the days I really want to do it rather than forcing myself. Not only it makes me relax, enjoy the nice smell and feel my body working for my, I can also see how my face is getting younger J

Every day after lunch we go for a walk. Sometimes in nature, sometimes to the shop on the other side of the city to combine useful and healthy. Some days the walk is really long while others it is only 20-30 minutes. But knowing there is a walk waiting for me in the afternoon makes me so much more energised and relaxed all morning.

Every evening before going to bed I read and write again. It is just so relaxing to curl up in the bed and grab a book, knowing the day is over and you have finished everything. You are done and there is nothing more to do than enjoying those last moments of the day.

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Not every day, but at least a couple times a week I enjoy some kind of a warm beverage. This is either hot chocolate or tea. It makes me enjoy that moment so much more because I get to work while enjoying the warm fuzzy feeling inside of my body.

These are just the things I enjoy. If you are more of a beer person, make sure you have a cold beer waiting for you when you get home from work. If you enjoy running, make sure your clothes are clean and ready for you to hit the road. If you are a very social person, plan ahead and invite your friends over on a Friday night.

Remember, it is not just being in the moment and enjoying the little things, it is about planning ahead and knowing those moments are there waiting for you. This way you are excited all day!

Meditation and Science fight

The amazing, fascinating and mindblowing book of the week is Brain and meditation written by a Buddhist monk and scientist Matthieu Ricard and neurophysicist Wolf Singer. In their long discussion, they come to the conclusion that we don’t have a located “self” in our brain. What we do have is just a continuum made of cognitive reactions (a.k.a. a lot of stuff going on in our brain and we have no idea what it all means).

Therefore, with no self, there is nothing in your brain that is actually YOU. You are just a lot of things going on at the same time. You are made of your memory (that lets you think you are your experiences), your nerves (that let you think that you are your body) and your prefrontal cortex (that lets you know you are your thoughts)…

It took me some time to fully comprehend the fact that we have no self, no ego, nothing that is really me. Weird feeling… So take it easy.

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But what does it concretely mean that you have no self? And how can we apply that fact in our day to day life?

To understand and apply that we have to understand another thing first: synaptic plasticity. What the hell is that? It is the ability of your brain to literally change its form regarding on what you use it for. Which means that if you use a lot of your willpower, your brain will shape connections that will make it easier for you to use your willpower in the future; on the other hand, if you are procrastinating, the willpower is going to grow weak.

What it concretely means: we are not something definitive, our brain/personality is evolving each time we take a decision, each time we make an action. A junky living on the street who will move to be a monk in Tibet, will literally not be the same person anymore. And that is the book’s best idea: we have no self, we are just the result of very complex brain mechanisms.

And, wait for it, it also means we have no ego! Everybody is saying that ego is the enemy, that it is because of too much ego that the planet is going bad, etc… But according to researchers in neurosciences and to Buddhism, ego does not even exist. We just made it up! Why? Because it is an easy explanation for all the things we cannot understand about ourselves.

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Basically, our personality is not a constant thing, it is the result of numerous complex processes that happen in our brains, and each time you take a decision your brain changes its shape. So you think you are someone, you think you are your ego… but you don’t even have an ego!

And this understanding can change your life and even the whole world!

Think about it. If you have no ego, no fixed personality, then guilt, fear and other “bad” feelings instantly become useless. Because it makes no sense to say “I am a bad person”, “I am born under an unlucky star” or “It is too late now, I cannot change after all this time. I am who I am”.

If there is no ego, there is no reason to be offended. You are the one deciding to be upset because you think this is the thing to do. Because you think people are attacking you. But there is nothing to be offended about since you have no self. They cannot offend you. Eventually, you can feel anger, but even then you can decide to let it go and not let it control your mind.

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On a bigger scale, it means that a lot of wars can be avoided. Think about it, if there is no fear and no jealousy, it means there is no racism and no ressources conflicts. If there is no ego, we instantly tend to share what we have and we feel more compassionate for other people.

