What Is Kindness?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once described Kindness as the golden chain by which society is bound.’

Generally, Kindness is the interaction that it starts with a feeling and extends to acting upon it! But how do we characterize Kindness? What motivates us to act upon our tender feelings? Acts of Kindness is deeply rooted in human nature and understanding its components gives us a framework on how to be cooperative and connected.

So what constitutes Kindness:

  • Kindness as benign tolerance translates into accepting and having compassion towards others. Sometimes, a slanted eyebrow, a concerned look, or a soft touch fulfill our social pact. Great apes spend hours a day grooming each other, even when there are no lice! Apes groom to forge alliances, reward generosity, or manage conflicts. 
Simone Fugazzotto Artwork
  • Kindness as principled pro-action, a behavior that is honorable and prompts objective measures for effective altruism. In 1873, Leo Tolstoy decided to stop writing Anna Karenina for a year to organize aid for the starving, “I cannot tear myself away from living creatures to bother about imaginary ones.” Many people thought it crazy that one of the finest novelists in the world would postpone one of his best works. But Tolstoy did not change his mind, and again in 1891, he spent two years raising money from around the world and working in a soup kitchen. 

 

  • Another aspect of Kindness is the empathetic responsiveness, which translates into considering other people’s feelings and doing the right thing – In 2013, Ivan Fernandez Anaya, Spanish Runner, intentionally lost the race to do the right thing. His opponent, Abel Mutai, mistakenly thought the end of the race came about 10 meters sooner than it did and stopped running. Fernandez gestured to El Pais to keep going! “I didn’t deserve to win it. I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him.” 

Occasionally, Kindness involves generating feelings of openness, humility, non-judgemental, and warmth towards one-self. The bottom line is that Kindness is critical for our species to survive, consequently, we have to make a mental note to embrace daily acts of Kindness. 

Anger Is Normal, Healthy & Human Emotion!

We all know that anger might not be a kind emotion, but it is part of living. The energy of anger oscillating from composure to blindness has been depicted in the arts, creating a visual experience of intense emotional responses. The following artworks portray passionate anger by different artists, arousing stimulating feelings from contempt to respect that profoundly helps us understand the exaggerated to righteous indignation.

  • Jesus ready to strike with clenched fist merchants, not honoring the place of worship and turning it to a place of profit. Christ’s anger was real, divinely justified, and human.
Giotto di Bondone – Expulsion of the Money-changers from the Temple, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua. 1304 – 1305
  • Anger can be morally right; the inner flame should not be restricted but should be shared intimately at a spiritual level to a higher self.
Giotto’s ‘Ira’
  • The story of Timoclea of Thebes, whose anger saved her after the captain of the Thracian army, raped her. The story goes that Timoclea tamed her inner rage with composure and calm when her rapist asked for any hidden money. She told him that there was money in her well. When the Thracian captain stooped to look into the well, she pushed him to his grave.
Sirani’s painting

A nude woman comes out of the well, angry, holding a whip in her hand. She represents a symbolic figure of Truth. It appears that she is about to strike when the Truth is not being tolerated; anger becomes her weapon of choice. Depiction of the aphorism of philosopher Democritus: “Of a truth, we know nothing, for truth is in a well.”

Painter Jean-Leon Gerome

The beheading of Holofernes, an Assyrian general by Judith is another example of female rage. The story goes that Holofernes was about to destroy Judith’s home, the city of Behulia. Judith’s anger is a symbol of an underdog being able to overpower a tyrant.

Artemisia Gentileschi

Pipilotti Rist, a Swiss visual artist, produced an original piece “Ever is over all”, in 1997, showcasing women liberation from the norms of “good behavior” imposed by society and her carefree attitude towards authority. She happily smashes the windows of each parked car she passes. A female officer passes by and salutes her vandalism. A piece that demonstrates self-fulfilling anger based on courage.

Pipilotti Rist

Anger is not always a destructive force, at times is the catalyst for change and a signal of resolution.

