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?

 

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.

 

How to small talk: FORD

No I am not talking about the car, I am talking about the perfect technique to make small talk: FORD. Each letter stands for a topic of conversation you can have with a new person.

F: Stands for family. It is recommended to ask people about their family, however, I might be unusual in this regard, but I would be uncomfortable if a brand new stranger asked about my family life. I think family can definitely be brought into small talk but in a general way by referencing your own family. This will encourage others to talk about their family if they so wish. For example I could be engaging someone in conversation, and we both see an Audi, and I could say something like ‘Oh I love Audis, my brother has one and since then I am obsessed’. This allows people to feel comfortable bringing up their own family members, rather than a question of ‘where do your parents live?’ which given the person might be awkward, as perhaps their parents are divorced, perhaps they don’t get on with their parents or perhaps their parents are dead. Therefore, I would put caution on this topic and use family as small talk fodder by introducing the topic of your own family and see how the other person reacts.

 

2. O: Stands for occupation. This is particularly useful in a work setting. You can talk to anyone about their job when you are at work. What do you do? Any advice for this? What area do you like? How did you get into that area? etc. I would generally stay away from this strand of conversation however when I am out at night as I feel it’s a rather boring start to a conversation in a club/pub as it’s the wrong setting. However in the right setting, being a workplace, it is a perfect way to develop small talk.

 

3. R: Stands for recreation: This is perhaps my favourite thing to talk to people about. I love to know about peoples’ passions and what lights them up – this all falls under recreation. I like to ask questions like ‘if you wake up anywhere in the world where would it be’, ‘what are your hobbies’; whats an ideal Sunday for you etc. This conversation works very well in clubs and pubs where people are very open to discussion.

4. D stands for dreams: I feel this links in very well to the above topic. Asking people what their dreams are in life. What they want from it. What are their priorities in life? Where do they see themselves in ten years time?

 

There are four categories of discussion to start a conversation going. So in order to keep it going (a) ask follow-up questions and (b) relate your own experiences. Remember this is a conversation not an interrogation. So for example, perhaps the person mentions that they were on holiday recently in Greece. You could follow-up by saying one of the following:

(a) Greece, wow I was there a few years ago. I stayed on this tiny little island where there was barely any English speakers. It was amazing. Where were you staying? You see here not only do you relate your own experience but you also have a follow-up question to provoke further conversation.

(b) Greece, oh I have been dreaming of going there for years ever since I saw Mama Mia. Where would you recommend is the best place to visit there? This allows the person to follow-up with telling you their own experience and also opens the opportunity to converse about movies. 

(c) Greece, that seems such an amazing place. There is a little greek restaurant on x street that I used to love going to. I love mezzo platters. This again allows the person to follow-up talking about their food experience in Greece or about food in general – etc ‘Oh I like Greek food, but I got to say, Italians know good food. I love a good pasta.

So now you see how you can develop a conversation. And if all else fails and these topics do not spark a conversation, there is always the weather. No one can resist commenting on the weather especially in Ireland.

 

Let me know in the comment section below if you have any suggestions of how to make small talk.

 

The importance of having clear vision

The most fundamental ingredient to success is having  clear vision. A crystal clear vision. Without this clear and precise vision, you are going nowhere. You could be the most capable, motivated, intelligent person in the world, but without a clear vision of what you want in life, you are never going to get to that point.

Think of it like this: the most experienced pilot with the best plane is not going to get to Mozambique without a map, he might make it to that area there eventually by flying around the world for a few days, but without the location or end point, he will not make it to the precise place he wants to be.

Whereas take the pilot who has the map, he knows where he is going, he knows that he is going to have to fly down along the east coast of Africa and therefore he will get to his location quickly and easily.

Once you know exactly what you want out of life, you can then map out a path from Point A (where you are) to Point B (where you want to be).

For example: I want to have a great body like the below. tumblr_n42iakaiVt1s1x0cvo1_540.jpg

This is my  vision. It is clear. And having a clear vision allows me to make a plan in order to get from point A (my current body shape) to point B (my vision). I know to get this body, I have to go to the gym, I have to eat healthily, I have to make sure I get enough sleep etc. These are my action steps in order to achieve the vision I have.

The take-away of this post is that without a crystal clear vision, you will never get where you want to be. As the above quote says: Decide what you want (your vision). Write it down. Make a plan. And work on it every single day.