The best part about it is that it means you can be whoever you want to be. If you want to learn something, you can. No matter what it is, you simply have to do things that bring you closer to your goal and stop doing those that take you away from it. This way you will enforce your brain. And remember, by enforcing your brain you are shaping yourself. And if there is something you no longer want to experience, stop doing it. Eventually, this part of the brain will get weak and you will use it less and less.

So do not ever say again “I’m not good at something”. You can learn anything you want to.

We are not our emotions

Reading the book Search inside yourself blew my mind on many different levels. Emotions and how do we perceive them by default, compared to what they really are and mean, is just the first step to it.

Emotions are a basic physiological state. They appear in our body, we can feel the anger as our hands are shaking and we can feel fear when our knees get weak. We also feel joy when we laugh so much our stomach hurts. This is the proof that emotions are not psychological, they are physiological!

If emotions are just what I experience in my body, then feeling sad or angry is just like a headache. I feel pain but I can choose to control it or even ignore it. I can decide to still go out and go get some ice cream while I am in pain, as I know the pain will pass in a couple of hours or days.

It is the same when it comes to emotions. We can be sad but we don’t have to focus and act on it. We can do other things and simply wait for that emotion to pass. The more attention we give to that emotion, the more it will grow.

We are not our emotions. But let’s look at how we identify ourselves with our emotions.

We say I am happy, angry and upset. However, this is just the physiological state we are in. We are not sad or angry, we feel sad or angry because our body is experiencing physiological change at the moment.

If we are aware of that emotions eventually become what we experience in our body, so we go from I feel angry to I feel anger in my body.

I think this is a beautiful metaphor to know about yourself and to be aware of it every time when we experience negative or disturbing thoughts. It is all going to pass and we will be much better of if we consider them as the temporary state of mind, a dark cloud, which is going to disappear and maybe even bring us a rainbow.

Get your mind blown away as well with the book Search inside yourself by Chade-Meng Tan here.

 

How is the school killing the creativity?

School raises us to be factory workers. A hundred years ago the main challenge of politics was to find enough factory workers. School was the place to shape up and raise those much needed workers. They had to teach us enough but not to much, and they also had to teach us how to obey.

It is not an accident if school is like a job, not an accident that there are supervisors and tests and quality control. You do well on them—you get a new job (the next grade), continue being successful and you get a real job. Do poorly and you are kicked out of the system.

This way of producing “factory workers” was efficient when we had to fill factories, but our factories are now in other countries and the school had not changes their way of teaching (yet).

Let’s make something clear: factory workers is just a metaphor. If you work in a big office where you only follow orders and you don’t show any enthusiasm, you never take initiative and you don’t give things you are good at, you are also a factory worker!

The world today is different and listening to orders is not going to get you far. What school needs now is to create and what you need to be now is an artist. You need to learn how to take initiative instead of obeying to orders. You need to learn how to give the best you can instead of doing the minimum without asking questions.

School asks you to:

  • Take good notes
  • Show up everyday
  • Do like everybody else
  • Follow the rules
  • Be a generalist, not a specialist

The problem lies with the system that punishes artists and rewards bureaucrats instead.

We all know it, finishing school doesn’t guaranty anything. Finding a job is challenging and your education is not first on the priority list. What employers are really looking for are artists.

You can be an artist at your job. Artist are not just painters, artists are all the people that are dedicated to their job and bring in it their own personal skills. Artists are the opposite of factory workers. Factory workers are all the people that are acting like school ask them to act: following rules without asking any questions.

But the good news is that the factory worker system is, slowly but surely, dying and is letting room for the new artistic world. It is up to you to choose who you want to be. A factory worker in a dying world, or an artist in a rising one?

Purchase the book The Linchpin by Seth Godin to get more insight into the topic here.

When balanced relationship is failed relationship

The scientists were trying to determine the conditions of happiness and the discoveries are super interesting. They were measuring the quantities of the happy and sad moments in order to determine that. You would think it if there is 50 50 of good and bad we are neutral, not happy not sad. It turns out that when during the day we have 50 50 good and bad moments we feel extremely miserable. Even when the ration between good and bad is 1:2 we are still miserable. It is only when the ratio is 1:3 that we feel happy. So for a random person to feel happy on a subconscious and conscious level, he needs to have 3 good things happening to him to outcast the bad one. How crazy is that?