 

Featured image: Beyonce – Hold up video

How To Be Angry?

Anger is a tool that can help us navigate upsetting situations in life. It’s senseless to think that anger is the opposite of compassion since it can materialize from immediate threats, unwarranted optimism, excessive expectations, or social injustices. In fact, anger can fuel positive change when the intense emotions are based on altruism or call for self-development.

However, like any other tool, it should be used creatively with caution. It is difficult to restrict anger, but with practice in daily activities, whether lining up at the supermarket to delays in service deliveries, engrave in your mind that you have a choice to express your emotions through a sophisticated narrative and not in a fuming way. 

Art by Ania Tomicka
  • Recognize that when circumstances are out of your control, anger is not a smart choice
  • Employ “discomfort caveat” – let others know that that you are experiencing anger and potentially your actions might not be clear or even worse, they might be explosive. Apologize in advance. In this manner, the other person will become less defensive. 
  • Slow down to re-consider your response and evaluate whether your anger will help or hurt the situation. This way, you can make a sound decision rather than a fast one.
  • Provocation is inevitable in unfriendly cases, use speedometer technique. The process starts by creating a list of descriptive words that encapsulates your emotions in anger and assign a number to them. For instance:
    •  100 miles per hour explosive state 
    • 60 miles per hour a pissed off frame of mind
    • Ultimately to 30 miles per hour where you feel calm and collected. 

Of course, the intensity varies, so you should have at least 10-speed numbers and ten words summarizing the strength of your anger. If you feel way above your speed limit, then you need more time to slow down till you put on the brakes. Do not forget that creating a visual image reinforces your efforts to manage your anger. Remember, sometimes, no reaction buys time and gives you an upper hand. 

 

Featured image by War Graphics

How To Rise Above Disappointments, Doubts & Defeats?

No one tells you at any point how to fall when things go south. No one tells you how to shield your spirit. No one tells you enough how failure is painful. No one tells you about the humiliation, anger, and toxic numbness. As a child, regardless of which parenting style you have been raised, when you fall, ideally, your emotions are validated. Your parents or caregivers might rationalize, but eventually, the emotional approach you receive allows you to label the pain, and ultimately you feel safe. A kiss, an antiseptic, or a cast with the reassurance that “you will be fine” and off you go to explore your next venture.

Matthew Grabelsky

As an adolescent, you experience frustrations and disappointments. Generally, your parents will empathize and give you emotional courage. They will reassure that “if you are not failing sometimes, that means you are not trying hard enough.” They will help you learn self-regulating skills, put a smile on your face, and make sure that you remember that their love is unconditional.

Later in life, as an adult, you are encouraged to take chances. They show you the grassland in front of you and pressure you to explore. Only you have to jump over the cliff to enjoy the beauty of the prairies. Equipped with your dreams and ambitions, you run, but sometimes things go wrong, and you fall. Your body aches, and the psychic pain is unbearable.

August Vilella

You see, it’s not the fall that gets you but how you fall. A bruised bone or a scar on your hand can be fixed but what about your soul.  No one told you that the magnitude of agony is beyond what you have experienced as a child. No one taught you the depth of resilience you need to withstand the despair. Now, as you are hurting, social anxieties creep in, your confidence diminishes, addictions take over, low tolerance with stress webs around you, and the vision for future becomes a blur.

Adam Lupton
Adam Lupton

Move away from numbing your pain with unhealthy behaviors and distractions, you need to develop the antidote called, “Self-compassion.” A mindset that encourages you to display leadership skills instead of anger or wallowing in self-pity, and self-doubt. And knowing that nothing in life worthwhile is ever going to come easy, and while each of us has a different set of circumstances, it takes a period of hopelessness and bad feelings, self-help materials, and definitely a wise mentor to recalibrate your mind and cultivate Self-compassion.

