Real talk 1: You have already found your passions

Growing up as a millennial, I am constantly questioned with this idea of finding my passions. What are your passions? Pursue your passions. Go after them etc. But then we are faced with the questions, well what are my passions? This question has been plaguing me for the last six or so months. What are my passions?

 

Well it turns out, I already know my passions. And so do you? What do you do all day as you are sitting around. We are all awake for 14 to 20 hours a day. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING IN THAT TIME? Well whatever it is, that is your passion. The things you do to fill up that time. That is where your passion lies. For me, its constantly reading about psychology and health and mindset. That is why I set up this blog, to have a place to write about popular psychology and ‘life hacks’.

 

So I know my passion. Now can I make a living out of said passion. That is where my priorities come in. Do I really want to start my studies again and pursue something different? That is where the issue lies. I know my passion and so do you, you just need to decide is it worth pursuing it?

 

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What is the point of life?

This is a question that I am constantly trying to find the answer to. And yet time and time again fail. The amount of times I have questioned friends on it, turned to Google for answers and multiple self-help books. And the response I have summed up is there is none.

It is up to you to give your life a point. 

If it is up to us to give life a point then why are we getting stressed up about all the small bullshit that hassles our life. Why aren’t we living life exactly as we wish? In the end, am I going to care whether I got the law credentials or not. Probably not, as long as I had sufficient amount of money to live the life I wanted and made a difference, I do not really care if I get my law credentials.

Why do we keep on pushing ourselves to live this ideal life. Keep on pushing ourselves into this rat race which is making us sick and tired and stressed. This life where you wake up every morning not wanting to get up, not wanting to move, praying for the day to be almost over so you can just get back into bed. Why don’t we instead rejoice when we get up and celebrate the fact that life is so goddamn precious. 

We all get obsessed with money. Making money our God. And along with that security. Craving the security. Living life inside a box, never venturing out of the box, because god help if you stray from the path. BECAUSE IF YOU STRAY everyone will be able to laugh at you if you fail, and if you don’t fail, people won’t like you as you have proved all their limitations and excuses invalid.

STRAY FROM THE PATH. I urge you, especially if you are young and healthy, stray. Make mistakes. Fuck up. That is the point of life. Life is not there to play it safe. Life is there to make mistakes and learn from them. The definition of failure is allowing fear to dictate all your actions. GET OVER THE FEAR. Life is scary. Get used to it and embrace it.

So stop sitting in your box living your customised by other people life and make your life yours. Give your life a point.

The Success Sacrifice.

I think there is a lot of pressure on twenty something year olds to have it all figured out. We have the media telling us we are useless, the worst employees to date etc, we have people younger than us, those in their teens who are making millions and creating amazing apps and then we open our newsfeed and we see our friends and acquaintances travelling the world, getting married, starting families or rising up the career ladder. And then we look towards ourself and wonder what we have achieved. Have we even achieved anything? Am I not supposed to be a multimillionaire right now? Am I not supposed to be madly in love with the person I am going to spend forever with right now? Should I have not travelled the entire globe by now? What am I doing with my life?

Relax. Take a deep breath. Take a few more deep breathes. Now read this.

Everyone has their own timelines for success. And everyone has their own definition of success. Some people I went to university with will be fully qualified fledging lawyers before 25, while others will have married and had kids, while others will have travelled to a few countries. Some people will work 70 hour weeks and will become partner by 45 but may not have children, might never be home to see their partner, might not get the time to travel the globe, might retire by 60 and get to see the world. Others might postpone their professional careers and travel the globe, see the northern lights, eat pizza in Naples, dance in the Monsoon rains in India and enter the corporate world at 28, a few years behind others, forever perhaps playing catchup.

Every success requires sacrifice. If you want to become a CEO, no matter what, you are going to have to sacrifice some aspect of your life. You will not make it to every single one of your child’s recitals, you may not make every single meeting, you may not make every training session, every date night or see every country in the world. But you will make the ones that are important.