 

Well, that is not all. In a marriage the stakes are even higher. It is 1:5 meaning that we need 5 times more good things happening to us to compensate for one bad one. If our partner does 4 nice things but says one wrong sentence we are going to feel bad and our day will feel like shit. Talking about high expectations! Maybe this is the reason why there are more and more divorces, because we simply expect our partner to be more than perfect. Do we also expect so much from ourselves is another question…

Get the book by John Gottman: 7 principles for making marriage work here.

Check out our YouTube channel for more simple quick fix ideas here.

How to enter the vortex and feel joy?

The biggest wish all humanity shares is the urge to be happy. We are very different and we look in different places—we go from job to job, relationship to relationship, travel, eat, try out drugs and sports. The thing we have in common is that we all hope the next thing we try out is going to make us feel good and happy.

We reach that state from time to time, but most of the days are just boring old routine and most relationships just drain our energy. Why do some people seem to always be in a good mood, while others just go from bad to worse day after day?

Law of attraction revolutionised the world and some strongly believe in it, others don’t. However, it is not really a law, is it? It is easy and simple; there is no big science about it. As long as you focus on the problem and the more you think about it, the more negative emotions you will experience and the more bad things are going to enter your life. We all have those bad days, when we lose our key, forget an umbrella, our boss yells at us and our partner is not in the mood to make love. The ice cream falls straight on our white shirt and we get a parking ticket. It is like a curse, the more we expect the bad things to happen, the more they happen.
How about if we focus on the solution instead of the problem for once? Let’s say the scenario is the same: we lose our key which gives us a good opportunity to go to our husband at work and borrow his—and we steal a kiss. We get a ticket, we look up and there is a really cute guy who also got a ticket—he invites us for a cup of coffee. The ice cream on the shirt gives us a perfect excuse to buy a new shirt we were admiring in the shop on the way to work.

It is so important to understand that it is not the situation that determines how we feel, it is our decision on what we will focus. Once we can do that (and I am not saying it is always easy), we are free! Nothing outside ourselves can influence our life and destroy our happy feelings. This is how we finally feel the freedom which is a true key to happiness.

Most of things that happen during our day are very neutral but we perceive them as negative. So make a deliberate decision to take them the way they are and not overreach about their meaning. When something really bad happens, our emotions usually take over and we are completely unable to fight them. For some hours, maybe days. After the shock is over, we can choose what will we focus on. The bad thing that happened or look on the bright side, find something good in the situation and learn from it?

It is your life and it is your decision. Just remember, it is YOUR focus that determines the quality of YOUR life. You are responsible and whatever you are living right now, it is you call.

The book Vortex by Abraham Hicks is an amazing book which can open your eyes on so many things. The video is covering just main ideas, but each of us can find so much more reading the book for himself.
Purchase the book and contribute to the channel without any extra cost here.

Succeed with Mini Habits

How many times do we fail when we set our goals? A lot, right? It all sounds so amazing the first couple of days, but eventually we stop doing it. The thing we didn’t consider yet is that our tactics were wrong! It is not because we are bad people, we just didn’t take the right approach. Get inspired by watching this video… and keep on reading!

Here is where the mini habits come in. Mini habits are small and easy goals we set ourselves to do every single day. They are so easy we don’t need any (or maybe just a tiny bit) of willpower. They are so small they just take a couple of minutes and it is almost impossible not to reach them.

The problem with our previous tactic of doing great things starting tomorrow is that we depend on motivation or willpower. In the beginning we are highly motivated and we can do anything. But there are also days when we can hardly get out of bed, let alone exercise for one hour and write 1000 words. This is when we need to use our willpower. Willpower is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. But it still has its limits and we can run out of it. The bigger the challenge, the more of willpower we need. And once the muscle is damaged, it cannot operate anymore.

Forming mini habits is the way to trick our brain, which doesn’t like new things. We introduce such a small new habit, that the brain doesn’t even recognise it as something challenging. Only the mini habit, which is ridiculously small will do. This way we need little to no willpower to complete and we can fit it in every day since it takes a few minutes and is super easy.