Kristin Neff, a researcher explains that self-compassion has three elements:

  1. Self-kindness, which translates into curbing harsh self-criticism
  2. Recognizing one’s own humanity, accepting the fact that people are imperfect and we all experience distress
  3. Mindfulness, maintaining impartial thoughts of our experiences not to disregard or magnify them

That said, learning to extend Self-compassion is an ability that can be developed with the support of a wise mentor, reading self-improvement, and practicing coping skills.

1- A parent or mentor who motivates, encourages and opens a window to let the airflow when you are hiding from the embarrassment. One that listens when you ruminate, validates your anger, and responds with kindness. A mentor that refrains from dismissive attitude and compassionately reminds you that you are not alone. And like a good coach supports you.

2- Here are a few good helpful books to cultivate a productive mindset:

3- Bouncing back from hardship is a process to strengthen your resilience and to nurture a sense of peace through mindfulness techniques. Working at activities that help you embrace challenges to learn from setbacks and criticism and put effort into achieving. You can refer to mindful.org to learn about different activities and the Jon Kabat-Zinn mindfulness meditation series (you can also refer to my Mindfulness Series Section).

On a final note, turning your focus outward by volunteering brings a new perspective into your life, has health benefits and boosts your brain’s natural high. Studies have found that helping others for the right reasons improves wellbeing from lowering your blood pressure to reducing feelings of depression. So try to replenish your mental state with good deeds with no expectation of reward.

Positive Vibes in 100 Words

In my next series, I aim to share life experiences, the latest tools, and practices to develop a positive attitude and cultivate constructive thought habits.
A positive mindset is to use your intelligence and knowledge to set goals, manage pressures, and change the negative script to a promising one. The message is to recognize that positive thinking manifests ecstasy in our lives, boosts our health and well-being and shapes a valuable self-narrative.
In that spirit, knowing well that no one can keep upbeat all the time, here are positive mottos to live by in 100 words:

Self-acceptance. Live courageously. Express your thoughts clearly. Explore your ego. Break the habit of instant gratification with fulfilment. Have gratitude in your daily life. Step out of comfort zone and aim for growth. Cultivate resilience which is a formula for happiness. Work with your strengths to experience the state of flow. Give meaning to your life by helping others. Focus by being mindful. Choose to reflect and not to agonize. Smile and laugh and hug. Expect good sensibly. Be kind. Forgive. Move away from blame game & take responsibility. Emotions are data, use them wisely. Embrace the uncontrollable. Live purposefully.

Featured image by Konrad Bak

Your Flaws are beautiful! Positive Vibes Series: Self-Acceptance

Accepting all facets of yourself elevates you to a higher level of your being. When you recognize your weaknesses, you shift towards a mindset that thrives from a position of strength. Imagine in a job interview where you are focused on pointing out your best qualities, skill sets, and ambitions, and as soon as the question of listing your weaknesses is raised, you are quick to hush it up. How? Either by changing the subject swiftly or by expressing your enthusiasm to acquire the required skill.

Regardless of which response you choose, you have to realize that self-acceptance is free of any qualification. It happens when you are deeply connected to your true self, and you are aware that your passion, your inadequacies, your resolve, or shortcomings are part of you. Just by spicing up your self-perception with a little bit of encouragement and a mindset keen to learn from mistakes, you will stamp the sign of self-acceptance on your résumé. Without it, your mental state will suffer, and most probably, all the actions taken to improve the side effects will be less helpful.

In particular, if you feel anxious or stressed from a flaw in your character, all kinds of practices to reduce the unwanted emotions will be quick to fade from lack of self-acceptance. All the negative self-talk and thoughts will limit the gray matter in your brain region, which helps control your emotions and stress. The more you feel bad about yourself, more stress signals disrupt your emotional wellbeing.