And thats the thing, to be great, to be an expert, you need to cut other elements out of your life. Figure out your priorities and eliminate anything which is not a priority. For example: when I was studying for my final law exams, I cut out socialising and sport for a year as those were not priorities. What were priorities? Study, sleep and my mom. That is where my time went, if I was not studying, I was sleeping. If I had time off from university, I was at home with my mom. Those were my priorities. And that is how I came out with a first class honours in law as I knew what my priorities were.

Now, that university is over, my priorities have shifted. The things I want to achieve in life are different. This brings me to my second point. Your priorities or the things you expend your energy on, don’t always have to be the same things. As soon as a priority is not bringing you happiness or a sense of achievement, reevaluate and change it. For example, health and fitness has been a massive priority for me the last couple of months. This meant I was eating clean and getting up before work to gym. Now, between being sick and in bed for the last week and getting on a flight to South Africa to spend two weeks with family, my priorities are shifting. I will be focusing more on family time and less on fitness and health. I will still be keeping myself accountable but will not be doing intense gym sessions, simply for the reason that if I stand up I feel like fainting, and due to possible time constraints.

What to take from this article: figure out your priorities, time is limited so you only have so much time you can expend. Make sure your time is going to a worthwhile place. Secondly, your priorities are not set in stone and can shift. Just because you make something a priority or a goal, does not mean it always has to be, as soon as you don’t feel a burning passion for that goal or it does not make you happy anymore, reevaluate it and change it if required. 

Discovering yourself: Who am I

More often then not, we let other people define ourselves. Before we are able to form our own idea of who we are, we are told. This is why it it is so important to define yourself in order to achieve the life you want.

Today’s exercise to help you discover your true authentic self is to fill in the blank: I am _______

Write down, without consciously thinking, what you are. Are you a lawyer, a mom, a student, a friend, tired of life, bored, interested, ambitious etc. Look at these words and decide, do these words/labels correspond to the life you want to live, to the goals you wish to achieve?

 

Anger: the secondary emotion

Being angry is a natural human experience to have and can sometimes be of benefit by showing you your own limits and boundaries in life. However, being perpetually angry or constantly feeling like you are quelling you anger is not the way to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Anger is known as a secondary emotion. That means it is a cover up emotion as it is a reaction to one of the primary emotions such as frustration. However because it is such a quick reaction to feel anger, most people do not even realise that they are actually experiencing another underlying emotion such as frustration, humiliation or fear.

 

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This knowledge will help you to deal with your anger. Next time you feel yourself getting angry, ask yourself why are you angry. What is causing this anger. Are you frustrated by your computer not working, are you fearful that your boss is going to view you as incompetent and fire you, are you feeling a loss of control in the workplace or are you feeling humiliated by the words being said to you. By identifying this underlying emotion, you will be able to better tackle the issue at hand.

In short, anger is a secondary emotion which means it is triggered by another feeling you are having. It is a healthy emotion but the actions associated with it, can cause issues in your life. 

Action step: next time you are feeling angry, before launching into a tirade of abuse or stifling that anger, take a second and identify exactly what emotion you are feeling be it fear, frustration, guilt, humiliation etc. Once identified, your anger will dissipate and you can focus easier on resolving the issue. 

Prioritising your goals

One of the issues I face regularly when it comes to pursuing my goals is the manner in which they can clash. This happens on a regular basis for me.

To explain: As described in a previous post, I have the goal of getting a fit and healthy body. Great goal. However, I also have the goal of having more fun. One of my action steps to the broad umbrella goal of ‘have more fun’ is to socialise four times a week. However, most people socialise by getting food or getting drinks together etc.

This is where the clash occurs.

In order to get a great body, I have to commit to a fairly strict nutrition and exercise routine. This goal is compromised by my other goal to have fun which involves eating out with friends, going to the pub for pints etc.