When we do things every day, they slowly become our habits. Habits are things we do without thinking and are purely automatic. Integrating healthy and useful habits in our daily routine can do nothing more than totally change our lives.

Some examples of mini habits are:
– One push-up per day
– Write 50 words per day (blog, book, journal)
– Read one page per day
– Eat one piece of fruit per day
– Write down one creative idea
– Learn one foreign word per day.

Get a book and learn more about Mini Habits.

Find a perfect mini habit for yourself here.

Love is a two-way street

You know that feeling when you have butterflies in your stomach, the world is just rainbows and sunshine, and nothing can get you down? The »in love« faze.

All these feelings of euphoria make us think this will last forever, and our only goal in life is to make our partner happy. All of our egocentric behaviour is forgotten, we are obsessed with the other person, and the high we get from them. It was designed this way—this is how evolution insures our species to survive. Unfortunately, the average in love experience lasts from 6 months to 2 years.

This is when all the fun ends or just begin. Your choice. We finally see our partner the way he is and he sees us. Sometimes this leads to a break up, other times it is an opportunity to create an amazing relationship, based on mutual understanding, support and growth.

The in love faze suggests that we have arrived to the final destination, the love faze is when the improvement and learning is the goal. This is the kind of love all humans crave for; the love out of reason and choice instead of an instinct. Love involves an act of the will, requires discipline, and it recognises the need for personal growth.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes your partner makes you feel loved by doing very little for you and other times nothing he does is right? The answer is LOVE LANGUAGE.

There are five love languages and when your partner does certain things for you that correspond your primary love language, you feel appreciated and loved. The same goes for him: some things you do might leave him completely cold and others fill him up with fire of love.

Let’s check out these love languages!

Words of affirmation are compliments, encouragement, acknowledgements, love letters and poems. Words are crucial and they have to be words of kindness and respect. You can start with great looks, nice clothes, amazing intellect, perfectly done house chores, great parenting and their overall strengths. Focus on all the good your partner does and tell him about it.

Quality time is giving your partner your undivided attention. Listen to her, ask personal questions, take a walk or a long weekend together, dance, eat in a nice restaurant, play board games, enjoy a concert together or take a road trip. The key is to be there 100% even if just for 10 minutes every evening.

If your partner’s love language is Receiving gifts, this speaks for itself. The important thing to keep in mind is that those do not have to be expensive gifts. A box of his favourite candy, the flower you picked up on the way from work, handmade surprises, delicious dinner you made, planting a tree, and give him your time when he needs you.

Doing things your partner is asking you to do for a long time is how you will show your love the best, if her love language is Acts of service. Wash the dishes, mow the lawn, pick up the kids from school or wash the car. These things might seem like annoying chores to you, but to your partner they will show that you really love her and this means she will be more likely to do things for you too!

The fifth love language is rather clear: Physical touch. Sex, kisses, hugs and holding hands will make your partner feel like in seven heaven. Offer him a shoulder massage, rub your knee or foot on his leg while eating dinner in a restaurant, touch him when you pass by in the kitchen and always kiss him good night. Physical touch does not mean you have to be sexual, it means that your partner is sensitive to touch and your touches make his heart skip a beat.

Knowing our partner’s love language is important because of one simple thing. When we do not feel loved for a long time, we feel empty and depressed. It is our basic emotional need to feel loved and when we do, we have more energy and are willing to do things. So, by making your partner feel loved, you are doing yourself a favour. He will have more energy and he will be more willing to make it up to you. You make him feel loved every day, he will pay you back double—you just make sure you tell him how he can do that.

The important thing to remember is: do not demand things, request them. Treat your partner with respect just like you would like him to treat you. Make him feel your love every day! If your partner’s love language sounds very French to you (and you have no idea how to speak to him), remember, you can always learn it. When an action doesn’t come naturally to you, it is a greater expression of love.

Here is a quick test you can do to find out what is your love language if you don’t know yet:

You can also purchase the book 5 love languages by Gary Chapman here.