How to strengthen self-acceptance

  • Reframe the negative criticism and change the narrative by refocusing on the positive aspects of yourself.
  • Control your state of mind by being self-aware. For instance, when you feel bitter, observe that your focus is evaluating your emotions based on your triggered feelings. This approach is misleading. Move away from how you think and assess the feeling based on your values before you react or retaliate.
  • Practice self-transcendence – Lack of self-acceptance is often beyond your conscious control. For example, the intentional process of forgiveness, whether oneself or another, has lots of roundabouts, water puddles, and intersections. The path is confusing since you can either choose the clear road so that you can keep going without wasting time or get to the other jammed packed lane, hampered by the gridlock, and be miserable. The first step is to accept that the two lanes exist side by side. The same acknowledgment should be extended to different facets of your character. In such a situation, self-transcendence is constructive. This positive trait aims to create awareness and unity with oneself, which in turn reduces stress and anxiety.

Taking a step to look inward and rely more on your values rather than identify your being with things outside of yourself reframes your self-perception. For instance, transcendental meditation or connecting at a deeper level by contribution to a venture or a community de-clutters your mind of unnecessary and negative energies. At the heart of all your practices, unity is your guide. Adhering to a higher purpose, confronting your fears, staying positive are the extensive attempts to reach self-acceptance.

 

Featured image by Durmoosh

What Are You Scared Of? Positive Vibes Series: Build Courage

Get up and show oomph! Be bold, be confident, thread your way through what people think of you, the obstacles, and everything that stirs up a weakness. Gird up your loins and get rid of your doubts and uncertainties.

Sounds familiar? Well, often, the voices in our head are loud enough to nudge us to take action. Still, we turn the volume down and list all the things that could go wrong and all the possible sufferings that can happen because we are afraid.

Aristotle (philosopher 384-322 B.C.) defines “fear as pain or disturbance due to a mental picture of some destructive or painful evil in the future.” Even though he indicates that wickedness and stupidity are evils, but they do not frighten us. Or we are not troubled by things that are a very long way off, such as death. What makes us anxious and fearful is when things have the power to harm and cause significant pain.

Fear is seen as an evolutionary necessity that can help notify a person whether they should proceed in their current direction or find another course to increase the likelihood of survival (Cannon, 1914; Ohman & Mineka, 2001). With this in mind, living a braver life is not to act naively, but to break down those potential problems and build a ladder to face the fears.

For instance, feeling anxious about air turbulence when flying is normal but refusing to travel is a debilitating and irrational fear. What constitutes courage is that you voluntarily take action to accomplish your goals when you have identified the potential problems. Being alert and being fully conscious that things might go wrong is to build the capacity to become braver in the face of challenges and setbacks.

In contrast to existing ideas that tell us to keep away from stress, you can leverage your anxiety and stress by rehearsing the tension and fear. Physical challenging experiences, contests, adventure activities are all character-forming pursuits that develop courage. Taking cold showers in the morning, a ritual that activates stress hormones which makes you think clearly, to engage in high-intensity workouts such as cycling, rock climbing, or running that help with your general health or intermittent fasting, are techniques based on the Stoic philosophy of self-denial that builds resilience against everyday stressors.

Now, in highly uncertain situations, evidently, you have no real control. By adopting a mindset that the only thing you have control over is your response, which is fostered by your values and attitudes towards life, you can transform the uncontrollable to manageable.

As Epictetus said: A Stoic “sage” never finds life intolerable, but sees in every challenge as an opportunity to test and improve oneself:

You should look to the faculties that you have, and say as you behold them, ‘Bring on me now, O Zeus, whatever difficulties you will, for I have the means and the resources granted to me by yourself to bring honour to myself through whatever may come to pass.’ (TD, Book One, Ch. 6, p. 18).

Featured image by Igor Morski

Communicate Clearly – Positive Vibes Series

What separates us from other animals is the use of language. Animals do communicate in many different ways, through smell, dancing, or touching. What sets us apart is our verbal expression and, importantly, our ability to communicate clearly.