Now, before I get to the essence of this article, I want to note one thing, socialising does not have to mean your routine goes completely out of the window. Make healthy choices when eating lunch/dinner out, go for coffee with friends instead of lunch/dinner, go for walks with friends and catchup instead of sitting in a cafe, have diet coke when you go out to the pub instead of alcohol, go to the movies instead of dinner. These are the things I do which allow me to still catch up with friends but it not affect my diet to a massive extent.

And now to the point of this article: prioritise your goals. Decide whether your health is more important than your social life. Decide where your family sits on your list. Decide where your career sits on the list. This list does not have to be static and can change.

Say for example, this time last year, my biggest priority was my education. I chose studying over going out with friends. I chose studying over going to the gym. I chose studying over eating healthy. Everything revolved around finishing my law degree as it was my priority.

Now,  my priorities have shifted. I have finished my degree and I am in my first graduate job. My studies are no longer a priority for me. Furthermore I have been shaped by experiences of the last year which have put health, relationships and having fun as priorities in my life. For this reason, I gym everyday, I stick to a nutrition plan, I keep in regular contact with my family and friends, I go out a lot, I try to travel, I have postponed further post-graduate studies for the meantime.

This shift can also occur for some people when they begin to have a family. Their attention shifts from their career to their partner and children. This shift can occur when someone has a health scare, they go from being a 70 hour a week workaholic, to cutting down their hours and spending more time on their health.

So in order to focus on what you want in your life and achieve your goals, make a list of your priorities and make sure your goals and time accurately reflect these priorities. This will enable you to achieve your goals and to assist you when you are faced with making a choice between two conflicting goals.

Let me know if you have any tricks or tips in the comment section below.

 

3 ways to get motivated to achieve your goals

Motivation is what gets us going in the morning. Motivation is what starts us on the path to our goals. In short motivation can be a very powerful tool to have in order to get started on that goal, improve on that goal and sustain your efforts to reach that goal.

Below are 3 ways to get motivated

  1. Write a vision for yourself

Take a piece of paper and a pen and start writing about how you want your life to look like a year from now. Try to associate as many feelings and engage as many senses as possible in this vision

Here is an excerpt out of my vision:

I want to be more open-minded and expand my interests. I want to read more, see more, experience more, feel more and do more. I want to feel as though I am alive not that I am just living.

Having a vision serves two purposes:

(a) It can provide an idea of what goals you want to achieve

(b) You can reread it and remember why you have the goals you have.

Part A I will get back to later when I write a goal on writing a vision.

Part B is about the motivation. I read this above and it reminds me why I want to read every night, (and not just watch Netflix), or why I want to go to more museums (and not just watch Netflix) or why I want to meet up with acquaintances (and again not just watch Netflix).

So as you can see, having a vision written down that you can read every day is a powerful way of increasing your motivation.

2. Write down your main three goals daily

I am a big believer in goal setting. Not only do I get very excited the first of January, but I get excited the first of every month, as I get to sit down and reevaluate my goals. However, if you do not reflect often enough on your goals, the desire to pursue them can be forgotten.

Therefore, I suggest every day, jotting down quickly your three main goals. This will start the wheels in your mind turning allowing you to see the steps that need to be taken to achieve these goals.

For example, my goals today are:

1. Take concrete steps towards side-hustle

2. Have fun/new experiences

3. Workout more often

Having this written down, both subconsciously and consciously, I plan to achieve these goals. For example:

1. Take concrete steps towards side-hustle: Write blog post and read a chapter of book on self-development

2. Have fun/new experiences: Going out tonight on pub-crawl with new friends

3. Workout more often: Going to the gym or go spinning

Just by writing down these goals, I have already structured my day to achieve these goals.

3. Listen to motivational Youtube videos

I think YouTube is one of the best sources for self-development and motivation. There is a niche area on Youtube of motivational videos set to videos. Yes. It is cringy. I am not going to lie, but it is incredible the effect this can have on your daily life simply by having this in the background when you are getting ready in the morning or listening it on your commute to work/university/school etc.

Give this video a go and listen to it while you get ready. 35 minutes of motivation.

 

 

Try these three strategies and see your life transform.