It is not always easy to communicate your thoughts, the use of words might be misunderstood, and our bodily gestures might be misread. We tend to say nothing and expect others to understand what we are thinking telepathically. We don’t get off our chest our concerns and blame or accuse others of indifference. We get annoyed, feel defensive, and respond in anger because we tend to ignore or hold on to things that we have not been able to voice with clarity, and the list goes on. Well, until we all evolve and become Professor X, it is to our best advantage to learn and hone our communication skills instead of reacting to our unvalidated assumptions.

Regardless of the concept and whether the conversation is personal, professional, or addressing an audience, the pillars to an intelligent and useful talk are based on:

  • Know your purpose
  • Know your intention
  • Know the meaning

Once you have wiped out the haziness through the process of exploration of your intention and how it all relates to you and your audience, make sure that you practice non-judgment. This attitude will reinforce your efforts to express your thoughts with common sense and gives you the wisdom that a broad spectrum of opinions exists. Be mindful that rational explanations or points of view will probably be presented and that they might be totally in contrast with what you believe.

Often, we engage in communication that the result is unknown; hence, it is advised to make every effort to learn more about the anticipated topic while exchanging your point of view. Remember that our goal is to speak to be heard in our everyday conversations with family members, friends, colleagues, or at a business meeting. In establishing real communication, Carl Rogers, humanistic psychologist, believed that people, especially in insensitive and controversial issues, should give up traditional and legalistic kind of arguments and use a non-threatening approach based on shared and common goals. He was convinced that people stop listening or reading to a writer or speaker who makes them angry and puts them on the defensive. Hence to influence people, you should care about communicating with them rather than pointing the errors of their way. 

Last but not least, cut through the noise, the unambiguity, and always ask yourself why you are engaging in a conversation. The magic of questioning your intention unconsciously appeals to your character’s smart, intelligent, and thoughtful part.

 

 

 

Break The Habit of Instant Gratification With Fulfilment – Positive Vibe Series

“I want it, and I want it now,” sounds familiar? Needless to say that it is tough to resist the badly behaving inner voice, which demands an instant reward. Like that piece of magnetic chocolate in the cupboard that somehow telepathically stimulates your tastes buds or browsing aimlessly the social media to get an update on your imaginary friends. Of course, not being able to resist comes with a bold headline, featured as “the lack of purpose and meaning.” 

Sara Shakeel
Sara Shakeel

While the previous statement is a significant blockage, brain chemistry is enormously responsible for reinforcing the unproductive feeling, such as instant gratification. Once you experience joy, your brain is exposed to dopamine, and deliberately the brain encourages you to continue doing what made you feel good. This is called the dopamine reward circuit, which involves several parts of the brain and fortifies good feelings. Hence, unaware of the joy’s source, anything that triggers the gratification releases the chemicals, and the brain perceives it as a pleasure source. 

Sara Shakeel
Sara Shakeel

Now that you know the brain’s basic physiology’s reward system, the next step is to consciously bridge the way for your present self to reach your future self by taking advantage of the feel-good chemicals ferrying in your neural pathways. Having said that, your goals and your future self need not only a vision board but, most notably, a philosophical vision to overcome procrastination or curb instant gratification. That vision, or you may call it inspiration, must be ingrained deep into your values and aligned with your temperament.

  • Make a list of your goals, your resources, your talents, your shortcomings, and your inadequacies. Don’t be shy jot down all the self-descriptive adjectives to see what you need to improve on and what you could solidly leverage to reach your aspirations.
  • Once you have the list in front of you, start an inner-dialogue and try to convince your present self why your goals are important.
  • Attach meaning to your goals by re-examining your intentions. At this stage, the philosophical vision becomes crystal clear.
  • Choose the most challenging goal. Why? Since you have to work super hard to reach it. As Pluto said: “Do one thing and do it well.”
  • In full awareness, accept that life is full of agony, traumas, sufferings, and delays.
  • Tap into your higher intelligence to embrace the benefits of delayed gratification. As humans, we can exert self-control. Make use of it, consider your promise to your future self, know your “why,” and avoid temptations.
  • Every day remind yourself of your intended goal so that you stay on course.
  • Be consistent, even if you feel miserable, put as much effort as possible since a fraction of the required work is better than none.

Staying motivated is not an easy task, so don’t wallow on it if you slip up. It happens, we all struggle, rather than giving in to your impulses again and falling into a vicious cycle, the best way out is to know that new habits take time. With patience, you can put your abilities to work to reach your goals.

Explore Your Ego – Positive Vibes Series

It would be helpful if every time you act upon your impulsive ego, a holographic screen appears in front of your eyes, which would shed light on “why” and outlines the motive! Or, perhaps, you go through an out of body experience to watch how you are entrapped in heedless and primitive impulses, which impel you to be helpless and act irrationally. Possibly, in the future, with the help of technology, you will be able to materialize such visual awareness. Till then, you might as well resort to certain practices that will push you to another level of existence, far beyond hopeless confusion.

First of all, let’s reflect on the sense of ego; whether delving into Eastern philosophy or psychoanalysis, both recognize that uncontrolled and impulsive ego will lead to suffering. 

Moving through different stages of ego to become the best version of yourself is not an easy path. The truth is that if you are lucky, life will sweep you through nasty havoc that will wound your self-identity and crush your image. A breakdown that can lead to a breakthrough by feeding the ideal self. Now, rising from the ashes is to take responsibility for your wellbeing. It starts with realizing that your thoughts are tainted by subjectivity and emotions since your mind has found security in the sense of belonging to the wrong structures, misinterpreted values, and egocentric pursuits.

While you are climbing up the spiral staircase of your spiritual evolution, I suggest you observe and question your motives, your triggers, contradictions, and practice the following transformational self-help:

  • Gain clarity by self-reflection and self-criticism – question your goal; if you feel uneasy about your reactions, cross-examine yourself to align your intent to your essence. Self-analysis is not about beating up oneself or agonizing but to understand the triggers, your role in the event, and blowing away the pollution so that the image of your intentions becomes sharp and transparent. The focus should be on you and not others.
  •  See yourself from another perspective – use abstract thinking to match your motives to your best possible self. That entails imagining your future “Self” in unpleasant circumstances only when channeling your energy to shield your best version. By setting unwavering rules to be of service to all, however, is possible and live as a human, your future “Self” releases toxic struggles and replace the void with contentment.
  • Question the expectations – step back and reassess your approach and your expectations and how they connect to the problem. By re-evaluating the expectations, you will recognize the difference whether they are conventional & reactionary or wise and tolerant.

Remember, you cannot fill the bowl with water if it is turned upside down. To be fully alive is to be well-disposed to “Self” and others. The key is to question your motives every time the destructive “Self”/ “ego” appears. Taking a volunteering leap to an inspired “Self” means using your knowledge, patiently, and for good. Have grit, as the journey is bumpy, and evidently, the spiral staircase will not get more comfortable. You will fall back a few steps, and you will be aware of your limitations. However, regardless of the hardships, this time, with conviction and a humbled “ego,” you know how to get up quickly and how to wipe up the dust. Finally, as you go further, you realize that gratitude and generosity are your mental tools to serve and use your power to benefit others so that you act like an intelligent being.

Featured image by Tom Roberts

Have Gratitude In Your Daily Life – Positive Vibe Series

When I lie on my back and look up at the Milky Way on a clear night and see the vast distances of space and reflect that these are also vast differences of time as well, when I look at the Grand Canyon and see the strata going down, down, down, through periods of time which the human mind can’t comprehend . . . it’s a feeling of sort of an abstract gratitude that I am alive to appreciate these wonders, when I look down a microscope it’s the same feeling, I am grateful to be alive to appreciate these wonders. 

Richard Dawkins

The concept of gratitude is described in different ways as an emotion, a virtue, or an attitude. Whatever your understanding of gratitude, often, it is defined by a two-step process: 1) “recognizing that one has obtained a positive outcome” and 2) “recognizing that there is an external source for this positive outcome.” (Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough). Yet, whatever your disposition with its meaning, interestingly, gratitude is not merely a cultural creation. Scientific research has shown that the concept is embedded in our evolutionary development. For instance, it has been observed that birds, vampire bats, or fish incur some costs to themselves in helping another member of their species, in view that it might be beneficial to them, eventually.

Furthermore, scientists suggest that gratitude has been developed gradually from this “tit for tat” behavior, better known as “reciprocal altruism.” A process that is based on turning strangers into friends who will likely help one another. Further studies on chimpanzees support this idea that these primates share food with another of their kind if they have been groomed or helped by them in the past. Or, studies from neuroscience have observed some areas in the brain that involve experiencing and expressing gratitude. 

Consequently, gratitude is an inherent cognitive response strongly associated with greater happiness and better physical health. A study has shown that people’s heart health improves when they show appreciation, which is related to gratitude. Regardless of how you feel, express, or express gratitude, this emotion undeniably builds stronger relationships, creates good experiences, increases our well-being, and cultivates an optimistic attitude. Not to mention, gratitude has psychological benefits perceived as an intervention to overcome negativity. Moreover, individuals who have a grateful disposition are better protected from various forms of burnout. For instance, athletes who have grateful mindsets are less prone to burn the candle at both ends.

Nevertheless, the ability to be grateful requires seeds of humility and the willingness to develop our disposition intelligently. One of the most effective ways to cultivate gratitude is to keep a journal. Studies have found that “counting your blessings” for ten weeks and keeping them in a gratitude journal increases optimism and improves life satisfaction, self-esteem, and, importantly, decreasing depression symptoms. Knowing well that as humans, we are more sensitive to negative emotions than positive. For instance, we will be miserable if things are taken away from us than if we were to receive a gift. Needless to say that being grateful does not translate into living a modest life with no ambition. On the contrary, gratitude is one of the essential components of self-improvement. It starts with full awareness of what can go wrong, what we can be grateful for, nurture a positive mindset, and build on our skills to reach our goals and progress.

In the meantime, remember:

Learn to be thankful for what you already have while you pursue all that you want.

Jim Rohn

 

 

Featured image by Perfectionist Magazine

Give Meaning To Your Life By Helping Others – Positive Vibes Series

No matter who we are, who we meet, or what we do, the truth is that a well-lived life is walking the path of service—a direction where kindness and helpful behavior becomes the most valuable part of our identity. No matter the struggles between our messy traits or our peculiarities, once we discover the benefits of practicing pro-social behavior, our path blossoms, become colorful and lively. Our inner-distortions becomes manageable and regulated. Equally, no matter which way our emotions whirl, they will eventually be guided by our inner compass, nurtured by generosity, pointing to empathy and helping others. No matter our distressful past experiences, no matter how difficult our situation, no matter how fragile our health might be, helping others can help us relieve stress, anxieties, and bitterness.

The next time you are resentful, you feel helpless, scared, or angry—practice altruism. Whatever the altruistic activity you choose to engage in, you will experience a state of flow, an emotional state that brings harmony to our conscious. A pleasurable experience that, at its core, embodies a goal and feedback.

Typically, this state of flow is achieved when you accomplish a rewarding and challenging task. “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times . . . The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Csikszentmihalyi further elaborates: In the state of flow, we are so focused on the task at hand that everything else falls away. Action and awareness merge. Time flies. Self vanishes. Performance goes through the roof.”

There are many opportunities in life to expand our strengths and experience the concept of flow. No matter which path you take, your energy and attention in reaching a clear goal based on charitable intentions will enhance the experience that brings about this optimal state. Since the result encapsulates concrete feedback and inspiring reward. In other words, by helping others, we help ourselves since the effect of our concentration and fulfilling feedback lead us in a trance-like state. Naturally, we become a more level-headed individual. Also, helping others does not always translate into financial contributions. It is to develop a mindset that truly understands that our raison d’ être is for a higher purpose, to be of service in whatever capacity or contribute.

 

Featured image by Igor Morski